Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Rumors
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.
Here's a look at the Angels and Dodgers as they look to turn things around..
Angels’ GM Jerry Dipoto is not likely to make any major changes to the club, despite the poor start to the season reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. “There is no move to make,” Dipoto said, “Our best talent, our best team, is here.” DiGiovanna agrees, citing the Angels’ weak farm system as an important difference from last season, when the Halos were able to promote an impact talent in Mike Trout.
- Though many outside the Angels organization have speculated on skipper Mike Scioscia's job security, Albert Pujols offered public support for his manager, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. Scioscia, signed through 2018, finds himself on the hot seat as his Angels have gotten off to a disappointing 11-21 record.
Earlier today, ESPN.com's Jim Bowden (Insider sub. req'd), gave his thoughts how to fix the two L.A. teams. Bowden argued that the Dodgers should focus on their future at this year’s trade deadline, speculating on a potential match with the Mets on an Andre Ethier deal. Meanwhile, Bowden suggested the Angels could look to improve their rotation by sending top hitting prospect C.J. Cron to the Rays in exchange for Jeremy Hellickson.
- Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press compares the early struggles of the Dodgers and Angels. Both Los Angeles teams have owners willing to spend money, but Dahlberg argues what both Los Angeles teams really need is a plan going forward.
Max Fogle contributed to this post.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of Mexican heritage, pride, and culture. The holiday traces its roots to the Battle of Puebla in 1862 where the undermanned Mexican army defeated the French, regarded as having the world's premier army at the time. More than 100 Mexican nationals have played Major League baseball, including Cardinals' lefty Jaime Garcia and Brewers' righty Marco Estrada. The pair squared off against each other at Miller Park this afternoon in the first-ever matchup between two Mexican-born starting pitchers on Cinco de Mayo and the 37th such meeting overall (per the Brewers via the Elias Sports Bureau). Garcia was masterful scattering eight hits across eight innings in the Cardinals' 10-1 victory. Estrada, meanwhile, channelled the French army allowing eight runs and six hits while issuing a career-high five walks (two with the bases loaded). Adding insult to injury, Chorizo lost the Sausage Race (h/t Adam McCalvy of MLB.com via Twitter). Por otras partes en béisbol:
- Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com believes Angels manager Mike Scioscia needs a fresh start and proposes the Dodgers as the most obvious possibility. Rosenthal notes owner Artie Moreno would recoil at the idea of Scioscia managing the crosstown rivals, but the Angels would be better for it if they could obtain a significant player or two in a John Farrell-style trade.
- Indians outfielder Michael Brantley hasn't heard anything about contract negotiations and that's by design, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes. "Once the season starts, it's time for me to concentrate on baseball," Brantley said. "I don't need distractions like that. If my agents have anything going on, they'll get in touch with me."
- The Astros have dropped Erik Bedard from the starting rotation and need a starter for Friday's game against the Rangers. MLB.com's Brian McTaggart doesn't sense the Astros are in a rush to start the service clock of top prospect Jarred Cosart, who is 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA and 9.5 K/9 in 27 1/3 innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City. Cosart's next scheduled start is tomorrow night.
- Cubs manager Dale Sveum told reporters, including Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald, Carlos Marmol's status remains unchanged a day after he failed to retire any of the three batters he faced (two walks and one HBP). "Obviously he had a bad outing and couldn’t throw strikes," said Sveum. "Like I said he’s one of the seven guys, and he’s got to pitch, and we’ll get him back out there in some fashion. You can’t hide people. They have to pitch." Marmol pitched a perfect sixth inning today.
- Matt Garza will pitch his second minor league rehab start tomorrow for Triple-A Iowa, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. Garza, number seven on MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings, is scheduled to throw three innings.
Here's a look at the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- Chase Headley is probably going to be traded by the July 31st deadline. The Padres plan to spend the next two months determining whether they can lock up the third baseman long term, but there are two problems with that. For starters, Headley says he doesn't want to talk about a new deal during the season. Secondly, it would be surprising to see San Diego crack $100MM to keep him. Headley probably wants a better hitting environment and to play for a better team. Meanwhile, there's no shortage of teams that would like to add him as Rosenthal says there could be at least a dozen clubs in the market for a third baseman, including the Dodgers, Cubs, and White Sox.
- If Mike Napoli stays healthy and continues producing, the Red Sox first baseman will build his case for a multi-year deal in free agency. Of course, Boston reduced their three-year offer to Napoli to one-year after learning he had a condition in both hips. However, he's taking MRIs every three months to keep tabs on it and if the tests show that his condition is improved or stable, a team might be willing to extend a longer offer, especially since he's playing first base rather than catcher.
- Josh Johnson is the Blue Jays' most obvious trade candidate but if the season becomes a train wreck, they'll have the ability to move virtually any player. Jose Reyes is the only player signed beyond 2015 while most players on multi-year deals are signed at affordable prices and no one has a no-trade clause. Brandon Morrow might be an interesting name as the club has lots of young pitching coming. Of course, the Blue Jays have to fall out of things before considering such a move.
- It's bad enough for the Angels that shortstop Jean Segura is blossoming into a star elsewhere, but they've also traded away an entire rotation's worth of talent in recent years. The Halos sent Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs to Arizona for Dan Haren, Donn Roach to San Diego for Ernesto Frieri, and Johnny Hellweg to Milwaukee in the Zack Greinke deal. On top of that, the Angels weakened their farm system by giving up their first and second round picks last year for Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson and their first round pick this year to ink Josh Hamilton. Their top pick last year was No. 114, this year it'll be No. 59.
Here's your daily rundown of minor transactions throughout the league...
- The Angels have signed right-hander Josh Judy to a minor league contract, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The 27-year-old totaled 14 innings for the Indians in 2011 but allowed 11 runs with 10 strikeouts and four walks. Judy, who had been pitching for the independent Atlantic League's York Revolution, has a 3.53 ERA, 10.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 329 1/3 minor league innings. He also holds the distinction of being the only player from the Indiana Institute of Technology to ever pitch in the Majors.