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Drew Stubbs Rumors
9:41pm: There are no talks ongoing regarding Stubbs, Harding reports, but sources tell him that increased activity on the outfielder could occur over the coming week.
7:02pm: The Mariners have inquired with the Rockies about the possibility of acquiring outfielder Drew Stubbs, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Colorado is willing to listen on Stubbs, tweets Thomas Harding of MLB.com, and would be interested in bringing back a controllable young arm in return.
Stubbs, 29, has played exclusively in center field with the Rockies, though he also has experience in right. He has posted a career-best .297/.335/.498 slash with ten home runs an 11 stolen bases in 258 plate appearances. That comes on the heels of three straight seasons of below-average production with the Reds and Indians, however, which led to his being dealt to the Rockies from the latter club in exchange for southpaw reliever Josh Outman.
The right-handed hitting Stubbs is earning $4.1MM through arbitration this year and should be in line for a nice raise in 2015, his final season of arb eligibility. That contract situation limits his trade value, of course. Colorado is not yet sure if they would like to part with Stubbs, Morosi adds. Of course, he is part of a fairly crowded outfield situation at present, particularly given reports that the club would like to bring back veteran Michael Cuddyer.
We'll keep track of today's smaller deals to avoid arbitration in this post. Click here for background on the upcoming arbitration schedule and how MLBTR is covering it. You can also check in on our Arbitration Tracker and look at MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz's arbitration projections.
Today's noon CT deadline to exchange arb figures has passed, but negotiations to avoid an arbitration hearing can continue into February. The Braves are the only strict "file and trial" team that did not agree to terms with all of its arb-eligible players, meaning they could be headed for several hearings. The Nats and Indians have also shown a willingness to go to a trial and still have some players unsigned. On to today's contract agreements…
- After exchanging numbers, the Mets and pitcher Dillon Gee have agreed to settle at the midpoint of $3.625MM, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Swartz projected Gee to earn $3.4MM.
- The Cubs have avoided arbitration with reliever Pedro Strop, president Theo Epstein told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). He will earn $1.325MM next year, according to a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. It is not immediately apparent whether the deal was reached before the sides exchanged terms.
- The Angels have reached agreement on a $3.8MM deal with reliever Ernesto Frieri, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (on Twitter).
- Mike Minor has agreed to terms on a $3.85MM deal with the Braves to avoid arbitration, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (Twitter links). The deal came before figures were exchanged, Bowman notes.
- Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the D-Backs and lefty Joe Thatcher have avoided arb with a one-year, $2.375MM deal (Twitter link).
- Nicholson-Smith tweets that the Angels and Fernando Salas reached an agreement to avoid arbitration. Salas is the first Halos player to avoid arb. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times tweets that Salas will earn $870K, which beats out his $700K projection.
- MLB.com's Jason Beck reports (via Twitter) that the Tigers and righty Al Alburquerque have reached agreement on a deal to avoid arb. The hard-throwing righty will earn $837.5K in 2014, tweets Beck.
- Sherman tweets that the Yankees and Ivan Nova avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.3MM deal.
- The Pirates and Vin Mazzaro inked a one-year, $950K deal in lieu of an arbitration hearing, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune.
- The Royals announced that they've avoided arbitration with infielder Emilio Bonifacio. Heyman tweets that Bonifacio will earn $3.5MM in 2014.
- Sherman reports that the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeremy Hellickson and Sean Rodriguez (Twitter link). Hellickson landed a $3.625MM payday with a $25K bonus if he hits 195 innings pitched. Rodriguez will get $1.475MM with a $25K bump for hitting 300 plate appearances.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that Brian Matusz avoided arb with the Orioles. Sherman adds that he'll earn $2.4MM in 2014.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that Jason Castro and the Astros have avoided arbitration. McTaggart adds in a second tweet that Jesus Guzman avoided arb as well. Heyman reports that Castro will be paid $2.45MM, while Sherman tweets that Guzman will make $1.3MM.
- The Indians tweeted that they've avoided arb with lefty Marc Rzepczynski, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that he'll earn $1.375MM in 2014. Bastian adds that Scrabble will earn an additional $25K for appearing in 55 games and another $25K for 60 games.
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Yusmeiro Petit, according to MLBTR's Steve Adams (on Twitter). He'll earn $845K, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith (via Twitter).
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Al Alburquerque | Alejandro De Aza | Alexi Ogando | Alfredo Simon | Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Bobby Parnell | Boston Red Sox | Brandon Moss | Brett Cecil | Brian Duensing | Brian Matusz | Chicago Cubs | Chris Johnson | Cincinnati Reds | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | Craig Gentry | Detroit Tigers | Dillon Gee | Drew Storen | Drew Stubbs | Emilio Bonifacio | Eric Hosmer | Ernesto Frieri | Esmil Rogers | Gaby Sanchez | Gordon Beckham | Gregor Blanco | Houston Astros | Ivan Nova | Jake McGee | James Russell | Jason Castro | Jeremy Hellickson | Jerry Blevins | Jesus Guzman | Joe Thatcher | John Mayberry Jr. | Jon Jay | Jonathan Herrera | Jordan Schafer | Jose Lobaton | Juan Francisco | Juan Nicasio | Junichi Tazawa | Kansas City Royals | Kyle Blanks | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Luis Valbuena | Marc Rzepczynski | Mark Melancon | Matt Joyce | Miami Marlins | Mike Dunn | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Neftali Feliz | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Oakland Athletics | Pedro Alvarez | Pedro Strop | Peter Bourjos | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Sean Rodriguez | Shawn Kelley | St. Louis Cardinals | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Tommy Hunter | Tony Abreu | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Trevor Plouffe | Troy Patton | Vin Mazzaro | Washington Nationals | Wilson Ramos | Yusmeiro Petit
Though the Athletics averaged just 22,337 fans per game in 2013 (which ranked 23rd in baseball), things could be worse in Oakland, writes Lev Facher of Athletics Nation. Oakland experienced a 10 percent increase in attendance from 2012 to 2013 despite the fact that the cross-town Giants were defending a World Series title. Another 10 percent increase would have Oakland north of 24,000 per game and shouldn't be too difficult to imagine with San Francisco's losing season in 2013 and Oakland's AL West championship. Facher notes that the A's will never top the Giants as long as they play in O.co Coliseum, but it's not hard to imagine them averaging well over 30,000 fans per night should they ever get a new park. More out of baseball's Western divisions…
- New Rockies outfielder Drew Stubbs told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that he knew there was a chance he'd get traded this offseason, and he thought Colorado would be a potential landing spot once Dexter Fowler was traded. Indeed, Stubbs is now a member of the Rockies — a concept that has teammate Troy Tulowitzki excited. Tulo told Saunders: "I have high hopes for Drew. … I know they have talked about [Carlos Gonzalez] being our center fielder, but for me, I think we are a better team if Drew can grab that position and run with it. That way, we can leave Carlos in left." Tulowitzki said he will invite Stubbs to his home to work out with him prior to Spring Training.
- Jason Collette of Fangraphs examined the transformation that Astros righty Brad Peacock made after being sent down to the minors midway through the 2013 campaign. Peacock adopted a slider that made a world of difference for his repertoire, and as Collette notes, the changes were obvious to GM Jeff Luhnow, manager Bo Porter and catcher Jason Castro.
- Lookout Landing's Scott Weber looks at the case for the Mariners to push for Masahiro Tanaka and wonders if the lack of serious connection between the two sides to this point is due to Seattle's unwillingness to double down on the greatest risk in franchise history (Robinson Cano). As Weber notes, should those deals crumble, Seattle would be looking at well over $40MM of dead payroll per year. He suggests that an alternative would be to take advantage of the Tanaka buzz by jumping into a surprisingly cool market for Ubaldo Jimenez.
Outman, 29, pitched to a 4.33 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 51.3 percent ground-ball rate in 54 innings for the Rockies this past season. Formerly a starting pitcher, Outman converted to the bullpen on a full-time basis for the first time in 2013. Outman averaged 92.4 mph on his heater and held lefties to a minuscule .198/.278/.261 batting line.
MLBTR's Matt Swartz projects Outman to earn $1.4MM in 2013. He will give new manager Terry Francona a second left-handed option in the bullpen along with Marc Rzepczynski.
12:14pm: The Rockies are acquiring Drew Stubbs from the Indians, sources tell Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link) and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Tribe can afford to part with Stubbs thanks to their outfield surplus, which includes Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley, David Murphy, and Ryan Raburn.
We heard back in November that multiple teams approached Cleveland with interest in Stubbs. The 29-year-old hit just .233/.305/.360 in 2013 but is projected to earn $3.8MM in arbitration this offseason by MLBTR's Matt Swartz. Still, Stubbs offers quality defense, power and speed, and he's capable of handling all three outfield positions.
Stubbs, like the newly-acquired Brandon Barnes, is better versus lefties than righties, Rosenthal notes (link). The plan is still for Carlos Gonzalez to go to center field but the Rockies are collecting athletic outfielders that should give them a solid supporting cast in 2014.
The Indians are reportedly open to trading Justin Masterson and have been in contact with the Yankees, but there are reportedly no legs to those talks and Cleveland isn't near a trade of any player. A couple of other Tribe notes…
- General manager Chris Antonetti told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that the Indians would love to have Ubaldo Jimenez back and aren't ruling out a return for the right-hander (Twitter link). Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway is a big factor for Jimenez, Heyman notes.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports looks at the Tribe's surplus of outfielders (on Twitter) with Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley, David Murphy, Drew Stubbs and Ryan Raburn all in the fold, noting that something is likely to give. Rosenthal notes that Cleveland is listening on virtually all of its players.
Let's take a look at the latest from the MLB's Central divisions:
- Multiple teams have approached the Indians with interest in Drew Stubbs, Buster Olney writes in an article for ESPN Insiders (sub. req'd). MLBTR's Matt Swartz projected that Stubbs is on track to earn $3.8MM in arbitration this offseason after hitting just .233/.305/.360 in 2013. However, Olney says a salary in that range in today's market is acceptable for a player like Stubbs, who's a strong defender with power and speed and can handle all three outfield positions.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian considers a rumored swap of Indians righty Corey Kluber and two minor leaguers for the Angels' Mark Trumbo, which was later shot down by Angels GM Jerry Dipoto. While Trumbo's right-handed power would help the Indians, such a deal undervalues Kluber, who was one of the better starters in the AL for much of 2013, Bastian says.
- Pitching is the highest priority for the Indians this offseason, Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer notes in a reader mailbag column. The Tribe faces the possibility of losing free agents Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir from the rotation, while Joe Smith, Chris Perez, Rich Hill and Matt Albers could all depart from the bullpen.
- A Wednesday night deadline looms for teams to set their 40-man rosters in advance of the Rule 5 draft, and for the Royals, that means deciding who from a list of approximately six players is worth protecting, The Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton says. As Dutton notes, it can be easier to stash an arm than a position player on the 40-man for an entire season, as pitchers can be used in a mop-up role in the bullpen.
- Some have suggested that Darwin Barney may not be long for the Cubs' roster, Carrie Muskat writes in response to a reader question for MLB.com. On the cusp of arbitration after slashing just .208/.266/.303 in 2013, Barney is a non-tender candidate, though MLBTR's Tim Dierkes believes that may be a bit hasty given that Barney's only likely to earn around $2.1MM in his first go at the arbitration process. If the Cubs do decide to part ways with the infielder, Luis Valbuena would be one possible replacement, Muskat says.
Leaving the Reds behind and heading to the Indians in the Shin-Soo Choo deal was bittersweet for outfielder Drew Stubbs, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports. "There were definitely some mixed emotions," says Stubbs. "The toughest part for me was, when you're comfortable in a place, having to leave a bunch of great people behind." Stubbs will move from center field to right (after Cleveland's signing of Michael Bourn) and from one corner of Ohio to another, but Bastian notes that Stubbs' spring training home has scarcely changed, since both the Indians and Reds train in Goodyear, Arizona. Here are more notes on the Indians.
- So far, Terry Francona is impressed with Trevor Bauer, who also came to Cleveland in the Choo trade, Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon-Journal writes. "When you tell him something, you have to have a reason, which you’re supposed to have anyway," says Francona. "It was like managing Doug Glanville [for the Philadelphia Phillies]. You would want to say, 'I know you’re smarter than I am. You don’t have to apologize for it.'" Bauer appears unlikely to make the team out of camp, however.
- After a pair of offseason trades, the Indians' Mike Aviles seems to be happy to be reunited with former Red Sox manager Francona, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports. "I've talked to Tito numerous times, and he's assured me I'm going to get a lot of at-bats," says Aviles, who looks like he'll serve as a utility infielder in Cleveland. "That's really the main focus, to get on the field as much as possible." In October, the Red Sox shipped Aviles to Toronto for David Carpenter and manager John Farrell. The next month, the Blue Jays sent Aviles to the Indians with Yan Gomes for Esmil Rogers.
The latest links from around MLB…
- The Indians are getting calls on Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs following their four-year deal with Michael Bourn, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Though the Indians currently plan to keep both Brantley and Stubbs, some people suspect Stubbs will be dealt.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka said part of the reason he signed with the Indians was the chance to compete against his former team, the Red Sox, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports (on Twitter).
- Andrew Bailey told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that he loves playing with the Red Sox, even if he's not the team's closer.
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi isn't sure if Andy Pettitte will retire after 2013, Jack Curry of the YES Network reports (Twitter links). "I think Andy still loves to compete," Girardi said, acknowledging that it’ll ultimately be up to the left-hander himself. Pettitte will celebrate his 41st birthday this summer and while he doesn’t seem ready to retire, he said he doesn’t intend to decide until after the 2013 season.
- Mariano Rivera said he has decided whether 2013 will be his final season, according to Curry (Twitter links). The Yankees closer won’t reveal his decision just yet, but will do so before the regular season begins.
- Homer Bailey said he and the Reds would prefer to avoid an arbitration hearing if possible, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. “It’s kind of a slow process. We’ll see how it goes and go from there,” Bailey said. The right-hander has a hearing scheduled for Monday after filing for $5.8MM. The Reds, who recently avoided arbitration with Mat Latos and Shin-Soo Choo, offered $4.75MM.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
It’s been an uncharacteristically busy offseason for the Indians, who are typically modest spenders in free agency. They added Nick Swisher, Brett Myers and Mark Reynolds earlier in the winter and agreed to sign Michael Bourn to a four-year, $48MM contract last night. Here’s the latest from Cleveland…
- To the surprise of many, the Indians responded to an increase in TV-related revenue by spending aggressively on free agents. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Indians are suddenly a must-see team, even if their pitching staff does have shortcomings.
- The Indians and Rangers are still in the mix for free agent infielder Ryan Theriot, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). Theriot’s main concern is playing time, and he could have trouble getting into the lineup in Cleveland and Texas.
- Drew Stubbs is "eminently available" and "very likely the odd man out" in the Cleveland outfield, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote last night that it doesn't appear Stubbs or Michael Brantley will be moved.
- It's believed that three of the final four teams in on Bourn had top ten draft picks that would have been protected, Heyman reports.
- MLBTR’s Steve Adams compiled some more signing reactions last night.
The Indians agreed to a four-year deal with Michael Bourn earlier tonight, presumably capping an offseason spending spree that saw GM Chris Antonetti dish out $117MM in guaranteed contracts. Here are some reactions from around the baseball world pertaining to tonight's news…
- It doesn't sound like the signing will prompt the Indians to trade Drew Stubbs or Michael Brantley, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link).
- In the event of a trade, Stubbs is the most likely to go, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, who notes that the Mets are a logical landing place.
- Heyman also writes that the Mets' credibility took a hit with their inability to sign Bourn. He opines that the team should've have filed a grievance weeks ago to attempt to keep their first-round pick, even if it meant risking increased leverage for Scott Boras in negotiations.
- The contract is good for both Bourn and the Indians in the mind of Fangraphs' Jeff Sullivan. He adds that Cleveland's protected first-round pick meant they were sacrificing less value to sign Bourn, as he cost them only a competitive balance draft pick. Because they didn't have to give up as much value as others would have to sign Bourn, they were willing to spend more on the contract itself.
- It's a fair contract, and Bourn immediately becomes one of Cleveland's best players, but the move is still a head-scratcher according to ESPN's Keith Law. Law feels that Cleveland's pitching isn't improved enough to make them a .500 team, which makes all of this spending a curious decision unless it's with an eye toward stockpiling affordable talent for future trade assets.
- Law also notes that the Royals are losers in this deal, as part of their rationale for parting with Wil Myers was that the weakness of the AL Central could make them Wild Card contenders: "…every move that Cleveland, Minnesota or the White Sox make to get better hurts the odds of Kansas City getting to the 88-win territory."