Dustin Nippert Rumors

Far East Notes: Darvish, Aoki, Nippert

Here's the latest on Japanese players who could be coming to North America and a North American who's staying in South Korea…

  • There is "a bit of concern" among executives that Yu Darvish won't decide to be posted this winter, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  It has been widely assumed that Darvish would be posted and immediately become one of the most sought-after pitchers on the market, despite the fact that it will cost a team at least $100MM to both win the posting bid and then sign Darvish to a contract.
  • The transition to four days' rest from six days' rest between starts will be the biggest transition for Darvish if he comes to the Major Leagues, writes ESPN's Jason Coskrey.  Coskrey also provides brief scouting reports of Wei-Yin Chen, Hisashi Iwakuma and Tsuyoshi Wada, three pitchers likely to make the jump from NPB to MLB this winter.
  • Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (via Twitter) suggests the Indians aren’t likely to pursue Norichika Aoki, the three-time Central League batting champion who will be posted this offseason. As Hoynes reported yesterday, however, the Indians are interested in Japanese right-hander Shinobu Fukuhara.
  • Dustin Nippert has signed a new two-year deal with the Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization, reports Dan of MyKBO.net (Twitter link).  Nippert originally signed with Doosan in March.  The 30-year-old right-hander pitched three seasons each with the Diamondbacks and Rangers from 2005-2010 before being non-tendered by Texas last offseason.

MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post

Dustin Nippert Signed With Team In Korea

Free agent right-hander Dustin Nippert signed with the Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization according to a report from Naver news services (link in Korean), passed along by the blog True Stories of Korean Baseball. The signing actually occured back in mid-January.

Nippert, 29, spent the last three years with the Rangers, pitching to a 4.91 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in 198 innings. He was non-tendered this offseason after posting a 4.28 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 56 2/3 innings in 2010. Nippert spent close to two months on the disabled list last year after getting hit in the head with a batted ball and suffering a concussion.

American League Non-Tenders

This post will list all the American League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.

Players To Avoid Arbitration: Friday

Here's a list of the players who have avoided arbitration so far today, with more names sure to stream in:

Players Tendered Contracts

Midnight ET is the non-tender deadline, so we'll keep track of all the players who are offered and/or agreed to contracts today in this post. Keep coming back throughout the day for updates.

Rangers DFA Tejeda, Cruz

As expected the Rangers DFA’d outfielder Nelson Cruz and pitcher Robinson Tejeda over the weekend. Tejeda is a casualty of the Rangers’ Friday deal for Dustin Nippert, and has been undergoing a thus far unsuccessful transition to the bullpen. He went 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA during the spring, but did manage to run a streak of four scoreless appearances prior to giving up a game-ending RBI triple to Felix Pie last week.

Cruz’s release was expected. There was some light talk of him possibly being moved to Tampa last week, but that evaporated when the Rays acquired former Angels prospect Nathan Haynes. Ironically, according to Lone Star Ball, Haynes was once offered to Texas along with Casey Kotchman in a proposed deal for Mark Teixeira. Sands through the hourglass…

Control problems have always plagued Tejeda (67/60 K/BB in 2007), but he’s got a live fastball that touches the upper 90s and a decent change to compliment it. Plus he owns Orlando Cabrera (1 for 10 lifetime). It seems likely someone might give the 6′ 3" Dominican another shot.

Aaron Shinsano writes for East Windup Chronicle.

Rangers Acquire Dustin Nippert

Smart move by Jon Daniels tonight, as the Rangers acquired out of options pitcher Dustin Nippert from the Diamondbacks for minor league reliever Jose Marte.

Nippert, 27 in May, was said to have "top of the rotation stuff" by Baseball America in their ’07 handbook.  The 6’7" TJ survivor throws in the mid-90s with a strong curve.  He hasn’t had any big league success, but there’s upside here.  The Rangers can afford to stash Nippert on the active roster and let him struggle in ’08; the D’Backs couldn’t.

I can’t tell you much beyond stats about Marte – he’s a 24 year-old relief prospect with huge strikeout rates.  He struggled with his control as a High A ball closer last year.  Better than nothing, which was Josh Byrnes’ alternative if he tried to pass Nippert through waivers.

Waivers Possible For Nippert, Medders?

The Diamondbacks are facing too much of a good thing this spring, with five relievers competing for just one remaining spot in the bullpen.

Righthander Dustin Nippert was the frontrunner, but has stumbled in Spring Training. Strong performances by young throwers Billy Buckner, Juan Gutierrez, and Yusmeiro Petit have also complicated the situation, as each has made a strong case for his inclusion on the big-league roster. However, Nippert and fellow righty Brandon Medders have both been with the team for three years, and are out of minor league options. If the Diamondbacks leave them off the roster, they’ll hit the waiver wire.

One thought is that if Randy Johnson isn’t ready to go, his absence will leave a second slot open for a pitcher. However, that could still leave Medders and Nippert disappointed.

Sarah Green writes for the Boston Metro and UmpBump.com; she can be reached here.

Medders Or Nippert Could Be Traded

The D’Backs have two fellas on our Out of Options list – pitchers Brandon Medders and Dustin NippertIn the eyes of Nick Piecoro, there’s a decent chance the D’Backs trade one of ’em.

Nippert turns 27 in May.  A TJ survivor, Baseball America wrote in their ’07 handbook that the tall righty has "top-of-the-rotation stuff."  He could be a prize for a rebuilding team that could afford to keep him in the Majors all year.  He’s yet to have much big league success.

Medders has a nice 3.36 career ERA in 131 innings of relief, but his K/BB has deteriorated over the years.  The 28 year-old missed most of ’04 with labrum surgery, according to BA.  They say he’s deceptive and possesses a decent sinking fastball and cutter.

Both these guys are interesting, with Nippert the upside choice.  If the D’Backs do deal one of them I’m guessing it could be for a prospect or two.

Dan Haren Rumors: Wednesday

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 11:20am: Joel Sherman says Stephen Drew, Mark Reynolds, and Tony Pena are also off the table in the Haren talks.

UPDATE, 12-5-07 at 8:09am: Susan Slusser adds that the A’s aren’t being unreasonable with Arizona – they haven’t asked for Justin Upton or Chris Young. Slusser also notes that Billy Beane wouldn’t sit down with the Tigers unless they’d discuss Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin.  That’s when the Tigers turned to the Marlins.  Beane downplayed the chances of trading Haren, but what else is he going to say?

FROM 12-5-07 at 12:09am:

Technically it’s Wednesday now, and some of the more rumor-filled threads were getting really long.  So I’m happy to start a set of new ones.  You can check out Tuesday’s Dan Haren thread here.

According to Jack Magruder of the East Valley Tribune, the D’Backs are willing to discuss a package of Carlos Gonzalez, Emilio Bonifacio, and Brett Anderson for Haren.  That the D’Backs could spare these three very talented youngsters without skipping a beat speaks to how deep their farm system is.  Magruder’s source says the A’s could ask for a staggering six players. 

Jose Valverde, Dustin Nippert, and/or Alberto Callaspo could be involved to give the A’s some MLB-ready talent.  From previous reports, we know that Conor Jackson and Max Scherzer will not be involved.  Ken Rosenthal had suggested last night that the A’s initial request scared the D’Backs off, but he’s since corrected that information

The A’s, however, want to wait for something to happen with Johan Santana before trading Haren.

Additionally, Magruder adds that the D’Backs have a touch of interest in Noah Lowry.