Endy Chavez Rumors
The struggles of Jackie Bradley Jr. serve as a reminder that Spring Training stats are a mere "snapshot in time," writes SB Nation's Rob Neyer. He adds that Spring Training stats "describe the random nature of raw performance statistics as much as they describe fundamental abilities." Here are some links from around the league...
- The excellent play of Endy Chavez is going to force the Mariners to make a roster decision, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. With Michael Saunders coming off the DL next week, the team will have to make a move or carry six outfielders. Jason Bay seems like the most logical candidate as the odd man out, in my personal opinion.
- There was a point this offseason where Brian Grieper, Mike Napoli's agent and friend, thought Napoli's career in baseball was over, writes WEEI.com's Alex Speier. Napoli was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in both hips this offseason but has been healthy through the early portion of the season.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is comfortable with the relievers he has despite the bullpen's struggles thus far, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. As Strauss notes, it's difficult to find help from outside the organization at this point in the season.
- The Marlins were never interested in Francisco Rodriguez, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel. K-Rod signed a minor league deal with the Brewers yesterday.
- Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times writes that Padres president Tom Garfinkel apologized for the behind-closed-doors comments he made about Zack Greinke which were linked to the public. Garfinkel said flatly that Greinke threw at Carlos Quentin on purpose and also made comments which hinted at Greinke's previous battles with social anxiety disorder.
2:00pm: Chavez says he will start the year at Triple-A, reports MLB.com's John Schlegel.
11:05am: Not surprisingly, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times confirms that it's a minor league contract. As Baker writes, the bigger story behind this signing is that it places Casper Wells' future with the Mariners in doubt.
10:40am: The Mariners have signed Endy Chavez, according to agent Chris Leible of the Legacy Agency on Twitter (hat tip: Andy Martino of the New York Daily News). Chavez will report to camp with the Mariners today.
Chavez signed a minor league deal with the Royals earlier this offseason, but Kansas City released the 35-year-old last week.
Chavez spent the 2009 season with the Mariners, appearing in 54 games and posting a .273/.328/.342 batting line before a torn ACL cost him the remainder of the season. Chavez is a veteran of 11 Major League seasons and seven teams. He is a career .269/.306/.367 hitter and a very highly regarded defensive outfielder at all three positions, as evidenced by his career 11.7 UZR/150.
The Royals added Chavez on a minor league deal in December after he spent the 2012 season with Baltimore. Chavez played all three outfield positions for the Orioles last year, posting a .203/.236/.278 batting line in 169 plate appearances. The 35-year-old has played for seven teams in his 11-year MLB career.
The Royals have announced the signing of outfielder Endy Chavez to a minor league contract. Chavez is represented by Peter E. Greenberg & Associates and is the third veteran outfielder the Royals have signed this month, following their minor league contracts with Xavier Nady and Willy Taveras.
Chavez (who turns 35 in February) signed a one-year, $1.5MM deal with the Orioles last offseason and hit .203/.236/.278 in 169 plate appearances for Baltimore in 2012. Chavez spent most his 64 games as a defensive replacement in left and right field and it's likely he'll fill a similar backup role in Kansas City. On paper he fits as a left-handed hitting complement to Jeff Francoeur in right field, but Chavez's career .676 OPS against right-handed pitching is even less than Francoeur's much-maligned career numbers (.702 OPS) against righties.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports was the first to report the signing, with ESPN's Jerry Crasnick adding that it was a minor league deal and that the Giants also had interest in Chavez's services (both links are to Twitter).
The Blue Jays announced that they’ve suspended Yunel Escobar for three games because the shortstop played with a homophobic slur written under his eyes in Spanish this past weekend. Here are today’s AL East notes, starting with the Blue Jays...
- Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com suggests the Blue Jays will make Escobar available in trades again this coming offseason. Knobler expects Escobar will draw interest, despite his poor offensive performance and the perception that he can be a difficult teammate. The Blue Jays had planned to move Escobar to second base, but were apprehensive about having to deliver the message to the 29-year-old, Knobler reports.
- When Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette got started in Baltimore, he said he wanted to improve his team's on-base percentage and acquire talented players who weren't getting opportunities elsewhere. As Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun explains, Duquette has found unexpected contributors, but hasn't improved the team's on-base percentage. Expect Duquette to look for players with above-average on-base percentages this coming offseason.
- Endy Chavez's presence has made the Orioles’ search for outfield help less urgent, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
Here are Wednesday's outright assignments, courtesy of the MLB.com transactions page...
- The Orioles have outrighted Endy Chavez to Triple-A. The 34-year-old outfielder hit .190/.222/.281 in 129 plate appearances for Baltimore this season before being designated for assignment earlier this month.
- The Blue Jays have outrighted right-hander Scott Richmond to Triple-A. Toronto designated the 32-year-old for assignment last week after allowing two runs in three relief innings. Richmond pitched to a 5.89 in 117 2/3 Triple-A innings this year.
- The Diamondbacks have outrighted Mike Zagurski to Triple-A. The 29-year-old southpaw pitched to a 6.18 ERA in 27 2/3 relief innings this year, and left-handed hitters tagged him for a .256/.320/.395 batting line. Arizona designated Zagurski for assignment this past weekend.
There are currently 52 starting pitchers on the disabled list, and it’s costing teams money as well as production, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports (Twitter links). Executives estimate teams will spend $500MM on injured players this year, so let’s hope they took out some insurance. Here are today’s links...
- Blue Jays infielder Omar Vizquel wants to manage at the MLB level next year, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. The 45-year-old 11-time Gold Glove winner said he'd like to manager close to his Seattle area home or for a team with which he has pre-existing ties. As Morosi points out, Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura are doing just fine this year despite their relative inexperience managing professionally.
- Orioles outfielder Endy Chavez will report to Triple-A early next week, according to MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter links). Chavez decided to stay in the organization instead of electing free agency, and the Orioles expect him to be back with the MLB team by the time rosters expand in September.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney wonders if Travis Hafner’s tenure with the Indians could be over now that he’s on the disabled list and his contract is about to expire.
In our poll this afternoon, more than 3,300 MLBTR readers told us that they believe the Orioles will finish the season with an above-.500 record but will not qualify for the postseason. Baltimore came into the day in a four-way tie for the two AL Wild Card spots. Here's the latest from Charm City, courtesy of The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly...
- “No, we are looking around every day,” said GM Dan Duquette when asked if the Manny Machado call-up means they are closing the door on acquiring players from outside the organization.
- The Orioles have expressed some interest in the recently released Lyle Overbay, but they might not have room for him on the roster.
- There's a sense that Derek Lowe will wind up back in National League once he clears waivers tomorrow, but the Orioles could have interest according to Connolly.
- Endy Chavez is expected to clear waivers tomorrow and will likely accept an assignment to Baltimore's Triple-A affiliate.
- We had some more Orioles links earlier this morning.
Indians starter Corey Kluber will look to shut down the Twins tonight and end Cleveland's ten-game losing streak. Kluber will face an offense that ranks 12th in MLB in runs scored (though they do much of their hitting at home, as Dave Cameron noted today). In the meantime, here are today's links...
- The Mariners would have to absorb about $10MM in salary if they released Chone Figgins, but they should remove him from the roster anyway, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes.
- Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he owes it to his teammates to focus on his game, rather than the trade chatter that often surrounds him. He might have to face another round of trade rumors this offseason, if the Diamondbacks decide they'll listen to trade offers for him again a few months from now.
- The Orioles are discussing trade possibilities regarding Endy Chavez, but they think he could stay in the organization, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (Twitter links). Instead of trading the recently-designated outfielder, the Orioles could demote him to Triple-A with the expectation of calling him up when rosters expand in September.
Here's a quick look at items on the Nationals and Orioles..
- Endy Chavez was designated for assignment earlier today but Orioles manager Buck Showalter doesn't expect him to stay idle for long, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. "Endy will end up on his feet shortly. I know Dan's going to explore some things with him," the manager said. The outfielder was DFA'd in order allow for the promotion of Nate McLouth.
- Showalter went on to note that McLouth had to be promoted due to his impending opt-out date, Kubatko tweets. According to the manager, other teams asked about McLouth's ability but the O's opted to promote him instead.
- Even though the Nationals are welcoming Kurt Suzuki with open arms, the catcher's arrival will have a significant impact on the club's depth chart beyond this year, writes Amanda Comak of The Washington Times. Jesus Flores told reporters that he was "shocked" by the news but is now on the same page with the club after meeting with manager Davey Johnson.