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Joe Beimel Rumors
Sad news today out of Chicago, as longtime White Sox scout Paul Provas passed away from brain cancer at age 63. As Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports, Provas had been scouting for the South Siders since 1993 after doing the same for the cross-town rival Cubs dating back to 1983. MLBTR extends its condolences to his family and friends.
Here are the day’s news and rumors out of the American League:
- Left-hander Joe Beimel would love to return to the Mariners, and the team has expressed interest in re-signing him as a lefty specialist, reports Greg Johns of MLB.com in his latest Mariners Inbox. The veteran southpaw made the club after signing a minor league deal and posted a 2.20 ERA in 45 innings. Beimel’s 5.0 K/9 leaves something to be desired, but he was a legitimate weapon against lefties. Beimel held same-handed hitters to a .188/.217/.288 batting line. Sabermetric stats such as FIP (3.18) and xFIP (2.96) both approved of his work against left-handers, though he was well north of 5.00 in each stat when facing righties.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow tells Marius Payton of CSN Houston that top prospect Carlos Correa‘s rehab is considered complete at this point (h/t: Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter). Baseball America’s No. 3 midseason prospect saw his season come to an end prematurely due to a broken leg, but he was impressive when on the field, hitting .326/.415/.510 with six homers and 20 steals in 62 games at Class-A Advanced.
- Even as the Royals are gunning for a World Series title in 2014, thoughts inevitably must drift at times to the future. Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders whether starter James Shields may present a double-edged sword with his history of huge innings totals: on the one hand, those innings show his durability; on the other, they act as an arm odometer. Then, of course, there is the matter of his increasingly poor postseason track record.
- Kansas City faces tough decisions as it ponders its amazing late-inning arms, Sherman adds. Wade Davis and Greg Holland might combine for a $15MM tab next year, with further increases for 2016. GM Dayton Moore said the team can fit those salaries, but also indicated that he already is thinking about how things will play out in the long run. “Yes, in the immediate, it works,” he said. “We can make that fit. But we do have to analyze our roster from an economic standpoint every year.”
- Meanwhile, former Royals GM — and current Red Sox VP of player personnel — Allard Baird tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he looks back fondly on his time in Kansas City and is pleased with the club’s run of success. As Cafardo notes, Baird’s time resonates in the current roster, as he drafted players like Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, and Zack Greinke (who was later flipped for several current key roster pieces) during his time at the helm.
The balance of power in the AL West has swung heavily in the Angels’ direction after the Halos completed a four-game sweep of the Athletics on Sunday. Los Angeles now own both baseball’s best record (83-53) and a five-game lead over the struggling A’s, who are looking for answers after an 12-17 August. Oakland is still on track to reach the postseason, as they hold a four-game lead in the AL wild card race.
Here’s the latest from around the AL West…
- The A’s will cover $1MM of the roughly $2.3MM remaining on Adam Dunn‘s 2014 salary, and ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets that Oakland’s willingness to take on this much of Dunn’s salary was part of the reason why the A’s were able to acquire the slugger. The Giants, Dodgers and at least one other team were also reportedly talking to the White Sox about a Dunn trade.
- Astros manager Bo Porter tells Fangraphs’ David Laurila that his relationship with Houston’s front office “is what he expected coming in,” which seems to counter recent rumors of tension between Porter and GM Jeff Luhnow. “My staff and I take all the information from our baseball ops and use it to the best of our ability. Every last component of that is needed to be successful,” Porter said.
- Also from Laurila’s piece, 37-year-old lefty Joe Beimel not only has no plans to retire, his 12-year career might only be half-over. “I plan on pitching until I’m at least 50….I don’t see any reason I can’t do what Jamie Moyer did,” Beimel said. “He was starting games at 49 years old and getting guys out with 80 mph. I’m not down that low yet and I figure if he could go six, seven innings, I could at least come in and get one or two guys out.” After missing 2012 and 2013 due to Tommy John surgery, Beimel is enjoying a nice comeback year out of the Mariners‘ bullpen. The veteran southpaw has a 2.03 ERA, 5.2 K/9 and 1.92 K/BB ratio in 40 innings, and he’s held left-handed batters to only a .480 OPS.
Between now and Opening Day, several minor league signees will win jobs with their clubs and earn 40-man roster spots. Here are today's additions:
- The Mariners have told lefty Joe Beimel that he will get an Opening Day slot, meaning that he'll need to be added to the club's 40-man, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). In addition to the 36-year-old, Seattle will need to add 25-year-old lefty Roenis Elias to the 40-man after he made a surprise run through camp to join the Opening Day rotation, as Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio Seattle reports on Twitter. To clear room, the club designated Carlos Triunfel and Xavier Avery for assignment.
As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained yesterday in looking at NL West out-of-options players, the Diamondbacks already have a seeming logjam in the bullpen. Nevertheless, the team agreed to a two-year deal today with southpaw Oliver Perez. That may be a reflection of the team's view of fellow lefty Joe Thatcher, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Indeed, manager Kirk Gibson had said earlier today that the club would not carry a left-handed reliever if none warranted a roster spot, Zach Buchanan of AZCentral.com reports. "You've got to have people that can command the zone," Gibson said, possibly an oblique reference to the control issues last year of Thatcher and Tony Sipp. Thatcher was the only MLB piece that came to Arizona in the Ian Kennedy trade, and recently agreed to a $2.375MM deal to avoid arbitration. The 32-year-old has a solid track record, but struggled in his 22 appearances upon joining the D'backs. Now, with Perez in line for a pen slot and Randall Delgado likely headed the same way, Thatcher or another established arm may be without a role.
- Yankees starter Michael Pineda took an important step tonight on the road back from shoulder surgery, writes Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Throwing a slider that catcher Brian McCann called "pretty much unhittable," Pineda tossed two scoreless innings and struck out four Tigers — including Austin Jackson, Rajai Davis, and reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera. Needless to say, an effective Pineda would be a major boon to a New York club with questions at the back of the rotation (to say nothing of the future implications). The 25-year-old Pineda enters the year with 2.099 years of service, much of it accrued on the DL over the last two years.
- Meanwhile, the Mariners — the club that dealt Pineda to New York — are looking closely at several non-roster invitees for Opening Day slots, writes MLB.com's Greg Johns. Starter Randy Wolf has had poor results, but says he is progressing. And southpaw reliever Joe Beimel is making a surprising run at a pen role, despite not having appeared in the bigs since 2011. Manager Lloyd McClendon preached patience with Wolf but lavished praise on Beimel, saying that the 36-year-old has "looked great" and "has the ability to get guys out from both sides of the plate."
- Irrepressible former superstar Manny Ramirez says he still wants to play, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com. The 41-year-old has not been able to earn a call-up over the last two seasons, but says he is waiting for an MLB opportunity and has so far declined requests for a repeat of his successful stint in Taiwan. MLBTR's Zach Links recently reported that Ramirez had changed agents, seemingly an indication that Ramirez was serious about continuing his career.
- As the Athletics continue to work through their difficult stadium situation, co-owner Lew Wolff says the team is considering all methods for dealing with a stalemate in lease negotiations, reports Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com. "I am hopeful of expanding our lease at the Oakland Coliseum for an extended term," Wolff recently wrote. "If we cannot accomplish a lease extension, I hope to have an interim place to play in the Bay Area or in the area that reaches our television and radio fans — either an existing venue or in the erection of a temporary venue that we have asked our soccer stadium architect (360 Architecture) to explore." Needless to say, the notion of a temporary ballpark is intriguing, if somewhat frightening. Wolff took care to note that "looking outside the Bay Area and our media market is an undesirable option to ownership at this time."
There were a few minor moves from earlier today that got lost in the arbitration shuffle:
- Seattle has also inked southpaw Joe Beimel, tweets Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports. The 36-year-old last pitched in the bigs in 2011, but Brown says his velocity has returned after making a full recovery from Tommy John surgery.
- The Mariners have signed righty Logan Kensing and catcher Manny Pina to minor league deals with Spring Training invites, according to the club's non-roster invitee page. Kensing, 31, has a 5.79 ERA in 161 2/3 MLB innings. He made one appearance last year for the Rockies, but last saw the show in 2009. Pina 26, has had two brief cups of coffee with the Royals. At Triple-A last year for the Kansas City organization, he put up a .228/.274/.359 triple-slash in 325 plate appearances.
- Only one player remains in DFA limbo at the moment, per MLBTR's DFA Tracker: Carlos Peguero of the Mariners.
We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here.
- The Padres signed outfielder Mike Wilson to a minor-league deal, according to MLB.com’s transactions page. The former Mariners prospect hit .239/.343/.452 for Triple-A Tacoma last year. He has 27 career big-league at bats.
- The Braves have signed lefty reliever Joe Beimel to a minor-league deal, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (on Twitter). Beimel missed 2012 due to injury. He pitched 25 1/3 innings for the Pirates in 2011, posting a 5.33 ERA with 6.04 K/9 and 3.20 BB/9.
- The Twins will sign outfielder Jordan Parraz and assign him to Double-A, MLBTR has learned. Parraz, 28, hit .141/.230/.321 in 78 at bats for the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate this season.
- The Marlins have signed infielder Gil Velazquez, Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel reports (on Twitter). Velazquez, 33, has a career .245/.307/.327 line in the minors. He played in the Yankees’ farm system earlier in 2013 before being released.
- The Yankees have signed third baseman Josh Bell to a minor-league deal, Chris Cotillo of CLNSRadio.com reports. Bell has hit .195/.223/.265 in 272 career big-league at bats. He received 55 at bats for the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte in 2013 before being released.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has some extremely kind words about MLBTR and founder Tim Dierkes. "Call it American ingenuity, or a great business model for start-ups, but it has been incredible to watch the growth of mlbtraderumors.com — to the point where it’s now the go-to site for major league executives, reporters, and fans," Cafardo writes. Here's more from today's column..
- Backstops Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, Bobby Wilson, and Austin Romine won't light up the scoreboard, but that's alright with Yankees GM Brian Cashman. “We’re not looking for catching. We just know our offensive production at that position isn’t going to be as good as in the past," Cashman said.
- Despite some interest in free agent second baseman Freddy Sanchez, teams have not been willing to commit to him. The former NL batting champion has had numerous injuries and surgeries in the past.
- One AL GM offered up his prediction on where Kyle Lohse will land. "[The Rangers] missed out on a couple of guys. While you don’t want to overpay or give him an extended contract, they seem to be the most motivated to get a deal done with him.”
- Some teams may not be anxious to add Red Sox reliver Alfredo Aceves to their club house, but one American League GM says that someone will pull the trigger. “He’s a talented pitcher who can do a lot of things,” said the GM. “The baggage is there, but some team will put up with the baggage. Who knows? If he gets to start somewhere, maybe all of the problems go away.”
- Cafardo believes that Brian Wilson will be the Tigers' fallback option when he's ready to return after surgery. Until then, Bruce Rondon will have the opportunity to close in Detroit.
- Free agent left-hander Joe Beimel wants to make a return and has auditioned for some teams. The 35-year-old is coming back from Tommy John surgery last May.
- The stock of minor league catcher Christian Vazquez is rising so rapidly that Cafardo wonders if the Red Sox will pursue deals for Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Ryan Lavarnway. Vazquez will likely start the year at Double-A but could move up quickly.
The Rangers have released first baseman Conor Jackson and left-handers Joe Beimel and Mitch Stetter, reports Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). All three players were in the Texas camp on minor league contracts.
Jackson hit .244/.310/.341 in 390 plate appearances for the Athletics and Red Sox last year. Jackson's release increases Brad Hawpe's chance of making the Texas roster as both players were competing for the same bench role as a backup first baseman/outfielder. By cutting Jackson before March 30 (five days before Opening Day), the Rangers avoid paying the veteran a $100K bonus.
Beimel, who turns 35 in April, posted a 5.33 ERA in 25 1/3 innings for the Pirates last season before being released in August. Stetter, 31, has held left-handed hitters to a .645 OPS for his career and has spent his entire five-year career with the Brewers. Both pitchers stand a good chance of getting a look from another club in need of southpaw bullpen help.
The Rangers signed outfielder/first baseman Conor Jackson and left-handed reliever Joe Beimel to minor league contracts, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan tweets. The deals include invitations to big league Spring Training.
Jackson posted a .244/.310/.341 line in 390 plate appearances with the Athletics and Red Sox in 2011. The 29-year-old SFX client played all four corner positions last year. Jackson, a right-handed hitter, owns a .283/.381/.436 career line against left-handed pitching, so he could spell left-handed hitters such as Mitch Moreland, Josh Hamilton and David Murphy if he makes the MLB roster.
Beimel, 34, posted a 5.33 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 41.2% ground ball rate in 25 1/3 innings in 2011. The Pirates signed the Joe Sroba client to a minor league deal last January and released him in August. The Rangers don't have much in the way of experienced left-handed relief after losing Darren Oliver and Mike Gonzalez via free agency.
TODAY: The Pirates have released Beimel, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
Beimel, 34, has a 5.33 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 2.1 HR/9, and 41.2% groundball rate with 34 hits allowed in 25 1/3 innings this year after surrendering a longball to Ryan Braun last night. Several contenders, including the Yankees and Phillies, are known to be seeking a veteran lefty. Beimel has been decent against left-handed hitters this year, but he's only faced 46 of them.
The Pirates signed Beimel to a minor league deal in January; the southpaw has ties to Pittsburgh. His yearly salary while in the Majors is $1.75MM.