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Kevin Frandsen Rumors
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.
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.
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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.
The Phillies have signed Kevin Frandsen, reports CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, avoiding arbitration with the infielder, who was arb-eligible for the first time this winter. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (who said earlier today that the two sides were close to a deal) reports that the one-year contract will pay Frandsen $850K, with incentives possibly pushing the total to $1.2MM. (All links are to Twitter.)
Frandsen signed minor league contracts with the Phillies before each of the last two seasons and received his first Major League playing time since 2010 this season when he was called on to play third base when Placido Polanco went on the DL. The 30-year-old Frandsen more than capitalized on the opportunity, hitting .338/.383/.451 in 210 plate appearances as Philadelphia's everyday third baseman over the last two months. The Phils are known to be looking a more proven third baseman this winter but if the team can't find an everyday option, Frandsen and Freddy Galvis will platoon at the hot corner next year, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The $850K deal is slightly higher than the $800K that MLBTR's Matt Swartz projected Frandsen to receive in arbitration. With Frandsen signed, the Phillies only have two other arb-eligible players: Antonio Bastardo and Nate Schierholtz.
We've already had one batch of NL East notes today but there's no shortage of news coming out of the division. Here's the latest…
- The Braves are looking at center field options to replace Michael Bourn and the Twins' Denard Span "is likely high on the list of potential trade target," writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Braves and Twins match up well as trade partners, as Minnesota is desperate for pitching and Atlanta is one of the few teams with available young arms. The Braves "haven’t entirely given up" on re-signing Bourn, but the club is unlikely to match the demands from Bourn and agent Scott Boras.
- Despite a report last week that claimed the Braves were "intrigued" by Josh Hamilton, O'Brien doesn't think Atlanta has much interest, as Hamilton is too expensive and the club would prefer to add a right-handed hitting bat.
- While the Mets have begun to explore trade possibilities for R.A. Dickey, the Mets aren't yet looking to deal David Wright, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. While the two sides aren't close to a contract extension, "there's always been a feeling something will get done with Wright, and while talks are taking much longer than expected or predicted, that hasn't changed," Heyman writes.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro spoke to Larry Reynolds (B.J. Upton's agent) at the general managers' meetings and the two sides plan to stay in contact, a source tells Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. One executive told Salisbury that Upton "was the Phils' priority" this offseason.
- The Phillies are close to a new contract with Kevin Frandsen, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link). The 30-year-old Frandsen hit an impressive .338/.383/.451 in 210 plate appearances for the Phillies last season, taking over as their regular third baseman in the second half of the year. Frandsen is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, and MLBTR's Matt Swartz projected Frandsen would earn $800K.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. confirmed to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that Charlie Manuel will return as the team’s manager in 2013. Manuel will remain in place next year and the sides will re-evaluate following the ’13 season. Amaro said he’s pleased with Manuel’s performance but acknowledged that the two disagree at times, as most GMs and managers do.
Here are some more highlights from Amaro’s Q&A with Salisbury:
- Amaro said Ryne Sandberg has been great as the organization’s Triple-A manager. The GM declined to call Sandberg the successor to Manuel, but said he’s worthy of consideration for MLB managerial jobs. Amaro added that he is hopeful Sandberg gets the chance to manage in the Major Leagues and said he would like to keep him in the organization.
- Chase Utley is an option at third base for the 2013 Phillies, Amaro said. The decision depends on Utley’s comfort level at the position. If the Phillies look outside of the organization for third base help they could seek a left-handed hitter to platoon with Kevin Frandsen.
- The Phillies aren’t impressed by the free agent options at the hot corner. “There are no third basemen out there,” Amaro said. “Very, very few. The options are very, very small. It’s no secret that that’s one of the things we were looking for at the deadline and the availability of third basemen was basically zero. And the ones that were available, the prices on them were enormous.”
- The Phillies may find their setup relievers from within the organization, Amaro said. Pitchers such as Antonio Bastardo, Phillippe Aumont, Justin De Fratus and Josh Lindblom are options. However, the Phillies were disappointed with Bastardo’s performance this year and he’s an unknown going forward.
Here's where we'll keep track of today's minor moves…
- The Phillies have signed outfielder Scott Podsednik to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The 35-year-old did not appear in the big leagues last year, instead hitting .254/.340/.396 in the Phillies' and Blue Jays' farm systems.
- The Pirates have signed Nick Evans to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, reports Andy Martino of The New York Daily News. The 25-year-old hit .256/.314/.403 line in 194 plate appearances with the Mets last season, playing all four corner positions
- The Red Sox re-signed Tony Pena to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, according to Stark. The converted shortstop would earn $625K if he makes the big league team.
- The Astros signed catcher Carlos Corporan to a minor league deal and invited him to Major League Spring Training, according to Alyson Footer of the Astros (on Twitter).
- The White Sox signed Brian Bruney to a minor league deal, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. The right-hander would earn $600K for making the big league team.
- Robert Ray signed a minor league deal with the Marlins, according to Crasnick.
- The Phillies signed left-hander Pat Misch and infielder Kevin Frandsen to minor league contracts, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (Twitter links). Misch, 30, appeared in six games for the Mets this past season, spending most of the year with Triple-A Buffalo. He posted a 4.00 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 141 2/3 innings as a starter for the Bisons. Frandsen, who last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2010, spent the 2011 season in the Phillies' minor league system and posted a .309/.361/.430 line in 338 plate appearances.
- The Diamondbacks signed right-handed reliever Jensen Lewis to a minor league deal, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned (Stark originally reported the Rangers signed him). Lewis, 27, would earn $675K in the Major Leagues, according to Stark. Lewis spent the 2011 season at Triple-A, but has a career ERA of 3.68 with 8.0 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in parts of four MLB seasons.
Frandsen nearly signed with Arizona after the Padres released him, but the deal with the D'Backs fell through. He'll provide the Phillies with depth behind Wilson Valdez, the newly-acquired Luis Castillo and the injured Chase Utley. Jon Heyman of SI.com reported earlier today that Castillo appears likely to start the season at second while Utley recovers (Twitter link).
Frandsen, 28, has big league experience at third, short, first and both corner outfield positions, but he has played more games at second than at any other position. He hit .250/.294/.319 in 173 plate appearances for the Angels last year.
MONDAY: The D'Backs won't be signing Frandsen after all, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).
FRIDAY: Less than 24 hours after being released by the Padres, Kevin Frandsen has found another home in the NL West. Frandsen has agreed to sign with the Diamondbacks, according to Jeff Fletcher of BayBridgeBaseball (via Twitter). Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic adds (via Twitter) that the deal is pending a physical and the 28-year-old will head to Triple-A Reno.
Following his release, Frandsen told MLB.com's Corey Brock that he hoped to catch on with another team soon, and he didn't waste any time in fulfilling that goal. The Diamondbacks will be the third NL West club to sign Frandsen, who saw big league playing time in parts of four seasons with the Giants. The Lapa/Leventhal client earned 173 plate appearances for the Angels in 2010, hitting .250/.294/.319.
The Dodgers are off to an unlucky start this spring, with Casey Blake, Jon Garland, and Vicente Padilla expected to open the season on the disabled list. The bad news continued today; Dioner Navarro will head to the DL with a torn oblique, according to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles, while Tim Redding left today's game with back pain, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. More from the NL and AL West:
- The Dodgers informed Ron Mahay that he won't make the club's Opening Day roster, reports Gurnick. Mahay has an out clause in his contract, so the team is waiting to hear whether the left-hander will accept a minor league assignment.
- Frank McCourt declined comment on the Dodgers' ownership situation today, saying he'll address it at a later date. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has the details.
- Given his most talented roster yet, Athletics manager Bob Geren will face increased expectations this season, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Speaking of the A's, they sent Chris Carter down to the minors today, Jane Lee of MLB.com tweets. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has more on Carter, who figures to be the DH in Oakland whenever the Hideki Matsui era ends.
- Kevin Frandsen, who was released by the Padres today, is hoping to catch on with another team soon, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock. "We've got a decent amount of interest," Frandsen said. "I showed I was healthy and that I can play. I know I can play in the big leagues."
- With Mat Latos suffering from shoulder troubles, Tim Stauffer will start Opening Day for the Padres, tweets Brock.