Matt Treanor Rumors
The Rangers are close to announcing that they are re-signing catcher Matt Treanor, who will likely serve as backup to the recently acquired Yorvit Torrealba, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Rangers GM Jon Daniels told Sullivan that he's "pretty confident that Matt is coming back."
Treanor, acquired by the Rangers in a trade with the Tigers on March 22nd, ascended to a platoon role with Bengie Molina during the Rangers' run to the World Series following a rash of injuries and ineffectiveness at the catcher position for Texas at the big league level. Treanor played in 82 games, batting .211/.287/.388.
The Rangers are content with the production they're getting from Max Ramirez and Matt Treanor, according to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. Manager Ron Washington told Durrett that he's pleased with the game calling and defense his current catchers provide.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier in the week that the Rangers are looking at other catching options. Today's report doesn't necessarily mean Rosenthal's report is off-base, since club executives can eye opposing players even when they're content with their current club.
One catcher the Rangers definitely have their eye on plays at Triple A Oklahoma. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is working on his throwing, but his .343/.400/.552 line stands out, especially on a team that's getting a .193/.302/.266 line from its backstops.
"No one has forgotten about Salty," Washington said. "We know what he brings to the table."
Other clubs do, too, so it wouldn't be a shock if the Rangers were the ones trading from catching depth this summer. Rosenthal suggested the Astros - who could use some offense - and the Red Sox - who could use some defense - could look to acquire catchers. The Rangers could consider dealing with either one of those teams or any other club looking for a catcher.
The Rangers are looking for catching help, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal notes that the Astros, Brewers, Rays and Red Sox could also use reinforcements behind the plate. The Rays appear unlikey to deal for a catcher, partly because there aren't many backstops available.
The Rangers dealt for one of the few available catchers at the end of Spring Training, acquiring Matt Treanor from the Brewers. Treanor has impressed some with his game calling and defense, but Rosenthal says the team is looking at other options. Treanor, who has a .197/.300/.262 line in 71 plate appearances, missed most of last season with a bone spur in his right hip.
It may not be easy for GM Jon Daniels to work out a trade. The Rangers' sale is unresolved and has limited the club's ability to acquire players before. MLB prevented the Rangers from offering first round pick Matt Purke as much as they had planned to last summer, so the Rangers would presumably benefit from an immediate sale of the club.
MLBTR's Howard Megdal looked at the market for Chris Iannetta a couple weeks ago and concluded that the catcher could help teams at the major league level. The 27-year-old struggled in the majors this season and has since been demoted to the minors where he has posted a .303/.378/.667 line in 37 plate appearances. Iannetta is one of the many catchers the Rangers could inquire on.
Jamie Moyer, we are all witnesses. Some quick notes as we finish up the work week....
- Stephen Strasburg allowed just one hit and one walk over six shutout innings in his debut for Washington's Triple-A affiliate, reports The Associated Press.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com predicts the Cubs' woes may drive Lou Piniella into retirement when his contract is up after this season.
- The Los Angeles Times' Steve Dilbeck thinks the Dodgers erred in sending rookie right-hander John Ely back down to the minors so quickly.
- Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald has some details of Florida owner Jeffrey Loria's chat with reporters today. Loria dismissed any problems between him and manager Fredi Gonzalez, though Spencer notes that Loria "never exactly came out and said Gonzalez's job was 100 percent secure." Loria was vague about when Mike Stanton would be called up to the majors, but the owner noted that the Marlins "don't want him to come and fail. If he's going to come here, he's going to come here to stay."
- Speaking of Stanton, his name came up more than once during Baseball America's J.J. Cooper's chat with fans today. When asked if he'd rather have Stanton or Jason Heyward for the next 10 years, Cooper's answer was "Heyward and it didn't really take any time to think about it," though that's more of a nod to Heyward's limitless potential than a slight towards Stanton.
- Brian McCann revealed today that he is having more vision problems, and he will again start wearing glasses in the field, reports David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- ESPN's Buster Olney reports (via Tweets here and here) that the Mariners will still be paying Milton Bradley while he is on the team's restricted list.
- Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News writes that of all the catcher possibilities the Rangers looked at over the winter, little-regarded Matt Treanor became the team's "savior" due to his solid defensive and game-calling skills. (Probably on purpose, Taylor doesn't mention Treanor's .619 OPS.)
- Aaron Rowand, like Barry Zito, is also starting to live up his big Giants contract, writes Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com. Urban notes that Rowand's early-season success may be due to a better offseason fitness regiment and a total swing overhaul.
A rumor by any other name smells just as sweet. Links are in Spanish...
- Pedro Martinez has largely been linked in rumors to National League teams this winter, but Vladimir Guerrero thought recently his former Expo teammate might join him in Arlington. "Early in March, when I reported to Texas' spring training, I heard a fair amount about the possibility that Pedro was going to sign here, but it didn't happen," Guerrero told Juan Mercado at the Dominican paper El Dia. Martinez showed last year he wasn't afraid to pitch the stretch run in a hitter's park, as National League batters actually fared significantly better against Martinez on the road (.322/.362/.517 in 20 IP) than at Citizens Bank Ball Park (.225/.274/.701 in 24 IP) during his two months with the Phillies.
- The flurry of activity this offseason in regard to Cuban prospects is likely "the tip of the iceberg," Rangers scout Juan Alvarez tells the Nuevo Herald's Jorge Ebro. The latest signings from the island, of pitchers Reinier Roibal by the Giants and Sergio Espinosa by the Rays, were relatively low on fanfare, but Ebro quotes a source saying interest is quickly heating up for 27-year-old Cuban right-hander Yuniesky Maya. Maya has been linked this winter primarily to the Red Sox, who reportedly view him as a starter.
- In an interview with the Venezuelan paper El Tiempo, Max Ramirez clarifies recent reports that he is focusing on first base as his quickest route to the Rangers' major league roster. While he admits to taking some grounders, "They still consider me as a catcher and I think that's where I have more opportunities now," Ramirez says. Earlier this week the 25-year-old's name popped up once again as a possible trade chip for Mike Lowell, but that window likely closed for the time being when the Rangers claimed Ryan Garko off waivers yesterday. Nevertheless, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Gil LeBreton recently noted, Ramirez is the odd man out at any position in Texas, especially after the team acquired catcher Matt Treanor from the Brewers.
- Kelvim Escobar is throwing again and will stay in extended spring training for the Mets, but the team isn't counting on having him in the bullpen any time soon. A day before his previously stated April 1 deadline to decide whether to sit out 2010, Escobar told Lider en Deportes' Carlos Valmore Rodriguez that neither he nor the team are throwing up their hands on his one year, $1.25MM contract. Escobar says of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel, "They always tell me not to worry, they don't want me in April or May, because that's not when you win the World Series. (They tell me) they need me for a long time, to take my time and not rush myself, to be patient about things."
Action-packed links for Wednesday...
- NL offense rankings are up at RotoAuthority, courtesy of CHONE projections and the Baseball Musings lineup analysis tool. The Rockies are on top and the Padres bring up the rear, but plenty will change as the season unfolds.
- Two closers were named in recent days, and our Twitter account @CloserNews passed along the info instantly to allow you to make the winning fantasy pickups.
- The Rangers are attempting to work out a trade with the Giants that will allow them to retain Rule 5 lefty Ben Snyder, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Snyder already cleared waivers, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Sullivan also notes that Matt Treanor chose not to exercise his out clause; he's headed to Triple A.
- WEEI's Rob Bradford writes that although the Rangers are scouting Mike Lowell today and they're more interested in him than any other club, a deal is unlikely now and the Rangers would want the Red Sox to pay almost all of his salary. Bradford also notes that earlier this offseason, the Rangers expressed interest in Jed Lowrie.
- Free agent Kevin Millar hopes to continue his playing career, he explained on ESPN's Waddle & Silvy show.
- Diamondbacks second baseman Kelly Johnson strongly considered offers from the Blue Jays, Pirates, and Indians, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
- The A's feel that out of options players Eric Patterson and Jake Fox would not clear waivers, so they're likely to send Landon Powell and Adam Rosales down (Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reporting).
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy offers analysis and predictions for seven out of options pitchers.
- The Orioles are looking for a suitor for catcher Chad Moeller, who is "shocked and disappointed" about not making the team according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltmore Sun. Peter Schmuck feels that Moeller was a better choice than Craig Tatum.
- Jeff Suppan explained to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that he's not dealing with a phantom neck injury, despite the convenient timing.
- Though they could've saved $750K, the Nationals chose not to cut Scott Olsen according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs knows the Mariners, and he analyzes the organization's health in this article.
The Rangers have acquired catcher Matt Treanor from the Brewers in exchange for infielder Ray Olmedo, tweets Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel. Jeff Wilson of The Forth Worth Star Telegram says (via Twitter) that the Rangers don't expect Treanor to exercise the March 30th opt-out clause in his contract.
Texas had been looking for some catching depth all offseason as Jarrod Saltalamacchia recovers from shoulder surgery. The 34-year-old Treanor missed most of the 2009 season with a bone spur in his right hip, and is a career .232/.318/.311 hitter in the big leagues.
Olmedo, 29 in May, is a .228/.276/.293 career hitter in 442 big league plate appearances, but at least he can play all over the infield. He last appeared in the majors in 2007, and he's spent the last two years playing in Triple-A for the Nationals and Rays. He was promptly sent to minor league camp.
Let's check out some Brewers tidbits courtesy of MLB.com's Adam McCalvy..
- An article from Anthony Witrado of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel seemed to indicate that Jim Edmonds might not want to play in 2010. However, McCalvy writes that Edmonds reiterated his desire to make the squad in Milwaukee. He adds that it would be something of a surprise if Milwaukee didn't offer the 39-year-old their final roster spot.
- In McCalvy's view, it is unlikely that Milwaukee will deal Prince Fielder mid-season. As he points out, contract negotiations would first have to fall apart before the club would even consider such a move. If they do look to move him, expect them to do so next offseason.
- McCalvy also writes that three players in camp with the Brewers can elect for free agency if they are not added to the 40-man roster: the aforementioned Edmonds, catcher Matt Treanor, and lefty Scott Schoeneweis. Treanor is battling with George Kottaras for the backup catcher position and the club may not have room for Treanor in the minor leagues. Meanwhile, in the event that Schoeneweis doesn't make the cut, he has said that he is unwilling to accept a minor league assignment.
Links for Sunday....
- The Cardinals are considering Adam Ottavino, their 2006 first-round pick, as an option for the bullpen, writes Derrick Goold. The 24-year-old has improved his delivery and hurled 8.1 innings so far this spring, allowing just one run with five strikeouts, though he also has five walks to go along with them.
- The Brewers will have some decisions to make this week on players such as Jim Edmonds, Matt Treanor, and Scott Schoeneweis, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Each signed a minor league deal with an out clause. McCalvy opines that "it would be a surprise" if Edmonds didn't factor into the Crew's 2010 Major League plans.
- Lynn Henning of the Detroit News thinks that the Tigers will release Dontrelle Willis in the near future.
- Eddie Guardado hasn't officially announced his retirement, but he tells Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas "I think I'm done." Durrett reports that, even if Guardado doesn't pitch again, the lefty would like to stay in baseball in some capacity.
- The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has a few interesting notes in his latest column. He names Jake Westbrook as an intriguing trade-deadline pitching option, and says that Mark Mulder could still work toward a comeback this season.
- The Rangers may try to trade for a utility infielder, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post doesn't think it's a foregone conclusion that Adrian Gonzalez will be playing in Fenway Park by August.
More links as the weekend draws closer...
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers signed catcher Matt Treanor to a minor league deal. The former Tiger struggled to stay healthy this year.
- The Dodgers signed outfielder Brian Barton to a minor league deal, according to Hernandez. The 27-year-old has hit just .268/.354/.392 in 179 big league plate appearances, all coming in 2008.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson has learned that the Nationals are not interested in Johnny Damon because they're trying to improve their defense.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets that Damon has some interest in signing with the Braves. The outfielder would have to be willing to take a pay cut to join the club, in O'Brien's opinion.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the D'Backs have made Kelly Johnson an offer. The details aren't clear, but Piecoro guesses it's a one-year deal worth $2MM.
- Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti said that any talks with Cincinnati are "all but dead," according to Dylan Hernandez of The LA Times. Yesterday we heard the two teams were exploring an Aaron Harang trade.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Tigers, Giants and Royals have interest in Jack Cust. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick says the Mariners may be the favorites to sign Cust.
- Jorge Arangure Jr. of ESPN.com hears that Jose Contreras is narrowing his options down and preparing to sign. His agent says "there are some interesting opportunities in the bullpen."
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says that with his options dwindling, Miguel Tejada might have to slide over to third to be rewarded with a contract.
- Claudio Vargas' deal with the Brewers is worth $900K, says Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel. The righty could also earn another $400K in incentives.
- O'Brien mentions that Adam LaRoche said there's been no contact from the Braves that he knows of. Earlier we learned that some teams were put off by LaRoche's asking price.
- Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres have named Jaron Madison scouting director. Madison spent the last two years working as the assistant scouting director in St. Louis.
- Venezuelan reporter Efrain Zavarce says that Kelvim Escobar has signed with...a Venezuelan Winter League team. He'll pitch in relief tomorrow, and the Rays will have someone in attendance.