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Deolis Guerra Rumors
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- The Cardinals have outrighted right-hander Keith Butler off the team’s 40-man roster, according to the MLB.com transactions page. St. Louis has also released center fielder Shane Robinson. The 25-year-old Butler has yet to establish himself in the bigs, but has been quite good in the upper minors. Robinson, 30, has seen his role reduced and was no longer a valuable piece for a Cardinals club that just picked up Jason Heyward.
- The Nationals have released catcher Jhonatan Solano, also per MLB.com. Solano, the older brother of Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano, has seen minimal big league time over the past two years and did not have a clear role in the organization moving forward.
- The Indians announced that they’ve re-signed right-handers Shaun Marcum and Dustin Molleken to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. Marcum, 33 next month, was of course a fixture in the Blue Jays and Brewers rotations from 2007-12, though he dealt with his share of injuries in that time. Still, he posted a 3.67 ERA in 830 1/3 innings in that span before thoracic outlet syndrome in 2013 required surgery and has kept him on the shelf since. He did make it back to a minor league mound with Cleveland last season, posting a 2.35 ERA in 15 1/3 Triple-A innings in August.
- Molleken, 30, made 54 relief appearances for Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate last season and posted big strikeout numbers but also struggled with his command, to an extent. In 74 1/3 innings, he pitched to a 4.84 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.
- The Pirates have signed a familiar name to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training in the form of Brad Lincoln, per the club’s transactions page. Lincoln was selected fourth overall by the Bucs in 2006. He struggled through the early portion of his career but got off to a good start as a reliever in 2012 and was flipped to the Blue Jays for the man who was drafted 10 picks after him in ’06 — Travis Snider. Toronto would eventually deal Lincoln to the Phillies for Erik Kratz and Rob Rasmussen. Lincoln struggled with Philly but had success in Pittsburgh and Toronto, posting a 3.76 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 119 2/3 innings from 2012-13.
- The Pirates also announced a host of other signings, including righties Collin Balester, Blake Wood, and Deolis Guerra, lefty Jeremy Bleich, and shortstop Gustavo Nunez.
- The Twins have re-signed infielder/outfielder Eric Farris to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, reports 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson (on Twitter). The 28-year-old hit .280/.316/.356 with Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate last season, playing primarily center field.
We'll keep track of the day's outright assignments here…
- Casey Coleman has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A by the Cubs, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they outrighted Ryan Verdugo and Adam Moore to Triple-A (Twitter link).
- The Blue Jays outrighted Joel Carreno and Mike McCoy to Triple-A, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports (on Twitter).
- The Twins outrighted right-hander Deolis Guerra to Triple-A, Dustin Morse of the team announced (on Twitter). Guerra, 23, will receive an invitation to MLB Spring Training in 2013. He spent this past season in the upper minors, posting a 4.11 ERA with 9.1 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 70 innings of relief.
ESPN’s Peter Gammons has a new blog post to discuss.
- Gammons says Cubs manager Lou Piniella would like to add a left-handed hitting right or center fielder to bat fifth. Milton Bradley and Ken Griffey Jr. seem like long shots though. It’s odd that the Rangers wouldn’t want to move Bradley.
- Gammons notes that the Rangers wanted Mike Pelfrey, Aaron Heilman, and Deolis Guerra for Vicente Padilla in the offseason. Even as a negotiation starting point, that’s a ton for Padilla.
Now that the players have been agreed upon for the Johan Santana trade, some depictions of the 11th-hour negotiations have leaked out.
- LEN3 says Santana is expected to get a six-year deal worth around $130MM ($21.66MM annually). He also notes that Santana had given the Twins an end-of-day Tuesday deadline or else he would’ve used his no-trade clause.
- Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record chronicles Bill Smith’s last-ditch attempts to get the Yankees and Red Sox involved. He apparently asked the Yankees for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and a top prospect and was denied. The Red Sox wouldn’t part with Jon Lester or Jacoby Ellsbury. To me this makes the Yankees and Red Sox look really fickle. They were willing to offer up these huge packages a few months ago but now both have done a 180? I know the free agent market has shrunk but it’s still crazy that their stances changed so dramatically.
- Newsday says the Mets added Deolis Guerra as the final offer yesterday.
- Joe Posnanski has heard many varying opinions on the deal.
Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a new article up focused on how the ultimate package for Johan Santana may not be fan-pleasing. That’s because the Twins "seem most intrigued" with the Mets’ offer, which doesn’t include household names. They’re proposing some combination of Carlos Gomez, Fernando Martinez, Deolis Guerra, Philip Humber, and Kevin Mulvey. Seems it would be one of the outfielders plus the three pitchers.
Christensen notes the Chuck Knoblauch and A.J. Pierzynski trades as examples of deals that were derided in Minnesota at the time but ended up favoring the Twins. However I do believe fans are better equipped to evaluate trades these days, the way prospects are followed. (An aside – I still think we all would’ve praised Brian Sabean at the time of the Pierzynski/Liriano/Bonser/Nathan deal.)
In other Johan news, Sid Hartman has some fresh Hank quotes if you’re interested.
It’s time for today’s dose of Johan Santana rumors and info. It’s funny – I sense that everyone is getting sick of this stuff and would prefer a fresh rumor about, say, Brad Wilkerson.
- Lisa Kennelly wrote this morning that the Mets appear to be sticking to their guns with an offer of Carlos Gomez or Fernando Martinez, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra. However, she says the Mets prefer Erik Bedard over Santana since he will not require a huge extension. The New York Times adds that the Mets "are not engaged in heavy discussions with the Twins."
- MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone dives into the situation, summing up recent events and providing some insight from a roundtable that included Ken Rosenthal, Dan Graziano, and Jim Duquette.
- Michael Silverman, with some help from Baseball America, evaluates each reported package of prospects that has been offered for Santana.
- An end may be in sight – the Twins lose leverage if teams truly start to pull out, writes Joe Christensen.
UPDATE, 1-10-08 at 11:29am: Christensen says Mets owner Fred Wilpon gave Omar Minaya the green light to try to acquire Santana, meaning he’s amenable to a contract extension exceeding $100MM.
UPDATE, 1-10-08 at 9:38am: Peter Botte of the New York Daily News has a new quote from Hank: he’s "leaning away from" from the Yankees doing a Santana deal.
FROM 1-09-08 at 10:54pm:
Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests the Mets might be the best fit for Johan Santana. He says they’re offering four players, three of them pitchers: Deolis Guerra, Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, and Phil Humber. It’s a strong package.
Christensen says the Twins would accept if the Mets added Fernando Martinez to the package (not sure if Martinez would replace Gomez, or it would just be five players instead of four).
Something’s got to give here in the next few weeks – how long can the Santana saga hold up the free agent pitching market?