Fu-Te Ni Rumors
We'll keep track of the day's minor moves right here...
- The Tigers announced that they released left-hander Fu-Te Ni from Triple-A Toledo (Twitter link). Ni, 29, appeared in 36 games for the 2009 Tigers and 22 games for the 2010 team. He has a 4.56 ERA with 14 walks and as many strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings at Triple-A this year.
The Giants signed Aubrey Huff on this date in 2010. The first baseman hit .290/.385/.506 and the Giants won the World Series. Here are some links and news items to look through while we await the bargain signing of the 2010-11 offseason...
- Jack Curry of the YES Network tweets that while the Yankees continue to monitor the starting pitcher market, we shouldn't expect them to sign Jeremy Bonderman. The Yanks showed interest in the right-hander about a week ago.
- "I think I'm done," said Reds GM Walt Jocketty to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. "[Today's Fred Lewis and Edgar Renteria signings] are a couple of pieces we felt we needed."
- ESPN's Buster Olney wonders if the Twins' interest in Jim Thome is limited because they know he won't play as much in 2010 with Justin Morneau returning (Twitter links). He adds that once Thome comes off the board, the free agent DH logjam should clear up. Earlier today we learned that the Rangers' were after the man with the eighth most homers in baseball history (589).
- Padres' GM Jed Hoyer told MLB.com's Corey Brock that the team's payroll is in the mid-$40MM range, so they do have a little more money to spend (Twitter link).
- Scott Thorman and Fu-Te Ni are among the Tigers' non-roster invitees, according to the team. Manager Jim Leyland's son Patrick will also be in camp.
- As Yahoo's Jeff Passan explains in his examination of the Padres' offseason, it doesn't make sense for San Diego to extend Heath Bell. You can discuss Bell's future right here.
- Chad Jennings of the Journal News takes our list of top remaining free agents and considers whether those players would fit on the Yankees.
- MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince points out that the Cardinals have limited time to figure out an extension with Albert Pujols. The Cards started talks with their first baseman and they appear to be going well at this point.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia tells MLB.com's Lyle Spencer that he'd like to add a player with a high on base percentage.
Here's a look at some notable names involved in minor transactions between November 16-21, as compiled by Baseball America's Matt Eddy...
- Left-hander Scott Rice signed with the Cubs. Rice was picked 44th overall by Baltimore in the 1999 amateur draft, but has yet to get a cup of coffee in the majors after appearing in 377 minor league games.
- Right-hander Jon Huber re-signed with the Dodgers. Huber last pitched in the majors in 2007 with Seattle.
- Veteran right-hander Scott Patterson re-signed with the Mariners. Patterson has four major league games to his name, with the Padres and Yankees in 2008.
- The Marlins re-signed Vinny Rottino, and also signed relievers Victor Garate and Frank Mata. The Fish also removed right-hander Brett Sinkbeil from their 40-man roster. Sinkbeil was Florida's first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2006 draft, drafted ahead of such notables as Daniel Bard, Joba Chamberlain and Chris Perez.
- Former Tigers outfielder Jeff Frazier signed with the Nationals. Frazier made his major league debut with Detroit last season, posting a .511 OPS in 24 plate appearances.
- The Orioles removed right-hander Armando Gabino and first baseman Rhyne Hughes from their 40-man roster, and Gabino elected free agency. Gabino has a 15.12 ERA in 8 1/3 major league innings with Baltimore and Minnesota. Hughes posted a .530 OPS in 51 plate appearances for the O's last season.
- Pittsburgh released a number of minor leaguers, including a few notable international players. Taiwanese prospects Sheng-Cin Hong and Chih-Wei Hsu, both signed by the Pirates at the start of the 2009 international signing period, have been let go by the club. Also released was Dinesh Patel, signed by Pittsburgh in 2008 after being a finalist on the Indian reality show "Million Dollar Arm." Patel, a cricket player, had never pitched or even picked up a baseball before appearing on the show.
- The Rangers reinstated Nathan Haynes from the inactive list and released the outfielder. Haynes hasn't actually played since 2008. Drafted 32nd overall by Oakland in the 1997 amateur draft, Haynes never caught on in the bigs, managing 95 career plate appearances with the Angels and Rays in 2007-08.
- Right-hander Chad Reineke, best known for being traded straight-up for Randy Wolf in 2008, has re-signed with the Reds.
- The Tigers outrighted Fu-Te Ni to Triple-A and removed the Taiwanese southpaw from their 40-man roster. Ni had an impressive 2.61 ERA in 36 outings in his 2009 rookie season, but his ERA ballooned to 6.65 in 22 games with Detroit last year.
Let's continue our look at each club's top trade chips today with the AL Central...
- Indians: The Tribe have dealt their Opening Day starter in each of the last two seasons, and there's a good chance they'll do it again with Jake Westbrook in 2010. The 32-year-old righty will earn $11MM this season, the last one on his contract. After dumping Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez in cost-cutting moves last year, expect them to shop Westbrook around for prospects this summer.
- Royals: All four of Kansas City's outfielders come off the books after this season (assuming some options are bought out for six figures), so Rick Ankiel, David DeJesus, Scott Podsednik, and even Jose Guillen could be moved in a deal for a young player. The team would obviously have to eat a lot of money to move Guillen. The contracts of relievers Juan Cruz and Kyle Farnsworth also expire after the season, so there might be some interest in them.
- Tigers: Detroit isn't going to move any of their young power arms, but if they eat a large chunk of salary like they did with Nate Robertson, there might be interest in Jeremy Bonderman and/or Dontrelle Willis. Young backstop Alex Avila could make Gerald Laird expendable as well. The Tigers have four lefty relievers on their 40-man roster (Phil Coke, Fu-Te Ni, Daniel Schlereth, and Brad Thomas), and that demographic is always in demand.
- Twins: Minnesota has one of the best trade chips in the league, blocked catching prospect Wilson Ramos. Lefty Glen Perkins is pitching in Triple-A and seems to have fallen out of favor with the club after filing a grievance, so he could be made available as well. He has four years of team control left.
- White Sox: GM Kenny Williams isn't shy about emptying out the farm system in a trade for an established big leaguer, which has left him with little minor league ammo. Their best young prospects are catcher Tyler Flowers and starter Daniel Hudson, who would seem to have a future with the club, but I'm not going to put anything past Williams. Flowers could make A.J. Pierzynski or Ramon Castro expendable, ditto Hudson and Freddy Garcia. Gordon Beckham should be untouchable, obviously.
Links for Monday...
- David Chase lists the signs a pitcher may be primed for a breakout.
- The Dodgers considered trying to void Andruw Jones' contract, but waived possible action as part of their new agreement.
- Dodgers assistant GM Kim Ng on the Manny Ramirez talks.
- Michael Silverman explains why the Red Sox are not inclined to deal with Scott Boras.
- Dave Sheinin talked to one exec who predicted a one-year deal for Orlando Hudson.
- The Tigers signed Taiwanese lefty Fu-Te Ni.
- The alleged Japanese interest in Eric Hinske may have come from the SoftBank Hawks, in November.
- Pitcher win (and dollar) values are now up at FanGraphs. Cliff Lee was worth $20.2MM in 2008.
Links for Wednesday...
- With the top three free agent closers off the market, the Brewers maintain interest in Trevor Hoffman.
- The Orioles' Mark Hendrickson signing is official - he gets $1.5MM plus incentives.
- McCovey Chronicles evaluates some corner infield options for the Giants.
- Geoff Baker asks whether Bill Bavasi will be vindicated at all if the Mariners contend in 2009.
- Japanese pitcher Takateru Iyono is aiming to sign with an MLB club. Also, Taiwanese pitcher Fu-Te Ni has an offer from an East Coast team.
- All of Jeff Passan's Hot Stove Daily pieces are good reads. Here's his Marlins one.
- Murray Chass questions the oft-cited "$88.5MM coming off the books" figure for the Yankees.
- Bob Klapisch asks: how does the Mark Teixeira signing affect Derek Jeter's future with the Yankees?
- Buster Olney says the D'Backs "took a serious run" at Brad Penny before he signed with Boston.
Links and notes for Tuesday...
- The Rays held a "get-to-know you" chat with free agent reliever Joe Nelson. Also, exec Andrew Friedman doesn't see their pursuit for a hitter lasting into late January.
- The Mets will not be affected by the money a few of their owners lost in the Bernard Madoff scheme.
- Argenis Reyes and Ambiorix Burgos are now free agents after being non-tendered.
- RotoAuthority has a running list of pitchers who are moving from the AL to the NL for 2009.
- I chatted about the Yankees with Coast To Coast Baseball.
- El Lefty Malo discusses the idea of the Giants signing Ty Wigginton.
- Kevin Baxter passes along quotes from Andruw Jones regarding the future.
- Rany Jazayerli weighs in on recent Royals moves.
- Bleeding Blue and Teal tells us about Taiwanese lefty Fu-Te Ni, who may sign with a Major League team.