Jon Garland Rumors
Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports has been a busy man today it seems, as his Twitter timeline is rife with updates on free agents in search of work. Here's the latest from Morosi, with all links pointing to his Twitter unless otherwise noted...
- One potential hangup in the Stephen Drew market could be the fact that Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz will be cleared to sign in two weeks. The 23-year-old was declared ineligible to sign after falsifying his age last year (Diaz claimed to be 23 then, in order to be eligible for MLB one year early). Morosi reminds that MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez listed (MLBTR link) the Red Sox and Yankees as two of eight clubs to have shown interest in Diaz back in December, and both have been linked to Drew.
- Morosi spoke with Tommy Hanson's agent, Greg Genske, and was told that Hanson has received multiple offers. Genske said Hanson is in a great place both mentally and physically, which could not be said last year as he dealt with the tragic death of his brother.
- Agent Craig Landis tells Morosi that his client, Jon Garland, is unlikely to pitch in 2014. Garland is not retiring and is willing to sign and pitch in the right circumstances, Landis told Morosi.
- Morosi also chatted with Landis regarding another of his clients -- lefty Joe Saunders. Saunders is fully healthy and plans to pitch this season, according to Landis. Saunders is coming off the worst season of his career, though his 4.23 xFIP was more than a full run lower than his 5.26 ERA. Saunders maintained his career strikeout rate, posted a career-best ground-ball rate but was plagued by a career-worst 14.5 percent homer-to-flyball ratio.
Tonight's Brewers vs. Marlins matchup surely was of interest to teams that might pursue starting pitching in the trade market, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweeted at the beginning of the game. Yovani Gallardo started for the Brewers and pitched eight shutout innings, striking out four and walking one. The Marlins' Ricky Nolasco, another trade candidate, didn't fare so well, allowing four runs while striking out five and walking two over 5 1/3 innings. Here are more notes from around the league.
- Last November, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks expressed interest in Alex Rodriguez, Ken Belson and David Waldstein of the New York Times report. The Yankees never discussed the matter with the Japanese team, because they knew Rodriguez required hip surgery that would limit him in 2013, and because they knew Rodriguez would not consent to playing overseas.
- Ike Davis' poor performance (and subsequent demotion) may make him a non-tender candidate in the coming offseason, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York argues. Davis will make $3.125MM this season, and will be eliglble for arbitration next season. He hit .161/.242/.258 in 207 plate appearances this year before the Mets shipped him to Triple-A Las Vegas. Last month, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes discussed many potential non-tender candidates, including Davis, Clayton Richard, and Chris Perez.
- The Pirates have had a number of surprisingly good pitching performances this year, and what connects them is catcher Russell Martin, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Martin's pitch-framing is highly-regarded, and he also wins praise for his game-calling. His impact on the Pirates' pitching staff makes the two-year, $17MM contract to which the Bucs signed him this offseason look like a very good one, Sawchik argues.
- The Astros are rebuilding the right way, says ESPN's Jim Bowden in a new video. Bowden argues that GM Jeff Luhnow, manager Bo Porter and new president Reid Ryan are the right leaders for the Astros. Bowden also says the Astros' top draft picks help set them up to the future. The Astros selected Carlos Correa first overall in 2012, then grabbed Mark Appel with this year's top pick. They'll also have a very high pick next year. Not trying to spend their way out of last place is the right strategy for the Astros, Bowden says, because of the top picks they get as a result.
- The Orioles are not interested in Jon Garland, MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko tweets. The Rockies released Garland this afternoon after he posted a 5.82 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 for them.
Garland struggled in his brief stint with the Rockies, pitching to a 5.82 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 68 innings of work (12 starts). He did manage a solid 49.1 percent ground-ball rate -- markedly better than the league average of 44.5 percent. That positive trend is one of the reasons stats like FIP (4.95) suggest he's been the recipient of some poor luck.
In parts of 13 Major League seasons, Garland has pitched to a 4.37 ERA with 4.8 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 45.2 percent ground-ball rate.
The Rockies designated righty Jon Garland for assignment to make room for lefty Jeff Francis, announced the team on Twitter. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post was first to report the impending move. Francis, who had been on the DL for a groin strain, will start tonight against the Padres. Francis could be replaced soon as well, with Tyler Chatwood on the mend and Roy Oswalt tuning up in Double-A, reported Renck's colleague Patrick Saunders yesterday.
Garland, 33, has a 5.82 ERA, 4.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.19 HR/9, and 49.1% groundball rate in 68 innings across 12 starts this year. His first three starts went well, but he posted a 6.80 ERA over the next nine. Garland had shoulder surgery in July 2011, and didn't pitch again in the Majors until his Rockies debut on April 6th this year. He inked a minor league deal with the Mariners in February, but exercised an out clause in March when they chose not to commit a roster spot out of Spring Training. He then signed a Major League contract with the Rockies with a $500K base salary and an additional $2.6MM in incentives for innings pitched and games started.
Garland was drafted 10th overall by the Cubs in 1997, one spot after soon-to-be former teammate Michael Cuddyer. The White Sox pilfered him from the Cubs for reliever Matt Karchner in a cross-town swap the following year. From 2002-07, Garland averaged 207 regular season innings per year, making the All-Star team and picking up a World Series ring in '05. A California native, he later had stops with the Angels, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and Padres.
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.