Fernando Hernandez Rumors

Minor Moves: Simons, Miller, Corcoran, Hernandez

A few transactions from the minor leagues…

  • The Marlins have signed right-hander Zach Simons, MLBTR has learned.  Simons, 26, was released by the Tigers last week.  Simons was drafted by the Rockies in the second round of the 2005 draft and has a 4.06 ERA and a 7.1 K/9 rate in seven minor league seasons in the Colorado and Detroit systems.
  • The Dodgers have signed Justin Miller to a minor league deal, MLBTR has learned.  This is Miller's second stint with L.A. after posting a 4.44 ERA in 19 appearances with the club in 2010 before being designated for assignment.  Miller has pitched for the Mariners' and Rangers' Triple-A teams this season, with a combined 5.31 ERA in 17 appearances.
  • The Dodgers signed right-hander Roy Corcoran to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A Chattanooga, according to the Southern League's transactions page.  Corcoran last piched in the Majors in 2009 and has a career 4.17 ERA in 82 appearances with the Expos, Nationals and Mariners between 2003 and 2009.  Corcoran pitched for the Astros' Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock last season.
  • The Yankees released Fernando Hernandez, according to the International League's transactions page.  Hernandez had posted a 5.91 ERA in 33 appearances for Double-A Trenton this season and made just one appearance for Triple-A Scranton before being released.  The right-hander, who turns 27 later this month, has three Major League innings to his name, all with Oakland in 2008.    

Minor Moves: Geary, Perkins, Cotts, Petit

Some minor league moves from early Spring Training…

  • The Padres signed righty reliever Geoff Geary, tweets Baseball America's Matt Eddy. He did not pitch in the majors last season, instead appearing in 31 games for the Triple-A affiliates of the Rangers and Dodgers (4.32 ERA). 
  • The Padres also released infielder Gregorio Petittweet Eddy. He signed on with San Diego back in December.
  • The Yankees signed righty reliever Fernando Hernandez, tweets Eddy. The 26-year-old pitched in three games with the 2008 A's as a Rule 5 Pick, though he spent last year with their Triple-A affiliate (4.77 ERA in 77 1/3 innings).
  • The Yankees also released Neal Cotts, reports Marc Carig of The Star Ledger (Twitter link). Cotts signed a minor league deal in November, but was still coming back from Tommy John and hip surgeries. 
  • The Blue Jays signed Vince Perkins, who they originally drafted back in 2000, tweets Eddy. The Canadian-born right-hander last pitched in 2009, when he made 53 appearances in the Cubs' minor league system (3.02 ERA).
  • The Braves signed left-hander Jose Lugo, tweets Eddy. The 25-year-old posted a 6.72 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 85 2/3 innings with the Twins' Triple-A affiliate last season.

Does Verlander Deserve More Than Felix?

The Tigers are "increasingly optimistic" about signing Justin Verlander to a long-term deal, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX SportsFelix Hernandez's five-year, $78MM deal is being used for comparison, but Morosi feels Verlander might be aiming to top that with either a larger guarantee or a sixth year.  What's more, Morosi feels Verlander is justified in asking for more money than Felix.

Morosi appears to be using the simplistic arbitration hearing-type stats to make his case – wins, All-Star appearances, and even no-hitters.  But this is not a hearing decided by three baseball rubes.  Consider:

  • Hernandez is almost three years younger than Verlander.
  • Hernandez has a better career ERA, ERA+, and FIP.
  • They're similar (Hernandez being slightly better) in career innings, strikeout rate, walk rate, and home run rate.
  • Regarding Verlander's seven extra career wins in six fewer starts, look at run support.  Verlander has received 5.2 runs scored per start, Felix 4.3.

Heyman’s Latest: Holliday, Lackey, Bay, Trades

Jon Heyman has a new column up at SI.com, so let's dive on in…

  • Scott Boras said on Sunday that the Cardinals have not made any proposals in an effort to retain Matt Holliday, and Heyman says "the chances for Holliday to remain a Cardinal look slim at this point."
  • A source familiar with the situation said the Angels offered John Lackey an extension earlier this year worth less than $40MM over three years on top of 2009's $10MM salary, so if they wish to re-sign him now, they'll have to completely rethink their original stance.
  • The Red Sox are trying to bring Jason Bay back on a four year, $60MM deal, though his agent maintains that Bay is the "most complete player on the market."
  • The Mets, Giants, Braves, Cubs, Mariners, and Yankees could also be interested in Holliday and/or Bay.
  • The Mets are believed to have Holliday higher on their wish list than Bay, and are also expected to pursue Randy Wolf.
  • There is speculation that Lackey would like to pitch at home in Texas, but the Rangers' interest might depend on how quickly their sale is resolved.
  • Heyman says that "MLB has set a tentative Thanksgiving deadline for the sale of the Rangers, but the price tag is expected to be in the $500 million range, and in cases of such big money there are no guarantees that things will go quickly."
  • Roy Halladay, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Bobby Jenks, Dan Uggla, and Milton Bradley should highlight a star studded trade market.
  • Halladay seems like a good bet to be moved, while the Red Sox and Dodgers represent possible suitors for Gonzalez.
  • Tampa has a replacement for Crawford in top prospect Desmond Jennings, while Jenks and Uggla would be moved in cost cutting deals.
  • Teams will certainly inquire on the availability of Felix Hernandez, but Heyman says the team plans to spend the winter trying to lock him up long-term. At the GM Meetings today, GM Jack Zduriencik said "Felix is our property. We're going to have him the next two years."
  • The Yankees have started to think about re-signing both Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui.
  • Both the Brewers and Mariners are expected to have interest in Jarrod Washburn.
  • If the Angels don't re-sign Chone Figgins, they are expected to pursue Adrian Beltre to fill their third base hole.
  • The Rangers will let Hank Blalock walk as a free agent, and are expected to promote top prospect Justin Smoak next year.
  • Orlando Hudson is expected to leave the Dodgers as a free agent, though Heyman says they could re-sign Ronnie Belliard to compete with Blake DeWitt at second base.
  • Team officials would not be shocked if the Red Sox tried to move David Ortiz and/or Mike Lowell, though it's going to be tough to move them with all the DH-types available on the free agent market.

Mariners Rumors: Felix, Ackley, Branyan

Jack Zduriencik says he hasn't started talking with Felix Hernandez about a new deal, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, who passes on comments the Mariners GM made on Q-13 FOX over the weekend. Here are the details and assorted Mariners rumors:

  • The Mariners haven't started talking with Felix Hernandez, who will hit free agency after 2011, about a new deal. Zduriencik says he appreciates Felix's talent, but cautions: "it takes two to tango."
  • The Mariners have started talking with Scott Boras about the team's first round pick, Dustin Ackley. The two sides have had a couple conversations recently and Zduriencik expects talks to intensify soon. 
  • The Mariners want to re-sign Russell Branyan after the season. Something tells me $1.4MM won't be enough this time around!

Olney On Felix, Reds, Dye, Indians

ESPN.com's Buster Olney imagines there will be a long lineup of suitors for Felix Hernandez when he hits free agency after the 2011 season. Players as good as King Felix will sign massive deals regardless of the economy, Olney says. Here are the rest of his rumors:

  • The Reds, who are looking for a right-handed bat, will probably choose between marginal improvements and busting the budget for a pricier hitter like Matt Holliday or Jermaine Dye. They'd have to give up better prospects to obtain the salary relief they'd like, but they're reluctant to part with top talent.
  • For those wondering if Jermaine Dye could fit in San Francisco, Olney says the White Sox and Giants don't match up particularly well.
  • Olney suggests the Red Sox should trade for a first baseman and move Kevin Youkilis over to third if Mike Lowell has to miss much time, 
  • It makes sense for the Rockies to play Garrett Atkins more. Not only is he hitting better, teams will have more interest in Atkins if they see him perform well.  
  • Any deal that makes the Indians stronger for 2010 is worth making if they aren't going to contend this year. Cleveland's now 12.0 games out of a playoff spot.

Mariners Avoid Arb With Felix Hernandez

According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Mariners avoided arbitration with pitcher Felix Hernandez by signing him for $3.8MM for ’09.  Chien-Ming Wang received $4MM in his first arb year, though he is a Super Two player so he goes to arbitration four times rather than three.  Cole Hamels, also a Super Two, will receive $4.35MM for his first arb year in his newly-signed deal.

When the 2011 season comes to a close and Hernandez can file for free agency, he’ll be just 25 years old.

Odds and Ends: Pavano, Lima, Sabathia

Today’s link collection contains a trio of awesome pitchers.  Enjoy.