Jon Garland Rumors

Mariners Release Jon Garland, Mike Jacobs

The Mariners have granted pitcher Jon Garland and first baseman Mike Jacobs their release, according to a team statement. Both players were in camp on minor-league contracts.

The M's signed Garland in February. He has not pitched in the big leagues since 2011 following a shoulder injury. He appeared likely to opt out of his deal with the Mariners after the team made clear that he would not make the team out of spring training. His name plate was removed from his locker Friday.

Jacobs appeared in 13 games with the Diamondbacks in 2012, which is the most games he's played in any season in the majors since 2009. He hit .279/.362/.486 in 378 plate appearance at Triple-A Reno last year.


Jon Garland Likely To Opt Out Of Mariners’ Contract

Jon Garland will likely use the opt-out clause in his deal with the Mariners now that GM Jack Zduriencik has said there isn't any room for the veteran right-hander on the team's roster, reports Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio Seattle (Twitter links).  "At this time we cannot commit a rotation spot to [Garland] or a roster spot," Zduriencik said.

Garland signed a minor league deal with the M's in February that contained an opt-out clause Garland could exercise if he wasn't on Seattle's Major League roster by today.  The 33-year-old pitched well during Spring Training but it appears as if the Mariners will instead go with younger arms (Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, Brandon Maurer) to fill out their rotation behind Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Joe Saunders.

The Rockies have scouted Garland but only have "lukewarm" interest due to concerns about his durability, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports.  Garland has battled shoulder injuries that have kept him out of action since July 2011 but he averaged 205 IP per season from 2002-2010 and has a 4.32 ERA over 2083 1/3 career innings with the White Sox, Angels, Padres, Diamondbacks and Dodgers.


Mariners Face Decision On Garland

After putting up a solid spring outing, starting pitcher Jon Garland expects to learn on Friday whether he will be a part of the Mariners' 2013 rotation, because that is when his "out clause" becomes effective, reports Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio Seattle. Garland says that he has "shown them everything I can" and that "if they don't keep me here I am sure there will be a phone call" from another team. 

With fellow rotation hopeful Erasmo Ramirez struggling in his last two outings, and Garland looking sharp during his time in Mariners' camp, Mariners manager Eric Wedge recognized that the team has a difficult decision. "We will get together tonight or maybe tomorrow morning or both and figure out what we are going to do," said Wedge. "Obviously we have got a lot of moving parts when it comes to the starting rotation. It's not just about [Garland], it's about everyone who is involved with this."

Drayer believes it "would be a somewhat big surprise" if the Mariners let Garland walk. While his durability is an obvious concern as he returns from shoulder surgery, she notes that "he appears to be healthy, he can get big leaguers out, his pitches look sharp and he is getting decent sink on the ball." And as "the young pitchers aren't going anywhere" for Seattle, Drayer opines that the team has little to lose and much to gain by awarding the rotation spot to the veteran Garland.

There would be interest from teams like the Rockies if the 33-year-old should hit free agency, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports previewed Garland's comeback attempt back in February.



AL West Notes: Angels, Ryan, Olt, Garland, Luetge

The Angels are on the lookout for a backup catcher, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes, confirming an earlier report by Danny Knobler of CBS (on Twitter). Hank Conger is currently slated to back up Chris Iannetta, Gonzalez notes, but Conger has struggled with his throwing this spring. Luke Carlin and John Hester are also technically candidates for the backup job, but both are minor-league veterans with limited big-league experience. The Pirates, Phillies and Rays are also reportedly in the market for catching. Here are more notes from around the AL West.

  • The Rangers' Jon Daniels says he doesn't know of Nolan Ryan's plans, but that he "can't eliminate" the possibility that Ryan might leave the organization after its recent front office shakeup clouded his future with the team. Daniels' comments came in an interview with Norm Hitzges on KTCK-AM 1310 The Ticket, transcribed by the Dallas Morning News. Daniels says that the Rangers' baseball operations "have a really good thing going," and that he doesn't want Ryan to leave. Speculation about Ryan's role as CEO of the Rangers began when Daniels was promoted to president of baseball operations/GM and Rick George was promoted to president of business operations.
  • Scouts have been watching Rangers prospect Mike Olt, who doesn't currently have a position with the Rangers, but that doesn't mean Texas is likely to move him, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan writes. Olt has not hit well this spring, but Sullivan notes that manager Ron Washington has been impressed with Olt's defense in right field. Olt hit .288/.398/.579 for Double-A Frisco in 2012 and had a cameo in the big leagues, but has not yet played at the Triple-A level.
  • The Mariners will need to decide what to do with pitcher Jon Garland, who appears to have an out clause in his contract that he can exercise next week, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes. Garland missed much of 2011 and all of 2012 with shoulder trouble.
  • Mariners hurler Lucas Luetge is in a different position than he was in 2012 after spending the year in the majors as a Rule 5 draft pick, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Unlike last year, when Luetge's Rule 5 status meant he had to stay on the Mariners' 25-man roster the entire season, the Mariners have the option of sending Luetge to the minors. Luetge kept his head above water in 2012 despite having never before pitched above Double-A, posting a 3.98 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 40.2 big-league innings.

AL West Notes: Cabrera, Athletics, Garland

The baseball community is buzzing over Michael Bourn's four-year pact with the Indians, but there's more news than just that in the baseball world. Here's a collection of links pertaining to the AL West…

  • Right-hander Fernando Cabrera, who signed a minor league contract with the Angels in January, can opt out of his deal if he is not on the Major League roster by July 31 according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (Twitter link).
  • John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group tweets that Athletics manager Bob Melvin called Hiroyuki Nakajima and told him not to worry about the club's acquisition of Jed Lowrie. The A's traded for Lowrie a week ago.
  • There's no bad blood between Bartolo Colon and his teammates, writes CSN Bay Area's Casey Pratt. The Athletics have welcomed Colon back with open arms, and his teammates are glad to have him back in the fold as they look to defend their AL West title.
  • A scout texted Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and praised the Mariners for their minor league pact with Jon Garland. The scout tells Rosenthal that Garland looks healthy and was impressive in a recent workout. Garland told Rosenthal that his decision not to go to camp with the Indians after agreeing to a minor league deal with them last winter may have been the best decision of his career because it helped him finally get back to 100 percent. Cleveland GM Chris Antonetti called Garland's decision "very classy."
  • Kenji Nimura, who served as Hiroki Kuroda's intepreter for the Yankees last season, will now assume that role with Yu Darvish of the Rangers, Newsday's David Lennon tweets.
  • Ryan Madson suffered a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, which means he probably won't be ready to take the reins as the Angels' closer on Opening Day, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. Remember fantasy baseball players, you can keep track of all the latest closer-related injuries and news this season by following Tim Dierkes' @closernews on Twitter.

Mariners To Sign Jon Garland

The Mariners have agreed to a minor league deal with Jon Garland, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (on Twitter).  Jason A. Churchill of Prospect Insider first reported that the two sides were nearing an agreement (Twitter link).  The LSW client will receive an invite to major league spring training.

Garland has not pitched since July 2011 due to shoulder surgery and made it known this fall that he was planning on mounting a comeback.  The veteran started throwing for teams in September but there hasn't been a great deal of news on him since then.

For his career, the 33-year-old owns a 4.32 ERA with 4.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 across 12 seasons for the White Sox, Dodgers, D'Backs, Padres, and Angels.


Twins Rumors: McCarthy, Blanton, Dempster, Myers

Here's the latest on the Twins from Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN

  • So far, the Twins have reached out to free agents Brandon McCarthy, Anibal Sanchez, Joe Blanton, Ryan Dempster, and Brett Myers. They're interested in Myers as a starter. They've also reached out to Brandon Webb even though he hasn't thrown a pitch in the big leagues since 2009.
  • The club continues to have regular conversations with Alan Nero, who represents right-hander Scott Baker. The two sides are working on a new contract after Baker's $9.25MM option was declined.
  • The Twins have not shown any interest in Jon Garland and were not present when the right-hander threw for teams during an audition back in September.
  • Talks with reliever Jared Burton about a contract extension are underway. Matt Swartz projects a $2.1MM salary for the right-hander next season, after which he'll become a free agent.
  • The Twins have inquired about reliever Randy Messenger, though the Hanshin Tigers in Japan will not allow the right-hander out of his contract.
  • The team has not contacted Bill Bray after he hit free agency. Special assistant Wayne Krivsky acquired the left-hander during his tenure as Reds GM.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Uptons, Ellsbury, Myers, Garland

Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Mets were discussing R.A. Dickey in trades with other teams. He hears that the club has not made a "substantial (extension) offer" yet, and if they get the right trade offer they may just move on. Here are the rest of Rosenthal's rumors from the GM Meetings…

  • The Rays need B.J. Upton to reject his qualifying offer before making a serious run at his brother Justin. The elder Upton is drawing interest and figures to reject the offer by tomorrow's deadline.
  • The Tigers are a darkhorse for Justin since they could offer top third base prospect Nick Castellanos and others, including guys like Avisail Garcia, Rick Porcello, and Drew Smyly.
  • The Braves do not appear to be in serious pursuit of Upton.
  • The Red Sox continue to be disinclined to trade Jacoby Ellsbury and the chances of moving him are slim. GM Ben Cherington is the type to listen on all of his players, however.
  • Brett Myers is telling teams he wants to be a starter first, a closer second, and a setup man third.
  • Jon Garland, who has not pitched since July 2011 due to shoulder surgery, intends to make a comeback. He threw for 10-15 teams in September.

Jon Garland No Longer With Indians

Jon Garland is no longer with the Indians, reports Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The right-hander was scheduled for a physical on Monday, but he didn't take it and his minor league contract will not be finalized.

GM Chris Antonetti told ESPN's Jim Bowden that Garland is going to continue to rehab, but he's not currently able to compete for a job (Twitter link). The Tribe agreed to sign the righty shortly after learning that Fausto Carmona – a.k.a. Roberto Hernandez – was unlikely to be in Spring Training on time. The 32-year-old Garland missed most of last season due to shoulder surgery after posting nine consecutive seasons of at least 190 innings.


Quick Hits: Appel, Angels, Uehara, Garland, Oswalt

On this day in 1982, the Padres traded Ozzie Smith, Steve Mura, and Al Olmsted to the Cardinals for Luis DeLeon, Sixto Lezcano and Garry Templeton.  The trade was sparked by both Smith and Templeton having issues with their respective teams.  Here's a look at today's links..

  • Stanford righty Mark Appel isn't a lock for the No. 1 pick in the draft, writes ESPN's Keith Law (Insider req'd). Appel touched 97mph in the first inning of his first start, but sat 91-95mph for the next six innings and doesn't command his fastball well enough in the zone to miss as many bats as he should, says Law. Law also looks at some Stanford hitters who should go high in the draft and notes some impressive velocity from around the country yesterday.
  • The Angels have hired former big leaguers Gary Varsho and Jeff Cirillo as scouts, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.
  • Rangers reliever Koji Uehara wants to get his situation settled and know where he's playing this season, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.  Texas has been talking with clubs about a possible deal, including the Athletics.
  • The Indians are still working through details in their talks with Jon Garland, tweets Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.  The pitcher was originally set to undergo a physical on Monday but that now seems unlikely.
  • When asked about adding Roy Oswalt or anyone else, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told reporters, "We're always open for business here," tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
  • Dusty Baker only has one year remaining on his contract, but the Reds skipper says that he isn't concerned about it, writes Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.
  • Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner told Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter) that he hasn't heard from the team about a long-term contract yet.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter) has the contract figures on two minor league signings from earlier this offseason.  Joel Pineiro will earn $1.5MM if he makes the big league roster with the Phillies while Ryan Spilborghs will receive a $1MM base salary if he's in the majors with the Indians.