Gil Meche Rumors


AL Central Notes: Tigers, Meche, White Sox, Indians

The Twins grabbed headlines yesterday, finally agreeing to terms with Carl Pavano after months of discussions. Here's the latest on the Twins' AL Central division rivals:

  • John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press explains that Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has avoided arbitration hearings since taking over the team.
  • The Royals didn't expect Gil Meche to walk away from his $12MM salary without asking for some sort of settlement, but that's just what the right-hander did, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. GM Dayton Moore says we shouldn't expect the Royals to go out and spend for the sake of spending, even though they have money.
  • White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that he likes the looks of Chicago's rebuilt bullpen, which features newcomers Will Ohman and Jesse Crain
  • Indians GM Chris Antonetti told  MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that he would still like to add a starter who can provide reliability, stability and leadership. Manager Manny Acta and pitching coach Tim Belcher told Bastian that they expect a lot from the Indians' young starters.



Moore Discusses Meche's Retirement

The Royals caught a $12MM break yesterday and Dayton Moore has never seen anything like it. The Kansas City GM says he didn't expect Gil Meche to retire, since the right-hander had the option of collecting checks all season long. Instead, he forfeited the money, called it a career and provded his former team with unexpected financial flexibility.

“Gil had every right to finish off the final year of this contract and be compensated and he chose not to,” Moore said yesterday on a conference call with reporters.

The five-year, $55MM deal that Meche signed before the 2007 season looked good for the first two years and awful for the next two. Meche logged over 200 innings in 2007 and '08, posting a 3.82 ERA and leading the league in starts both seasons. But shoulder and back injuries limited his effectiveness and availability in 2009-10. At 32, the ten-year veteran is calling it a career.

Moore says he doesn't consider the signing a mistake, since Meche took the ball when healthy and helped ease Zack Greinke into major league stardom. But the caretaker of the best farm system in baseball isn't about to compromise his prospects' development with more long-term free agent deals.

“We’re not going to do anything with long-term contracts that’s going to restrict their transition to the major leagues,” Moore said.

There will come a time when the Royals look to complement their homegrown core with free agent pieces, Moore said. The team does have $12MM more than expected, but Moore says he doesn't plan to add any expensive pieces soon.



Gil Meche Announces Retirement

Gil Meche has officially announced his retirement. The right-hander was set to earn $12MM this year, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that he will forfeit that sum. Meche says his shoulder pushed him to this decision.

“As a competitor my entire life this is the hardest decision that I’ve ever faced, but it’s not fair to me, my family or the Kansas City Royals that I attempt to pitch anymore," Meche explained. "I came into this game as a starting pitcher and unfortunately my health, more accurately, my shoulder, has deteriorated to the point where surgery would be the only option and at this stage of my life I would prefer to call it a career rather than to attempt to pitch in relief for the final year of my contract."

Meche thanked the Royals and their fans for his four seasons in Kansas City.



Odds & Ends: Cubs, Simmons, Crisp, Royals

On a night when Brian Matusz stifled the AL West leaders, here are some news items...



Odds & Ends: Ankiel, Ohman, Tigers, Mets, Rangers

Links for Sunday, as a handful of players suit up for new teams....



Odds & Ends: Reds, Royals, Geary, Rockies

Links for Tuesday, as Jose Bautista becomes the first major leaguer to reach the 30-homer plateau this season...

  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that trade talk has been "very quiet." The Reds aren't on the brink of making any deals (Twitter link).
  • Kyle Farnsworth left tonight's game with a hamstring cramp, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). It's not a strain, so he may be OK.  Farnsworth's health may be a moot point, as ESPN's Jayson Stark tweeted today that the Royals are getting little action on their trade candidates.
  • The Rangers released former Astro and Phillie Geoff Geary, according to the transactions page for the Pacific Coast League. Geary had been pitching at Triple A Oklahoma City, where he posted a 5.37 ERA.
  • Rockies owner Dick Monfort told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he would add payroll this summer if the circumstances are right. The team's approach to the deadline isn't yet clear.
  • Kelly Johnson is drawing more interest than other available D’Backs, according to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (via Twitter).
  • The Rangers signed second-rounder Cody Buckel for $590K according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter).
  • The Rockies have inquired about Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter). Troy Tulowitzki is ready to return to action, so the Rockies' need for infield help is no longer pressing.
  • The Padres aren't a fit for Scott Podsednik, a source tells Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse (on Twitter). NL West teams appear to covet the speedy left fielder.
  • Gil Meche needs shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
  • It wasn't so long ago that Meche and Jeff Francoeur were linked by the same rumors, but, as ESPN.com's Jayson Stark points out on Twitter, Jason Bay's mild concussion makes a Francoeur deal less seem likely.



Mets And Royals Discussing Francoeur, Others

MONDAY, 3:09pm: A source tells ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that the Royals have "no interest" in Francoeur or Perez (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 7:33pm: Talks between the Mets and Royals are fluid, though it doesn't appear that Guillen will be headed to Queens, says Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  It seems that if Guillen is dealt elsewhere, then Kansas City would be interested in Francoeur, Martino adds.

7:00pm: Francoeur and Perez are on the block, a source tells Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter).  Another source tells Heyman that a trade with Kansas City "might happen" (Twitter link).

6:36pm: The Mets are in talks with the Royals and three names from each side are "in play," writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Those Royals players are Gil Meche, Kyle Farnsworth, and Jose Guillen while the Mets being discussed are Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and Jeff Francoeur.  It is unclear how advanced the talks are, cautions Rosenthal (via Twitter).

While the two sides aren't necessarily looking at a three-for-three swap, the two biggest contracts do match up well.  Meche and Perez's contracts are identical over the next two seasons, with both pitchers earning $12MM in this year and next.  The Mets made an attempt to swap the two just over a week ago.

Francoeur and Farnsworth also match up well, says Rosenthal.  Farnsworth's contract has a club option for 2011 for $5.25MM, though he has the right to void it in favor of a $500K buyout if he is traded before the 2010 World Series.  Francoeur will make $5MM this season before entering his final year of arbitration eligibility.



Mets Tried To Swap Perez For Meche

Oliver Perez is currently on the disabled list with a knee issue, but that hasn't stopped Mets' GM Omar Minaya from trying to unload the enigmatic lefty. ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin reports that the Mets approached the Royals about swapping Perez for Gil Meche, but were told no thanks. Talks with other teams have gone nowhere.

Perez, still just 28, hasn't pitched since the end of May because of the injury, though the team didn't exactly want him on the mound anyway. He had been sent to the bullpen after allowing 24 runs and walking more batters (28) than he struck out (27) in his first seven starts, and continued to pitch poorly in mop-up duty after the demotion. The injury was suspicious enough that the league decided to investigate, which is understandable after he refused a minor league assignment not long before.

Both Perez and Meche will earn the same $12MM this year and next, so the money would have been a wash if a trade did occur. Perez started a rehab assignment last Saturday, so the team has 30 days from then to activate him. It's hard to imagine any team taking on Perez without the Mets eating a significant portion of the money owed to him. 



Discussion: Gil Meche

It's safe to say that Gil Meche is off to a less-than-stellar start as he has given up 16 runs with a 0.58 K/BB ratio in 12.2 innings of work.  Even though he missed time early on this season with shoulder bursitis, Royals manager Trey Hillman doesn't believe that Meche is having any physical or mechanical issues (Ryan Young of The Kansas City Star reporting).

Meche, who shares the honor of having the largest contract in Royals history with Mike Sweeney, is set to earn $12MM in each of the two remaining years on his deal.  The 31-year-old's contract didn't seem unreasonable at this time last year, as he turned in a 3.82 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 across his first two seasons in Kansas City.  However, in the winter following his injury riddled 2009, the Royals told clubs that they would be open to dealing their former ace.

There were a few suitors for Meche over the offseason, including the Mets and the Cubs.  Could Meche conceivably restore his trade value this season, or will the Royals be stuck with the $24MM bill?



Largest Contracts In Team History

We've already looked at the largest contracts by service time and position, so let's now dig up the largest contracts ever given out by each of the 30 teams. These are in terms of guaranteed money only, but some could end up being even larger because of incentives and option years.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.









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