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Matt Albers Rumors
Every winter teams non-tender players when they would rather risk losing them to another team than go through the potentially expensive arbitration process. In 2010, for example, Matt Capps and Kelly Johnson rewarded their new teams with standout years after being cut loose, though most non-tenders don’t make that kind of contribution.
Teams non-tendered over 50 players last offseason and a handful of them are already proving their worth with new organizations. Here’s a breakdown of which 2010 non-tenders are exceeding expectations in 2011:
- Dustin Moseley, Padres (non-tendered by Yankees) – The 29-year-old leads the league with six losses, but he's been much more effective than his record would indicate. Moseley has a 3.40 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 through 53 frames.
- Joel Peralta, Rays (non-tendered by Nationals) – Unlike most non-tenders, Peralta was effective last year. After 22 1/3 innings in the Rays' revamped bullpen, he's looking like a smart, low-risk addition. Peralta has a 2.82 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
- Taylor Buchholz, Mets (though Buchholz has never thrown a pitch for Boston, the Red Sox were technically the ones to non-tender him) – Buchholz is looking a lot like his 2008 self through 21 2/3 innings in the Mets' 'pen. The 29-year-old has a 1.66 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.
- Jose Veras, Pirates (non-tendered by Marlins) – Veras has 26 strikeouts and a 3.06 ERA through 17 2/3 innings. Veras' 13.2 K/9 is seventh-best among MLB relievers this year and few pitchers beat his 94 mph average fastball by much.
- Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox (non-tendered by Yankees) – The Red Sox need him more than ever with two members of their Opening Day rotation on the shelf. So far, Aceves has a 2.60 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 17 1/3 innings.
- Todd Coffey, Nationals (non-tendered by Brewers) – Coffey, who added value in 2009-10, has a 2.30 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 2/3 innings.
- Matt Albers, Red Sox (non-tendered by Orioles) – Though Bobby Jenks was the most prominent non-tender who signed with Boston this winter, Albers may be the most impressive. He has a 1.65 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 52.3% ground ball rate through 16 1/3 innings.
- George Sherrill, Braves (non-tendered by Dodgers) – After a poor showing with the Dodgers in 2010, Sherrill is adding value again. He has raised his strikeout rate (10.2 K/9), lowered his walk rate (4.7 BB/9) and has allowed just seven hits and two earned runs in 9 2/3 innings, mostly against left-handed hitters.
- Russell Martin, Yankees (non-tendered by Dodgers) – Arguably the biggest success story of all, Martin drew interest from a number of AL East teams before signing with the Yankees. He has a .261/.362/.479 line and leads qualified MLB catchers in home runs (7), on-base percentage (.362), wOBA (.380) and WAR (1.5). It’s a win-win, as Martin got $4MM in guaranteed money and a fresh start, while the Yankees get a top catcher who’s under team control through 2012. With Jack Cust, Matt Diaz and others off to slow starts, Martin is the lone non-tendered position player making an impact so far this year.
Among AL East clubs, only the Yankees will play on the season's first day Thursday. Here's the latest from the division…
- Relievers Dennys Reyes and Matt Albers made Boston's 25-man roster, reports WEEI's Alex Speier. Hideki Okajima and Alfredo Aceves were optioned to Triple-A. GM Theo Epstein explained to reporters that the choices were about "preservation of pitching depth," since he would have lost Reyes and Albers if they didn't make the team. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald has quotes from Okajima's agent Joe Rosen on the decision.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter stirred the pot in this Men's Journal interview with Paul Solotaroff, saying, "I’d like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll." Epstein has already accepted an apology from Showalter on the comments, tweets Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
- Red Sox 2010 second-round pick Brandon Workman changed agents from Kevin Hubbard to Jeff Berry of CAA Sports, reports Speier. Workman had signed for $800K, about $165K over slot. Track all the latest in our Agency Database.
- Another strong year might make C.C. Sabathia the Yankees' best free agent signing ever, suggests Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The contract could end up being a three-year, $60MM deal if the lefty opts out after the season.
Some Red Sox links for Thursday, as Clay Buchholz looks to continue his dominant spring against the Marlins…
- Matt Albers told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that he hasn't talked to any Japanese teams and doesn't know why a report yesterday had him going to Japan. “Don’t know where that came from,” Albers said.
- Dennys Reyes agreed to extend the opt-out date in his contract by one day from Saturday to Sunday, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. The left-hander is battling for a spot in Boston's bullpen.
- As Speier explains in a piece for Baseball America, Ryan Westmoreland, who underwent brain surgery last March, is continuing his attempt to return to the majors. The former top prospect has made impressive strides in his recovery, though his vision hasn't returned completely and he's still working on some fine motor skills. Best of luck to Westmoreland as he recovers.
- Prince Fielder tells Yahoo's Tim Brown that he has "eliminated" distractions about his upcoming free agency, since he realizes it's just baseball and nothing he needs to get nervous about.
- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he would like to add a right-handed hitting backup to complement Eric Hinske, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter). Back in December, I considered some options that fit that description.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune wonders what might have happened if the Twins hadn’t signed Joe Mauer to a $184MM extension last spring and MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes helps identify some teams that would have been bidding on Mauer as a free agent.
- When the Astros front office constructs its Opening Day roster, options are a factor, GM Ed Wade told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. For a complete list of out of options players, click here.
- Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald suggests we should "check back often" on Matt Albers (Twitter link). Earlier tonight, the Red Sox shot down a report suggesting that the right-hander is Japan-bound.
4:38pm: Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that the team has not released Albers (Twitter link). He remains in the mix for a job in Boston's bullpen.
Albers spent three seasons in Baltimore after the Orioles acquired him in the Miguel Tejada trade. He posted a 4.52 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 75 2/3 innings last year and has a 5.11 ERA in 317 1/3 career innings with the O's and Astros.
The Phillies' health issues and the Red Sox' depth makes the two teams logical trade partners, says Nick Cafardo in his newest column for the Boston Globe. The Red Sox have spare infielders and outfielders they could offer Philadelphia to offset the injuries to Chase Utley and Domonic Brown. While the Sox and Phils are already the Vegas favorites to meet in the 2011 World Series, Cafardo wonders if a trade between the two sides could help that matchup happen. Here are the other items of interest from the Globe's Sunday Baseball Notes:
- If the Rangers were willing to eat some salary, a Michael Young deal "could be made" with the Cubs. As we heard this week, the Cubs probably can't afford to take on Young's contract, but, despite his defensive shortcomings, he would make some sense for Chicago at second base.
- Pedro Martinez says he's in good shape and has yet to rule out pitching somewhere in 2011. He thinks it would take him about six weeks to get ready if he were to make a comeback.
- Cafardo cautions that the Red Sox' starting pitching depth isn't as strong as it seems. Given Daisuke Matsuzaka's performance this spring, Cafardo thinks it would be prudent to keep Tim Wakefield around, just in case.
- The Red Sox are seeking a big-league-ready catcher they can keep in Triple-A in case of injury. Cafardo speculates that Rangers backstop Kevin Cash, a player the Sox have "always loved," could be a fit.
- Matt Albers is out of options, making him potential trade bait for the Red Sox. As Cafardo points out, the Sox would rather avoid exposing the right-hander on waivers to a team like the Rays.
- Scott Hatteberg is currently working as a special assistant to Billy Beane in Oakland. Agent Joe Urbon feels that Hatteberg's future could include a job as a manager, a possibility the former Athletic sounds willing to explore. "It’s something I could envision down the road," Hatteberg said. "As a catcher, you’re always involved in so many facets of the game that you get an idea of what it’s like."
The Red Sox have signed Matt Albers, the team announced. Peter Gammons first reported the deal on NESN's Red Sox Hot Stove Live. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported earlier in the week that the Red Sox had interest in Albers, who became a free agent when the Orioles non-tendered him earlier this month. Hendricks Sports represents Albers.
The 27-year-old spent three seasons in Baltimore after the Orioles acquired him in the Miguel Tejada trade. He posted a 4.52 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 75 2/3 innings last year. The right-hander has a 5.11 ERA in 317 1/3 career innings with the O's and Astros.
Albers has less than four years of service time, so the Red Sox will be able to keep him around for the 2012 and 2013 seasons if they so choose.
The Red Sox are considering reliever Matt Albers as a depth signing, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. We've seen Boston linked to most high-profile relievers, but Albers would likely be signed cheaply.
Albers, 28 in January, posted a 4.52 ERA, 5.8 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 0.7 HR/9, and strong 56.5% groundball rate in 75 2/3 innings for the Orioles this year before being non-tendered. The Orioles had acquired Albers three years ago as part of the Miguel Tejada deal. He was diagnosed with a torn labrum in the middle of the '08 season, but chose rehab over surgery.
This post will list all the American League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.
- Blue Jays: Fred Lewis, Jeremy Accardo
- Red Sox: Hideki Okajima, Andrew Miller, Taylor Buchholz
- Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith
- Rays: Lance Cormier, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, J.P. Howell
- Royals: Josh Fields
- Rangers: Dustin Nippert
- Angels: Kevin Frandsen
- Athletics: Jack Cust, Travis Buck, Edwin Encarnacion
- Yankees: Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Moseley
- Orioles: Matt Albers
- White Sox: Bobby Jenks, Erick Threets
- Tigers: Zach Miner
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Alfredo Aceves | Andrew Miller | Baltimore Orioles | Bobby Jenks | Boston Red Sox | Chicago White Sox | Detroit Tigers | Dioner Navarro | Dustin Moseley | Dustin Nippert | Edwin Encarnacion | Erick Threets | Fred Lewis | Hideki Okajima | J.P. Howell | Jack Cust | Jeremy Accardo | Josh Fields | Kansas City Royals | Kevin Frandsen | Lance Cormier | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Matt Albers | New York Yankees | Oakland Athletics | Ryan Rowland-Smith | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Taylor Buchholz | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Travis Buck | Willy Aybar | Zach Miner
JULY 6th: Atkins has cleared waivers and been released by the Orioles, making him a free agent, reports Connolly.
JUNE 27th: The Orioles have officially designated Atkins for assignment, reports Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. The move clears a spot for Uehara to be activated from the disabled list. Atkins told Ghiroli earlier this weekend that he wouldn't look at it as a bad thing if the O's decide to release him.
JUNE 24th: Baltimore will likely designate Garrett Atkins for assignment, writes Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun. The O's must free up two spots on the 25-man roster in order to welcome back Brad Bergesen and Koji Uehara.
Atkins has been disappointing so far this season, hitting .219/.282/.292 with one homer in 149 plate appearances. The 30-year-old inked a one-year, $4.5MM deal with the O's over the winter. Baltimore's acquisition of Jake Fox on Tuesday was a sign that Atkins' time in orange and black was nearing an end.
To clear the second spot, the Orioles could either demote Frank Mata to Triple-A or designate fellow reliever Matt Albers for assignment. Seldom used fourth outfielder Lou Montanez could also be shown the door, though he will likely be kept until Felix Pie returns from the disabled list.