Miami Marlins Rumors
Baseball America's Jim Callis tweeted updates on previous draft signings Bryan Verbitsky and Carlos Salazar today. Verbitsky, a third-round pick by the Padres will receive $400K, while Salazar, the Braves' third-rounder, will receive $625K (Twitter links). The Padres landed Verbitsky $221K under slot, while the Braves went over-slot by nearly $120K. Here are more signings out of the second and third rounds (all slot info courtesy of Baseball America)...
- The Rockies went $535K over slot to sign sixth-rounder Dom Nunez, according to BA's Jim Callis (on Twitter). The California high school third baseman/shortstop/catcher boasts a compact swing, sneaky pop, and a strong arm.
- The Marlins have agreed to a significantly over-slot deal with seventh-round pick Justin Bohn, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned. Bohn, the No. 202 overall selection, signed for $525K, though the assigned pick value for that slot was just $193K. Bohn had been committed to Oregon State.
- The A's have signed third-round pick Ryon Healy for $500K, tweets Callis. The A's saved about $16K on Oregon's first baseman, who shows good power and has a chance to play third base.
- Callis tweets that the Rockies signed third-rounder Sam Moll for $600K, meaning they saved about $113K on the Memphis left-hander. Though he stands just 5'11", Moll throws 93-95 mph as a starter. He's likely a reliever in the pros, though.
- The Royals signed third-round pick Carter Hope for $561K, Callis reports (Twitter link). Hope's bonus is exactly $100K under slot. The prep righty from Texas throws 88-92 mph with an improving curveball. He had been committed to Oklahoma State.
Now that the draft is over, teams are focusing more on bolstering their rotations with one more piece, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. No one more aggressive in the pursuit of pitching than Orioles GM Dan Duquette who knows that one veteran starter could make all the difference. While they're anxious to improve their starting five, it doesn't sound as if the O's will be in the mix for someone like Cliff Lee. “We’re looking for a starter and a reliever,” said Duquette. “We’d like to solidify our pitching all around because that’s the name of the game, really. We have to look at everything. Don’t think we’re going to be in the market for a big-money pitcher, but there seem to be some guys out there that we might focus on and see where it takes us.” Here's more from today's column..
- The Astros will craft a game plan early this week for how to approach their veteran assets. Teams are already calling about Bud Norris, who has a cheap $3MM salary, but won't be cheap to acquire. The Orioles, Giants, and Pirates have kicked around the idea of acquiring Norris, but one National League exec says there will be about a dozen teams interested before all is said and done.
- It seems like a no-brainer for the A’s to pick up Coco Crisp's 2014 option for $7.5MM, but he'll be in demand if they don’t. Even though he's 33-years-old, there aren’t many top center fielder/leadoff hitter types out there. Jacoby Ellsbury will be the No. 1 guy in that department, but , one American League special assignment scout said Crisp might be a better low-cost option because “he can do everything Ellsbury can do. Neither of them have an arm, but Coco is still fast, a very good outfielder, and can still be a game-changer.”
- The Phillies believe there are at least three teams — Red Sox, Tigers, and Cardinals — that may have some interest in Jonathan Papelbon at the trade deadline and the Phillies are scouting those teams with a potential deal in mind. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week that he’s not ready to “blow up” the Phillies, but a Papelbon trade could help retool the club.
- Teams continue to nudge Javier Vazquez into coming back to pitch, but the right-hander seems to be content with staying with his family, according to a source familiar with Vazquez’s thinking.
- The Red Sox can trade Stephen Drew now that June 15th has come and gone, and they would have no problem finding a taker given the lack of shortstops around baseball. However, Boston firmly believes that Drew is their guy. One National League GM doesn't quite understand their infatuation with the shortstop. “They’re either trying to justify the $9.5MM they paid him, or they’re not sold on [Jose] Iglesias, who could start for 29 other teams.”
- If the White Sox decide to finally bolster their farm system, they could get some helpful prospects back by moving right-hander Jesse Crain. The reliever is becoming a top name on wish lists around baseball.
- While many baseball people remain focused on Giancarlo Stanton’s availability in a deal, 25-year-old Logan Morrison is now healthy and has returned to the lineup. The Marlins first baseman/outfielder is a big lefthanded hitter who will be monitored closely by scouts over the next month.
Earlier today, the Mets made some roster moves, designating Collin McHugh for assignment to create a 40-man roster spot for newly promoted Carlos Torres. Here's tonight's notes from the Mets and the rest of the NL East..
- MetsBlog has a recap of Mets GM Sandy Alderson's Q&A session with fans and media today, including comments that the club may soon be ready to invest at the big league level. With a young crop of players beginning to emerge, Alderson indicated that the time may be near when the team will add veteran talent to the roster.
- The Phillies nearly acquired right-hander Wilton Lopez from the Astros during the offseason, reminisced Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phillies staged a comeback against Lopez and the Rockies yesterday, with Gelb noting that it was a rare favorable turn of events for the Phillies bullpen situation. Lopez has pitched to a 4.25 ERA, 5.3 K/9, and 2.0 BB/9 over 36 innings in Colorado.
- Nathan Eovaldi will make his 2013 debut for the Marlins Tuesday, reports George Richards of the Miami Herald. Eovaldi was a major piece of the deal that saw Hanley Ramirez go to the Dodgers, but has seen his first full season in Miami derailed by injuries. The 22-year-old right-hander has a 4.15 ERA, 5.9 K/9, and 3.9 BB/9 in 154 career innings.
Catcher Miguel Olivo was placed on the restricted list earlier today due his dissatisfaction with the Marlins over playing time. The veteran now says that he is seeking an outright release from the club so that he can find a better opportunity elsewhere, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
"I'm just praying to God they release me and don't be selfish," he said. "I've been very professional. I've done everything I could to help the team. They're only hurting one person, and that's me. I'm a nice person. I don't want to hurt nobody."
Olivo, who was signed by the Marlins at the end of spring training for $800K, has a .203/.250/.392 slash line with four home runs in mostly part-time duty this season. Those numbers line up with his output in the previous two seasons with the Mariners, but it's a drop from his career line of .241/.275/.417.
The catcher stormed out of Marlins Park in street clothes before last night's game as the National Anthem was playing, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. There's a chance that the Marlins try to trade Olivo as he sits on the restricted list without pay.
The Marlins have signed supplemental second-round pick Colby Suggs for a below-slot bonus of $600k, tweets Jim Callis of Baseball America. Suggs was chosen with the last of the first-day picks (number 73), which came with a $759,200 recommended bonus.
Callis pegs the University of Arkansas righty as a potential quick-to-the-bigs reliever, as his big fastball can touch 98. Draft experts' opinions on Suggs, ranged, but he was regarded as a clear top-100 prospect. Keith Law of ESPN was most bullish, placing him as the 65th overall draft prospect, while MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo had him as the 79th best player available and Baseball America rated him at 97. Mayo explained that Suggs is "all power" and could profile as a closer should he tighten up his command and refine his breaking ball.
The Marlins obtained the pick used to choose Suggs as part of the deal that sent Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers. Miami and Detroit swapped their competitive balance picks in the trade.
The Marlins have placed catcher Miguel Olivo on the restricted list, tweets Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. The team has recalled outfielder Jordan Brown from Triple-A to take Olivo's 25-man roster spot.
Capozzi notes (via Twitter) that the veteran backstop had been unhappy with a lack of regular playing time, and told the club yesterday that he was quitting. Olivo, 34, had not seen a start behind the dish since the middle of May. He had a .203/.250/.392 line in just 80 plate appearances this year, figures that line up with his output over his last two seasons with the Mariners.
Players on the restricted list do not count toward a team's 25-man or 40-man roster. They do not accrue service time and are not always paid. Miami had Rob Brantly and Jeff Mathis on the active roster at catcher, but only four regular outfielders. Brown already had a spot on the team's 40-man roster.
The Giants are already looking hard at the trade market in search of a starter, officials who speak regularly with club decision-makers tell Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. This is a somewhat unusual development for San Francisco, as they haven't made a major trade for a starter since acquiring Sidney Ponson 10 years ago.
Two specific names that the Giants have checked into, writes Knobler, are Ricky Nolasco and Bud Norris. Neither inquiry has resulted in serious negotiations to this point. The Giants aren't likely to limit their search to those two names, either:
"Anybody that's trading pitching, they're on," one of the officials said. "They want somebody quality."
The Giants opened the season with a rotation consisting of Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito. Vogelsong struggled all season and is on the DL with a fractured hand. Lincecum hasn't rediscovered his Cy Young form, and improbably, Cain has been the worst of the healthy group. Zito, as Knobler notes, has a pristine 1.94 ERA at home but the worst road ERA of any pitcher with at least four starts -- 10.19.
Higher profile names on the trade market would include Josh Johnson and Matt Garza, though Knobler notes that Giants general manager Brian Sabean has typically steered clear of players with health issues.
Tonight's Brewers vs. Marlins matchup surely was of interest to teams that might pursue starting pitching in the trade market, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweeted at the beginning of the game. Yovani Gallardo started for the Brewers and pitched eight shutout innings, striking out four and walking one. The Marlins' Ricky Nolasco, another trade candidate, didn't fare so well, allowing four runs while striking out five and walking two over 5 1/3 innings. Here are more notes from around the league.
- Last November, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks expressed interest in Alex Rodriguez, Ken Belson and David Waldstein of the New York Times report. The Yankees never discussed the matter with the Japanese team, because they knew Rodriguez required hip surgery that would limit him in 2013, and because they knew Rodriguez would not consent to playing overseas.
- Ike Davis' poor performance (and subsequent demotion) may make him a non-tender candidate in the coming offseason, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York argues. Davis will make $3.125MM this season, and will be eliglble for arbitration next season. He hit .161/.242/.258 in 207 plate appearances this year before the Mets shipped him to Triple-A Las Vegas. Last month, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes discussed many potential non-tender candidates, including Davis, Clayton Richard, and Chris Perez.
- The Pirates have had a number of surprisingly good pitching performances this year, and what connects them is catcher Russell Martin, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Martin's pitch-framing is highly-regarded, and he also wins praise for his game-calling. His impact on the Pirates' pitching staff makes the two-year, $17MM contract to which the Bucs signed him this offseason look like a very good one, Sawchik argues.
- The Astros are rebuilding the right way, says ESPN's Jim Bowden in a new video. Bowden argues that GM Jeff Luhnow, manager Bo Porter and new president Reid Ryan are the right leaders for the Astros. Bowden also says the Astros' top draft picks help set them up to the future. The Astros selected Carlos Correa first overall in 2012, then grabbed Mark Appel with this year's top pick. They'll also have a very high pick next year. Not trying to spend their way out of last place is the right strategy for the Astros, Bowden says, because of the top picks they get as a result.
- The Orioles are not interested in Jon Garland, MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko tweets. The Rockies released Garland this afternoon after he posted a 5.82 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 for them.
Over the next several weeks, signings from this year's MLB draft will be pouring in. Here's Monday's rundown of significant signings (all slot info courtesy of Baseball America's list of assigned pick values)...
- The Athletics signed fourth-round pick Dylan Covey to a $370K deal, tweets Jim Callis of Baseball America. The San Diego right-hander was taken by the Brewers with the No. 14 overall pick in 2010 but ultimately didn't sign after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
- BA's Jim Callis reports that the Brewers have signed third-round pick (No. 90 overall) Barrett Astin for a bonus of $584,300 (Twitter link), which is the exact amount of the assigned slot value. The Arkansas right-hander "was a force" as a reliever in 2012 but more average as a starter in 2013, Callis adds.
- Mets tenth-round pick Luis Guillorme tweeted that he has signed with the team earlier today (hat tip: Adam Rubin of ESPN on Twitter). Callis adds that Guillorme signed for $200K, noting that the slick-fielding high school shortstop has drawn comparisons to Omar Vizquel (Twitter link). Guillorme's bonus is over slot, as the recommendation for that pick was $136,400.
- Callis also tweets that the Marlins have signed sixth-round pick Ryan Aper for $225K. A junior college player from Illinois, Aper possesses a quick bat and has a plus arm and speed in center field. Aper signed about $30K under the slot recommendation of $257,400.
- The Rockies have signed right-hander Konner Wade for a $198,500 bonus, tweetsCallis. Wade was a seventh-round pick out of Arizona and features a solid fastball/changeup combo when he's at his best, Callis notes. Wade signed for exactly slot value.
- Callis also reports that the Cardinals have signed 16th-round pick Blake Higgins for a $100K bonus (Twitter link). Higgins attended Jackson Community College in Michigan and is forgoing a Michigan State commitment to sign. He's already had Tommy John surgery but was clocked at 95 mph prior to his injury.
- One more from Callis, who adds (also via Twitter) that the Brewers have signed Fresno State left-handerTyler Linehan for $125K. Milwaukee selected the 6'4", 240-pound hurler in the ninth round, and Callis reports that he sits 88-93 mph with his fastball. Linehan came at a slight discount, asthe slot value of his pick was $144,100.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Jayson Stark's latest Rumblings & Grumblings column for ESPN came out yesterday; here are some highlights.
- There have been enough informal conversations between Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers on a contract extension that both sides expect a deal to get done, a friend of the player tells Stark. The tricky part is that a new deal would begin with the 2016 season, at which point Cabrera will be 33. It seems likely that Cabrera would need an average annual value in the $30MM range, but Stark's sources picture anywhere from three to five additional years.
- Some of Stark's sources don't consider Yankees second baseman and #1 2014 free agent Robinson Cano the type of player to build a team around. One exec, though, told Stark, "I can't imagine him leaving."
- Stark hears Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw seeks a ten-year deal, which would be the first for a pitcher since Wayne Garland signed a ten-year, $2.3MM deal in 1977 (those were different times). One exec can't possibly see Kershaw leaving L.A., and could picture $200-210MM over seven years. Even that would be well beyond C.C. Sabathia's record seven-year, $161MM deal, which was signed on the open market with the Yankees after the '08 season and included an opt-out clause. I feel that Kershaw's agents at Excel Sports Management have to score an opt-out in any new deal, especially with the Dodgers giving them to Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
- One exec suggests the Angels offer Mike Trout the Buster Posey deal, which amounted to eight years and $159MM in new money. Stark says "folks around the game" do not see Trout signing, however.
- The Orioles and Yankees are "leading the parade of teams that already have interest" in Miami's Ricky Nolasco. The 30-year-old is easily the highest-paid Marlin, and should have about $7.7MM remaining on his contract at the trade deadline. Nolasco has a 3.61 ERA in 82 1/3 innings, and sports his best strikeout rate since 2010.
- Would anyone sign Alex Rodriguez, if the Yankees end up releasing him? "No chance," says one executive.
- The Marlins have shown no interest in dealing right fielder Giancarlo Stanton midseason, say clubs that have inquired, though Stark thinks Marcell Ozuna's emergence could push them toward trading Stanton this winter. Stanton should return from a hamstring injury next week.