Jonathan Sanchez Rumors
Today's minor moves from around the league...
- Justin Thomas exercised his out clause with the Athletics and is now a free agent, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). Thomas made 16 starts for the club's Triple-A affiliate, posting a 4.48 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.
- The Nationals have granted Micah Owings his release from Triple-A Syracuse, tweets Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com. The former pitcher had been trying to make the team as a position player. He batted .265/.305/.480 with eight homers and played primarily left field in 57 games for the Chiefs this season.
- In addition to the two Rays moves below, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that the team signed recently released right-hander Ramon Ramirez. The 31-year-old was an elite setup ma from 2008-11, posting a 2.77 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 for the Royals, Red Sox and Giants, but he's struggled the past two seasons in San Francisco.
- The Rays have released Triple-A right-hander Will Inman and signed outfielder Evan Frey, the team announced on Twitter. Inman, 26, posted a 6.47 ERA with more walks than strikeouts in 32 innings. Frey is a .271/.369/.357 hitter in 213 career games at Triple-A.
- Jonathan Sanchez has decided against exercising his July 1 opt-out clause with the Dodgers and instead negotiated a new opt-out date, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The lefty signed with the Dodgers in May but only got the opportunity to start two games for Triple-A Albuquerque. Sanchez began the year with the Pirates but didn't last long as he was designated for assignment after just five appearances and an 11.85 ERA.
- Jair Jurrjens has been officially optioned to Triple-A, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles optioned Jurrjens rather than technically designating him for assignment, though he had the right to refuse the assignment. Jurrjens accepted, and will report to Norfolk in 72 hours (All Twitter links).
- Nine players are in DFA limbo: Carlos Marmol (Cubs), Francisley Bueno (Royals), Eric Hinske (D-Backs), Luis Cruz (Dodgers), Alex Liddi (Mariners), Clayton Mortensen (Red Sox), Travis Ishikawa (Orioles), Jeff Francoeur (Royals) and Matt Guerrier (Dodgers).
4:00pm: Sanchez has a July 1 opt-out date if he's not on the Major League roster, according to Chris Cotillo of CLNS Radio (on Twitter). Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles confirms the report (Twitter link).
2:17pm: The Dodgers will sign Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league deal, according to Pedro Gomez of ESPN (on Twitter). The contract is pending a physical, and Sanchez is likely to report to Triple-A Albquerque. Sanchez is represented by the McNamara Baseball Group.
The 30-year-old Sanchez began the year with the Pirates, but his Pittsburgh tenure didn't last long. He was designated for assignment and subsequently released following a six-game suspension for throwing at Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig. He posted a ghastly 11.85 ERA in his five appearances with the Buccos.
Sanchez was a staple in the Giants rotation from 2009-11 when he totaled 458 innings of 3.75 ERA ball and averaged 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He's always struggled with his command, and it's really gotten away from him since the beginning of last season. In his past 78 1/3 innings, Sanchez has walked 69 batters and fanned 68. His ERA in that time is a sky-high 8.73.
Jonathan Sanchez has cleared waivers and been released by the Pirates, according to Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter). The Pirates had designated Sanchez for assignment on April 30.
Sanchez, 30, was a staple in the Giants rotation from 2009-11 when he totaled 458 innings of 3.75 ERA ball and averaged 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He's always struggled with his command, and it's really gotten away from him since the beginning of last season. In his past 78 1/3 innings, Sanchez has walked 69 batters and fanned 68. His ERA in that time is a sky-high 8.73.
The Pirates added Sanchez on a minor league deal this offseason, and injuries to Francisco Liriano and Jeff Karstens earned him a brief chance in Pittsburgh's rotation. Prior to his DFA, Sanchez was suspended six games for throwing at Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig.
Sanchez, 30, signed a minor league deal with the Pirates in February. He was an Article XX(B) signing and hooked on with the big league roster thanks to injuries in the Bucs' rotation.
On the year, Sanchez owns a 11.85 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 through four starts and one relief appearance. The left-hander's contract called for him to earn $1.375MM this season and Pittsburgh will be on the hook if they cannot find a taker in the next ten days.
The Pirates announced that the team has designated right-hander Hunter Strickland and first baseman Clint Robinson for assignment. (Twitter links.) In corresponding moves, the club selected the contracts of lefty Jonathan Sanchez and infielder Brandon Inge, it also announced.
Strickland, 24, has yet to appear above the Double-A level and put up a 4.46 ERA in 42 1/3 innings at that level last season, while also compiling a 2.98 ERA in 45 1/3 innings at High-A. Robinson, 27, made his first big league showing last year with Kansas City but played primarily in Triple-A, putting up a .292/.393/.452 line in 570 plate appearances. The Pirates acquired Robinson from the Royals in the offseason after he was designated for assignment.
Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement contains a provision that allows certain free agents who are signed to minor league contracts to receive a $100K retention bonus if they are not on the team's 25-man roster or the Major League disabled list five days prior to the season.
Free agents who qualify for this distinction are those who have at least six years of Major League service time and had a Major League contract expire at the end of the previous season, but signed a minor league deal ten or more days prior to Opening Day.
MLBTR has confirmed with MLB that the deadline for teams to decide on these players is today at 11am central time. By the deadline, teams with these players in camp need to decide whether to:
- Add the player to their 25-man roster or Major League disabled list (or agree to do so in writing).
- Grant the player his outright release from the minor league contract so that he may pursue opportunities with other teams.
- Pay the player a $100K retention bonus to keep him in the organization beyond the deadline and send him to the minors.
Here's the latest news from around the league on Article XX(B) signees and their roster statuses with their respective teams (newest updates on top).
- Miguel Olivo has been offered the $100k retention bonus and is still deciding whether to accept it, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- Austin Kearns and Casey Kotchman made the Marlins' 25-man roster, according to the team.
- Mets reliever Tim Byrdak will report to the minors and take the $100K retention bonus, MLBTR has learned. Byrdak is returning from August shoulder surgery.
- The Rangers told Derek Lowe that he has made the team as a reliever, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
- Chad Gaudin's contract was purchased and added to the Giants' roster, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.
- Chad Qualls made the Marlins' bullpen, MLBTR has learned.
- With Brandon Gomes being optioned to Triple-A, it looks like reliever Jamey Wright has made the Rays, tweets Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. The Rays have told both Wright and Juan Carlos Oviedo they will be added to the roster, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Oviedo had Tommy John surgery in September, so I imagine he'll land on the 60-day disabled list.
- The Pirates have committed to keeping Brandon Inge on the roster, tweets Sanserino, though he may start the season on the DL after being hit by a pitch.
- Reliever Pedro Feliciano accepted a minor league assignment from the Mets, tweets Marc Carig of Newsday, so he'll snag the $100K retention bonus.
- Jonathan Sanchez made the Pirates' rotation, tweets Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 30-year-old posted a 4.73 ERA with a 1.11 K/BB ratio in 13 1/3 innings this spring, but the Pirates saw something they liked.
- Lyle Overbay and Aaron Cook were released by their respective teams today.
Some news from around the NL Central...
- The Cubs haven't been in contact with Chone Figgins, ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers reports. Figgins was released by the Marlins earlier this week and, as Rogers notes, is one of the few veteran options available if the Cubs want to bring in a third baseman.
- Ronny Cedeno has cleared waivers after being released by the Cardinals three days ago, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter).
- Chris Cwik of CBSSports.com analyzes the cost of an Adam Wainwright extension with the Cardinals and figures Wainwright will end up being paid between $21-$23.5MM per season. Talks are ongoing between Wainwright and the Cards and the ace right-hander feels positive that an extension will be settled before Opening Day. Wainwright is eligible for free agency after this season.
- Jonathan Sanchez can opt out of his minor league deal with the Pirates on Sunday if he hasn't been added to the club's Major League roster, but the Bucs have until Tuesday to respond, MLB.com's Tom Singer reports. Sanchez's one-year contract will guarantee him $1.375MM if he makes the roster.
- Also from Singer, he opines that the Pirates' trade for John McDonald is the kind of veteran acquisition a team makes when it believes it will contend. Otherwise, Singer wonders why Pittsburgh would add McDonald to an already-deep middle infield mix.
The Pirates announced that they signed left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league contract. The McNamara Baseball Group client obtains an invitation to MLB Spring Training.
Sanchez spent the 2012 season with the Rockies and Royals, struggling with both teams. He posted a 8.07 ERA with more walks (53) than strikeouts (45) and a 39.7% ground ball rate in 64 2/3 total innings pitched. He also spent time on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis this past season.
However, the 30-year-old is not so far removed from the 2010 season that saw him post a 3.07 ERA with 205 strikeouts in 193 1/3 innings for the Giants. Limiting walks has always been a problem for Sanchez, who pitched a no-hitter in 2009.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported the Pirates were nearing a deal with Sanchez.
8:54pm: Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review confirms that the deal is close and adds that it would be a minor league contract (Twitter link).
Sanchez, 30, was traded from the Giants to the Royals for Melky Cabrera last offseason, but the trade wound up being a lopsided one. Sanchez pitched to a 7.76 ERA and walked 44 batters in 53 1/3 innings for the Royals before being designated for assignment. The Royals flipped him to the Rockies for Jeremy Guthrie, who had endured similar struggles in Colorado. He didn't fare much better there, however, as he allowed 12 earned runs and walked nine in just 11 1/3 innings.
Sanchez makes sense as a low-risk investment, however, given his success from 2009-11. The southpaw compiled a 3.75 ERA, 9.5 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in 458 innings during that time. Sanchez isn't entirely dissimilar from Francisco Liriano, with whom the Pirates are still attempting to finalize a deal. Both lefties have swing-and-miss stuff but struggle due to erratic command.
It's been an unusually active day for agent-related news. Here's the latest from around the league:
- Shane Victorino, who left ACES earlier today, informed his agents of his impending departure long before fellow client Melky Cabrera was suspended for PED use, according to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford (Twitter link).
- ACES client David Wright won't be following Victorino out the door, tweets ESPN's Adam Rubin.
- Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez left the Boras Corporation months ago and will now be represented by Jim McNamara of the McNamara Baseball Group, the agency informed MLBTR via email. Sanchez will hit free agency this offseason, though his struggles in 2012 will present McNamara with a challenge. McNamara, a former MLB player, worked with the Boras Corporation for approximately 15 years before leaving to open his own agency this past spring.
- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that several people around baseball are wondering if Victorino's departure from ACES will be the first of many. The agency is under investigation by MLB following Cabrera's PED suspension and the ensuing web site coverup scandal.