Orlando Hernandez Rumors
More links for Wednesday afternoon...
- CBS Sports reports that Orlando Hernandez is set to begin pitching for the Rangers' Triple A team in Oklahoma City.
- The Rangers are preparing another Triple A pitcher for the major league staff, but this one's two decades younger than El Duque. Neftali Feliz is now pitching out of the bullpen, according to Evan Grant of D Magazine.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Cubs hope to get Aramis Ramirez back in action before determining whether they will make a deadline deal.
- Who knew the Braves added John Halama to their minor league system? Check out Baseball America's latest minor league transactions for more.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo breaks down the pro debuts of some 2009 draftees.
- Phillies prospect Jason Donald isn't letting the rumors about his future distract him, according to Scott Lauber of the News Journal.
- Be sure to follow MLBTR on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook while you're at it.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels answered questions in an online chat hosted by Richard Durrett of the Dallas Morning News. One thing becomes clear throughout the chat: Daniels will try to win this year:
- Ben Sheets isn't far enough along to be talking contract, but the Rangers are in touch with his agent.
- The Rangers could deal prospects away to improve their playoff chances this year, but Daniels doesn't suggest that's likely.
- Tom Glavine is "probably not" a fit.
- Orlando Hernandez could be ready for the majors by late July.
- Daniels says signing Matt Purke and Tanner Scheppers before July 31st wouldn't make him more likely to part with other prospects in a deal.
- The Rangers talked with Luis Vizcaino before he signed with Cleveland.
- Could the Rangers pick up a big-time starter? Daniels says "we'll see."
Links for Friday morning...
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Brewers are close to signing first rounder Eric Arnett.
- Ready for next year's draft? MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo is, with ten players to watch in 2010, including Cameron Bedrosian, the son of Steve Bedrosian, who won the 1987 NL Cy Young Award.
- Jamey Newberg walks his readers through the five step plan the Rangers used to set the team up to contend for years.
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times looks at the big picture and determines that a lot has changed since 2004. More specifically, the Red Sox have a "stranglehold" on the Yankees.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says Milton Bradley is a "$30MM elephant in the room" because of his hitting struggles.
- Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post believes Felix Hernandez can and will become even better.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post hopes Orlando Hernandez succeeds in Texas. What a great story that would be.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star reports that Aaron Crow's in line for a $3-4MM bonus before the August 17th signing deadline. The deadline doesn't apply to college seniors, but Crow didn't go back to college for his senior year, so he has to sign by the 17th, like most players.
7:10pm: According to Stephen Hawkins of the Associated Press, Rangers GM Jon Daniels says Hernandez is in "great shape." "We like what we've seen," Daniels said. "He's healthy. He's throwing the ball well. He's motivated to come back."
Daniels added that there is no timetable for when Hernandez might pitch for the Rangers.
3:44pm: According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers signed Orlando Hernandez to a minor league deal. El Duque is now 39 and he hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2007, when he was with the Mets. Hernandez, best known for his playoff success, collected most of his 90 career wins with the Yankees.
He'll be assigned to Triple A Oklahoma.
Newsday's Ken Davidoff runs through six current free agents, digging up new information about a few.
- Paul Byrd never received a call from the Angels, so he'll continue to wait until later this summer to see what's available.
- Frank Thomas is working with hitting coach Mike Easler, who believes "Frank might give it to the All-Star break." Easler says another client of his, Jacque Jones, could help a club.
- Jim Edmonds would play in the right situation, but his agent Paul Cohen doesn't know if there will be an offer. Damion Easley, another Cohen client, would also like to continue his career.
- A friend of Orlando Hernandez's tells Davidoff he's considering a comeback. El Duque didn't pitch in the Majors last year.
- In my opinion, these free agents are better served playing independent league ball than working out privately.
With little more than a week remaining before the regular season begins let's check the list of unsigned free agents..
- Pedro Martinez is the biggest name out there. The Dodgers don't like his asking price of $5MM and Omar Minaya says Pedro's not coming back to the Mets.
- Orlando Hernandez, Mark Mulder and Will Ohman are still on the market.
- And don't forget about Paul Byrd and Ben Sheets, who could return midseason.
- Richie Sexson, Mark Grudzielanek and Ray Durham are some of the more interesting free agent infielders
- Dave Roberts and Jim Edmonds could offer outfield depth, but haven't attracted a lot of reported interest.
- Luis Gonzalez is on the market too. Could he return to the Marlins? He could return to the D'Backs if he retires as a player.
- C.C. Sabathia's agents met with the Yankees yesterday, among other teams. As you know, teams can only talk contract with their own free agents currently. Sabathia is certainly open to playing for the Yankees.
- Orlando Hernandez not only wants to pitch in 2009; he wants to close. He's thinking big after missing all of 2008.
- Davidoff gives a 10% chance of the Yankees re-signing Jason Giambi, and a 1% chance of re-signing Carl Pavano.
- The Rays like Aaron Heilman, though not as much as they once did.
Links for Tuesday. Be sure to check back on Odds and Ends posts, as I update them throughout the day with minor links.
- The Jays may no longer have A.J. Burnett under contract, but they continued their claiming frenzy by adding pitcher Les Walrond.
- The A's re-hired Jason Giambi's strength coach. Does it mean anything?
- The Cardinals remain intrigued by the idea of bringing Edgar Renteria back.
- The Dodgers bought out catcher Gary Bennett for $50K; he's a free agent now.
- Mike Cameron thinks C.C. Sabathia has a good chance of re-signing with the Brewers. He says Sabathia could be a pioneer by taking less money to stay.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown says Orlando Hernandez is working out and intends to play next year. He did not pitch in the Majors at all this year due to foot injuries.
- Dylan Hernandez chatted with Scott Boras last week.
- The New York Daily News discusses Baseball Prospectus' Nate Silver, whose political website is immensely popular.
- Patrick Newman points out that Junichi Tazawa will not be the first Japanese amateur to sign with an MLB team.
- Buster Olney says Brad Ausmus wants to play in 2009 if it's close to his San Diego home. The Dodgers could be one possibility.
Another week in the books, and we keep seeing big names moved after the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Let's look back on the past week:
- The Dodgers acquired Greg Maddux from the Padres for two minor league players to be named later. Nice acquisition to bolster their rotation, and does anyone want to place bets on how excited 20-year-old Clayton Kershaw is to get tips from Maddux every day for the rest of the season?
- The Pirates are exploring the idea of trading Jack Wilson this offseason more and more. Given the slim free agent market for shortstops, he would likely gather a lot of interest.
- Nate Robertson's struggles this season have lost him his spot in the rotation, but have they also lost him a spot with the Tigers after 2008?
- Orlando Hernandez needs surgery on his foot, and that could likely mean that El Duque's career would be over.
- Lots of speculation lately about where Ben Sheets is going to land after 2008. And while there's no way to tell right now, Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman have stepped up and said they would like the Astros front office to go out and sign him in the offseason.
- A lot of minor-league deals signed this week: Kip Wells signed with Kansas City, the Mets added Al Reyes, the Astros signed Jose Castillo, the Red Sox signed Dave Ross, and the Braves took a flyer on Rodrigo Lopez following his Tommy John surgery last year. The Jays made a trade to acquire Jose Bautista for a PTBNL as well.
- The Rangers would like Milton Bradley back in 2009, and the feeling is mutual, though negotiations will wait until after the season. Similarly, Frank Thomas would prefer to stay with the A's in 2009.
- Eric Gagne, David Riske, and David Weathers all cleared waivers this week. The first two make sense to me, but given Weathers' success this year, his affordable contract for the rest of the season, and all of the teams desperately seeking bullpen help, it seems strange that no one would place a claim on him. Here's an updated list of all the players who have been confirmed to have cleared waivers this year.
According to Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News, Orlando Hernandez is opting to have surgery on his right big toe to remove a bunion, meaning his career is all but over.
El Duque has resisted this procedure in the past because it may take more than a season to fully heal.
Hernandez left his last outing on July 18th for Mets Double A affiliate Binghamton after only one inning citing discomfort on his foot.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com. Comments? Rumors? Email me: alexo (at) umpbump (dot) com.