Manny Corpas Rumors
We're weeks into Spring Training now, so few notable free agents remain. But some players (min. 50 PAs) and pitchers (min. 20 IP) remain unsigned. Here's a look at the remaining free agents who will play the 2011 season while no older than 32:
- Willy Aybar (28) - The Rays declined Aybar's option and non-tendered him, but he can play first, second and third and has a career .341 OBP. He wouldn't be in line for more than a minor league deal if he signs.
- Jeremy Bonderman (28) - Bonderman may sit the season out, but you have to think he can help someone (the Cardinals?) despite the 5.53 ERA he posted in 171 innings last year. He's only 28 and he has recovered from shoulder surgery.
- Manny Corpas (28) - Corpas will miss the 2011 season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He posted a 4.62 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 62 1/3 innings last year, and defense independent pitching stats suggest his ERA should have been lower, so he would have drawn interest if healthy.
- Hank Blalock (30) - Blalock averaged 29 homers per season from 2003-05, when he made two All-Star teams. That power was nowhere to be seen last year, when he posted a .254/.319/.349 line in 69 plate appearances for the Rays. Blalock just turned 30 last fall, but he probably needs to rebuild value in the minor leagues to make a complete comeback.
- Bobby Crosby (31) - Three teams were interested in the former AL Rookie of the Year earlier in the winter, but he remains on the open market. In 189 plate appearances for Pittsburgh and Arizona last year, Crosby hit .220/.294/.298 and played all four infield positions.
- Ryan Church (32) - Church, who was traded with Crosby from Pittsburgh to Arizona last summer, also struggled in 2010. He posted a .201/.265/.352 line, though he had 59 extra base hits as recently as 2007.
- Ben Sheets (32) - If he wasn't going to miss the season with flexor tendon surgery, Sheets would likely have found a team by now. He won't sign this year.
The Rockies released reliever Manny Corpas, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Corpas, 27, had Tommy John surgery in September. He'd also undergone surgery to remove bone chips in that elbow in July of '09. $3.75MM remains on his contract, which he signed in February of '08.
This year Corpas posted a 4.62 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9 and 42.5% groundball rate, picking up ten saves. The Rockies locked him up after his best season, several years before he would have been arbitration eligible. It was just unnecessary.
If you're up reading, we're up writing!
- MLB.com's Jim Street takes questions about the Mariners. Among other things, he believes the Mariners will find a veteran catcher to at least split time with prospect Adam Moore.
- Street's Baltimore counterpart, MLB.com's Spencer Fordin, believes the Orioles will move Koji Uehara to short relief and look to acquire another veteran starter.
- The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Paul Hoynes has very positive things to say about Manny Acta, the new Indians' manager.
- Manny Corpas looks strong in Instructional League play, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, and Corpas will play winter ball as well. A Corpas revival gives the Rockies some alternatives if they don't want to face a big arbitration number from Huston Street, or pick up the $5.4MM option of Rafael Betancourt.
Some links for Friday morning...
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post doesn't think the Mets should pursue Rich Harden when the righty becomes a free agent this winter. Instead, Sherman would like to see the Mets sign someone with a more consistent history.
- The Pirates want manager John Russell and his coaching staff to lead the club again next year, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Team president Frank Coonelly and GM Neal Huntington both sound confident in the skipper despite the club's 95-loss season.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post expects the Rockies to shop Manny Corpas aggressively this offseason.
- The Astros are just beginning to search for a permanent manager, but Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle says we shouldn't rule out current third base coach Al Pedrique.
- It's possible that Roy Halladay will make his final home start for the Blue Jays tonight. As MLB.com's Jordan Bastian points out, Halladay is an offseason trade candidate.
- Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the Rangers weren't impressed to hear that Milton Bradley sat out to make sure his stats looked good before signing with the Cubs as a free agent.
Some Friday evening linkage...
- Nick Piecoro says that if Brandon Webb's latest setback requires surgery, it would give the club pause about picking up his $8.5MM option for 2010.
- Paul DePodesta runs through all of the Padres' recent roster moves.
- Rockies reliever Manny Corpas had an MRI on his right elbow today according to Patrick Saunders. Both the team and Corpas were surprised since he has pitched effectively of late. Depending on the severity of the injury, this may impact the Rockies' decision to trade closer Huston Street.
- Thomas Boswell at The Washington Post says we "will see little or nothing for a long time" regarding negotiations with first overall pick Stephen Strasburg. Boswell also says the Nats have begun to discuss which free agents they will pursue next offseason, and the general assumption is that they will go after a reliever.
- Alyson Footer tweets that the Astros have signed three draft picks, including third rounder Jonathan Meyer.
- CBSsports.com's Scott Miller spoke to Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, who indicated that they haven't decided to sell off movable pieces yet.
- Dean Jones Jr. writes that the Orioles signed a pair of undrafted free agents out of Towson: infielder Gary Helmick and catcher Jason Stifler.
8:50pm: Reds GM Walt Jocketty says nothing is close with the Rockies; he's talked to a lot of clubs. His snide remark: "They all didn't allow it to get out."
Jocketty talked to the Rockies about Matt Holliday, but it was a short discussion.
7:37pm: Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News says the Reds have definite interest in Atkins, but not Torrealba or Taveras. The Reds like the idea of adding Atkins' righthanded bat. They don't like Torrealba's price and Taveras' inability to get on base. Ringolsby says the Phillies, Angels, and Twins are also after Atkins.
3:28pm: Troy Renck confirms Rosenthal's report, and also speaks of speculation that the Red Sox will make a run at Chris Iannetta. A long shot to be sure.
Other Rockies notes: Renck says the Rox told people close to Manny Corpas that he's still the closer, meaning Street might be on the outs. Additionally, the Rockies have expressed interest in Carl Pavano.
1:17pm: Ken Rosenthal says the Rockies aren't done dealing - they're talking trade with the Reds and other clubs. The Reds like Willy Taveras, Yorvit Torrealba, and Garrett Atkins, with a "definite interest" in Taveras.
Meanwhile the Indians like newly acquired Huston Street and the Nationals are one club eyeing Carlos Gonzalez. Rosenthal says the Rockies figure to hang on to Greg Smith.
It seems we can't yet judge the Holliday trade for the Rockies. It did seem odd that they would acquire a closer and a young center fielder, two positions at which they already had solid options.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Rockies reliever Manny Corpas has been placed on waivers. Bear in mind that it's likely just a procedural move and does not mean Corpas is going to be traded.
Corpas struggled in April and May and lost the closer job. The 25 year-old has a 2.50 ERA and 8.67 K/BB since the beginning of June though. He's signed cheaply through 2011 with club options on '12 and '13, so he would not clear waivers.
Corpas probably wouldn't make it far through the NL before a team claims him. Even the Reds, fourth in line, could take him with an eye on the future. Most likely the Rockies will pull him back and not make a deal.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post is reporting that the Rockies and Brad Hawpe have agreed to a three-year deal with a fourth-year option. The contract is worth $17MM with the 2011 option expected to be close to $10MM. The deal will lock up Hawpe for each of his arbitration seasons while the team option could eliminate his first year of free agency. The right fielder hit .291-29-116 with a 129 OPS+ in 2007.
The Rockies who won the NL last year with a payroll close to $52MM have now committed $91MM to four of their core players this off-season. In addition to Hawpe, the Rox have given long-term deals to Aaron Cook, Troy Tulowitzki and Manny Corpas. Colorado will see their payroll rise to $70-75MM in 2008.
According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have signed closer Manny Corpas to a four-year deal with two option years. The options cover his last year of arbitration and first of free agency. $8MM is guaranteed, with potential for $22MM. Renck has the details here. It's definitely a team-friendly contract. The Rox have also locked up youngsters Troy Tulowitzki and Jeff Francis. Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe are currently going year-to-year.
There has never been a deal of this kind, a closer with less than two years service time signing for four years. Closers like Jonathan Papelbon and Matt Capps, also possibilities for long-term deals, have two years service time.