Juan Carlos Oviedo Rumors

Quick Hits: McLouth, Padres, Oswalt, Hamilton

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.

Quick Hits: Wright, Oviedo, Broxton, Catchers

Here's the latest from around the league as Thursday turns into Friday…

Heyman On Hamels, Yankees, Oviedo

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.

Quick Hits: Oviedo, Ransom, Greinke, Boras

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 RoyalsDanny 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..

MLB To Suspend Oviedo For Eight Weeks

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.

Marlins Notes: Cespedes, Sanchez, Oviedo

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.

NL East Notes: Wigginton, Brown, Oviedo, Fielder

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.

Marlins Avoid Arbitration With Juan Carlos Oviedo

The Marlins avoided arbitration with reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo by agreeing to a $6MM deal, tweets Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.  The former Leo Nunez and former Marlins closer is represented by Wasserman Media Group.  He's on the restricted list as he sorts out issues relating to his use of a false identity.  Oviedo receives a $2.35MM raise for his last season before free agency.    

As MLBTR's arbitration tracker shows, the Marlins still have Emilio Bonifacio, Edward Mujica, and Anibal Sanchez on the agenda.

Marlins Notes: Fielder, Oviedo, Green, Buehrle

The Marlins offered huge deals to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, but the pair of free agents opted to sign with the Angels for less money. Will the Marlins turn their attention to the top free agents still available? Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post tweets that he wouldn't be surprised to see the Marlins "at least kick the tires" on Prince Fielder, despite their insistence they don't have interest (Twitter link). Here are the rest of the latest Marlins updates:

  • Juan Carlos Oviedo, formerly Leo Nunez, was arrested in his native Dominican Republic today, but won't face false identity charges, according to an AP report (via ESPN.com).
  • The Marlins will sign Nick Green to a minor league deal, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
  • Ozzie Guillen wants White Sox fans to know that he didn't steal Mark Buehrle away from the Sox, as he told ESPN 1000 today (hat tip to ESPN Chicago).

Marlins Plan To Tender Contract To Oviedo

MONDAY: The Marlins plan to tender a contract to Oviedo, president Larry Beinfest told reporters including Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.

THURSDAY: Now that the Marlins have agreed to terms with Heath Bell, the club won't be tendering Juan Carlos Oviedo a contract, a source tells Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio (Twitter link).  Oviedo was projected to earn $5.8MM in arbitration this winter and would've almost certainly been non-tendered even if the Marlins hadn't signed a new closer.  The non-tender deadline is December 12.

Oviedo, 29, is currently facing legal charges following the revelation that his former "Leo Nunez" identity belonged to another person in the Dominican Republic.  The right-hander posted decent numbers last season (a 4.06 ERA, 2.62 K/BB ratio) but it's unlikely any team will pursue Oviedo until his legal issues are behind him.