Josh Roenicke Rumors

Nationals Sign Josh Roenicke

9:38pm: Roenicke's deal includes a June 15th opt-out clause, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com.

11:44am: The Nationals announced (via Twitter) that they have agreed to a minor league contract and an invitation to Major League Spring Training with right-hander Josh Roenicke. The 31-year-old Legacy Agency client spent the 2013 campaign pitching out of the Twins' bullpen but was outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency back in October.

The Twins claimed Roenicke off waivers from the Rockies following the 2012 season, and he appeared in 63 games for Minnesota in his lone year with the club (he also appeared in 63 games for Colorado the year prior). With Minnesota, Roenicke posted a 4.35 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 5.2 BB/9 and a 41.1 percent ground-ball rate. In addition to clearly struggling with his command, Roenicke's 91.4 mph average fastball velocity was a career-low, as was his ground-ball rate. 

Roenicke, the son of former Orioles outfielder Gary Roenicke and nephew of current Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, is also the brother-in-law of Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Twitter). Once a well-regarded bullpen prospect in the Reds organization, Roenicke was traded to the Blue Jays along with Zach Stewart and Edwin Encarnacion in the deal that sent Scott Rolen to Cincinnati.

In 220 1/3 innings, Roenicke has a career ERA of 4.17 with 6.9 K/9, 4.8 BB/9 and a 46.7 percent ground-ball rate between the Reds, Jays, Rockies and Twins.


Quick Hits: Bailey, Burnett, Twins, Samardzija

Even though most of Alex Rodriguez's 2014 salary will be wiped out by his season-long PED suspension, the controversial slugger's contract is still ranked as the worst in baseball by Grantland's Jonah Keri.  Of Keri's list of the 15 worst contracts in the sport, the Dodgers have four, the Yankees, Angels and Braves each have two and the Reds, Rangers, Phillies, Blue Jays and White Sox have one each.

Here are some items from around the baseball world…

  • The Reds and Homer Bailey are "still talking" about a multiyear contract, GM Walt Jocketty tells MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.  "There has not been a lot of progress, but good conversations anyhow," Jocketty said.  Bailey's arbitration hearing is scheduled for February 20 and there is a $2.9MM gap ($11.6MM to $8.7MM) between his demands and the Reds' offer for a 2014 contract.  This is Bailey's last season under contract with Cincinnati and the two sides are reportedly far apart on a long-term deal.  Sheldon suggests that the Reds will be watching the Indians' case with Justin Masterson, as he and Bailey have posted comparable numbers over the last three years and Masterson is also scheduled to be a free agent next offseason.
  • The Pirates offered A.J. Burnett a $12MM contract for 2014, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link).  This obviously fell short of the $16MM Burnett received from the Phillies earlier today.
  • The Twins aren't one of the teams interested in Emilio Bonifacio, 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson reports (via Twitter).  Bonifacio cleared release waivers and became a free agent earlier today.  The Orioles are known to be one of at least nine teams interested in the speedy utilityman.
  • Also from Wolfson, a Twins official said that the club "had extensive talks" about Erisbel Arruebarruena but he was judged to be too expensive.  The Cuban shortstop agreed to a deal with the Dodgers today that could be worth as much as $25MM.
  • The Cubs can afford to be patient in trading Jeff Samardzija, Fangraphs' Jeff Sullivan argues, as teams may be more willing to meet Chicago's large asking price once the free agent pitching market thins out and teams get more desperate once the season begins.
  • Right-hander Josh Roenicke is drawing interest from a "handful of teams" and could be signed soon, a source tells MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo (Twitter link).  Roenicke posted a 4.35 ERA, 6.5 K/9 and 1.25 K/BB rate in 62 relief innings with the Twins in 2013 before being outrighted off Minnesota's roster in November.
  • Also from Cotillo, right-hander Blake Hawksworth has retired.  Hawksworth posted a 4.07 ERA and 1.85 K/BB over 124 games (eight as a starter) with the Cardinals and Dodgers from 2009-11 before elbow and shoulder injuries derailed his career.  Hawksworth has taken a job with the Boras Corporation, his former agency.
  • Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill discussed the club's recent signing of Carlos Marmol with Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
  • Luis Ayala chose to sign a minor league deal with the Nationals since they (as the Expos) were the franchise that originally signed him and he still has many friends in the organization, the veteran reliever tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.  Several teams were linked to Ayala this offseason but the bidding came down to the Nats, Tigers and Phillies.

Twins Outright Roenicke, De Vries, Thomas, Martis

The Twins have outrighted center fielder Clete Thomas and right-handers Josh Roenicke, Cole De Vries and Shairon Martis off their 40-man roster, the team announced via press release.

The Twins claimed Roenicke, 31, off waivers from the Rockies last offseason, and he spent the entire season in the team's bullpen. Roenicke posted a 4.35 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9 in 62 innings for Minnesota, appearing in 63 games and earning one save along the way. Roenicke is eligible for arbitration this offseason, but because he has more than three years of service time and was outrighted off the 40-man roster, he is eligible to elect free agency.

Thomas came to the plate 322 times for the 2013 Twins despite slashing just .214/.290/.307 and striking out in 28.6 percent of his plate appearances. Thomas' sound defensive play kept him in the lineup, as he appeared at all three outfield positions and totaled a UZR/150 mark of +9.6 in 727 1/3 innings.

De Vries was injured for most of the season and allowed 18 runs in 15 innings at the Major League level. The 27-year-old's minor league numbers didn't look much better, as he posted a 7.02 ERA in 50 innings at Triple-A. 

Martis totaled a 4.26 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 80 1/3 innings in the minors and yielded six runs in 9 2/3 Major League innings. The Curacao native reached the Majors in 2013 for the first time since pitching more than 100 innings for the 2008-09 Nationals.



Twins Claim Josh Roenicke, Thomas Field

The Twins claimed reliever Josh Roenicke and infielder Thomas Field off of waivers from the Rockies, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (Twitter links). Neither player has become arbitration eligible yet.

Roenicke made 63 relief appearances for the Rockies this past season, completing 88 2/3 innings. The 30-year-old posted a career-best 3.25 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 and a 50.2% ground ball rate with Colorado. His average fastball checks in at 92.3 mph and he generated swinging strikes with 8.8% of his offerings.

Field, 25, appeared in two games with the Rockies this past season. He spent most of the year at Triple-A, where he posted a .246/.315/.400 batting line in 494 plate appearances as the team's primary shortstop.


Marlins Notes: Uggla, Pavano, Prado

The Marlins wasted no time trading Dan Uggla this offseason, sending him to Atlanta for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn on Tuesday. The move came less than a week after the team broke off extension talks with their All Star second baseman due to a gap in negotiations.

Let's round up the latest Marlins' news in the wake of the trade…


Odds And Ends: Colon, Lee, Bedard, Ligtenberg

More links for the afternoon…