Josh Outman Rumors

Players Who Have Elected Minor League Free Agency

A total of 43 players have elected to become minor league free agents, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy in his latest round-up of minor league transactions.  MLBTR has already reported on some of these moves over the last few days, and here is the rest of the list, with players grouped by their most recent team…


Yankees Outright Josh Outman

Here are today’s minor transactions, with the latest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Yankees have outrighted southpaw Josh Outman off the 40-man roster, Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reports (via Twitter).  Outman was designated for assignment last week.  The left-hander posted a 2.86 ERA and 8.3 K/9 over 28 1/3 IP with Cleveland and New York this season, though he battled control issues, walking 16 batters in those 28 1/3 innings.  Outman has a 4.43 ERA over 274 1/3 career innings during six Major League seasons with the Yankees, Indians, Rockies and A’s.
  • With Outman’s situation now resolved, that leaves the Orioles’ Preston Guilmet as the only player currently in “DFA limbo,” according to the MLB Trade Rumors DFA Tracker.

Yankees Designate Josh Outman For Assignment

The Yankees announced that they have designated left-hander Josh Outman for assignment in order to clear roster space for outfielder Eury Perez, who was claimed off waivers from the Nationals earlier today. Meredith Marakovits of the YES Network first tweeted that Outman was packing up his locker, bringing about speculation that he’d be the corresponding roster move for Perez.

Outman, who turned 30 last week, appeared in nine games for the Yankees, totaling 3 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball. He faced a dozen hitters and set down 10 of them, dropping his season ERA to just 2.86. However, Outman’s lofty walk rate — he 16 free passes in 24 2/3 innings with Cleveland before being acquired by New York — kept him in the minors for much of the season and caused sabermetric marks such as FIP (4.82) to predict his ERA to be a mirage.

Right-handed hitters have always given Outman trouble, but he’s been lights-out against lefties in his career, yielding just a .186/.254/.283 batting line. Outman will finish the season with less than five years of Major League service, meaning that he can be controlled via arbitration for the 2015 and 2016 campaigns.



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.