George Sherrill Rumors

Stark On Sherrill, Blue Jays, Harper, Thome

There has been a “flurry” of waiver claims on prominent players, according to an MLB official who spoke with ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. Nearly every desirable hitter and reliever has been claimed, according to Stark’s source. However, we can add at least one name to our list of players to clear waivers. Here it is, along with Stark’s other rumors:

  • George Sherrill, who has a 7.00 ERA and $1.3MM remaining on his contract, cleared waivers, according to Stark. The Dodgers can now trade him to any club, as our waiver trade primer explains.
  • David Aardsma, Kevin Gregg and Brandon League were all claimed on waivers and pulled back, according to Stark’s source. If the Mariners or Blue Jays re-expose their respective relievers to waivers, they would no longer have the right to pull the players back.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Stark that he’s looking for high-impact players, because the club is geared towards reaching 95 wins.
  • One MLB official believes Manny Ramirez will sign a one-year, incentive-based contract with an AL team this winter. That sounds about right.
  • There have been no signs that Scott Boras, who represents first overall pick Bryce Harper, has had any meaningful conversations with the Nationals about what it will take to reach a deal. The sides have until Monday at 11pm CST to reach a deal.
  • The Twins were willing to include Wilson Ramos (now in Washington’s system) in a trade for Cliff Lee, according to Stark’s sources.
  • Jim Thome already has 15 homers for the Twins, and he could be back in Minneapolis next year. "We'd certainly have interest in him coming back," Twins assistant GM Rob Antony told Stark.

Players Who Cleared Waivers

This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports.  Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause).  This list can always be found in the sidebar under MLBTR Features.

Updated 8-31-10 at 3:50pm.

  • Carlos Beltran, Mets – It's no surprise that Beltran cleared waivers given his massive salary and poor performance since returning from a knee operation. Beltran, who has a no-trade clause, earns $18.5MM this year and the same amount in 2011.
  • Geoff Blum, Astros - The veteran infielder could appeal to teams looking for a utilityman. He has played every infield position in 2010.
  • Dave Bush, Brewers – Bush could provide value as a starter or swingman on a team in need of some innings.
  • Craig Counsell, Brewers – Like Blum, Counsell is versatile enough to play second, third or short.
  • Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays – The third baseman has another year of arbitration left, makes a total of $4.75MM this season and has a .305 OBP.
  • Brad Hawpe, Rockies – Hawpe has played a few games at first base this year and can also patrol right. His homer total is down, but he's still a decent hitter.
  • Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks – Johnson is having a career year and makes just $2.35MM, but the D'Backs aren't anxious to move him.
  • Adam LaRoche, Diamondbacks – LaRoche is hitting well this year and has a history of second-half success. The Red Sox, White Sox or Rays could have interest.
  • Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays – Overbay hits free agency this winter, but doesn't project to be a ranked free agent, so if the Blue Jays want to obtain something for him, now is their chance. Overbay has a no-trade clause.
  • George Sherrill, Dodgers – Sherrill makes $4.5MM this year and has a lofty ERA, so he cleared waivers, as expected.
  • Brian Tallet, Blue Jays – The southpaw might not have been a big enough name to draw a waiver claim, but he should draw some trade interest. After all, left-handed hitters have just a .474 OPS against Tallet.

George Sherrill Clears Waivers

TUESDAY, 8:01am: Sherrill cleared waivers, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich.  If the Dodgers attempt to send him to the minors, he can consent, reject the assignment, or declare free agency.  Said manager Joe Torre recently, "Sherrill doesn't have a situation. He's still in our bullpen.  I think he's throwing the ball better."

WEDNESDAY, 5:01pm: The Dodgers put George Sherrill on outright waivers, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse. Price suggests Sherrill, who makes $4.5MM this season, will clear waivers, which would enable the Dodgers to option the reliever to the minor leagues. The 33-year-old lefty has a 7.32 ERA and nearly as many walks (16 BB) as innings (19.2 IP) so far in 2010.  

Outright waivers are not revocable, so the Dodgers won't be able to pull Sherrill back if a rival team claims him. A claim seems unlikely, given his salary, performance so far in 2010 and early-season back tightness. If Sherrill clears waivers, the Dodgers will have an open 40-man roster spot.

Sherrill pitched well for the Dodgers after they acquired him from Baltimore last summer, though not quite as well as his 0.65 Dodgers ERA suggests. Sherrill did strike out twice as many batters as he walked and allowed less than one hit per inning pitched last year. The Dodgers paid a steep price for two quality months of Sherrill: Josh Bell and Steve Johnson.

Johnson is struggling with command at AA, but Bell, who entered the season as Baseball America's second-ranked Orioles prospect, was just called up to the majors. The 23-year-old posted a .765 OPS this year in his first stint at Triple A.



Olney’s Latest: Hamilton, Trades, Myers, Sherrill

In today's blog post on ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney spoke to Rangers' GM Jon Daniels about Josh Hamilton's torrid streak (.374/.404/.683 since May 12th), which has coincided with the team's run to the top of the AL West. 

Here are Olney's rumors…

  • A number of executives expect there to be a "fairly robust" trade deadline. "I don't think there's going to be a lot of big names on the move," said one GM, "but I think you've got a lot of teams looking to fill specific needs, and there are a lot of conversations going on."
  • All of the executives Olney spoke to agreed that there are very few teams willing (or able) to add payroll, so many deals will include salary relief, similar to the $2.5MM the Mariners sent the Rangers in the Cliff Lee trade.
  • The Astros have not yet indicated to other teams what they would like in return for Brett Myers.
  • Olney wonders if the recently outrighted George Sherrill could land with the Phillies, given their interest in him last year.

Odds & Ends: Mets, Orioles, Cliff Lee

Links for Wednesday, as the Pirates' Brad Lincoln hopes to capture just a small slice of Stephen Strasburg's success in his MLB debut…


Relievers Headed For Non-Tenders

Often due to the save statistic, decent relievers are non-tendered every year because of their expected salaries.  It happened to Matt Capps last year.  Which relievers might get the axe on this year's December non-tender deadline and join the free agent market?

  • Bobby Jenks, White Sox.  Jenks has only blown one save this year, but Ozzie Guillen is already looking at other closer options.  Jenks has racked up strikeouts, but his control is off and he's given up a slew of hits.  I felt he was a longshot non-tender candidate last time around.  Tendering him a contract and giving a raise on his $7.5MM salary this time probably won't be appealing.
  • George Sherrill, Dodgers.  Giving Sherrill a bump from $4.5MM might not make sense for the Dodgers even if he was pitching well.  However, the lefty has completely lost it in the early going with 12 walks and 14 hits in 11.3 innings. 
  • Brian Bruney, Nationals.  Bruney would earn more than $1.5MM in 2011 as a fourth-time arbitration-eligible player.  With the walks spiraling out of control, there's a good chance the Nats cut him loose as they did with Mike MacDougal last year. 
  • Tony Pena, White Sox.  Pena has time to turn things around; he's only tossed 15.6 innings this year.  He's earning $1.2MM on the season and would go to arbitration for a second time.
  • Rafael Perez, Indians.  Perez is only earning $795K this year, but even the idea of a guaranteed contract might not work for the Tribe if he repeats his '09 season. 
  • The 2011 free agent list already contains a full slate of relievers, but keep these names in mind as potential additions.

Odds & Ends: Harper, Escobar, Vazquez, Gordon

Links for Monday, as Joe Blanton makes his 2010 debut…


Odds & Ends: Fields, Contracts, Suppan, Silva

Links for Sunday….


Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

Noon ET today was the deadline for both the team and player to submit their salary figures for arbitration, however the two sides can come to an agreement at any point before the actual hearing. The hearings are scheduled for the first week of February.

We'll keep track of the players who avoid arbitration today by agreeing to deals here. Make sure you check back in for updates, and be sure to click the "Continue Reading" link to see today's full list of settlements.  Yesterday's list can be found here.

  • Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels avoided arbitration with Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits by signing the duo to one-year deals.  Napoli will earn $3.6MM in 2010 with a $100K bonus if he makes 120 starts.  Willits' contract is worth $625K. 
  • Zach Duke's one-year contract with Pittsburgh is worth $4.3MM with no performance bonuses, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • The Padres and reliever Mike Adams have agreed to a contract, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter).  Brock's follow-up tweet says Adams' deal is worth $1MM, virtually splitting the difference between San Diego's $875K offer and Adams' $1.2MM demands.
  • Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets that the Twins have agreements in place with all eight of their arbitration eligible players.  In a follow-up tweet, Christensen reports that Francisco Liriano agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM and Jesse Crain agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM.
  • Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the Mets avoided arbitration with reliever Sean Green (via Twitter).  The one-year deal was worth $975K, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron.
  • The Tigers avoided arb with Gerald Laird and Zach Miner as well according to James Jahnke of The Detroit Free Press.  MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets the details on the one-year contracts: Laird will earn $3.95MM, Miner will earn $950K.
  • Christensen tweets that the Twins avoided arb with Brendan Harris, signing him to a two year deal worth $3.2MM with another $650K in possible incentives.
  • The Tigers and Bobby Seay avoided arbitration according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter), agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.475MM.
  • Thesier tweets that Matt Guerrier agreed to a one year deal worth $3.15MM with the Twins, avoiding arb.
  • Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, with Delcarmen getting $905K plus incentives according to Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Boston avoided arb with Jonathan Papelbon as well.

(more…)


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Discussion: Los Angeles Dodgers

Ever since the news of Frank and Jamie McCourt's divorce proceedings broke last October, Dodgers fans have been wondering (and dreading) if the ownership dispute would impact the team's operations.  The first two months of the offseason have been quiet enough in L.A. to make it look like the Dodgers are themselves also still waiting to see how things will play out with the McCourts and have thus been in a holding pattern in regards to next season's payroll.

This isn't to say that Los Angeles hasn't been active.  The Dodgers traded Juan Pierre to the White Sox, were involved in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes, tried to acquire Aaron Harang from Cincinnati and signed utilityman Jamey Carroll.  But, as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports pointed out today, the club is playing even-steven with its offseason moves in order to steady the budget.  For instance, the Dodgers saved $8MM over the next two seasons by dealing Pierre, and spent $3.85MM of those savings to sign Carroll.  Acquiring another notable free agent (such as Rosenthal's example of Joel Pineiro) would require L.A. to make another move to free up the cash to sign the right-hander.

We've already seen a bit of penny-pinching from the team this winter when they didn't offer arbitration to any of their free agents, passing on the chance to acquire compensatory draft picks for Type A free agents Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf out of fear that Hudson or Wolf might accept the offer.  The bright side for Dodgers fans is that the team is at least keeping the payroll stable, rather than shifting into outright cost-cutting mode.  Rosenthal notes that there are no plans to deal any of L.A.'s young stars before their arbitration years — trading the likes of Andre Ethier, for example, would be "counter-productive" given Ethier's reasonable arbitration number and Manny Ramirez's slight decline. 

This stand-pat strategy will force Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti to be creative in filling the holes on a club that has lost the NLCS to Philadelphia in each of the last two seasons.  Rosenthal said that George Sherrill is "a candidate to be traded," but L.A. wouldn't save much money from the deal and getting rid of Sherrill would weaken their bullpen. There is also a need to sign a veteran like Pineiro to anchor the otherwise young starting rotation.