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Out Of Options 2014 Rumors
By Tim Dierkes [March 13, 2014 at 3:23pm CDT]
The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options. That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors. I've included players on multiyear deals. This list was compiled through MLBTR's sources. For context on each team's situation, please check out my six-part series.
By Tim Dierkes [March 13, 2014 at 1:21pm CDT]
The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options. That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors, so the team would be at risk of losing them in attempting to do so. I've included players on multiyear deals. This list was compiled through MLBTR's sources. Our series concludes with the AL West.
Frieri is the team's closer, and Jepsen has a spot in the pen as well. About a week ago, Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times noted that Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the team could open the season with an eight-man bullpen. DiGiovanna further explained, "Carrying an extra reliever and a five-man rotation would limit the Angels to a three-man bench consisting of a backup catcher, utility infielder and outfielder."
Carter will serve as the team's designated hitter. Harrell is looking to reclaim a spot in the Astros' rotation, which is something of an open competition behind Scott Feldman. Valdes, a lefty reliever, is the oldest player in Astros camp at age 36, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. He's competing for a lefty relief spot with Darin Downs and Kevin Chapman, wrote Drellich a week ago.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about Taylor on Monday and Tuesday, noting that a scout told her a change of scenery might do some good for the 28-year-old outfielder. Slusser says non-roster invitee Sam Fuld is ahead of Taylor to potentially fill in for Craig Gentry if Gentry needs to start the season on the DL. Slusser wrote Monday that Barton will need at least a few more days to recover from a hamstring strain. Barton doesn't fit well at first base in a potential platoon with Moss, wrote John Hickey of the Mercury News in February, so it could be difficult for him to find a roster spot. Moss seems assured of semi-regular first base duty after hitting 51 home runs for the A's over the past two years. Donaldson is the team's starting third baseman after a breakout 2013.
Gimenez is seemingly fourth on the A's depth chart at catcher, so he has an uphill battle for a roster spot out of camp.
MLB.com's Chris Gabel wrote about Abad yesterday, noting that he's competing with Drew Pomeranz and Joe Savery to become the second lefty in Oakland's bullpen. Though Abad has surrendered a few runs in his six innings of spring work to date, Gabel quotes A's manager Bob Melvin as praising the 28-year-old, leading the writer to speculate that "he might already have secured a spot in the A's bullpen." Last week, MLB.com's Jane Lee wrote that Chavez "appears to be a lock" for the team's pen.
Mariners: Hector Noesi
The Mariners have an open rotation competition after Felix Hernandez in the wake of injuries to Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker, wrote MLB.com's John Schlegel on Tuesday. James Paxton, Scott Baker, and Erasmo Ramirez might be the favorites, though, meaning Noesi is really competing for one spot. Noesi could instead be a long reliever out of the bullpen, Bob Dutton of the News Tribune suggested a week ago.
In a roster projection from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News today, he included both Beltre and Michael Choice, noting that the team doesn't want to lose Beltre. Keeping both Beltre and Choice might mean sending catcher Robinson Chirinos to Triple-A despite an impressive spring. Grant sees Rosales as the team's best backup infield option over Brent Lillibridge and Kevin Kouzmanoff, because Rosales can play second base, shortstop, and third base.
Kirkman is part of Grant's projected seven-man bullpen, while Figueroa is not. As a lefty who throws 95 miles per hour, Figueroa was intriguing enough to the Rangers for the club to claim him off waivers from the Rays in late January. It seems the Rangers will be forced to choose one of the two, barring a trade or injury.
By Tim Dierkes [March 11, 2014 at 2:16pm CDT]
The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options. That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors, so the team would be at risk of losing them in attempting to do so. I've included players on multiyear deals. This list was compiled through MLBTR's sources. Next, we'll take a look at the NL East.
Carpenter is a lock for a bullpen spot. On Friday, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Varvaro, "Who knows? It's so early. If we had to break Spring Training today or tomorrow to start the season, I'd count on him. He'd be one of the guys in the bullpen," talking to MLB.com's Spencer Fordin. Gearrin is among a host of pitchers competing for two other spots in the pen; he told Mark Wiedmer of the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February his shoulder was 100% after being shut down for the final two months of the 2013 season.
Pena will serve as the Braves' primary utility infielder, and Schafer will be the fourth outfielder.
Beyond Steve Cishek, A.J. Ramos, and Dunn, the Marlins' bullpen picture is "extremely muddled," wrote Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald recently. As for the rotation, Turner looks like the team's fourth starter, with Hand, Tom Koehler, Kevin Slowey, and Brian Flynn in the mix for the last spot, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Spencer noted that Hand could land in the bullpen if he doesn't crack the rotation.
Jones was signed to be the team's primary first baseman. Bogusevic, acquired from the Cubs for Justin Ruggiano in the offseason, seems to have a leg up to become the team's fourth outfielder.
Young's spot on the team is secure. Tejada is the starting shortstop, though the Mets seem to be considering upgrades such as Stephen Drew or Nick Franklin. In the event they acquire someone, the Mets could entertain trading Tejada or just put him in a reserve role.
Torres is a lock for the Mets' bullpen, wrote Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com a week ago.
Detwiler will be on the Nationals' pitching staff in some capacity, either as the fifth starter or a member of the bullpen. Lobaton, Blevins, and Clippard are secure.
Mayberry and Frandsen were given guaranteed arbitration contracts, noted Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer in February, giving them a leg up on bench jobs. Yesterday, Gelb wrote that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. "continues to dangle Mayberry this spring in trade talks." Mayberry is competing with Darin Ruf for a bench spot. A week ago, Chris Branch of The News Journal took a look at the Phillies' backup infield situation. Freddy Galvis is a near lock to make the team, with Frandsen battling Ronny Cedeno, Andres Blanco, Cesar Hernandez, and Reid Brignac for the one remaining spot.
Five days ago, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News termed Lincoln to be "likely a favorite" for a bullpen spot, because of his option situation as well as past big league success.
By Tim Dierkes [March 10, 2014 at 10:45am CDT]
The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options. That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors, so the team would be at risk of losing them in attempting to do so. I've included players on multiyear deals. This list was compiled through MLBTR's sources. Today, we'll take a look at the AL East.
Back on February 20th, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos spoke about beginning the season with an eight-man bullpen, as they did in 2013, partially because of the desire not to lose a player, according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm. Cecil, Santos, Casey Janssen, Steve Delabar, and Aaron Loup are the locks.
Perez has already been sent to minor league camp, with the Jays expected to buy some time by putting him on the DL to start the season. Dustin McGowan is under contract on a multiyear deal, and was not listed above because he has over seven years of big league service. Still, the Jays will have to find a spot if they wish to retain him, and they probably will. McGowan, Rogers, Redmond, and Jeffress are part of the fifth starter competition, as outlined by Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star on Friday. In theory, all four could be retained: one in the rotation, the other three filling out the bullpen. That scenario would involve sending Neil Wagner and other solid pitchers to Triple-A, establishing strong depth but perhaps not putting the team's best 13 pitchers on the Opening Day roster. A trade would be another way to find some breathing room. The Jays are known to be in the mix for Ervin Santana, who would take a rotation spot and have a ripple effect on the above-named players.
Sierra seems to have a good shot at the team's last bench spot partially because of his lack of minor league options. It's another case where making the decision to retain the player might be less than ideal, as Sierra would have to be the team's fourth outfielder over the defensively superior Anthony Gose. Sierra would also platoon at DH with Adam Lind and could pitch in at first base, however.
Orioles: Edgmer Escalona, Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Troy Patton, Nolan Reimold, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, Kelvin De La Cruz, David Lough, Brian Matusz, Steve Pearce, Francisco Peguero, Josh Stinson
The Orioles' list includes a staggering 13 players. Let's start with the team's rotation. We can project three members with certainty: Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Tillman, and Wei-Yin Chen. At this moment, Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris would grab the two remaining spots. Two of the above-named pitchers, Britton and Matusz, had been among those competing for the fifth starter job before Jimenez was signed. Further muddying the picture, as explained by Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun today, is the pursuit of Ervin Santana. Additionally, Suk-min Yoon and Johan Santana will come into play later in the season.
Connolly notes that Norris or Gonzalez could move to the bullpen if necessary. Hunter, Darren O'Day, Ryan Webb, and Matusz seem to be locks for the pen. A 25-game amphetamine suspension for Patton takes him out of the picture for most of April. That leaves Escalona, De La Cruz, Britton, and Stinson as out of options pitchers competing for three likely spots, with Steve Johnson, Alfredo Aceves, T.J. McFarland, and Evan Meek also in the mix. You may recall the Orioles were loose with 40-man roster spots in the offseason, giving them to Escalona, De La Cruz, and Peguero despite scant big league experience. Retaining them now requires putting them on the 25-man roster. This situation seems to call for a trade or two.
As the backup center fielder, Lough is assured a spot on the roster. The Cruz signing takes away at-bats from Reimold, but he still seems likely to make the team. Peguero or Pearce could take the final roster spot, but only by beating out the other candidates in camp, such as Delmon Young, Xavier Paul, Julio Borbon, Quintin Berry, and Henry Urrutia. There seems a good chance Peguero or Pearce is exposed to waivers; perhaps both. Again, a minor trade could make sense in the coming weeks.
Archer is a lock for the Rays' rotation, while Ramos is battling pitchers such as Erik Bedard, Jake Odorizzi, Nate Karns, and Alex Colome for the fifth starter job until Jeremy Hellickson's projected late May return. If he doesn't win the job, Ramos would go back to the Rays' bullpen.
McGee is a lock for a bullpen job, as are Grant Balfour, Heath Bell, and Joel Peralta. Juan Carlos Oviedo has yet to report to camp due to visa issues, but he's expected to take a spot as well. If Ramos doesn't win the rotation job, that leaves one potential opening for Lueke. Late last month, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times named Brad Boxberger, Brandon Gomes, and Mark Lowe as other candidates, choosing Lueke as the favorite given his option situation.
Joyce is a lock for a roster spot. If the Rays go with a traditional fifth outfielder, Guyer could snag the job, as Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune explained late last month. The team could also use Sean Rodriguez or Ben Zobrist as the fifth outfielder.
Doubront is penciled into Boston's rotation. Carp has a bench spot locked down, though he did pop up in recent trade rumors.
Nova is a key piece of the Yankees' rotation, while Cervelli is highly likely to break camp as the backup catcher.
By Tim Dierkes [March 6, 2014 at 7:54pm CDT]
The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options. That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors, so the team would be at risk of losing them in attempting to do so. I've included players on multiyear deals. This list was compiled through MLBTR's sources. Next, we'll take a look at the NL West.
With the Diamondbacks beginning their season on March 22nd in Australia against the Dodgers, both teams will deal with a unique set of roster rules, as outlined by MLB.com's Steve Gilbert last month.
Delgado seems slated for Arizona's bullpen, unless perhaps Bronson Arroyo's bulging disk lands him on the DL. Regarding Tuiasosopo, D'Backs manager Kirk Gibson told Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic yesterday, "He definitely could be a guy that comes into play for us because of his versatility."
The D'Backs took Mateo from the Cubs in December's Rule 5 draft, but with Brad Ziegler, J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, Addison Reed, Josh Collmenter, and Joe Thatcher seemingly locked in, there won't be room for Mateo if Delgado joins the pen. A trade or injury could create a spot. A trade with the Cubs to retain Mateo's rights wouldn't make much sense, as the D'Backs would still have to pass him through waivers to get him to Triple-A.
Elbert is on the 60-day DL currently, so he won't be occupying a roster spot. Guerra is "up against it" in trying to make a Dodgers bullpen stacked with veterans, as explained by MLB.com's Ken Gurnick last month. Tim Federowicz is set to back up A.J. Ellis behind the plate, so the Dodgers will probably have to try to pass Butera through waivers.
Yesterday, Matt Kawahara of The Sacramento Bee suggested there are two openings in the Giants' bullpen, assuming Petit makes the group as a long man. Machi will probably take one, but it could be tough for Huff to make the team in a similar role to Petit. Heath Hembree, Derek Law, and Jose De Paula are just a few of the other names in the mix.
There won't be room for both Adrianza and Abreu, as explained by Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles. It seems likely one of them will be traded.
Unless the Padres decide to carry three catchers, Rivera's shot at making the team depends on Yasmani Grandal's recovery from July knee surgery.
By Tim Dierkes [March 6, 2014 at 1:20pm CDT]
The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options. That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors, so the team would be at risk of losing them in attempting to do so. I've included players on multiyear deals. This list was compiled through MLBTR's sources. Next, we'll take a look at the AL Central.
Both Carrasco and Outman will be on the Indians' pitching staff, noted Tony Lastoria of FOX Sports Ohio on Monday. Carrasco is battling a few others for the fifth starter job, but if he doesn't earn it he'll go to the pen.
Hayes seems to be the favorite to back up Salvador Perez at catcher, as 24-year-old Francisco Pena can get more seasoning at Triple-A. Veteran Ramon Hernandez, signed to a minor league deal, is also in the mix for the Royals' backup catcher job.
Dyson is expected to make the team as the center field backup for Lorenzo Cain, wrote Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star last week. That leaves Maxwell and Peguero battling for the fifth outfield spot. Maxwell would seem to have a leg up, having played well upon joining the team in a trade last July. His right-handed bat might be of more use to the Royals, who avoided arbitration with Maxwell in a January agreement about a week before acquiring Peguero.
The Royals seem to have room for five infielders, and Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star wrote last week that Valencia is likely to make the team. That would leave the team without a reserve middle infielder behind Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar. If the Royals do surprise and find a way to include a reserve middle infielder, it would be a competition of Ciriaco, Christian Colon, and Johnny Giavotella.
Kelly is in good standing as a super-utility man. There appears to be one bullpen job up for grabs, with pitchers such as Luke Putkonen, Justin Miller, Blaine Hardy, and Casey Crosby (if healthy) among those battling with Reed. The Tigers claimed Reed off waivers from the Marlins about a year ago, and will probably need to put him in their bullpen to start the season to retain him.
Plouffe and Swarzak are locks to make the club. Plouffe figures to man third base on an everyday basis now that Miguel Sano is out for the season, and Swarzak was among the league's best swingmen in 2013.
Diamond, Deduno and Worley are in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation, and each can make their case based on historical context. Diamond was the club's best starter in 2012, Deduno has outperformed him since, and Worley was a key component of the Ben Revere trade just one offseason ago before a disastrous 2013 dropped his stock. The trio also has deal with top prospect Kyle Gibson, who is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. Any of the three could end up in the bullpen, but at least one seems likely to go.
Presley has the inside track to make the club either as the Opening Day center fielder — should Aaron Hicks struggle in Spring Training — or as a fourth outfielder.
Escobar's versatility is appealing to the Twins, and his case for the Opening Day roster has been strengthened now that starter Pedro Florimon had his appendix removed two weeks ago. Florimon is fielding grounders pain-free as of yesterday, per MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger, but his Opening Day status is up in the air. Former Twin Jason Bartlett is in camp as a non-roster invitee and could serve as competition.
Parmelee is a former first-rounder that hasn't hit since a 2011 September call-up. The now-26-year-old demolished Triple-A pitching in 2012 but has batted just .228/.302/.364 over his past 543 PAs in the Majors. He didn't fare much better at Triple-A in 2013. With Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham at the outfield corners, Joe Mauer at first base and Jason Kubel likely to make the club as a DH/corner outfielder, Parmelee's best hope is to lock down a bench role. His experience at first base could give him an edge for that spot.
The Sox seem to only have one spot open for a third baseman at this time, though that could change if they trade an outfielder like Dayan Viciedo or Alejandro De Aza. As it stands, Gillaspie is competing for third base with Jeff Keppinger and rookie Matt Davidson. It would be sensible to start Davidson at Triple-A, and it's possible lingering effects of Keppinger's September shoulder surgery could cause him to start the year on the DL.
Boggs and Belisario seem locks for the bullpen after signing as free agents, though Belisario has yet to arrive in camp due to visa issues. A few of the team's relievers are dealing with nagging injuries, but if everyone is healthy and Belisario is in camp as Opening Day approaches, there would seem to be one spot for either Veal (a lefty) or Cleto. Veal is the favorite over Cleto, who joined the team in a waiver claim just last week.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
By Tim Dierkes [March 5, 2014 at 5:44pm CDT]
The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options. That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors, so the team would be at risk of losing them in attempting to do so. I've included players on multiyear deals. This list was compiled through MLBTR's sources. Today, we'll take a look at the NL Central.
Francisco is competing with Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay for the Brewers' first base job. It's hard to imagine a scenario where all three make the team, wrote Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last week. Reynolds and Overbay signed minor league deals, but it seems likely at least one of them will make the team. When Reynolds signed in January, it was said the Brewers told him he'll almost certainly make the team, so Overbay might have to beat out Francisco, who has the advantage of already being on the 40-man roster.
Back in February, Curt Hogg of Disciples of Uecker dissected the Brewers' reserve infielder situation, explaining that while they may need to carry seven infielders, Bianchi still seems needed as the only one capable of backing up Jean Segura at shortstop.
McDonald is competing with Chris Rusin for the Cubs' fifth starter job, at least until Jake Arrieta's shoulder is deemed ready. Meanwhile, Cabrera is battling for the final bullpen spot with about a half-dozen others.
The Bucs' seven primary relievers last year were Jason Grilli, Melancon, Justin Wilson, Tony Watson, Gomez, Mazzaro, and Morris, and indeed, that was their bullpen for the NLDS. It would be difficult for Oliver to break into that group, but surely the Pirates don't want to lose the hard-throwing Pimentel. Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects thinks they'll find a place for him. Some kind of trade makes sense to clear the logjam, barring injury.
Reds: Alfredo Simon
Simon is in good standing as a member of the Reds' pen.