Endy Chavez Rumors
While the Mariners recently looked to be clear sellers in this year's trade market, the team's recent eight-game winning streak and offensive explosion looks to have changed their position. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that teams who have checked in on the Mariners have been told they're not sellers at this time (Twitter link).
No team has scored more runs than the Mariners this month, which is an encouraging sign for a team whose rotation is fronted by Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma. The Mariners have a number of veterans on one year deals, including Kendrys Morales, Mike Morse, Joe Saunders, Oliver Perez, Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay, many of whom were frequently mentioned as trade candidates.
Heyman tweets that in particular, there's little belief that Seattle would move Morales, as they plan on extending a qualifying offer to him at season's end. He's been terrific for the M's since coming over from the division rival Angels this offseason, hitting .282/.341/.466 with 15 homers.
Recently, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times noted that general manager Jack Zduriencik wasn't planning on being aggressive at the trade deadline because the franchise needed to show some progress to fans and couldn't afford another 90-loss season. Obviously, that's doubly true for Zduriencik himself, as his job has been rumored to be in jeopardy. At the time that piece was written, Stone thought Perez would certainly be moved, and added that the Mariners could make small trades of Brendan Ryan and Endy Chavez. It appears now that the Mariners, who are 8.5 games back from a Wild Card spot, will hold steady.
The impending return of Franklin Gutierrez from the disabled list could lead the Mariners to designate Endy Chavez for assignment, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes. The M's have no plans to carry six outfielders, and Baker thinks they won't drop Jason Bay or Raul Ibanez, since they've been hitting well. That leaves Chavez without a chair. Chavez has hit .282/.288/.310 so far this season. Here are more notes from the two West divisions.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane are in Chapel Hill today to watch a draft prospect, Mark Berman of FOX 26 reports (on Twitter). That would likely be UNC third baseman Colin Moran, who the Astros could be considering selecting with the top overall pick.
- The Angels could form a good team of players they've traded, let go or left unsigned, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times argues. That includes Matt Harvey, who rejected their $1MM offer and went to UNC after the Angels drafted him in the third round in 2007. DiGiovanna writes that Harvey, Patrick Corbin, Zack Greinke, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren would form a very strong non-Angels rotation. The Angels' 15-27 record naturally leads to second-guessing.
- Dodgers president Stan Kasten says he assumes Don Mattingly will remain the team's manager for the rest of the season, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports. Nonetheless, Kasten doesn't exactly offer a ringing endorsement of Mattingly. "I assume so because I assume we're going to play the rest of the year even better than we've played so far and I like the way the ballclub is set up," Kasten says. The Dodgers are currently 17-23.
- Kasten sounds more enthusiastic about about the Dodgers' international scouting efforts. "With this recent group of hirings, we made sure to cover not just Japan and not just the Dominican Republic, but also more in Venezuela and even other countries in South America," Kasten says, noting that the Dodgers are also hunting for talent throughout Europe. Hernandez reports that the Dodgers are also planning to renovate their Dominican facility.
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.