Lance Cormier Rumors

Rays Sign Lance Cormier

The Rays signed Lance Cormier to a minor league deal, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter). The Rays also released Triple-A right-hander Edgar Gonzalez, according to the Tampa Tribune (on Twitter). Back in May, the Dodgers designated Cormier for assignment and they appear to have released him since.

The 30-year-old right-hander pitched 13 2/3 innings for the Dodgers this year and posted a 9.88 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. Cormier, an eight-year veteran, has a 5.07 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 over the course of 290 big league appearances, mostly in relief. His 63.8% ground ball rate places him 12th among relievers with at least ten innings pitched (Cormier's career mark is 51.6%).

Gonzalez has Major League experience in parts of seven seasons, but hasn't appeared with an MLB team since he suited up for the '09 Athletics. The 28-year-old had a 3.72 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.6  BB/9 in 48 1/3 innings as a starter for the Durham Bulls.

Dodgers Designate Lance Cormier For Assignment

The Dodgers designated Lance Cormier for assignment to create roster space for Rubby De La Rosa, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times (on Twitter). Cormier signed a minor league deal worth $1.2MM in February.

The 30-year-old right-hander pitched 13 2/3 innings for the Dodgersthis yearand posted a 9.88 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. Cormier, an eight-year veteran, has a 5.07 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 over the course of 290 big league appearances, mostly in relief. His 63.8% ground ball rate places him tenth among relievers with at least ten innings pitched (Cormier's career mark is 51.6%).

De La Rosa, 22, has a 2.92 ERA with 11.7 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 at Double-A this year. Before the season, the right-hander placed third on Baseball America's list of top Dodgers prospects and 90th in all of baseball.

Dodgers Sign Lance Cormier

The Dodgers signed Lance Cormier to a minor league deal, the team announced (on Twitter).

The 30-year-old right-hander logged 62 innings for the Rays last year in his second campaign in Tampa Bay. He posted a 3.92 ERA despite walking more batters (34) than he struck out (30). Cormier's FIP (5.22) and xFIP (5.21) suggest he was lucky last year. However, he posted a strong 49.8 % ground ball rate in 2010, just below his career mark or 51.1%.

American League Non-Tenders

This post will list all the American League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.

Odds & Ends: Ross, Hale, Daniels, Mets, Coaches

Some links to check out as Cody Ross attempts to follow up yesterday's two-home run performance and the Phillies look to even the score…

GM Initiation: Josh Byrnes

We're kicking off a new series here at MLBTR called GM Initiation.  Each post in the series will look at a general manager's first trade.

Josh Byrnes was hired as Diamondbacks GM on October 28th, 2005.  His first deal came on December 7th at the Winter Meetings.  Byrnes and Braves GM John Schuerholz agreed on a deal to send catcher Johnny Estrada to Arizona for relievers Oscar Villarreal and Lance Cormier.  Estrada went on to have a solid '06 campaign for the D'Backs and was used in a trade to acquire Doug Davis after the season.  Both relievers pitched two seasons for Atlanta, with Villarreal posting better numbers.

Byrnes was kind enough to answer a few questions about his first trade.

MLB Trade Rumors: 2005 marked your first Winter Meetings as a general manager.  How would you describe the experience?

Josh Byrnes: The 2005 Winter Meetings were busy. We were exploring many trades to reshape the roster. It was our first time together as a larger group in that type of setting.

MLBTR: Did you enter the '05 Meetings intent on acquiring a starting catcher?  About how many different catchers were you seriously considering?

Byrnes: We were trying to improve in the middle of the field. Later that month, we acquired Orlando Hudson, Eric Byrnes and Chris Young. Estrada was the catcher who made the most sense at the time.

MLBTR: What kind of relationship did you have with Braves GM John Schuerholz prior to the Estrada deal?  How long did it take to put the trade together?

Byrnes: I knew John a little bit. The trade came together fairly quickly. We had a few discussions at the meetings and agreed after a few conversations.

MLBTR: Does the Estrada trade hold significance for you, since it was your first acquisition?  Is the significance diminished because you were such an active trader that month?

Byrnes: I said at the time that the deal carried some significance to me because we did it with John. Certainly, he is one the best (if not the best) GM’s of all time. He is also very passionate about the game and the industry, so it is memorable to have made my first trade with John.

Players Tendered Contracts

Midnight ET is the non-tender deadline, so we'll keep track of all the players who are offered and/or agreed to contracts today in this post. Keep coming back throughout the day for updates.

Rays, Red Sox Talking Blockbusters With Tribe

4:33pm: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hear that the Rays may be shying away from a blockbuster deal. They're 5.0 games behind Boston in the Wild Card race, so their next two games against the Yankees could determine the team's direction.

If the Rays are discouraged after the Yankees series, they could make Dan Wheeler, Chad Bradford, Grant Balfour, Joe Nelson and Lance Cormier available, according to the FOX Sports source.

12:59pm: The Rays have shopped Scott Kazmir to the Mets and Rangers, according to Joel Sherman. The Rangers turned down an offer from the Rays and the Mets just had initial interest. The Rays would consider dealing Kazmir, Carlos Pena and even Carl Crawford to free up enough salary to make a blockbuster deal for Martinez and Lee.

The Rays still have interest in Halladay.

TUESDAY, 11:16am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has more dish on the idea of a team acquiring both Lee and V-Mart in a blockbuster trade.  The idea has been considered in Cleveland but is considered very unlikely due to the magnitude of prospects required.  While the Red Sox could technically pull it off, the Rays wouldn't have the payroll space.

MONDAY, 4:35pm: Ed Price of AOL FanHouse hears the Rays are still "in on" V-Mart and Lee. There's still a chance that they'll trade Scott Kazmir to the Angels, too.

1:35pm: The Rays and Red Sox are each discussing blockbuster deals with the Indians for both Cliff Lee and Victor Martinezaccording to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Here are the details and the rest of Sherman's rumors:

  • The Rays would deal Wade Davis, but the Red Sox are hesitant to deal Clay Buchholz.
  • The Phillies, Brewers and Rangers have interest in Lee and the Giants have interest in V-Mart.  
  • One executive is "1,000%" confident the Indians will move Lee and Martinez to free up money.
  • An AL executive says the Phillies will acquire Lee, Roy Halladay or Jarrod Washburn by Friday afternoon.
  • The Padres may be more willing to deal Heath Bell than expected. As one official says, Bell will be an expensive closer on a bad team if the Padres don't trade him.   
  • The Yankees have been interested in Bell, whose value is higher than ever. 

Rosenthal On Matthews, Thomas, Hammel, Niemann

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new column…

  • The Angels attempted to sell the Reds on Gary Matthews Jr., but it was a one-sided discussion. The Reds have no desire to trade Bronson Arroyo or Aaron Harang for Matthews.  Angels GM Tony Reagins told Rosenthal, "We haven't had much discussions with respect to trades and trade possibilities."   UPDATE: Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay he hasn't talked to the Angels since the Winter Meetings.
  • Free agent DH Frank Thomas is still waiting for an offer.  He intends to delay a decision about retirement until at least the All-Star break.  My thought – his situation just got a bit tougher with Gary Sheffield becoming available.
  • Rosenthal says the Rays could keep both Jason Hammel and Jeff Niemann and cut Lance Cormier, if trade offers for the first two aren't acceptable.  Rosenthal adds the Rangers, Nationals, and Indians to the already known suitors (Padres, Pirates, and Rockies).  He names the Brewers as "yet another possibility."  Rosenthal says the Angels attempted to acquire Niemann a year ago but learned from Reagins that they're not actively looking for pitching.
  • The Phillies ate Adam Eaton's contract, but team president David Montgomery is unwilling to do the same to make Geoff Jenkins go away. 
  • Rosenthal says the offers received for Rockies infielder Jeff Baker "have not been enticing."  They may elect to keep him.

Rays Sign Lance Cormier

According to Marc Topkin, the Rays signed pitcher Lance Cormier to a $675K deal.  They designated Dewon Day for assignment to make room.  Cormier, 28, posted a 4.02 ERA in 71.6 innings for the Orioles in ’08.  He did a fine job getting groundballs.  Cork Gaines offers thoughts on the signing over at Rays Index.