Kevin Mulvey Rumors
The Cubs are trying to break an 11-game losing streak, their longest in 15 years, as they take on the Pirates this afternoon at PNC Park. Manager Dale Sveum has changed closers, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Sveum didn't reveal who would replace Rafael Dolis if a save opportunity presents itself, but Sullivan writes he did mention James Russell and Casey Coleman.
Here are some more links on this Sunday before Memorial Day.
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman tweets the Braves may be looking for starting pitching because of the struggles of Mike Minor and Jair Jurrjens. Bowman cautions money will be an issue.
- Manager Bud Black told reporters including Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune that Carlos Quentin could make his Padres debut this week when the team travels to Chicago. Quentin has yet to play this season because of knee surgery performed in March.
- Chase Utley also hasn't seen action in 2012 because of a knee injury. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com writes Utley is feeling better but there is still no timetable for his minor league rehab. Salisbury points out Utley has been working in left field to ease the strain on his knees and to work on his agility.
- Kevin Mulvey has retired, reports ESPN New York's Adam Rubin. Mulvey had been pitching in relief with the Mets' Double-A affiliate. Mulvey was part of the Johan Santana trade and rejoined the Mets late in spring training after being released by the Diamondbacks.
Here's the latest from the NL East...
- Prince Fielder said he wouldn't have minded playing for the Nationals, telling media (including Amanda Comak of the Washington Times) that he enjoyed his meeting with Nats management in December and was interested in playing with the club's young stars, particularly Bryce Harper. Fielder said he wasn't sure if Washington ever presented him with a formal contract offer.
- The Mets have signed right-hander Kevin Mulvey to a minor league contract, according to the club's minor league Twitter feed. Mulvey was originally drafted by the Mets in the second round of the 2006 draft. He was part of the trade package New York sent to Minnesota in the Johan Santana deal and, in 2009, was sent by the Twins to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Jon Rauch. The D'Backs released Mulvey last week. Mulvey last pitched in the big leagues in 2010 and has a 7.90 ERA in 27 1/3 career Major League innings.
- The early impression of the Marlins' new stadium is that it favors hitters when the retractable roof is open and favors pitchers when the roof is closed, reports Robbie Levin of the Miami Herald.
- Scott Elarton's trip with his son to a Phillies/Rockies game last summer was the first step in Elarton eventually signing a minor league deal with the Phillies, reports Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The 10-year veteran last pitched in the Majors in 2008 and his last taste of pro ball was 16 games with the White Sox Triple-A affiliate in 2010.
The latest minor moves from around MLB...
- Dan Cortes failed his physical with the Nationals, so the minor league deal he signed back in January is void, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports.
- The Diamondbacks released right-hander Kevin Mulvey, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus tweets. Mulvey, 26, posted a 6.64 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9 in 103 innings for Arizona's Triple-A affiliate last year. He has been involved in deals for two current Mets: Jon Rauch and Johan Santana.
- The Diamondbacks also signed 24-year-old outfielder Chris Valencia, Goldstein tweets. Valencia hit .342/.379/.500 while playing independent ball in 2011.
Here are the latest players to get outrighted to the minors...
- The D'Backs outrighted Kevin Mulvey to Triple-A after he cleared waivers, according to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter).
- Earlier today, the Mariners outrighted Luke French to the minors.
The Diamondbacks designated righty Kevin Mulvey for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot for southpaw Wade Miley, tweeted the team. Jason Marquis was placed on the 15-day disabled list to open an active roster spot.
Mulvey, 26, posted a 6.98 ERA, 5.0 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9 in 80 innings for Arizona's Triple-A affiliate this year. He was acquired from the Twins in August of '09 for Jon Rauch. Mulvey came to the Twins from the Mets in February of '08 as part of the Johan Santana trade.
TUESDAY 3:41pm: D-Backs' managing general partner Ken Kendrick says the payroll will likely increase to north of $75MM next year, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. The payroll in 2009 was appoximately $73.5MM.
"We definitely have more than $10 million to spend in the market," Kendrick said. "There are other moves that we may make that could change the money landscape that have yet to be determined."
MONDAY 6:54pm: Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall said his team is "definitely adding to the payroll" during a web chat on MLB.com Monday.
Hall weighed in on a huge number of issues, including:
- He wants to look at free agent starting pitchers, relievers, and a bench player. He expects most acquisitions to come through trades.
- He believes both Juan Gutierrez and Esmerling Vasquez can pitch the sixth, seventh or eighth innings next season.
- Only Brandon Webb, Dan Haren and Max Scherzer are guaranteed rotation spots in 2010. Billy Buckner, Kevin Mulvey, and possibly free agents could also be in the mix.
- Stephen Drew "would be too tough to replace if we ever moved him."
Links for Wednesday...
- Due to Bengie Molina's injury, the Giants have changed their mind and called up top prospect Buster Posey according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. So Posey's clock starts earlier than planned.
- Speaking of service time, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith tells me Cameron Maybin's call-up gives him 129 days of service time after this year. That puts him on the fringe of Super Two status after the 2011 season.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick ranks the impact of trades made by contenders in July. He talked to an exec who thinks Matt Holliday "could make an extra $3MM a year as a free agent this winter because of his strong finish."
- Yahoo's Gordon Edes has his trade deadline winners and losers.
- Ryan Doumit's agent Matt Sosnick shot down recent negativity surrounding his client, while Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gets to the bottom of the catcher's recent benching.
- Brad Penny still hates the Dodgers, a team he'll face twice this month according to Baggarly. Baggarly also has a quote from Penny ripping on the Marlins.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has more from Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy, who knows he gained trade value when the team delayed his free agency.
- J.C. Bradbury of Sabernomics wonders whether the Braves should pick up Tim Hudson's $12MM option for 2010. Hudson has the right to void that option, not that he would. Back in January Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the Braves "fully intend to exercise it, barring some unexpected turn of events."
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs notes that Kendry Morales has matched the production of the Angels' former first baseman, $180MM man Mark Teixeira.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has comments from Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes on the team's Jon Rauch-Kevin Mulvey swap. Piecoro says the D'Backs have about $23MM to work with this winter as they presumably look to add pitching.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times guesses Ken Griffey Jr. will retire after this season.
TUESDAY: Arizona will receive pitcher Kevin Mulvey as the player to be named later in the Rauch trade, according to John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR. Mulvey, of course, joined the Twins in February of last year as part of the Johan Santana trade. The 24 year-old righty has a 3.93 ERA with 113 strikeouts and 54 walks in 149 Triple A innings this year.
FRIDAY: The Twins acquired Jon Rauch from the Arizona Diamondbacks for a player to be named later, according to an MLB.com press release. Rauch, who should become a free agent after next season, makes $2MM this year and his contract includes a $2.9MM club option for 2010.
The 6'11'' righty has allowed 57 hits and 17 walks in 54.1 innings, striking out 35. Rauch, who turns 31 next month, has seen his strikeout rate dip and his walk rate rise this year, though his ERA is identical to last year's 4.14 mark.
Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a new article up focused on how the ultimate package for Johan Santana may not be fan-pleasing. That's because the Twins "seem most intrigued" with the Mets' offer, which doesn't include household names. They're proposing some combination of Carlos Gomez, Fernando Martinez, Deolis Guerra, Philip Humber, and Kevin Mulvey. Seems it would be one of the outfielders plus the three pitchers.
Christensen notes the Chuck Knoblauch and A.J. Pierzynski trades as examples of deals that were derided in Minnesota at the time but ended up favoring the Twins. However I do believe fans are better equipped to evaluate trades these days, the way prospects are followed. (An aside - I still think we all would've praised Brian Sabean at the time of the Pierzynski/Liriano/Bonser/Nathan deal.)
In other Johan news, Sid Hartman has some fresh Hank quotes if you're interested.
It's time for today's dose of Johan Santana rumors and info. It's funny - I sense that everyone is getting sick of this stuff and would prefer a fresh rumor about, say, Brad Wilkerson.
- Lisa Kennelly wrote this morning that the Mets appear to be sticking to their guns with an offer of Carlos Gomez or Fernando Martinez, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra. However, she says the Mets prefer Erik Bedard over Santana since he will not require a huge extension. The New York Times adds that the Mets "are not engaged in heavy discussions with the Twins."
- MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone dives into the situation, summing up recent events and providing some insight from a roundtable that included Ken Rosenthal, Dan Graziano, and Jim Duquette.
- Michael Silverman, with some help from Baseball America, evaluates each reported package of prospects that has been offered for Santana.
- An end may be in sight - the Twins lose leverage if teams truly start to pull out, writes Joe Christensen.