Mike MacDougal Rumors
The Dodgers are done shopping for position players and are now looking for a reliever, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (all Twitter links). The team continues to talk to free agent right-hander Mike MacDougal and has potential interest in left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo.
The Dodgers non-tendered Kuo last night, partly since they aren’t sure if he’s interested in pitching in 2012. "That's part of what we have to figure out," GM Ned Colletti said, according to Hernandez. Kuo, 30, struggled in 2011, when an anxiety disorder limited him to 27 innings. However, he has a career 3.73 ERA with 10.6 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 40.9% ground ball rate.
MacDougal, an 11-year veteran, also spent the 2011 season with the Dodgers. He posted a 2.05 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 4.6 BB/9 and a 60.9% ground ball rate in 57 innings. Though MacDougal's ground ball rate ranked tenth in MLB among pitchers with 50 innings pitched, metrics like xFIP (4.02) and SIERA (3.80) suggest good luck held his ERA down this past season.
Earlier today we saw a rare trade between division rivals when the Rockies sent Huston Street to the Padres for a player to be named later and cash. Let's take a look at some other news and rumors from the NL West...
- The Rockies "immediately contacted" Hiroki Kuroda's agent following the Street trade, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post. With $7MM freed up, Colorado has a number of options. Renck once again mentions Colorado's interest in Michael Cuddyer as well.
- The Rockies like Jonathon Niese a lot, but have had no conversations to date with the Mets, according to Renck. New York is open to moving the 25-year-old lefty.
- The Pirates are keeping in touch with the Rox on Ian Stewart, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times tweets that the Dodgers are keeping in touch with the agent for Mike MacDougal. GM Ned Colletti is also talking with other relievers, but talks with MacDougal are the furthest along.
- The Dodgers have "no interest" in bringing back Manny Ramirez, writes Hernandez's colleague Steve Dilbeck.
The latest on the Dodgers...
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick he's looking for a position player upgrade. The potential acquisition would be payroll neutral and has been a starter at his position. Gurnick guesses Colletti is targeting an outfielder or first baseman and would be willing to trade James Loney.
- Colletti apparently met Tuesday night with agents at Hendricks Sports, which represents free agent reliever Mike MacDougal as well as Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers appear interested in bringing MacDougal back, while Colletti isn't sure of Kershaw's interest level in an extension.
- Dodgers assistant GM Logan White interviewed for the Astros GM position, reported MLB.com's Brian McTaggart yesterday in case you missed it.
- The Dodgers and MLB filed a settlement in bankruptcy court yesterday, reported Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. Owner Frank McCourt must divest himself of the Dodgers and their stadium by April 30th, and initial bids for the team are due January 13th. MLB will have to approve an initial small group of bidders. McCourt has the option of keeping the parking lots around the stadium. As part of the settlement, MLB agreed to remain neutral in the dispute between the Dodgers and FOX. The Dodgers want to market their television rights as part of the sale, and FOX objects based on its current contract.
MacDougal, 34 in March, appeared in 17 games for the Cardinals last season, striking out 14 and walking 12 in 18 2/3 innings of work. He saved 20 games for the Nationals in 2009, though he walked (38) more batters than he struck out (34) in 54 1/3 innings that year. MacDougal still throws extremely hard, but he's always been held back by command issues.
The former All-Star has signed minor league contracts in each of the last three offseasons.
The Cardinals, who have blown two consecutive late-inning leads, signed reliever Mike MacDougal, according to Brian Walton of FOXSportsMidwest.com. The Cardinals are MacDougal's third organization of the year. The Marlins signed him in February and released him a month later. He then signed with the Nationals and pitched in the minors before opting out of his deal last week.
In 22 minor league innings this year, the 33-year-old right-hander has allowed 26 hits and 13 walks, striking out 13 for a 5.32 ERA. MacDougal, who represented the Royals in the 2003 All-Star game, pitched for the White Sox and Nationals last year.
Mike MacDougal has opted out of his minor league contract with the Nationals, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The right-hander is now a free agent and will attempt to find a spot on another team's major league roster.
The Nationals signed MacDougal in March, shortly after he was released by the Marlins. At the time, MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported that the contract would include an out clause if the 33-year-old wasn't in the majors by a certain date. MacDougal didn't crack the Nationals' 25-man roster this season, instead spending time at the club's Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. He posted a 4.71 ERA in 18 appearances between the two levels.
Given his dwindling strikeout rate (5.6 K/9) and his continued control issues (4.7 BB/9), it's unlikely MacDougal lands more than another minor league deal from a team searching for bullpen help.
We see it all the time. Most weeks a handful of players are designated for assignment and more often than not casual fans barely notice. A DFA indicates that a team is willing to part with a player - sometimes for nothing. But sometimes those players come back from DFAs to become stars in the major leagues. Here's a list of some current players who have been designated for assignment:
- David Aardsma - The Red Sox acquired Aardsma after the White Sox designated him for assignment in 2008. A year later, the Mariners traded for Aardsma, who became the team's closer and posted impressive rates of 10.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
- Mike Adams - Adams was designated for assignment in 2006, before he posted absurdly low ERAs and regularly struck out more than a batter per inning.
- Milton Bradley - The Padres acquired Bradley from the A's after Bradley was designated for assignment in 2007. Bradley hit .313/.414/.590 for the Padres and led them to a one game playoff with the Rockies for the Wild Card spot. Of course Bradley didn't play in game 163, since he tore his ACL while manager Bud Black restrained him during an on-field argument earlier in the month.
- Russell Branyan - No one claimed Branyan after his 2006 DFA, but the Cardinals traded for him when the Phillies designated him for assignment the next year. He didn't do much for the Cards in his 39 plate appearances in 2007, but Branyan rebounded to hit 31 homers for the Mariners in 2009.
- Marlon Byrd - The Nationals designated Byrd for assignment in 2006 without losing him and the Rangers did the same in 2007. Byrd recovered from his '07 demotion to post three consecutive productive seasons in Texas.
- Nelson Cruz - The Rangers designated Cruz for assignment at the beginning of the 2008 season - usually a good time to sneak players through waivers. The Rangers must be thrilled no one claimed Cruz, who hit 37 homers in the minors that year and added 33 in the majors the following season.
- Rajai Davis - The A's claimed the outfielder off of waivers from their Bay Area rivals in 2008. Davis was hitting .056/.105/.056 at the time, though he had batted just 19 times. He has gone on to become a useful player, hitting .305/.360/.423 last year with 41 steals and above average defense, according to UZR.
- Jorge de la Rosa - The Royals designated de la Rosa for assignment in March of 2008, but it wasn't until a month later that the Rockies traded for him. The 29-year-old free agent-to-be has been a productive starter in Colorado since.
- Ryan Franklin - The Reds acquired Franklin from the Phillies in 2006 after a poor start to the season. Franklin didn't do much better with the Reds, but he has been productive for three-plus seasons in St. Louis since.
- Jeremy Guthrie - The Orioles claimed the former first round pick from the Indians early in 2007, when Guthrie had just 37 big league innings and a 6.08 ERA to his name. Since, the righty has posted a 4.19 ERA in 610.1 innings.
- LaTroy Hawkins - The Yankees designated the reliever for assignment in 2008 and traded him to Houston, where Hawkins dominated for 24 appearances. He posted a 0.43 ERA along with 10.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9.
- Bobby Jenks - He has fallen out of favor with the White Sox now, but they deserve credit for picking him up after the 2004 season. Jenks has struck out three times as many batters as he has walked in 301 innings with the White Sox.
- Ryan Ludwick - The slugger started the 2005 season hitting just .154/.267/.385 so the Indians designated him for assignment. No one claimed Ludwick then, but the Cardinals made a shrewd pickup when they later signed him.
- Brandon Phillips - The Reds claimed Phillips after the Indians designated him for assignment in 2006. He had just a .206/.246/.310 big league line at the time, but he has averaged 22 homers and 26 steals in his four full seasons with the Reds. UZR rates the 28-year-old as an above average defender at second base, too.
- Joel Pineiro - The Red Sox designated Pineiro for assignment in 2007 when he had a 5.03 ERA and just 20 strikeouts to go along with 14 walks. Later that summer, the Cardinals acquired Pineiro and he went on to post 426.1 solid innings for the Cards. Under the tutelage of pitching coach Dave Duncan, Pineiro posted a walk rate of 1.6 BB/9 in a Cardinals uniform.
- Grant Balfour, Ryan Church, Jack Cust, Matt Diaz, Jerry Hairston Jr., Joel Hanrahan, Livan Hernandez, Mike Jacobs, Colby Lewis, Julio Lugo, Mike MacDougal, Evan Meek, Vicente Padilla, Scott Podsednik, J.C. Romero, David Ross, Brian Tallet, Todd Wellemeyer and Randy Wells are among the many big leaguers who have been designated for assignment.
It's worth noting that this group does not include a superstar (Cruz might be the closest thing to one). Teams designate many talented players for assignment because of roster constraints, but few enjoy as much success as the group above.
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the information.
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 yesterday. MLB.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.
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.
Some links for Wednesday...
- Former big leaguer Tony Clark has been named the MLBPA's director of player relations, reports MLB.com's Bailey Stephens. Clark hasn't played since being released by the Diamondbacks last July, and his duties with the union are "expected to play a large part in future collective bargaining discussions."
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says one of the Marlins' many non-roster relievers could become a low-priced option for the Twins if Joe Nathan ends up needing surgery. That group includes Jose Veras, Mike MacDougal, Derrick Turnbow, and Seth McClung.
- In an interview with John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press, Curtis Granderson said he never wondered why the Tigers traded him only to sign Johnny Damon less than three months later.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com writes that even though the Indians are in full rebuilding mode, the front office is adamant Grady Sizemore isn't going anywhere. Sizemore is under contract for the next two years, and Cleveland holds a $9MM option for 2012.
- Baseball America's Ben Badler goes back five years to look at how successful each team has been at developing players from outside the United States.
- In response to Milton Bradley's interview with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez about his time in Chicago, GM Jim Hendry and former teammates basically said that Bradley had to look in the mirror, according to The Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan and ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine.