Joe Nelson Rumors
The Mariners released Joe Nelson, according to the transactions page for the Pacific Coast League. The Mariners signed Nelson in June and stashed the 35-year-old in Triple A after the Red Sox designated him for assignment.
Nelson had a 9.72 ERA in 8.1 big league innings this year, walking six and striking out nine. The 35-year-old has often posted high strikeout and walk rates in his MLB career and that trend didn't stop in the Mariners organization. The right-hander struck out a batter per inning at Triple A Tacoma, but allowed ten hits in eight innings, walking seven for a 6.75 ERA.
The Mariners signed Joe Nelson and assigned him to Triple A, according to Dan Hoard, the radio announcer for Pawtucket Red Sox games (Twitter link). The Red Sox designated Nelson for assignment earlier in the month, at which point he hinted at retirement. The Mariners signed the righty after he cleared waivers.
Nelson, 35, had a 9.72 ERA in 8.1 big league innings this year, walking six and striking out nine. Those high strikeout and walk rates are characteristic of the ones Nelson has posted over the course of his six-year MLB career. Nelson posted a 2.49 ERA in 21.2 innings at Triple A this year, with similarly high strikeout and walk numbers.
WEDNESDAY, 2:28pm: ESPNBoston's Joe McDonald tweets that Nelson has cleared waivers, so we should find out tomorrow whether or not the righty will accept a minor league assignment.
FRIDAY, 7:49pm: Nelson hinted at retirement following the move, according to MLB.com's Ian Browne.
"I've got a flight at 7:15, and I'm going to Florida and in all likelihood, if I clear waivers, I've probably thrown my last pitch," said Nelson. "I don't anticipate myself going back to [Triple-A] Pawtucket, but that's emotion talking right now and we'll probably reanalyze it when I'm not as disappointed. I had every opportunity and I didn't produce. The thought of going to Triple-A doesn't sound that great. We'll wait and see what options present themselves."
Nelson battled major arm injuries early in his career, including a pair of surgeries to repair the labrum in his throwing shoulder. He broke through with the Royals in 2006, but has bounced around quite a bit since. Baseball-Reference.com has his career earnings at just under $1.7MM.
2:41pm: The Red Sox designated Joe Nelson for assignment as part of a flurry of moves, according to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). The team also activated Jonathan Papelbon from the bereavement list, called up Scott Atchison and placed Jeremy Hermida on the DL.
Nelson, 35, had a 9.72 ERA in 8.1 innings this year with 9.7 K/9 and 6.5 BB/9. Those high strikeout and walk rates are characteristic of the ones the right-hander has posted over the course of his six-year MLB career. Nelson posted a 2.49 ERA in 21.2 innings at Triple A this year, with similarly high strikeout and walk numbers.
A round-up of some of Wednesday's newsbits....
- The Marlins assigned top prospect Mike Stanton to Double-A, but MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes that by keeping Stanton in the minors until "around Memorial Day, or June 1," the club can delay Stanton's Super Two status.
- RHP Casey Daigle, a non-roster invitee signed by the Astros in December, has a shot at winning a spot on the Houston roster, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Daigle last pitched in the majors in 2006.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter) hears from GM Jed Hoyer that the Padres haven't heard from other teams interested in Heath Bell, nor are they "actively shopping" the closer themselves.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports calls the Mariners "a disappointment waiting to happen" and feels they won't live up to the hype generated by their busy offseason.
- Carroll Rogers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on new TBS analyst John Smoltz popping by the Braves camp. Smoltz said he is "not officially [retired], but close" and noted that the Nationals offered a deal over the winter for him to pitch and eventually coach for the club.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert writes that Arizona GM Josh Byrnes' interest in Kelly Johnson dated back to the infielder's high school days, and that Byrnes tried to deal for Johnson back in 2006.
- LHP Danny Duffy, one of Kansas City's top pitching prospects, is quitting baseball, reports Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star.
- WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports that reliever Joe Nelson has an opt-out clause in his contract with the Red Sox that allows him to become a free agent if he isn't on Boston's major league roster by June 1.
- Prospective Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg won't have the deal finalized to buy the team by Opening Day, reports Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. Mid-April is the new target date.
- Matt Klaassen of Fangraphs looks at the battle for the last spot on the Oakland roster, while also dropping several hints that the A's would be helping themselves by releasing Eric Chavez.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America looks at seven out-of-options players who he figures will either make their team's roster or be traded in the coming days. Eddy also gave us a shout-out by linking to MLBTR's full list of players who are out of options.
Nelson pitched for Tampa Bay in 2009, posting a 4.02 ERA in 40.3 innings. The 35-year-old righty will have to earn a shot at the big club out of spring training, and his walk rate will have to improve over 2009 (27 in those 40.3 innings) to stick with Boston.
- With Orlando Cabrera "leaning towards" accepting an offer from Cincinnati, Troy Renck of the Denver Post says the Rockies are "a finalist" in the hunt for Melvin Mora. Renck reports that Colorado, Texas and Seattle are the most interested parties.
- Jim Edmonds tells MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told Edmonds on Wednesday that "he didn't see a fit" for the outfielder in St. Louis. Edmonds signed with Milwaukee a day later.
- Righty Joe Nelson is attracting interest from the Dodgers, Nationals, and Red Sox, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The journeyman reliever broke through with the Marlins in 2008, posting a 2.00 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 54 innings. His 2009 with the Rays was less than spectacular, but the 35-year-old points to his performance outside May, as he had a 2.38 ERA in the 10 games prior and a 1.40 ERA in 20 games after.
- Jonny Gomes and the Reds are close to agreeing to a deal, according to ESPN. Yesterday, GM Walt Jocketty confirmed that the club offered a minor league deal to the 29-year-old outfielder. Gomes proved to be one of the best minor league signings of 2009, hitting .267/.338/.541 with 20 HRs in 98 games.
- The Padres have set an arbitration date with outfielder Scott Hairston, though they hope to reach an agreement beforehand, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com (via Twitter). Brock writes that the two sides could come to terms next week.
- ESPN's Jorge Arangure (via Twitter) gets the feeling that Cuban prospect Jose Julio Ruiz may sign this week or shortly thereafter. Ruiz - who has reportedly garnered interest from the Red Sox and Tigers - was "unblocked" by the Office of Foreign Asset Control yesterday, allowing him to sign with a major league club.
The Marlins "don't particularly fancy" free agents John Smoltz and Joe Nelson, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, but they're eyeing a slew of others. Spencer names Kevin Gregg, Chan Ho Park, Seth McClung, Kiko Calero, Mike MacDougal, Derrick Turnbow and Jose Veras as relievers on the radar.
The Marlins will be bargain-hunting, of course. Year after year the Fish manage to turn up quality relief seasons from guys signed for nothing. In 2009, it was Calero, Brian Sanches, and Brendan Donnelly. Still, you have to wonder if offering arbitration to Calero would've been a wise move.
Links for Wednesday...
- Check out Huston Street's contract extension details, courtesy of Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.
- Free agent reliever Joe Nelson has expressed an interest in pitching for the Cubs, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Nelson seemed like a bargain signing by the Rays at $1.3MM, but his control and flyball rates took a turn for the worse and he was designated for assignment in September.
- ESPN's Keith Law ranks the farm systems, from the Rangers at #1 to the White Sox at #30. Law's Top 100 Prospects list comes out tomorrow.
- Baseball America is also kicking into gear, with their Prospect Handbook coming out soon. They're holding an all-day chat Friday, with BA editors as well as prospects Tim Alderson, Ryan Westmoreland, Logan Morrison, and Casey Crosby available for your questions.
- ESPN's Tim Kurkjian has a must-read article on Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos and his plan to bring the team back to prominence.
- Scott Lauber of The News Journal tweets that while the Phillies like Chien-Ming Wang, but he might not be a fit because he won't be ready for the start of the season.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Mets are on a "Pollyanna streak," currently regarding their rotation. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports seems to believe the Mets are a total mess, and suggests they start over.
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News that he wouldn't have made the Billy Wagner deal last August without the shot at two draft picks.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle says that the A's agreed not to offer arbitration to Ben Sheets if he's a Type A free agent after the season. Achieving that status seems impossible anyway after he missed all of '09 and did not receive DL days. Slusser also notes that Coco Crisp received a $250K signing bonus, bringing his deal to $5.5MM guaranteed.
More links for Tuesday...
- Joe McDonald of the Providence Journal writes about the efforts of some players to find work during the off-season. Joe Nelson, who made $1.3MM with the Rays last season was at the winter meetings and said he is "just trying to put food on the table.”
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic is now on Twitter and reports that the Diamondbacks looked into bringing back Jose Valverde but his price was not within their budget.
- Mets GM Omar Minaya tells Newsday's David Lennon that he had hoped to sign John Lackey.
- Minaya tells Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post that he has interest in bringing Carlos Delgado back.
- Minaya tells Hubbuch that the Mets asked about Roy Halladay before the Blue Jays moved on to other options.
- The Royals accepted cash from the Red Sox to complete the Tug Hulett deal, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney says the Dodgers are expected to target pitchers with the money they freed up in the Juan Pierre deal. Could they target Joel Pineiro? They saved $8MM in the trade and that may not be enough for a single year of Pineiro's services. I'd be surprised to see the Dodgers sign him.
- The Mariners hope to bring the recently-non-tendered Ryan Langerhans back, according to Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Braves aren't necessarily looking for a right-handed bat in exchange for Derek Lowe. They'd accept prospects, too.
Links for Thursday...
- Pitching prospect Steve Johnson, part of the trade that sent George Sherrill to the Dodgers, found out about the deal via MLB Trade Rumors. Very cool! Tom Sedlacek of the Bowie Baysox did the interview with Johnson.
- MLB.com's Scott Merkin has comments from Jake Peavy about the failed Cubs trade and the two White Sox trades.
- Rays reliever Joe Nelson cleared waivers and accepted a minor league assignment, according to Marc Lancaster of the Tampa Tribune.
- The Phillies designated pitcher Steven Register and catcher Joel Naughton for assignment, according to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News.