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Juan Carlos Oviedo Rumors
A few items of note out of the National League East, where the Nationals held a 2.5-game lead over the Braves entering Tuesday night's action. …
- Marlins president Larry Beinfest said right-hander Juan Carlos Oviedo will become a free agent after this season, regardless of whether he makes it back to the Major Leagues in 2012, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald (via Twitter). Oviedo, formerly known as Leo Nunez, was nearing the conclusion of an eight-week suspension for identity fraud but suffered a sprained elbow ligament during a minor league rehab stint. The severity of the injury is not yet known. Just reading between the lines, it sounds like Miami is not interested in re-signing Oviedo.
- The Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said he will approach this year's trade deadline as he has in years past, with an emphasis on deals that will make the team better for the long-term, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The Nats are intrigued by, but not committed to, the idea of trading for a pitcher who can account for the innings they'll lose when Stephen Strasburg rests in accordance with his innings cap, although the price of brand-name arms like Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster and Francisco Liriano is probably too high, not to mention that those pitchers are all free agents at season's end and therefore don't fit into the aforementioned long-term plans.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is facing a difficult decision in determining what to do with lefty Cole Hamels, writes Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (subscription required). Bowden examines the plusses and minuses of extending and trading Hamels, as well as letting him walk.
Marlins All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery this morning. Stanton had loose bodies removed from his right knee and is expected to be out four to six weeks. He will miss the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game. As a result, the Marlins will not have a representative in Kansas City for the Midsummer Classic. This was one topic Marlins President David Samson addressed in his meeting with reporters, including Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
- "I spoke to MLB. I think there were a lot of different ways that Tony [La Russa] and MLB could have gone. I think it’s unfortunate. I think that every team should be represented on the line in an All-Star Game," Samson said. "Obviously MLB or Tony or whoever makes the decision had their own view of it, and it’s certainly disappointing."
- Samson flashed a sense humor regarding the All-Star snub when asked about Showtime's The Franchise: A Season with the Miami Marlins. "Instead of sending a player to the All-Star Game, I guess we’re going to send the Showtime crew and it’s going be like Where’s Waldo. We’re going to have the Showtime crew just looking for the Marlin."
- On the loss of Stanton, Samson says "it hurt. He is such an imposing force in the lineup. Carlos Lee was brought in to combine him with Stanton in the lineup. Now it’s sort of back to where you are. But Giancarlo will be back in time to help us. We’re not nearly out of it –- the second wild card or even the division.”
- Samson was asked about the team's inconsistent first half, "I think when you talk about all the excitement going into the season, that’s what leads to this level of disappointment because you don’t expect to be below .500 at the break. But the way things went I think we’re pretty happy to be this close to 500. It could have been a lot worse."
- Samson again showed his sense of humor when asked about the issues with the turf at the new Marlins Park. "The grass sort of reflects our season. It’s brown right now but getting greener."
- Manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters, including Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald, that he is looking forward to the return of Juan Carlos Oviedo calling it the "biggest trade of the year." The pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez finishes his eight-week suspension for age and identity fraud on July 22. Upon his return, Guillen says Oviedo and Heath Bell could be sharing closer duties. "We’ll see how Bell’s throwing and we’ll flip-flop each for whatever reason. It’s going to be a big lift."
Happy Memorial Day! Here are today’s links…
- It doesn't sound as though Javier Vazquez has baseball at the forefront of his mind. When asked what he's up to, friends of the pitcher told Peter Gammons of MLB.com (via Twitter) that he's playing semi-pro tennis. In April, the right-hander said that he's not planning on playing but also wasn't ready to announce his retirement.
- MLB announced an eight-week suspension for Juan Carlos Oviedo, the right-handed pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez, for engaging in age and identity fraud (Twitter link). Oviedo is making his way back to the Marlins after a prolonged absence.
- Mike Puma of the New York Post wonders if Manny Acosta's days with the Mets could be numbered (Twitter link). Acosta has an 11.86 ERA after allowing three runs to the Phillies this afternoon.
- The Diamondbacks were willing to pay up to keep Miguel Montero’s two-way play on the roster, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. While Montero isn’t hitting much so far this year, he has thrown out 39.2% of potential base stealers since the beginning of the 2011 season. He recently signed a five-year, $60MM contract with Arizona.
It's never a good sign for a team when its catcher has the game's best pitching line. Jeff Mathis' scoreless inning of mop-up work made him the only Blue Jay hurler to not allow a run in the Rangers' 14-3 drubbing of the Jays. Nelson Cruz swung the hottest Texas bat, going 4-for-5 with a home run and eight RBIs.
Here's some more news from around the majors…
- The Angels have "no real interest" in Nate McLouth, reports MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (Twitter link). McLouth was designated for assignment by the Pirates earlier today.
- Major League Baseball has given approval for three ownership groups to review the Padres' financial records as a step towards possibly buying the team, reports MLB.com's Barry M. Bloom. The groups are respectively headed by Thomas Tull, Peter O'Malley and Steve Cohen. Tony Gwynn is affiliated with Tull's group, while O'Malley and Cohen also recently bid to buy the Dodgers.
- Roy Oswalt needs to show some compromise if he really wants to pitch for the Rangers, writes Evan P. Grant for the Dallas Morning News (subscription required).
- The Rangers should be willing to pay Josh Hamilton $180MM+ to keep him from leaving as a free agent, opines Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "You don't let immense talent walk. Immense talent always stays. Even if you overpay, immense talent, the best talent in baseball, stays — warts, demons and all," Galloway says.
- Juan Carlos Oviedo has received his visa and will arrive at the Marlins' minor league headquarters on Monday, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Oviedo and his representatives have not decided if they will appeal Oviedo's eight-week suspension for playing under a false identity as Leo Nunez.
- The week's minor league transactions are recapped by Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
Here's the latest from around the league as Thursday turns into Friday…
- "We're all hopeful that long-term, [David Wright] will be here," said Mets GM Sandy Alderson during tonight's game broadcast according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo (on Twitter). "I don't see any great impediment to that occurring."
- Juan Carlos Oviedo confirmed to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that he has not yet received his visa but he is in the process of doing so. Earlier this week we heard that the pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez had received his visa and was on his way back to the United States and the Marlins.
- Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com says Jonathan Broxton could be either a trade candidate or an extension candidate for the Royals. The closer will be a free agent after the season, but Knobler compares him to Jeff Francoeur, who signed a one-year deal with Kansas City last season before agreeing to a two-year extension.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.com wrote about offensive catchers, which he says are a dying breed. Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, Mike Napoli, and Miguel Montero all have sub-.815 OPSes this season.
The Phillies haven’t been in touch with Cole Hamels to discuss an extension recently, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. It’s getting to the point where it would almost seem like an upset if the Phillies re-signed the left-hander, Heyman writes. Here are the details on Hamels and more of Heyman’s notes from around MLB…
- Three agents suggested to Heyman that Hamels’ next contract could fall in the $150-175MM range. The deals for left-handers Johan Santana (six years, $138MM) and C.C. Sabathia (seven years, $161MM) could provide reference points for interested teams and agent John Boggs.
- Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner says rumors that he might sell the team are a "complete fiction," (Heyman tweets). "Me and my family have no intention to sell the Yankees and expect [the franchise] to be in the family for years to come,'' Steinbrenner said. The New York Daily News reported that the Yankees are exploring the possibility of selling the team.
- Juan Carlos Oviedo, who recently received his work visa, will report to extended Spring Training soon, Heyman tweets. The pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez will serve an eight week suspension before returning to the Marlins.
Andy Pettitte's last game before his retirement was in Game 3 of the 2010 ALCS against the Rangers, featuring Jeff Francoeur. Pettitte allowed two runs over seven innings in that game and tonight, Francoeur got another look at him, this time as a member of the Royals. Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com asked him if he looked just as sharp this time around as once again allowed two runs over seven innings of work. "Absolutely," Francoeur said. "He looks good. I thought he would." Tonight's links..
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports runs down veterans on minor league deals that can ask for their releases if they are not promoted to the majors by June 1st. Interesting names include David Bush, Oliver Perez, and Doug Slaten.
- Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly known as Leo Nunez) received his visa and will begin serving an eight week suspension when he reports, tweets Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. He adds that Oviedo will likely report in a few days.
- Diamondbacks skipper Kirk Gibson is sorry to lose Cody Ransom as he hoped to keep him after he was waived, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The infielder was claimed by the Brewers earlier today.
- As it stands now, no big league managers appear to be in danger of losing their jobs, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) lists Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster, Kevin Youkilis, Wandy Rodriguez, and Justin Morneau as his five candidates who could be moved by July 31st.
- In a piece for ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd), Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus explains how agent Scott Boras can capitalize on this year's draft.
APRIL 30TH: MLB has changed its plans and will suspend Oviedo for eight weeks, not six according to Barry Jackson and Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. The suspension is not retroactive and will not begin until Oviedo secures a visa and returns to the United States.
APRIL 1ST: Major League Baseball will suspend Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly known as Leo Nunez) for six weeks following his removal from the restricted list, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
Oviedo is currently home in the Dominican Republic where he's performing community service required to acquire a visa that will allow him to come back to the United States. Jackson calls the acquistion of a visa "inevitable," but doesn't offer a timetable for when it will happen. Perhaps most importantly for the Marlins, they aren't required to pay any of Oviedo's $6MM salary while he's on the restricted list or suspended.
The Fish inked Heath Bell to a three-year pact this offseason, and Oviedo figured to be his primary setup man. He'll surrender that role to Edward Mujica, according to Jackson. In three seasons as the Marlins' closer, Oviedo totaled 198 innings and 92 saves to go along with a 3.86 ERA, 8.5 K/9, and 3.1 BB/9. He's been the center of plenty of offseason controversy after it was revealed that he was playing under a false identity.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Marlins’ offseason is nearing completion, but there’s business to attend to before Opening Day. Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel has the latest from team president David Samson…
- Samson isn’t sure whether Yoenis Cespedes will visit the Miami area before deciding where to sign, but the sides continue to talk. “Our offseason is not dependent on signing Cespedes at all,” Samson said.
- Samson ruled out an extension for Anibal Sanchez, at least for now. Sanchez’s arbitration hearing will take place tomorrow, so we’ll soon know whether he’ll earn $8MM or $6.9MM in 2012. I examined Sanchez as an extension candidate earlier this week.
- Samson doesn’t expect Juan Carlos Oviedo to be on the Marlins’ Opening Day roster, but he said the 29-year-old right-hander will likely be in Spring Training. MLB may discipline Oviedo for falsifying his identity.
- Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson are ready for the season, Samson said.
Earlier today we heard that the Nationals are discussing a contract extension with Ryan Zimmerman and that the agent for Cole Hamels doesn't think Jered Weaver's five-year $85MM deal is that relevant for his client. Here are some more notes on the NL East, starting with Hamels’ teammates in Philadelphia…
- GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said on MLB Network Radio that the Phillies are operating carefully because they’re up against the luxury tax, Jim Bowden tweets.
- Amaro said Ty Wigginton will play first base regularly until Ryan Howard returns from the disabled list, Bowden tweets. Jim Thome will also get occasional starts at first.
- Amaro said he expects to platoon John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix in left field, Bowden tweets. Unless Domonic Brown wows his bosses in Spring Training, he’ll head to the Phillies' Triple-A club.
- There’s an expectation that the Marlins will try to trade Juan Carlos Oviedo, and the reliever told Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he’s mentally prepared for a deal. “It's a business,” he said. “I'd like to stay in Miami, but those are things they decide.”
- Many baseball people still view the Nationals as the favorite to sign Prince Fielder, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.