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- Red Sox President Larry Lucchino To Be Replaced
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- East Notes: Valencia, Red Sox, Fulmer
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Dillon Gee Rumors
3:53pm: Unsurprisingly, Gee has indeed accepted the assignment to Triple-A, tweets MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
TUESDAY, 12:43pm: Gee has cleared waivers, the club announced. He remains shy of five years of service time, meaning that he had to accept the assignment or forfeit the remainder of his guaranteed salary.
SUNDAY: The Mets have placed Dillon Gee on outright waivers with the intent of sending him to Triple-A, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.com. Gee’s name has been in trade rumors for a very long time but the Mets designated him for assignment late last week when they couldn’t find a match.
From 2010-14, Gee notched a 3.91 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 639 2/3 innings, and he’s typically posted a ground-ball rate near or above the league average (career 46 percent). This season, however, he has struggled to a 5.90 ERA in 39 2/3 innings for the Mets. Meanwhile, Gee was owed about $3.24MM prorated on his $5.3MM salary at the time of his DFA, so teams were wary of taking him on. Now, the Mets will be able to stash him in Triple-A Las Vegas, barring a claim between now and noon CT Tuesday.
Gee missed time this year with a groin strain and spent nearly two months on the DL in 2014 with a strained lat muscle. His 2015 struggles, along with the injuries and his salary have presumably diminished his trade value since Opening Day. However, in his defense, his rough 2015 numbers were hurt badly by his outing against the Braves on Monday when he surrendered eight runs in just 3 and 2/3 innings.
Gee could theoretically refuse an assignment to Las Vegas if he clears waivers and declare free agency, but as Rubin notes, he’s unlikely to do that since it would cost him the $3.1MM he’s owed for the remainder of the season.
Cole Hamels gave a thumbs-up following a bullpen session this morning, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports, so the ace southpaw is on pace to pitch on Wednesday afternoon against the Yankees. Hamels missed his last start due to a tight hamstring, and while the injury wasn’t thought to be serious, any concerns about Hamels’ health would impact his trade value. Here’s some more from the NL East…
- Phillies president Pat Gillick told reporters (including Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer) that the team will “probably” hire a new club president “somewhere in the not-too-distant future.” Gillick wouldn’t immediately step aside for his replacement, as the plan is to let the new president spend the rest of the season evaluating the roster and club personnel before fully taking over in October. The Phillies face an extensive rebuild, and Gillick admitted that it might take longer than 2017 or 2018 to return to contention, as he estimated when he stepped into the interim role.
- The future of GM Ruben Amaro and manager Ryne Sandberg are two of the top questions facing the new Phillies president, though Gillick reiterated his support for both men, saying they’re going a “good job” despite the difficulties on the field.
- “Teams weren’t exactly knocking on the door” to acquire Dillon Gee when the Mets designated righty for assignment, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets. The Mets put Gee on outright waivers today and plan to send him to Triple-A if he goes unclaimed by Tuesday.
- The Marlins have a logjam brewing in their rotation but president of baseball operations Michael Hill says he won’t be trading from the team’s strength to alleviate it. “We are fortunate we have some players who are flexible, that we can move to the bullpen,” Hill said, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. “We have some young players who may have to go back (to the minors).”
- Hill also shrugged off the notion that the Marlins might look to trade veterans such as Martin Prado and Michael Morse before the deadline. “Any pieces that are under control aren’t even considerations to do anything. We aren’t building this team for 2015. We’re building this for ’15 and ’16 and ’17. We’re trying to build a perennial contender,” Hill said.
- In NL East news from earlier today on MLBTR, the Braves signed first-rounder Mike Soroka, and pundits overwhelmingly felt the Braves got the better of their controversial trade with the Diamondbacks that brought Touki Toussaint and Bronson Arroyo to Atlanta.
Dan Jennings is likely to remain in the dugout for the Marlins next year, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports. That is far from a sure thing, per the report, but the club is preliminarily sketching out a 2016 that includes Jennings as the manager. The club is showing signs of gelling under Jennings, says Frisaro, and Miami still is holding out hope of getting back into the mix.
- One key component of a Marlins turnaround would be the successful return of young righty Jose Fernandez, who announced yesterday that he hopes to return to start on July 2. Fernandez has, of course, been out since early 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson said yesterday that he had just one “serious conversation” about an offseason Dillon Gee deal, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports on Twitter. Presumably, he is having more now, as Gee remains in DFA limbo. While Gee has struggled this year, he should have appeal to teams looking for some back-of-the-rotation options. A deal would allow New York to save some money on the $5.3MM owed Gee this year; he’ll also come with one more season of control via arbitration.
- The Cardinals have received good news on righty Lance Lynn, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Lynn is back throwing after hitting the DL with forearm tightness, and St. Louis hopes that he can come back after missing just two starts.
- A quick return may not be in the cards for Reds righty Jon Moscot, who suffered a dislocated left shoulder yesterday in a freak accident, as John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The 23-year-old rookie was making his third start for Cincinnati, which has been beset by injuries of late.
- Brandon Beachy is set to begin a rehab assignment for the Dodgers, with the club’s Rancho Cucamonga affiliate announcing that he’ll make his first appearance tonight. The 28-year-old righty has not appeared in the big leagues since 2013, undergoing successive Tommy John procedures in the interim. His ability to return to provide innings for Los Angeles could play a role in the team’s summer trade plans.
2:51pm: The Mets have now confirmed that Gee has been designated, tweets MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
Gee’s name has been bandied about in trade rumors for the better part of the past nine months, as the Mets possess a number of promising young arms that are projected to have higher ceilings. Nonetheless, he’s been a very serviceable back-of-the-rotation starter for the Mets over the past few seasons, so it’s possible that the team was a ways down the road in trade negotiations pertaining to Gee already and simply opted to designate him for assignment now in order to free up a 40-man roster spot. Gee started yesterday, so his spot on the roster wasn’t going to yield any innings in the next few days anyhow.
For a team in need of a stabilizing force at the back of the rotation, rolling the dice on a rebound for Gee would certainly make some sense. From 2010-14, Gee notched a 3.91 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 639 2/3 innings, and he’s typically posted a ground-ball rate near or above the league average (career 46 percent). Of his $5.3MM salary, about $3.24MM is left on the hook. I’d imagine that a team would prefer the Mets to take on some, if not most of that in a trade.
Track record aside, Gee has struggled to a 5.90 ERA in 39 2/3 innings for the Mets this season, though much of the damage came in an eight-run bludgeoning at the hands of the Braves yesterday. Gee has also missed time this year with a groin strain and spent nearly two months on the DL in 2014 with a strained lat muscle. His 2015 struggles, along with the injuries and his salary have presumably diminished his trade value since Opening Day.
If the team is unable to trade Gee, he could be sent outright to Triple-A upon clearing waivers. There’s a chance that some team would claim him, though the remaining $3.24MM on his deal lessens the chance of that outcome. Were he to clear waivers, he’d head to Triple-A Las Vegas..
6:33pm: Newsday’s Marc Carig hears that the Mets have indeed discussed Aramis Ramirez with the Brewers. Any trade involving Ramirez would be more about how much of his contract the Mets would take on as opposed to what the Brewers would get in return. As for Segura, Carig writes that he’s not likely to be made available.
Though the two sides have talked, a Ramirez trade seems unlikely. FOX’s Ken Rosenthal hears that there’s little traction in Ramirez discussions because Milwaukee is uninterested in Niese (Twitter links). While Gee might be a better fit, there would be a lot more financial legwork to figure out in that scenario, per Rosenthal. Gee is owed a bit more than $3MM through season’s end, but Ramirez is owed an additional $8.8MM.
It could be argued that adding Ramirez wouldn’t be an upgrade for the Mets anyhow. While the team may very well benefit from upgrading by replacing Niese or Gee with Matz, much of that benefit could be outweighed by the lack of flexibility to make future moves as well as the possibility that Ramirez continues to produce at a sub-replacement-level pace.
5:37pm: The Mets have placed their efforts to trade a starting pitcher on hold during the draft but will now look to trade a starting pitcher “in short order,” tweets Newsday’s David Lennon. That lines up with recent reports from ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin and the New York Post’s Mike Puma stating that lefty Steven Matz could be up in the near future — perhaps before the end of June.
In order to accommodate Matz, the team seems likely to increase its efforts to find a taker for lefty Jon Niese (earning $7MM in 2015 and guaranteed $9MM in 2016 plus a pair of club options) or righty Dillion Gee (earning $5.3MM in 2015 and controllable via arbitration for the 2016 season). Both Niese and Gee could be viewed as superfluous with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and the veteran Bartolo Colon all representing options, to say nothing of Matz or the currently injured Rafael Montero.
Furthermore, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Mets and Brewers have had preliminary trade talks, with the Mets eyeing Milwaukee’s position players (Twitter link). That might lead to speculation regarding Aramis Ramirez, though in yesterday’s report, Rubin stated that the Mets have little to no interest in Ramirez. The Mets feel that Ramirez’s skills are diminishing, and they’re still hopeful that David Wright will contribute in 2015, so they prefer more versatile bats that can handle multiple positions.
Speculatively speaking, Jean Segura would make sense for the Mets, who have long been looking for an upgrade at shortstop due to defensive deficiencies with Wilmer Flores. Of course, Segura himself is not regarded as an elite defender, though his .287/.322/.408 batting line is superior to Flores’ .245/.270/.417 triple-slash. Segura also comes with an additional three years of club control beyond the 2015 season, making the likely asking price relatively significant. As such, it’s tough to imagine Gee or Niese serving as a significant component in a trade for Segura, though the Mets could always add other pieces.
It’s worth emphasizing, of course, that Morosi categorized trade talks between New York and Milwaukee as “preliminary,” and there are plenty of other teams that may have interest in swapping a versatile, if unspectacular bat for a veteran innings eater that can stabilize the back end of a rotation.
There are a number of other teams looking for some stabilization in the rotation. The Astros and Rays, for instance, have both incurred injuries to starters and have some versatile pieces to offer. Luis Valbuena hasn’t hit especially well this season, but he’s a earning a not-insignificant $4.2MM and could add some power to the Mets’ lineup, with the injured Jed Lowrie slotting back into his position once activated from the DL. The Rays have a number of versatile pieces, including Logan Forsythe, Nick Franklin and Asdrubal Cabrera. Forsythe has probably been too valuable for Tampa to move, however, while Franklin would figure to have more trade value than that of a back-end starter, and Cabrera has played quite poorly of late. A couple other versatile pieces that could be theoretical trade fits if the Mets can sweeten the deal would be the Mariners’ Brad Miller and the Dodgers’ Alex Guerrero.
A player such as Martin Prado or Ben Zobrist would seem to be a strong fit for the Mets’ desires, as Rubin noted yesterday, though they, too, would be difficult to acquire without including pieces beyond Gee or Niese.
As the above speculation indicates, it’s difficult to find an obvious fit for the Mets, as neither Gee nor Niese is teeming with trade value. GM Sandy Alderson will likely have his work cut out for him if his aim is to both free a spot in his rotation for Matz and add a bat that can help at the Major League level in one fell swoop. One way of accomplishing the goal would be to include Montero in a trade, but the promising young hurler has been on the disabled list since late April with a shoulder issue and has not yet begun a rehab assignment.
Dillon Gee and Jon Niese have long seen their names floated in trade rumors, but that trend could increase in the weeks to come, as ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin hears from a team source that the Mets may promote left-hander Steven Matz before month’s end. (Over the weekend, Mike Puma of the New York Post wrote that Matz could be up prior to the All-Star break, adding that GM Sandy Alderson said the lefty had little else to prove to the team in the minors.) Trade efforts surrounding Gee and Niese have taken a back seat to the draft at the moment, Rubin writes, but talks will again pick up once the draft is complete.
The Mets would like to add a bat to help the big league roster in any trade, writes Rubin, but they’d prefer to add someone versatile as opposed to a strict third baseman, because the team still believes that David Wright will return this season. The team is, however, interested in someone who can play third in addition to several other positions. Rubin notes that a versatile piece such as Ben Zobrist or Martin Prado would be ideal, though it’d almost certainly take more than Niese or Gee to acquire either of those pieces.
The team could improve its chances of landing an MLB-ready bat by packaging Niese or Gee with a younger piece with some additional team control. Yesterday, Puma reported that Rafael Montero could be considered a trade chip when he’s healthy, but the team has no intention of trading catcher Kevin Plawecki, even once Travis d’Arnaud is activated from the disabled list. A healthy Montero would appeal to a number of clubs, though as Puma noted, his injury troubles have lowered his trade value.
Neither Gee nor Niese would completely turn the tide for a struggling rotation, but either could provide some stability toward the back end of a currently top-heavy group of starters. Gee, who is earning $5.3MM this season, can be controlled through 2016 via arbitration. In 674 career innings, Gee has a 3.94 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 46.2 percent ground-ball rate.
Niese is more expensive but also has a better track record. The 28-year-old lefty is earning $7MM this season and is guaranteed $9MM in 2016, and his deal contains 2017 and 2018 club options valued at $10MM and $10.5MM, respectively. Each option has a $500K buyout. Niese has battled shoulder problems in his career, but he has a 3.90 ERA in 954 2/3 big league innings. Niese has averaged 7.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 with a 49.4 percent ground-ball rate in his career, and he’s outperformed his ERA in the eyes of metrics such as FIP and xFIP.
Here’s the latest out of the National League:
- Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday left last night’s game with what looked to be a fairly significant quadriceps strain, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The severity of the injury is not yet known, but we can expect more information today. While the team does have options in left — Randal Grichuk, Peter Bourjos, and Jon Jay are all available on the MLB roster, and top prospect Stephen Piscotty is waiting at Triple-A — any lengthy loss would be a huge blow. Holliday, 35, has put up a typically strong (although atypically low-power) .303/.417/.421 batting line thus far. And St. Louis is already dealing with the loss of first baseman Matt Adams to a severe quad injury, leaving some questions in the middle of the order.
- The Mets are in an interesting spot as the trade deadline approaches, with some useful trade chips that are also somewhat redundant assets. Among the young, big league level players who the team could conceivably deal, catcher Kevin Plawecki is not really an option to be moved, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter links). Though he’ll likely be replaced soon by Travis d’Arnaud, the Mets don’t want to sacrifice depth behind the plate. But righty Rafael Montero could well be moved, says Puma, though he’ll need to get over his shoulder issues and back on track to carry the kind of value the team would hope.
- While the Mets continue to receive strong results from their rotation, the club’s handling of the staff has been problematic, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Top lefty prospect Steven Matz is being held down until Super Two avoidance can be assured, says Sherman, while the club struggles to figure out what to do with Jon Niese and Dillon Gee.
- Sherman adds that the club “may have been able” to get Juan Uribe from the Dodgers in exchange for Gee, but passed on the opportunity because the team did not yet appreciate the severity of David Wright‘s back problems. The club is now struggling to fill in at the hot corner, particularly with Daniel Murphy joining Wright on the DL.
Historically, the Yankees have failed to draft well, but they’re hoping things will be different this year now that they have their highest pick (No. 16) since 1993, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Since 2009, MVPs Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Ryan Braun, Justin Verlander, Joey Votto, Josh Hamilton, and Joe Mauer were all drafted before it was the Yankees’ turn to pick. Meanwhile, Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer, R.A. Dickey, David Price, Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, and Zack Greinke are the drafted players to have won the Cy Young in the last six years and of that group, all were taken before the Yankees’ top pick except for Kluber, who was a fourth-round pick in 2007. Here’s more out of the AL and NL East..
- The consensus among Mets officials is that pitcher Steven Matz will be on the big league roster at some point before the All-Star break, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. GM Sandy Alderson conceded that it’s “very possible” Matz already would be in a Mets uniform if it weren’t for a logjam in the rotation and he admitted that there’s “probably not” anything the Mets still have to see from him in the minors. Meanwhile, the Mets continue to dangle Jon Niese and Dillon Gee, but interest has been limited, according to an club source.
- Justin Masterson will make a third rehab start in the minors on Wednesday which will allow him to work his way back from shoulder tendinitis. The start for Triple-A Pawtucket will also buy the Red Sox time to make a decision on his future, as Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes. By rule, Boston can keep him on his rehab assignment for 30 days, which would lapse on June 29th. Masterson was signed to a one-year, $9.5MM deal in December to be a starter, but he might only have a relief role waiting for him on the other side of his rehab.
- Scouts have been eyeing Red Sox left-hander Tommy Layne, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. “With lefty relievers, get them while they’re effective. It can be fleeting. Look at [Craig] Breslow. He was a huge part of that 2013 bullpen and now he’s a mopup guy. Layne really comes right at you and battles you,” an AL scout told Cafardo. If Boston doesn’t start winning soon, Cafardo writes that the left-hander will be a sought-after commodity.
Here’s the latest from around the league.
- The Indians aren’t likely to option Jose Ramirez or call up Francisco Lindor, writes Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. As Hoynes puts it, Ramirez often does something to help the team win despite a .184/.252/.245 slash. The club would like to see more from Lindor before considering a promotion. He’s currently hitting .265/.341/.383 at Triple-A. Mike Aviles is stretched thin covering for both Ramirez and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall. The team could promote utility infield Zach Walters, but there’s no guarantee he would be an upgrade. As such, Ramirez will probably continue to play with regularity.
- Astros top prospect Carlos Correa could be promoted as soon as their upcoming series against the White Sox, writes Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle. Manager A.J. Hinch spoke with reporters about the importance of being mentally and physically prepared for the majors. With Jed Lowrie sidelined, the club has turned to a combination of Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Villar. The pair have not performed well. Given Houston’s place atop the AL West, there is some pressure to summon Correa. Since his promotion to Triple-A, he’s hitting a restrained .253/.324/.429 in 102 plate appearances.
- The Astros have the highest bonus pool for the upcoming draft, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Houston can spend $17,289,200 because they have the second and fifth overall picks. GM Jeff Luhnow aims to have the “best yield” of any club. In the past, the Astros signed Correa to an under-slot contract in order to go over-slot for Lance McCullers and Rio Ruiz. They attempted to do the same last year with Brady Aiken and Jacob Nix, but Aiken’s failed physical ruined that plan.
- The Mets have scrapped their six-man rotation, and Dillon Gee will move to the bullpen, writes Adam Rubin of ESPN. Gee is unhappy with the move. He believes he’ll have less value to the team and on the trade market as a reliever. He’s owed $5.3MM in 2015 and is club controlled through 2016. The club was using a six-man rotation to limit the workloads of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard. New York may also promote Steven Matz at some point. He has a 1.94 ERA with 9.08 K/9 and 3.27 BB/9 in the hitter friendly PCL.
- The next few weeks will decide if the Reds are deadline sellers, writes Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. The team is currently 23-31 and seven games back from the second Wild Card slot. If the club continues to scuffle, players like Aroldis Chapman, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Jay Bruce could be shopped. Cueto and Leake are free agents at the end of the season.
Here’s the latest from the National League East:
- The Mets are “ramping up [their] efforts” to trade both Dillon Gee and Jon Niese, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. New York indicated today that it’s likely the club will back off of its six-man rotation and return to a traditional schedule. With Noah Syndergaard now fairly firmly installed at the big league level, and Steven Matz not far behind him, it makes sense that the club would be looking to see what it can get out of Gee and Niese. Both have good track records of steady production and are controllable in the future at affordable rates, but unfortunately neither has matched their historical results thus far in 2015.
- As they weigh rotation moves, which rate as good problems, the Mets are dealing with more troubling issues in the infield. The team has placed infielder Daniel Murphy on the 15-day DL with a strained quad, as Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com was among those to report. It’s not believed to be a serious injury, according to manager Terry Collins, but the club can ill afford any significant absence from Murphy. New York is already missing third baseman David Wright for an indeterminate stretch, while highly-regarded youngster Dilson Herrera is also working back from the DL (as well as backstop Travis d’Arnaud). An infield addition of some kind already seemed a plausible target for the Mets, though of course this injury is unlikely to have an impact unless it turns into something worse than expected.
- While the Marlins continue to wait and see how to proceed at the deadline, the club is looking to build out its pen to give it the best chance at entering the contention picture, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports. Miami has discussed David Carpenter, who was recently designated by the Yankees and is about as intriguing an arm as you can hope to find at a reasonable price tag at this time of year.
- Nationals righty Doug Fister is set to make his first rehab appearance this weekend at Triple-A, James Wagner of the Washington Post tweets. It would appear as if things have gone about as well as could be hoped since he hit the DL with forearm tightness after his start on May 14. He’ll be a welcome addition to the Nats rotation, assuming he can return after a few minor league starts, and can begin attempting to rebuild his free agent value.