Chris Coghlan Rumors

Central Notes: Pirates, Ruggiano, Pirates, Bastardo

If the Pirates can’t land a reliever this week, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review suggests that the Bucs could move Edinson Volquez to the bullpen.  Volquez, who has hit 98 mph on the gun this season, has been trending down since April. More from the Central Divisions..


Cubs Notes: Epstein, Barney, Samardzija

The Cubs begin a series at Fenway Park tonight, getting back in action following a rare Sunday off-day.  The club played a doubleheader on Saturday in order to keep Sunday free for Chicago’s Pride Parade, which could’ve created a traffic jam in the Wrigleyville area had the Cubs been playing as originally scheduled.  MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat takes a look at the history of Sunday baseball, and passes along the historical note that the Cubs were off on a Sunday for the first time since 1932.

Here’s the latest from the north side of Chicago…

  • Theo Epstein denied rumors that he will leave the Cubs after his contract expires following the 2016 season, he tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.  While some speculate that Epstein has been upset at the lack of Major League resources he’s been given by the Cubs, he “insists he will be here as long as the Cubs want him,” Sullivan writes.
  • Two scouts aren’t impressed by Darwin Barney‘s bat, telling Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that while Barney is a good fielder, “if he can’t hit in the National League, what makes anyone think he can hit in the American League?”  Barney has only slashed .198/.243/.284 in 174 PA this season and could be non-tendered if he can’t improve at the plate.  Gonzales feels Barney’s time with the Cubs is probably nearing an end, though it could come via a trade if he can hit enough to get a look from another team.
  • Also from Gonzales’ reader mailbag piece, he expects the Cubs “to wait as long as possible” for the best offer before trading Jeff Samardzija or Jason Hammel.  He thinks Samardzija might even not be moved until the offseason if necessary, though this would lessen this trade value as a new team would only have him under contract for the 2015 season.
  • The Cubs haven’t gotten much production out of their veteran outfielders, and Gonzales expects maybe one (at most) of Nate Schierholtz, Justin Ruggiano, Ryan Sweeney, Chris Coghlan or Ryan Kalish to be back next season and Chicago will look for more veteran upgrades.  Since Sweeney is owed $2MM for 2015 and the others are all on one-year or minor league contracts, I’d suspect Sweeney is the favorite to return, though $2MM isn’t so large an amount that the Cubs couldn’t eat it if necessary.

Minor Moves: Cubs, Gonzalez, Russell

We’ll keep track of today’s minor transactions here, with the newest moves at the top of the page…

  • The Cubs moved right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to the 60-day disabled list today, creating a 40-man roster spot for Chris Coghlan, the club announced.  (Southpaw Zac Rosscup was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Coghlan on the 25-man roster.)  Fujikawa underwent Tommy John surgery last June and isn’t expected back on the mound until at least midseason.  In making the Cubs’ Major League roster, Coghlan will now earn $800K as per the minor league contract he signed with Chicago in January, and he has another $250K available to him in incentives.
  • The Padres have acquired shortstop Benji Gonzalez from the Pirates for cash or a player to be named later, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. Gonzalez, a seventh-round pick in 2008, hit .232/.314/.294 for Class A+ Bradenton in 2013. The Padres have assigned him to Lake Elsinore, which is at the same level.
  • The Reds have signed pitcher Adam Russell to a minor-league deal, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets. The Diamondbacks released Russell in March. In 2013, the 31-year-old posted a 2.37 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in 60 2/3 innings for the Orioles’ Triple-A Norfolk affiliate. He has pitched for the White Sox, Padres and Rays, last appearing in the big leagues in 2011.


Cubs Sign Chris Coghlan

The Cubs have signed Chris Coghlan to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). Coghlan, a Scott Boras client, will earn $800K if he makes the Major League roster and has another $250K of incentives built into his contract, Sherman reports. Coghlan can also opt out of his deal on June 15 if he is not in the Major Leagues at that time.

Coghlan, 28, was the National League Rookie of the Year with the Marlins back in 2009 when he batted .321/.390/.460 with nine homers and eight stolen bases in 565 plate appearances. The outfielder has struggled to replicate that success, however, as he's slumped to a .242/.307/.352 line in the four seasons that have followed. He was slightly better than that in 2013, batting .256/.318/.354 in 214 PAs. Though he has 809 innings in center field in his career, defensive metrics aren't kind to Coghlan at any outfield position.

Coghlan will join an outfield mix in Chicago that currently includes Nate Schierholtz, Justin Ruggiano, Junior Lake, Ryan Sweeney and Brett Jackson, with top prospects such as Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and potentially Kris Bryant (if he is unable to stick at third base) looming on the horizon.


East Notes: Ichiro, Casilla, Coghlan, Lind

Now that the Yankees have designated Vernon Wells for assignment, they're more likely to keep Ichiro Suzuki, NJ.com's Brendan Kuty writes. If Ichiro stays, it will be in a bench role, with Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran holding the starting outfield roles and Alfonso Soriano mostly playing DH. There had been some whispers that the Yankees could trade Ichiro, although, as Kuty points out, it was unclear who the Yankees might trade him to. Here are more notes from the East divisions.


Quick Hits: Red Sox, Coghlan, Beltran

Who's the most valuable trade asset in baseball? Not to spoil the ending of Jonah Keri's MLB Trade Value rankings for Grantland (Part 1 here, Part 2 here), but it's almost certainly Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who posted over ten wins above replacement for the second straight season while making barely more than the league minimum. Not only is he the best player in the game, but even without a long-term deal, the Angels can control him for the next four years at what will likely be below-market rates. Figuring out who else ought to go in the top ten, based on their age, contract status and all-around performance, is a fun exercise. The Pirates' Andrew McCutchen and his now-extremely-team-friendly-looking deal are there, as is 21-year-old stud Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. The order of the rest isn't nearly so obvious. Here are more notes from around the Majors.

  • Now that Jacoby Ellsbury is gone, the Red Sox are looking for an outfielder to pair with Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. Curtis Granderson wouldn't work since both and Bradley hit left-handed, so the Red Sox are looking at righty outfielders. One of those, Lauber writes, is Franklin Gutierrez, who has a .256/.306/.391 career batting line but has a strong defensive reputation and a career .818 OPS against lefties. The Red Sox could also still acquire Carlos Beltran (although he certainly wouldn't be a candidate to play center field) or trade for an outfielder.
  • The Marlins would like to see outfielder Chris Coghlan return, but Coghlan is deciding what to do next after being non-tendered, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes. Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill suggests that Coghlan would need to accept a minor-league contract to stay with the Marlins. If another team offers him a big-league deal, Coghlan will likely leave Miami behind. It seems unlikely, however, that he'll get one, given that he's coming off a .256/.318/.354 season, isn't a strong defensive player, and hasn't posted an OPS above .718 since his Rookie of the Year-winning debut season in 2009.
  • Contrary to recent rumors, the Royals haven't offered Carlos Beltran three years and $48MM, tweets FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Royals ownership would have to be involved if the team wanted to offer that much money.

NL East Notes: Lincoln, Coghlan, Morrison

Yesterday’ Brad Lincoln acquisition by the Phillies is precisely the type of move that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. needs to continue to make, opines CSNPhilly.com’s Corey Seidman. “Lincoln for $600,000 or less is a better gamble than an Edward Mujica-type for three years,” writes Seidman, who praises Amaro for buying low on a talented arm at “the perfect time.” Here’s more out of the NL East…

  • The Marlins are making an effort to re-sign former NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, who they non-tendered on Monday, president of baseball operations Michael Hill told the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer (Twitter link).
  • The Brewers are expected to pursue Logan Morrison as a trade candidate this offseason, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reported earlier in the week. He notes that other teams like the Rays and Red Sox could jump into the mix as well.
  • Now that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is on board, the Marlins‘ next target will likely be a third baseman, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel.
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo spoke with reporters yesterday regarding the team’s acquisition of Doug Fister, stating that Fister was one of their primary pitching targets from the get-go this offseason. The Nationals’ scouts and sabermetricians both love Fister, and when those two agree as strongly as they did in this instance, “it’s a good day in the Nationals’ office,” said Rizzo, according to Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com.

National League Non-Tenders

Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of National League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.

  • The Reds non-tendered outfielders Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson, according to the AP.  Robinson had been designated for assignment last Thursday to open a roster spot for Skip Schumaker.
  • The Rockies have non-tendered reliever Mitchell Boggs, tweets Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
  • The Dodgers have non-tendered Ronald Belisario, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
  • The Marlins have non-tendered outfielder Chris Coghlan and reliever Ryan Webb, the club announced via press release.
  • The Pirates have non-tendered Garrett Jones, Michael McKenry, and Kyle McPherson, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  • The Giants have non-tendered Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • The Cubs have non-tendered Mat Gamel, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The club has also non-tendered Chang-Yong Lim, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com. 
  • The Mets officially announced their slate of non-tenders, which includes a few new names in Jeremy Hefner and Justin Turner (via tweet from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News).
  • The Braves announced that they have non-tendered infielders Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish as well as right-hander Cristhian Martinez (Twitter link). Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances between the Royals and Braves last season. Janish was less productive in 45 PAs, batting .171/.222/.220. Martinez, 31, missed nearly the entire season due to shoulder surgery. However, he posted a 3.63 ERA in 151 1/3 innings for Atlanta from 2011-12, making him a potential buy-low candidate for another club.
  • The Mets have non-tendered Jordany Valdespin, Rubin reports. Valdespin has been a persistent source of drama for the Mets, lashing out at manager Terry Collins after being demoted and also being slapped with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is a career .219/.271/.380 hitter in 350 big league plate appearances. Valdespin's non-tender comes despite him not yet being arbitration eligible, illustrating the Mets' frustration with the second baseman/outfielder.
  • The Cubs will non-tender right-hander Daniel Bard, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. Bard was claimed off waivers in September and never threw a pitch for the Cubs organization. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford notes that Bard was pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League but walked nine batters while recording just one out. The Cubs could still agree to a non-roster deal with Bard, he adds. Bard's control has vanished into thin air, as the formerly dominant setup man has also walked 56 batters over his past 47 1/3 minor league frames.
  • The Mets have informed shortstop Omar Quintanilla that he will be non-tendered, Quintanilla told Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger. Quintanilla projected to earn $900K this offseason after batting .222/.306/.283 in a career-high 359 plate appearances last season.
  • ESPN's Adam Rubin tweets that the Mets will also non-tender Scott Atchison. The right-hander projected to earn $1.3MM coming off a 4.37 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 45 1/3 innings. Atchison will turn 38 in late March.

AL East Notes: Overbay, Hafner, Yankees

The Yankees and Red Sox have had decidedly different offseasons, but their winter plans converged yesterday when both teams added left-handed bats on relatively low-risk deals. The Yankees agreed to sign Travis Hafner and the Red Sox reached a deal with Lyle Overbay. Here’s the latest from the AL East…

  • Hafner chose the Yankees over the Rays, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes (Twitter link). The Rays already have a left-handed hitting designated hitter of their own in Luke Scott.
  • Before the Overbay deal was completed, the Red Sox had a National League team offer to get them Chris Coghlan from the Marlins in a three-way trade, Peter Gammons of MLB Network reports (on Twitter). As Gammons notes, the 27-year-old Coghlan has seen his production diminish annually since winning the 2009 Rookie of the Year award.
  • The Yankees appear to be the third best team in the AL East at this point, Richard Justice of MLB.com writes. However, the division seems so tight that almost any outcome is imaginable, so Justice explains how the Yankees can win again in 2013.

Marlins Notes: Payroll, Oviedo, Vazquez

Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest spoke with reporters yesterday; here are the hot stove highlights.

  • The Marlins will raise their payroll to at least $85MM in 2012, writes Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.  By my calculations they should have over $20MM to spend on '12 salaries, if Juan Carlos Oviedo does not remain with the team.
  • Oviedo, the former Leo Nunez, is in the Dominican Republic working through identity-related legal issues.  Beinfest hopes for clarity on the situation as soon as possible, but has "contingencies in place."  Beinfest noted that there are dates that are sensitive to Oviedo's situation, namely the December 12th non-tender deadline.
  • Beinfest told reporters the Marlins' top priority is to add rotation depth.  In regard to Javier Vazquez, he said"I haven't talked with Javy since the season ended.  What a great job he did for us, and we will check in with him and his agent.  We'll see where his head is, and where his thoughts are. That door was left open when the season ended to at least explore. Javy's mind is wherever Javy's mind is. He's a veteran guy. We'll at least explore and keep and touch, and we'll see." 
  • Beinfest seems more open to trading young players, saying"I think we need to become a little more open, just in general.  I think we've been very protective of our zero to three [years of experience] players because we've had to be, given our payroll challenges. I think we can open up a little more now."
  • This is an important offseason for center fielder Chris Coghlan, says Beinfest, after two disappointing seasons.
  • To read my offseason outlook for the new Miami Marlins, click here.