Esmil Rogers Rumors

Blue Jays Designate Esmil Rogers For Assignment

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.


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

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).

(more…)


Blue Jays Notes: Anthopoulos, Arencibia, Rogers

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.


AL East Links: Ibanez, Orioles, Blue Jays, Red Sox

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…


Blue Jays Acquire Esmil Rogers For Aviles, Gomes

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.


Indians Acquire Rogers, Designate Carlin

WEDNESDAY: Cleveland sent $150K to the Rockies in exchange for Rogers, reports Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (on Twitter).

TUESDAY: The Indians acquired Esmil Rogers from the Rockies for cash considerations, the team announced. The Indians designated Luke Carlin for assignment in a related move.

The Rockies designated the 26-year-old Rogers for assignment three days ago after he posted an 8.06 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 6.3 BB/9 in 25 2/3 innings of relief this year. He can't be optioned to the minors without being exposed to waivers.

Carlin, 31, has appeared in four games with the Indians this year. He has spent most of the season at Triple-A Columbus, where he posted a .230/.345/.311 line in 88 plate appearances. Carlin has a .706 OPS in 11 minor league seasons.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


Rockies Designate Esmil Rogers For Assignment

The Rockies have designated Esmil Rogers for assignment, the club announced (on Twitter). The move clears a roster spot for Jeff Francis, who officially re-joined the team that originally drafted him. He'll start today.

Rogers, 26, pitched to an 8.06 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 6.3 BB/9 in 25 2/3 relief innings for Colorado this season. He is out of options and could not be sent to the minors without first clearing waivers. Rogers is still young and cheap, plus PitchFX has his fastball regularly in the mid-90s this season, so the Rockies should be able to find a trade partner within the next ten days.


Esmil Rogers Drawing Interest

FRIDAY: At least two AL teams are scouting Rogers, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports.

THURSDAY: The Rockies are drawing trade interest in out-of-options right-hander Esmil Rogers, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The Rockies are open to moving Rogers in the right deal.

Rogers, 26, has allowed 24 hits, 13 walks and 17 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings so far this year. However, he has 21 strikeouts and his average fastball velocity is a career-best 95.9 mph, according to FanGraphs. Assuming the projected super two cutoff is accurate, Rogers will be arbitration eligible as a super two player this offseason. He can't be sent to the minor leagues without passing through waivers.


Rockies Notes: Coaches, Front Office, Rogers

With the Rockies off to an underwhelming 13-21 start, there is no shortage of speculation about what the team could do to shake things up.  Let's check the latest news out of Coors Field…

  • GM Dan O'Dowd tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that he doesn't plan to make any changes to the Rockies' coaching staff.  "It's been frustrating for everyone involved, for our fans, for the players, for everyone. But I don't sense that we are that point (where there would be changes). That's not how we do business," O'Dowd said.  Renck points out that the Rockies "are historically patient with personnel decisions and almost never act during the season."  While Colorado signed manager Jim Tracy to an indefinite contract extension last winter, Renck notes that the club wanted to keep Tracy as part of the overall management team, not necessarily as the on-field manager.
  • "If 2012 turns out to be a disaster, Rockies ownership must take a very hard look at the entire front office," writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post as part of a reader mailbag.  
  • Troy Renck writes that Colorado is keeping Esmil Rogers on the Major League roster since the right-hander is out of options and the Rockies don't want to risk exposing Rogers to waivers.  Rogers has a 9.18 ERA in 16 2/3 innings with the Rockies this season, while the more effective Carlos Torres was just optioned to Triple-A to make room for Jeremy Guthrie's return from the disabled list. 

Quick Hits: Wuertz, Cespedes, Helton, Dodgers

On this day in 1991, the Royals released leftfielder Bo Jackson after he suffered a serious hip injury in the NFL playoffs against the Cincinnati Bengals.  That was Jackson's final NFL game but the iconic athlete eventually returned to baseball in 1993 with the White Sox and played 75 games for the Angels in '94 before the players strike brought the season to an end.  Here's a look at what's happening today..

  • Angels outfielder Torii Hunter would "love to stay" with the Halos but understands that at age 37, and with Los Angeles having plenty of money on the books, this season may be his last, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The five-year, $90MM deal that Hunter signed prior to the 2008 season expires after this year.
  • Free agent starter Javy Vazquez is not considering coming out of retirement, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
  • Free agent reliever Michael Wuertz will throw for teams on Thursday in Tempe, Arizona, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  The Twins are expected to be among the clubs in attendance.
  • Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was willing to sign with the Cubs and had reason to believe that he might wind up in Chicago, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.  Ultimately, the Cubs offered six years for $36MM while the Athletics offered that same number for four years.  The Cuban star also said that he was seeking either a four-year deal or one that was for eight years or more.  Through a translator, Cespedes said that he probably would have wound up in Chicago had the Cubs offered him the same deal before the A's did.
  • Rockies first baseman Todd Helton insists that he hasn't thought about retirement, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post.  The 38-year-old has two years remaining on his contract.
  • More from Renck as he writes that Esmil Rogers is a trade candidate for the club.  Rogers, Edgmer Escalona, and Josh Outman are battling for the final spot in the bullpen.  Rogers is out of options and could be moved.
  • Dodgers play-by-play announcer Vin Scully addressed the club's ownership situation prior to yesterday's broadcast and said that he doesn't believe it is having any effect on the players at all, writes J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News.