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Esmil Rogers Rumors
Here’s the latest from the game’s eastern divisions to wrap up the day’s news:
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was notably on hand to watch Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon work early in his outing today against the Yankees, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports. While Salisbury notes that it is impossible to know the reason for the visit, Toronto obviously has some questions at the back of its pen and has been mentioned as a plausible suitor for the veteran righty. Papelbon has looked strong this spring, as the report further notes, though his contract (and, in particular, its vesting clause for next year) remains the largest factor in his trade value.
- Though the Yankees have yet to say so officially, Adam Warren appears ticketed for the team’s fifth starter role, as Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports. If he does indeed take that slot, the out-of-options Esmil Rogers will either need to lock up a pen slot or, perhaps, find another team.
- Shane Victorino‘s recent comments about the possibility of the Red Sox dealing for Cole Hamels led to a bit of a dust-up in Boston, due in part to a seemingly strained interpretation suggesting that Victorino was advocating for the departure of phenom Mookie Betts. As Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports, Victorino vehemently denies that reading of his words. Regardless, of course, as Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal explains, Boston’s front office understandably has little interest in shipping away its most prized young talent for expensive veterans.
Commisoner Rob Manfred tops the 50 most fascinating figures in baseball, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. Manfred has been pro-active during the first month of his tenure, Sherman opines, by already engaging the MLBPA over issues such as keeping the batter in the box between pitches and being ready to ignite play quicker after half-inning breaks while continuing the pitch clock experiment in the minors with an impetus to have them in MLB by next season. Rounding out Sherman’s top five are: Alex Rodriguez, Matt Harvey, Giancarlo Stanton, and Joe Maddon.
Here’s the latest news and notes from the American League:
- If the Red Sox are to trade for an ace starting pitcher, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald opines Jordan Zimmermann is a better fit than Cole Hamels. Silverman also believes the Red Sox will be better off by parting ways with Edward Mujica and Allen Craig since both are expensive and superfluous.
- The Tigers will receive a medical update on Miguel Cabrera‘s right foot on Tuesday, writes Mlive.com’s James Schmehl.
- Chris Capuano is the favorite to claim the final spot in the Yankees‘ starting rotation, notes Chad Jennings of LoHud.com. The Yankees will also stretch out relievers Adam Warren and Esmil Rogers during Spring Training.
- Reports out of Venezuela (and relayed by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune and MLB.com’s Greg Johns) have Mariners prospect Victor Sanchez suffering a double skull fracture after being struck by a boat while swimming in Carúpano, Venezuela. The 20-year-old right-hander, ranked as the Mariners’ 11th-best prospect by MLB.com, is reportedly in intensive care with his condition listed as serious but stable. Sanchez, who received a $2.5MM bonus when he was signed out of Venezuela in 2011, threw a no-hitter for Class A Clinton in 2013 and last year posted a line of 4.19 ERA, 7.0 K/9, and 2.5 BB/9 in 23 starts covering 124 2/3 innings for Double-A Jackson as the second-youngest player in the Southern League.
6:48pm: The deal does indeed come in under the projection, as Rogers will receive a $750K guarantee and will play at the rate of $1.48MM if he makes the club out of camp, per a tweet from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Of course, that result certainly seems preferable to a non-tender.
6:12pm: The Yankees have avoided arbitration with righty Esmil Rogers, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports on Twitter. The move comes as something of a surprise, as Rogers had seemed a reasonably likely non-tender candidate.
Rogers, 29, was claimed off waivers by the Yankees from the Blue Jays last summer. He tossed 25 innings of 4.68 ERA ball in New York, after struggling with Toronto earlier in the year. He does offer some added value given his swingman potential.
MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz projected a $1.9MM payday for Rogers, though his early signing could indicate a lower price point. At this point, Rogers is best known for being the short end of the deal that sent Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles from the Jays to the Indians.
2:20pm: The Yankees announced that Scott Sizemore has been released to clear room on the 40-man roster.
The 28-year-old Rogers has allowed 16 earned runs in 20 2/3 innings this season (6.97 ERA), but he posted a superior 4.77 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 47.6 percent ground-ball rate in 137 2/3 innings for the Jays in 2013. Toronto had designated him for assignment last week.
This is now the second time this year that Rogers has found himself in DFA limbo; the last time he was outrighted to Triple-A. Since being added back to the roster on Tuesday, Rogers did not make an appearance, leaving his major league ERA at its previous 6.97 mark. He had been more successful in the upper minors, throwing to a 3.14 ERA in 48 2/3 Triple-A innings (including seven starts).
The Blue Jays have designated right-hander Esmil Rogers for assignment, manager John Gibbons announced in a radio appearance on The Fan 590 (via Sportsnet’s Jeff Simmons on Twitter). The move clears room on the 40-man roster for tonight’s starter, Liam Hendriks, whose contract has been selected from Triple-A Buffalo.
The DFA brings to end a tenure that will leave Toronto fans wondering what might’ve been. The Blue Jays’ acquisition of Rogers is directly tied to the compensation they received for allowing John Farrell to return to Boston; Toronto acquired Mike Aviles as compensation for Farrell and right-hander David Carpenter (who has emerged as a bullpen ace with the Braves). Before Aviles ever played a game in Toronto, he was flipped to the Indians along with Yan Gomes in exchange for Rogers.
Rogers has gone on to total a 5.06 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 158 1/3 innings with the Jays. He’s been hurt by a bloated homer-to-flyball ratio that is outlandish enough for sabermetric ERA estimator xFIP to project an ERA just over 4.00 based on his work with the Blue Jays, but the results didn’t line up with that favorable projection in either of his two seasons north of the border.
Gomes, meanwhile, has emerged as a breakout catching star for the Indians, having slashed .289/.340/.479 with 17 homers in 477 PA for Cleveland. Gomes has gunned down 38 percent of opposing base stealers while with the Indians — good for 12 percent above the league average — and he’s also regarded as one of the game’s best pitch-framers behind the plate. His contributions to this point have been worth 4.8 WAR (per Fangraphs), and he’s been impressive enough to have earned a six-year, $23MM extension, supplanting Carlos Santana as the team’s everyday catcher.
The 25-year-old Hendriks has excelled in 48 2/3 innings for Buffalo this season, pitching to a sparkling 1.48 ERA with a 36-to-3 K/BB ratio. The former Twins hurler hasn’t had much success in the big leagues to date, however, as he’s been incredibly homer-prone.
We'll keep track of today's smaller deals to avoid arbitration in this post. Click here for background on the upcoming arbitration schedule and how MLBTR is covering it. You can also check in on our Arbitration Tracker and look at MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz's arbitration projections.
Today's noon CT deadline to exchange arb figures has passed, but negotiations to avoid an arbitration hearing can continue into February. The Braves are the only strict "file and trial" team that did not agree to terms with all of its arb-eligible players, meaning they could be headed for several hearings. The Nats and Indians have also shown a willingness to go to a trial and still have some players unsigned. On to today's contract agreements…
- After exchanging numbers, the Mets and pitcher Dillon Gee have agreed to settle at the midpoint of $3.625MM, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Swartz projected Gee to earn $3.4MM.
- The Cubs have avoided arbitration with reliever Pedro Strop, president Theo Epstein told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). He will earn $1.325MM next year, according to a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. It is not immediately apparent whether the deal was reached before the sides exchanged terms.
- The Angels have reached agreement on a $3.8MM deal with reliever Ernesto Frieri, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (on Twitter).
- Mike Minor has agreed to terms on a $3.85MM deal with the Braves to avoid arbitration, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (Twitter links). The deal came before figures were exchanged, Bowman notes.
- Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the D-Backs and lefty Joe Thatcher have avoided arb with a one-year, $2.375MM deal (Twitter link).
- Nicholson-Smith tweets that the Angels and Fernando Salas reached an agreement to avoid arbitration. Salas is the first Halos player to avoid arb. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times tweets that Salas will earn $870K, which beats out his $700K projection.
- MLB.com's Jason Beck reports (via Twitter) that the Tigers and righty Al Alburquerque have reached agreement on a deal to avoid arb. The hard-throwing righty will earn $837.5K in 2014, tweets Beck.
- Sherman tweets that the Yankees and Ivan Nova avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.3MM deal.
- The Pirates and Vin Mazzaro inked a one-year, $950K deal in lieu of an arbitration hearing, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune.
- The Royals announced that they've avoided arbitration with infielder Emilio Bonifacio. Heyman tweets that Bonifacio will earn $3.5MM in 2014.
- Sherman reports that the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeremy Hellickson and Sean Rodriguez (Twitter link). Hellickson landed a $3.625MM payday with a $25K bonus if he hits 195 innings pitched. Rodriguez will get $1.475MM with a $25K bump for hitting 300 plate appearances.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that Brian Matusz avoided arb with the Orioles. Sherman adds that he'll earn $2.4MM in 2014.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that Jason Castro and the Astros have avoided arbitration. McTaggart adds in a second tweet that Jesus Guzman avoided arb as well. Heyman reports that Castro will be paid $2.45MM, while Sherman tweets that Guzman will make $1.3MM.
- The Indians tweeted that they've avoided arb with lefty Marc Rzepczynski, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that he'll earn $1.375MM in 2014. Bastian adds that Scrabble will earn an additional $25K for appearing in 55 games and another $25K for 60 games.
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Yusmeiro Petit, according to MLBTR's Steve Adams (on Twitter). He'll earn $845K, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith (via Twitter).
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Here are some news items looking ahead to what will surely be an eventful Blue Jays offseason…
- The Jays are under great pressure to improve in 2014 but have relatively little payroll space or minor league trade options to work with, and Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi warns that "operating under such need can often lead to poor choices." Davidi cites the Angels and Phillies as teams that have bloated payrolls and thin farm systems after making ill-advised moves to stay competitive, and he thinks there is potential for overspending on free agent pitchers who wouldn't necessarily represent the clear upgrade Toronto needs in their rotation.
- Speaking of pitching, GM Alex Anthopoulos told media (including The Toronto Star) that the rotation is "the most glaring hole on this team and that’s the most glaring area we need to address." What exact kinds of starters will be acquired, however, is still up in the air. “Can it be done with five mid-rotation starters? Would we be better off with two front-of-the-rotation guys and three guys that are five-hole or four-hole guys? … I think it’s as much about guys who give you a chance to win games," Anthopoulos said.
- Anthopoulos also defended J.P. Arencibia, yet didn't give any hints either way if Arencibia would be brought back in 2014, simply saying "we need to upgrade the production" from the catcher's spot. Arencibia entered tonight's action hitting .194/.229/.365 with 21 homers in 490 PA and is on pace for one of the worst full-season OBP years in baseball history.
- Esmil Rogers was acquired as a reliever but was pressed back into service as a starter this season and hopes to continue in the rotation in 2014, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm writes. Rogers, 28, posted a 4.77 ERA, 2.18 K/BB and 6.3 K/9 over 44 games (20 of them starts) this season, and he is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter.
- Sportsnet.ca's Ben Nicholson-Smith examines the trade value for every member of the Blue Jays roster.
Four years ago today, the Yankees traded a package headlined by Wilson Betemit to the White Sox for Nick Swisher. After helping New York to the 2009 World Series and three other playoff appearances, Swisher is now in line for a big multiyear contract as a free agent this winter. Here's the latest from the AL East…
- Dan Martin of The New York Post reports that the Yankees have had "preliminary discussions" about bringing Raul Ibanez back as a platoon player next season. The 40-year-old played more than the club would have liked this year due to Brett Gardner's injury.
- The Orioles are telling teams that their priorities in the trade market are first base, left field, and DH according to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (on Twitter). GM Dan Duquette said several clubs match up well with their needs.
- Rival executives tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is "itching" to make a trade (Twitter link). Toronto is targeting starting pitching.
- Meanwhile, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm listed the Blue Jays' 12 out of options players (Twitter links): Brett Cecil, Rajai Davis, Jeremy Jeffress, Adam Lind, Jeff Mathis, Mike McCoy, Dustin McGowan, Luis Perez, Esmil Rogers, Sergio Santos, Cory Wade, and Bobby Wilson.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe wonders (on Twitter) how far the Red Sox will extend themselves to sign Mike Napoli now that there is competition from the Yankees. He notes that Boston went the extra mile to sign David Ross.
- Jerry Sands, who was acquired in the blockbuster trade with the Dodgers, could be a platoon answer for the Red Sox at first base or in either corner outfield spot, according to CSNNE.com.
The Blue Jays have acquired Esmil Rogers from the Indians for Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes, both teams announced. The move fills a hole for each club, as Toronto gets pitching depth while Cleveland gets infield depth.
Rogers, 27, pitched to a 3.06 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 53 innings for the Tribe this year. He was acquired from the Rockies for cash in mid-June after being designated for assignment. Rogers throws very hard — averaged 95.7 mph with the fastball in 2012 — and remains under team control through 2016. He fell just short of the Super Two cutoff this offseason.
Toronto had just acquired Aviles from the Red Sox as compensation for manager John Farrell late last month. The 31-year-old infielder hit .250/.282/.381 with 13 homers for Boston last year and is capable of playing the three non-first base infield spots. Aviles is projected to make $2.3MM through arbitration this winter and will remain under team control in 2014 as well. He played for new Indians manager Terry Francona briefly with the Red Sox in 2011.
Gomes, 25, hit .204/.264/.367 with four homers in 111 plate appearances for the Jays this season, his first taste of the big leagues. He hit .328/.380/.557 with 13 homers in 335 plate appearances at hitter-friendly Triple-A Las Vegas this summer, and has experience at both infield corners and well as behind the plate. Gomes is the first Brazilian-born player in MLB history and remains under team control through 2018.