Jose Contreras Rumors

Rangers Sign Jose Contreras

The Rangers have signed right-handers Jose Contreras and Nate Adcock as well as outfielder Bryan Petersen to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training, the team announced via press release.

The 42-year-old Contreras pitched just five innings for the Pirates in 2013, yielding five runs in that time. The Cuban-born veteran missed the early part of the season recovering from 2012 elbow surgery and would end up pitching 33 innings of 3.00 ERA ball between the Pirates and Red Sox' minor league affiliates. He last enjoyed sustained big league success as a member of the Phillies' bullpen in 2010 when he posted a 3.34 ERA in 56 2/3 innings.

Adcock, 25, enjoyed a strong season with the Royals in 2012 but saw the wheels come off in 2013 when he posted a disastrous 6.67 ERA with a 69-to-50 K/BB ratio in 113 1/3 innings between the Triple-A affiliates for the Royals and Diamondbacks.

Petersen, 27, is a career .220/.303/.305 hitter with a pair of homers and 15 steals in 539 Major League plate appearances — all coming with the Marlins. He spent last year with Miami's Triple-A club, posting a solid .275/.363/.407 slash line in 579 plate appearances. He has experience at all three outfield spots.


Red Sox Release Jose Contreras

The Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox have announced that Jose Contreras has been granted his release, according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier (Twitter link).  Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reported over the weekend (Twitter link) that Contreras had opted out of his minor league deal with the Red Sox, and with Boston calling up Brayan Villarreal earlier today, it appears as though the Sox opted for the younger option to help their bullpen.

Contreras signed his minor league deal with Boston exactly a month ago and posted a 6.52 ERA, 15 strikeouts and six walks over 9 2/3 relief innings for Pawtucket.  The 41-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Pirates over the winter and was released last month after pitching five innings over seven games for the Bucs, posting a 9.00 ERA.


Red Sox Sign Contreras, Lyon To Minor League Deals

The Red Sox have signed right-handers Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon to minor league deals and assigned each to Triple-A Pawtucket, the team announced (hat tip: Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Twitter).

Contreras, 41, was released by the Pirates just over 24 hours ago. He's spent time on the bereavement list and dealt with shoulder inflammation recently, but as Tim Dierkes noted yesterday, Contreras has excelled at Triple-A Indianapolis of late. The veteran Cuban has allowed just one earned run with 19 strikeouts against five walks in his past 16 2/3 minor league innings. Contreras is represented by agent Jaime Torres.

Lyon, 33, was released by the Mets 10 days ago. He was terrific in his first 31 1/3 innings for the Mets, posting a 3.16 ERA with 22 strikeouts against 10 walks in that time. However, he yielded eight earned runs over his next three innings of work, including a disastrous six-run meltdown against the Nationals. This will be Lyon's second stint with Boston, as he saved nine games and pitched to a 4.12 ERA in 59 innings with the Sox back in 2003. Lyon is a client of Meister Sports Management.



Pirates Release Jose Contreras

The Pirates released reliever Jose Contreras from their Triple-A club, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The Bucs signed Contreras to a minor league deal in February, on the mend from Tommy John surgery last June.  He joined the big league club in May, spent some time on bereavement, hit the DL with back inflammation, and was released in mid-June when the team needed a 40-man roster spot.  The Pirates then retained him on another minor league deal, but have now released him again.  Contreras was quite good in Triple-A since signing again on June 17th — he allowed one earned run in 15 2/3 innings with 18 strikeouts and five walks.  It seems possible Contreras requested his release to find another opportunity, but that's just speculation.


Pirates Release Jose Contreras

The Pirates have unconditionally released veteran right-hander Jose Contreras, the team announced via press release. The 41-year-old signed with the Bucs this offseason after working back from Tommy John surgery.

Contreras struggled to get big league hitters out upon arriving in Pittsburgh. He surrendered five runs in just five innings, allowing seven hits and six walks. For his career, Contreras logged over 1100 big league innings, most of them as a starter. The Cuban had a solid 2010 campaign for the Phillies after converting to the bullpen, but has yet to throw more than 14 innings in a season since that time.


NL Central Notes: Wainwright, Cubs, Contreras

Three NL Central teams had winning records in 2012, but the Reds, Cardinals and Brewers won't get the chance to play the Astros regularly anymore. The Pirates narrowly missed a .500 record in 2012, and the Cubs' pitching staff looks much deeper following a busy offseason for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, so it now looks like the division will be tougher in 2013. Here are some NL Central notes, starting with the Cardinals’ top starter…

  • The Cardinals will be able to afford an extension for Adam Wainwright if they truly want to retain the right-hander long-term, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. With TV revenue on its way to St. Louis and a strong player development system in place, the Cardinals could likely afford Wainwright. They must now determine whether they value him at $20MM-plus per season for four or five years.
  • The Cubs haven't shied away from veterans of Tommy John surgery, since pitchers like Arodys Vizcaino have considerable upside, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes.
  • The Pirates took a similar approach to their division rivals, signing Jose Contreras to a minor league deal even though he's still recovering from the Tommy John operation that he underwent last June. GM Neal Huntington said the Pirates' scouts have always been impressed with Contreras, Tom Singer of MLB.com reports. "We felt this was a low-risk acquisition that can help this team at some point this summer," Huntington said. Contreras threw off a mound in front of Pirates personnel before completing his deal.

Quick Hits: Contreras, Indians, Marlins, Yankees

After Brian Sabean traded Matt Williams to the Indians for a package that included eventual San Francisco cornerstone Jeff Kent, the public reaction against the newly minted Giants general manager was so strong that he felt compelled to declare: “I’m not an idiot.”  Sixteen years later, with two World Championships under Sabean’s belt, MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby writes that he “has proven that, emphatically.”  Sabean still abides by the credo he adopted while working for George Steinbrenner: “keep your head down and do your job.” Here are some notes on teams hoping to dethrone Mr. Sabean’s Giants in 2013:

  • Having agreed yesterday to a minor league contract with the Pirates, 41-year-old reliever Jose Contreras reported to camp quickly with plans to take it slow, says Tom Singer of MLB.com.  Still recovering from Tommy John surgery, and having just returned from his first visit to his native Cuba since defecting over a decade ago, Contreras said that the Pirates instructed him “to take my time and recover at my own rate.”  Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington, for whom the signing was a “low-risk” gambit to bolster the club’s bullpen, stated that Contreras would “rehab throughout Spring Training” and that the team would “be patient with him and get him back as quickly as his body allows.”
  • The Indians have set up a three-way competition for the last spot in the team’s starting rotation, according to Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer.  Scott Kazmir and Carlos Carrasco, both of whom are attempting comebacks, will compete with recently-acquired prospect Trevor Bauer.  All three pitchers appeared in today’s Cactus League game.  While MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk maintains that Kyle Lohse could fit nicely in the Tribe's rotation, the team seems likely to utilize one of the options it already has on hand.
  • With Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis likely out for more than six weeks with a fractured collarbone, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro discusses the club’s search for a new second backstop behind presumed starter Rob Brantly.  In addition to considering internal options like Kyle Skipworth, “the club is combing through other rosters, exploring possible trade options and trying to figure out which teams have a surplus.” 
  • Other than Sabean, only one current GM has overseen multiple championship clubs: the Yankees’ Brian Cashman.  Cashman revealed today that, contrary to his previously stated belief, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli is in fact out of options, writes MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.  MLBTR has labeled Cervelli as out of options from the start; check out our full list of players here.  Of the three primary catchers competing to break camp with the Yankees, then, only Austin Romine can still be optioned.  (Chris Stewart, like Cervelli, has had his options exhausted.)  When asked to comment on the catching situation, Cashman wryly reported: “We’ve got two guys out of options and one guy with an option.  I think the two guys are winning.”
  • Of more immediate concern to Cashman and the Yankees, of course, is the injury to outfielder Curtis Granderson.  In addition to the analysis of MLBTR's Tim Dierkes, other commentators have begun to weigh in.  Bill Madden of The New York Daily News explores the options for replacing Granderson and worries that the club could face a power shortage.  MLB.com’s Richard Justice opines that Cashman should stick to his winning strategy of “being smart and efficient” and “not overreacting to every crisis.”  For FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, on the other hand, the injury “exposed the Yankees’ flawed roster construction” and leaves the club’s 2013 postseason prospects in doubt.

Pirates To Sign Jose Contreras

The Pirates have agreed to terms with Jose Contreras on a minor league deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, according to a team report. The veteran right-hander, represented by Jaime Garcia, will spend a portion of the spring rehabbing his elbow as he is expected to report to camp on Sunday.

Contreras, 41, spent the 2012 season with the Phillies where he posted a 5.27 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in just over 13 innings of work. The former All-Star will be used out of the bullpen if he makes the team's Opening Day roster.


Central Notes: Tigers, Twins, Podsednik, Wainwright

The Tigers are showing a lot of faith in 22-year-old Bruce Rondon by making him the frontrunner for the closer role, but Detroit would be better served by having legitimate closing options to choose from, opines Dave Cameron of Fangraphs in a piece for ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd).  Developing your own closer rather than paying free agent prices for one is a good idea, but Cameron believes that the Tigers should probably have someone to hold down the fort while Rondon gains some big league experience.  Here's more from the AL and NL Central..

  • The Twins haven't completely ruled out free agent outfielder Scott Podsednik, but nothing is close to being imminent, writes Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.  So far this offseason, the Twins have appeared to be the only club with serious interest in the veteran.
  • A Twins official told Wolfson that there isn't much to the news of 41-year-old free-agent pitcher Jose Contreras was working out at the Twins' Fort Myers facility.  When asked if it was meaningful or random, the official simply said, "Random."
  • Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright says that extension talks won't derail him during spring training as they did five years ago, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  General Manager John Mozeliak hopes to work out a new contract with Wainwright by Opening Day while Wainwright says that he isn't setting a deadline for talks.
  • Edwin Jackson is considered an important piece in the Cubs' rebuilding process, both as an experienced starter under contract through the projected turnaround years and in the short-term as support for the rotation in the event of a likely Matt Garza trade this year, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.  

Phillies Decline Options For Wigginton, Contreras

The Phillies announced that they declined the contract options for Ty Wigginton and Jose Contreras. Both players obtain $500K buyouts and become free agents.

Contreras, 40, spent most of the 2012 season on the disabled list. He didn't pitch after June 2nd, when the Phillies placed him on the DL with a torn elbow ligament. His option was worth $2.5MM.

Wigginton appeared in 125 games this past season, playing first base, third base and left field. The 35-year-old posted a .235/.314/.375 batting line with 11 home runs in 360 plate appearances. Wigginton's two-year, $8MM contract with the Phillies included a $4MM team option for 2013.

The Phillies exercised the option of catcher Carlos Ruiz earlier today. They have two more days to decide whether to exercise Placido Polanco's option. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is expected to decline.