Mike Wuertz Rumors
We'll track the day's minor moves right here...
- The Marlins agreed to sign reliever Mike Wuertz to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training, according to the Beverly Hills Sports Council (via Twitter). The 34-year-old last appeared in the big leagues in 2011 with the Athletics as his lack of control (7.0 BB/9) led to his eventual release. Wuertz enjoyed success earlier in his career with the Cubs where a high K/9 ratio (9.3) with stronger command made him an asset to the Chicago bullpen. The newest member of the Marlins organization did not pitch at any level during the 2012 season.
- Miami also struck a minor league deal with infielder Nick Green that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. The veteran will have an"excellent chance" to make the team as a backup infielder, Frisaro writes. Green, 34, appeared in seven games with the Marlins in 2012, but he spent more time at Triple-A, where he posted a .344/.397/.599 batting line with 12 home runs in 237 plate appearances. Green battled a thumb injury last year, but has since recovered.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
TUESDAY: MLB.com's Carrie Muskat says Mike Wuertz signed for $1.1MM.
MONDAY: According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs avoided arbitration with reliever Kevin Gregg by signing him for $4.2MM for '09. Gregg will be a free agent after the season.
The Detroit Tigers have some last-minute shopping left to do to shore up their bullpen. As you learned on Friday, Jon Paul Morosi noted the Tigers' interest in righty Mike Wuertz and the Cubs' fondness for Brandon Inge and Marcus Thames. Inge, it's worth noting, has seen time at catcher, third base, and all three outfield positions---and as of this spring, even shortstop.
The Chicago Sun-Times, however, says Inge and Thames "make no sense for the Cubs" and that the Cubs have as of yet had no discussions with the Tigers about a deal for Wuertz involving those players. (For what it's worth, Baseball America does see some validity in the Inge-to-Chicago rumors.)
The Sun-Times also notes that Wuertz is one of just two Cubs pitchers not to allow a run this spring (lefty Carmen Pignatiello is the other), while Cubs manager Lou Piniella affirms that the only remaining hole on his roster is "somebody that can help out in center field."
According to Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press, the Tigers are targeting Cubs reliever Mike Wuertz. He notes that the Cubs like Marcus Thames and Brandon Inge. Thames' inability to play center and Inge's contract could be issues though, in my opinion.
Wuertz, 29, is an underrated reliever with a nasty slider. Given the state of Detroit's bullpen, he could see save chances if acquired. This was his first year of arbitration eligibility, and he settled at $860K. Wuertz is pretty far down in the Cubs' bullpen pecking order, for some reason.