Jason Isringhausen Rumors

Quick Hits: Tigers, Harvey, Isringhausen, Int’l Money

The Yankees turned the first 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play in Major League history tonight in the eighth inning of their 5-2 win over the Orioles.  Manny Machado was the unlucky Oriole who put the ball into play and he represented the third out while he was caught between first and second base.

Here are some news items from around the majors as we head into the weekend…

  • Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski has spoken to an opposing GM about a closer within the last week, Dombrowski told Jim Bowden during an interview on MLB Network Radio (Twitter link).
  • The Mets haven't had any internal discussions about offering Matt Harvey an extension, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal reports, and likely won't do so until after the season at the earliest.  Costa hears from a team of business students who project a four- or five-year deal worth $30-$35MM following the 2014 season as a fair possible extension for Harvey, though Costa wonders if Harvey (and agent Scott Boras) would agree to such a contract.
  • Jason Isringhausen hasn't officially retired since he is open to pitching again in the right situation, but the veteran reliever tells FOX Sports Midwest's Ben Frederickson that "as of last year, I left on my terms. So, if it never happens again, I'm perfectly happy."
  • Now that teams can trade from their pools of international bonus money, Baseball America's Ben Badler looks at which clubs might look to acquire or sell some of their funds this summer.
  • In an ESPN Insider piece (subscription required), Jim Bowden discusses why he thinks a Jurickson Profar-for-Oscar Taveras deal would work for both the Rangers and Cardinals.  Such a swap would be what Bowden calls a "challenge" trade that can shape a franchise, akin to the one he made as Reds GM in 1992 when he dealt Paul O'Neill to the Yankees for Roberto Kelly.  Of course, as Bowden notes, that deal backfired badly for him: "True, that O’Neill-for-Kelly deal will haunt me to my grave, but it was the gutsiest trade I’ve ever made."
  • A Profar-for-Taveras deal wouldn't make sense for the Rangers at this time, ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett opines.  Rather than deal for another prospect, Durrett argues Texas could move Profar as part of a package for a proven Major League star like David Price or Giancarlo Stanton.  Or, the Rangers could simply keep Profar for themselves and instead move Ian Kinsler to first base or the outfield to make room.

Jason Isringhausen Takes College Coaching Job

Jason Isringhausen has taken a volunteer job as pitching coach for the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville baseball team, the SIUE website announced.  Despite this position, Isringhausen hasn't retired and is still working out in hopes of landing a contract with a Major League club, the right-hander's representatives at the Beverly Hills Sports Council said (Twitter links).    

Isringhausen said in September that he was about 70 percent certain he'd retire, though we heard in December that he wanted to keep pitching in 2013 and had interest from a few teams.  Isringhausen's career numbers include a 3.64 ERA, 7.4 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and an even 300 saves over 1007 2/3 innings.  The 40-year-old posted a 4.14 ERA with a 44.5% ground ball rate in 45 2/3 innings with the Angels in 2012.

Isringhausen To Return; Three Teams Interested

Jason Isringhausen said in late September that there was a 70 percent chance he'd retire, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that Izzy will return for a 17th Major League season. Three teams are already interested, according to Heyman.

Isringhausen, who turned 40 in September, pitched to a 4.14 ERA with a 6.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and a 44.5 percent ground-ball rate in 45 2/3 innings for the Angels in 2012. Over the course of his lengthy career, the right-hander has a 3.64 ERA with exactly 300 saves in 1007 2/3 frames for the Mets, Athletics, Cardinals, Rays and Angels. Given the amount of teams that are on the lookout for bullpen help each offseason, he should be able to secure a low-risk, one-year deal.

Angels To Pursue Pitching, Hunter

The Angels will make significant changes to their roster following a season that included many positive developments before ending in disappointment, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports. The team enters the offseason with a number of top priorities: re-signing free agents Zack Greinke and Torii Hunter, adding at least one more starting pitcher, improving the bullpen and trading Vernon Wells.

The Angels will likely let Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, LaTroy Hawkins, Jason Isringhausen and Maicer Izturis go, DiGiovanna reports. Haren has said he’d consider returning for less than the value of his $15.5MM option. Santana recently suggested he’s prepared for a change if the Angels decline his 2013 option, as expected.

The Angels have “a tremendous interest” in re-signing Hunter, general manager Jerry Dipoto said. The GM confirmed that the Angels would “like to explore” contract talks with the agent for Greinke. Both players have significant leverage after playing well in 2012, but Dipoto pointed out that the Angels have “never been short of resources." Just don’t expect them to use those resources on relief pitchers. Spending lavishly on relievers "is akin to going to Las Vegas and throwing it down on double-zero green," Dipoto said.

Angels Notes: Isringhausen, Greinke, Weaver

The Angels trail the Athletics by two games with one week remaining in the regular season schedule. Here are some notes on the team’s offseason plans from Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com

  • Reliever Jason Isringhausen estimates that there’s a 70% chance he’ll retire after the season, Gonzalez reports. Isringhausen said he misses his family but added "there's no telling what will happen once I get home." 
  • Right-hander Jered Weaver indicated that he won’t mind if the Angels sign Zack Greinke to a contract that’s larger than his five-year, $85MM deal. "Whatever they have to do to make our team better," Weaver said. Greinke, the top free agent starter available this offseason, figures to obtain a contract worth $100MM-plus.
  • Weaver would have been a free agent this winter if he hadn’t re-signed with the Angels, but he sounds content to have a contract in place. "That's why I got my deal done a year ago," he said.

Quick Hits: Isringhausen, Mets, Francis, Brewers

"One of a GM's biggest tasks is to have the understanding and power to manage up (his ownership) as well as manage down (his manager)," said a GM to MLB.com's Peter Gammons (Twitter link). Here is the latest from around the league…

  • Jason Isringhausen told reporters (including MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez) that he won't accept an assignment to Triple-A if he loses his roster spot when Jordan Walden returns from the DL (Twitter link). The 39-year-old has pitched to a 4.02 ERA in 40 1/3 innings for the Angels this year.
  • A former Mets executive told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter) he believes the club will nontender Andres Torres in December.  The 34-year-old, who is earning $2.7MM this year, is hitting .234/.343/.337 with two homers in 309 plate appearances.
  • There are "strong indications" that the Rockies will make a push to re-sign Jeff Francis after the season, reports Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. The 31-year-old southpaw has pitched to a 6.07 ERA in 15 starts since returning to Colorado earlier this year.
  • "Nothing happens quick in the off-season," said Brewers GM Doug Melvin to Todd Rosiak of The Journal Sentinel. "You wait until the GM meetings, the winter meetings. The only free agents that sign early are the ones who get overpaid … We'll determine what level of involvement we'll have with free agents. I don't know that we'll be that heavily involved. I know the list that's out there."
  • Hal McCoy of The Dayton Daily News argues that the Reds should pick up the team's $5MM club option for outfielder Ryan Ludwick next season. The 34-year-old has hit .271/.339/.568 with 23 homers for Cincinnati this season.

East Links: Podsednik, Carroll, Thomas, Izzy, A-Rod

AL MVP runner-up Jacoby Ellsbury sublexed his shoulder in yesterday's game and there is no timetable for his return (Twitter link). The Red Sox will call up Che-Hsuan Lin to take his roster spot. Here's the latest from baseball's two East divisions…

  • Scott Podsednik could be an option for the Red Sox following Ellsbury's injury, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). The Phillies would let Podsednik out of his minor league deal for a big league job, and Rosenthal says they could also trade for a Marlon Byrd or Coco Crisp type later in the season.
  • With some help from a reader, Rosenthal speculates that the recently DFA'd Brett Carroll and Clete Thomas could also be fits for the Red Sox following Ellsbury's injury (Twitter links).
  • "I’m still thankful they gave me the chance," said Angels reliever Jason Isringhausen to Dan Martin of The New York Post, referring to his time with the Mets last season. Izzy said he spoke to the Mets about a return this offseason.
  • Alex Rodriguez hit his 630th career home run yesterday, tying him with Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth on the all-time list. Joel Sherman of The New York Post says his homer bonuses will become an issue for the Yankees if they intend to get under the $189MM luxury tax threshold by 2014. A-Rod will get $6MM each for his 660th, 714th, 755th, 762nd, and 763rd career homers.

Angels Notes: Abreu, Isringhausen

The Dodgers have generated most of the L.A.-related news this week, but there's plenty going on with the area's second team. Here are some updates regarding the Angels…

  • The Bobby Abreu trade appears to be dead or on hold, as the Angels have the veteran in today’s lineup, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears the deal fell apart (Twitter link). The Angels had discussed a trade that would have sent Abreu to the Indians.
  • Jason Isringhausen has made the Angels’ Opening Day roster, DiGiovanna reports. Isringhausen, who signed a minor league deal with the Angels last month, had also seriously contemplated retirement. The Angels will pay Isringhausen $650K in 2012.

Quick Hits: Cain, Hosmer, Team Values, Izturis

Ichiro Suzuki and Yoenis Cespedes are the early stars of this young 2012 season, with the rest of the league waiting until next week to catch up to the Mariners and Athletics.  Here's some news from around the majors…

  • Matt Cain reiterated to reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that Opening Day is the "cutoff" for contract talks between him and the Giants.  Cain said Giants GM Brian Sabean feels the same way.  Larry Baer, the team's CEO, discussed the Cain negotiations and more in a live chat with fans earlier today.
  • Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer is in no hurry to sign a multiyear contract, he tells Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.  "There’s a long time for that coming,” Hosmer said of a possible contract extension. “For me, I haven’t even experienced an opening day yet….I feel like it wouldn’t even be fair to this team to start thinking about that.”  Last January, MLBTR's Mike Axisa featured Hosmer as an extension candidate.
  • Sports business consultant Marc Ganis tells ESPN New York's Adam Rubin that if the Dodgers are worth $2.15 billion, it greatly raises the ceiling for the prices of baseball's big-market teams.  Ganis estimates the Yankees would be worth $4 billion, the Red Sox $2.5 billion and the Mets roughly $1.5 billion.  Only the biggest markets would have higher price tags, however, since they offer the most lucrative local broadcasting deals.
  • Also from Henry Schulman (Twitter links), Gregor Blanco says he chose the Giants over the Marlins in the offseason since San Francisco hitting coach Hensley Meulens promised Blanco a legitimate chance at a roster spot.  It looks like Blanco made the right choice, as he's poised to start the season in the majors after a big Spring Training.
  • Alexi Amarista's impressive camp has made him a candidate for a utility job with the Angels, but Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times says Amarista is too inexperienced at the big league level to make Maicer Izturis expendable.  Izturis' name has been connected to a few trade rumors this spring as several teams are in the market for infielders.
  • Cesar Izturis (Maicer's older brother) has been told he will make the Brewers' roster, says team media director Mike Vassallo (Twitter link).  Izturis' minor league deal with Milwaukee allowed him to ask for his release if he wasn't on the 40-man roster by March 30, but now his $875K salary for 2012 is guaranteed.
  • MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (via Twitter) predicts the Indians to make a "big roster reduction" on Saturday as the team starts to pare down its roster from its current 41-player state.  Bastian says the Tribe has been "looking at trades" as well, and indeed Cleveland has at least one notable deal reportedly in the works.
  • If the Angels cut Jason Isringhausen, the veteran reliever tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that he'll probably retire, though there's a slight chance he'll keep pitching if he gets the right offer.  "It depends on who's that team that might call, who they'd be," Isringhausen said.

West Links: Isringhausen, Giants, D’Backs, Dodgers

Earlier today we learned that the Padres are still talking about a contract extension with Cameron Maybin and will receive a low-level minor leaguer from the Cubs in exchange for former GM Jed Hoyer. Here's the latest from baseball's two West divisions…

  • Jason Isringhausen's contract with the Angels includes a base salary between $700K and $1MM with incentives, reports Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).
  • The Giants are not interested in Roy Oswalt, reports Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). The right-hander will look to sign at midseason, but would likely want to play closer to his Mississippi home.
  • The Diamondbacks offered Hiroki Kuroda a one-year deal worth $13MM this offseason, Tom Krasovic of West Coast Bias tweeted earlier this month. That's $3MM more than he took from the Yankees
  • Joe Torre and Rick Caruso have withdrawn their joint bid to purchase the Dodgers, reports Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Caruso could re-enter the bidding if team owner Frank McCourt agrees to include the Dodger Stadium parking lots in the sale.
  • "There were a lot of nights when I woke up at 3 o'clock in the morning staring at the ceiling," said Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com when talking about the Michael PinedaJesus Montero trade negotiations. "In the end, it was pretty simple: [The Yankees] needed a pitcher, and we needed a hitter. I hated to give up a guy like Pineda."