Matt Guerrier Rumors
FRIDAY: Berardino clarifies (via Twitter) that Gurrier's deal does contain the standard contract language of a Type XX(B) free agent, meaning he can opt out on June 1st if he is not on the MLB roster by that time.
As Berardino further reports, Guerrier would earn $1MM if he earns a MLB roster spot. He can also make up to $1MM more through incentives, with $250K bonuses triggered upon his 45th, 50th, 55th, and 60th appearances.
WEDNESDAY, 8:14pm: Guerrier's contract doesn't contain a clause that would allow him to opt out of the deal if he isn't in the Major Leagues by a certain day, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets.
11:31am: The Twins announced that they've brought back another familiar face, signing right-hander Matt Guerrier to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Guerrier is a client of Pro Star Management, Inc.
Guerrier, 35, broke into the Majors with the Twins in 2004 as a 25-year-old and enjoyed the best years of his career with Minnesota. The Kent State product posted a strong 3.38 ERA in 472 innings of relief in his first run with the Twins, twice leading the league in appearances. He went on to sign a three-year, $12MM contract with the Dodgers, but elbow injuries limited him to just 110 innings in two-and-a-half years with Los Angeles. He was eventually designated for assignment and flipped to the Cubs in a swap that sent Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers.
Guerrier is the third former Twin that Minnesota has signed to a minor league deal this offseason, as they've also brought back Jason Kubel and Jason Bartlett. Guerrier, whose season ended in August due to flexor tendon surgery, will look to work his way into a Twins bullpen that figures to be led by All-Star closer Glen Perkins and setup man Jared Burton.
Guerrier drew interest from seven to eight other clubs this offseason, agent Joe Bick told MLBTR, but the familiarity with the Twins' coaching staff and front office as well as the mutual respect the two sides share for one another led to the decision to return to Minneapolis. "In conversations we had with Matt about the whole picture, the decision to return to Minnesota felt right. We're excited about the opportunity."
Bick said that while no assurances have been made as to whether or not he'll make the club, Guerrier plans to "grab this opportunity by the throat" in Spring Training. Guerrier has been throwing off an indoor mound at 75 to 80 percent for the past three weeks and is scheduled to progress to throwing "true" bullpens -- hopefully outdoors and off a dirt mound -- next Monday.
Somewhat remarkably, both of the Phillies' last two GMs and last two managers are still employed by the organization, observes Justin Klugh of Philly.com. Meanwhile, the club only recently hired an analytical employee, and it remains unclear how much pull that position holds. While keeping the old guard around is a nice touch, says Klugh, the club should make a stronger commitment to progress. Here are more notes from around the league:
- There is now only a "slim chance" that southpaw reliever Eric O'Flaherty will return to the Braves, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com. The issue, Bowman indicates, is that Atlanta is not as interested in working O'Flaherty into their plans as other clubs. Specifically, Bowman names the Orioles as a contender for the lefty.
- The Braves may have found yet another diamond in the rough with minor league free agent signees Luis Vasquez and Lay Batista, writes Bill Ballew of Baseball America. "We identified Vasquez and Batista as potential high-octane arms who could contribute in Atlanta as soon as 2014," said assistant GM John Coppolella.
- Lefty Scott Maine is reportedly throwing well in Puerto Rico and beginning to draw interest from clubs, reports MLBTR's Zach Links (via Twitter). He could sign with a club as soon as this week, Links adds. Maine has a 5.59 career ERA in 46 2/3 big league innings. He spent time in the Marlins' system last year.
- Another right-handed reliever, Matt Guerrier, is expected to audition for MLB clubs in the next ten days or so, Links further tweets. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN recently reported that the Twins could be interested in a reunion.
- The $2.2MM contract agreed upon yesterday between the Rangers and reliever Neal Cotts is fully guaranteed, Links tweets. As Links observes, Cotts' representatives at Pro Star Management did well to get their client a guarantee given his injury history.
Here is the latest on several free agent situations around the league:
- While not technically a free agent, Masahiro Tanaka can still be signed by any club that is also willing to pay his $20MM posting fee. Reports out of Japan indicate that the Yankees and Dodgers are the favorites to land the 25-year-old righty, tweets David Waldstein of the New York Times, with Tanaka's wife reportedly interested in landing on the West Coast. The Angels are also said to be among the top suitors for Tanaka's services, says MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (referencing a recent report from Japanese outlet Sports Hochi).
- The Orioles, Twins, and Yankees recently asked for medicals on righty Ervin Santana, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. (Links to Twitter.) New York appears only to be performing due diligence, says Rosenthal, who notes that Santana's flyball tendencies make him a poor fit at Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, the Twins seem unlikely to add another free agent starter, Rosenthal adds.
- There are at least five clubs that "have been in on" infielder/DH Mark Reynolds, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The teams include the Nationals, Rangers, Twins, Orioles, and Yankees.
- Right-handed starter Scott Baker has several minor league offers in hand but is holding out for a guaranteed MLB deal, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. The Twins have not been interested in a reunion thus far, Wolfson adds.
- Another former Twin who spent time with the Cubs last year, right-handed reliever Matt Guerrier, is set to throw off of a mound on Friday as he rehabs from an elbow injury suffered late last year, Wolfson tweets. Minnesota is interested in potentially bringing him back, according to Wolfson.
Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that the top left-handed relievers on the market -- J.P. Howell, Boone Logan, Eric O'Flaherty and Scott Downs -- should begin to start coming off the board in the next 24 to 48 hours. It's already been reported that O'Flaherty is in talks with the Braves about a return to Atlanta. Here's the latest on the market for relievers...
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweets that there's a sense that the Nationals will land a left-handed reliever today.
- The Orioles have had talks with John Axford, tweets Morosi. They're also said to be the current favorites for Grant Balfour.
- A rival executive estimated that the Phillies would have to eat about 40 to 50 percent of Jonathan Papelbon's remaining salary to trade him, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Papelbon is owed $13MM in each of the next two seasons and has a vesting option for a fifth year.
- The Rockies have had discussions with Joaquin Benoit but are a ways apart in terms of salary, Morosi reports. Talks between the two sides are fading, as Benoit appears likely to seek a more lucrative deal elsewhere (Twitter links).
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweeted yesterday that when the dust settles from the Winter Meetings, Matt Guerrier's name could be a of interest to the Indians.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that even after re-signing Juan Carlos Oviedo and acquiring Heath Bell, the Rays are still looking to improve their bullpen. One option could be injured lefty Jordan Norberto, who underwent Tommy John surgery last season.
Here's the latest from Wrigleyville....
- Matt Guerrier will be sidelined for the next 6-8 months after undergoing flexor mass surgery on his throwing arm today, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reports. Guerrier posted a 2.13 ERA in 12 2/3 IP for the Cubs after being acquired from the Dodgers in July. The 35-year-old righty will be a free agent this winter and has said he would like to re-sign with the Cubs. Given his injury situation, one would think Guerrier will be limited to a minor league deal this offseason.
- The Scott Feldman trade is looking like a win for the Cubs thus far, ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine notes, as Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop have both pitched well since coming to Chicago. Arrieta allowed two hits over seven shutout innings in today's 7-0 Cubs win over the Cardinals, dropping Arrieta's ERA to 0.69 in two starts with his new club. Strop, meanwhile, has a 2.41 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings as a Cub.
- In a live chat with Cubs fans, ESPN's Jesse Rogers predicts a relatively quiet winter for the Cubs, with "more turnover in pitching than anywhere else," though he doesn't think the Cubs will make a big splash for someone like David Price. Rogers thinks outfielders Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus will both stick with the team until at least the middle of next season
Yesterday, the Orioles made the first significant splash of the trade season by acquiring Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger from the Cubs in exchange for Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop and additional international bonus money. Here's more from the AL East...
- The Yankees' haven't gotten a lot of production out of their younger players, and that's a big problem, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman writes that the Bombers may have less 20-something talent than any AL East team.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com looks at how the Red Sox are getting ready for the trade deadline at the end of this month. While they'll look to upgrade when a deal makes sense, they'll also try to keep things in-house where ever possible. "We've had some turnover at [third base] and in [the bullpen]," GM Ben Cherington said, "but right now we believe there is a good chance the solutions are internal. We'll keep an eye out in these areas and any other that crops up between now and the deadline."
- The entire baseball world is trying to guess what Phillies GM Ruben Amaro might do at the deadline, but rival scouts and execs expect him to at least move Yankees trade target Michael Young, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- The Red Sox weren't in the mix for Matt Guerrier despite lacking a ground ball-oriented reliever, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports via Twitter, citing an industry source.
- Potential trade targets for the Yankees include Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd, and Matt Warden of River Ave. Blues breaks down what they could bring to the Bronx. Warden included Josh Willingham on his list as well, but that was before the news that the Twins' slugger will miss four to six weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery.
In a swap of relievers who had been designated for assignment, the Cubs announced they have acquired Matt Guerrier from the Dodgers for Carlos Marmol and Chicago's fourth international signing bonus slot. That slot is worth $209,700 in pool money, announced the Dodgers, who had a pool of $2,112,900.
Of Marmol's $9.8MM salary this year, about $4.8MM remains. The Cubs will pay nearly $2MM of his salary, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown, plus the aforementioned pool money. Guerrier earns $3.75MM this year (plus a $750K installment of his signing bonus) in the final season of his three-year deal with Los Angeles. He has about $2.34MM remaining, so the Cubs will only save about $500K in the deal, as noted by Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times (on Twitter).
ESPN's Jayson Stark adds that if the Dodgers end up releasing Marmol and he signs with another team, the Cubs will need to send additional money to the Dodgers (Twitter link).
Marmol had become a symbol for the Cubs' struggles this year, with a 5.86 ERA, 6.8 BB/9, and 1.95 HR/9 in 27 2/3 innings. He began the season as the team's closer, apparently as a way of building trade value, but lost the job after allowing five runs in his first three outings. Marmol, a converted catcher/outfielder, joined the team's bullpen in 2007, snagged an All-Star nod in '08, and ascended to the Cubs' closing job late in 2009. He peaked in 2010, striking out nearly 42% of batters faced while racking up 38 saves. That season earned him a three-year, $20MM extension in February 2011. Marmol had always had major problems with walks, and now the team has finally moved him in a bad contract swap. During November of last year, it seemed like Marmol was headed to the Angels for Dan Haren before the Cubs pulled the plug and the Halos declined Haren's club option.
The Dodgers will send Marmol to the minors for a few outings, notes ESPN's Keith Law. The Dodgers are second-to-last in bullpen ERA in the NL, with a 4.39 mark. The club is eight games out in the wild card; should they pull closer to contention perhaps they'll acquire a more stable reliever.
Guerrier, 34, posted a 4.80 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 0.90 HR/9, and 42.6% groundball rate in 30 innings for the Dodgers this year before being designated for assignment. The Dodgers signed him to a three-year, $12MM deal in December 2010, with that third year serving as the kicker. The Cubs also added Pedro Strop to their bullpen earlier today; they may yet ship closer Kevin Gregg to a contender.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Guerrier posted a 4.80 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 34 games for the Dodgers this season. In all three seasons for the Dodgers, Guerrier owns a a 4.24 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 across 120 appearances. The right-hander came to the Dodgers as a free agent in December of 2010.
Despite their rotation surplus, Ned Colletti and the Dodgers are "in no rush" to trade a starting pitcher, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports. Zack Greinke and Chad Billingsley are dealing with minor injuries, and Ted Lilly is coming back from shoulder surgery. Even if all the Dodgers' starting pitchers are healthy, one scenario might be for Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang to begin the season in the bullpen.
Previous reports have indicated that other teams may be trying to force the Dodgers into a tough spot by lowballing them on trade offers until the need to set their 25-man roster forces L.A. to make a decision about how to handle its eight starting pitchers. If one of their starters isn't healthy or if the Dodgers are willing to use several of their starters in relief, that negotiation tactic might not work. Forcing a number of starters to the bullpen, though, would simply move the logjam from one part of the team to another, where it might affect pitchers like Matt Guerrier and a number of younger relievers. Here are more notes from the Dodgers.
- The Dodgers may eat the remaining $8MM on Juan Uribe's contract, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports, but Uribe is trying to recast himself as a utilityman who can also back up Adrian Gonzalez at first base. Uribe's three-year, $21MM contract, signed after the 2010 season, almost immediately proved to be a poor investment, as Uribe hit .204/264/.293 in the first year of the deal, then .191/.258/.284 in 2012.
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says his team should consider letting him go if the team does not make the playoffs, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. "If we can't get them to play the game right, they may have the wrong voice. There's a ton of talent here," Mattingly says. Mattingly is not under contract for 2014, and Shaikin reports that Mattingly does not expect to receive a contract extension before the season starts.
The Dodgers are "open for business," according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The Los Angeles front office will consider trading potentially useful veterans including Hiroki Kuroda, Jamey Carroll, Ted Lilly, Juan Uribe, Matt Guerrier and others.
Peter Gammons reported over the weekend that the Dodgers, now 42-55, are looking to shed salary. Kuroda is drawing interest and may require compensation to accept a deal, though he the Dodgers may decide to keep him. The Brewers, who are looking to acquire help on the left side of the infield, have checked in on Carroll.