Josh Towers Rumors

Dodgers Release Josh Towers's Ken Gurnick reports that Los Angeles has granted Josh Towers his release.  The right-hander signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers last December, and Gurnick said the contract contained a clause where Towers could opt out if he wasn't on the major league roster by this point in the season.

Towers had an 8.05 ERA in eight starts for the Dodgers' Triple-A team this season, and has a 4.95 ERA in 139 major league games with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Yankees since 2001.

Dodgers Sign Josh Towers

The Dodgers signed pitcher Josh Towers to a minor league deal worth $700K in the Majors, according to the AP.  Towers, 33 in February, posted a 3.05 ERA, 4.8 K/9, and 2.1 BB/9 in 103.3 Triple A innings for the Yankees and Nationals organizations this year.  Towers' best years were with the Blue Jays, namely an '05 season where he posted a 3.71 ERA in 208.6 innings.  He has a career BB/9 mark of just 1.5.

Freddy Guzman, Josh Towers Elect Free Agency

Freddy Guzman and Josh Towers were outrighted by the Yankees and elected free agency, according to Chad Jennings of The Journal News.  Towers would've been arbitration-eligible.

Guzman, 29 in January, hit .223/.272/.294 in 381 plate appearances for four Triple A teams this year.  Towers, 33 in February, posted a 3.05 ERA in 103.3 Triple A innings for two clubs.

Odds & Ends: Strasburg, White Sox, Rangers

Here's a few links to the get night started right…

  • Ben Goessling of The Washington Times reports that a "club source said managing principal owner Ted Lerner, team president Stan Kasten and acting general manager Mike Rizzo all flew to California last week to visit with (Stephen) Strasburg." It is unknown if Scott Boras was part of the meeting, or if Strasburg took the physical necessary to sign a Major League contract.
  • Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse tweets that Erik Bedard had his "bursa debrided & labrum repaired" when he underwent shoulder surgery. He can resume baseball activity in 4-6 months, right in the middle of his impending free agency.
  • Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune writes about the payroll challenges facing White Sox GM Kenny Williams in 2010. The team has $68.3MM tied up in ten players next year - including the recently acquired Jake Peavy and Alex Rios – and will owe considerable raises to Carlos Quentin and John Danks, both of whom are arbitration eligible for the first time. Gonzales says that "probably means the Sox will listen to offers for closer Bobby Jenks." 
  •'s T.R. Sullivan reports that Rangers first round pick Matt Purke is in town for a physical, but no deal is imminent. The club just wants to get that part of signing process out of the way because negotiations might go down to the wire. GM Jon Daniels said "They are where you would expect them to be. We still have a gap, a divide, to bridge. That's not unusual three days before the deadline. They have been amicable discussions. He agreed to submit to the physical and get that completed just to get it behind us so we can focus on negotiations. We don't want any hurdles if we negotiate late."
  • In news that involves players who have actually signed, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that the Rangers have inked 14th rounder Chad Bell to a $450K bonus. He's the third player Texas has signed for more than MLB's recommended $150K maximum after the fifth round.
  • Chad Jennings of The Times Tribune mentions that Josh Towers is expected to return to the Triple-A Scranton rotation next week. The Yankees DFA'd Towers last weekend, but he apparently declined to become a free agent in favor of having a job.

Yankees To DFA Josh Towers

Mark Feinsand of The NY Daily News tweets that the Yankees intend to designate righthander Josh Towers for assignment tomorrow to make room on the roster for recent pickup Chad Gaudin. Towers had been pitching with New York's Triple-A affiliate, but the team called him up today as bullpen insurance following the 15-inning Yanks-Red Sox marathon last night.

Towers had a 3.42 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) with Triple-A Scranton. He hasn't pitched in the majors since 2007.

Nationals Ink Towers To Minor League Deal

Bill Ladson of reports that the Nationals have signed Josh Towers to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

The 31-year-old right-hander spent all of last season at Triple-A Colorado Springs and finished with a 6-7 record and 6.27 ERA.  He’ll need a really strong showing this spring to make the Nats.

Rockies Sign Josh Towers

UPDATE, 1-4-08 at 2:48pm: Towers has been signed; Troy Renck has the contract details.  There’s a mutual option for ’09 for $3MM.

FROM 1-3-08 at 10:07pm:

According to’s Thomas Harding, the Rockies are close to a deal with pitcher Josh Towers, who turns 31 in February.  It would be a one-year deal for $1.8MM plus incentives.  Those incentives would start at 35 games pitched, so basically he won’t earn them if he’s exclusively a starter.

Harding adds that Towers would get $400K for earning a 40-man roster spot or the $1.8MM for getting on the 25-man.  He’d take on a swingman role (which is odd, because Kip Wells seems to have been signed for that purpose).

I like Towers’ chances to be worth a hell of a lot more than $1.8MM as a National League starter, but not so much in Coors Field.  Drunk Jays Fans recently weighed in on Towers’ tenure with Toronto, with their usual dose of cursing and hilarity.

Rockies May Sign Giles, Towers

According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have several bargain-priced free agents on their radar.

GM Dan O’Dowd has ongoing talks with second baseman Marcus Giles, who prefers Colorado.  Seems like the best place to rebuild value for Giles, who will turn 30 in May.  Coors Field inflates right-handed batting average by 17% and right-handed home runs bt 23%, according to the Bill James Handbook.  Giles made $3.25MM in 2007 but hit just .229/.304/.317.

Giles’ agent says a few other teams are involved on him, and Renck adds that Todd Walker remains an option.

Pitching-wise, the Rockies are targeting Josh Towers, who turns 30 in February.  Victor Zambrano is still a secondary option.  Towers seems a decent bargain, but his home run issues won’t play well in Coors (obviously).  Chad Durbin only required $900K, so maybe Towers will be in that range.  I don’t think Rodrigo Lopez is in play; I’m told he may not be ready until the All-Star break at the earliest.

Rangers Rumors: Guardado, Cameron, Hamilton’s T.R. Sullivan has all the latest hot stove buzz around the Rangers.

  • The Rangers are nearing a deal with Eddie Guardado.  Everyday Eddie might be a dark horse to close, if he can flash his late season form again.  The Reds decided in October that he was not worth $3.5MM, and declined his option.  Guardado is 37.
  • The Rangers hope to add some kind of veteran starter.  Bartolo Colon and Jason Jennings are still options, but Mark Prior and Freddy Garcia pretty much are not.  Sullivan names Mike Maroth, Mark Hendrickson, and Josh Towers as pitchers of interest.
  • Mike Cameron could be an option for center field if he’ll take a one-year deal.  A multiyear demand would also take the Rangers out of the running for Corey Patterson.
  • Sullivan notes that the Reds want Edinson Volzquez for Josh Hamilton, a possibility he first mentioned three weeks agoJamey Newberg doesn’t think Volquez would cut it.  Other trade options could include Andre Ethier, Coco Crisp, and Juan Pierre.
  • The Rangers will pass on a Kevin Mench reunion.

Today’s Non-tenders: Towers, Prior, Everett, Durbin

Tim’s out for the night, so we’ve got a fresh post started for the non-tenders. has a running list as well.

These guys are the officials as of now:

  • As expected, the Marlins non-tendered catcher Miguel OlivoJohnny Estrada was another casualty; these two make up the market for starting catchers.
  • The Blue Jays non-tendered Josh Towers, a surprising move.  Some NL team could offer him two years and get league average work out of him.
  • Mark Prior has been non-tendered.  Honestly if I were the Cubs, I would’ve tossed the $3.5MM his way just to see.
  • Aaron Miles is now a free agent.
  • The A’s cut Kiko Calero loose.
  • The Padres have non-tendered four: Morgan Ensberg, Jason Lane, and pitchers Jack Cassell and Ryan Ketchner. RotoWorld speculates that the latter two, not arbitration eligible, could be offered minor league deals.
  • The Royals cut the cord on Emil Brown.  He turns 33 soon; he hit an ugly .257/.300/.347 in 2007.  Brown earned $3.45MM in ’07.
  • The Tigers non-tendered Chad Durbin, toss him into the free agent pool.  Guess those trade talks with the Bucs didn’t work out.
  • The Twins have let go Jason Tyner.
  • The Nats have cut bait with Nook Logan and LHP Michael O’Connor.
  • The Dodgers wave goodbye to Mark Hendrickson.
  • The White Sox have non-tendered Andy Gonzalez and LHP Heath Phillips. Joe Crede sticks with the Pale Hose for now.
  • Adam Everett has lost his job with the Astros. It’d be kind of funny if the Orioles signed him.
  • Per RotoWorld, the Angels have non-tendered Dallas McPherson. He’s full of potential, but he’s never come through. He’s only 27, though, so he could still catch on somewhere. Unless, RotoWorld notes, he has an agreement in place with the Angels.
  • The Braves have non-tendered Willie Harris, though he had already been DFA’d.

Joe and Tim