Luis Mendoza Rumors
Today's minor moves..
- Luis Mendoza agreed to a two-year deal with the Nippon Ham Fighters for approximately $1MM per year, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). Kansas City requested release waivers on Mendoza earlier in the week to allow him to pitch in Japan. Mendoza earned just $532K last season but our own Matt Swartz estimated that he would get $1MM in arbitration this winter. The 30-year-old posted a 4.72 ERA, 1.51 K/BB ratio and a 5.4 K/9 in 58 games during his tenure with KC.
The Royals have requested release waivers on right-hander Luis Mendoza, the team announced. Mendoza, 30, intends to pitch in Japan next season.
Mendoza was acquired by Kansas City before the 2010 season and posted a 4.72 ERA, 1.51 K/BB ratio and a 5.4 K/9 in 58 games (42 of them starts) in his tenure as a Royal. Never a big strikeout pitcher in either the majors or minors, Mendoza has a 50.5% ground ball rate over his 1111 career Major League innings with K.C. and Texas. The righty threw two no-hitters over his minor league career.
Mendoza was arbitration eligible for the first time this winter. MLBTR's Matt Swartz projected Mendoza to earn $1MM in 2014 and Tim Dierkes considered the right-hander to be a possible non-tender candidate.
All of the minor league moves that took place between October 15-25 have been helpfully catalogued by Baseball America's Matt Eddy. Here are a few of the notable names involved...
- Left-hander Sean Henn re-signed with Toronto, a week after the Blue Jays granted him free agency. Henn spent his 2010 season pitching for the Jays' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas, posting a 4.73 ERA in 38 games (nine of them starts).
- The Dodgers re-signed a number of players with major league experience, such as J.D. Closser, Tim Corcoran and Travis Denker. Los Angeles also re-signed 11-year veteran Corey Smith, who has yet to get a cup of coffee in the bigs after being drafted 26th overall by Cleveland in the 2000 amateur draft.
- Luis Mendoza re-signed with Kansas City. The right-hander has an 8.43 ERA in 36 career major league appearances, 14 of which were starts, with the Rangers and Royals.
- Houston re-signed Brian Esposito and Wladimir Sutil, both of whom were recently removed from the club's 40-man roster. In addition, the Astros re-signed Oswaldo Navarro, who picked up 25 plate appearances for Houston last season.
Links to check out as we await Cliff Lee's Mariners debut...
- BoSox manager Terry Francona says that the upcoming player move to make room on the roster for Daisuke Matsuzaka will almost certainly involve a pitcher, tweets Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
- If you play fantasy baseball, be sure to follow our @closernews feed on Twitter. We've got instant news on all closer situations, enabling you to conquer the save category.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Ryan Howard extension negotiations, speaking to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and Howard's agent, Casey Close.
- In an MLB.com mailbag, T.R. Sullivan suggests that Frank Francisco could be a prime trade candidate in July, particularly if the Rangers are slipping from playoff contention.
- Luis Mendoza cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Omaha, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Mendoza was designated for assignment by the Royals last week.
- GM Jim Hendry says prospect Starlin Castro will join the Cubs at some point this season, but he won't say how soon, according to ESPNChicago. A source told Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago earlier in the week that Castro's promotion could be right around the corner.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer doesn't think the White Sox have any need for Jermaine Dye. We heard earlier today that Dye believes he'd be a fit for the South Siders.
- Talking to Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse, Brewers outfielder Jody Gerut explained why the Padres should retain Adrian Gonzalez.
- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez answered questions from Denver Post readers, explaining that "it's a really bad feeling when you get traded" and he'd like to sign a contract "for a few years." Gonzalez is not arbitration-eligible until after the 2011 season, and he's represented by Scott Boras.
- The Yankees are not typically inclined to sign young players to long-term deals. It makes sense to maintain flexibility, as they did going year-to-year with Chien-Ming Wang. On the other hand, Joel Sherman of the New York Post points out that Robinson Cano's extension has worked out quite well. Will the Yankees exercise his $14MM club option for 2012, or choose the $2MM buyout?
- Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald believes that the future of the Red Sox catching position points more toward Adalberto Ibarra than Victor Martinez.
The Royals have released Juan Cruz and designated Luis Mendoza for assignment, reports Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The moves shake up the team's bullpen and open up roster spots for Brad Thompson and Bruce Chen.
The 31-year-old Cruz has not lived up to expectations since signing a two year, $6MM contract last offseason, posting a 5.50 ERA with a 7.3 K/9 in 55.2 innings for the team. Kansas City still owes him the rest of his $3.25MM salary for this season, plus the $500K buyout for his 2011 option.
Mendoza, 26, was acquired from the Rangers for cash considerations earlier this month. He had allowed 14 baserunners and ten runs in four innings this season. Both Thompson and Chen were signed to minor league deals this offseason and were pitching reasonably well for the Royals' Triple-A affiliate.
The Royals acquired Luis Mendoza from the Rangers for cash considerations, according to a team press release. The 26-year-old right-hander pitched 111.1 innings for Triple A Oklahoma City last year, posting a 4.53 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. He got roughed up in his lone big league appearance last season, when he allowed four earned runs in one innings for the Rangers.
Mendoza was out of options, which meant the Rangers couldn't have assigned him to the minors without passing him through waivers first. The Royals placed Mendoza on their 40-man roster, which is now full.
Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News discussed a number of Rangers topics in a webchat this afternoon...
- Grant predicts Texas will let Frank Francisco and C.J. Wilson leave when they reach free agency after the
2010 and 2011 seasons, respectively.
- If Scott Feldman (who has two more arbitration years left) pitches well this season, Grant thinks the Rangers will try to negotiate a long-term deal with the starter.
- The out-of-options Luis Mendoza wouldn't be attractive trade bait to other teams, Grant says, though "a bad team might claim him on waivers. If so, the Rangers will be happy to pay his taxi fare to another camp. He's done nothing but go backwards."
- In regards to Brandon McCarthy, Grant thinks the right-hander will probably end up in the minors "unless somebody wants to make a deal based on projecting continued improvement with [his] sinker." Grant noted that a Nationals scout attended McCarthy's spring start on Wednesday.
- Grant doesn't think the Rangers will have any interest in the newly-released Chad Gaudin since they have plenty of starting options already.
In spite of the deal with Oakland that brought Gregorio Petit to Texas, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports that Petit will probably end up in Triple-A rather than fill the Rangers' need for a utility infielder on their big league roster. Texas has been looking to fill their backup infield void for weeks, and a few new options have appeared on the Rangers' radar for a possible deal.
Augie Ojeda (who we know the D'Backs are shopping) is one option that the Rangers have an interest in, Sullivan says. Sullivan proposes that right-hander Luis Mendoza might be a good fit to be dealt for Ojeda since Arizona wants pitching and Mendoza is out of options. Willie Bloomquist and Kevin Frandsen are also possible options, Sullivan reports. Frandsen is another player known to be on the trade market, and that same MLBTR piece also cites the Giants as a team that could be interested in a player of Ojeda's type.
Former Ranger Ramon Vazquez has been mentioned in trade talks this winter and we know the Pirates want to move him. But Sullivan says Texas doesn't want to acquire Vazquez at the cost of Mendoza, and you have to figure that the Rangers might just pick Vazquez up if Pittsburgh is forced to release him.
We've got all kinds of Rangers links to dish out...
- ESPN's Richard Durrett has a fantastic article focusing on Rangers GM Jon Daniels. The piece chronicles Daniels' rise, his early mistakes (especially the Josh Beckett non-trade), and the May '07 decision to stockpile young talent.
- Daniels admitted to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that the Rangers don't have a lot of catching depth right now, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Toby Hall battling ailing shoulders.
- ESPN's Keith Law says his "early look [at Rich Harden] was very discouraging." The Rangers guaranteed $7.5MM to Harden in the December signing.
- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News wonders if the Rangers and Twins can match up on a trade, with Texas sending bullpen arms to Minnesota for an infielder and/or catcher.
- Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram polled "several baseball people" on whether Chris Davis or Justin Smoak will be the team's starting first baseman in 2012. Surprisingly, Mitch Moreland's name came up multiple times. The Galloway blurb led Jamey Newberg to ponder whether Davis or Smoak could be traded this summer.
- The Rangers' sale to Chuck Greenberg is on track to be finalized on April 1st, tweets Sanchez.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan sees out of options Rangers pitcher Luis Mendoza as a trade candidate if he doesn't make the team.
- For even more on the Rangers, check out our Offseason In Review from March 4th.