Kevin Slowey Rumors

Indians Acquire Kevin Slowey

4:49pm: The Rockies are sending $1.25MM to Cleveland in the deal, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets. That means the Indians will pay Slowey $1.5MM in 2012.

3:03pm: The Indians have acquired starting pitcher Kevin Slowey and cash considerations from the Rockies for right-handed reliever Zach Putnam. The Rockies announced the moves, which Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported on Twitter.

It's been a busy week for the Indians, who are faced with the possibility that Fausto Carmona has been playing under an assumed name. They've signed Ryan SpilborghsGregorio PetitFred Lewis and Jeremy Accardo to minor league contracts.

The move provides Cleveland with rotation depth in the event that Carmona isn't ready to pitch out of the rotation on Opening Day. Meanwhile, the Rockies clear room on a crowded pitching staff that includes more rotation options than ever after this week's deal for Josh Outman and Guillermo Moscoso.

Though the Indians are acquiring Slowey from Colorado, he has spent his entire five-year career in the AL Central. In 2011 he posted a 6.67 ERA with 5.2 K/9, 0.8 BB/9 and a 31.1% ground ball rate in 59 1/3 innings for the Twins, who traded him to the Rockies for Daniel Turpen in December. Slowey owns a 4.66 ERA with 6.7 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and a 31.6% ground ball rate for his career and will earn $2.75MM in 2012.

Putnam, 24, debuted with the Indians in 2011, but spent most of the season at Triple-A. The 2008 fifth rounder posted a 3.65 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 69 innings of relief at Columbus.


Players To Avoid Arbitration

Tonight is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. Many teams will agree to terms with players before the deadline and we'll keep track of them here:

  • The Orioles have agreed to terms with Dana Eveland on a one-year, $750K deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Giants have agreed to terms with Mike Fontenot on a one-year deal for 2012, avoiding arbitration, MLBTR has learned. It's a $1.05MM deal, according to the Associated Press.
  • The Red Sox announced that they re-signed Matt Albers. He'll earn $1.075MM, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
  • The Padres agreed to terms with Chris Denorfia on a one-year deal, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (Twitter link). The deal is worth $1.165MM, according to Ronald Blum of the AP
    The Pirates agreed to terms with Jason Grilli on a one-year, $1.1MM deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Rockies agreed to terms with Kevin Slowey on a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Slowey obtains $2.75MM from the Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link). MLBTR had projected a $2.7MM salary.
  • The Blue Jays agreed to sign Jeff Mathis to one-year deal that guarantees the backstop $1.5MM in 2012, MLBTR has learned. The Blue Jays have since confirmed the move.
  • The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with Jesse Litsch (one-year, $975K) and Dustin McGowan (one-year, $600K) according to a team press release.
  • The Dodgers have signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year deal.
  • The A's announced that they agreed to terms with Landon Powell, Daric Barton and Adam Rosales on one-year deals for 2012. The A's aren't non-tendering any arbitration eligible players this offseason. Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group hears Barton will earn $1.1MM in 2012 (Twitter link). Rosales will earn $600K and Powell will earn $620K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Marlins signed Donnie Murphy to a contract for 2012, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). He'll earn $560K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Brewers announced that they signed George Kottaras to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. He'll earn $700K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with Humberto Quintero, signing him to a one-year deal worth $1MM, according to the team. MLBTR had projected a $1.2MM salary for Quintero.
  • The Angels agreed to terms with right-hander Jerome Williams on a one-year deal, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times (on Twitter). Williams agreed to sign for $820K with $120K in incentives, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (on Twitter).
  • Skip Schumaker is nearing a two-year deal with the Cardinals.

Rockies Acquire Kevin Slowey

THURSDAY: The Twins acquired righty Daniel Turpen from the Rockies to complete the Slowey deal, they announced today.  Turpen, 25, posted a 4.83 ERA in Double-A this year.  He was taken by the Yankees from the Red Sox in last year's Rule 5 draft, then returned to Boston and later traded to Colorado.

TUESDAY: The Rockies agreed to acquire starter Kevin Slowey from the Twins for a player to be named later, reports MLB.com's Thomas Harding.  The Twins have since announced the trade.

Slowey

Slowey, 27, was widely regarded as a non-tender candidate had he remained with the Twins until next week's deadline.  He projects to earn $2.7MM through arbitration in 2012, and is under team control through 2013.  One of the game's most extreme flyball pitchers, Slowey (pictured) doesn't seem a great fit for Coors Field.  The other concern is that Slowey hasn't compiled big innings totals in the Majors.  Still, he limits free passes as well as anyone and could be a useful back-end rotation addition for Colorado.  The Rockies also added starter Tyler Chatwood last week in a trade with the Angels.

The Rockies may have other irons in the fire, as Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post reported earlier that they've discussed a deal with the Reds involving closer Huston Street for starter Edinson Volquez.  It's unclear whether those talks are still active given the Slowey acquisition.  Renck also wrote that the Rockies have interest in trading for the Phillies' Placido Polanco or the Braves' Martin Prado, and asked the Cubs about D.J. LeMahieu and Scott Maine in Ian Stewart talks that have since lost momentum.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.



Orioles Rumors: Quentin, Floyd, Koji, Street, Erbe

The latest on the Orioles:

  • Baltimore has interest in Carlos Quentin and Gavin Floyd, but it's unclear if they match up with the White Sox, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Sox would like young pitching and the O's don't want to give that up, Connolly adds. Brad Bergesen was one name floated by Baltimore in trade talks, tweets MLB.com's Scott Merkin.
  • The Orioles are talking to the Rangers about re-acquiring Koji Uehara, according to Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com.
  • A club official told Connolly that there's "no chance" the team wants Alfonso Soriano (Twitter link).
  • The Orioles are telling other clubs that Adam Jones is off limits, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post hears that talks between the Orioles and Rockies about Huston Street have "no traction" (Twitter link).
  • GM Dan Duquette says he has several offers out to free agent position players and pitchers, and adds that the club was in on Kevin Slowey before the Twins sent him to the Rockies, tweets Ghiroli.
  • The O's have re-signed Brandon Erbe to a minor league contract, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.

AL Central Rumors: Slowey, Picollo, Choo, Tigers

The major move in the AL Central today was the Twins' re-signing of Matt Capps, but there may be more action in the division by week's end. Here are the latest rumors from the AL Central:

  • Kevin Slowey, viewed as a non-tender candidate, is being shopped by the Twins, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo interviewed for the Astros' GM position tonight, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • The Indians are still interested in discussing a contract extension with Shin-Soo Choo, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
  • Bastian also tweets that the Indians checked in on free agent Kevin Kouzmanoff, though their interest is likely minimal.
  • The Tigers aren't ruling out the possibility of one of their young, in-house arms earning the fifth spot in the rotation, writes James Schmehl of MLive.com. If the Tigers turn to the free agent market for a veteran, they prefer one-year deals.

Twins Rumors: Nathan, Cuddyer, Kubel, Slowey

The latest Twins rumors, courtesy of ESPN 1500's Phil Mackey

  • Joe Nathan's top priority is to pitch for a winning team next year, preferably as the closer.  Last week Nathan's agent said his client seeks a closing job.  "Money won't be the driving force" for Nathan, writes Mackey.  Mackey says Nathan has strong interest in returning to the Twins, who definitely have openings at the back end of their bullpen.
  • Mackey hears that Michael Cuddyer will "listen attentively to all interested parties," even if the Twins make the best offer.  The Twins maintain interest in Jason Kubel as well.  At the least, I expect they'll offer arbitration to both of them later this month.
  • Mackey's hunch says to keep an eye on Clint Barmes, Kelly Shoppach, and Ryan Doumit as potential free agent targets.  I ranked Barmes 35th among free agents on Monday, predicting the Twins as his new team.  Make your picks for Barmes and 49 other free agents by Sunday night for the chance to win cash and baseball-related prizes and bragging rights.  Over 3,000 people have entered so far.
  • There's a very good chance the Twins will non-tender righty Kevin Slowey, wrote MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger on Monday.
  • The Twins' 2012 payroll is expected to decrease slightly, leaving $20-25MM to spend, wrote Bollinger on Saturday.
  • View MLBTR's projected salaries for Slowey and the Twins' other four arbitration eligibles here, and read Ben Nicholson-Smith's offseason outlook for the team here

Non-Tender Candidate: Kevin Slowey

Kevin Slowey established himself as a decent back-of-the-rotation starter in his first three-plus Major League seasons, but 2011 has been different. The Twins have shown little confidence in Slowey, using him for just 14 2/3 innings so far and considering trades for him in the offseason, in Spring Training and at the trade deadline. The Twins called Slowey back up this week, so now is a good time to examine his chances of getting a contract offer from Minnesota this winter. 

Kevin Slowey

Slowey has spent considerable time on the disabled list this year, first with right shoulder bursitis and later with an abdominal strain. Over the course of two rehab stints and an optional assignment, he has a 3.60 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 1.1 BB/9 in 50 minor league innings. If those numbers look familiar, it's because Slowey had similar MLB stats from 2007-10. He posted a 4.41 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 473 1/3 innings heading into 2011. 

Those stats and Slowey’s career 39-21 record helped the right-hander to a $2.7MM salary this season, his first as an arbitration eligible player. He’s eligible for arbitration again this offseason and though he’s certainly not going to earn much of a raise, the Twins can’t offer less than $2.16MM (80% of Slowey’s current salary), according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

That price might seem steep to the Twins, who don’t appear to view Slowey as an essential member of their pitching staff. So assuming he doesn’t overwhelm the Twins between now and the end of the season, Minnesota’s front office will have a few options this offseason. Flip Slowey to another club for a modest return, work out an affordable one-year deal for 2012 before the deadline for teams to tender eligible players contracts, non-tender him or go through the arbitration process like they did last year. Given how Slowey’s season has progressed so far, only the last option would be a surprise.

Photo Courtesy Icon SMI.


Stark On Reyes, Bell, Astros, Slowey

Jose Reyes’ injuries have hurt his free agent stock, as we saw earlier today. ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark surveys people around MLB to determine what kind of contract the shortstop will obtain in free agency. Here are the details and the rest of Stark’s rumors:

  • There’s buzz that the Mets were prepared to offer Reyes $100MM over five years earlier in the summer, Stark reports. It’s not hard to imagine the Mets scaling back their offer or replacing guaranteed years with vesting options now.
  • One of Stark’s sources estimates that each day on the disabled list costs Reyes $500K. However, there's no doubt that Reyes will see some substantial offers this winter.
  • Rival teams expect the Padres to trade Heath Bell this month, Stark reports. The Cardinals and Diamondbacks are the serious NL contenders with the worst record (62-53), which makes them prime candidates to make a claim on Bell. Assuming he does get claimed, the Padres will only be able to trade with the claiming team, so they’ll want to time his placement on waivers carefully.
  • The Astros’ sale is just a week away, Stark writes. Other clubs are hearing that incoming owner Jim Crane may drive payroll down to $50MM or below from $71MM.
  • One executive expressed his surprise at the Twins’ decision to keep Kevin Slowey, a non-tender candidate who’s currently earning $2.7MM at Triple-A. “If they'd traded him, at least they would have gotten something,the person said. At least they would have gotten rid of the money. So I'm just not sure why he's still there."

Quick Hits: Slowey, Royals, Lee, Reddick

For a while, it seemed as though we'd have a quiet trade deadline. So much for that – today we saw Ubaldo Jimenez, Derrek Lee, Orlando Cabrera, Rich Harden, Koji Uehara, Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Jason Marquis, Mike Aviles, Jerry Hairston Jr., Doug Fister and David Pauley all get traded. Let's gear up for the deadline itself with another round of links…


Twins Rumors: Young, Slowey, Kubel, Cuddyer

The Twins are discussing a deal with the Nationals that would send Denard Span to Washington, possibly for Drew Storen. Here are some more updates on the Twins from Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

  • The Twins are open to trading Delmon Young and Kevin Slowey, but interest in Young has been “tepid.” Slowey has drawn interest from the Rockies and others.
  • Meanwhile, Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer, are drawing strong interest. The Twins are more likely to trade Kubel than Cuddyer, according to Morosi and Rosenthal.
  • The Twins have also spoken to rival teams about upgrading their rotation.
  • The Twins are six games back in the AL Central, trailing three other teams. One of FOX’s sources says they’re “in limbo.”