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- East Notes: Ibanez, Phillies, Mathis
- Blue Jays To Exercise J.A. Happ’s Option
- Central Notes: Maddon, Dirks, Giambi, Indians
- Alex Rios Hires Scott Boras
- Dodgers Decline Option On Chad Billingsley
- West Notes: Sandoval, Lewis, Ethier, Angels
- AL East Links: Chavez, Yankees, Breslow, Jays
- Angels Likely To Trade Kendrick Or Freese
- Rockies Exercise LaTroy Hawkins’ Option
- Mets Outright Satin, Rice, Eveland, Carlyle
- Cubs Hire Joe Maddon As Manager
- Yankees To Extend Qualifying Offer To David Robertson
- Rangers Decline Rios’ Option; Outright Adcock, Lucas, Figaro
- Brewers Exercise Mutual Option On Aramis Ramirez
- Rays Exercise Ben Zobrist’s Option
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Miguel Tejada Rumors
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- The Blue Jays released right-handed pitcher Tyler Gonzales, tweets Matt Eddy of Baseball America. The 2012 supplemental first rounder did not pitch this season. He never advanced past the GCL where he posted a 9.24 ERA in 25.1 innings.
- The Dodgers released Triple-A right fielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez, according to Eddy (via Twitter). The former 12th round pick, now 27 years old, has seen his power decline in recent seasons. He spent most of the 2014 season in Double-A, where he posted a tepid .227/.261/.330 line.
- The Twins released injury prone left fielder Nate Roberts from their High-A roster (also Eddy on Twitter). Roberts was taken as a fifth rounder in the 2010 draft and combined to hit .305/.434/.460 over 945 professional plate appearances. Unfortunately, injuries have derailed his career.
- Former MVP Miguel Tejada has been released by the Marlins, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel. The longtime MLB veteran had a comeback bid derailed by a shoulder injury, but plans to play winter ball and weigh another attempt.
- The Reds have released pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith, according to the International League transactions page. According to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter), Rowland-Smith opted out of his deal. The veteran lefty has not managed to find his form this year, and owns a 4.66 ERA in 29 Triple-A innings for the Reds and Blue Jays. He also spent time with the Diamondbacks at the MLB level, allowing four earned runs in 7 1/3 innings.
- The Giants have released lefty Jose De Paula, according to the MLB transactions page. He had recently been designated for assignment. The 26-year-old has a 4.21 ERA over 51 1/3 frames in his first attempt at the Triple-A level, backed by 7.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.
Brad Johnson contributed to this post.
THURSDAY: Tejada’s split contract will pay him $625K in the Major Leagues and $15K per month in the minors, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).
MONDAY: The Marlins have signed veteran infielder Miguel Tejada to a minor league contract. Tejada is represented by Relativity Sports.
Tejada, 39, spent last season with the Royals, putting up a .288/.317/.378 line in 167 trips to the plate before being suspended for Adderall use. Playing mostly at second and third, Tejada received solid defensive marks from Defensive Runs Saved, while UZR much preferred him at the hot corner. In the aggregate, he posted up a useful 0.7 rWAR/0.4 fWAR in 53 games.
While it seemed that his career was likely to be at an end at that point, Tejada insisted at the time that he did not plan to retire. The former AL MVP has a .285/.336/.456 career mark over his 16 years of MLB action.
Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (via Twitter) was the first to report that the two sides had reached an agreement pending Tejada’s physical, with CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reporting (Twitter link) that the deal was official. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported earlier on Friday that a deal was close.
The Nationals raised some eyebrows recently by having injured third baseman Ryan Zimmerman work out in left field (as noted yesterday by the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore), though many on the coaching staff were quick to tell Kilgore that Zimmerman was merely getting some conditioning work. In a second piece from Kilgore last night, Zimmerman essentially said the same, noting that he cannot take grounders during batting practice at this point and the outfield worked helped him “from going crazy.” Manager Matt Williams, however, wouldn’t rule out using Zimmerman in the outfield, though he sounded more comfortable with the longtime third baseman as an emergency option there: “I think he’s a wonderful athlete and if we have a pinch late in a game where we have nobody left and he’s got to play left field, or right field or center field, he could do it.”
Here’s more from the NL East…
- The next 20 games could determine the Phillies‘ course of action this summer, writes CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. The Phils have a stretch of 20 games in 20 days beginning tonight, and 11 of those contests come against divisional opponents. If the team fares well in this stretch, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. may well push the decision off for a few weeks, but Salisbury implies that a particularly poor showing could push the Phillies into sell mode.
- Salisbury’s colleague, Corey Seidman, points out that fans can’t pin the team’s 19-22 record on the aging core. Ryan Howard is on pace for 28 homers, Chase Utley has played like an MVP candidate thus far, Jimmy Rollins has a career-high .359 OBP, Carlos Ruiz‘s OBP sits at .396 and Marlon Byrd has hit very well. Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett and Jonathan Papelbon have all turned in solid ERA marks also, he adds. However, the team has received next to no production from Ben Revere and Domonic Brown, the bullpen has struggled and the bench has combined to hit .181 with four homers thus far.
- Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald found the Marlins‘ recent signing of Miguel Tejada a bit puzzling, so he spoke with VP of player development Marty Scott about the deal. Scott said the signing was made for depth purposes and that Tejada impressed both offensively and defensively in private workouts. “I don’t want something to happen at the big-league level where we don’t have someone we know who can come up and do the job,” said Scott before calling Tejada a “safety valve.”
- From that same piece, Spencer reports that the Marlins are currently listing Thursday’s starter at Triple-A as “TBA,” and that spot is very likely to be filled by top prospect Andrew Heaney, who has dominated Double-A Jacksonville. If all goes well, says Spencer, Heaney could be with the Fish in early June.
The Marlins are nearing a minor league contract with veteran infielder and former American League MVP Miguel Tejada, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (Spanish Twitter link). The 39-year-old Tejada is a client of Relativity Sports.
Tejada received a 105-game suspension last season for a pair of positive tests for a banned amphetamine (Adderall), resulting in a 25-game and 80-game suspension, as he had already tested positive for Adderall once in the past. Tejada also faced potential punishment from the Biogenesis scandal, but Major League Baseball gave him a choice between accepting his 105-game ban for Adderall use or facing further punishment due to his Biogenesis link.
Prior to last year’s suspension issues, he’d been playing with the Royals in a utility infield capacity, batting .288/.317/.378 with three homers in 167 plate appearances. That marked his first big league action since 2011, as he sat out the 2012 season entirely.
Tejada is a career .285/.336/.456 hitter in parts of 16 seasons with the A’s, Orioles, Astros, Royals, Giants and Padres. The six-time All-Star took home AL MVP honors in 2002 when he hit .308/.354/.508 with 34 home runs for the Athletics, but his legacy has been tainted by connections to performance enhancing drugs and the falsification of his age, in which he led Major League teams to believe he was two years younger than he actually is.
Major League Baseball considers the Biogenesis investigation closed in terms of looking into players, but they're still investigating the possible involvement of some agents, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). Here's more from around baseball..
- Speaking of Biogenesis, MLB released a statement saying that Miguel Tejada did not warrant any discipline based on what they uncovered in the investigation, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Of course, Tejada will still have to serve his 105-game suspension for amphetamine use.
- Jose Dariel Abreu is working on establishing residency in Haiti and there isn't an open showcase scheduled yet, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com (on Twitter). Abreu has drawn interest from several clubs so far including the Red Sox, Orioles, Pirates, and White Sox.
- The status of Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik is expected to be updated if not entirely clarified within the next few days, people familiar with the situation tell Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. When asked about speculation that the M's could make a play for Brian Cashman, club president Chuck Armstrong spoke positively of the Yankees GM but wouldn't discuss him in context.
- The Athletics continue to look for catching help as they have been for the past couple of weeks or so, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- In retrospect, the Cardinals really could have used Kyle Lohse this season, writes Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Angels owner Arte Moreno is already in the process of evaluating the 2013 season and how to get the team back on track in 2014, as he explained in an interview with Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com. Moreno said that the jobs of manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto would be evaluated as part of an organization-wide review that includes himself — "I have to look in the mirror and say, 'Am I making the right call?'" Moreno said. The owner also discussed roster moves that backfired, stadium talks with the city of Anaheim, how the Dodgers' success impacts the Angels and several other topics.
Here are more items as we wrap up a busy Monday in baseball…
- Albert Pujols will be shut down for the rest of the season, the Angels confirmed today. The slugger suffered a partial tear of the plantar facia of his left foot and hasn't played since July 26. Pujols was bothered by foot injuries for much of the year and hit .258/.330/.437 with 17 homers in 443 PA, the worst season of his 13-year career.
- Miguel Tejada was also facing a suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal before accepting his 105-game suspension for amphetamine use, ESPN's Pedro Gomez reports. Major League Baseball gave Tejada the choice of accepting his 105-game ban or facing further punishment for his Biogenesis ties. Gomez notes that Tejada "insists he does not plan to retire" though given Tejada's suspension, age (39) and decline in production, it's tough to see a team signing him this winter. After not playing in the majors in 2012, Tejada hit .288/.317/.378 over 167 PA in a reserve role with the Royals this year.
- Joaquin Benoit in a much better contractual position as he approaches free agency this winter than he was in the 2009-10 offseason. MLB.com's Zack Meisel talks to Benoit about how he considered retirement due to shoulder injuries that caused him to miss the entire 2009 season, but rebounded to become one of the game's better relievers and now the Tigers closer.
- Scott Boras and Jay Z have a fundamental disagreement about the role of an agent, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal explains. "It is at once a clash of egos and ideas. At issue: To what extent are established agents like Boras missing out on marketing and endorsement opportunities for their clients? And to what extent should a baseball player even care?" Costa writes. Robinson Cano, the top free agent of the coming offseason, made waves when he left Boras in April and hired CAA and Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports to handle his representation.
Earlier this afternoon, Royals infielder Miguel Tejada was suspended for 105 games after a pair of positive tests for Adderall. Tejada will serve his suspension for the rest of this season and is expected to retire rather than sign with a team and serve the remainder of the punishment in 2014. He issued the following statement:
“I apologize to my teammates, the Royals organization and to the Kansas City fans. I have a medical condition that requires medication to treat. I took that medication while re-applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. Under the requirements of the Joint Drug Program, I made a mistake in doing so.”
Here's more out of the AL Central…
- The White Sox will attend Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu's showcase next month, writes Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. Executive vice president Kenny Williams told Hayes that the Sox need to see more of Abreu before making a decision, but spending money is something the team isn't afraid to do. Paul Konerko is a free agent at season's end, and Adam Dunn will be off the books following 2014.
- In his latest Q&A with readers, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that while Alex Rios would've been a good fit with the Indians, the financial commitment to him was too much for the Tribe. Hoynes also tackles questions on acquiring a middle-of-the-order bat and Asdrubal Cabrera's struggles and trade value.
- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he's not worrying about his own future following the dismissal of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel yesterday: "In all honesty, this is my 12th year (managing the Twins). It doesn't get much better than that. Managers just don't stay in places like that. I feel like I've been blessed. I'm lucky. I'm not going to sit here, if this is my last year, and mope, believe me. If it is my last year in Minnesota, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it." Prior to Manuel's firing, he, Gardenhire and Mike Scioscia of the Angels were baseball's longest-tenured managers.
1:25pm: Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that Tejada did file an appeal, but he ultimately lost and will serve the entirety of the 105-game ban.
12:56pm: Royals infielder Miguel Tejada will be suspended for 105 games by MLB for the use of the banned amphetamine Adderall, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. Passan explains that, as Tejada had already tested positive in the past, two more recent positive tests provided the basis for the suspension, which is the third-longest in MLB history. (The second positive test resulted in a 25-game ban, with the third adding an additional 80 games.)
Tejada has elected not to appeal the suspension. Already on the 60-day DL, his suspension will nevertheless be applied over this season's 41 remaining games. Passan says that the 39-year-old former MVP is expected to retire rather than sit out the 64 additional games at the beginning of next year.
After failing to make a big-league appearance in 2012, Tejada signed a minor league deal with the Royals this past off-season. Appearing primarily at second and third, Tejada had posted a reasonably productive .288/.317/.378 line over 167 plate appearances for the Royals this season.
Kyle Lohse may not sign with a team until after the first-year player draft takes place in June, writes Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. required). Where might Lohse sign? Bowden writes that the Rangers are the most likely destination if he signs before Opening Day, while the Brewers, Orioles, Angels, and Reds are also candidates. Here are more links from around MLB…
- Recently released infielder Bobby Crosby will look to continue his comeback with an MLB team, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. The Brewers released Crosby yesterday after determining that his chances of making the Opening Day roster were slim, but agent Paul Cohen said his client aims to continue playing.
- MLB owners are moving toward eliminating the pension plans of non-uniformed employees, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has opposed the idea, which will be put to the vote in May. Most owners now want to abolish the pension plan, Rubin reports. This would affect front office executives and scouts, among others.
- Miguel Tejada has already asked about managing the Dominican Republic team at the next World Baseball Classic in 2017, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. "We'll see," said Moises Alou, the general manager of the Dominican team. Tejada, a veteran of 15 MLB seasons, last played at the MLB level with the 2011 Giants.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Royals are looking for their first .500 finish since 2003, and there's optimism that the team could surprise people following a busy offseason. Here are the latest Royals-related notes…
- Though the Royals were reluctant to part with Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard to acquire James Shields and Wade Davis, they made the trade. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains, club officials including GM Dayton Moore found it easier to approve the deal once they realized their farm system would still be deep.
- Moore says he learned from his former boss, longtime Braves executive John Schuerholz, that general managers must be prepared to take risks. “If you focus on what you’re giving up, you’ll never make a deal,” Moore told Rosenthal. “It will paralyze you.”
- The Royals didn't know it at the time, but the Diamondbacks, Rangers and Rays worked on a three-team trade that would have sent prospects to Tampa Bay, Shields and Davis to Arizona and Justin Upton to Texas. The Rays discussed this trade at the same time as they discussed possible deals with the Royals.
- Rival executives question Moore's decision to trade Myers, one of the game's top position player prospects, following a 72-win season. Yet as right-hander Jeremy Guthrie notes, “you can only stockpile prospects for so long.”
- The Royals face questions at second base, in the rotation and on the bench, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports. New additions Miguel Tejada and Elliot Johnson were acquired with the expectation that they'd make the team, though that's not absolute.