Jordan Walden Rumors
Ken Rosenthal shares a few hot stove-related items in his latest column for FOX Sports...
- The Padres are known to be looking for starting pitching, and Rosenthal notes that San Diego would prefer to pick up a younger starter who is signed beyond this season. An exception could be Ricky Nolasco, as Rosenthal repeated his suggestion from yesterday that Nolasco could be open to re-signing with the Padres given that the pending free agent hails from southern California.
- Astros right-hander Bud Norris is cited as one of the controllable younger arms that fits the mold of what the Padres are looking for, though one rival executive thinks Norris "isn’t the best bet to make a team leap forward. Will he help a team improve? Yes. Would I stamp him as a difference-maker? Not a definite.” Norris has been connected to the Pirates, Giants and Orioles in trade speculation and I profiled him as a trade candidate last month.
- While the Rangers could use some outfield help, the decision to use Jurickson Profar as an outfielder is somewhat risky, Rosenthal opines. Profar is learning a new position on the fly and has yet to deliver much at the plate in his brief Major League career. If he struggles, he'll lose some trade value if the Rangers decide to move him, and the team may also have more trouble convincing Ian Kinsler to eventually move to the outfield to make room for Profar at second base.
- The Astros had an arrangement in place to draft Shelby Miller with the 21st overall pick of the 2009 draft, Miller tells Rosenthal, except the Cardinals took Miller with the 19th pick. Miller, a Texas native, was also managed by a Rangers scout during a high school showcase event but the Rangers passed on Miller with their 14th overall pick in the draft and instead took righty Matt Purke, who never signed with the club.
- The Jordan Walden-for-Tommy Hanson trade is looking like "a steal" for the Braves, in the words of one rival executive. Walden has been a force (2.70 ERA, 10 K/9, 6.50 K/BB rate in 23 1/3 IP) out of the Atlanta bullpen while Hanson has battled injuries and posted a 5.10 ERA over nine starts with the Angels.
The Angels have acquired Tommy Hanson from the Braves, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Atlanta will receive Jordan Walden in the one-for-one trade, MLBTR has learned. The teams have confirmed the trade.
Hanson, 26, pitched to a 4.48 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 174 2/3 innings this year. The right-hander missed time with shoulder tendinitis last season, and his fastball velocity has been trending in the wrong direction as well. Hanson is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, and Matt Swartz projects a $4MM salary. He will remain under team control through 2015.
Walden, 25, pitched to 3.46 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 39 innings this year while missing time with a biceps strain. He was an All-Star as a rookie just last season, when he posted a 2.98 ERA with 34 saves in 60 1/3 innings. Walden is under team control through 2016. Earlier this week we heard he was "very available" after the Angels signed Ryan Madson.
The Angels are in the market for starting pitching this offseason after trading Ervin Santana and declining Dan Haren's option. Zack Greinke is a free agent as well, though he is in very high demand. Hanson gives the club a young arm to fill out the rotation behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. Walden, meanwhile, gives the Braves bullpen depth and a power right-handed setup man in front of closer Craig Kimbrel.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
- In the wake of the Madson signing, the Angels are letting teams know Jordan Walden is "very available" according to ESPN's Jayson Stark (on Twitter). The 25-year-old right-hander pitched to a 3.46 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 39 innings this year.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto would not say whether he was still pursuing Japanese free agent reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, reports Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).
- The Angels will tender contracts to all four arbitration-eligible players according to DiGiovanna (on Twitter). Kendrys Morales, Alberto Callaspo, Jerome Williams, and Kevin Jepsen represent the team's class of arb-eligibles.
- The Angels have claimed shortstop Thomas Field off waivers from the Twins, the team announced. The 25-year-old has hit .260/.315/.260 in 54 plate appearances with the Rockies over the last two years.
- The Padres offered Hiroki Kuroda a one-year deal worth $17-18MM, reports George A. King III of The New York Post. The right-hander instead took a one-year, $15MM deal to return to the Yankees.
- Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports hears Brian Wilson's first choice (aside from the Giants) would be to pitch for the Dodgers next year (Twitter links). Wilson lives in Los Angeles during the offseason and will likely be non-tendered later this week.
Here are some notes from around the majors...
- The Angels renewed the contract of closer Jordan Walden, the team announced. The Halos also agreed to terms with 21 other players on one-year deals for 2012.
- The Indians are "looking around for a left fielder" in the wake of Grady Sizemore's injury, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. With so many outfielders already in camp, the Tribe are likely looking for no more than another part-timer on a minor league contract.
- Bill Madden of the New York Daily News believes Major League Baseball won't allow the Athletics to move to San Jose. Madden doesn't think three-quarters of the teams would approve of violating the Giants' territorial rights to San Jose, quoting a baseball lawyer who says teams would be wary of voting for a measure that could cost them in the future. As an example, the Phillies, Mets and Yankees wouldn't be likely to vote against territorial rights since such votes be used as precedent for a team to someday move to New Jersey.
- Right-hander Mark Appel hasn't quite pitched up to expectations for Stanford this season, writes Baseball America's Conor Glassey. In particular, Appel's K/9 rate is lower than several recent high-drafted pitchers during their sophomore years. Appel is a contender to be the first overall pick in the June amateur draft.
- Yadier Molina's five-year, $75MM extension with the Cardinals was driven by the catcher's defense and leadership, reports MLB.com's Matthew Leach. "[The St. Louis pitchers] understand his value more than sabermetricians could ever start to pick it apart, and what other people inside the game even understand," said Cards manager Mike Matheny. "There's so many intangibles. You can't put numbers to the things that this guy does in helping this team win. And I think that's [exemplified by] two world championships since he's taken over behind the plate."
7:41am: The Angels are "definitely" in the market for a closer, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. Los Angeles would apparently like a veteran presence to help Jordan Walden along. Heyman feels that Ryan Madson makes the most sense for Los Angeles to pursue.
Walden, 23, doesn't seem to need too much help. The flamethrowing rookie posted a 2.98 ERA in 60 1/3 innings this season while striking out 10.0 per nine innings and recording 32 saves for the second place Halos. His fastball averaged 97.5mph, while strong FIP (2.79) and SIERA (3.01) marks back up his success.
The Angels are also in on Aramis Ramirez and have an offer out to C.J. Wilson. Late last night, we heard GM Jerry Dipoto has budget limitations that will limit his spending to $15-$20MM, barring any moves to free up some more payroll.