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Oliver Perez Rumors
With just over a week to the trade deadline, there's still been only one significant move for a reliever — Boston's acquisition of Matt Thornton. Plenty of teams are on the lookout for bullpen help, however, including the Tigers, Red Sox, Braves, Diamondbacks and more. With a potential Jason Grilli injury last night, more bullpen rumors could begin to circulate. Here are the latest relief rumblings from around the baseball world…
- The Red Sox, Dodgers and Tigers are all keeping close tabs on Francisco Rodriguez, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. The Sox and Dodgers, in particular, were said by Crasnick to have scouts "all over" Rodriguez this week. Detroit, meanwhile, isn't as interested as it once was due to the strong recent performance of Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly (Twitter links).
- Former closer Brian Wilson threw for Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti and bullpen catcher Billy Hayes yesterday, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. The session was a personal favor to Wilson and not an indicator that a deal is coming, Baggarly writes. However, Wilson looked nearly Major League ready, and Baggarly feels that the willingness to afford Wilson this favor suggests that any ill will between the two sides following Wilson's offseason non-tender has subsided.
- The Braves continue to search for left-handed relief help, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio, who lists Oliver Perez, Mike Dunn, Glen Perkins, Scott Downs and James Russell as potential targets. Bowden notes that Perkins is unlikely, likely because of the numerous reports that the Twins won't move their closer.
- While the Twins aren't interested in moving Perkins, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves may have interest in another Minnesota lefty who may be available — Brian Duensing (Twitter link). Duensing has two years of team control remaining and will be arbitration-eligible for the second time this offseason.
- One more note from Crasnick, who tweets that the Braves also checked in on Phil Coke in their quest for lefty relief help, but nothing came of the talks with the Tigers. Coke has had a brutal season because of overexposure against right-handed hitters, but he's held lefties to a .231/.271/.346 batting line.
- For more on the relief trade market, check out my examinations of the market for left-handed relievers and the market for right-handed relievers. Also, for all fantasy players out there, be sure to follow @closernews on Twitter to keep up to speed with closer injuries, performance, usage and more.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | Boston Red Sox | Brian Duensing | Brian Wilson | Chicago Cubs | Detroit Tigers | Francisco Rodriguez | Glen Perkins | James Russell | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Miami Marlins | Mike Dunn | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Oliver Perez | Phil Coke | San Francisco Giants | Scott Downs | Seattle Mariners
The Giants have lost left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt for four-to-six weeks after a MRI revealed a moderate strain of muscle and tendon in his left groin, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jose Mijares will absorb most of Affeldt's innings, but CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly writes the Giants could, if history is any guide, look to acquire another lefty reliever. Baggarly notes it was nearly three years ago to the day Affeldt injured his oblique and GM Brian Sabean acquired Javier Lopez, an under-the-radar move which paid dividends as the Giants won the World Series. In other news and notes from MLB's West divisions:
- While Affeldt's injury may change the calculus slightly, Baggarly, within that same article, sees the Giants continuing their quest for starting pitching. Manager Bruce Bochy loves Jake Peavy, but the two teams have not discussed a deal and the Giants don’t have the quantity or quality of trade chips to get a seat at the table, according to Baggarly.
- Ex-Giants closer Brian Wilson is expected to begin showcasing his arm for teams within the next few weeks and the Giants have asked Wilson's representative to include them in the process, reports Schulman. Wilson underwent his second Tommy John surgery 15 month ago.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti doesn't expect to make any franchise-altering deals prior to the Trade Deadline, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "I don't know that that player is out there," Colletti said. "When I call around teams, there's not a lot of names of position players being discussed. I'm not sure if there's a market out there on the sell side."
- Earlier today, we learned the Dodgers are prepared to offer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez something in the neighborhood of $50MM over five years. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, however, tweets sources have told him the Dodgers' interest in the Cuban right-hander is not as fervent as has been portrayed.
- Manager Eric Wedge doesn't think the fourth-place Mariners, winners of six straight, will be active at the Trade Deadline, writes MLB.com's Greg Johns. "Unless it's something that raises the bar, I don't think we're going to do anything," said Wedge. "We're not going to move somebody just to move somebody." The Mariners have several veterans on one-year deals, who could be appealing to contenders, including left-handed reliever Oliver Perez, left-handed starter Joe Saunders, outfielder Raul Ibanez, first baseman Kendrys Morales, and shortstop Brendan Ryan.
- Two years ago, the Dodgers had agreed to deals with both the Tigers and Red Sox for Hiroki Kuroda, but the right-hander invoked his no-trade clause to veto each trade. Through his interpreter, Kuroda provided FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal his rationale for refusing to join a team in the playoff hunt: if you only play for a team in August and September, it is not as meaningful as being with a club from Spring Training until the end of the season.
Here's a look at the latest out of the AL West..
- Peter Gammons of MLB.com tweets that every General Manager he has spoken with says the Mariners are asking for "premier prospects" in exchange for lefty relievers Oliver Perez, Charlie Furbush and Brian Moran. We learned recently that Perez has drawn interest from the Orioles, Braves, and others.
- In his latest Scouts Corner column, CBS Sports' Danny Knobler cites an executive who suggests that the Astros' Bud Norris could be the next starting pitcher to be traded. "He's got good stuff. It's about the consistency of command. I think most contending teams will see him as a fourth starter. The problem is they're going to ask a lot for him," a scout tells Knobler. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com wrote earlier tonight that the asking price is high for Norris as Houston is seeking two highly-rated prospects in return.
- An executive on the hunt for pitching tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that the Astros' Norris is basically one of three decent available starters right now. The others are the Cubs' Matt Garza and Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers. The asking price for all three is really high, according to the exec, which is consistent with what we've been hearing.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
Here's a look at the latest news from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com..
- Mariners reliever Oliver Perez has drawn interest from the Orioles, Braves, and other clubs, according to Heyman. Perez has reinvented himself as a bullpen arm in the last two years with the Mariners, posting a 2.00 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 across 63 innings in Seattle. Competing execs note that Perez is more cost-efficient in terms of prospects and cash than a guy like Matt Thornton. The veteran would cost another team the prorated portion of his $1.5MM for the rest of the year.
- Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez could also bring a strong return to General Manager Jack Zduriencik & Co and the Rays are among the clubs that have inquired on their hitters. However, parting with them would cause them to go into a free fall and also adversely affect the top prospects on the big league roster. For his part, Jack Z isn't anxious to move anyone. "We'll see how this week goes. I'm not going to be the aggressor,'' the GM told Heyman earlier this week. "I'm not shopping anyone.''
- Seattle people have been wondering if the Yankees might call about Morales thanks to their rash of injuries. The Rangers could also come calling.
- A Mariners person said they've gotten calls on injured center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, but his injury history hurts his value. Closer Tom Wilhelmsen has drawn interest and the Red Sox have had interest in the past, but Zduriencik is said to be hesitant to trade him since he's under control for a few more years. Brendan Ryan, who is no longer the starting shortstop, could also be of interest to someone as a defensive specialist in the infield.
- Opinions are mixed, but one rival executive tells Heyman that Phil Hughes could fetch quite a bit in a trade. Another rival exec quipped that the Bombers might trade Joba Chamberlain for a pine-tar rag. We learned earlier today that the Yankees are aggressively pushing both pitchers.
Here are a few trade notes from around the American League:
- As we approach the trade deadline with the Mariners looking more like sellers than buyers, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times took a look back at GM Jack Zduriencik's recent history at the deadline. Beginning with an ill-fated swap of a young Michael Morse for Ryan Langerhans and featuring the retrospectively painful Doug Fister deal, the net return to Seattle has not been terribly productive.
- This year, the Mariners could be in a position to deal some relievers. Last night, we took a look at FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal's breakdown of potentially available NL relievers. Tonight, let's look at the AL crop. From the M's, Rosenthal says that veteran lefty Oliver Perez is the most likely to be dealt, with Charlie Furbush and Tom Wilhelmsen also prime candidates. The latter two, however, will likely command a high price given that Furbush may just be reaching arbitration after this season as a Super Two, while Wilhelmsen will not reach arbitration until after the 2014 campaign.
- Rosenthal also pegs the White Sox and Astros as sellers with attractive bullpen pieces. Chicago could swing a trade for stud reliever Jesse Crain if he can return in time to prove his health; otherwise, both Matt Thornton and Matt Lindstrom could hold some appeal. (Both of the latter two pitchers come with club options for 2014.) For Houston, meanwhile, the prime trade chip among its relief corps is unquestionably closer Jose Veras, who is cheap, strikes out a lot of hitters, and has been solid in late-inning work this year.
- One other team that should look to the future, according to FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi, is the Blue Jays. With the club again fading after its recent resurgence, Morosi says Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos faces a "virtually impossible" task to right the ship before the trade deadline. Rather than selling out for this season, says Morosi, the Jays should look to shore up the team's rotation to make a run in 2014 and 2015.
- Sticking with the Jays, Morosi says that Josh Johnson — occasionally noted as a potential trade candidate earlier in the year — has been "perhaps the team's greatest disappointment this year." Johnson currently carries a 4.89 ERA in 53 1/3 innings; his walk rate is below his career average at 3.4 BB/9, though he is striking batters out at a strong 9.1 K/9 clip. At this point, Morosi suggests, Toronto may be best served by shipping Johnson back to the National League rather than looking to try and bring him back next year.
9:26pm: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter) that Perez received $1.5MM with another $600K in performance bonuses.
9:04pm: The Mariners have re-signed Oliver Perez to a one-year contract, the team announced. Financial terms are unknown at this point. Perez is represented by Scott Boras.
“We are happy to have reached a mutual agreement with Oliver,” said GM Jack Zduriencik in a statement. "He did a very nice job in helping solidify our bullpen after his call up last summer. As a veteran left-hander, and one that had adjusted very nicely to his new role, we are looking forward to his contributions as we go into the 2013 campaign.”
Perez, 31, reinvented himself as a reliever with Seattle this year after not pitching in the big leagues since 2010. He posted a 2.12 ERA in 29 2/3 innings with 7.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 while actually faring much better against righties (.204/.279/.296) than lefties (.281/.328/.351). Perez regained some velocity in relief and average 93.7 mph with his fastball in 2012.
- The Angels are still working to trade Dan Haren and expect to move him by Friday, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden (Twitter links). Haren will bring a much bigger return that what they received for Santana, adds Bowden.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto acknowledged that "in all likelihood we weren't going to exercise (Santana's) option … We got piece we didn't have," reports Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).
- Re-signing Zack Greinke is a "huge priority" for the Angels, says Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Part of the club's motivation to move Santana (and Haren) was to free up money for Greinke.
- The Angels are showing no inclination of making Torii Hunter a $13.3MM qualifying offer by this Friday's deadline, reports USA Today's Bob Nightengale (on Twitter). The Halos will not receive draft pick compensation if Hunter signs elsewhere in that case.
- Marco Scutaro told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that his first choice this offseason is to re-sign with the Giants (Twitter link). When asked what kind of contract he was seeking, the infielder joked "15 years, three thousand million dollars."
- "There's a market established," said Jeremy Affeldt to Baggarly in reference to Brandon League's new contract (Twitter link). The veteran southpaw said he will cherish his time with the Giants if he doesn't re-sign with them.
- Oliver Perez pitched to a 2.12 ERA in 29 2/3 relief innings for the Mariners this year, and he told MLB.com's Josh Liebeskind that he enjoyed his new role and would like to remain in the bullpen going forward. Perez will be a free agent this offseason.
- The Dodgers will hire Bob Engle as their Latin America scouting director, reports Bob Elliott of The Toronto Sun (on Twitter). Engle left the Mariners this month and had previously worked with the Blue Jays as well. He's responsible for signing Roy Halladay and Felix Hernandez as amateurs, among others.
Adam Moore's quest to make the Mariners' Major League roster hit a big roadblock after the catcher suffered a broken wrist during Tuesday's game against the Reds. Moore will likely miss the rest of Spring Training at the minimum and he's seeing a hand specialist today to determine the severity of the injury. Moore was battling for a spot as Seattle's backup catcher, which could have been available given that Jesus Montero is expected to see a lot of time at DH this season.
Here's some more news from the AL West…
- Athletics GM Billy Beane chatted with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News about such topics as Yoenis Cespedes, the challenges of taking the A's through another rebuilding process and the team's desire to resolve their stadium situation and possibly relocate to San Jose.
- Torii Hunter would "take less money" to return to the Angels next season, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. "They have so many young guys coming up, guys they want to give playing time to, so I know it could be difficult for me," Hunter said. "But if they're willing to keep me here, I would love to stay." Hunter's five-year, $90MM contract expires after this season and though the outfielder has said he wants to play for two or three more years, his top priority is to play for a contender, preferably the Halos.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto sees the battle for playing time on his club's roster as a strength, he tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. "The next team that wins a world championship with 25 guys, they will be the first," Dipoto said. "It keeps players fresh, it puts them in good matchup situations, it gives you depth, interchangeable pieces….Do I believe there's enough at-bats for the players here? Absolutely."
- Oliver Perez's minor league deal with the Mariners will pay him $750K if he makes the 25-man roster, reports MLB.com's Greg Johns. Perez can earn another $250K in incentives tied to innings and games pitched.
- The Mariners' wealth of minor league talent makes them "the next Tampa Bay Rays," writes ESPN's Jim Bowden (Insider subscription required), though the Mariners' higher payroll gives them a leg up on the Rays. Bowden is very high on Seattle's young pitching corps, comparing them to not just the Rays' current staff, but also to Oakland's Tim Hudson/Mark Mulder/Barry Zito trio of the early 2000's and the great Braves rotations of the 1990's.
- The Athletics and Giants released competing press releases yesterday in regards to the ongoing dispute between the two clubs over the Athletics' attempt to move to San Jose. John Shea and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle recap the more pertinent passages from each release, as the two teams argue over which has territorial rights to Santa Clara County.
The Athletics signed Brian Fuentes to a two-year, $10.5MM contract on this date last year. The veteran left-hander posted a 3.70 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 36.7% ground ball rate in 58 1/3 innings for the A's and is set to earn $5MM this coming season. Here are the latest links from the AL West…
- The Rangers want Prince Fielder to go along with Yu Darvish, but are wary of saying so publicly, Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes. Though they don’t want to offer an Albert Pujols-like $240MM deal, they’d like to sign Fielder, the top free agent remaining.
- The Angels are likely to add a late-inning reliever before Opening Day, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. Francisco Cordero and Brad Lidge are among the relievers who have been linked to the Angels this month.
- The Mariners, who signed Oliver Perez yesterday, view the lefty as a reliever, Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.
- Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times explains that before Darvish turned pro, the Angels were willing to offer a lucrative bonus to lure him to MLB. The Dodgers had been scouting Darvish since he was 15 and Tommy Lasorda was intrigued by the right-hander’s stuff.
- The A's are shopping first baseman Brandon Allen, Jerry Crasnick reported this morning.
The Mariners signed left-hander Oliver Perez to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, the team announced. The Boras Corporation represents the 30-year-old, who didn't pitch in the Major Leagues in 2011.
Perez struck out 239 batters with a 2.98 ERA as a 22-year-old in 2004. After he struggled with his command for two seasons, the Pirates traded him to the Mets for Xavier Nady. Perez posted a 3.91 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 371 innings from 2007-08 and the Mets signed him to a regrettable three-year, $36MM contract. They got just 112 1/3 innings of 6.81 ERA ball out of the investment before releasing Perez last March.
Perez pitched 75 2/3 solid innings for the Nationals' Double-A club in 2011. He finished the season with a 3.09 ERA, 6.9 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 15 starts.