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Jose Fernandez Rumors
Kyle Kendrick of the Phillies is highly motivated as he prepares for free agency, Matt Gelb of the Inquirer writes. Gelb points to Jason Vargas, Scott Feldman and Ricky Nolasco — all of whom signed contracts worth at least $30MM — as potential comparables for Kendrick. "When similar guys close to your numbers sign those deals, that's a good thing," says Kendrick. Kendrick has never pitched more than 182 innings in a season, so 200 innings in 2014 would likely go a long way toward helping him strike gold on the free-agent market. Here's more from the National League.
- The Diamondbacks' fate will be determined primarily by returning players like Paul Goldschmidt and Patrick Corbin, but their additions of Mark Trumbo, Bronson Arroyo and Addison Reed could be what finally gets them past .500, Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com writes. The Diamondbacks are also likely to receive a contribution from top prospect Archie Bradley, although the addition of Arroyo should allow the team to give Bradley some extra minor-league time. Bradley, 21, pitched most of last season at Double-A Mobile.
- Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez tells the Miami Herald's Clark Spencer (via Twitter) that he will make $635K in 2014, a very significant raise for a pre-arbitration player. Earlier in the day, the Marlins announced that they had signed all of their 28 pre-arbitration-eligible players. Fernandez, of course, is following up a stellar first season in which he won the Rookie of the Year award and finished third in NL Cy Young voting.
Rays outfielder Wil Myers and Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez have respectively won the AL and NL Rookie of the Year Awards. The Baseball Writers Association of America announced both results today, with the full voting breakdowns available on the BBWAA's website.
Once promoted to the majors on June 16, Myers lived up to his lofty prospect status by hitting .293/.354/.478 with 13 homers and 50 runs scored in 373 PA with the Rays. It could be argued that the Rays could've avoided the wild card game had they promoted Myers sooner, though holding him back until June will likely allow Tampa Bay to gain another year of control over Myers and keep him from reaching Super Two status. It could also be argued that the Royals would've been better served by keeping Myers rather than dealing him as part of the James Shields blockbuster last offseason, as fans and pundits could be debating the merits of that trade for years to come.
Myers earned 23 of 30 first-place votes from the writers, plus five second-place votes and one third-place vote. Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias finished second in the balloting with five first-place votes (plus 17 seconds and four thirds). Rays righty Chris Archer and Athletics righty Dan Straily each received one first place vote and finished third and fourth in the voting, respectively, while Angels outfielder J.B. Shuck finished fifth. Myers joins Evan Longoria and Jeremy Hellickson as Rays who have won Rookie Of The Year awards.
Though Fernandez was a consensus top-five prospect before the season and the 14th overall pick of the 2011 draft, the Marlins' decision to promote him to the majors was met with surprise given Fernandez's young age (20) and the fact that he has never pitched above the high-A ball level. The righty was more than prepared for the big leagues, however, posting a stunning 2.19 ERA over 28 starts, and recording 187 strikeouts against only 58 walks over 172 2/3 innings.
Fernandez is the second Cuban-born player to be named Rookie of the Year, after the Twins' Tony Oliva in 1964. Fernandez joins Chris Coghlan, Hanley Ramirez and Dontrelle Willis as the only Marlins to capture ROY honors.
Fernandez took 26 of 30 first-place votes and finished second on the other four ballots. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig received the other four first-place votes and 25 second-place votes to finish second in the voting, though he was also left off one ballot entirely. Cardinals righty Shelby Miller, Dodgers southpaw Hyun-jin Ryu and Braves righty Julio Teheran round out the top five in the NL voting.
The Nationals' trade for David DeJesus was the headline news out of the NL East today, and you can read some of extra details behind the deal and reaction to the Nats' move here. Here are some other notes from around the NL East..
- The Phillies have interest in Roger Bernadina, CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury reports. Bernadina was released by the Nationals today to create roster space for DeJesus. The 29-year-old is hitting .179/.247/.270 with two homers in 167 PA. As Salisbury notes, Bernadina has played all three outfield positions and could provide the Phils with much-needed depth for this season and perhaps beyond.
- Jose Fernandez's last start of the season will occur in the first week of September, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro calculates, possibly on September 4 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field or at home on September 6 against the Nationals. Fernandez was put on a 170-inning cap by the Marlins at the start of the year and he has made every one count. The 21-year-old phenom allowed just one earned run over six innings against the red-hot Dodgers tonight, dropping his ERA to 2.41 in 24 starts.
- The Braves' claim of David Carpenter off waivers from the Red Sox last November has proven to be a steal, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes (AJC subscriber account required). Carpenter has posted a 1.86 ERA and 10.6 K/9 in 48 1/3 innings out of the Atlanta bullpen this season.
- Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog.com doesn't see the Mets signing Jose Dariel Abreu, noting that it would be unlike Sandy Alderson to give a major contract to a player with so many question marks surrounding him. Abreu could receive a deal in excess of $60MM and the Orioles, Red Sox, Pirates and White Sox are all known to have interest in the Cuban slugger.
The Marlins were questioned about their decision to overlook service time considerations when they added Jose Fernandez to their Opening Day roster. So far, the gamble is working for Miami. The 20-year-old, who is making the jump from High-A ball and is the youngest player on a 2013 Opening Day roster, was outstanding in his MLB debut striking out eight (a franchise record for a debut) while allowing only three hits and one walk in five innings of the Marlins' walkoff loss to the Mets. Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel notes Fernandez is just the seventh starter under the age of 21 to record at least eight strikeouts in his MLB debut since 1916 and only the fourth pitcher in the past 13 years to record six or more strikeouts in his debut joining Oliver Perez, Clayton Kershaw, and teammate Jacob Turner (Twitter link). In other news and notes from the National League:
- Dexter Fowler credits his early season success to the security of his recent two-year, $11.6MM contract extension, writes the Denver Post's Troy E. Renck. Fowler believes the investment shows the Rockies now see him as part of their core and not just a trade chip for pitching.
- A former minority owner of the Pirates believes owner Bob Nutting "is too rational a businessman to ever spend more money to build a winner," reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Conventional wisdom says the economic playing field is too uneven for the Pirates to be competitive without a larger payroll. Ex-Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg, a Pittsburgh native, disagrees telling Biertempfel, "The days when any franchise was revenue-challenged are long over. There is so much revenue in baseball, not just at the local level but also national revenues that sustain every franchise as well as enormous amounts of revenue sharing. Every franchise has the ability to compete without losing money."
- The Giants held their World Series ring ceremony today and and there were some notable no-shows. According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, Brian Wilson was invited, but never responded dampening the prospects of a reunion when the Giants' former closer fully recovers from Tommy John surgery. Guillermo Mota meanwhile had a prior family committment, but Baggarly writes he has thrown for the Orioles and could sign a Triple-A contract with them.
- Reliever Mike MacDougal has signed a minor league deal with the Reds, reports Baseball America's Matt Eddy. MLBTR reported exclusively in February the 35-year-old would throw a bullpen for interested teams. MacDougal appeared in just seven games for the Dodgers in 2012, but he posted a 2.05 ERA in 69 appearances with them in 2011.