Jason Donald Rumors
Today's minor moves...
- Reds infielder Jason Donald cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A, according to the International League transactions page. He'd been designated for assignment on Sunday. The 28-year-old hit .277/.365/.441 in 296 Triple-A plate appearances last year.
- The White Sox added righty Jason Berken to their Triple-A roster, tweets Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Berken, 29, tossed 19 2/3 big league innings in 2012, mostly for the Cubs, but was removed from their 40-man roster in October. For the Orioles' Triple-A club, he posted a 3.50 ERA, 6.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, and 0.63 HR/9 in 144 innings last year. Four years ago, Baseball America explained that Berken can throw strikes with any of his four pitches, but doesn't have swing-and-miss stuff.
- The White Sox also released outfielder Stefan Gartrell, tweets Gonzales. Gartrell had signed a minor league deal with an invite to big league camp. The 29-year-old hit .251/.335/.452 over 472 plate appearances last year for the Braves' Triple-A affiliate.
The Reds have designated infielder Jason Donald for assignment and outrighted right-hander Jose Arredondo to Triple-A, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Donald and Arredondo were both out of options. The Reds now have ten days to either trade, release, or outright Donald to the minors. Arredondo has already cleared waivers, reports Fay (via Twitter).
Donald, acquired from the Indians in the Shin-Soo Choo trade, was beat out by non-roster invitee Cesar Izturis. Fay tweets the deciding factor was Izturis' ability to play shortstop and serve as a backup to starter Zack Cozart.
Arredondo, who is in the final year of a contract he signed in January 2012 and will still be arbitration eligible in 2014 and 2015 as a Super Two, lost out to Manny Parra and Alfredo Simon for a spot in the Reds bullpen.
8:12pm: The Diamondbacks announced that they have acquired shortstop Didi Gregorius, left-handed pitcher Tony Sipp, and first baseman Lars Anderson from the Indians in exchange for right-handed pitchers Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw. The Reds are receiving Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald in the swap and are sending Drew Stubbs to Cleveland as well. The Indians will send the Reds approximately $3.5MM to account for the differences in projected salaries between Choo and Stubbs, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
The Reds will use Choo in center field even though he hasn't played there for the Indians since 2009 and has played just ten MLB games at the position in total. The Reds are banking on the 30-year-old's offensive production being able to make up for whatever they might lose defensively. The veteran owns a .289/.381/.465 slash line across eight major league seasons.
Choo, a Scott Boras client, is set to hit the open market after the 2013 season. The Indians have been said to have him available via trade, albeit with a high price tag. The Reds will plug Choo in as the leadoff hitter, a role they have been working hard to fill. The club spoke with the Twins about Ben Revere before he was traded to the Phillies and also had conversations with the Rockies about Dexter Fowler.
Stubbs, 28, struggled at the plate in 2012 as he posted a .213/.277/.333 batting line with 14 home runs in 544 plate appearances. The former eighth-overall pick in the 2006 draft has a .241/.312/.386 across four big league seasons with the Reds.
It was believed that the initial acquisition of Gregorius by the Indians would pave the way for them to deal fellow shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, but they instead flipped Gregorius and kept Cabrera. The 22-year-old Gregorius won't be arbitration eligible until 2016 and won't see the open market until 2019. The Netherlands native split time between Double-A and Triple-A last season, hitting .265/.324/.393 with seven homers in 561 plate appearances. The 27-year-old Cabrera, meanwhile, is set to earn $6.5MM in 2013 and $10MM in 2014 before hitting free agency. Gregorius entered 2012 as the Reds' sixth-best prospect, according to Baseball America. The publication also had him ranked as the organization’s best defensive infielder and deemed him to have the best throwing arm in the farm system.
Sipp posted a 4.42 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 63 relief appearances last season. The 29-year-old was a fixture in the Indians' bullpen, making 248 relief appearances with Cleveland from 2009-12.
The Indians acquired Anderson at the trade deadline this year from the Red Sox in exchange for Double-A starter Steven Wright. The 25-year-old posted a .250/.353/.396 slash line in 111 games for Triple-A Pawtucket and Triple-A Columbus. Anderson has also played in 30 big league games for the Red Sox across three seasons.
Bauer, 21, was the third overall selection by Arizona in the 2011 Draft out of UCLA. Baseball America had Bauer as the ninth-best prospect in baseball entering 2012. The hurler spent most of 2012 between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno where he had a combined 2.42 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 22 starts. Bauer became the first member of the 2011 draft to appear in the big leagues when he made four starts for the Diamondbacks in July.
Albers, 29, spent 2012 with the Red Sox and D'Backs, posting a 2.39 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 63 relief appearances. For his career, Albers owns a 4.68 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 across seven big league seasons.
Shaw, 25, spent the bulk of last season in the Arizona bullpen where he had a 3.49 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 64 relief appearances. The right-hander was taken in the second-round of the 2008 draft by the Diamondbacks and has seen time in 97 big league games across the last two seasons.
8:04pm: The portion of the deal involving the Diamondbacks and Indians has not been finalized, according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com (via Twitter).
7:50pm: The deal sending Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds has been completed, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The Reds will also receive Jason Donald in the trade, Heyman confirms (via Twitter).
The three-team deal that was being worked on had Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald going to the Reds, Didi Gregorius to the Diamondbacks, and Drew Stubbs plus an Arizona pitcher going to the Indians, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Patrick Corbin or Trevor Bauer will likely be the Arizona pitcher going to Cleveland, Rosenthal tweets.
Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com first reported that the Reds were close to acquiring Choo in a deal with the Indians netting them Stubbs and Gregorius. Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer reported that the D'Backs were involved, making it a three-team deal. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the framework of the trade.
The latest rumors from Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (all links go to Twitter)...
- The Tigers have tried hard to interest the Phillies in Brandon Inge without much success. Inge offers steady defense at third and has been learning second base this spring, but he earns $5.5MM in 2012.
- The Phillies tried to re-acquire utility player Jason Donald from the Indians, but Cleveland preferred to keep him. The Phillies drafted Donald in 2006 and sent him to Cleveland in the 2009 Cliff Lee trade.
- Teams inquired on Ubaldo Jimenez this spring, but the Indians don’t have interest in moving him, either.
- Scouts are watching Diamondbacks left-hander Mike Zagurski, since there’s a sense the Diamondbacks might trade him.
Leftover links for Tuesday evening....
- Perhaps we shouldn't count on the Mike Lowell rumor mill immediately roaring back to life. ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes says (via Twitter) that scouts don't feel Lowell is moving very well in spring action. Of course, as Edes points out in a second tweet, the 36-year-old doesn't move overly well even when he's healthy.
- Greg Cote of the Miami Herald thinks Lowell's limited mobility isn't as big a concern as long as he's playing first base, and would like to see the Marlins go after him.
- The Quintana Roo Tigers of the Mexican League released Tomo Ohka, tweets NPB Tracker. The Tigers had just signed the Japanese right-hander last week.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer assesses the progress of the players the Indians acquired in last season's Cliff Lee trade, focusing on Jason Donald.
- The Yankees have finally made their hiring of Kevin Towers official, naming him a Special Assignment Scout, per a team press release. It was first reported back in January that Towers would be joining New York's staff.
- Yesterday, we heard that the Mariners still have interest in Jarrod Washburn, but John Hickey of AOL Fanhouse tweets that the left-hander isn't close to signing yet with Seattle or anyone else.
- The Astros, not the Red Sox, signed minor-leaguer and former Mariners' first round pick, Michael Garciaparra, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
- If he were a GM tasked with signing either himself and Vladimir Guerrero, Marlon Byrd would make the same choice the Rangers did, according to ESPNDallas' Richard Durrett. Byrd says that before he signed with the Cubs, he had some preliminary discussions with Texas, adding that the Rangers' decision to sign Vladdy was a "no brainer."
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has his Sunday column up. Let's have a look.
- Cafardo expects the Red Sox to make another push for Felix Hernandez in the offseason. Hernandez's price tag could prove too high for Seattle to retain him; however, they are open to extending him. Before the deadline, the Red Sox reportedly offered a 5-for-1 deal for the ace that Seattle turned down.
- The Indians have yet to see dividends pay for the players they received for Cliff Lee. Cafardo writes, "Righty Carlos Carrasco is 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA (six homers in 14 innings); catcher Lou Marson is hitting .154; shortstop Jason Donald went on the disabled list in Triple A; and righty Jason Knapp underwent surgery to remove fragments from his shoulder."
- Cafardo wonders if the Nats would've dealt Cristian Guzman had they known Ian Desmond would emerge as their shortstop of the future.
- Chiming in on the Jason Bay or Matt Holliday discussion, Cafardo quotes scouts who seem to have him leaning toward Holliday as the better option, particularly for Boston.
8:00pm: FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal just heard from Ricciardi that the chances of Halladay leaving Toronto at this point are "very slim." Here's more from the general manager:
"We've said that we would listen, but that we would have to be motivated and 'wowed. Right now we haven't been. I've said all along my gut tells me I won't be. I still stand by that."
"If we get to the last week," Ricciardi added, "and haven't really made any progress with anybody, I'm not going to say it's 100 percent certain, but I would have to pretty much think it's not going to get done."
It sure sounds like the Blue Jays aren't going to lower their asking price.
7:38pm: Olney notes that the Rangers have also been handed a "this-is-what-it-would-take proposal by the Blue Jays in the last 72 hours." It's more about salary for Texas, though, than it is about prospects. Sources have deemed them "semi-alive."
7:18pm: Christian Caple of MLB.com passes along this little note:
[Halladay is] scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, but whether he makes that start is up in the air. Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said last week he wants Halladay assured of his future when he takes the hill for that outing -- in other words, if Halladay does pitch on Wednesday, supposedly, he won't be traded before the deadline.
This goes back to the self-imposed pre-July 31 deadline that Ricciardi suggested in early July. It'll be interesting to see if they stick to it.
5:21pm: According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the prospect-heavy Rangers "are talking to the Blue Jays about Halladay and they have asked the Indians about Lee... but financial considerations may make any deal tough. As Sullivan adds, "The Rangers are unlikely to take on a significant salary in any deal."
4:54pm: FOX Sports reports that the Red Sox remain in the mix for Halladay as well, and the Jays have made a multiple-prospect proposal in recent days. The Jays still prefer not to deal within the division, however.
2:05pm: Jon Heyman provides an update, via Twitter, stating that the Phillies are beginning to consider Cliff Lee as an alternative to Halladay. Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirms this, and adds that the Phillies are expected to have a scout watching Lee in Seattle. Martino also tweets that Toronto is scouting Dominic Brown today.
11:16am: ESPN's Jayson Stark is reporting that the Blue Jays have rejected the Phillies latest offer of Carrasco, Donald, J.A. Happ and outfielder Michael Taylor. The Jays are telling interested teams they are only going to deal Halladay if they are "wowed" by an offer.
9:45am: Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports says that as of Saturday night, the Angels "were of the mind to remove themselves from the Roy Halladay talks, believing they were never going to come close to the Blue Jays’ asking price of Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, Brandon Wood and a prospect such as outfielder Peter Bourjos."
9:36am: Late last night we learned that the Phillies were "trying to steer" the Blue Jays towards a package centered around prospects Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald for Roy Halladay, but no agreement was imminent. Let's start the day off with a a few Halladay-related links, and add to them as we go. Make sure you check back in for updates throughout the day.
- Helene Elliott of The LA Times reports that "Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti has said the Blue Jays have identified three players on the Dodgers' major-league roster that they'd take for Halladay, but Colletti hasn't exuded optimism that a deal will get done."
- Andy Martino of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes about how all the trade talk has impacted the Phillies clubhouse.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Jays aren't likely to deal Roy Halladay within the AL East and will likely seek premium bats and shortstops in possible deals, since Marco Scutaro becomes a free agent after the season. Heyman hears that Halladay would likely be open to playing for most contenders. Here are some details and more rumors:
- The Jays had interest in Phillies shortstop prospect Jason Donald last year.
- Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi won't publicly rule out any destinations, but it would be much more bearable for the Jays and their fans to see Halladay pitching in the NL, or at least outside the AL East.
- Heyman wonders if the Giants could have interest. Imagine a rotation with four Cy Young Award winners plus Matt Cain. However, the Giants say they're looking for offense.
- One White Sox official says the team wouldn't have traded Gordon Beckham straight up for Jake Peavy, but they would likely have to consider dealing Beckham if they want Halladay.
- Heyman hears the Cardinals may not have the prospects to acquire Halladay. Brett Wallace and Jess Todd would presumably interest the Jays.
- Could the A's simply hold onto Matt Holliday and collect draft choices? They'd have to risk paying him $15MM or so in arbitration next year to do so and Heyman thinks it's a possibility.
- The D'Backs don't think they're hearing good enough offers for Doug Davis.
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com calls this one of the slowest-moving trade markets in a while, but provides lots of rumors anyways:
- Teams are making introductory calls now to set the tone for the next five weeks.
- One official looking to add a reliever says no one is available.
- With so few teams willing to part with players, sellers are asking for a lot.
- The Brewers, Dodgers, Phillies and Mets are among the teams to call about Cliff Lee. The Indians would still have to be overwhelmed to part with him.
- The Cubs have considered trying to reacquire Mark DeRosa.
- They've also done some preliminary searching for a bat, but they're not sure where they'd play a new hitter so that gives the versatile DeRosa extra appeal.
- Stark's heard nothing to suggest Bobby Valentine will end up managing the Nationals.
- The Phillies have given indications that they'd part with Michael Taylor and/or Jason Donald in a deal for a top starter.
- However, they won't listen on these players: Dominic Brown, Lou Marson, Kyle Drabek, Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco and Antonio Bastardo.
- Doug Davis and Ian Snell aren't Phillies targets.
- The Rays are looking for long-term upgrades. They'd like to acquire "the next J.P. Howell."
- They're asking about young corner outfielders, rather than Jermaine Dye types.
- Pedro Martinez still wants a $5MM salary (prorated) plus incentives, so don't expect him to sign soon.
- The Reds have the best minor leaguers in the division and some could become trade chips.
- The Mets checked in on Garrett Atkins.
- Tony Reagins believes 2009 free agent Vladimir Guerrero can still hit.
- At least one scout can't imagine Adrian Beltre being traded. Makes sense, given his shoulder injury and contract.
More links for Wednesday afternoon...
- CBS Sports reports that Orlando Hernandez is set to begin pitching for the Rangers' Triple A team in Oklahoma City.
- The Rangers are preparing another Triple A pitcher for the major league staff, but this one's two decades younger than El Duque. Neftali Feliz is now pitching out of the bullpen, according to Evan Grant of D Magazine.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Cubs hope to get Aramis Ramirez back in action before determining whether they will make a deadline deal.
- Who knew the Braves added John Halama to their minor league system? Check out Baseball America's latest minor league transactions for more.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo breaks down the pro debuts of some 2009 draftees.
- Phillies prospect Jason Donald isn't letting the rumors about his future distract him, according to Scott Lauber of the News Journal.
- Be sure to follow MLBTR on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook while you're at it.