Matt Lindstrom Rumors

Angels Release Matt Lindstrom

The Angels have announced that they’ve released righty reliever Matt Lindstrom. Lindstrom had an out clause, as Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets, so the release frees him to pursue a job elsewhere. Mike DiGiovanna tweets, however, that Lindstrom was surprised by the Angels’ decision.

Lindstrom, 35, pitched 34 innings in the White Sox’ bullpen last season, posting a 5.03 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 while losing two miles an hour on his fastball. The Angels signed him to a minor-league deal last month. The veteran has pitched in the big leagues in all of the last eight seasons, appearing with the Marlins, Astros, Rockies, Orioles and Diamondbacks in addition to the White Sox.


AL Notes: Price, Ludwick, Lindstrom, Blue Jays

Academy Award-winning actor, Michigan native and huge Tigers fan J.K. Simmons will throw out the first pitch at the Tigers’ opener on April 6.  Simmons won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar last month for his role in Whiplash, and if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll agree that the Tigers should probably hold off on having Simmons give a pep talk to the rookies before the game.  Here’s the latest from around the American League…

  • The Tigers‘ chances of extending David Price aren’t good, Mlive.com’s Chris Iott opines, as there are simply too many reasons for Price to test the free agent market this winter.  Price could potentially find a $200MM+ contract next offseason, so it’s possible Detroit would have to top that level now in order to retain him.
  • The Rangers told outfielder Ryan Ludwick that he wouldn’t make the team, GM Jon Daniels told reporters (including MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan).  Daniels described Ludwick as an “all-world guy” who he believes could help another team’s roster, though in the Rangers’ case, “as we look at it today, we thought other options in camp fit the roster better.”  Ludwick signed a minor league contract with Texas in February and, as an Article XX(B) free agent, would’ve been obligated to receive a $100K bonus if the Rangers wanted to keep him in the organization but not on the 25-man roster.
  • Matt Lindstrom is also an Article XX(B) free agent, and the Angels right-hander’s status could hurt his chances of making the roster since the Halos like to be flexible in sending relievers back and forth to the minors, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez writes.
  • Right-hander Steve Delabar told reporters (including Sportsnet’s Mike Wilner) that “it’s a shock to me” that he won’t be making the Blue Jays‘ Opening Day roster.  Delabar pitched well this spring but apparently lost his spot due to the emergence of Miguel Castro and Roberto Osuna, both of whom seem very likely to make the team.  Delabar was clearly upset by the demotion, and when asked if he would accept a change of scenery to a new team, he said “it could be considered, but I’m not saying that that’s what I’m asking for or anything like that. But if that was to happen… I feel like I’m a major-league player and I can help a bullpen.”
  • Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders won’t be ready for Opening Day, MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm writes, though the reason isn’t due to a setback in his rehab from knee surgery.  The team and Saunders both want to make sure the outfielder is 100 percent when he takes the field, which could be as soon as Toronto’s home opener on April 13.  Saunders had surgery to remove 60 percent of his left meniscus after tearing the cartilage earlier this spring — a decision that accelerated his timeline to take the field from midseason to early April.  Manager John Gibbons has referred to the radically altered timeline as “kind of a miracle,” and Saunders has already been DHing in Minor League games, per Chisholm. However, he’s yet to play outfield defense or run the bases; he’s returned to the dugout rather than running after each at-bat in those games, as the focus is currently just on getting his timing down in a game setting.

AL Notes: White Sox, Ramirez, Angels

Ken Williams lost out on a chance to become the Blue Jays’ new president and CEO this offseason, but he’s enjoying his current role with the White Sox, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reports. “I can’t worry about something that I have no control over,” he says, but he’s clearly thrilled about this year’s team after adding Jeff Samardzija, David Robertson, Melky Cabrera, Adam LaRoche and Zach Duke in the offseason. “I hesitate to say, because I don’t want to disrespect any of the other teams we’ve had, but I don’t know if I’ve been this optimistic and excited to see a team play on a day-to-day basis,” he says. Here’s more from the American League.

  • One player worth watching in Mariners camp is pitcher Erasmo Ramirez, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune writes. Ramirez is out of options. The Mariners will likely try to get him through waivers since there’s no space for him on the team (unless the Mariners option both Carson Smith and Dominic Leone), but another team is likely to claim him. (Ramirez posted an underwhelming 5.26 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 2014, but since he’s 24, has big-league experience, and can start or relieve, some team might find him to be an attractive waiver claim.) The M’s could deal Ramirez, but since he could wind up on the waiver wire anyway, there isn’t much incentive for teams to give up much for him.
  • Angels reliever Cory Rasmus has a core injury that will cause him to miss six to eight weeks, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes (Twitter links). That will leave two open spots in the team’s bullpen. One of those will likely go to Vinnie Pestano, and Gonzalez thinks it’s possible that the other will be occupied by Matt Lindstrom, who is an Article XX(B) free agent.
  • Nonetheless, the Angels are impressed with Scott Snodgress, who they see as a potential hard-throwing lefty bullpen option, Gonzalez writes. They signed Snodgress as a minor-league free agent over the winter. Snodgress spent most of last season as a stater with Double-A Birmingham in the White Sox system, posting a 3.89 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9, but the Angels saw him as a reliever. “This is a team that, for the most part, has gone through the last year and a half without a consistent presence on the left-handed side of the bullpen,” says GM Jerry Dipoto. “From Day 1, we’ve talked about bullpen being a role, and I think that intrigued him.”


Angels Sign Matt Lindstrom To Minor League Deal

7:40pm: Lindstrom will receive a $1MM base salary if he makes the Major League roster, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

4:19pm: The Angels announced today that they have signed right-handed reliever Matt Lindstrom to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The 35-year-old Lindstrom is represented by Greg Genske of the Legacy Agency.

Lindstrom opened the 2014 season as the White Sox closer and recorded six saves with a 3.32 ERA through his first 19 appearances, but he suffered a subluxed tendon in his ankle while fielding a grounder, causing him to spend nearly three full months on the disabled list. Upon returning, he struggled to a 7.20 ERA in 16 appearances, yielding 12 runs in 15 innings of work.

From 2011-13, Lindstrom enjoyed a quite productive run with the Rockies, Orioles, D-Backs and White Sox, pitching to a combined 2.95 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 51.4 percent ground-ball rate. Lindstrom’s ground-ball tendencies have trended upward over his career, and as he’s gotten older, he’s relied increasingly on a power sinker to maintain his effectiveness. Lindstrom averages roughly 95 mph on the pitch, though his velocity last season was more in the 93 mph range.


Lindstrom Hopes To Return To White Sox In 2015

Right-hander Matt Lindstrom is a free agent at season’s end, but he told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com that his preference is to return to the White Sox, with whom he spent the past two seasons. Said Lindstrom: “I’d like to be a part of something special. We’ve definitely seen the offense pick up here and I think we’re seeing some guys in the starting rotation learning on the job. I’d like to be a part of it here in Chicago.”

The 34-year-old opened the season as Chicago’s closer, but he’s spent much of the 2014 campaign on the disabled list following surgery to repair a subluxed tendon in his left ankle. Lindstrom had a 3.32 ERA in 19 innings when he initially hit the disabled list, though he had posted a fairly worrisome 11-to-9 K/BB ratio in that time. Since returning from the disabled list, he’s struggled through a pair of three-run outings, causing his ERA to soar to 5.09.

However, Lindstrom had a quietly strong season for the Sox in 2013, turning in a 3.12 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a very strong 55.6 percent ground-ball rate in 60 2/3 innings — the second-highest innings total of his eight-year career. Lindstrom is earning $4MM this season after the ChiSox exercised a club option on his deal following the 2013 season.

It sounds like there’s at least some interest on behalf of the Sox as well, or at least some interest from manager Robin Ventura. “You’re always hoping you have someone in each area of your team that guys can draw from who has experience,” Ventura explained to Hayes. “Matty has that.”


Quick Hits: Cards, Fish, Willingham, Sox, Kemp, Lindstrom

It’s been a busy afternoon, but no deals have gone down; let’s round up some worthwhile recent news and rumors as the market heats up:

  • The Cardinals are in need of a starter for Saturday, and manager Mike Matheny says that it could go to an arm that is not currently in the organization, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Philadelphia has sent a scout to watch the Cardinals’ top minor league affiliate, Goold adds. As he indicates, it is easy to see the Cards showing interest in the Phillies‘ Cole Hamels given his high-end talent and extended team control. On the other hand, a recent report suggests that the Phils have yet to go very far down the line in discussing Hamels, and the club is said to be looking for an overwhelming return to part with the lefty.
  • For the Marlins, the desire to add a top-end starter does not mean that the team will part with any core MLB players, including outfielder Christian Yelich, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Additionally, Miami remains more interested in adding an arm that it can control past this season. The club therefore might be more inclined to pursue John Lackey than Jon Lester from the Red Sox, and would have “heavy interest” if David Price of the Rays were to be made available. Frisaro says the club is working hard to make one or two deals by the trade deadline.
  • The Mariners are currently discussing outfielder Josh Willingham with the Twins, sources tell Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The sides were connected a few weeks back by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, and Seattle has long been said to be seeking a right-handed bat for the outfield. Also still in the mix on Willingham are the Yankees, among other teams including Seattle, reports Heyman.
  • Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp interests the Red Sox whether or not he would be involved in a hypothetical deal for Lester, reports Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (Twitter links). Boston has scouted him on and off over the last month, says Edes, and would consider adding him over the offseason if nothing comes to pass this summer.
  • The Rangers are working to deal outfielder Alex Rios, a source with a team interested in a bat tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Rios, who was off to a hot start, struggled mightily in June and but has improved to a .304/.317/.405 line for the month of July.
  • White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom is nearing a rehab stint, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports on Twitter. The 34-year-old owns a 3.32 ERA through 19 innings, and could be a possible August trade chip if he can return healthy. He is playing on a $4MM salary this year before hitting the open market.

Central Notes: Segura, Cardinals, Royals, Lindstrom

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin confirmed to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that his club has tabled its extension talks with shortstop Jean Segura. Said Melvin: "Nothing was going to happen so we decided it didn't make sense to keep talking. We told Jean to just go out and play. We never close anything off but there's nothing going on now." As Haudricourt points out, Andrelton Simmons' seven-year, $58MM deal likely didn't do the Brewers any favors. Segura will $534K in 2014, representing a healthy (when compared to the salaries of many pre-arbitration players) bump over the $500K Major League minimum.

More from baseball's Central divisions…

  • Shelby Miller was the landmark pick that demonstrated how the Cardinals would evaluate, draft and develop pitching back in 2009, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goold describes the Cards' prioritization of athleticism and velocity. Former Cardinals pitcher and current Padres scout Kevin Jarvis tells Goold: "For those of us in the game, what they have done should be analyzed, evaluated and then emulated."
  • On the other side of the spectrum, the Kansas City Star's Andy McCullough examines the Royals' difficulty in developing starting pitchers over the years. McCullough spoke with left-hander John Lamb, whose rise and fall as one of the game's top pitching prospects has been well documented in the Kansas City media after he fell victim to Tommy John surgery. He also spoke with several Royals officials, who admitted their difficulty is a combination of bad luck and one particularly woeful decision. One Royals official said the decision to draft Christian Colon over Chris Sale is, to this day, the lone decision that causes him to lose sleep. However, consensus among the Royals' brass at the time was that Sale wouldn't last as a starter (they were far from the only ones to think so).
  • White Sox manager Robin Ventura told reporters today, inlcuding Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, that Matt Lindstrom will open the season as his closer. That's big news for Lindstrom, whose free agent stock next offseason could rise substantially with a successful season in the ninth inning. GM Rick Hahn said he hopes Lindstrom takes the closer's role and runs with it, but the bullpen roles are "not etched in stone" (Twitter links). For those fantasy baseball players out there, remember that you can follow @closernews on Twitter during the season to get daily tips and news updates for chasing saves in your leagues.

White Sox Exercise Matt Lindstrom’s 2014 Option

The White Sox have exercised their $4MM club option on right-hander Matt Lindstrom, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin (on Twitter). Lindstrom's option contained a $500K buyout, essentially making this a $3.5MM decision for White Sox GM Rick Hahn and his staff.

Lindstrom, who turns 34 in February, was the only option decision that the White Sox had to make this offseason. The veteran flamethrower turned in a 3.12 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 55.6 percent ground-ball rate in 60 2/3 innings in 2013. Lindstrom's fastball was once again blistering, checking in with an average velocity of 95 mph.

Lindstrom will re-join a relief corps that is fronted by closer Addison Reed and also includes hard-throwing setup man Nate Jones. While the White Sox have a number of internal options, it wouldn't be surprising to see them add at least one more veteran arm for the 2014 season. Their bullpen depth took a hit this season when they traded Matt Thornton to the Red Sox and Jesse Crain to the Rays.


Matt Lindstrom Joins The Legacy Agency

White Sox right-hander Matt Lindstrom has signed with Greg Genske of The Legacy Agency, according to Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal (Twitter link). The 33-year-old Lindstrom was previously represented by the Sparta Group.

Lindstrom leads American League pitchers in appearances this season and has tallied an impressive 3.10 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 4.0 BB/9 and a 55.4 percent ground-ball rate. His contract contains a $4MM club option that seems likely to be exercised, and he could be traded at any time due to the fact that he has cleared waivers. If his option is declined, his free agency will be in the hands of an agency that has negotiated free agent deals for relievers Bobby Jenks, Danys Baez and J.P. Howell in recent years.

Tommy Hanson and Oscar Taveras have also joined The Legacy Agency in the past month, as can be seen in MLBTR's Agency Database. With info on nearly 1,900 Major League and Minor League players, our database is constantly growing. If you see any errors or omissions, please let us know via email at mlbtrdatabase@gmail.com.


Dan Haren, Erik Bedard Clear Waivers

Nationals pitcher Dan Haren and Astros hurler Erik Bedard have cleared waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  Mariners infielder Brendan Ryan and White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom have also cleared waivers and even though the clubs floated them out there prior to the non-waiver deadline, it's not clear how much interest they'll generate.

Haren was first placed on waivers last week, so the news that he cleared doesn't come as a surprise.  The Nats were expecting more than a 4.99 ERA when they signed the 32-year-old to a one-year, $13MM contract this offseason but his 8.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 are promising. Haren is owed just under $3.7MM for the remainder of the year.  The Nationals still have a shot at catching the Reds for the final Wild Card spot, however, and they're likely not in sell mode at the moment.

Bedard, 34, isn't a world-beater, but he could appeal to clubs as he is owed roughly $300K for the rest of the season.  The veteran owns a 4.28 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 21 starts and two relief outings in 2013.

Lindstrom, 33, has a 3.47 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 58 relief appearances for the White Sox this season.  The right-hander has been a little stronger in years past as he owns a career 3.62 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.