Josh Outman Rumors

Yankees Acquire Josh Outman

The Indians announced that they have traded left-hander Josh Outman to the Yankees in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations (Twitter link).

Josh Outman

Outman, who had been pitching at Triple-A Columbus for the Indians, will report to the Yankees’ Major League roster. It’s unclear whether the Yankees claimed Outman off waivers or if they struck a deal with Cleveland after Outman had already cleared revocable waivers.

The 29-year-old Outman was acquired by the Indians this past offseason in a straight up swap for outfielder Drew Stubbs. While Stubbs has gone on to enjoy a strong season in Colorado, Outman saw his control decline with Cleveland, resulting in a demotion to the minor leagues. (The move did save the Indians $2.85MM, as Outman’s $1.25MM arbitration salary was significantly lower than the $4.1MM paid to Stubbs.) Though he posted a strong 3.28 ERA with 24 punchouts in 24 2/3 innings, Outman also walked 16 batters in that time, making for a career-worst 5.8 BB/9 rate.

What Outman has provided throughout his career is a strong option against left-handed batters. He held opposing lefties to a .180/.293/.380 batting line in 2014 and has limited them to a .188/.257/.287 triple-slash in 403 career plate appearances. Since his demotion, Outman had posted an inferior 4.41 ERA in 22 1/3 innings but had seen his command improve, walking just eight batters against 20 strikeouts in that time.

The Yankees are currently relying on David Huff and Rich Hill as the left-handed options in their bullpen, and Outman will provide manager Joe Girardi with another lefty to use if neither of those arms is removed from the roster in order to clear space. Outman is slated to finish the year with less than five years of Major League service time, meaning that the Yankees could control him through the 2016 campaign via arbitration if they wish.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Minor Moves: Christian Garcia, Casper Wells, Josh Outman

We’ll keep track of today’s outright assignments and minor moves from around the league right here…

  • The Nationals announced today that they have released right-hander Christian Garcia (hat tip: Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post). Garcia battled back from Tommy John surgery to throw 12 2/3 excellent innings for the Nats in 2012, but he missed 2013 with a partially torn flexor tendon and was once again on the shelf with right shoulder issues. He had posted a 2.75 ERA with a 17-to-4 K/BB ratio in 14 2/3 innings at Triple-A this season.
  • The Cubs have released outfielder Casper Wells, Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register tweets. Not long ago, Wells was considered by many to be a valuable platoon bat capable of handling all three outfield spots, but he struggled greatly between three teams last season and was hitting just .197/.290/.230 through 69 plate appearances with Triple-A Iowa this year.
  • Southpaw Josh Outman has cleared waivers and accepted the Indians‘ outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter). Acquired this offseason in exchange for Drew Stubbs, Outman posted a strong 3.28 ERA in 24 2/3 innings. While that ERA may have caused some to question the move, he walked 16 hitters in that time as well.
  • MLBTR’s DFA Tracker reveals a slew of players in DFA limbo, including: Greg Dobbs (Nationals), Jonathan Diaz (Blue Jays), Jamie Romak (Dodgers), Chris Capuano (Red Sox), Brad Snyder (Rangers), Donnie Joseph (Royals), Roger Bernadina (Reds), Jake Dunning (Giants), J.J. Putz (D’Backs) and Evan Reed (Tigers).

AL Central Notes: Twins, Outman, Rodon

A new or upgraded stadium just represents a new revenue stream for a franchise, not a surefire promise of a winning team, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune writes.  Sullivan focuses his piece on the Cubs‘ planned renovations to Wrigley Field, though he uses the Twins and Target Field as an example of a team whose move into a new ballpark was undermined by moves that currently look like expensive mistakes (i.e. the Ricky Nolasco contract, Joe Mauer‘s extension).

Here’s some more from around the AL Central…

  • Jim Souhan of the Star-Tribune presents a different view of the Twins‘ future, listing four reasons why he feels the team is turning the corner back to respectability.
  • The Indians are trying to make a minor trade to send southpaw Josh Outman elsewhere, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.  The Tribe designated Outman for assignment on Wednesday.  Outman’s strong numbers against left-handed batters should generate some interest, though as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd noted, Outman’s peripherals suggest his performance this season isn’t as solid as his 3.28 ERA would suggest.
  • Carlos Rodon was seen as perhaps the most Major League-ready pitcher of any 2014 draft pick, which is why White Sox assistant GM Buddy Bell feels Rodon would best be served by signing soon.  “You want to get started sooner than later….But I just think the sooner you sign and with his ability and how I see him, this kid is going to be in the big leagues soon,” Bell told reporters, including CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes.  “It just seems to me if money is the issue, he’s going to make a helluva lot more getting it started than not.”  The Sox have until July 18 to sign Rodon, who is rumored to be looking for a bonus above the $5.72MM slot value for the No. 3 overall pick.


Indians Designate Josh Outman For Assignment

The Indians have designated lefty Josh Outman for assignment, reports MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (via Twitter). Outman came to Cleveland before the season in exchange for outfielder Drew Stubbs.

Outman, 29, carries a 3.28 ERA through 24 2/3 innings, but that mark may not tell the whole story. He has struck out 8.8 per nine, in line with his career averages, but has also walked a personal-worst 5.8 batters for every nine innings. Indeed, FIP (5.20), xFIP (4.36), and SIERA (4.16) all cast a shadow on his work this year — quite the opposite of the situation last year, when his 4.33 ERA appeared somewhat unlucky. He suffered perhaps his roughest outing of the year yesterday, giving up two earned on two hits and two walks.

Nevertheless, as teams look to shore up their relief corps over the summer, Outman could receive a good bit of attention. He certainly has done a solid enough job against same-handed hitters, holding opposing southpaws to a .180/.293/.380 line in 58 total plate appearances. Most of the damage has come from right-handed batters, who have touched Outman for a .296/.404/.523 line in the 52 times he has taken the hill against them.


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Wednesday

Click here for background on the upcoming arbitration schedule and how MLBTR will be covering it. You can also check in on our Arbitration Tracker and look at MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz's arbitration projections. We'll use this post to keep tabs on players avoiding arbitration today:

  • Josh Outman, who avoided arbitration with the Indians last night, will earn a $1.25MM salary in 2014, the Associated Press reports (via ESPN).
  • The Rockies have avoided arbitration with lefty Franklin Morales, reports Thomas Harding of MLB.com (via Twitter). Morales was recently picked up from the Red Sox in exchange for Jonathan Herrera, and was projected to earn $1.8MM by Swartz. His salary comes in just below that mark at $1.7125MM, according to a tweet from the Denver Post's Troy Renck. 
  • Burke Badenhop has settled on a one-year deal with the Red Sox, the club announced in a press release. The right-handed reliever, who was acquired from the Brewers back in November, came with a projected $2.2MM price tag and will in fact earn $2.15MM, according to a tweet from WEEI.com's Alex Speier. Badenhop's last two seasons have been uncannily similar. In both 2012 and 2013, Bandenhop threw 62 1/3 innings, registered 42 strikeouts (6.1 K/9) against 12 walks (1.7 BB/9), and surrendered six home runs. He allowed just one less hit (62) last year than in 2012, though his ERA rose from 3.03 to 3.47 due to a drop in his strand rate.
  • The Mets have reached agreement with infielder Ruben Tejada on a 2014 contract, the club announced on Twitter. He will earn a $1.1MM salary in his first year of arbitration eligibility, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, which is in line with his $1MM projection. Tejada struggled to a .202/.259/.260 mark in 227 plate appearances last year, but is still only 24 years old. He will have three more years of arb eligibility since he qualified as a Super Two player.
  • The Rangers have reached agreement on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration with southpaw Neal Cotts, the club announced via press release. The deal will pay Cotts $2.2MM, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Cotts will earn $700K over Swartz's projection.
  • Outfielder Michael Saunders has reached agreement with the Mariners on a deal to avoid arbitration, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). The 27-year-old will earn $2.3MM (plus incentives) in his first arb-eligible season, Divish tweets, which comes in just above the $2MM projection from Swartz.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Josh Outman

We'll keep track of any players to avoid arbitration this evening right here:

  • The Indians have avoided arbitration with southpaw reliever Josh Outman, the club announced via Twitter. Outman was recently acquired from the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Drew Stubbs. Outman was projected by MLBTR's Matt Swartz to earn a $1.4MM paycheck, and the Associated Press reports (via ESPN) that he will in fact make $1.25MM. Outman becomes the first player to avoid arbitration who technically filed for it today.
  • You can keep tabs on all arbitration situations — including those already resolved and those still outstanding — through MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker.

Rockies Acquire Drew Stubbs For Josh Outman

12:41pm: Cleveland will receive left-hander Josh Outman from the Rockies in the trade, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link).

Outman, 29, pitched to a 4.33 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 51.3 percent ground-ball rate in 54 innings for the Rockies this past season. Formerly a starting pitcher, Outman converted to the bullpen on a full-time basis for the first time in 2013. Outman averaged 92.4 mph on his heater and held lefties to a minuscule .198/.278/.261 batting line.

MLBTR's Matt Swartz projects Outman to earn $1.4MM in 2013. He will give new manager Terry Francona a second left-handed option in the bullpen along with Marc Rzepczynski.

12:14pm: The Rockies are acquiring Drew Stubbs from the Indians, sources tell Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link) and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  The Tribe can afford to part with Stubbs thanks to their outfield surplus, which includes Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley, David Murphy, and Ryan Raburn.

We heard back in November that multiple teams approached Cleveland with interest in Stubbs.  The 29-year-old hit just .233/.305/.360 in 2013 but is projected to earn $3.8MM in arbitration this offseason by MLBTR's Matt Swartz.  Still, Stubbs offers quality defense, power and speed, and  he's capable of handling all three outfield positions.

Stubbs, like the newly-acquired Brandon Barnes, is better versus lefties than righties, Rosenthal notes (link).  The plan is still for Carlos Gonzalez to go to center field but the Rockies are collecting athletic outfielders that should give them a solid supporting cast in 2014.


Indians, Red Sox Interested In Josh Outman

TUESDAY: The Red Sox are also interested in Outman, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.  Outman would be an odd target for the Sox, in my opinion, given that they're flush with left-handed relievers.

MONDAY: The Indians have held serious talks with the Rockies about pitcher Josh Outman in their pursuit of a lefty reliever, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Outside of a couple of Triple-A stints, Outman has compiled a 4.50 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 0.47 HR/9, and 46.8% groundball rate in 38 relief innings for the Rockies.  Lefties have hit .218/.274/.303 in 84 plate appearances against the 28-year-old this year, and Outman has struck out almost 36% of them.  Drafted by the Phillies in the 10th round in '05, Outman went to Oakland in the '08 Joe Blanton deal.  The Rockies acquired Outman and Guillermo Moscoso for Seth Smith in January 2012.  The Rockies, currently six games out, would have to decide whether they could part with Outman, who is under team control through 2015.  The club also has southpaws Rex Brothers and the recently-recalled Jeff Francis in its bullpen.


Quick Hits: Rangers, Halladay, Outman

If you've not yet seen Jean Segura's baserunning misadventures yesterday, do yourself a favor and check out the video and story from MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. As McCalvy and others have noted, Segura's strange travels on the basepaths are reminiscent of a 1911 steal of first by one of baseball's great characters, Germany Schaefer of the Senators. Schaefer was only able to make such a unique play for the hapless Senators that year because they acquired him from the Tigers in 1909. The aging Schaefer was largely a role player in D.C., putting up 5.9 WAR (per Baseball-Reference) over 1909-14, though he did post 3.1 WAR in the season of his famous antic. The man he was traded for, Jim Delahanty, was not only outstanding in the Tigers' 1909 World Series loss, but posted 8 WAR over 1909-12.

  • Echoing what we heard yesterday regarding the Rangers' replacement options for the injured Matt Harrison, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com writes that the Rangers have few, if any, external targets worth pursuing. Durrett says the team lacked depth at the start of the year with Martin Perez and Colby Lewis out, leaving the team without attractive internal options to fill in for Harrison. But the market is not promising either. While Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell of the Astros are presumably available, Houston will surely look for a big return at this stage, especially in a deal with a team with which they share a home state and division.
  • Roy Halladay of the Phillies had a strong start last night against the Cardinals, holding their big bats to just two hits over seven innings and logging six strikeouts. Halladay, who currently sits at tenth in MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings, has followed his disastrous first two starts with two solid outings. The once (and future?) ace could shoot back up the rankings if he can maintain his current momentum.
  • It is worth looking back at the details of the soon-to-be 36-year-old Halladay's contract. The deal includes a $20MM option for 2014 which vests if Halladay meets all the following conditions: 225 innings pitched in 2013; 415 innings pitched in 2012-13; Halladay does not end 2013 on the DL. As ESPN's Jayson Stark reported back when Halladay was acquired by the Phillies, the deal does not include any club or player options. Halladay threw just 156 1/3 innings last year and has tossed 22 1/3 to date in 2013, meaning he would need to log another 236 1/3 innings this year. That seems exceedingly unlikely, albeit not outside the realm of possibility: Halladay accumulated 266 innings as a 26-year-old in 2003, his only full-season pace that would make the innings figure achievable. Even Doc's 2010 season, the most recent year in which he led baseball in innings pitched — Halladay posted a career second-best tally of 250 2/3 — would have left him short. Accordingly, unless Halladay turns back into the workhorse he was at his absolute career peak, he is destined to become a free agent.
  • The Rockies, who stand in first place in the NL West, have called up reliever Josh Outman from Triple-A, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The club optioned Chris Volstad in a corresponding move. Outman came to Colorado last year, along with Guillermo Moscoso, in the deal that sent Seth Smith to Oakland. The Rockies waived Moscoso last November after he threw 50 innings of 6.12 ERA ball in 2012. Outman was even worse, posting a 8.19 ERA over 40 2/3 innings for the Rockies last season. The 28-year-old has been excellent thus far in Triple-A, however, and the club will hope that he can even out the results of the trade. Smith was a useful contributor for Oakland's division-winning run last season, putting up a .240/.333/.420 line in 441 plate appearances. He has been that much better so far in 2013, slashing .405/.479/.619 in his 48 plate appearances.

Rockies Avoid Arb With Wilton Lopez, Josh Outman

The Rockies have avoided arbitration with right-hander Wilton Lopez and left-hander Josh Outman by agreeing to one-year contracts with both pitchers, MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports (via Twitter).  Lopez's deal will pay him just over $1.76MM while Outman will earn $675K, a source tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post.

Lopez, acquired in a December trade with the Astros, posted a 2.17 ERA, a 7.3 K/9 rate, a 6.75 K/BB ratio and a 55% groundball rate in 64 games with Houston in 2012.  Lopez, 29, was projected by MLBTR's Matt Swartz to earn $1.4MM in his first time through the arbitration process.  Lopez is represented by the Legacy Agency.

Outman was also arb-eligible for the first time and was seen as a non-tender candidate by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes given Outman's 8.19 ERA in 27 games (seven of them starts) for the Rockies in 2012.  Outman did post an 8.9 K/9 — along with a 4.4 BB/9 and 10.4 H/9 — and pitched well for Oakland in three previous seasons, so $675K was a reasonable price for a Rockies team that is desperate for pitching.  Swartz projected Outman would earn $600K through arbitration.  Outman is represented by Turner Gary Sports. 

Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Colvin, Dexter Fowler and Jonathan Herrera are Colorado's four remaining arb-eligible players.  You can follow the progress of their deals and more on MLBTR's ArbTracker.