Neal Cotts Rumors
The Yankees and Dodgers are the two most expensive teams in baseball and similarly beset with injuries, but things couldn't be more opposite in terms of results, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Bombers have a big chunk of their payroll on the disabled list but the understudies are doing so well that one American League scout quipped, “Do they really want those injured guys [Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, and Mark Teixeira] back?” Meanwhile, the Dodgers have not been able to overcome injuries to pitchers Zack Greinke and Chad Billingsley and shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Here's more from today's column..
- There’s always a lot of talk about Cliff Lee being trade bait if the Phillies slip, but one team insider said, “Every time I hear a Lee rumor, I don’t believe it. Don’t think we’d be that dumb unless what we got back in return was so overwhelming that we’d be dumb to pass it up. Will that happen? My gut is it won’t.”
- Angels skipper Mike Scioscia was once considered invincible, but the club's struggles have many saying that his job is in jeopardy. One Angels exec doesn't see a shakeup coming anytime soon, saying, “I doubt it. It’s Mike Scioscia. Did he get dumb all of a sudden? Or do we have a few issues with our pitching and a couple of our big hitters?”
- Left-hander Neal Cotts had a streak of 14 and 1/3 scoreless innings for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate and has retired 21 of the last 22 batters he’s faced. Cotts, who has completely shut down lefthanded batters, could be had, as the Rangers don't have room for him on the big league roster and have a team policy that they will let go of players in that position.
The latest minor moves...
- The Rangers have signed left-hander Neal Cotts, catcher Juan Apodaca, right-hander Yonata Ortega, and outfielders Jim Adduci and Aaron Cunningham to minor league deals, according to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest. Cotts and Cunningham both have extensive Major League experience.
- Outfielder Jason Bourgeois has cleared waivers and can now elect free agency, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Bourgeois, 30, appeared in 30 games for the Royals this past season, playing left and center field.
- The Tigers signed right-hander Shawn Hill to a minor league contract, James Schmehl of MLive.com reports. Hill elected free agency last month after the Blue Jays removed him from the 40-man roster. The 31-year-old appeared in one game for the Blue Jays this past season, pitching three scoreless innings. He spent most of the 2012 season at Triple-A where he posted a 4.52 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 89 2/3 innings.
- Levine explained that relatively innocent conversations with scouts can turn into full-blown trade talks because they highlight needs and surpluses.
- The Rangers don’t have an established left-handed reliever after losing Darren Oliver and Mike Gonzalez in free agency, but they’re pleased with the increased velocity non-roster invitee Neal Cotts is showing early on in camp.
- Young pitchers such as Martin Perez have impressed the Rangers' front office and Levine expects contributions at the MLB level in the 'not-so-distant future.'
- The Rangers consider Josh Hamilton an elite center fielder, but they continue to play him in left field since they generally believe he's more likely to stay in the lineup as a corner outfielder.
- Though Levine didn't comment in detail on extension talks with Hamilton, he did say the club intends to keep as many of its core position players in place for as long as possible. Hamilton is eligible for free agency after the season, but the Rangers haven't ruled out in-season talks for their top position players.
The Rangers signed lefty reliever Neal Cotts to a minor league deal, MLBTR has learned. Cotts will not be in Major League camp, notes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Cotts, 32 in March, last pitched in the Majors for the Cubs in '09 before going down for Tommy John surgery. He later signed minor league deals with the Pirates and Yankees, though the Yankees released him in February last year.
Some minor league moves from early Spring Training...
- The Padres signed righty reliever Geoff Geary, tweets Baseball America's Matt Eddy. He did not pitch in the majors last season, instead appearing in 31 games for the Triple-A affiliates of the Rangers and Dodgers (4.32 ERA).
- The Padres also released infielder Gregorio Petit, tweet Eddy. He signed on with San Diego back in December.
- The Yankees signed righty reliever Fernando Hernandez, tweets Eddy. The 26-year-old pitched in three games with the 2008 A's as a Rule 5 Pick, though he spent last year with their Triple-A affiliate (4.77 ERA in 77 1/3 innings).
- The Yankees also released Neal Cotts, reports Marc Carig of The Star Ledger (Twitter link). Cotts signed a minor league deal in November, but was still coming back from Tommy John and hip surgeries.
- The Blue Jays signed Vince Perkins, who they originally drafted back in 2000, tweets Eddy. The Canadian-born right-hander last pitched in 2009, when he made 53 appearances in the Cubs' minor league system (3.02 ERA).
- The Braves signed left-hander Jose Lugo, tweets Eddy. The 25-year-old posted a 6.72 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 85 2/3 innings with the Twins' Triple-A affiliate last season.
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 MLB.com'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.
Links for Friday, before Dan Haren celebrates his 30th birthday by taking on one of baseball's most potent offenses...
- MLB.com'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 MLB.com'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 ESPN.com’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 WEEI.com 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.
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.
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.
- Rough day for Jose Arredondo. First it was announced that he would have surgery and miss 2010. Then right at the deadline, the Angels decided against tendering him an offer. Matt Brown and Dustin Moseley were given their walking papers as well.
- The Giants non-tendered Ryan Garko.
- Clay Condrey has been non-tendered by the Phillies.
- Josh Whitesell, though not arbitration-eligible, was non-tendered.
- The Indians non-tendered Adam Miller, Anthony Reyes, and Jose Veras.
- The Pirates made Matt Capps and Phil Dumatrait walk the plank.
- Raul Chavez is the only player not brought back by Toronto.
- The Royals have non-tendered John Buck and Josh Anderson.
- Mark Worrell and Jackson Quezada have been non-tendered by the Padres.
- Shawn Riggans was not offered a contract by Tampa Bay.
- Rays have non-tendered Gabe Gross.
- Seattle has non-tendered outfielder Ryan Langerhans.
- Milwaukee will non-tender Mark DiFelice and Mike Rivera.
- The Metropolitans have non-tendered Cory Sullivan, Tim Redding, Jeremy Reed, and Lance Broadway.
- The BoSox did not tender an offer to outfielder Brian Anderson.
- Oakland has parted ways with Jack Cust.
- The Nationals announced that they will not tender a contract to Mike MacDougal.
- Let's welcome D.J. Carrasco to the list.
- The Orioles bid Brian Bass farewell.
- The Cubs will non-tender Neal Cotts.
- Jonny Gomes has been non-tendered by the Reds.
- Raise your hand if you're an arbitration-eligible Marlin who has been tendered an offer. Not so fast, Alfredo Amezaga.
- Scott Olsen will not be invited back by the Nats.
- The Yankees non-tendered Chien-Ming Wang.
- The Braves gave Kelly Johnson and Ryan Church their walking papers.
- Garrett Atkins has been cut loose.
- Seth McClung tweeted a classy goodbye to the Brewers organization this morning, noting it was not his choice to leave.
A few tidbits from around the majors....
- Blue Jays reliever Jeremy Accardo hopes to be non-tendered tomorrow, writes MLB.com'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.
- MLB.com'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 Sanspo.com 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.