John Mayberry Jr. Rumors
The Braves have signed right-hander Yunesky Maya to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, tweets Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deports. The 32-year-old Cuban hurler never lived up to expectations with the Nationals, posting just a 4.17 ERA in 464 minor league innings and a 5.80 ERA in 59 frames at the big league level. Elsewhere in the NL East...
- The Nationals have discussed Jerry Blevins with the Athletics, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. However, James Wagner of the Washington Post adds that it was the Nats who reached out to the A's, and Oakland is said to be happy with its bullpen (Twitter link).
- Former manager Davey Johnson rarely utilized infield shifts, but Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com writes that defensive shifts will be a point of emphasis under new manager Matt Williams. Kolko quotes Williams as saying his club will have defensive meetings every day.
- Despite tendering John Mayberry a contract, the Phillies are seeking an upgrade over the soon-to-be 30-year-old as they look to add a right-handed bat with better defense in cente field, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- The Marlins have checked in on Delmon Young, tweets MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, who notes that Rosenthal has previously reported that Young has worked out at first base (Twitter link).
Phillies outfielder John Mayberry Jr. has been considered a non-tender candidate in many circles, but even after signing Marlon Byrd, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. seems to be leaning toward retaining him. "He's not a issue for me. We haven't made any final decisions. But I'd view him as a tender," Amaro said today of Mayberry, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mayberry is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career, having amassed three years and 95 days of big league service time.
Mayberry, 30 in December, hit .227/.286/.391 in 384 plate appearances this year. A right-handed hitter, he has continually shown power against southpaws. Matt Swartz projects him at a $1.7MM salary for 2014. The Phillies' arbitration class also includes Kyle Kendrick, Antonio Bastardo, Ben Revere, and Kevin Frandsen.
MLBTR published its list of non-tender candidates last Thursday.
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. discussed the upcoming season with Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, addressing stars such as Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence along the way. Here are the details on the five-time defending NL East Champions:
- The Phillies are optimistic that John Mayberry Jr. can add offense in left field. “We believe in the things he can do,” Amaro said. “Laynce Nix is a good complement to him out there in left field. Hopefully we can get the production we need out of those guys.”
- Amaro said he feels “awful” for Ryan Madson personally, but expressed confidence that the longtime Phillies reliever will come back. Madson will miss the 2012 season to recover from Tommy John surgery.
- Cole Hamels is on track to hit free agency after the season, but the GM hinted that an extension remains possible, saying the club can afford to have three $20MM pitchers in the rotation. “I know we can,” Amaro said.
- It’s possible though not necessarily probably that the Phillies will sign Hamels, Pence and Victorino long-term.
Arizona GM Kevin Towers tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he believes a big part of the D’Backs’ turnaround comes from his team’s “will to win.” Here are more of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB:
- Rosenthal says it’s doubtful that the Tigers would be better off without GM Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland.
- Will the Pirates extend GM Neal Huntington? Rival executives say the Pirates’ farm system isn’t as good as Pittsburgh executives think, but the club took a step forward under Huntington this year (especially before the Pirates’ recent losing streak).
- Indians officials have been impressed with Jason Kipnis’ versatility and athleticism, not just his recent power surge.
- Rosenthal suggests Eduardo Nunez has substantial trade value, since he can play premium positions and hit (.273/.325/.407 line this year).
- Scouts see John Mayberry of the Phillies as a late bloomer like Jayson Werth or Michael Morse, Rosenthal reports.
The Phillies shut out the Giants last night behind a complete game from Cliff Lee in a game that many consider a possible playoff preview. Here's the latest on the Phillies, who have the best record in baseball at 71-39...
- GM Ruben Amaro Jr.'s decision to add Lee to an already impressive rotation has "played out to perfection" so far, Jon Paul Morosi writes at FOX Sports.com.
- David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News looks back at the season John Mayberry Jr. has had and points out that the outfielder will be out of minor league options next year. That means the Phillies will have to expose him to other teams if they decide to demote him to the minors in 2012.
- As Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer explains, Ben Francisco could be optioned to the minors this weekend.
- We heard earlier this morning that the Phillies hope to re-sign Jimmy Rollins this offseason.
David Murphy offers up an insight into the Phillies issues this week, stating that the Phillies will likely be far less active than last year, when they signed Raul Ibanez, set their sights on Chan Ho Park, and extended Jamie Moyer. The Phils have already signed Placido Polanco, Brian Schneider, and Juan Castro this offseason, leaving general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. with fewer needs during his trip to Indianapolis:
- Despite locking up Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, and J.C. Romero over the past few seasons, the Phillies find themselves in need of relief help. As we all know, Lidge was dreadful in 2009 and is coming off arthroscopic elbow surgery. Romero is coming off surgery as well and could miss a month of the season. Brandon Lyon is the team's primary target.
- Amaro has said adding a bench bat is bottom on his list of priorities, as the spot could be filled by recently-signed minor league free agent Dewayne Wise, or prospect John Mayberry Jr. Still, a move shouldn't be ruled out, according to Murphy.
- In regards to a No. 5 starter, the Phillies haven't ruled out a return for Pedro Martinez, but Murphy feels it is unlikely. While Kyle Kendrick was impressive late in the season last year, an alternative to him and Jamie Moyer wouldn't hurt.
- Murphy is interested to see the outcome of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday this week, given the Phillies' success there in the past. Perhaps you've heard of Shane Victorino? He turned out to be an OK selection.