Chris Sampson Rumors
Some links for Sunday afternoon..
- The Dodgers have become an embarrassment to the sport of baseball, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Brewers right fielder Corey Hart is set to return on Tuesday and the club will have to clear a roster spot, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Unfortunately for Milwaukee, both Erick Almonte and the recently-promoted Brandon Boggs are out of options.
- Although Chris Sampson was somewhat shocked on April 1st when he learned that the Rockies would be releasing him, he was optimisitic that opportunities would likely fall into his lap toward the end of April, writes Stephen Goff of Examiner.com. Sampson signed a minor-league deal with the Marlins yesterday.
- Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald sees Jarrod Saltalamacchia's coronation as the Red Sox's starting catcher as being indicative of the lack of catching depth in the majors.
- Cutter Dykstra isn't exactly expected to accomplish what his father did, writes Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The 21-year-old was recently shipped to the Nationals from the Brewers.
- The Yankees no longer have the largest payroll of any sports team on the planet as a pair of soccer teams have unseated them, according to Nick Harris of Sporting Intelligence.
Sampson, 32 next month, had spent his entire career with the Astros before joining Colorado. He owns a 4.42 ERA in 358 2/3 career innings, striking out 4.4 men per nine while walking just 2.2 per nine. A 51.8% ground ball rate helps make up for the lack of whiffs.
FEBRUARY 13: With the Rockies already at full capacity for non-roster Spring Training invitees, Sampson will not receive an invite, Goff writes. Instead, the reliever will be reporting to minor league camp in Arizona.
Sampson told Goff that the Rockies intend to give him every opportunity to succeed at the Triple-A level and will likely be in position for a potential call-up if he stays healthy. The deal will become official upon Sampson passing a physical exam.
Sampson, 32, spent his entire career with the Astros up until now. After turning in a 5.93 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 on the season, Houston removed Sampson from the 40-man roster. The reliever chose to accept his demotion to the minors and delay his entrance to the open market.
In five big league seasons with Houston, Sampson owns a 4.42 ERA with 4.4 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. The Texas native is represented by Hendricks Sports.
On this day in 1977, Sadaharu Oh hit his 756th career home run, passing Hank Aaron for the (known) all-time professional record. It's just the 'known' record since we don't know for sure how many homers Josh Gibson hit in the Negro Leagues. Oh finished his Japanese career with a whopping 868 long balls.
Some news items...
- Andrew Stoeten of the Drunk Jays Fans blog and The Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott both recently outlined the Blue Jays' upcoming decision about Aaron Hill's 2012-14 club option years. If the Jays decline to exercise all three options at once by next Opening Day, Hill can no longer be retained by the team on his $10MM club option for 2014. It's very likely that Toronto will pass on the three-years-at-once option and then look at Hill's $8MM options for 2012 and 2013 after next season. In short, Hill's lackluster play this year has cost him $10MM thus far.
- Chris Sampson has accepted his minor league assignment from the Astros and will report to Triple-A Round Rock, tweets Alyson Footer of MLB.com. Sampson could've opted for free agency, but will instead finish the season in Houston's system and pursue free agency in the offseason.
- If Eric Hosmer continues to develop, ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill suggests that Kansas City might trade Billy Butler to avoid paying him a significant contract. Butler is a first-time arbitration candidate this offseason and could make 10 times his current $470K salary in 2011.
- Cleveland manager Manny Acta says that Jensen Lewis' future with the Tribe may depend on how he looks in relief outings this September, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Lewis will reach arbitration for the first time this winter and is out of options, so he's a possible non-tender candidate.
- In a reader chat, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News gave his opinion on such Rangers hot stove topics as Cliff Lee's future with the club and whom the Rangers might target in free agency this winter.
- Brandon Boggs has cleared waivers and been assigned to Texas' Triple-A affiliate, reports MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. Boggs was designated for assignment on Tuesday.
- Eric Chavez "is not ready to announce [his] retirement," tweets MLB.com's Jane Lee, but would consider a post-playing career of coaching or broadcasting (also from Twitter).
- Blogger El Lefty Malo looks at how the Giants have gotten better at acquiring "band-aid" veterans.
- Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall tells FOXSportsArizona.com's Jack Magruder that money will not be a factor in hiring the team's new general manager, but admits "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't an issue."
- Alex Rodriguez's recent split with agent Scott Boras may have been influenced by advisers from the entertainment business and Rodriguez's "infatuation with Hollywood stardom," reports ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews. Somewhere, Ari Gold is yelling at Lloyd to place a call on his behalf...
Links for Thursday, exactly ten years after the Angels signed Ervin Santana as an amateur free agent...
- Aubrey Huff is enjoying his time in San Francisco, writes Chris Haft of MLB.com. Huff, who signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the Giants in the offseason, will be a free agent at season's end.
- The Marlins still consider Bobby Valentine a candidate for their managerial opening and Valentine didn't rule out the possibility of re-starting talks with the team, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Astros announced that they removed Chris Sampson from their 40-man roster. He has three days to accept a minor league assignment or opt for free agency. Sampson told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that he realizes his time with the Astros is likely over.
- The Mariners say they knew little about Josh Lueke's history with the law when they acquired the pitching prospect in the Cliff Lee trade, but both the Rangers and former Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair have different versions of the story, as Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times explains.
- Unsure where your team is going to pick in next year's draft? Check out our reverse standings page, which we link to under 'Features' on the right side of the page.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the D’Backs plan to speak to De Jon Watson, the Dodgers assistant GM for player development, about their permanent GM job. Also in the running, some familiar names: Jerry Dipoto, D’Backs assistant GM Peter Woodfork, Kevin Towers, Damon Oppenheimer and Logan White.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic believes Chien-Ming Wang, who signed for $2MM plus incentives, is a better comparable for Brandon Webb than Rich Harden, Tim Hudson, or the other pitchers his agent compared him to.
- Chone Figgins told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that he doesn't regret signing in Seattle.
- Rookie pitcher Hisanori Takahashi can become a free agent after the season, as David Waldstein of the New York Times reports. He and the Mets haven't started negotiating an extension, but there's mutual interest in one.
Here's a list of the players who have avoided arbitration so far today, with more names sure to stream in:
- The Mets and John Maine have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.3MM, plus incentives.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports that the Astros have agreed to deals with Chris Sampson and Jeff Keppinger for 2010, avoiding arbitration. Sampson gets $815K, Keppinger $1.15M.
- The Rangers and Dustin Nippert have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $650K according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The righty was eligible for arbitration for the first time after earning $412K in 2009.
- The D'Backs and Miguel Montero are close to agreeing on a $2MM salary for the coming season, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The sides have agreed to a deal, according to The Sports Network (via the Miami Herald).
- The Rangers agreed to pay Brandon McCarthy $1.32MM this year.
- The Dodgers agreed to a two-year deal with Matt Kemp. The center fielder will earn a total of $10.95MM over the course of the next two seasons.
- The Dodgers agreed to pay Chad Billingsley $3.85MM this year.
- The D'Backs and Conor Jackson agreed on a $3.1MM salary for the coming season.
- The Padres and Heath Bell agreed on a $4MM salary.
Midnight ET is the non-tender deadline, so we'll keep track of all the players who are offered and/or agreed to contracts today in this post. Keep coming back throughout the day for updates.
- Washington tendered contracts to Josh Willingham, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, Jason Bergmann, and Sean Burnett.
- Zach Duke was tendered an offer by the Pirates.
- The Marlins reached an agreement with Ronny Paulino. The deal will be for one-year, $1.1MM.
- The Royals avoided arbitration by reaching one year deals with Brian Bannister ($2.3MM) Roman Colon ($660K), and Kyle Davies ($1.8MM).
- Dioner Navarro will remain with the Rays on a one-year deal worth $2.1MM.
- The White Sox will offer contracts to Bobby Jenks, John Danks, Carlos Quentin, and Tony Pena.
- Milwaukee will tender offers to six players: Dave Bush, Carlos Villanueva, Todd Coffey, Jody Gerut, Corey Hart, and Carlos Gomez.
- Toronto will tender an offer to Jeremy Accardo.
- Kevin Correia will remain with the Padres for one-year, $3.6MM.
- The Rangers have signed Esteban German to a 2010 contract. He'll earn $600K in the majors and $200K in the minors. They offered contracts to their other arbitration-eligible players including Scott Feldman, Chris Ray, Frank Francisco, C.J. Wilson, Dustin Nippert, Brandon McCarthy, and Josh Hamilton.
- Tampa Bay avoided arbitration with Lance Cormier by inking him to a one-year deal. The contract will pay Cormier $1.2MM.
- The Twins will tender contracts to all 30 unsigned players on their 40-man roster. That means Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, J.J. Hardy, Brendan Harris, Francisco Liriano, Pat Neshek, Delmon Young, and many more figure to be in the Twins' plans in 2010.
- The following eight Cubs will receive offers from the team: Carlos Marmol, Ryan Theriot, Jeff Baker, Angel Guzman, Sean Marshall, Koyie Hill, Tom Gorzelanny, and Mike Fontenot.
- Atlanta tendered offers to relievers Peter Moylan and Boone Logan.
- The Marlins will tender offers to almost all of their arbitration-eligible players - Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Cody Ross, Josh Johnson, Leo Nunez, and Renyel Pinto.
- The Astros will tender offers to all remaining arbitration-eligible players. This means Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence, Wandy Rodriguez, Matt Lindstrom, Tim Byrdak, Chris Sampson, Jeff Keppinger, and Humberto Quintero are invited back.
- Matt Albers and Cla Meredith have agreed to terms with the Orioles. Albers' deal is worth $.68MM for one-year. Meanwhile, Meredith will recieve $.85MM in 2010.
- Randy Choate agreed to a one year deal. Terms of the deal are one-year, $700K.