John Bale Rumors

Minor Deals: Red Sox, Bale, Perdomo

Today's minor league signings feature the pitcher who has the second most strikeouts in Washington Nationals history. Here are the details:

  • The Red Sox announced they have signed Nate Spears, Santo Luis and Jason Bergmann and confirmed they have signed Brandon Duckworth and Drew Sutton.
  • Bergmann, 29, has a 5.04 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in parts of six seasons with the Nationals. He posted a 2.84 ERA with 9.9 K/9 in 43 relief appearances for Washington's Triple-A affiliate in 2010.
  • The Tigers signed lefty John Bale to a minor league deal according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Daniel Schlereth and Brad Thomas are the only two lefties on Detroit's roster, so the Tigers are looking to add depth. Bale, 36, has a 4.66 ERA in parts of seven big league seasons, but didn't play pro ball in 2010.
  • The Padres agreed to terms with right-hander Luis Perdomo on a minor league deal, the team announced. They non-tendered Perdomo yesterday, but he wasn't a free agent for long.

Hiroshima Carp Sign John Bale

Lefty John Bale signed with the Hiroshima Carp, reports Kyodo News.  Bale will earn about $109K for the Carp in 2010.  He spent three years with the club prior to his two-year, $4MM deal with the Royals signed in December of '06.

Bale, 36 in May, posted a 5.72 ERA in 28.3 innings for the Royals last year.  He dealt with a hyperactive thyroid and a hamstring injury, and was released a few days before the non-tender deadline.

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Royals Release Mike Jacobs, John Bale

9:43am: The release of Jacobs and Bale was confirmed by the Royals.

7:10am: Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star tweets that the Royals will release first baseman Mike Jacobs and lefty reliever John Bale this morning. The moves will give Kansas City two open 40-man roster spots, meaning they can make two picks in the Rule 5 Draft if they choose.

The 29-year-old Jacobs hit just .228/.297/.401 with 19 homers in 478 plate appearances after being acquired for Leo Nunez last offseason. Bale, 35, had a 5.72 ERA in 28.1 innings last year, and was only able to hold lefties to a .271 batting average. Both players made MLBTR's list of non-tender candidates.

Royals Slightly Reducing Payroll

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes that the Royals would like to leave themselves some wiggle room for in-season financial flexibility. As such, they're likely to enter the 2010 season with a payroll in the $66MM-$67MM range, as opposed to last season's $70.5MM payroll. Dutton quotes general manager Dayton Moore:

“I think we can be better positioned to improve our team for 2010 and into the future if we have more flexibility… That may be as simple as being more aggressive in the draft or being more aggressive internationally to build our farm system. And, certainly, it allows us the flexibility to make a deal to take on some money when necessary. I just think it makes more sense right now.”

The Royals currently have $50.4MM allocated to Jose Guillen, Gil Meche, Zack Greinke, David DeJesus, Kyle Farnsworth, Juan Cruz, Joakim Soria, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Willie Bloomquist. They have eight more players eligible for arbitration, although Mike Jacobs, John Buck, and John Bale are all non-tender candidates after disappointing 2009 campaigns. All of this projects to about $63MM before the Royals can even think about making moves.

They'd obviously love to be free of Guillen's $12MM owed in 2010, but much like Farnsworth ($4.5MM) and Cruz ($3.25MM), he'll be tough to move after a poor 2009. Meche could be moved as well – he's owed $24MM over the next two seasons – but his salary and injuries in 2009 will likely mean a poor return in any trade. They'll listen on DeJesus, but the Royals would miss his strong defense and solid bat and would like a replacement in any deal..

Alberto Callaspo may be the club's sole appealing trade chip. Kansas City hopes that Callaspo's strong offensive skills and the fact that he's not even eligible for arbitration will outweigh his defensive woes and yield a catcher or center fielder.

The Royals remain interested in Erik Bedard, Ivan Rodriguez, and Scott Podsednik, but it's tough to imagine them having the cash for those three without making some moves first. Any future GMs out there have some insight as to how Dayton Moore could free up the payroll to make it happen?