Matt Belisle Rumors
The two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.35MM last month to avoid arbitration. The new contract buys out Belisle's final season of arbitration-eligibility and one year of free agency.
Belisle, 30, found a home in Colorado's bullpen in 2009 after years of trying to cut it as a starter with the Reds. He broke out in a big way in 2010, leading all big league relievers with 92 innings pitched. Belisle struck out 91 batters (8.9 K/9) and walked just 16 (1.6 BB/9) in all those innings, though it's worth noting that five of those walks were intentional. He was also adept at getting ground balls, with a 46.3% grounder rate.
Colorado has now signed a total of six players to multiyear contract extensions this winter, as our Transaction Tracker shows. The others: Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Lindstrom, Jason Hammel, and Rafael Betancourt. The total value of those extensions is north of $220MM, with most going to Tulo and CarGo.
The Rockies have agreed to a one-year, $2.35MM contract with Matt Belisle, reports Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Colorado avoids salary arbitration with Belisle, who was in his third and final arb-eligible season.
Belisle and the Rockies agreed to an $0.85MM contract for 2010, and the right-hander responded with the finest season of his seven-year Major League career. Belisle posted a 2.93 ERA, and 8.9 K/9 rate and a very impressive 5.69 K/BB ratio in 76 games for Colorado, all of which were career bests.
Belisle, 30, is the first of six arb-eligible Rockies to settle a contract with the club. These cases and every other arbitration-eligible player in baseball can be followed on the MLBTR Arb Tracker.
Let's continue our look at each team's amateur spending with the Atlanta Braves. Here are the five largest signing bonuses they've paid out...
- Mike Minor, $2.42MM (2009)
- Jeff Francoeur, $2.2MM (2002)
- Matt Belisle, $1.75MM (1998)
- Jason Heyward, $1.7MM (2007)
- Edward Salcedo, $1.6MM (2010)
The seventh overall pick in 2009, Minor shot through the minors this season and made eight starts (and one relief appearance) for the Braves. His 5.98 ERA in 40.2 innings was ugly but the peripherals were excellent: 9.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. He figures to get a much longer look next season.
Francoeur, the 23rd overall pick in 2002, burst onto the scene with a .300/.336/.549 effort in his 2005 rookie campaign, but struggled thereafter. He hit just .266/.308/.424 with the Braves before being traded to the Mets for Ryan Church a few weeks before the 2009 trade deadline. Belisle was the 52nd overall pick in 1998, but he never appeared in a game for Atlanta. He pitched well in the minor leagues before missing the entire 2001 season due to injury, and the Braves eventually shipped him to the Reds as a player to be named later in a 2003 deal for Kent Mercker.
Heyward somehow lasted until the 14th overall pick of the 2007, and he just wrapped up a tremendously successful rookie campaign: .277/.393/.456 in 623 plate appearances. He should receive plenty of Rookie of the Year votes, if not in the award outright. Salcedo turned pro just this summer, and hit .225/.307/.333 in 304 A-ball plate appearances. He is arguably the team's best position player prospect due to his talent level and physical gifts.
Kenshin Kawakami was a long-time veteran of the Japanese leagues, but if we relax our criteria a bit to include players with zero MLB experience, his $2MM signing bonus would slot in at number three.
8:42 PM: The Denver Post's Troy Renck has an update on the contract details.
6:25 PM: The Rockies re-signed relievers Matt Belisle and Randy Flores to one-year contracts on Thursday. Terms of the deals weren't announced, though both pitchers were eligible for salary arbitration. Belisle, a right-hander, posted a 5.52 ERA but a strong 4.4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24 appearances last year with Colorado after spending his first five big-league seasons in Cincinnati. Southpaw Flores appeared in 27 games for the Rockies last season, recording a strong 10.5 K/9.
Tracy Ringolsby believes that with Belisle and Flores back in the fold, Joe Beimel is the odd man out in the Rockies' bullpen. Beimel had a 4.02 ERA in 26 games with Colorado after being acquired from Washington at the trade deadline, but Ringolsby thinks that Colorado will stick with Flores and Franklin Morales as their main left-handed relief options.
In other Rockies news from Thursday, the club outrighted reliever Joel Peralta and infielder Omar Quintanilla, Peralta (who is now a free agent) is still being pursued for a minor-league contract while Quintanilla is on the Triple-A Colorado Springs roster.
Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies examines Colorado's commitments for 2010, and the decisions they'll face regarding potential free agents and arbitration cases. Here are a few of his thoughts:
- Jason Marquis has said he wants to sign with the Mets and likely won't be back in Colorado.
- There's a good chance that lefty Alan Embree will retire.
- Jose Contreras is interested in returning in a middle relief capacity, but Matt Belisle is a younger option for the team in that role.
- The club would like to retain Rafael Betancourt, but his contract would have to be reworked. Betancourt has a $5.4MM club option for 2010.
- Behind the plate, Chris Iannetta will be back as the starter. Yorvit Torrealba could return as Ianetta's backup, but probably not for more than $1MM.
- The team may not have room for Jason Giambi, instead opting to use his roster spot on a right-handed hitter who can play both infield corners.
- Righty relievers Juan Rincon and Matt Herges could receive minor-league invites.
According to Tracy Ringolsby, the Rockies designated righthander Matt Belisle for assignment today. The move was made to clear room on the roster for Manny Corpas, who is returning from an elbow injury. Belisle pitched in 15 games for Colorado this season, putting up a 8.35 ERA in 18.1 IP.
Another collection of random links...
- A fresh fantasy baseball mailbag over at RotoAuthority, where I address David Ortiz, Francisco Liriano, and more.
- The Orioles claimed pitcher Dave Davidson off waivers from the Marlins and sent him to Triple A, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN.
- Matt Belisle cleared waivers and accepted his Triple A assignment, according to Jack Etkin of Inside the Rockies.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo predicts the top 20 picks in the June draft. Mike Minor to the Padres, Aaron Crow to the Pirates?
- Rangers owner Tom Hicks might be willing to sell his controlling interest in the team, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
- Scott Lauber of The News Journal thinks Pedro Feliz is changing the Phillies' mind about his $5MM option for 2010 with his .307/.373/.433 start. His 10% walk rate is a career best.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues discusses the Mark DeRosa-Yankees rumor.
- Alexei Ramirez is being sued for $20MM in the Dominican Republic "for allegedly violating a contract he signed with local talent scouts before inking a major league contract." Not sure how they arrived at that figure.
According to Tracy Ringolsby of Inside the Rockies, the team designated pitcher Matt Belisle for assignment and recalled Josh Fogg. Ringolsby feels the Padres might make a waiver claim on Belisle, who was knocked around in 17.3 relief innings this year.
Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post has the latest on the Rockies.
- With Dexter Fowler making the team, the Rockies will release Scott Podsednik. The Brewers have shown interest in bringing him back to Milwaukee.
- Renck notes that Sal Fasano, Josh Fogg, and Matt Belisle all have out clauses in their contracts.
- The Rockies are looking for pitching. The top target is Jason Hammel of the Rays, while the Cubs' Chad Gaudin is also on the radar. It's possible Gaudin will clear waivers due to his $2MM salary, though.
The Colorado Rockies offered third baseman Garrett Atkins $6.65MM, and Atkins asked for $7.95MM, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports.
“Either way, it’s going to be a lot of money and I will be happy,” Atkins told Renck.
Atkins’ arbitration hearing date has been set, Renck adds, but both parties are keeping it secret to prevent advance research by the arbiters.
Renck also notes that starting pitcher Josh Fogg is still considering rejoining the Rockies. Fogg would receive a minor-league deal similar to Matt Belisle.