Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Rumors
The latest minor moves...
- The Rangers plan to purchase the contract of lefty reliever Neal Cotts if tonight's game is played, tweets Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest. The 33-year-old hasn't seen big league action since 2009, but he's been dominant in 23 Triple-A innings this year. The Rangers already have an open spot on their 40-man roster for him.
- The Hanshin Tigers have a basic agreement with righty reliever Blaine Boyer, according to Sanspo (via Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker). Boyer, 31, pitched 15 relief innings for the Royals' Triple-A affiliate before exercising his out clause to pursue the opportunity in Japan.
- The Mariners signed 17-year-old Brazilian righty Daniel Missaki, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Badler notes that he was the youngest player in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
- The Athletics announced that first baseman Daric Barton cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A, after he was designated for assignment Saturday to open a spot for Chris Young. He's earning $1.1MM this year, which may have limited interest. Barton led the American League in walks as a 24-year-old in 2010, but has battled injuries since. He's still a walk machine at Triple-A, though, with a .422 OBP through 128 plate appearances.
- The Angels outrighted outfielder Scott Cousins to Triple-A yesterday, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Cousins had been designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for Chris Nelson.
- The Yankees outrighted infielder Alberto Gonzalez to Triple-A yesterday, according to the International League transactions page. Gonzalez had been designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for Reid Brignac.
- Three players currently reside in DFA limbo: Jon Rauch of the Marlins, Derek Lowe of the Rangers, and Michael Bowden of the Cubs. Rauch and Lowe figure to be released by their clubs in the coming days, while Bowden will have to decide whether to accept an outright assignment if he clears waivers.
We'll keep tabs on any and all minor moves right here:
- Angels right-hander Barry Enright has cleared waivers and been assigned to the club's Triple-A affiliate, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Enright, 27, was designated for assignment on Thursday after struggling to a 12.96 ERA over two starts and two relief appearances for the Halos.
- To make room for Enright on the Triple-A Salt Lake roster, Bill Hall was released, tweeted Bees' radio broadcaster Steve Klauke. Hall produced a meager slash of .164/.282/.233 in 85 plate appearances for Salt Lake. Hall last saw MLB action in 2012 with the Orioles going two-for-nine with one home run in 14 plate appearances.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
The impending return of Franklin Gutierrez from the disabled list could lead the Mariners to designate Endy Chavez for assignment, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes. The M's have no plans to carry six outfielders, and Baker thinks they won't drop Jason Bay or Raul Ibanez, since they've been hitting well. That leaves Chavez without a chair. Chavez has hit .282/.288/.310 so far this season. Here are more notes from the two West divisions.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane are in Chapel Hill today to watch a draft prospect, Mark Berman of FOX 26 reports (on Twitter). That would likely be UNC third baseman Colin Moran, who the Astros could be considering selecting with the top overall pick.
- The Angels could form a good team of players they've traded, let go or left unsigned, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times argues. That includes Matt Harvey, who rejected their $1MM offer and went to UNC after the Angels drafted him in the third round in 2007. DiGiovanna writes that Harvey, Patrick Corbin, Zack Greinke, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren would form a very strong non-Angels rotation. The Angels' 15-27 record naturally leads to second-guessing.
- Dodgers president Stan Kasten says he assumes Don Mattingly will remain the team's manager for the rest of the season, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports. Nonetheless, Kasten doesn't exactly offer a ringing endorsement of Mattingly. "I assume so because I assume we're going to play the rest of the year even better than we've played so far and I like the way the ballclub is set up," Kasten says. The Dodgers are currently 17-23.
- Kasten sounds more enthusiastic about about the Dodgers' international scouting efforts. "With this recent group of hirings, we made sure to cover not just Japan and not just the Dominican Republic, but also more in Venezuela and even other countries in South America," Kasten says, noting that the Dodgers are also hunting for talent throughout Europe. Hernandez reports that the Dodgers are also planning to renovate their Dominican facility.
The Angels have claimed infielder Chris Nelson off waivers from the Yankees and designated outfielder Scott Cousins for assignment, the Angels report (on Twitter). The Yankees designated Nelson for assignment two days ago.
Nelson hit .222/.243/.278 in ten games with the Yankees, who acquired him for a PTBNL or cash two weeks ago after the Rockies designated him for assignment. He was the ninth overall pick in the 2004 Draft.
Cousins has hit .179/.230/.285 in 179 career at bats with the Marlins and Angels. He had appeared in seven games with the Angels so far this year, but received only five plate appearances.
The Angels have designated right-hander Barry Enright for assignment, according to Angels manager of communications Eric Kay (via Twitter). In corresponding moves, the Angels have also selected the contract of right-hander Billy Buckner and called up righty Ryan Brasier, while southpaw Michael Roth has been optioned to Triple-A.
Enright, 27, was acquired by the Halos in a trade with the Diamondbacks last July. Enright made 17 starts in his 2010 rookie season but has since struggled to stick in the Major Leagues. Enright has appeared in just 14 games since the start of the 2011 season, and he posted a 12.96 ERA in four games (two of them starts) with the Angels this year.
As Jean Segura thrives for the Brewers after coming up in the Angels' system, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that he may become a cautionary tale for other clubs who make deals for rentals. The current CBA disallows clubs from making a qualifying offer to free agents they acquired during the just-completed season. That meant that the Halos couldn’t offer Zack Greinke a one-year, $13.3MM deal and, consequently, gained no compensation when he was inked by the Dodgers. When all was said and done, the Angels traded Segura for just 13 starts from Greinke. Here's more out of the AL and NL West..
- The Angels may be struggling, but owner Arte Moreno says that manager Mike Scioscia's job is safe, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Outside of MLB's headquarters in New York, Moreno told Morosi that there is "zero" chance right now that the skipper will lose his job. The owner acknowledged the team's struggles but cited Scioscia's body of work across 14 seasons.
- Moreno also said that he loved having Torii Hunter on the team and would have liked to bring him back. “I thought we were going to get a one-year deal, but we didn’t get it done,” said Moreno. Hunter wound up inking a two-year, $26MM pact with the Tigers over the offseason.
- The owner asserts that he has no regrets about allocating a great deal of his payroll to Albert Pujols. The slugger has hit just .276/.338./496 since signing a ten-year, $240MM deal with the club.
The Yankees and Dodgers are the two most expensive teams in baseball and similarly beset with injuries, but things couldn't be more opposite in terms of results, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Bombers have a big chunk of their payroll on the disabled list but the understudies are doing so well that one American League scout quipped, “Do they really want those injured guys [Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, and Mark Teixeira] back?” Meanwhile, the Dodgers have not been able to overcome injuries to pitchers Zack Greinke and Chad Billingsley and shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Here's more from today's column..
- There’s always a lot of talk about Cliff Lee being trade bait if the Phillies slip, but one team insider said, “Every time I hear a Lee rumor, I don’t believe it. Don’t think we’d be that dumb unless what we got back in return was so overwhelming that we’d be dumb to pass it up. Will that happen? My gut is it won’t.”
- Angels skipper Mike Scioscia was once considered invincible, but the club's struggles have many saying that his job is in jeopardy. One Angels exec doesn't see a shakeup coming anytime soon, saying, “I doubt it. It’s Mike Scioscia. Did he get dumb all of a sudden? Or do we have a few issues with our pitching and a couple of our big hitters?”
- Left-hander Neal Cotts had a streak of 14 and 1/3 scoreless innings for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate and has retired 21 of the last 22 batters he’s faced. Cotts, who has completely shut down lefthanded batters, could be had, as the Rangers don't have room for him on the big league roster and have a team policy that they will let go of players in that position.
One scout is hoping to bring baseball to Africa, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. White Sox scout John Tumminia has worked to provide baseball supplies to impoverished children around the world, and Kenya is this year's target. Commissioner Bud Selig has raised baseball's profile internationally in recent years with events like the World Baseball Classic and increasing amounts of players from South America and Europe. Also, this year the MLB will host camps in African nations of Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa, tweets Diamondbacks European scout Rene Saggiadi. Here tonight's look around the rest of the baaseball world...
- Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray has climbed all the way to the top of Baseball America's (subscription required) draft prospect rankings. Some see parallels between Gray's steady rise in the scouting world, to that of Stephen Strasburg in the 2009 draft. Boras Corporation advisees take the next two spots, with Stanford right-hander Mark Appel and San Diego third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant ranking No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
- Dan Haren empathizes with the Angels and their 12-22 start, reports Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Haren signed with the Nationals after the Angels declined a club option for the right-hander last winter following an up-and-down year in 2012. Haren understands what if feels like to endure a rough stretch to the season, but added "If they would have kept the team together and rolled it over into this year, I guarantee that team would have played really good baseball."
- Former Major Leaguer Akinori Otsuka is attempting a comeback, tweets Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. The 41-year-old right-hander intends to pitch for the Grand Serows team of the Japanese independent BC League. Otsuka's last pitched appeared in the majors in 2007 with the Rangers. The former set-up man pitched to a 2.44 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 over his four big league seasons.
Max Fogle contributed to this post.
Here are a few notes from the American League ...
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto tells Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that his squad is simply "not good right now." He notes that, with so much going wrong, "it's awfully hard to look at one area or one person and say, that's the cure." After investing huge money in Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, the club was only able to afford a pitching corps that sits near the bottom of the league in all of the major, comprehensive pitching statistics. And, of course, neither Pujols nor Hamilton has performed as expected. The team admittedly entered the year "thin after the 25-man team and the 12-man staff," according to Dipoto, and that lack of depth was tested so much that the team was forced "to start drilling for oil." Now, in a comment that Heyman describes as being "perhaps ominous," Dipoto says that the team is left waiting to see what happens as players come back from the DL: "As we get healthy, we'll have a better chance to assess where we are."
- So far, the best free agent signing of 2013 has been the unexpected Mark Reynolds, tweets Scott Merkin of MLB.com. Indeed, Reynolds is tearing the cover off of the ball for the Indians. After tonight's game, he sports a .291/.367/.645 slash with eleven home runs, which he has accomplished in part by lowering his strikeout rate to a level (25.0%) that is well below his career average (32.3%). Whether or not he keeps up this pace, he appears very likely to substantially outperform his one-year, $6MM deal. Certainly, the Orioles are likely regretting the decision to non-tender Reynolds, who would be an unquestioned upgrade at the club's disastrous DH spot.
- Pitcher Colby Lewis of the Rangers, a prospective 2014 free agent, began his rehab assignment this evening with a two-inning appearance in Triple-A. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter), Lewis stretched his 45-pitch limit over just two innings as he labored through a 32-pitch second and ultimately let in three runs. As MLBTR's Steve Adams recently explained, Lewis could earn himself a multi-year contract if he shows teams that his past durability can be counted on once more going forward. In an injury-shortened 2012, the 32-year-old Lewis put up a 3.43 ERA over 105 innings and registered 8.0 K/9 against just 1.2 BB/9.
As the season is now over one-fifth of the way through, the likely trade deadline buyers and sellers are becoming more clear. Likewise, analysis is beginning to increase of the development of the market. Let's take a quick look around some recent commentary:
- The starting pitching trade market promises to be deep, but will likely lack impact, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman analalyzes the potentially available starters by likelihood of a trade. His top three are Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins, Bud Norris of the Astros, and Scott Feldman of the Cubs. Other notable arms include Josh Johnson of the Blue Jays (sixth on Heyman's list), Cliff Lee of the Phillies (twelfth), David Price of the Rays (thirteenth), Jake Peavy of the White Sox (fourteenth), R.A. Dickey of the Blue Jays (fifteenth), and Edwin Jackson of the Cubs (twentieth).
- Some possible trade targets may have the right to decline a trade, of course. Wendy Thurm of Fangraphs breaks down the no-trade clauses that may come into play as the trade market heats up. Cliff Lee and Chase Utley of the Phillies each could be moved despite their twenty-one-team list of teams to which they can decline a trade. Likewise, Jimmy Rollins (full no-trade) and Jonathan Papelbon (twelve-team no-trade) could be possible targets. Howie Kendrick could be the member of the Angels most likely to be dealt, in spite of a floating, limited no-trade clause that allows him to decline trades to twelve teams this year. Finally, Thurm notes that the Twins' Joe Mauer is perhaps the most attractive and most expensive potential trade target (however unlikely) who enjoys full no-trade protection.
- Of course, MLBTR has been providing its own original commentary on the upcoming trade market. For instance, have a look at the list of relief trade candidates and trade targets with team control.