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Garrett Jones Rumors
AUG. 22: The Yankees have unconditionally released Jones, per GreedyPinstripes.com (via Twitter).
AUG. 12: The Yankees announced on Wednesday that first baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones has been designated for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for lefty Chris Capuano, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Additionally, the Yankees optioned righty Branden Pinder to Triple-A and recalled fellow righty Nick Goody.
This marks the second time this season that Jones, 34, has been designated for assignment by the Yankees. Acquired alongside Nathan Eovaldi in the trade that sent Martin Prado to the Marlins, Jones has batted just .215/.257/.361 with five homers in 152 plate appearances — his lightest production since a cameo with the Twins as a 26-year-old rookie in 2007.
Jones was initially designated for assignment to clear a spot on the roster for trade acquisition Dustin Ackley, but he was quickly released and re-signed to a big league deal afer Ackley landed on the disabled list.
Though his production this year has been unimpressive, Jones does have a history of solid offensive output. He batted .254/.316/.453 with 115 homers in 823 games for the Pirates and Marlins from 2009-14, and he’s a lifetime .265/.330/.473 hitter versus right-handed pitching.
Jones doesn’t appear likely to remain with the Yankees. He told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch that it’d be difficult to remain with the team, as he’s hoping to find an opportunity to pick up more playing time (Twitter link). Jones could be a fit for a team with a need at first base or in right field, though he comes with notable platoon splits and grades out as a poor defender at both spots.
Earlier today, it was reported that former Angels GM Jerry Dipoto had joined the Red Sox‘ front office on an interim basis to serve in an advisory capacity in the offseason. That came from Peter Gammons, who also said today in an MLB Network appearance (video link, with Red Sox talk beginning at about 5:15) that he can “see them at least making overtures to bringing in Pat Gillick” as an adviser to be another voice in the front office. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that the Red Sox haven’t yet sought permission to speak to the 77-year-old Gillick, who is stepping down as Phillies president at season’s end and giving way to Andy MacPhail. As Cafardo notes, the idea in the addition of some extra advisers is to bring some fresh sets of eyes to the Red Sox’ decision-making process.
Elsewhere in the AL East…
- Red Sox manager John Farrell addressed the addition of Dipoto following today’s loss to the Marlins, as WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford writes. Said the Sox skipper: “He’s come in to review our system, our big league club. I know it’s an objective view to be brought in and give feedback, information to Ben, his assessment and recommendations going forward.” Bradford likens the hiring to that of Allard Baird, the former Royals GM who joined the Red Sox as a consultant after he was dismissed in Kansas City. Baird, though, went on to assume a more permanent position with the Sox, as he’s currently their vice president of player personnel. A similar outcome could conceivably be in store for Dipoto, though as Ken Rosenthal reported earlier today, Dipoto’s free to GM opportunities with other clubs at any time.
- The Yankees elected to hang onto their top prospects rather than make a huge splash at the non-waiver trade deadline, and owner Hal Steinbrenner told the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff that he played a part in that decision. “I don’t think we kind of had the glaring need that you would address by giving up one of your Triple-A prospects,” said Steinbrenner. “…I didn’t want to give those kids up. We’ve been looking at them for two, three years now. They’ve progressed perfectly.” Steinbrenner noted that he was particularly reluctant to do so for a “loaner,” adding that the proximity of much of the organization’s minor league talent to the big league level was another factor.
- Garrett Jones is at somewhat of a crossroads after again being designated for assignment by the Yankees, writes George A. King III of the New York Post. The veteran first baseman/outfielder is well-liked by his teammates and the coaches and told King that the feeling is mutual, making it difficult to leave. However, he’s also wary about having been let go twice, though, King writes. “I have to talk to my agent and wife and see what’s best for my career: Stay here or go to the new team,” Jones said. King also provides health updates on Michael Pineda and Dustin Ackley.
- Desmond Jennings‘ prolonged stint on the disabled list is over, as the Rays announced to reporters, including Sports Talk Florida’s Matt Stein (Twitter link), that Joey Butler will be optioned to make room for Jennings’ return Friday. Jennings has been out since late April due to a left knee injury and underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the issue a little more than two months ago.
Jones was recently designated for assignment to clear roster space as part of the team’s acquisition of Dustin Ackley. As Curry explains, Jones elected free agency after being outrighted by the club. But with Ackley going on the DL, New York decided to bring back the veteran.
Playing in his eighth big league season at 34 years of age, Jones owns a .215/.257/.361 batting line. But he’s done much more in the past, and carries a .757 collective OPS in a career with over 3,000 trips to the plate. Jones has always maintained a sizable platoon split, and will presumably continue to see most of his action against right-handed pitching.
The Yankees announced they have designated first baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones for assignment. The team also outrighted lefty Chris Capuano and reinstated outfielder Slade Heathcott from the 60-day DL and optioned him to Triple-A. Jones, 34, joined the Yankees in the December Martin Prado trade with the Marlins. He hit .215/.257/.361 in 152 plate appearances for the Yankees.
New acquisition Dustin Ackley will report to the team tonight.
Tigers starter Shane Greene was never a highly touted prospect or big bonus guy, writes Eno Sarris of ESPN (Insider required). However, Greene’s path to the majors is an interesting story of perseverance. Greene’s father arranged a showcase for Yankee scout Jeff Deardorff. After a strong sandlot performance, the scout invited him to Tampa to throw to hitters. A week later, he was drafted by the Yankees in the 15th round. That’s the story from a high level, but it’s the details that make it interesting. The article is definitely worth a read if you have Insider access.
Here’s more from around the league to round out your Saturday evening:
- The Yankees acquired first baseman Garrett Jones over the winter to serve as depth for oft-injured sluggers like Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. However, the aging stars have remained healthy so playing time has been scarce for Jones. With the Cardinals in need of a platoon bat to share time with Mark Reynolds, there is some pressure to trade Jones. However, Sherman wonders if the Yankees lineup could survive a Teixeira injury. Would Rodriguez also land on the disabled list if he was forced onto the field? Could Jose Pirela or Stephen Drew cover third if Chase Headley shifts to first. These are questions that GM Brian Cashman must answer before dealing Jones.
- The Yankees have stuck with Drew despite an abysmal performance, writes Chad Jennings of LoHud. He has hit just .158/.226/.303. He continues to start despite the presence of prospect Jose Pirela on the active roster and Rob Refsnyder at Triple-A. Jennings offers five theories as to why Drew continues to play. In my opinion, they just want to get a full evaluation of Drew before deciding on Plan B.
- The Red Sox haven’t developed a reliable pitching prospect since they called up Clay Buchholz in 2007, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Bostonians hope that Eduardo Rodriguez is the first example in a reversal of that trend. Rodriguez dominated in his debut. He threw seven-and-two-thirds innings with seven strikeouts, two walks, three hits, and no runs. The club will temporarily use a six-man rotation to give Rodriguez a second audition. It’s not hard to imagine him taking the place of Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, or Joe Kelly if they continue to struggle.
- Brewers outfielder Khris Davis has torn the meniscus in his right-knee, tweets Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. He’ll undergo surgery on Tuesday. Davis is hitting .252/.339/.449 in 168 plate appearances. While no timetable has been announced, past meniscus surgeries have required six to eight weeks of recovery – sometimes more if there are other complicating factors. The Milwaukee lineup has been plagued by various injuries this season, only Adam Lind has been available every day.
The Phillies could get involved in the bidding for infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, but they would need to clear some payroll first, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. The Phillies, of course, recently traded Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, and they currently have Freddy Galvis atop their depth chart at shortstop, so there’s a clear opening for Cabrera if they feel he can handle the position defensively. Here’s more from the East divisions.
- Telling Casey McGehee he had been traded to the Giants was a difficult task for Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill, Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel writes. “Extremely difficult decision because he did mean so much on the field and in the clubhouse, a true pro in every sense in the word,” says Hill. The Marlins were able to deal McGehee for two young pitchers because they acquired Martin Prado from the Yankees to play third base.
- Speaking of the Martin Prado trade, Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues writes that the Yankees have acquired an interesting project in Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi has excellent velocity but hasn’t yet gotten great results, and Axisa (who cites Fangraphs’ Eno Sarris) wonders if Eovaldi might get better results by dropping his weak changeup and focusing on his fastball, slider and curveball. Axisa considers Garrett Jones more of a throw-in, but one who fits well with the Yankees given their veteran hitters’ struggles to stay healthy.
- The Mets‘ trade of reliever Gonzalez Germen to the Yankees on Friday was only the 16th transaction between the two clubs, the New York Daily News’ Anthony McCarron reports. It was also the only trade between the cross-town rivals in 10 years — in 2004, the Mets sent Mike Stanton to the Bronx for Felix Heredia.
3:15pm: GM Brian Cashman told reporters that the Yankees are including $6MM in the deal – $3MM this year and $3MM next year – to help cover Prado’s salary, according to Marc Carig of Newsday (on Twitter).
1:33pm: The Yankees have issued a press release announcing the completion of the deal.
12:51pm: It’s a done deal, according a source that spoke with Marc Carig of Newsday (via Twitter). The Marlins will receive Prado, Phelps, and cash in exchange for Eovaldi, Jones, and German.
12:15pm: The Yankees and Marlins are on the verge of a deal that would sent Martin Prado to Miami, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network (on Twitter). Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter) hears that the deal would have Garrett Jones and Eovaldi going to New York for Prado and pitcher David Phelps.
Prado, 31, is owed $11MM in both 2015 and 2016. If the deal is finalized, the veteran would replace Casey McGehee at third base, according to Jackson (Twitter link). Prado hit a combined .282/.321/.412 for the Diamondbacks and Yankees in 2014 with an exceptionally strong .316/.336/.541 during his 37 games in pinstripes. The deal would mark the second time Prado has been traded in the calendar year as the Bombers acquired Prado back in July.
Eovaldi, who turns 25 in February, has been a rumored trade candidate for some time thanks to the additions of Mat Latos and Dan Haren. He has averaged a blistering 96 mph as a starter over the past two seasons, garnering the attention of many throughout baseball. Though he struggled a bit with a 4.34 ERA in 2014, FIP (3.37), xFIP (3.76) and SIERA (3.91) all feel he was better than that ERA would suggest. Eovaldi going through arbitration for the first time in his career and is projected to earn $3.1MM, according to the model developed by Matt Swartz.
Jones, 33, was displaced from first base when the Marlins signed Michael Morse. Jones signed a two-year, $7.75MM deal with Miami in December of last year and the pact was heavily backloaded. The Marlins paid Jones $2.75MM in 2014 but the Bombers will be paying him $5MM in ’15. Jones slashed .246/.309/.411 in 2014, numbers that are below his career line and well below his strong 2012 showing. Jones could be called upon to provide depth at first base, in right field, and as a DH.
Phelps will be arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason and is slated to earn $1.3MM, according to Matt Swartz. The 28-year-old pitched to a 4.38 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 17 starts and 15 relief appearances for the Yankees last season.
German, 22, pitched to a 2.48 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 25 starts for the Marlins’ Single-A affiliate last season. Scouts have different opinions on German, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). Some believe that he has the stuff to be a legitimate starting pitcher while others think of him more as a late-inning guy. All of the scouts he spoke with, however, like German’s arm.
As of right now, the Yankees’ plan is to have their internal second base options – Rob Refsnyder, Jose Pirela, Cole Figueroa, and Nick Noonan – fight it out to see who will be the starter in 2015, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). If the Bombers go out of house, a free agent such as Asdrubal Cabrera could make some sense for them.
Marlins president David Samson rejected the recent comments of Pirates president Frank Coonelly regarding the team’s expectations for the Giancarlo Stanton contract, as Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel reports. He noted that the team has every expectation that Stanton will play out its full term, adding that Stanton’s camp suggested the opt-out.
Here’s more from the NL East:
- After reaching terms with Michael Morse to take the lion’s share of work at first, the Marlins are getting calls on displaced first baseman Garrett Jones, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. Though Jones is owed a relatively modest $5MM next year, the Fish may still need to eat some cash to get him off the books. The 33-year-old, left-handed-swinging Jones hit righties at a somewhat above-average clip, but struggled hard against same-handed pitching in limited exposure and was only an average producer in the aggregate.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters, including ESPN.com’s Adam Rubin (Twitter link), that the club is unlikely even to make a bid on Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang. The market for Kang remains hard to gauge as his posting clock ticks.
- The Mets are more likely to add southpaw relief help on minor league deals, Alderson added (also via Rubin, on Twitter). As things stand, New York can turn to Josh Edgin or, potentially, Rule 5 selection Sean Gilmartin for LOOGY work.
For many Winter Meetings participants, baseball transactions are the last thing on their mind; the event also includes a trade show and job fair. As MLB.com’s Corey Brock writes, some number of job hunters are looking not only to break into the broader business of the game, but to launch a career in baseball operations. Even getting an internship is significantly harder than ever, according to Brock (and the hopefuls with whom he spoke). Here are a couple notes from the National League.
- The Marlins have “checked off a lot of boxes,” in the words of president of baseball operations Michael Hill, but there is plenty of opportunity left in the offseason, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes in a breakdown of where things stand in Miami. A power bat is, of course, on the team’s wish list, and Garrett Jones would be shopped hard if that occurs. There could be a logjam in the rotation if Dan Haren elects to play next year, with Nathan Eovaldi a possible trade chip if he does.
- In a conference call addressing the Wade Miley deal, Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart explained that the team pulled the trigger because Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster added power to the team’s rotation (via MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, on Twitter). Stewart also said that the team has had internal discussions on the possibility of going after Max Scherzer or James Shields, but has yet to decide whether to do so, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweets.
- Figuring out what to do with the Braves is tricky, but it sounds like team president John Hart won’t be sentimental about keeping the team together, judging from his comments to Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Let’s be honest: This team finished 29th in offense,” Hart says. “It’s not like I’m breaking up the ’27 Yankees.” Hart’s Braves might not have been in the same trouble the Pirates were when GM Neal Huntington said almost exactly the same thing in 2009, but the Braves have been busy so far this offseason, dealing Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins, and signing Nick Markakis and Jim Johnson. Still, Hart adds, the Braves aren’t going to “throw a hand grenade on the club and blow it up” in preparation for the opening of their new stadium in 2017. Hart adds that he has had discussions with “six to eight” teams about Justin Upton, but none that have resulted in a trade.
The Marlins are “determined to upgrade” their first base position and have started looking into the trade market as a means of doing so, according to a report from Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Miami is looking to replace or, presumably, platoon with incumbent Garrett Jones.
Among the players as to whom the Marlins have inquired are Evan Gattis of the Braves and Chris Davis of the Orioles, per the report. The pair of 28-year-olds are in quite different situations, needless to say, but obviously each hold their own appeal. Davis is a left-handed hitter who is coming off a down year and looking to bolster his 50-home run resume in his final season before reaching free agency. Gattis, a catcher who could presumably shift over to first, will not even be eligible for arbitration until next season. He hits from the right side and thus would pair nicely with the left-handed bat of Jones, who remains under contract for one more season.
Miami would be required to part with a valued young arm to land either player, the report suggests. One possibility would be a deal involving well-regarded lefty Andrew Heaney, though of course the Fish are generally well-stocked in rotation prospects.
Miami reportedly made an offer to Adam LaRoche — the market’s best pure first baseman — before he signed with the White Sox. Missing on LaRoche left the market without much in the way of established, recently productive first baseman. Michael Morse remains a candidate to play that position, but the Marlins’ interest is “lukewarm,” per the report.