Josh Outman Rumors
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.
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.
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.
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.