Frank Catalanotto Rumors
Journeyman Frank Catalanotto is not "officially" retired yet, but today he told David Lennon of Newsday that he's through playing (Twitter link). Catalanotto has a part-time gig coaching Team Italy, and he's in demand for television and radio work.
The 36-year-old carved out a big league career that spanned 14 seasons by being a left-handed bat and versatile. Catalanotto owns a more than respectable .291/.357/.445 batting line with 84 career homers, and he played every position other than pitcher, catcher, shortstop, and center field at one time or another. His best season came with the Rangers in 2001, when he hit .330/.391/.490 with 11 homers, 31 doubles, and just 55 strikeouts in 512 plate appearances.
Catalanotto broke camp with the Mets as a bench player last year, hitting .160/.192/.200 in 26 plate appearances before being designated for assignment in May. He first hinted at retirement shortly thereafter. Catalanotto played for the Tigers, Rangers (two stints), Blue Jays, and Brewers in addition to the Mets, and Baseball-Reference.com has his career earnings at just north of $22MM.
After being designated for assignment by the Mets earlier in the week, Frank Catalanotto says that "chances are" he will retire, according to Michael Obernauer, Matt Gagne, and Andy Martino of the Daily News.
The Long Island-native made the major league squad after signing a minor league deal with the Mets in January. Catalanotto was brought aboard to be the team's left-handed bat off of the bench, but hit just .160/.192/.200 in 26 plate appearances. On Monday, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy suggested that the 36-year-old could be a fit for the Brewers who are seeking minor league depth.
In 14 big league seasons, Catalanotto has a career .291/.357/.445 slash line.
The Brewers will look outside the organization to replace Adam Stern at Triple A, GM Doug Melvin told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (Twitter link). The Brewers called on Stern when they placed Carlos Gomez on the disabled list today, so they are looking to add depth in the minor leagues.
Stern, 30, hasn't played in the majors since 2007. He's off to a good start in Triple A Nashville, hitting .349/.429/.442 in 49 trips to the plate. McCalvy wonders if the Brewers could acquire Frank Catalanotto, who the Mets designated for assignment yesterday, to replace Stern at Triple A. Catalanotto was off to a poor start for the Mets, but he did hit .278/.346/.382 in 162 plate appearances for Milwaukee last year.
The Mets designated Frank Catalanotto for assignment, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). The Mets have called Chris Carter up to replace the 36-year-old utility man. Catalanotto hit .167/.200/.208 for the Mets in 25 plate appearances this year, almost exclusively off the bench. Catalanotto will have his career .296/.360/.456 line against righties to point to if the Mets release him.
Carter has just 26 big league plate appearances to his name, but he is hitting well at Triple A Buffalo. His .339/.395/.615 line was enough to impress the Mets front office. The 27-year-old's 132 minor league homers suggest he could provide the Mets with some power.
On this date 11 years ago, Hideki Irabu of the Yankees and Mac Suzuki of the Mariners faced off in the first match up of Japanese starting pitchers in Major League history. Irabu allowed one run over seven innings as the Yanks defeated Seattle by the score of 10-1.
Here are some links from around the baseball blogosphere...
- Rays Index tries to figure out which starting pitcher Tampa Bay will trade after the season.
- At Home Plate thinks John Lackey was off-base with his recent comments about the Angels.
- The Friarhood wonders if the Padres can already be declared the winner of the Jake Peavy trade.
- Nick's Twins Blog says that trading Wilson Ramos is a no-brainer.
- More Hardball looks at some players who are performing well in the big leagues after signing minor league deals this offseason.
- Yankeeist revisits the old Robinson Cano for Matt Kemp trade rumor.
- Mets Paradise wonders how long Frank Catalanotto and Fernando Tatis will keep their jobs.
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The Mets have signed Frank Catalanotto to a minor league deal, tweets Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger. The deal includes an invitation to Spring Training, according to Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post (via Twitter).
The 35-year-old native New Yorker hit .278/.346/.382 in 162 plate appearances for Milwaukee last year, and he's mostly a corner outfielder/first baseman these days. Catalanotto is a .273/.358/.396 career hitter off the bench, so he could serve as the team's primary lefty pinch hitter. He's also performed significantly better against right handers throughout his career.
The Brewers and Marlins were also believed to have some interest in Catalanotto.
The Mets are one of three teams interested in Frank Catalanotto, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com. The Brewers and Marlins are "believed to be" Catalanotto's other suitors. The 35-year-old hit .278/.346/.382 in a part-time role for the Brewers last year, playing at second and in left and right.
After a tremendous run last year that resulted in the club's first playoff berth in a quarter-century, the Brewers sat 13.5 GB of a playoff spot coming into today's action, and sport the National League's worst starting rotation thanks to their 5.22 ERA. As Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes, the club has a ton of roster decisions to make this offseason, although GM Doug Melvin says "We've got a lot of decisions, and none of them will be discussed until the end of the season."
Some of the issues facing the Brew Crew this offseason are...
- Impending Free Agents: Trevor Hoffman, Claudio Vargas, Mike Cameron, Felipe Lopez, Jason Kendall, Craig Counsell, Frank Catalanotto, and Corey Patterson will all be free agents after the season. The clubs holds a $3.7MM option for David Weathers next year ($400K buyout), and there's a $6.5MM mutual option for Braden Looper ($1MM buyout) that McCalvy says the club "will almost certainly pick up."
- Arbitration Eligibles: Dave Bush, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, Seth McClung, J.J. Hardy, Jody Gerut, and Todd Coffey are all eligible for salary arbitration. Coffey, who's been the club's primary setup man, figures to get a nice raise over his current $800K salary.
- Starting Pitching: As I mentioned earlier, Milwaukee sports the NL's worst starting staff. McCalvy reports that "Melvin promised this week that he would be much more aggressive this winter in his search for answers," and that the club might take a "little more chances and risks" than they're accustomed to taking.
The Brewers also have questions about the key up-the-middle positions. They have to sort out the Hardy-Alcides Escobar situation at short, and decide whether to try and retain Lopez or give Weeks another shot at second base duty. Cameron and Kendall have both made it clear they'd like to return, but those decisions will have to wait until the winter.
Milwaukee also must figure out third base, and whether Mat Gamel or Casey McGehee deserves the job. Prince Fielder has the other corner infield spot locked down, and is under contract for $10.5MM next year before being arbitration eligible in 2011, his final year before free agency. McCalvy also mentions that manager Ken Macha faces a lame-duck year next season, and that Melvin is fielding questions about whether another managerial change may be in order.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Brewers signed first baseman/outfielder Frank Catalanotto to a minor league deal today. The Cat will begin in extended spring training and then go to the minors, with an eye on a big league bench role.
The Rangers released Catalanotto on April 1st, so they'll pay most of the $6MM owed to him. He should be useful, having hit .274/.342/.399 last year in 278 plate appearances.
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has a few bits of information...
- The Red Sox scouted Brewers left-hander Mitch Stetter last week. The 28-year-old reliever has held lefties to a .170 average and rigthties to a .151 mark this season. The Sox, who scouted him last week, are simply being thorough and exploring options in case they come to need anothery lefty in the pen, writes Cafardo.
- Free agent outfielder Frank Catalanotto has received interest, but is holding out for the right fit.
- Jacque Jones and Frank Thomas have been working out together in Las Vegas and are both hoping to land MLB roster spots at some point this season.
- As Cafardo writes, "The Brewers may be emerging in the hunt" for free agent Pedro Martinez. The Blue Jays, Astros, Rockies, A's, Orioles, Indians and Pirates are also thought to have some level of interest.