Delmon Young Rumors
Links from around MLB on the day teams must decide whether to make qualifying offers to departing free agents...
- The Yankees like Russell Martin very much and are hoping to re-sign him as a free agent this offseason, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Pirates, Rangers and Mariners could all spend on catching this offseason. While the Mets need catching, they seem likely to pursue trades in Heyman’s view.
- Agent Scott Boras said there’s no chance of Rick Ankiel returning to the mound, Yahoo’s Tim Brown reports (on Twitter). “He's not pitching," Boras said. It was reported yesterday that Ankiel might be open to pitching again.
- The White Sox announced that they promoted former MLB manager and player Buddy Bell to the role of vice president/assistant GM. Bell, 61, played from 1972-88, then managed the Tigers, Rockies and Royals.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs provides a guide to the top 25 values available in free agency this offseason, complete with a look at five players teams might want to avoid. Within the piece, which is well worth your time, Cameron explains that Delmon Young has essentially become a platoon bat, and argues that Maicer Izturis could bounce back in 2013. Be sure to check out MLBTR’s list of the offseason’s top 50 free agents if you haven't done so already.
It's been a busy morning for the Tigers, who announced today that they're bringing back Jhonny Peralta, Octavio Dotel and manager Jim Leyland. Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski recently addressed the media, discussing the 2012 team and the Tigers' offseason plans. George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press has the highlights from the briefing (all links go to Twitter):
- The Tigers won't bring back Delmon Young, since they expect Victor Martinez to DH in 2013. Jose Valverde won't return either, according to Dombrowski.
- The Tigers will tender Brennan Boesch a contract, but they're in the process of removing Don Kelly from the 40-man roster. Dombrowski wasn't prepared to discuss the future of non-tender candidate Ryan Raburn.
- The Tigers want to re-sign free agent right-hander Anibal Sanchez, Dombrowski said.
- Free agent catcher Gerald Laird could return, but that's not a sure thing.
- Hard throwing relief prospect Bruce Rondon draws lots of trade interest, according to Dombrowski. "You would not believe the number of clubs that call me about Rondon," the GM said.
- Earlier today John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press took a position by position look at the upcoming offseason for the Tigers.
The Tigers overtook the White Sox in the standings yesterday and now have a one-game lead in the AL Central with seven games to play. Here’s the latest from Detroit, where the Tigers will host the Royals this afternoon...
- Agent Scott Boras, who now represents Jose Valverde, told John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press that his client can continue closing for many years to come. "Closers are good in their mid-30s, not in their mid-20s," Boras said. The Tigers don’t have an obvious internal alternative to the 34-year-old Valverde, who’s eligible for free agency this offseason.
- Lowe and Free Press writer George Sipple note that the Tigers might not have room for Brennan Boesch on next year’s team. The 27-year-old will be arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason but he's a non-tender candidate.
- The Tigers have a $6MM club option for Jhonny Peralta in 2013 and they probably won’t find anyone steadier for that price, Lowe and Sipple write. I expect the Tigers to exercise the option.
- It’s not easy to see where Delmon Young would fit on next year’s Tigers team, the Free Press writers note. Victor Martinez is expected to return in 2013, which means the Tigers aren’t a logical landing spot for Young, who hits free agency this winter.
- Anibal Sanchez could be a fit in Detroit next year, but the Tigers would have to re-sign him as a free agent.
Before the season, we identified 11 players who were entering "make or break" years. These guys had experienced ups and downs in their respective careers and were positioned to re-establish themselves as difference makers at the Major League level and set themselves up for nice paydays in the future. Now that we're into August, let's take a second to check in each player (all links go to MLBTR posts)...
- Scott Baker, Twins -- Baker, 30, had elbow surgery in April and will miss the entire season. Minnesota will likely decline his $9.25MM option for 2013 (no buyout).
- Phil Hughes, Yankees -- The 26-year-old right-hander owns a 4.10 ERA in 131 2/3 innings this year, including a 3.40 ERA since mid-May. He's a safe bet to be tendered a contract for 2014, his final year as a arbitration-eligible player.
- Jair Jurrjens, Braves -- Jurrjens, 26, pitched so poorly earlier in the season that he had to be sent to the minors. He's since resurfaced and owns 6.89 ERA in 48 1/3 innings, cementing his status as a non-tender candidate.
- Adam Lind, Blue Jays -- Lind has battled back problems and also been demoted to Triple-A this season, and he's hit .227/.298/.394 while with the big league team. The 29-year-old continues to disappoint since signing his four-year, $18MM extension prior to 2010.
- Francisco Liriano, White Sox -- It's been another up and down season for the 28-year-old southpaw, who owns a 5.03 ERA in 111 innings. The Twins traded Liriano to the ChiSox at the deadline.
- James Loney, Dodgers -- Loney, now 28, hasn't helped himself at all this season, hitting just .251/.301/.330 in 327 plate appearances. He might have to settle for a minor league contract this coming offseason.
- Kendrys Morales, Angels -- The 29-year-old is hitting .282/.327/.455 with 14 homers on the year, well below the level he established prior to his leg injury in 2010. Morales figures to be both a trade and non-tender candidate after the season.
- Mike Pelfrey, Mets -- Pelfrey pitched to a 2.29 ERA in three starts before needing Tommy John surgery. The Mets are expected to non-tender the 28-year-old after the season.
- Geovany Soto, Rangers -- The 29-year-old backstop has continued to deal with injuries in 2012 and is hitting just .201/.289/.356. Soto is an obvious non-tender candidate.
- Kevin Youkilis, White Sox -- Youkilis lost his starting job with the Red Sox and was traded to the White Sox, who are likely to decline his $13MM option after the season. The 33-year-old has dealt with nagging injuries and is hitting .238/.339/.427 overall.
- Delmon Young, Tigers -- Young, 26, has had a below-average season at the plate (.266/.298/.402) and has dealt with some off-field problems. He hasn't helped his free agent stock any.
Former first overall draft pick Tim Beckham has been suspended for 50 games, MLB announced. The shortstop, who had reached Triple-A in the Rays' system, is in violation of MLB's drug policy for the second time. "I take full responsibility for my actions and I will use this experience to refocus my commitment to baseball," he said in a statement released by the team. Here are more links from around the league...
- Bobby Abreu could make sense for the Orioles, opines Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Nick Johnson remains hitless on the season and Nolan Reimold recently left the team to have numbness and tingling in his fingers examined.
- An arbitration claim for breach of contract has been filed against Yoenis Cespedes of the Athletics reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. Edgar Mercedes, who helped represent Cespedes during his free agency, is owed 17% of the outfielder's earnings but has not yet been paid.
- It's encouraging that MLB suspended Tigers outfielder Delmon Young following last week's incident in New York City, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. Young's actions will cost him millions, Morosi explains. Before the incident I suggested a multiyear deal was within reach for Young if he had a strong season. It's definitely harder to imagine any team making a multiyear commitment today.
- The Phillies announced that they selected the contract of right-hander Brian Sanches from Lehigh Valley. Sanches takes the place of David Herndon on the team’s active roster.
- One agent suggested to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the Yankees might have interest in Aaron Cook if the Red Sox don’t make room for the right-hander on their roster by today (Twitter link). Cook can opt out of his deal with Boston if he’s not added to the roster today.
- There haven’t been recent talks between Mike Napoli and the Rangers or Miguel Montero and the Diamondbacks, Heyman tweets. Montero is looking for a four-year deal in the $52MM range and Napoli seeks more than that. Heyman suggests Napoli is more likely than Montero to sign an extension.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Vladimir Guerrero looked pretty good in his workout for the Diamondbacks, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). Arizona has some interest in signing the veteran DH, but he's still considered a long shot according to Heyman. Here links for Monday...
- The Rays are a "possible fit" for Mike Gonzalez, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Last week we heard that the left-handed reliever could sign within ten days.
- Albert Pujols told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he’s comfortable in Anaheim even though he hasn’t hit like a $240MM player since signing with the Angels.“Why not? This is my family,” he said. “These guys are my family. I feel pretty comfortable.”
- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post suggests the Tigers could release Delmon Young to make a statement about the conduct they expect from their players without hurting their team in the standings.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America will be very surprised if the Royals don't select a college pitcher with their top pick in the upcoming amateur draft. Callis suggests the Royals could take Louisiana State right-hander Kevin Gausman with the fifth overall selection.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
MONDAY: MLB has suspended Young for seven days without pay, retroactive to Friday according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter) that he will not appeal the suspension. Young can return to the lineup this Friday, and the suspension will cost him approximately $260K in salary.
SATURDAY: The Tigers have placed Delmon Young on the restricted list, reports MLB.com's Jason Beck. Danny Worth has been recalled from Triple-A to take his roster spot. Players on the restricted list do not count toward a team's 25-man or 40-man roster. They do not accrue service time and they don't always get paid.
Young, 26, was arrested for aggravated harassment yesterday following an altercation at the team hotel in New York. The Tigers are in town to play the Yankees. Young was intoxicated at the time and the charge has been filed as a hate crime. He's hit .242/.311/.333 with one homer in 74 plate appearances this season.
Lynn Henning of The Detroit News points out (on Twitter) that Young's contract can be voided if a hate crime offense did take place. Young will earn $6.75MM in 2012 before becoming eligible for free agency after the season.
It was on this day in 1956 that Frank Robinson hit his first Major League home run, en route to 586 career homers and a legacy as one of baseball's all-time greats. Today, the Orioles are honoring Robinson with a statue at Camden Yards that will be unveiled before tonight's game with the A's.
Some notes from around the Majors...
- The Reds have made it a priority to establish a strong bond with their fans -- and hopefully increase attendance -- by retaining popular players like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips, explains Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
- Former Expos/Nationals closer Chad Cordero told reporters, including Bill Ladson of MLB.com, that he'd like to make a comeback next season (Twitter link).
- Delmon Young could be activated from the Tigers' restricted list by Tuesday or possibly even Monday night depending on the outcome of his evaluation by a counselor on Monday, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters, including Chris Iott of MLive.com. If Young is judged to require treatment for anger management and/or alcohol abuse, however, he would be sidelined for an indeterminate amount of time.
- Bobby Valentine told reporters (including WEEI.com's Rob Bradford) that the Red Sox are considering using Aaron Cook as a reliever. Cook can opt out of his contract if he is not called up to Boston's Major League roster by May 1 and the Sox have no clear spot for Cook in the rotation. Cook has made just one relief appearance in the last eight seasons but recently said he's open to the idea.
- There's no language in Cook's contract that would preclude a trade, notes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, although he adds there's no reason to think the Red Sox would want to do that (via Twitter).
- The sale of the Dodgers to the Magic Johnson/Stan Kasten/Mark Walter ownership group is expected to be closed by Monday, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
- "This is a massive decision gone wrong right now," Yankees GM Brian Cashman told ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews in regards to the Michael Pineda/Jesus Montero deal and Pineda's subsequent season-ending shoulder injury. "So all scrutiny is fair....Our fans are right to be upset about this. I'm devastated by it," Cashman said.
- Besides the Cardinals, Carlos Beltran said the Indians pursued him the hardest in the offseason, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter). Beltran said he ultimately chose to sign with St. Louis because he wanted to play for the World Series champions and remain in the National League.
- The Brewers have transferred Chris Narveson to the 60-day DL and called up reliever Vinnie Chulk to take Narveson's spot on the 40-man roster, the team announced via Twitter. Mike McClendon was optioned to Triple-A in another corresponding move. Narveson will undergo shoulder surgery on Tuesday that will sideline him for the rest of the 2012 season.
MLBTR's Dan Mennella contributed to this post.
As last summer wore on, it became clear that Delmon Young didn’t figure in to the Twins’ long-term plans. He wasn’t hitting and he wasn’t getting any more affordable, so a non-tender seemed entirely possible. Instead, the Tigers acquired Young from their division rivals last August and he hit eight home runs in the season’s final six weeks before hitting five more homers in the postseason. The Tigers weren’t going to release Young after a performance like that, and he’s currently Detroit’s starting left fielder. Young will debut on the free agent market six months from now and in the meantime he faces a make-or-break year.
Let’s start with the positives. Young hits for a high average and offers some power. The right-handed hitter produces especially well against left-handers, as his career .305/.341/.475 split shows. He also has pedigree as the first overall selection of the 2003 draft. Plus, he won’t turn 27 until September, which makes him much younger than most free agents.
However, his defense in left field costs his team, according to The Fielding Bible Volume III and UZR. He strikes out often, rarely walks and offers ordinary offense against right-handed pitching.
It’s currently difficult to imagine the Tigers making Young a qualifying offer this coming offseason. Young doesn’t seem like a $12.5MM player and he’s never produced like one, according to FanGraphs’ version of the Wins Above Replacement metric. Young will hit the open market unfettered by draft pick compensation, barring the unexpected.
Young’s representatives at Wasserman Media Group will ask for a multiyear deal should he replicate his 2010 season or continue hitting the way he did upon arriving in Detroit. Josh Willingham, now 33, obtained a $21MM contract last offseason. Three days later, 29-year-old Jason Kubel signed a two-year deal worth $16MM. A similar market could emerge for Young’s services if he serves up an eye-catching combination of batting average, homers and RBI this year. Any team that signs Young to a multiyear deal will face its share of criticism from scouts and analysts alike, but back-of-the-baseball-card stats have some appeal to this day, so a multiyear deal with a generous annual salary remains possible.
If Young puts together a disappointing season and solidifies the impression that he’s simply a lefty masher who doesn’t play defense, he’ll be limited to modest one-year offers. He may still be 26, but his skillset sometimes resembles that of a much older player. And as Andruw Jones (one-year, $2MM) and Jonny Gomes (one-year, $1MM) can confirm, the market for part-time righty bats isn’t lucrative.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Twins assistant GM Rob Antony discussed the team's offseason moves, players who signed elsewhere over the winter, plans for 2012, and more in an interview with Jesse Lund of the Twinkie Town blog. Here are some of the highlights...
- Michael Cuddyer was the Twins' "number one priority all off-season" but moved on once it became clear that the team wouldn't be able to re-sign him. Antony "always believed he wanted to be a Twin for his entire career" and thinks Cuddyer was "disappointed" to ultimately leave the team for Colorado.
- Jason Kubel shared his concerns with Antony about how Target Field is a tough stadium for power hitters, and the assistant GM believes this was a factor in Kubel leaving the team.
- The Twins dealt Delmon Young to the Tigers last season simply because the team put a priority on re-signing Cuddyer and Kubel, so they wanted to get some return for Young rather than possibly non-tender him after the season.
- Joe Nathan didn't give the Twins a chance to match the $14.75MM contract he received from the Rangers. Antony said there were no hard feelings about Nathan leaving, since the veteran closer was focused on playing for a contender. We heard in November that Minnesota's best offer to Nathan was "a bit less" than Texas' offer.
- The Nationals were "definitely interested" in Denard Span at the trade deadline last summer, but Antony doesn't "think we were ever close to doing anything."
- Antony said that some internet rumors about players on the trade market often lead to exploratory conversations between GMs about said players. "There are a lot of names that pop up where we do a lot of that same thing. 'Look, if you're looking to move this guy, he could be a fit over here. I don’t know what’s fact and what’s rumor, but if you are serious in trading a player we’d like to be kept in mind, we have some interest,' " Antony said. He brought up this point in regards to a question about Martin Prado, which would seem to hint that the Twins and Braves perhaps had such a conversation about the utilityman.
- Antony thinks Tsuyoshi Nishioka will give Alexi Casilla a strong battle for the starting second base job and that Nishioka "deserves a mulligan" for his tough 2011 season. Nishioka suffered a broken leg in his first season in the Major Leagues.
- "We have had more meetings with our training and medical staff this season than in the ten years prior to," Antony said in regards to how the Twins responded to last year's injury-riddled season. Still, Antony doesn't lay blame on the training staff: "These are the guys who were in place the year before, and the year before, and the year before that, so it’s not like all of a sudden they don’t know how to do their job. And last year, it was a perfect storm of everything that could do wrong, did go wrong."