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Gavin Floyd Rumors
Freshly appointed Brewers general manager David Stearns held court with the media at Petco Park today, and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel runs down a number of the topics addressed by Stearns. Perhaps most notably, Stearns characterized his first impressions of manager Craig Counsell as positive. Building a relationship with Counsell is one of the first things on Stearns’ to-do list as GM. “It’s an enormous relationship, and it needs to be a relationship that has mutual respect and mutual trust,” said Stearns of the manager-GM dynamic. “So far, we’ve gotten along very well. … Throughout the entire industry, Craig has a very positive reputation. It was also clear that he was held in high regard within the organization and up through ownership.”
A bit more from Stearns and the game’s Central divisions…
- Also high on Stearns’ agenda is deciding on an assistant GM and an organizational structure, as MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweets. Via Haudricourt, Stearns spoke about the characteristics he’d seek in an AGM. “Ultimately, you’re going to want one who complements your skill set and helps you run the front office from a variety of different aspects,” he explained. Stearns said he’s spoken to a number of baseball ops executives that pre-date him, presumably including Ash, but has yet to come to any firm personnel decisions. “I’ve had conversations with a number of them and I think a number of them will stay,” he added.
- The Indians will have a number of roster decisions to make following the season, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Gavin Floyd, Ryan Raburn, Mike Aviles and Ryan Webb can all become free agents, and each has expressed an interest in remaining with Cleveland. Raburn could be retained via his $3.5MM club option, as the team will decide between that sum and a $1MM buyout. Hoynes also notes that Cleveland has as many as six, if not seven arbitration eligible players (depending on Jeff Manship‘s Super Two eligibility). Closer Cody Allen, in particular, could be in line for a multi-year deal, per Hoynes, though that comment seemed to be speculative.
- Though adding some additional positions to his repertoire would help Dixon Machado‘s chances of making the Tigers‘ roster in 2015, the team has no plans to play him anywhere but shortstop, manager Brad Ausmus told MLive.com’s James Schmehl. The Tigers view Machado as a pure shortstop, though that complicates his path to playing time in the Majors due to the presence of Jose Iglesias. Nonetheless, Ausmus was firm in his belief: “Just a shortstop, at this point. I don’t know that I’d put Machado in the (Andrew) Romine category. Although he played third base a couple of games in Toledo, I wouldn’t throw him into a utility role.” Machado, the Tigers’ No. 14 prospect, per MLB.com, hit .286/.375/.404 across two levels in 2014 but has struggled in both Triple-A and the Majors this year. Scouting reports on the 23-year-old rave about his glove but wonder if he’ll hit enough to be a regular in the Majors.
Congratulations are in order for the Royals tonight, as their victory, combined with a Twins loss, means that Kansas City has officially clinched the American League Central Division championship. The Royals had their doubters — myself included — but have taken the division in decisive fashion. As the champagne flows at Kauffman Stadium, here are a few notes from around the division…
- Greg Holland will probably undergo Tommy John surgery in the near future, as the Royals announced earlier today that he has a “significant” tear in his right ulnar collateral ligament and will seek a second opinion next week. Manager Ned Yost said at the time that Holland’s ligament damage may date back to last August. As Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets, trainer Nick Kenney likened the injury to that of Masahiro Tanaka, who suffered a small tear in his own UCL last summer but has pitched without issue in 2015. That would seemingly indicate that Holland’s initial tear was relatively minor in nature but has been exacerbated by pitching through it in the 2014 playoffs and throughout the 2015 season.
- MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan writes that Holland’s injury brings his future with the Royals into question. As I noted at the time the news broke, Holland’s $8.25MM salary and arbitration eligibility this winter make it a certainty that he’ll be non-tendered this offseason if and when he undergoes Tommy John surgery. Flanagan writes that a two-year deal with a marginal 2016 base salary and an incentive-laden structure in 2017 could be a solution, though I wonder if new agent Scott Boras will be amenable to such a possibility. GM Dayton Moore hopes to see Holland remain with the Royals in the future, per Flanagan, though Moore avoided making any sort of definitive statement: “I will say that Holly is one of the very best competitors I’ve ever been around. I admire him a great deal. I hope he’s a part of our organization the remainder of his career.”
- Right-hander Gavin Floyd has missed most of the season after re-fracturing the olecranon bone in his right elbow, but he’s returned to the Indians‘ bullpen late this season and tells Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer that he’d be interested in returning to Cleveland. “Despite the circumstances of not being able to play, I loved getting to know the guys and the city,” Floyd explained. “…I’d definitely be interested (in resigning) for sure.” Floyd has received strong bottom-line results working out of the ‘pen, tallying a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings since returning. Floyd’s 6-to-4 K/BB ratio is less impressive, but his velocity is strong as ever. There’s been speculation about Cleveland perhaps trading a young starter to fill needs elsewhere on the roster, and as Hoynes notes, Floyd could be brought back as veteran depth to fill out the rotation should that scenario play out.
- Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos touched on the organization’s decision to send Bruce Rondon home for the season due to his effort level in an appearance with Matt Dery on 105.1 radio in Detroit (audio link). Without getting too specific, Castellanos noted that some in the clubhouse were “unhappy with his antics” but still said the move by management came as a surprise to him. Castellanos said that he and others in the organization feel that Rondon can still be a valuable part of the team going forward, adding that he feels Rondon has the raw talent to be an “All-Star caliber closer” but now needs to harness the necessary intangibles to realize that potential.
White Sox right-hander Erik Johnson‘s resurgent season at Triple-A has placed the former top prospect firmly on the map for a rotation spot in 2016, GM Rick Hahn tells Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. After a 6.73 ERA in 105 2/3 innings at Triple-A last season, Johnson has turned in a 2.37 mark over 132 2/3 frames with 9.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. As Kane writes, Johnson will be working in relief initially, but he’s likely to make some starts later this month in what could be a preview for the 2016 season.
Here’s more from the AL Central…
- The Twins will not call up top pitching prospect Jose Berrios this season, GM Terry Ryan told reporters, including MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger. The 21-year-old’s innings total is a concern to the Twins, Ryan explained, especially considering the fact that Berrios is of slighter frame than many pitchers. Berrios ranks as one of the game’s best prospects, including No. 23 on MLB.com’s Top 100, No. 7 per Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel, No. 21 per ESPN’s Keith Law and No. 19 per Baseball America.
- The Indians activated right-hander Gavin Floyd from the DL when rosters expanded in September, and manager Terry Francona told reporters, including MLB.com’s Jamie Ross, that Floyd is healthy enough to work out of the bullpen in the season’s final month. Francona said the Indians, however, owe it to Floyd to be careful with his surgically repaired right elbow because “he’s got more career ahead of him.” Floyd signed a one-year, $4MM contract this winter and re-fractured the olecranon bone in his right elbow in Spring Training — an injury that was initially believed to have ended his season. He made his Indians debut today, though, and fired a perfect inning from the ‘pen.
- Cleveland.com’s Zack Meisel looks at some of departing Indians president Mark Shapiro’s comments from his press conference announcing his move to Toronto. Meisel breaks down Shapiro’s response to his biggest challenge with Cleveland — Shapiro diplomatically hinted at payroll constraints while noting that market size can’t be used as an excuse for lack of results — as well as Shapiro’s comments on the Michael Bourn/Nick Swisher signings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.