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Adam Dunn readily admits that he's frustrated with the White Sox's 2013 season, but at the moment, he doesn't anticipate retiring this winter, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. “I think we went down this road before: the day that I quit having fun and quit enjoying making a struggle to come to the ballpark or not enjoying the competition out there is the day I will go home, whether it be tomorrow, whether it be ten years from now," Dunn said. "I’m still enjoying the competition. It’s just tough losing when you have such high expectations.” Here's more out of the AL Central..
- Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman has left The Legacy Agency and is now represented by SFX, sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Bonderman, who was moved to the bullpen after signing a minor league deal with Detroit, will be a free agent this winter. You can keep track of everyone's representation using the MLBTR Agency Database.
- The Twins made a run at second baseman/left fielder Kensuke Tanaka last winter, but Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter) would be surprised if they still had interest. The Giants designated Tanaka for assignment yesterday. The 32-year-old hit .329/.400/.397 in 400 plate appearances for San Francisco's Triple-A affiliate this season.
- Earlier today, we learned that Paul Konerko intends to play next season, despite hinting at retirement this season.
We'll keep track of today's minor moves here..
- The Tigers have signed right-hander Jeremy Bonderman to a minor league contract and he will report to Triple-A Toledo, the team announced on its Twitter feed. Bonderman rejoins the Tigers organization, where he pitched from 2003-2010, after refusing an outright assignment by the Mariners Thursday and electing free agency. The 30-year-old was designated for assignment Monday after posting a 4.93 ERA, 3.8 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 0.94 HR/9, and 42.5% groundball rate in 38 1/3 innings over seven starts for the Mariners.
- The Indians announced that they have outrighted catcher Omir Santos to Triple-A Columbus. Santos, who has experience in parts of five MLB seasons with the Orioles, Mets, Tigers, and Indians, has a career .266/.303/.351 slash line at the Triple-A level.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
On this date ten years ago, the Marlins were making a surprising wild card push and traded for one of the best available relievers, Rangers closer Ugueth Urbina. Double-A first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was part of the package going to Texas. The first overall pick by the Marlins three years prior, Gonzalez began the year at Triple-A following offseason wrist surgery, but had been demoted to Double-A in May. Said Marlins GM Larry Beinfest at the time, "In Adrian, we thought we were dealing in an area of strength, but we wanted to do something now." Beinfest was referring to first basemen Derrek Lee and Jason Stokes. The Marlins installed Urbina in a setup role and went on to win the World Series. John Hart was the man behind the Urbina signing and trade as Rangers GM.
Two years later, Hart stepped down to make way for the youngest GM in MLB history, 28-year-old Jon Daniels. Daniels later admitted to WEEI's Alex Speier his new front office "tried to step on the gas before we were ready," and with Mark Teixeira entrenched at first base, Gonzalez, Terrmel Sledge, and Chris Young were traded to the Padres for Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka. Today's minor moves, as we ponder the status of Urbina's comeback attempt…
- Jeremy Bonderman has refused an outright assignment from the Mariners and elected free agency, the team announced. He was designated for assignment on Monday. In 38 1/3 innings for Seattle this season, the 30-year-old posted a 4.93 ERA with more walks (17) than strikeouts (16). It was his first MLB action since 2010 and the only time he has pitched for a team other than the Tigers.
- The Brewers signed lefty Aaron Laffey, announced the team's player development department on Twitter early today. The 28-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Mets in December, was designated for assignment in April, claimed by the Blue Jays, designated days later, elected free agency, was signed by the Dodgers, and opted out of his deal with that club earlier this month. He made five big league appearances this year, and also tossed 61 Triple-A innings for the Dodgers, with much more success on the road than at Isotopes Park. There is no opt-out in the Brewers deal, MLBTR has learned.
- Five players currently reside in DFA limbo: Travis Ishikawa of the Yankees, Joe Gardner of the Rockies, Cole Gillespie of the Giants, Jeremy Bonderman of the Mariners, and Adam Rosales of the Athletics. The Mets asked for unconditional release waivers for Brandon Lyon on Tuesday.
Bonderman, 30, had his contract purchased by the Mariners in June, at which point he made his first MLB start since October 2010. After 63 2/3 lackluster Triple-A innings, Bonderman posted a 4.93 ERA, 3.8 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 0.94 HR/9, and 42.5% groundball rate in seven starts for Seattle. Bonderman had elbow surgery in April 2012 and signed a minor league deal with his home-state Mariners in December of that year.
Bonderman was drafted 26th overall by the Athletics out of high school in '01, and was quickly traded to the Tigers as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Carlos Pena to Detroit, Ted Lilly to the Athletics, and Jeff Weaver to the Yankees. After just 27 minor league starts, Bonderman debuted for the Tigers in '03 at age 20. He had an upward trajectory until shoulder surgery derailed his career.
When players with significant Major League experience settle for minor league contracts, it's commonplace for these deals to contain opt-out clauses. If the player hasn't been added to the 25-man roster by a certain point, he can exercise the clause and seek employment with another organization. Such clauses aren't always made publicly available, but here's a list of some of the pitchers who have known opt-out dates that are nearing…
- Chien-Ming Wang, Yankees: Wang can opt out of his contract on May 31. In five starts spanning 31 2/3 innings at Triple-A thus far, the 33-year-old has a 2.84 ERA, 4.3 K/9 and 1.1 BB/9. The Yankees have said they don't feel Wang's minor league success will translate to the Majors just yet, as they want him to rely more on his breaking pitches than just his sinker.
- Tim Stauffer, Padres: Stauffer can opt out of his deal "around June 1," according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. He appeared in just one game for San Diego before needing season-ending surgery but posted a 3.24 ERA in 341 1/3 innings for the Friars from 2009-11. So far in Triple-A, the 30-year-old has a 3.16 ERA, 8.0 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 42 2/3 innings.
- Sean O'Sullivan, Padres: Currently Stauffer's rotation-mate, O'Sullivan has the same opt-out clause in his contract (near June 1) despite being just 25 years of age. O'Sullivan has a 4.19 ERA, 8.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 43 innings for Triple-A Tucson. He's had a rough time in the Majors, however, as evidenced by his 6.13 ERA in 193 2/3 big league innings.
- Jeremy Bonderman, Mariners: Bonderman's opt-out date is June 1, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. Still just 30 years of age, Bonderman has been solid for Triple-A Tacoma. He's pitched to a 3.70 ERA, 5.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in eight starts spanning 48 2/3 innings. Olney feels Bonderman will opt out if he's not called up in the next couple of weeks, and I'm inclined to agree.
- Jair Jurrjens, Orioles: Jurrjens has an opt-out date of June 15. After a drastic fall from grace in the Braves organization, the 27-year-old has looked sharp at Triple-A Norfolk in 2013. He's compiled a 2.62 ERA, 5.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in seven starts spanning 44 2/3 innings.
All of the pitchers listed here have pitched well enough that they could make a case for helping a Major League team with a struggling rotation. It seems likely that by mid-June, each could force his way onto a Major League roster, even if it's with a new organization. If you see a notable omission with a known opt-out date, speak up in the comments section.
Here's a look at items out of the Western divisions..
- The Dodgers look great on paper, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com wonders if chemistry issues could hurt them in 2013. Plenty of players, coaches, and executives associated with the Marlins say that Hanley Ramirez will become a problem with the Dodgers just as he did in Florida. Same goes for people tied to the Red Sox who feel that Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford aren't as great for a team as some people believe.
- Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis says that he has no doubt that Jeremy Bonderman's comeback attempt will be a success, Knobler writes. Bonderman, who inked a minor league deal with the M's this winter, hasn't decided whether he will agree to go to Triple-A if he's asked to. However, Knobler writes that it seems likely that he would if it's a short term thing.
- Yesterday, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle suggested that Brett Pill could be a trade candidate for the Giants given their depth at first base. However, a deal isn't in the cards right now as he is set to undergo knee surgery tomorrow that will sideline him for three weeks, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com (on Twitter).
- Jeremy Bonderman told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times (on Twitter) that he’ll get a shot at cracking the Mariners‘ starting rotation. He adds that the M’s did not go out to see him throw prior to signing him.
- The Athletics asked to remain in the Oakland Coliseum for five more years in a proposed agreement that would delay the target for their move to San Jose until 2018, writes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The A’s lease is currently set to expire after this season. The club has waited almost four years for Commissioner Bud Selig to approve or reject the proposed move to San Jose.
- Cuban prospects Aledmys Diaz and Dariel Alvarez are working out in Mexicali, Mexico and will audition for scouts on January 5th, a source tells Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com (on Twitter). Alvarez, a 24-year-old outfielder, and 22-year-old shortstop Diaz were profiled by Sanchez in November.
Jeremy Bonderman has agreed to a minor league deal with the Mariners, with an invitation to spring training, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Washington native is coming off of elbow reconstruction surgery.
Bonderman fielded calls from a dozen clubs this offseason with the Tigers and Nationals also showing serious interest. The right-hander dropped 35 pounds from his frame and is set to start throwing again in January. For his career, Bonderman owns a 4.89 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 across eight seasons with Detroit.
We rounded up one set of free agent rumors earlier in the day, but as we approach late afternoon in Nashville, it's about time for a fresh batch….
- Recently non-tendered third baseman Jack Hannahan has a big league offer from an AL Central team, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It could be the Twins, who met with his rep yesterday according to Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500.
- The Mariners contacted Raul Ibanez's agent, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
- Shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima seeks a three-year deal, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan, but teams are hesitant.
- Takashi Saito, who turns 43 in February, would like to pitch another year in the U.S., tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.
- The Mets have considered the idea of signing Mark Reynolds to play in the outfield, but his price tag may be too high for their liking, tweets Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
- Davidoff also tweets that the Yankees have met with Eric Chavez's agent at the Winter Meetings and expressed an interest in bringing back Chavez.
- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke tells Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that the Brewers have "definite interest" in Jason Grilli, but only at a reasonable price (Twitter link). Milwaukee continues to seek both starters and relievers, but doesn't have the money to make a play for someone like Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse, says Scott Miller of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
- Jeremy Bonderman, who is attempting a comeback, could have a deal in place by the weekend, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
The Marlins‘ colossal deal with the Blue Jays has some wondering if Giancarlo Stanton will be the next big name shipped out of Miami, but that may not be the case. Outside executives tell Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter) that of all the players the Marlins floated at the GM meetings, Stanton was not among them. Here’s more from around baseball..
- Multiple sources tell Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that the Giants are confident that they’ll be able to re-sign Marco Scutaro. The veteran would likely return on a two-year deal.
- Torii Hunter left his meeting with the Tigers today without a deal or a formal offer, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Several officials still see Detroit as the frontrunner for him, however. We kept track of the latest on Hunter in one handy post on Tuesday.
- The Red Sox made a push for Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes, but the Blue Jays just blew the Marlins away, a source tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).
- Infielder Steven Tolleson agreed to terms on a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). Kubatko adds that the Orioles would have liked to retain him.
- More than a dozen teams have checked in on free agent pitcher Jeremy Bonderman, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Bonderman has an offer in hand from the Tigers and the Nationals are among the dozen teams with interest, Olney tweets.
- The Red Sox are among the teams in contact with Jason Bay as he considers his options for 2013, tweets Olney. Bay is looking for a solid opportunity as well as familiarity and Boston would obviously provide the latter.