Eric Stults Rumors

Eric Stults Elects Free Agency

Left-hander Eric Stults has chosen to become a free agent after the Padres outrighted him to Triple-A, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Twitter link).  Stults was designated for assignment by the Padres last week.

As Jeff Sanders of the Union-Tribune recently explained, the Padres’ decision to designate Stults was largely based on financial reasons (the $4.6MM he’d earn through the arbitration process, as projected by MLBTR’s Matt Swartz) rather than the southpaw’s performance as a Padre.  Stults has been a reliable innings-eater since joining the team in May 2012, posting a 3.87 ERA and 2.71 K/BB rate over 472 IP.  The advanced metrics, however, rank Stults as a below-average performer at pitcher-friendly Petco Park, so the Friars felt they could afford to let Stults go in lieu of their other pitching depth.

Stults, who turns 35 next month, has a career 4.12 ERA over 635 2/3 IP with the Padres, White Sox, Rockies and Dodgers over eight Major League seasons.


NL Notes: Stults, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Liriano

The Padres decision to designate left-handed pitcher Eric Stults for assignment was based on finances rather than performance, writes Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Per MLBTR’s Matt Swartz, Stults was projected to earn about $4.6MM via arbitration after a season in which he posted a 4.30 ERA and 17 losses. Stults, 35 next season, represents a solid depth piece at the back of a rotation due to durability and decent stuff. However, the Padres are in need of offensive help and have plenty of pitching. The rotation is already filled without Stults, and Sanders names another five pitchers who can serve as additional depth. The cash savings will ostensibly be applied to the offense, and it’s possible Stults will return to San Diego on a lesser contract.

  • Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart spoke with MLB Network Radio on a variety of topics. Arizona won’t be in the market for the top three free agent pitchers according to Stewart (tweet), but they may be more involved on Kenta Maeda (also Twitter). As for top prospect Archie Bradley, Stewart would like to see him get more seasoning at the Triple-A level before reaching the majors (via Twitter).
  • While Cubs GM Jed Hoyer downplayed the possibility of a “supercharged offseason” yesterday, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times believes they are poised for a spending spree. He figures they have $70MM in available payroll. The Cubs have an “acquisition window…through the 2015-2016 offseason,” so we shouldn’t expect all of that money to be used this winter. Howover, several of the biggest market clubs like the Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, and Phillies are trying to be cost conscious this offseason, which makes now a good time to strike on top players.
  • Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano is still considering his qualifying offer and “several options,” tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. That could hint to a possible multi-year contract offer from the Pirates or other clubs, although that’s just my speculation. MLBTR’s Steve Adams covered Liriano’s free agent profile earlier this week and ultimately estimated a three-year, $40MM deal.

Padres Designate Stults, Roach; Lose Jackson To Dodgers On Waivers

The Padres announced today that they have designated left-hander Eric Stults and right-hander Donn Roach for assignment, adding that catcher Adam Moore has been outrighted off the 40-man roster. Additionally, infielder Ryan Jackson has been claimed off waivers by the Dodgers.

The moves make room for the reinstatement of right-hander Casey Kelly, left-hander Cory Luebke, first baseman Yonder Alonso and outfielder Carlos Quentin from the 60-day disabled list.

Stults, who is nearing his 35th birthday, threw 176 innings of 4.30 ERA ball last season, tallying 5.7 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9. Those numbers represent a downtick from his work over 2012-13, when Stults carried a 3.60 ERA across 302 2/3 innings. The major difference in his year-over-year results comes in the form of an increasing rate of home runs allowed. ERA estimators have generally viewed him in much the same light: as a below-average starting pitcher. Stults had been projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $4.6MM through arbitration, so the move is not terribly surprising.

Roach, meanwhile, made his MLB debut this year at age 24. He posted a 4.75 ERA in 30 1/3 frames while posting an unappetizing 5.0 K/9 against 4.5 BB/9. His numbers at Triple-A were no more promising, but Roach has had success in the lower minor league levels.

As for Moore, the 30-year-old backstop has seen action in parts of six MLB seasons but has only taken more than 24 plate appearances in one of them (back in 2010 with the Mariners). Once a well-regarded prospect, Moore has a .200/.241/.309 line over 283 trips to the plate in the majors. He did, however, have an excellent campaign at Triple-A this year, slashing .305/.367/.506 and swatting 13 long balls over 354 plate appearances.

The 26-year-old Jackson will present a utility infield option for his new club. He has scant major league experience, but owns a .274/.344/.369 slash in over 1,000 plate appearances at the Triple-A level and comes with a good defensive reputation at short. Jackson missed most of 2014 after undergoing wrist surgery.



Players To Avoid Arbitration

With tonight’s non-tender deadline looming, several players figure to not only be tendered contracts but agree to their 2014 salaries prior to 11pm CT. We’ll run down the players to avoid arbitration with their respective clubs in this post, and remember that you can track the progress on all arbitration eligible players by using MLBTR’s 2014 Arbitration Tracker. For a reminder on the projected salaries for each of these players, check out Matt Swartz’s projections in MLBTR’s Arbitration Eligibles series.

  • The Nationals announced they’ve avoided arbitration with righty Ross Ohlendorf, tweets Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com. Ohlendorf’s deal will guarantee him $1.25MM and can reach $3MM via incentives that can be achieved as a starter or reliever, per the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore.
  • The Cubs have avoided arbitration with utility infielder Donnie Murphy, reports Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com (via Twitter), agreeing to a one-year, $825K pact that includes incentives.
  • The Orioles have avoided arbitration with outfielder Steve Pearce for $850K, tweets Rosenthal.
  • The Padres have reached terms with pitcher Eric Stults on a $2.75MM deal to avoid arbitration, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He had been projected by Swartz to earn $3MM through arbitration. Unlike most arbitration deals, tweets Rosenthal, this one will be guaranteed.  Also getting a guaranteed deal from the Padres, per Rosenthal, is righty Tim Stauffer at $1.6MM.
  • The White Sox have avoided arbitration with catcher Tyler Flowers with a $950k contract, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • The Athletics have avoided arbitration with righty Fernando Rodriguez, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Rodriguez, who is represented by Metis Sports Management, LLC, will earn $600K plus award bonuses, MLBTR has learned.  The A’s will tender contracts to its remaining arb-eligible players, Slusser notes via Twitter.
  • The Indians have avoided arbitration with relievers Frank Herrmann and Blake Wood, the club announced. Each player will earn $560k, tweets Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, which falls below their respective projections from MLBTR’s Matt Swartz.
  • Newly-acquired catcher George Kottaras has reached agreement on a one-year, $1.075MM deal to avoid arbitration with the Cubs, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The contract includes incentives, according to Heyman. A left-handed batter, Kottaras managed only a .180 batting average last year, but got on base at a .349 clip in addition to posting a .370 slugging mark in his 126 plate appearances.
  • The Orioles have avoided arbitration with outfielder Nolan Reimold, sources tell Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (link to Twitter). The 30-year-old will get a one-year, $1.025MM deal that includes incentives. Reimold lost most of the last two seasons to injury, but has a career .252/.327/.439 slash in 1,056 plate appearances dating back to 2009. His salary will be guaranteed, tweets Connolly.
  • The Phillies have avoided arbitration with infielder Kevin Frandsen, the club announced. Frandsen will receive a one-year, $900k deal that includes performance incentives. Last year, Frandsen had a .234/.296/.341 slash line in 278 plate appearances. The deal is guaranteed, Rosenthal tweets.
  • The Braves announced that they have avoided arbitration with infielder Ramiro Pena and left-hander Jonny Venters (Twitter link). Pena, 28, batted a solid .278/.330/.443 in 107 PAs this season before shoulder surgery ended his season. Venters’ contract was first reported two weeks ago and is said to be worth $1.625MM.
  • MLB.com’s Jason Beck tweets that the Tigers have avoided arbitration with Don Kelly by agreeing to a one-year, $1MM contract for 2014. Kelly will turn 34 in February and batted .222/.309/.343 in 2013 — all numbers that are nearly mirrored by his career .229/.290/.344 batting line. He is represented by LSW Baseball.
  • The Pirates have avoided arbitration with Chris Stewart, according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal (on Twitter). Barbarisi reports that the trade sending Stewart to Pittsburgh was actually in place on Friday but was also contingent on Stewart agreeing to a new contract with the Pirates. Stewart, a client of James A. Kuzmich, PLLC, agreed to his new contract today, thereby finalizing the trade. He projected to earn $1MM, per Swartz.

Quick Hits: Baker, Varitek, LaHair, Padres, Berkman

Reds manager Dusty Baker suffered a minor stroke on Friday, the team told reporters (including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon).  Baker was already in hospital being treated for an irregular heartbeat and was supposed to be released on Friday.  The 63-year-old was released instead on Sunday and is reportedly in good condition, addressing the Reds clubhouse this afternoon.  Bench coach Chris Speier has managed the team in Baker's absence and will continue to do so at least through Cincinnati's weekend series with the Pirates, though Baker is hopeful of returning for the Reds' final series of the year.

Here's some more news from around the baseball world…


Padres Claim Eric Stults

The Padres have claimed left-hander Eric Stults off of waivers from the White Sox, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The White Sox had designated the 32-year-old for assignment earlier this week.

Stults had appeared in two games for the White Sox this year, allowing two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. He signed a minor league deal with Chicago this past offseason after spending most of the 2011 season as a reliever for the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate. Stults also appeared in six games for last year's Rockies team. He joins a Padres bullpen that includes left-handers Alex Hinshaw and Joe Thatcher.


White Sox Designate Eric Stults For Assignment

The White Sox announced that they designated left-hander Eric Stults for assignment. They reinstated right-hander Jesse Crain from the disabled list in a corresponding move.

Stults, 32, had appeared in two games for the White Sox, allowing two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. He signed a minor league deal with the White Sox this past offseason after spending most of the 2011 season as a reliever for the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate. Stults also appeared in six games for last year's Rockies team.


Minor Moves: Rangers, Stults, Olmedo, Young

Here are today's minor moves…

  • The Rangers signed right-hander Sean Green and left-hander Mitch Stetter to minor league contracts that include invitations to Spring Training, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan writes.
  • The White Sox agreed to sign left-handers Leyson Septimo and Eric Stults, catcher Hector Gimenez, infielder Ray Olmedo and outfielder Delwyn Young to minor-league contracts that include invitations to Spring Training, the team announced. Stults, 32, appeared in six games with the 2011 Rockies and also has experience with the Dodgers. Young played for the Dodgers and Pirates from 2006-10, but spent the 2011 season at Triple-A, where he posted a .685 OPS in 480 plate appearances. Gimenez appeared in four games with the 2011 Dodgers and Olmedo played for the Reds and Blue Jays from 2003-07.
  • The club confirmed its deals with Brian Bruney, Dallas McPherson and Damaso Espino.

Rockies Designate Eric Stults For Assignment

The Rockies designated left-hander Eric Stults for assignment and reinstated Esmil Rogers from the disabled list, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). The Rockies have confirmed the moves, which open up a 40-man roster spot  (Twitter link).

Stults, who spent last season in Japan, appeared in six games for the Rockies this year. He posted a 6.00 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 12 innings. The 31-year-old was on the Dodgers from 2006-09 before Los Angeles sold his contract to the Hiroshima Carp last spring.


Odds & Ends: Rauch, Rays, Jenks, Rockies, Rangers

On this date in 1997, the Red Sox traded Tony Armas Jr. and Carl Pavano to the Expos for reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez. A case can be made that Pedro's 1999 and 2000 seasons were the two best pitching seasons in baseball history, in which he held batters to a .186/.231/.274 batting line with 597 strikeouts in 430.1 innings.

It's highly unlikely that we'll see a pitcher of Pedro's caliber traded anytime soon, but that Zack Greinke kid is pretty good in his own right. Here are today's links…

  • Two days ago we heard that the Rockies had interest in David Aardsma, Grant Balfour, and Todd Coffey, and now Troy Renck of The Denver post throws Jon Rauch's name into the mix.
  • Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times has some quotes from Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who called the size of free agent contracts being handed out this winter "discouraging." He also commented (briefly) on the team's 2011 payroll.
  • Bobby Jenks will take his physical on Monday, tweets Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. It was originally scheduled for today but was pushed back, and it's necessary to finalize his contract with the Red Sox.
  • Renck also has the goods (Twitter links) on two recent Rockies signings.  Ty Wigginton took less money to sign in Colorado, earning $3.5MM in 2011, $4MM in '12, and a club option for $4MM in '13 ($500k buyout).  Meanwhile, pitcher Eric Stults has an out in his $435k minor league deal that will allow him to sign with the Hiroshima Carp if he does not make the big league roster.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPN.com applauds the Rangers' efforts to bolster their starting depth.
  • Dan Wheeler is happy to be a member of Boston's improved bullpen, writes MLB.com's Ian Browne.
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that Seth McClung's deal with the Rangers will pay him $700K if he makes the team. There are another $700K available in bonuses tied to the number of starts he makes.
  • Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a report (via Twitter) indicating that Hideki Matsui's contract with the A's has a limited no-trade clause preventing trades to the Mariners, Orioles, Twins, Blue Jays, Indians, and Royals.
  • Mariano Rivera told Erik Boland of Newsday that he plans to give long-time teammate Andy Pettitte a call to try to convince the lefty to come back for another season.
  • Finding a left-handed bat off the bench is one of the last remaining items on the Marlins offseason agenda, but MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says they might already have that guy on their roster. Catcher John Baker, who is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery, said he would be up for the job until he's cleared to catch again.
  • Former Mets GM Omar Minaya told Ian Begley of ESPN New York that he plans to sit down with new GM Sandy Alderson after the holidays to discuss a potential new role with the team. Minaya said he has several offers on the table, including interest from the Diamondbacks.
  • Hey iPhone users, do you have the MLBTR app yet? Jason Bartlett does, and that's how he found out his trade to the Padres was in the works.