Joe Mather Rumors

Today’s Outrights: Marquez, Mather, Rizzotti, Misch

Several players cleared waivers and were removed from the 40-man roster today by way of an outright assignment.  The latest:

  • Jeff Marquez of the White Sox cleared waivers and is headed for Triple-A, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).
  • Braves utility player Joe Mather cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies removed Matt Rizzotti from the 40-man roster and outrighted him to the minor leagues, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (on Twitter).
  • Mets lefty Pat Misch was outrighted to Triple-A, tweets Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger.  He's expected to accept the assignment.  Misch, 29, posted a 3.82 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 1.0 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9, and 52.0% groundball rate in 37 2/3 innings for the Mets last year, tossing another 150 2/3 innings across 23 starts in Triple-A.
  • Brewers outfielder Brandon Boggs was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  Boggs, 28, hit .290/.406/.470 in 439 Triple-A plate appearances last year while playing all three outfield positions.  He has until Wednesday to decide whether to accept the assignment or elect free agency, tweets Haudricourt.
  • The Mariners outrighted southpaw Cesar Jimenez, tweets ESPN's Shannon Drayer.  Jimenez, 26, missed most of the 2010 season recovering from labrum surgery.

Braves Release Proctor, Place Mather On Waivers

The Braves have released right-hander Scott Proctor and placed outfielder Joe Mather on waivers, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Proctor, 33, signed a one-year deal with the Braves back in November with a $750K base salary. O'Brien tweets that the Braves will owe him a little over 25% of that figure. The right-hander appeared in four games for Atlanta in 2010 and allowed four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of work. This Spring, the veteran allowed 14 runs (six earned) through 10 2/3 innings of work. He struck out 12 but also allowed 12 hits and walked nine batters.

Mather, 27, was selected off waivers from the Cardinals earlier this offseason (the day after signing Proctor). He owns a .233/.287/.415 line through 211 Major League plate appearances, all coming with St. Louis. Mather has seen time at both infield corners and all three outfield positions with the Cardinals in parts of two seasons.


Braves Claim Joe Mather

The Braves claimed Joe Mather off of waivers from St. Louis, according to the Cardinals' Twitter account. Atlanta has had interest in Mather for a while, reportedly offering Rafael Soriano for him two winters ago and discussing a different trade involving Blaine Boyer.

Mather, 28, has a .233/.287/.415 line in 211 career plate appearances. He can play all three outfield positions, so he gives the Braves some depth in case they don't retain non-tender candidate Matt Diaz and free agent Eric Hinske.



Odds & Ends: Dukes, Astros, Twins, Giants

Some Saturday afternoon tidbits….

  • Nationals' manager Jim Riggleman spoke about what he thinks Elijah Dukes can do next season, writes Byron Kerr of MASNSports.com.
  • Satchel Price at Beyond The Box Score thinks the Astros have overpaid for the players they've picked up this offseason.
  • Kelly Thesier of MLB.com points out that for all of the talk about the Twins' need for a third baseman, the club is only looking for a "short-term stopgap" given the presence of top prospect Danny Valencia.  Thesier's mailbag piece also shoots downs a couple of Twins-related trade rumors and discusses the club's attempt to re-sign Joe Mauer.  
  • In another MLB.com mailbag, Chris Haft says there hasn't been any talk of the Giants signing Carlos Delgado (though he would fit their need for a left-handed bat) and proposes that Ryan Church would be a better outfield option for San Francisco than Rick Ankiel.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke to Chris Capuano about the pitcher's attempt to return from (his second) Tommy John surgery.
  • The Reds' budget may limit them to just pinch-hitting options in their search for a hitter, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com grades the top 20 prospects in the Mets and Indians systems.  The only player on either list to rate an A-grade was Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana.
  • Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com looks at the youngsters who will be fighting to be the Dodgers' No. 5 starter next season.  Jackson points out that these pitchers might be going for the No. 4 spot too if L.A. doesn't sign a veteran starter before Opening Day.

Odds & Ends: Soriano, Reds, Diamondbacks

A couple more links for tonight…

  • Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post Dispatch tweets that the Cardinals and Braves discussed closer Rafael Soriano earlier this year. We heard some rumblings of a Joe Mather for Soriano deal over the summer. 
  • MLB.com's Mark Sheldon wonders who should start in center field for the Reds next year – Chris Dickerson, Drew Stubbs, or Willy Taveras. Taveras is under contract for $4MM next year, plus Dusty loves his veterans, so he might get the job by default.
  • Steve Gilbert of MLB.com notes that the Diamondbacks and manager A.J. Hinch will wait until after the season to make any decisions about the coaching staff.

Braves Rumors: Escobar, Soriano, Payroll

David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the latest on the Braves. Here are the details:

  • They're taking calls from teams interested in Yunel Escobar.
  • There's nothing to the suggestion that the Braves could send Escobar and prospects to Oakland for Matt Holliday and Orlando Cabrera, especially since Escobar's much cheaper than Holliday and hitting about as well.
  • The Cardinals are interested in Escobar, but they wouldn't trade Ryan Ludwick 
  • O'Brien hears that the Braves offered Rafael Soriano to the Cards for Joe Mather last winter but the Cards wouldn't make the move. 
  • Braves GM Frank Wren repeated that he doesn't want to move prospects and can't afford to add much payroll.  

Braves, Cardinals Talk Ankiel

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Braves and Cardinals discussed a trade for outfielder Rick Ankiel.  However, the Braves did not want to give up Mike Gonzalez.  I’m surprised; one year of Gonzalez for one of Ankiel sounds like a good swap for the Braves.

Rosenthal says the two teams also talked about swapping Blaine Boyer for Joe Mather, but that didn’t pan out either.