Doug Brocail Rumors

International Links: Maya, Rodriguez, Minarik

A peck of links on the second day of the Venezuelan Summer League…

  • Cuban righthander Yuniesky Maya is about to be unblocked and become available to sign, according to his agent, tweets the Toronto Star's Morgan Campbell. In April El Nuevo Herald's Jorge Ebro wrote that interest was heating up for the hard-throwing starter, though he has almost entirely been connected thus far to a single team, the Red Sox. At 28, Maya is a bit older than the new crop of Cubans such as Aroldis Chapman and Juan Yasser Serrano, but Maya told Terreno de Pelota upon defecting last September that after two World Baseball Classics, numerous international tournaments and six Cuban National Series, he was ready to jump straight to the majors a la Orlando Hernandez.
  • The Tigers signed 17-year-old righthanded pitcher Jose Rodriguez last Thursday, according to the Venezuelan paper El Sol de Margarita. Rodriguez reportedly throws a strong slider, changeup, and a fastball that tops out at around 90, though that number could rise un poco once he packs a few more arepas onto his 6-foot, 154-pound frame. For now, he's headed to the aforementioned Venezuelan Summer League.
  • The Phillies have signed 16-year-old Czech pitcher Marek Minarik, reports Baseball de World. Minarik has most recently played for Lokomotiva Louny in the Czech Republic and reportedly received offers from four teams after participating in the recent MLB European Academy Tryout in Prague.

Doug Brocail Retires

Doug Brocail has officially retired, according to Alyson Footer of (via Twitter). The 42-year-old pitched in 20 games for the Astros last year and posted an ERA of 4.58. He retires after 15 big league seasons with the Padres, Tigers, Astros and Rangers. After 880 career innings, his ERA is exactly 4.00.

The Astros declined the option on Brocail's contract after last season and declined to offer him arbitration in December. We didn't hear of any interest in the righty this winter, but 15 years and nearly $15MM later it's not a bad time to call it a career.

Astros Offer Arb To Valverde, Not Tejada, Hawkins, Brocail

The Astros offered arbitration only to Jose Valverde (A) and not Miguel Tejada (A), LaTroy Hawkins (A), or Doug Brocail (B), according to the team's Senior Director of Digital Media Alyson Footer

Interesting relief choices; I'd predicted no arbitration offers to Valverde or Hawkins.  That said, an offer to Valverde always made sense.  He does not seem likely to accept arbitration and take a one-year deal.  The Astros are known to have an offer on the table to Hawkins, so maybe they didn't want to complicate the picture by offering arbitration.

You might consider Valverde the loser here and Hawkins the winner, as Valverde will now come with a draft pick cost attached.

Astros Decline Option On Doug Brocail

The Astros declined their $2.85MM option on reliever Doug Brocail, according to's Brian McTaggart.  Instead they'll pay the $250K buyout on the righty, who turns 43 in May.  Brocail pitched only 17.6 big league innings this year due to shoulder and hamstring injuries.  Astros GM Ed Wade told McTaggart he respects Brocail but won't try to re-sign him.  Instead, the Astros have interest in keeping Brocail on for a player development role.

McTaggart learned a month ago that retirement is a consideration for Brocail, but he'll play again if his shoulder is OK. 

Odds & Ends: Pirates, Sabean, Weeks

Tuesday linkage:

Astros Sign Doug Brocail

According to a press release, the Astros signed Doug Brocail to a one-year deal today.  He’ll get $2.5MM plus incentives in ’09 and there’s a club option for $2.85MM plus incentives for ’10 with a $250K buyout.  The Astros declined Brocail’s $3.25MM ’09 option in October and did not offer him arbitration yesterday.

Brocail, 41, posted a 3.93 ERA in 68.2 innings this year.  His strikeout rate was up significantly from ’07.  He struggled in July and August, but pitched well in September.

Astros Decline To Offer Arb To Wolf, Brocail, Loretta’s Alyson Footer makes it official – the Astros did not offer arbitration to Type B free agents Randy Wolf and Mark Loretta or Type A free agent Doug Brocail.  The Astros still hope to re-sign Brocail.

Just like the Cubs with Kerry Wood and the D’Backs with Adam Dunn, Wolf is a quality player who was not offered arbitration due to payroll concerns.

Richard Justice figures it may have come down to Wolf or Jose Valverde for the Astros, and they chose Valverde.  Another note in Justice’s post – the Astros had their eye on Jose Ceda before he was traded to the Marlins.

Astros Rumors: Wolf, Brocail, Ross

Brian McTaggart of the Houston Chronicle has the latest on the Astros:

  • Astros GM Ed Wade said that he’s had to slow down negotiations with free agent lefty Randy Wolf because he’s unsure how much payroll he’s working with. Negotiations are on hold at least until next week, but the Astros would still like to sign Wolf to a multi-year deal.
  • The Astros still hope to bring back reliever Doug Brocail, but they haven’t negotiated with his agent in over a week.
  • Wade said he’ll try to address the team’s catching needs via trades or free agency. Houston is interested in free agent catcher David Ross.
  • The Astros are also reportedly interested in converting free agent pitcher and former NCAA home run champion John Van Benschoten into a hitter.

No Agreement Yet For Moyer

12:01pm: David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News says everyone expects the Phils to re-sign Moyer.  He says not to read into the Lowe/Burnett inquiries; the team has inquired on more than 25 free agents.’s Ken Mandel names six of them: Doug Brocail, Russ Springer, Raul Ibanez, Rocco Baldelli, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Nick Punto.

10:16am: According to Todd Zolecki of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies are still talking to free agent pitcher Jamie Moyer but don’t have an agreement yet.  Moyer apparently wants a multiyear deal.  The Phils recently contacted Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett to hedge their bets. 

Odds and Ends: Wade, Crisp, Holliday

Links for Thursday…