Neal Cotts Rumors

Minor Deals: Mariners, Sutton, Braves, Burroughs

Here is today's batch of minor league deals, with the most recent updates at the top:

  • The Mariners signed Luis Rodriguez, a shortstop who played in the majors from 2005-09 with the Twins and Padres, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). The light-hitting 30-year-old exploded with 16 homers and 17 doubles in 400 plate appearances for the White Sox at Triple-A in 2010.
  • The Yankees signed Neal Cotts, the Marlins signed Josh Kroeger and the A's signed Adam Heether and Anthony Lerew, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (all links go to Twitter). Cotts, a 30-year-old left-hander, has pitched parts of seven seasons in the majors, but he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 and didn't pitch in 2010 because of hip surgery. Kroeger, 28, has 47 homers and 51 steals over the course of the past three seasons at Triple-A.
  • The Red Sox signed former Reds outfielder Drew Sutton, according to Eddy (on Twitter). The 27-year old has a .229/.302/.381 line in 118 major league plate appearances, but he did hit 20 homers at Double-A two seasons ago.
  • Eddy reports that the Cubs have re-signed longtime minor leaguer Bobby Scales (Twitter link).
  • The Braves have signed four players, according to Eddy (all links go to Twitter). Outfielder Jose Constanza, 27, batted .319/.373/.394 at Triple-A for the Indians; 28-year-old infielder Ed Lucas hit .307/.398/.480 at Triple-A for the Royals; utilityman Wilkin Castillo can catch and play in the infield and outfield, but hasn't hit Triple-A pitching and Shawn Bowman, 25, hit 22 homers at Double-A.
  • The Mariners signed left-hander Fabio Castro to a minor league contract, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (on Twitter). The 25-year-old hasn't appeared in the majors since 2007; he posted a 4.93 ERA with 8.8 K/9 for Boston's Triple-A affiliate in 2010.
  • The White Sox claimed releiver Waldis Joaquin off of waivers from the Giants, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. The 23-year-old made the Giants' Opening Day roster, but allowed six earned runs and seven walks in 4 2/3 innings, so he was demoted to the minors. He posted a 4.43 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 in 40 2/3 innings split between Rookie ball and Triple-A.
  • The Brewers signed signed right-hander Zack Segovia to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training, according to's Adam McCalvy. The 27-year-old has big league experience with the Phillies and Nationals. He spent the 2010 season with the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate and posted a 4.19 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 62 1/3 innings.
  • The D'Backs signed Sean Burroughs, according to minor league transactions cited by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (on Twitter). The third baseman is reunited with GM Kevin Towers, who signed Burroughs in 1998 to what was then the biggest amateur bonus in team history. Now 30, Burroughs hasn't played pro ball since 2007.

Odds & Ends: Rangers, Pirates, Cotts, Marlins

Links for Friday, before Dan Haren celebrates his 30th birthday by taking on one of baseball's most potent offenses…

  •'s T.R. Sullivan lists ten decisions that have been critical to the Rangers' success this season.
  • The Pirates have released lefty Neal Cotts according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America and this week's edition of minor league transaction.
  • Padres' first base coach Rick Renteria is on the Marlins radar with regards to their managerial opening, says's Joe Frisaro. He adds that Yankees bench coach Tony Pena is a candidate as well. 
  • Chipper Jones told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that it would be hard to stop playing before his body prevents him from doing so, partly because “you can make absurd amounts of money” as a baseball player.
  • Former Orioles manager Dave Trembley told’s Jerry Crasnick that he’d like to coach in the major leagues next year (Twitter link).
  • The Pirates' minor league success has been a major positive this year, but Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette questions how the Pirates also allowed for "near-total destruction of the major-league product." The team is 50 games below .500 with the worst record in baseball.
  • Carl Crawford told Rob Bradford of that his impending free agency hasn't been hard to handle, since the Rays are winning. Click here for Bradford's analysis of how Crawford would fit in Fenway.
  • Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald breaks down Boston's options behind the plate for 2011, from free agents Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek to new acquisition Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
  • John Dewan of the Fielding Bible explained to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that Adam Dunn's poor defense wouldn't necessarily prevent the Nationals from building a better defensive team.

Pirates To Sign Brian Burres, Neal Cotts, Tyler Yates

The Pirates agreed to terms on minor league contracts with pitchers Brian Burres, Neal Cotts, and Tyler Yates today, according to a team press release.

Burres, 29 in April, spent the season with the Blue Jays' Triple A affiliate after being claimed off waivers from Baltimore in February.  He posted a 7.0 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, and seemingly-undeserved 4.76 ERA in 107.6 innings.

Cotts, 30 in March, had Tommy John surgery in July and was non-tendered by the Cubs after the season.  Yates, 32, also had Tommy John surgery in July and was outrighted by the Bucs in October.

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.

Odds & Ends: Diaz, Cedeno, German, Ojeda

A few tidbits from around the majors….

  • Blue Jays reliever Jeremy Accardo hopes to be non-tendered tomorrow, writes's Jordan Bastian.  The righty, 28 this month, dealt with a groin injury and bounced up and down between Triple A and the Majors this year.  He earned $900K.
  • Cases of players avoiding arbitration and signing for 2010, according to the AP: Matt Diaz of the Braves at $2.55MM, Ronny Cedeno of the Pirates at $1.125MM, and Esteban German of the Rangers at $600K. Diaz gets a 106% raise, heading into his third arbitration year.
  • The AP also notes that the Nationals signed pitcher Ryan Speier for $425K.  The 30-year-old toiled at Triple A for the Rockies this year, mainly.
  •'s Steve Gilbert (via Twitter) reports that the Diamondbacks have avoided going to arbitration with Augie Ojeda by re-signing the veteran infielder to a one-year deal.  Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the contract is worth $825K.  Ojeda, 34, has spent the last three seasons with Arizona and hit .246/.340/.345 in 309 plate appearances in 2009.  The defensive specialist is a valuable utilityman, able to play second, third and shortstop.
  • Twins GM Bill Smith tells Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that his traditionally low-spending team has "substantial funds" to cover arbitration raises and potential signings that could raise Minnesota's payroll into the $90MM neighborhood for next season.  The general manager was predictably non-committal when asked if "substantial" translated to "enough to extend Joe Mauer."
  • NPB Tracker passes on news from Japanese site that the Yakult Swallows will announce next week that they have signed Eulogio De La Cruz.  The right-hander was released by the Padres on Wednesday.  De La Cruz has an 11.84 ERA in 15 appearances over three seasons with San Diego, Florida and Detroit.
  • The White Sox seem ready to stick with Randy Williams as the only left-handed reliever (besides, of course, set-up man Matt Thornton) next season, as Chicago GM Kenny Williams told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  Gonzales notes that if the club changes its mind, a possible target could be former White Sox reliever Neal Cotts, who will be non-tendered by the Cubs tomorrow.

Odds & Ends: Boyer, Chapman, Non-Tenders, Cubs

Links for Friday…

  • The D'Backs agreed to a one-year deal with arbitration-eligible righty Blaine Boyer, tweets's Steve Gilbert.
  • ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. analyzes Aroldis Chapman's upcoming bullpen session – does it represent a loss of leverage?  Arangure Jr. notes that Chapman received one offer so far – $15.5MM – from the Red Sox back when he was represented by Edwin Mejia.
  • SI's Jon Heyman names his winners and losers of the Winter Meetings. 
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore expects a bigger non-tender group than years past, writes Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
  • Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald expects the Cubs to tender contracts to Mike Fontenot, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, Jeff Baker, and Angel Guzman, but not lefty Neal Cotts.  Cotts is coming back from Tommy John surgery, and the Cubs could re-sign him to a minor league deal.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post criticizes the New York Times for letting his good friend Jack Curry go.
  •'s Carrie Muskat says the Cubs acquired righty Arismendy Mota from the Nationals for cash considerations.  Mota was taken by the Nats from the White Sox with the first pick of the Triple A phase of the Rule 5 draft yesterday.
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick believes that while the free agent dollars are flowing now, "the euphoria will fade after the New Year."
  • The Nationals officially announced their two-year deal for Ivan Rodriguez today.

Odds & Ends: McCourts, Strasburg, Cotts

Some tidbits from around baseball as we enjoy Game One of the ALCS…

  • Bill Shaikin and Harriet Ryan of the L.A. Times have some ominous news for Dodgers fans surrounding the separation of Frank and Jamie McCourt: his attorneys claim he is the sole owner of the Dodgers, while her lawyers say the team's ownership is split 50-50 between the soon-to-be ex-couple.
  • On the night of Stephen Strasburg's professional debut in the Arizona Fall League, Jack Magruder of the Washington Times notes that Strasburg won't pitch much in the AFL.
  • Reliever Neal Cotts doesn't know if the Cubs will non-tender him, but he is just focused on pitching somewhere in 2010 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in July, reports's Carrie Muskat.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel relates a nice anecdote about Craig Counsell to illustrate why he thinks the Brewers should bring back the veteran infielder in 2010.
  •'s Mychael Urban praised the young, talented and affordable Oakland bullpen in his ongoing team report card series.
  • Manny Acta and Bob Melvin "have to be 1-2" for the Houston manager's job thus far, says's Brian McTaggart (via Twitter)

Odds And Ends: Blue Jays, Cotts, Indians

Manny's back to help celebrate the Fourth of July weekend! Here are some links to start the day off…

Cubs Looking At Hamilton, McLouth

The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan has a new column up discussing a couple of outfielders in the Cubs’ sights aside from Kosuke Fukudome.  Apparently they’re after someone who can handle center field in case Felix Pie falters.

  • Those Josh Hamilton rumors are real – and the Reds are asking for Sean Marshall.  I think the Cubs would pull the trigger on that one.  Jerry Crasnick first suggested this match about five hours ago.  He thought Marshall wouldn’t be enough and I agreed.  Guess we’ll see.  Sullivan notes that Lou Piniella had some contact with Hamilton back when he managed the Devil Rays.
  • The Cubs are also in talks regarding Nate McLouth.  Sullivan thinks McLouth would come cheap – for a reliever like Carmen Pignatiello, Neal Cotts, or Will Ohman.  Damn, that’s cheap.  We learned today that the Giants, Padres, and Marlins like McLouth; Sullivan adds the Braves to the mix as well.