Jeff Suppan Rumors
The Cardinals have begun searching for starting pitching, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny are on the mend, so GM John Mozeliak is on the lookout. Since Lohse and Penny have uncertain timetables as they recover from injuries, manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan asked Mozeliak to look for help outside the organization.
The Cardinals could use arms soon, so they're not likely to pursue pitchers like Pedro Martinez, Braden Looper and John Smoltz, who have been inactive so far in 2010. La Russa and Duncan appear willing to discuss a reunion with Jeff Suppan, who was recently released by the Brewers. The club also appears interested in Kevin Millwood, according to Strauss, though the team would not likely be able to take on the remainder of Millwood's $12MM salary.
Jeff Suppan is a free agent now, after being released by the Brewers with over $10MM remaining on his contract. Suppan's new team would be on the hook for only the pro-rated league minimum. The righty is projected by ZiPS to post a 5.40 ERA from here on out. That's not appealing, but maybe a 4.75 ERA can be coaxed out of Suppan over a half-season.
A Cardinals reunion has been bandied about by some analysts, as the team could use a rotation arm given the injuries to Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny. However, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch would be stunned if the Cardinals show interest.
How about another former team of Suppan's, the Pirates? Back at the '03 trade deadline, the Bucs sent Suppan, Brandon Lyon, and Anastacio Martinez to the Red Sox for Mike Gonzalez, Freddy Sanchez, and cash. The Pirates currently have Jeff Karstens and Dana Eveland at the back end of their rotation, though Brad Lincoln is on the way and Charlie Morton is on the DL. What's the point in a rebuilding team letting Suppan soak up innings at an ERA over 5.00?
The Brewers would not commit a rotation spot to Suppan, and their starters have a collective 4.82 ERA. The reality is that he is not going to jump into anyone's starting five. Suppan could instead sign a minor league deal with a club like the Astros, and hope to get the call if Brett Myers and/or Roy Oswalt are traded a month from now.
The Brewers released pitcher Jeff Suppan, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. By my calculation, the Brewers still owe Suppan $10.08MM, which includes a $2MM buyout after the season.
Suppan has spent most of the 2010 season in mop-up duty, posting a 7.48 ERA, 5.0 K/9, and 3.7 BB/9 in 21.6 relief innings. He's been a release candidate dating back to spring. Brewers GM Doug Melvin, who signed Suppan to a four-year, $42MM deal in December of '06, had this to say:
"Jeff has always been a true professional. He gave his best effort to the organization, whether it was on the field or in the community. I am confident that he can return to a starting rotation with another organization. We wish Jeff and his family nothing but the best."
Melvin was overly optimistic to think Suppan was ever anything other than a high 4.00s ERA innings eater, as that's what he was even in his '06 platform year. A strong postseason record may have inflated Suppan's price. On a conference call with Brewers beat writers, Melvin alluded to the many bad free agent pitching contracts signed that winter.
Links for Tuesday, as Scott Rolen's big season continues...
- The Orioles should put manager Dave Trembley "gently out of his misery" and fire him, if you ask Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the D'Backs were smart to acquire Dontrelle Willis.
- Jack Moore of FanGraphs says Oliver Perez and Jeff Suppan have "parasitic" contracts.
- Paul Konerko told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that speculation linking him to the Angels is none of his business and a "non-issue" for him.
- If you're on your cell phone, consider checking out our mobile site at mlbtraderumors.mobi. It's a stripped-down version of the site that just shows headlines on the front page.
- The Cardinals could use a starting pitcher, and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch runs through some options. One official told AOL FanHouse's Ed Price about a rumor that Roy Oswalt would only accept a trade to the Phillies, Cardinals, or Yankees.
- Josh Willingham, Corey Hart, Jose Guillen, Luke Scott, and Garrett Jones are a few speculative names tossed out by FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi as offensive additions for the Athletics. Keep in mind, though, that Willingham is not known to be available and Jones is slugging .415.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wonders if the Pirates will release Akinori Iwamura, though he admits it'd be "an especially bitter pill for management."
- It's too early for the Rangers to think about trading Vladimir Guerrero, opines ESPN's Richard Durrett. They're only one game out!
- Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe looks at Theo Epstein's midseason work from years past. This year, Massarotti feels that adding a late-inning reliever is a priority.
- Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues hopes Kanekoa Texeira clears waivers and is offered back to the Yankees. ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that he thinks the Yanks would take him back if given the chance.
Perez is owed $20.2MM through 2011. He refused the Mets' minor league assignment and isn't helping the big league team. Not only is he a project, he's one that must be tinkered with in the Majors.
Gary Matthews Jr.'s contract qualifies as equally bad, but he's already on the Mets. A couple of Perez trade ideas:
- Perez and $8.8MM to the Brewers for Jeff Suppan. Suppan has $10.6MM left on his contract. The Mets save $800K here, about $500K beyond what they'd get back if they released Perez and he signed elsewhere. From the Brewers' point of view Perez at least has more upside than Suppan. The lefty would be reunited with pitching coach Rick Peterson, who was Perez's guide during the pitcher's initial Mets resurgence. The Brewers might require assurance that Perez would accept a minor league assignment in 2011 if necessary.
- Perez and $10.5MM to the Royals for Jose Guillen and Kyle Farnsworth. Guillen is owed $8.2MM, Farnsworth $3.6MM. This scenario has the Mets taking on $2.1MM to acquire Guillen and Farnsworth, about $550K of which covers what the Royals might get after releasing the two players.
Links for Sunday....
- Injuries have really soured the Royals' half of the Mark Teahen trade so far. Both Chris Getz and Josh Fields are on the disabled list, and the Associated Press reported today that Fields will undergo hip surgery that will likely end his season.
- Ethan Trex has an interesting article up on CNN.com that highlights some unusual contractual clauses over the years, including George Brett becoming partial owner of a Memphis apartment complex back in 1984 and Charlie Kerfeld receiving 37 boxes of orange Jell-O in 1987. Seriously.
- It looks like a trend is developing in the NL Central. A few days after the Cubs moved Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers will do the same thing with Jeff Suppan and his $12.5MM salary. As for Zambrano, the Cubs won't use him on back-to-back days for now, tweets MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tries to play matchmaker and work out a Carlos Silva-George Sherrill/Jamey Carroll trade between the Cubs and Dodgers. I'm not sure such a swap necessarily makes sense for either team, given the Cubs' lefty surplus and Silva's price tag next year.
- Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes that Victor Martinez is working overtime to improve his throwing, presumably hoping to silence the constant rumblings about the Red Sox shopping for a catcher.
- The latest mailbag from Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer includes a Carlos Santana update and an assessment of the Indians' free agent prospects following the 2010 season.
Action-packed links for Wednesday...
- NL offense rankings are up at RotoAuthority, courtesy of CHONE projections and the Baseball Musings lineup analysis tool. The Rockies are on top and the Padres bring up the rear, but plenty will change as the season unfolds.
- Two closers were named in recent days, and our Twitter account @CloserNews passed along the info instantly to allow you to make the winning fantasy pickups.
- The Rangers are attempting to work out a trade with the Giants that will allow them to retain Rule 5 lefty Ben Snyder, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Snyder already cleared waivers, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Sullivan also notes that Matt Treanor chose not to exercise his out clause; he's headed to Triple A.
- WEEI's Rob Bradford writes that although the Rangers are scouting Mike Lowell today and they're more interested in him than any other club, a deal is unlikely now and the Rangers would want the Red Sox to pay almost all of his salary. Bradford also notes that earlier this offseason, the Rangers expressed interest in Jed Lowrie.
- Free agent Kevin Millar hopes to continue his playing career, he explained on ESPN's Waddle & Silvy show.
- Diamondbacks second baseman Kelly Johnson strongly considered offers from the Blue Jays, Pirates, and Indians, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
- The A's feel that out of options players Eric Patterson and Jake Fox would not clear waivers, so they're likely to send Landon Powell and Adam Rosales down (Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reporting).
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy offers analysis and predictions for seven out of options pitchers.
- The Orioles are looking for a suitor for catcher Chad Moeller, who is "shocked and disappointed" about not making the team according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltmore Sun. Peter Schmuck feels that Moeller was a better choice than Craig Tatum.
- Jeff Suppan explained to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that he's not dealing with a phantom neck injury, despite the convenient timing.
- Though they could've saved $750K, the Nationals chose not to cut Scott Olsen according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs knows the Mariners, and he analyzes the organization's health in this article.
11:35am: MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that Suppan is throwing a simulated game today, as he's been dealing with a stiff neck.
8:13am: The Brewers have three pitchers up for their fifth starter job: Jeff Suppan, Manny Parra, and Chris Narveson. Though all three are in line to throw today, manager Ken Macha was evasive when asked about Suppan's schedule (Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporting). Macha also supplied a vague answer when asked if a roster move should be expected today.
A month ago, Suppan made our list of five overpaid veterans who could be released. The Brewers would have to assume his remaining $14.5MM, which doesn't strike Haudricourt as likely. The Brewers may choose to keep Suppan, Parra, and Narveson, but since Parra and Narveson are out of options, Carlos Villanueva would have to be demoted.
A trade could clear the logjam, though Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports wrote Saturday that the Brewers have not discussed Parra with other clubs.
Some notes from Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com...
- The Diamondbacks continue to pursue a number three or four starter in the wake of Brandon Webb's setback. A club official acknowledged that such a pickup was possible, but “I don’t think any team will be willing to give up that kind of pitcher at the start of the season.”
- Rosenthal says the team has infield depth to use in a trade, and reiterated that they'd love to move Chris Snyder and the $11.25MM left on his contract. The Rangers and Red Sox are said to be looking for infielders, and the Mariners could join them following Jack Hannahan's injury.
- The Tigers are shopping Nate Robertson, but Arizona doesn't consider him enough of an upgrade. Zach Duke and Paul Maholm are not available.
- The best available starter may be Chad Gaudin, who was released by the Yankees on Thursday.
- The Brewers considered a Jeff Suppan for Snyder trade, but didn't want to take on Snyder's 2011 salary. Suppan will earn $12.5MM this season, the final one on his contract.
- The Cubs do not expect to make a trade for a reliever before Opening Day, but they've scouted Jason Frasor and Scott Downs, plus Luke Gregerson of the Padres.
- Nick Green has an out clause in his minor league contract, but the Dodgers may add him to the roster to serve as the backup shortstop.
Saturday night linkage..
- The Orioles are in search of a lefty reliever, writes The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. The guy the O's really want is Will Ohman, as they extended him a minor league contract offer in late January. Japanese lefty Hisanori Takahashi and Joe Beimel are also options for the club.
- Joe McDonald and Daniel Barbarisi of The Providence Journal take a look at the big decision Boston will face - whether or not to re-sign Josh Beckett.
If the BoSox choose not to retain the 29-year-old, they'll have to
recognize that his replacement likely won't be found in free agency.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel praises GM Doug Melvin for stocking up on hurlers this offseason. Free agent pickups Randy Wolf and Doug Davis were brought aboard to help support Dave Bush, Jeff Suppan, Manny Parra, and Yovani Gallardo.
- Giants managing general partner Bill Neukom is not sure that the Giants' payroll will reach $100MM as has been originally reported, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco's payroll was $82.6MM to start the 2009 season.