Henderson Alvarez Rumors

Marlins Notes: Alvarez, Realmuto, Phelps

The Marlins announced that right-hander Henderson Alvarez has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to right shoulder inflammation. Earlier today, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweeted that the team was more concerned with Alvarez’s shoulder than his elbow heading into an MRI. While the length of time that Alvarez will miss is yet to be determined, the news is certainly troubling, as shoulder issues are often more problematic than elbow issues for pitchers, in the long-term. Miami is already without ace Jose Fernandez, who had Tommy John surgery last May, and offseason acquisition Mat Latos was shelled in his first outing. He’ll look to rebound tonight, but he’s shown diminished velocity that has led to concern in some scouts as well.

A couple more Marlins notes…

  • The Marlins also announced that top catching prospect J.T. Realmuto has been recalled from Triple-A and will join the team in Atlanta. (Andy Slater of 940-AM first tweeted that Realmuto would definitively be recalled, and the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer called the move expected last night.) Realmuto and Reid Brignac will replace Jeff Mathis and Don Kelly, who bizarrely suffered the same injury — a broken right ring finger — six innings apart from each other. Realmuto’s presence is significant, given the struggles of Jarrod Saltalamacchia since signing in Miami. Entering the season, the 24-year-old Realmuto ranked 70th among prospects, per MLB.com, 72nd per ESPN’s Keith Law and 76th per Baseball America. Realmuto repeated Double-A in 2013 and saw his OPS soar from .663 to .830, and most scouting reports feel that his glove has taken a significant step forward as well. Saltalamacchia has batted just .217/.317/.364 as a Marlin, exhibiting his usual struggles to control the running game and well-below-average framing skills. He’s owed $7MM this year and $8MM in 2016, but if Realmuto thrives, it’s conceivable that Saltalamacchia could find himself on the back burner in Miami.
  • David Phelps is a leading candidate to step into Miami’s rotation, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro noted yesterday when speculating about the possibility of Alvarez landing on the disabled list. Phelps was a somewhat unheralded component of the offseason’s Martin Prado trade, but he did soak up 113 innings for an injury-plagued Yankees roster in 2014. Phelps worked to a 4.38 ERA in that time, averaging 7.3 strikeouts and 3.7 walks per nine innings pitched. As a pitcher who generates a fair amount of fly-balls, Phelps seems likely to benefit from the Marlins’ spacious park and excellent outfield defense.
  • It’s also worth noting that Aaron Crow will land on the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot for Brignac, and that right-hander Carter Capps will take Alvarez’s roster spot. Capps, 24, is the pitcher that the Marlins received in exchange for Logan Morrison in a December 2013 trade with Seattle. He pitched quite well for Miami in 2014 before an elbow sprain cost him most of the season.

East Notes: Porcello, Alvarez, DeJesus

Rick Porcello removed himself from next offseason’s free-agent market by signing a four-year, $82.5MM extension with the Red Sox, but the strong class of starting pitching next offseason (David Price, Jordan Zimmermann, Johnny Cueto, and so on) did not play a significant role in his decision, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford writes. “I don’t think it factors in that much in regards to my situation because I’m a lot younger than those guys,” Porcello says. “I felt like whatever career numbers they have, I feel confident that I’m going to have a good year this year and if I did that I would have no problem putting myself up against those guys.” Porcello is surely right that his age would have been a significant point in his favor had he become a free agent — he doesn’t turn 27 until December and would have been an exceptionally young player on the open market. Here are more notes from the East divisions.

  • Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez will have an MRI on his pitching elbow, Clark Spencer of MLB.com tweets. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro adds (also via Twitter) that the Marlins are worried about Alvarez’s shoulder as well. The 24-year-old is coming off an excellent season in which he posted a 2.65 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and just 1.6 BB/9 in 187 innings. As Spencer suggests, a significant injury to Alvarez would be a big setback for the Marlins, who last year lost another top starter, Jose Fernandez, to an elbow injury.
  • The Rays had David DeJesus on the trade market this spring, but now he’s helping them, hitting a three-run homer Sunday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Fellow lefty John Jaso‘s Opening-Day wrist injury carved out a bit of playing time for DeJesus. “I was taking spring training as my opportunity to go out there and show pretty much all of baseball that I can still play,” says DeJesus. “Now I’m playing for these guys, and it’s great. I’d rather it be this way because you build relationships throughout spring training and throughout the last two-three years.”

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

With the deadline to exchange arbitration figures set for noon CT, there figure to be a large number of agreements to avoid arb today, as there were yesterday. All arbitration agreements can be followed using MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker, and we’ll keep track of today’s smaller agreements in this post, with all projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz

  • Righty Henderson Alvarez agreed to a $4MM deal with the Marlins, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today on Twitter. Alvarez had been projected to earn $4.5MM after putting up a huge 187-inning, 2.65 ERA campaign entering his first season of arb eligibility.
  • The Athletics have agreed to a $1.4MM deal with righty Ryan Cook that includes, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports on Twitter. Cook gets a slight increase over the $1.3MM he had been projected to earn. Oakland has also inked outfielder Sam Fuld to a $1.75MM deal, per Mike Perchik of WAPT (via Twitter). He too lands just above his projection, which was for $1.6MM.
  • Outfielder Collin Cowgill avoided arbitration with the Angels for $995K, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. He was projected to earn $900K.
  • Righties David Carpenter and Nathan Eovaldi both have deals with the Yankees, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports on Twitter. Carpenter will earn about $1.3MM while Eovaldi will take home $3.3MM
  • The Rockies have a deal in place with lefty Rex Brothers, tweets MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Brothers was projected to earn $1.3MM but will take home $1.4MM, Harding adds via Twitter.
  • ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that the Cubs have settled with both Travis Wood and Luis Valbuena (Twitter links). Wood will receive $5.686MM — a bit north of his $5.5MM projection, while Valbuena will earn $4.2MM, per Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald (on Twitter). Valbuena was projected to earn $3.1MM.
  • Mike Perchick of WAPT in New Jersey has a wave of arbitration agreements, starting with the Astros and Hank Conger settling on a $1.075MM, which is just $25K behind Swartz’s projection (Twitter link).
  • Also via Perchick, the Athletics and Brett Lawrie settled on a $1.925MM contract (Twitter links). Lawrie, who had been projected at $1.8MM, was acquired by Oakland in the Josh Donaldson blockbuster.
  • Rockies backstop Michael McKenry will earn $1.0876MM in 2015, via Perchick. McKenry was projected by Swartz to earn $1.5MM.
  • Michael Pineda and the Yankees settled on a $2.1MM salary for the upcoming season, Perchick tweets, which is a direct match with Swartz’s projection.
  • Domonic Brown and the Phillies settled on a one-year pact worth $2.6MM, via Perchick, which represents a difference of just $100K between Swartz’s projection and the actual figure. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com tweets that Ben Revere has avoided arbitration as well, and the club now announces that he’ll earn $4.1MM — $100K north of his $4MM projection.
  • Red Sox setup man Junichi Tazawa agreed to a $2.25MM payday, according to Perchick. Swartz had pegged him for a $2MM contract.

(more…)



NL Notes: Harper, Zimmermann, Marlins, Pirates, Rasmus

The latest salvo in Bryce Harper‘s grievance against the Nationals over his arbitration eligibility was fired yesterday when Harper failed to appear at NatsFest, the team’s annual fan convention. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told reporters, including James Wagner of the Washington Post, “We’re disappointed he’s not here, but he chose not to be here because of the grievance.” Harper responded with a statement provided by his representatives and quoted by Wagner, “I have attended NatsFest each year and always enjoy my experience with the fans, but was unable to attend this year’s event due to matters out of my control. I look forward to next year’s NatsFest.” The grievance hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in New York. If Harper wins his grievance, MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $2.5MM arbitration award for the outfielder (as opposed to the $1.5MM base his contract stipulates for 2015), which will create a larger platform for future arbitration earnings.

In other news and notes involving the National League:

  • Jordan Zimmermann reiterated his desire to sign an extension with the Nationals, but only at the right price, reports CSNWashington.com’s Chase Hughes. “If it’s a fair value, like I have said all along, I would gladly sign,” said Zimmermann. “But at the end of the day, it’s gotta be something that’s fair and if it’s not, then I’ll be moving on.
  • The Marlins are not willing to trade either Henderson Alvarez or Jarred Cosart for a first baseman, tweets Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Jackson also reports the Marlins have had more talks with Michael Morse in recent days and he represents the best realistic option to upgrade the position.
  • The Marlins are listening to offers for right-hander Nathan Eovaldi; but, while the Pirates view him as a “terrific young pitcher” and “someone we’ll keep looking at,” club president Frank Coonelly says they are not close to bringing him to Pittsburgh, tweets MLB.com’s Tom Singer.
  • In a separate Singer tweet, Coonelly also downplays the return of Edinson Volquez. “Two years for $20MM not far off for Volquez,” Coonelly said. “He could get that. It probably won’t be here.
  • The Cubs have met recently with Colby Rasmus and are one of several teams to show interest in him, reports Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes identified the Cubs as a potential landing spot for Rasmus back in September while the Orioles and Royals have also been linked to the free agent center fielder.
  • With the elevation of Jeff Bridich to general manager, Rockies manager Walt Weiss has more independence in running the team with the front office no longer maintaining an offfice in the clubhouse and is more involved in player personnel decisions, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post.

Marlins Notes: Abreu, Reynolds, Eovaldi, Alvarez

Last week we learned that the Marlins never got to the point where they received specific names in trade proposals for Giancarlo Stanton in July.  Four high-ranking officials shot down a rumored blockbuster proposal from the Pirates involving Starling Marte and Gerrit Cole in conversations with MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.  Here's more out of Miami, courtesy of Frisaro..

  • It's too early to determine whether the Marlins will attempt to sign Cuban defector Jose Dariel Abreu, Frisaro says. The team employs two young Cubans – pitcher Jose Fernandez and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria – but Abreu could ask for a deal in the vicinity of six years and $54MM.
  • At last in the majors in runs scored, the Marlins are clearly on the hunt for bats to bolster their lineup, according to Frisaro. The Fish have discussed Mark Reynolds, whom the Indians recently requested release waivers for and whom the club considered at last year's Winter Meetings. However, it's thought that he'd be a better fit with an AL team.
  • Abreu could be an option this offseason because Miami isn't expected to pursue established players on the free agent market, but the club could also offer pitching prospects in a trade for a power hitter, Frisaro suggests. However, starters Fernandez, Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez and Jacob Turner are untouchable. The Marlins appear to be targeting a hitting catcher, Frisaro says.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Blue Jays, Marlins Complete Blockbuster Trade

Commissioner Bud Selig has approved the blockbuster trade that the Blue Jays and Marlins agreed to last week.  The Blue Jays announced the 12-player trade, which sends Jose ReyesJosh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio and cash considerations to Toronto for Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Jeff Mathis, Justin Nicolino, Anthony Desclafani and Jake Marisnick.

The deal, which calls for the Marlins to send the Blue Jays $4MM, required the approval of the commissioner's office.  The Blue Jays are taking on tens of millions in future payroll obligations, while the Marlins are moving the contracts of Reyes and Buehrle less than one full year after signing them as free agents.

Ultimately the deal "represents the exercise of plausible baseball judgment on the part of both clubs," Selig said in a statement approving the trade.

Reyes, 29, hit .287/.347/.433 with eleven home runs in 716 plate appearances last season.  The batting line wasn't quite as impressive as the .337/.384/.493 he put up in his contract year with New York, but it was promising to see the shortstop appear in 160 games after missing 191 games across the previous three seasons.  Despite the club's disappointing performance last season, Reyes said over the summer that he didn't have any regrets about signing with Miami.  

Buehrle's deal, like Reyes', is heavily backloaded with the hurler set to earn $11MM in 2013, $18MM in 2014, and $19MM in 2015 after making just $6MM in 2012.  The contract also includes a $4MM signing bonus that's deferred without interest.  While considering a number of offers, Buehrle was said to be prioritizing a no-trade clause, something he didn't end up receiving from the Marlins.  The veteran had a 3.74 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 31 starts for Miami last season.  

Bonifacio played just 64 games in an injury-riddled 2011 campaign.  The 27-year-old can fill a number of different roles, having experience at all three outfield positions, second base, shortstop, and third base.  Buck, 32, earned his first All-Star selection in 2010 as a member of the Blue Jays.  His offensive production regressed in the two years since, posting a .213/.308/.358 batting line for the Marlins.

While the Marlins gave up a substantial amount of talent in the trade, they won't be coming away empty handed.  Hechavarria was a highly-regarded prospect in the Blue Jays' organization and his play reportedly had Toronto executives ready to part with Escobar in the right trade.  Of course, this megadeal sends both shortstops out of town.

Escobar struggled at the plate last season, hitting .253/.300/.344 with nine homers in 608 plate appearances.  The infielder does come with a team-friendly contract, however, as he'll earn $5MM in 2013 with team options for the same amount in '14 and '15.  For his career, the 30-year-old has a .282/.353/.390 batting line in six seasons with the Braves and Blue Jays.  Mathis, 29, came to the Blue Jays last season in a trade for Brad Mills that helped ease the Angels' catching glut.  The veteran will earn $3MM across the next two seasons with a club option for 2015 worth $1.5MM.

The Marlins also picked up a quartet of quality youngsters in the trade.  Alvarez, 22, made 31 starts for the Blue Jays last season with a 4.85 ERA and 3.8 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.  Nicolino, taken in the second-round of the 2010 draft, has received high praise for his aggressive pitching and willingness to pound the strike zone.  The Florida native cruised through Single-A ball last year, posting a 2.46 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9.

Marisnick, 21, was rated as the No. 67 prospect in the country and the No. 3 prospect in the Blue Jays' organization after the 2011 season by Baseball America.  The publication also considered the former third-round pick to have the best defensive skillset and arm of any outfielder in the Toronto farm system.  DeSclafani, taken in the sixth-round of the 2011 draft, posted a 3.37 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in his debut season for Single-A Lansing.

MLBTR's Zach Links contributed to this post.


AL East Links: Bailey, Farnsworth, Alvarez, Yankees

It was on this day in 1919 that Yankees outfielder Ping Bodie defeated an ostrich named Percy in a spaghetti-eating contest.  The valiant bird made it through 11 plates before finally passing out.  We here at MLB Trade Rumors usually stick to reporting transactions, but we promise to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of any modern player vs. bird eating duels.

Here's the latest from the AL East…

  • The Red Sox announced that Andrew Bailey will undergo surgery on his right thumb's UCL tomorrow, a procedure that a team source tells Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald will sideline Bailey for 4-5 months (Twitter link).  The Rays look like they'll also be without a closer, as Kyle Farnsworth is expected to start the season on the DL with an elbow issue.  To keep tabs on who the Sox and Rays will use in the ninth inning, follow Tim Dierkes on Twitter @CloserNews.
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says he is continuing to explore external pitching options since he never feels comfortable about the club's depth, tweets Michael Silverman.
  • Blue Jays right-hander Henderson Alvarez has switched agencies and is now being represented by Proformance, reports MLBTR's Tim Dierkes.
  • No team claimed either Jayson Nix and Dewayne Wise today so both players will start the season with the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate, tweets Jack Curry of the YES Network.  Any team that had claimed Nix or Wise would've had to put them on their 25-man roster.
  • With more teams willing to spend money on signing or extending top pitchers, Joel Sherman of the New York Post feels the Yankees need their young arms to deliver since the Bombers can no longer rely on outspending the competition.
  • Rule 5 draft pick Ryan Flaherty will make the Orioles, and thus will have to spend the entire season on the team's 25-man roster or else be offered back to his original team, the Cubs.  Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun relates how O's manager Buck Showalter told Flaherty the news in front of the rest of the team.