Chad Durbin Rumors


Quick Hits: Durbin, Dickerson, CBA

Newly signed Indians right-hander Chad Durbin was one of the last free agents to ink a deal, but he's not yet in uniform. More on that and a couple other items of note ...

  • The Indians' deal with Durbin is not yet officially complete, likely because the Tribe needs to first free up a spot on the 40-man roster, blogs Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Bastian speculates the deal will be announced on Tuesday. Durbin, of course, agreed to a Major League deal with Cleveland on Friday and could earn up to $1.8MM in 2011 if he reaches his incentives.
  • Indiana left fielder Alex Dickerson and his powerful bat may be scaling the first-round draft board, writes Stephen Goff of Examiner.com. Dickerson is a legitimate hitter, ESPN.com scout Keith Law told Goff, but his defense is shaky, limiting him to left field or first base, and comparisons to more athletic outfielders such as UConn's George Springer and South Carolina's Jackie Bradley Jr. won't  do his draft stock any favors. The Astros were among the many Major League clubs scouting Dickerson and others in Corpus Christi, Texas, this weekend, according to Goff. Houston has the 11th overall pick in this June's First-Year Player Draft.
  • MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner said MLB and the MLBPA had preliminary meetings about brokering a new collective bargaining agreement last week, writes Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun. Weiner expects there will be one or two formal meetings before Spring Training is over, but the sides won't really roll up their sleeves until the regular season begins.



Phillies Notes: Utley, Young, Durbin

The latest on the Phillies, before they take on the Blue Jays with former Toronto ace Roy Halladay on the mound...



Chad Durbin Close To Signing With Indians

FRIDAY, 8:10pm: Durbin's agent is in Arizona, talking to the Indians and other interested teams, according to Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer (via Twitter).

FRIDAY, 10:33am: Durbin is close to signing with the Indians, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer says the team has no comment at this time (Twitter links).

THURSDAY, 5:56pm: The Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox, Rays, and Royals are also pursuing the hurler, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

3:59pm: The Indians and free agent right-hander Chad Durbin are in talks according to SI.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter), and a deal could happen within a day or two. 

Earlier this week we heard that the Red Sox, Rays, Phillies, Rangers, and Mariners were all in pursuit of the 33-year-old, who indicated that he would accept a minor league deal from Philadelphia if his "hand is forced because there are no Major League offers on the table." A few weeks ago Durbin said that he hoped to join a contender, which doesn't really define the Indians.

Cleveland is seeking a starting pitcher, having been connected to both Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Bonderman in recent weeks. Although Durbin hasn't started a game since 2007, he has 75 career MLB starts to his credit and may wish to give it another shot. The bullpen is always a fallback.



Potential Pitching Options For The Cardinals

The Cardinals are expected to receive some bad news pretty soon, as it appears as though right-hander Adam Wainwright will miss the 2011 season with Tommy John surgery. Manager Tony LaRussa told Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they "have to overcome this," though St. Louis still has a formidable front of the rotation featuring Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, and Jake Westbrook.

Reliever Kyle McClellan is already working under a starter's program this spring according to Goold, so he could be first in line for the vacated rotation spot. The team could also turn to Brian Tallet, Miguel Batista, Ian Snell, P.J. Walters, or Lance Lynn if needed. What about external options? Let's take a look...

  • Kevin Millwood - The 36-year-old free agent is said to be "waiting for the right widespread panic," and Wainwright's injury would certainly qualify. Millwood was rumored to be seeking $4-5MM, and recently declined a minor league offer from the Yankees. 
  • Joe Blanton - It's long been speculated that the Phillies would try to unload the $17MM owed to Blanton over the next two years, though St. Louis' payroll is said to be "leaking." Philadelphia would likely have to eat a significant portion of Blanton's contract to facilitate a trade, defeating the point of moving him.
  • Jeremy Bonderman - Still just 28, Bonderman has been connected to the Indians recently but is still without a job for 2011.
  • Chad Durbin - At least one team (the Red Sox) have interest in him as a starter, but he'd have more of an opportunity with the Cardinals. Durbin has 75 big league starts to his credit, but none since 2007. He could also provide bullpen depth if McClellan moves into the rotation.
  • Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia - both right-handers are with the Yankees on minor league contracts that allow them to become free agents if they don't make the team out of Spring Training.

There's no way to replace a pitcher of Wainwright's caliber, so the Cardinals will have to hope that whoever takes his place in the rotation simply provides quality innings while the rest of the team takes their game up a notch.



Phillies, Rays May Be Front-Runners For Durbin

12:07pm: SI.com's Jon Heyman adds the Mariners and Rangers to the mix, saying Durbin is deciding between those two plus the previously reported Rays, Red Sox, and Phillies (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 9:41am: Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe says the Red Sox have not yet heard back from Durbin, and it appears that the Phillies and Rays are the front-runners at the moment (Twitter link).

TUESDAY, 7:11pm: Durbin would accept a minor league contract with the Phillies, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, "if Durbin's hand is forced because there are no Major League offers on the table."  A source tells Gelb that Durbin's agent, Dan Horwits, is negotiating with two teams about Major League contracts but no offers have been made.  Gelb also hears that Durbin hopes to make his decision within the next two days.

4:39pm: The Red Sox are interested in Chad Durbin as a starter and have made him an offer, according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network (on Twitter). The Rays and Rangers also have some degree of interest in Durbin, according to Gammons.

One of the top remaining free agents, Durbin has drawn interest from Seattle since exchanging offers with the Phillies last month. It seems unlikely that Durbin will return to Philadelphia, but Gammons says he may head to Clearwater, where the Phillies train, Thursday. He could be intrigued by Boston's offer given his interest in playing for a contender.

The 33-year-old posted a 3.80 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 42.4% ground ball rate in 68 2/3 innings last year. Durbin has averaged 65 appearances and 75 innings in three seasons out of the Phillies' bullpen.



Mariners Interested In Chad Durbin

With David Aardsma's availability for the start of the season up in the air, the Mariners are exploring ways to shore up their bullpen. Having already signed Manny Delcarmen this week, Seattle is also interested in Chad Durbin, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

While Durbin would prefer to pitch for a team that projects as a stronger playoff contender, most of the offers he has received are from teams unlikely to contend, according to the FOX report. The Twins are one contender who could use some bullpen help, but Rosenthal's and Morosi's sources say Minnesota isn't looking at Durbin.

As MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows, the 33-year-old right-hander is one of the more appealing bullpen arms remaining on the market, with most free agents having already signed.



Durbin Hopes To Join A Contender

Chad Durbin wants to sign with a competitive team and is holding out for offers from contenders, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Durbin has offers from teams that aren’t expected to contend, but he’s waiting for proposals from teams that could win in 2011. Two or three likely contenders are showing interest, Rosenthal reports.

The Phillies are probably not re-signing Durbin, but other contenders could reach out to the right-hander. Rosenthal lists the Rays, Marlins, Brewers and Twins as clubs that could emerge as suitors for Durbin.

The 33-year-old posted a 3.80 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 42.4% ground ball rate in 68 2/3 innings last year. Durbin has averaged 65 appearances and 75 innings in three seasons out of the Phillies' bullpen.


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Phillies "Probably Not" Re-Signing Chad Durbin

Chad Durbin's time in Philadelphia may have come to a close, based on comments made by Ruben Amaro Jr. to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.  "I would say that we're probably not going to re-sign [Durbin]," Amaro said, and he also noted the club may be done with its winter shopping altogether.

Durbin and the Phillies exchanged offers a few weeks ago, but Durbin is looking for both a raise and a two-year contract.  Philadelphia already passed on offering Durbin arbitration back in November since they didn't want to risk paying him much more than the $2.125MM he earned last season, so it's probably no surprise the two sides are at an impasse.  As Zolecki notes, the Phillies' crowded rotation means that Kyle Kendrick could take over Durbin's right-handed relief spot.

In three years with Philadelphia, Durbin has a 3.62 ERA, a 7.5 K/9 rate, and a team-leading 194 games pitched.  We heard earlier this winter that Durbin had drawn some interest from teams looking at him as a starter, though Durbin's last start came in 2007.

Amaro said the Phillies aren't looking for middle relief or a right-handed hitter at this point, and don't have any outstanding offers to free agents.  The GM said the team may re-examine their needs during Spring Training, but for now, Philadelphia looks to have finished its offseason moves.

"Right now, like I've said before, I think we're pretty comfortable with where we are coming into spring," Amaro said.  "We have some decisions to make. But I think that we're -- I never like to say we're pretty well set -- but I think we kind of have to go with what we've got and start to make assessments as to what we may need as we go through the spring."



Quick Hits: Farnsworth, Durbin, Izzy, Duchscherer

Here are a few items of note for Jan. 29, 53 years to the day after Stan Musial became the National League's highest-paid player with the one-year, $100K contract he signed with the Cardinals ...

  • The Rays will pay Kyle Farnsworth $2.6MM in salary in 2011, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. If Farnsworth's option for 2012 is picked up, he will earn $3.3MM that year. If it's declined, the buyout is $650K. The deal also includes up to $300K in incentives for games finished.
  • The Phillies have not re-signed free-agent reliever Chad Durbin because he is seeking a two-year deal at a higher annual salary than the club is comfortable giving him, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Philly is also intent on preserving the roster spot for the sake of grooming younger relievers, according to Stark.
  • The Reds will decide whether to sign free-agent reliever Jason Isringhausen after watching him throw a bullpen session on Monday in Arizona, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Isringhausen signed a minor-league deal with the Reds last July but did not appear in any games for them. He last appeared in the big leagues with the Rays in June 2009, a stint that ended when he suffered an arm injury that required Tommy John surgery.
  • The Orioles remain fairly interested in free-agent pitcher Justin Duchscherer after receiving positive feedback on the right-hander's Friday bullpen session, blogs Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.



Phillies Notes: Blanton, Durbin, Manuel

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki that right field, the bullpen and the bench are areas his team could potentially improve upon before the season starts. “I'm looking forward to seeing some competition in all three of those areas," Amaro said. Here are more Phillies-related notes from Zolecki:

  • The Phillies don’t have to clear payroll, but they could explore deals that create flexibility for later on in the season. The team is still open to moving Joe Blanton, who will earn a total of $17MM in 2011-12. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes recently listed some potential destinations for the right-hander.
  • Philadelphia hasn’t ruled out a reunion with Chad Durbin. The sides exchanged offers last week.
  • The Phils would “obviously” like to extend their relationship with manager Charlie Manuel, Amaro said. Manuel is in the final year of his contract, but the sides won’t necessarily reach an agreement before the regular season begins. For a comprehensive look at 'lame duck' managers and GMs, check out this piece by MLBTR's Mark Polishuk.









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