Casey Fien Rumors
The Twins placed Ryan Doumit on the seven-day concussion list today and activated Josh Willingham -- who could be an August trade candidate if healthy -- to take his place. Here's more on the Twins, who are in fourth in the AL Central...
- Twins owner Jim Pohlad spoke with Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and said it's been "terrible" watching the team struggle over the past three seasons. Pohlad said the team has to be "relentless" in looking to acquire talent on the free agent market this offseason as well as through its scouting endeavors.
- Pohlad also said that the decision on whether or not to retain manager Ron Gardenhire, whose contract expires at season's end, is up to general manager Terry Ryan.
- Phil Miller of the Star-Tribune profiled Casey Fien's leap from journeyman to elite setup reliever. Fien tells Miller that former big leaguer Ricky Bones taught him the cut fastball that he's used to thrive since being picked up by the Twins. Fien has a 2.40 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 82 1/3 innings with the Twins dating back to last season. His 1.3 fWAR in 2013 ties him for 18th among qualified relievers.
- Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that another minor league signee -- right-hander Kyle Davies -- may get a look with the big league club before the season is over. A veteran of seven Major League seasons, Davies is still just 29 years old but hasn't appeared in the Majors since 2011. He has a 3.40 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 53 innings in 2013 and has boosted his fastball velocity back up to 90 mph after pitching at 84-86 mph earlier in the year.
4:36pm: Schulman notes that excepting Glen Perkins, whom the Twins are unlikely to trade, the interesting reliever for the Giants in Minnesota's bullpen is Casey Fien. However, Schulman doesn't know whether the righty, who's posted a 3.55 ERA in 38 appearances, is available.
11:33am: Elder, a Giants scout, was in Minnesota last night to see the Twins' bullpen rather than Chamberlain, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Casey Fien,Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, and Josh Roenicke appeared for the Twins, with Burton and Duensing struggling.
10:30am: The Braves and Giants have an interest in Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain, a pair of American League talent evaluators told George A. King III and Dan Martin of the New York Post. The Braves' Jim Fregosi saw Chamberlain Friday night, while the Giants' Lee Elder attended last night's game "exclusively to watch Chamberlain."
Chamberlain, 27, has a 5.75 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 1.77 HR/9, and 35.5% groundball rate in 20 1/3 innings this year. He missed most of May with an oblique strain. Chamberlain has worked at 95-97 miles per hour as of late and seems a good candidate for a change of scenery. Once an untouchable starting pitching prospect, Chamberlain is in his contract year and isn't expected to be with the Yankees next season. The Braves are known to be in the market for relief help; they last matched up with the Yankees in a minor trade in November 2010.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
The Twins have plenty to be excited about following the hot starts of top prospects Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports in his first Prospect Heat Check column. Passan spoke to 20 GMs and executives, with one AL evaluator telling him that "Sano is exploding," and adding that the 20-year-old looks to have improved at third base. Here's more on the Twins and more from baseball's Central divisions...
- Former Tigers reliever and current Twins setup man Casey Fien sympathizes with the trials that his former roommate Casper Wells has gone through early this season, writes John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. Fien recalls Spring Training of 2010, when he went from the Tigers, to the Red Sox, to the Blue Jays and back to the Tigers in the span of a month. Wells was with four organiations in April.
- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts presented his plans for a $300MM renovation for Wrigley Field today, and Fran Spielman and Stefano Esposito of the Chicago Sun-Times have the highlights. Ricketts caused controvery by stating that if the Cubs are unable to receive the outfield sign space they need (among other requests), they would have to consider moving from Wrigley Field. Ricketts went on record as saying the Cubs need "to run a business like a business and not a museum."
- David Kaplan of CSN Chicago tweets the following Ricketts quote from his presentation: "We anticipate increasing spending on the baseball side as soon as we know what we can do with this plan."
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale praises Brewers GM Doug Melvin for insisting that the Angels include shortstop Jean Segura in any return for Zack Greinke last July (Twitter link). Segura entered play Wednesday hitting .367/.418/.567 three doubles, three triples, three homers and seven steals.
The Twins announced that they signed right-handers Jason Bulger and Casey Fien and infielder Aaron Bates to minor league deals that include invitations to Spring Training. They also announced minor league deals with Phil Dumatrait, Aaron Thompson, Jared Burton, Samuel Deduno, P.J. Walters, Daryl Thompson, Luis Perdomo, Brendan Wise, Matt Carson, Wilkin Ramirez, Sean Burroughs, Steve Pearce, J.R. Towles and Rene Rivera and Spring Training invitations for many minor leaguers in their organization.
Bulger, 33, appeared in five games with the Angels in 2011. He spent most of the season in the bullpen of Los Angeles' top affiliate, where he posted a 4.03 ERA with 11.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. Fien, 28, has MLB experience with the Tigers. He spent the 2011 campaign in the Astros' system, posting a 4.44 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 26 1/3 innings.
Bates appeared in 12 games with the 2009 Red Sox. He spent the 2011 season in the Twins' organization and posted a .316/.408/.439 line at Triple-A. The 27-year-old first baseman/left fielder has a career .378 on-base percentage in the minor leagues.
The latest minor moves...
- The Astros have released right-hander Casey Fien, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (Twitter link). Fien had a 4.81 ERA and an 8.9 K/9 ratio in 21 relief appearances at Triple-A Oklahoma City this year. The 27-year-old righty last pitched in the Majors in 2010 as a member of the Tigers.
- The Phillies traded shortstop Brian Bocock from their Triple-A team to the Pirates' Triple-A team, according to the transactions page for the International League. Bocock, 26, has MLB experience with the Giants and Phillies. In 2107 minor league plate appearances over the course of six seasons, he has a .227/.302/.307 line.
Houston GM Ed Wade discussed some offseason plans with Dan Duqette and Kevin Kennedy on MLB Network Radio. Here are a few of the major topics...
- "We need to figure out a way to improve offensively," Wade said. He noted that the Astros are looking for a left-handed hitter and may either look internally or wait until later in the offseason to find left-handed bats "that fit our profile both from a performance and an economic standpoint."
- The "primary external focus" is to find better-hitting middle infielders, though Wade said he was happy with Jeff Keppinger's play last season.
- Wade is pleased with Houston's 2011 rotation but "everybody’s always looking for the starting pitcher. We’d love to be able to replicate the Brett Myers experience of last year where you get the guy in a one-year deal and he finds his groove the way that Brett did for us."
In other Astros news, Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports the club extended spring training invites to eight players, three of whom weren't with Houston last season. One is Casey Fien, whose acquisition was reported yesterday, and the other two newcomers are right-handers Ross Wolf and Fernando Rodriguez. Wolf posted a 4.26 ERA in 11 appearances with Oakland last season after coming over from the Orioles in the Jake Fox trade last June. Rodriguez has pitched in the Angels system since 2003, and has just one major league appearance to his credit.
The latest minor league transactions include a number of familiar names. Matt Eddy of Baseball America has the details:
- The Braves re-signed Brent Clevlen and signed independent leaguer Beau Torbert, who posted tremendous numbers in the American Association this year. Earlier in the week, Torbert told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he's excited to be joining the Braves.
- The Astros signed right-hander Casey Fien. Fien has appeared in 11 games for the Tigers, but the 27-year-old has not proven himself against big league hitters.
- Former Yankees lefty Royce Ring elected free agency.
- The Pirates released Chris Jakubauskas and saw Brandon Moss elect free agency. Moss arrived in Pittsburgh in the Jason Bay trade, but he hit just .228/.295/.373 in parts of three seasons for the Pirates.
- Former Mariners catcher Guillermo Quiroz became a free agent.
- The Rangers signed Kevin Cash. The 32-year-old backstop posted a .483 OPS for the Astros and Red Sox last year and threw out an uncharacteristically low percentage of would be base stealers.
Links for Wednesday, as the Tigers get some infield depth from a division rival...
- The Rangers haven't ruled out acquiring Mike Lowell, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- Agent Bean Stringfellow told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Blue Jays are not currently discussing an extension with Jose Bautista. It’s not at all surprising given how much else the Blue Jays have to sort out this week. Bautista said on the FAN 590 today that he would listen if the Blue Jays approached him with a multi-year deal after the season.
- The Cardinals are not interested in Clint Barmes, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter).
- Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino told WEEI.com’s Alex Speier that the Red Sox will “look aggressively” for ways to improve at the trade deadline.
- Tommy Hanson explained to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he chose the Boras Corp. because of the support the agency offers.
- Brett Myers is untouchable, a source tells Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). With respect to Justice and his source, it seems unfathomable that a 41-59 team wouldn't listen to offers on a player who can walk at the end of the season.
- Casey Fien cleared waivers and the Tigers outrighted him to Triple A, according to the team (via Twitter). Detroit designated Fien for assignment last weekend.
- Like Fien, Scott Moore cleared waivers and headed to Triple A, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The O's designated Moore for assignment last week.
- And another recent DFA, Justin Miller, was outrighted to Triple A Albuquerque, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (via Twitter).
- The Blue Jays have considered Kelly Johnson, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Aaron Hill recently told the Globe and Mail's Jeff Blair that he would play third if the Jays asked him to, so Johnson could theoretically play second in Toronto. Seems like a longshot to me.
- Kyle Farnsworth is available to manager Ned Yost (and GMs around the league) after leaving yesterday's game with a hamstring cramp, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
- Trevor Hoffman can veto deals to 25 MLB teams, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. The all-time saves leader and his $7.5MM salary would likely clear waivers, so interested teams will probably be able to pursue him in August.
- One player told Morosi that he'd be "shocked" if the Brewers trade Prince Fielder this week.
- Mike Axisa counts down the Yankees' top five trade chips at River Ave. Blues.
- The Dodgers won't discuss prospect Dee Gordon with other teams, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
To make room for Jeff Larish and Will Rhymes on their 40-man roster, the Tigers have designated Casey Fien for assignment and released Billy Buckner, according to the team's official Twitter feed. The club also placed Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen on the disabled list.
For Fien, it's his second DFA by the Tigers this year, though he spent time with the Red Sox and Blue Jays since the last time Detroit designated him for assignment. He appeared in just two games for the Tigers this year, allowing three runs in 2.2 IP.
Links for Tuesday...
- Twins assistant GM Rob Antony told Parker Hageman of Over The Baggy that the team just hired a stats guy. Also, Antony reads MLBTR every day!
- According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, pitcher Casey Fien asked the Blue Jays why he was released and was told he was a liability.
- Scott Podsednik told MLB.com's Scott Merkin there was miscommunication between his agent and the White Sox this offseason, but Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn disagreed.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if the Mets will be thinking about trading Fernando Martinez for a top-notch starter come July.
- Ed Price of AOL FanHouse tweets that the Rangers are still looking at bringing Ramon Vazquez back. Vazquez is a prime candidate to be traded or released by the Pirates before the season begins, though the Rangers added Hernan Iribarren ten days ago.