Joey Devine Rumors
Left-hander Dallas Braden and right-hander Joey Devine elected free agency, the Athletics announced. The pitchers declined outright assignments to Triple-A after being removed from the 40-man roster and clearing outright waivers.
Both Braden and Devine projected as non-tender candidates after missing the 2012 season with injuries. Braden, 29, continued rehabbing from a shoulder operation that took place in May of 2011 before undergoing a second surgery in August to repair his left rotator cuff. He had a projected salary of $3.4MM, but wasn't worth the commitment given rules that prevent teams from cutting the salaries of arbitration eligible players by more than 20%.
Devine missed the entire season to undergo Tommy John surgery, his second such operation. The 29-year-old had a projected salary of $1.1MM.
Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here. Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing. Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints. Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:
- The Cardinals avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle McClellan, tweets B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest. Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter) that the one-year deal is worth $2.5MM with incentives based on starts. MLBTR projected a $2.7MM for the Steve Comte client.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that the Padres and Chase Headley agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.475MM, avoiding arbitration. Earlier this evening, the Padres announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Gregerson, Edinson Volquez, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable. They also avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Joe Thatcher on a deal worth $700K, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. CAA announced catcher John Baker has signed for $750K. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported that the Padres reached agreements with Hundley, Chase Headley, and Tim Stauffer. Hundley will earn $2MM in 2012, MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets the salaries for Volquez ($2.2375MM), Venable ($1.475MM), Gregerson ($1.55MM)
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Matt Harrison, tweets Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. The ACES client gets $2.95MM on a one-year deal. MLBTR had projected a $2.9MM salary.
- The Cubs announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($1.375MM), Blake DeWitt ($1.1MM), Ian Stewart ($2.237MM) Chris Volstad ($2.655MM), and Randy Wells ($2.705MM). MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweeted the salary figures.
The A's announced that they agreed to a one-year contract with Joey Devine, avoiding arbitration. The 27-year-old right-hander missed each of the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery last April.
Devine posted a 0.59 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 45 2/3 innings in 2008, when he finished sixth in AL Rookie of the Year balloting. In 65 1/3 career innings, he has a 2.48 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9. He earned $558K in 2010 and is set to earn $560K next year, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
While dreams are coming true for hundreds of high school and college players this week, let's compare the paths of some 2005 first round draft picks. Nothing is more interesting than seeing how teams did choosing players at the same position. In a draft, it is the closest teams come to the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. Meanwhile, those lists haunt fans' memories for years to come.
- Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals) vs. Ryan Braun (Brewers): This battle between Zimmerman, picked fourth, and Braun, picked fifth, was to be a test of hot corner prowess. But while Zimmerman has excelled at the position, winning a Gold Glove in 2009 and grading well under more advanced defensive metrics, Braun settled in left field after proving to be a disastrous fielder at third base. So far, Braun has a .931 to .836 edge in OPS, but with Zimmerman putting up an .888 in 2009 and at .986 so far in 2010, that gap may well have disappeared. Moving forward, the edge goes to Zimmerman, a terrific hitter, though a notch below Braun, but a far more valuable defensive player. Both teams won here, though.
- Cameron Maybin (Tigers) vs. Andrew McCutchen (Pirates): These high school center fielders went back-to-back, with Maybin going tenth and McCutchen going 11th. The early returns suggest that the Tigers made a poor choice here, though they ultimately packaged Maybin in a deal for Miguel Cabrera, so they're not exactly complaining. McCutchen has hit since he arrived in Pittsburgh last season, and a 23-year-old with an .847 OPS in his first 733 major league plate appearances stands an awfully good chance of being an elite player for years to come. Maybin is still immensely talented, and could turn into a star- but McCutchen already is one. Pirates win- how often do you get to read that?
- Craig Hansen (Red Sox) vs. Joey Devine (Braves): This throwdown is a lesson in the perils of college pitchers. They seem like sure things, compared to high schoolers, and from the start, the Red Sox and Braves thought they had their ninth-innings mapped out for years to come. Hansen, drafted 26th out of St. John's, has yet to find command at the major league level, with 63 walks against 70 strikeouts in 93.2 innings. The right-hander was one of the moving parts in the three-team deal that sent Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles. Hansen's troubles were baffling, until the discovery of a degenerative nerve condition that has his career in doubt. Devine, chosen 27th, got traded to Oakland for Mark Kotsay, so Atlanta didn't benefit much from choosing him, either. The Athletics got a fantastic 2008 out of Devine- a 0.59 ERA in 45.2 innings with 49 strikeouts. Tommy John surgery kept him out for 2009, but he is currently on track to return to Oakland by the end of June. Winner here? Clearly, the Athletics.
Joey Devine and the Oakland Athletics have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, according to the Associated Press. The right-hander's 2010 contract will earn him about $0.56MM.
Devine was dominant for the A's in 2008, posting an ERA of 0.59 over 45.2 IP. He was expected to compete for the closer's job in 2009, but underwent elbow surgery and did not pitch in a single regular season game.
We should be seeing plenty of similar stories coming in over the next week or two, as teams decide whether or not to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players before the December 12th deadline. Check out our list of non-tender candidates here.
Links for Wednesday...
- WEEI's Alex Speier points out that Ryan Zimmerman's deal mirrors the Kevin Youkilis extension, despite the difference in performance. Tyler Hissey of Around The Majors likes the Zimmerman contract nonetheless.
- Speier also reports that the Red Sox placed pitcher Devern Hansack on unconditional release waivers, not long after he dislocated his shoulder. UPDATE: Hansack will be re-signed to a minor league deal.
- Athletics reliever Joey Devine had Tommy John surgery, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star talked to Royals GM Dayton Moore, who said the decision to recall Brian Bannister over Luke Hochevar was not financially motivated.
- Randy Wolf doesn't have hard feelings toward the Astros, according to MLB.com's Michael Murphy. The 'Stros wisely yanked their three-year, $28.5MM offer to Wolf in November.
- Josh Levitt names the worst contract extensions in the game.
UPDATE, 1-14-08 at 5:07pm: Kotsay passed his physical; he's a Brave. The Braves also got most of his salary covered. In return the A's receive Joey Devine and Jamie Richmond. Devine is a 24 year-old righty reliever with a 92-94mph sinker, according to Baseball America. Richmond turns 22 in March; he's the type of pitching prospect who doesn't light up the radar gun but has "command of three pitches and advanced feel for pitching" according to BA.
FROM 1-13-08 at 12:11pm:
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports today via a Braves official that the Mark Kotsay trade is "still kind of a tentative thing." He doesn't take his physical until Monday, and there's no deal until the Braves deem him healthy. Slusser notes that the A's acquisition of Kotsay several years ago was delayed by concerns over his health.
Slusser also says the A's could receive an A ball pitcher in addition to Joey Devine. She confirms that the Devine acquisition could be a precursor to a Huston Street trade, something many emailers have speculated.
You know how it works...random rumors and links to clear out my inbox.
- Adam Jones left winter ball early, perhaps as a prelude to a trade.
- The Cardinals' interest in Jeff Weaver is "at best, tepid" according to Derrick Goold. However, Goold thinks they should bring him back.
- Walt Jocketty said on XM Radio: "I don't want to be a GM again." I guess that settles that, Wayne Krivsky can rest easy.
- This is kind of funny. Mark Teahen on meeting Jose Guillen: "For the most part he didn’t rub me the wrong way - he seemed like a good guy." Hmmm....for the most part?
UPDATE, 1-12-08 at 5:01pm: According to ESPN's Buster Olney, an agreement is in place for the A's to send Kotsay to the Braves for reliever Joey Devine. The A's will also eat $5.325MM of Kotsay's '08 salary, leaving the Braves on the hook for only $2MM. Essentially Billy Beane bought Devine.
UPDATE, 1-11-08 at 3:54pm: MLB.com's Mychael Urban has a source who believes the Braves would not pay more than $3MM of Kotsay's $8MM salary.
FROM 1-11-08 at 3:09pm:
David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution just posted his upcoming story in the comments of his blog. He says Billy Beane called Mark Kotsay this morning, informing him that he is discussing a trade with Atlanta. The Braves would get salary relief and give up a mid-level prospect, as expected.