LaTroy Hawkins Rumors
It's been a busy first day of the Winter Meetings at MLBTR, so let's use this opportunity to catch up on a few Monday items that may have slipped through the cracks...
- Todd Coffey is drawing interest from the Mets and Brewers, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Brew Crew haven't expressed any interest in bringing back another righty, LaTroy Hawkins, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (on Twitter).
- The Nationals may revisit their search for a center fielder after the non-tender deadline, so they can see if any bargain options hit the market, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- B.J. Upton is one center fielder who may be on the trade market, but Morosi hears interest in the Rays' speedster has been "mild" so far (Twitter link).
- GM Walt Jocketty suggested to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that extension talks between the Reds and Brandon Phillips may hinge on the number of years the club feels comfortable offering.
- Orioles infielder Robert Andino is drawing trade interest from teams who could use him as a starting shortstop, tweets MASN's Roch Kubatko.
- GM Dan Duquette said the Orioles have several "irons in the fire" and is optimistic about making at least one move during the Winter Meetings, says Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com.
- There are indications that the Mariners have talked to the Rockies about Seth Smith's availability, says MLB.com's Greg Johns.
- The Rockies are exploring trades for Ian Stewart and the Cubs have at least some interest, according to Renck (on Twitter).
- The Rockies have also inquired on free agent backstop Dioner Navarro as a potential backup (Twitter link). Navarro, 27, posted a .193/.276/.324 line in 202 plate appearances for the Dodgers in 2011. He hasn't posted an OPS over .600 since making the All-Star team as a member of the 2008 Rays.
- If the Rockies sign Hernandez, they would look to trade Chris Iannetta, according to Renck. Iannetta interests the Angels and other clubs have called about him in the past.
- The Rockies have called to inquire on free agents LaTroy Hawkins and Jonathan Broxton, Renck writes. Broxton will likely decide on his next team soon and Hawkins is drawing interest from multiple teams, according to Renck. Rafael Betancourt is set to become the closer if the Rockies trade Huston Street. Be sure to visit CloserNews.com for reliever-related fantasy news and analysis.
The latest on the Rockies from the Denver Post's Troy Renck:
- The Rockies continue to search for starting pitching via trade, having met with a few teams already. They probably won't match the asking prices for John Danks or Wandy Rodriguez, but they could target arms such as Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Jeff Niemann, and Wade Davis, if the Marlins and Rays are willing to deal.
- The club plans to tender Ian Stewart a contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be a Rockie in 2012. Multiple clubs have inquired on Stewart, and Colorado is listening.
- Grady Sizemore won't work out for the Rockies, but the team hopes to get a better read on his health when he visits the Steadman-Hawkins clinic in Vail, Colorado.
- The Rockies would have interest in LaTroy Hawkins if they opened up a spot for him by trading Huston Street.
The Brewers’ season is over and while GM Doug Melvin wishes his club were in the World Series, he’s proud of its accomplishments. "There's just too many good things that happened this year for me to be hanging my head,” he said, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Here are more details from today’s press conference via Haudricourt:
- Melvin and Brewers owner Mark Attanasio will meet in early November to discuss what kind of offer they can make free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
- The Brewers aren’t concerned about Shaun Marcum’s health, though the right-hander struggled in the postseason.
- Melvin said Yuniesky Betancourt was “a better player than what his critics said.” The Brewers have a $6MM option ($2MM buyout) for the shortstop in 2012 and Melvin declined to say whether they'll pick it up.
- Melvin explained that he would like to improve defensively without sacrificing on offense.
- He said the Brewers will seriously consider giving Mat Gamel a chance to make an impact in the Major Leagues if an opportunity emerges (i.e. Fielder signs elsewhere).
- The Brewers haven’t talked about moving Corey Hart to first base.
- Melvin said he’ll check in with free agents LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito. Francisco Rodriguez is likely to sign elsewhere, probably as a closer.
- Melvin said Casey McGehee can still be a good player, despite his disappointing 2011 campaign.
- Craig Counsell hasn’t told the Brewers whether he intends to play again next year, but it sounds as though Melvin would have some interest in re-signing him. Melvin also expects to speak to Jerry Hairston Jr. and his representative.
- Mitch Stetter, Manny Parra and Josh Wilson are non-tender candidates, as MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained this week.
Here are some items of note for Feb. 3, 2011, the day on which former AL Rookie of the Year and MVP Fred Lynn turned 59.
- The Indians are interested in free-agent righty Kevin Millwood, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer, but not at the current asking price of one year, $4-5MM. Cleveland is among the handful of potential Millwood suitors enumerated by Ben Nicholson-Smith earlier on Thursday. The Yankees are part of the group, too, and it stands to reason that Andy Pettitte's retirement might strengthen their interest, writes Chris Bahr of the Sporting News.
- The Red Sox's interest in trading for Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is telling because it indicates there is a belief among baseball executives and talent evaluators that Bautista's monstrous 54-homer campaign in 2010 was not a fluke, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. The Red Sox eventually got their man when they signed free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford, so Bautista-to-Boston is obviously off, notes Morosi, but it bodes well for Bautista in his final season before hitting free agency.
- Brewers reliever LaTroy Hawkins said that his surgically repaired shoulder feels good and that he'll compete for a spot in Milwaukee's bullpen, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Hawkins signed a two-year, $7.5MM deal with Milwaukee prior to last season but pitched in just 18 games before being lost to an injured labrum and rotator cuff. Hawkins has a guaranteed contract, so the Brewers will surely want him to be at full strength and pitching well, but it bears watching how they handle him if he struggles with injury and/or ineffectiveness.
As Nationals fans cross their fingers about Stephen Strasburg, here's some news from around the majors...
- Aaron Heilman is looking forward to his first taste of free agency, reports MLB.com's Andrew Pentis. Heilman said that he and his agent hadn't had any talks yet with the Diamondbacks about a new contract.
- Lyle Overbay thinks he has a chance of returning to the Blue Jays next season, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Given the Overbay trade rumors we've been hearing all year, this would certainly be a surprise, especially since the Jays have given Adam Lind a few starts at first recently.
- Carlos Delgado has been placed on the seven-day disabled list by the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, reports Sportsnet New York's Ben Wagner (via Twitter). Delgado is experiencing soreness in his back and left hip, not his twice-operated on right hip. The slugger signed a minor league contract with Boston on August 7.
- Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News thinks the Reds should "make signing Bronson Arroyo a priority," implies that 2010 is Ramon Hernandez's last year in Cincinnati and gives some other opinions in a fan mailbag.
- Was Khalil Greene the biggest loss for the Rangers this season? Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News thinks so, given the team's ongoing depth problems.
- Ricky Nolasco's contract extension talks with the Marlins may be on hold. Josh Friedman and Craig Mish of The Ticket 790AM radio report (via Twitter) that the Florida right-hander may miss the rest of the season with a partially-torn meniscus.
- Dontrelle Willis has been promoted to Triple-A Fresno, and Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News tweets that Willis is a candidate to join the Giants when the rosters expand on September 1.
- LaTroy Hawkins will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. It's unknown if the scope will reveal more severe damage, but Hawkins says he plans on pitching in 2011. Since signing a two-year, $7.5MM contract with Milwaukee last December, the injury-plagued Hawkins has made just 18 appearances for the Brewers, posting an 8.44 ERA.
We see it all the time. Most weeks a handful of players are designated for assignment and more often than not casual fans barely notice. A DFA indicates that a team is willing to part with a player - sometimes for nothing. But sometimes those players come back from DFAs to become stars in the major leagues. Here's a list of some current players who have been designated for assignment:
- David Aardsma - The Red Sox acquired Aardsma after the White Sox designated him for assignment in 2008. A year later, the Mariners traded for Aardsma, who became the team's closer and posted impressive rates of 10.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
- Mike Adams - Adams was designated for assignment in 2006, before he posted absurdly low ERAs and regularly struck out more than a batter per inning.
- Milton Bradley - The Padres acquired Bradley from the A's after Bradley was designated for assignment in 2007. Bradley hit .313/.414/.590 for the Padres and led them to a one game playoff with the Rockies for the Wild Card spot. Of course Bradley didn't play in game 163, since he tore his ACL while manager Bud Black restrained him during an on-field argument earlier in the month.
- Russell Branyan - No one claimed Branyan after his 2006 DFA, but the Cardinals traded for him when the Phillies designated him for assignment the next year. He didn't do much for the Cards in his 39 plate appearances in 2007, but Branyan rebounded to hit 31 homers for the Mariners in 2009.
- Marlon Byrd - The Nationals designated Byrd for assignment in 2006 without losing him and the Rangers did the same in 2007. Byrd recovered from his '07 demotion to post three consecutive productive seasons in Texas.
- Nelson Cruz - The Rangers designated Cruz for assignment at the beginning of the 2008 season - usually a good time to sneak players through waivers. The Rangers must be thrilled no one claimed Cruz, who hit 37 homers in the minors that year and added 33 in the majors the following season.
- Rajai Davis - The A's claimed the outfielder off of waivers from their Bay Area rivals in 2008. Davis was hitting .056/.105/.056 at the time, though he had batted just 19 times. He has gone on to become a useful player, hitting .305/.360/.423 last year with 41 steals and above average defense, according to UZR.
- Jorge de la Rosa - The Royals designated de la Rosa for assignment in March of 2008, but it wasn't until a month later that the Rockies traded for him. The 29-year-old free agent-to-be has been a productive starter in Colorado since.
- Ryan Franklin - The Reds acquired Franklin from the Phillies in 2006 after a poor start to the season. Franklin didn't do much better with the Reds, but he has been productive for three-plus seasons in St. Louis since.
- Jeremy Guthrie - The Orioles claimed the former first round pick from the Indians early in 2007, when Guthrie had just 37 big league innings and a 6.08 ERA to his name. Since, the righty has posted a 4.19 ERA in 610.1 innings.
- LaTroy Hawkins - The Yankees designated the reliever for assignment in 2008 and traded him to Houston, where Hawkins dominated for 24 appearances. He posted a 0.43 ERA along with 10.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9.
- Bobby Jenks - He has fallen out of favor with the White Sox now, but they deserve credit for picking him up after the 2004 season. Jenks has struck out three times as many batters as he has walked in 301 innings with the White Sox.
- Ryan Ludwick - The slugger started the 2005 season hitting just .154/.267/.385 so the Indians designated him for assignment. No one claimed Ludwick then, but the Cardinals made a shrewd pickup when they later signed him.
- Brandon Phillips - The Reds claimed Phillips after the Indians designated him for assignment in 2006. He had just a .206/.246/.310 big league line at the time, but he has averaged 22 homers and 26 steals in his four full seasons with the Reds. UZR rates the 28-year-old as an above average defender at second base, too.
- Joel Pineiro - The Red Sox designated Pineiro for assignment in 2007 when he had a 5.03 ERA and just 20 strikeouts to go along with 14 walks. Later that summer, the Cardinals acquired Pineiro and he went on to post 426.1 solid innings for the Cards. Under the tutelage of pitching coach Dave Duncan, Pineiro posted a walk rate of 1.6 BB/9 in a Cardinals uniform.
- Grant Balfour, Ryan Church, Jack Cust, Matt Diaz, Jerry Hairston Jr., Joel Hanrahan, Livan Hernandez, Mike Jacobs, Colby Lewis, Julio Lugo, Mike MacDougal, Evan Meek, Vicente Padilla, Scott Podsednik, J.C. Romero, David Ross, Brian Tallet, Todd Wellemeyer and Randy Wells are among the many big leaguers who have been designated for assignment.
It's worth noting that this group does not include a superstar (Cruz might be the closest thing to one). Teams designate many talented players for assignment because of roster constraints, but few enjoy as much success as the group above.
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the information.
Links for Wednesday...
- The Tigers signed lefty Brad Thomas out of Korea, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that they paid $1MM.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirmed our report of the Pirates' interest in Kelly Johnson, explaining that the Pirates view him as a corner outfield option.
- FanGraphs' Dave Cameron wonders why teams seem to undervalue Cliff Lee. In a related story, Lee's agent Darek Braunecker believes their position has been mischaracterized.
- ESPN's Buster Olney expects Jamey Carroll to choose between two-year offers from the A's and Dodgers, probably today (I mistakenly wrote the Angels earlier).
- Mentioned first on Twitter: I've heard that Coco Crisp would prefer a one-year deal with the Padres or A's.
- Boston's Mike Cameron signing was officially announced today. Michael Silverman and John Tomase of the Boston Herald have details on the two-year, $15.5MM contract. John Lackey's deal was also announced.
- WEEI's Alex Speier says the Red Sox told Jeremy Hermida they'd trade him if they re-signed Jason Bay. Speier wonders if the Cameron signing will prompt a Hermida deal.
- The Angels' one-year, $6.5MM deal with Hideki Matsui was also announced, as was John Buck's one-year, $2MM deal with Toronto and Ross Gload's two-year, $2.6MM deal with the Phillies.
- The Royals put out word they've re-signed outfielder Shane Costa to a minor league deal. Costa, 28, missed almost the entire '09 season with a leg injury.
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets details on LaTroy Hawkins' two-year, $7.5MM deal with the Brewers.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker examines the reports about reliever Ryota Igarashi, who might be headed to the Red Sox or Mets.
- The Mariners signed 19-year-old shortstop Pedro Okuda to a minor league deal, according to a team press release. Okuda was born and raised in Brazil but attended high school in Japan.
Time for another round of links...
- The Nats have "some" interest in Livan Hernandez, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The Red Sox "appear interested" in Mike Cameron, according to Joe McDonald of the Providence Journal.
- We know the Dodgers want pitching for Juan Pierre. Ned Colletti told SIRIUS XM radio that he'd accept a back-of-the-rotation pitcher, according to Diamond Leung.
- Jon Greenberg of ESPN.com takes a look at the influence technology has on the Winter Meetings. Within the article, a Cubs exec calls Tim Dierkes his hero, so it's worth a read for that line alone.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman says the Curtis Granderson acquisition doesn't mean the Yankees can't bring back Hideki Matsui or Johnny Damon, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
- Mike Scioscia told Lyle Spencer of MLB.com that the Angels would "definitely consider" Hideki Matsui.
- Padres manager Bud Black expects Adrian Gonzalez to return to the Padres in 2010, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Brewers met with Mark Mulder's representation today. He's also drawing interest from the Royals, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports that the Astros only offered LaTroy Hawkins a one-year deal, so he signed with the Brewers.
- The Orioles will meet with Aroldis Chapman's agents, though they remain "a longshot" to acquire the Cuban pitcher, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
- MLB.com's Lyle Spencer confirms that the Angels still have interest in Chapman.
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox have not spoken with Justin Duchscherer's agents since they met Sunday night. Apparently 11 teams are interested in Duchscherer.
- Keith Law of ESPN.com says it makes sense for the Yankees to keep bringing Andy Pettitte back on one-year deals. Law doesn't mind the Randy Wolf deal, either.
- There may come a time when the Cardinals have to force Matt Holliday's hand, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
6:53pm: Bob Nightengale of USA Today has the specifics: Hawkins gets $3MM next year, plus a $500K signing bonus. He makes $4MM in 2011 and can earn an extra $275K in incentives.
1:53pm: Hawkins' agency tweets that the pitcher received a two-year, $7.5MM deal. Hawkins was disappointed the Astros would not offer a second year. The D'Backs were also unwilling to go to two years.
9:48am: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets that the Brewers are looking at reliever LaTroy Hawkins. Bob Nightengale of USA Today does him one better, saying the Brewers are "moving fast" on Hawkins and "could sign him today."
Hawkins, 37 later this month, posted a 2.13 ERA in 63.3 innings for the Astros with a 6.4 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. He earned more than $3.5MM for this efforts.