Kevin Gregg Rumors
Earlier today, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported that MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to stop including personal services deals and milestone bonus clauses in player contracts. He offers some reaction and detail in today’s column to go along with more rumors from around the league. Here are the highlights:
- One prominent agent says the aforementioned changes more make it more difficult to add dollars to contracts without counting them against the luxury tax.
- The Nationals still want to move John Lannan, but his slow start at Triple-A (7.50 ERA in three starts) is limiting his trade value.
- The Nationals aren’t trying to trade Roger Bernadina, Stark reports. Right now Washington is thin on outfield depth, so they’re probably not in a position to trade outfielders away.
- Some teams wonder if the Angels should shop Mark Trumbo for a controllable reliever. There’s no indication the Angels are looking to trade Trumbo, but they’re “trying feverishly” to move Bobby Abreu, Stark reports.
- Scouts say the Orioles would “do anything” to trade third baseman Mark Reynolds and right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg.
The Braves announced that they’re retiring John Smoltz’s number 29 to honor the right-hander’s contributions over the course of 20 seasons with Atlanta. Here are today’s links...
- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine publicly questioned Kevin Youkilis' commitment, but GM Ben Cherington says the entire organization knows Youkilis works and plays hard. "Bobby's acknowledged that he shouldn't have said what he said and spoke to Kevin about it,'' Cherington told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- The Red Sox aren’t likely to deal for an outfielder to fill in while Jacoby Ellsbury’s on the disabled list, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears from a team source.
- MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli wonders if it’s time for the Orioles and Kevin Gregg to part ways (Twitter link). Gregg, who had a rough outing in Toronto yesterday, will earn $5.8MM this year. I expect the Orioles to decline their $6MM club option for Gregg this coming offseason.
- As far as MLB teams know, Jorge Soler isn’t officially a free agent yet, Ben Badler of Baseball America tweets. This means teams can’t yet negotiate with the promising young outfielder.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe ranks every manager in the majors, one through 30. Cafardo's top five skippers in the game for 2012 are Joe Maddon (Rays), Jim Leyland (Tigers), Mike Scioscia (Angels), Charlie Manuel (Phillies), and Joe Girardi (Yankees). Here's more from Cafardo..
- While the Mets were considering releasing right-hander Mike Pelfrey, they likely won’t do that because there should be a trade market for the veteran. The 28-year-old makes $5.6MM on a non-guaranteed deal and the Mets may be able to get something from a club looking for a back-end starter.
- White Sox left-hander Matt Thornton is a player who always draws interest, though other clubs wish he didn’t make $12MM over the next two years. With Hector Santiago and Will Ohman on the team, the closer could again be trade bait.
- The Cubs may eat some money to move outfielder Marlon Byrd, who is scheduled to earn $6.5MM this season. They may have suitors in the Braves, Phillies, and others. A National League scout indicated that Byrd’s name is being mentioned more and more as the end of spring training approaches.
- Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg is available as the O's try to rid themselves of extraneous players and save money. Gregg makes $5.6MM this year, and the Orioles don’t want his 2013 contract to kick in at $6MM if he finishes 50 games in 2012.
- Cafardo expects long-term extension talks between Cole Hamels and the Phillies to move slowly.
- One American League owner said of the Padres, "They’re probably a half-billion to $700MM purchase. And I don’t believe that many, or any, of the finalists for the Dodgers would be interested."
The Orioles are shopping right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg and corner infielder Mark Reynolds, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets. Both players are under contract for 2012 with club options for 2013.
Gregg, 33, posted a 4.37 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 6.0 BB/9 in 59 2/3 innings of work last year, his first season in Baltimore. He'll earn $5.8MM in 2012 and his contract includes a $6MM club option for 2013. I'd be surprised if a team took on more than $2MM of his salary in a trade.
Reynolds, 28, hit 37 homers and posted a .221/.323/.483 line last year, while playing first and third base. He led the league in strikeouts for the fourth consecutive season, striking out in approximately one third of his 620 plate appearances. He'll earn $7.5MM in 2012 and his contract includes a $11MM club option for 2013 ($500K buyout).
On this day in 2002, the Yankees released outfielder Ruben Rivera, who allegedly stole teammate Derek Jeter's glove from his locker at the club's Spring Training complex and proceeded to sell it. On with some links ...
- Veteran Mark Ellis is excited to be with a big market club such as the Dodgers and sounds excited about the team spending competitively in the future, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Ellis also wants to see his former club, the A's, get the new stadium that they're pushing for.
- Mike Bauman of MLB.com believes that the Rangers' rotation will be just as solid as it was last year even following the departure of C.J. Wilson.
- It wouldn't surprise MLB.com's Bill Ladson if Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo traded for a center fielder for the long term before the season started. Ladson also sees John Lannan being dealt before Opening Day.
- Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg would like to remain with Baltimore despite rumors of a possible trade, writes Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com: "I wasn't blind to the fact that this team was a work in progress, and that's part of what drew me here. [I wanted] to be a part of it," Gregg said. Gregg signed a two-year deal with the O's prior to 2011 that includes a $6MM vesting option for 2013 based on appearances.
- Free agent outfielder/DH Magglio Ordonez would like to play in 2012 but isn't close to signing and is currently in his native Venezuela, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. Maggs, 38, batted just .255/.303/.331 in 357 plate appearances last season, though he posted respectable offensive numbers as recently as 2010.
- The Mariners could boast a terrific rotation right now had they retained the likes of Cliff Lee, Brandon Morrow, Doug Fister and Michael Pineda, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, but GM Jack Zduriencik instead opted to trade off those arms in an attempt to replenish a thin farm system. Now, the M's are pinning their hopes on young, cost-controlled hurlers Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton, as well as a few other prospects.
Which players can lock in 2013 contract options based on their 2012 performance? Let's take a look.
- Jason Bartlett, Padres: $5.5MM option vests with 432 plate appearances.
- Alex Gonzalez, Brewers: $4MM option vests with 525 plate appearances.
- Chipper Jones, Braves: $9MM+ option vests with 123 games.
- Kevin Gregg, Orioles: $6MM option vests with 50 games finished.
- Brett Myers, Astros: $10MM option vests based on unknown starting or relieving milestones.
Mets first baseman Ike Davis is being treated for a form of Valley Fever, though the team says Davis' infection is non-contagious and not very serious (via Mike Puma of the New York Post on Twitter). Davis says he has yet to receive an official diagnosis and hasn't experienced any symptoms. In recent years, Conor Jackson has also dealt with Valley Fever, missing most of the 2009 season with a more severe case of the infection.
Here are some (non-medical) news items from around both East divisions....
- Jim Johnson seems to have enough of a lead over Kevin Gregg for the Orioles' closer job that Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun reports that Gregg could be traded if Johnson's back is healthy. Gregg struggled in his first season in Baltimore and to move him, the O's would have to eat a big portion of Gregg's $5.8MM salary for 2012.
- The Rays have renewed Jeremy Hellickson's contract for 2012, the team announced today. Hellickson isn't eligible for arbitration until after the 2013 season and is under team control through 2016. The Rays also announced they had come to terms with 22 other players with less than three years of Major League experience, including such notable names as Desmond Jennings, Alex Cobb and Matt Joyce. Tampa Bay's entire 40-man roster is now under contract for 2012.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution thinks the Braves may have cost themselves by waiting to extend Brian McCann. Yadier Molina's five-year, $75MM extension with the Cardinals will probably raise the price for McCann to as much as $18-$20MM or even more per season. O'Brien thinks AL teams have an advantage over the Braves if McCann hits free agency, since McCann wouldn't have to play the field in his later years if he went to the American League. McCann is under contract through 2012 and the Braves hold a $12MM club option on the All-Star catcher for 2013.
- The Blue Jays may be the best-positioned of any team to benefit from the expanded playoff format, writes ESPN's Jayson Stark.
- The two East divisions boast seven of the top 16 fantasy pitchers in baseball, according to Mike Axisa's rankings for Roto Authority. The Phillies alone have three pitchers in the top seven, including Roy Halladay in the top spot.
On this day in 1988, the Padres traded Rich Gossage and Ray Hayward to the Cubs for Mike Brumley and Keith Moreland. Here's a look at today's links..
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that the Yankees and Red Sox are no longer alone as financial superpowers. Sherman also looks at five offseason market trends that will impact the 2012 season and beyond.
- In analyzing the Orioles' collection of non-roster invitees and the 40-man roster decisions they'll face this Spring, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes that Baltimore would eat a portion of Kevin Gregg's $5.8MM salary to trade him. Kubatko also speculates that an out of options player like Pedro Strop could be moved during Spring Training.
- Free agent Scott Kazmir is set to throw for scouts in Houston on Wednesday, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
- Jorge De La Rosa will undoubtedly exercise his $11MM player option for 2013 as he rehabs from elbow surgery, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post. If he does that, the Rockies receive a $11MM club option for 2014.
- Red Sox officials seem to think they’ll know what they’ll be getting from the Cubs “before the official start of spring training,’’ but it's not clear if that refers to when pitchers and catchers report or when the full squad arrives, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- If Magglio Ordoñez doesn't find a big-league job this season, he will have his own professional baseball club waiting for him in his native Venezuela, writes Robert Downs of the Detroit Free Press. The slugger is set purchase shares in the Caribes de Anzoátegui when he retires.
- The Indians and Casey Kotchman never talked about anything but a one-year deal, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. The first baseman signed with the Tribe for $3MM earlier this month.
- Orioles right-hander Kevin Gregg told Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun that last year left a bad taste in his mouth. “I think we all have something to prove to ourselves and to the rest of the league," Gregg said. He posted a 4.37 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 6.0 BB/9 during his debut season in Baltimore.
- MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli has heard that the Orioles’ interest in re-acquiring Koji Uehara has been overstated. It doesn’t seem likely that the right-hander will be traded back to Baltimore at this point. He is drawing trade interest after posting a 2.35 ERA with 11.8 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 in 65 innings for the Orioles and Rangers in 2011.
- The Orioles aren’t comfortable with the demands potential trade partners are making, Encina reports. The Orioles discussed deals with the Cardinals and the Rangers, who are both looking to unload salary. The 2011 World Series foes have both been linked to Roy Oswalt in recent weeks.
This weekend's series between the Rays and Red Sox has made things a little more interesting in the AL East. With another win today, Tampa Bay would pull to within 3 1/2 games of the second-place Red Sox. Both teams have only intra-division games left on the schedule, including four more against each other next weekend. Here's a round-up of the morning's AL East links, as Jon Lester and James Shields prepare to square off in St. Petersburg:
- Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald discusses the upcoming arbitration case for Jacoby Ellsbury, who is putting up MVP-caliber numbers while earning $2.4MM this season. As Lauber writes, it's not easy to find appropriate comparables for the Red Sox outfielder. Lauber cites Andruw Jones, Hunter Pence, and Carlos Beltran as some names that could come up during negotiations. Last month, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained that Ellsbury's salary should exceed $6MM.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post praises the Yankees' bench, pointing out that the club's depth is one reason for its AL East lead. GM Brian Cashman noted that the Yanks weren't desperate for reinforcements at the trade deadline this year: "We did our trade deadline deals in the winter. Our supplemental moves kept us from having to trade assets in July for answers."
- The Orioles can't go into next season with Kevin Gregg as their closer, argues MASN's Steve Melewski. The right-hander is under contract for 2012 ($5.8MM), but has been inconsistent at the back of Baltimore's bullpen this year, posting a 4.45 ERA and 6.3 BB/9. Another reason why the O's may want to keep Gregg away from the ninth inning next season? He has a $6MM option for 2013 that would vest if he finishes 50 games in 2012. As the team's closer this season, he has just 43 games finished, but he recorded more than 50 in each of his previous four seasons.
- For the latest updates on the Orioles closing situation, along with 29 others, be sure to follow @closernews on Twitter or visit CloserNews.com.