Kyle McClellan Rumors
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...
- Kyle McClellan will not exercise the out clause in his minor league deal with the Rangers despite the fact that he might not pitch in a game for eight weeks, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. McClellan is on the shelf with a strained muscle in his rib cage but will remain with the Rangers as he rehabs from his injury.
- The Giants expect Yusmeiro Petit to accept his outright assignment to Triple-A Fresno, reports Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Petit was outrighted off the 40-man roster last night but can elect to become a free agent rather than accept the assignment.
- D-backs top prospect Tyler Skaggs was among the players optioned to Triple-A today, writes MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Skaggs was one of the players that Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic profiled in a piece that examines some of the roster decisions manager Kirk Gibson and GM Kevin Towers will be facing as Spring Training draws to a close.
- Angels backstop Hank Conger called today's signing of Chris Snyder "more motivation to come out and try to do my job," tweets MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. The Halos inked Snyder earlier today following his release from the Nationals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here. Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing. Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints. Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:
- The Cardinals avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle McClellan, tweets B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest. Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter) that the one-year deal is worth $2.5MM with incentives based on starts. MLBTR projected a $2.7MM for the Steve Comte client.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that the Padres and Chase Headley agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.475MM, avoiding arbitration. Earlier this evening, the Padres announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Gregerson, Edinson Volquez, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable. They also avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Joe Thatcher on a deal worth $700K, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. CAA announced catcher John Baker has signed for $750K. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported that the Padres reached agreements with Hundley, Chase Headley, and Tim Stauffer. Hundley will earn $2MM in 2012, MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets the salaries for Volquez ($2.2375MM), Venable ($1.475MM), Gregerson ($1.55MM)
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Matt Harrison, tweets Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. The ACES client gets $2.95MM on a one-year deal. MLBTR had projected a $2.9MM salary.
- The Cubs announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($1.375MM), Blake DeWitt ($1.1MM), Ian Stewart ($2.237MM) Chris Volstad ($2.655MM), and Randy Wells ($2.705MM). MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweeted the salary figures.
The Cardinals' bullpen includes righties Jason Motte, Fernando Salas, Mitchell Boggs, and Lance Lynn, as well as lefties Marc Rzepczynski and J.C. Romero. Our free agent tracker shows that Luis Ayala, Shawn Camp, Todd Coffey, Francisco Cordero, Brad Lidge, Scott Linebrink, Ryan Madson, Chad Qualls, Dan Wheeler, Kerry Wood, and Michael Wuertz are among the unsigned right-handed relievers.
McClellan, 27, posted a 4.19 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 1.33 HR/9, and 50.6% groundball rate in 141 2/3 innings last year, including 17 starts. Matt Swartz projects a $2.7MM salary through arbitration.
It seems like MLB teams, even good ones, are always on the hunt for starting pitching. The Tigers, Indians, Red Sox, Cardinals and Diamondbacks acquired starting pitching at the trade deadline and other contenders inquired on starters before moving on to other targets.
Quality starting pitching is scarce and expensive so teams sometimes convert relievers to the rotation in case they can add value as starters. Here's a look at the four converted relievers have who started extensively in 2011. None of the pitchers below had more than two MLB starts to his name before the 2011 season and all of them were big league relievers last year:
- Alexi Ogando, Rangers - What a find for the Rangers. Ogando has a 2.88 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 125 innings as a starter. The converted outfielder has averaged 94.8 mph with his fastball, but it's hard not to wonder if he'll tire toward the end of the season. Ogando's previous professional high in innings is 70 2/3.
- Phil Coke, Tigers - Coke lost his rotation spot midway through the season after posting a 4.91 ERA with 4.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 77 innings. The left-hander was solid in April and May, but put together a string of ugly outings in June and is now pitching out of the 'pen again.
- Kyle McClellan, Cardinals - McClellan, who replaced the injured Adam Wainwright, lost his rotation spot when St. Louis acquired Edwin Jackson. McClellan returns to the bullpen after posting a respectable 4.21 ERA in 104 2/3 innings from the rotation.
- Phil Humber, White Sox - The 28-year-old former third overall pick has a 3.44 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 117 2/3 innings. Though his last three starts haven't been pretty, Humber's emergence allowed the White Sox to part with Jackson last week.