Daric Barton Rumors

AL West Notes: Rangers, Reddick, Kendrys Morales

On this date 17 years ago, A's outfielder Brian Lesher became the first Belgian to play in a MLB game contributing a RBI single off Andy Pettitte (who went on to win a career-high 21 games and finished second to Toronto's Pat Hentgen in the AL Cy Young voting that year) as Oakland beat the Yankees 6-4. Lesher would go on to play parts of five seasons with the A's, Mariners, and Blue Jays posting a slash line of .224/.275/.380 with nine home runs and 38 RBI's in 288 plate appearances (108 games). To this day, Lesher is the only Belgian ever to appear in a MLB contest. In other news and notes from the AL West: 

  • Rangers Assistant GM Thad Levine told Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio (via Bowden on Twitter), if the club is going to make a trade before August 31st (players acquired after this date are ineligible for the post-season), it will be for a starting pitcher.
  • Levine adds (again from a Bowden tweet) the Rangers have been searching the waiver wire actively, but most of the quality players are being claimed before them.
  • A's outfielder Josh Reddick left today's game against the Orioles with discomfort in his right wrist and he thinks it's 50-50 as to whether he lands on the disabled list, reports the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser. John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group tweets Daric Barton was pulled from Triple-A Sacramento's game after one at-bat and may join the A's to replace Reddick. Slusser isn't surprised Barton would get the call over outfielders Michael Taylor and Michael Choice because Barton was slated to join the team when rosters expand September 1st and he plays first base very well allowing Brandon Moss to move to the outfield (all Twitter links). The A's 40-man roster currently sits at 39, so Barton could be added without a corresponding move.  
  • A reunion between Kendrys Morales and the Angels would not be shocking, if the pending free agent doesn't re-sign with the Mariners, tweets the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. The Mariners acquired Morales, hitting .283/.339/.450 with 17 home runs in 522 plate appearances this year, from the Angels last December for left-hander Jason Vargas
  • Earlier today, Angels manager Mike Scioscia denied reports he has philosophical differences with GM Jerry Dipoto.

Minor Moves: Cotts, Boyer, Barton

The latest minor moves…

  • The Rangers plan to purchase the contract of lefty reliever Neal Cotts if tonight's game is played, tweets Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest.  The 33-year-old hasn't seen big league action since 2009, but he's been dominant in 23 Triple-A innings this year.  The Rangers already have an open spot on their 40-man roster for him.
  • The Hanshin Tigers have a basic agreement with righty reliever Blaine Boyer, according to Sanspo (via Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker). Boyer, 31, pitched 15 relief innings for the Royals' Triple-A affiliate before exercising his out clause to pursue the opportunity in Japan.
  • The Mariners signed 17-year-old Brazilian righty Daniel Missaki, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America.  Badler notes that he was the youngest player in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
  • The Athletics announced that first baseman Daric Barton cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A, after he was designated for assignment Saturday to open a spot for Chris Young.  He's earning $1.1MM this year, which may have limited interest.  Barton led the American League in walks as a 24-year-old in 2010, but has battled injuries since.  He's still a walk machine at Triple-A, though, with a .422 OBP through 128 plate appearances.
  • The Angels outrighted outfielder Scott Cousins to Triple-A yesterday, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page.  Cousins had been designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for Chris Nelson.
  • The Yankees outrighted infielder Alberto Gonzalez to Triple-A yesterday, according to the International League transactions page.  Gonzalez had been designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for Reid Brignac.
  • Three players currently reside in DFA limbo: Jon Rauch of the Marlins, Derek Lowe of the Rangers, and Michael Bowden of the Cubs.  Rauch and Lowe figure to be released by their clubs in the coming days, while Bowden will have to decide whether to accept an outright assignment if he clears waivers.

East Notes: Braves, Mets, Ellsbury, Yankees

Braves lefty Eric O'Flaherty has a torn UCL and will likely need surgery, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (on Twitter). GM Frank Wren tells O'Brien (also via Twitter) that the Braves are unlikely to make an immediate trade to replace O'Flaherty in the bullpen, noting that Wren doesn't expect other teams to trade top relievers this early in the season. Here are more notes from around the East divisions.

  • The Mets have not yet discussed the possibility of acquiring first baseman Daric Barton, Joel Sherman of the New York Post says (on Twitter). Sherman writes (also via Twitter) that a Mets employee says the team will likely at least consider Barton, however. The Athletics designated Barton for assignment Saturday afternoon. Mets first baseman Ike Davis has struggled terribly this season, posting a line of .160/.245/.267.
  • Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury might be distracted by his impending free agency, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald suggests. Lauber quotes Mike Napoli, who discusses how pressures from friends and family during a contract year can take a player out of his comfort zone. "I could see where guys, because of that free agent year, if you start off rough, it’s like you want to do so good that you’re overdoing it," Napoli says. Shane Victorino says that he hasn't noticed Ellsbury overburdening himself, however. Ellsbury is hitting .247/.312/.346 so far this year.
  • Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner says this season has been "amazing" so far, Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger reports. "I didn’t but into the doomsday scenario that many people did. Because I knew that we had some good kids at Triple A. But more importantly, I knew that the guys we got in the offseason were veterans," Steinbrenner says. "[T]his is what you expect veterans to do." Newly-acquired veterans Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay have played key roles in the Yankees' 27-16 start.
  • Steinbrenner tells McCullough he won't address manager Joe Girardi's contract until after the season, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News argues that Girardi deserves a new contract now, given his performance as the team has struggled with injuries.

Athletics Designate Daric Barton For Assignment

The Athletics have designated first baseman Daric Barton for assignment, the team reports (on Twitter). The move clears roster space for outfielder Chris Young, who had been on the disabled list. Young's return allows the Athletics to move Brandon Moss from the outfield back to first base.

The A's had previously designated Barton for assignment in late March, but he cleared waivers and stayed in the organization, then made his way back to the 40-man roster when the A's purchased his contract March 8. He has received 21 at bats with the A's since then, hitting .143/.217/.286. Barton has hit .248/.359/.370 in his career.

Orioles Claim Josh Stinson; A’s Outright Barton

The Orioles claimed righty Josh Stinson off waivers today, according to an Athletics press release.  The Orioles transferred Tsuyoshi Wada to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Stinson.  The A's also noted that first baseman Daric Barton cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A.  

The A's had claimed Stinson off waivers from the Brewers last week, but designated him for assignment yesterday upon their claim of Will Harris from the Rockies.  Stinson, 25, appeared briefly in the Majors last year.  He posted a 3.16 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, and 0.43 HR/9 in 145 1/3 Triple-A innings.  The former Mets draft pick will work out of the rotation at Triple-A Norfolk.

Barton, 27, was a first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2003.  He did his thing at Triple-A last year, hitting .255/.411/.425 in 336 plate appearances.  Barton led the American League with 110 walks in 2010, but a shoulder injury has affected him since.

A’s Claim Otero, Designate Barton, Blackley

The Athletics have claimed pitcher Danny Otero from the Yankees and designated first baseman Daric Barton and pitcher Travis Blackley for assignment, according to a team news release. Earlier in the day, the A's also claimed pitcher Josh Stinson from the Brewers.

Barton has collected 1,583 major-league at bats, all with the A's, hitting .249/.360/.371. He hit .204/.338/.292 in part-time duty in 2012. Blackley pitched in 102 2/3 innings with the A's in 2012, posting a 3.86 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.

Quick Hits: Braves, Red Sox, Barton

We can expect Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw to be among the game's best players in 2018, Dan Szymborski of ESPN Insider writes. Szymborski’s 30-player list includes many established MLB stars and some minor leaguers who have yet to make an impact at the highest level. Here are some more links for Thursday afternoon…

  • Scouts say the Braves are looking for a left-handed hitting bench player, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). The left-handed hitting Jordan Schafer and the switch-hitting Ramiro Pena are internal candidates to make the Braves as bench players.
  • Red Sox manager John Farrell said no third base additions are "being contemplated or imminent," Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports (on Twitter). Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reported this morning that there’s a belief free agent third baseman Scott Rolen would be interested in talking to the Red Sox.
  • Athletics first baseman Daric Barton didn't expect that Oakland would want him back this offseason, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Barton, who hit just .204/.338/.292 in 46 games last season, re-signed with the A's on a non-guaranteed $1.1MM deal.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Players To Avoid Arbitration

Tonight is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. Many teams will agree to terms with players before the 11pm CT deadline and we'll keep track of them here. Be sure to check out MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker for complete details:

  • The Mariners have avoided arbitration with Josh Kinney, the team announced. It's a one-year deal.
  • The Pirates have agreed to terms with Charlie Morton, the team announced. The right-hander missed most of the season following Tommy John surgery. Morton will earn $2MM, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned.
  • The Athletics avoided arbitration with Adam Rosales, the team announced. They also agreed to sign Daric Barton to a one-year, $1.1MM contract, avoiding arbitration, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). The non-guaranteed deal includes $250K in incentives. Barton had been a non-tender candidate.
  • The Orioles announced that they have avoided arbitration with Taylor Teagarden, Steve Pearce, and Alexi Casilla. Casilla's deal is worth $1.7MM with a $3MM option for 2014 ($200K buyout) according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
  • The Astros announced that they have avoided arbitration with Phil Humber. It's a one-year deal worth $800K with a $3MM club option for 2014 ($500K buyout), reports the AP via MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter). Houston claimed the right-hander off waivers earlier today.
  • The Yankees announced that they avoided arbitration with Jayson Nix, signing the infielder to a Major League deal for 2013.
  • The Royals announced that they avoided arbitration with second baseman Chris Getz, agreeing to a one-year, Major League contract. Getz will earn $1.05MM in 2013 on a deal that includes up to $150K in performance bonuses, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). Luke Hochevar is Kansas City's lone unsigned arbitration eligible player as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

Players To Avoid Arbitration

Tonight is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. Many teams will agree to terms with players before the deadline and we'll keep track of them here:

  • The Orioles have agreed to terms with Dana Eveland on a one-year, $750K deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Giants have agreed to terms with Mike Fontenot on a one-year deal for 2012, avoiding arbitration, MLBTR has learned. It's a $1.05MM deal, according to the Associated Press.
  • The Red Sox announced that they re-signed Matt Albers. He'll earn $1.075MM, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
  • The Padres agreed to terms with Chris Denorfia on a one-year deal, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (Twitter link). The deal is worth $1.165MM, according to Ronald Blum of the AP
    The Pirates agreed to terms with Jason Grilli on a one-year, $1.1MM deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Rockies agreed to terms with Kevin Slowey on a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Slowey obtains $2.75MM from the Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link). MLBTR had projected a $2.7MM salary.
  • The Blue Jays agreed to sign Jeff Mathis to one-year deal that guarantees the backstop $1.5MM in 2012, MLBTR has learned. The Blue Jays have since confirmed the move.
  • The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with Jesse Litsch (one-year, $975K) and Dustin McGowan (one-year, $600K) according to a team press release.
  • The Dodgers have signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year deal.
  • The A's announced that they agreed to terms with Landon Powell, Daric Barton and Adam Rosales on one-year deals for 2012. The A's aren't non-tendering any arbitration eligible players this offseason. Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group hears Barton will earn $1.1MM in 2012 (Twitter link). Rosales will earn $600K and Powell will earn $620K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Marlins signed Donnie Murphy to a contract for 2012, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). He'll earn $560K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Brewers announced that they signed George Kottaras to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. He'll earn $700K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with Humberto Quintero, signing him to a one-year deal worth $1MM, according to the team. MLBTR had projected a $1.2MM salary for Quintero.
  • The Angels agreed to terms with right-hander Jerome Williams on a one-year deal, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times (on Twitter). Williams agreed to sign for $820K with $120K in incentives, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (on Twitter).
  • Skip Schumaker is nearing a two-year deal with the Cardinals.

AL West Notes: Barton, Angels, Wilhelmsen

Happy birthday to Rangers manager Ron Washington, who turns 59 years old today.  Let's celebrate by taking a look at some items from Washington's division…

  • Daric Barton admits that he has been thinking about his multiyear contract negotiations with the Athletics, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  "It's always in the back of your mind," Barton said. "It's not something you like to think about, but realistically, it happens."  We heard about these negotiations last month, with MLBTR's Tim Dierkes noting that Barton's walk-heavy production could make him a bargain for the A's if they choose to go to arbitration with the first baseman.
  • The Angels are integrating young players into their lineup while still remaining competitive in the AL West, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
  • Mike Trout is having a nice season at Double-A Arkansas, but ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill predicts Trout will only reach the majors in 2011 if the Angels want to give him a few token at-bats in September.  Churchill speculates that Trout might skip Triple-A altogether and potentially make the Angels out of Spring Training next year, or at least be in the majors by May 2012 (or after next year's Super Two cutoff date).
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports profiles Mariners right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen, who made his improbable Major League debut this season after spending five years away from the sport.