Lance Cormier Rumors

Non-Tendered Players

2:01am: has the official list.

10:05pm: Here is a list of players who were non-tendered today, and therefore became free agents.

Odds and Ends: Howard, Cormier, Gerut

I am currently evaluating Phil Hughes‘ playlist.  Some of it is solid.  Let’s get on to the odds and ends…

  • Bill Conlin thinks it’s a mistake for the Phillies to pay Ryan Howard at a rate commensurate with his service time.  It’s a slippery slope – shouldn’t Cole Hamels be earning $15MM instead of $500K, then?  The system may be broken but it doesn’t make sense for the Phillies to start ignoring service time.
  • John Mozeliak is not done yet.  Meanwhile, Albert Pujols continued to direct his ire at KTVI-TV of St. Louis. 
  • The Orioles agreed to a minor league deal with 27 year-old righty Lance Cormier worth around $450K.  Cormier doesn’t have much to show for his 244 big league innings, whether starting or relieving.  He has a decent groundball rate, at least.
  • The Padres signed Jody Gerut to a minor league pact that could be worth as much as $910K.  He’s 30 now; his best season was an .830 OPS for Cleveland at age 25.  Since then he’s had all sorts of knee problems and even had a grievance with the Pirates.

Braves Deal Estrada For Cormier And Villarreal

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports continues to scoop the vast majority of trades going on at the Winter Meetings.  This time, he's telling us that the Braves sent Johnny Estrada to the Diamondbacks for Lance Cormier and Oscar Villarreal.

The Braves were dealing from a position of strength since Brian McCann is more than ready to take over full-time catching duty.  The 21 year-old skipped Triple A and held up nicely in 180 Major League at-bats this year.  He's not the defensive catcher that Estrada is, but he's not bad with the glove.  Estrada won a Silver Slugger award for catchers and was named to the All-Star team after his 2004, but is unlikely to approach that level offensively again.

Lance Cormier is a 25 year-old right-handed reliever.  He's been lousy through 124 Major League innings – 6.21 ERA, lots of homers, weak strikeout rate, and tons of baserunners allowed.  He showed potential with a nice run at Triple A Tucson in 2004.

Born in Mexico, Oscar Villarreal is a 24 year-old righty reliever.  Despite high walk totals, Villarreal had a spectacular 2003 in relief for the Diamondbacks, pitching 98 innings of 2.57 ERA ball.  He'll be representing Mexico in the World Baseball Classic in March if the Braves allow it.  Villarreal has suffered some major injuries in his career, undergoing nerve transposition surgery in his arm as well as suffering through rotator cuff problems and a strained hip flexor.

It'd be a stretch to say that this deal improves the Braves' bullpen, especially without Leo Mazzone there to work his magic on the two relievers.