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- Right-Hander Norge Ruiz Leaves Cuba, Will Seek Deal With MLB Club
- Smyly Will Not Have Surgery, Is Confident He Can Pitch In 2015
- Hyun-jin Ryu Undergoes Season-Ending Shoulder Surgery
- 2016 MLB Free Agent Power Rankings
- Hyun-jin Ryu To Undergo Shoulder Surgery
- Mariners Acquire Welington Castillo From Cubs For Yoervis Medina
- Bruce Chen Announces Retirement
- Red Sox Outright Allen Craig
- Marlins Name GM Dan Jennings Manager
- GM Dan Jennings Could Become Marlins Manager
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- Minor Moves: Josh Elander, Brock Peterson
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- Rangers To Release Kyuji Fujikawa
- Right-Hander Norge Ruiz Leaves Cuba, Will Seek Deal With MLB Club
- Blue Jays Notes: Hamels, Travis, Kawasaki, Norris
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- Smyly Will Not Have Surgery, Is Confident He Can Pitch In 2015
- Astros Release Darin Downs
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- Dodgers Suspend Erisbel Arruebarrena For Season
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Mark DeRosa Rumors
The Nationals are interested in free agent utility player Mark DeRosa, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Chris Marrero's recent hamstring injury leaves the Nationals with less bench help than anticipated.
DeRosa played in just 47 games in 2011 because of a strained left wrist. The versatile 36-year-old was productive in 2009, posting a .250/.319/.433 line and appearing at five different positions for the Indians and Cardinals. However, he has struggled to stay on the field since signing a two-year deal with the Giants two Decembers ago. When he did play for the Giants, DeRosa posted a forgettable .235/.313/.279 line.
DeRosa, who would like to be closer to his Atlanta home, may have to sign a minor league deal and play his way onto a roster next spring. This is the first time this offseason we've seen him linked to a team.
Congratulations to the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals, who will meet in the NLCS after each club won a superb Game Five tonight. This is the first all-NL Central NLCS since the Astros topped the Cards in 2005, and this is the first time Milwaukee and St. Louis have met in the postseason since the 1982 World Series. The NLCS begins on Sunday at Miller Park, with Zack Greinke getting the Game One start for the Brewers.
Some more news as we head into the weekend….
- There is plenty of reaction to Andy MacPhail's decision to step down as the Orioles' president of baseball operations. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun credits MacPhail with leaving the team in better shape than when he arrived, though this wasn't reflected in the win-loss column. MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli provides a recap of MacPhail's most notable moves in Baltimore. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com expects the next O's GM to have "a more aggressive approach [in free agency]…for better or worse" as opposed to MacPhail's practice of "letting the market play out."
- The White Sox seem to be looking to 2012 as a rebuilding year, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin. After a year of seeing how young players develop in the Majors and seeing how rookie manager Robin Ventura adapts to the job, Merkin says Chicago could push for contention in 2013 if all goes well.
- With this youth movement in mind, Merkin thinks A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko could be approached about waiving their no-trade clauses. Both players were somewhat open to the idea, though both clearly stated they wanted to end their careers with the White Sox.
- How did Juan Carlos Oviedo (a.k.a. Leo Nunez) keep his identity hidden for years? Frances Robles of the Miami Herald examines Oviedo's situation and the risks that some Latin American players take to escape poverty and reach the Major Leagues. Oviedo "was able to keep the secret for long, because he was living the dream that every Dominican boy imagines growing up. If he lied and succeeded, then the end justified the means,” said Charles Farrell, head of the Dominican Republic Sports and Education Academy. “No one was going to fault him for that, no one was going to blow his cover."
- Farrell also tells Robles that by his estimate, there are at least 30 current Dominican players using false identities.
- Ron Gardenhire says the Twins aren't likely to sign a top free agent pitcher like C.J. Wilson, reports MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger as part of a mailbag piece. "I think we're all smart enough to figure out that free agents out there, as far as pitchers go, if they're really good they're probably going to require a little bit more money than we're willing to pay them," Gardenhire said. "All the big shooters. And there's going to be a market for the rest of them."
- Mark DeRosa could be a good fit as a versatile bench bat for the Braves, provided he can stay healthy, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman.
- With the Astros' possible move to the AL West in mind, Fangraphs' Reed MacPhail analyzes how each of this season's National League teams would've fared playing in the AL West.
The 2011 Giants closely resembled last year’s World Championship team, but change lies ahead for San Francisco. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle explains that health considerations and the rising cost of arbitration eligible players will shape next year’s Giants team. Here are some highlights from Schulman's piece:
- Pat Burrell could again sign a one-year deal when he hits free agency after the season (he earns $1MM this year), but he may have to retire because of a foot injury. Burrell says he’ll play as long as he’s healthy enough to take the field.
- Schulman says it’s hard to imagine the Giants offering Cody Ross a raise from $6.3MM or agreeing to a multiyear deal when the outfielder hits free agency.
- Mark DeRosa is hoping to sign closer to Atlanta, where he makes his home, and realizes he may be in line for a minor league deal.
- The Giants will probably decline Jeremy Affeldt’s $5MM option for 2012, but they’ll “almost certainly” pursue him in free agency, according to Schulman.
- Jonathan Sanchez and Andres Torres are non-tender candidates. When MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes identified Sanchez and Torres as non-tender candidates last month, he pointed out that Sanchez’s salary would rise over $6MM (he now earns $4.8MM) through arbitration.
- Eli Whiteside is another non-tender candidate, Schulman writes.
- Jeff Keppinger, who’s arbitration eligible, will likely return in 2012 and it’s hard to imagine the Giants cutting Nate Schierholtz after seeing him progress in 2011.
- The Giants may not have room on the roster for both Mike Fontenot and Emmanuel Burriss.
A couple items of note as former Red Sock Justin Masterson battles his old team in Boston …
- Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, acquired from the Rockies in a pre-deadline blockbuster, never asked to be traded out of Colorado, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, although he wanted a resolution on the situation, and he didn't mind having the opportunity to waive his 2014 option with the commencement of the trade (via Twitter).
- The Giants activated Mark DeRosa from the 60-day disabled list today, but they haven't announced a corresponding 40-man roster move yet and "are being evasive about it," according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (via Twitter). Baggarly speculates that the Lads could activate Pat Burrell from the 15-day DL and release him.
- The Red Sox were willing to discuss a trade with the Cardinals involving center fielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Colby Rasmus in 2010, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter), but the talks never gained traction. That would have been a heck of a trade. Rasmus, of course, was traded by St. Louis to the Blue Jays prior to last month's trade deadline.
- The Indians were very close to drafting Ellsbury at No. 14 overall in the 2005 draft but instead opted for Trevor Crowe, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (via Twitter). So close, in fact, that team officials asked Ellsbury, a Native American, his feelings about the team's logo, the so-called Chief Wahoo. … Edes' sources didn't provide him with Ellsbury's response, though.
Some items of note on Friday night as Danny Espinosa looks to collect a double to complete the cycle in the slugfest between the Nationals and Orioles …
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti admitted that he is exploring trade opportunities to help boost his sagging club, but he cautioned that it's tough to complete deals at this time of year without overpaying, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
- Giants utility man Mark DeRosa will see a specialist about his injured left wrist, for which he's already undergone two surgeries, but he's not considering retirement if doctors think he can make a full recovery, writes Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said offseason negotiations with the Orioles never got serious enough that his decision to sign with Washington was especially tough, writes Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. Not to pile on the O's, but Mark Teixeira echoed a sentiment similar to LaRoche's a couple days back.
Joey Votto is the player of the month for ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, who hears from a scout that the Reds’ first baseman is more feared than anybody in the National League, including Albert Pujols. Here are the rest of Stark’s rumors:
- One NL executive thinks the Mariners are so far from winning that they should be listening to offers for Felix Hernandez, who is under team control through 2014. Yesterday, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports heard from a number of executives who expect King Felix to stay put for now.
- An AL official says the Rangers are the most likely candidate to trade for a high-profile reliever this summer. Their bullpen has taken a number of hits, with Neftali Feliz and Darren O’Day on the DL and Alexi Ogando moving to the rotation.
- Stark hears that the only players available now are those with “awful contracts.”
- Despite the buzz about Mark DeRosa and the Marlins, Stark hears that the Giants and Marlins have not had serious discussions about the currently-injured utility player.
- The Phillies will find it hard to add payroll this summer, but they’re eyeing potentially available bats.
- Though Jonathan Papelbon will likely test the free agent market after the season, Stark gets the impression that the reliever could re-sign in Boston after all.
THURSDAY, 2:25pm: The Marlins have had internal discussions about third base options, but never discussed possible deals with the Giants, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com.
WEDNESDAY, 3:59pm: DeRosa is headed to the DL, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter). Though the repaired tendon in his wrist is fine, the area around it is inflamed. If the Marlins are going to make a run at DeRosa, it probably won't happen for a few weeks at least.
12:44pm: The Marlins "have begun weighing the merits of making a run at" Giants infielder Mark DeRosa, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. DeRosa could be a solution for the Fish at third base for the remainder of the season, after which his contract is up.
DeRosa, 36, is hitting well in a small 20 plate appearance sample this season. With a crowded outfield and no openings at second base or the infield corners, the Giants may consider DeRosa expendable. Not only could they get a useful player back, but they could also clear a portion of DeRosa's $6MM salary. An extra $2-3MM would be helpful to the Giants, who may have limited payroll flexibility in the 2011-12 offseason unless they move some salary.
The Marlins considered giving the third base job to top prospect Matt Dominguez out of Spring Training, but instead sent him to Triple-A on March 24th. Eight days later Dominguez fractured his elbow. As a whole, Greg Dobbs, Donnie Murphy, Emilio Bonifacio, and Wes Helms are hitting .286/.353/.416 on the season while manning third base for the Marlins.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports brings us another edition of Full Count. Here are some highlights..
- Prince Fielder is off to a great start and one GM predicts that he'll be one of the most interesting free agents of all-time. The GM says that Fielder runs hard and is more athletic than most people think. He's about to turn 27 years old which means that he's about four-and-a-half years younger than Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols. A team like the Cubs could use Fielder against Pujols, saying that if he doesn't meet their price, they could sign Fielder instead.
- The Marlins are second in the National League in ERA and first in bullpen ERA by a wide margin. Theyr'e going to have to keep winning with pitching as Hanley Ramirez is off to a slow start, Logan Morrison is out with an injured foot and Mike Stanton still hasn't found his form since coming back from a hamstring strain. Last week, Rosenthal pointed out the potential availability of Mark DeRosa and this week he says that the veteran would be a perfect fit in Florida.
- The Yankees will soon face some decisions regarding their rotation. Kevin Millwood has an out in his contract if he's not in the majors by May 1st. The club might have better options such as Adam Warren and possibly Hector Noesi or David Phelps. In addition to those prospects, Carlos Silva is working his way back into shape and Phil Hughes is about to start a rehab assignment this week.
- Miguel Tejada is off to a rough start in 2011 as he looks less-than-sharp in the field and is hitting just .209/.239/.328. The Giants don't have any great internal options at shortstop, so Rosenthal says to keep an eye on Jose Reyes, Marco Scutaro, J.J. Hardy as possible trade targets.
Let's dive into the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- It's early in the season, but it already seems like the Giants' Mark DeRosa could be the odd man out in San Francisco. DeRosa is obviously versatile, but the club seems to be set at shortstop, second base, third, and in the outfield. The veteran is earning $6MM and he seems like a prime candidate to be traded.
- The Rangers are off to a hot start but the club is concerned about their lack of a dominant right-handed set-up man. Alexi Ogando was supposed to fill that role but instead, he's flourishing as a starter. Darren O'Day is coming off two strong seasons but he's viewed as more of a "seventh inning guy". Because of that, look for Texas to target a strong right-handed reliever before the deadline.
- The next young starters in line for contract extensions might be the A's Gio Gonzalez and the Cardinals' Jaime Garcia following the deals given to Trevor Cahill and Clay Buchholz. However, Gonzalez is a Super Two player, meaning that the A's might have to guarantee him another year to cover his first year of free agency.
One year ago, the Orioles officially signed Miguel Tejada, bringing him back for his second stint with the club. Unfortunately for the O's, the veteran infielder couldn't match the numbers he'd previously put up in Baltimore, posting a .670 OPS before a July trade sent him to the Padres. While we wait to see what January 23rd will bring this year, here are a few links to browse:
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman would prefer to run a small market team, opines Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, who is beginning to think Cashman may walk away from the Yankees when his contract expires following the 2011 season.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin provides a breakdown of the Mets' 2011 payroll following Jeff Wilpon's statement that the team payroll will be in the $145MM-plus range.
- Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer makes a case for Joe Blanton's value, then says the Phillies need to sell that argument to just one other team. Brookover opines that shedding some money by dealing Blanton could give the Phils a little wiggle room to address other potential areas of need.
- Within a multi-sport mailbag, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer addresses the Indians' third base picture, which could include Jason Donald, Lonnie Chisenhall, and Jared Goedert.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle takes a look at what the Giants can expect from Mark DeRosa this season. DeRosa is entering the second and final year of the $12MM deal he signed last winter.
- In their newest blog entries, the Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck and MASN's Roch Kubatko each discuss the most recent Orioles rumblings, with a focus on Vladimir Guerrero.