Henry Blanco Rumors
Josh Booty has won a non-roster invitation to the Diamondbacks' Spring Training camp by emerging as the victor on The Next Knuckler, an MLB Network reality show. Booty, 37, was drafted fifth overall by the Marlins in the 1994 and accumulated just 30 Major League plate appearances with the Fish from 1996-98. Booty played third base originally but is now trying to make it back as a knuckleball pitcher.
Here's the latest from around the majors...
- Clint Hurdle is a favorite of Pirates owner Robert Nutting and has a better chance of staying with the team than GM Neal Huntington and president Frank Coonelly do if the Bucs struggle again, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Hurdle's contract was recently extended through the 2014 season.
- "It has always been hard to sustain success as a small-market team and the new CBA does not impact that very much," Andrew Friedman tells Erik Hahmann of the DRaysBay blog. "There are some interesting ideas within the new system but the overarching structure still tips the scales heavily in favor of the large markets (especially with growing revenue disparity). The key to changing that will be moving to a system that doesn't penalize small-market clubs-in the draft order, in the competitive balance lottery, in the international arena--for being successful." The Rays executive VP of baseball operations also addresses other league, management and roster topics during the interview.
- The Braves spent much more to sign B.J. Upton than the Indians did to sign Michael Bourn, but Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution feels the Braves' offseason was better served overall by moving on from their former center fielder.
- The Twins are known for their loyalty towards managers but MLB.com's Marty Noble writes that Ron Gardenhire's future with the team could be in question if Minnesota struggles again. The Twins are coming off back-to-back last place finishes in the AL Central, though these were only the second and third losing seasons of Gardenhire's 11-year tenure as skipper.
- The Royals' pitching acquisitions have left Aaron Crow with no immediate future as a starting pitcher, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes. Crow was drafted (12th overall in 2009) as a starter but has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in the majors and performed well. Crow made the 2011 All-Star team and has posted a 3.13 ERA, a 9.2 K/9 rate and a 2.45 K/BB ratio over 126 2/3 relief innings in 2011-12.
- Mark DeRosa and Henry Blanco may have limited on-field value at this stage of their careers but Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos tells Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi that good chemistry is a crucial part of a winning team and that the Jays will benefit from the two veterans' clubhouse leadership.
- Baseball America's Ben Badler recaps each team's significant international signings from 2012.
Manny Ramirez, who is now playing in the Dominican Winter League postseason, wants to continue his MLB career, agent Barry Praver told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ramirez last appeared in an MLB game in 2011, but the A's did sign him last February. Here are some more links from around MLB...
- Seattle’s offer for Justin Upton tells you they’ll be major bidders once the Marlins start listening to offers for Giancarlo Stanton, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes (on Twitter). The Mariners were prepared to send Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin, Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor to Arizona to obtain Upton.
- Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca explains that the signing of Henry Blanco could save the Blue Jays some money behind the plate and enable them to spend on a late-inning reliever in free agency.
- With the return of Darren Oliver, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com (Twitter links) now sees six Blue Jays relievers competing for three spots. Among those six are Esmil Rogers and Jeremy Jeffress, who are both out of options.
- Former MLB first baseman/outfielder Ben Broussard worked out for five teams in Austin, Texas today, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The 36-year-old, who played winter ball in Mexico, took grounders at first base and fly balls in left field during his audition (Twitter link). Broussard last appeared in the majors with the Rangers in 2008.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Blue Jays announced that they signed catcher Henry Blanco to a non-guaranteed deal for the 2013 season. The 41-year-old Elite Sports Group client would earn $750K at the MLB level.
Blanco appeared in 21 games this past season, posting a .188/.224/.281 batting line in 67 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks. He also spent time on the disabled list with a sprained thumb. Arizona declined its 2013 option on Blanco after the season.
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.
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.
- 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,
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.
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.
- Dan Hayes of the North County Times cites a Padres team source who doubts that Aaron Harang will be back with the team in 2012 (Twitter link). Hayes says that right now, it's not clear if Harang's $5MM mutual option was rejected by either side yet.
- The Diamondbacks are expected to exercise their half of the mutual options they hold on Willie Bloomquist and Henry Blanco, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
- Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times notes that the Dodgers lead the Majors with 10 pending free agents. Dilbeck says that the club is looking to go young behind the plate next year, and doesn't expect to offer arbitration to Type B free agent Rod Barajas.
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."