Clayton Richard Rumors

Pirates Sign Clayton Richard To Minor League Deal

The Pirates announced that they’ve signed left-hander Clayton Richard to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.

Richard hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2013, but the Relativity Sports client was a mainstay in the Padres’ rotation from 2010-13 after being acquired in the Jake Peavy trade with the White Sox. A shoulder impingement cut his 2013 season short, and he went on to have surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome in the offseason. He did get back on a mound to throw 21 1/3 minor league innings with the Diamondbacks last year. The Pirates will hope that Richard is another in the long line of pitchers they’ve revitalized, although the minor league deal is a more minimal investment than their previous reclamation projects.

Now 31 years of age, Richard posted a 3.88 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 520 innings for the Padres in 2010-12, twice topping the 200-inning mark. He boasts a career ground-ball rate of 50 percent — an attribute to which the Pirates have been attracted in other pitchers over the past few years. Pittsburgh is known to be incredibly aggressive with its infield shifts, and that trait should help maximize Richard’s ground-ball tendencies if he ultimately makes the club.

D’Backs To Sign Clayton Richard

Left-hander Clayton Richard informs Nathan Baird of the Lafayette Journal & Courier that he will sign a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks and make his first minor league start with the organization this weekend.

Richard, 30, had a pair of 200-inning seasons with the Padres after coming over from the White Sox in 2009’s Jake Peavy trade, but he’s been sidelined all season while recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in February.

The former eighth-round pick has never been much of a strikeout pitcher, but has a career 4.33 ERA with 5.6 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 50 percent ground-ball rate in 773 innings for the White Sox and Padres. He’ll add some pitching depth to the D’Backs organization, though it’s still unclear what sort of timeline he would have in getting to the Majors.

Pitching Links: Niese, Samardzija, Hanrahan, Richard

It seems like every club is getting bad news regarding its pitchers these days, but the Mets can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to lefty Jon Niese.'s Adam Rubin reports that Niese, who was pulled from Sunday's start early due to elbow discomfort, learned that he has some inflammation but no ligament damage in the elbow. He received a cortisone shot and is tentatively set to resume throwing on Wednesday. Niese still figures to open the season on the DL, according to Rubin, but only for a few days, as the Mets won't need a fifth starter until April 6. Niese is likely to be activated at that point.

Here are some more notes specifically pertaining to pitchers…

  • The Diamondbacks are likely to again scout Jeff Samardzija in the wake of Patrick Corbin's probable Tommy John surgery, reports Bruce Levine of However, Levine writes that the Cubs would likely ask for Archie Bradley in return, which would seemingly end conversations before they began.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that free agent closer Joel Hanrahan is up to 90-92 mph in his rehab from Tommy John and flexor tendon surgery and could sign with a team soon. Hanrahan is coming off a season in which he pitched just 7 1/3 innings for the Red Sox before undergoing surgery on May 16. He still has a ways to go on his velocity, as he averages 96-97 mph when he's at his best.
  • Free agent left-hander Clayton Richard tells MLB Network Radio's Scott Braun that he underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery last month (Twitter link). Richard rejected an outright assignment from the Padres and elected free agency at season's end, but this seems to rule out the possibility that he'd be ready to pitch anytime soon.

Clayton Richard Rejects Outright Assignment, Elects Free Agency

Left-hander Clayton Richard has refused an outright assignment from the Padres and has elected free agency, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter).

Richard, who turned 30 in September, was a clear non-tender candidate, and the Padres chose to address the issue immediately rather than wait until the non-tender deadline in early December. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected a $5.24MM salary for Richard, who posted a 7.01 ERA with 4.1 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 52 2/3 innings for the Padres this season. Opponents batted .308/.369/.578 against Richard in a season that saw him miss three weeks with a stomach virus before going down for the year with a shoulder injury in June.

The Padres originally acquired Richard from the White Sox aspart of their haul for Jake Peavy, and Richard rewarded them with 584 innings of 3.90 ERA prior to the 2013 campaign. Though he's never been one to miss many bats (career 5.6 K/9), Richard has shown the ability to be a durable innings eater, twice topping the 200-inning threshold with a sub-4.00 ERA for the Friars.

As noted by's Corey Brock (on Twitter), Richard's departure means that the Padres have no one left in their system from the Peavy trade. Aaron Poreda, Dexter Carter and Adam Russell have all departed, with Carter no longer pitching in affiliated ball, Russell going to the Rays in the Jason Bartlett trade and Poreda going to the Pirates in the Rule 5 Draft. Poreda, who has since been released, recently signed a minor league deal with the Rangers.

Padres Avoid Arbitration With Clayton Richard

The Padres have avoided arbitration with Clayton Richard by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $5.24MM, according to a team announcement. The signing of the SFX client marks the final arbitration-eligible player to sign with a team as well as the first year there were no arbitration hearings since the process was instituted in 1974.

Richard submitted an arbitration figure of $5.55MM as compared to the Padres' offer of $4.905MM. The agreed upon number of $5.24MM gives Richard a slight victory as his salary will be just slightly above the midpoint. The left-hander posted a 3.99 ERA with 4.4 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 218 2/3 innings during the 2012 season. 

The veteran will be eligible for arbitration for the final time in 2014 before becoming a free agent for the first time one year later.

Quick Hits: Bourn, Richard, Padres, Manuel

It took Michael Bourn a long time to find his new team this winter, but the center fielder isn't complaining, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  At the same time, several executives charge that agent Scott Boras overreached and initially asked for much more than a four year deal.  "Boras clearly felt he’d get significant length, definitely five years, possibly six or seven," one exec told Rosenthal.  Here's more Saturday linkage..

  • Clayton Richard is now the lone remaining arbitration case with Homer Bailey agreeing to a one-year deal this afternoon, but it seems likely that he'll be headed to the table with the Padres, tweets Scott Miller of
  • Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is entering the final season of his two-year contract extension, but the skipper says that he is focused on winning and not his next deal, writes Todd Zolecki of  Manuel is adamant that he won't worry about his job security if the team struggles early on in the season and pointed out that managers like Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa have been in similar situations.
  • While Rafael Soriano won't miss ceding the ninth inning to Mariano Rivera in New York, he will miss having the legendary closer as a teammate, writes Harvey Araton of the New York Times.  Meanwhile, he's happy to be with the Nationals where he knows for certain that he will enter as the closer.

Padres, Gregerson Avoid Arbitration

The Padres avoided arbitration with reliever Luke Gregerson, according to his agency, O'Connell Sports Management, on Twitter. The sides agreed to a one-year, $3.2MM contract for 2013.

Gregerson had filed for $3.75MM and the Padres had countered with $2.875MM, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. Gregerson, who remains on track to hit free agency following the 2014 season, settled slightly below the $3.312MM midpoint.

The Padres now have two unsigned arbitration eligible players: Chase Headley and Clayton Richard. The Padres are 'close' to settling with Richard, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). While the team has discussed a multiyear deal with Headley, an extension appears unlikely, Rosenthal writes.

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…

Tigers, White Sox, Orioles Asked About Richard

The Tigers, White Sox and Orioles checked in on Padres left-hander Clayton Richard, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). All three American League teams are known to be seeking starting pitching depth.

Richard, 28, has a 3.83 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in an NL-best 127 innings this year. He earns $2.7MM in 2012 and will remain under team control as an arbitration eligible player through 2014. He has a career ERA of 4.12 with 6.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in five seasons with the White Sox and Padres.

Padres GM Josh Byrnes figures to get calls on players such as Richard, Edinson Volquez and Chase Headley, but all three players are under team control past 2012. One team said the Padres' asking price for Headley is the highest market price,'s Buster Olney reported on Twitter today.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Hamels, Jones, Bourjos, Padres

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has new Full Count video up, so let's dive in…

  • Rosenthal says it's interesting that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro declined comment after Nationals GM Mike Rizzo criticized Cole Hamels for intentionally hitting Bryce Harper. It may be an indication that the relationship between the club and the free agent-to-be left-hander is touchier than it has been in the past.
  • Hot starts by the Orioles and Adam Jones should reduce the chances that the center fielder is traded this summer and could create momentum for a long-term deal. Jones has emerged as a leader in the clubhouse and is a piece they could build around going forward, along with prospects Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado.
  • The Nationals have been trying to acquire Peter Bourjos since last offseason, but the Angels view the center fielder as a long-term asset and possible replacement for Torii Hunter. Hunter will become a free agent after the season, but that does not mean Bourjos is untouchable.
  • The Padres have Huston Street, Carlos Quentin, and four starting pitchers on the disabled list, and Rosenthal says they could infuse some young talent into the roster by trading some of their back-end starters. They need Tim Stauffer (elbow) to get healthy and for Clayton Richard (5.32) to pitch better first.