Luis Ayala Rumors
The market for starting pitchers has actually started off at reasonable prices, argues Mike Axisa of CBSSports.com. Running the numbers on the price of a projected win for the starters who have signed to date, he says that a preliminary look shows that early-moving teams look to have achieved solid value. Here's more on the pitching market around the league:
- Even if the Dodgers are willing to spend the huge amount of cash that Masahiro Tanaka's posting and signing is expected to require, says Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com, it is far from clear how the club would sort its rotation out to accomodate him. GM Ned Colletti has said that he is "not going to close the door on any more starters" even after adding Dan Haren on a one-year deal with a vesting option. Saxon notes, however, that it would be more difficult to push aside Josh Beckett and/or Chad Billingsley than it was for the club to do last year with Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. Of course, Tanaka may be good enough that, if the price is right, that problem is one you just deal with as best you can.
- The Giants, on the other hand, seem less likely than their rivals to the south to consider the addition of another starter, with Bob Nightengale of USA Today reporting that the club's rotation is set after re-signing Ryan Vogelsong. As Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News noted earlier today, the rotation seemed complete upon the return of Vogelsong, given GM Brian Sabean's earlier comments that he would not make the veteran compete for his slot in the spring. Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, and Tim Hudson round out the club's starting five.
- Meanwhile, it could well be that San Francisco could look to add pen pieces given their decision to add veteran arms to the back of its rotation, reasons Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Sulia). It is easier and cheaper to add relief arms, he notes, and the club could look to ease the burden on its starters by following the Dodgers and Cardinals in trotting out multiple arms that can throw quality innings.
- Free agent reliever Edward Mujica of the Cardinals is drawing interest from a variety of teams, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The Angels are probably out after inking Joe Smith, Cotillo notes. But the Orioles, Indians, and Cubs have at least kicked the tires on Mujica, joining the Phillies in pursuit of the 29-year-old.
- Right-handed reliever Luis Ayala, who produced solid results last year at age 35 for the Orioles and Braves, is also in search of a multi-year deal, Cotillo reports. He has not yet seen an offer, but has received interest from the Red Sox and Rays as well as the Dodgers, Giants, O's, and Phils. Meanwhile, the Royals have seemingly stepped away from Ayala after showing initial interest.
- One other arm that could enter the market is Angels righty Jerome Williams. Soon to turn 32, Williams' agent Larry O'Brien tells Cotillo (Twitter link) that he is rooting against a tender from the Halos since "there are many teams he could effectively start for." That statement seems to imply what has long been suspected about Williams, which is that Los Angeles does not intend to use him as a starter. As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes wrote in reporting Matt Swartz's $3.9MM projection for Williams, a non-tender is a very real possibility for the swingman. Of course, as MLBTR's Zach Links has explained, there are few teams with as many projected rotation holes as the Angels.
Ayala, 35, returned to baseball in 2011 after not pitching in the Major Leagues in 2010. Since his comeback, he's reinvented himself, compiling a 2.50 ERA, 6.2 K/0 and 2.3 BB/9 in 133 innings of work. While he's not a left-handed reliever, Ayala gives Braves' manager Fredi Gonzalez another late-inning option with Jonny Venters currently on the shelf.
The 24-year-old Jones has a 3.58 ERA, 8.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 356 2/3 minor league innings. He's yet to pitch higher than the Double-A level, where he's maintained his solid strikeout numbers but owns a 4.11 ERA. He will report to Double-A Bowie for the Orioles.
The Orioles are contacting other teams to let them know reliever Luis Ayala is available in a trade, the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly reports. The O's would like to find space on their 25-man roster for Rule 5 Draft pick T.J. McFarland. They might be looking for players in return who aren't required to be placed on the 40-man roster, Connolly says.
Ayala will make $1MM in 2013. He pitched 75 innings for the Orioles in 2012, posting a 2.64 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9.
WEDNESDAY: The Orioles officially exercised Ayala's option today, the team announced.
MONDAY: The Orioles will exercise their 2013 club option for right-handed reliever Luis Ayala, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (Twitter links). Though a formal announcement won't come until later in the week, executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette made it clear the Orioles intend to retain Ayala.
"Ayala had a good year and he has a reasonable contract. There's value there to the team," Duquette said.
Ayala will earn $1MM in 2013 instead of obtaining a $1MM buyout. The 34-year-old posted a 2.64 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 75 innings of relief work this past season. The Orioles have two days to decide on Mark Reynolds' $11MM club option for 2013. They're expected to decline, since he'd earn less than $11MM through the arbitration process.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Matt Kemp's $160MM extension stands out as the largest financial commitment made by any NL West team so far this offseason and Michael Cuddyer's three-year, $31.5MM contract with the Rockies checks in as the biggest free agent deal signed by one of the NL West teams. Here are the latest links from the division...
- Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that he expects his club to improve in 2012, but doesn’t expect any one player to radically alter the team’s chances of winning. “Overall, we don't think anyone we signed or traded for is going to sprinkle pixie dust on our issues or make them go away,” O’Dowd said. “That has to happen internally with us doing things the right way consistently."
- Padres president Tom Garfinkel said on XX1090 in San Diego that the reported terms of the team’s upcoming TV deal are too high, MLB.com’s Corey Brock tweets. USA Today reported yesterday that the Padres are poised to sign a 20-year deal worth $75MM annually.
- Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.com adds the Giants and Rangers to the list of teams that had interest in Luis Ayala before the right-hander agreed to terms with the Orioles (Twitter link).
The Orioles have agreed to sign Luis Ayala to a one-year, $925K deal that is pending a physical. The deal includes a $1MM team option for 2013 ($100K buyout). Ayala has a base salary of $825K in 2012 and could earn more by reaching incentives. The Orioles have announced their deal with the Paragon Sports International client.
Ayala, 34, posted a 2.09 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 50% ground ball rate in 56 innings for the Yankees last year. The Red Sox, Rays, Yankees, Blue Jays, Angels, Mets and Tigers were all linked to him earlier in the offseason.
Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com first reported the agreement and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun added the terms. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLBTR added detail (Twitter links).
Eight years ago today, the Cardinals and Albert Pujols avoided arbitration by agreeing to a seven-year, $100MM contract. It's the largest contract ever given to a player with between 3-4 years of service time. Here's the latest from around the league...
- David Ortiz told Javier Maymi of ESPN Deportes that he still wants to avoid an arbitration hearing and sign a multiyear deal, but acknowledged that he's left it up "to the agents and the team to deal with it." Earlier this week we heard that he and the Red Sox were likely headed to a hearing. Ortiz filed for $16.5MM while the team countered with $12.65MM, as our Arbitration Tracker shows.
- One executive told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he expects the Cubs to trade Matt Garza at the deadline and not before Opening Day (Twitter link). The two sides recently avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $9.5MM contract for 2012.
- The Angels would still like to add another reliever if the price is right, reports Morosi (on Twitter). They reportedly have an offer out to Luis Ayala, though the free agent relief market is dwindling.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun Sentinel hears that Anibal Sanchez's arbitration decision is expected to be announced on Monday (Twitter link). Sanchez filed for $8MM while the Marlins countered with $6.9MM. The hearing was yesterday.
- Aaron Cook told WEEI.com's Alex Speier that several teams were willing to give him a Major League contract, and that two clubs even made such offers. He took a minor league deal from the Red Sox because he liked the fit better, and because he knows pitching coach Bob McClure from his days in the minors.
- Ayala is currently pitching for Mexico in the Caribbean Series like last year, hoping it will land him a job again writes MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. "I haven't had any good offers but I'm confident that, God permits, I will get a chance to pitch for a team that will allow me to show my abilities," he said.
- In an article for The Los Angeles Times, Mike DiGiovanna lists the best and worst free agent signings at each position this offseason.
The Angels are one of a "handful of teams" that have formally tendered a contract offer to Luis Ayala, reports MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. It's unclear if it's a minor league contract offer, and the right-handed reliever is still weighing his options and no decision is imminent.
Ayala, 34, was an excellent value signing for the Yankees in 2011 after inking a minor league contract in February. He did not appear in the Majors in 2010, but posted a 2.09 ERA in 56 innings last season. Late last week we heard that the Paragon Sports International client was choosing between the Angels and Orioles, though the Yankees, Rays, Mets, Red Sox, and Blue Jays had interest in him earlier this offseason.
Reliever Luis Ayala is weighing offers from the Angels and the Orioles and could sign with one of the two "at any moment," according to Fernando Ballesteros at the Mexican baseball magazine Puro Béisbol (via Twitter, in Spanish). The Padres, he writes, were also involved but have left negotiations with the 34-year-old. According to Ballesteros, Ayala is seeking a two-year deal.
Ayala earned the privilege of being choosy this winter after a resurgent 2011 with the Yankees. He signed a minor league deal with the team in January after a lost 2010 season, but ended up finishing 20 games and pitching to a 2.09 ERA in 56 innings. His rate of 6.3 K/9 tied previous season highs, and he generated ground balls 50 percent of the time. Last week we learned that the Yankees still had interest in bringing him back, but Ballesteros writes that the team isn't among those currently interested in Ayala.
Some links as Monday turns into Tuesday...
- Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says (on Twitter) Tony La Russa is seriously weighing his career options and hopes to have an answer soon, perhaps before Spring Training. It's been speculated that La Russa could join a team in a front office role after retiring from managing.
- The Angels have talked to Francisco Cordero's representatives recently according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. He says it's hard to gauge where the team is in the race for the right-hander given all the money they've already spent this offseason, among other things.
- The Yankees maintain interest in re-signing reliever Luis Ayala according to MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith (on Twitter). Ayala posted a 2.09 ERA with a 50% ground ball rate in 56 IP for New York last season. Last month we learned that six teams were pursuing the righty.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter) that the Rangers didn't offer Darren Oliver anything close to the $4.5MM he got from the Blue Jays. He says they remain in the market for left-handed bullpen help, and Mike Gonzalez still fits.
- Omar Vizquel hinted at retirement on his Twitter account today, saying "[if] there is no contract [offer] there will be no other option but to start a new career, [as a] coach," according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (link in Spanish).
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post reports that Casey Blake will have to come to the plate 550 times this season to max out the $1MM in incentives in his contract with the Rockies. He'll earn the first $350K in bonuses at 350 plate appearances.
- Within the same piece, Renck says that Aaron Cook's minor league deal with the Red Sox will pay him $20K per month in the minors. He can make an additional $2MM by making 30 starts in the big leagues, and the escalators kick in at 15 starts. Cook can request his release if he's not on the 25-man roster on May 1st and again on June 1st.