Nate Robertson Rumors
The Phillies signed Nate Robertson to a minor league deal, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (on Twitter). The Cardinals signed the left-hander earlier in the month, after the Marlins released him.
The Phillies will assign Robertson to Triple A, the same level at which he struggled in the Cardinals system. The 32-year-old posted a 9.45 ERA in 20 innings at Triple A Memphis, allowing 32 hits and six walks along the way. The results weren't much better at the major league level for Robertson this year. He posted a 5.47 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 for the Marlins.
The Cardinals signed Nate Robertson to a minor league deal, according to B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com (via Twitter). The Marlins released the left-hander last month after an extended stint in Florida's rotation. Now, Robertson will report to Triple A Memphis, though it's not clear what his role will be with the Redbirds.
Robertson struggled through 18 starts with the Marlins, posting a 5.47 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9. The Cardinals will have considerable rotation depth if and when Kyle Lohse (forearm) and Brad Penny (shoulder) return from the injuries that have sidelined them. The Cards recently acquired starter Jake Westbrook, so they could consider using Robertson as a reliever.
The Marlins released Nate Robertson, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). Robertson struggled as a starter this season and the Marlins designated him for assignment last week. Today, the Marlins designated minor league right-hander Kris Harvey for assignment, according to Capozzi (Twitter link).
Robertson’s stats (5.47 ERA, 5.5 K/9 and 3.6BB/9) aren’t pretty and the outing against the Rockies that preceded his DFA was ugly (7 ER in 5.0 innings). However, his splits suggest he could be more effective out of the bullpen against lefties. The Tigers, Robertson’s former team, don’t appear to have interest. Any club can now sign Robertson for a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum.
Tigers catchers have combined to post just a .564 OPS so far in 2010, but manager Jim Leyland told MLB.com’s Jason Beck and Alex DiFilippo that he will mix and match Gerald Laird and Alex Avila for now. There haven't been indications that the Nationals want to trade Pudge, who had a .673 OPS entering the day's action and continues to throw out 42% of would-be base stealers, even at 38.
The Marlins designated Robertson for assignment yesterday, after he allowed seven earned runs against the Rockies. There has been little reported interest in the 32-year-old, but I suggested earlier in the week that he could be a cheap, effective left-handed specialist, especially for a team that doesn't like the thin relief market. The Tigers are interested in relievers, but are apparently eyeing pitchers other than Robertson.
The Marlins designated lefty Nate Robertson for assignment, reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. Robertson sports a 5.47 ERA, 5.5 K/9, and 3.6 BB/9 in 100.3 innings this year after last night's bruising at the hands of the Rockies.
Now eminently available, Robertson might be appealing to teams looking for left-handed relief. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith pointed out yesterday that Robertson has been decent against southpaws prior to this year and is owed only $163K with the Tigers picking up the rest of the tab.
Nate Robertson’s numbers don’t scream ‘deadline difference maker,’ but he could be just that in the right situation. His ERA is 5.10, his WHIP is 1.49 and he is only striking out 5.3 batters per nine, but Robertson could still appeal to contenders. Here’s why:
Robertson makes $10MM this year, but the Tigers are paying all but $400K of it. The Marlins only owe the lefty $163K before the end of the season, at which point Robertson's contract expires. Salary-wise, he is as cheap as it gets.
Robertson is not close to Type B status, so free agent compensation is not currently a factor. His team will not offer arbitration even if he shoots into Type B territory.
Robertson's ERA has been better than the league average in only one season, but against lefties, he has actually been quite effective. For his career, the 32-year-old has 7.1 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. Robertson allows fewer hits against lefties and induces more ground balls (55% ground ball rate vs. LHB, 44% vs. RHB). Like most pitchers, Robertson fares better against batters the first time they hit against him in a game.
These splits suggest that Robertson could be an effective left-handed specialist in a contender’s ‘pen. There aren't many quality left-handers available and given the high asking price for Scott Downs, Robertson could become a cheap, outside-the-box alternative for teams seeking a lefty reliever.
The Marlins made Robertson available earlier in the month, according to this tweet from ESPN.com’s Buster Olney.
- No teams have been directly linked to Robertson, but the Yankees and Red Sox are known to have interest in left-handed reliever Scott Downs.
- The Dodgers are interested in pitching and lefty George Sherrill has been a disappointment this season.
- The Rangers are looking for a left-handed reliever.
- The Angels could add a second lefty to complement Brian Fuentes.
Add Cody Ross to the list of right-handed hitting outfielders the Braves are eyeing. ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports that the Braves are interested in Ross as they look to improve upon their NL-best record in the second half of the season (Twitter link).
The Braves also have interest in Corey Hart, Josh Willingham and Jose Bautista, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Like those outfielders, Ross is under team control through 2011, but unlike them he is not having a career year and he can play center field.
Ross, who earns $4.45MM in 2010, is hitting .282/.332/.415 this year with seven homers. That's respectable production, but the 29-year-old usually shows more power. He has split time between right and center field and appears to be an average defender (according to UZR).
The Padres, Giants and Red Sox may look to add outfielders before the trade deadline. San Diego and San Francisco prefer players who aren't about to hit free agency, so the Braves will have competition for Ross's services if they are intent on getting more production than Nate McLouth, Melky Cabrera and Matt Diaz can provide.
The further out of contention the Marlins fall, the more willing they'll be to entertain trading their veteran players, writes MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. According to Frisaro, Florida could listen to offers for anyone besides Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez.
Frisaro names Jorge Cantu as the most likely Marlin to be dealt before the trade deadline, since the 28-year-old will be eligible for free agency after this season and may be out of the Marlins' price range. The club could also explore what's available in exchange for arbitration-eligible players such as Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, and even Ricky Nolasco, as Ken Rosenthal suggested yesterday. Nate Robertson and Wes Helms might appeal to some teams as well, though Frisaro notes that the Marlins like Helms a lot, and picture him becoming a coach in their system when he retires.
We've heard that the Marlins are searching for bullpen help, and they may also look to add offensive pieces. Presumably though, if they decide to trade veterans like Cantu or Uggla, the team would be looking less for immediate help and more to the future.
Links for Wednesday...
- Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal thinks that Victor Martinez's inability to contain baserunners could cost him millions in free agency and compromise his long-term future with the Red Sox.
- Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that Tom Hicks is "concerned" about the sale of the Rangers to new ownership. Hicks' comments prompted MLB to release a statement in which they say the league has taken control of the Rangers' sale.
- Despite Stephen Strasburg's hot start, Mike Rizzo has no plans to rush his prized prospect through the minors, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington. Rizzo says that when Strasburg arrives in Washington, the club wants it to be for good.
- Ever seen a $17.875MM reliever? Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs are moving Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen on Friday. Carlos Silva will remain in the rotation; Tyler Kepner of the New York Times recently looked at his potential resurgence.
- In a pair of February articles, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune noted that Mark Buehrle's 10-and-5 rights kick in on July 6th, while A.J. Pierzynski's date is June 14th.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times posits that if the Mariners hadn't traded Adam Jones, they wouldn't have Jack Zduriencik and Franklin Gutierrez.
- Though he'll continue to work for ESPN, Joe Morgan has joined the Reds as a "special advisor to baseball operations." Morgan will not be involved in the team's day-to-day operations, learned John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says the Diamondbacks looked into a trade for Nate Robertson before the southpaw was dealt to Florida. Crasnick's article deals with the performances of nine important fill-ins so far this season.
- FanGraphs has added an aspect of catcher defense to its Wins Above Replacement stat.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports talks about the plight of Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley. I imagine quite a few teams would like to try to get him back on track.
- Kevin Millar, released by the Cubs in March, has joined the MLB Network as an analyst according to Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball.
Here are some links for the day...
- Rays GM Andrew Friedman told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that he "doesn't expect" to go outside of the organization for bullpen help (Twitter link). The Rays already added Virgil Vasquez today.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that the team could make a midseason deal or two.
- Andy Pettitte hinted to the YES Network's Jack Curry that this may be his last season. The lefty says he wants to spend more time with his family.
- Nate Robertson tells Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that he's glad to be back in Florida, especially since he's surrounded by a number of former Tigers.
- Jayson Werth says he isn't thinking about his upcoming contract year, but Phillies hitting coach Milt Thompson told Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer that it can become a distraction for lots of players.
- Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle says Buster Posey will likely start the year in the minors, partly because the Giants wouldn't mind slowing down the catcher's service time clock.
- Johnny Damon tells the Associated Press that he has been impressed with the Tigers this spring.
- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts tells Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that the team's front office has been a "pleasant surprise" so far.