David Weathers Rumors
Some links after an astounding debut from Stephen Strasburg...
- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio tells MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that the Brewers could hypothetically add payroll if the team starts contending soon.
- Jayson Werth had a team spokesman tell Todd Zolecki and Zach Schonbrun of MLB.com that his impending free agency isn't distracting him at the plate.
- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel thinks Werth is putting extra pressure on himself to play well in his contract year, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter).
- The Orioles will interview Bobby Valentine for their managerial opening, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Andy MacPhail called former Indians manager Eric Wedge to gauge his interest in the position.
- David Weathers told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he would be willing to come back and pitch for the Reds. The 40-year-old righty pitched 62.0 innings of 3.92 ERA ball for the Reds and Brewers last year.
- MLB has accepted the Mets' decision to place Oliver Perez on the DL, reports Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
After looking at the latest updates on the remaining unsigned starting pitchers and position players, we have one more group to examine: the relievers. Earlier in April, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes named some relief pitchers who could be dealt this season, and that list is certainly more intriguing than the current free agent market. But for teams looking to take an inexpensive gamble, there are a handful of recognizable, if not overly exciting, names available. Here are a few:
- Juan Cruz: After a disappointing stint in Kansas City, the 31-year-old was released by the Royals a week ago. Now that clubs won't have to assume the $3.25MM figure he's owed this season, the right-hander certainly looks more like a risk worth taking. In 2007 and 2008, Cruz appeared in 110 games for the Diamondbacks, posting a 2.88 ERA and striking out 12.6 batters per nine innings. It's unlikely he'd regain that form this year, but he could be a bargain at a league-minimum salary. The Diamondbacks don't appear interested in bringing him back though, and the Marlins, often willing to take on cheap bullpen reclamation projects, probably won't take the plunge either.
- Russ Ortiz: The veteran righty elected free agency last week after being designated for assignment by the Dodgers. Although he pitched poorly for Los Angeles this April, allowing eight runs in seven innings, his career numbers as a reliever (3.33 ERA over 78.1 IP) are respectable. While there hasn't been any reported interest in him yet and he won't be an integral part of anyone's bullpen, he'll probably be able to land a minor league contract soon.
- Russ Springer: We know Springer would like to pitch this year, preferably for the Cardinals, but we haven't heard much more than that lately. The right-hander was extremely effective in two seasons in St. Louis, posting a 2.24 ERA and 8.6 K/9 in 146 appearances in 2007 and 2008. His ERA rose to 4.11 last season, but his ratios were still excellent. Even at 41, Springer could be a worthy addition to quite a few bullpens around the league, but perhaps he's holding out for an offer from the Cards.
- David Weathers: Like Springer, Weathers was reasonably effective in 2009 (3.92 ERA), despite turning 40 last September. However, his peripherals declined and there hasn't been a whole lot of reported interest in the righty this spring. The last we heard, Weathers was still open to pitching this season for a contender, though he'll probably retire if the right situation doesn't arise.
Links for Tuesday...
- I'm excited to be joining an online league in Fanball's National Fantasy Baseball Championship; take a look at all the events they have planned. My NFBC league drafts on March 28th.
- David Weathers hasn't ruled out pitching in 2010, according to Gregg Dewalt of The Times Daily. Weathers would consider pitching for a contender, but said, "If no one calls in June or July, it's been a good ride."
- Tom Krasovic examines Kevin Towers' strengths and weaknesses as a GM, and says he could see Towers with the Cubs down the line. Click here to download Brendan Bianowicz's Excel spreadsheet chronicling Towers' moves.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Yankees made a series of attempts to acquire Twins center fielder Denard Span in July of last year.
- Rich Harden scoffs at negative reports about his early Spring Training velocity, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He apparently looked better Monday.
The Brewers chose not to offer arbitration to any of their free agents, tweets Tom Hauricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The Brewers had five Type Bs in Braden Looper, David Weathers, Felipe Lopez, Jason Kendall, and Mike Cameron. A case could've been made for Lopez, but GM Doug Melvin said earlier that they didn't have a spot for him.
The Brewers declined their $3.7MM club option on reliever David Weathers, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (via Twitter). They'll pay a $400K buyout instead. While Weathers projects as a Type B free agent, an arbitration offer is highly unlikely. The Brewers acquired Weathers from the Reds in August for cash.
Weathers, 40, posted a 3.92 ERA in 62 innings this year. His peripherals were pretty bad - 5.4 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 1.5 HR/9.
The Reds have received an undisclosed amount of cash from the Brewers to the complete August's David Weathers trade, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. When the deal was made, it was reported that Cincinnati could choose from a pool of young players, or opt for cash. They obviously did the latter.
The 39-year-old Weathers had a 4.88 ERA in 24 IP for Milwaukee after the trade. The Brewers hold a $3.7MM option for 2010, but could instead pay Weathers a $400K buyout.
Another round of links for the afternoon...
- The Cards were surprised to hear that Albert Pujols isn't thinking about a contract extension, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- The Cubs have now asked the Rangers for permission to speak with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- First overall pick Stephen Strasburg makes his AFL debut tonight, according to the AP (via ESPN).
- Earlier in the week, the New York Post reported that Billy Wagner was leaning towards retirement. Wagner's agent, Bean Stringfellow, told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports this week that Wagner plans on playing next year.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer says there's no question: the Red Sox will enter Spring Training with at least five starters. Even if they pick up Tim Wakefield's option, as expected, they will likely add another arm.
- The Brewers sent cash to the Reds to complete the David Weathers trade, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.
- Bobby Valentine side-stepped questions about the Marlins on 790 The Ticket this morning, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale says (via Twitter) that it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Padres hire Jed Hoyer or Jerry DiPoto to be the team's next GM.
Reds assistant GM Bob Miller chatted with fans today for MLB.com. A few hot stove highlights:
- Miller expects all four of the Reds' infielders to return for 2010. Presumably he is referring to Paul Janish as the shortstop, along with Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Scott Rolen. The fan from the chat had a point - that is a stellar defensive infield. Miller shot down a fan's idea of pursuing Orlando Hudson.
- Miller hopes the Reds can come to an agreement with Jonny Gomes for next year. Shouldn't be too hard, since Gomes is under control as an arbitration-eligible player.
- Miller's philosophy on trades seems to be that everyone is available at the right price. Hard to argue with that.
- Expect the player-to-be-named from the David Weathers trade to be finalized around mid-October.
- Miller admitted that the offense is a weakness that needs to be addressed. A healthy, effective Jay Bruce and less Willy Taveras might be sufficient upgrades, in my opinion. What do you think about a Mike Cameron reunion?
After a tremendous run last year that resulted in the club's first playoff berth in a quarter-century, the Brewers sat 13.5 GB of a playoff spot coming into today's action, and sport the National League's worst starting rotation thanks to their 5.22 ERA. As Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes, the club has a ton of roster decisions to make this offseason, although GM Doug Melvin says "We've got a lot of decisions, and none of them will be discussed until the end of the season."
Some of the issues facing the Brew Crew this offseason are...
- Impending Free Agents: Trevor Hoffman, Claudio Vargas, Mike Cameron, Felipe Lopez, Jason Kendall, Craig Counsell, Frank Catalanotto, and Corey Patterson will all be free agents after the season. The clubs holds a $3.7MM option for David Weathers next year ($400K buyout), and there's a $6.5MM mutual option for Braden Looper ($1MM buyout) that McCalvy says the club "will almost certainly pick up."
- Arbitration Eligibles: Dave Bush, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, Seth McClung, J.J. Hardy, Jody Gerut, and Todd Coffey are all eligible for salary arbitration. Coffey, who's been the club's primary setup man, figures to get a nice raise over his current $800K salary.
- Starting Pitching: As I mentioned earlier, Milwaukee sports the NL's worst starting staff. McCalvy reports that "Melvin promised this week that he would be much more aggressive this winter in his search for answers," and that the club might take a "little more chances and risks" than they're accustomed to taking.
The Brewers also have questions about the key up-the-middle positions. They have to sort out the Hardy-Alcides Escobar situation at short, and decide whether to try and retain Lopez or give Weeks another shot at second base duty. Cameron and Kendall have both made it clear they'd like to return, but those decisions will have to wait until the winter.
Milwaukee also must figure out third base, and whether Mat Gamel or Casey McGehee deserves the job. Prince Fielder has the other corner infield spot locked down, and is under contract for $10.5MM next year before being arbitration eligible in 2011, his final year before free agency. McCalvy also mentions that manager Ken Macha faces a lame-duck year next season, and that Melvin is fielding questions about whether another managerial change may be in order.
3:14pm: Fay has more on the trade. The Reds will have a pool of young players to choose from, and will have until October 15 to make a decision. They can also receive cash instead of taking a player from the pool. Fay also has comments from Weathers about the move.
2:27pm: John Fay reports that the Brewers have acquired David Weathers from the Reds for a player-to-be-named. We'll keep you updated as things develop. Tom Haudricourt confirms, via Twitter, adding that it was a waiver claim.
Weathers, 39, has pitched well this year, posting a 3.32 ERA and holding opponents to just a .199 batting average, striking out 27 through 38 innings. He has, however, allowed seven home runs this year, after allowing just six through 69.1 innings in 2008 and four through 77.2 innings in 2007.