Jesus Guzman Rumors

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

We'll keep track of today's smaller deals to avoid arbitration in this post. Click here for background on the upcoming arbitration schedule and how MLBTR is covering it. You can also check in on our Arbitration Tracker and look at MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz's arbitration projections.

Today's noon CT deadline to exchange arb figures has passed, but negotiations to avoid an arbitration hearing can continue into February. The Braves are the only strict "file and trial" team that did not agree to terms with all of its arb-eligible players, meaning they could be headed for several hearings. The Nats and Indians have also shown a willingness to go to a trial and still have some players unsigned. On to today's contract agreements…

  • After exchanging numbers, the Mets and pitcher Dillon Gee have agreed to settle at the midpoint of $3.625MM, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Swartz projected Gee to earn $3.4MM.
  • The Cubs have avoided arbitration with reliever Pedro Strop, president Theo Epstein told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). He will earn $1.325MM next year, according to a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. It is not immediately apparent whether the deal was reached before the sides exchanged terms.
  • The Angels have reached agreement on a $3.8MM deal with reliever Ernesto Frieri, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (on Twitter). 
  • Mike Minor has agreed to terms on a $3.85MM deal with the Braves to avoid arbitration, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (Twitter links). The deal came before figures were exchanged, Bowman notes.
  • Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the D-Backs and lefty Joe Thatcher have avoided arb with a one-year, $2.375MM deal (Twitter link).
  • Nicholson-Smith tweets that the Angels and Fernando Salas reached an agreement to avoid arbitration. Salas is the first Halos player to avoid arb. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times tweets that Salas will earn $870K, which beats out his $700K projection.
  • MLB.com's Jason Beck reports (via Twitter) that the Tigers and righty Al Alburquerque have reached agreement on a deal to avoid arb. The hard-throwing righty will earn $837.5K in 2014, tweets Beck.
  • Sherman tweets that the Yankees and Ivan Nova avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.3MM deal.
  • The Pirates and Vin Mazzaro inked a one-year, $950K deal in lieu of an arbitration hearing, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune.
  • The Royals announced that they've avoided arbitration with infielder Emilio Bonifacio. Heyman tweets that Bonifacio will earn $3.5MM in 2014.
  • Sherman reports that the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeremy Hellickson and Sean Rodriguez (Twitter link). Hellickson landed a $3.625MM payday with a $25K bonus if he hits 195 innings pitched. Rodriguez will get $1.475MM with a $25K bump for hitting 300 plate appearances.
  • Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that Brian Matusz avoided arb with the Orioles. Sherman adds that he'll earn $2.4MM in 2014.
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that Jason Castro and the Astros have avoided arbitration. McTaggart adds in a second tweet that Jesus Guzman avoided arb as well. Heyman reports that Castro will be paid $2.45MM, while Sherman tweets that Guzman will make $1.3MM.
  • The Indians tweeted that they've avoided arb with lefty Marc Rzepczynski, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that he'll earn $1.375MM in 2014. Bastian adds that Scrabble will earn an additional $25K for appearing in 55 games and another $25K for 60 games.
  • The Giants avoided arbitration with Yusmeiro Petit, according to MLBTR's Steve Adams (on Twitter).  He'll earn $845K, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith (via Twitter).

(more…)


Astros Acquire Jesus Guzman

The Padres have traded outfielder/first baseman Jesus Guzman to the Astros for infielder Ryan Jackson, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com (on Twitter).  

San Diego got interest in Guzman in late July, but he wound up staying put for the rest of the season.  The 29-year-old took a step back from his previous two seasons with the Padres in 2013, hitting just .226/.297/.378 in 318 plate appearances.  Prior to that, Guzman had a .277/.342/.446 slash line through 592 PAs in 2011 and 2012.

Jackson, 25, saw time in 20 big league games for the Cardinals from 2012-13 before being waived in the fall and picked up by Houston.  Jackson spent the bulk of 2013 with the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.  Over the last two years in Memphis, Jackson has a .275/.343/.371 slash line with the better results coming in 2012.  The Padres put a claim in on Jackson when he was up for grabs, but the Astros were able to get him instead, Brock tweets.


NL West Notes: Ramirez, Pence, Giants, Padres

Just over a year ago, the Dodgers announced their presence as big-money acquirers by trading for infielder Hanley Ramirez.  While Ramirez has battled injury at times, he has certainly re-established himself as a top-line big leaguer with a .315/.367/.544 line to go with 21 home runs and 14 stolen bases in the last year.  As ESPN's Mark Saxon explains, Ramirez has seemed energized since donning Dodger blue and has been on fire since returning from a DL stint in early June. He remains under team control for 2014 at a cost of $16MM.  On the other hand, the primary piece that Los Angeles shipped out to acquire Ramirez – pitcher Nathan Eovaldi — has been solid so far in Miami. The 23-year-old currently owns a 3.54 ERA in 40 2/3 MLB innings.  Here's more out of the NL West..

  • The Giants will listen to offers on Hunter Pence, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  At this stage of the season, the club believes that they have to be open to everything.  San Francisco certainly likes Pence and wants to keep him long term, but with a lack of offense out there, they could get a very strong return for him.  It was recently reported that the Rangers have interest in acquiring Pence.
  • Padres stars Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin, and Huston Street are likely to stay in San Diego but it appears that Luke Gregerson will be changing uniforms, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
  • After Gregerson and Chris Denorfia, the Padres getting the most interest are Street, left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, and outfielder/first baseman Jesus Guzman, writes Bill Center of U-T San Diego.
  • The Giants are searching for their identity as the deadline approaches, writes MLB.com's Andrew Owens.  Manager Bruce Bochy has instructed his players to tune out the trade rumors between now and July 31st.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.



Padres Notes: Garcia, Guzman, Porcello, Byrnes

Freddy Garcia hasn't pitched well for the Padres during Spring Training and is open to being moved to the bullpen rather than the starting rotation, the veteran righty tells Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.  What Garcia won't accept, however, is a minor league assignment.  “The bullpen, why not?” Garcia said. “But I’ll go home at the end of spring training rather than go to Triple-A. I want to pitch. But I’m not going to Triple-A.”  Garcia signed a minor league deal with the Padres in January.  He is scheduled to start on Saturday, an outing that Center thinks "might be an audition for another team seeking pitching."

Here are some more items about the Friars from Center's recent chat with fans…

  • The Padres explored trading for Rick Porcello last winter and asked the Tigers if they had any interest in Jesus Guzman as part of the deal.  San Diego reportedly turned down a recent offer of Porcello for Huston Street or Luke Gregerson, though Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has denied offering Porcello to anyone.
  • General manager Josh Byrnes said yesterday that he isn't currently involved in any talks for Porcello.
  • Center doesn't see the value in acquiring Porcello since Detroit's asking price is too high for a pitcher who Center feels isn't necessarily better than the Padres' young arms.
  • Padres ownership has given Byrnes the go-ahead to make moves and signed off on "a major offseason deal" that Byrnes was interested in but didn't end up coming together.
  • Center believes the club's management team wouldn't be in danger of losing their jobs in the case of a 90-loss season "but this is baseball.  Things change with the wind."

Padres Notes: Myers, Porcello, Headley, Cabrera

Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune is back with his regular chat with fans about the Padres, and here are some of the relevant hot stove items…

  • The Padres have been talking to right-hander Brett Myers, according to Myers' agent.  San Diego would use Myers as a starting pitcher, which is Myers' preferred role after spending 2012 coming out of the bullpen for the Astros and White Sox.
  • The Tigers are reconsidering trading Rick Porcello, who has drawn attention from the Padres and several other clubs since Detroit re-signed Anibal Sanchez.  If Porcello is available, Center feels it would take more than a rumored trade package of Luke Gregerson and Jesus Guzman for the Padres to acquire the right-hander.
  • It's a "gamble on both sides" for Chase Headley and the Padres that there are apparently no extension talks taking place between the club and the third baseman.  Headley is under team control for two more years, but a repeat of his 2012 numbers could make him too expensive for the Padres to lock up.
  • Everth Cabrera has drawn trade interest but most clubs (including the Padres) aren't sure if he is capable of being an everyday shortstop.  Center notes that San Diego has been shopping "several" of its middle infielders this winter.
  • The Padres are "actively seeking" starting pitching but aren't going to be forced into making a bad signing just for the sake of adding an arm to the rotation. 
  • Between Porcello, Shaun Marcum and Joe Saunders, Center lists Marcum as the most likely of the trio to be a Padre in 2013, followed by Saunders and Porcello in that order. 
  • The Padres won't be adding another outfielder as they already have several options on the roster.
  • Center doesn't expect the Padres to have a $100MM payroll within the next few years, even adding an "if ever" to the idea.
  • The Padres want to bring back Dustin Moseley and Tim Stauffer on minor league contracts.  The two pitchers elected to become free agents in October following injury-plagued 2012 seasons.
  • Center hasn't heard of the Padres having any interest in Carlos Zambrano.

NL West Notes: Rockies, Ryu, Pagan, Scutaro

The Diamondbacks' agreement with Brandon McCarthy was the biggest news out of the NL West today, but here are a few more items from around the division…..


West Notes: Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Padres

Here's a look at some news out of the AL and NL West..

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


Quick Hits: Red Sox, Iannetta, Santana, Willis

Joey Votto celebrated his 28th birthday with a 3-for-4 performance today against the Rockies, including his 27th homer of the year.  It wasn't enough, however, as Cincinnati dropped a 12-7 result to Colorado.

Some notes from around the majors….

  • The Red Sox could use another solid starting pitcher but "for the moment don't feel there's anyone out there available who's better than what they have," a team official tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
  • The Rockies will give catcher Wilin Rosario a lot of playing time this month as they decide what to do with Chris Iannetta this winter, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post.  If Rosario plays well, Colorado may decide to deal Iannetta, who's due to make $3.55MM in 2012.  Iannetta's name was mentioned in trade rumors involving the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Pirates and Padres at the July deadline.
  • Johan Santana will probably not pitch in the Major Leagues for the Mets this season, reports Anthony DiComo for MLB.com.
  • Dontrelle Willis probably won't be back with the Reds next season, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  Willis has re-established himself as a big league starter this year but Fay figures that this progress has likely priced the southpaw out of the Reds' range.
  • Another Red who likely won't be back in Cincinnati next year is Paul Janish, opines Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News.  Despite some excellent glovework (a +11.6 UZR/150 at shortstop this year), Janish will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter and is probably a non-tender candidate with Zack Cozart taking over at short.
  • Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune says several American League scouts have asked him about Jesus Guzman's fielding ability in recent weeks, a sign that AL teams could have an interest in Guzman as a DH candidate.  Center discusses Guzman, Bud Black's status, a possible extension for Cameron Maybin and other Padres-related topics in an online chat with fans.
  • Andruw Jones has been playing all season with a small tear in his left knee, reports Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger.  The Yankees discovered the injury during Jones' physical but signed the veteran outfielder anyway  (both Twitter links).

Minor Deals: Jesus Guzman, Enrique Gonzalez, LaHair

Today's minor signings…

  • The Padres signed third baseman/left fielder Jesus Guzman to a minor league deal, MLBTR has learned.  Guzman, 26, hit .321/.376/.510 with 18 home runs in 492 Triple-A plate appearances for the Giants' affiliate this year, his second extended stint at the level.  He'd been designated for assignment in January to make room when the Giants re-signed Bengie Molina, but remained in the organization for the 2010 season.
  • The Tigers re-signed righty Enrique Gonzalez to a minor league deal, MLBTR has learned.  Gonzalez, 28, posted a 3.41 ERA, 7.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, and 1.2 HR/9 in 66 Triple-A innings across eleven starts this year, also racking up 26 big league relief frames.  He'd been designated for assignment in August and outrighted shortly thereafter.
  • The Cubs re-signed first baseman/left fielder Bryan LaHair to a minor league deal, MLBTR has learned.  LaHair, 28, hit .308/.385/.557 with 25 home runs in 478 Triple-A plate appearances this year, his fifth stint at the level.

Escobar To Decide About 2010 On April 1

The R-word has been swirling around Kelvim Escobar lately, amidst reports that the 33-year-old Mets reliever may need shoulder surgery again after managing just one start in two seasons. Escobar answers some of these concerns in an interview with Rafael Tejera at the Venezuelan paper El Nacional (link in Spanish), telling Tejera, "If I wanted to retire, I would have done it already."

As for the 2010 season, Escobar insists he hasn't given up on it yet, but he will only make his final decision after picking up a ball again. "In the coming weeks, I'll simply work to strengthen my shoulder, and then it will be April 1 when I return to throwing," he says. "If I feel the same pain that day, I'll have to make the decision I have been considering since I was with the Angels: to rest for a full year and recover."

Other links from the Spanish language beat:

  • With Cuban prospect Leslie Anderson's foot now planted in the door to the tune of $3.75MM for four years with the Rays, the question becomes: When and at what position will he play? A source close to the negotiations tells the Nuevo Herald's Jorge Ebro that the Rays want to see the 27-year-old "wearing the uniform as quickly as possible," while Marc Topkin at the St. Petersburg Times notes that Anderson is widely expected to start off in the minors. Neither brings up the subject of positions, although Anderson's agent Jaime Torres tells Topkin that Anderson will head to Rays camp later this month ready to fight for a spot on the big league roster at first base and all three outfield positions.
  • Another high-average hitter from the Cuban Serie Nacional, shortstop Yadil Mujica, has been cleared as a free agent, tweets ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. In the same day, Mujica switched agents to Legacy Sports, also the new home of Jose Julio Ruiz. A scouting report on Mujica can be found here.
  • Jesus Guzman tells Lider en Deportes' Carlos Rodriguez that he has received no guarantee of making the Giants' opening day roster, but he has received another sort of guarantee from manager Bruce Bochy: Whatever chance he has will be in the outfield, as opposed to the infield, where Guzman has almost exclusively played in the past. After three brief callups in 2009, the Giants designated the 26-year-old Venezuelan for assignment to make room for Bengie Molina this offseason, then invited him back to spring training. Last season at Triple A Fresno, Guzman put up a .321/.379/.507 line in 500 PA while playing mostly first base.