Oakland Athletics Rumors
Here are some notes from around the American League:
- The Athletics have released minor league third baseman Tommy Mendonca, tweets Melissa Lockard of OaklandClubhouse.com (hat tip to the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser). Originally a 2009 second-round pick of the Rangers, Mendonca was selected by Oakland in this year's minor league Rule 5 draft. Mendonca, who turns 25 tomorrow, struggled in his first Triple-A action last season, when he hit .208/.249/.329 in 251 plate appearances at the upper level of the minors.
- Meanwhile, the A's seem more inclined to hang onto another Rule 5 pick, Nate Freiman, who the club picked up off of waivers from Houston, writes Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown. Manager Bob Melvin likes Freiman's power and patience. The 6'8", 26-year-old first baseman hit safely in his first two big league at-bats, though he has failed to register a base knock in his eleven subsequent plate appearances.
- The Royals' trade for James Shields was not just about acquiring a rotation anchor, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. The club was also hoping to import some of the Rays' clubhouse culture, which Shields has brought to Kansas City along with his solid start on the hill. Meanwhile, MLB.com's Dick Kaegel writes that the club is confident that it has plenty of talent in the pipeline in spite of the haul it gave up in the Shields trade.
After the R.A. Dickey trade, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said the inclusion of John Buck was needed because his club needed to shed the catcher's $6MM salary. However, Mets assistant GM John Ricco told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that Buck was part of the trade package from the beginning and not a late throw-in just even out money in the deal. Buck is off to a hot start for the 2013 season and if he continues to perform, he'll be a solid contributor for the Mets this season. Here's more from around baseball..
- While it's still very preliminary, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes (on Twitter) says that the qualifying offer for the 2013-14 offseason should be right around $14MM. This past offseason, the qualifying offer was worth a little less at $13.3MM.
- Julio Borbon could be a worthwhile pickup for the Astros and Mets in the opinion of Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Borbon was designated for assignment by the Rangers earlier this evening.
- In the wake of Josh Reddick's injury, A's skipper Bob Melvin says he is especially grateful for the depth that the club's front office has put in place, tweets Jane Lee of MLB.com.
The Athletics have outrighted Dan Otero to Triple-A after the right-hander cleared waivers, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Otero was designated for assignment on Friday when the Athletics acquired catcher Stephen Vogt from the Rays.
Otero has been a travelling man the past three weeks after being optioned by the Giants to Triple-A Fresno (March 15), claimed on waivers by the Yankees (March 26), designated for assignment the next day and claimed by the Athletics (March 29), and now onto Sacramento. The 28-year-old made his MLB debut with the Giants last season (5.84 ERA, 5.8 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, and 13.9 H/9 in 12 games covering 12 1/3 innings) while also appearing in 48 games at Fresno where he posted a 2.90 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9.
The team confirmed the move in a press release.
The A's announced that they have acquired catcher Stephen Vogt from the Rays for a player to be named later or cash considerations. To make room for Vogt on the roster, Oakland designated right-hander Dan Otero for assignment.
Vogt, 28, saw time in 18 games for the Rays last season but spent the bulk of the year in Triple-A Durham where he hit .272/.350/.424 in 94 games. The catcher was the Rays' 12th round pick in the 2007 draft and has spent his entire career in the Tampa Bay organization until now.
Otero, also 28, will be changing teams for the third time this winter after going from the Giants to the Yankees to the A's in a pair of waiver moves. The right-hander made 12 relief appearances last season and pitched in 48 games in Triple-A where he posted a 2.90 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9.
The Athletics have traded left-handed pitcher Travis Blackley to the Astros in exchange for minor league outfielder Jake Goebbert, Oakland announced via Twitter. The A's designated Blackley for assignment last Friday after claiming pitchers Danny Otero and Josh Stinson earlier that day.
Blackley, 30, tossed 107 2/3 innings last year, mostly for Oakland, sporting a 4.10 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. After the A's claimed him on waivers from the Giants last season, the Australian started fifteen games for the eventual AL West champs. Blackley is expected to work as a long reliever for Houston, which will need to make a corresponding roster move, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
Goebbert is a 25-year-old corner outfielder who hit .291/.388/.450 over 468 minor league plate appearances last year, the vast majority of which came at Double-A . He has yet to show much at the Triple-A level, with a .250/.325/.360 line in 152 plate appearances over the last two seasons. Goebbert had been set to start the year in Triple-A for the Houston organization.
The Orioles claimed righty Josh Stinson off waivers today, according to an Athletics press release. The Orioles transferred Tsuyoshi Wada to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Stinson. The A's also noted that first baseman Daric Barton cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A.
The A's had claimed Stinson off waivers from the Brewers last week, but designated him for assignment yesterday upon their claim of Will Harris from the Rockies. Stinson, 25, appeared briefly in the Majors last year. He posted a 3.16 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, and 0.43 HR/9 in 145 1/3 Triple-A innings. The former Mets draft pick will work out of the rotation at Triple-A Norfolk.
Barton, 27, was a first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2003. He did his thing at Triple-A last year, hitting .255/.411/.425 in 336 plate appearances. Barton led the American League with 110 walks in 2010, but a shoulder injury has affected him since.
The A's have claimed right-hander Will Harris off waivers from the Rockies, according to Kiley McDaniel of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The A's have since confirmed the move and added that the recently claimed Josh Stinson has been designted for assignment to clear roster space (Twitter link).
Harris, not to be confused with the veteran utility player of the same name, was a ninth-round pick by the Rox back in the 2006 draft. The 28-year-old made his big league debut for Colorado last season but allowed an unsightly 16 runs in 17 2/3 innings. He did manage an impressive 19-to-6 K/BB ratio, though.
Harris' minor league numbers are impressive: a 2.66 ERA, 11.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 240 1/3 innings of work. However, it's worth noting that just 17 2/3 of those innings (oddly, the same number he has in his Major League career) have come at the Triple-A level. He's missed significant time throughout his minor league career due to injuries, including Tommy John surgery in 2009.
Stinson, 25, has made 19 relief appearances and one start for the Brewers and Mets across the last two seasons, posting a 4.43 ERA with 4.4 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9. In 24 starts and five relief appearances for the Brewers' Double-A affiliate last season, Stinson posted a 3.16 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The nine top names to watch in Los Angeles baseball in 2013 include Chase Headley and Robinson Cano, argues Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Headley could be an in-season trade target for the Dodgers, and Cano will likely be connected to the Dodgers as a free agent next winter. Shaikin also suggests that if the Dodgers don't do well in 2013, they could try to hire Rays GM Andrew Friedman. Here are more notes from the West divisions.
- The Mariners' decision to keep Jason Bay and designate Casper Wells for assignment doesn't make sense, Jeff Sullivan of USS Mariner says. Sullivan notes that Wells is younger, had four years of team control remaining, and has recently been the better player on both offense and defense -- and the Mariners will likely lose him for virtually nothing. "Wells, probably, is going to end up getting traded to a team with a thin outfield in exchange for a non-roster barely-prospect," Sullivan says. Sullivan also points out that Wells was one of the key players in the Doug Fister deal with the Tigers. The Tigers already looked like clear winners in that trade, but it's even clearer now.
- The Giants' signing of Buster Posey to an eight-year, $159MM contract demonstrates the inequities between the Giants and the Athletics, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The Giants have opposed the Athletics' move to San Jose. "It's more than mildly ironic that the Giants granted a single player a contract that exceeds the A's entire payroll by a factor of three," says San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo.
- The trade of Vernon Wells to the Yankees gave the Angels additional payroll flexibility, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes. The deal leaves the Angels about $6MM under the luxury tax threshold, Gonzalez reports.
Rule 5 pick Nate Freiman has made the Athletics, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes (on Twitter). Freiman hit .298/.370/.502 for Double-A San Antonio in the Padres system last year. The Astros took him in the Rule 5 Draft, and he was later claimed by the A's. He will have to stick on Oakland's roster throughout the season if the A's intend to keep him. Freiman is expected to play primarily against lefties. Here are more notes from the West divisions.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers says the biggest hangup during negotiations of the Paul Goldschmidt extension was the team option at the end, AZCentral.com's Nick Piecoro writes. Goldschmidt's contract is a five-year deal that begins in 2014 and includes a $14.5MM team option for 2019, with a $2MM buyout. The contract guarantees Goldschmidt $32MM total. "We wanted at least a year of free agency and probably the thing that took the most time was they didn’t really want an option year," Towers says. "A mutual option, no option, guarantee six years. We had to have some kind of an option."
- Julio Borbon has made the Rangers' 25-man roster, but he might not have a spot when the Rangers add fifth starter Nick Tepesch on April 9, says MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Borbon is out of options, and the Rangers say they have had trade discussions about him. Borbon is 27 and has yet to establish himself in the majors, though, so other teams likely wouldn't be willing to part with solid talent in a trade.
The Athletics have claimed pitcher Danny Otero from the Yankees and designated first baseman Daric Barton and pitcher Travis Blackley for assignment, according to a team news release. Earlier in the day, the A's also claimed pitcher Josh Stinson from the Brewers.
Barton has collected 1,583 major-league at bats, all with the A's, hitting .249/.360/.371. He hit .204/.338/.292 in part-time duty in 2012. Blackley pitched in 102 2/3 innings with the A's in 2012, posting a 3.86 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.