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Gavin Floyd Rumors
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.
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.