Mitch Stetter Rumors
Former Brewers reliever Mitch Stetter announced on Twitter last night that he has retired from baseball and accepted a coaching job with the Royals. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets that Stetter will be the Double-A bullpen coach. Stetter, 33, hasn't appeared in the bigs since 2011 after his career was cut short by hip surgery and a back injury. From 2009-11 with the Brew Crew, Stetter posted a 3.46 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in 75 1/3 innings. While his command was clearly lacking, the southpaw held opposing lefties to just a .194/.310/.335 slash line in his career. Best of luck in your coaching career, Mitch.
Elsewhere in baseball's Central divisions...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Royals will only be on the hook for about $575K of Emilio Bonifacio's salary if he clears release waivers tomorrow at 2pm ET and becomes a free agent. While a claim is unlikely, a number of teams are interested in Bonifacio, he adds in a second tweet.
- Cotillo tweets that as many as nine teams have interest in Bonifacio. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that the Orioles are one of those teams, pointing out that Bonifacio has long been a favorite of manager Buck Showalter. Besides that, the Orioles lack a clear starter at Bonifacio's best position -- second base. However, Kubatko also tweets that Baltimore isn't interested in him at his $3.5MM salary, so a waiver claim isn't likely.
- Twins GM Terry Ryan, who announced yesterday that he has cancer, is among the game's most respected general managers, writes Phil Rogers of MLB.com. Rogers recalls that Ryan displayed the ultimate selflessness a GM could show back in 2001 when, with the Twins facing contraction, Ryan turned down a chance to run the Blue Jays to stay with his club.
- Right-hander Rich Harden wants to pitch in 2014 but won't sign anywhere until he's further along in his throwing, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. The Twins wouldn't rule out a return for Harden, even though the former ace never pitched for one of Minnesota's affiliates after signing a minor league deal with the club last offseason.
Here are a few of the day's minor transactions...
- The Angels signed Mitch Stetter to a minor league contract, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The 31-year-old southpaw last pitched in the majors in 2011 with the Brewers, and he has a 4.08 ERA, a 9.3 K/9 rate and a 5.4 BB/9 rate over 86 career Major League innings since 2007. Stetter spent last season pitching in Milwaukee's minor league system.
- Left-hander Bill Bray and infielder Wilson Valdez have elected to become free agents, according to MLB.com's transactions page. With Valdez entering his second year of arbitration-eligibility and Bray his third, both players were seen as non-tender candidates by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes following their disappointing seasons for the Reds. Valdez, 34, posted a .463 OPS in 208 plate appearances as a backup infielder. Bray was limited to just 14 games due to groin and back injuries, but he'll surely draw interest from teams looking for lefty relief help; Bray posted a 2.98 ERA and recorded 44 strikeouts over 48 1/3 innings for Cincinnati in 2011.
- The Indians re-signed right-hander Hector Rondon and signed infielder Luis Hernandez to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training camp, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Rondon originally signed with the Tribe as an 18-year-old in 2006 and has a 4.16 ERA, an 8.1 K/9 rate and a 4.17 K/BB ratio in seven minor league seasons, though he has only pitched in 13 games since 2010 due to a fractured elbow and Tommy John surgery. Hernandez appeared in two games for the Rangers last year and has a .580 OPS in 292 career PAs with the Rangers, Mets, Royals and Orioles.
We'll track the latest minor moves right here...
- The Rockies signed right-handed reliever Brian Anderson, Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweets. The converted outfielder had been in camp with the Dodgers earlier this year.
- The Brewers re-signed Mitch Stetter to a minor league deal and he reported to extended Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter). The 31-year-old left-hander has appeared with the Brewers in each of the past five seasons, including 16 games a year ago. The Rangers had signed Stetter to a minor league deal this offseason.
- The Nationals signed shortstop Brent Greer, according to MLB.com's transactions page. The 24-year-old spent the 2011 season at Class A, where he posted a .247/.306/.359 line in 246 plate appearances. The Diamondbacks selected Greer in the 14th round of the 2009 draft.
The Rangers have released first baseman Conor Jackson and left-handers Joe Beimel and Mitch Stetter, reports Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). All three players were in the Texas camp on minor league contracts.
Jackson hit .244/.310/.341 in 390 plate appearances for the Athletics and Red Sox last year. Jackson's release increases Brad Hawpe's chance of making the Texas roster as both players were competing for the same bench role as a backup first baseman/outfielder. By cutting Jackson before March 30 (five days before Opening Day), the Rangers avoid paying the veteran a $100K bonus.
Beimel, who turns 35 in April, posted a 5.33 ERA in 25 1/3 innings for the Pirates last season before being released in August. Stetter, 31, has held left-handed hitters to a .645 OPS for his career and has spent his entire five-year career with the Brewers. Both pitchers stand a good chance of getting a look from another club in need of southpaw bullpen help.
Here are today's minor moves...
- The Rangers signed right-hander Sean Green and left-hander Mitch Stetter to minor league contracts that include invitations to Spring Training, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan writes.
- The White Sox agreed to sign left-handers Leyson Septimo and Eric Stults, catcher Hector Gimenez, infielder Ray Olmedo and outfielder Delwyn Young to minor-league contracts that include invitations to Spring Training, the team announced. Stults, 32, appeared in six games with the 2011 Rockies and also has experience with the Dodgers. Young played for the Dodgers and Pirates from 2006-10, but spent the 2011 season at Triple-A, where he posted a .685 OPS in 480 plate appearances. Gimenez appeared in four games with the 2011 Dodgers and Olmedo played for the Reds and Blue Jays from 2003-07.
- The club confirmed its deals with Brian Bruney, Dallas McPherson and Damaso Espino.
Here's the latest on the Brewers, including what's happening at the GM meetings in Milwaukee:
- The Brewers are much more interested in Rafael Furcal than Aramis Ramirez, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports adds that the Brewers have strong reservations about Furcal and may stick with Yuniesky Betancourt. Still, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke admitted that he likes both Furcal and Ramirez today on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern.
- Clint Barmes is another possibility for the Brewers at shortstop. MLB.com's Adam McCalvy writes that GM Doug Melvin will meet with Barmes' agent tomorrow.
- Milwaukee is considering whether funds are available for the top shortstop on the market, Jose Reyes, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com.
- The Brewers inquired on Gaby Sanchez at season's end, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. If the first baseman becomes available, Milwaukee could make a play for him.
- Melvin says he hasn't given up on signing Prince Fielder, and will meet with Scott Boras today. However, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel thinks the GM has moved on, meaning Mat Gamel could get a chance to start the season at first base (all Twitter links).
- The Brewers will not attempt to re-sign Milwaukee native Craig Counsell, tweets Haudricourt.
- In another tweet, Haudricourt adds that outrighted players Mitch Stetter and Josh Wilson have elected free agency.
Here are today's outright assignments...
- The Brewers announced that they outrighted left-hander Mitch Stetter to Triple-A. Stetter, 30, appeared in 16 games for the Brewers in 2011, but spent most of the season on the disabled list with a left hip injury. He has a 4.08 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 86 innings over the course of five seasons with the Brewers. Milwaukee's 40-man roster now stands at 39.
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo has a few bits of information...
- The Red Sox scouted Brewers left-hander Mitch Stetter last week. The 28-year-old reliever has held lefties to a .170 average and rigthties to a .151 mark this season. The Sox, who scouted him last week, are simply being thorough and exploring options in case they come to need anothery lefty in the pen, writes Cafardo.
- Free agent outfielder Frank Catalanotto has received interest, but is holding out for the right fit.
- Jacque Jones and Frank Thomas have been working out together in Las Vegas and are both hoping to land MLB roster spots at some point this season.
- As Cafardo writes, "The Brewers may be emerging in the hunt" for free agent Pedro Martinez. The Blue Jays, Astros, Rockies, A's, Orioles, Indians and Pirates are also thought to have some level of interest.