Felipe Paulino Rumors

Minor Moves: Paulino, LaHair, Marjama

Here are today’s minor league transactions, with the latest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Red Sox announced the signings of righty Felipe Paulino and 1B/OF Bryan LaHair to minor league deals with Spring Training invites.  Paulino posted an 11.29 ERA over 18 1/3 IP with the White Sox last season, his first taste of MLB action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012.  LaHair also last appeared in the majors in 2012, when he rode a big first half to an All-Star selection but came back to earth after his hot start.  LaHair played in Japan in 2013 and spent last season in the Indians’ minor league system.
  • The Rays acquired catcher Mike Marjama from the White Sox, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (via Twitter).  Chicago will receive cash or a player to be named later in return.  Marjama was a 23rd-round pick for the Sox in the 2011 draft and the 25-year-old backstop has a .270/.307/.376 slash line over 888 minor league plate appearances.  Marjama has yet to play above the high-A level, and Topkin notes that the catcher isn’t expected to be in the Rays’ Major League Spring Training camp.

White Sox To Decline Option On Felipe Paulino

The White Sox have informed righty Felipe Paulino that they will not pick up his $4MM option, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reports on Twitter. Chicago will instead pay him a $250K buyout.

Paulino, 31, had signed a one-year, $1.75MM deal before the 2013 season. At the time, Paulino was coming off of Tommy John surgery and looked to be an easy high-upside risk to take. That gamble did not pay off, however, as Paulino made just four MLB appearances and was roughed up at all levels this year.


White Sox Sign Felipe Paulino

2:38pm: Via Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter), the White Sox have announced the signing of Paulino to a one-year deal worth $1.75MM. His contract contains a $4MM club option with a $250K buyout.

2:15pm: Right-hander Felipe Paulino looks to have signed with the White Sox, based on a pair of tweets from the pitcher himself (Twitter links). Paulino is represented by Octagon.

The 30-year-old hasn't pitched in the Majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012. He did toss 27 2/3 innings for the Royals' minor league affiliates in 2013, posting an unsightly 6.51 ERA. However, Paulino is a high-upside arm that comes with little risk for White Sox GM Rick Hahn. Paulino pitched to a 3.86 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 177 innings for the Rockies and Royals from 2011-12. Sabermetric stats like FIP (3.54) and xFIP (3.93) suggest that from 2010-12, Paulino was vastly better than his ERA would indicate.

Paulino will add some depth to a White Sox club that is reportedly already looking to move a starting pitcher, with John Danks, Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago all said to be available.

Royals Designate Arguelles, Falu For Assignment

The Royals have designated left-hander Noel Arguelles and second baseman Irving Falu for assignment in order to clear space for additions to their 40-man roster, the team announced via press release. In addition to the pair of DFAs, right-hander Felipe Paulino has elected free agency after being outrighted. The Royals will add Lane Adams, Christian Colon, Cheslor Cuthbert and Michael Mariot to the 40-man roster.

The Royals signed Arguelles, a Cuban defector, to a five-year, $7MM contract back in 2009, but the southpaw never lived up to his lofty prospect status. Arguelles, 23, underwent shoulder surgery in 2010 and was hampered by groin problems in 2013. He has a career 5.12 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 300 1/3 minor league innings, none coming above the Double-A level.

Falu, 30, has outstanding Major League numbers, but they come in a tiny sample of just 95 plate appearances. Still, the switch-hitter owns a .337/.366/.427 slash line with the Royals — the only team for whom he's played at the big league level. Falu is a career .283/.342/.365 hitter in Triple-A.

Paulino, also 30, pitched to a 3.55 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 162 1/3 innings with the Royals from 2011-12 but had his 2012 campaign cut short by Tommy John surgery. His strong career strikeout rate (8.4 K/9) and respectable ground-ball rate (44 percent) make him an intriguing buy-low candidate.

Royals Avoid Arbitration With Felipe Paulino

The Royals have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Felipe Paulino for 2013, according to a team press release.  The deal allows the club to avoid arbitration with the right-hander, who was arb-eligible for the third time. 

Paulino will earn $1.75MM in guaranteed money with another $250K in incentives, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link).  That's a significant drop from the $2.7MM that MLBTR's Matt Swartz projected that Paulino would earn through arbitration and actually less than the $1.9MM salary Paulino earned in 2012.  The pay cut is no doubt due to Paulino's Tommy John surgery last July, and he isn't expected to pitch for the Royals until at least midseason.

Since being acquired from the Rockies in July 2011, Paulino has a 3.55 ERA and 8.8 K/9 rate in 28 games (27 of them starts) for Kansas City, including a 1.67 ERA over his seven starts in 2012 before his injury.

Luke Hochevar and Chris Getz are the Royals' two remaining arb-eligible players.  You can follow the status of every arbitration-eligible player on MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker.

Quick Hits: Paulino, Blue Jays, Giants

Links from around MLB before the season’s final weekend of interleague play begins…

  • The Royals announced that right-hander Felipe Paulino has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The 28-year-old will seek a second opinion on his elbow, and could choose to undergo Tommy John surgery. Paulino has a 1.67 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 37 2/3 innings this year.
  • Executives from other teams and a few MLB owners are paying attention to the Blue Jays' 2010 draft class, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. The Blue Jays chose upside over certainty under then-scouting director Andrew Tinnish and the results are promising so far.
  • Giants GM Brian Sabean said he doesn’t expect to trade for starting pitching help, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes (Twitter links).
  • The Giants haven’t started extension talks with Melky Cabrera and the team doesn’t consider Andre Ethier’s five-year, $85MM deal a comparable contract, Sabean said.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Tuesday

Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here.  Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing.  Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints.  Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:


Revisiting The Felipe Paulino For Clint Barmes Trade

One month into the season, it looked like the Felipe Paulino-Clint Barmes trade would go down as a lose-lose deal. Paulino struggled through his first month with the Rockies and Barmes spent the first four weeks of the season on the disabled list while he recovered from a fractured left hand. 

But Paulino has put together his best season yet and Barmes recovered from his hand injury on his way to a strong campaign in Houston. Win-win trade? Not quite. The Rockies gave up on Paulino after 14 2/3 ugly innings, so the Royals are the ones who benefitted from the 27-year-old’s turnaround.

Paulino, who struck out 11 without walking a batter in seven innings of work on Saturday, has a 4.10 ERA in 107 2/3 innings since the Royals acquired him in late May. His fastball clocks in over 95 mph, just as it has every season of his career, and his peripheral stats are strong: 8.3 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 45.1% ground ball rate, 3.81 xFIP.

Considering that Kansas City only gave up cash considerations, the Paulino move looks especially favorable for the Royals. They need the pitching and can pencil the Dominican right-hander into their rotation going forward. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes estimates a raise from $790K to $1.6MM in 2012, so Paulino will remain affordable next year.

The Astros could use the pitching, but Paulino had his chances in Houston and the Astros needed a shortstop. For $3.925MM, Barmes has hit .249/.323/.388 with ten home runs. FanGraphs’ UZR suggests the 32-year-old plays above-average defense and their version of wins above replacement has Barmes as the 11th most productive shortstop in baseball this season (3.1 WAR).

He’ll hit free agency after the season and doesn’t project as a ranked free agent, so this may be all Houston gets out of Barmes. Even if he departs for nothing this offseason, the Astros will have done significantly better than the Rockies in this trade. It’s not that Colorado was necessarily going to keep Barmes – he was a non-tender candidate in the offseason – but the Rockies are the only team that didn’t profit from last November’s trade. The Royals ended up with a cheap, productive arm, the Astros got an affordable everyday shortstop and all the Rockies got was 14 2/3 innings of 7.36 ERA ball.

Central Notes: Slowey, Cardinals, Paulino, Brewers

Let's check in with the latest from the middle of the MLB map….

Royals Acquire Paulino From Rockies, DFA Tejeda

The Rockies have traded right-hander Felipe Paulino to the Royals for cash considerations, according to the Rockies' official Twitter page.  In a corresponding move, Kansas City designated right-handed pitcher Robinson Tejeda for assignment.

In 14.2 innings this season, Paulino has a 7.36 ERA with 8.6 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, and 14.1 H/9.  The fireballer owns a 5.93 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 65 career games – 34 of them starts.

Meanwhile, Tejeda hasn't seen a great deal of action in 2011, allowing five runs in 7.1 innings of work.  For his big league career, the 29-year-old has a 4.42 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9.  While he's worked mostly out of the bullpen, he did make six starts for the Royals in 2009.  His $1.55MM salary for '11 is likely to dissuade teams from picking him up.

Colorado designated Paulino for assignment late Saturday night after being initially being unable to find a taker for him.  Days earlier, the Rox shipped Franklin Morales to the Red Sox for a player to be named later or cash considerations.