- White Sox Claim Kyle Drabek
- Brady Aiken Undergoes Tommy John Surgery
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- Tigers, David Price Open Exploratory Discussions
- Dodgers To Sign Hector Olivera
- Twins Extend Brian Dozier
- White Sox Extend Adam Eaton
- Rangers Release Joe Beimel
- Nationals Release Heath Bell
- Dodgers To Sign Cuban Pitcher Pablo Millan Fernandez
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- East Notes: Papelbon, Warren, Victorino
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- AL Central Notes: Graham, Pelfrey, Salazar, Finnegan
- Padres Fielding Trade Inquiries On Relievers
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- Brandon League Likely Out Several Months
- Jordan Zimmermann Says Extension Unlikely
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- White Sox Claim Kyle Drabek
- Mariners Rule 5 Pick David Rollins Suspended 80 Games For Failed PED Test
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Dan Haren Rumors
Braves lefty Mike Minor will have his throwing shoulder examined by Dr. James Andrews sometime early next week, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (on Twitter). Minor’s shoulder tightness was noted by Bowman yesterday, with the MLB.com adding that he expected Minor to be unable to claim a rotation spot to open the year due to the issue. The Braves have a number of alternatives in camp, should Minor be unable to open the season with the team. Both Eric Stults and Wandy Rodriguez were added on minor league deals this winter, and the highly regarded Michael Foltynewicz was sent to the Braves from the Astros in the Evan Gattis trade.
Elsewhere in the NL East…
- Dan Haren tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that part of the reason for his initial uncertainty about pitching for the Marlins was that he wasn’t sure if the team truly wanted him. The Marlins took on Haren only after the Dodgers agreed to pay all $10MM of his salary, and the main focus of the trade did seem to be acquiring Dee Gordon. Additionally, the Marlins didn’t even require Haren to take a physical prior to the trade — something he’s never experienced in being traded before. In fact, Haren was once nearly traded to the Cubs before a physical caused the deal to fall through. However, he’s now on board with pitching for the Marlins and is ready to compete for “at least” one more year, suggesting that he may not retire after this season, as many believed. And as for whether or not the Marlins wanted Haren, GM Dan Jennings said there is no doubt: “Oh, we wanted the pitcher. He goes to the post every year.”
- Prior to today’s start, Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee told reporters, including Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer, that he’s on a normal spring schedule at this point and feels healthy. Lee has been on a normal throwing program after throwing 15 bullpen sessions at his Arkansas home, and while it’s too early to read anything into his spring results, he did fire two scoreless innings in today’s outing, allowing two hits without a walk (and no strikeouts).
- The Phillies also announced today that they’ve added right-handers Seth Rosin and Mike Nesseth as non-roster invitees to Major League camp. Each was already with the Phils, though to this point they’d been in minor league camp. If Rosin’s name looks a bit familiar, it’s because he was selected by the Mets in last year’s Rule 5 Draft and immediately traded to the Dodgers for cash. The Rangers then claimed him off waivers and held onto him briefly before returning him to Philadelphia.
The latest out of Miami..
- When asked if he’s in on James Shields, Marlins GM Dan Jennings told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (on Twitter) “you never know if you’re still in it or not in it until someone signs him.” At present, however, it would seem that the Marlins are on the outside looking in with the Padres viewed as the favorites and the Cubs still lurking.
- Jennings added, “We have had internal discussions about [Shields] and all other free agents… we’ll see in the next few days where he goes,” (via MLB Network Radio on Twitter).
- Jennings told Bowden (on Twitter) that Dan Haren is preparing for Spring Training and looking forward to being a member of the Marlins. Haren reportedly has been hoping for a trade that would keep him closer to his family in California. At one time, Haren seemed to be considering retirement over spending the season in Miami.
- Jennings said that the timetable for Jose Fernandez to take the mound is between June 15th and July 15th (via Bowden on Twitter).
- Joe Frisaro of MLB.com (on Twitter) opines that the Marlins’ next step should be to try to sign Rafael Soriano or Francisco Rodriguez on the cheap. When asked by Bowden (link) about possible interest in the relievers, Jennings didn’t tip his hat much, saying that he’s “always looking to add.” Jennings added that he’s exploring potentially bringing “one or two more guys to camp,” according to MLB Network Radio (on Twitter).
Twins outfielder Byron Buxton is the top prospect in baseball, per MLB.com’s top 100 prospects. The Cubs have two prospects in the top five – Kris Bryant (second) and Addison Russell (fifth). The Dodgers have three in the top 13 – Corey Seager (seventh), Julio Urias (eighth), and Joc Pederson (13th). The Cubs and Twins are the two teams with five prospects in the top 50. Here’s more news from around the league.
- The Red Sox will use Brandon Workman as a reliever this season, reports Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com. The move could be a big stabilizing influence for Workman, who dealt with fatigue the last couple seasons. Mastrodonato points to Wade Davis as a best case scenario. Davis was an indifferent starter in previous campaigns, but he dominated out of the pen last year. Some pitchers, like Davis, experience a notable velocity increase in relief work. It will be interesting to see how Workman reacts.
- Boston appears to have a full bullpen without the presence of Workman, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Recent additions Alexi Ogando and Robbie Ross join Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Edward Mujica, Craig Breslow, and Anthony Varvaro. Many clubs were concerned about Ogando’s injury history, but the Red Sox liked what they saw while scouting the righty. He passed his physical and should be prepared for a normal preseason workload.
- The Rockies decided to stand pat rather than rebuild due to the quality of talent on the roster, CEO Dick Monfort tells Thomas Harding of MLB.com. Healthy seasons from Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez plus continued breakouts from Nolan Arenado, Corey Dickerson, and Charlie Blackmon could produce a special offense. While pitching is always a problem, Monfort is pleased with the products of the farm.
- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is more optimistic about the current club than the pricey 2012 version, he tells Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Loria is pleased with the overhauled infield, Giancarlo Stanton‘s long term extension, and the acquisition of Mat Latos. He doesn’t know what will happen with Dan Haren,
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Addison Russell | Alexi Ogando | Boston Red Sox | Brandon Workman | Byron Buxton | C.J. Edwards | Chicago Cubs | Colorado Rockies | Corey Seager | Dan Haren | Joc Pederson | Jorge Soler | Julio Urias | Kris Bryant | Kyle Schwarber | Los Angeles Dodgers | Miami Marlins | Minnesota Twins | Wade Davis
Johan Santana‘s comeback bid has hit a snag, as the southpaw was scratched from a planned Venezuelan Winter League start with shoulder soreness (via the league’s Spanish language website). Though he will surely find another opportunity to showcase for MLB clubs, shoulder health was already an obvious concern for the two-time Cy Young winner.
Here are some more notes involving starting pitching:
- It has been a challenge to find obvious fits for free agent righty James Shields, but ESPN.com’s Dan Szymborski (Insider link) makes the attempt by focusing on which clubs would stand to receive the greatest boost in projected wins. Three NL West teams (Dodgers, Giants, Padres) and a trio from the AL Central (Tigers, Royals, White Sox) join the Marlins as the clubs that the ZiPS projection system thinks would benefit most by signing Shields.
- The Marlins have not yet received any trade offers for righty Dan Haren, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Miami is in an interesting spot with regard to the veteran, as Jackson explains.
- Before reaching agreement on a three-year deal that bought out all of his arb-eligible seasons, the Cardinals and righty Lance Lynn considered longer extension scenarios, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. That did not come to fruition because the team was interested in delaying Lynn’s free agency by one or two years whereas the pitcher was only interested in foregoing the open market for a larger, longer pact. Lynn explained that he would be open to revisiting talks later: “It’s not something that we could get situated, but there’s always going to be a process later. If everything goes well and I pitch the way I’m capable of, I’m sure that will be revisited down the line.”
We learned earlier today that the Marlins are showing interest in free agent outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. Talks between the two parties are “progressing,”reports Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The Marlins do not have an obvious fourth outfielder on the 40-man roster at this time, so Ichiro would back up the trio of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich. Other internal candidates like Martin Prado and Michael Morse have experience in the outfield but seem unlikely to move from their primary positions. Tyler Colvin was also added earlier in the offseason on a minor league contract. A deal is not thought to be close at this time per Cotillo’s source.
- The Marlins are “wrestling” with a decision to trade starting pitcher Dan Haren, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. According to clubs speaking with Miami, the team prefers to keep him over selling low. Regardless of where Haren plays next year, it’s been previously reported that the Marlins intend to keep most or all of the $10MM the Dodgers will send to cover his contract.
- Miami has three arbitration eligible players who have yet to sign, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. With a combined $1.72MM discrepancy between the players and team, the club’s payroll is beginning to shape up. The club is said to be aiming at about $65MM and appears to be on pace. Including payments from the Dodgers, the Fish have $44.725MM committed to 11 players with the seven arbitration eligible players coming in at an additional $13.135MM to $14.875MM. Pending any other acquisitions (like Ichiro), the rest of the club is likely to be formed from players paid around the league minimum.
MONDAY: Though Haren is planning on attending Spring Training, he’s still hoping for a trade and has again asked that the Marlins move him to a West Coast club so he can be closer to his wife and children, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. One likely he roadblock standing in the way of the deal, according to Jackson, is that the Marlins want to keep the $10MM the Dodgers sent their way in initial trade, even if they deal Haren to another club.
SUNDAY: Dan Haren will report to Spring Training as a Marlin next month, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The Marlins acquired Haren from the Dodgers last month in the Dee Gordon / Andrew Heaney deal, but Haren lives in California, and he struggled with being away from his family when he pitched for the Nationals in 2013. Following the trade, it was unclear whether Haren would pitch for the Marlins, be traded back to a team on the West Coast, or retire and forgo his $10MM 2015 salary. Last week, it was reported that Haren had told the Marlins his preference would be to pitch for another team. As of yesterday, however, the Marlins reportedly remained hopeful that Haren would pitch for them. It appears Haren changed his mind, although his apparent willingness to pitch for the Marlins still does not necessarily rule out a possible trade.
The 34-year-old Haren remains reasonably useful, despite his dwindling velocity — he posted a 4.02 ERA, 7.0 K/9 and a stingy 1.7 BB/9 in 186 innings last season, despite his average fastball clocking in at just 87.7 MPH. Assuming he sticks with the Marlins, he’ll join Mat Latos as a veteran presence in a young group of starting pitchers that also includes Henderson Alvarez, Tom Koehler and Jarred Cosart, with Jose Fernandez returning at some point during the season after having Tommy John surgery last year.
The Marlins still hope that Dan Haren will report to spring training, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. The righty, who was acquired from the Dodgers earlier in the offseason, has told the club he prefers to play for a west coast team. Of the available options, the Padres and Giants are considered the most likely to acquire him. However, the Marlins could use a veteran like Haren, and they’re unlikely to spend $100MM on a free agent alternative like James Shields. When MLBTR readers were polled last week, nearly 11% thought he would pitch for the Marlins next season.
- The offseason has been hectic for Ryan Lavarnway, writes Mark Townsend of Big League Stew. As MLBTR readers know, he’s waiting to hear if a fifth club will acquire him. He started the offseason with the Red Sox and has since bounced to the Dodgers, Cubs, and Orioles. Baltimore designated him for assignment to clear room for Delmon Young. Lavarnway remains in DFA limbo. Townsend speculates that the Diamondbacks could use a catcher, but they’ve had ample opportunity to acquire him several times.
- A’s GM Billy Beane hinted at the club’s plans for the rotation, writes Jeremy F. Koo for SB Nation. Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir have rotation spots on lock down, while “Kendall Graveman, Jesse Hahn, and Drew Pomeranz are on the inside track.” The A’s also have Jesse Chavez, Sean Nolin, and Chris Bassitt in addition to injured hurlers Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin. As Koo notes, it’s surprising to see Graveman as part of the inside track crowd. Acquired as part of the Josh Donaldson trade, Graveman has two seasons of professional experience including four and two-thirds innings in the majors.
MLBTR offers its best wishes to the family and friends of former Negro League player Herb Simpson, who passed away Wednesday at age 94. As MLB.com’s Greg Johns writes, Simpson was the last known surviving member of the Seattle Steelheads and also saw action with the Birmingham Black Barons and Chicago American Giants.
As we honor an early pioneer of African-American baseball in the Pacific Northwest, here are some notes from the league’s western divisions:
- Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that asking prices in trade talks for another backstop are simply too high at present. “We’ve not made a whole lot of headway in that area yet,” said Stewart. “Without really giving up something that’s going to cost us a player that we don’t want to give away, we don’t have a whole lot of motion yet.” Arizona has had talks with the Blue Jays regarding Dioner Navarro and with the Cubs regarding Welington Castillo, says Piecoro.
- The Rockies have “mild” interest in trading for Dan Haren, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. However, as he notes, the thin air and homer-friendly nature of Coors Field make Colorado a fairly poor fit for Haren. Morosi also tweets that while the Giants did have interest earlier in the offseason (prior to re-signing Jake Peavy), there’s no active dialogue between Miami and San Francisco.
- Rangers top prospect Jurickson Profar, who missed the entire 2014 season after tearing the same muscle in his right shoulder twice, has been cleared to begin a throwing program on Jan. 19, tweets Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest. Still just 21 years old, it was only two years ago that Profar was the consensus No. 1 overall prospect in baseball (per Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com). A healthy Profar would give the Rangers somewhat of a surplus of middle infielders, as Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor are both in the fold as well.
Randy Johnson, who was elected to the Hall of Fame with more than 97 percent of the vote, will join the Diamondbacks‘ front office as a special assistant to GM Dave Stewart, the team announced yesterday. As MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert writes, Johnson will participate in community initiatives, weigh in on baseball operations decisions and, most excitingly to Johnson himself, work with minor league pitchers. “I don’t see myself being a coach,” Johnson said, “but I do see myself going around to the Minor Leagues and I think that’s where I can best help.” Johnson won’t specialize in discussing pitching mechanics with the D-Backs’ prospects, but rather on the mental side of the game, such as the mindset and work ethic needed to be successful. Meanwhile, D-Backs CEO Derrick Hall indicated that Johnson’s No. 51 will be retired this season or next — an honor which Johnson wanted to delay until he received the call to Cooperstown.
Elsewhere in the NL West…
- Dan Haren‘s preference to end up back on the West Coast is common knowledge at this point, and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Giants checked in with the Marlins on Haren earlier this offseason (Twitter links). However, Morosi adds that those talks came before the Giants re-signed Jake Peavy. It doesn’t seem that the Giants are pursuing rotation help any longer based on comments made by assistant GM Bobby Evans on Tuesday in the wake of Tim Hudson‘s ankle surgery, though Morosi notes that Haren would likely welcome the opportunity to pitch in San Francisco — a West Coast club with a pitcher-friendly park.
- It’s looking more and more like the Padres will hang onto Will Venable rather than trade him, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. As Lin notes, Venable is a left-handed bat on a right-leaning roster and can back up all three outfield spots. He’s also earning a relatively modest $4.25MM next season, so the price isn’t prohibitive. I’ve previously speculated that the Marlins could have interest, as they’re looking for left-handed-hitting backup outfielders, but Lin’s report suggests there’s not much of a match there.
- Lin also spoke with manager Bud Black today regarding Carlos Quentin, who appears to be the odd man out in the outfield mix (Twitter link). Black simply told Lin that the Padres were going to have to see how Quentin’s knees are in Spring Training before proceeding, indicating that even if he is ultimately moved, it may not happen until March.
- In addition to Black, Lin spoke to GM A.J. Preller today, who cautioned that Padres fans shouldn’t necessarily expect any more large splashes. Any remaining moves from San Diego would be “more likely something around the edges, to continue to add to the depth of what we’re building,” according to Preller.
- MLB.com’s Corey Brock tweets that we shouldn’t be surprised if the Padres add a veteran catcher who can back up Derek Norris between now and Spring Training. The Friars do have Tim Federowicz on their roster after acquiring him in the Matt Kemp trade, but they may prefer a backup with more big league experience.
JAN. 5: Frisaro now reports that there is a market for Haren, and the Marlins will do their best to work out a deal that benefits both parties. He adds that his ultimate expectation is that Haren will indeed be traded.
Meanwhile, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, who reported earlier this morning that Haren had begun a throwing program to get ready for the 2015 season, hears that the Marlins are hopeful of having a resolution soon on Haren’s 2015 plans (Twitter link).
JAN. 3: Dan Haren has told the Marlins he would still like to pitch for a West Coast team, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports. It appears, then, that Haren is unlikely to pitch for the Marlins in 2015, although Frisaro notes that it’s still unclear whether Haren will retire.
The Dodgers traded Haren to Miami last month in the Dee Gordon / Andrew Heaney deal and agreed to pay his salary for the coming season, despite Haren’s preference to play in Southern California (where his family lives) and indications that he would retire if traded elsewhere. The Angels have said they’re not interested in dealing for Haren, and the Dodgers already traded him away, limiting his options.
Frisaro writes that Haren’s preference is to pitch “out West” and to have Spring Training in Arizona, noting that the only West division team that doesn’t train in Arizona is the Astros. It’s not clear, however, whether Haren has widened his interest beyond the three Southern California teams.