Juan Rincon Rumors
According to Doug Miller of MLB.com, the Rockies have designated outfielder Matt Murton for assignment.
The move cleared roster space for reliever Juan Rincon, who was activated from the disabled list Wednesday evening and will add depth to the Rockies' bullpen for the stretch run. Murton, now 27, posted a passable .267/.327/.444 line in 45 at-bats with the Rockies earlier this season and had a .321 batting average with 71 RBI for Triple-A Colorado Springs. With those kind of numbers, he's sure to draw interest from opposing ball clubs.
According to MLB.com's Jason Beck, reliever Juan Rincon declined the Tigers' assignment to Triple A. He will become a free agent if he's not claimed off waivers. Rincon, 30, gave up six runs and 12 hits in 10.3 innings for the Tigers this year. He hasn't done much since '06.
According to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press, the Tigers designated reliever Juan Rincon for assignment to make room for Dontrelle Willis. Rincon, 30, posted a 5.23 ERA in 10.3 innings for the Tigers this year. The Tigers had signed Rincon to a minor league deal back on January 20th.
Willis made four minor league starts at various levels, posting a 3.86 ERA and 3.16 BB/9. Under the contract extension signed in December of '07, Willis will earn $10MM this year and $12MM in '10.
According to the AP, the Tigers signed reliever Juan Rincon to a minor league deal. Rincon, 30 in a few days, posted a 5.86 ERA in 55.3 innings with the Twins and Indians last year. Rincon's control and ability to get groundballs has slipped in recent times.
According to Anthony Castrovince at MLB.com, the Indians have signed reliever Juan Rincon and infielder Tony Graffanino to minor league deals.
Rincon, 29, lost effectiveness in August of '06 and pretty much never recovered. It's easy to try to tie his decline to his May '05 performance enhancing drug suspension, but he was solid for the rest of that season.
Graffanino, 35, is trying to work his way back from knee and ACL surgeries.
- The Tampa Tribune is reporting that Rays OF Rocco Baldelli (60-day DL, mitochondrial disorder) is close to joining a minor-league team for a 20-day rehabilitation assignment. Baldelli thinks he can return to the Rays this season, but he has yet to hold any workouts in the outfield and hinted he could return as a DH. "Obviously, I'd like to be playing the field," Baldelli said. "But realistically, I'm trying not to look too far ahead."
- Juan Rincon has declined the Twins' offer of an assignment to Class AAA Rochester, and the team formally designated him for assignment. In all likelihood, that means Rincon will become a free agent in 10 days. Rincon has been with the Twins for his entire career and had a couple of good years in 2003-2006, but he's fallen on hard times lately.
- If anybody out there harbored hopes that Roger Clemens would return to pitch this season, here's some cold water to splash on your face. A former federal prosecutor tells the New York Daily News that the evidence against Roger Clemens – testimony from Andy Pettitte and Brian McNamee, as well as the bloody gauze pads, used syringes and steroid vials McNamee turned over to authorities in January – is more than enough to indict Clemens.
Let's round up some links.
- Juan Rincon rejected the Twins' Triple A assignment. Anyone want him?
- The Reds received a 23 year-old righty named Henry Arias from the Royals to conclude the March Brad Salmon deal.
- I had forgotten about this...the Royals almost acquired Milton Bradley a year ago for Leo Nunez but the deal was voided.
- Paul Hagen offers some pitching ideas for the Phillies.
- David Cameron explains why the Mariners are so bad.
- The international signing period begins on July 2nd; pitcher Michel Inoa heads the class. It's been suggested the A's could offer him $4MM.
- Jon Heyman says this might be Cliff Floyd's last season. Floyd has a $2.75MM club option for '09.
- Howard Megdal considers Scott Schoeneweis and Brian Schneider the Mets' most tradeable commodities.
- Erick Threets is shocked no team was willing to pick him up and keep him in the Majors. For El Lefty Malo, this serves as a reminder that fans often overvalue their team's players.
Time to round 'em up.
- The A's are leading the charge for international free agent pitcher Michael Inoa; they could offer him $4MM. All teams have scouted him.
- MLB.com's Jim Molony names the Astros, Yankees, Cardinals, Angels, Mets, and Pirates as teams considering Cuban defector Dayan Viciedo (assuming he becomes a free agent).
- The Orioles would like to sign Ben Broussard, if he'll accept a minor league assignment. Broussard if mulling his options and should sign within 24 hours. He could step in if the Orioles trade Kevin Millar.
- Jeff Weaver has been released by the Brewers. Weaver's lost it; he has a 6.22 ERA in nine Triple A starts.
- The Twins have asked Juan Rincon to accept a minor league assignment. If he refuses, the Twins will be on the hook for his salary and he'll become a free agent. Rincon's last decent year was 2006.
- No team was willing to keep lefty reliever Erick Threets in the Majors. He cleared waivers and will head to Triple A as a member of the Giants organization.
- Andy Pettitte wouldn't commit, but admitted it'd be a "joy and an honor" to pitch at the new Yankee Stadium next year.
- Tigers backup catcher Vance Wilson may retire after a setback in his elbow recovery.
Long time Twin reliever Juan Rincon may be the odd man out when the Twins reduce their pitching staff from 13 to 12 - this from Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Rincon is sporting a 5.19 ERA through 23 games, comparable to last years 5.13 ERA and a far cry from his career 3.63.
Rincon could still finish strong and hit his PECOTA projected ERA of 3.92. After being busted for steroids in 2006, Rincon went on to post a 2.91 ERA; however, he became hittable in 2007 and that trend continues. His H/9, BB/9, and K/9 have all been declining. Still, Rincon is only 29 so he may just need a change of scenery, not uncommon for relievers and setup men.
Says Manager Ron Gardenhire, "All we can do is keep running them out there until some other decision is made where we can't." If they can't, Rincon will most likely be designated for assignment. The righty is making $2.475MM on a 1-year contract this season and his stock is at an all time low. There should be interest abound.
By Nat Boyle
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 7:30pm: This thing hasn't gone through yet because of concerns over Rincon's elbow. The deal will either be finalized or killed by Thursday, according to Scott Miller. The trade has been in the works for a few days.
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 4pm: Neal reports that the Twins have interest in Aaron Rowand, which is really surprising given his reported demands. I don't see it. Neal adds that Craig Monroe may now be non-tendered and the Garza trade will not stop Bill Smith from shopping Johan Santana. By the way, talks for Coco Crisp persist.
FROM 11-28-07 at 2pm:
Wow! That rumor really didn't die! La Velle E. Neal III says the Twins are close to a multiplayer deal. They'll send Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, and Juan Rincon to the Rays for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, and Jason Pridie. I can't remember any kind of young player blockbuster like this recently.
It's exciting to see Bill Smith pull the trigger on a deal to get that possible elite slugger. Will he be more hesitant to trade Johan Santana now? Or maybe it doesn't matter since he'd require an elite young hurler like Phil Hughes in return. Beyond Young, you also have to applaud Smith for getting Pridie, who immediately becomes the Twins' center fielder of the future. The 24 year-old came back from injuries this year to rake in Triple A. Just like that, the Twins have an outfield.
Meanwhile the Rays suddenly have an awesome young trio fronting their rotation in Scott Kazmir, Jamie Shields, and Garza. Rincon's ability is questionable at this point but he could be the setup man the Rays are craving.
I'll give the advantage to the Twins but I like this deal for both teams.