Daniel McCutchen Rumors
Orioles minor league pitcher Daniel McCutchen has been suspended for 50 games by MLB after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com and Baseball America. The test revealed two banned substances, Crasnick tweets: "Methenolone and a metabolite of Trenbolone."
McCutchen, 30, saw big league playing time over 2009-12 with the Pirates, including a 2011 season in which he posted a 3.72 ERA over 84 2/3 innings. Last season, McCutchen gave up a walk and a home run in his only appearance, leaving his ERA for the season at infinity when he was pulled before recording an out. He spent most of the year at Triple-A, where he threw to a 2.98 ERA in 63 1/3 innings. The right-hander joined the Orioles this past offseason on a minor league deal.
We've already had one batch of AL East Notes on MLBTR today, but here are some more items on a busy day around the division...
- The Orioles have had a quiet offseason while their division rivals have been spending, writes Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. While the O's didn't make any major signings en route to a playoff appearance last year and face a payroll increase due to several arbitration-eligible players, Schmuck thinks spending on a big free agent like Adam LaRoche would help the team contend again.
- A Dodgers official flatly denied that the Dodgers and Red Sox could make an Andre Ethier/Jacoby Ellsbury swap, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Ethier's name has come up in recent rumors but L.A. isn't shopping the outfielder and doesn't appear eager to move him.
- Also from Cafardo, he hears from an AL general manager that the Red Sox may be trying to deal Ellsbury so they can shift Shane Victorino to center field and then sign Cody Ross. Several teams are interested in Ross but none have yet met his desired price of a three-year, $21-$31MM contract.
- Jose Iglesias has "always been available, but nobody has knocked down [Boston's] door," writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe about the Red Sox prospect's trade value. Given that Stephen Drew was signed to just a one-year contract, it's too early to say that the Sox have given up on Iglesias as a long-term solution at shortstop.
- Also from Cafardo's piece, he thinks that Rafael Soriano and Matt Garza could both still be targets for the Red Sox.
- Right-hander Daniel McCutchen has received multiple offers to play in Japan, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes has learned. McCutchen’s minor league deal with the Orioles permits him to accept an offer from a Japanese team. The 30-year-old appeared in one game for the Pirates this past season, but he spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a 2.98 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 63 1/3 innings.
- The Blue Jays were picked as the 2013 AL East champions by 13 of 20 scouts and executives polled by FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi. In that same poll, the Orioles were picked to finish last by 10 voters, while the Red Sox received six last-place votes and were the only team that didn't get at least one pick as division winners. Morosi himself picks Toronto for first place and Boston for last.
- From earlier today, the Rays signed Roberto Hernandez, the Red Sox finalized the signing of Koji Uehara and I compiled some Yankees-related notes.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
McCutchen, 29, has pitched to a 4.77 ERA in 188 2/3 innings in parts of four seasons with the Pirates. He was acquired by the Buccos along with Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf and Jose Tabata in 2008 as part of the trade that sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Yankees. McCutchen has totaled a 3.66 ERA, 6.8 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 403 1/3 Triple-A innings.
Meyer, 31, last appeared in the big leagues in 2010 with the Marlins. The southpaw was once traded by the Braves along with Juan Cruz and Charles Thomas to the A's in exchange for Tim Hudson. He has a 5.46 ERA in 113 2/3 Major League innings. He's spent the past two seasons pitching for the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate and in independent ball, posting ERAs over 7.00 each year.
Simons, 27, spent last season pitching to a 3.57 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A in the Rockies' organization. He's fanned 7.1 hitters per nine innings over the course of 589 minor league innings but also walked four batters per nine. He was a second-round pick of the Rockies back in 2005, but has also spent time in the Tigers and Marlins organizations.
The latest outright assignments from around MLB...
- The Pirates outrighted Jeff Clement, Eric Fryer and Daniel McCutchen to Triple-A, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). Fryer, who appeared in six games with the Pirates this past season, elected to become a minor league free agent. Clement appeared in 23 games for the 2012 Pirates, collecting two singles, two walks and one double in 24 plate appearances. McCutchen faced two batters this past season, walking one and allowing a hit to the other. The right-hander spent most of the season pitching in relief at Triple-A.
The Pirates optioned Daniel McCutchen to Triple-A and reassigned Sean Gallagher, Tyler Yates, Wyatt Toregas and Josh Fields to minor league camp today. Here are more updates on the Pirates from Florida...
- Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hears that the Pirates will not release Ryan Doumit if they can't work out a trade (Twitter link). Though Doumit will earn $5.1MM this year, the Pirates like his bat.
- GM Neal Huntington told Pat Lackey of Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke that the Pirates haven't focused on pitching in recent drafts, even though it might appear that way. The Pirates have just been selecting the players at the top of their draft board, according to Huntington. Pittsburgh picks first overall in 2011.
- In a separate post, Lackey points out that John Bowker's strong spring has likely assured that Rule 5 selection Josh Rodriguez will be returned to the Indians.
- Huntington told reporters this morning that the goal for McCutchen at the Major League level would be for him to pitch multiple innings as a reliever. The right-hander may return to the Triple-A rotation.
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times has some odds and ends from around the baseball universe; let's take a look at some of the highlights:
- The trades of players like Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt signify that the Astros have finally moved on and are looking ahead. Wandy Rodriguez is the only remaining player who played in the 2005 World Series with the club.
- General manager Ed Wade refuted speculation that he prefers to trade with the Phillies, the team for which he served as general manager from 1998-2005. Instead, he simply says that the Phillies provided the best offers to improve the Astros. Wade has traded both Oswalt and Brad Lidge to Philadelphia.
- Wade praises first-year manager Brad Mills for keeping the Astros focused after a 17-34 start to the season. Houston went 17-12 in August and has recently swept both the Phillies and Cardinals.
- Edwin Jackson is happy to be in Chicago on a fresh start. “It’s like a new season,” Jackson said. Earlier today we heard that Daniel Hudson, one of the players the Diamondbacks received in the deal, is experiencing similar enjoyment in Arizona.
- Kepner points out that the pitchers acquired from the Yankees in recent years haven't panned out for the Pirates. Ross Ohlendorf has experienced some success, but Jeff Karstens and Daniel McCutchen have both disappointed. All three came to Pittsburgh in the trade for Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady. It's worth pointing out that the other component of that trade was Jose Tabata, who has played very well in his first taste of the big leagues this year.