Jeremy Sowers Rumors
1:38pm: Sowers cleared waivers and will head to Triple A, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Sowers, 27 in May, posted a 5.25 ERA, 3.7 K/9, and 3.8 BB/9 in 123.3 innings for the Tribe last year. He was better in the minors, but it was his fourth Triple A stint (excluding one start made in '05).
Sowers was drafted 20th overall by Reds GM Jim Bowden in '01, but did not sign. He was known to be a very difficult sign prior to the draft, and already had a commitment to Vanderbilt. Three years later the Indians drafted the brainy southpaw 6th overall. His polish got him to Cleveland in '06, but he was never able to strike out big league hitters and his groundball rate dropped since that rookie season.
The Miami Herald reports that the Indians agreed to terms with nine players today.
Among the nine were Shin-Soo Choo, Aaron Laffey, Jeremy Sowers, Josh Barfield, Wyatt Toregas, Jon Meloan, Adam Miller, Anthony Reyes, and Tony Sipp.
Gammons' trade possibilities: Paul Byrd, Jeremy Sowers, Derek Lowe, Rich Harden, Odalis Perez, Brett Tomko, Jarrod Washburn, Zach Duke, Vicente Padilla, and Kevin Millwood. Byrd, Lowe, Perez, and Tomko will be free agents after the season. Sowers and Duke are the kids. Harden is the oft-injured ace. Washburn, Padilla, and Millwood bring burdensome contracts.
Gammons also five "unlikely, but not impossible" scenarios. He suggests A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, Joe Blanton, Greg Maddux, and Ben Sheets could be moved under the right circumstances.
- St. Louis closer Jason Isringhausen is on the DL. But the Cards aren't going shopping for a replacement. At least, not yet. "Not at this time," Mozeliak said when asked if the club might be tempted to check out the market for relievers. "We're very fortunate that we have a lot of depth in relief, not only here but at Triple-A [Memphis]. A lot of this can be addressed internally."
- After today's press conference announcing Hanley Ramirez's six-year deal, Marlins officials said the baseball personnel staff has not recommended any other players receive multi-year contract offers. Dan Uggla, Mike Jacobs, Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen will all be arbitration-eligible at season's end.
- Cleveland's Jeremy Sowers, who turned 25 on Saturday, was sent back to Buffalo, where he is 2-2 with a 2.21 ERA in seven starts. Sowers made his second spot start of the season on Friday, giving up three runs and five hits over five innings. His ERA ranks fifth in the International League. Mike Aubrey takes Sowers' place on Cleveland's roster. With Akron, Aubrey was batting .277 with nine doubles, two homers and 16 RBIs in 24 games. The oft-injured Aubrey, who was Cleveland's first pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, might only be with the Tribe for a short while, if the team opts to go with seven relievers when it resumes its regular American League schedule on Tuesday.
Boston Globe baseball writer Nick Cafardo's Sunday column has new hot stove material, as usual.
- Cafardo notes that Kyle Snyder, Julian Tavarez, and Bryan Corey have all been heavily scouted by other clubs. Snyder is out of options, so he's a good trade candidate. Cafardo mentioned on Thursday that the Orioles were taking a look at Corey, who might return to Japan if he doesn't join a big league 'pen. I imagine the Sox are going to want the insurance Tavarez provides.
- The Phils are hunting for a southpaw reliever and another starter. Brian Fuentes remains on their radar, but they're competing with the Tigers and Yankees for him.
- The Indians could make southpaws Jeremy Sowers and/or Aaron Laffey available, if Cliff Lee maintains his spring success. Cafardo says the Cardinals, Phillies, and Astros are eyeing them.
Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal does some speculating on the Indians' third base, left field, and closer situations.
- Casey Blake's contract expires at the end of the season, and at age 35, Ocker doesn't believe that Indians' GM Mark Shapiro will re-up for him. Ocker points to two reasons why Andy Marte probably won't work out as the in-house solution to Blake's potential absence: he could be lost on waivers if he doesn't make the team as a utility man coming out of Spring Training, and he shows no sign of figuring things out and becoming an impact player. Check out his Dominican Winter League performance if you need further proof that the 24 year-old Marte is regressing: .198/.213/.260 with seven errors. Small sample size? Yes, but wowza!
- Who from the available 2009 free agent list could be had to man third base? Could Asdrubal Cabrera be shifted to shortstop, and Jhonny Peralta moved to third? If so, who could move in to play second in place of Cabrera?
- Ocker also speculates that Shapiro will allow Jason Michaels of the Michaels/David Dellucci platoon walk unless their productivity rises substantially. Michaels is slated to make $2.15MM this season, and the club has an option for $2.6MM in 2009. What about Ben Francisco? Could he be an option to take over for Michaels in the platoon?
- This could also be Joe Borowski's last year as closer in Cleveland, Ocker says. Borowski will be 37 in 2009, and it has long been speculated that Borowski is on the cusp of losing his job. Ocker points out that it is always tough to find a closer on the free agent market, but remarks that it's "questionable" that the role could be filled in-house. I still don't understand the reluctance to place Rafael Betancourt in the role. Anyone?
- Finally, Ocker wonders how Cliff Lee would handle losing the number five slot in the rotation to Aaron Laffey or Jeremy Sowers. Relying on Lee's response to last year's demotion -- which was one of surprise at a player with a multi-year contract being sent to the minors ($3.75MM this year) -- Ocker says that Lee has a sense of entitlement regarding the number five slot. Ocker says that is "fine as long as he holds up his end of the bargain."
In mentioning the possible Dan Haren trade, Buster Olney mentions the Indians as a sleeper pick. They haven't really been mentioned in relation to the 27-year-old righty, as talks have been dominated by the Diamondbacks. The Yankees and the Dodgers are the other teams Olney mentions as interested.
This would make Cleveland's rotation for 2008:
1. C.C. Sabathia
2. Dan Haren
3. Fausto Carmona
4. Jake Westbrook
5. Paul Byrd
Mentioned as A's bait are Jeremy Sowers, Aaron Laffey, and, of course, Adam Miller. It's unlikely that they'd be interested in players like Andy Marte and Josh Barfield, since a trade of Haren would signify the A's beginning to rebuild. They'd likely want players with little to no service time. They could, in addition, trade Joe Blanton and Huston Street as part of this process.
MLB.com's Jim Molony has his daily rumor summary up; check it out. New rumors:
- Molony's sources say the Marlins are now listening to offers for Dontrelle Willis. Might as well - what if the Mariners decide to offer Adam Jones? Many folks remain enamored of Willis's talent, if not his recent numbers.
- The Cardinals could shop Russ Springer or Juan Encarnacion. Springer is unlikely to be traded, however, because he has his son going to a specific school in St. Louis and the Cardinals respect that. Encarnacion is hitting decently at .293/.329/.471; it might be high time to unload the $6.5MM he's owed next year.
- Something seems to be going on in Cleveland; GM Mark Shapiro has been in Buffalo watching Jeremy Sowers and Aaron Laffey. Laffey was nearly called up recently. Not much talk about trading Sowers previously, but he might be an interesting chip. He's similar to Kevin Slowey. They might find success in the NL.
- The Tigers sent scouts to watch Joe Koshansky and Ian Stewart of the Rockies (rumor originated in the Denver Post). Not sure how those two teams match up, but a cheap Koshansky might be worth a look for Detroit at first base next year. Unless Carlos Guillen moves over.