Hayden Penn Rumors
Links for Tuesday, as the GM Meetings commence in Orlando and we await the announcement of the NL Cy Young winner...
- The Pirates' top free agent target is Jorge de la Rosa, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Brewers, Rangers, Nationals, Yankees, and Rockies have also been linked to the lefty. Correct me if I'm wrong, Pirates fans, but aside from Yoslan Herrera it seems the team's last multiyear free agent pitcher signing was Pete Schourek in December of 1998.
- The Mariners are expected to be limited to bargain bin shopping this winter, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. They've got plenty of needs, but expensive free agents don't make sense until they're closer to contention.
- Meanwhile the Softbank Hawks are working on signing Marcus Thames, according to a Sponichi report passed along by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman on Twitter. Thames, 34 in March, was productive in a part-time role for the Yankees this year.
- Brandon Backe intends to pitch in 2011, his agent told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). He's recovering from a rotator cuff injury.
- The Rockies will keep an eye on Bartolo Colon in the Dominican Republic, GM Dan O'Dowd told Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, but Renck finds a signing a long shot (Twitter link). MLBTR's Nick Collias filled us in on Colon yesterday.
- The Chiba Lotte Marines re-signed pitchers Hayden Penn and Bill Murphy, tweets Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman ruled out Leo Mazzone but not Rick Peterson for the team's new pitching coach, reports Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post muses on how the Mets should handle well-paid veterans Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes.
MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports (via Twitter) that the Pirates have sold the rights to right-handers Vinnie Chulk and Hayden Penn to the Hiroshima Toyo Carp and Chiba Lotte Marines, respectively. The moves have been in the works for a little while now but were just finalized today.
Chulk has pitched for Toronto, San Francisco and Cleveland over his seven years in the big leagues. In 276 1/3 major league innings, all of which came out of the bullpen, the righty posted a 4.33 ERA and a 1.75 K/BB ratio. Chulk signed a minor league deal with Pittsburgh last December and had an uneven season at Triple-A Indianapolis; he had a 10.5 K/9 ratio but also a 4.96 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 28 appearances.
Penn, drafted by the Orioles in the fifth round of the 2002 amateur draft, was a well-regarded prospect in Baltimore's system, ranked as the 81st-best prospect in the game by Baseball America in their pre-2006 listing. He was never able to translate that promise to the majors, however, as shown by his 9.51 career ERA over 33 games (15 of them starts) with Baltimore, Florida and Pittsburgh.
Sunday night linkage..
- Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com wonders if the reason Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo has made players like Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham available is because the team's offense is struggling with them as it is, so he'll try to improve other areas of the team.
- ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine says the Yankees could join the mix for Ted Lilly following Andy Pettitte's injury today. Meanwhile, Yanks' GM Brian Cashman told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that he is "not inclined" to make a move to replace Pettitte yet, saying that he prefers to give internal options a try first. Levine has the Tigers, Twins, Mets, and Dodgers also in the hunt for Lilly.
- Scott Miller of CSBSports.com wonders if this weekend's poor play (three losses to the Padres) makes a Dan Haren trade more likely.
- David Villavicencio of Fox Sports Florida tells us that players like Cody Ross and Ricky Nolasco want to stay with the Marlins, and know they need a strong run to make that a reality.
- Mark Kotsay knows what it's like to be the player who's desired in a trade, but also to be the player who would lose playing time as a result of one, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin.
- Jose Bautista was honored that Alex Anthopoulos called him to help get Yunel Escobar settled into his new environment, writes MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. Bautista says that he loves Toronto and would like to stay there long-term.
- The Yankees, who have been interested bystanders through most of the process, are now getting more interested in Mexican amateur pitcher Luis Heredia, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. However, the Pirates and the Blue Jays remain the frontrunners for the 15-year-old, who is sure to get a bonus of more than $2MM.
- Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweets that Tampa Bay expressed interest in Yunel Escobar before he was dealt to Toronto. He also tweets that Reid Brignac was part of the talks.
- Hayden Penn, a pitcher for the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate who was reportedly nearing a deal with the Chiba Lotte Marines, is on his way to Japan, according to Indianapolis Indians Triple-A announcer Scott McCauley (via Twitter). McCauley also says that another Indianapolis hurler is "close to a deal".
- The White Sox, who have been linked to Nationals slugger Adam Dunn, have had a scout present for Washington's series against the Marlins, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (via Twitter).
- Reliever David Aardsma is a possible fit for the Tigers, tweets Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse.
- R.J. Anderson of Fangraphs attempted to peg Fausto Carmona's trade value.
- Roy Oswalt wants to claim the Astros win record before leaving, writes Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle.
- Jean-Jacques Taylor of The Dallas Morning News praised the moves made by Rangers GM Jon Daniels.
- Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun senses deja vu all over again as the deadline approaches.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the highlights from Pirates GM Neal Huntington's weekly media address. Let's take a look:
- Huntington says that the Pirates have moved beyond "prospect gathering" mode. If a "good baseball trade" presents itself, Huntington will make it, but according to the general manager there are several players that he's not motivated to move.
- Huntington says he's trying to move forward with their group of young talent. He cites the Brewers' rise from second-to-last to second place in the middle of the decade thanks to the likes of Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, and Corey Hart (and don't forget Yovani Gallardo) in saying it takes a solid core to turn an organization around.
- The club is pleased with the changes made to its scouting, signing, player development, and evaluation processes, but obviously was hoping for a better record than their 31-59 mark to date.
- On Hayden Penn likely leaving the organization to pitch in Japan, Huntington said part of him wanted to say no and keep him in the Pittsburgh organization, but it was ultimately too hard to stand in Penn's way.
- Vinnie Chulk is another pitcher within the Pirates organization who may be transitioning to Japanese ball.
- Huntington shoots down rumors that manager John Russell's job may be tied to the club's performance on their current 10-game homestand: "When you hide behind imaginary sources that aren't going to go on the record, you can say anything you want," he told Kovacevic.
- Huntington says Russell shouldn't be used as a scapegoat, because ultimately, responsibility for the club's performance falls on his own shoulders.
- Ricky Nolasco may become trade bait, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (via Twitter). The Marlins would listen to offers for the 27-year-old righty.
- The Yankees have Orioles infielder Ty Wigginton and A’s reliever Michael Wuertz on their radar, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.
- The Yankees aren't close to moving Javier Vazquez and could hold onto him until July 31st even if they acquire Lee, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (via Twitter).
- Red Sox second rounder Brandon Workman and his advisor have given clear indications that the pitcher would not accept a deal for second-round money, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Workman has turned down a six-figure bonus before and appears ready to re-enter the draft in 2011 if the Red Sox don't offer him the bonus he feels he deserves.
- The Chiba Lotte Marines are closing in on a deal with Hayden Penn, a right-hander currently pitching in the Pirates' system, according to reports that Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along.
- The Marlins, Brewers, Orioles, Phillies, Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox watched Mark Prior pitch, according to Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse (Twitter link). The 29-year-old Prior is making a comeback.
Links for Monday...
- The MLBTR Forums are rocking with over 3,600 members. Join the discussion today! Just added a prospects section; we've also got areas to discuss trade rumors, free agents, the draft, general baseball, fantasy baseball, and every team.
- Tom Krasovic tweets that the Twins have a scout at tonight's Padres-Giants game, but it's just a routine visit. He adds that Heath Bell remains on Minnesota's radar, but the two sides haven't talked since Spring Training.
- The Giants have no interest in Jermaine Dye, tweets Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle. The reasons are the same as they've been all winter: defense and asking price.
- More changes could be coming to the Dodgers' bullpen, says Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times. Russ Ortiz was designated for assignment yesterday, and Hernandez thinks Ramon Ortiz could be next.
- Talking to MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith, I learned that teams can now safely promote minor leaguers for their MLB debuts with no chance of the player amassing 172 days of service in 2010. By promoting '08 first-rounder Ike Davis today, the Mets ensured that he will be under team control through 2016 instead of 2015. In contrast, the Braves have Jason Heyward through '15.
- On that same topic, agent Scott Boras told MLB.com's Peter Gammons that Stephen Strasburg starting in the minors "had nothing to do with money."
- Joe Posnanski digs into Forbes' team revenue numbers, noting that the Yankees made $173MM more than any other team.
- MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch tells us Hayden Penn has accepted the Pirates' Triple A assignment in lieu of electing free agency.
- In a statement, Cal Ripken said he looks forward to continued talks with the Orioles about a position in the organization.
Links for Friday...
- Hayden Penn cleared waivers and now has until Monday to decide whether to report to Triple A or become a free agent, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch (via Twitter). The Pirates designated Penn for assignment Monday.
- Jose Veras, who was designated for assignment Wednesday, has been outrighted to Triple A by the Marlins, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). This presumably means Veras cleared waivers.
- The Rockies called up Joe Beimel, according to the team. Beimel's deal pays him $850K in the major leagues.
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick heard that Bret Boone is trying to recruit Doug Mientkiewicz and Bobby Kielty for his Golden League team (Twitter link).
- ESPN.com's Keith Law offers updates on some of the top prospects eligible for this June's draft, including Bryce Brentz, an outfielder who Law considers "one of the top college bats in this draft."
- Fred Lewis and his representatives had been asking the Giants for a trade for nearly a year, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- FanGraphs' Jack Moore calls the Lewis deal a no-brainer for the Blue Jays and a head-scratcher for the Giants.
- Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun takes us on a must-read behind the scenes look at the Adeiny Hechavarria signing.
- Recent injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron will test Boston's depth, says WEEI.com's Alex Speier.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America brings us up to date on the latest round of minor league transactions. Among the notable players released: Brady Clark and Curtis Thigpen.
5:52pm: Penn was DFA'd in order to make room on the roster for lefty Brian Burres, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Burres has a 6.01 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 7.1 BB/9 in 265 big league innings.
The 25-year-old Penn appeared in three games for Pittsburgh this year, giving up eight hits and eight runs in just 2.1 innings. He walked three and struck out no one. Penn's Triple-A numbers are strong; he's posted a 3.85 ERA and a 7.5 K/9 in 278.1 innings at the level.
We've seen a bevy of players designated for assignment and/or released in the past few days as teams were finalizing their Opening Day rosters. The deadline for clubs to submit their 25-man roster is 2pm CT today, and perhaps no one has more decisions to make than the Pirates, as Karen Price of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review explains.
At the moment, Pittsburgh's 40-man roster is full, but they have to find room for relievers Jack Taschner and D.J. Carrasco, who've made the team. One spot can be freed up by placing reliever Jose Ascanio on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Price mentions that the other 40-man spot is likely to come at the cost of Hayden Penn, Ramon Vazquez, John Raynor, or Steve Pearce.
The Pirates claimed Penn off waivers just last week, but that doesn't mean they aren't willing to designate him for assignment today. He's out of options, so he'd have to clear waivers to be sent to the minors anyway. As a Rule 5 Draft selection, the Pirates have to keep Raynor on their 25-man roster all season or offer him back to the Marlins. Pearce has a leg up on the other guys because he has a minor league option remaining.
Vazquez will earn $2MM this season, but was told that he wasn't on the team a few weeks ago, making him a candidate to be either traded or released. Cutting him loose and eating his salary isn't the most desirable move, but it's probably best for the team. After a breakout season with the Rangers in 2008, Vazquez hit just .230/.335/.279 in 239 plate appearances last year, but at least he's capable of playing all over the infield. With Bobby Crosby and Ronny Cedeno on board, that last point may be moot.
Joel Hanrahan is likely to start the year on the 15-day DL because of an elbow issue, so the team could carry Penn to start the season. Optioning Pearce and releasing Vazquez would give the team the 25-man and 40-man roster spots for Taschner/Carrasco, then they'd just have to figure out what to do with Raynor, who's in a unique spot. We'll find out their decision by this afternoon, one way or the other.
Penn, 25, posted a 4.11 ERA, 8.0 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 in 70 Triple A innings last year. The Marlins acquired him a year ago from the Orioles for Robert Andino. Penn was a highly-regarded prospect four years ago, as Baseball America said he had "three plus pitches that he throws for strikes." Nice pickup by Neal Huntington.