Jack Hannahan Rumors

Minor Moves: Chris Nelson, Jack Hannahan

We’ll keep tabs on the day’s minor moves right here …

  • The Brewers have released infielder Chris Nelson from its Triple-A affiliate, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports on Twitter. That move coincides with the club’s recent claim of fellow third baseman Matt Dominguez. Nelson, 29, has bounced around quite a bit since a promising run with the Rockies in 2012. This year, he owns a .202/.256/.290 slash in 133 plate appearances at Colorado Springs.
  • Korea’s LG Twins recently added Luis Jimenez as a replacement for fellow former big leaguer Jack Hannahan, who was placed on KBO waivers, according to Yoo Jee-ho of Yonhap News. Hannahan was playing rather well after missing time early due to injury — he owns a .327/.410/.523 slash — so it isn’t entirely clear what precipitated the move. As Yoo notes, the team is struggling, and Jimenez will earn a $350K salary (whereas Hannahan was playing for $1MM). It remains to be seen where Hannahan, 35, will end up, but presumably a return to North America is not out of the question.

LG Twins Sign Jack Hannahan

Korea’s LG Twins have reached a one-year, $1MM deal with corner infielder Jack Hannahan, per Naver Sports (Korean language link; h/t to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net). The 34-year-old has played in parts of eight big league seasons.

Hannahan missed much of last year after undergoing shoulder surgery, ultimately taking only fifty trips to bat with the Reds. Thus ended a disappointing two-year run in Cincinnati, over which Hannahan performed at a sub-replacement-level clip.

The veteran was quite productive back in 2011 with the Indians, when he slashed .250/.331/.388 over 366 plate appearances. With solid glovework, he was valued at over two wins above replacement in about a half-season of work.

Quick Hits: Stanton, Mets, Tulowitzki, Miller, Mariners

The Marlins do not think they’ll have to pay out the entire $325MM balance of Giancarlo Stanton‘s contract, Pirates president Frank Coonelly told a crowd (including the Tribune-Review’s Rob Biertempfel) at PirateFest Saturday. Speaking very candidly for a team president, Coonelly recalled a recent conversation with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson: “They said to me, ‘You don’t understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.'” Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • The Mets should trade for Troy Tulowitzki, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Yes, Sherman says, Tulowitzki has $106MM on his contract and a long list of injuries, but if he were a perfect player, the Rockies would not trade him at a reasonable price. (In fact, they still might not trade him at a reasonable price.) And the time is right for the Mets, who have plenty of promising pitching but don’t have a shortstop. A trade for Tulowitzki could be just the risk the Mets need, Sherman writes, like their trade for Gary Carter 30 years ago. As for Tulowitzki, Sherman says that it’s “a poorly kept secret in the game is just how badly he wants out of Colorado now.” He doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but the Rockies’ front office would likely consult him about a possible trade, and Sherman thinks he would appreciate the chance to play for the Mets.
  • The Cardinals say they are not actively pursuing Max Scherzer, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. Scherzer is from the St. Louis area, and he reportedly met with the team earlier in the offseason.
  • A Mariners official says the team doesn’t want to trade Brad Miller, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. “[U]nderstand this: We’re not looking to trade him,” the official says. “I’m not saying it won’t happen, but it’s a lot less likely than some people seem to think.” Dutton adds, however, that Miller was part of a deal the Mariners proposed to try to get Matt Kemp from the Dodgers. The Dodgers then demanded the Mariners include either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton. The Mariners declined, and the Dodgers agreed to trade Kemp to the Padres instead.
  • The Twins have shown interest in former Reds third baseman Jack Hannahan, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com tweets. Hannahan was born in St. Paul and went to both high school and college in the Twin Cities. He played sparingly in 2014 and posted just a .470 OPS in 50 plate appearances, so as Wolfson notes, the Twins would likely have interest in him only on a minor league deal.

Reds To Exercise Club Option On Cueto, Buy Out Hannahan And Ludwick

2:21pm: The Reds have also declined Ludwick’s $9MM option, instead paying him a $4.5MM buyout, Cotillo tweets. The 36-year-old’s down 2014 season made that salary excessive, though the steep buyout tag and Cincinnati’s outfield needs made it a closer call than it might have seemed at first glance.

1:45pm: The Reds have kicked off their offseason with two unsurprising moves, deciding to exercise a $10MM club option over starter Johnny Cueto and decline a $4MM option for utilityman Jack Hannahan, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (Twitter links). Cincinnati will pay Hannahan a $2MM buyout rather than taking him back for 2015.

Both moves were widely expected. Cueto, 28, put up a Cy Young-worthy campaign (243 2/3 innings with a 2.25 ERA) and is an unquestioned bargain at that rate. The only question seems to be whether the club will take a crack at working out another extension or, if that is not an option, will listen to trade offers.

Meanwhile, the 34-year-old Hannahan did not play to expectations with the Reds and saw only 50 plate appearances last year. Across 212 trips to the plate over the previous two seasons, Hannahan slashed an anemic .209/.294/.278.

Cincinnati still has a slightly more difficult decision to make on Ryan Ludwick, whose club option — like Hannahan’s — comes with a buyout that reaches 50% of its value. In his case, the club can either pick him up at $9MM or buy him out for $4.5MM.

NL Notes: Padres, Minicozzi, Dodgers, Hannahan

MLB.com's Corey Brock brought readers into the dugout for some game action in an interesting read today. Receiving permission to camp out with the Padres during their game Thursday, Brock observed a number of inside snippets. For instance, infielder Stephen Carmon, who came over from minor league camp as depth and did not play, enjoyed a peaceful afternoon chatting with some veterans and sampling the wide variety of sunflower seed flavors made available. 

Here are a few notes from around baseball:

  • In another great story out of the NL West, Alex Pavloic of the San Jose Mercury News tells how 31-year-old Mark Minicozzi took an improbable path — around the world, through multiple injuries, and over multiple years — to rejoining the Giants. He left the organization after 2007, only to come back in 2012. Last year, he homered in his first Spring Training at-bat with the big club after coming over from the minor-league side for a road trip. This year, he earned his first non-roster invitation, and had his first ever start today. In his first trip to the plate, he swatted another long ball. Though Minicozzi still has many obstacles to overcome to reach a regular-season MLB game, his tale is testament to the power of perseverance and positive thinking.
  • The second base position for the Dodgers is now a "full-blown tryout camp," reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Major offseason acquisition Alex Guerrero continues to try to learn second while adapting to the pace of the big league game, and Gurnick says it seems as if he'll start off in Triple-A. Though Dee Gordon is the other player that the team would like to see emerge, he too has not separated himself from a pack that includes Brendan Harris, Chone Figgins, Justin Turner, and Miguel Rojas.
  • Infielder Jack Hannahan has not yet appeared in full spring action for the Reds because he underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Hannahan struggled mightily last year, but was apparently playing through the injury the entire time. The 33-year-old is in the final guaranteed year of a two-year, $4MM deal that comes with a $4MM club option for next season.

Reds To Sign Jack Hannahan

10:51am: Hannahan is believed to have obtained about $4MM, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).

7:50am: The Reds announced that they have signed free agent infielder Jack Hannahan to a two-year contract. The deal includes a club option for 2015, according to the team (on Twitter). Hannahan, a Joe Speed client, is expected to back up Todd Frazier in Cincinnati.

Hannahan became a free agent two weeks ago when the Indians non-tendered him. Five teams had "genuine" interest, including the Yankees, Twins and White Sox. MLBTR projected a $1.5MM salary for the 32-year-old via the arbitration process, so he ends up profiting from the Indians' decision to release him.

Hannahan appeared in 105 games for the Indians in 2012, mostly at third base (he played in seven games at shortstop and another two at first base). In 318 plate appearances, he posted a .244/.312/.341 batting line with 16 doubles. The left-handed hitter has slightly better numbers against right-handed pitching for his career, making him a natural complement to the right-handed hitting Frazier.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the agreement and John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer first reported the two-year term.

Ohio Notes: Hernandez, Bourn, Mesoraco, Hannahan

The Indians are still pursuing free agent Kevin Youkilis and still trying to work out a multi-team trade involving Asdrubal Cabrera and the Diamondbacks, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link).  The Tribe is also looking at alternative moves in case Youkilis signs elsewhere or the complicated trade fails to materialize.  We collected the latest items about the Tribe's pursuit of Youkilis and Nick Swisher earlier today on MLBTR and yesterday looked at the latest mountain of speculation surrounding this rumored multi-team deal that also reportedly involves the Rangers, Rays, Mariners, Justin Upton, Derek Holland and a number of young players.

The Reds have generated a lot of buzz this offseason as well, so let's check in on the latest from both of Ohio's clubs…

Latest On Jack Hannahan

MLBTR projected a $1.5MM salary for third baseman Jack Hannahan if he'd gone through the arbitration process in 2013.  The Indians elected to cut the defensive-minded 32-year-old loose instead.  Suddenly, with Eric Chavez and Jeff Keppinger signing at the Winter Meetings, Hannahan has become a relatively hot commodity in a weak third base free agent market.  The latest:

Five Clubs Have “Genuine” Interest In Hannahan

12:56pm: The White Sox still have interest in Hannahan despite signing Keppinger, tweets MLB.com's Scott Merkin.

10:13am: Seven teams have met with Hannahan's agent in Nashville, and five of those clubs have "genuine" interest in the infielder, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. The Indians would like to bring Hannahan back, but that seems unlikely since he'll have a chance to start or platoon elsewhere (Twitter links).

Bastian adds (via Twitter) that the Yankees' interest in Hannhan isn't considered serious, while John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer adds the Reds to the list of potential suitors.

Wednesday, 12:12am: Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer adds that the Yankees are interested in Hannahan as well (Twitter link). The Yankees recently learned they'll be without Alex Rodriguez for as much as half of the 2013 season.

Tuesday, 11:55pm: Third baseman Jack Hannahan has interest from teams for a Major League contract, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, with the White Sox and Marlins among the suitors.  We heard earlier today that Hannahan has a big league offer in hand from an AL Central team, and the Twins met with his agent yesterday.

Hannahan, 32, is known for his defense at the hot corner.  Faced with a projected $1.5MM salary through arbitration, the Indians chose to non-tender him last week.

Free Agent Rumors: Hannahan, Ibanez, Saito, Nakajima

We rounded up one set of free agent rumors earlier in the day, but as we approach late afternoon in Nashville, it's about time for a fresh batch….