Mike MacDougal Rumors

Nationals, Mike MacDougal Agree To Terms

The Nationals agreed to terms with reliever Mike MacDougal on a minor league deal, tweets NatsTown News.  MacDougal had signed a minor league deal with the Marlins on February 18th, but was released yesterdayMLB.com's Bill Ladson says MacDougal's deal with the Nationals contains an out clause if he's not in the Majors on a certain date.

Outside of his save percentage MacDougal posted shaky numbers in 2009 – a 4.31 ERA, 5.6 K/9, and 6.3 BB/9.  The Nationals chose to non-tender him after the season, but now he's back on a team-friendly arrangement.  MacDougal's positive traits: a mid-90s heater and a 62% groundball rate.

Marlins Release Mike MacDougal

The Marlins released reliever Mike MacDougal, according to the team's media relations department.  MacDougal had signed a minor league deal on February 18th.  He was knocked around in five spring appearances.

MacDougal provided an interesting test case for how highly teams value saves, as he saved 20 in 21 tries last year but walked more than he struck out.  The save total didn't get MacDougal very far, though Fernando Rodney appears to have earned several million extra for his.  MacDougal does share a couple of positive traits with Rodney: he averages over 95 mph on his fastball, and he gets tons of groundballs.

Odds & Ends: Clark, Twins, Granderson, Sizemore

Some links for Wednesday…

Marlins Sign Mike MacDougal

The Marlins have signed free agent reliever Mike MacDougal to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training. The deal will pay MacDougal $700K if he makes the team, plus there's another $75K in performance bonuses. He joins Jose VerasSeth McClung and Derrick Turnbow as power bullpen arms the Marlins brought to camp on minor league deals.

MacDougal, 33 in March, served as the Nationals' closer after being released by the White Sox in April. He converted 20 of 21 save chances, though he walked as many men (31) as he struck out in 50 innings of work. MacDougal's fastball flirts with triple-digits, but he's put more than three runners on base for every two innings pitched ever since his All Star season back in 2003.

Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald originally reported the deal, and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com added the salary details. 

Phillies Agree To Terms With A Reliever?

5:46pm: Todd Zolecki of MLB.com says that Baez is "a good bet" to be the mystery pitcher.

3:26pm: The Philadelphia Phillies have an agreement in place with a relief pitcher, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com — we just don't know yet who the pitcher is. Salisbury's source says that the agreement with the mystery player is pending a physical, which will occur in the first week of the new year.

With Fernando Rodney and the Angels having agreed to terms, the two likeliest candidates for the Phillies' bullpen appear to be Danys Baez and Mike MacDougal. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark linked Philadelphia to Baez earlier, and another of Salisbury's sources confirms that the team's focus has been on the right-hander lately. We also heard earlier today from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who said that the Phillies had been in touch with MacDougal. Scott Lauber of the News Journal mentions some other possibilities, but agrees that Baez and MacDougal look like the top two relief targets for Philadelphia.

Odds & Ends: Delgado, Johnson, Igawa

Some links as Hanley Ramirez celebrates his 26th birthday…

  • The Mets may have reduced interest in Carlos Delgado, according to Marty Noble of MLB.com. The slugger won't start playing baseball in Puerto Rico until mid-January; no reason was given for the delay.
  • The Yankees have about $4MM to spend on a left fielder, according to the New York Daily News.
  • Nick Johnson's deal with the Yankees is official, according to MLB.com's Brian Hoch.
  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution points out (via Twitter) that Troy Glaus will be the Braves' 11th opening day first baseman in 12 seasons if he signs in Atlanta, as expected.
  • Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says (via Twitter) that the Cubs were willing to take on Kei Igawa's salary (two years, $8MM) before the Yanks acquired Javier Vazquez.
  • Brandon Morrow tells Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that he hopes to start in Toronto.
  • Dustin Parkes of Drunk Jays Fans says there's no point thinking of Roy Hallladay as a saint, even if he did buy ad space in the Toronto Sun.
  • An unnamed source tells Bill Shaikin of the LA Times that the Dodgers broke even last year. Check out Shaikin's interview with team president Dennis Mannion.
  • The Phillies have been in touch with former Nats reliever Mike MacDougal, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. MacDougal's agent says "a good number" of teams are interested, which is what we heard earlier in the week.

Market For Mike MacDougal

ESPN's Jayson Stark looks at the market for recently non-tendered reliever Mike MacDougal in a Rumor Central post today.  Stark says eight to ten teams are "actively pursuing" MacDougal, with the Phillies most interested.  Stark names the Orioles, Pirates, Cardinals, Mets, and A's as other suitors.

The Nationals had the worst bullpen ERA in baseball in 2009 (5.09), so their decision to non-tender MacDougal isn't a good sign.  The righty, 33 in March, struck out only 34 while walking 38 in 54.3 innings this year.  Despite a 96 mph fastball and a strong groundball rate, MacDougal would be a risky late-inning bullpen addition if he costs several million.

Odds & Ends: Torrealba, Rangers, Damon

Some evening links…

  • Yorvit Torrealba's pending grievance hearing against the Mets will take place Wednesday, writes Jon Heyman of SI.com.  Torrealba contends that back when he was a free agent in 2007, the club falsely created the impression that he was an injury risk.  Interestingly, the article notes that despite this, the Mets could still sign Torrealba this time around if they are unable to sign Bengie Molina.
  • The Texas Rangers could sell for as much as $530MM, according to Maury Brown of BizOfBaseball.  Brown indicates that the group led by Jim Crane holds the highest bid at the moment.
  • Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweeted earlier today that the signings of Mike Cameron and Hideki Matsui could improve the chances of Johnny Damon returning to the Bronx.  Not just a good point but one that many of us have probably overlooked in the chaos of today.
  • All of the player movement of today puts a great deal of pressure on Mets GM Omar Minaya, writes Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post.
  • With Lackey and Halladay seemingly off the market, the Yankees can now focus on whittling down a list of available second-tier starters, writes Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger.  Carig suggests that Ben Sheets and Justin Duchscherer are possibilities.
  • Steve Gilbert of MLB.com has a list of possible non-tenders who could land with the D'Backs.  We've heard the other names already, but Gilbert suggests Ryan Church as a fit, noting that Arizona has an uncertain interest level. 
  • A person familiar with the Mets' thinking tells Marty Noble of MLB.com that the team has interest in two pitchers: starter Chien-Ming Wang and a lower-profile name in reliever Mike MacDougal.

Non-Tendered Players

The deadline for teams to offer contract to their players with less than six years of service time is midnight ET tonight, so let's keep track off all the non-tenders here in one post. Make sure you check back in, we'll be updating this post throughout the day.

Nationals May Non-Tender Mike MacDougal

ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that he's hearing there's a good chance the Nationals non-tender reliever Mike MacDougal.  The Nats acquired Brian Bruney yesterday, and will give him a chance to win the closer job.

Non-tendering MacDougal would be wise.  After earning $2.65MM in 2009, his agent can argue for a decent raise on the basis of his 20 saves in 21 opportunities.  Since MacDougal walked 38 and struck out 34 in his 54.3 innings, he's not a good bet to repeat his success in 2010.