Kevin Slowey Rumors
It's never fun to punt a season, as the Marlins decided to do before the 2013 campaign began. But one silver lining is the ability to offer more opportunity to minor league free agents. 29-year-old righty Kevin Slowey is one such example, and he's rewarded the team with a 1.81 ERA through seven starts after joining the organization on a minor league deal. He was a contributing member of the Twins' rotation as recently as 2010 despite missing time with an elbow and triceps injury, but then things took a turn.
Slowey failed to make the Twins' rotation out of camp in 2011, and then quickly hit the DL with a shoulder strain. After returning from that, he missed time with an abdomen strain, expressed displeasure with working as a reliever, and pitched in the minors before finally rejoining the rotation in August of that year. With a non-tender looming, Slowey was shipped to Colorado during the offseason, and then traded to the Indians shortly thereafter. He was unable to crack the Indians rotation out of camp in 2012, and missed most of the season with a stress fracture in his rib cage. He was removed from the Indians' 40-man roster in October, pitched in the Dominican Winter League, and signed a minor league deal with the Marlins in January of this year. This time Slowey did win a rotation spot out of Spring Training, which was further solidified with injuries to Henderson Alvarez and Nate Eovaldi.
After seven starts this year, Slowey ranks sixth in the National League with a 1.81 ERA. His control has always been stellar, leading to a seventh-ranked 4.5 K/BB ratio so far. Though he's never averaged six innings per start in a season, Slowey is at nearly 6.4 this year. Aside from his injury history, the biggest concern with Slowey is his flyball tendency. His 32.3% groundball rate is the fourth-lowest in all of baseball, and he's benefited from one of the least homer-happy ballparks in the game (though he's pitched well in all three starts on the road).
The Marlins are playing .300 baseball, so why shouldn't they move Slowey? One reason is that he'll be arbitration eligible after this season, and therefore under team control for 2014. Given his $750K salary - barely above the league minimum - trading Slowey now would not be a cost-cutting move. It'd simply be a way of cashing in a 29-year-old off to a hot start for at least one credible prospect. Slowey has his flaws, but he'd fit well with teams like the Giants or Pirates come the July trade deadline.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
We'll track the day's minor moves right here...
- The Marlins signed Kevin Slowey to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, writes Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald. The 28-year-old right-hander was limited to eight minor league starts in 2012 thanks to a stress fracture in his rib cage. Slowey enjoyed success prior to his injury as a member of the Twins' rotation from 2008-2010. Over the course of his five season tenure with the team, Slowey posted a 4.66 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9.
- Miami also struck a deal with Mitch Talbot, who received a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, says Spencer. Talbot, 29, returns stateside after spending the 2012 season pitching for the Samsung Lions where he posted a 3.97 ERA over 138 innings. The right-hander last pitched in the big leagues in 2011 where he struggled with his H/9 (12.7) along with giving up home runs in limited innings.
The Blue Jays continued adding to their roster today, agreeing to terms with free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera on a two-year contract worth $16MM. Here are some links from around MLB, starting with Cabrera...
- The Indians had interest in Cabrera before he agreed to terms in Toronto, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter).
- Not surprisingly, the Giants weren’t interested, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). Instead, the Giants remain focused on re-signing Angel Pagan, Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports.
- Right-hander Kevin Slowey, who spent this past season pitching for the Indians' Triple-A team, is generating some interest as a free agent, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The 28-year-old hit free agency earlier in the month.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said he expects to tender contracts to all of the team’s remaining arbitration eligible players, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter). The Cardinals recently released Kyle McClellan, but their arbitration class doesn't include other non-tender candidates.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel explains how agent David Sloane worked around the Marlins' policy of not granting no-trade clauses to make sure that Carlos Delgado wouldn't pay higher taxes if moved. Former Marlins players such as Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle face different tax laws in Toronto than they did in Miami.
Here are Wednesday's minor moves...
- The Diamondbacks have signed Garrett Mock to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The 29-year-old right-hander posted a 3.79 ERA in 61 2/3 relief innings in Triple-A this season.
- The Mets have signed right-hander Greg Burke to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training, the team announced (on Twitter). Burke, 30, pitched to a 1.53 ERA in 64 2/3 relief innings in Triple-A this year.
- Indians right-hander Kevin Slowey has elected free agency, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America. The 28-year-old spent 2012 with Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate.
- The Red Sox have signed Mitch Maier to a minor league deal, reports Baseball America's Matt Eddy (on Twitter). The 30-year-old outfielder hit .172/.260/.313 in 74 plate appearances for the Royals this year.
- The Pirates have signed Darren Ford to a minor league pact, reports Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The 27-year-old outfielder hit .273/.326/.385 with 26 steals in 329 Triple-A plate appearances this year.
- The Pirates have signed infielder Jared Goedert to a minor league deal, reports Rosenthal (on Twitter). The 27-year-old hit .311/.373/.502 with 19 homers in 504 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A this season.
- The Royals have agreed to re-sign catcher Manny Pina to a minor league contract, reports Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star (on Twitter). Pina, 25, hit .278/.415/.417 in 183 minor league plate appearances this summer. Dutton notes that he will be exposed in next month's Rule 5 Draft.
We'll track the latest outright assignments here...
- The Indians outrighted Kevin Slowey and Vinny Rottino off of their 40-man roster to Triple-A, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter). Slowey had been a non-tender candidate after spending the 2012 season in the minor leagues. Rottino appeared in 36 games for the Mets and Indians this past season, hitting three homers and posting a .560 OPS.
- The Tigers announced that they outrighted Don Kelly to Triple-A Toledo. The utility player will elect free agency instead of accepting the assignment, according to the team. Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski said yesterday that Kelly would lose his 40-man roster spot. The 32-year-old played all three outfield positions and every infield position except shortstop this past season, posting a .523 OPS in 127 plate appearances. LSW Baseball represents Kelly.
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 Spilborghs, Gregorio Petit, Fred 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.