Nick Masset Rumors

Marlins To Re-Sign Nick Masset

The Marlins have re-signed righty Nick Masset, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports on Twitter. Miami will add Masset back on a new minor league deal after releasing him a week ago.

Masset, 32, returned to action last year after dealing with career-threatening shoulder issues. The results were not great — a 5.80 ERA in 45 innings — but he was working at Coors Field and was still not far removed from surgery. More promisingly, Masset posted solid groundball numbers and a 4.33 FIP.

This spring, Masset allowed nine earned runs with just three strikeouts against four walks in 11 total innings. It was not terribly surprising, then, that he failed to crack the Marlins pen and that the club released him before being forced to pay a $100K retention bonus. Masset will now have a chance round back into form at Triple-A while providing a useful depth option for the Fish.


Marlins Exploring Trade Market For Pitching

The Marlins are exploring possible trade options to bolster their pitching, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Miami is concerned about the rotation and, ideally, they’d like to add another starter. However, they could also use a bit more help in the bullpen and they wouldn’t be opposed to an upgrade there either.

Miami has seen some rocky performances from its starters this spring and the front office is starting to worry about the durability of the rotation.  No. 2 starter Mat Latos dealt with a left knee injury last season and had his elbow scoped in mid-October, so Miami is concerned about how he will hold up.  Meanwhile, Henderson Alvarez (left knee) and Jarred Cosart (blister) dealt with some less serious issues in March.

As for the bullpen, the Marlins’ depth took a hit this week when they learned that Aaron Crow will likely need season-ending Tommy John surgery.  Preston Claiborne will also be out for at least a month with a right shoulder injury.  Even if the bullpen is not as high of a priority for the Marlins at this time, it sounds like they’re very much open to adding some reinforcements there.

If the Marlins choose to stand pat, Frisaro notes that they have some viable in-house options.  Miami hopes that right-handed reliever Nick Masset, who was cut recently, agrees to join the club’s Triple-A affiliate, according to the MLB.com scribe.   For starting depth, the Marlins could turn to long relievers David Phelps and Brad Hand, though that would likely weaken the pen.


Marlins Release Nick Masset

The Marlins have released right-handed reliever Nick Masset, the club announced. Masset, 32, signed as a minor league free agent and enjoyed Article XX(B) protection.

Once a consistently productive presence in the Reds’ pen, Masset traveled a long road back to the big leagues after undergoing multiple shoulder surgeries. He ended a two-year layoff last year, throwing 45 innings of 5.80 ERA ball for the Rockies but posting a more promising 4.33 FIP. Masset was able to deliver typically strong groundball results while striking out 7.2 and walking 4.8 batters per nine.

Miami obviously had decided not to give Masset a spot on its big league roster and preferred not to pay him a $100K bonus to stay in the upper minors. Masset has scuffled somewhat this spring, striking out only three batters and allowing nine earned runs in 11 innings of work, but ought to hold appeal to organizations seeking depth.



Marlins, Nick Masset Agree To Minor League Deal

The Marlins have agreed to terms with right-hander Nick Masset on a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

Masset, a client of Jet Sports Management, struggled through 45 innings with the Rockies in 2014 — his first big league action after a two-year absence due to shoulder problems and throacic outlet syndrome. Masset’s 5.80 ERA may be a bit misleading. Metrics such as FIP (4.33) and SIERA (4.12) feel that he was the recipient of some poor fortune, and indeed, his .371 batting average on balls in play was the third-highest mark among pitchers with 40 innings thrown (per Fangraphs).

The 32-year-old Masset was formerly a solid setup man for the Reds, pitching to a 3.05 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in parts of four seasons (240 1/3 innings) with Cincinnati. However, after signing a two-year, $5.5MM extension with the Reds, he failed to throw another pitch for the organization.

Masset isn’t without his faults; his 7.2 K/9 rate and 4.8 BB/9 rate from 2014 were both a far cry from his peak with the Reds. Still, if he can regain some of his lost control and continue to post a strong ground-ball rate (51.7 percent in 2014, 50 percent for his career), he could be a nice buy-low option for the Marlins.


West Notes: Grossman, Keuchel, Masset

The Astros have recalled Robbie Grossman, who will serve as their everyday left fielder, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle writes. The Astros also optioned fellow outfielder L.J. Hoes to Triple-A Oklahoma City. “We’ll get [Alex Presley] some at-bats here and there, but the regular three outfielders will be Grossman, [Dexter] Fowler and [George] Springer,” says manager Bo Porter. Grossman was disappointing in an earlier stint with the big club this season, but the 24-year-old then hit .299/.373/.453 in 153 plate appearances at Triple-A. Grossman was the key player the Astros received when they traded Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates. (They also received Rudy Owens, who recently made his big-league debut, and Colton Cain.) The news that Grossman will be promoted comes a few days after the Pirates designated Rodriguez for assignment. Here are more notes from the West divisions.

  • Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel tops Jon Heyman of CBS Sports’ list of players who have started the season hot. Yesterday, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that the Astros would not trade Keuchel, who could be emerging as one of baseball’s better young starters. Keuchel, 26, pitched a four-hit complete game against the Mariners on Sunday and now has a 2.55 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 so far this season.
  • Reliever Nick Masset is with the Rockies after missing two years to injury, and Adrian Dater of the Denver Post chronicles Masset’s return to the big leagues. Masset signed a two-year, $5.5MM extension with the Reds prior to the 2012 season but never pitched for them after signing, instead falling victim to shoulder trouble and, ultimately, thoracic outlet syndrome. Masset wondered if his career might be over. The Rockies scouted him this winter as he made his comeback, and they signed him to a minor-league deal, finally promoting him May 5. He’s pitched well in 8 1/3 innings for them since then.

Article XX(B) Free Agents Update: Tuesday

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement contains a provision that allows certain free agents who are signed to minor league contracts to receive a $100K retention bonus if they are not on the team's 25-man roster or the Major League disabled list five days prior to the season.

Free agents who qualify for this distinction are those who have at least six years of Major League service time and had a Major League contract expire at the end of the previous season, but signed a minor league deal ten or more days prior to Opening Day.

MLBTR has confirmed with MLB that the deadline for teams to decide on these players is today at 11am central time. By the deadline, teams with these players in camp need to decide whether to:

  • Add the player to their 25-man roster or Major League disabled list (or agree to do so in writing).
  • Grant the player his outright release from the minor league contract so that he may pursue opportunities with other teams.
  • Pay the player a $100K retention bonus to keep him in the organization beyond the deadline and send him to the minors.

Here's the latest news from around the league on Article XX(B) signees and their roster statuses with their respective teams (newest updates on top).  

  • Delmon Young receives a $100K bonus from the Orioles, tweets Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com.
  • The Rockies have decided to pay righty Nick Masset a $100K retention bonus to keep him in the organization, rather than releasing him or guaranteeing him an active roster spot, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com.
  • As posted already, Endy Chavez and Humberto Quintero of the Mariners have been released rather than receiving the roster bonus to be held in the minors.
  • The Indians have announced that DH Jason Giambi will be placed on the DL retroactive to March 21, meaning that the team will need to add him to its 40-man roster. 
  • John McDonald has been added to the Angels' 40-man roster and will be the club's utility infielder on Opening Day, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). The club has already released its three other Article XX(B) free agents.
  • The Mets have elected to pay pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka a $100K retention bonus rather than guaranteeing him an Opening Day roster spot or releasing him, the club announced on Twitter. Matsuzaka, who signed as an Article XX(B) free agent, will apparently compete with Jenrry Mejia for the fifth and final rotation slot right up until the start of the season.
  • Zach Duke has been informed that he has made the Brewers, tweets MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Duke will be the third lefty (and, potentially, long man) in the pen.
  • Earlier today we learned that Jason Kubel would make the Twins Opening Day roster.

Rockies To Sign Nick Masset

After agreeing with Manny Corpas on a minor league deal earlier today, the Rockies have also reached a mionr league agreement with right-hander Nick Masset, reports Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The New York Post's Joel Sherman adds (via Twitter) that Masset's base salary upon making the team would be $1.2MM, and the contract contains an additional $800K worth of incentives.

Masset, 32, hasn't pitched a Major League inning since 2011 due to surgery to repair the anterior capsule in his right shoulder and thoracic outlet syndrome in that same shoulder. Prior to his recent injury troubles, the Jet Sports Management client served as a setup man for the Reds and was a force in the Cincinnati bullpen. Acquired from the White Sox in the trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to Chicago, Masset posted a 3.07 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 240 1/3 innings with the Reds from 2008-11. He averaged better than 94 mph on his heater from 2009-11 and owns a strong career ground-ball rate of 49.8 percent.

The Rockies have been said to be on the lookout for bullpen help all offseason, and while there's no guarantee that Masset will be the same arm that he was with the Reds a few years ago, the deal provides Colorado with a great deal of upside. Colorado has also added LaTroy Hawkins and Boone Logan to its relief corps this offseason.


Rosenthal’s Latest: D-Backs, Tanaka, Brewers, Colvin

In his latest column over at FOXSports.com, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks' pursuit of top free agents Masahiro Tanaka, Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran stemmed from the fact they'll soon be completing a new television deal with FOX Sports that will be worth at least $90MM per season for a span of 15 to 20 years (beginning in 2016). He notes that while comparing TV deals is difficult because of differing equity stakes negotiated by each team, but the contract should still top the Rangers' recent TV deal, which pays them $80MM per season. More highlights from Rosenthal…

  • The Cubs' offer to Masahiro Tanaka did not include an opt-out clause, according to Rosenthal. Knowing that they might not compete until 2016, the Cubs were wary of including a clause that would allow him to opt out shortly after their next competitive club hit the field.
  • Their recent signing of Matt Garza will allow the Brewers to move trade acquisition Will Smith (received in exchange for Norichika Aoki) to the bullpen. Milwaukee could still add another reliever this offseason, but they also want to take a look at Rule 5 lefty Wei-Chung Wang.
  • After missing out on a Major League deal with the Orioles due to concerns over his back, Tyler Colvin is weighing a number of minor league offers.
  • The Marlins and Rockies are both interested in former Reds right-hander Nick Masset, who has missed each of the past two seasons due to shoulder injuries.

Reds, Masset Sign Extension

The Reds signed arbitration eligible reliever Nick Masset to a two-year extension, the team announced (on Twitter). As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, Masset had filed for a $2.9MM salary through arbitration, while the Reds had countered with $2.1MM. The deal is worth a guaranteed $5.5MM and includes performance bonuses, MLBTR has learned. 

Masset is arbitration eligible for the third of four times as a super two player, so the deal buys out his two remaining seasons of team control. The 29-year-old posted a 3.71 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 70 1/3 innings in 2011. The Jet Sports Management client is still on track to hit free agency after the 2013 season.

Jose Arredondo, another extension candidate, is the Reds' lone unsigned arbitration eligible player.


Players To Avoid Arbitration: Saturday

We'll recap all of the players who agree to deals to avoid arbitration throughout the day here. Be sure to check back in, there's bound to be plenty of updates. Here's yesterday's list.

  • The White Sox avoided arbitration with both Bobby Jenks and Carlos Quentin, signing both to one-year deals. Jenks will earn $7.5MM in 2010, while Quentin will receive $3.2MM after earning just $550K in 2009.
  • The Giants and reliever Brandon Medders avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $820K deal, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
  • MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds and Nick Masset have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a two-year deal.  Masset is set to earn $1.035MM this season and $1.545 next season, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.