Livan Hernandez Rumors
Let's take a look around baseball's Eastern divisions:
- Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis discussed his 2013 struggles with MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko. "With my strength not being where it was, I was having to make adjustments I've never really had to try before," Markakis, who hit .271/.329/.356 last year, said. The left-handed hitter is considered a strong candidate to lead off in 2014, according to Kubatko, but hasn't discussed the issue with manager Buck Showalter.
- Though he'll never again suit up for the Nationals as a player, having retired, Livan Hernandez says he's 99 percent sure he'll be taking a job with the team. Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Hernandez said on Saturday at the club's NatsFest event that he'd like a position that would allow him to work with Washington's pitchers. GM Mike Rizzo confirmed that the team is interested in bringing Hernandez into the fold.
- Nats ace Stephen Strasburg says he's fully recovered from arthroscopic surgery that removed bone chips from his throwing elbow, Ladson writes. While Strasburg managed 30 starts last season, the big right-hander revealed that he often struggled to straighten out his arm after games and during bullpen sessions.
Seventeen years ago today, Cuban defector Livan Hernandez inked a four-year, $4.5MM contract with the Marlins, which included a record $2.5MM signing bonus. Hernandez made his Major League debut just eight months later as a September call-up. Hernandez was instrumental in the Marlins' 1997 World Series title run earning NLCS MVP honors and being named the MVP of the Fall Classic after winning both of his starts against the Indians. Hernandez has found steady employment ever since donning the uniform of the Giants, Expos, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Twins, Rockies, Mets, Nationals (again), Braves, and Brewers. The 37-year-old right-hander pitched for the latter two clubs in 2012 compiling a 6.42 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, and 2.0 HR/9 in 67 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. The Praver/Shapiro client has said he wants to pitch in 2013. In other other news involving MLB's Florida teams:
- The Marlins have no interest in re-signing first baseman Carlos Lee despite concerns about the health of Logan Morrison, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Morrison, recovering from right knee surgery, isn't expected to begin running until a week into Spring Training.
- The Marlins are one of several teams in talks with free agent reliever Matt Capps, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
- Within the same piece, Jackson writes the Marlins are expected to sign Austin Kearns. Clark Spencer, Jackson's colleague at the Herald, adds the deal includes an invitation to Spring Training. Kearns spent 2012 in Miami posting a slash line of .245/.366/.367 in 175 plate appearances while playing both corner outfield positions, first base, and serving as DH in interleague play and as the team's primary right-handed pinch hitter.
- Jackson also writes Marlins owner Jeffery Loria has told team president David Samson he can no longer do interviews. This comes in the wake of Loria banning Samson from doing his radio show. Jackson opines this is a mistake because Samson has made himself more accountable and accessible than many team presidents, even amid unpopular decisions made solely by Loria, who, Jackson adds, has refused to speak to the media since mid-November.
The Rays will hold their annual development camp this week for 31 of their top prospects. One point of emphasis will be baseball's drug policy in the wake of the organization seeing six of their minor leaguers receive 50-game suspensions in 2012, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "It stunk, very disappointing," Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics said of the suspensions. "We spend as much time on the education of 'Do's and Don'ts' and derailers as much as we do hitting or pitching or throwing. It was very disappointing, there's no getting around it."
Condolences go out to the family and friends of former Major League utility man Ryan Freel. The 36-year-old was found dead at his home today after taking his own life according to Chad Cushnir of First Coast News and MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Freel spent most of his career with the Reds, though he also suited up for the Blue Jays, Royals, Cubs, and Orioles.
Here's the latest from around the league as Saturday turns into Sunday...
- Livan Hernandez told MLB.com's Bill Ladson that he plans to play in 2013 (Twitter link). The 37-year-old right-hander posted a 6.42 ERA in 67 1/3 relief innings for the Braves and Brewers last season.
- Jason Grilli will take over as closer for the Pirates following the Joel Hanrahan trade according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). Heyman notes the right-hander does not have any bonuses based on games finished in his new contract.
- Nick Swisher is giving "serious consideration" to the four-year, $52MM offer from the Indians according to ESPN's Jim Bowden (on Twitter). The switch-hitting outfielder prefers the Dodgers, Angels, or Yankees though.
- The Phillies, Braves, Mets, and Yankees are among the teams still in play for Scott Hairston, reports Heyman (on Twitter). Heyman says the Yankees may be at a disadvantage because they already have three starting outfielders.
- In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney says the Rangers should not overreact and drastically alter their plan after failing to land several top targets this offseason.
We'll track the day's minor moves here...
- Outfielder Brett Carroll and catcher Carlos Maldonado also elected free agency, Matt Eddy reports (on Twitter). Carroll appeared in five games for the Nationals this past season and Maldonado appeared in four.
- Catcher Rob Johnson is a free agent after being removed from the Mets' 40-man roster, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. Johnson, 30, appeared in 17 games for the Mets this year plus 45 contests for their Triple-A affiliate.
- Orioles catcher Ronny Paulino and left-hander Dana Eveland also elected free agency, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (Twitter links). Eveland appeared in 14 games for the Orioles, posting a 4.73 ERA, and Paulino appeared in 20 games.
- Yankees left-hander Justin Thomas also elected free agency, according to Eddy. The Yankees outrighted Thomas to Triple-A earlier in the month.
- Blue Jays reliever Juan Abreu has also elected free agency, Eddy reports. Abreu posted a 6.80 ERA in 42 minor league relief outings this past season.
- The Brewers announced that Livan Hernandez and Yorvit Torrealba elected free agency after refusing outright assignments to Triple-A. The moves are procedural, as Hernandez and Torrealba were expected to hit free agency.
The Brewers announced that they designated infielder Edwin Maysonet and left-hander Juan Perez for assignment. The moves create roster space for Livan Hernandez, who's now officially a Brewer, and Cesar Izturis, who has been activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Maysonet, 30, appeared in 30 games for the Brewers this year, posting a .250/.297/.350 batting line in 66 plate appearances and playing shortstop, second and third base. Perez, 33, has appeared in ten games for this year's Brewers team and ten games for the organization's Triple-A affiliate.
The Brewers agreed to sign right-hander Livan Hernandez, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The Brewers could use help in the bullpen, and their rotation is thinning out now that Shaun Marcum could join starters Chris Narveson and Marco Estrada on the disabled list.
The Braves released Hernandez three days ago after calling other teams about possible trade scenarios. Hernandez signed a Major League deal with the Braves in March, not long after the Astros released him. The Praver/Shapiro client posted a 4.94 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 31 innings out of the bullpen for Atlanta.
The Braves removed the 37-year-old from their roster on Friday after calling other teams about possible trade scenarios. Hernandez signed a Major League deal with the Braves in March, not long after the Astros released him. The Praver/Shapiro client posted a 4.94 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 31 innings out of the bullpen for Atlanta.
Manny Ramirez is a free agent after being cut loose by the Athletics and says that he wants to continue playing, but it's not clear where he might get the major league opportunity that he's seeking. The Rockies don't have any need for Manny, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post. Orioles GM Dan Duquette, who brought Ramirez to Boston, told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) that he has no interest in signing him. Unsurprisingly, the Dodgers aren't interested in bringing Mannywood back to Chavez Ravine, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Here's more from around baseball..
- Scouts from around baseball aren't terribly hot on Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, writes Cafardo. "He’s been an outstanding hitter in this league for a long time. But given some of the injuries, he’s got to show that he’s completely healthy and that he can still be the same hitter he was," a veteran scout said.
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti says that the trade market is still not clear, tweets Jordian Bastian of MLB.com. There are more buyers than sellers but the team will look at bats and arms as the market develops.
- Pitcher Livan Hernandez doesn't plan on retiring after being DFA'd by the Braves yesterday, writes Mark Bowman of MLB.com. The 37-year-old posted a 4.94 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 31 innings out of the bullpen for Atlanta.
The Braves now have ten days to trade Hernandez, release him, or, if he consents, assign him to the minor leagues. The team had been calling around trying to move Hernandez, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Hernandez, 37, signed a Major League deal with the Braves in March, not long after the Astros released him. He posted a 4.94 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 31 innings out of the bullpen for Atlanta.
2:25pm: The deal guarantees Hernandez $750K, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.
1:56pm: The Braves will sign Livan Hernandez, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The agreement, a one-year Major League deal, comes hours after the Astros released the veteran right-hander. The Braves have announced the signing.
Even with Tim Hudson sidelined on the disabled list, it seemed as though the Braves would have more than enough starting pitching this year. However, neither Randall Delgado nor Julio Teheran seized the fifth starter's job.
Hernandez posted a 4.47 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 42.4% ground ball rate in 175 1/3 innings for the 2011 Nationals. The 37-year-old Praver/Shapiro client has averaged 216 innings and a 4.44 ERA since 1998, his first full season as a big league starter, and has completed at least 175 innings in each of the past 14 seasons. He earned $1.25MM in 2011.