Jamey Wright Rumors

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.)

Quick Hits: Escalona, Duke, Garza, Soria, Lawrie

"I think very highly of my client," said Zack Greinke's agent to Brewers management when the two sides opened extension talks according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Greinke, of course, represents himself. The right-hander and his sense of humor will hire an agent at some point, but for now here are some links from around the league…

  • The Astros announced that left-handed reliever Sergio Escalona will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the season. "This probably makes us think about [Zach] Duke’s role if he doesn’t win a spot in the rotation," said GM Jeff Luhnow to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (Twitter link).
  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer told ESPN's Jim Bowden that he wants to sign Matt Garza long-term and build around the right-hander rather than trade him (Twitter link).
  • "I hope I stay here in Kansas City," said Joakim Soria to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. Soria will miss the season with Tommy John surgery, and the Royals hold an $8MM club option for his services in 2013. "I love this organization, I feel part of this family and I appreciate what they've done for me."
  • "I needed a fresh start. I needed a new team," said Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie to ESPN's Jayson Stark about his trade from the Brewers. Lawrie feels Milwaukee tried to change his effusive personality, though GM Doug Melvin disagrees.
  • John Grabow and Jamey Wright will earn $800K and $900K, respectively, if they make the Dodgers according to Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). Both pitchers have incentives based on appearances, maxing out at $500K (Wright) and $200K (Grabow).

Contract Details: Wright, Grabow, Theriot, Fontenot

Some contract details from a pair of rivals in the NL West…

  • Jamey Wright and John Grabow can opt out of their minor league contracts with the Dodgers on Sunday, reports Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). If the players opt-out, the team can keep them by adding them to the 40-man roster by March 30th.
  • Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter) that decision day for Ryan Theriot's contract is March 30th, not the 29th as previously reported. If the Giants cut him by the 29th, they'll only have to pay him one-fourth of his $1.25MM salary.
  • The same is true for both Mike Fontenot ($1.05MM) and Clay Hensley ($750K) according to Schulman (on Twitter). Their contracts become guaranteed if the Giants do not cut them before the 29th.

Dodgers Sign Jamey Wright

The Dodgers signed reliever Jamey Wright to a minor league deal with a spring training invite, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.  Wright is represented by Excel Sports Management.

Wright, 37, posted a 3.16 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 0.79 HR/9, and 58.2% groundball rate in 68 1/3 innings for the Mariners last year.  Among those with 60 innings, that groundball rate ranked fourth in the American League.

Wright will battle other Dodgers non-roster right-handed relief invitees such as Jose Ascanio, Angel Guzman, Shane Lindsay, Fernando Nieve, and Ryan Tucker for long relief work.  Here's a look at the remaining free agent right-handed relievers.

Quick Hits: Mariners, Slowey, Phillies

Here are some late night links as Thursday turns into Friday…

Quick Hits: Mariners, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Bailey

Friday night linkage..

  • The Mariners are receiving calls on Jamey Wright and Adam Kennedy, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • Both the Red Sox and the Yankees have scouts at tonight's MetsPhillies game, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has made the rounds of his minor league teams and is willing to part with pieces at the deadline, writes Steve Gilbert of MLB.com.  Club ownership has told Towers that he will have some financial flexibility if he wants to add some payroll at the Deadline.
  • The Athletics have received calls on Andrew Bailey, though their current position is that they would need to be overwhelmed by an offer, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • Ken Davidoff of Newsday looks at some of the best mid-season rentals in recent years.  No surprise here, No. 1 is the Brewers' acquisition of C.C. Sabathia in 2008.
  • Over at Fangraphs, Dave Cameron continues his 2011 Trade Value series with a look at players ranked No. 25-21.

Close Continues To Represent 12 Former CAA Clients

Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard and Derrek Lee aren’t the only former CAA clients agent Casey Close will continue to represent now that he’s at Excel Sports Management. Close told MLBTR that he still represents Tyler Clippard, Michael Cuddyer, Alex Gordon, Jerry Hairston Jr., Scott Hairston, Casey Kotchman, Ben Sheets, Marcus Thames and Jamey Wright

Close left CAA Sports in February and recently joined the New York-based agency Excel Sports Management. For the latest on all agencies and players, check out MLBTR’s Agency Database.