- Rangers Release Ryan Ludwick
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- Mike Pelfrey Walks Back Trade Comments
- Mariners Prospect Victor Sanchez Dies
- Mets, Lucas Duda Discussing Extension
- Nate Schierholtz Opts Out Of Deal With Rangers
- Cubs Release Felix Doubront
- Rangers Acquire Sam Freeman From Cardinals
- Angels Release Matt Lindstrom
- Twins’ Lewis Thorpe To Have Tommy John Surgery
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- Rangers Release Ryan Ludwick
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Freddy Garcia Rumors
Freddy Garcia hasn't pitched well for the Padres during Spring Training and is open to being moved to the bullpen rather than the starting rotation, the veteran righty tells Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. What Garcia won't accept, however, is a minor league assignment. “The bullpen, why not?” Garcia said. “But I’ll go home at the end of spring training rather than go to Triple-A. I want to pitch. But I’m not going to Triple-A.” Garcia signed a minor league deal with the Padres in January. He is scheduled to start on Saturday, an outing that Center thinks "might be an audition for another team seeking pitching."
Here are some more items about the Friars from Center's recent chat with fans…
- The Padres explored trading for Rick Porcello last winter and asked the Tigers if they had any interest in Jesus Guzman as part of the deal. San Diego reportedly turned down a recent offer of Porcello for Huston Street or Luke Gregerson, though Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has denied offering Porcello to anyone.
- General manager Josh Byrnes said yesterday that he isn't currently involved in any talks for Porcello.
- Center doesn't see the value in acquiring Porcello since Detroit's asking price is too high for a pitcher who Center feels isn't necessarily better than the Padres' young arms.
- Padres ownership has given Byrnes the go-ahead to make moves and signed off on "a major offseason deal" that Byrnes was interested in but didn't end up coming together.
- Center believes the club's management team wouldn't be in danger of losing their jobs in the case of a 90-loss season "but this is baseball. Things change with the wind."
TUESDAY: Garcia agreed to a minor league deal with a $1.3MM base salary plus $1.25MM in incentives, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
Garcia, 36, pitched to a 5.20 ERA in 107 1/3 innings for the Yankees last season to go along with solid marks of 7.5 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. Garcia was plagued by an abnormally high home-run rate, as his 15.8% HR/FB was easily a career worst. He will compete for a spot in a rotation that currently includes Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard and Jason Marquis. Other candidates include Anthony Bass, Eric Stults and Tyson Ross.
Garcia owns a career 4.15 ERA, 6.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. While he struggled in 2012, he's just one year removed from posting a 3.62 ERA in 146 2/3 innings for the Yankees. With the exception of a brief cameo in Philadelphia back in 2007, this will be Garcia's first venture into National League pitching.
Free agent right-hander Javier Vazquez is getting his right meniscus repaired by one of the Marlins’ team doctors this Wednesday, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter links). The right-hander is expected to be throwing at full strength within two to three weeks. Though seven teams have expressed serious interest in Vazquez, he has not made a decision about playing in 2013 as of now. Here are some more links from around MLB…
- Right-hander Scott Atchison expects to sign a minor league deal with a team other than the Red Sox this week, writes MLB.com's Evan Drellich. Atchison told Drellich it the team he's closing in on will give him a good chance to make the Major League bullpen. Atchison was diagnosed with a partial UCL tear last August but has had "great results" in letting it heal with rest and rehab.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Pirates expressed interest in Freddy Garcia, but the 36-year-old hurler elected to sign a minor league deal with the Padres instead.
- Time Warner Cable and the Dodgers have officially agreed to a 25-year, $7 billion TV deal, John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reports. The agreement will lead to the creation of a new regional sports network for the Los Angeles area; SportsNet L.A will launch in 2014.
- The Rays signed free agent infielder Kelly Johnson today, but that won’t stop Ben Zobrist from playing “a lot” of second base for Tampa Bay, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Johnson, who played 79 games in left field as a rookie in 2005, will bounce around.
- Michael Bourn still wants a five-year deal, yet the Mets aren't willing to go there, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (on Twitter). Here’s an explanation of how the Mets wanted to sign Bourn while keeping their first round draft pick this coming season.
MLBTradeRumors readers will be sure to note that longtime MLBTR writer Mike Axisa has become the newest contributor to the Eye on Baseball blog at CBSSports.com. Congrats to Mike, who started things off today with a look at the Yankees’ core pieces. As always, Mike’s latest piece is worth your time. Mike’s by-line won’t be appearing at MLBTR anymore, but Zach Links has become a full-time writer and he’ll be taking over the site’s Baseball Blogs Weigh In feature from now on. You can reach Zach here with your submissions: ZachBBWI@gmail.com.
Here are some links from around MLB…
- Carlos Beltran's preference is to return to the Cardinals following the 2013 season, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. However, the presence of Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and top prospect Oscar Taveras might leave Beltran without a spot on St. Louis' roster.
- In a piece at River Ave. Blues, Mike previews a potential extension for Yankees right-hander David Robertson, suggesting a three-year, $15MM deal could work for both sides. That said, cost certainty isn't a huge priority for the Yankees, so "working out a multi-year contract with Robertson probably isn’t worth the hassle" from the standpoint of the club.
- The Marlins are hearing from the agents for several veteran free agents who would love to play in Miami, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Freddy Garcia and Bobby Abreu are among the players who would like to join the Marlins, Jackson writes.
- Agent Scott Boras expects increased interest in free agent right-hander Jose Valverde now that Rafael Soriano has signed with the Nationals, George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press reports. The Tigers, Valverde's most recent team, seem confident in the ability of 22-year-old Bruce Rondon.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Despite indications to the contrary, the Twins never called to inquire about the availability of pitcher Anibal Sanchez, according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500. Sanchez, of course, re-signed with the Tigers for five years and $80MM earlier this offseason. Here's more out of Minnesota, courtesy of Wolfson..
- The Twins still have interest in free agent outfielder Scott Podsednik, but they're not looking to sign free agent outfielder Ryan Sweeney. We recently learned that the Mets aren't among the teams in on Podsednik. The club had brief talks with Sweeney's representatives earlier in the winter.
- Minnesota had interest in signing free agent starter Freddy Garcia in December but they haven't checked in on him since. The Twins have also cut off contact with free agent pitcher Manny Parra. The Twins, along with the Reds and Rockies, were said to be interested in Garcia late last year.
- The Twins have not inquired about free agent shortstop Jason Bartlett, nor free agent second baseman Kelly Johnson.
- The Twins never made an offer to shortstop Cesar Izturis, who signed a minor league deal with the Reds on Wednesday. General Manager Terry Ryan & Co. never had an interest in free agent starter Aaron Cook before he signed with the Phillies either.
- Minnesota could have free agent starter Armando Galarraga on a minor league deal but aren't interested in him. The right-hander hooked on with the Astros on a minor league contract last year after being cut by the Orioles.
The Twins, Rockies and Reds are among the teams that have checked in on free agent right-hander Freddy Garcia, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter link). Garcia, who turned 36 in October, is represented by Peter E. Greenberg & Associates.
Garcia spent this past season with the Yankees, posting a 5.20 ERA with 7.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 40.2% ground ball rate in 107 1/3 innings. The 14-year veteran made 17 starts and appeared in 13 games as a reliever in 2012, earning a base salary of $4MM in 2012. His fastball velocity checked in below 90mph, as usual (87.5 mph on average).
Garcia hasn’t been linked to any other teams so far this offseason, but it’s not surprising to see that the Twins and Rockies checked in given that both clubs have been looking to add pitching depth. The Reds already have a full rotation, yet might be interested in Garcia as a long reliever.
A few odds and ends as a rather eventful Saturday in MLB winds down …
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington offered embattled manager Bobby Valentine a vote of confidence following this afternoon's disheartening loss. Cherington told reporters, such as CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler, that he's "very satisfied" with Valentine's performance, noting that the skipper is doing the best he can with the current roster (Twitter link).
- To that end, Cherington did allow that the team's sluggish 4-10 record "does increase the urgency" to find solutions for a battered pitching staff, tweets Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
- The money saved in the acquisition of Marlon Byrd will not affect the Red Sox's luxury-tax calculation, according to Speier, a loophole MLB recently closed (Twitter links).
- Touted Angels infield prospect Jean Segura's future with the club may be in question now that the Halos have locked up shortstop Erick Aybar and second baseman Howie Kendrick to long-term contracts, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.
- The Halos have not fared particularly well in signing relievers to multiyear contracts of late, writes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, a trend that GM Jerry Dipoto is trying to rectify by piecing together a cheap but effective bullpen of undervalued types. The Angels' list of relief flops includes the likes of Brian Fuentes, Justin Speier and Fernando Rodney.
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he still has faith in Freddy Garcia when asked whether the right-hander was "running out of time," according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Garcia has gotten off to a poor start, including an ugly outing today, and is a candidate to be moved (either to the bullpen or perhaps elsewhere) when Andy Pettitte is called up from the minors.
- There’s been little traction in extension talks between the Braves and McCann, according to Olney. However, the Braves control the catcher’s rights through 2013 with a $12MM club option. Olney suggests the 28-year-old could ask for more than Yadier Molina obtained from the Cardinals ($75MM for five years).
- Olney expects many teams to have interest in Hunter when he hits free agency this offseason. The right fielder has said he’ll be looking to sign with a team that has a real shot at winning the World Series.
- The Yankees would be open to dealing a starter, but haven't discussed any trades involving Freddy Garcia so far.
Saturday afternoon linkage..
- The Phillies appear to be comfortable with beginning the season with Freddy Galvis at second base and are searching for a backup utility infielder via trade rather than a starter, sources tell Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- Word is that the Yankees offered Freddy Garcia to the Marlins but Miami wasn't interested, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Garcia, who is a trade candidate following the club's signing of Andy Pettitte, is signed to a one-year deal worth $4MM plus incentives.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia and General Manager Jerry Dipoto met with Bobby Abreu following the outfielder's comments to Lider en Deportes. DiGiovanna writes that the team may have no choice but to release the veteran if he continues to struggle and be a distraction.
- The case of Jairo Beras and his $4.5MM contract with the Rangers is in the hands of Major League Baseball, but the club is confident that he is 17 years old, writes Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telgram. Beras' biological father also told the paper that Beras is in fact 17.
- The Mets are facing a serious numbers crunch on the 40-man roster, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
Twelve years ago today, the Expos sent Christian Parker to the Yankees as the player to be named later in the Hideki Irabu trade. The two teams made the deal a few months earlier, with prospects Jake Westbrook and Ted Lilly going to New York. Parker eventually flamed out, but both Westbrook and Lilly went on to have long and productive careers, just not in pinstripes. Here's the latest from the Bronx…
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post says the Andy Pettitte signing was a move from the vintage George Steinbrenner playbook, a "sensationalistic lightning bolt" signing.
- "You play for the Yankees, nothing surprises you," said Freddy Garcia to reporters (including Marc Carig of The Star Ledger) when asked about the Pettitte signing this morning (Twitter link). Garcia is a candidate to be traded once the left-hander is in game shape.
- Sherman checked with Jorge Posada following the Pettitte signing, and confirmed that the team's long-time backstop is staying retired (Twitter link).
- “We’ve been trying to sign him for the last few years,” said GM Brian Cashman to Jack Curry of The YES Network about Dewayne Wise. The team sees him as a valuable reserve outfielder with above average defense. Wise joined the club on a minor league contract this offseason.
- Alex Rodriguez told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that he'd like to own a baseball team one day (Twitter link). According to the game's bylaws, A-Rod will have to wait until he's no longer under contract with one of the 30 clubs to do so.
- MLBPA head Michael Weiner told Carig that he expects the Yankees to remain under the $189MM luxury tax threshold in 2014 and 2015 (Twitter links). That will qualify them for rebates in 2016, and Weiner then expects them to raise payroll.