Juan Gutierrez Rumors

NL West Notes: Gutierrez, Uribe, Thomas, D-Backs

Giants right-hander Juan Gutierrez has a June 1 opt-out clause approaching in his contract that will allow him to request his release if he is not added to the 25-man roster, as MLBTR reported back at the end of Spring Training. The 31-year-old has struggled in some regards at Triple-A this season, as he’s posted a 4.94 ERA thus far. However, he’s posted a nice 21-to-8 K/BB ratio in that time and is sporting a 3.42 FIP, suggesting that he may have better results were it not for a .400 BABIP. Gutierrez worked to a 3.96 ERA with 6.2 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings for the Giants’ big league club in 2014.

A few more NL West items as the day’s games come to a close…

  • Though Juan Uribe was choked up about leaving the Dodgers when interviewed by reporters following last night’s contest, president of baseball operations told reporters today that Uribe’s agent, Martin Arburua, had made it known earlier in the week that his client would welcome a trade (Twitter link via the Orange County Register’s Pedro Moura). Uribe, Friedman continued, had hoped for a situation that would allow him to play every day. He may very well have that opportunity with the Braves, though Atlanta does have Chris Johnson as an option at the hot corner as well.
  • Also via Moura, Friedman told reporters that he’s tried on multiple occasions to acquire left-hander Ian Thomas from the Braves before landing him in this six-player trade. Friedman feels that Thomas’ floor is that of a quality Major League reliever. However, multiple reporters (including the L.A. News Group’s J.P. Hoornstra) have noted that the Dodgers will stretch Thomas out as a starter for now at the Triple-A level.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports looks at a number of different reasons that the Dodgers made the trade. While some have already questioned the move, Rosenthal hears that the Dodgers preferred Callaspo’s switch-hitting bat and ability to cover first base. Rosenthal, too, notes that the team is high on Thomas, and he adds that they weren’t sure if they’d be able to keep Chris Withrow on the 40-man roster this winter, as his 2016 production figures to be somewhat of a question mark. Shedding Uribe’s contract also saves the team not only $1MM in salary, but a greater amount in luxury taxes, as Uribe’s $7.5MM average annual value creates a bigger luxury tax hit than Callaspo’s mere $3MM AAV.
  • Tony La Russa’s one-year anniversary as the Diamondbacks‘ chief baseball officer was May 17, and Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic writes that La Russa is pleased with the organization’s progress. “I think we feel good about the front-office team and we feel good about our scouts and scouting directors and our player development and our coordinator,” La Russa said. Of course, that front office looks markedly different, as Dave Stewart has replaced Kevin Towers at GM and been joined atop the baseball operations pyramid by senior VP De Jon Watson. Also new to the organization is scouting director Deric Ladnier, who formerly held that position with the Royals and replaced the well-respected Ray Montgomery in Arizona. With the new front office in place, the team aggressively pursued international free agents and trade veteran players, and the fruits of those efforts are already surfacing with the big league team. Rubby De La Rosa, Buchanan notes, is outperforming Wade Miley, for whom he was traded. (Arizona also got Allen Webster in that deal.) Yasmany Tomas is contributing at the plate, and the decision to trade Trevor Cahill to free up a rotation slot for Archie Bradley has injected some youth and upside into the starting mix (though Bradley has struggled since returning from a line-drive to the face).

NL West Notes: Gutierrez, Ethier, Dodgers, Padres

Giants right-hander Juan Gutierrez has elected not to exercise the April 1 opt-out clause in his contract, MLBTR has learned (Twitter links). Gutierrez has been slowed this spring by shoulder inflammation but is healthy now and touched 93 mph the last time he threw. Gutierrez has another opt-out in his contract for June 1 and will, in the meantime, hope to find an opportunity with the big league club. The 31-year-old Gutierrez logged 63 2/3 innings in the Giants’ bullpen last year, posting a 3.96 ERA with 6.2 K/9, a career-best 2.3 BB/9 and a 36.8 percent ground-ball rate, averaging a strong 93.5 mph on his fastball.

Here’s more from the NL West…

  • Andre Ethier was hit on the elbow by a pitch from Carlos Rodon today, but x-rays came back negative, writes ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Mark Saxon. Additionally, he notes that contractual issues surrounding Ethier won’t keep the Dodgers from going with Joc Pederson in center field. Saxon also says that the Dodgers won’t keep Pederson in the Minors to delay his free agency, although his situation is different than that of Kris Bryant, whose demotion to the Minors has caused quite a stir; Pederson already has 28 days of Major League service and would need to spend nearly six weeks in the Minors at this point to give L.A. an extra year of control. Manager Don Mattingly has hinted that Pederson will get the nod, though nothing has been officially announced yet, Saxon adds. “Joc’s kind of checked off all the boxes,” said Mattingly.
  • The Padres gave veteran catcher Wil Nieves a $100K retention bonus rather than adding him to the big league roster or releasing him, but he’s not a lock to be their backup catcher, writes Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. While it may be difficult to find a definitive upgrade outside the organization this close to the regular season, a source tells Lin that the search could go right down to the wire before Sunday’s deadline to set the 25-man roster. An out of options player such as Austin Romine of the Yankees would make some degree of sense, and the Orioles have quite a few experienced catchers, including Steve Clevenger and Ryan Lavarnway. Those names, however, are merely my own speculation.

Giants To Re-Sign Juan Gutierrez

The Giants have re-signed right-handed reliever Juan Gutierrez to a minor league deal, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy recently reported. Gutierrez was designated by San Francisco back in November, in advance of the non-tender deadline.

The 31-year-old tossed 63 2/3 frames of 3.96 ERA ball last year for the eventual World Champions, with 6.2 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9. Though he has mostly performed at roughly replacement level for his career, Gutierrez has suffered from his share of bad luck: all major ERA estimators value his work at a significantly better rate than his lifetime ERA. And his career 3.79 SIERA suggests that he can be a serviceable piece from the bullpen.



Minor Moves: Pena, Boyer, Gutierrez, Swarzak, Belisario, Kohn

Some minor moves from around the league…

  • Also outrighted today was Ramiro Pena of the Braves, per the MLB.com transactions page. The utility man was designated recently, presumably in large part due to his rising arbitration salary.
  • Righty Blaine Boyer (Padres), Anthony Swarzak (Twins), and Juan Gutierrez (Giants) have elected free agency rather than accepting outright assignments, also via the MLB transactions page.
  • The White Sox have outrighted righty Ronald Belisario, per the MLB.com transactions page. Belisario was designated recently to make room for the claim of reliever Onelki Garcia.
  • Likewise, the Rays have outrighted righty Michael Kohn. It has been an odd start to the offseason for Kohn, who was signed to a MLB deal before being designated within weeks by Tampa.
  • Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reported a number of new transactions in his weekly Minor League Transactions roundup on Monday. Of particular note is a crop of Phillies signings: catcher Koyie Hill, right-hander Paul Clemens, and infielders Chase d’Arnaud and Cord Phelps. Clemens gives them some pitching depth, as he’s totaled 98 innings with the Astros over the past two seasons, albeit with a 5.51 ERA.
  • Also from Eddy, the Reds have inked outfielder Brennan Boesch to a minor league contract. The 29-year-old Boesch hit .269/.330/.436 in 248 games with the Tigers from 2010-11, but since that time, he’s batted just .237/.277/.376 in 635 plate appearances with the Tigers, Yankees and Angels.
  • The Tigers have announced that outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has elected free agency rather than accepting an assignment to Triple-A after being outrighted (Twitter link). The 27-year-old hit .261/.301/.348 in 73 plate appearances with Detroit this season and is a lifetime .253/.305/.340 hitter in the Majors. Carrera hasn’t hit much in 478 big league PAs, but he brings some speed and solid baserunning to the table and is capable of handling all three outfield spots.

Giants Designate Juan Gutierrez For Assignment

The Giants have designated right-hander Juan Gutierrez for assignment, according to the club’s transactions page.

The 31-year-old Gutierrez was projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $1.7MM in arbitration next season. He pitched 63 2/3 innings of 3.96 ERA ball with the 2014 World Champions, averaging 6.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 along the way. Gutierrez was bothered by biceps inflammation in the month of August, for which he eventually received a cortisone injection.

The hard-throwing Gutierrez has also spent time with the Astros, D’Backs, Angels and Royals in his career, accumulating more than five years of service time. If he latches on with another club and earns a big league roster spot, he’d be a six-year free agent next winter as long as he logs about four months of time on a big league roster, which he’s done in each of the past two seasons.


Giants Sign Loe, Gutierrez, Rosario

The Giants released their list of Spring Training invitees today, which included the minor league signings of right-handers Kameron Loe, J.C. Gutierrez and Sandy Rosario.

Loe, 32, posted a 7.09 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 50.5 percent ground-ball rate in 26 2/3 innings for the Mariners, Cubs and Braves in 2013. A bloated 34.4 percent homer-to-flyball ratio was Loe's undoing last season, as it led to an unthinkable 11 homers in those 26 2/3 frames. Loe's career mark is just 13 percent in that category, and the league average was 10.5 percent, suggesting that he's due for some improved luck in that department. Loe isn't far removed from big league success, as he posted a 3.61 ERA in 229 1/3 innings from 2008-12 with the Rangers and Brewers.

Gutierrez, 30, pitched to a 4.23 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 42.6 percent ground-ball rate in 55 1/3 innings for the Angels and Royals in 2013. Formerly referred to as "Juan" rather than "J.C.," Gutierrez has 222 2/3 innings of Major League experience and spent a good chunk of the 2010 season closing for the Diamondbacks, collecting 15 saves in the process.

The 28-year-old Rosario saw the most extensive action of his big league career in 2013, totaling 41 2/3 innings of 3.02 ERA ball for the Giants. His ratios weren't as impressive as his ERA, as he averaged 5.2 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 to go along with a 44.7 percent ground-ball rate.

All three pitchers in this group will hope to win a spot alongside closer Sergio Romo and relievers Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez and Santiago Casilla, each of whom is a lock for a spot in manager Bruce Bochy's relief corps.


American League Non-Tenders

Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of American League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.

  • The Orioles announced they've non-tendered outfielder Jason Pridie and minor league starter Eddie Gamboa.
  • The Rays will non-tender reliever Wesley Wright, tweets Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
  • The Red Sox announced that they have non-tendered outfielder Ryan Kalish, Mike Salk of WEEI.com tweets.
  • The White Sox will not tender a contract to pitcher Dylan Axelrod, tweets Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.
  • The Angels will non-tender pitcher Jerome Williams, tweets  Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The club will also non-tender righty Tommy Hanson and third baseman Chris Nelson, tweets DiGiovanna. J.C. Gutierrez will also be non-tendered, tweets Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, though that seemed a given since that he had already been designated for assignment.
  • The Indians have non-tendered outfielder Matt Carson, pitcher Tyler Cloyd, and catcher Lou Marson, the club announced.
  • The Rays are non-tendering outfielder Sam Fuld, a source tells Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Fuld, who will turn 32 in a few weeks, could be a lefty-swinging bench piece for another club, though he slashed only .199/.270/.267 last year in 200 plate appearances for Tampa.
  • GM Brian Cashman says that the Yankees will non-tender infielder Jayson Nix, tweets Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. The 31-year-old veteran appeared in 87 games for New York last season, putting up a .236/.308/.311 line in 303 plate appearances. The club will also non-tender reliever Matt Daley and infielder David Adams. New York confirmed the moves via press release.
  • The Royals announced that they have non-tendered second baseman Chris Getz. The 30-year-old Getz has tried to hold down Kansas City's keystone spot for several years now but produced just a .246/.299/.314 batting line from 2012-13. Swartz had pegged Getz for a $1.3MM salary in 2014.

Angels Designate Juan Gutierrez For Assignment

The Angels announced that they have designated right-hander Juan Gutierrez for assignment.  The move will create space on the 40-man for fellow right-hander Joe Smith.

Gutierrez, 30, began the year with Kansas City before being plucked off waivers by the Halos.  The reliever pitched to a 3.38 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in KC but saw his ERA rise to 5.19 with 9.7 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 28 games for the Angels.  For his career, the veteran owns a 4.65 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 over parts of five big league campaigns.

Gutierrez was eligible for arbitration this year and was projected to earn $1.1MM by MLBTR's Matt Swartz.


Royals Notes: Guthrie, Minor Leaguers

The Royals have already made headlines this offseason by acquiring Ervin Santana from the Angels, but general manager Dayton Moore will have quite a bit more on his plate over the course of the winter. Here's the latest news pertaining to Kansas City…


Minor Moves: Juan Gutierrez

We'll keep track of any minor transactions throughout the day right here…

  • The Royals have re-signed Juan Gutierrez according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy. The 29-year-old right-hander pitched to a 4.79 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 167 1/3 innings with the Diamondbacks from 2007-2011 while briefly serving as their closer. Gutierrez posted a 10.45 ERA in 20 2/3 minor league innings this year while battling injury. Kansas City originally signed him last December.

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