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Felipe Paulino Rumors
The Rockies are "expected to continue measuring trade interest" in hard-throwing pitchers Felipe Paulino and Franklin Morales, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. At least one NL Central team has expressed interest in Morales, he adds. Both pitchers are out of options, so the Rockies can't demote them without exposing them to waivers.
Paulino, 27, was acquired from the Astros in November for Clint Barmes. He throws hard and gets strikeouts, but allows tons of hits and plenty of walks and home runs. He's relieving now, but has 34 career starts to his name. Paulino missed a good chunk of 2010 with a shoulder injury.
Morales, 25, was considered the eighth best prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2008 season, according to Baseball America. He has a higher profile than Paulino, having made a couple of playoff starts in '07 and served as the Rockies' closer at times. There might be five or six lefties in the Majors who throw harder than Morales. However, he's prone to flyballs and walks and has also battled shoulder injuries. Paulino and Morales are projects, so they make the most sense for non-contenders.
Aroldis Chapman went on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation today, after Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on the Reds’ options for proceeding with the struggling Cuban left-hander. Here’s the latest on Chapman plus notes from around the league:
- A veteran scout insists that the Reds need to demote Chapman and make him a starter, but pitching coach Bryan Price isn’t so sure that a demotion is the way to go. He points out that Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson took time to develop. “Both struggled with command until they got enough work to figure out how their body works, how to put their hand in the right position to throw quality strikes,” Price said.
- The Braves would ideally add a leadoff hitter and put Martin Prado second in the order, according to Rosenthal. He suggests the Braves could target leadoff options Jose Reyes, Grady Sizemore, Denard Span or David DeJesus via trade or free agency after the season.
- The Rockies appear to be concerned about losing out of options relievers Felipe Paulino and Franklin Morales to waivers.
- Astros GM Ed Wade says Bud Norris has become a much more mature pitcher. The 26-year-old right-hander has 60 strikeouts in 50 innings this year.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them – it's a question of how much the players will earn.
Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:
- The Angels have agreed to terms with Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick, tweets Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register tweets that Kendrick will earn $3.3MM, Willits $775K (on Twitter).
- The Giants agreed to terms with Santiago Casilla on a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with incentives, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas (on Twitter). The team also announced that they avoided arb with Jonathan Sanchez and Ramon Ramirez (on Twitter). Sanchez will earn $4.8MM with incentives tweets Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle while Ramirez will earn $1.65MM according to Janie McCauley of The Canadian Press.
- The Braves agreed to terms with Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Moylan gets $2MM, O'Flaherty gets $895K according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners agreed to terms with Brandon League, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas, the team announced. Aardsma will earn $4.5MM with plenty of incentives, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (plus Twitter link).
- The Rangers agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links). Cruz gets $3.65MM, and Wilson gets $7.05MM with a chance to earn another $100K according to his agent Bob Garber, via email.
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Jon Garland, Hiroki Kuroda and Jake Westbrook were three of the top names on Colorado's wish list of free agent starters, but all three signed elsewhere. Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter links) chimes in about some other arms that have caught the Rockies' interest.
- The Rockies could join the Cubs and at least four other teams in the Brandon Webb sweepstakes. Renck says Colorado "might check in on Webb later."
- There's no better than a "50-50" chance that Jeff Francis re-signs with the Rockies. Francis is looking for a "one-year deal, [with] guaranteed money," so it may just be a case of whether or not the Rockies want to outbid other interested teams.
- Tampa Bay is "in holding mode" with its pitchers right now, which may be preventing Colorado from making a serious bid for Matt Garza or James Shields.
- Some of Colorado's "secondary targets" include Jeremy Bonderman, Dave Bush, Aaron Harang and Kevin Millwood. Renck specifies that Bush and Harang would be offered minor league contracts, but if no veteran pitchers are signed, then Esmil Rogers and the newly-acquired Felipe Paulino "would both get a shot in the rotation."
Links for Saturday…
- MLB Network's Peter Gammons hears from an agent that the Pirates and Royals are "offering big" this offseason, and that the "Angels, Red Sox, [and] Mets could be left behind." (Twitter link)
- In a mailbag piece, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says he doesn't believe Grady Sizemore has any trade value until he shows he can play after having microfracture surgery on his left knee. Sizemore will earn $7.5MM in 2011, then the team will have to decide between his $9MM option for 2012 or a $500K buyout.
- Jason Coskrey of The Japan Times passes along another report indicating that the Rakuten Golden Eagles have interest in both Kazuo Matsui and Kenshin Kawakami (Twitter link).
- Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer says you can bet on the Phillies adding an "older pitcher on a non-guaranteed contract" to compete with Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley for the team's fifth starter spot.
- MLB.com's Carrie Muskat lists some pitching coach candidates for the Cubs in the wake of Larry Rothschild leaving for the same position with the Yankees.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post passes along some quotes from Felipe Paulino about joining the Rockies. Colorado acquired Paulino from the Astros on Thursday.
The Astros acquired Clint Barmes from the Rockies for Felipe Paulino, according to the team. GM Ed Wade says he pursued Barmes for his defensive versatility and gap power. Barmes said on a conference call that he's been told he'll mostly play shortstop, his preferred position.
The Rockies, who were not necessarily going to offer Barmes arbitration, get something in return for the 31-year-old. Barmes said that he had hoped to work something out with the Rockies, since he has enjoyed playing in Denver, but is looking forward to joining a young Astros team that finished the 2010 season strong.
Barmes was a non-tender candidate heading into his final season of arbitration eligibility. After hitting 23 homers in 2009, he hit just 8 homers this year and his batting line fell to .235/.305/.351. Barmes earned $3.33MM in 2010 and figures to pocket $4MM or so in 2011.
Paulino, 27, posted a 5.11 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 91 2/3 innings for the Astros this year. He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason (as a Super Two). In each of the past three seasons, his average fastball velocity has surpassed 95 mph. Paulino struggles against lefties, but is considerably more effective against right-handed hitters.
Some links for Tuesday evening…
- In an appearance on Jim Bowden's XM-175 radio show, Yankees' GM Brian Cashman said the team never made an offer to Hideki Matsui, and that their offer to Johnny Damon was conditional (link goes to Twitter).
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that the Brewers have agreed to terms with four of their pre-arbitration eligible players.
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News mentions that the contracts of Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin are not guaranteed. The Yanks could cut them in Spring Training and would only be required to pay them 30-45 days of termination pay.
- Luis Castillo spoke about all of the offseason trade rumors he was involved in, writes MLB.com's Marty Noble.
- A Mets' official told Adam Rubin of The New York Daily News that the team would like to sign a lefty reliever like Joe Beimel, as long as the pitcher was willing to accept a contract worth about $1MM for just one year.
- The Astros signed Felipe Paulino to a one-year deal that will pay him $415K if he makes the big league roster, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter). Paulino is likely to be arbitration eligible for the first time as a Super Two next season.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that the Diamondbacks and Mark Reynolds have agreed to negotiate a contract extension until Opening Day, though talks will cease after that. Heyman spoke to some executives who think Prince Fielder's two-year, $18MM deal could be used as a comparison.
- ESPN's Buster Olney hears from officials involved in the Felipe Lopez bidding that they think the free agent infielder is likely to end up back in St. Louis (link goes to Twitter).
- Former Blue Jays' GM J.P. Ricciardi is joining ESPN as a television analyst, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- Now that the Rod Barajas deal is official, the order for the 2010 draft is set. The Blue Jays, Barajas' former team, hold ten of the first 126 picks.
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