David Cooper Rumors
First baseman David Cooper has opted out of his contract with the Indians, the team announced on Twitter. The lefty signed a minor league deal with the Tribe earlier this month that included a clause permitting him to opt out if he was not added to the big league roster by the end of August.
Cooper had shown promise, but saw his career derailed when a serious back injury led to his release by the Blue Jays this spring. Still just 26, Cooper put up a .300/.324/.464 triple slash in 145 plate appearances for the Jays in 2012. Since signing with Cleveland a few weeks ago, Cooper has put up a .192/.250/.192 line in 26 Triple-A plate appearances, although his stint at the Rookie ball level was more successful given his collective .314/.364/.373 line over 55 total plate appearances in the Cleveland system.
The Indians announced that they have signed first baseman David Cooper to a minor league deal. Cooper can opt out of the contract in late August if he's not added to the major league roster by that time, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). The 26-year-old is a client of CAA Sports.
Cooper appeared in 45 games for the Blue Jays in 2012 as a first baseman and designated hitter and posted a .300/.324/.464 batting line in 145 plate appearances, including four home runs. He was released in March by Toronto after missing significant time with a back injury. The problem was apparently serious enough to make retirement a possibility.
While it’s possible to replace Mariano Rivera for a day or even for a season, replacing him for 15 to 20 years represents another challenge altogether, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post points out. “You are replacing someone who has done things in the game that may never be done again,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild told Sherman. “You are replacing someone who is basically irreplaceable.” Rivera will retire following the 2013 season.
Here are more Yankees-related notes...
- The Rangers are scouting Joba Chamberlain, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Texas special assistant Don Welke was assigned to watch Chamberlain pitch against the Cardinals earlier in the week, according to King.
- The Yankees will look at left-handed hitting first baseman David Cooper, Sherman reports (Twitter links). The Blue Jays released the 26-year-old earlier today, making him a free agent. However, Cooper is battling a back injury that could end his career.
- Sherman has been told the Yankees will also look into Brennan Boesch (Twitter link). The Tigers released the left-handed hitting Boesch earlier today and he’s already drawing lots of interest.
Cooper has missed Spring Training with a serious back injury. The injury could lead to a season of rehabbing and might even end his career, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes (on Twitter). Sherman suggests the Blue Jays might try to sign Cooper to a minor league deal with an eye toward a 2014 return and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com confirms that the Blue Jays have interest in re-signing Cooper (Twitter link).
Cooper, 26, appeared in 45 games for the 2012 Blue Jays as a first baseman and designated hitter. He posted a .300/.324/.464 batting line in 145 plate appearances, including four home runs. All six of the left-handed hitter's career home runs have come against right-handed pitching. Cooper, the Blue Jays' first round pick in 2008, has less than one year of MLB service time (136 days).
It was on this day in 1945 that Jackie Robinson (along with fellow Negro League players Marvin Williams and Sam Jethroe) participated in a tryout for the Red Sox at Fenway Park. None of the trio were signed and Robinson signed his ground-breaking contract with the Dodgers later in the year. The Red Sox ended up being the last team to integrate its roster --- Pumpsie Green appeared in a game as a pinch-runner on July 21, 1959, over 12 years after Robinson's Major League debut.
Here's the latest from the AL East...
- If Adam Jones hasn't signed a contract extension with the Orioles by July, the team should consider a trade, opines Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. Jones and the O's discussed a multiyear deal over the winter but talks were tabled. The 26-year-old has only helped his case for a big contract with a hot start to the season (a 1.052 OPS though Sunday's action) and has one more year of arbitration eligibility before potentially hitting the free agent market after the 2013 season. A Jones trade would be an unpopular move in Baltimore but the Orioles would undoubtedly receive a good haul of prospects in return for the center fielder.
- With Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind filling the Blue Jays' DH and first base spots, minor league first baseman David Cooper could become trade bait later this year, writes MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm. Cooper posted a .974 OPS at Triple-A last season and led the Pacific Coast League with a .364 average but hit just nine homers, leading to doubts about whether he has the power to contribute at the Major League level.
- The Red Sox have enough hitting to weather the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, but the team's key problem is still its lack of rotation depth. In the same piece, Morosi notes that the Giants also have the bullpen arms to survive Brian Wilson's season-ending elbow injury but could have an unexpected starting pitching problem of their own if Tim Lincecum continues to struggle.
The Blue Jays are looking for a closer this offseason and Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun says the team has checked in on free agents Francisco Cordero and Matt Capps. Heath Bell is another option for the Blue Jays, who had interest in Jonathan Papelbon before he signed with the Phillies. Here are more notes on the Blue Jays, who have yet to make a major move so far this offseason...
- The Blue Jays would listen to offers on 24-year-old first baseman David Cooper, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Cooper, the Blue Jays' first round draft pick in 2008, debuted with the team in 2011 and posted a .678 OPS in 81 plate appearances. He won the Pacific Coast League batting title with a .364/.439/.535 line this past season, adding nine home runs and 51 doubles.
- Blue Jays president Paul Beeston isn't a fan of the posting system and Elliott suggests Toronto's interest in Yu Darvish is "lukewarm."
- The Yankees are interested in Kyle Drabek, according to Elliott. Drabek started the season in the Blue Jays' rotation before being demoted to the minor leagues. He had a standout season in 2010, but struggled with command in the Majors (6.3 BB/9) and in the minors (4.9 BB/9) in 2011.
- The Royals have some interest in Colby Rasmus because of concerns that Lorenzo Cain may not be ready for an everyday role, Elliott reports.
- The Phillies have discussed ways of re-obtaining Travis d'Arnaud, the Double-A catcher who arrived with Drabek in the 2009 Roy Halladay trade. As Elliott points out, the Blue Jays would need a ton to part with this year's Eastern League MVP.
More random linkage.
- The Yankees have released first baseman Ben Broussard.
- The Padres designated Wil Ledezma for assignment. The 27 year-old could help someone as a reliever.
- The first first-rounder of '08 has signed: David Cooper of the Blue Jays. He could be in High-A ball by year's end. Last year's 17th pick, Blake Beavan, got about $1.5MM. By the way, only 26% of readers thought the Jays made the right choice with Cooper (according to our in-draft poll).
- Funny Mike Mussina quote from John Feinstein's new book.