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The Mets reached out to the Athletics recently to inquire about third baseman Danny Valencia, according to a report from Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. New York went on to acquire Kelly Johnson from the Braves, but as Davidoff notes, that move doesn’t necessarily rule out a continued pursuit of Valencia.
Johnson was added both to fill an immediate need and to provide a utility option the rest of the way. Valencia, though, would be a more significant target. It’s certainly arguable that he makes even more sense for New York now than he did a few weeks back, given that David Wright has elected to undergo neck surgery due to the lack of progress on his rest-and-rehab plan.
Valencia would represent more of a direct replacement for Wright, allowing Wilmer Flores to spend more time elsewhere in the infield and pushing Johnson into a fairly limited utility role. Though he isn’t regarded as a very good fielder, Valencia has seen the field at multiple other positions, with time at the corner outfield, first base, and even second base all on his resume.
That positional flexibility ought to increase Valencia’s appeal as a trade target, especially for a New York team that faces long-term questions with Wright and will lose second baseman Neil Walker to free agency after the season.
Valencia is greatly outperforming the $3.15MM deal he signed to avoid arbitration before the 2016 campaign. He is slashing .327/.370/.550 with ten home runs over 184 plate appearances on the year, adding to the already-impressive results from a season ago. In fact, in over a thousand trips to the plate since the start of 2013, Valencia has mashed to the tune of a .290/.334/.489 line.
If he can keep up anything approaching that level of production, Valencia would make for quite a nice replacement for Wright (or upgrade for any other team that might pursue him). Of course, Oakland might prefer not to trade him for the same reason, as he’ll be controllable one more time via arbitration after the season. The A’s may well hang a fairly substantial asking price on the one-time journeyman, who has risen to the number four spot on MLBTR’s most recent ranking of top trade candidates.
Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez left tonight’s action with what has been diagnosed as a non-displaced fracture of the radial neck of his right elbow, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press reports (Twitter links). Martinez will undergo a CT scan tomorrow to further assess the injury, but he’s already headed for the 15-day DL, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck (Twitter link).
Preliminary expectations are that Martinez will miss four to six weeks, though it would appear that we’ll need to await a full assessment before the timeline is fully clear. Youngster Steven Moya will return to the majors to take his place.
[Related: Updated Tigers depth chart]
The injury occurred when Martinez reached out to brace himself as he chased a ball into the right-field corner. He appeared to make contact with the wall at a funny angle, and immediately reacted in pain.
It’s a big loss for the Tigers, who are fighting for position in a tightly-bunched AL Central. Martinez continues to provide big-time offensive production from the heart of the order. The 28-year-old, once a reclamation project, has now established himself as one of the game’s most consistent sluggers who won’t easily be replaced.
Even if Martinez is able to make it back relatively quickly, it seems he’ll be out for most or all of the run-up to the trade deadline. That hurts the team’s chances of staying in the hunt and also may make it tough for the organization to assess its needs, though presumably the Tigers will at least have a good sense by that point of when Martinez will return.
JUNE 16: The White Sox announced today that they’ve requested waivers for the purpose of granting Latos his unconditional release. Assuming no team claims the remainder of his salary, he’ll officially be a free agent once he clears in 48 hours.
JUNE 9: The White Sox have designated right-hander Mat Latos for assignment, according to Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago (Twitter link). Hayes tweets that Latos’ roster spot will go to 2013 second-round pick Tyler Danish — a 21-year-old right-hander with a 4.42 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 75 1/3 innings (12 starts) for Double-A Birmingham this season.
Latos, 28, has been in the Chicago rotation since Opening Day after signing a one-year, $3MM contract this offseason. However, after a brilliant start to his 2016 campaign, he’s fallen into a prolonged slump, thus prompting today’s DFA. Over his first four starts to the season, Latos worked to a pristine 0.74 ERA in 24 1/3 innings. That production, though, was propped up by a clearly unsustainable .167 BABIP and 97 percent strand rate. Beyond that, Latos was sporting a meager 13-to-7 K/BB ratio through that four start run while displaying the lowest average fastball velocity of his career.
Regression for Latos wasn’t exactly difficult to see, though the extent of his decline was nonetheless fairly surprising. Dating back to April 30, Latos has a 7.25 ERA with nearly as many walks (18) as strikeouts (19). His deteriorated heater and diminished ability to miss bats (which are likely related) rendered Latos ineffective for much of the 2015 season, and that looks to have carried over into the 2016 campaign as well.
The Sox will have 10 days to trade Latos, outright him or release him, though even if he clears outright waivers he’d be able to reject an outright assignment and retain the remainder of his $3MM salary (approximately $1.89MM) in favor of testing the waters of free agency.
As for Danish, he entered the season ranked as Baseball America’s No. 9 prospect in the White Sox’ system. Danish was the youngest pitcher in the Double-A Southern League last season and, per BA, has the best changeup in Chicago’s minor league system. BA added that he gets “ferocious” sink on his fastball and projects as a back-of-the-rotation arm that can generate plenty of ground-balls.
The Mets announced today that third baseman David Wright will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. In a press release announcing the news, the Mets noted that the decision came after weeks of testing, rest and anti-inflammatory injections that were made in an attempt to alleviate Wright’s pain and improve his mobility. Wright had reportedly been mulling surgery for some time now, and recent reports indicated that the operation could come with a three-month recovery period, which could potentially bring his season to an end. Today’s press release states that a definitive timetable won’t be available until after the surgery. Wright issued the following statement on his injury:
“After trying every way to get back on the field, I’ve come to realize that it’s best for me, my teammates and the organization to proceed with surgery at this time. My neck simply did not respond to any of the treatments of the past few weeks. While incredibly frustrating and disappointing, I am determined to make a full recovery and get back on the field as soon as I can to help the Mets win. I greatly appreciate the support of my teammates and our fans throughout the last few weeks.”
Wright, 33, has played in just 37 games thus far in the 2016 season — one fewer than he played during the 2015 regular season (he played another 14 games in the postseason). The former MVP candidate has unsurprisingly seen his production at the plate suffer while dealing with back and neck injuries in the past two seasons, but he’s still posted a strong .260/.365/.436 batting line and 12 homers in the 75 games for which he’s taken the field.
Wright is earning $20MM this season in the fourth year of an eight-year, $138MM contract extension signed back in 2012. As FOX’s Ken Rosenthal reported in early June (Twitter link), the Mets have insurance on the contract, which will cover 75 percent of the money owed to Wright after he misses 60 days. That’s not an insignificant sum by any stretch of the means; Wright will miss his 60th day with this current injury come July 26, after which he’ll be owed about $7.43MM for the remaining 68 days of the season. The insurance would allow the Mets to recoup as much as $5.574MM if Wright misses the remainder of the year — money that could of course be allocated to a midseason upgrade on the trade market.
In Wright’s absence, the Mets have leaned heavily on Wilmer Flores at the hot corner, and he’s responded well, hitting .320/.375/.460 over the life of 56 plate appearances. Switch-hitting Ty Kelly has also seen a couple of starts at third, and the Mets picked up a familiar face in Kelly Johnson via the trade market to add further depth at the position. With Flores performing well, the urgency for the Mets to make a significant addition is certainly lessened, though adding further depth as the summer wears on could become a possibility depending on his ability to sustain his production. Following the initial news that Wright would be out for at least six weeks, I ran through some trade options for the Mets.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Rockies announced today that shortstop Jose Reyes has been reinstated from the restricted list and designated for assignment. Reyes, 33, has been on a minor league rehab assignment after completing a 52-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy but will not get the chance to suit back up for the Rockies, who acquired him in last summer’s Troy Tulowitzki blockbuster as a means of offsetting some of Tulo’s salary for the Blue Jays.
Reyes was arrested in Hawaii on Halloween last year and had charges of domestic abuse filed against him by his wife, though he ultimately plead not guilty, and the charges were dropped shortly before a criminal trial was to occur on Opening Day. Nevertheless, commissioner Rob Manfred saw enough evidence to punish Reyes with a suspension that ran through the end of May and cost him two months of his salary, or roughly $7.09MM.
In Reyes’ absence, the Rockies saw Trevor Story emerge as a unequivocally superior option at shortstop. The power production of Story, who is batting .265/.318/.553 with 17 homers, paired with Reyes’ on-field struggles and off-field baggage, created what would appear to be an easy decision for the Rockies. Colorado had reportedly had some trade talks regarding Reyes, and GM Jeff Bridich in late May wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of moving him, all of which pointed to the possibility that Reyes had played his last game as a member of the Rockies, which is now indeed the case.
The Rockies will have 10 days to trade or release Reyes, though I can’t imagine why they’d waste any time in putting him on release waivers, as they’ve had ample opportunity to work out a trade to this point but had no success. While Colorado saved the aforementioned $7.09MM of Reyes’ $22MM salary due to the suspension, they’ll still pay him $14.9MM this season overall. There’s about $13.1MM of that sum remaining through season’s end, and the Rox will owe him $22MM next season as well in addition to a buyout of $4MM on his 2018 club option.
Other clubs around the league will have the opportunity to sign Reyes for the pro-rated portion of the league minimum once he does clear release waivers — clearly, no team will claim him and that exorbitant salary — though doing so will obviously come with myriad public relations concerns as well as questions about his ability to perform on the field. Despite the offense-inducing nature of Coors Field, Reyes posted just a .259/.291/.368 in 208 plate appearances with Colorado following last year’s trade, and he’s no longer defensively capable of playing even an average shortstop.
JUNE 15: Chicago has placed Rollins on release waivers, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reports on Twitter.
JUNE 10: The White Sox announced today that they have promoted top shortstop prospect Tim Anderson to the Majors and designated struggling veteran Jimmy Rollins for assignment in order to clear space on the roster. Anderson entered the season rated as the game’s No. 42 prospect in the eyes of Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, and he rated 45th on the Top 100 prospect lists penned by Baseball America and Keith Law of ESPN.com.
Anderson, a first-round pick of the White Sox in 2013 (No. 17 overall), is batting .304/.325/.409 with four homers and 11 steals through his first 55 games at the Triple-A level this season. He’ll presumably get a chance to replace Rollins as the team’s everyday shortstop, with defensive standout Tyler Saladino representing a fallback option in the event that Anderson is overmatched by Major League pitching.
The scouting reports on Anderson offer mixed reviews on his work at shortstop, with MLB.com noting that he has plenty of arm strength but lacks soft hands and has erratic footwork. His tools profile in center field if he can’t handle short, per MLB.com, though BA and Law are a bit more optimistic on his chances to stick at short. BA notes that he has a penchant for highlight-reel plays but sometimes doesn’t play the right hop and doesn’t consistently make good throws from the hole. Law notes that he made improvements in his actions at shortstop in 2015 as well. What all of the reports do agree on is that Anderson is a plus-plus runner with the contact skills to hit between .280 and .300 in the Majors even if it comes with a pedestrian on-base percentage. However, as Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago points out (on Twitter), Anderson has cut his strikeout rate dramatically as his first Triple-A season has worn on; the 23-year-old whiffed 29 times in his first 103 PAs with Charlotte (28.1 percent), but it took him another 158 PAs to punch out another 29 times (18.8 percent).
By delaying his promotion until June 10, the White Sox have almost certainly prevented Anderson from reaching Super Two designation, which would allow him to be arbitration eligible four times instead of three. The largest amount of service time he could accrue at this stage of the season would be 114 days, and the lowest Super Two cutoff in recent years has been two years, 122 days (in both 2013 and 2010). If he’s in the Majors for good, Anderson would project to be eligible for free agency following the 2022 season and would not be eligible for arbitration until the completion of the 2019 campaign.
Rollins, 37, is of course a Phillies icon due to his storied and excellent career with Philadelphia, where he batted .267/.327/.424 across parts of 15 Major League seasons. With the Phils, Rollins was a three-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glover and the 2007 National League MVP in a season that saw him bat .296/.344/.531 with 30 homers and 41 stolen bases. (He won a Silver Slugger that season as well.) However, since being traded to the Dodgers prior to the 2015 campaign (Philadelphia picked up right-hander Zach Eflin and lefty Tom Windle in the swap), Rollins’ offensive numbers have flatlined. He batted a mere .224/.285/.358 in his lone season wearing Dodger Blue, and his production with the South Siders hasn’t been any better. He’s produced a sub-par .221/.295/.329 slash in 166 trips to the plate this season.
Dave Williams of Barstool Sports first reported the Anderson promotion (via Twitter).
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
MLB Trade Rumors is seeking a freelance developer with experience in MySQL and PHP. Currently, we are using MySQL for the database that powers MLBTR’s various features, such as the Transaction Tracker and Agency Database. The MLBTR staff inputs data daily into a custom content management system. We would like to expand this to power our new acquisition, Roster Resource.
I believe the best route will be to build upon our existing database and CMS to allow for the easy input of Roster Resource information, such as player numbers, birthdates, position, method of acquisition, birthplace, option status, etc. Then, Roster Resource website must be rebuilt to display the information from this database, with an eye on improving the load time. Furthermore, we’d like to customize the mobile versions of these pages to present this wealth of information on cell phones.
If you are interested in this project, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the email, please explain your qualifications and related experience and include your hourly rate.
The Rockies have agreed to sign right-hander Riley Pint, whom they selected with the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network and FanRag Sports (Twitter link). The prep right-hander out of Kansas City will receive a $4.8MM signing bonus, which is $458,700 less than the No. 4 slot’s value of $5,258,700 (as reported earlier this year by MLB.com’s Jim Callis).
Pint, 18, rated as the No. 2 prospect in this year’s draft in the estimation of Callis and colleague Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com, and Baseball America rated him as the No. 2 prospect as well. ESPN’s Keith Law was a bit less optimistic, rating him 12th. Callis and Mayo note that he’s the highest prep arm to come out of Kansas state since 1983 due in large part to a fastball that sits 93-97 mph and reached as high as 102 mph this spring. BA calls Pint a “much better version of the same template” as former No. 2 overall pick Tyler Kolek, who went second to the Marlins in 2014 due largely to his own triple-digit heater. BA writes that Pint regularly hits 100 mph with sink and can flash a pair of above-average breaking pitches. Law notes that Pint will sometimes show a sharp curveball but doesn’t do so consistently, though the same is true of an above-average changeup, so there’s clearly the potential for a wide array of above-average offerings in the power-armed teenager’s future. Each report, however, mentions some concerns surrounding Pint’s delivery as well as his ability to consistently throw strikes, creating a fair amount of risk around him as well (as one would expect with any high school pitcher).
The Rockies went exceptionally heavy on college players in the 2016 draft, as Pint is one of just nine high school players the team selected out of 41 picks. Some of the savings they received on Pint could be applied to fourth-round pick Colton Welker, a prep third baseman out of Florida whom Callis and Mayo noted may require an over-slot deal due to a strong commitment to the University of Miami. Colorado entered the draft with a pool of $11,453,100 and will have $6,353,400 of that sum remaining upon the formalization of Pint’s agreement.
Today, we’re proud to announce an acquisition of our own! Trade Rumors has purchased the Roster Resource website, which was formerly known as MLB Depth Charts before expanding into other sports. Additionally, we’ve hired the site’s creator, Jason Martinez. Jason will continue to obsessively update depth charts and roster information quickly and accurately for all MLB, NBA, and NFL teams, and he’ll also contribute articles here at MLBTR.
The depth charts and roster information will continue to live at Roster Resource for now, though it is officially under the Trade Rumors umbrella. You’ll see us begin linking more to the Roster Resource depth charts in our posts, as we feel this information is a perfect fit for readers of MLB Trade Rumors, Hoops Rumors, and Pro Football Rumors. We are striving to bring you the best possible coverage of transaction-related news as well as depth charts and roster information you can consult for further analysis.
We’d love your feedback on Roster Resource, whether through comments on this post, replies on Twitter, or messages through our contact form. We’ve already got a number of improvements planned. Below, I’ve linked to depth charts for each of the 30 teams, which is the heart of what the site offers.
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Atlanta Braves
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- Chicago Cubs
- Chicago White Sox
- Cincinnati Reds
- Cleveland Indians
- Colorado Rockies
- Detroit Tigers
- Houston Astros
- Kansas City Royals
- Los Angeles Angels
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Miami Marlins
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Minnesota Twins
- New York Mets
- New York Yankees
- Oakland Athletics
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- San Diego Padres
- San Francisco Giants
- Seattle Mariners
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Texas Rangers
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Washington Nationals