Kip Wells Rumors
The Angels have signed pitcher Kip Wells to a minor league deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Heyman further tweets that the righty worked out for the team yesterday afternoon and had reached agreement by late last night.
Wells, who turns 36 soon, was reportedly in good form during the spring as he looked to catch on with a club. Once an established member of the Pirates' rotation who posted a 3.28 ERA over nearly 200 innings in 2003, Wells did not appear in a major league game in 2010 or 2011. Last year, he returned with the Padres and tossed 37 1/3 innings of 4.58 ERA baseball in seven starts.
For the last-place Angels, Wells provides options. The club's rotation has been a serious problem early on, and currently boasts MLB's third-highest composite ERA (per Fangraphs). It does not help that Jered Weaver will be on the DL for the next four to six weeks, leaving the Angels without their ace and straining their rotation depth.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that baseball could eventually return to Montreal. While it has always been known as a hockey town, Montreal has been responsible for such great baseball talent as Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Gary Carter, “Le Grand Orange,” Rusty Staub, Tim Raines, Marquis Grissom, Cliff Floyd, Randy Johnson, Dennis Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Larry Walker, Andres Galarraga, Moises Alou, Vladimir Guerrero, and Tim Wallach. The city is looking into the possibility of giving Expos fans something to cheer about again and they claim that the strength of the Canadian dollar coupled with revenue sharing can help make it work. Here's more from Cafardo..
- Pitcher Bud Norris improved his stock after he beat the Rangers on Opening Day and he should bring the Astros a good haul between now and the trade deadline. One longtime National League adviser believes that the Rangers might be the team to scoop him up.
- After unloading Aaron Harang in yesterday's trade with the Rockies, the Dodgers would still love to find a taker for Ted Lilly, who earns $12MM this year. However, there has been little to no interest in the veteran so far.
- There aren't many people who think that the recently re-signed Jose Valverde can be the Tigers' closer, but could add to their mix in the bullpen. One AL evaluator feels that they have to move and get themselves a proven closer in a hurry.
- Kip Wells, soon to be 36, is available and throwing 93 miles per hour, according to his agent, Burton Rocks. The veteran reliever made seven starts over the summer for the Padres last season.
Manager Dale Sveum is prepared for the possibility that the Cubs could be sellers again at the July 31st trade deadline, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports. Sveum said he hopes to be in contention but will understand if the team needs to re-focus on 2014. "If your team is out of it, to start building and getting a healthier organization, unfortunately or fortunately, that's part of the business," he said. Here are some more notes from around the National League...
- Tom Singer of MLB.com explains that the Pirates would probably like to lock up core players such as Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez. While Walker would presumably like to stay with the Pirates, his hometown team, retaining him will be expensive, as Singer outlines. Alvarez, a New York native, might like the idea of playing for the Yankees in Singer's view.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears that Kip Wells looked good throwing for Phillies people yesterday (Twitter link). Wells, who started seven games for the Padres last year, had good off-speed pitches, Heyman writes.
- Adrian Gonzalez said that he couldn't be happier to be playing for the Dodgers, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. "I'm really really happy and excited to be here and really excited about where the team is heading and what we have an opportunity to do here," Gonzalez said. The Dodgers acquired Gonzalez from the Red Sox in a blockbuster trade last August.
Earlier tonight, the Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley by agreeing to a one-year, $8.575MM deal. The third baseman is under team control through 2015 and General Manager Josh Byrnes started dialogue with Headley's representatives about a contract extension earlier this winter, writes MLB.com's Corey Brock. However, those talks have been tabled for now. "We couldn't frame it up where it made sense for both sides," Byrnes said. In today's poll, nearly 70% of MLBTR readers said that it would make sense to lock Headley up long-term. Here's more from around baseball..
- The Dodgers, Blue Jays, Angels, Tigers, Orioles, Brewers, and Athletics were in Peoria, Arizona today to watch Kip Wells, Mark Lowe, and Ryan Rowland-Smith throw, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Wells, 35, made seven starts for the Padres last season and posted a 4.58 ERA with 20 walks and 19 strikeouts.
- The Yankees can dream about getting out from under Alex Rodriguez's contract, but there is very little chance of it happening, writes David Waldstein of the New York Times. Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports noted that the Yankees could pay just 15% of the $114MM owed to A-Rod if his hip injury is diagnosed as career-ending and he misses the entire season.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (video link) has a gut feeling that aces Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, and Justin Verlander will work out new contracts with their respective clubs before they get the chance to hit the open market.
- The Mariners need to add a dependable starting pitcher, opines Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Baker suggests that the M's should try and swing a trade for the Dodgers' Chris Capuano by sending Franklin Gutierrez back to the club where he started his pro baseball career.
We shouldn't be surprised if the Yankees spend aggressively on free agent starting pitching in the years ahead, Jim Bowden writes at ESPN.com. Check out MLBTR’s 2014 free agent list to see which players will join Matt Garza, Josh Johnson and Adam Wainwright on the free agent market a year from now. Here are today’s links...
- In a piece at ESPN Insider, Zachary Levine of Baseball Prospectus searches MLB rosters for some players who could be traded now that their salaries are essentially sunk costs. Luke Hochevar and Ted Lilly are among the players who make Levine's list.
- Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal looks ahead at some of the starting pitchers who could be available in trades, suggesting that Yovani Gallardo, Jarrod Parker and Ian Kennedy could be dealt in future years.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney wonders if Nelson Cruz’s alleged connection to performance enhancing drugs suppliers could lead to renewed interest in Michael Bourn from the Rangers (Twitter link).
- Free agent right-hander Kip Wells threw a bullpen for the Mariners today, Evan Drellich of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Wells, 35, posted a 4.58 ERA with more walks (20) than strikeouts (19) in 37 1/3 innings with the Padres in 2012.
MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the Rangers, the Indians and offseason qualifying offers on the latest edition of the Rosters & Rumblings Podcast. Click here to listen in. Here are some news items from around the baseball world...
- The Mets are one of three teams interested in right-hander Kip Wells, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich. Wells, 35, posted a 4.58 ERA, a 4.6 K/9 rate and a 4.8 BB/9 rate in seven starts for the Padres last season, the first time Wells had pitched in the Majors since 2009. Wells has pitched for nine different clubs over his 12-year career.
- Ian Kinsler has reversed course and told Rangers management that he would prefer to remain at second base, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Kinsler said he was open to a position change back in November but has since decided that he isn't comfortable moving off second at this point in his career. Had Kinsler been willing to move to first base, Texas could have explored using Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus as the team's double-play combo.
- The incentive details of Mike Adams' and John Lannan's contracts with the Phillies are outlined by Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Nate Robertson is looking for a spot in a Major League training camp as a left-handed relief specialist, Robertson's agent Steve Canter tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The 35-year-old Robertson's last Major League appearance came in 2010 and he has spent the last two seasons pitching in the minors for the Mariners, Cubs and Blue Jays. Robertson could find success as a specialist given that he has held left-handed hitters to a .695 OPS over his nine-year career.
- Shaun Marcum is still without a team and Fangraphs' Mike Axisa examines why the market for the free agent right-hander has yet to develop. Marcum was ranked as the 19th-best free agent of the offseason by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes earlier this winter, though three players higher on the list than Marcum (Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano) are also still available.
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy has the list of minor league transactions from the first week of January.
- Mike Trout unsurprisingly headlines the list of the 25 best players under the age of 25 as compiled by ESPN's Keith Law. Trout and the other three players atop Law's list delivered a historically great performance that compares to the all-time best quartets of young hitters, as noted by ESPN's Dave Cameron. (An ESPN Insider subscription is required for both pieces.)
A total of 28 players -- all with big league time under their belts -- recently elected free agency after finishing the year in Triple-A. Here is the full list, courtesy of the International League and Pacific Coast League transaction pages...
- Infielders: Brian Bixler (Astros), Sean Burroughs (Twins), Blake DeWitt (Cubs), Alberto Gonzalez (Rangers), Angel Sanchez (Astros), Nate Spears (Red Sox), Drew Sutton (Pirates)
- Outfielders: Travis Buck (Astros), Ryan Langerhans (Angels), Mitch Maier (Royals), Darnell McDonald (Yankees), Jai Miller (Orioles), Trent Oeltjen (Dodgers), Jason Pridie (Phillies), Mike Wilson (Mariners)
- Right-handed Pitchers: Roman Colon (Royals), Mike Ekstrom (Rockies), Jack Egbert (Mets), Ryota Igarashi (Yankees), Evan Meek (Pirates), Scott Richmond (Blue Jays), Kip Wells (Padres), Randy Wells (Cubs), Dan Wheeler (Indians)
- Left-handed Pitchers: Alex Hinshaw (Cubs), Cesar Jimenez (Mariners), Zach Kroenke (Diamondbacks), Garrett Olson (Mets)
The latest outright assignments from around MLB...
- Padres pitcher Kip Wells cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Tucson, according to U-T San Diego (via Twitter). The Padres designated the right-hander for assignment on Friday. Wells, 35, made seven starts for the Padres this year.
- The Blue Jays outrighted Andrew Carpenter to Triple-A, Las Vegas, according to MLB.com’s transactions page. The Blue Jays had removed Carpenter from their roster to create room for Adeiny Hechavarria and Jesse Chavez over the weekend.
- The Pirates outrighted Drew Sutton to Triple-A Indianapolis, according to MLB.com’s transactions page. Pittsburgh designated Sutton for assignment one week ago on the day of the non-waiver trade deadline.
Wells posted a 4.58 ERA in seven starts with the Padres, recording more walks (20) than strikeouts (19) in 37 1/3 innings of work. It was Wells' first time pitching in the Major Leagues since the 2009 season. The 35-year-old signed a minor league deal with San Diego in May.
The Padres have signed right-handers Kip Wells and Anthony Reyes to minor league contracts, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB.com's Corey Brock (Twitter links). The moves will replenish the club's Triple-A depth following injuries to Tim Stauffer, Dustin Moseley, and Cory Luebke.
Wells, 35, signed with the White Sox last month but was released just ten days later. The Burton Rocks LTD client hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2009 and owns 4.71 ERA in over 1,300 innings. Reports from earlier this spring indicate that his fastball is still running as high as 93 mph.
Reyes, 30, did not play at all last season. He's pitched to a 5.12 ERA in 293 1/3 career innings, but like Wells he hasn't been in the show since 2009. Reyes is perhaps best known for his eight-inning, two-run performance in Game One of the 2006 World Series for the Cardinals.