Matt Guerrier Rumors
12:19pm: Guerrier can opt out of his deal on May 8, tweets LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. Financial terms remain the same as in Guerrier's prior deal, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He will earn $1MM while on the MLB roster and could earn up to $1MM more through incentives, with $250K bonuses triggered upon his 45th, 50th, 55th, and 60th appearances.
11:29am: The Twins have re-signed reliever Matt Guerrier after releasing him yesterday, reports MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger (Twitter links). The new deal includes an opt-out clause earlier than the June 1 date from his old contract, Bollinger adds.
By releasing and re-signing Guerrier, Minnesota avoided paying him a $100K retention bonus to stash him in the minors. The 35-year-old righty had hoped to find a big league opportunity elsewhere, but presumably was unable to do so.
One hidden key to the Royals' emergence has been the club's dedication to Latin American scouting, signing, and player development under GM Dayton Moore (and special assistant Rene Francisco), writes Rany Jazayerli of RanyontheRoyals.com. Jazayerli breaks down the team's long history of virtually no significant spending on Latin American players, and how increased investments -- especially on lower-priced players like Salvador Perez, Yordano Ventura, Miguel Almonte, and Jorge Bonifacio (total commitment: $253K) -- have been critical to building the team's overall talent base. Here's more from the American League Central:
- Max Scherzer requested an eight-year deal in his negotiations with the Tigers, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Twitter links). The Tigers' reported offer was for six years and $144MM. If the sides were in agreement on the $24MM AAV, that would hypothetically put Scherzer's demands on total gaurantee at $192MM. Scherzer has injury protection through an insurance policy, Bowden adds, which perhaps has increased his willingness to wait for a larger deal on the open market.
- Meanwhile, the White Sox were able to secure seven years of control rights over their own prized starter, Jose Quintana, for a total guarantee that maybe as low as $21MM (if he does not qualify for Super Two status). Of course, unlike Scherzer, Quintana has just 1.133 years of service and did not win the AL Cy Young last year. Nevertheless, the deal looks like a smart investment for a Chicago club that has purchased prime years of several players at seemingly reasonable rates. As Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reports, GM Rick Hahn sees the value in early extensions, which "frees us up to allocate our resources to other needs." Hahn explained: "You've seen the magnitude of what some of these deals have gotten to in free agency. It makes sense to try to get out in front of that sometimes, to try to get the price points locked in before the market continues to grow ... ."
- Twins assistant GM Rob Antony had several updates today, as Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Infielder Jason Bartlett has agreed to push back his March 25 opt-out to the March 30 Opening Day roster deadline, which gives both sides more time to assess their options. Meanwhile, the club is still in discussions on a new deal with reliever Matt Guerrier, who was released because the club did not want to pay the Article XX(B) free agent signee a $100K retention bonus to stash him in the minors.
- Though the Twins have had some exploratory discussions about an extension with second baseman Brian Dozier, the 26-year-old tells Berardino that a deal is probably not happening at this point. That is not surprising, as Dozier has just 1.100 on his service clock and still has some questions to answer as a player. But he indicated that there is a positive vibe between the two sides and a hope that talks could pick up in the future. "We had some talks or whatever," he said. "Obviously nothing took place but it was a bunch of good postive feedback on both ends.It's very unlikely anything will be coming soon or during the season or anything. We'll let another year play out and see where it goes. That was just a thing to see where everybody was. I think [the Twins] would be in the near future open to it and we definitely are."
- The Indians were one of the clubs vying for Scott Baker's services before the offseason, and just released Aaron Harang. Nevertheless, Cleveland will not pursue the starter at this point, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Baker was released today by the Mariners after deciding he would rather test the market than accept an assignment to Triple-A.
The Twins announced today they have granted reliever Matt Guerrier his unconditional release. The move comes one day prior to the retention bonus deadline. The Twins would have had to pay Guerrier $100K to retain him and send him to Triple-A.
Guerrier, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Twins in January. A Twins waiver claim of Guerrier in 2003 paid off, as he made his big league debut with the team the following year and logged 472 innings with them over seven seasons. His solid relief work with Minnesota led to a three-year, $12MM deal with the Dodgers after the 2010 campaign. This spring, Guerrier gave up three runs in four innings.
Following a series of other moves, the Twins now have 29 players in camp.
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.