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Kevin Frandsen Rumors
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.
The Padres released Kevin Frandsen, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter). Frandsen signed a minor league deal in January that would have paid him $575K for making the big league team after the Angels non-tendered him.
Frandsen, 28, has 32 games of big league experience at shortstop, but most of his experience has come at second and third. He has a .243/.302/.335 line in 626 MLB plate appearances with the Giants and Angels. A right-handed hitter, Frandsen has also played both corner outfield positions in the majors.
Among San Diego's 20 NRIs is a small handful of players with big-league experience and a decent chance of making the 25-man roster at the end of Spring Training. Here's a quick look at some of those guys:
- Kevin Frandsen has spent parts of five seasons with the Giants and Angels, and he has a "good shot" of catching on with the Padres as a utility man, according to Brock. The 28-year-old plays multiple positions and would earn a salary of $575,000.
- Guillermo Quiroz could challenge Rob Johnson for the backup catching job, notes Brock. Quiroz, 29, has played for four teams (Rangers, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles) in parts of seven seasons.
- Gregorio Petit spent parts of two seasons with the A's as a utility infielder in 2008-09. The 26-year-old spent the entirety of 2010 with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.
- Bullpen hopefuls Luis Perdomo and Scott Munter each have Major League experience. Perdomo made 35 appearances with San Diego in 2009 but only one last season, and Munter was with the Giants for parts of three seasons.
The Pirates, meanwhile, have a slightly more interesting cast of notable names:
- Garrett Atkins, Jeff Clement, Josh Fields and Andy Marte form a quartet of one-time blue-chip prospects. Atkins, in particular, was an above-average player for the Rockies in 2006-07, but he declined quickly in the following years. Clement, a former catcher, was a No. 3 overall pick of the Mariners in 2005, and Fields and Marte were raw-power corner-infield prospects coming up with the White Sox and Braves/Indians, respectively.
- On the pitching side, Tyler Yates has a 8.1 K/9 for his career but did not pitch in the bigs in 2010. Donald Veal, selected by the Bucs from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft prior to the 2009 season, is a hard-throwing but wild lefty. Brian Burres has started 54 games in his five-year career with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates. Sean Gallagher was dealt from the Cubs to the A's in the deal that sent Rich Harden to Chicago, and has appeared in 91 games. Fernando Nieve has appeared in 99 games (19 starts) with the Astros and Mets in parts of four seasons.
Frandsen has played all over the diamond in his five seasons with the Giants and Angels, but played mostly third base last season for the Halos before being non-tendered. Frandsen has a career .636 OPS in 626 plate appearances, but his value to the Padres will come as a versatile utilityman off the bench. MLB.com's Steve Gilbert noted that the Diamondbacks also had some interest in signing Frandsen. (Twitter link)