Kyle McClellan Rumors

Quick Hits: McClellan, Aoki, Young, Robertson

Former Cardinals and Rangers reliever Kyle McClellan has officially announced his retirement.  In a message on his Facebook page, McClellan explained that he was told that his shoulder simply hadn’t recovered well enough following surgery, so he decided to hang up his glove after six Major League seasons.  McClellan posted a 3.79 ERA over 387 1/3 career innings from 2008-13, spending five seasons with St. Louis (winning a World Series ring in 2011) and one in Texas.  We at MLBTR wish McClellan all the best in his retirement and congratulations on a nice career.

Here’s some news from around the baseball world…

  • The Orioles have “limited” interest in Nori Aoki, a source tells MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko.  With the O’s linked to such bigger-name free agent and trade targets as Melky Cabrera, Justin Upton and Matt Kemp, it’s safe to presume that Aoki could be more of a backup plan for the Orioles if they can’t land any of those other outfielders.
  • The Mariners‘ acquisition of J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays probably ends any chance of Chris Young returning to Seattle’s rotation, MLB.com’s Greg Johns writes as part of a reader mailbag.
  • An increasing number of agents are privately saying that they would’ve advised David Robertson to accept the Yankees’ qualifying offer, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets.  I can’t say I agree with the agents’ opinions, since it’s not like the draft pick compensation tied to Robertson via the QO has hurt his market; the closer has reportedly already received a three-year, $39MM offer and several executives think he’ll find a deal in the four-year, $50MM range.
  • Florida high schooler Brendan Rodgers holds the #1 spot on MLB.com’s rankings of the top 50 2015 draft prospects, MLB.com’s Jim Callis writes.  Rodgers, a shortstop, heads a class that still contains a lot of question marks, according to one AL scouting executive.  “It’s just wide open right now, especially at the top.  There are some nice players, but there’s a lot of gray area. There are just no elite guys who completely stand out. There’s not as much upside at the top as the past few drafts,” the executive said.
  • Former big leaguer Rico Brogna is now working as the Angels‘ quality control coach, somewhat of a troubleshooting position he tells Fangraphs’ David Laurila combines both traditional scouting analysis with advanced metrics to give his team a complete overview of a player’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Will Middlebrooks doesn’t have an obvious role on the 2015 Red Sox roster, but the third baseman tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that he’s working to get healthy and wants to stay with the Sox.  “I understand the moves they had to make,” Middlebrooks said.  “For the organization we are, we have to win next year. Everyone knows that. They had to make some moves. I was hurt, been hurt a lot. You can’t rely on that.”

Minor Moves: Bueno, McClellan, Olivo, Wang

Here are today's minor moves…

  • Royals lefty Francisley Bueno has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Omaha, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Bueno was designated last Tuesday.
  • The Indians announced on Twitter that right-hander Chris Jakubauskas has been released from Triple-A Columbus. The 34-year-old appeared in 11 games for the Clippers, totaling 14 innings of 3.86 ERA ball with 8.4 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9. He has also appeared in the Brewers organization this year.
  • Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest tweets that Kyle McClellan, who was designated for assignment on Tuesday, will remain with in the Rangers organization after clearing waivers. McClellan will accept an outright assignment to Double-A Frisco. The 29-year-old allowed eight runs in 9 1/3 innings of work with the Rangers this season.
  • Miguel Olivo has cleared waivers and elected free agency, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun Sentinel (on Twitter). Olivo was designated for assignment earlier this week after hitting .203/.250/.392 and informing the Marlins that he was quitting due to a lack of playing time.
  • The Blue Jays announced that Chien-Ming Wang has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Buffalo, the team announced (hat tip: Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet on Twitter). Wang's agent told Nicholson-Smith on Wednesday that he would accept an assignment to Triple-A rather than electing free agency if he cleared waivers. Wang was roughed up in his final two outings with the Jays to send his ERA soaring to 7.13.
  • Seven players are currently in DFA limbo: Brandon Lyon (Mets), Hector Gimenez (White Sox), P.J. Walters (Twins), Shawn Camp (Cubs), Travis Ishikawa (Orioles), Alex Liddi (Mariners), and Eric Hinske (D-Backs).

Rangers Designate Kyle McClellan For Assignment

The Rangers have designated right-hander Kyle McClellan for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for Josh Lindblom, according to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest (on Twitter).

The 29-year-old McClellan allowed eight runs in 9 1/3 innings of work for the Rangers this season with three strikeouts, five walks and a pair of homers. He allowed runs in five of his seven appearances including each of his final four outings. His 32.3 percent ground-ball rate was a far cry from his career mark of 49.3 percent.

McClellan has a 3.79 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 387 1/3 career innings, all of which came with the Cardinals prior to this season.



West Notes: Headley, McClellan, Petit, D-Backs

The Padres received some bad news earlier today when they found out that Chase Headley will miss a month of action with a fractured thumb, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter). Here's some more out of baseball's Western divisions…


Rangers Sign Kyle McClellan

The Rangers announced that they signed right-hander Kyle McClellan to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training. Agent Steve Comte represents McClellan.

McClellan didn't pitch after the Cardinals placed him on the disabled list last May 18th. The 28-year-old had right elbow and shoulder surgery on July 10th, but has already begun throwing again. The Rangers expect he'll be ready for the beginning of Spring Training.

The Cardinals released McClellan in November instead of going to arbitration and facing an expected $2.4MM salary. In the four seasons leading up to the 2012 campaign, McClellan posted a 3.61 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 359 1/3 innings for St. Louis, mostly as a member of the Cardinals' bullpen.

The Rangers also announced that they signed left-hander Ryan Feierabend and right-hander Kevin Pucetas to minor league contracts. Feierabend has MLB experience, though he last pitched in the big leagues in 2008.


Orioles Notes: Gomes, McClellan

The Orioles improved their win total by 24 this past season, finishing with a 93-69 record. Here's the latest on the team’s offseason plans…

  • The Orioles maintain interest in Jonny Gomes, but would prefer to sign him on a one-year deal, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter). Gomes seeks a multiyear deal, according to Encina.
  • It doesn't appear that Kyle McClellan's name has come up in the Orioles' internal discussions, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports. McClellan, who was released by the Cardinals yesterday, has intrigued the Orioles in the past. However, he hasn't pitched since May because of a shoulder injury.

Cardinals Release Kyle McClellan, Sign Rob Johnson

The Cardinals have released Kyle McClellan and signed Rob Johnson to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, reports Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post Dispatch.

McClellan, 28, allowed 11 runs in 18 2/3 relief innings this season while missing considerable time with elbow and shoulder injuries. He had surgery in July. McClellan pitched to a 4.19 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 17 starts and 26 relief appearances for the Cardinals last year. Matt Swartz projected the right-hander to earn $2.4MM during this third trip through arbitration this winter.

Johnson, 30, hit .250/.298/.288 in 58 plate appearances with the Mets last year. He spent most of the season in Triple-A, where he put up a .207/.253/.335 batting line with four homers in 178 plate appearances. The catcher is a career .201/.277/.297 hitter at the big league level, with most of his playing time coming with the Mariners.


NL Central Notes: Cubs, Dempster, McClellan, Baker

Yesterday we learned that ten teams have shown legitimate interest in acquiring Ryan Dempster, including the Dodgers, Tigers, Yankees, Braves, Indians, and White Sox.  Here’s more on the Cubs pitcher plus other items from the NL Central..

  • The Cubs will look to trade Dempster now in part so that his presence doesn’t affect their marketing of Matt Garza later this month, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req’d).  While the Dodgers once looked like the favorite to land the veteran, it’s now unclear if they can outgun the rest of the field to trade for him.
  • After undergoing shoulder surgery, pitcher Kyle McClellan believes that he has probably pitched his last game for the Cardinals, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  McClellan will be arbitration eligible for the third time this winter and says that he anticipates being non-tendered.  The 28-year-old makes $2.5MM this year and would probably command upwards of $3MM in arbitration.
  • Reds skipper Dusty Baker isn’t sure if the club will ask him to return for next season but he sounds like he’d be ready to move on to another team if the opportunity isn’t there, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  “At this point in my career, this point in the season, I have as much say about it as the organization does. And that’s not sounding cocky or arrogant,” Baker said.

Orioles Considering Kyle McClellan

The Orioles are considering possible trades for Kyle McClellan, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. It's not clear if the Cardinals are ready to move the right-hander, since Chris Carpenter may not be ready for Opening Day and they may decide to preserve their depth. 

The Cardinals appeared to be shopping McClellan in January, and the Orioles had interest in him at that time. McClellan, 27, opened the 2011 season in the Cardinals' rotation before moving to the bullpen. He completed 141 2/3 innings with a 4.19 ERA, 4.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 last year and will earn $2.5MM in 2012. The Orioles pitching staff already features more than its share of new additions after a busy offseason under Dan Duquette.


Cardinals Shopping McClellan, Talking With Oswalt

5:14pm: The Orioles are pursuing Koji Uehara of the Rangers as well as McClellan, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Their pursuit of a reunion with Uehara could complicate the Cards' plan to clear money to sign Oswalt.

3:47pm: The Cards appear to be interested in salary relief more than obtaining a high-end prospect for McClellan, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  The club could also move Kyle Lohse or Jake Westbrook to the bullpen.

Morosi adds that the club has discussed deals with Oswalt in the range of $7.5MM while the pitcher seeks $10MM. Moving McClellan, who makes $2.5MM, would give the Cards enough room to sign the veteran (Twitter link).

3:16pm: Even though they have interest, the Cardinals' asking price is too high for the Orioles right now, a team source tells Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter)

2:35pm: The Cardinals are actively shopping versatile righthander Kyle McClellan, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Moving McClellan would allow the club to alleviate a logjam in their bullpen and give them the payroll flexibility to a sign a free agent starting pitcher.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals are looking to clear money in order to sign Roy Oswalt, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  It was rumored this week that St. Louis was near a deal with the veteran but Morosi stresses that there's no deal in place just yet.

General Manager John Mozeliak recently conceded that the club could possibly deal McClellan but believes it more likely that the he will be with the Cardinals when pitchers and catchers report on February 18th.  The Cardinals have attempted to engage a number of clubs in talks for McClellan and the Orioles have emerged as one of the most promising trade partners for him, according to Strauss' industry sources.

The Padres and Diamondbacks are also among the teams that have expressed interest in McClellan.