Eddie Guardado Rumors

Odds & Ends: Cardinals, Brewers, Willis, Guardado

Links for Sunday….

The Latest On The Remaining Free Agent Relievers

The Cubs and Twins have seen top relievers get hurt this spring and already both clubs are interested in relievers (specifically Jason Frasor). Don't expect Jim Hendry to sign one of the free agent options remaining; the Cubs are reportedly uninterested in that group. But as more pitchers get injured, some of the free agents will gain appeal. Here's a look at the remaining relievers who have attracted at least some interest this offseason.

Nationals Release Shawn Estes, Eddie Guardado

The Nationals released pitchers Shawn Estes and Eddie Guardado, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson.

The Nats had signed Estes, 37, to a $600K minor league deal on February 6th.  Estes tossed one spring inning for the Nats.  In June, Estes said he'd retired from Triple A but not from baseball.  He posted a 3.07 ERA, 4.9 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 in 73.3 minor league innings for the Dodgers' affiliate.

The Nationals added Guardado in late December.  The 39-year-old had considered retirement, but decided his knee could handle the rigors of another season.  Guardado had this to say to Ladson after he signed: "The Nationals came at me like they really wanted me."  Instead, Everyday Eddie was given only two innings to prove his worth (during which he allowed seven hits).  Last year for the Rangers he posted a 4.46 ERA, 4.7 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9 in 38.3 innings.  Guardado rejoins a list of free agent lefty relievers that includes Joe Beimel, Alan Embree, Ron Mahay, Glendon Rusch, and Jamie Walker.

Odds & Ends: Bay, Guardado, Yankees, Marlins

Let's round up some lingering Tuesday links….

Nationals Sign Eddie Guardado

The Nationals signed veteran left-hander Eddie Guardado to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. The deal is now official, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Fellow Nats beat writer Chico Harlan of the Washington Post reported that the sides agreed to a minor league deal, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported that a deal was close.

Guardado, 39, posted a 4.46 ERA, 4.7 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9 for the Rangers in 38.3 innings this year after signing a minor league deal in February. He battled shoulder and knee injuries and mulled retirement after the season. Guardado had a preference for the West Coast, but presumably the opportunity wasn't there.

The Nats, who also signed Matt Capps this week, add an option for tough NL East lefties like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard; Guardado has allowed just a .228/.273/.372 line against left-handed hitters in his 17-year career.

Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post.

Eddie Guardado Plans To Pitch In 2010

Lefty reliever Eddie Guardado intends to pitch in 2010, according to his agent Kevin Kohler (MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reporting).  A visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum has Everyday Eddie feeling better about his knee.  Kohler acknowledged that another minor league deal probably makes sense for Guardado, who would like to pitch on the West Coast.  Sullivan considers a return to the Rangers unlikely.

Guardado, 39, posted a 4.46 ERA in 38.3 innings this year, with fairly ugly peripheral stats.  He hasn't shown much of a platoon split over the last three seasons, with lefties hitting .265/.329/.449 against him.

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Rangers Notes: Vizquel, Byrd, Rodriguez

MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan examined what some of the Rangers' plans might be this winter, and here are some of the highlights…

  • A right-handed bat is at the top of the Texas wish list for the off-season, with Sullivan singling out Jermaine Dye as perhaps the best fit for the Rangers amongst the veteran hitters on the free agent market.
  • There is a good chance that veteran shortstop Omar Vizquel will re-sign with Texas before the club's exclusive negotiating period for free agents ends on November 19.  Sullivan reports that "there appears to be genuine interest on both sides" to bring the 11-time Gold Glover back for his 22nd big-league season in 2010.
  • Texas GM Jon Daniels says that the team would like to bring back free-agent outfielder Marlon Byrd, but since Byrd wants to test the market, "it's just not going to happen in the exclusive window period, if it's going to happen at all."
  • The Rangers want to see how Jarrod Saltalamacchia rebounds from shoulder surgery before looking at re-signing veteran catcher and franchise legend Ivan Rodriguez.
  • In regards to the other four Texas free agents, Sullivan said that Andruw Jones and Hank Blalock won't be pursued by the club, Eddie Guardado may retire and Joaquin Benoit is "in limbo" following shoulder surgery that sidelined him for all of 2009.
  • If Ben Sheets is able to pitch in 2010, the Rangers still have interest in the right-hander who they thought they had signed last January.
  • Relief pitching will become a priority if Neftali Feliz and C.J. Wilson are moved to the rotation.  Sullivan lists several bullpen options for the Rangers, many of whom have pitched in Texas before.

Eddie Guardado Considering Retirement

Reliever Eddie Guardado is considering retirement, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Guardado, 39 in October, admitted he's "thinking about hanging it up," but left the possibility of another season open.

If he retires, Everyday Eddie will finish with a 4.32 ERA in 942.6 innings for the Twins, Mariners, Reds, and Rangers.  He also has 187 saves, 86 in 2002-03.  He's earned approximately $29MM in his career.

Stark On Andruw, Swisher, Hudson, Pedro

The latest from ESPN’s Jayson Stark

  • Stark looks at all the factors influencing this year’s slow-moving free agent market, talking to all sorts of anonymous execs.  It’s a good read.
  • Among all the teams, the Phillies have added the most to their payroll this winter ($30MM+).  Only ten teams raised payroll this year.  The Phils are still looking at the same cast of righthanded bench bats, and are also looking to sign a reliever for one year.  Names of interest: Joe Borowski, Rudy Seanez, Will Ohman, Joe Beimel, Dennys Reyes, and Randy Flores.  Stark notes that Flores is out until June due to shoulder surgery.
  • Andruw Jones is looking for a team that will give him playing time.  One of Stark’s sources says Braves manager Bobby Cox is "lobbying harder for Jones than the rest of the baseball operation."
  • The Braves are the top suitor for Nick Swisher, but their suggestion that the Yankees eat some of Swisher’s contract was shot down.
  • Stark has heard that Angels owner Arte Moreno is ticked at Scott Boras and Mark Teixeira for the way they handled negotiations.
  • Stark received conflicting answers on whether the Elias formulas "can be changed without a special negotiation."  It figures that the players union would push to eliminate the Jason Varitek/Juan Cruz/Orlando Cabrera situations we saw this winter.  The D’Backs may have interest in re-signing Cruz, but don’t look for a Cabrera-White Sox reunion.
  • The Yankees and Mets have not pursued Orlando Hudson, despite Hudson’s statements of their interest.  Stark sees a one-year deal with the Nationals or Dodgers in his future. 
  • One assistant GM doesn’t think the WBC will be a good gauge for Pedro Martinez‘s abilities, since he’ll be doing short stints.
  • Stark has details on Eddie Guardado‘s contract, which has interesting provisions if he is to be traded.

Rangers Sign Eddie Guardado

4:13pm: The Rangers’ minor league deal with Guardado is official, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.

TUESDAY, 7:48am: Wilson says Guardado "has agreed to return to the Rangers on a non-roster deal."  Final details remain, and the deal could be worth up to $3MM.

MONDAY, 5:21pm: Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram spoke with Rangers GM Jon Daniels, who confirmed that a deal could be finalized for Guardado "within the next few days."

2:05pm: According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers are close to a deal to bring lefty reliever Eddie Guardado back to Texas.  It may be completed in the next few days.  Adding Guardado could help soften the blow of losing Joaquin Benoit to rotator cuff surgery.

Sullivan adds that the Rangers continue to look for pitching help beyond Guardado, with names like Jason Jennings, Kris Benson, and Chad Cordero in the mix.