Greg Smith Rumors
Today's minor moves:
- The Phillies signed left-hander Greg Smith, assigned him to Double-A Reading and released outfielder Ronnie Welty to create roster space, according to Reading Fightin Phils' director of PR Eric Scarcella (Twitter links). Smith, 29, was twice traded with Carlos Gonzalez -- first to the A's for Dan Haren and second to the Rockies for Matt Holliday. The LSU product has a 4.51 ERA in 229 1/3 big league innings. The Phillies originally acquired Welty at the end of Spring Training in a swap of minor leaguers with the Orioles. The 25-year-old has a career .281/.356/.464 batting line but hasn't climbed higher than Double-A.
- Orioles righty Zach Clark cleared waivers and was outrighted to Double-A, announced the team (via Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com). The 29-year-old had been designated for assignment on Saturday to open a 40-man roster spot for Freddy Garcia. Signed as an amateur free agent in 2006, Clark has spent his entire career in the Orioles' organization and made his big league debut with last Wednesday's relief appearance against the Mariners.
- Yankees righty Cody Eppley cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A, tweeted Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal yesterday. The 27-year-old had been designated for assignment on Friday to open a 40-man roster spot for Preston Claiborne. Eppley did a nice job keeping the ball on the ground in 46 frames for the Yankees last year.
- Three players currently reside in DFA limbo: Ezequiel Carrera and Mike McDade of the Indians and Jonathan Sanchez of the Pirates.
- The Cubs are expected to call up outfielder Ryan Sweeney today and option Dave Sappelt to the minors, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. The Cubs will need a 40-man roster spot for Sweeney, so it appears someone will be designated for assignment today.
The latest minor moves from around MLB...
- The Pirates signed left-hander Brian Tallet, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus tweets. In 13 1/3 innings for the Cardinals and Blue Jays last year, Tallet posted a 9.45 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9. He was effective against left-handed hitters in 2010, but missed time in 2011 with a broken left hand and then a right intercostal strain.
- The Angels signed left-hander Greg Smith to a minor league deal, Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweets. Smith, who last appeared in the Majors in 2010, posted a 4.16 ERA in 32 starts as a rookie with the 2008 Athletics. The 28-year-old posted a 3.88 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in the minor leagues last year.
Let's keep track of the day's minor moves right here...
- The Yankees have released Buddy Carlyle, reports Donnie Collins of The Scranton Times-Tribune (on Twitter). The 33-year-old righty was with New York's Triple-A affiliate, but he did make it to the Bronx for 7 2/3 generally ineffective innings earlier this year. Carlyle had been designated for assignment and outrighted in June.
- The Yankees have also released Greg Smith, tweets Collins. Smith, a 27-year-old southpaw, pitched to a 4.84 ERA in 57 2/3 innings for the team's Triple-A squad. He's been involved in trades for Dan Haren and Matt Holliday in the past, and his release opened up a roster spot for the recently signed Scott Proctor.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America has even more moves in this week's edition of minor league transactions.
The Yankees have signed southpaw Greg Smith and right-hander Cory Wade to minor league contracts, according to the International League's transactions page. Both pitchers will report to Triple-A Scranton.
Smith, 27, was released by the Rockies in April and he has a career 4.51 ERA in 40 Major League starts with Oakland and Colorado. The lefty has been part of two of the biggest trades in recent years --- he was part of the package (which also included Carlos Gonzalez, Brett Anderson and Chris Carter) sent by the Diamondbacks to the A's in the Dan Haren trade in December 2007. Smith was then moved along with Gonzalez and Huston Street to the Rockies for Matt Holliday in November 2008.
Wade signed a minor league deal with the Rays last winter which included a clause that allowed him to opt out if he wasn't in the majors by a certain date. Wade told the Rays he was going to invoke that clause and thus Tampa Bay released him over the weekend. Wade posted a 2.27 ERA and an 0.93 WHIP in 55 relief appearances with the Dodgers in his 2008 rookie season, but struggled in 2009 and spent 2010 in the minors. The right-hander had a 1.23 ERA and a 5.67 K/BB ratio in 36 2/3 innings for Triple-A Durham this season.
The Rockies released lefty Greg Smith, reports Jack Etkin of Inside the Rockies. Smith was part of the Rockies' haul from the Athletics for Matt Holliday in November of 2008, along with Carlos Gonzalez and Huston Street.
Smith, 27, spent most of the 2010 season in Triple-A. There he posted a 6.12 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, and 1.7 HR/9 in 75 innings across 15 starts. Smith also tossed 39 innings across eight starts for the big club. He's battled shoulder issues since the middle of the '09 season. His best year was 2008 with the A's, when he made 32 starts with a 4.16 ERA despite some middling peripheral stats.
Steve Foster of InsidetheRockies.com reports that the Rockies have signed 21 players to one-year contracts. Some of the more recognizable names include Chris Iannetta, Greg Smith, Ryan Spilborghs, Matt Murton and Franklin Morales.
Links for Wednesday...
- Richard Justice says the Astros should offer Andy Pettitte $7-8MM to come back.
- Joe Christensen doesn't see Huston Street landing in Minnesota.
- Larry Beinfest dismissed a "cyberspace rumor" that the Marlins are planning a run at Manny Ramirez.
- Gordon Wittenmyer says the Cubs could fit both Jake Peavy and Ryan Dempster into the payroll, and that the Peavy situation will be resolved first.
- Today is the deadline for MLB.com's Free Agent Frenzy. You have until 4pm CST to submit your picks for 15 free agents. Here are my predictions from November 3rd...I would change the Furcal and Sheets ones for starters.
- Who had the Matt Holliday scoop? SI.com's Jon Heyman broke the story, while Yahoo's Tim Brown was the first to name the players involved.
- Holliday figures to be a three to six month rental for the A's. Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron takes a closer look at Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith. ESPN's Keith Law says the Rockies received a "fair return" for Holliday.
- Athletics Nation suggests the A's sign Derek Lowe.
- Ken Davidoff looks at the Yankees' seesawing philosophy.
- Japanese southpaw Ken Takahashi intends to sign with an MLB club, and the Mets may be interested. Nikkan Sports says the Cubs, Padres, and Giants are also in on him.
- River Ave. Blues looks ahead to Derek Jeter's next contract.
- Andrew Baggarly reminds us that Tim Lincecum intends to go year to year.
- ESPN's Buster Olney talked to one GM who expects "a whole lot of bargains" in late January, given the nation's economy.
- Rany Jazayerli didn't like the Royals' acquisition of Mike Jacobs, but doesn't think it's the end of the world.
- Braves GM Frank Wren on Jeff Francoeur: "We haven’t talked about him at all. It’s not to say that we wouldn’t."
It seems that the Rockies will send left fielder Matt Holliday to the A's for Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith, and Huston Street soon (assuming Smith's elbow checks out). While the A's were rumored to be in the mix for Holliday, the trade still comes as a surprise to most. Let's round up today's links on the topic.
- Nick Cafardo says the Red Sox were briefly involved in talks for Holliday.
- ESPN's Peter Gammons says Beane first engaged the Red Sox on Jason Bay before moving on to Holliday.
- Troy Renck says Holliday is flying to Oakland today to meet with team officials. Garrett Atkins hopes the Holliday trade keeps him in Colorado.
- Dave Cameron thinks Holliday can hit around .300/.380/.500 for the A's.
- Athletics Nation considers this a message that the A's are trying to compete in '09, and expects more additions. They also believe Billy Beane will take stock in July and decide whether to trade Holliday or keep him all year and take the draft picks. I agree on both points.
- Jack Etkin of the Rocky Mountain News and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post have scouting reports on the players Colorado will receive.
- Depressed Fan tries to get a handle on Beane's motivation for the trade.
- Holliday's dad would like to see his son join the Yankees.
5:01pm: Scott Miller of CBSSports.com says the Rockies are prepared to turn around and trade Street to another team.
4:08pm: Gonzalez confirmed his inclusion in the trade in a phone call to Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today.
3:42pm: A Rockies spokesman told the AP that talks are fluid, and "everything's speculation." Heyman is now aboard with Gonzalez/Smith/Street as the package. Seems solid for one year of Holliday and the accompanying draft picks.
3:20pm: Susan Slusser spoke to Smith, who is flying to Denver for a physical. She agrees that Street and Gonzalez are the other two players.
2:54pm: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick confirmed Smith is in the deal.
2:30pm: Brown says the two teams have agreed in principle to a deal that will send Gonzalez, Smith, and Street to the Rockies.
2:24pm: The ESPN report now says Brett Anderson was under discussion as well as Smith.
2:03pm: The ESPN guys talked to A's assistant GM David Forst, who said, "It's still an ongoing discussion."
2:00pm: Ken Rosenthal chimes in. The deal may not be finalized for about 48 hours. Players discussed over the weekend: Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street, and Smith. Rosenthal says the A's do not plan to flip Holliday or trade him in July. Rosenthal also says the A's could increase payroll to as high as $80MM, which could mean $25-30MM to play with.
1:57pm: ESPN's Buster Olney and Jerry Crasnick say the two teams have agreed to terms, and believe pitcher Greg Smith was under discussion.
1:51pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown also says a deal is close.
1:27pm: According to SI.com's Jon Heyman, the A's traded for Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday. More as it comes in!
The first domino fell tonight as an ace starter, Dan Haren, was dealt to the Diamondbacks for a bevy of prospects. I believe the D'Backs won this one. Let's dig into the details.
Take Haren, a horse of an American League pitcher, and throw him in the easier league. The D'Backs got themselves a bona fide ace to pair with Brandon Webb, and they get him for three years at a reasonable price. He makes a mere $16.25MM over 2008-10; he's worth at least three times that amount. (Arizona also gets 26 year-old reliever Connor Robertson, who hasn't really conquered Triple A yet.)
To balance out the immense value of Haren, the A's get six young players. Four of them represent the #1, 3, 7, and 8th ranked prospects on Baseball America's top ten for the team.
Carlos Gonzalez, 22, is the stud of the group. He can play right or center and has definite star potential. However, he's no lock to become Carlos Beltran or Jeff Francoeur.
Southpaw starter Brett Anderson turns 20 in February. He's more about polish and command than stuff, and is a curious guy to be the main pitching prospect in the Haren deal. He'll try to tackle Double A in 2008.
We've discussed 21 year-old first baseman Chris Carter recently; the D'Backs just acquired him for Carlos Quentin. Who knew it was setting up a Haren deal. He's a slow guy with massive power and plenty of strikeouts. He'll give High A ball a try in '08.
Outfielder Aaron Cunningham turns 22 in April. He's one of those guys who doesn't do anything poorly but isn't great at any one skill either. Baseball America thinks he'll become a solid fourth outfielder.
24 year-old southpaw Dana Eveland came to Arizona along with Doug Davis. He's drawn David Wells comparisons and has proven himself in the high minors. He missed a lot of '07 with a torn tendon in his pitching hand.
Greg Smith is a 24 year-old southpaw starter with a good curveball and mediocre fastball. His strikeout rate was just 5.85 per nine at Triple A in '07.
I'm surprised Billy Beane didn't get more "sure thing" young players for his best trading chip. Gonzalez will probably pan out, but he really needed a high octane near-MLB young gun starter too and he didn't get it. I will give him credit for spreading out his risk over six prospects, though. Josh Byrnes gets an ace without giving up anyone he needed in '08.