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- Right-Hander Norge Ruiz Leaves Cuba, Will Seek Deal With MLB Club
- Smyly Will Not Have Surgery, Is Confident He Can Pitch In 2015
- Hyun-jin Ryu Undergoes Season-Ending Shoulder Surgery
- 2016 MLB Free Agent Power Rankings
- Hyun-jin Ryu To Undergo Shoulder Surgery
- Mariners Acquire Welington Castillo From Cubs For Yoervis Medina
- Bruce Chen Announces Retirement
- Red Sox Outright Allen Craig
- Marlins Name GM Dan Jennings Manager
- GM Dan Jennings Could Become Marlins Manager
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- Dodgers Acquire Eric Surkamp From White Sox
- West Notes: Street, Crisp, Athletics, Dodgers
- Minor Moves: Josh Elander, Brock Peterson
- Red Sox Promote Rusney Castillo
- Rangers To Release Kyuji Fujikawa
- Right-Hander Norge Ruiz Leaves Cuba, Will Seek Deal With MLB Club
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- Cubs Among Teams Showing Interest In Rafael Soriano
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- Smyly Will Not Have Surgery, Is Confident He Can Pitch In 2015
- Astros Release Darin Downs
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Ender Inciarte Rumors
The Padres are still involved in some chatter involving Phillies ace Cole Hamels, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Prior reports had indicated that a hypothetical deal could include recently-acquired, high-upside outfielder Wil Myers, but Heyman says that recently-discussed trade scenarios have been based around San Diego prospects. That being said, the report stresses that nothing is close and that other clubs are still involved. And, of course, GM A.J. Preller said recently that he does not expect any more truly significant deals.
More from the National League West:
- In addition to pursuing free agent starter James Shields, the Diamondbacks are looking at the trade market for a starter and/or catcher, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports. Arizona would be interested in moving an outfield bat, and at least one club (the Orioles) has inquired on David Peralta and Ender Inciarte.
- The Rockies, too, want to add to their rotation, and MLB.com’s Thomas Harding says that the team is increasing its efforts to do so. Mets righty Dillon Gee is said to be a target, of course, though Harding reports that the Rockies have not made an offer. (For what it’s worth, both Harding and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post suggested the idea of southpaw reliever Boone Logan as a target for the Mets.) Otherwise, Colorado would likely aim for an experienced, back-end right-hander on the free agent market, with Harding saying that names like Ryan Vogelsong, Kyle Kendrick, and Kevin Correia represent the range of pitcher being considered.
- In addition to eyeing the rotation market, the Rockies have several former closers on their radar, per Harding. Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano, and John Axford are among the late-inning arms that Colorado could make a run at, according to the report.
Adam Dunn‘s agent, Brian Peters, tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link) that Dunn is indeed retiring, as was widely expected. Dunn himself said that he would retire following the season back in August, though he created a bit of doubt when he backed off slightly and said, “That’s it, probably,” following the Athletics’ loss to the Royals in the AL Wild Card game. Dunn’s career was unique, to say the least, as he epitomized the “three true outcomes” player, homering 462 times while striking out in 28.6 percent of his plate appearances and walking in 15.8 percent of them. Just under half (49.9 percent) of Dunn’s career plate appearances ended in a long ball, a walk or a whiff, and he will enter the record books with a .237/.364/.490 batting line. Dunn hit 40-plus homers in six separate seasons, including five consecutive years — four of which finished with 40 on the dot (2005-08). The “Big Donkey” will be fondly remembered by many for his light-tower power — a skill that earned him more than $112MM throughout his career, per Baseball-Reference.com. MLBTR wishes Dunn and his family happiness and the best of luck in his post-playing days.
Here are a few notes on some of the game’s Western division clubs, including the final team for which Dunn played…
- Athletics right-handers Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin are doubtful for Opening Day, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. That’s not a huge shock, given that both underwent Tommy John surgery last spring, though Parker, whose surgery was on March 25, would have seemed to at least have a chance at being ready. Oakland still has plenty of pitching depth, however, with Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Hahn, Jesse Chavez, Drew Pomeranz, Chris Bassitt, Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman all in the fold. Once Griffin and Parker are healthy, Oakland will have a plethora of MLB-ready rotation options, and only Kazmir is set to depart following the 2015 campaign.
- Morosi also tweets that the Diamondbacks have received calls from the Orioles regarding their outfield depth. Baltimore is known to be looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder, and both David Peralta and Ender Inciarte would fit that description, Morosi notes. Peralta’s name has surfaced in trade talks already this offseason, as the Reds were said to be interested in him prior to acquiring Marlon Byrd. Moving Peralta would allow Arizona to shift Yasmany Tomas to the outfield rather than trying him at third base, as is the current plan, although first-year GM Dave Stewart specifically mentioned Peralta when discussing the club’s strengths shortly after his hiring.
- Also from Morosi, the D-Backs have called the Blue Jays about Dioner Navarro, but talks haven’t advanced much to this point. Morosi noted last night that Arizona is working hard to acquire a catcher, as Tuffy Gosewich is the lone player on their 40-man roster with big league experience. Navarro is known to be available after the Jays inked Russell Martin to a huge five-year deal earlier this offseason.
- The Giants tried to work out a deal to acquire Ben Zobrist from the Rays before he was dealt to Oakland, but San Francisco deemed Tampa’s asking price to be too high, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- The Mariners are one option for veteran outfielder Endy Chavez, tweets Heyman. Soon to be 37, Chavez remains on the free agent market on the heels of a season in which he batted .276/.317/.371 (99 OPS+, 97 wRC+). While Chavez has never brought much to the table in terms of offense, he’s graded out well from a defensive standpoint throughout his career (though defensive metrics have soured on him over the past two seasons).
- Yonder Alonso tells Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he is 100 percent healthy after undergoing surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right wrist. Alonso says that he hasn’t been pain-free in his hands since he broke a metacarpal bone in his right hand when he was hit by a pitch on May 31, 2013. Padres GM A.J. Preller has indicated that first base is likely to be handled by some combination of Alonso, Tommy Medica and Will Middlebrooks, and Lin notes that perhaps a lower-pressure environment with more offensive threats throughout the lineup will help Alonso. Still, he notes, Alonso’s tenure with the Padres has been a disappointment to many. “I really thought he’d unleash some power,” a scout from another club tells Lin. “It’s been disappointing.”
Not long after breaking camp with the Phillies, outfielder and Rule 5 selection Ender Inciarte has been returned to the Diamondbacks, tweets MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Inciarte was designated for assignment by Philadelphia on Tuesday when the club claimed Ezequiel Carrera off of waivers from Cleveland.
Having failed to get a chance to swing the bat for the Phils, Inciarte still has not seen a plate appearance above the High-A level. He hit .307/.376/.421 across Class-A and Advanced-A last year as a 21-year-old.
The Phillies announced that they have claimed outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off of waivers from the Indians. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Phillies have designated fellow outfielder Ender Inciarte for assignment.
Carrera, 25, has appeared in 116 big league games for the Indians across the last two seasons, posting a .255/.306/.347 slash line. He has spent parts of the last three seasons at the Triple-A level where he has hit .286/.351/.372. Carrera first came to Cleveland by way of Seattle in the deal that sent Russell Branyan to the M's.
Inciarte, 22, was plucked from the Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 draft by the Phillies in December. The youngster, who is said to be strong defensively but lacking a major league-ready bat, split time between Class-A and Advanced-A ball in 2012. Last season, he had a combined slash line of .307/.376/.421
It's "possible," though not likely, that the Nationals could sign shortstop Ian Desmond to a contract extension before the season begins Monday, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Desmond is eligible for free agency after 2015, and the Nationals would likely look to acquire the rights to some of Desmond's free agency years if he were to sign with them, Kilgore suggests. Desmond hit .292/.335/.511 in a breakout year for the Nationals in 2012. He avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $3.8MM contract for 2013. Here's more from the East Coast.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter likes the depth that new acquisition Freddy Garcia provides, Eduardo A. Encina and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun report. "He is inventory. He can help us if we have a need," says Showalter. "He can pitch as a starter and out of the bullpen. I like it." Encina and Connolly write that Garcia will start five or six games for Triple-A Norfolk before the Orioles reevaluate how they plan to use him.
- Outfielder and rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte has won a job with the Phillies, meaning Philadelphia won't be offering him back to the Diamondbacks, Tim McManus of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Inciarte will be required to stick on the Phillies' 25-man roster throughout the season. Inciarte spent 2012 at Class A South Bend and Class A+ Visalia. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says Inciarte "may be a little overmatched offensively," but can provide help on defense.
Let's take a quick trip around four of baseball's five most valuable franchises, according to Forbes:
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. discussed the team's offseason strategy and looked ahead to the new season in a wide-ranging question-and-answer session with Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News. When asked about the decision to add yet more older players to his club, Amaro said that "age is a factor," but not the only factor. "I've said this before and [Yankees GM] Brian Cashman has said this before," said Amaro. "I don't worry so much about age as I do about production." Amaro did note that the team figures to get younger in the outfield with Ben Revere and Domonic Brown expected to occupy two starting spots.
- Meanwhile, the club has announced its Opening Day roster, which includes outfielder Ender Inciarte, according to a team tweet. As MLBTR previously noted, the 22-year-old Rule 5 draftee has yet to appear above High-A ball. Inciarte will remain Phillies property so long as he sticks on the club's 25-man roster (or is placed on the DL) for the duration of the season. Click here for an explanation of the Rule 5 Draft. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com tweets that he expects Inciarte to be returned to the Diamondbacks when Delmon Young is ready to join the club.
- Turning to Cashman's Yankees, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman pulled no punches when reviewing the club's offseason, writing that "no one had a worse spring training than baseball's most storied team, maybe ever." Heyman further reports that, in spite of their public proclamations and massive payroll, the Yanks' brass is very concerned internally about the club's prospects for 2013. Likewise, ESPN's Jim Bowden predicted that New York would finish last in the AL East, writing that the club could sport a losing record for the first time since 1992.
- Meanwhile, first baseman Lyle Overbay has made the Yankees Opening Day roster, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reported on Twitter. The 36-year-old was inked shortly after being released by the Red Sox. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch previously reported that Overbay signed what Cashman described as "a three-day, NBA-style contract" to allow the club to get "a quick peek" at the veteran. As McCullough wrote, Cashman has described his recent scramble to add players by evoking the famous Emma Lazarus line featured on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to break [sic] free."
- While nothing is yet official, Red Sox prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. is heading with the club to New York, where the team opens against the Yankees on Monday, tweets Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. The club will need to clear a 40-man roster spot before it can select the contract of the young outfielder, notes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal (on Twitter).
- The Cubs' front office is working hard to make final additions to the roster, writes Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune (must register to access article). After adding players like Luis Valbuena and Shawn Camp around this time last year, Rogers says, the club could be active on the waiver wire.
The Astros and GM Jeff Luhnow are drawing polarized opinions this spring, writes Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Luhnow argues that the Astros are closer to building a strong organization than some outside commentators might think, citing Jose Altuve, Jason Castro and Lucas Harrell as players who could be part of a strong core in Houston. "I think the core is already here," says Luhnow. "I really do." Here are more notes from around the majors.
- The Phillies could look outside the organization to fill their last outfield spot, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports. Salisbury cites Casper Wells and Ryan Sweeney as examples of the sorts of players the Phillies might pursue. If the Phillies don't acquire a new player, Rule 5 Draft pick Ender Inciarte might end up taking the job.
- As spring training nears its end, the Dodgers still have all eight of their starting pitchers, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times notes. The Dodgers had been rumored to be looking to trade at least one of them. Dilbeck projects that the team's rotation will include Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chad Billingsley, with Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly and Aaron Harang on the outside looking in.
- The Dodgers have signed 16-year-old pitcher Jesus Canizales out of Venezuela, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports (on Twitter).
To get the weekend started with some fascinating insight into the use of analytics by agents, look for the audio link at the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference Player Agent Panel page. Let's take a look at a few updates on some Rule 5 draftees who are hoping to stick with their new clubs:
- Chris McGuiness has impressed the Indians at first and in the outfield, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer, and the team is loath to return him to the Rangers. According to manager Terry Francona, "in a perfect world, I wish he wasn't a Rule 5 pick and he was in our minor league system." If the Indians are unable to keep McGuiness on the big league roster, Francona "hope[s]" that a trade can be worked out to keep him in the system, adds Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
- Jeff Kobernus, primarily an infielder in the Nationals system, continues to battle with Quintin Berry for a spot in the Tigers outfield, writes Jim Hawkins of MLB.com. While it is "possible" that both players could make the roster, according to manager Jim Leyland, that scenario is a "longshot."
- Another player plucked from the Nationals, left-handed pitcher Danny Rosenbaum, "has put up a nice argument for himself in the competition for a middle-relief spot" with the Rockies, writes Thomas Harding of MLB.com. Rosenbaum, who never saw a big league camp while in the Washington organization, spoke with Nats' reliever Craig Stammen to learn how to transition from the rotation to the bullpen.
- Outfielder Ender Inciarte is in the midst of a solid spring and is making a play for the Phillies' fifth outfielder role, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Just 22 years old, Inciarte never played above High-A ball in the Diamondbacks organization.
- Josh Fields came to the Astros from the Red Sox with the first pick in the Rule 5 draft, and acknowledges being "really, really excited when Houston picked me up." As Adam Berry of MLB.com writes, the rebuilding Houston franchise hopes that the 27-year-old, righthanded reliever is ready for the big leagues after he posted a solid 2012 season in Triple-A Pawtucket.
Each year, Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings conclude with the Rule 5 Draft. For those who are unfamiliar with the event, MLBTR offers an in-depth description, but here's a quick overview.
Players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if they aren't on the 40-man roster four or five years after signing, depending on the age at which they signed. Teams draft in the reverse order of the previous season's standings but aren't required to make a selection. If they do choose a player, they pay his former team $50K and must keep that player on the Major League roster all season or offer him back to his original team for $25K.
The results from the Major League phase:
- Astros take righty Josh Fields from Red Sox
- Cubs take righty Hector Rondon from Indians
- Rockies take lefty Danny Rosenbaum from Nationals
- Twins take righty Ryan Pressly from Red Sox
- Indians take first baseman Chris McGuiness from Rangers
- Marlins take outfielder Alfredo Silverio from Dodgers
- Red Sox take second baseman Jeff Kobernus from Nationals; traded to Tigers for infielder/outfielder Justin Henry
- Blue Jays
- Mets take lefty Kyle Lobstein from Rays; traded to Tigers for cash considerations
- Diamondbacks take righty Starling Peralta from Cubs
- Phillies take outfielder Ender Inciarte from Diamondbacks
- White Sox take infielder Angel Sanchez from Angels
- Orioles take lefty T.J. McFarland from Indians
- Rangers take righty Coty Woods from Rockies
Second round of Major League phase:
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Alfredo Silverio | Angel Sanchez | Arizona Diamondbacks | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Braulio Lara | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Chris McGuiness | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | Coty Woods | Danny Rosenbaum | Detroit Tigers | Ender Inciarte | Hector Rondon | Houston Astros | Jeff Kobernus | Joshua D. Fields | Kyle Lobstein | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Miami Marlins | Minnesota Twins | Nate Freiman | New York Mets | Philadelphia Phillies | Rule 5 Draft | Ryan Pressly | San Diego Padres | Starlin Peralta | T.J. McFarland | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Transactions | Washington Nationals