Jon Garland Rumors
Making his first start in a Rockies uniform tonight, recently-signed Jon Garland made such an impression with his groundball-inducing ways that the club tweeted his groundout to flyout ratio (2.5:1) through five innings.
- Garland has substantial incentives in his contract with the Rockies that could raise its total value to $3.1MM, explains Troy Renck of the Denver Post. In addition to his base $500k deal, which will fully vest if he stays on the 25-man roster for 45 days, Garland can earn up to $1.35MM for innings pitched (the pay starts at 105 IP and increases up to 195 IP) and up to $1.25MM for starts made (with the incentives kicking in at 20 starts and continuing to 32 starts).
- The Rockies are expected to consider the possibility of inking righty Aaron Cook, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post tweeted earlier today. Cook, who was released earlier today by the Phillies, is (like Garland) known as a groundball artist.
- In spite of being sent to Double-A today by the Dodgers, Yasiel Puig has been so impressive that he may enable the club to effectively buy even more young talent from other clubs, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. As Rosenthal explains, if L.A. is able to replace either Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier with Puig, they could then offer to pay for much of the balance of the contracts of those expensive veterans to extract quality prospects from a trade partner. According to an unnamed rival executive, "It's smart actually -- the only way to really build a farm system under the new rules. And you can only do it if you've got big dollars."
- The Kyle Lohse signing was a substantial investment for the Brewers at three years and $33MM, but owner Mark Attanasio says that it will not prevent the club from "being able to make another move," reports Rosenthal. In particular, Attanasio expects to be in a position to re-sign first-baseman Corey Hart, who falls just outside the top 10 anticipated 2014 free agents in MLBTR's TIm Dierkes's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings. While the Brewers sought to add to their rotation without losing a draft pick when they made an offer to Ryan Dempster before he joined the Red Sox for two years and $26.5MM, Attanasio explained that, "at the time we made the Dempster decision, we thought Kyle would go at a higher price." Finally, Rosenthal notes that Lohse can earn three separate paydays totalling an additional $1MM for reaching 190 innings pitched over each of the next three seasons.
- Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has been a popular topic of trade speculation, with the presumption being that Chicago would try to get whatever prospects and/or salary relief it could. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders, however, whether Soriano is now too valuable for the team to consider dealing. For his part, Soriano raves about the team's new front office and coaching staff, explaining how they changed the culture from one in which he felt singled out for the team's failings to one in which, "if we lost, we lost like a team; if we won, we won like a team."
Scouts from the Indians, Rangers, Mariners and Pirates were in attendance on the back fields of the Dodgers' Spring Training complex today to watch Chris Capuano in a minor league game, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Capuano dominated, striking out 11 hitters and yielding just three hits over seven shutout innings (85 pitches). Capuano is pleased with his improved mechanics and results over his past two starts, Gurnick writes. Here's more out of the NL West...
- Gurnick also notes that many of those same scouts (and possibly others) are likely to gather tomorrow for Aaron Harang's start. Capuano, Harang, Ted Lilly and Matt Guerrier are all trade candidates for the Dodgers.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweets that new Rockies pitcher Jon Garland said he "strongly considered" signing with the Rox as a free agent this offseason before accepting a minor league deal from the Mariners. When that didn't work out (they released Garland on Saturday), he quickly reached an agreement with Colorado on a one-year, Major League deal.
- Top prospect Nolan Arenado has had a great Spring Training and is still in camp with the Rockies, but MLB.com's Thomas Harding tweets that the team isn't planning a Chris Nelson trade to clear a starting spot for Arenado.
- The Giants are in the market for a backup middle infielder, according to CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly, who opines that Nick Noonan makes for a fine internal option (Twitter link).
6:15pm: Garland has officially signed with the Rockies, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports (on Twitter).
2:25pm: Garland will sign a Major League contract worth $500K with more than $2MM in incentives and he will be in the starting rotation, tweets FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi.
Garland, 33, hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2011 due to a host of shoulder injuries. In 2083 1/3 career Major League innings, he owns a 4.32 ERA, 4.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 to go along with a 45.1 percent ground-ball rate. In 12 Spring Training innings with the Mariners, Garland allowed three runs on 10 hits (including a pair of homers), five walks and four strikeouts.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
Jon Garland, who was released by the Mariners over the weekend, is in camp with the Rockies and taking a physical, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding (on Twitter). An official announcement for a Garland signing could come at some point today.
Garland, 33, hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2009 due to a host of shoulder injuries. In 2083 1/3 career Major League innings, he owns a 4.32 ERA, 4.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 to go along with a 45.1 percent ground-ball rate. Garland is a client of LSW Baseball.
Jhoulys Chacin, Jeff Francis, Jorge De La Rosa and Juan Nicasio appear to be set in the Rockies' rotation, and Drew Pomeranz will likely join them if the Rockies don't acquire anyone from outside the organization. Chacin and De La Rosa have both recently missed spring training starts with what appear to be minor injuries.
Garland missed all of the 2012 season and much of the 2011 season with shoulder problems. He pitched 12 innings for the Mariners this spring, posting a 2.25 ERA while striking out four batters and walking five.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports writes that Garland will also likely draw interest from the Padres and Rangers. Both teams appear to be in the market for starting pitching.
Here are a few updates from the American League West:
- The Rangers are "among the teams who have a scout watching free agent pitcher Kyle Lohse throw simulated games” at a local community college, but "this may be more due diligence than anything," writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Sullivan further reports that "Rangers officials acknowledged they are keeping an eye on Kyle Lohse," but "are still holding to their stance they will not sign Lohse this spring." According to Sullivan, "the Rangers are ready to go with what they have here in camp," most likely either Nick Tepesch or Michael Kirkman.
- Mariners manager Eric Wedge discussed the team's unwillingness to commit a rotation spot to Jon Garland, as reported by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Wedge explained that Garland's out clause created an "unusual situation" because the club has "multiple non-roster guys in this camp that have a chance to make this club." Garland was released on Saturday.
- The Astros are close to deciding whether to keep Rule 5 pick Josh Fields, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Odds look good for Fields, "considering how wide open the bullpen is." Another Rule 5 pick previously in Astros camp, Nate Freiman, has already been claimed by the Athletics.
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 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.
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.
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.