Gavin Floyd Rumors

Central Notes: Floyd, Cingrani, Morales, Harris

Indians right-hander Gavin Floyd, who re-fractured his right olecranon last week, is set to have surgery on Tuesday, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Floyd, who has pitched sparingly over the past two seasons due to Tommy John surgery and the original olecranon fracture in his right elbow, was expected to serve as a veteran presence in a largely inexperienced Indians rotation after signing a one-year, $4MM deal. Now, however, Cleveland is unlikely to receive any contribution from Floyd this year.

Here’s more from the game’s Central divisions…

  • Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani is being shifted from the rotation to the bullpen, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, as most figured the left-hander would step into the rotation following the trades of Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon. Cingrani has worked as a starter in the past and racked up excellent strikeout numbers, but he’s had shoulder issues as well, so perhaps the team feels this will keep him healthier. Cuban right-hander Raisel Igesias, meanwhile, will be stretched out to work as a starting pitcher.
  • Franklin Morales is building a strong case to take the injured Tim Collins‘ spot as a left-hander in the Royals‘ bullpen, writes Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. Morales has fired six scoreless innings and impressed Kansas City decision-makers. Brandon Finnegan is a well-regarded prospect and could have a shot at making the team, but the team still would like to develop him as a starter and he also hasn’t pitched as well this spring. No final decisions have been made on the situation, writes McCullough.
  • The Tigers added another player to camp yesterday when they reportedly signed Jiwan James, and another addition may on the horizon as well. SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets that the team may add veteran infielder Brendan Harris, presumably on a minor league deal. The 34-year-old Harris is a career .256/.314/.381 hitter in the Majors, with his best seasons coming between the Twins and Rays in 2007-08. Harris hasn’t played in the Majors much since 2010, however, receiving just 117 plate appearances with the Angels and hitting .206/.252/.355.

Gavin Floyd Re-Fractures Olecranon In Right Elbow

MARCH 12: Per Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter), Indians GM Chris Antonetti said on a television appearance that Floyd re-fractured the olecranon bone in his right elbow — the same injury that ended his season last year.

MARCH 10: Indians righty Gavin Floyd again has a stress fracture in his right elbow and will be out indefinitely, the club announced (Twitter links). Treatment options are still being assessed, but surgery is a possibility.

This was essentially the worst-case scenario for Cleveland when it promised Floyd $4MM to pitch for the club this season. While there was a reasonable chance that he would prove a bargain, at this point it appears that he will likely occupy a relatively significant amount of payroll space that might otherwise have been allocated to a more pressing need.

The team emphasized that a precise timeline is still dependent upon the course of action chosen, but it seems safe to assume that the Indians will not expect any contribution this year. That does not necessarily mean that an outside addition will be required, of course, as the team already had a good number of interesting young arms in its stable.


Central Notes: Sale, Cubs, Floyd

The White Sox have announced that star pitcher Chris Sale has suffered an avulsion fracture in his right foot, sustained Friday in an accident at his home. (GM Rick Hahn says Sale sustained the injury while unloading his truck, according to CSNChicago.com’s Dan Hayes on Twitter.) Sale is expected to be out three weeks. That means he should return to pitching before the start of the season, although it remains to be seen how the timing of the injury will affect his preparations. The White Sox say they’ll evaluate whether Sale will be ready for Opening Day once he undergoes more tests. Here are more notes from the Central divisions.

  • Most of the Cubs‘ top picks from their 2010 draft haven’t panned out, but the team could still get good value from several of their later-round picks, including Matt Szczur, Dallas Beeler and Eric Jokisch, the Associated Press writes. “I was the first one out of the draft class to be called up, and everyone seemed to follow after that,” says Beeler. “I felt like I got the ball rolling for everybody on that. That was a good feeling.” Beeler and Jokisch got good results in their first exposure to the big leagues last season, although neither are likely to make the team out of Spring Training after the Cubs added pitching talent this offseason.
  • Pitcher Gavin Floyd says he signed with the Indians in part because he felt manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway could help him, Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer writes. Also, Floyd liked the Indians’ chances of winning and welcomed a return to the AL Central, with which he became familiar as a member of the White Sox from 2007-2013. Floyd has also been limited the past two years due to arm injuries, and the Indians have a fairly good track record of getting the most from bounce-back pitchers like Scott Kazmir and Carl Pavano. After missing much of the 2014 season with a broken bone in his elbow, Floyd has been pitching off a mound in Spring Training.


Ohio Notes: Floyd, Murphy, Howard

With the addition of right-handed pitcher Gavin Floyd, the Indians have a wealth of rotation options, writes Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The unit is more about projection than proven ability, which is why the club signed Floyd. Cleveland now has seven starting pitchers competing to fill out the rotation behind Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. Zach McAllister, who is expected to join the bullpen, is out of options, as are Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco. The latter pair and Floyd are thought to have roles locked down, which leaves T.J. House, Danny Salazar, Josh Tomlin, and McAllister to battle for the last spot – assuming Floyd is healthy.

  • Speaking of Floyd, other pitchers with an injury history, like Brett Anderson, Kris Medlen, Luke Hochevar, and Justin Masterson signed for more guaranteed money than Floyd this offseason. That’s why Floyd was able to sign for $4MM plus another $6MM in incentives despite missing 2013 for Tommy John surgery and the second half of 2014 with a broken elbow. From his perspective, Floyd chose Cleveland in part due to their strong track record with injured and struggling veterans. Recently, Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez revived their careers with the Indians.
  • The Indians have a handful of left-handed outfielders, which leads Pluto to believe David Murphy will be traded. Murphy is owed $6MM in 2015. This is my speculation, but we learned earlier today that the Giants could turn to the trade market for a left-handed outfielder.
  • Nick Howard, the Reds first round pick (19th overall) has joined Jeff Randazzo and the Ballengee Group, tweets Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. For more agency related information, visit MLBTR’s Agency Database.

AL Notes: Harrison, Headley, Lowrie, Floyd, Tigers

The Rangers and pitcher Matt Harrison seemingly received positive news yesterday, as the righty, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets that an X-ray of Harrison’s back came back clean. He will undergo a CT scan on Wednesday in hopes of being cleared to throw in January.

More from the American League:


Indians Sign Gavin Floyd

The Indians have signed righty Gavin Floyd to a one-year deal, the team announced. Floyd gets a $4MM guarantee with $6MM of bonuses achievable based upon starts made and innings pitched, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets.

Gavin Floyd

Floyd threw last year for the Braves on a similarly-structured contract before suffering an arm fracture that ended his season early for the second season in a row. The 31-year-old had worked his way back from Tommy John surgery to join the Atlanta rotation, and was throwing well at the time of his injury. Over 54 1/3 frames in nine starts, Floyd was carrying a 2.65 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9.

Of course, 2014 also marked his second straight season that was ruined by injury, so a multi-year deal was never likely. Floyd still possesses the upside of a mid-rotation innings eater when healthy, however, which is precisely the role he filled with his now-division-rival White Sox from 2008-12. In that span, Floyd posted a 4.12 ERA (108 ERA+) with 7.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 948 1/3 innings of work. Though he doesn’t come with the upside that many would expect from a player that once went fourth overall in the draft, Floyd had a track record of success in the American League. He should serve as a useful veteran complement to AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and a mix of arms that includes Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar, T.J. House, Josh Tomlin and Zach McAllister.

That Floyd represents a potential upgrade at a relatively modest price is particularly nice for the cash-strapped Indians. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams explained in his Offseason Outlook for Cleveland, the team has little financial wiggle room barring a trade of Nick Swisher and/or Michael Bourn, neither of which has come to fruition at this point. Of course, Cleveland has still taken on some significant salary by adding the likes of Brandon Moss in a trade with the Athletics.

The addition of Floyd could make the Indians more likely to move McAllister and/or Tomlin, though Tomlin’s projected arbitration salary is just $1.7MM, and McAllister has yet to qualify for that distinction. As such, there’s no financial impetus to deal either right-hander, but the team’s relative surplus of back-end rotation arms could appeal to clubs with a need for pitching depth.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Rangers Notes: Rosario, Masterson, Floyd

The Rangers have been discussing trades with the Braves, Mets, Diamondbacks and Nationals at the Winter Meetings, though they’re reportedly no longer talking to the Dodgers about Matt Kemp.  Here’s some more out of Arlington…

  • The Rangers and Rockies have continued to discuss catcher Wilin Rosario, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports.  Rosario would help address Texas’ need for both a right-handed bat and a catcher.
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels said that offers have been extended to free agent pitchers but sources tell Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Justin Masterson “isn’t in [the] picture.”
  • Talks with Gavin Floyd‘s agent have been put on hold for now, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.  Floyd posted strong numbers (2.65 ERA, 3.46 K/BB) over nine starts with the Braves in 2014 before having his season ended by a broken bone in his throwing elbow.
  • Also from Grant, the Rangers are interested in bringing Scott Baker back on a minor league contract, though the righty is hoping to land a Major League deal.  After missing almost all of the 2012-13 seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery, Baker posted a 5.47 ERA over 80 2/3 IP with Texas last season.
  • The Rangers will protect Russell Wilson from the Rule 5 Draft on their Triple-A roster, which Grant explains is a procedural move that would force a claiming team to keep Wilson on its Major League roster all season.  Texas is essentially keeping Wilson in the fold as a “Spring Training motivational speaker” since he’s obviously not leaving the NFL any time soon.

Gavin Floyd Undergoes Season-Ending Surgery

JUNE 26: The Braves announced that Floyd underwent surgery to repair the issue yesterday and described the operation as “season-ending.” Floyd’s surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek — the same surgeon who performed his Tommy John surgery in 2013.

JUNE 19: Braves right-hander Gavin Floyd has suffered a broken olecranon bone in his right elbow and will be placed on the disabled list, the team announced (Twitter links). While the recovery time has yet to be announced, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan notes that Joel Zumaya suffered the same injury on June 28, 2010 and missed the remainder of the season (Twitter link). Floyd’s case, of course, is its own case and doesn’t necessarily have to follow the same timeline.

The silver lining for the Braves, if there is one, is that the team has a very capable replacement in the minor leagues in the form of left-hander Alex Wood. The 23-year-old Wood owns a 3.30 ERA in 101 career innings as a starter but found himself as the odd man out when Atlanta elected to go with a starting rotation of Floyd, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang.

Still, there will likely be some hot stove repercussions of the injury. For one, Floyd himself had been mentioned as a possible trade chip to help the Braves secure some bullpen help. Additionally, his injury leaves the Braves a bit thinner in terms of rotation depth, which could limit their willingness to trade from their remaining depth in order to improve areas of need.

Atlanta signed Floyd to a one-year, $4MM contract as he returned from Tommy John surgery. The 31-year-old has pitched very well in his 54 1/3 innings for the Braves, posting a 2.65 ERA with 7.5 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 49.5 percent ground-ball rate.


Braves Notes: Floyd, Harang, Gattis, Bethancourt

We’re still six weeks or so away from the non-waiver trade deadline, but trade discussions are beginning to pick up around the league. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that the Braves are already receiving interest in their starting pitchers. While the Braves certainly aren’t sellers, they can afford to move Gavin Floyd or Aaron Harang due to the presence of Alex Wood in the minor leagues, Morosi points out. Many clubs have been linked to pitching on the trade market, including the Blue Jays, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Red Sox, Giants and A’s. Some have also speculated that the Pirates will make a move for a starter after Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano both hit the disabled list.

Here’s more on the NL East’s division leaders…

  • Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that the Braves have had internal discussions about moving Evan Gattis to left field and promoting Christian Bethancourt to serve as the everyday catcher. In that scenario, Justin Upton would shift to right field, Jason Heyward would slide over to center field and B.J. Upton would fall into a reserve role. As Bowman notes, Bethancourt has hit very well over the past month for Triple-A Gwinnett, and there’s never really been any concern over his defensive skills, which are very highly regarded.
  • David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, however, hears a different story entirely. O’Brien writes that multiple sources within the organization have told him there hasn’t been any discussion of moving Gattis to the outfield, as he’s more valuable behind the plate. A move to the outfield, where he isn’t comfortable playing (according to O’Brien) would weaken the outfield defense and diminish Gattis’ value. O’Brien goes on to write that the Braves may consider making the switch if they feel they have no choice in a pennant race, but for the time being, a switch isn’t likely.
  • There’s simply no sense in the Braves’ decision to keep Dan Uggla on the roster at this point, ESPN’s Buster Olney opined over the weekend (Twitter link). The current situation helps neither the team nor the player, and both sides would benefit from Uggla being waived, Olney continues.

NL Notes: Frandsen, Despaigne, Framing, Floyd

Here are some notes out of the National League:

  • Kevin Frandsen returned to Philadelphia for the first time tonight after his surprising, late-spring departure from the Phillies. Now with the division-rival Nationals, Frandsen told reporters, including Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, that he enjoyed his time in Philly but was “blindside[d]” when he was outrighted. Frandsen said that he took a “leap of faith” in declining his outright assignment (and giving up his $900K salary), but that “a bunch of teams” called when he became available.
  • The Padressigning of Cuban righty Odrisamer Despaigne was indeed delayed by the need for a visa and physical to seal the deal, writes MLB.com’s Corey Brock. Echoing a scouting report obtained by MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes, GM Josh Byrnes said that Despaigne profiled as a creative, deceptive, “old generation” Cuban hurler. Brock says that San Diego’s new arm will start out at Double-A, in part to avoid the high-scoring PCL to start his career, but could well rise to the majors this year.
  • If and when he joins the big league club, Despaigne may benefit from the one area in which the Padres have paced the bigs this year, according to Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan (in a piece for FOX Sports): an expansive strike zone for San Diego pitchers. The club leads the league with 52 called strikes than expected, thanks largely to the receiving efforts of its backstops. That was an area of priority for the club, as it put resources into improving the skills of incumbents Yasmani Grandal and Nick Hundley while adding Rene Rivera due in large part to his abilities behind the dish.
  • The Braves are set to activate hurler Gavin Floyd from the DL this weekend, after the veteran righty worked his way back from Tommy John surgery. Of course, the expectation when Floyd signed his $4MM, incentive-laden pact with Atlanta was that he would join the rotation. That seemed all the more likely when the club suffered a shocking run of injuries to key starters. But with Mike Minor back from his own rehab stint and the team’s current starting five firing on all cylinders, MLB.com’s Joe Morgan writes that Floyd could open in the pen.