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Jo-Jo Reyes Rumors
The Orioles claimed Jo-Jo Reyes, MLBTR has learned. The Orioles have since confirmed the claim and announced that they transferred Luke Scott to the 60-day disabled list to create 40-man roster space for Reyes. The Blue Jays had designated the left-hander for assignment last week.
Reyes, 26, made the Blue Jays' rotation out of Spring Training and posted a 5.40 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 110 innings of work. Reyes appears to have been the victim of bad luck, based on his 4.59 xFIP. Acquired in the trade that sent Yunel Escobar to Toronto, Reyes should provide the Orioles with a swingman with experience in the tough AL East.
Reyes, 26, posted a 5.40 ERA in 110 innings across 20 starts this season. He struck out 5.2 batters per nine innings while walking 2.9 per nine. Opponents hit .306 off of him, the highest batting average against in baseball. Ledezma pitched to a 4.63 ERA in 46 2/3 relief innings for Toronto's Triple-A affiliate, though he struck out 63 while walking just 18 during that time.
Some links to round out this Monday evening..
- Even though he's now with the White Sox, Jake Peavy still looks back fondly on his time with the Padres, writes Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock writes that Rule 5 pick George Kontos was a longshot to make San Diego's bullpen. Earlier today the club returned the right-hander to the Yankees.
- The Giants would be better off releasing Aaron Rowand, opines Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles.
- Left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes is out of options but MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm expects the Blue Jays to keep him on the 25-man roster.
- Now with his third club, the Orioles' J.J. Hardy is looking to get his career back on track, writes Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports shared some Sunday morning notes from Spring Training. Let's check out the highlights….
- With Adam Rosales recovering from December foot surgery, the Athletics would like to add an affordable utility infielder. Even someone like the Tigers' Ramon Santiago would be too expensive for the A's though, so they'll probably opt for an in-house option instead.
- The Yankees figure to start the year with Jesus Montero as Russell Martin's backup in New York. One scout cautions that the team needs to ease the top prospect into an expanded role, as he adjusts to catching at the big league level.
- The Phillies' utility infielder candidates have been playing well this spring, so they may not have to explore a contingency plan even if they expect Chase Utley to miss significant time. According to Rosenthal's sources, the Phils can't take on much salary. If the club were to pursue a player like Michael Young, the Rangers would have to take Joe Blanton and include cash in any deal, which Texas isn't inclined to do.
- With Kyle Drabek and Jesse Litsch the favorites to earn the Blue Jays' two open rotations spots, skipper John Farrell told reporters that Jo-Jo Reyes could crack the 25-man roster as a reliever. Earlier this week, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examined the possibility of Reyes being a trade candidate.
- Teammate Chone Figgins likens Mariners prospect Dustin Ackley to "a more athletic Todd Walker," a comparison Rosenthal says is more flattering than you'd initially think.
The Blue Jays have four out of options players with less than five years of big league service time, according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm: Rajai Davis, Dustin McGowan, David Purcey, and Jo-Jo Reyes. Davis and Purcey are expected to make the team and McGowan will start the year on the DL, leaving Reyes as the one member of this group who is on the bubble for Toronto.
As Chisholm explained on February 28th, Reyes is currently part of a four-man battle for the last two spots in the Blue Jays' rotation, along with Jesse Litsch, Marc Rzepczynski and Kyle Drabek. Reyes could wind up in the bullpen instead. The Blue Jays risk losing Reyes if they can't find a spot for him on the 25-man roster, as he's out of options. Reyes struggled in his first Spring Training appearance, but pitched well on Saturday with three scoreless innings.
Reyes, 26, was acquired by the Blue Jays from the Braves in the July Yunel Escobar trade. Baseball America regarded him as the Braves' eighth-best prospect heading into the 2007 season, calling him a "thick-bodied lefthander who does a good job of keeping hitters off balance." Reyes has only 194 big league innings to his credit, as he's dealt with injuries and command and control problems.
One team exec I spoke to feels that Reyes would not clear waivers, as a lefty with decent stuff. He doesn't think it will come to that, as the Blue Jays can probably find a trade partner if they don't have a spot for the southpaw.
The Blue Jays acquired shortstop Yunel Escobar and pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes from the Braves for shortstop Alex Gonzalez and minor leaguers Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky, according to a team press release. The Jays designated Ronald Uviedo for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
The move comes as a big surprise, as Escobar was perhaps one of the more valuable commodities in the game when the 2009 season concluded. Just a few days ago, MLB.com's Mark Bowman wrote that the Braves "simply aren't willing to sell low on a guy who they still view as the game's top defensive shortstop." Escobar was worth over four wins last year, but his power has disappeared in 301 plate appearances this year. Escobar will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season, so he'll be under the Jays' control through 2013. Escobar's attitude was a likely factor in the deal; Bowman wrote in June that "there's no doubt that Escobar's flamboyant approach to the game has continued to infuriate some members of the Braves organization." Back in February, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez went more in-depth on the attitude angle.
Gonzalez will replace Escobar as the Braves' starting shortstop as they enter the second half with a four game lead in the NL East. He doesn't get on base, but he's already hit 17 home runs on the season and continues to play strong defense. Gonzalez is owed another $1.23MM this year and has a $2.5MM club option for 2011. Braves GM Frank Wren told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "This trade improves our club for the second half of the season."
Reyes, a 25-year-old southpaw, has spent most of the season at Triple A. His strikeout and walk rates are strong in his fourth stint at the level, but he's had problems with home runs and hits. Baseball America regarded Reyes as the Braves' eighth-best prospect heading into the 2007 season, calling him a "thick-bodied lefthander who does a good job of keeping hitters off balance." He's dealt with injuries, including Tommy John surgery in '04.
Collins, a 20-year-old lefty, was ranked 19th among Blue Jays prospects by Baseball America heading into this season. The 5'7" southpaw "gets outs with a solid fastball that tops out at 93 mph and a true 12-to-6 curveball that he spins really well." Working in relief, Collins has a 15.3 K/9 in 43 Double A innings this year. Pastornicky, a 20-year-old shortstop, was ranked 17th. He's described as a player who "doesn't have flashy tools but gets the most out of what he has." In the best case, he'll become a line drive top of the order hitter with solid defense, indicates BA. As for Uviedo, the Jays had acquired him from the Pirates in the June Dana Eveland deal. BA described him as rail-thin and homer-prone heading into the '09 season, but praised his fastball and slider.
My take: this is certainly a win-now move for the Braves, who are confident Gonzalez will provide more over the next few months than Escobar would have. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, managed the rare feat of acquiring three-plus years of a shortstop with star potential without giving up much.
Sunday night linkage..
- Rookie left-hander and Rule 5 draftee Edgar Osuna has impressed in Kansas City and will likely stick with the club, writes Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
- Joe Torre has suspended contract extension talks with the Dodgers to avoid becoming a distraction during the season, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner (via Twitter) believes that the Twins are paying Joe Mauer what he's worth. Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that Minnesota's payroll will likely top $100MM in 2011.
- Social media can be a real headache for GMs, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Hanshin Tigers are looking at three major league pitchers to bolster their rotation, according to a report from Sports Hochi passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. The report lists Jo-Jo Reyes, Eric Stults, and Seth McClung as possibilities. You may recall that another Japanese club, the Chiba Lotte Marines, has previously shown interest in Stults.
- Bobby Jenks will be on a short leash this season, writes Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald. Jenks, who turned 29 on March 14th, is set to earn $7.5MM in 2010 after avoiding arbitration with the White Sox.
- The Padres' Adrian Gonzalez is ignoring all of the trade talk that surrounds him, writes Peter Gammons in a column for MLB.com.
Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune had an article yesterday involving a couple of failed Padres trades.
Krasovic says the Padres and Braves were discussing a 4-for-1 Jake Peavy deal in November. Yunel Escobar and Gorkys Hernadez were agreed upon. The conflict came as the Padres wanted Charlie Morton over Jo-Jo Reyes as well as Jeff Locke or Tyler Flowers over Blaine Boyer. To me that gap looks pretty sizeable, so maybe the trade was never close. At this point it seems like the Braves could end up with Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami as their rotation upgrades. They’ve reportedly made Escobar unavailable, leading Dan Hayes of the North County Times to suggest the Braves would have to remove Tommy Hanson‘s apparent "untouchable" tag to get Peavy. Everything I’ve read about Hanson has said the Braves are adamant about keeping him.
Krasovic also says the Giants made a run at shortstop Khalil Greene before he was dealt to the Cardinals.
7:05pm: MLB.com’s Mark Bowman says the White Sox will actually receive four players in the deal. They’ll choose from a list of five, with Flowers and Lillibridge their top targets.
5:34pm: Rosenthal says an announcement could come Wednesday or Thursday. He says Lillibridge is in the deal along with a young starter, but it’s not Reyes. Additionally, highly regarded catcher Tyler Flowers might be the third prospect (which would improve the trade quite a bit for the Sox). Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein says Flowers profiles as an offense-first catcher, but there are questions about his ability to stay behind the plate. Dave O’Brien notes that Sox GM Ken Williams saw Flowers play in Arizona and "practically drooled over him."
5:19pm: ESPN’s Peter Gammons says Vazquez is flying to Atlanta tomorrow for a physical; the deal will be finalized then. The White Sox will send Vazquez and lefty Boone Logan to the Braves for Reyes, Lillibridge, and another prospect. I’m wondering – with Reyes and another prospect gone, do the Braves still have the goods to pull off a Jake Peavy trade? With Vazquez added, the Braves should be less desperate if talks for Peavy resume.
4:53pm: Rosenthal now says the Braves are on the verge of acquiring Vazquez.
4:22pm: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Braves are in serious discussions with the White Sox for starter Javier Vazquez. The White Sox could receive as many as three players, with Jo-Jo Reyes and Brent Lillibridge among the names discussed. Vazquez is set to earn $11.5MM in each of the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Acquiring him would definitely take some pressure off the Braves, who aim to add two quality starters to put in front of Jair Jurrjens.
According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, the Padres are expected to request Jake Peavy waive his no-trade clause to go to the Braves. The deal being discussed: Yunel Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez, Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes, and Blaine Boyer or one of two minor league southpaws. Miller says the Padres are leaning toward Morton and Boyer.
The Braves want an answer by Friday, so they can figure out their free agent needs. Peavy is said to prefer the Cubs, but we’ll see what happens if the Padres approach him to waive the no-trade for Atlanta. It hasn’t happened yet.