Micah Owings Rumors
The D'Backs announced that they have agreed to sign Micah Owings to a minor league contract. The right-hander will also get an invitation to Spring Training. The D'Backs intend to use Owings as a pitcher and occasional first baseman, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
Owings posted a 5.40 ERA in 33 1/3 innings for the Reds last year, striking out 9.5 batters per nine. The 28-year-old walked 6.8 batters per nine, however, and didn't fare quite as well as usual at the plate.
Owings, who won a Silver Slugger with the D'Backs in 2007, is one of baseball's best-hitting pitchers. He has a remarkable .293/.323/.538 career line with 9 homers in 198 plate appearances. He strikes out at a Mark Reynolds-like rate, but can hit the ball a long way, especially against southpaws.
Agent Scott Boras represents Owings.
Matt Eddy of Baseball America brings us minor league transactions for October 3rd to 9th, the first full week of the offseason for most clubs. Here are a few notes of interest from the latest series of minor league moves across the league:
- Many familiar names have been granted free agency, including Ian Snell, Cla Meredith, Micah Owings, Fernando Nieve, Dan Meyer, Ryan Garko, Mike Jacobs, and Jason Bergmann.
- The Royals released reliever Matt Herges. Herges didn't reach the majors this season, but had a solid year in 2009, recording a 3.38 ERA in 30 games between Cleveland and Colorado.
- Yordany Ramirez, a long-time minor league outfielder, was re-signed by the Astros. After struggling as a hitter in three Triple-A seasons, the 26-year-old is being converted to pitching.
Links for Thursday, exactly seven years after the Padres traded Jason Bay and Oliver Perez to the Pirates for Brian Giles. Bay and Perez are teammates once again, though Perez barely pitches and Bay is on the disabled list with a concussion...
- Micah Owings cleared waivers and accepted a minor league assignment, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Owings asked to be traded after the Reds designated him for assignment last week.
- Gregg Zaun told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that his injury rehab is going well and says he plans to play in 2011.
- The Rangers have been "very active" recently, one executive told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
- MLB.com's Corey Brock hears that the Padres will pass on Brad Hawpe (Twitter link). They had interest, but appear to be content with their current outfielders.
- Jamey Newberg checks in on all the prospects the Rangers traded away this summer in an MLB.com article. Justin Smoak was the big name in the Cliff Lee trade, but Josh Lueke and Blake Beavan have played well for the Mariners since the deal.
- In this video clip at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Indians assistant GM Chris Antonetti explains that he'd like to see improved infield defense, since Cleveland pitchers induce lots of grounders.
- Mets GM Omar Minaya tells Dan Martin of the New York Post that he knows his job isn't completely secure.
- Juan Pierre explained to Scott Merkin of MLB.com that Manny Ramirez could help the White Sox this season. Pierre's reasoning is simple - he considers Manny "probably one of the top five hitters ever."
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told MLB.com's Barry Bloom that Micah Owings requested that the Reds try to trade him to another MLB organization. The Reds, who designated Owings for assignment today, will try to trade Owings.
- Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal projects Boston’s 2014 roster.
- The Yankees agreed to sign Dominican shortstop Christopher Tamarez for $650K, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. BA has video of the wiry 16-year-old.
- Craig Counsell told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he would not object to being traded to a contender. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes analyzed the market for Counsell, who cleared waivers yesterday.
- The Rays signed former big league pitcher Bobby Livingston, according to the International League's transactions page. The Dodgers recently released the left-hander.
- Teams are calling the Cubs about Derrek Lee and others, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. Lee, who can veto any deal, turned down a trade to the Angels last month.
Owings was acquired from the Diamondbacks as the player to be named later in the Adam Dunn trade about two years ago. In his Reds career he posted a 5.35 ERA, 6.1 K/9, 5.2 BB/9, and 1.2 HR/9 in 153 innings. He's dealt with shoulder issues in recent years. Owings is known for his bat; he slugged four homers, five doubles, and a triple in 76 Reds plate appearances.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com answered some Reds-related questions from fans in a mailbag today. Here are a few of the more intriguing items....
- With Aroldis Chapman looking like he might make the Cincinnati staff, a reader wondered how this quick entry into the majors might affect the six-year, $30.25MM deal Chapman signed in January. Sheldon says that if the young hurler is eligible for arbitration after 2012, then the final three years of his contract would be voided and part of his remaining salary is converted into a bonus. Sheldon notes that the Reds would still control Chapman for at least the full six years of the initial contract.
- Chapman is one of several young pitchers whose 2010 performance may dictate what the Reds do with the options of Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang, Sheldon writes. Cincinnati has $2MM buyouts on both Arroyo and Harang, but if the club chooses to bring one or both pitchers back, Arroyo will be owed at least $11MM and Harang will be owed at least $12.75MM. (Both options could be worth as much as $13MM based based on innings pitched.) If the youngsters step up, the Reds might be comfortable in letting both veterans go.
- Sheldon says Micah Owings' primary value is still as a pitcher, and his strong pinch-hitting is just a bonus. But Sheldon notes that since Mike Lincoln is out of options and on a guaranteed contract, he may squeeze Owings out of a bullpen spot.
MLB.com's Mark Sheldon cleaned out his inbox and answered a few questions from Reds fans today. Here are some of the more pertinent details...
- The team would like to move Willy Taveras if they could, but there are very few takers for a player who posted a .240/.275/.285 line in 2009 and is due to make $4MM next season. Given his limited abilities and how Shelton feels that Taveras wouldn't be happy on the bench, the Reds have to consider cutting their losses with Taveras and releasing him.
- Micah Owings will likely not be used as trade bait, given that he is expected to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation and is also valuable out of the bullpen or as a pinch-hitter.
- Sheldon thinks that between Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix, Gomes has "the better chance" of being tendered a contract.
- If neither man is brought back, Cincinnati will turn to a variety of in-house options for the left field job, including Wladimir Balentien, Chris Dickerson or prospects Juan Francisco, Chris Heisey and Todd Frazier.
- Sheldon believes Joey Votto "has earned the right" to remain as Cincinnati's everyday first baseman, and the Reds would only consider moving their young slugger to left field if prospect Yonder Alonso proved he was ready for the major leagues.
- No surprise here, but Shelton confirms that the Reds don't have the payroll to go after major free agents like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay.
Three players - Mike Fontenot, Adam Jones, and Micah Owings - have exactly two years and 139 days of service time. According to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger, only one could be designated a Super Two player, and it will be Fontenot. It might seem pretty minor, but once you refresh yourself on what Super Two means, check out these ripple effects from the tiebreaker decision...
- Fontenot is arbitration-eligible now, so the Cubs can't just renew him for $430K. He's coming off a poor season, but he'll still be more expensive in 2010. The Cubs are tight on payroll, so you have to wonder if they'll now trade or non-tender Fontenot. However, Jim Hendry's comments to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune imply the Cubs will retain Fontenot for 2010.
- The Orioles save significant money on Jones, who might've made more than $5MM in 2010 but can now be renewed at less than a tenth of that.
- Owings escapes a possible non-tender situation with the Reds.
- The article names a slew of other Super Twos: Tim Lincecum, Matt Garza, Tom Gorzelanny, Alex Gordon, Matt Albers, Jeff Karstens, Hunter Pence, Dustin Nippert, and Carlos Gomez.
USA's Today's Bob Nightengale is cranking out the tweets...put this stuff in a column, Bob!
- He says the Red Sox met with Scott Boras about Matt Holliday, as a Jason Bay contingency.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Nightengale no one has heard from Ben Sheets or his agent. Back in October, assistant GM Gord Ash told the AP, "There's been once and a while conversations with his agent to remind that we still have that ongoing interest."
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Nightengale he didn't sit down with a single agent. Seems kind of weird.
- Talking to Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, Nightengale learned that the team is still open to acquiring a DH despite re-signing Ken Griffey Jr.
- D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes told Nightengale the Super Two cutoff is two years, 139 days, leaving Mark Reynolds one day shy. That saves the team some bucks. But it looks as though Adam Jones, Mike Fontenot, and Micah Owings will be arbitration-eligible. Are Fontenot and Owings non-tender candidates?
It's been a busy first day on the hot stove, so here's another batch of links...
- Derrick Goold of The St. Lous Post Dispatch says there are eight teams "that have the need and the financial wherewithal" to sign Matt Holliday. It's the usual suspects (i.e. big market clubs), and Goold explains why each may be interested in Holliday.
- Craig Landis, agent for J.J. Putz, said that his client "hasn't ruled out returning to the Mets with a cheaper, incentive-laden deal," according to Bart Hubbuch of The NY Post. Earlier today we learned that the Mets informed Putz that they wouldn't be picking up his 2010 option.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy says the Brewers are waiting to see whether Felipe Lopez qualifies as a Type-A or B free agent, and that will likely play a role in their decision whether or not to offer him arbitration. Eddie Bajek's work projects Lopez to be a Type-B, but he's right on the cutoff.
- ESPN's Keith Law loves the Mark Teahen trade for the Royals, noting that they traded one average player close to free agency for two average players with several years of team control left.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds' relievers Nick Masset and Jared Burton are arbitration eligible as Super Two's, but Micah Owings is not.
- Meanwhile, the Reds are expected to decline Ramon Hernandez's $8.5MM option for 2010, according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal Constitution has some quotes from Tim Hudson about his contract extension.
- Did you catch Mariano Rivera saying that he wants to play another five years during the Yankees' World Series celebration last night? It turns out he wasn't kidding. Chad Jennings of The Journal News quotes the Yanks' closer as saying “I’m serious. I hope the organization does whatever it takes to bring me back.”