The Mets have re-signed starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner, MLB.com's Anthony DiComo tweets. They non-tendered Hefner last week. Hefner will spend this year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent late in the season.
Hefner, 27, pitched well for the Mets in his second big league season, racking up 130 2/3 innings in 24 outings (23 starts) for the club. Before being shut down in August and undergoing surgery, the right-hander posted a 4.34 ERA to go along with 6.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9.
Even though Hefner is unlikely to return to the mound until the second half of the 2014 season, New York's decision to non-tender him came as a bit of a surprise, since he's not yet eligible for arbitration. However, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York tweets, Hefner's new deal with the Mets will be a minor league pact, which will result in significant cost savings for the team as he rehabs.
Hefner is represented by BBI Sports Group.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
TUESDAY: Webb has passed his physical, so the deal is complete, Roch Kobatko MASNsports.com tweets.
FRIDAY: The Orioles and right-hander Ryan Webb have agreed to a two-year, $4.5MM contract, according to Jonah Keri of Grantland and Baseball Tonight (Twitter link). Webb, who was somewhat surprisingly non-tendered by the Marlins earlier in the week, is represented by the Wasserman Media Group.
As Keri notes, the Orioles like that Webb has a similarly high ground-ball rate to the recently traded Jim Johnson (Twitter links). Indeed, Webb's 56.3 percent ground-ball rate in 2013 was just a shade below Johnson's mark of 58 percent. In total, Webb posted a 2.91 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 80 1/3 innings for the Marlins last season.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has been active on the bullpen front this offseason. In addition to trading Johnson, he's added under-the-radar options in left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz and right-hander Edgmer Escalona to surprising, albeit low-risk Major League contracts.
Webb projected to earn just $1.5MM through arbitration this offseason (per MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz), so his agents did well to secure a two-year pact at a higher annual value.
4:22pm: There's mutual interest between Morse and the Astros, tweets Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
4:10pm: MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports that the Astros are interested in outfielder/first baseman/DH Mike Morse as well as right-handers Jesse Crain and Chad Gaudin. Additionally, according to McTaggart, right-hander Jose Veras would like to return to the Astros after being traded to Detroit in July and having his club option declined following the season.
Morse battled significant injuries in 2013 en route to a career-worst .215/.270/.381 batting line with 13 homers between the Mariners and Orioles. He's quite familiar with Astros manager Bo Porter, who was the Nationals' third base coach from 2010-12 when Morse posted a strong .296/.345/.516 batting line with 64 homers in 1298 plate appearances.
Crain, who attended college in Houston, missed the final three months of the 2013 season after posting a historic scoreless streak. The 32-year-old allowed just three earned runs in 36 2/3 innings for the White Sox, averaging 11.1 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 en route to a pristine 0.74 ERA. Gaudin posted a strong 3.06 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 97 innings for the Giants, serving as both a reliever and a starter. Based on McTaggart's report, Houston seems to like him as a reliever.
Veras, who spent the first four months of the 2013 season as Houston's closer, he offered high praise for the Astros organization:
"It feels like family there. It’s a young team and they’re hungry to win. I feel part of the team. I doesn’t mater to me if we won or lose. When you play as a team and everybody cares, that’s the best part for me."
Veras posted a 3.02 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 62 2/3 innings between the Astros and Tigers, collecting a career-high 21 saves along the way.
TUESDAY: The Marlins have officially announced the signing.
MONDAY 10:22am: Jones will earn $7.75MM over the life of his contract, tweets Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. He will be paid $2.75MM in 2014 and $5MM in 2015.
8:39am: The Marlins have finalized their rumored two-year, $7.5MM deal with Garrett Jones, and an announcement is expected to be made today, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Jones is represented by Relativity Baseball (formerly SFX Baseball).
The 32-year-old Jones owns a career .254/.316/.458 slash line across six big league seasons. The first baseman/outfielder had a down year in 2013, however, hitting .233/.289/.419 in 440 plate appearances. Jones is best suited to be a platoon first baseman, as his career .193/.234/.334 line versus lefties shows a glaring weakness against same-handed pitching. His numbers against right-handed pitching -- .271/.337/.489 -- are a marked improvement.
The decision to bring in Jones on a two-year deal would seem to indicate the end of Logan Morrison's time with the Marlins. Miami is reportedly intent on shopping him at this week's Winter Meetings, apparently hoping that they can fill their third base hole by moving LoMo to a new team. Morrison has clashed with the Marlins before and currently has a grievance pending as a result of a demotion to the minors during the 2011 season that Morrison feels was not due to his on-field performance.
4:08pm: The A's are sending $2MM to the Rockies, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
3:44pm: The A's are sending some cash to the Rockies in the trade as well, tweets MLB.com's Jane Lee.
3:32pm: The Rockies have acquired left-hander Brett Anderson from the A's in exchange for left-hander Drew Pomeranz and right-hander Chris Jensen, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
Anderson has been around for five years already, but he's still just 25 years old (he'll turn 26 in February) and is under control at $8MM in 2014 with a $12MM club option for 2015. Those final two seasons were both option years on a four-year, $12.5MM extension he signed with the A's in April 2010, coming off a season in which he posted a 4.06 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 50.9 percent ground-ball rate.
Anderson was even better in 2010, posting a 2.80 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 54.6 percent ground-ball rate, but injury problems set in that season. A pair of left elbow issues limited Anderson to 112 1/3 innings that season, and he went on to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2011. He missed most of 2012 recovering from that surgery but was brilliant in his return. In 2013, he missed most of the season with a stress fracture in his foot and pitched to a 6.04 ERA (3.85 FIP, 3.26 xFIP) in the 44 2/3 innings he was healthy.
The A's exercised his $8MM option anyway, believing him to be capable of exceeding that value in 2014, whether in Oakland or with aother team. Though he's totaled just 163 innings over the past three seasons combined, Anderson's talent and youth make him a solid buy-low for the Rockies to slot in behind Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood.
Pomeranz, 25, was the fifth overall selection in the 2010 draft by the Indians but found himself traded to the Rockies in the Ubaldo Jimenez blockbuster a couple seasons ago. Despite his upside, Pomeranz has yet to pan out, posting a 5.20 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 4.6 BB/9 and a 45.5 percent ground-ball rate. He does own a 2.97 career ERA in the minors, including a 3.60 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 132 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level.
Jensen, 23, registered a 4.55 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 152 1/3 innings at Class-A Advanced Modesto in 2013. The University of San Diego product did not crack MLB.com's list of Top 20 Rockies prospects or Baseball America's list of Top 30 Rockies prospects.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
3:54pm: MLB.com's Bill Ladson spoke with a source who said that Storen is more likely to be dealt than Clippard. Rizzo told MASNsports.com's Dan Kolko that trade talk of Storen and Clippard is overblown, as he's yet to receive an actual offer (Twitter link).
11:08am: Talks between the Cubs and Nationals regarding Storen and Clippard are dead, according to Kilgore (on Twitter).
TUESDAY, 10:34am: Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that both Storen and Clippard are generating interest on the trade market, with Clippard being the more popular name (Twitter link). GM Mike Rizzo would need to have his "socks knocked off" to move either reliever, however, according to Kilgore.
MONDAY, 4:28pm: Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (Twitter links) hears from a source that the Nats would listen to offers on Storen, though any talks with the Cubs are in the very early stages at this point. Kilgore identifies Nate Schierholtz and James Russell as a couple possible fits for Washington if negotiations became more serious.
4:00pm: The Cubs are looking to the trade market in their search for relievers and have eyed both Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen of the Nationals, among others, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (on Twitter).
Clippard, 28, is controlled through the 2015 season and has a 2.73 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 over the past five seasons. Storen, 26, may have fallen out of favor to an extent with the Nats in 2013 following a career-worst 4.52 ERA and a brief demotion to the minors. The former No. 10 overall pick owns a career 3.40 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 since being promoted in 2010, however.
3:25pm: The A's aren't focused on one specific need and have talked with the Rockies about a number of players, tweets Renck, who adds that the deal "still has some life." MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports that the two sides have discussed Drew Pomeranz in talks for Anderson.
11:52am: The Rockies and A's have resumed their talks regarding left-hander Brett Anderson, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Talks of acquiring Anderson have put the Rockies' push for a late-inning reliever on the back burner for the time being, Renck adds.
Because the Rockies are on a tight payroll, the team cannot afford to miss on an $8MM player such as Anderson, writes Renck. If healthy, the 25-year-old Anderson would be a nice upgrade to the back-end of a Rockies rotation that figures to include Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood.
Anderson became a popular topic late last week, with reports indicating that the A's are likely to trade Anderson this week. The two sides discussed a trade last week but weren't able to line up on a deal. The highly talented Anderson has been limited to 24 starts over the past three seasons due to injuries.
Yesterday it was reported that the Marlins have informed interested parties that Logan Morrison will be traded in the near future. Miami has already inked Garrett Jones to a two-year, $7.75MM contract, suggesting that Morrison's time with the Fish is coming to a close. You can catch up on all of yesterday's Morrison rumors here, and we'll run down Tuesday's crop of LoMo rumors in this post...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Pirates, Brewers and Mariners have been the most active in pursuit of Morrison (on Twitter).
- Morrison is "one of five or six" outfield options being considered by the Orioles, tweets MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli.
- Regarding the Brewers' connection to Morrison, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the team wouldn't pull the trigger on a trade until they knew what Corey Hart's plans were. The Brewers hope to have an answer from Hart soon, he adds, Haudricourt believes that Milwaukee has let Hart know how far it is willing to stretch to bring him back, and at this point, it's a matter of waiting for him to accept or decline. Should Hart decline, Haudricourt sees a trade for a first baseman as the likely outcome (Twitter links).
- Seven teams are interested in Morrison, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel, who spoke to an executive that has shown interest in Morrison (Twitter link).
- The Marlins will eventually move Morrison, but a deal may not take place at the Winter Meetings, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
3:17pm: A high-ranking Diamondbacks official tells MLB.com's Steve Gilbert that no offer has been made to Chamberlain (Twitter link). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted earlier, however, that Chamberlain does indeed have a one-year, $3MM offer. Money isn't the driving factor for Chamberlain, however, according to Rosenthal.
The 28-year-old former top prospect struggled through his worst season as a Major Leaguer in 2013, posting a 4.93 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 5.6 BB/9 and a 41.5 percent ground-ball rate in 42 innings for the Yankees. Chamberlain was significantly better away from Yankee Stadium, posting a 3.54 ERA on the road compared to a 6.23 mark at home in a roughly equal sample size. Chamberlain's velocity remained strong, as he averaged a healthy 94.7 mph on his fastball.
TUESDAY: The Rangers have announced Arencibia's deal via press release, making it official.
FRIDAY, 1:44pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Arencibia will earn $1.8MM in 2014 and has an additional $300K worth of incentives in his deal (Twitter link).
12:44pm: Arencibia will receive roughly $2MM on a one-year deal, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
11:26am: The Rangers have reached an agreement with free agent catcher J.P. Arencibia, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (Sulia link). Reports last night indicated that the Rangers were nearing a deal with the CAA Sports client.
Arencibia will presumably back up Geovany Soto in Texas. Arencibia hit just .194/.227/.365 in 2013 and is unlikely to ever hit for much of an average, but with his power, he can be effective if he bats above .215 or so, as he did in 2011 and 2012. He has 62 home runs in the past three seasons, and hitting in Arlington should help him maintain that level of power. Though he has his warts, Arencibia was one of the game's top pitch-framing catchers in 2013 -- an undervalued element of catchers' skill sets.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.