Eric Stults Rumors
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...
- Long-time Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek tells Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston that he is "close" to taking a job with the team. Varitek will likely be a special assistant to GM Ben Cherington, though Edes notes that Varitek's teammates from Boston's 2004 World Series squad think he should be the next Red Sox manager.
- Bryan LaHair hopes to return to the Cubs next season, he tells CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney, though the team currently has no spot where he can get regular playing time.
- Eric Stults' good performances in the Padres' rotation may have earned him a spot in next year's rotation, writes Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Also from Bill Center, he examines the mixed results the Padres have thus far received from the seven players they signed to contract extensions this year.
- Lance Berkman tells Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that he hopes to play for a contender next season, which would seem to eliminate him returning to the Astros as a DH. (Berkman has also considered retirement.) Berkman also endorsed ex-teammate Tim Bogar as his choice to be the Astros' next manager.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson discussed the Ike Davis trade rumors, the chances of the Mets extending David Wright and R.A. Dickey and other topics during a visit to the SNY booth during Tuesday's game. ESPN New York's Adam Rubin has a partial transcript.
- Willy Taveras is working out and hopeful of returning to the Major Leagues next season, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich. Taveras, who turns 31 on Christmas Day, last played in the majors for the Nationals in 2010.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This will probably go down as the busiest hot stove day of the year for the Rockies. Not only are they nearing a nine-figure extension with their franchise shortstop, they're close to locking up their number two starter. That's not it, either...
- The Rockies added left-hander Eric Stults and catcher Matt Pagnozzi today, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Stults, 30, spent the 2010 season in Japan, but started 24 games for the Dodgers from 2006-09. He has a 4.84 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 145 big league innings.
- Last year the 28-year-old Pagnozzi appeared in 15 games for the Cardinals, the same team his uncle Tom spent over a decade on.
- Before it became apparent that the Rockies would be bringing Jorge de la Rosa back, Renck suggested that the Rockies had the resources to sign Carl Pavano.
- Pavano and De La Rosa aren't cheap, but neither are the Rockies' potential trade targets. The White Sox would want Dexter Fowler and Ian Stewart for Gavin Floyd, according to Tracy Ringolsby of Inside the Rockies (on Twitter).
- The Rockies are now looking to add a reliever and a right-handed bat, according to Renck (on Twitter).
- The Rockies are expected to non-tender Manny Delcarmen, according to Renck (on Twitter). The 28-year-old pitched to a 6.48 ERA in 8 1/3 innings after the Rockies acquired him from Boston. Like former Rockie and current Red Sox Taylor Buchholz, Delcarmen was a valuable big league reliever in 2008, but has struggled since.
WEDNESDAY, 6:42pm: Stults' deal with Hiroshima is worth roughly $700K plus bonuses, tweets NPB Tracker.
TUESDAY, 5:26pm: Los Angeles is expected to receive between $300K and $400K for Stults, tweets Hernandez.
TUESDAY, 11:36am: The Dodgers sold pitcher Eric Stults to the Hiroshima Carp, reports Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. The 30-year-old southpaw was known to be available, as the Dodgers prefer other pitchers for the fifth starter job. The Hanshin Tigers and Chiba Lotte Marines also had an eye on Stults.
Stults posted a 4.86 ERA, 5.9 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 in ten starts for the Dodgers last year. He made another 13 starts in the minors, putting up similar numbers.
Tuesday night linkage..
- The Dodgers' ownership issue won't be resolved until the end of the season, writes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The trial to determine the owner of the club will begin on August 30th.
- Sergio Santos - formerly a shortstop in the Diamondbacks organization - has made it to the major leagues as a pitcher for the White Sox, writes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
- Todd Wellemeyer isn't sure that the Giants' rotation is better than the Cardinals starting five that he was a part of, writes Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. While it has yet to be announced, Wellemeyer will likely be crowned the fifth starter in San Francisco's rotation.
- Rockies catcher Paul Lo Duca will accept his reassignment to the minors, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times supports the Dodgers' sale of Eric Stults to the Hiroshima Carp. This year marked Stults' ninth with the organization.
- Dontrelle Willis is sad to see Nate Robertson go to Florida, writes Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. Willis' inclusion in Detroit's rotation was a big reason why the Tigers were able to part with Robertson.
WEDNESDAY, 10:01pm: MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers aren't trying to deal Hu, since they need him in case something happens to Rafael Furcal. Gurnick also notes that L.A. is shopping Jason Repko, who has nowhere to play in the crowded Dodger outfield.
Los Angeles may feel that Stults is now expendable as they have multiple candidates for the final spot in their rotation. Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse tweets that Ramon Ortiz is the top candidate, even though some within the organization feel that Josh Lindblom should be the fifth starter. Yesterday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com wrote that the aforementioned Ramon Ortiz, Rule 5 selection Carlos Monasterios, Charlie Haeger, Russ Ortiz, and Josh Towers were all in the mix for the job. Mike Axisa recently summed up this proverbial game of musical chairs in one handy post.
Meanwhile, if the Dodgers are unable to find a taker in the majors for Stults, they could find a suitor overseas. The 30-year-old hurler has previously been linked to the Chiba Lotta Marines and earlier this week, he was named as a possible target of the Hanshin Tigers.
Hu, who recently turned 26, made a few appearances for Los Angeles in 2009 as a September call-up. For the team's Triple-A affiliate, he turned in .294/.332/.393 with 6 HRs in 544 plate appearances.