Deolis Guerra Rumors

Minor MLB Transactions: 7/31/15

Today’s minor MLB moves..

  • The Rays announced (on Twitter) that catcher Bobby Wilson was claimed off waivers by the Rangers.
  • The Pirates designated Deolis Guerra for assignment to clear roster a spot for Joakim Soria, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets.  Guerra gave up two three-run homers to Brandon Phillips yesterday, which probably didn’t help his job security with the Bucs.
  • The A’s announced that they have acquired lefty Felix Doubront from the Blue Jays for cash.  Doubront was designated for assignment just days ago to make room for the acquisition of Troy Tulowitzki.
  • Caleb Thielbar will be designated for assignment to make room for Kevin Jepsen on the Twins‘ 40-man roster, according to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger (on Twitter).
  • To make room for Jonathan Broxton, the Cardinals have designated Marcus Hatley for assignment, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com tweets.
  • The Brewers announced that they have claimed Preston Guilmet off waivers from the Dodgers.  The well-traveled Guilmet didn’t spend much time with the Dodgers, who selected him off waivers from the Rays on July 10. Guilmet tossed three innings for the club’s Triple-A affiliate prior being designated for assignment.  He’s been very good at Triple-A this season, tallying a 1.95 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 32 1/3 innings between Buffalo, Durham and Oklahoma City.
  • The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they have assigned catcher Dan Butler outright to Triple-A.
  • The Indians announced (on Twitter) that they have acquired left-hander Jayson Aquino from the Pirates for cash considerations.
  • The Pirates have outrighted Gorkys Hernandez to Triple-A, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets.
  • The Cubs have designated Ben Rowen for assignment, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com tweets.

NL Central Notes: Brewers, Aramis, Alvarez, Guerra, Cards

The Brewers are being realistic about their status as sellers, pro scouting director Zack Minasian tells MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy“We’d be doing ourselves a disservice if we weren’t honest with ourselves about where we’re at [in the standings],” Minasian told McCalvy. He adds that his message to his scouting team is that it’s OK to be both frustrated and angry with the team’s struggles this year, but times like this are the scouts’ chance to make an impact on the future of the club. As McCalvy notes, Adam Lind, Aramis Ramirez, Gerardo Parra and Kyle Lohse are all logical trade targets for the Crew, and if the team wanted to target a bigger deal, Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez represent more controllable options that could be dealt. Minasian tells McCalvy that when he sees scouts from other clubs on assignment, he has no qualms about being straightforward: “I don’t have a problem going up to them and asking, ‘What are you here for?’ … We are straightforward with clubs about what we can and can’t do.”

Here’s more from the NL Central…

  • The Mets scouted Aramis Ramirez during the Brewers‘ recent series with the Twins but came away unimpressed with his play on both sides of the ball, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). Sherman adds that the Mets weren’t all that interested in Ramirez even prior to that series, making a trade fit seem particularly unlikely.
  • There was once a time where Pirates fans may have feared losing Pedro Alvarez to free agency, writes Brian O’Neill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but the Alvarez question has now shifted to whether or not he should even be tendered a contract this winter. O’Neill notes that Alvarez’s offensive profile over the past season-and-a-half is remarkably similar to that of two platoon-challenged first basemen on whom the Pirates have recently cut bait: Ike Davis and Garrett Jones. A trade of Alvarez, be it this month or this winter, wouldn’t bring much of a return without significant improvement at the plate, and giving him a raise on his $6MM salary after he’s shifted to first base and hit .236/.316/.417 over his past 694 plate appearances may not be worth it.
  • O’Neill’s colleague, Stephen J. Nesbitt, spoke with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and right-hander Deolis Guerra about Guerra’s long road to the Major Leagues. One of the key pieces in the 2008 blockbuster that sent Johan Santana from the Twins to the Mets, the now-26-year-old Guerra had never reached the Majors until this Sunday with Pittsburgh. Minnesota released him after six seasons in the organization this November, but Guerra worked with Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage and bullpen coach Euclides Rojas in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason and refined the control of his secondary pitches at Triple-A this season. Guerra called his MLB debut “the greatest feeling,” adding that he experienced “so many emotions going on at the same time” that he couldn’t even put it into words. Hurdle said this type of debut is the type that gives veteran players and coaches alike goosebumps. “One of the biggest blasts you can have is watching a kid that’s had to fight, scratch and claw get out there, get the ball,” said Hurdle.
  • Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch breaks down the upcoming outfield logjam that will face Cardinals manager Mike Matheny once Matt Holliday returns from the DL. With Holliday and Jason Heyward locked into the outfield corners, the Cards will be left to divide the center field at-bats between Randal Grichuk, Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos. Grichuk’s excellent power numbers and sound defense should earn him at-bats, writes Miklasz, but he also notes that Bourjos’ offensive game has improved a great deal in 2015. Bourjos is, historically, the best defender of the bunch as well. Jay’s track record with the team is the lengthiest, but as Miklasz writes, his offense hasn’t been the same since undergoing wrist surgery this offseason. Miklasz observes that Matheny is typically loyal to his players almost to a fault, which could lead to continued playing time for Jay despite his offensive struggles. He also notes that last season, when a similar situation occurred with the struggling Allen Craig, GM John Mozeliak intervened and traded Craig to Boston.
  • From my vantage point, a trade of Bourjos is at least something worth exploring for the Cardinals. A team in need of a center field upgrade could be appealed to Bourjos’ strong defensive track record and improved offensive output, and while Bourjos is highly affordable, he’s also controlled through just the 2016 season. Jay’s contract and defensive decline will make him difficult to trade, and Grichuk’s status as a cost-controlled piece with both power and defense in his skill set make him a highly appealing long-term piece for the Cardinals. If Mozeliak is looking to address some needs on his 2015 roster — fifth starter, bullpen, first base — flipping Bourjos to a contender with a hole in center could help to fill the need without dipping into his farm system (or, at least, not dipping as far as he’d have to without including an MLB-ready asset).

Minor Moves: Butler, Robinson, Solano, Marcum, Lincoln

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.


Outrighted To Triple-A: Coleman, Royals, Blue Jays

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.

Gammons’ Latest: Bradley, Griffey, Padilla

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.


Santana Aftermath

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.


Twins Intrigued With Mets’ Johan Offer?

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.


Johan Santana Rumors

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.


Mets May Have Top Santana Offer; Yanks Backing Off?

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?