George Sherrill Rumors
Every winter teams non-tender players when they would rather risk losing them to another team than go through the potentially expensive arbitration process. In 2010, for example, Matt Capps and Kelly Johnson rewarded their new teams with standout years after being cut loose, though most non-tenders don’t make that kind of contribution.
Teams non-tendered over 50 players last offseason and a handful of them are already proving their worth with new organizations. Here’s a breakdown of which 2010 non-tenders are exceeding expectations in 2011:
- Dustin Moseley, Padres (non-tendered by Yankees) - The 29-year-old leads the league with six losses, but he's been much more effective than his record would indicate. Moseley has a 3.40 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 through 53 frames.
- Joel Peralta, Rays (non-tendered by Nationals) - Unlike most non-tenders, Peralta was effective last year. After 22 1/3 innings in the Rays' revamped bullpen, he's looking like a smart, low-risk addition. Peralta has a 2.82 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
- Taylor Buchholz, Mets (though Buchholz has never thrown a pitch for Boston, the Red Sox were technically the ones to non-tender him) - Buchholz is looking a lot like his 2008 self through 21 2/3 innings in the Mets' 'pen. The 29-year-old has a 1.66 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.
- Jose Veras, Pirates (non-tendered by Marlins) - Veras has 26 strikeouts and a 3.06 ERA through 17 2/3 innings. Veras' 13.2 K/9 is seventh-best among MLB relievers this year and few pitchers beat his 94 mph average fastball by much.
- Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox (non-tendered by Yankees) - The Red Sox need him more than ever with two members of their Opening Day rotation on the shelf. So far, Aceves has a 2.60 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 17 1/3 innings.
- Todd Coffey, Nationals (non-tendered by Brewers) - Coffey, who added value in 2009-10, has a 2.30 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 2/3 innings.
- Matt Albers, Red Sox (non-tendered by Orioles) - Though Bobby Jenks was the most prominent non-tender who signed with Boston this winter, Albers may be the most impressive. He has a 1.65 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 52.3% ground ball rate through 16 1/3 innings.
- George Sherrill, Braves (non-tendered by Dodgers) - After a poor showing with the Dodgers in 2010, Sherrill is adding value again. He has raised his strikeout rate (10.2 K/9), lowered his walk rate (4.7 BB/9) and has allowed just seven hits and two earned runs in 9 2/3 innings, mostly against left-handed hitters.
- Russell Martin, Yankees (non-tendered by Dodgers) - Arguably the biggest success story of all, Martin drew interest from a number of AL East teams before signing with the Yankees. He has a .261/.362/.479 line and leads qualified MLB catchers in home runs (7), on-base percentage (.362), wOBA (.380) and WAR (1.5). It’s a win-win, as Martin got $4MM in guaranteed money and a fresh start, while the Yankees get a top catcher who’s under team control through 2012. With Jack Cust, Matt Diaz and others off to slow starts, Martin is the lone non-tendered position player making an impact so far this year.
Chipper Jones told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that he and Jim Thome met and complained "like two old grannies" last summer when Jones was struggling and Thome wasn't playing much. Thome finished strong and re-signed with the Twins and Jones is eager to play again, too. Here are the details on Jones and from around the majors:
- Jones says getting rest every week or ten days helps him stay strong throughout the season. The veteran third baseman has only played in 135 games once in the past six seasons because of a variety of injuries, so it makes sense to give him the occasional day off.
- The Phillies tried to sign George Sherrill this winter, before he signed with the rival Braves. Philadelphia sent executive Pat Gillick to see Sherrill and manager Charlie Manuel talked to him, but the left-hander wanted to play within driving distance of his father.
- Joe Torre makes about $2MM in his new job with MLB, according to Olney.
- Gio Gonzalez looks very, very good, according to a scout.
The Braves signed George Sherrill to a one-year deal worth at least $1.2MM. The agreement, which is official now that Sherrill passed his physical, could be worth as much as $1.4MM if the left-hander reaches certain incentives. Sexton/Landrum/Williams represents Sherrill.
Sherrill, 34 in April, was non-tendered by the Dodgers after a lost 2010 season. He's always been useful and sometimes dominant against lefties in his career. The Braves could be strong on the southpaw relief front, with Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters already in the fold.
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick first reported the agreement (on Twitter)
1:22pm: The Phillies have offers out to Reyes and Sherrill, tweets Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly, but it looks like Sherrill might be headed elsewhere. The Phils are "very close" with Reyes, tweets Salisbury.
12:46pm: The Phillies are very close to a one-year deal with a club option with Reyes, tweets Rojas.
WEDNESDAY, 11:45am: The Phillies are not close to signing Reyes and have yet to make a formal offer, reports Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News. Word is they're not close on any reliever right now.
TUESDAY, 4:27pm: Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hears that Reyes will sign with the Phillies (Twitter link).
2:34pm: Reyes could sign within the next 48 hours, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, probably deciding between the Phillies and Marlins. The Mariners and Athletics are also in on Reyes, tweets John Hickey of AOL Fanhouse.
The Braves are closing in on a deal with lefty reliever George Sherrill, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Sherrill, 34 in April, was non-tendered by the Dodgers after a lost 2010 season. He's always been useful and sometimes dominant against lefties in his career. The Braves could be strong on the southpaw relief front, with Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters already in the fold.
Links for Saturday night...
- Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post says the Marlins are still looking for bullpen help (specifically a veteran lefty), a lefty bat off the bench, and outfield help.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that his team's lineup is set for 2011 after today's Lance Berkman pickup, reports Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter links). Mozeliak described the team's payroll as "leaking," adding that Berkman received a higher salary as a trade-off for just one year.
- Jay Bruce is optimistic about a new contract with the Reds according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Bruce mentions that nothing is imminent, however.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that about five teams called to express interest in signing Derek Jeter before he re-upped with the Yankees, though the shortstop never considered going anywhere else. In fact, he didn't even listen to what they had to say (Twitter link).
- The recently non-tendered George Sherrill has drawn some interest according to Marc Carig of The Star Ledger (Twitter link). The Yankees are not one of the interested teams, however.
- Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News looks at Plan B and C should Texas be unable to retain Cliff Lee.
- Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic tweets that Chad MacDonald will be the Mets' new scouting director. He served as the Diamondbacks director of international scouting for the last two years.
Let's round up the latest from Charm City, courtesy of The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec...
- Scott Boras' asking price for Carlos Pena remains "really high." The first baseman does have interest in Baltimore.
- Zrebiec hears that Andy MacPhail has made several calls to teams with starting pitching depth. Both he and manager Buck Showalter would feel more comfortable with another veteran arm behind Jeremy Guthrie.
- The Orioles aren't shopping Nolan Reimold, but they have at least gauged his value around the league. Reimold hit just .207/.282/.328 in 131 plate appearances last season before being demoted to the minors, and Zrebiec notes that they'd be selling low.
- The Orioles are "pretty interested" in Kevin Gregg, and they have an offer out to at least one free agent reliever besides Koji Uehara.
- The team is hoping to meet with the representatives for former Oriole George Sherrill during the winter meetings. "I had a horrendous year. I couldn’t get my mechanics right now matter what I tried," said Sherrill, who had a 6.69 ERA in 2010. "I’m ready to bounce back and help somebody no matter my role."
- Jesse Crain is said to be seeking a two or three-year deal similar to Joaquin Benoit's.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wants to know what the Orioles are going to do this offseason.
This post will list all the National League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.
- Rockies: Manny Delcarmen
- Mets: Sean Green Chris Carter, John Maine
- Nationals: Joel Peralta, Wil Nieves, Chien-Ming Wang
- Dodgers: Russell Martin, George Sherrill, Trent Oeltjen
- Giants: Chris Ray, Eugenio Velez
- Pirates: Lastings Milledge, Argenis Diaz, Donnie Veal, Brian Burres
- Diamondbacks: Blaine Boyer, Ryan Church, Augie Ojeda, D.J. Carrasco
- Marlins: Jose Veras, Ronny Paulino
- Padres: Tony Gwynn, Scott Hairston, Matt Antonelli, Luis Perdomo
- Brewers: Todd Coffey, Joe Inglett
- Astros: Sammy Gervacio
- Braves: Matt Diaz
Dodgers reliever George Sherrill, who earned $4.5MM in 2010, might not be offered arbitration this winter. In other news, I might not receive consideration for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize.
With all due respect to Sherrill and his past accomplishments, which include a fantastic second half of 2009 in Los Angeles, his 2010 numbers indicate that he's not worth another year at a similar rate. However, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times offered up a defense of the left-hander earlier this week in which he pointed out that Joe Torre often used him in the wrong situations. Sherrill, who shines against lefties, faced 85 left-handed batters and 95 right-handed batters. His stat line for the year was a 6.69 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 5.9 BB/9, though lefties batted just .192/.286/.288 against him.
Sherrill won't be offered arbitration but he could certainly be a solid value for the Dodgers or another club looking to take a small gamble on a strong left-handed specialist. Dilbeck predicts a "serious pay cut" and perhaps even a minor league deal in the 33-year-old's near future. When utilized properly, however, one has to think that Sherrill can deliver results worthy of a guaranteed deal. The only question is, will the market force a team to offer one?
A round of Thanksgiving links...
- Justin Upton is not on the Blue Jays' radar anymore, according to Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press. The Diamondbacks simply want too much for the outfielder.
- Meanwhile, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos told Ken Fidlin of The Toronto Sun that he's not necessarily afraid of players with bad reputations, but it "depends how significant the baggage." Manny Ramirez's name has been linked to the Jays, and he certainly brings some baggage.
- John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press explains that Tigers reliever Zach Miner is a non-tender candidate, joining Joel Zumaya.
- Remember Dinesh Patel, the reality show contestant who signed with the Pirates? Pittsburgh released him and eight other minor leaguers, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News argues that the Yankees' offseason checklist is still incomplete. The Bronx Bombers have not signed Cliff Lee and there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding their two biggest free agents, so it's hard to argue with Feinsand here.
- Paul White of USA Today explains why the Brewers may trade Prince Fielder: they'd "have to be quite creative with their future finances to offer [the first baseman] a competitive deal."
- There's a "miniscule" chance that the Dodgers bring George Sherrill back in 2011, according to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times. The lefty specialist is sure to be non-tendered after a disappointing season in which he earned $4.5MM.