Felipe Paulino Rumors
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- The Cardinals avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle McClellan, tweets B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest. Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter) that the one-year deal is worth $2.5MM with incentives based on starts. MLBTR projected a $2.7MM for the Steve Comte client.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that the Padres and Chase Headley agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.475MM, avoiding arbitration. Earlier this evening, the Padres announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Gregerson, Edinson Volquez, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable. They also avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Joe Thatcher on a deal worth $700K, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. CAA announced catcher John Baker has signed for $750K. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported that the Padres reached agreements with Hundley, Chase Headley, and Tim Stauffer. Hundley will earn $2MM in 2012, MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets the salaries for Volquez ($2.2375MM), Venable ($1.475MM), Gregerson ($1.55MM)
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Matt Harrison, tweets Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. The ACES client gets $2.95MM on a one-year deal. MLBTR had projected a $2.9MM salary.
- The Cubs announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($1.375MM), Blake DeWitt ($1.1MM), Ian Stewart ($2.237MM) Chris Volstad ($2.655MM), and Randy Wells ($2.705MM). MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweeted the salary figures.
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.
Let's check in with the latest from the middle of the MLB map....
- The Pirates are not interested in Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. (Twitter link) We heard last week that the Bucs were looking at Slowey, who went to high school in Pennsylvania.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is hoping to improve his team without moving a player from the Major League roster, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hears that "to accomplish [their] trade goal," the Cards will have to deal at least one Major Leaguer.
- With the Cardinals aggressively pursuing starting pitching, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch roundtable discusses which pitchers would be available at the lowest cost to the Cards. I like the idea of St. Louis getting a second-tier arm like Chris Capuano, since the Cardinals' search for bullpen help means they won't be able to meet the asking price for both a top starter and a top reliever such as Heath Bell.
- Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star details the Royals' scouting and pursuit of Felipe Paulino, who has pitched well since being acquired from the Rockies in May.
- The Brewers are continuing negotiations with first-round draft picks Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid described the talks as "a work in progress," while GM Doug Melvin felt the draft picks' respective agents weren't approaching the talks with much urgency leading up to the August 15 deadline.
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.
Some links to browse through on your Sunday afternoon...
- The Matt Holliday contract is looking better every day, writes Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Miklasz compares Holliday's deal to several other outfielders, including Alfonso Soriano and Jason Bay, in pointing out the early returns on the Cardinals' investment in Holliday.
- Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press looks at some of the biggest trades to date from Twins GM Bill Smith as the trade deadline approaches. The Twins figure to be full-fledged sellers for the first time under Smith's watch.
- Neither the Astros nor the Rockies are looking like winners of the Clint Barmes-for-Felipe Paulino swap this past offseason, writes the Houston Chronicle's Zachary Levine. The Rox just DFA'ed Paulino while Barmes is hitting .191 in Houston. As Levine points out, the Astros' bigger loss to the Rockies was former closer Matt Lindstrom.
- Zach Berman of the New Jersey Star Ledger takes a look at Nationals third base coach Bo Porter and his quest to become a Major League manager.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports opines that the Red Sox are a great team, but not yet complete as their bullpen has been overworked and exposed by a struggling rotation. He wonders if Boston will be in the hunt for an elite upgrade to its rotation prior to July 31 to take some of the pressure off the bullpen.
The Rockies have designated right-hander Felipe Paulino for assignment, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Greg Reynolds was scratched from his Triple-A start tonight, so he is the likely corresponding call-up.
We heard earlier this week that the Rockies were looking for trade partners for Paulino and Franklin Morales, since both pitchers were out of options and Colorado was worried that either would be claimed on waivers. The Rockies worked out a deal with the Red Sox for Morales, but apparently nothing could be found for Paulino.
In 14 2/3 innings of relief work for the Rockies this year, Paulino has a 7.36 ERA and an ungainly 14.1 H/9 rate. Paulino has a 5.93 ERA in 65 career games (34 of them starts) but his 95-mph fastball makes him an intriguing low-cost pickup for a team that thinks it can get him on track.