Kevin Frandsen Rumors

D-Backs Sign Kevin Frandsen To Minor League Deal

The Diamondbacks have signed infielder Kevin Frandsen to a Minor League contract and assigned him to Triple-A Reno, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter). Frandsen is a client of All Bases Covered Sports Management.

Frandsen, 32, spent the 2014 season serving as a utility infield option for the Nationals. In 236 plate appearances with Washington, he batted .259/.299/.309 and appeared at second base, third base, first base and in left field. The Nats tendered a contract to Frandsen this offseason and agreed to a $1MM salary, but the team released him late in Spring Training.

Frandsen can serve as a depth option for the D-Backs, as he has experience at all four infield positions as well as both corner outfield spots. With Jake Lamb set to miss a few weeks due to a stress reaction in his foot, it’s possible that Frandsen could find his way onto the big league roster in the near future.


Nationals Release Kevin Frandsen

The Nationals have released infielder Kevin Frandsen, the club announced. Frandsen, 32, had been signed to a $1MM deal to avoid arbitration early in the offseason.

It was about this time last year that the Nats originally added Frandsen, signing him quickly when the division-rival Phillies let him go. Frandsen earned plaudits for his presence in the clubhouse and willingness to contribute in any way possible, but he hit only .259/.299/.309 last year with just one home run in 236 turns at bat. With slightly negative marks from defensive metrics added in, he was a below-replacement level producer.

With Anthony Rendon still an injury question mark, it appears that the Nationals will open the year with some combination of Yunel Escobar, Danny Espinosa, Ian Stewart, and Dan Uggla playing at second and third, the slots that Frandsen was most likely to fit.


Quick Hits: Nationals, Axford, Badenhop

Here’s the latest from around the league as the evening winds down.

  • With Ben Zobrist headed west to the Athletics, the Nationals are still trying to solve second base, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Currently, there are five internal options. The most obvious are Danny Espinosa and Anthony Rendon. Espinosa has disappointed over the last two seasons while Rendon is expected to start at third base. Prospect Wilmer Difo has yet to play above A-ball, but he’s on the 40-man roster and possesses exciting tools. Other options include veterans Kevin Frandsen and Dan Uggla.
  • Free agent John Axford would like to compete for a closer gig, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. As it happens, the Blue Jays have yet to acquire a closer. Left-hander Brett Cecil is penciled into the role. At this point, no offers have been made to Axford, but several teams have shown interest including the Jays. After three consecutive rough seasons, Axford would likely have to earn any high leverage role.
  • The market for mid-tier, high leverage relievers has been slow to materialize, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Bradford interviews righty reliever Burke Badenhop who is coming off a career season with a 2.29 ERA in over 70 innings. As Badenhop points out, teams don’t feel any pressure to make the first offer to free agents of his caliber. While five teams may be showing interest, they each know that any firm offer will get passed around to the others for bidding. Relievers like Badenhop, Francisco Rodriguez, and Rafael Soriano have to exercise patience as prospective buyers first gauge the trade market.


Nats Notes: Zimmermann, Second Base, Moore

The Nationals have kept a low profile this winter, per MLBTR’s Transaction Tracker. GM Mike Rizzo has yet to sign a free agent to a MLB contract preferring minor league deals for veterans like Dan Uggla, Heath Bell, and Ian Stewart while netting Joe Ross and Trea Turner for being the third team in the Wil Myers trade. Here’s the latest on the Nationals’ offseason, courtesy of MLB.com’s Bill Ladson:

  • By trading Jordan Zimmermann, the Nationals would be able to replenish their farm system and add a couple of veterans.
  • Ladson opines the Nationals will trade for a second baseman before the start of Spring Training (listing Ben Zobrist as a possibility) because Danny Espinosa is too inconsistent offensively, Kevin Frandsen is not seen as a starter by manager Matt Williams, and the team does not want to rush prospect Wilmer Difo.
  • Tyler Moore must have a great Spring Training to make the club coming off the bench. If not, the 28-year-old (next month) first baseman becomes a trade candidate because he is out of options.
  • With Denard Span scheduled to hit free agency after the 2015 season, Michael A. Taylor could be the everyday center fielder in 2016, but the Nationals will need to find a leadoff hitter and may have to settle for Jayson Werth.
  • Top prospect Lucas Giolito is not a rotation candidate, if Zimmermann or Doug Fister is traded. The 16th overall selection in the 2012 draft should begin the season in Double-A and could be a September callup.

 


Nationals Avoid Arbitration With Kevin Frandsen

FRIDAY: Frandsen and the Nationals have agreed to terms on a one-year, $1MM contract that contains up to $300K worth of incentives, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter).

THURSDAY: The Nationals and utility player Kevin Frandsen are nearing an agreement to avoid arbitration for the 2015 season, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post. Frandsen is a client All Bases Covered Sports Management’s Damon Lapa.

The versatile 32-year-old batted .259/.299/.309 with one homer in 236 plate appearances for the Nationals this past season, seeing time at third base, second base, first base and left field in his first year with Washington. A lifetime .259/.313/.350 hitter, Frandsen has also spent time with the Giants, Angels and Phillies in parts of eight big league seasons. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected Frandsen to earn $1.2MM in what will be his final season of arbitration eligibility before hitting the open market.


Nationals Sign Kevin Frandsen

11:58am: The Nationals have announced the signing. Interestingly, the club refers to Frandsen as an infielder/outfielder, even though Frandsen has seen little MLB time outside of the infield dirt. Ross Ohlendorf was placed on the 60-day DL to create roster space, with his previous option being voided.

9:18am: Frandsen's deal is a fully-guaranteed MLB contract worth $900K, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). It also includes $300K in perofrmance bonuses and a $400K awards package, Crasnick adds. In essence, then, Frandsen will receive the same contract he had with the Phillies, but with some additional upside.

8:24am: The Nationals have agreed to sign infielder Kevin Frandsen, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Frandsen, 31, elected free agency yesterday after being outrighted by the Phillies, giving up his guaranteed $900K salary in the process.

Playing with Philadelphia over the last two years, Frandsen has a combined .280/.333/.389 triple-slash in 488 plate appearances, though each element of that line was significantly better in 2012 than in 2013. (Frandsen's .366 BABIP in 2012 dropped to .245 last year, which surely explains some of the variance.)

Frandsen has excelled in two areas — hitting lefties and pinch-hitting — that seem to match the Nats' needs, notes Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com (on Twitter). Indeed, Frandsen's career platoon splits (.778 OPS vs. lefties, .626 against righties) make the former clear. As for the latter, Frandsen has not necessarily put up astounding numbers as a pinch-hitter, but he saw extensive use in that role for the first time last year, hitting .250/.311/.393 in 61 plate appearances.

With Tyler Moore being optioned to Triple-A yesterday and Jamey Carroll being released, it appeared that the Nationals were set to go with Jeff Kobernus as a reserve infield/outfield option. With Frandsen added to the mix, the club's glut of seemingly MLB-ready bench options playing in Triple-A could be attractive to clubs looking for cost-controlled options; ineed, both Moore and Kobernus have had their names mentioned as possible trade chips in recent weeks.


East Notes: Davis, Frandsen, Lombardozzi

The Mets have decided to place both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda on their Opening Day roster, Kristie Ackert of New York Daily News writes. GM Sandy Alderson did not confirm which of the two would start at first base. Davis, in particular, has frequently been the subject of trade rumors, and the Pirates have been connected to Davis and have a notably unsettled first-base situation. But it appears Davis may remain a Met for now. Here are more notes from the East divisions.

  • The Nationals are one of several teams to touch base with infielder Kevin Frandsen, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweets. Frandsen recently opted for free agency after the Phillies outrighted him. Frandsen hit .234/.296/.341 in 278 plate appearances while playing every infield position but shortstop for Philadelphia last year.
  • The trade of Alex Gonzalez to the Tigers was a "gem" from the Orioles' perspective, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes. The move demonstrates one reason it makes sense for organizations to sign lots of players to minor-league deals, Connolly suggests — the Orioles signed Gonzalez with little risk, then were able to flip him for a potentially useful, versatile, cost-controlled player in Lombardozzi.

Phillies Outright Kevin Frandsen, Who Elects Free Agency

TUESDAY: Frandsen has elected to forego his salary and become a free agent, the team announced.

SUNDAY: The Phillies have outrighted infielder Kevin Frandsen to Triple-A, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Frandsen has 72 hours to either accept the assignment or reject the move and become a free agent. If the 31-year-old elects free agency, he will forfeit the guaranteed $900K salary agreed to last December when he signed a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter).

"We're in a situation now with many of the injuries that have happened and the things that have occurred this spring to try and create some roster space for us," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "That's what we've done. We still think he can be a valuable part of our club. But he's competing. Just like he was before, he continues to compete for a job on the bench."

The Phillies now have 37 players on their 40-man roster, so they "can add him back" if necessary, according to assistant GM Scott Proefrock. Zolecki notes such a scenario is unusual.

Frandsen has spent the past two seasons with the Phillies slashing .280/.333/.389 during his time in Philadelphia, including a .234/.296/.341 mark in 278 plate appearances (119 games) in 2013. Frandsen spent time at every infield position, except shortstop, last year. 

Frandsen is a lifetime .259/.316/.359 hitter during his seven-year MLB career with the Giants, Angels, and Phillies.


Players To Avoid Arbitration

With tonight’s non-tender deadline looming, several players figure to not only be tendered contracts but agree to their 2014 salaries prior to 11pm CT. We’ll run down the players to avoid arbitration with their respective clubs in this post, and remember that you can track the progress on all arbitration eligible players by using MLBTR’s 2014 Arbitration Tracker. For a reminder on the projected salaries for each of these players, check out Matt Swartz’s projections in MLBTR’s Arbitration Eligibles series.

  • The Nationals announced they’ve avoided arbitration with righty Ross Ohlendorf, tweets Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com. Ohlendorf’s deal will guarantee him $1.25MM and can reach $3MM via incentives that can be achieved as a starter or reliever, per the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore.
  • The Cubs have avoided arbitration with utility infielder Donnie Murphy, reports Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com (via Twitter), agreeing to a one-year, $825K pact that includes incentives.
  • The Orioles have avoided arbitration with outfielder Steve Pearce for $850K, tweets Rosenthal.
  • The Padres have reached terms with pitcher Eric Stults on a $2.75MM deal to avoid arbitration, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He had been projected by Swartz to earn $3MM through arbitration. Unlike most arbitration deals, tweets Rosenthal, this one will be guaranteed.  Also getting a guaranteed deal from the Padres, per Rosenthal, is righty Tim Stauffer at $1.6MM.
  • The White Sox have avoided arbitration with catcher Tyler Flowers with a $950k contract, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • The Athletics have avoided arbitration with righty Fernando Rodriguez, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Rodriguez, who is represented by Metis Sports Management, LLC, will earn $600K plus award bonuses, MLBTR has learned.  The A’s will tender contracts to its remaining arb-eligible players, Slusser notes via Twitter.
  • The Indians have avoided arbitration with relievers Frank Herrmann and Blake Wood, the club announced. Each player will earn $560k, tweets Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, which falls below their respective projections from MLBTR’s Matt Swartz.
  • Newly-acquired catcher George Kottaras has reached agreement on a one-year, $1.075MM deal to avoid arbitration with the Cubs, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The contract includes incentives, according to Heyman. A left-handed batter, Kottaras managed only a .180 batting average last year, but got on base at a .349 clip in addition to posting a .370 slugging mark in his 126 plate appearances.
  • The Orioles have avoided arbitration with outfielder Nolan Reimold, sources tell Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (link to Twitter). The 30-year-old will get a one-year, $1.025MM deal that includes incentives. Reimold lost most of the last two seasons to injury, but has a career .252/.327/.439 slash in 1,056 plate appearances dating back to 2009. His salary will be guaranteed, tweets Connolly.
  • The Phillies have avoided arbitration with infielder Kevin Frandsen, the club announced. Frandsen will receive a one-year, $900k deal that includes performance incentives. Last year, Frandsen had a .234/.296/.341 slash line in 278 plate appearances. The deal is guaranteed, Rosenthal tweets.
  • The Braves announced that they have avoided arbitration with infielder Ramiro Pena and left-hander Jonny Venters (Twitter link). Pena, 28, batted a solid .278/.330/.443 in 107 PAs this season before shoulder surgery ended his season. Venters’ contract was first reported two weeks ago and is said to be worth $1.625MM.
  • MLB.com’s Jason Beck tweets that the Tigers have avoided arbitration with Don Kelly by agreeing to a one-year, $1MM contract for 2014. Kelly will turn 34 in February and batted .222/.309/.343 in 2013 — all numbers that are nearly mirrored by his career .229/.290/.344 batting line. He is represented by LSW Baseball.
  • The Pirates have avoided arbitration with Chris Stewart, according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal (on Twitter). Barbarisi reports that the trade sending Stewart to Pittsburgh was actually in place on Friday but was also contingent on Stewart agreeing to a new contract with the Pirates. Stewart, a client of James A. Kuzmich, PLLC, agreed to his new contract today, thereby finalizing the trade. He projected to earn $1MM, per Swartz.

Royals Discussed Kendrick, Beckham, Weeks

3:50pm: The Royals are one of 12 teams to which Kendrick can block a trade, notes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

3:07pm: The Royals have had discussions about second basemen Howie Kendrick of the Angels, Gordon Beckham of the White Sox, and Rickie Weeks of the Brewers, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  They also looked at the Phillies' Kevin Frandsen.  However, Knobler says there is no indication the Royals are close to any deal.

The Royals have used Chris Getz, Elliot Johnson, Miguel Tejada, and Johnny Giavotella at second base this year, resulting in a .230/.279/.311 offensive line.  They seek a second baseman they would control beyond 2013, says Knobler, and all of the players mentioned above are controlled through '15.

The Angels would need a front-line, Major League or MLB-ready starting pitcher for Kendrick or Erick Aybar, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times.  As Knobler notes, Beckham presents the problem of playing within the Royals' division, while Weeks' salary is prohibitive compared to his production.