Michael Taylor Rumors

Minor Moves: Rapada, Gimenez, Cabrera, Taylor

We'll keep track of the day's minor moves here:

  • The Mariners have signed lefty Clay Rapada and added him to the roster at Triple-A Tacoma, according to Rainiers announce Mike Curto (on Twitter). Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune first reported (via Twitter) that Rapada was working out for the team. The left-hander has a 4.06 ERA in 94 big league innings but has never been able to hold down a consistent big league job despite dominant numbers against left-handed hitters; Rapada has held lefties to a minuscule .164/.255/.231 batting line in his career. However, righties have roughed him up at a .345/.464/.611 clip.
  • Catcher Chris Gimenez has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock, according to the Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant (Twitter link). Gimenez, who has been outrighted previously, has 72 hours to accept or reject the assignment. He was claimed off waivers by the Rangers last week but quickly designated for assignment when the club promoted Daniel McCutchen to the Majors.
  • The Cubs have outrighted reliever Alberto Cabrera to Triple-A after he cleared waivers, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). The 25-year-old righty was designated on Saturday. 
  • Outfielder Michael Taylor has cleared outright waivers and been assigned to Triple-A, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 28-year-old will take up residence in Sacramento for the fifth straight year since joining the Oakland organization.
  • Brian Bogusevic has accepted an outright assignment from the Marlins, reports Cotillo (via Twitter). Bogusevic, a 30-year-old outfielder who was acquired over the offseason for Justin Ruggiano, could have elected free agency since he has previously been outrighted.
  • The Red Sox have released outfielder Scott Cousins, Cotillo also tweets. Cousins, 29, has seen bit action in parts of four MLB seasons. The news was first reported yesterday by Mike Andrews of SoxProspects (via Twitter). According to Andrews, longtime minor leaguer Juan Carlos Linares was also among the players cut loose from the Boston system.
  • Pitcher Armando Galarraga is working on securing a visa after receiving an offer from the Taiwanese club Brother Elephants, his agent tells Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Cotillo tweeted earlier this morning that the former big leaguer was close to a deal to move to Taiwan. In 542 career MLB innings, Galarraga has a 4.78 ERA  with 5.7 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9.
  • Outfielder Dave Sappelt has been released by the Phillies, tweets Cotillo. Sappelt himself said on Twitter that he appreciates the club carrying him while undergoing offseason surgery. The 27-year-old has seen limited action in three big league seasons.
  • The Astros have outrighted reliever Raul Valdes to Triple-A, according to the PCL transactions page. Though he lacks an extensive MLB track record at age 36, Valdes still has an intriguing recent stat line and looks to be a good bet to see time in Houston at some point. His ERA was a ghastly 7.46 last year, but he put up 9.5 K/9 (against just 2.1 BB/9), good for a 3.10 SIERA. Valdes posted numbers more line with those peripherals in 2012 and even during limited action this spring.
  • Likewise, Hiroyuki Nakajima has been outrighted to the top affiliate of the Athletics, also via the PCL transactions page. The move is not surprising, given that Nakajima had only been added to the 40-man in the first place to fill it up to allow for the team to designate Taylor for assignment, according to a report from John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter).

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Athletics To Designate Michael Taylor For Assignment

The Athletics will designate Michael Taylor for assignment, Taylor told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). The move comes as no surprise, as it was reported on Thursday that Taylor would not make the club and he is out of options.

Taylor is a once-hyped prospect who, at age 28, has never really seen much time at the MLB level. After a strong effort this spring, he figures to draw some interest from around the league.


AL West Notes: Harden, Boesch, Franklin, Taylor

Longtime Athletics starter Rich Harden is still pursuing his throwing program and is planning to hold a mid-season showcase, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Over 624 1/3 innings in seven seasons with the A's, the 32-year-old threw to a 3.65 ERA. Here are a few quick notes out of the AL West:

  • Angels outfielder Brennan Boesch has a March 30 "soft out" in his deal, tweets Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. In essence, the clause requires the club to add him to its 25-man roster or allow him to go to any other team that is willing to do so. The 28-year-old has enjoyed a strong spring, putting up a .278/.350/.472 line in 40 plate appearances.
  • Mariners infielder Nick Franklin has been spending some time working in the outfield, and says that he is simply "trying to be versatile," reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. The 23-year-old has been a hot subject of trade speculation, as he lacks a regular spot in the Seattle infield and could appeal to a variety of clubs. But his focus is on getting to the bigs with his current organization. "Some way, somehow I want to get on the field, whatever it takes," said Franklin. "What am I going to do, wait around for someone to get hurt?"
  • Athletics outfielder Michael Taylor has learned that he will not make the Opening Day roster, reports Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com. As the 28-year-old is out of options, he figures to be dealt or plucked off of the waiver wire, though a move has yet to be made. Once a top prospect, Taylor has certainly put his best foot forward this spring with a .274/.348/.532 line and three long balls in 69 plate appearances, though he has struck out 17 times while drawing six walks. Last year, in 481 trips to the plate at Triple-A, Taylor had a .281/.360/.474 triple-slash with 18 home runs.
  • The division has two new additions from this morning, as the Mariners added starter Chris Young and the Astros claimed outfielder Alex Presley.


Athletics Notes: Parker, Taylor, Beane, Wolff

Jarrod Parker is trying to be as hopeful as possible as he prepares to undergo his second Tommy John surgery.  "I've done it before, and I can do it again," Parker told reporters, including Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  "You can't put statistics on individual guys….I don't want to be a statistic, really. I want to be different. Hopefully things can work out and I'm going to do anything and everything to make it work."  The right-hander is scheduled for surgery next week and will miss at least the entire 2014 season during the rehabiliation process.

Here's some more from news out of Oakland…

  • Also from Slusser, outfielder Michael Taylor still isn't a fit for the A's roster, despite his impressive Spring Training performance.  There's no chance the A's would be able to get the out-of-options Taylor through waivers without losing him, however, as the former top prospect is drawing interest from a number of teams.  One scout tells Slusser that his team either already has, or is preparing to offer Oakland a deal for Taylor, while another rival scout figures his team is too low in waiver priority and would need to trade for Taylor to bring him into the fold.
  • In a must-read interview with Grantland's Jonah Keri, Athletics GM Billy Beane discusses how his club has tried to stay current now that the "Moneyball" tactics are known and widely-used throughout baseball.  With so much data available to teams, Beane said that implementation of that information has become the more important factor, praising manager Bob Melvin's openness to new ideas and predicting that teams will eventually have "an IT coach" in the dugout.
  • I don’t want a lot of guys like me who played the game,” Beane told Keri about building a front office. “Quite frankly, I want blank canvases, I want people to come in with new ideas. I don’t want the biases of their own experiences to be a part of their decision-making process. Listen, our whole staff…didn’t really play. The bottom line is that any business should be a meritocracy. The best and brightest. Period. This game is now evolving into that.”
  • CSNBayArea.com's Joe Stiglich looks at the Athletics' roster configuration, shoots down a few trade suggestions and covers several other topics and as part of an online chat with fans.  Of note, Stiglich hasn't heard anything about the possibility of the A's making a play for Bay Area native Jimmy Rollins, who is rumored to be on thin ice with the Phillies.  Rollins, however, has said that he won't consider waiving his no-trade protection unless the Phils completely fall out of the race.

Athletics Notes: Drew, Peralta, Nakajima, Rule 5

The A's have been pursuing a reunion with Stephen Drew, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has some information on the team's fallback plans should they fail to do so…

  • A major league executive tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter) that he believes Drew will sign with the A's for one year with an additional player option for 2014.
  • If Drew ends up signing elsewhere and the Tigers do indeed find a new shortstop (possibly Drew himself), the A's would likely make a move to acquire Jhonny Peralta. Peralta and his $6MM salary would obviously be expendable to the Tigers in that scenario.
  • The two don't immediately line up on paper as a fit given the Tigers' need for a right-handed hitting outfielder (the Tigers aren't interested in Michael Taylor). However, Slusser writes that Detroit likes Jemile Weeks and would contemplate moving him to the outfield. There's no guarantee the A's would move Weeks, however, even though they demoted him to Triple-A this season.
  • Hiroyuki Nakajima is still in play for the A's, and he's seeking a three-year deal worth about $5MM annually. Most believe he'll have trouble doing better than one year and an option, though.
  • Contrary to some national reports, Grant Green and Brad Peacock were not on the table in the team's Yunel Escobar trade discussions with the Marlins.
  • The A's aren't likely to select a player in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft tomorrow, but there's a good chance that they lose 2007 first-rounder James Simmons to another club. Simmons, the 26th overall selection that year, posted a 2.98 ERA, 7.1 K/9 and 3.1 K/9 in 63 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012. The 26-year-old also turned in a dominant performance in the Arizona Fall League.

A’s Notes: Taylor, Gomes, Damon, Outman, Moscoso

On this date in 1986, the Mets and Twins completed a five-player trade involving former first rounder Billy Beane. Now the Athletics’ GM, Beane completed a trade today, obtaining Seth Smith from Colorado for Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman. Here are the latest Athletics-related links… 

  • Beane says the Athletics are still looking for right-handed hitting outfielder depth, Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group tweets. Michael Taylor will have to play his way into the picture, according to Stiglich.
  • John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that the A's are pursuing a Jonny Gomes/Ryan Ludwick type for depth. The A's haven't ruled out Johnny Damon, Shea tweets.
  • Outman told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that the trade was "bittersweet," but that he's "not mad by any means," Pitching so far above sea level will be an adjustment for the fly ball pitcher, however.
  • Moscoso told Slusser that he's "in shock," although he's looking forward to the opportunity in Colorado.

Quick Hits: Leyland, Phillies, Trumbo, Taylor

Some notes from around the majors as Casey Kotchman is a walkoff hero for Tampa Bay….


Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee Trade Finalized

3:27pm: Over at BlueJays.com, Blue Jays Alex Anthopoulos talked about the players the Jays received in the Halladay deal, as well as recent signing John Buck.  A few notes: Anthopoulos sees Wallace as a first baseman, and he has still has ongoing trade talks about other players.

1:48pm: The Mariners announced the trade in a press release, with GM Jack Zdruriencik congratulating the Phillies and Blue Jays on the way the deal was handled.  ESPN's Jayson Stark notes that the deal will be complete all-around once Bud Selig signs off on the $6MM going to the Phillies.  Elliott says an MRI on Wallace's shoulder cleared the Taylor part of the swap.

1:31pm: Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail heard that the report of a failed physical is a "totally false rumour."  ESPN's Shannon Drayer tweets that the deal is official and Lee is a Mariner.  MLB.com's Todd Zolecki agrees, saying a Halladay press conference is set for 4pm CST.

12:38pm: Davidi passes along an AP report that has Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. saying he's hopeful the trade can be completed today but talks may go into Thursday.  Larry Stone of the Seattle Times doesn't expect the deal to unravel, and is hearing it's not a Mariners prospect who failed a physical.

11:47am: The three/four-way trade involving Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee is not yet official; here's our post yesterday for a refresher.  The latest bit of news kicking off today's post: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun tweets that he heard someone involved in the trade flunked their physical (one of the minor leaguers).  Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press says Phillippe Aumont passed.  There appears to be six other prospects involved in the deal, if you include the Michael Taylor-Brett Wallace component.  Drabek had Tommy John surgery in July of '07, while Aumont had elbow issues toward the end of the '08 season.

A recap of the expected deal:

  • The Phillies get Roy Halladay, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, Juan Ramirez, and $6MM.  The Phillies will give Halladay a three-year extension plus vesting options.
  • The Mariners get Cliff Lee.
  • The Blue Jays get Kyle Drabek, Brett Wallace, and Travis d'Arnaud.
  • The A's get Michael Taylor.

The Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee Blockbuster

8:28pm: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report (scroll down to 7:50pm) that Billy Beane and the A's first became interested in Taylor last summer when the Phillies tried to acquire Matt Holliday.

6:39pm: Jayson Stark reports on the historic maginitude of this deal as this will be the closest two Cy Young winners have ever come to being traded for each other.

6:35pm: It appears as though one of the last hurdles has been overcome as Todd Zolecki reports that Halladay has passed his physical.

2:54pm: Olney says the option vests if Halladay is close to as durable as he's been for the last two years. Halladay's made 65 starts and thrown 485 innings the last two years; he's as durable as they come.

2:43pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown hears that the Halladay extension runs through 2013 at $20MM per season. A vesting option for another $20MM could prolong the pact by another year. The deal is now pending physicals.

11:56am: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have agreed to an extension with Halladay.

10:00am: Rosenthal hears there's a chance for a fourth year. It's still under discussion, but it could be guaranteed and it could be a vesting option.

9:42am: A source tells Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the deal is "very unlikely" to be completed today. We could see resolution tomorrow.

9:36am: The Phillies are still working out extension details with Halladay, according to Heyman. The teams may not complete the deal until tomorrow.

9:02am: Halladay will agree to a three-year extension worth $60MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The deal will include two vesting options, so it could keep Halladay in Philly through 2015.

(more…)


Blockbuster Trade Reactions

One of the biggest trades in recent memory is nearing completion. Here are some reactions to the Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee-prospects swap from around the game.

  • ESPN.com's Keith Law expects Brett Wallace- the player the Jays will obtain for Taylor – to end up at first base. Law likes the prospects Seattle gave up, but doesn't love them. Given that Seattle has other prospects, he says "making a legitimate run at a division title is a pretty good reason to empty out your farm."
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Phillies couldn't afford to have Halladay and Lee in the same rotation because it would have cost too much in terms of money and prospects.
  • Scott Lauber of the News Journal says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has staked his legacy on Halladay.
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan says two teams have reason to celebrate this deal: the Jays and the Mariners. The Phillies, on the other hand, are "not demonstrably better" than before. 
  • One veteran talent evaluator tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the only clear winner is Seattle. Olney hears from some Yankees people who believe the Jays got less than what they were demanding from Brian Cashman & Co.
  • Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Yankees were willing to offer Jesus Montero in a package for Halladay, but not Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.
  • Rob Neyer of ESPN.com agrees with Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner: the deal is a "heist" for the Mariners. Cameron likes the deal so much he tells Mariners fans to "dance in the streets."
  • Over at FanGraphs, Cameron says all three franchises had understandable motivations for making the trade. Still, he wonders if Philly could have obtained more for Lee.
  • Marc Hulet of FanGraphs wonders why the Phils didn't wait and deal Lee for more.
  • Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star says the Jays "should be embarrassed" by the return they got for Halladay.
  • One member of the Phillies organization tells MLB.com's Noah Coslov that he doesn't understand the trade because Michael Taylor is MLB ready now.
  • Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer says it was never realistic to expect Halladay and Cliff Lee to pitch in the same rotation.