Jamey Wright Rumors
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.
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).
- Miguel Olivo has been offered the $100k retention bonus and is still deciding whether to accept it, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- Austin Kearns and Casey Kotchman made the Marlins' 25-man roster, according to the team.
- Mets reliever Tim Byrdak will report to the minors and take the $100K retention bonus, MLBTR has learned. Byrdak is returning from August shoulder surgery.
- The Rangers told Derek Lowe that he has made the team as a reliever, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
- Chad Gaudin's contract was purchased and added to the Giants' roster, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.
- Chad Qualls made the Marlins' bullpen, MLBTR has learned.
- With Brandon Gomes being optioned to Triple-A, it looks like reliever Jamey Wright has made the Rays, tweets Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. The Rays have told both Wright and Juan Carlos Oviedo they will be added to the roster, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Oviedo had Tommy John surgery in September, so I imagine he'll land on the 60-day disabled list.
- The Pirates have committed to keeping Brandon Inge on the roster, tweets Sanserino, though he may start the season on the DL after being hit by a pitch.
- Reliever Pedro Feliciano accepted a minor league assignment from the Mets, tweets Marc Carig of Newsday, so he'll snag the $100K retention bonus.
- Jonathan Sanchez made the Pirates' rotation, tweets Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 30-year-old posted a 4.73 ERA with a 1.11 K/BB ratio in 13 1/3 innings this spring, but the Pirates saw something they liked.
- Lyle Overbay and Aaron Cook were released by their respective teams today.
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 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."
Here is the latest from baseball's two Los Angeles teams, even though one of them really plays in Orange County...
- The Dodgers added Jamey Wright to the 40-man roster today, creating room by placing Blake Hawksworth on the 60-day DL. The veteran right-hander will earn $900K this season, and Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times has a breakdown of his incentives package.
- MLB owners approved the three remaining Dodgers bidders on Wednesday according to Ronald Blum of the AP. Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times reports that the auction between Stan Kreonke, Steve Cohen/Patrick Soon-Shiong, and Magic Johnson/Stan Kasten will begin tomorrow.
- Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles wrote about Bobby Abreu's drama with the Angels, saying it's impossible to see the situation ending with anything other than ugly divorce.
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.