Jamey Wright Rumors

NL West Notes: Butler, Rockies, Dodgers, Wright

The NL West makes a strong showing on Jim Bowden's list of the offseason's seven most underrated transactions (ESPN Insider account required).  The Giants and Dodgers combine for three of the seven moves, while the Diamondbacks find themselves on possibly the wrong end of one of the deals — Bowden believes the White Sox got the best end of the three-team Sox/D'Backs/Angels trade since Adam Eaton fills a big need in Chicago and Bowden doesn't rate Hector Santiago too highly.

Here are some more items from around the NL West…

  • The Rockies didn't push harder for more fifth starter depth since they didn't want to block right-handed pitching prospect Eddie Butler, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Sulia link).  Butler, the 46th overall pick of the 2012 draft, pitched very well last season, including an 0.65 ERA in 27 2/3 Double-A innings.  If he continues to progress next year, the Rockies could call Butler up by late May or early June.  Juan Nicasio and Jordan Lyles are currently slated to battle for the fifth spot in the Colorado rotation behind Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Chatwood and Brett Anderson, though Anderson's health history will create a need for depth.
  • The Rockies added Raul Fernandez to the 40-man roster rather than risk losing him in the Rule 5 draft, as Colorado has been cautious about losing even low A-ball prospects to the Rule 5 draft since the Padres took Everth Cabrera from their roster in 2008.  Baseball America's Jack Etkin profiles Fernandez, who owns a 96-mph fastball and projects as a back-end reliever.
  • Jamey Wright signed his first Major League contract since 2005 when he agreed to a one-year, $1.8MM deal with the Dodgers last week.  Fangraphs' Mike Petriello looks at how Wright has revived his career by adding a cutter to his arsenal, which led to more strikeouts and more success against right-handed batters.
  • Right-hander Javy Guerra has become little more than a minor league depth option for the Dodgers, and Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times opines that Guerra could become trade bait.  Guerra (who is out of options) emerged as the Dodgers' closer in 2011 but hasn't been nearly as effective since, pitching in just 10 2/3 Major League innings in 2013.

Dodgers Sign Jamey Wright

TUESDAY, 8:23pm: Wright's deal is worth $1.8MM, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

1:55pm: The Dodgers confirmed the signing via press release.  Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter) confirms that it's a big league contract.

MONDAY, 4:38pm: The Dodgers are in agreement with right-hander Jamey Wright on a one-year deal, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). Wright is represented by agent Casey Close of Excel Sports Management.

Wright, who will celebrate his 39th birthday tomorrow, was excellent in his age-38 season with the Rays, pitching to a 3.09 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 50.8 percent ground-ball rate. The 70 innings were the most Wright had thrown since his 2009 campaign with the Royals. This will mark Wright's second stint with the Dodgers, as he also spent the 2011 season in Los Angeles' bullpen. Earlier this month it was reported that the veteran was choosing between returning to the Rays or returning to the Dodgers.

Wright is the second right-hander with whom the Dodgers have reached a one-year agreement today, as GM Ned Colletti also brought Chris Perez into the fold this morning. Wright will serve primarily a middle relief option for manager Don Mattingly, who continues to see his bullpen depth bolstered. The Dodgers parted ways with Ronald Belisario this offseason but re-signed Brian Wilson to pair with Kenley Jansen late in the game. The Dodgers' strong bullpen will also feature the likes of Paco Rodriguez and J.P. Howell. Brandon League will be in the mix as well, and while he struggled in 2013, he pitched to a 3.14 ERA over a three-year span from 2010-12. Right-hander Chris Withrow, who was outstanding as a rookie in 2013, is another option or could be included in a trade for a more established pitcher with Wright now on board.


Jamey Wright Choosing Between Rays, Dodgers

Jamey Wright's free agent choice will come down to his most recent two teams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who tweets that the right-hander is choosing between the Rays and the Dodgers.

Wright, 38, has been effective as a relief pitcher over the last two seasons, posting a 3.40 ERA and 7.8 K/9 in 132 total outings. He spent the 2012 season with the Dodgers before pitching for the Rays in 2013. He'll represent a low-cost, low-risk bullpen arm for whichever team lands him, considering he has signed for a base salary worth less than $1MM for each of the last several years.

Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported earlier today that Wright was on the Dodgers' radar.



Dodgers Notes: Kemp, Ethier, Tanaka, Uribe, Wright

Matt Kemp may eventually get dealt this offseason, but it doesn't look like the Dodgers and Red Sox will reach an agreement involving the outfielder. We heard earlier this afternoon that Boston's talks for Kemp were unlikely to get serious, and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com backs that up, writing that there's "nothing to" the rumors of Boston's interest. Here's more on the Dodgers:

  • While Kemp probably won't be headed to the Red Sox, the Dodgers remain in discussions with four teams on trade possibilities involving him or Andre Ethier, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
  • The Dodgers will be interested in Masahiro Tanaka if and when he's posted, but that interest may be more lukewarm than exepected, says Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Shaikin hears from two sources familiar with the team's thinking that L.A. won't pursue Tanaka with the sort of "win-at-all-costs mentality" that marked the club's pursuit of Hyun-jin Ryu a year ago.
  • Having not heard back yet from free agent infielder Juan Uribe, the Dodgers are preparing to move on from him, reports Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. GM Ned Coletti indicated that the team could shift its focus to acquiring a third baseman via trade.
  • Jamey Wright is on the Dodgers' radar as a potential long man, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.

Rays Designate Robinson Chirinos, Stephen Vogt

The Rays have announced they have designated catchers Robinson Chirinos and Stephen Vogt for assignment. The Rays now have ten days to trade, release, or outright Chirinos and Vogt to the minors.

The moves were needed to open space on their 40-man roster for first baseman/DH Shelley Duncan and relievers Jamey Wright and Juan Carlos Oviedo. Oviedo was then transferred to the 60-day disabled list, as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Duncan's promotion was necessitated by a right calf strain suffered by Luke Scott, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Executive VP of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman told reporters, including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter), Duncan won the job due to his extra base-hit ability and because he adds value with his power.

Chirinos was acquired in the Matt Garza trade and appeared in 20 games for the Rays in 2011 producing a slash line of .218/.283/.309 in 60 plate appearances. He sat out the 2012 season due to a concussion.

Vogt, a 12th-round selection by the Rays in the 2007 draft, made his MLB debut last season, but went hitless in 25 at-bats. He has fared much better at the plate during his six-year minor league career (.290/.360/.448), including numbers of .272/.350/.424 in 396 plate appearances in 94 games at Triple-A Durham in 2012.


Article XX(B) Free Agents Update: Tuesday

Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement contains a provision that allows certain free agents who are signed to minor league contracts to receive a $100K retention bonus if they are not on the team's 25-man roster or the Major League disabled list five days prior to the season.

Free agents who qualify for this distinction are those who have at least six years of Major League service time and had a Major League contract expire at the end of the previous season, but signed a minor league deal ten or more days prior to Opening Day.

MLBTR has confirmed with MLB that the deadline for teams to decide on these players is today at 11am central time. By the deadline, teams with these players in camp need to decide whether to:

  • Add the player to their 25-man roster or Major League disabled list (or agree to do so in writing).
  • Grant the player his outright release from the minor league contract so that he may pursue opportunities with other teams.
  • Pay the player a $100K retention bonus to keep him in the organization beyond the deadline and send him to the minors.

Here's the latest news from around the league on Article XX(B) signees and their roster statuses with their respective teams (newest updates on top).  


Rays Sign Oviedo, Duncan, Wright, Sandoval

The Rays have signed outfielder Shelley Duncan and right-handers Jamey Wright, Juan Sandoval, and Juan Carlos Oviedo to minor league deals, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).  All four deals include invites to major league spring training, tweets Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.

Oviedo is the former Leo Nunez, who finished 142 games for the Marlins from 2009-2011.  The 30-year-old was disciplined for identity fraud prior to last season and appeared in just three minor league games before an elbow injury requiring Tommy John surgery ended his campaign.  For his career, Oviedo has a 4.34 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 across seven big league seasons.

Because his injury will likely cost him the bulk of the 2013 season, the Rays' deal with Oviedo includes an option for 2014, Topkin tweets.

Duncan, 33, spent much of the season as Cleveland's left fielder and posted a .203/.288/.388 batting line in 264 MLB plate appearances.  The left fielder/first baseman refused a minor league assignment in October, making him a free agent.

Wright, 38, has 17 major league seasons to his credit.  The veteran spent 2012 with the Dodgers and made 66 relief appearances, posting a 3.72 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9.  Sandoval, 32, had a 2.97 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in the Mexican League last season.


Dodgers Notes: Colletti, League, Crawford

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti discussed a number of offseason topics with the media (including MLB.com's Ken Gurnick) during today's official introductory press conference for Carl Crawford.  Here are some of the highlights…

  • Colletti said the Dodgers would look to add starting and relief pitching this winter, plus outfield depth.  "Our outfield is somewhat complete, but not complete," Colletti said.  "We've got to keep our versatility and have somebody that can play center field. Tony Gwynn is still part of the organization and a candidate."  Crawford, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are set as the Dodgers' starting outfield trio for 2013, though good bench options are necessary given Crawford and Kemp's recent injury problems.
  • Mickey Hatcher is not a candidate to replace the recently-fired Dave Hansen as the Dodgers' hitting coach, though Colletti said Hatcher could find a job in another capacity with the team.  Hatcher, fired last spring as the Angels' hitting coach, served as "a de facto assistant" to Hansen last season.
  • The Dodgers are interested in bringing back Jamey Wright, Randy Choate and Brandon League next season.  All three relievers are free agents, though Colletti is "encouraged" by negotiations thus far with League (as tweeted by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times).
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has the details of Crawford's meeting with the media, including his surprise at being traded last summer, his willingness to waive his no-trade clause and how he wished he'd immediately undergone Tommy John surgery rather than trying to play through the pain.  "I wish I’d done it [earlier], because I’d be better now. With the Boston fans you have a big deal that was made about my money and trying to play for the team," Crawford said. "Maybe I shouldn’t have done that and taken care of myself. I pretty much put pressure on myself to play. You get looked at as being soft and as somebody just trying to take money. I wanted to prove that wasn’t the case. That probably cost me a little time for next year."

Los Angeles Links: Wright, Dodgers, Abreu

Here is the latest from baseball's two Los Angeles teams, even though one of them really plays in Orange County…


Dodgers Notes: Grabow, Wright, Munoz, Kroenke

Here's the latest from the Dodgers…

  • John Grabow has exercised the out clause in his contract and has been granted his release, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick (Twitter link).  The southpaw was in the Dodgers camp on a minor league deal and had looked good in Spring Training, striking out seven batters across six scoreless innings.  Grabow would have made $800K had he made the club's roster.
  • Jamey Wright has been told he will be added to the Dodgers roster once the team completes the official paperwork, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.  Hernandez previously reported that Wright can earn $900K if he makes the club's roster, with up to $500K extra in incentives based on innings pitched.  It seems like L.A. had a choice to make between Wright and Grabow and chose Wright, and by letting Grabow walk before March 30, the Dodgers save paying him an extra $100K bonus.
  • The Dodgers have agreed to sign Dominican right-hander Bryan Munoz, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.  The deal is worth $300K and will be official once Munoz passes a physical.  Munoz, 16, is represented by Kevin Bandel and throws a fastball "already touching 90 mph."  The right-hander also drew interest from the Diamondbacks, Rangers, Tigers and Twins.
  • Though Los Angeles doesn't currently have an NFL team, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell considers the city to be a league market, reports Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal.  As such, the NFL's cross-ownership rules would apply if Stan Kroenke (who owns the St. Louis Rams) wins his bid to buy the Dodgers.  If Kroenke indeed buys the team, Goodell told Bud Selig that the NFL "would move quickly" to resolve the issue.  (Both links are to Twitter.)