Dustin McGowan Rumors

Free Agent Notes: Moncada, Olivera, O’s, McGowan

The agent for Cuban teenager Yoan Moncada, David Hastings, says that “offers are coming in,” Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. Hastings says he is “still hopeful” that he and his client “can make a decision soon.” Last we heard from Hastings, on Valentine’s Day, he indicated that no formal offers had been made and softened somewhat the idea that Moncada would be in position to sign by February 23rd. While there appears to be some movement, the precise timeline remains uncertain.

  • The market for more advanced Cuban infielder (and, presumably, soon-to-be free agent) Hector Olivera seems quite robust. Hall of Fame journalist Peter Gammons has heard from additional team executives, and he counts at least five that predict a deal of $70MM or more for Olivera. (Twitter link.)
  • The Orioles may not be done adding, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports. That holds true even if the club’s deal with Everth Cabrera is finalized, presumably, as the report indicates that Baltimore is expected to sign at least one more pitcher to a minor league deal.
  • One arm that the O’s have been connected to is Dustin McGowan. Another team that has expressed interest in the 32-year-old, the Twins, is not expected to land the free agent righty, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.

Orioles Among Teams With Interest In Dustin McGowan

The Orioles have reached out to representatives of free agent righty Dustin McGowan to express interest, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports. Several other clubs are also believed to be in on the 32-year-old swingman.

McGowan has had a quiet offseason since Toronto declined its $4MM option and set him loose on the market. He opened the season in the Jays rotation, but was hit hard and demoted after eight starts. McGowan showed much more promise in the 43 relief innings that came, working to a 3.35 ERA, upping his strikeout rate to 7.5 K/9, and holding opponents to a sub-.700 OPS.

Amongst a quickly-depleting supply of viable free agent arms, McGowan is notable for his mid-90s fastball. Though he has been much more effective against opposing right-handers in his career, McGowan’s long history as a starter at least supplies him with some tools for attacking lefties in a relief role. And it never hurts to have an additional spot starter if need be.


Blue Jays Exercise Thole Option, Decline Three Others

The Blue Jays have announced that they’ve exercised their option on catcher Josh Thole and declined their options on first baseman Justin Smoak and righties Brandon Morrow and Dustin McGowan. Smoak is still eligible for arbitration and will remain in the organization. Ben Nicholson-Smith of SportsNet.ca was the first to report on Smoak’s status (via Twitter), while Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish was first on McGowan.

Thole will make $1.75MM next season after hitting .248/.320/.278 in 150 plate appearances last season. He’ll continue to serve as the Jays’ catcher when knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is pitching.

The Jays will pay the newly acquired Smoak a $150K buyout rather than picking up his $3.65MM option. They’ll gamble that he’ll make less in arbitration. With Adam Lind headed to Milwaukee, the lefty now has a clearer path to a role with the Jays in 2015.

Morrow will receive a $1MM buyout on his $10MM option after missing much of the season due to a finger injury. He still throws hard, however, and his intriguing track record (including an excellent 9.4 K/9 in a career mostly spent as a starter) will make him a free agent to watch. McGowan, who posted a 4.17 ERA in 82 innings split between the rotation and the bullpen last year, will receive a $500K buyout rather than a $4MM option.



AL East Links: Murphy, Romine, Rays, McGowan

MLBTR's Offseason In Review series continued earlier today with my look at the Orioles' winter moves, covering everything from the Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz signings to the lack of progress on extensions for Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters.  Here's some more from around the AL East…

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters (including ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews) that he's "hearing from a lot of people about" catchers John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine.  The Yankees have been shopping their catching depth for weeks, and now that Francisco Cervelli has won the backup job, Murphy and Romine could be more expendable.  Cashman, however, doesn't feel pressure to move either players.  "They’re assets. We’re not in any position where we have to do anything, but if something made sense, we’d consider it. But right now, we’re happy with what we’ve got," Cashman said.
  • Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times) that he has informed Wilson Betemit and Jayson Nix that they won't be making Tampa's Opening Day roster, in order to give the two players extra time to find another Major League opportunity.  The two veterans signed minor league deals with the Rays earlier this winter and have the ability to opt out, though Betemit told Topkin that he would play for Tampa's Triple-A affiliate if he couldn't find a roster spot elsewhere (Topkin believes Nix feels the same way).
  • Mark Lowe is also open to returning to the Rays, the veteran right-hander tells Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.  Lowe's family lives in the Tampa area and he praised the Rays organization, saying that he would be willing to pitch at Triple-A unless, like Betemit and Nix, he finds a job with another team.  The Rays granted Lowe his release earlier today after he was also told he wouldn't make the 25-man roster.
  • The Blue Jays' decision to make Dustin McGowan their fifth starter raises concerns about whether McGowan is up to the task both performance-wise and health-wise, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi writes.  Since McGowan made the rotation almost by default given how the Jays' other options struggled, Davidi wonders "if he and the Blue Jays are playing a game of Russian Roulette with his career" by returning McGowan to a starting role before he's even fully stretched out.  The injury-plagued McGowan missed three of the previous four seasons with shoulder and knee surgeries but pitched effectively over 25 2/3 innings out of the bullpen in 2013. 
  • Corey Brown didn't invoke the opt-out clause in his minor league contract with the Red Sox and will report to the club's Triple-A club, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.

AL East Links: Ibanez, Orioles, Blue Jays, Red Sox

Four years ago today, the Yankees traded a package headlined by Wilson Betemit to the White Sox for Nick Swisher. After helping New York to the 2009 World Series and three other playoff appearances, Swisher is now in line for a big multiyear contract as a free agent this winter. Here's the latest from the AL East…


Pitching Notes: Blue Jays, Lee, Garza, Oswalt

The Blue Jays announced that right-handers Drew Hutchison (Tommy John surgery) and Dustin McGowan (arthroscopic shoulder surgery) will undergo operations on Thursday. Hutchison is expected to return within a year or so, but no timetable is listed for McGowan, who had previous shoulder surgeries in 2008 and 2010. Here are some more notes pertaining to MLB pitchers…


Blue Jays Extend Dustin McGowan

3:28pm: The team announced the deal, which will pay McGowan $1.5MM per season in 2013 and 2014 and includes a $4MM club option for 2015 (with a $500K buyout, according to The Associated Press).

2:50pm: Dustin McGowan, who arrived at Spring Training without a guaranteed spot in the Blue Jays' rotation, now has job security for at least two years. The oft-injured right-hander has agreed to terms with the Blue Jays on a two-year contract extension with an option, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio tweets

McGowan returned from shoulder trouble to make five Major League appearances last year, his first big league action since 2008. ACES represents the right-hander, who removed himself from a minor league start yesterday because of plantar fasciitis. McGowan, who turned 30 on Saturday, had already agreed to terms with the Blue Jays on a one-year, $600K deal for 2012. 


Players To Avoid Arbitration

Tonight is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. Many teams will agree to terms with players before the deadline and we'll keep track of them here:

  • The Orioles have agreed to terms with Dana Eveland on a one-year, $750K deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Giants have agreed to terms with Mike Fontenot on a one-year deal for 2012, avoiding arbitration, MLBTR has learned. It's a $1.05MM deal, according to the Associated Press.
  • The Red Sox announced that they re-signed Matt Albers. He'll earn $1.075MM, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
  • The Padres agreed to terms with Chris Denorfia on a one-year deal, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (Twitter link). The deal is worth $1.165MM, according to Ronald Blum of the AP
    The Pirates agreed to terms with Jason Grilli on a one-year, $1.1MM deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Rockies agreed to terms with Kevin Slowey on a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Slowey obtains $2.75MM from the Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link). MLBTR had projected a $2.7MM salary.
  • The Blue Jays agreed to sign Jeff Mathis to one-year deal that guarantees the backstop $1.5MM in 2012, MLBTR has learned. The Blue Jays have since confirmed the move.
  • The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with Jesse Litsch (one-year, $975K) and Dustin McGowan (one-year, $600K) according to a team press release.
  • The Dodgers have signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year deal.
  • The A's announced that they agreed to terms with Landon Powell, Daric Barton and Adam Rosales on one-year deals for 2012. The A's aren't non-tendering any arbitration eligible players this offseason. Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group hears Barton will earn $1.1MM in 2012 (Twitter link). Rosales will earn $600K and Powell will earn $620K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Marlins signed Donnie Murphy to a contract for 2012, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). He'll earn $560K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Brewers announced that they signed George Kottaras to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. He'll earn $700K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with Humberto Quintero, signing him to a one-year deal worth $1MM, according to the team. MLBTR had projected a $1.2MM salary for Quintero.
  • The Angels agreed to terms with right-hander Jerome Williams on a one-year deal, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times (on Twitter). Williams agreed to sign for $820K with $120K in incentives, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (on Twitter).
  • Skip Schumaker is nearing a two-year deal with the Cardinals.

Quick Hits: McGowan, Marlins, Giambi

Guillermo Moscoso held the Royals hitless until the eighth inning this afternoon, but Salvador Perez singled, ending Moscoso's bid for a no-hitter. Though the A’s right-hander didn’t make history, Tim Wakefield may do so later tonight if he picks up career win #200. Here are this evening’s links…

  • Dustin McGowan, who returned to the Major Leagues after three years of rehab last night, told Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star that the most emotional moment of his comeback came when he jogged in from the bullpen to the mound with many Blue Jays fans on their feet.
  • The Marlins aim to develop more homegrown arms, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post notes that there's a good chance Jason Giambi will return to the Rockies next season, regardless of the state of Todd Helton's back (Twitter link).

Quick Hits: McGowan, Kuo, Edwin Jackson

Five years ago today, the Athletics claimed righty Jerome Williams off waivers from the Cubs.  Williams pitched 30 innings for the Nationals the following year, but then didn't pitch in the Majors until last month with the Angels.  Williams went through a lot in the meantime, and considers his return to the bigs "a fairy tale."  On to today's Labor Day links…

  • Dustin McGowan makes for another nice story; the Blue Jays reinstated him from the 60-day DL today.  The former first-round pick once seemed on the cusp of big things, but he hasn't pitched in the Majors in more than three years due to a pair of surgeries on his right shoulder.  He'll be one of seven arbitration eligible Blue Jays, but McGowan won't cost much to retain.
  • Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo is learning to manage his anxiety better, and intends to pitch next year, writes Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.  If the Dodgers tender Kuo a contract, he'll earn at least $2.18MM in 2012.
  • Free agency will be "interesting," Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  The Scott Boras client, who turns 28 on Friday, has a 3.78 ERA on the season and is on track to make 30+ starts for the fifth consecutive year.
  • Reliever Bobby Jenks is probably done for the season, Red Sox manager Terry Francona told WEEI's Rob Bradford and others today.  The big righty signed a two-year, $12MM deal after being non-tendered by the White Sox in December, but pitched only 15 2/3 innings for Boston due to a back injury.