Chris Coste Rumors
The Nationals have unconditionally released catcher Chris Coste, according to a team press release. The 37-year-old recently underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.
The backstop was placed on waivers by the Mets in late March and was quickly claimed by the Nats. Coste made a combined 230 plate appearances for the Astros and Phillies last season, hitting .224/.301/.317.
12:53pm: The Nationals claimed Coste, reports Brian Costa of the Newark Star-Ledger.
7:53am: The Mets placed catcher Chris Coste on waivers, reports Adam Rubin (via MetsBlog). Coste signed a big league deal worth $650K back in December. Rubin says Coste is likely to accept an assignment to Triple A if he clears waivers.
Coste, 37, hit .224/.301/.317 in 230 plate appearances for the Phillies and Astros last year, catching 352 innings. Coste went 3 for 14 with a walk this spring.
On Saturday, ESPN's Jayson Stark said the Mets were hoping to move an excess catcher like Coste or Omir Santos for Triple A pitching depth. The Mets have Rod Barajas, Henry Blanco, Santos, Josh Thole, and Shawn Riggans on the depth chart.
ESPN's Jayson Stark has a new blog post up with some trade rumor nuggets for us. It's behind the Insider wall (if you don't have a subscription yet, what are you waiting for?), so I can't give away too much...
- Stark lists 16 players currently on the trade block. Among the names we haven't seen mentioned recently: Willie Harris, Andy Marte, Tim Stauffer, Omir Santos, and Brad Thomas.
- The Mets are looking to move one of their extra catchers, either Santos or Chris Coste, and are looking to add "major league-ready triple-A pitching depth." Aren't we all...
- The Phillies are looking to add all sorts of pitching depth, and have interest in the recently released Chad Gaudin.
- Scott Sizemore's rocky spring has the Tigers looking for a second base upgrade.
- Kansas City is shopping Brayan Pena in their perpetual search for starting pitching.
- The Braves have told other clubs that David Ross is available, "possibly in a catcher-for-catcher swap for a younger backup-catcher type."
MONDAY, 7:44pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Mets are considering offering Molina a deal that would pay him $6MM next year and include an option for 2011. It's not clear what kind of option they're considering. The Mets would prefer not to offer Molina a two-year deal, but they haven't ruled such a deal out.
9:52pm: Newsday's Ken Davidoff says that the Mets are considering Rod Barajas as an alternative to Molina. What do you think: genuine interest, or a smoke screen to put some pressure on Bengie?
SUNDAY, 3:02pm: Jon Heyman says, via Twitter, that the Mets are trying to wait it out when it comes to Molina. According to Heyman, the Mets figure that other teams with catching needs, such as the Royals and Rangers, have less money than them.
Are the Mets wise to wait on Bengie? Or, are they running a risk of losing out on what seems to be their main target for starting catcher in 2010? Gregg Zaun already signed with the Brewers this week, eliminating one possible alternative from this year's free agent crop.
SATURDAY, 9:19am: Despite signing both Henry Blanco and Chris Coste recently, the Mets are still looking to add a catcher according to Bart Hubbuch of The NY Post. Manager Jerry Manuel and pitching coach Dan Warthen hold last year's catching corps partially responsible for the team's 4.46 ERA, though I think the fact that Livan Hernandez, Tim Redding, Oliver Perez, Nelson Figueroa, and Pat Misch combined to make 71 starts is more to blame.
Hubbuch says the primary catching target appears to be Bengie Molina, whose 20 homers in 2009 was nearly double what the Mets got out of their catchers. Molina is a Type-A free agent, but he wasn't offered arbitration, meaning it won't cost a draft pick to sign him. Giants' GM Brian Sabean recently said that he believes Molina "probably has been offered" a multi-year deal by another team, though we haven't heard any more about that.
Buster Olney is reporting on his Twitter feed that the Indians' "preference might be giving their internal candidates a chance to play, instead of inking vet FAs to $800K deals."
It is fair to wonder if this will be a league-wide trend, though the Mets' decision to bring in Chris Coste and Alex Cora seems to argue against this.
Cleveland, unlike New York, also has more players at the upper levels of their farm system.
Coste told the Forum that the Mets gave him a guarantee of being placed on the 40-man roster, though not a guaranteed spot on the Opening Day roster. If the Mets are happy with Coste, they can keep him beyond 2010 as an arbitration-eligible player.
Coste struggled with the bat in 2009, hitting just .224/.301/.317 in 230 plate appearances with the Phillies and Astros.
The former 33-year-old rookie will be 37 next season.
Here's a few links to help you through another baseball-less night...
- Kiley McDaniel of Baseball Prospectus tweets that Aroldis Chapman will throw a bullpen at Fenway tomorrow.
- ESPN's Keith Law says that firing VP of scouting and player development Grady Fuson was a good move by new GM Jed Hoyer and the Padres. He notes that San Diego's drafts have been among the worst in the game over the last few years, although they did change course last year.
- Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun says the Orioles need a power hitter at one of the corner infield spots, and mentions that players like Adrian Beltre, Troy Glaus, or Carlos Delgado could represent a decent stop gap.
- Chris Coste became a free agent after being outrighted by the Astros, says Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
- Phil Wood of MASNsports.com has news on a few front office hirings by the Nationals.
- The Phillies added Brett Myers to their World Series roster according to David Murphy of The Philadephia Daily News. The 29-year-old righthander could earn himself a few extra bucks in free agency with a big series.
The Astros claimed catcher Chris Coste off waivers after the Phillies released him, according to Scott Lauber of the Wilmington News Journal. Coste, 36, was hitting .245/.342/.382 in 45 games for the Phillies, with a pair of homers. The Phillies let the fan favorite go to make room for Raul Ibanez.
SATURDAY, 5:45pm: Joe Frisaro of MLB.com provides an update from the Marlins' FanFest, reporting that the team would consider signing Rodriguez, but only at the league minimum, plus incentives.
Marlins' president of baseball operations, Larry Beinfest, said that the Marlins are likely to stand pat at catcher, and that any free agent signing would have to "make perfect sense."
FRIDAY, 9:05am: Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel confirmed the Marlins' interest in Pudge, while also noting that the Fish discussed Philadelphia's Chris Coste this week. He says the Phillies want to evaluate Ronny Paulino before considering a Coste trade.
THURSDAY, 5:12pm: Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins have interest in free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez.
"Cost, however, is key," writes Frisaro. The Fish don't have much money left to work with and are only willing to guarantee about $1 million, plus a few performance-based incentives. That might not be enough to woo Pudge, who hit .276/.319/.394 with seven homers and 35 RBI in 398 at-bats last season.
Rodriguez might also crave more playing time. The Marlins seem to like 27-year-old John Baker a whole lot.
Links for Saturday...
- RotoAuthority looks at projections for Chris Davis. 35 home runs next year?
- Bill Madden suggests Paul Kinzer screwed up in both the Rafael Furcal and Francisco Rodriguez negotiations.
- More details on Dan Johnson - the Rays are selling him to a Japanese team for $100,000-500,000.
- Tim Redding's agent says "the Mets are very much in the mix" for the righty.
- Juan C. Rodriguez confirms the Marlins' interest in Derrick Turnbow, but says they aren't going after Ray King.
- The Rockies could pursue Braden Looper.
- The Orioles have expressed interest in Phillies catcher Chris Coste.
- New National Josh Willingham likes the Marlins' young talent.
- New Phillie Raul Ibanez likes the chances that the Mariners will have a better offense in 2009.
- The AP has details on the perks in the C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett deals.
- Ken Davidoff looks at the impact Mark Teixeira's decision will have on six teams. Amazing how one deal will shape so many teams' plans.
- Buster Olney writes that many players are going to make much less than expected in 2009, including Manny Ramirez. In that same blog post, Olney notes that his colleague Jerry Crasnick says the Angels' signing of Juan Rivera takes them out of the market for Manny.
- The D'Backs' discussions for Tony Clark are progressing.