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Twins general manager Terry Ryan was released from the hospital today after undergoing surgery to treat cancer discovered in his neck, the team announced. He'll spend the next several days at home recuperating as the Twins get their 2014 Spring Training underway. Here's more out of the AL Central…
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star looks at the Royals' payroll in an effort to correct critics that mocked GM Dayton Moore calling the 2014 payroll a "gamble." Those critics pointed to the additional $25MM in revenue teams are receiving from national TV revenue, but Mellinger spoke with Forbes Sports senior editor Kurt Badenhausen who explained that the $25MM number is a myth. The Royals' increase (after MLB takes its share) is more like $5-10MM, he explaines. Mellinger writes that while owner David Glass and Moore have each had their failures, the success or failure of the past seven years will ultimately be determined by the 2014 Royals' on-field results.
- Indians left-hander Nick Hagadone and GM Chris Antonetti both are relieved to have the long-standing grievance between the two sides resolved, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. Antonetti said he and the rest of management feel Hagadone can be a big part of the bullpen going forward, and Hagadone said he was happy with the grievance's outcome: "In the end, I thought it was very fair. I’m happy with the outcome. I’m happy I can just concentrate on baseball."
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian writes that the Indians and right-hander Josh Tomlin tried to settle their pending arbitration case but were unable to do so before today's hearing. Announcement of a result can be expected in the near future. Within that piece, Antonetti says he is still hopeful of avoiding a hearing with ace Justin Masterson.
- The Tigers are planning on getting Victor Martinez some occasional time behind the plate in 2014, writes MLive.com's Chris Iott. In reference to interleague games in National League parks, manager Brad Ausmus told Iott: "We can't not have Victor play for five straight games." Martinez says that he's excited to get back into some games at catcher. Additionally, Miguel Cabrera could still work some games at third base, with Martinez handling first base Iott writes. Both will work on those positions in Spring Training.
11:43am: Bastian tweets some clarification, noting that Hagadone didn't "win" his grievance, but rather the involved parties worked out an agreement to resolve the pending grievance.
9:57am: Indians left-hander Nick Hagadone has won the grievance filed on his behalf by the Major League Baseball Players Association, reports MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. The deal is highly significant for both sides, as Hagadone gains a hefty 94 days of service time (jumping from 1.033 to 1.127), and the Indians will gain another option on Hagadone. He'd previously been out of options but can now be sent to the minor leagues in 2014 (All links to Twitter).
The source of Hagadone's grievance was a self-inflicted hand injury following a poor outing back in July 2012. Hagadone was subsequently optioned to the minor leagues and placed on the disqualified list rather than placed on the Major League disabled list with his injury. In doing so, the Indians assured that he would not be paid while missing time due to his injury and also would not accumulate service time. As Bastian reports above, he will now be compensated for that time on the DQ list after winning the grievance.
As Bastian further notes (on Twitter), Hagadone is one of six left-handers vying for a spot in Cleveland's bullpen. A quick glance at the most recent Super Two cutoff shows that this additional service time is crucial to Hagadone. The 28-year-old can now potentially qualify as a Super Two player and be eligible for arbitration following the season, should he make the Opening Day roster and stick in the Majors all year.
Hagadone was excellent for the Indians in Triple-A last season, posting a 2.51 ERA with 12.8 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in 32 1/3 innings. However, his control problems were magnified in the Majors (6.0 BB/9), and his strikeout rate dropped (8.6 K/9), and the result was an unsightly 5.46 ERA in 31 1/3 innings for Cleveland. Those trends aren't exactly new for the lefty, who has a 5.59 ERA in 67 2/3 Major League innings despite excellent minor league numbers.
Hagadone was originally acquired by the Indians along with Justin Masterson and Bryan Price in the trade that sent Victor Martinez to the Red Sox. Boston picked Hagadone 55th overall in the 2007 draft as compensation for the loss of free agent Alex Gonzalez.
A few stray links to pass along as the NL All-Stars celebrate their third consecutive victory over the AL …
- The Indians are trying to acquire Carlos Quentin from the Padres, but the sides "don't have much common ground right now," according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Quentin is an impending free agent and figures to be dealt, as the Friars are unlikely to extend him with their ownership situation still in flux.
- The MLB Players Association is considering filing a grievance on behalf of Indians reliever Nick Hagadone, who was placed on the minor league disqualified list after injuring himself in a fit of frustration following a recent poor outing, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Indians GM Chris Antonetti said Hagadone was angry that he pitched poorly and not because he had been informed he'd been optioned to the minor leagues. Players do not receive salary or accrue service time while on the disqualified list.
- The odds of the Athletics moving to Sacramento, as was recently proposed by the city's mayor, former NBA star Kevin Johnson, is highly unlikely, according to the Contra Costa Times. The A's, meanwhile, remain in stadium limbo.
- The Dodgers may be in an active-roster bind with the impending returns of outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier from the disabled list, and though they could possibly cut ties with oft-injured and ineffective infielder Juan Uribe, that move remains unlikely, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. The balance of the $12MM owed to Uribe over the next season-plus would be tough for the Dodgers to swallow, Dilbeck explains.
A couple notes regarding the Red Sox and Indians, who both won on Saturday night (in Boston's case, twice) …
- The Red Sox wanted to trade for both Erik Bedard and Rich Harden once their attempt to acquire Hiroki Kuroda from the Dodgers fell through, tweets Peter Gammons. Bedard, of course, ended up in Boston, while the acquisition of Harden was nixed by Red Sox medical staff.
- It's unclear whether the Indians were the team that placed a waiver claim on the Rays' B.J. Upton, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, but it'd make sense for the Tribe to do so. Outfielders Michael Brantley and Shin-Soo Choo are banged up, and the Indians were one of the teams interested in Upton prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, according to Hoynes.
- Lost in the shuffle of Jim Thome's first homer since rejoining the Indians was the Major League debut of reliever Nick Hagadone, writes Hoynes. Hagadone, a lefty, was acquired along with Justin Masterson in the deal that sent Victor Martinez to Boston in 2009. That doesn't look like such a bad swap in retrospect, especially if Hagadone turns out to be a solid member of the Tribe's bullpen.
John Tomase from the Boston Herald has some notes about several Major League topics in his latest article:
- Tomase reminds us that at the 2009 deadline, the Red Sox reportedly offered the Mariners any five of the following prospects in exchange for Felix Hernandez: Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Michael Bowden, Josh Reddick, Yamaico Navarro, Nick Hagadone, Felix Doubront, and Justin Masterson. While a Boston official disputed the specific names, Tomase says the reports were in the ballpark.
- Regarding a trade though, Tomase quotes King Felix himself as saying that he wants to stay in Seattle: "I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m not trying to think about it. I’d love to stay here (with the Mariners). I’m part of Seattle now and I’d like to be in Seattle."
- San Diego's Anthony Rizzo, acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, is off to a blazing start at Triple-A. Rizzo has posted a monstrous line of .400/.471/.744 with seven homers, eight doubles, and a triple through 102 PAs, but despite that production the Padres aren't giving up on Brad Hawpe yet. Manager Bud Black cites Hawpe's career success, but it'll be hard to ignore his .149/.194/.194 line much longer.
- Manny Ramirez's abrupt retirement had many questioning a Rays' lineup that was struggling to score runs, but as Tomase points out, the Rays have gone 14-5 since Manny called it quits. The Rays were 0-6 with Manny on board.
Tomase's article also features several more quotes from Felix on his appreciation for Seattle as well and is a good read all-around.
Indians GM Chris Antonetti told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that Carlos Santana has fully recovered from last year’s knee injury and shouldn't face any limitations this season. He sure looked good when he dove to start a triple play over the weekend. Here are some highlights from Antonetti’s conversation with Speier:
- The Indians expect Justin Masterson to build on last year’s success and become a reliable major league starter.
- Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price, the prospects Cleveland acquired in the Victor Martinez deal “have a chance to contribute to [the Indians’] major league pitching staff in the near future,” Antonetti said.
- Dealing Martinez wasn’t easy, but Antonetti knows difficult trades are part of the game. “Nearly every team faces the reality that it can’t retain every player it values,” he said. “Inevitably some players will leave via free agency and some players will be traded prior to reaching that point.
- Antonetti says the Indians are on their way to becoming a championship caliber club. “The timing of our success will largely depend upon how quickly this group transitions from a collection of young players with potential to a championship caliber team that consistently produces at the Major League level,” Antonetti said.
5:29pm: ESPN's Peter Gammons echoes Heyman's report, and adds that Josh Reddick is the positional prospect that would have gone to Toronto.
MONDAY, 3:01pm: So what did the Red Sox actually offer for Halladay? SI's Jon Heyman heard Buchholz, Masterson, Bowden, Hagadone, and a positional prospect. Should Ricciardi have pulled the trigger on this 5-for-1 blockbuster?
SUNDAY, 1:12pm: Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports that Epstein has denied the rumors. When asked if there was any truth to the rumored offer for Halladay, Epstein responded with a simple "Nope."
10:14am: Last month, Theo Epstein said Boston aggressively pursued Roy Halladay at the deadline and that their final offer was "probably the best offer [J.P. Ricciardi] received." According to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, that may have been a 6-for-1 offer of Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, Daniel Bard, Michael Bowden, Felix Doubront, and Nick Hagadone.
One National League scout is quoted having "zero idea why they didn't take the Boston offer." Elliott cites a Toronto scout who says the Jays didn't take the offer for two reasons: 1) They weren't confident Masterson would succeed as a starter, and 2) they were afraid of Halladay beating them in 2010.
The same scout is quoted, "We don't have a quality arm like Halladay," said the scout, "but I've seen four of those (Red Sox) arms and they're quality. Hit on three of six and you'd be fertile for a long time."
What do you think? Does this seem uncharacteristic of Theo Epstein?
Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Red Sox are "thought to have offered a five-prospect package of [Clay] Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone and a position player" for Roy Halladay. The club apparently offered the Mariners an even better deal for Felix Hernandez. Here are the rest of Heyman's rumors:
- The Brewers offered nothing more than salary relief for Doug Davis, so the D'Backs held on.
- There's a decent chance the Blue Jays will find a new GM. As one exec points out, no one gets to rebuild twice without making the playoffs.
- The Rangers gave up on Vicente Padilla because they consider him a bad teammate.
You thought the Jake Peavy deal was a surprise? The Red Sox, Mariners and Padres discussed a trade that would have made the Peavy acquisition look like the Jason Hirsh deal, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Baker hears that the Red Sox gave the Mariners the chance to choose five of the following players in exchange for Felix Hernandez:
- Clay Buchholz
- Daniel Bard
- Justin Masterson
- Nick Hagadone
- Michael Bowden
- Felix Doubront
- Josh Reddick
- Yamaico Navarro
The Mariners apparently turned down the deal, at which point the Padres became involved in discussions about a possible three-way trade. The Mariners would have received Adrian Gonzalez, Buchholz and prospects in the deal. They would have sent Felix to the Red Sox and dealt Brandon Morrow, Phillippe Aumont and Carlos Triunfel to the Padres, who would have received prospects from the Red Sox as well. In the end, Baker says the Mariners nixed the deal.
1:38pm: Done deal, says Yahoo's Gordon Edes. MLB Network's Tom Verducci says pitcher Bryan Price is the third hurler going to Cleveland in the trade.
1:35pm: MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo says (via Twitter) pitchers Nick Hagadone and Justin Masterson are in the deal (ESPN's Peter Gammons agrees). Gut reaction: nice haul. Mayo also says the two clubs are looking at additional names to add for Cleveland.
1:27pm: FOX now says Clay Buchholz and Daniel Bard are not in this deal.
12:55pm: USA Today's Bob Nightengale via Twitter: the Red Sox are about to acquire first baseman/catcher Victor Martinez from the Indians. Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse, trying to confirm, says it "looks good." FOX Sports agrees, and notes a lack of a third team involved. They also believe this kills the Adrian Gonzalez talks.