Cory Luebke Rumors

NL West Notes: Whiteside, Johnson, Descalso, Guerrero

Catcher Eli Whiteside has opted to accept a coaching job with the Giants rather than taking one of several offers he had to continue playing, MLB.com’s Chris Haft reports. The veteran played in parts of six MLB seasons, including a three-year run in which he was a significant contributor for San Francisco. He will retire after getting one last short run in the bigs last year with the Cubs.

More from the NL West:

  • Padres righty Josh Johnson has progressed to the point that he’ll throw to a catcher on flat ground, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. With his training program currently on track, Johnson is scheduled to throw a pen session for the first time by mid-March with a target of game action by June, if all goes according to plan. Johnson’s deal with San Diego promises him only $1MM but can increase all the way to $7.25MM if he maxes out his incentives.
  • Fellow two-time TJ patient Cory Luebke is also hoping to return strong for the Padres, as MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports. The story details some of the ups and downs that Luebke has had in dealing with his two procedures. As with Johnson, 2015 is something of a make-good season for the lefty: his early-career extension is up after the season, when San Diego will have to decide whether to exercise a $7.5MM option or pay a $1.75MM buyout.
  • The Rockies pursued utilityman Daniel Descalso not only because he would offer a versatile bench option, but because of his big-game experience, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. Skipper Walt Weiss explained that the former Cardinals infielder brought an underappreciated element to the squad. “All of that factored in quite a bit,” said Weiss. “I think we sometimes underestimate the value of that — guys that have played in big games, pennant races, and have won a World Series. Those types of players are valuable, and that’s a big reason why we brought Danny in here.”
  • Alex Guerrero‘s contract and the Dodgers roster situation makes for quite a puzzle, as Dave Cameron of Fangraphs writes. On the one hand, Guerrero can refuse an optional assignment and has said he will do just that. On the other, if he is traded he will earn the right to opt out of his deal after the season. Cameron posits that the club could send Guerrero out in exchange for some savings on his 2015 tab, agreeing to remain responsible for post-2015 responsibilities while hoping he will opt out. The Angels, Blue Jays, Rockies, and Rangers all look like reasonable landing spots, in Cameron’s estimation.

Cory Luebke To Miss 2014 Season With Torn UCL

Padres southpaw starter Cory Luebke will not be a rotation option for San Diego after an MRI found a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock. After missing most of 2012 and all of last year as he rehabbed from a prior Tommy John surgery, Luebke appears headed for a second procedure.

Luebke had been expected to play a major role in the team's rotation plans for the coming season. GM Josh Byrnes expressed dismay at the "mystery" of Luebke's elbow issues. Though the Friars still have plenty of options to take the ball every fifth day, the injury certainly takes away one layer of security (and one possible source of some upside for the club). Though the club's depth means that an immediate addition is not an obvious necessity, the injury certainly has an impact on San Diego's current and future rotation plans.

Through 55 career appearances, 25 of them starts, Luebke has recorded 188 1/3 innings of 3.25 ERA ball, including 9.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. Luebke is still under contract for this season and next under the three-year, $12MM extension he signed before the 2012 year. The Padres hold club options for the 2016-17 season, though it is premature to consider what the decision will look like on those at this point.


Quick Hits: Colon, Litsch, Rangers

Cory Luebke will undergo reconstructive elbow surgery on Wednesday, Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets. The Padres left-hander hasn’t pitched in the Major Leagues since April 27th and had been undecided as to his next step. Here are the rest of today’s links…

  • Jim Callis of Baseball America says Royals infield prospect Christian Colon will eventually move from shortstop to second base, where he can be a solid regular.
  • Blue Jays right-hander Jesse Litsch says he has a "career threatening" infection in his shoulder, Barry Davis of Sportsnet.ca tweets. Litsch, 27, has spent the entire season on Toronto's disabled list. He posted a 4.44 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 75 innings last year.
  • Former MLB outfielder Bobby Kielty told MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes that he signed with the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League. The 35-year-old has a career .296/.379/.503 batting line against left-handed pitching, but hasn't played in the Major Leagues since 2007.
  • There's still no resolution in the Jairo Beras-Rangers case, Ben Badler of Baseball America writes. Texas agreed to sign the prospect for $4.5MM, but MLB's questions about his age remain unanswered. International sources tell Badler MLB can't sign off on the deal if it wants to seem serious about rule enforcement in Latin America.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com wonders if the Rangers could be a fit for Roy Oswalt now that starter Neftali Feliz is on the disabled list (Twitter link). Click here for the latest Oswalt rumors.


Quick Hits: Pirates, Manny, Luebke, Luhnow

Some links from around the league on a day when Max Scherzer became the first pitcher since 1988 to induce 15 swinging strikeouts in one game…

  • We're just two weeks shy of the three-year anniversary of the trade that sent Nate McLouth from the Pirates to the Braves in exchange for Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, and Gorkys Hernandez. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out that with Locke being recalled from Triple-A, all four players involved in that trade — even McLouth himself — are on the Pirates' 25-man roster.
  • Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News chronicles Manny Ramirez's journey to the Athletics, and ponders which Manny will show up in Oakland. Manny, who began a 10-game minor league assignment this weekend, has a chance to rewrite what was a disappointing ending to his career, writes Brown.
  • Nothing is certain, but Padres lefty Cory Luebke is strongly leaning toward undergoing Tommy John surgery, writes Dan Hayes of the North County Times. Luebke was transferred to the 60-day DL today, which opens a spot on the Pads' 40-man roster.
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is personally scouting candidates for his team to select with the No. 1 overall pick in this year's MLB draft, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Luhnow isn't revealing which players he's scouting. He told reporters the Astros "aren't close" to knowing which player they'll draft, but are feeling more comfortable with the information they've gathered.

Padres Agree To Deal With Cory Luebke

The Padres today announced that they have agreed to terms with left-hander Cory Luebke on a contract through the 2015 season with club options for 2016 and 2017.  The 27-year-old is represented by Meister Sports Management.

The deal will give Luebke a guaranteed $12MM, according to Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres (via Twitter).  If both options are exercised, Luebke could earn up to $27.75MM, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.

The contract can potentially cover Luebke's arbitration eligible years and his first year of free agency.  The lefty appeared in 46 games for the Padres last season, posting a 3.29 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.