Henry Blanco Rumors

Diamondbacks Decline Option For Henry Blanco

The Diamondbacks have declined their $1.24MM option for Henry Blanco, Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com reports (on Twitter). The 41-year-old Elite Sports Group client is now a free agent.

Blanco appeared in 21 games this past season, posting a .188/.224/.281 batting line in 67 plate appearances. He also spent time on the disabled list with a sprained thumb. The Diamondbacks will seek a durable backup for Miguel Montero, Magruder reports.

Diamondbacks Agree To Terms With Henry Blanco

The Diamondbacks have signed free agent catcher Henry Blanco to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2013.  The guaranteed year will pay Blanco $1.2MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter), and MLBTR has learned that Blanco will earn $1.24MM in 2013 if both sides agree to exercise the mutual option.   

The D'Backs picked up their side of a $1.15MM mutual option with Blanco this week, but the 40-year-old backstop declined his, electing free agency instead. In 112 plate appearances in 2011, Blanco posted a .250/.330/.540 line with eight home runs. Elite Sports Group represents Blanco, as our Agency Database shows.

D'Backs GM Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link) earlier today that the club had "pretty much agreed to terms" with the veteran catcher.

NL West Notes: Padres, Giants, Blanco

The Dodgers will soon be up for sale, since owner Frank McCourt has agreed to part with the club. Click here for details on the Dodgers and keep reading for more notes from the NL West…

  • Padres GM Josh Byrnes has interviewed candidates for front office openings and may announce an assistant GM soon, according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune
  • It appears that the Giants are more likely to spend on a center fielder than a shortstop like Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes recently suggested Coco Crisp, Grady Sizemore and David DeJesus could be options for San Francisco this offseason.
  • Though 40-year-old catcher Henry Blanco declined his side of the mutual option he had with the Diamondbacks, the sides are discussing a new deal, according to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (Twitter links). Blanco “should be back” on a new contract that will likely include an option for 2013.
  • The D’Backs remain interested in Willie Bloomquist, according to Magruder. The utility player also declined his side of the mutual option he had with the Diamondbacks

Blanco Declines Option, Hits Free Agency

Henry Blanco declined his side of a $1.15MM mutual option with the Diamondbacks and is now a free agent, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN). Arizona had exercised its side of the option on Monday.

In 112 plate appearances in 2011, the 40-year-old Blanco posted a .250/.330/.540 line with eight home runs. His teammate, Willie Bloomquist, also declined his side of a mutual option with the Diamondbacks this week.

D’Backs Announce Option Decisions

The D'Backs announced that they exercised their sides of the mutual options for Henry Blanco and Willie Bloomquist, while declining their team options for Zach Duke and Aaron Hill (Twitter link). However, Bloomquist has declined his side of the mutual option and would like to work out a longer deal, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (on Twitter).

Blanco's option is worth $1.15MM and includes a $250K buyout. It's not yet clear whether he'll return to Arizona for a second season. In 112 plate appearances in 2011, the 14-year veteran posted a .250/.330/.540 line with eight home runs. Bloomquist's option was worth $1.1MM. The 33-year-old played left field, shortstop and second base in 2011, while posting a .266/.317/.340 battling line in 381 plate appearances.

Hill posted an .878 OPS with the D'Backs after struggling in Toronto for a combined season line of .246/.299/.356. Though the D'Backs would like him back, his $8MM option was too much for GM Kevin Towers' liking. Hill's contract also included an $8MM team option for 2013. Duke posted a 4.93 ERA with 3.8 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 76 2/3 innings, so there was no doubt that the team would decline its $5.5MM club option in favor of the $750K buyout.

NL West Notes: Harang, Bloomquist, Blanco, Dodgers

Earlier today the Giants agreed to a new two-year deal with Javier Lopez and exercised Jeremy Affeldt's 2012 option. Here's some links from around the rest of the division:

Towers On Hill, Bloomquist, Blanco, Saunders, Parra

Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers spoke to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic yesterday.  Highlights:

  • Towers would like to bring back second baseman Aaron Hill, but not at his option prices of $8MM for each of the 2012 and '13 seasons.  The 29-year-old hit .315/.386/.492 in 142 plate appearances for Arizona, his first stint in the National League.  He's represented by Beverly Hills Sports Council, as our Agency Database shows.
  • Towers is "leaning toward" exercising Willie Bloomquist's $1.1MM mutual option and will "probably" pick up a $1.15MM mutual option on catcher Henry Blanco.  Piecoro expects both players back, so these might be rare cases where both sides exercise their end of mutual options.
  • The GM is undecided on whether to tender a contract to lefty Joe Saunders, depending on whether he thinks the team's young starters are ready.  Saunders is due a raise on this year's $5.5MM salary, which we'll dig into later this week here at MLBTR.  Towers believes the team has the payroll space for both Hill and Saunders, if that's the route he chooses.  I think Saunders will be tendered a contract, since he'd have some trade value.
  • Left fielder Gerardo Parra's possible Super Two status is "too close to call right now," said Towers.  As of August 23rd, a source told me the cutoff appeared to be two years and 145 days of service, which is the exact amount Parra has.
  • Towers seeks a bat to complement first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, and Piecoro thinks that might mean re-signing Lyle Overbay.
  • Towers feels that the Diamondbacks' pitching staff is in "pretty good shape."  The GM doesn't see "big, big" offseason needs, though he won't rule out a run at the "right kind of marquee guy."

D’Backs DFA Roque Mercedes, Release Rusty Ryal

The Diamondbacks have designated right-hander Roque Mercedes for assignment and released Rusty Ryal to create roster space for Henry Blanco and Xavier Nady, whose deals the team officially announced.

Mercedes, who turned 24 in September, spent the 2010 season at Double-A Mobile. He pitched 53 2/3 innings out of the bullpen and posted 7.5 K/9 with 4.0 BB/9.

Ryal, 27, appeared in 104 games for the D'Backs this year, playing first, third and left. He batted .261/.308/.348 in 222 plate appearances, but his career minor league line (.287/.346/.475) is more impressive.

D’Backs To Sign Henry Blanco

The D'Backs have agreed to sign Henry Blanco for $1MM, according to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (Twitter link). The deal is pending a physical and should be official by tomorrow. Elite Sports group represents the catcher.

It's the second time Kevin Towers has signed Blanco; the GM signed him to play for the Padres before the 2009 season. The 39-year-old hit .215/.271/.300 in 144 plate apperances for the Mets last year. The D'Backs aren't bringing him in for offensive thump, though. Blanco should be a steady backup for Miguel Montero and he can still throw out opponents on the basepaths. He has caught 43% of would-be base stealers in his 13-year MLB career.

Diamondbacks Nearing Deal With Henry Blanco

WEDNESDAY, 7:53am: The Diamondbacks are "on the verge" of a one-year deal with Blanco, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. The contract will likely pay the catcher about $1MM in 2011 and may include a mutual option for 2012.

TUESDAY, 11:30am: Blanco indicated the two sides are close to an agreement in an interview on the team site of the Margarita Braves (link in Spanish), where he plays in the Venezuelan Winter League. Asked by Leonard Ojeda Ledezma about his status with the Diamondbacks, Blanco replied, "Although nothing definite has been settled on yet, I believe it should be made official in the first part of next week. I'm happy because I'll have Venezuelan teammates like Gerardo Parra and Melvin Mora." – Nick Collias

FRIDAY, 12:28pm: The D'Backs are still eyeing Blanco, but will move on if his asking price is too high, according to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter).

WEDNESDAY, 11:18am: The Diamondbacks are close to signing backup catcher Henry Blanco, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.  A one-year deal is likely, he says.

Blanco, 39, picked up 144 plate appearances in 50 games for the Mets last year.  He was signed by Kevin Towers to play for the Padres prior to the '09 season.