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Jamey Wright Rumors
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.
The 35-year-old threw 21.1 innings for Cleveland, posting a 5.48 ERA with as many walks (nine) as strikeouts. Oakland would be Wright's eighth big league team if he were to join them at some point. He's got a 5.03 ERA in 1723.1 career innings, a sneaky high total.
The Indians released Mark Grudzielanek and Jamey Wright, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter). Both Grudzielanek and Wright were designated for assignment within the last week, when the Indians wanted to make room for Anderson Hernandez and Frank Herrmann.
Grudzielanek, 40 this month, signed a minor league deal over the winter. The second baseman was hitting .314/.368/.314 on May 16th, but has since slowed posted just a .456 OPS. At this point in his career, Grudzielanek has no power; none of his 30 hits this year have gone for extra bases.
Wright has a 5.48 ERA in 21.1 innings this year. The 35-year-old has allowed 25 hits and as many walks (nine) as strikeouts so far in 2010. Wright and Grudzielanek now appear on our list of 2010 free agents.
The Indians designated Jamey Wright for assignment to make room for Frank Herrmann, according to the team. Wright, 35, had a 5.48 ERA with 3.8 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 18 appearances this season. The righty has been a workhorse in recent years, averaging 70 appearances in 2008-09 with the Rangers and Royals.
Herrmann, a 26-year-old right-hander with an economics degree from Harvard, could be the middle reliever that manager Manny Acta is looking for. Indians relievers have combined to post a 5.58 ERA this year so Acta would like a more reliable bridge to Tony Sipp, Chris Perez and Kerry Wood. In 19 Triple A appearances this year, Herrmann has a 0.31 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9.
Despite owning the second worst record (19-31) and run differential (-64) in the American League, Indians' GM Mark Shapiro is under no orders from CEO Paul Dolan to make trades and cut payroll like he has during the last two seasons, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes.
"We are not actively engaged in talks about anyone right now," said Shapiro. "The season's natural cycle will dictate when we consider some alternatives. We're not mandated to make any trades for monetary reasons.
"We'll look at each trade (possibility) as an opportunity to acquire talent and it's budgetary impact. But the acquisition of talent will be the primary driver."
Shapiro indicated that he could explore trades involving "anyone in the last year of their contracts," so that includes Russell Branyan, Austin Kearns, Mark Grudzielanek, Jhonny Peralta, Mike Redmond, Jake Westbrook, and Jamey Wright. Even if they move Westbrook, the Indians feel they may have a chance to re-sign him after the season as a free agent.
Top prospect Carlos Santana is expected to be up at some point this season, but Shapiro did make sure to mention that his defense needs to improve, particularly his throwing. They plan on taking advantage of every day possible in the minors to help him develop, which shows that the team is looking for production on both sides of the ball, not just at the plate.
The Indians figure to be a prominent player at the trade deadline this year given their inventory, with Westbrook representing to be their most desirable chip. Even though he's still owed about $7.6MM this season, his 4.36 ERA in 11 starts might be a big enough upgrade to justify the cost for some teams.
Let's take a look at a few more assorted Friday links….
- After seeing Mike Leake earn a spot in the Reds' rotation without pitching in the minors, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon lists the other 20 drafted players who once made the leap straight to the show.
- The Giants officially optioned Buster Posey to Triple A Fresno, writes Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Earlier today, we looked at a potential timeline for when we could see Posey in the majors.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets that the Indians will pay $900K to purchase Jamey Wright's minor league contract. Wright had a provision in his deal that allowed him to opt out if he wasn't on the big league roster by today.
- Julio Lugo expects to see a good deal of playing time in Baltimore, according to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas says that the Rangers anticipate a "continued improvement" from Scott Feldman over the course of the contract they signed him to today. In a separate piece, MacMahon notes that recent addition Ryan Garko will have his playing time dictated, to a certain extent, by how Chris Davis fares early on against lefties.
- Corey Hart doesn't intend to let recent trade rumors involving him become a distraction, according to Anthony Witrado of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Links for Monday…
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post has the details of Todd Helton's new contract extension. He can void the deal if two of three general partners sell their controlling interest in the team, and it contains $13.1MM in deferred money at three percent interest.
- The Yankees could look to move Chad Gaudin soon, according to Rosenthal (via Twitter). In another tweet, he mentions that Clay Hensley can opt out of his contract with the Marlins if he's not on the roster by April 1st.
- Jim Bowden shows off his post-trade fist pump in his latest GM's Corner video for FOX Sports. Bowden asked a slew of GMs about their processes for making deals; Frank Wren estimated that less than ten percent of discussions lead to trades.
- In considering Jonathan Papelbon's future, WEEI's Alex Speier demonstrates just how risky large multiyear deals for relievers have been.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says the Blue Jays "will not settle for fringe prospects in return" for relievers Scott Downs and Jason Frasor, and they could use them to continue the rebuilding effort.
- Rosenthal adds that Gary Sheffield is talking to a NL club, though it's not clear which one.
- Meanwhile, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com notes that both Jamey Wright and Austin Kearns have out clauses in their contracts, but a club official said the provisions will not impact the makeup of the team. A source added that there are "no trades on the horizon" for Cleveland.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adrian Gonzalez | Austin Kearns | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Chad Gaudin | Clay Hensley | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | David Ortiz | Elijah Dukes | Gary Sheffield | Jamey Wright | Jason Frasor | Jonathan Papelbon | Miami Marlins | New York Yankees | Scott Downs | Todd Helton | Toronto Blue Jays
The Indians signed reliever Jamey Wright to a minor league deal, reports MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince. Wright, 35, posted a 4.33 ERA, 6.8 K/9, and 5.0 BB/9 in 79 innings for the Royals last year, earning $1.4MM. Among those with 50+ innings, Wright's 59.1% groundball rate ranked 11th in baseball. Only one remaining free agent was better: Mike MacDougal at 62.1%.
Other Indians non-roster invitees this year include Mike Gosling, Jason Grilli, Saul Rivera, Brian Buscher, Mark Grudzielanek, Luis Rodriguez, Shelley Duncan, and Austin Kearns. Mike Redmond is the team's only big league signing.