Darren Oliver Rumors
- The Mariners "quietly have interest" in Ryne Sandberg, writes Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post.
- Jayson Werth is looking for an agency willing to charge a lower commission than the usual 5%, reports Ken Davidoff of Newsday. Davidoff provides an update on Werth's search for representation and examines the chances of the Yankees pursuing the outfielder this offseason.
- In a separate piece, Davidoff looks at some options for the Mets' next manager and GM.
- There are hints that Tony La Russa is leaning toward managing the Cardinals in 2011, as Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes.
- The Blue Jays will call up top prospect Kyle Drabek to make his major league debut Wednesday in Baltimore, according to the team (Twitter link).
- Ronny Cedeno is on his way to locking up the Pirates' 2011 shortstop job, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas points out that Darren Oliver needs to make just one more appearance to guarantee his option for next season.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo tells MASN (Twitter link) that the team is still "in conversations" to keep Adam Dunn in Washington.
By entering the Cardinals-Giants game Saturday night, lefty reliever Trever Miller reached 45 appearances on the season. The appearance was nothing special, as Miller threw four pitches to Aubrey Huff and allowed a single. But the outing was signficant for Miller, as it caused his $2MM option for 2011 to vest.
According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, Miller's option will revert back to the club's choice if he spends time on the DL with a left arm or shoulder injury. He hasn't pitched well this year, but only needs about one more month of good health.
Meanwhile, the Rangers' Darren Oliver needs seven more appearances for his $3.25MM option to vest for next year.
- Trever Miller, Cardinals. The lefty needs 45 appearances for his $2MM option to vest, and he's made 41 on the season. He could lock in next year's salary within a week, though a DL-worthy left arm or shoulder injury changes this to a club option.
- Darren Oliver, Rangers. Oliver needs 59 appearances for his $3.25MM option to vest, and he's got 46 so far. Barring injury, he'll get there.
- Ramon Hernandez, Reds. Hernandez needs 120 games for his $3.25MM option to vest. He's played in 65 so far. The Reds have only 50 games remaining, so we can cross this one off the list.
- An honorable mention goes to Billy Wagner, whose $6.5MM option vests with 50 games finished. Wagner has finished 46 so far. However just last month he repeated his desire to retire after the season. Having a guaranteed salary for 2011 might not sway Wagner, since he would've made at least that much on the free agent market anyway. But what if he finishes the season just shy of the fourth spot on the all-time saves leaderboard? He's currently 12 away from John Franco, who finished with 424.
- Also of note is Scott Podsednik, who needs 525 plate appearances to be able to void his $2MM club option. Pods is 41 PAs shy of that mark.
Links for Wednesday, as Pedro Alvarez keeps clubbing homers...
- The Phillies and Tigers have scouts watching Dan Haren pitch tonight, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
- The Mets, who agreed to sign Chad Cordero earlier today, thought they had a deal with the right-hander over the winter, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter).
- Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com hears that the Phillies may not add a pitcher at all if they can't acquire a top arm like Dan Haren or Roy Oswalt.
- Darren Oliver, who will likely see his vesting option kick in later in the summer, tells MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan that he has no intention of retiring.
- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has attached himself to one of the groups attempting to buy the Rangers, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
- Nightengale notes that Ben Sheets is starting to attract "strong interest" (Twitter link).
- Roy Oswalt tells MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that he hasn't heard anything from the Astros about a possible trade. In case you missed it, the Phillies and Astros appeared to be discussing an Oswalt deal last night.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times wonders if the Mariners could send Jose Lopez or Jack Wilson to Detroit.
- A couple of scouts gave MASN.com's Ben Goessling the impression that Adam Dunn isn't going anywhere.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean denied to Murray Chass that the timing of Buster Posey's call-up had anything to do with service time.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports explains how he thinks a number of MLB teams should approach the deadline.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post doesn't expect the Yankees to acquire a big-name starter this July.
- The Hiroshima Carp are wrapping up a deal with Vinnie Chulk, according to reports passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Chulk, who has played in seven major league seasons, was playing at Triple A in the Pirates' organization.
The season started with nine vesting options to watch, but we're down to just five a little beyond the season's halfway point...
- Trever Miller, Cardinals. The southpaw's $2MM option vests with 45 appearances. He's appeared in 31 of the team's 85 games, so he's on pace for 59. He should get there easily.
- Alex Cora, Mets. Cora's $2MM option vests with 80 games (not necessarily starts), and he's already appeared in 48. He's on pace for 91 games. Luis Castillo's foot and Ruben Tejada's emergence could stand in Cora's way.
- Darren Oliver, Rangers. His $3.25MM option will lock in with 59 appearances. He's already appeared in 37 games, so he should get there without a problem.
- Ramon Hernandez, Reds. Hernandez must play in 120 games for his $3.25MM option to vest. He's appeared in just 57 of Cincinnati's first 86 contests, putting him on pace for 107 games.
- Magglio Ordonez, Tigers. Ordonez's $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances. He's on pace for 141 and 615, respectively, so it'll take a lengthy stint on the disabled list to knock him off track.
11:33am: ESPN's Adam Rubin explained in a chat today that Cora's option vests with 80 games rather than 80 starts. Cora is on pace to play more than 90 games this year.
8:32am: We entered the season with nine vesting options to watch, but we're already down to five. Let's take a look.
- Trever Miller, Cardinals. The lefty's $2MM option vests with 45 games. So far he's appeared in 17 of the team's 52 games, putting him on pace for 53. Miller appeared in ten games in May and is back on track.
- Alex Cora, Mets. Cora's $2MM option vests with 80 starts. He's started 19 of the team's 52 games, putting him on pace for 59 starts. Cora will need to make about 15 starts per month from here on out to reach the target. His 2011 contract may depend on Luis Castillo's foot problems and reduced playing time against righties.
- Darren Oliver, Rangers. Oliver's $3.25MM option vests with 59 appearances. He's made 24 in the team's first 50 games, putting him on pace for about 78.
- Ramon Hernandez, Reds. Hernandez's $3.25MM option vests with 120 games played. He's played in 33 of 52, putting him on pace for 103. He'll need about 22 games per month to hit the target. Ryan Hanigan's broken thumb is a factor.
- Magglio Ordonez, Tigers. His $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances. He's on pace for 156 games and 658 PAs, so even a DL stint wouldn't necessarily prevent Ordonez from locking in his 2011 salary.
- As a reminder, the vesting options for Brian Fuentes, Billy Wagner, Matt Cain, and Kerry Wood have already been addressed.
We entered the season with nine 2011 vesting option situations to watch. With one month in the books, several have already been pretty much decided. Let's take a look.
- Brian Fuentes, Angels. A back strain put Fuentes on the DL for a little while, making it unlikely he reaches 55 games finished. He'd need 51 in the team's remaining 136 games to cause his $9MM option to vest.
- Billy Wagner, Braves. Wagner's $6.5MM option vests with 50 games finished. He's finished eight games so far, and would have a shot at 50. However, the 38-year-old lefty recently told Braves manager Bobby Cox he'll retire after the season.
- Trever Miller, Cardinals. His $2MM option vests with 45 games, and he's appeared in seven so far. That's behind Miller's typical pace; he's averaged 71 the last three years. It's probably random, and Miller should still reach 45 games.
- Matt Cain, Giants. The $6.25MM option probably would've vested, but the Giants decided to guarantee Cain's 2011 salary at $7MM as part of an extension.
- Kerry Wood, Indians. His $11MM option vests with 55 games finished, but a back injury has Wood just now approaching his 2010 big league debut.
- Alex Cora, Mets. His $2MM option vests with 80 starts. He's started ten games so far. With Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes in the Mets' middle infield, we can't rule this one out yet.
- Darren Oliver, Rangers. His $3.25MM option vests with 59 appearances. He's already made a dozen, so this is looking likely.
- Ramon Hernandez, Reds. His $3.25MM option vests with 120 games played. Hernandez is at 16 so far, with the red-hot Ryan Hanigan getting more playing time recently.
- Magglio Ordonez, Tigers. His $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances. He's at 25 games started and 113 plate appearances, so he'll get there barring injury.
- We're down to five vesting options to monitor: Miller, Cora, Oliver, Hernandez, and Ordonez. Also keep an eye on Francisco Rodriguez, whose scary $17.5MM option for 2012 vests with 100 games finished in 2010-11, 55 games finished in '11, and a successful physical after the '11 season. K-Rod has finished nine games on the young season.
Links for Saturday...
- The Phillies considered Chad Gaudin according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, but they decided he wasn't enough of an upgrade over what they already have in-house.
- The Twins have informed Jacque Jones that he will not make the team, reports MLB.com's Kelly Thesier. Minnesota brought the long time Twin back on a minor league deal in February.
- On the heels of another strong outing from Tim Stauffer, MLB.com's Corey Brock speculates (via Twitter) that the Padres could receive a mid-level prospect from a team in need of pitching if they opted to trade him. Stauffer's four shutout innings today lowered his spring ERA to a tidy 2.57 with an 11:3 K:BB ratio through 14 innings.
- Jon Paul Morosi tells the great story of Darren Oliver's resurgence after nearly retiring in 2005 and wonders who the next veteran will be to make a similar run.
- Doug Mientkiewicz was told he will not make the Dodgers' Opening Day roster, according to a report from the Associated Press. Mientkiewicz was excused from camp today so he can weigh his options in regards to his future in baseball.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe says Mike Lowell's injury "almost kills his trade value, which was already low to begin with." Lowell suffered a knee contusion when he fouled a ball off his left knee Friday.
- Blue Jays' team president and CEO Paul Beeston chatted with fans on the team's official site yesterday. He discussed the latest on Adeiny Hechevarria and the club's policy on long-term contracts, among other topics.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says that some general managers believe the reason there's so little movement on the trade front is because there are still viable alternatives on the free agent market.
- As Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune notes, Joe Mauer's new deal may have turned one of the team's top prospects in a prime piece of trade bait.
- New Padres' GM Jed Hoyer isn't as brash as Kevin Towers used to be, writes Nick Canepa of The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Vesting options are always fun for hot stove junkies to follow during the season. Last year we had Kevin Millwood's $12 Million Out and the Tigers allowing Magglio Ordonez's pricey option to vest. 2011 vesting options to watch this year:
- Brian Fuentes, Angels: $9MM option vests with 55 games finished. Fuentes has finished 55+ three times in his career, last year included. Fernando Rodney will be lurking.
- Billy Wagner, Braves: $6.5MM option vests with 50 games finished.
- Trever Miller, Cardinals: $2MM option vests with 45 games, but reverts to a club option with a left arm or shoulder injury.
- Matt Cain, Giants: $6.25MM option vests with 182.3 innings or 27 starts. The Giants will exercise this even if it doesn't vest, as the alternative will be going to arbitration with Cain and potentially paying him more.
- Kerry Wood, Indians: $11MM option vests with 55 games finished. A trade into a non-closing job could affect Wood's bank account. That's three closers whose GF totals we'll be monitoring.
- Alex Cora, Mets: $2MM option vests with 80 starts.
- Darren Oliver, Rangers: $3.25MM option vests with 59 appearances.
- Ramon Hernandez, Reds: $3.25MM option vests with 120 games played.
- Magglio Ordonez, Tigers: $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances.
- Note that a game finished is given to the last non-starting pitcher of record. Also, thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.
Rounding up some news from around the majors on this Tuesday night....
- MLB.com's Jason Beck cites a report from an unnamed radio station which states the Tigers' offer to Jose Valverde is for two years. In another piece, Beck calls Detroit "the most logical destination" for Valverde.
- Brett Gardner has two backers (sort of) in Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News and ESPN's Keith Law. McCarron would like to see the Yankees acquire a "get-the-uniform-dirty type" but thinks Gardner should get "a real chance" to play every day. Law would let Gardner start the season because he feels that potential signings Reed Johnson or Xavier Nady are "marginal improvements that may not justify the cost."
- Jordan Bastian of MLB.com says the Blue Jays aren't thinking of moving Vernon Wells to a corner outfield spot in spite of Wells' declining UZR numbers in center. One factor might be that the Jays don't really have any other solid CF options, especially with Alex Rios no longer on the roster.
- C.J. Wilson is not a candidate to be traded despite the Rangers' signing of Darren Oliver, reports Ben Rogers of ESPNDallas.com.
- MLB.com's Jim Street says Miguel Tejada's asking price is too high for the Mariners to make a play for the free-agent infielder.
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com passes along a report from Houston's KRIV-TV that Great Court Capital is the investment company negotiating to buy the Astros from Drayton McLane.
- Eric Hinske tells David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Atlanta "really seemed like the best situation" out of the clubs who made him offers.
- Doug Miller of MLB.com provides a quick round-up of some of the remaining free agents on the market.