Kyle Drabek Rumors

Minor Moves: Drabek, Putkonen, Kirkman

Here are today’s minor moves from around MLB…

  • White Sox right-hander Kyle Drabek has cleared waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Charlotte, the team announced on Twitter. The former top prospect was designated for assignment on Monday in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for 2014 No. 3 overall pick Carlos Rodon.

Earlier Updates

  • The Tigers have re-signed right-hander Luke Putkonen to a Minor League pact, reports James Schmehl of MLive.com (on Twitter). Putkonen was in the team’s Triple-A clubhouse this morning and will pitch at Toledo in hopes of a return to the Majors. Detroit released Putkonen near the end of Spring Training after he yielded three runs on four hits and three walks with no strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. The 28-year-old Putkonen missed most of the 2014 season after undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow, but he was a nice bullpen cog for the Tigers in 2013, tossing 29 2/3 innings of 3.03 ERA ball with 28 strikeouts against nine walks.
  • The Brewers have signed lefty Michael Kirkman to a Minor League contract, reports SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (also via Twitter). Kirkman was released by the Rangers midway through Spring Training so that he could pursue opportunities with other teams. That opportunity clearly didn’t emerge immediately, but Kirkman will give Milwaukee an experienced arm to serve as a depth piece. The 28-year-old southpaw has a 4.98 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 across 106 2/3 Major League frames, though he does come with a reverse platoon split. Kirkman’s career was slowed by a battle with skin cancer, but he returned to the mound in 2014 and was healthy in Spring Training prior to his release.
  • A look at MLBTR’s DFA Tracker reveals four players in limbo as they await to find out if they’ve been traded, placed on waivers or released. Currently, Brandon Kintzler, Grant Balfour, Todd Redmond and Xavier Cedeno are in unresolved situations.

White Sox Designate Kyle Drabek For Assignment

The White Sox announced that they have designated right-hander Kyle Drabek for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for top prospect Carlos Rodon, whose contract has officially been selected from Triple-A Charlotte.

Chicago claimed the 27-year-old Drabek off waivers from the Blue Jays in late March, and the former top prospect secured a spot in the Sox bullpen to open the season. Drabek, who was one of the centerpieces of the trade that sent Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays to the Phillies, totaled 5 1/3 innings with the South Siders, allowing three runs on nine hits and a pair of walks with three strikeouts.

Drabek was the 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft and, at one point ranked as high as 25th on Baseball America’s Top 100 prospect list and 14th on Baseball Prospectus’ version of that same list. Tommy John surgery in 2012 was among the injuries that have slowed the development of Drabek, and to date, his body of work at the Major League level is rather unimpressive. In 177 2/3 innings, he’s recorded a 5.27 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9.


White Sox Claim Kyle Drabek

Right-hander Kyle Drabek has been claimed on waivers by the White Sox, the Blue Jays announced. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweeted minutes before the announcement that an unknown club had claimed Drabek, and Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi had originally tweeted that Drabek was packing up his locker and appeared to be on the move. Fellow righty Nate Jones has been placed on the 60-day DL to clear a roster spot, the White Sox announced.

The 27-year-old Drabek was once regarded as one of baseball’s top 30 prospects by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, and he was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Roy Halladay from Toronto to Philadelphia. Injuries, however, have limited much of his ability to stay on the mound since being acquired by Toronto (he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012), and he’s been ineffective when able to take the hill. In 172 1/3 big league innings, Drabek has a 5.27 ERA, an even more unsightly 5.41 FIP and an uninspiring 118-to-111 K/BB ratio.

Drabek has been effective over the past two Minor League seasons, however, and he’s had a strong Spring Training (7 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K), though it’s tough to place too much emphasis on seven spring innings. Drabek is out of Minor League options, as MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes recently noted, meaning that he’d have to clear waivers before the Sox could send him outright to Triple-A.

The Sox may very well try to sneak Drabek through waivers, as the bullpen picture already contains David Robertson, Jake Petricka, Zach Duke, Daniel Webb, Zach Putnam, Javy Guerra and Dan Jennings, with Maikel Cleto and Eric Surkamp also serving as options.



Blue Jays Notes: Bullpen, Izturis, Bonifacio

The Blue Jays have been one of the busiest teams this offseason, per MLBTR's Transaction Tracker. GM Alex Anthopoulos has traded a manager (John Farrell), hired his replacement (John Gibbons, his second stint in Toronto), acquired the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, Jose ReyesJosh JohnsonMark BuehrleEmilio Bonifacio, Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas, and Esmil Rogers while signing free agents Melky Cabrera, Maicer Izturis, Henry Blanco, and Mark DeRosa. Is there anything left for Anthopoulos to do before pitchers and catchers report to Dunedin on February 12? MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm answered that question and others when he opened his inbox recently.

  • The remaining moves the Blue Jays have left to make are minor league signings for organizational depth, writes Chisholm. 
  • The only real area of competition is the bullpen. Casey Janssen and Sergio Santos will battle to be the closer. Right-hander Jeremy Jeffress is a favorite to win a job, as he is out of options. Chisholm thinks Brandon Lyon would add a reliable veteran presence to the bullpen, but doesn't see the Blue Jays re-signing the right-hander because the team has reached its payroll limit.
  • It appears Izturis received some sort of promise from the organization he would be the starting second baseman before agreeing to his three-year, $10MM deal, according to Chisholm. Look for Bonifacio to be used in a super utility role even though, in Chisholm's view, he has more upside than Izturis and would bring another element of speed to the lineup.
  • Don't expect Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison, both recovering from Tommy John surgery, to make a major impact until 2014.
  • The Blue Jays' farm system has been weakened by the flurry of trades this offseason. Chisholm notes there's talent in the lower levels, which is at least three years away, but that isn't a concern for the Blue Jays because their core is tied up for a similar period at the big league level.    

Quick Hits: Padres, Phillies, Drabek, Vlad

Teams interested in acquiring starting pitching help surely noticed when the Cubs placed right-hander Ryan Dempster on the disabled list with right lat tightness today. Dempster, 35, is one of the top starters known to be available in trades. Here are today’s links…

  • A quick sale of the Padres may not be possible at this point, writes Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. The three apparent finalists are all leading bid groups with multiple investors, which will require extensive background work once a sale is announced. 
  • Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com examines the trade stock of some of the Phillies biggest names in the event that their slide continues into late July.
  • Blue Jays righty Kyle Drabek is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow, tweets Barry Davis of Sportsnet.ca. This will be the second time Drabek has been through Tommy John.
  • Free agent designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero isn't close to signing, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
  • There's no indication the Tigers are interested in Jim Thome, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press reports. Thome, a "longtime tormentor" of the Tigers, bats left-handed, which means he’s not a perfect fit in Detroit. The Tigers are interested in acquiring a bat before the July 31st trade deadline and they'd prefer to add a right-handed hitter, Morosi reported yesterday.
  • GM Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that the Yankees haven't pursued contract extensions for Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson, but aim to keep both players long-term (Twitter link).
  • Maury Brown explains that TV deals are boosting franchise values across MLB in a piece at Baseball Prospectus.

Brett Cecil, Kyle Drabek Drawing Attention

Blue Jays hurlers Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek and drawing attention from scouts of other teams, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The team is reluctant to move Drabek while his value is down, however. He was acquired in the Roy Halladay trade and considered one of the game's 30 best prospects just one year ago by Baseball America.

Cecil, 25, pitched to a 4.73 ERA in 123 2/3 innings for Toronto last season. His velocity had dropped noticeably, and he spent a dozen starts in Triple-A trying to figure things out. Drabek, 24, posted a 6.06 ERA with more walks (55) than strikeouts (51) in 78 2/3 innings last season. He spent another 75 ineffective innings in Triple-A. The left-handed Cecil is under team control through 2015, the right-handed Drabek through 2017.

Earlier today Rosenthal reported that the Jays were in the market to add starting pitching, not necessarily subtract it. They've spoken to the White Sox about Gavin Floyd and GM Alex Anthopoulos recently scouted Joe Blanton of the Phillies. Nationals' left-hander John Lannan is said to be available as well. The Jays could be willing to move either Cecil or Drabek for a more established pitcher with a similar amount of team control years remaining.


Blue Jays Notes: Cooper, Drabek, Rasmus, D’Arnaud

The Blue Jays are looking for a closer this offseason and Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun says the team has checked in on free agents Francisco Cordero and Matt Capps. Heath Bell is another option for the Blue Jays, who had interest in Jonathan Papelbon before he signed with the Phillies. Here are more notes on the Blue Jays, who have yet to make a major move so far this offseason…

  • The Blue Jays would listen to offers on 24-year-old first baseman David Cooper, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Cooper, the Blue Jays' first round draft pick in 2008, debuted with the team in 2011 and posted a .678 OPS in 81 plate appearances. He won the Pacific Coast League batting title with a .364/.439/.535 line this past season, adding nine home runs and 51 doubles.
  • Blue Jays president Paul Beeston isn't a fan of the posting system and Elliott suggests Toronto's interest in Yu Darvish is "lukewarm." 
  • The Yankees are interested in Kyle Drabek, according to Elliott. Drabek started the season in the Blue Jays' rotation before being demoted to the minor leagues. He had a standout season in 2010, but struggled with command in the Majors (6.3 BB/9) and in the minors (4.9 BB/9) in 2011.
  • The Royals have some interest in Colby Rasmus because of concerns that Lorenzo Cain may not be ready for an everyday role, Elliott reports. 
  • The Phillies have discussed ways of re-obtaining Travis d'Arnaud, the Double-A catcher who arrived with Drabek in the 2009 Roy Halladay trade. As Elliott points out, the Blue Jays would need a ton to part with this year's Eastern League MVP.

Blue Jays Have No Intention Of Trading Snider And Drabek For Greinke

The Blue Jays have been connected to Zack Greinke basically all offseason, but they have no intention of trading Travis Snider and Kyle Drabek for him according to ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter). Obviously, Toronto is not close to completing a deal for the Royals' ace.

Kansas City understandably want a bounty for Greinke, who has two years and $27MM left on his contract. Snider, 23 in February, is a .255/.318/.446 hitter in 675 big league plate appearances, though Baseball America ranked him the sixth best prospect (and third best outfield prospect) in the game prior to the 2009 season. The 23-year-old Drabek was the centerpiece of the Roy Halladay trade, making three very respectable starts for the Jays late in the season. Baseball America said the development of his cutter and changeup "would put him over the top as a frontline starter" when they named him the team's top prospect last month.


Zack Greinke Rumors: Monday

Zack Greinke appears willing to waive his no-trade clause in any deal, but his list of potential suitors appeared to shrink when the Brewers acquired Shaun Marcum. Milwaukee tried to pry Greinke away from the Royals, but found that GM Dayton Moore was asking a lot for the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner. We'll keep track of all the day's Greinke rumors right here:

  • The Royals appear to be tiring of the Rangers' offers, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Discussions with Toronto appear to hinge on the Blue Jays' willingness to include Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider in a potential deal. Royals officials say a deal could come together in a hurry if the Blue Jays decide they're willing to part with those two players.
  • The Reds have not talked to the Royals about a potential Greinke deal, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
  • The Braves are not pursuing Greinke and have not been pursuing him, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).

Odds & Ends: Sandberg, Werth, Mets, Drabek, Dunn

Links for Sunday, as Chris Volstad goes for his fifth win vs. the Nationals this season….