Kiko Calero Rumors

Quick Hits: Cespedes, Nationals, Axford, Calero

Links for Saturday afternoon..

  • Yoenis Cespedes' deal with the Athletics is now official, according to the club's Twitter account.  Cespedes' deal is for four years and is reportedly worth $36MM
  • In a corresponding move, the A's opened a spot for Cespedes on the 40-man roster by placing Scott Sizemore on the 60-day disabled list.  Sizemore will miss the entire 2012 campaign after tearing his left ACL.
  • Outfielders Rick Ankiel and Brett Carroll, who are both on minor league deals, are making a solid case to make the Nationals' major league squad, writes Bill Ladson of
  • Although people in the Nationals organization like Davey Johnson wanted him to return, Livan Hernandez says that he knew early on that his time was up in Washington, tweets Ladson.
  • The Brewers renewed the contract of right-hander John Axford this afternoon and the two sides continue to talk about a multiyear deal, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
  • Right-hander Kiko Calero is considering a procedure similar to what Bartolo Colon underwent as he weighs a comeback, according to Jon Heyman of (via Twitter).
  • Both the Yankees and Red Sox are operating differently in 2012 thanks to the luxury tax threshold of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, writes Alex Speier of  The new provision, Speier writes, creates the possibility for more payroll parity than the game has seen in years.

Davidoff On Sabathia, Wilson, Calero

While it's still too early in the season to draw conclusions about a player's performance, Ken Davidoff of Newsday takes note of a few impending free agents who are off to hot or cold starts. Players like Prince Fielder (hot) and Albert Pujols (cold) are locks to put up numbers and score big contracts, but some names Davidoff mentions can significantly affect their stocks based on their performances in 2011. Continued health and success from Jose Reyes should earn him a lucrative deal, while a good year from Edwin Jackson would set him up nicely in a free agent class thin on top starters. Let's check out the other updates from the Newsday piece….

  • Davidoff thinks there's a "decent chance" that the Yankees and C.C. Sabathia work out a contract extension before the left-hander's opt-out date next winter.
  • If that were to happen, C.J. Wilson would likely be the most desirable southpaw on the market, but Wilson is trying to avoid thinking about or talking about his walk year: "I'm just pretty much approaching it like I did last year. I'm not going to be looking at my stats too often, because that doesn't really help."
  • Davidoff wonders if the Mets or another club could take a flier on Kiko Calero, who agent Burton Rocks calls a "no-risk, high-reward, high-return guy for any organization." Health is the concern with Calero, though for what it's worth, Rocks says the 36-year-old is in "fantastic shape."

Cardinals Notes: Freese, Carpenter, Calero

The latest on the Cardinals, as third baseman David Freese makes his first spring start…

  • Freese is now represented by CAA, tweets the agency.  Phil Tannenbaum was his previous agent.  Freese, 28 next month, is a ways off from arbitration eligibility.
  • Chris Carpenter felt a twinge in his left hamstring during yesterday's bullpen session, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  He's looking doubtful to start Friday, but there's no timetable for his return.  Carpenter's hamstring first became a concern six days ago in a start against the Marlins.  Perhaps by the weekend the Cardinals will decide whether to explore external options with Adam Wainwright out of the season and Carpenter's status unknown.    
  • Kiko Calero's slider looked good in his Cardinals audition, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, but the team told the righty they have a full roster.

Kiko Calero To Throw For Cardinals

Kiko Calero originally broke into the big leagues with the Cardinals back in 2003, and now he's trying to see if he can revive his career with them.'s Jon Heyman reports that Calero will throw for the Cardinals as a tryout (on Twitter).

The 36-year-old right-hander signed a minor league contract with the Mets last year, only to be released. He then hooked on with the Dodgers only to be released yet again. In 25 Triple-A appearances last year, Kiko (whose real name is Enrique) posted a 7.03 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 32 innings.

Prior to last season, we heard that Calero, who pitched to a 1.95 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 60 innings with the Marlins in 2009, wasn't drawing much interest because his "medicals [were] so bad that everybody [was] wary." He's battled major shoulder injuries in the past.

The Cardinals are faced with the possibility of not having Adam Wainwright in 2011, and reliever Kyle McClellan is a candidate to fill his rotation spot. St. Louis could be looking at Calero as bullpen depth if they do go that route.

Minor League Transactions: Vazquez, Rabelo, Calero

The focus at this point in the season is on major league transactions – trades, to be precise. But that doesn't mean the minor league transactions stop. Matt Eddy of Baseball America has the latest on the minor league transactions that occurred between July 6th and July 13th:

  • One year after posting a 1.95 ERA in 67 major league games, Kiko Calero finds himself a free agent once again. He signed with the Mets and then with the Dodgers, but the Dodgers released him after he posted a 3.00 ERA in 15 minor league appearances. Calero struck out 11 and walked seven in 15 innings.
  • The Tigers released Mike Rabelo, a backup catcher who spent parts of 2006-08 with Detroit. The 30-year-old struggled through 36 plate appearances at Triple A before the Tigers let him go.
  • Ramon Vazquez hit much better in the Astros' system than he did in the Mariners', but the Astros released the former Pirate anyways. The 33-year-old had a .900 OPS in 64 plate appearances.

Dodgers Sign Kiko Calero

The Dodgers signed Kiko Calero, according to the transactions page of the team's Triple A affiliate. Calero didn't draw much attention as a free agent last winter, but the Mets eventually signed him. The 35-year-old right-hander didn't make the Mets and struggled at Triple A Buffalo before getting his release last month.  

In 17 minor league innings this year, Calero posted a 10.59 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9. He was easier to hit than he was last year, when he allowed just 36 hits in 60 innings. Calero pitched to a 1.95 ERA in 67 games in 2009, but teams worried about his health after the season. That didn't stop eight clubs from offering minor league deals this winter, however.

Mets Release Kiko Calero

The Mets have released Kiko Calero, tweets Newsday's David Lennon. The club had signed Calero to a minor league deal in March, after the right-hander received a somewhat unexpected lack of interest for most of the offseason.

Calero posted a 1.95 ERA in 67 relief appearances for the Marlins in 2009, but health was a concern for the 35-year-old heading into this year. He failed to crack the Mets' big league roster and has spent the season pitching for Triple-A Buffalo. In ten appearances for the Bisons, Calero pitched 17 innings and recorded a 10.59 ERA.

Stark On Free Agent Starters, Harper, Calero

ESPN's Jayson Stark leads his latest column by explaining why realignment doesn't make sense, and how it'd be shortsighted to make changes based on the Yankees and Red Sox.  On to his hot stove rumblings…

  • One GM's rankings of the five 2011 free agent starters likely to sign multiyear deals: Cliff Lee, Javier Vazquez, Jorge de la Rosa, Aaron Harang, and Ted Lilly.  Health risks and one-year deal types were considered separately.  De La Rosa, who recently turned 29, will be an interesting contract year pitcher to follow.  He makes his season debut Friday afternoon against the Padres.
  • One exec explained that Bryce Harper is not in the same class as guys like Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. were when they were drafted.
  • Why did Kiko Calero find little interest on the free agent market after a strong 2009?  Said one exec: "The medicals are so bad that everybody's wary."
  • An official of a big market club feels that Albert Pujols will ask for Alex Rodriguez money, rather than Joe Mauer/Mark Teixeira dollars.  That exec feels it's obvious the Cardinals will find a way to sign Pujols, even at that price.

Odds & Ends: Brewers, Marlins, Red Sox, Calero

Sunday night links..

Odds & Ends: Guzman, Sonnanstine, Jukich

Links for Wednesday…