Jordany Valdespin Rumors
The Marlins will sign former Mets utility man Jordany Valdespin to a minor league contract, according to Baseball America's J.J. Cooper (on Twitter). Joe Frisaro of MLB.com tweets that Valdespin's contract does not contain an invitation to Spring Training and Valdespin will have to earn his way onto the team.
Valdespin, 26, was a persistent source of drama for the Mets, lashing out at manager Terry Collins after being demoted and also being slapped with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. He is a career .219/.271/.380 hitter in 350 big league plate appearances. The Mets non-tendered Valdespin in November despite the fact that he is not yet arbitration eligible.
Brenda Branswell of the Montreal Gazette reports that a feasability study conducted by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and the Montreal Baseball Project suggests that a return to Montreal for MLB could be financially viable, given a set of realistic assumptions. Those assumptions include league average ticket prices and local broadcasting deal along with a "modest, but competitive payroll." The study estimated that the project would cost $1.025 billion -- $525MM to acquire an existing team and $500MM to build a new stadium. Major League Baseball has deemed moving a team to the old Olympic Stadium to be an unacceptable scenario. Here's more from around the league ...
- The Orioles are looking at trade possibilities involving third baseman Danny Valencia, reports Jen Royle of the Boston Herald (via Twitter). Dealing Valencia could free a 40-man slot for a new addition, though he had figured to provide some insurance as Manny Machado recovers from knee surgery. The 29-year-old has seen scattered MLB action since a mediocre stint as the Twins' everyday third bagger in 2011. In 170 plate appearances last year for the Orioles, he had a nice .304/.330/.553 slash line to go with eight long balls.
- As the Giants attempt to clear 40-man roster space for Michael Morse, they're pursuing minor trade ideas, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly tweets. Henry Schulman, meanwhile, tweets that one such minor trade could involve 1B/OF Brett Pill. The Brewers had previously shown interest in Pill, Schulman notes. The Morse signing is likely to become official tomorrow.
- The Braves turned their attention to Gavin Floyd only after ruling out the possibility of trading for Jeff Samardzija, MLB.com's Mark Bowman tweets. In addition to Floyd, the Braves also looked at Edinson Volquez (who eventually went to the Pirates), Chris Capuano, and Bruce Chen.
- Multiple teams have made offers to Jesse Crain, who is deciding if he wants to aim for a one- or two-year deal on the free agent market, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Presumably, Crain is weighing whether or not to take the security of a two-year deal or gamble on re-establishing his value on a one-year pact.
- With many second base options flying off the board, it's looking more and more like Ryan Goins will get a real chance as the Blue Jays' everyday second baseman in 2014, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. Nicholson-Smith runs down some of the remaining keystone options for Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos to pursue.
- Jordany Valdespin has changed agencies, leaving ACES for Metis Sports Management, reports MLBTR's Tim Dierkes (on Twitter).
Steve Adams and Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.
Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of National League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.
- The Reds non-tendered outfielders Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson, according to the AP. Robinson had been designated for assignment last Thursday to open a roster spot for Skip Schumaker.
- The Rockies have non-tendered reliever Mitchell Boggs, tweets Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
- The Dodgers have non-tendered Ronald Belisario, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
- The Marlins have non-tendered outfielder Chris Coghlan and reliever Ryan Webb, the club announced via press release.
- The Pirates have non-tendered Garrett Jones, Michael McKenry, and Kyle McPherson, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Giants have non-tendered Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Cubs have non-tendered Mat Gamel, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The club has also non-tendered Chang-Yong Lim, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com.
- The Mets officially announced their slate of non-tenders, which includes a few new names in Jeremy Hefner and Justin Turner (via tweet from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News).
- The Braves announced that they have non-tendered infielders Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish as well as right-hander Cristhian Martinez (Twitter link). Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances between the Royals and Braves last season. Janish was less productive in 45 PAs, batting .171/.222/.220. Martinez, 31, missed nearly the entire season due to shoulder surgery. However, he posted a 3.63 ERA in 151 1/3 innings for Atlanta from 2011-12, making him a potential buy-low candidate for another club.
- The Mets have non-tendered Jordany Valdespin, Rubin reports. Valdespin has been a persistent source of drama for the Mets, lashing out at manager Terry Collins after being demoted and also being slapped with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is a career .219/.271/.380 hitter in 350 big league plate appearances. Valdespin's non-tender comes despite him not yet being arbitration eligible, illustrating the Mets' frustration with the second baseman/outfielder.
- The Cubs will non-tender right-hander Daniel Bard, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. Bard was claimed off waivers in September and never threw a pitch for the Cubs organization. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford notes that Bard was pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League but walked nine batters while recording just one out. The Cubs could still agree to a non-roster deal with Bard, he adds. Bard's control has vanished into thin air, as the formerly dominant setup man has also walked 56 batters over his past 47 1/3 minor league frames.
- The Mets have informed shortstop Omar Quintanilla that he will be non-tendered, Quintanilla told Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger. Quintanilla projected to earn $900K this offseason after batting .222/.306/.283 in a career-high 359 plate appearances last season.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin tweets that the Mets will also non-tender Scott Atchison. The right-hander projected to earn $1.3MM coming off a 4.37 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 45 1/3 innings. Atchison will turn 38 in late March.
The NLCS is taking a day off as the scene shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 tomorrow night with the Cardinals leading the Dodgers 2-0. Here is the latest news and notes out of the National League today:
- The Rockies need to improve their talent acquisition via the draft and Latin America in order to overcome the crushing injuries suffered in recent seasons, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Tim Hudson, whose free agency was profiled this past week by MLBTR's Steve Adams, would make a perfect middle-of-the-rotation starter for the Rockies, Renck opines.
- The Pirates' payroll will increase significantly in 2014 aiding their efforts to retain free agents Marlon Byrd and A.J. Burnett while also trying to sign Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez to long-term extensions, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Biertempfel.
- The Mets will face a dilemma with their 40-man roster when it comes time to protect minor league players from the Rule 5 draft, reports ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin. The Mets' 40-man roster is currently full and will be so again once the eight players on the 60-day disabled list replace the eight pending free agents on the 40-man. Jordany Valdespin headlines Rubin's list of eight Mets who could lose their roster spot.
- The Reds' managerial search is centered on pitching coach Bryan Price and Triple-A manager Jim Riggleman, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Fay expects Price to get the job; but, if neither candidate impresses ownership in upcoming interviews, the search may be expanded.
- Nationals third-base coach Trent Jewett has an excellent shot to become the team's next manager, reports ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider subscription required).
The Mets reinstated infielder Jordany Valdespin to their 40-man roster after he completed his 50-game Biogenesis suspension, but it remains to be seen if he'll be brought back in 2014. Mets GM Sandy Alderson said the team has not yet decided whether he will be brought to Spring Training and the front office will have discussions on the matter between then and now. Interestingly, those conversations haven't gotten underway yet and when asked why, Alderson replied, "Maybe it's because Valdespin's future doesn't warrant convening a meeting." Here's more out of the NL East..
- One veteran talent evaluator told Mike Puma of the New York Post that it's a “no-brainer” the Mets will pursue Bronson Arroyo this winter. Recently, Tim Dierkes profiled the pending free agent who says that he is chasing after a multi-year deal.
- Marlins special assistant Andre Dawson said owner Jeffrey Loria told him recently that he plans to acquire hitters with the priorities being third base, first base, and catcher, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Of course, budget constraints could again prove to be limiting. Marlins people believe the payroll will fall in the range of this season’s, which was $36MM before the Ricky Nolasco trade, but Loria hasn’t told the staff what the 2014 number will be and he has been known to change his mind.
- Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer argues that the Phillies should not re-sign Roy Halladay this offseason. The Phillies got to evaluate the pitcher again at the end of the season but GM Ruben Amaro says that he may not be fully healthy until the spring.
Let's have a look around MLB's eastern divisions...
- Yunel Escobar has helped stabilize the Rays' defense, manager Joe Maddon says in an article by Sam Strong of MLB.com. Escobar is on track to break the Rays' team record for fielding percentage by a shortstop.
- The Phillies clinched their first losing season since 2002 with Friday's loss to the Mets, The Philadelphia Inquirer's Marc Narducci notes. Though young players have gotten valuable experience this season, the Phils must address a number of question marks in their starting rotation as they reload for 2014, Narducci says.
- The Mets have no plans to release Jordany Valdespin as he finishes up his Biogenesis suspension, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, as cited by MetsBlog. However, there's no guarantee that he'll suit up for the Mets after being reinstated. "It merely means they intend to carry him into the offseason while they have an available 40-man roster spot,” Rubin says.
- The Mets have shut down Zack Wheeler for the season, Rubin reports in a separate article, after he felt stiffness in his pitching shoulder during a start on Tuesday. However, Wheeler says he won't require an MRI or doctor's exam. The righty has a 3.42 ERA in 100 innings across 17 starts this season.
- While the 2013 season will be his last at the helm of the Nationals, Davey Johnson says it may not be his last as a manager. "I'll be managing probably somewhere, if somebody wants me," Johnson said. "I never worry about that. I'm not going to be looking for a job." The baseball lifer discussed his career and what's next for him in a wide-ranging interview with MLB.com.
In his latest Insider-only piece for ESPN, Keith Law examines some of the prospects whose stock has fallen this season due to poor performance and diminished tools. Cleveland's Trevor Bauer and Kansas City's Bubba Starling are the first mentioned on Law's list of eight. Here's more from around the league...
- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels appeared on the Inside Pitch show with MLB Network Radio's Jim Bowden today and told him that teams are waiting longer to place players on waivers in August in recent years. Teams are waiting for there to be fewer buyers before attempting to sneak players through waivers, he elaborated (Twitter links).
- The bullpen will once again be an area of focus for Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. this offseason, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Gelb examines the struggles the Phillies have had in developing relievers, noting that Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo have been the only two reliable bullpen arms developed in-house by the Phils over the past decade.
- The Mets have given no consideration to releasing troubled utility man Jordany Valdespin in light of his 50-game suspension and recent temper issues, GM Sandy Alderson told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo (Twitter link).
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic spoke with new Diamondbacks reliever Matt Stites about his inclusion in last week's Ian Kennedy trade. Stites is likely done for the season after an emergency appendectomy, but the Snakes have high hopes that he will be a big factor in their bullpen for years to come, writes Piecoro.
After months of speculation, we have some finality for a dozen of the players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal. Major League Baseball has officially announced 50-game suspensions for Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Everth Cabrera, Antonio Bastardo, Jesus Montero, Francisco Cervelli, Jordany Valdespin, Fautino De Los Santos, Jordan Norberto, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez and Sergio Escalona.
All of those players will accept their suspensions, while Alex Rodriguez, who was suspended for 211 games (effective Aug. 8), will appeal his suspension and be eligible to play until that process is complete.
The suspensions carry particular weight for the Rangers and Tigers. The Rangers, who are 2.5 games back of the A's in the AL West and just a half-game behind the Indians for a Wild Card berth, will lose their starting right-fielder and club home run leader in Cruz for the remainder of the regular season.
The Tigers will lose Peralta, their starting shortstop, for the remainder of the season as they look to fend off surging Cleveland and Kansas City clubs and win the American League Central division. Detroit safeguarded itself somewhat against the loss of Perata by acquiring Jose Iglesias in a three-team deal with the White Sox and Red Sox prior to the trade deadline.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today was the first to tweet that Cruz would accept his suspension. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted that Peralta, Cabrera, Bastardo and Valdespin would also accept 50-game bans. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports added Escalona to the list (Twitter link), and Rosenthal reported that Cervelli, Montero, Puello, De Los Santos, Martinez and Norberto would do the same (on Twitter).