Jon Rauch Rumors

Minor Moves: Duncan, Manzella, Russell, Rauch

Here are today's minor transactions, with the newest moves at the top of the page…

  • The Diamondbacks have released first baseman Shelley Duncan, shortstop Tommy Manzella and right-hander Adam Russell, Matt Eddy reports (via Twitter).  All three players signed minor league deals with the Snakes during the offseason.  Duncan had a .606 OPS in 64 PA with the Rays in 2013, while Russell and Manzella last appeared in the majors in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
  • The Royals released veteran reliever Jon Rauch, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets.  Rauch, 35, signed a minor league deal with K.C. in January.  The right-hander posted a 7.56 ERA in 16 2/3 IP with the Marlins and a 2.89 ERA in 9 1/3 IP for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate last season.
  • The Nationals released infielder Mike Fontenot.  The veteran last played in the Majors in 2012, spending last season with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate and then signing a minor league deal with Washington in January.  Formerly a staple of the Cubs infield, Fontenot has a .265/.332/.401 line over 1586 career PA with the Cubs, Giants and Phillies.
  • The Cardinals outrighted Joey Butler to Triple-A Memphis.  Butler, 28, made his Major League debut last season by appearing in eight games for the Rangers, following six years in the Texas farm system that saw him post a .291/.375/.442 slash line with 72 homers over 3036 PA.  The outfielder was claimed off waivers by St. Louis in October.
  • The Brewers released outfielder Greg Golson, who had been signed to a minor league contract in January.  Golson appeared in 40 Major League games with the Phillies, Rangers and Yankees from 2008-11 and has playing in the minors ever since.

Royals To Sign Jon Rauch

The Royals have agreed to terms with reliever Jon Rauch on a minor league deal, tweets Jon Heyman of MLBTR's Zach Links reported last night that the towering righty was close to signing. 

Rauch, 35, struggled last year with a 7.56 ERA in just 16 2/3 innings with the Marlins. The Turner Gary Sports client has maintained a solid track record over his career, however, with a net 3.78 ERA in his 547 1/3 big league innings as a reliever, supported by a 2.80 K:BB ratio when working out of the pen. 

Kansas City becomes Rauch's eighth big league stop (he also played at the Triple-A level for the Orioles organization last year). He has only spent more than two seasons with one franchise — the Expos/Nationals, where he played for parts of five seasons.

Quick Hits: Rauch, O’Flaherty, Betancourt, Coffey

Jon Rauch is close to signing with a team, MLBTR's Zach Links reports (Twitter link).  The 35-year-old posted a 7.56 ERA in 16 2/3 IP with the Marlins last season and also made 10 appearances for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate after signing a minor league contract with the O's in June.  Despite his outlier of a 2013 season, Rauch has been a solid right-handed bullpen arm for much of his career, posting a 3.65 ERA, 2.79 K/BB and 7.2 K/9 over 549 2/3 IP from 2004-2012.

Here's some more news as we wrap up a busy Wednesday around baseball…

  • The Braves only offered Eric O'Flaherty a one-year contract to remain with the team, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via Twitter).  Though O'Flaherty underwent Tommy John surgery last May and will miss at least part of the 2014 season, he still scored a two-year, $7MM deal from the A's earlier today.
  • Yuniesky Betancourt will decide on his new club within the week, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link).  Betancourt was drawing interest from several teams, potentially even as a starter.
  • Also from Cotillo, there is "strong interest" in right-hander Todd Coffey.  At least nine of the 14 teams who attended Coffey's throwing session last week want to see his second session.  Coffey is looking to return to action after missing all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
  • Much of the Indians' success at the plate last season was due to their lineup flexibility and use of bench players, a trait that's Anthony Castrovince believes could be somewhat difficult to duplicate in 2014, though Carlos Santana's proposed attempt to play third base would be a great help in that department.
  • The Twins didn't have any interest in Grady Sizemore this winter, though the club checked in on him last summer, 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson reports (via Twitter).
  • "Another issue with a physical does nothing to enhance the Orioles' reputation in the industry, which is taking a two-fisted beating this winter," Roch Kubatko of writes in regards to the news that Baltimore's agreement with Tyler Colvin has been delayed due to a problem with the outfielder's physical.  Kubatko wonders if the O's could be trying to get Colvin to sign a minor league contract instead of a Major League deal, as the club did last offseason when it wasn't satisifed with Jair Jurrjens' physical.
  • The Phillies liked Masahiro Tanaka and engaged in "cursory negotiations" with his representatives, but GM Ruben Amaro told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the team wasn't prepared to go beyond five years to sign the Japanese righty.  The Phillies seem likely to go into 2014 with their current pitching options, as they only would've exceeded their payroll limitations for "an exception" like Tanaka.

Jon Rauch Opts Out Of Orioles Contract

Right-hander Jon Rauch has opted out of his minor league deal with the Orioles, who have granted him his release from Triple-A Norfolk, according to Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore (on Twitter). The veteran setup man and former closer signed a minor league deal with the O's back on June 1.

Rauch, 34, agreed to a one-year, $1MM contract that contained $750K of incentives with the Marlins this offseason, but the Fish designated him for assignment in late May. Rauch posted a 7.56 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 16 2/3 innings for Miami. His 3.48 FIP suggests that he was considerably better than his ERA indicated during his brief stint with Miami.

Rauch excelled in a small 9 1/3 inning stint with Norfolk, allowing just three runs with 10 strikeouts and four walks. That was his first minor league action since 2005, as the 6'11" hurler had been able to hold down a Major League bullpen job in each year since that time.

Orioles Sign Jon Rauch

9:10pm: Rauch has a June 18th opt out with the O's, according to Jon Heyman of (on Twitter).  Baltimore will then have 48 hours to respond to the veteran's request at that date.

1:03pm: The Orioles announced that they have agreed to a minor league deal with pitcher Jon Rauch.  The right-hander, who is represented by Turner Gary Sports according to the MLBTR Agency Database, will report to Triple-A Norfolk.

Rauch was designated for assignment by the Marlins earlier this month in order to create room on the 40-man roster for Duane Below.  Rauch signed a one-year, $1MM deal with the Marlins in February and posted a 6.89 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 and 2/3 innings. The 34-year-old owns a career 3.88 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 over 594 big league innings.

Beltway Notes: Strasburg, Orioles, Nats, Rauch

Here's a look at the latest on the Nationals and Orioles..

  • It makes no sense to question the Nationals' decision last year to put an innings limit on Stephen Strasburg's arm last year due to his current troubles, tweets Jon Heyman of  Strasburg's is dealing with an oblique injury while last year's move was made in order to protect his arm. 
  • Brittany Ghiroli of (Twitter link) asked Dan Duquette if Jon Rauch has an opt out clause in his deal but the Orioles GM didn't answer.  That leads Ghiroli to surmise that he probably has one in his contract.  The O's signed the veteran hurler to a minor league deal earlier today.
  • Duquette says that Rauch replaces the veteran experience of Luis Ayala, Ghiroli tweets.  The Orioles shipped the reliever to the Braves back in April for minor league lefty Chris Jones.
  • Roch Kubatko of (Twitter link) notes that the Orioles had interest in Rauch over the offseason before he signed with the Marlins.  The 34-year-old got a $1MM deal with incentives from Miami.

Marlins Designate Jon Rauch For Assignment

THURSDAY: The Marlins have released Rauch, according to the transactions page yesterday.  The person running that page jumped the gun, however, a source tells MLBTR, as the pitcher has not yet been officially released.

FRIDAY: The Marlins have announced that right-hander Jon Rauch has been designated for assignment.  The move creates a spot on the 40-man roster for Duane Below, who was recently claimed off waivers from the Tigers. 

Rauch signed a one-year, $1MM deal with the Marlins in February, but pitched to a 6.89 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 2/3 innings.  The 34-year-old owns a career 3.88 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 over 594 big league innings.  Before he signed with Miami, the Brewers were among the clubs with interest in Rauch.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.


Marlins Sign Jon Rauch

9:01pm: Rauch will receive $250K for time spent on the Marlins' roster after 90, 120 and 150 days, says Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald (via Twitter).

4:57pm: Rauch can earn an additional $750K through roster bonuses,'s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter).

4:21pm: The sides agreed to a one-year, $1MM deal, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter).

3:45pm: The Marlins signed free agent right-hander Jon Rauch to a one-year deal, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports (on Twitter). The team designated outfielder Bryan Petersen for assignment in a related move.

Rauch appeared in 73 games for the 2012 Mets, posting a 3.59 ERA with 6.6 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 36.6% ground ball rate in 57 2/3 innings. The 6'11" 34-year-old earned $3.5MM on a one-year deal with New York. Rauch's average fastball velocity was 90.8 mph last year, up from 89.5 mph in 2011 (via FanGraphs).

The Marlins were linked to free agent right-hander Jose Valverde yesterday, though their interest doesn't appear serious. It's not clear whether today's deal will impact the team's interest level in other relief pitching. Teams seeking right-handed relief could inquire on Francisco RodriguezBrian Wilson and Mark Lowe, as MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows.

Petersen appeared in 84 games for the Marlins last year, playing all three outfield positions. The 26-year-old posted a .195/.272/.257 batting line in 273 plate appearances.

Quick Hits: Mets, Anibal, Brewers, Bourjos

MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the R.A. Dickey trade, the Josh Hamilton signing, the Anibal Sanchez deal and the latest rumors on todays’ edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast. Click here to listen in, and continue reading for the latest from around the league…

  • The Mets are closing in on adding an outfielder, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. Puma's source tells him that the player hasn't previously been linked to the Mets (Twitter links). Puma doesn't specify if the acquisition would come via free agency or trade. New York has previously been linked to Cody Ross, which seems to rule him out.
  • Sanchez's agent, Gene Mato, told Anthony Fetch of the Detroit Free Press that Sanchez left a larger offer from an unnamed team on the table at the Winter Meetings. The right-hander didn't want to make his decision based solely on money but also on where he felt comfortable.
  • Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that his team is interested in Jon Rauch, Jason Frasor, Kyle Farnsworth and Mike Gonzalez (Twitter link).
  • Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets that the Marlins aren't particularly interested in Peter Bourjos because they'd prefer a better hitting outfielder. Earlier today it was reported that the Fish may be interested in Bourjos.
  • Some teams aren't convinced that Hiroyuki Nakajima's glove is good enough to play shortstop at the Major League level, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN. The Japanese slugger signed with the Athletics earlier today.
  • Former Cubs coach Pat Listach has been hired by the Dodgers as the team's new minor league infield coordinator, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).

Mets Notes: Wright, Dickey, Pelfrey, Davis

The Mets will “turn over” the roster this coming offseason, team sources tell Adam Rubin of Here are the details, starting with the team’s franchise player…

  • Team officials remain optimistic that they’ll be able to retain David Wright long-term, Rubin reports. Mets executives hope the third baseman will succeed Tom Seaver as the unofficial ambassador for the organization once he retires as a player, according to Rubin. Wright told Rubin over the weekend that he hopes his next contract will cover the remainder of his playing career.
  • Relievers Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez are expected to leave as free agents after the season, Rubin reports.
  • Rubin hears from Mets sources that Andres Torres and Mike Pelfrey will likely be non-tendered this winter.
  • R.A. Dickey’s contract includes a club option for 2013 that will surely be exercised, but his long-term future with the organization is not entirely secure, according to Rubin. Mets executives seem wary of making a “sizable commitment” to the Cy Young candidate.
  • One Mets person said the team would require “a boatload” to part with Ike Davis, Jon Heyman of reports. The Red Sox had two scouts in attendance at last night’s Mets-Marlins game and could have interest in trading for the first time arbitration eligible first baseman, Heyman reports.