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Gavin Floyd Rumors
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.
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.
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 Padres‘ signing 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.
Despite pitching just 28 1/3 innings in 2013, Gavin Floyd inked a one-year deal with the Braves yesterday that is worth $4MM and could reach $8.5MM via incentives. That's a fine payday for a mid-rotation arm coming off Tommy John surgery, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that Floyd could have been paid even more handsomely. According to Connolly, the Orioles offered Floyd a two-year deal that could have reached $20MM after incentives, but Floyd turned them down. Here's more out of the AL East…
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that there's no traction to trade talks between the Yankees and Mariners regarding Dustin Ackley (Twitter link).
- David Ortiz told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that, contrary to reports, he and the Red Sox never made an agreement to hold off on discussing a new contract until the completion of his current two-year deal. Said Ortiz: "Why would I do that? I want to get a deal done." Ortiz and the Sox are discussing an extension.
- The Rays are interested in infielders Jamey Carroll and Mark Reynolds, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).
The Braves added depth to their rotation today, officially announcing the signing of righty Gavin Floyd to a one-year deal. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that Floyd will earn a $4MM base salary and can earn another $4.5MM with incentives. Floyd is represented by Moye Sports Associates.
Floyd, who turns 31 in roughly six weeks, posted a 5.18 ERA in 24 1/3 innings for the White Sox last season before going down for the year with a torn ulnar collateral ligament that required Tommy John surgery. Prior to that injury-shortened season, the former No. 4 overall pick had been a fairly durable mid-rotation starter for the White Sox, averaging 190 innings of 4.12 ERA ball with 7.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 per season from 2008-12 in the hitter-friendly confines of U.S. Cellular Field.
The contract is similar to the deal that Mike Pelfrey signed with the Twins headed into the 2013 season. Pelfrey had Tommy John surgery on May 1, 2012 and signed for $4MM plus another $1.5MM worth of incentives. Floyd's Tommy John came on May 8, 2013, and he hopes to be throwing in the Majors by early May, according to Crasnick.
Floyd will eventually join a rotation that should consist of Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Julio Teheran as well. Left-hander Alex Wood could fill the void early in the season as Floyd works his way back from injury. It's also no guarantee that Floyd will be able to return so early. Though many Tommy John victims are able to make their recovery in a year's time, Scott Baker and Ryan Madson both serve as very recent reminders that the recovery process can be filled with significant setbacks.
Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun first reported (on Twitter) that Floyd was near a deal with an unknown club, and David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported that the Braves were the team (also via Twitter). Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported an agreement had been reached.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
TODAY: A deal bringing Floyd to Atlanta could be completed tomorrow, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports. Crasnick notes that Floyd hopes to be ready to throw MLB innings by May.
YESTERDAY: The Braves are close to a deal with free agent Gavin Floyd, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). While the two sides are nearing agreement, nothing has been finalized yet.
Yesterday, it was reported that Floyd was close to inking a deal with an unknown club. Floyd missed most of the 2013 season after having Tommy John surgery in May. In 168 innings with the White Sox in 2012, he posted a 4.29 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.
The Orioles were among the clubs with interest in the right-hander, but they were ruled out yesterday. The Twins also had interest back in November.
Floyd is represented by Moye Sports Associates, according to the MLBTR Agency Database.
Pitcher Gavin Floyd is close to signing a one-year deal with an unknown team, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun tweets. Encina indicates that that team is not the Orioles, who were known to be interested in Floyd.
Floyd missed most of the 2013 season after having Tommy John surgery in May. In 168 innings with the White Sox in 2012, he posted a 4.29 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.
The latest out of the AL East as today's Winter Meetings news heats up…
- ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Rays are interested in Mitch Moreland of the Rangers and notes that a swap of Moreland and Matt Joyce is a possibility. That scenario hasn't gained much traction to this point, however, according to Stark (Twitter links).
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli was among the reporters to speak with Orioles manager Buck Showalter, and she reports that the O's aren't interested in Raul Ibanez but do have some interest in Gavin Floyd (Twitter link).
- Top Yankees prospects such as Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams have seen their stock fall precipitously in the past year, diminishing New York's ability to make trades, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. One Cubs official told Sherman, "The Yankees have no upper-level talent," when asked about potential trades between the two clubs.
- Also from Sherman's piece, right-hander Tommy Kahnle and lefty Fred Lewis are candidates to be selected in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. Kahnle was among the Yankees' most sought-after players in July trade talks but was left off the 40-man roster.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke with A.J. Pierzynski, who told him that the Twins offered him a two-year deal to return to Minnesota, but he couldn't pass up on the opportunity to play for the Red Sox (Twitter link).
- Joh Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke with a high-ranking Yankees official who told him there haven't been any discussions between the Yanks and Giants about New York's outfielders at the Winter Meetings (Twitter link).
We've heard the Orioles linked to several free agents already today, including Jason Hammel, whom the O's are interested in bringing back on a new contract. It's unlikely that Baltimore will be willing to meet the right-hander's reported asking price though, as ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link) hears Hammel's reps are seeking a three- or four-year deal for their client. Here's more on the O's:
- The Orioles are one of many teams with some interest in Johan Santana, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- Speaking to reporters, including Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (Twitter links), Orioles GM Dan Duquette suggested that finding a leadoff hitter will be a challenge for the club, and that he hasn't made any new offers to players since arriving in Orlando. However, Duquette believes Baltimore will add a player within the next couple days.
- Kubatko adds (via Twitter) that Baltimore hasn't ruled out rehabbing pitchers, meaning players like Gavin Floyd and Joel Hanrahan could be on the radar.
- Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com tweets that the Orioles' budget for a closer will likely max out at about $6MM, and that the club is also seeking a designated hitter who can play the field.
- The Orioles announced today in a press release that they've outrighted Cord Phelps to Triple-A Norfolk. Phelps was claimed off waivers from the Indians last month.
The Red Sox' recent experience shows the need for teams to be flexible at the closer position, writes ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. The Sox traded four players last offseason to get Joel Hanrahan (and infielder Brock Holt), but Hanrahan quickly went down with an elbow injury. They then replaced him with Andrew Bailey, and then Koji Uehara, who pitched brilliantly. The Red Sox weren't the only playoff team that changed closers for one reason or another, Crasnick notes — so did the Cardinals, Pirates, Tigers, Dodgers and Indians. That's worth keeping in mind this offseason, where the market for closers includes Joe Nathan, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit, Brian Wilson, Fernando Rodney and Edward Mujica. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.
- The Twins are interested in starting pitchers Gavin Floyd and Chris Capuano, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Floyd's agent, Mike Moye, says his client is progressing well in his return from Tommy John surgery, and Berardino suggests Floyd will be ready to go by the time spring training games begin. The Twins' top target is still Bronson Arroyo, Berardino notes.
- One under-the-radar starting pitcher on the free agent market is Chris Narveson, who pitched this winter for Licey, in the Dominican. A number of scouts have their eyes on Narveson, Crasnick tweets. Narveson missed much of the 2012 and 2013 seasons due to injury, but was a reliable member of the Brewers' rotation in 2010 and 2011.
- Ian Kinsler could block trades to all but ten teams, but he didn't put the Tigers on the list because he liked their chances of winning a championship, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press reports. That's what allowed the Rangers to deal Kinsler to Detroit. "I’m really excited," he says. "Our chance to win the World Series is better than anyone's."
- Reliever Javier Lopez, who recently signed for three years and $13MM, figures he might have been able to get similar money elsewhere, but he chose to stay with the Giants because he's happy in San Francisco, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. "In my case, I felt I wanted to be in a comfortable setting first and in a place that I feel has a chance to win. That’s why I chose San Francisco," he says. "I knew the offers would be around the same dollars, so it was just a matter of happiness."