Marc Rzepczynski Rumors

Mets Claim Marc Rzepczynski On Revocable Waivers, In Talks With Padres

8:42pm: The Mets are unlikely to work out a trade with the Padres for Rzepczynski, a source tells Newsdays’ Marc Carig. At this time, it’s unclear if that’s because the club landed an alternative. The acquisition of Addison Reed doesn’t necessarily affect the Mets interest in Rzepczynski since the latter reliever is a lefty specialist. 

4:15pm: The Mets have claimed Padres lefty Marc Rzepczynski, Rosenthal tweets. It’s not yet clear exactly when they would need to complete a deal for him. Rzepczynski, who turns 30 today, has a 4.88 ERA with 10.7 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 27 2/3 innings this year with Cleveland and San Diego. The Padres acquired him for Abraham Almonte at last month’s deadline. He’s making $2.4MM this season and will be eligible for arbitration again this winter. He might not be the only player they’re working on acquiring — Rubin tweets that the Mets have claimed a reliever from another NL team.

3:09pm: The Mets claimed the reliever from an NL team and are currently in discussions with that team, Rubin tweets.

2:07pm: The Mets have made a claim involving a reliever on revocable waivers and are waiting to see how it turns out, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). It’s unclear whether the pitcher’s current team will pull him back from waivers or let him go, either by simply by allowing the waiver claim or by negotiating a trade.

1:34pm: The Mets are progressing on a move to add a reliever, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets. He emphasizes that a deal might not ultimately be consummated, but writes that the team is involved in real discussions.

Earlier this week, it looked like the Mets might not be able to strike a deal, and GM Sandy Alderson had previously expressed pessimism about the possibility of making a trade. Now that a trade looks more likely, though, it seems likely the Mets are on the hunt for a lefty (although a righty certainly could also be a possibility). They’ve struggled to find a second consistent left-handed arm this season, and their current group of righties (Jeurys Familia, Tyler Clippard, Hansel Robles, Carlos Torres and Logan Verrett) has mostly performed well, despite the losses of Jenrry Mejia (to a suspension) and Bobby Parnell (to the disabled list).

The Mets lost one lefty, Jerry Blevins, to injury earlier this year, and they designated another, Alex Torres, after he walked 26 batters in 34 1/3 innings. They’ve gotten good results this year from Sean Gilmartin, but Eric O’Flaherty hasn’t worked out since they acquired him from the Athletics earlier this month. (As another potential lefty relief option, they also have Dario Alvarez, who’s performed well in the high minors this season, on their 40-man roster.)

MLBTR’s list of players who have cleared revocable waivers doesn’t contain any lefty relievers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any available, since it isn’t always known to the public which players have cleared. It’s also possible the Mets could claim a player and work out a deal with his team.


Padres To Acquire Marc Rzepczynski From Indians

The Padres and Indians have agreed to a minor swap that will send lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to San Diego for outfielder Abraham Almonte, tweets ESPN’s Keith Law.

Rzepczynski, better known as Scrabble, has pitched to a 4.43 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 this season.  For his career, the 29 year old (30 later this month) has posted a 3.81 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 across seven seasons.  Rzepczynski wasn’t mentioned much in trade speculation this month but the Padres apparently had their eye on him to bolster their bullpen.

Almonte, 26, has appeared in 31 games for the Padres this season with a rather underwhelming slash line of .204/.271/.259.  He has fared much better in 61 games for Triple-A El Paso, however, hitting .275/.361/.414.


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Thursday

As we approach tomorrow’s deadline for exchanging filing numbers, the volume of arb deals will increase. All arb agreements can be monitored using MLBTR’s 2015 Arbitration Tracker, but here are today’s smaller agreements, with all projections referring to those of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz:

  • The Indians have avoided arbitration with third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and agreed to a one-year, $2.25MM deal, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link).  It’s a slight bump over Chisenhall’s projected $2.2MM salary.  Chisenhall hit .280/.343/.427 with 13 homers in 533 PA with the Tribe last season.
  • The Indians and left-hander Marc Rzepczynski have agreed to a one-year, $2.4MM contract to avoid arbitration, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).  Rzepczynski surpassed his projected salary with the contract, as he was pegged to earn $1.9MM next season.  The southpaw posted a 2.74 ERA, 2.42 K/BB rate and an even 46 strikeouts over 46 innings out of Cleveland’s bullpen last season.
  • The Nationals and catcher Jose Lobaton will avoid arbitration after agreeing to a deal, CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman reports.  Lobaton will earn $1.2MM, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi tweets, which exactly matches his projected 2015 salary.  Lobaton hit .234/.287/.304 over 230 PA in backup duty for the Nats last season.
  • The Athletics and outfielder Craig Gentry agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal to avoid arbitration, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi tweets.  Gentry was projected to earn $1.5MM.  After posting a .759 OPS over 556 PA in 2012-13, Gentry took a step back at the plate last season, slashing just .254/.319/.289 over 258 plate appearances but still providing tremendous defense (a +16 UZR/150).
  • The Nationals have avoided arbitration with second baseman Danny Espinosa, agreeing to a one-year, $1.8MM contract, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports.  This deal falls below Espinosa’s projected $2.3MM contract, though Espinosa hit .219/.283/.351 in 364 plate appearances for the Nats last season and managed only a .465 OPS in 167 PA in 2013.
  • The Indians agreed to a one-year, $2.337MM deal with right-hander Carlos Carrasco, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter).  This figure is a significant increase over the $1.4MM contract that was projected for Carrasco in his first arb-eligible year.  The righty enjoyed a breakout 2014 season, posting a 2.55 ERA, 9.4 K/9 and 4.83 K/BB rate over 134 innings with the Tribe.  Carrasco pitched mostly out of the bullpen but also delivered several quality starts down the stretch.
  • The Dodgers and outfielder Chris Heisey agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.16MM to avoid arbitration, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.  This is slightly less than the $2.2MM Heisey was projected to earn.  Heisey is coming off a .222/.265/.378 slash line over 299 PA with the Reds last season and was dealt to L.A. last month.
  • The Angels inked catcher Drew Butera to a one-year, $987.5K deal to avoid arbitration, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.  Butera was projected to earn $900K next season.  The catcher posted a .555 OPS in 192 PA with the Dodgers last season and was dealt to the Halos last month.
  • The Nationals agreed to a one-year, $2.25MM contract with Craig Stammen, avoiding arbitration with the right-hander, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter).  This figure slightly tops Stammen’s projected $2.1MM contract.  Stammen posted a 3.84 ERA, 6.9 K/9 and a 4.00 K/BB rate over 72 2/3 innings out of Washington’s bullpen last season.
  • The Cardinals agreed to a one-year, $1.65MM deal with outfielder Peter Bourjos to avoid arbitration, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.  Bourjos was projected to earn $1.6MM.  Bourjos displayed his usual top-shelf defense with the Cards last season but only hit .231/.294/.348 over 294 PA.

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Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

We'll keep track of today's smaller deals to avoid arbitration in this post. Click here for background on the upcoming arbitration schedule and how MLBTR is covering it. You can also check in on our Arbitration Tracker and look at MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz's arbitration projections.

Today's noon CT deadline to exchange arb figures has passed, but negotiations to avoid an arbitration hearing can continue into February. The Braves are the only strict "file and trial" team that did not agree to terms with all of its arb-eligible players, meaning they could be headed for several hearings. The Nats and Indians have also shown a willingness to go to a trial and still have some players unsigned. On to today's contract agreements…

  • After exchanging numbers, the Mets and pitcher Dillon Gee have agreed to settle at the midpoint of $3.625MM, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Swartz projected Gee to earn $3.4MM.
  • The Cubs have avoided arbitration with reliever Pedro Strop, president Theo Epstein told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). He will earn $1.325MM next year, according to a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. It is not immediately apparent whether the deal was reached before the sides exchanged terms.
  • The Angels have reached agreement on a $3.8MM deal with reliever Ernesto Frieri, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (on Twitter). 
  • Mike Minor has agreed to terms on a $3.85MM deal with the Braves to avoid arbitration, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (Twitter links). The deal came before figures were exchanged, Bowman notes.
  • Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the D-Backs and lefty Joe Thatcher have avoided arb with a one-year, $2.375MM deal (Twitter link).
  • Nicholson-Smith tweets that the Angels and Fernando Salas reached an agreement to avoid arbitration. Salas is the first Halos player to avoid arb. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times tweets that Salas will earn $870K, which beats out his $700K projection.
  • MLB.com's Jason Beck reports (via Twitter) that the Tigers and righty Al Alburquerque have reached agreement on a deal to avoid arb. The hard-throwing righty will earn $837.5K in 2014, tweets Beck.
  • Sherman tweets that the Yankees and Ivan Nova avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.3MM deal.
  • The Pirates and Vin Mazzaro inked a one-year, $950K deal in lieu of an arbitration hearing, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune.
  • The Royals announced that they've avoided arbitration with infielder Emilio Bonifacio. Heyman tweets that Bonifacio will earn $3.5MM in 2014.
  • Sherman reports that the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeremy Hellickson and Sean Rodriguez (Twitter link). Hellickson landed a $3.625MM payday with a $25K bonus if he hits 195 innings pitched. Rodriguez will get $1.475MM with a $25K bump for hitting 300 plate appearances.
  • Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that Brian Matusz avoided arb with the Orioles. Sherman adds that he'll earn $2.4MM in 2014.
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that Jason Castro and the Astros have avoided arbitration. McTaggart adds in a second tweet that Jesus Guzman avoided arb as well. Heyman reports that Castro will be paid $2.45MM, while Sherman tweets that Guzman will make $1.3MM.
  • The Indians tweeted that they've avoided arb with lefty Marc Rzepczynski, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that he'll earn $1.375MM in 2014. Bastian adds that Scrabble will earn an additional $25K for appearing in 55 games and another $25K for 60 games.
  • The Giants avoided arbitration with Yusmeiro Petit, according to MLBTR's Steve Adams (on Twitter).  He'll earn $845K, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith (via Twitter).

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Indians Acquire Marc Rzepczynski

The Indians have announced the acquisition of left-hander Marc Rzepczynski from the Cardinals in exchange for minor league infielder Juan Herrera. RzepczynskiRzepczynski will report to Cleveland tonight, and a 40-man roster move will be made to accommodate the team's new addition.

Rzepcynzski, 27, was optioned to Triple-A Memphis at the end of April after a rough start to the season. In Memphis, he posted a 3.33 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 44 innings of work — a significant improvement from the 7.84 ERA he's posted at the Major League level this season. Rzepcynski was recalled recently and has made a pair of July appearances for the Cardinals.

Rzepcynski, whose nickname is "Scrabble" (for obvious reasons), has been effective against left-handed hitters throughout his career, holding them to a .224/.298/.310 batting line over parts of five big league seasons with the Blue Jays and Cardinals. St. Louis acquired him in the 2011 Colby Rasmus trade. He is earning just $1.1MM in 2013 and can be controlled via arbitration through the 2015 season.

Cleveland GM Chris Antonetti said recently that his club has been on the lookout for bullpen arms that can retire left-handed hitters, and Rzepczynski fits that bill at a much lower cost than Javier Lopez and Josh Outman, both of whom also drew interest from Cleveland, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link).

Herrera, 20, is batting .275/.366/.369 in 39 games for short-season Class-A Mahoning Valley. The Dominican native did not rank among Cleveland's Top 30 prospects, according to Baseball America.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was the first to report the agreement (on Twitter).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Stark On Phillies, Kemp, Rzepczynski

The latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark

  • Phillies third baseman Michael Young is open to a deal to just about any contender.  Stark sees the Yankees as the best fit, with the Orioles still interested.  Talking to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki about waiving his no-trade clause, Young said, "I don't know. The first thing I want to do is talk to the Phillies about that."
  • The Phillies have shown very little inclination to move catcher Carlos Ruiz, surprisingly.  And while they'd like to trade closer Jonathan Papelbon, their unwillingness to assume some of his contract is likely to prevent a deal.  Papelbon is owed at least $30MM through 2015.
  • The Phils have quietly been asking potentially interested teams about shortstop Jimmy Rollins, which would be a long shot even if Rollins wasn't likely to block a deal.
  • It's just speculation, but Stark says some people have wondered if the Dodgers should be open to trading center fielder Matt Kemp.
  • Cardinals lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski is a candidate to be traded.
  • Stark suggests the Indians' Carlos Carrasco could be a name to file away for the Rockies, with the Tribe interested in Colorado reliever Josh Outman.

Cardinals, Marc Rzepczynski Avoid Arbitration

We'll track the day's arbitration agreements under $3MM right here. MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker has the details on this year's cases. Be sure to check out MLBTR's guide to Arbiration Basics as well. Now for Friday's deals…

  • The Cardinals avoided arbitration with left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski, Jenifer Langosch ‏of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). It's a $1.1MM deal, the AP reports (via ESPN.com). Rzepczynski, a client of John Boggs & Associates, filed for $1.3MM with the Cardinals countering at $900K. David Freese is now St. Louis' lone unsigned arb eligible player, as MLBTR's Arb Tracker shows.

Angels Interested In Mijares, Rzepczynski

The Angels have expressed interest in Jose Mijares of the Royals and Marc Rzepczynski of the Cardinals in their search for a left-handed reliever, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports (Twitter links). The Angels could also have some interest in Joe Thatcher of the Padres, DiGiovanna suggests.

Mijares, 27, has a 1.72 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 36 2/3 innings with the Royals so far in 2012. The midseason trade candidate earns $925K this year and will be arbitration eligible following the season.

Rzepczynski was traded to the Cardinals last summer in the deal that sent Edwin Jackson to St. Louis. The 26-year-old has a 5.06 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 32 innings this year. He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time following the 2012 season.

The Angels, who currently have left-handers Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi pitching out of the bullpen, are willing to offer Peter Bourjos in a trade for the right reliever. Here's MLBTR's preview of the trade market for left-handed relief.


Trade Reaction: Rasmus, Jackson, White Sox

On the off-chance you missed it, the Blue Jays, Cardinals and White Sox announced a pair of major trades today. The Blue Jays acquired center fielder Colby Rasmus and pitchers Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters from the Cardinals for starter Edwin Jackson, relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, outfielder Corey Patterson, and three players to be named later or cash considerations. Before completing the deal with St. Louis, the Blue Jays acquired Jackson and third baseman Mark Teahen from the White Sox for reliever Jason Frasor and prospect Zach Stewart. Here’s reaction to the trades from around MLB. Be warned, Cardinals fans, you might not like what follows… 

  • The price the Cardinals paid to acquire Jackson and bullpen help was "just too high," according to ESPN.com's Keith Law, who suggests St. Louis' internal emphasis is on manager Tony La Russa, not the players. Law loves what Toronto did and doesn't understand Chicago's move.
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN says the Cardinals had better win this year "or they will really regret this one." He calls St. Louis' move the "worst trade of the year" and gives the Blue Jays an 'A.'
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirms that the Cardinals turned down the Rays' offer of Jeff Niemann and J.P. Howell for Rasmus (Twitter link). Sherman suggests the Cardinals would have been better off accepting Tampa Bay's offer. 
  • The Giants showed how to go for it today and the Cardinals showed how not to go for it, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes.
  • A longtime scout tells ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that Rasmus has a chance to be a star. “I don't understand that deal at all," the scout said (Twitter link). 
  • Matthew Leach of MLB.com likes what the Cardinals got for 2011, but finds it hard to like the deal for St. Louis because of what it means for 2012-14 (Twitter link).
  • Now that Rasmus and Carlos Beltran are off of the market, the list of teams with possible interest in B.J. Upton is taking shape, as Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times explains. The Braves, Indians, Nationals, Phillies, Pirates and Reds are possible destinations for Upton.
  • As Matt Eddy of Baseball America explains, Walters should qualify for a fourth option year in 2012 and Rzepczynski "might be the prototype" pupil for Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of FanGraphs explains that it's easiest to see the trade from the Blue Jays' perspective, since they gave up three relievers and a prospect for a player who can help them contend for 2012-14.
  • At CloserNews, Dan Mennella wonders if Kyle McClellan could be in line for some saves, now that he's back in the bullpen.
  • Tim Dierkes wrote earlier today that “it's hard to see this as anything but a win for the Blue Jays.”
  • I agree with Tim and many of the others above- it’s a win for the Blue Jays. Let’s not forget how much has to be in place for this kind of deal to happen: a creative GM who reads the market well, payroll flexibility (for Teahen’s contract), willingness from ownership to take on salary, enough appealing prospects to be able to part with Stewart and enough bullpen depth to send three quality relievers packing on the same day. This trade doesn’t seem simple and in some ways it may actually be more complicated that it appears.

Jays Acquire Rasmus From Cards For Jackson In Eight-Player Deal

An eight-player deal was struck today, as the Blue Jays announced they've acquired center fielder Colby Rasmus and pitchers Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters from the Cardinals for starter Edwin Jackson, relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, outfielder Corey Patterson, and three players to be named later or cash considerations.  ESPN's Buster Olney first tweeted the full details.

357110703415_Cardinals_at_Rays

In Rasmus (pictured), Alex Anthopoulos acquired a good young player who had worn out his welcome with management, much like the Blue Jays GM did with Yunel Escobar last summer.  Rasmus, 24, is hitting .246/.332/.420 in 386 plate appearances, a down year compared to 2010.  He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time after this season, so he's under team control through 2014.  Cardinals GM John Mozeliak recently called a Rasmus trade "highly unlikely," but as Strauss notes, the center fielder has "fascinated and frustrated" the Cardinals over the last three years and made repeated trade requests.  Mozeliak shopped Rasmus to the Blue Jays, Rays, and Red Sox, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  He adds that prior to public criticism from manager Tony La Russa earlier this month, the Cardinals were in contract extension negotiations with Rasmus.

Miller, 38, has been used sparingly by the Cardinals this year, logging only 15 2/3 innings.  Most of them came against left-handed hitters, but Miller hasn't pitched well no matter how you slice it.  About $700K remains on his contract.  Tallet, 33, has been ineffective as well and currently resides on the DL for an intercostal strain.  He spent the previous five seasons with the Jays.  About $263K remains on his contract.

Walters, 26, has logged 50 innings in the bigs since 2009.  The righty has a 4.27 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, and 0.8 HR/9 in 103 1/3 Triple-A innings this year, his fourth stint at the level.  Baseball America ranked him 19th among Cardinals prospects prior to the season, praising his plus changeup but projecting a long relief/swingman role.

Jackson, 27, was traded for the fifth and sixth times in his career today.  The 27-year-old flourished in nearly 200 innings with the White Sox, and improves a Cardinals rotation that ranks seventh in the NL with a 3.84 ERA.  The acquisition gives the Cards the flexibility to move Kyle McClellan back to the bullpen, leaving a rotation of Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Jackson, Jake Westbrook, and Kyle Lohse.  Jackson, a Scott Boras client, figures to test free agency after the season as a Type B.  About $2.9MM remains on his contract.

The Cardinals' bullpen gets a lift from Dotel, Rzepczynski, and McClellan.  Dotel, 37, has a 3.68 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 1.53 HR/9, and 28.6% groundball rate on the season; he excels against right-handed batters.  Should the Cardinals turn down his $3.5MM club option, Dotel projects as a Type B free agent in the AL at the moment.  If the option is declined, about $1.7MM remains on Dotel's contract.

Rzepczynski, 25, switched to full-time relief this year.  He has a 2.97 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.46 HR/9, and strong 65.7% groundball rate in 39 1/3 innings this year.  He complements Dotel nicely, having dominated lefties and struggled against righties.  Rzepczynski is under team control through 2015.  Dotel and Rzepczynski do not appear to be a threat to closer Fernando Salas, writes Dan Mennella of CloserNews.

Patterson, 31, is hitting .252/.287/.379 in 341 plate appearances for the Blue Jays this year.  He restores a little bit of outfield depth for St. Louis.

Though there are eight players in this deal, it mostly boils down to the Cardinals renting Jackson and Dotel and getting Rzepczynski long-term in exchange for Rasmus' three arbitration years.  It's hard to see this as anything but a win for the Blue Jays.  Ultimately Rasmus cost the Jays Zach Stewart, Jason Frasor, Dotel, Rzepczynski, and Teahen's contract.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.