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Jamey Wright Rumors
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.)
"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).
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.
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.
Here are some late night links as Thursday turns into Friday…
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports spoke to rival executives who believe the only three Mariners off limits in trade talks are Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, and Dustin Ackley. Impending free agents like Adam Kennedy, Jack Wilson, and Jamey Wright are certainly on the block, but pitchers Jason Vargas, Brandon League, and Doug Fister would be the most interesting trade candidates.
- The Blue Jays scouted Kevin Slowey's minor league rehab start on Wednesday night, tweets Morosi. They've had interest in him since Spring Training.
- MLB.com's Todd Zolecki says the Phillies are unlikely to add both a reliever and a right-handed bat before the trade deadline. Healthy returns from Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras could be all the bullpen help they need.
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 Mets-Phillies 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.
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.
Wright pitched in the Cleveland and Oakland organizations last season before signing with Seattle last July. He posted a 3.41 ERA in 28 appearances for the club and had a 61.2% ground ball rate overall with the M's and Indians. The 15-year veteran has pitched for eight different teams in the majors, plus his minor league stint with the A's last year.
As soon as he took over as D'Backs GM, Kevin Towers vowed to improve the Arizona bullpen. The team's relievers posted a 5.74 ERA last year, so Towers has a challenge ahead. The D'Backs play in Chase Field, a park so hitter-friendly the organization is considering ways to help pitchers. In particular, Chase Field is homer-friendly and has consistently been among the best launching pads in the game.
Towers will be looking for relievers this winter and he may be inclined to pick up pitchers who keep the ball on the ground. Here are some options the D'Backs may consider:
- Jamey Wright – The 35-year-old strikes out just 4.3 batters per nine innings, but his 62% ground ball rate placed him eighth among major league relievers with at least 20 innings pitched. Wright will be available as a free agent.
- Ronald Belisario – Belisario, who turns 28 in December, followed up his sensational rookie season (8.2 K/9, 2.04 ERA in 2009) with a disappointing year. He ran into personal problems and posted a 5.04 ERA. He still struck out twice as many batters as he walked and his 61% ground ball rate ranked tenth among big league relievers, so the D'Backs could have interest in trading for the promising righty.
- Bobby Jenks – Jenks is a non-tender candidate, so he could become a free agent within six weeks. The D'Backs coud use an ace reliever and Jenks boasts a 58% ground ball rate.
- Carlos Torres – A starter in the White Sox system, the right-hander just spent his third season at Triple-A. Torres, who turns 28 tomorrow, provides depth for the White Sox, but hasn't done much in two big league cameos. He limited opponents to 7.0 H/9 this year and posted a 48% ground ball rate.
- Chaz Roe – Roe, a 2005 first rounder, posted a 5.98 ERA at Triple-A and allowed 210 hits in 158 innings. The 24-year-old struggled as a starter, but the D'Backs could try to pry him away from the Rockies and hope that his 49% ground ball rate (14th in the PCL) translates to success in their 'pen.
The Mariners signed right-handed reliever Jamey Wright and added him to the major league roster, according to the team. In a related move, the club optioned Chad Cordero to Triple A Tacoma and Cordero opted to become a free agent instead of accepting the assignment.
Wright, 35, had been pitching at Triple A for the A's ever since. He struggled through 21.1 major league innings with Cleveland, posting a 5.48 ERA and walking as many as he struck out (nine). Wright allowed nine walks and 23 hits in 14 Triple A innings, striking out 16.
Cordero appeared in the majors for the first time since 2008 this year, walking five and allowing ten hits in 9.2 innings of work for the M's. The 28-year-old struck out five, but didn't recapture the form that saw him save 113 games for the Nationals from 2005-07.