Garrett Jones Rumors

Yankees Designate Garrett Jones

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.


Quick Hits: Greene, Jones, Drew, Rodriguez, Davis

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.

East Notes: Phillies, McGehee, Eovaldi, Mets, Yankees

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 Metstrade 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.


Marlins Acquire Martin Prado From Yankees

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.

12:31pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the Yankees will also receive right-hander Domingo German in the trade.

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.


NL East Notes: Stanton, Jones, Kang, Mets Pen

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.

NL Notes: Marlins, Diamondbacks, Braves

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.

Marlins Seek First Base Upgrade Via 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.


Marlins Sign Garrett Jones

TUESDAY: The Marlins have officially announced the signing.

MONDAY 10:22am: Jones will earn $7.75MM over the life of his contract, tweets Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. He will be paid $2.75MM in 2014 and $5MM in 2015.

8:39am: The Marlins have finalized their rumored two-year, $7.5MM deal with Garrett Jones, and an announcement is expected to be made today, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Jones is represented by Relativity Baseball (formerly SFX Baseball).

The 32-year-old Jones owns a career .254/.316/.458 slash line across six big league seasons. The first baseman/outfielder had a down year in 2013, however, hitting .233/.289/.419 in 440 plate appearances. Jones is best suited to be a platoon first baseman, as his career .193/.234/.334 line versus lefties shows a glaring weakness against same-handed pitching. His numbers against right-handed pitching — .271/.337/.489 — are a marked improvement.

The decision to bring in Jones on a two-year deal would seem to indicate the end of Logan Morrison's time with the Marlins. Miami is reportedly intent on shopping him at this week's Winter Meetings, apparently hoping that they can fill their third base hole by moving LoMo to a new team. Morrison has clashed with the Marlins before and currently has a grievance pending as a result of a demotion to the minors during the 2011 season that Morrison feels was not due to his on-field performance.


Marlins Exploring Morrison Trades; Interested In Garrett Jones

5:35pm: The Red Sox and Brewers are two of the teams who have checked in on Morrison, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports (Twitter link).

12:13pm: The Marlins will listen to offers for first baseman and former top prospect Logan Morrison next week, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Marlins could look to move Morrison in order to acqure a third baseman — a need that remains a high priority for the team. Jackson adds that the Fish are so open to trading Morrison that they've already had "serious discussions" with Garrett Jones, who was recently non-tendered by the Pirates.

Morrison, 26, has batted just .236/.321/.387 with 17 home runs in 178 games over the past two seasons after hitting .259/.351/.460 with 25 long balls in his first 185 big league games. Morrison's tenure with the Marlins has been rocky to this point. He's come under fire for his prolific and sometimes controversial Twitter presence and filed a grievance against the Marlins in 2011 after he was sent to the minor leagues in controversial fashion. The Marlins cited Morrison's batting average as their reasoning, despite the fact that he ranked second on the team in homers and third in OPS at the time. More telling was that Morrison had recently elected not to attend a meet-and-greet with season ticketholders after veteran teammate Wes Helms told him he was not required to attend. Shortly after, Morrison was demoted and Helms was released.

Morrison is still young, and though his production has fallen off recently in the cavernous Marlins Park, his road numbers have remained solid. Interest in Morrison would figure to be high, though his trade value has certainly taken a hit in recent years due to the diminished production. He can be controlled through the 2016 season before he hits free agency.

Jones, 32, was designated for assignment by the Pirates before being officially non-tendered on December 2nd. The veteran owns a career .254/.316/.458 slash line across six big league seasons. The first baseman/outfielder had a down year in 2013, however, hitting .233/.289/.419 in 440 plate appearances. Jones was due $5.3MM in arbitration this winter, according to MLBTR's Matt Swartz, making him a non-tender candidate. Still, Jones has cleared 20 homers in three of his five seasons with the Bucs and can offer solid power as a platoon bat.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Marlins Nearing Deal With Garrett Jones

1:52pm: The two sides are close on a $7.5MM deal that would pay Jones $2.5MM in 2014 and $5MM in 2015, per Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel (on Twitter).

12:46pm: The Marlins are closing in on a deal with free agent first baseman Garrett Jones, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Jones' contract could be a two-year deal, he adds.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported earlier today that the Marlins have had "serious discussions" with Jones and could be looking at him as a short-term first baseman, as they plan to shop Logan Morrison at next week's Winter Meetings.

Jones, 32, was designated for assignment by the Pirates before being officially non-tendered on December 2nd. The veteran owns a career .254/.316/.458 slash line across six big league seasons. The first baseman/outfielder had a down year in 2013, however, hitting .233/.289/.419 in 440 plate appearances. Jones was due $5.3MM in arbitration this winter, according to MLBTR's Matt Swartz, making him a non-tender candidate.

Jones is best suited to be a platoon first baseman, as his career .193/.234/.334 line versus lefties shows a glaring weakness against same-handed pitching. His numbers against right-handed pitching — .271/.337/.489 — are a marked improvement.