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Henderson Alvarez Rumors
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.
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.
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 Reyes, Josh 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.
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.