Chris Heisey Rumors

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Thursday

As we approach tomorrow’s deadline for exchanging filing numbers, the volume of arb deals will increase. All arb agreements can be monitored using MLBTR’s 2015 Arbitration Tracker, but here are today’s smaller agreements, with all projections referring to those of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz:

  • The Indians have avoided arbitration with third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and agreed to a one-year, $2.25MM deal, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link).  It’s a slight bump over Chisenhall’s projected $2.2MM salary.  Chisenhall hit .280/.343/.427 with 13 homers in 533 PA with the Tribe last season.
  • The Indians and left-hander Marc Rzepczynski have agreed to a one-year, $2.4MM contract to avoid arbitration, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).  Rzepczynski surpassed his projected salary with the contract, as he was pegged to earn $1.9MM next season.  The southpaw posted a 2.74 ERA, 2.42 K/BB rate and an even 46 strikeouts over 46 innings out of Cleveland’s bullpen last season.
  • The Nationals and catcher Jose Lobaton will avoid arbitration after agreeing to a deal, CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman reports.  Lobaton will earn $1.2MM, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi tweets, which exactly matches his projected 2015 salary.  Lobaton hit .234/.287/.304 over 230 PA in backup duty for the Nats last season.
  • The Athletics and outfielder Craig Gentry agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal to avoid arbitration, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi tweets.  Gentry was projected to earn $1.5MM.  After posting a .759 OPS over 556 PA in 2012-13, Gentry took a step back at the plate last season, slashing just .254/.319/.289 over 258 plate appearances but still providing tremendous defense (a +16 UZR/150).
  • The Nationals have avoided arbitration with second baseman Danny Espinosa, agreeing to a one-year, $1.8MM contract, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports.  This deal falls below Espinosa’s projected $2.3MM contract, though Espinosa hit .219/.283/.351 in 364 plate appearances for the Nats last season and managed only a .465 OPS in 167 PA in 2013.
  • The Indians agreed to a one-year, $2.337MM deal with right-hander Carlos Carrasco, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter).  This figure is a significant increase over the $1.4MM contract that was projected for Carrasco in his first arb-eligible year.  The righty enjoyed a breakout 2014 season, posting a 2.55 ERA, 9.4 K/9 and 4.83 K/BB rate over 134 innings with the Tribe.  Carrasco pitched mostly out of the bullpen but also delivered several quality starts down the stretch.
  • The Dodgers and outfielder Chris Heisey agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.16MM to avoid arbitration, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.  This is slightly less than the $2.2MM Heisey was projected to earn.  Heisey is coming off a .222/.265/.378 slash line over 299 PA with the Reds last season and was dealt to L.A. last month.
  • The Angels inked catcher Drew Butera to a one-year, $987.5K deal to avoid arbitration, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.  Butera was projected to earn $900K next season.  The catcher posted a .555 OPS in 192 PA with the Dodgers last season and was dealt to the Halos last month.
  • The Nationals agreed to a one-year, $2.25MM contract with Craig Stammen, avoiding arbitration with the right-hander, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter).  This figure slightly tops Stammen’s projected $2.1MM contract.  Stammen posted a 3.84 ERA, 6.9 K/9 and a 4.00 K/BB rate over 72 2/3 innings out of Washington’s bullpen last season.
  • The Cardinals agreed to a one-year, $1.65MM deal with outfielder Peter Bourjos to avoid arbitration, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.  Bourjos was projected to earn $1.6MM.  Bourjos displayed his usual top-shelf defense with the Cards last season but only hit .231/.294/.348 over 294 PA.

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Dodgers Acquire Chris Heisey For Matt Magill

The Dodgers have officially agreed to acquire outfielder Chris Heisey from the Reds, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports on Twitter. Heisey, 29, is arb eligible and is projected by MLBTR/Matt Swartz to earn $2.2MM. Righty Matt Magill is coming back to the Reds for Heisey, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter.

Needless to say, given the Dodgers’ glut of outfielding options, this is an interesting move. While it is too soon to speculate, adding Heisey could suggest something else may be in the works for president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and GM Farhan Zaidi.

Soon to be 30, Heisey, has scuffled at the plate in each of the last two seasons with Cincinnati but has been looked upon fondly by defensive metrics. Despite below-average offensive production, his work in the outfield grass has made him a positive overall contributor. And Heisey does have some more promising campaigns at the plate in his history.

It should be noted that Heisey is at least capable of manning center, though he does not have many MLB innings at the spot. That no doubt appealed to a Los Angeles club that lacks a true center fielder at this point, with the exception of the young Joc Pederson — who, it should be noted, would be a platoon match with Heisey.

The 25-year-old Magill made six starts for the Dodgers in 2013, struggling mightily. And he had a rough go of it at Triple-A in 2014, posting a 5.21 ERA and messy ratio of 7.4 K/9 against 6.3 BB/9, even while spending much of his time in relief. But he has shown some ability to miss bats at times, and could be a useful swingman or middle relief piece for Cinci.


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Detwiler, Young, Snider

Click here for background on the upcoming arbitration schedule and how MLBTR is covering it. You can also check in on our Arbitration Tracker and look at MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz's arbitration projections. We'll use this post to keep tabs on players avoiding arbitration today:

  • The Nationals announced on Twitter that they have avoided arbitration with lefty Ross Detwiler. The New York Post's Joel Sherman reports (also on Twitter) that Detwiler received a $3MM salary and can earn an additional $50K for reaching 180 innings.
  • Sherman reports that the Mets and Eric Young Jr. have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1.85MM (Twitter link). Young batted .251/.318/.329 in 418 plate appearances for the Mets in 2013 after he was acquired from the Rockies. He also swiped 38 bases in 45 tries, showing off his blazing speed.
  • Sherman tweets that the Pirates have avoided arbitration with Travis Snider by agreeing to a one-year, $1.2MM contract. The former Top 10 overall prospect batted just .215/.281/.333 in 285 plate appearances in 2013, though he's a solid defender and is still entering just his age-26 season.
  • Sherman also reports that Tim Collins agreed to a one-year, $1.3625MM contract with the Royals, thereby avoiding arbitration (Twitter link). Collins has a strong 3.51 ERA in 190 career innings with 9.7 K/9 in his first three seasons, but he's struggled with command, as evidenced by his 5.2 BB/9 in that time. His control has improved a bit over the past two seasons.
  • The Yankees and Francisco Cervelli have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $700K, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Cervelli, who turns 28 in March, is a career .271/.343/.367 hitter in 623 plate appearances.

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Reds Avoid Arbitration With Simon, Heisey

We'll track the day's arbitration agreements under $3MM right here…


Arbitration Notes: Motte, Freese, Heisey

Teams and players submitted corresponding arbitration figures today, and leading up to the noon CDT deadline many players avoided arbitration. This post offers a look at some of the players who avoided arbitration, this post has filing numbers for teams and players and MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker provides the complete breakdown. Now for some additional notes about arbitration eligible players…

  • There’s much more momentum toward a contract between Jason Motte and the Cardinals than there is between the team and David Freese, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter). Marc Rzepczynski, Freese and Motte are St. Louis' three remaining arbitration eligible players, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.
  • Though the Reds discussed a multiyear deal with outfielder Chris Heisey, the sides are more likely to agree on a one-year deal, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). Heisey has a projected $1.3MM salary as he goes to arbitration for the first time.

Arbitration Filing Numbers

Many players will avoid arbitration today, and dozens of others exchanged figures with their teams in anticipation of hearings. Most cases won't go to arbitration hearings, but teams such as the Rays, Marlins, Blue Jays and Braves are known for their 'file and trial' policies. For players on those teams this marks the last chance at negotiations before a hearing.

MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will keep you up to date on every one of the filing numbers from around the game, but here are the highlights — players who filed for $4MM or more. Now for the details…


Olney On Orioles, Red Sox, Kazmir, Heisey

Agents and players have considerably more interest in Baltimore as a potential destination now that the Orioles are viewed as a contender, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. "It's winning," one agent told Olney. "Period.” Some free agents now list the Orioles as a team they’d like to join. Here are more notes from Olney, starting in Baltimore…

  • The Orioles are looking for starting pitching and hope to bring Joe Saunders back. Jeremy Guthrie’s three-year, $25MM contract could affect Saunders’ asking price, as Olney points out. 
  • While the Orioles have talked about adding a bat, they’re not expected to be particularly aggressive about free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton.
  • The Marlins, Indians and Pirates are among the teams that could have trouble luring free agents even if they’re offering competitive salaries.
  • One AL GM credits the Red Sox for building a team that plays well in Fenway Park.
  • Earlier in the offseason there had been talk that the SoftBank Hawks, the Japanese team that recently agreed to sign Bryan LaHair, could pursue veteran free agents such as Mike Napoli or Kevin Youkilis.
  • A number of teams, including the Indians, are scouting left-hander Scott Kazmir, Olney writes. The Astros had some interest in Kazmir during the regular season.
  • Olney suggests arbitration eligible players such as Chris Heisey and A.J. Ellis could be candidates for two or three-year extensions this winter.

Quick Hits: Padres, Jurrjens, Reds, Angels

Here are some links from around the league as Tuesday turns into Wednesday…


NL Central Notes: Cubs, Rizzo, Cardinals, Lee, Heisey

Here's the latest from the NL Central…

  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer wants to add more depth to his pitching staff, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.  "At this point, we're still very much in the process of gathering as many quality arms as we can, and we'll put those pieces in place as we get closer to Spring Training," Hoyer said.  "We have worked hard, and we continue to work hard, and hopefully we'll have even more starting-pitching acquisitions….We want to go seven, eight, nine deep in the rotation and we hope to replenish the bullpen as well."
  • ESPN's Keith Law gives the Cubs the "slight edge" in today's Anthony Rizzo-for-Andrew Cashner trade.  Law says he would rather have Rizzo than Yonder Alonso, who the Padres acquired from the Reds last month as part of the package for Mat Latos.
  • The Cardinals announced Derek Lilliquist will become the team's new pitching coach, with Dyer Miller taking Lilliquist's old job as bullpen coach.  The moves may or may not be permanent as former pitching coach Dave Duncan is on an indefinite leave of absence to be with his wife, who underwent brain surgery last August. 
  • The Pirates have shown some interest in bringing back Derrek Lee but "the first baseman doesn’t seem to have reciprocated that interest," writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.  Of the five remaining Pirate free agents, Langosch thinks only Paul Maholm has a chance of returning, but the Bucs will likely be outbid by one of Maholm's several other suitors.
  • Incumbent Reds left fielder Chris Heisey talks to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, who thinks Heisey has earned "a long trial" at the everyday job.  The Reds have recently been connected to free agent outfielders Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick and Cody Ross.
  • The Reds have announced the signings of catcher Corky Miller and left-hander Jeremy Horst to minor league contracts with invites to the Major League spring training camp.  Miller, a 10-year veteran, was originally drafted by the Reds in 1998 and has spent the last three years in Cincinnati's system.  Horst, 26, made his Major League debut last season with the Reds, posting a 2.93 ERA in 12 relief appearances.  Previously-announced signings Brian Esposito, Sean Gallagher, Daryl Jones, Chad Reineke, Clayton Tanner and Kanekoa Texeira were also confirmed as non-roster invitees.

Reds Notes: Cozart, Janish, Cordero

The Reds' top pick is currently protected, which means there's a good chance they'll be able to sign a Type A free agent this offseason without surrendering a first round pick in 2012 (they'd lose a second rounder instead). Some updates on the Reds, who beat the Mets tonight…

  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer explains that the Reds are hoping Zack Cozart emerges as their starting shortstop in 2012. They're likely to have a veteran backing up at short (though it seems unlikely that Edgar Renteria will return), so there's not necessarily room for Paul Janish on next year's club.
  • Reds closer Francisco Cordero told Fay that the Reds called his agent about a new deal and talked to him about the possibility as well. The Reds have a $12MM option for Cordero in 2012, though as MLBTR's Dan Mennella showed this month, the sides could agree to a two-year deal worth a total of $8-10MM instead. GM Walt Jocketty has said that the sides have discussed a deal “quite a bit.”
  • Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News wonders whether Chris Heisey will be a fourth outfielder, the regular center fielder, or the regular left fielder in 2012.