Jesse Litsch Rumors


East Links: Ortiz, Farrell, Guillen, Litsch, Red Sox

The Red Sox and Blue Jays are making progress on compensation talks for manager John Farrell, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. A contract between Farrell and the Red Sox won't be an obstacle once compensation is agreed upon. Here is the latest from baseball's two East divisions...

  • Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reports (on Twitter) that the Red Sox and David Ortiz did engage in contract talks earlier this week. A few days ago we learned that the slugger was still seeking two years and $25-30MM.
  • The status of Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is expected to be settled early next week, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Club officials will meet in New York to discuss the state of the team.
  • Jesse Litsch still feels pain in his throwing arm and has started to think about his post-playing career, perhaps coaching or scouting according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. The right-hander had two surgeries this year and could have a third soon. The Blue Jays recently outrighted him off the 40-man roster and he elected free agency.
  • Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale is unlikely to get the Red Sox gig as the club apparently has their heart set on Farrell, writes Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com.
  • Meanwhile, Hale told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) that he believes that his interview with the Red Sox went well. The coach added that he's unsure of when he'll he might hear back from the club.

Zach Links contributed to this post.



Jesse Litsch Elects Free Agency

Right-hander Jesse Litsch has elected free agency instead of accepting an outright assignment to the minor leagues, the Blue Jays announced. The team reinstated Litsch from the 60-day disabled list today at which point he elected free agency.

Left-hander Aaron Laffey and right-handers Shawn Hill, Bobby Korecky and Scott Richmond also elected free agency, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The Blue Jays had outrighted Hill, Korecky and Laffey last week.

Litsch missed the entire 2012 season due to injuries. He experienced a "career threatening" shoulder infection early in the year and underwent biceps surgery in June. The 27-year-old pitched 75 innings in 2011, posting a 4.44 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. In five MLB seasons he has a 4.16 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. Litsch earned $975K in 2012 and would have been under team control through 2013.



Quick Hits: Colon, Litsch, Rangers

Cory Luebke will undergo reconstructive elbow surgery on Wednesday, Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets. The Padres left-hander hasn’t pitched in the Major Leagues since April 27th and had been undecided as to his next step. Here are the rest of today’s links...

  • Jim Callis of Baseball America says Royals infield prospect Christian Colon will eventually move from shortstop to second base, where he can be a solid regular.
  • Blue Jays right-hander Jesse Litsch says he has a "career threatening" infection in his shoulder, Barry Davis of Sportsnet.ca tweets. Litsch, 27, has spent the entire season on Toronto's disabled list. He posted a 4.44 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 75 innings last year.
  • Former MLB outfielder Bobby Kielty told MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes that he signed with the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League. The 35-year-old has a career .296/.379/.503 batting line against left-handed pitching, but hasn't played in the Major Leagues since 2007.
  • There's still no resolution in the Jairo Beras-Rangers case, Ben Badler of Baseball America writes. Texas agreed to sign the prospect for $4.5MM, but MLB's questions about his age remain unanswered. International sources tell Badler MLB can't sign off on the deal if it wants to seem serious about rule enforcement in Latin America.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com wonders if the Rangers could be a fit for Roy Oswalt now that starter Neftali Feliz is on the disabled list (Twitter link). Click here for the latest Oswalt rumors.



Players To Avoid Arbitration

Tonight is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. Many teams will agree to terms with players before the deadline and we'll keep track of them here:

  • The Orioles have agreed to terms with Dana Eveland on a one-year, $750K deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Giants have agreed to terms with Mike Fontenot on a one-year deal for 2012, avoiding arbitration, MLBTR has learned. It's a $1.05MM deal, according to the Associated Press.
  • The Red Sox announced that they re-signed Matt Albers. He'll earn $1.075MM, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
  • The Padres agreed to terms with Chris Denorfia on a one-year deal, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (Twitter link). The deal is worth $1.165MM, according to Ronald Blum of the AP
    The Pirates agreed to terms with Jason Grilli on a one-year, $1.1MM deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Rockies agreed to terms with Kevin Slowey on a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Slowey obtains $2.75MM from the Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link). MLBTR had projected a $2.7MM salary.
  • The Blue Jays agreed to sign Jeff Mathis to one-year deal that guarantees the backstop $1.5MM in 2012, MLBTR has learned. The Blue Jays have since confirmed the move.
  • The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with Jesse Litsch (one-year, $975K) and Dustin McGowan (one-year, $600K) according to a team press release.
  • The Dodgers have signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year deal.
  • The A's announced that they agreed to terms with Landon Powell, Daric Barton and Adam Rosales on one-year deals for 2012. The A's aren't non-tendering any arbitration eligible players this offseason. Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group hears Barton will earn $1.1MM in 2012 (Twitter link). Rosales will earn $600K and Powell will earn $620K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Marlins signed Donnie Murphy to a contract for 2012, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). He'll earn $560K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Brewers announced that they signed George Kottaras to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. He'll earn $700K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with Humberto Quintero, signing him to a one-year deal worth $1MM, according to the team. MLBTR had projected a $1.2MM salary for Quintero.
  • The Angels agreed to terms with right-hander Jerome Williams on a one-year deal, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times (on Twitter). Williams agreed to sign for $820K with $120K in incentives, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (on Twitter).
  • Skip Schumaker is nearing a two-year deal with the Cardinals.



Players To Avoid Arbitration: Monday

Teams and players exchange arbitration figures tomorrow if they haven't already come to terms for 2011. That means plenty of players will likely avoid arbitration today. We'll keep track of them all right here and with our Arbitration Tracker; the latest updates are at the top of this post:



Morosi's Latest: Blue Jays, Sanchez, Correia, Holliday

Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com suggests the Blue Jays might want to set their sights on 2010, after which they stand to lose Lyle Overbay, Scott Downs, Scott Rolen, and Roy Halladay to free agency. Not to mention Cito Gaston and J.P. Ricciardi, whose contracts will both expire barring an extension. Morosi writes,

"Six pitchers currently reside on the disabled list, and ace Roy Halladay was a recent visitor. Vernon Wells and Alex Rios, signed through 2014, haven't been hitting. The team is in fourth place and would probably need to climb the standings quickly in order to convince ownership that additions to an $80 million payroll are warranted this month."

Morosi adds the following:

  • Halladay is not going anywhere.
  • Ricky Romero and Scott Richmond are most likely staying put, says Morosi, and I doubt anyone here disagrees.
  • Pitching is not a need for 2010 with the anticipated return of Jesse Litsch, Shaun Marcum, and Dustin McGowan.
  • The Jays are almost certain to keep Downs, who has become a premier reliever in the American League.

Morosi suggests, the Jays trade a pitcher or two to boost their team OPS which lags in the AL East behind the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays. Given the above, Morosi suggests Brian Tallet as a trade chip. "Tallet could be looked upon as a viable option for teams looking for a mid-rotation left-handed starter, particularly if the Mariners stay in the race and elect not to move Erik Bedard and Jarrod Washburn."

They may also look at dealing from their collection of right-handed setup men, such as Casey Janssen, Jeremy Accardo, Brandon League, or Jason Frasor. Just speculating here but Janssen may be the most attractive since he can start. As a reliever in 2007, Janssen had a 2.35 ERA in 72.2 IP with 6 saves before missing 2008 with a torn labrum.

Morosi has a few more bullet points to discuss:

  • Freddy Sanchez's contract contains an $8MM option for 2010 that automatically vests after 635 PAs, or only 600 if he makes the All Star team. So, it stands to reason that Sanchez will either make the All Star Team or see his trade value increase. This may be moot given Sanchez is on pace for 660 plate appearances. Morosi says one Mariners official doesn't think Pittsburgh is considering trading Sanchez. The M's have need for a pure hitter as well as a second baseman given concerns about Jose Lopez ability to stay at 2B long term.
  • The M's asked about Jeremy Hermida, but there wasn't a lot of movement. Morosi notes Hermida's trade value has fallen significantly.
  • Kevin Correia is pitching fantastically but the Padres haven't put him on the open market. Morosi doesn't report much excitement among other clubs.
  • Morosi says "one person in the industry who knows Oakland general manager Billy Beane well," guessed Matt Holliday will stay with the team so Beane could collect the compensatory draft picks. Morosi quotes the source: "Billy loves the draft."



Jesse Litsch To Undergo Tommy John Surgery

The Blue Jays have lost another starter. The AP reports that Jesse Litsch will undergo Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. Blue Jays starter Shaun Marcum is coming back from the same surgery while Dustin McGowan is recovering from shoulder surgery. Litsch hit the DL with forearm tightness after two April starts, but was expected back this month.

Last year the 24-year-old pitched to an ERA of 3.58 in 176 innings. So far in 2009 the Jays have pitched well behind Roy Halladay, as Brian Tallet, Scott Richmond, Ricky Romero, Casey Janssen and others have impressed.









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