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Jared Wells Rumors
ESPN's Buster Olney hears that the Yankees won't be making a run at Stephen Drew and are expected to maintain the status quo (Twitter link). Likewise, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Yanks are likely at their spending limit, adding in a second tweet that a more likely move would be to swap a bad contract such as Ichiro Suzuki's for a comparably priced reliever. More free-agent related notes from around the league…
- Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN talked with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire yesterday and was told the team is circling back with one more notable free agent. "[Assistant GM] Rob [Antony] just called me the other day and told me they were gonna make another run at a guy, and I'm like, 'Wow that's pretty good,'" said Gardenhire. "So they did it, and whether it works out or not we'll see, and they're not done. … They're after it. I know that." Wolfson's hunch is that Gardenhire is not referring to Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana, but rather a bat or Bronson Arroyo (All links to Twitter).
- Among the teams with interest in reliever Luis Ayala are the Indians, Tigers, and Mariners, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The 36-year-old Mexican has unquestionably delivered results of late. Over the span of 2011-13, Ayala has a 2.58 ERA in 164 innings, landing him right outside the top 30 MLB relievers in ERA (min. 100 IP) over that time frame. Though Ayala's 3.85 FIP and 3.99 xFIP across the last three seasons may be cause to temper expectations, he has succeeded by consistently inducing grounders (51.4% GB%) and limiting homers (0.77 HR/9) at better than league average rates.
- Three teams watched righty Jared Wells throw on Wednesday, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 32-year-old has not seen MLB action since a brief stint in 2008, and played in Independent ball last year after spending a few seasons in the upper minors.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
Here's a roundup on players likely to sign minor-league contracts.
- The Phillies, Red Sox and Royals are among the teams in on Ryan Madson, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweets. Rosenthal also tweets, however, that Madson is unlikely to sign until after teams watch him pitch off a mound in February. Madson, who has struggled to return from elbow troubles, has not pitched in the big leagues since 2011, when he was with the Phillies.
- DH Jack Cust worked out for the Orioles this week, but it's unclear whether the team wants to sign him, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. "It's still under consideration," executive vice president Dan Duquette says. Cust did not play in 2013, but he posted a .243/.400/.442 line at the Triple-A level in 2012.
- Former Mariners and Padres reliever Jared Wells will work out for teams next week, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo tweets. Wells, 32, last pitched in the Majors in 2008. He played independent ball in 2013.
The Padres and Mariners worked out a minor trade, as they have many times in the past. The Padres acquired Cha Seung Baek for Jared Wells. Baek was in the 10-day limbo period after being designated for assignment. Paul DePodesta explains that the Padres have been eyeing Baek for some time.
Baek, 28, has a 4.96 ERA in 168.2 career innings for the Mariners. His best asset has been respectable control. The Ms signed Baek out of Korea for $1.3MM in ’98. Baseball America said back in ’05 that Baek succeeds by locating a full five-pitch repertoire. He had Tommy John surgery back in ’01.
Wells, 26, was shifted to relief at Triple A last year and picked up nine saves. His numbers have been ugly – tons of hits, poor control, mediocre strikeout rate. Baseball America notes his average slider and decent two-seam fastball.