Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors

Pittsburgh Pirates trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Arbitration Filing Numbers

Many players will avoid arbitration today, and dozens of others exchanged figures with their teams in anticipation of hearings. Most cases won’t go to arbitration hearings, but teams such as the Brewers, Rays, Marlins, Blue Jays, Braves, Reds, and White Sox (per the most recent updates) are known for their “file and trial” policies. For players on those teams this marks the last chance at negotiations before a hearing.

MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker will keep you up to date on every one of the filing numbers from around the game, but here are the highlights — players who filed for $5MM or more. Projections can be found here. Now for the details …

  • The Reds countered the $5.7MM filing of Todd Frazier with a $3.9MM figure, according to Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs (via Twitter).
  • Third baseman David Freese filed at $7.6MM and the Angels countered at $5.25MM, WAPT’s Mike Perchick tweets. Halos outfielder Matt Joyce has filed for $5.2MM against a $4.2MM counter, according to Perchick (on Twitter).
  • Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler filed for $10.8MM while the club countered at $8.5MM, Perchick tweeets.
  • Pirates second baseman Neil Walker filed at $9MM while the club landed at $8MM, Perchick tweets.
  • Just-acquired reliever Tyler Clippard has filed for $8.85MM against the Athletics, who countered at $7.775MM, Perchick tweets.
  • Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay filed at $5MM while the team countered at $4.1MM, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch tweets.
  • Pedro Alvarez has requested a $5.75MM salary for the coming season while the Pirates are at $5.25MM, per a tweet from Perchick.
  • Righty Mat Latos filed at $10.4MM and the Marlins countered with a $9.4MM figure, per Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
  • Third baseman Casey McGehee filed at $5.4MM, with the Giants countering at $4MM, Heyman tweets.
  • The Braves countered Mike Minor‘s $5.6MM filing number with a $5.1MM team figure, Heyman reports on Twitter.
  • Mark Trumbo has filed for $6.9MM against a $5.3MM counter from the Diamondbacks, Heyman tweets. Closer Addison Reed, meanwhile, filed at $5.6MM with the team countering at $4.7MM, per Heyman (via Twitter).
  • The Orioles went with a $7.5MM price point for righty Bud Norris, who filed at $10.25MM, per Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). In both relative and absolute terms, there is an even bigger gap between the O’s ($2MM) and breakout slugger Steve Pearce ($5.4MM), who is looking to cash in on a big season in his final year of eligibility. That news also comes via Connolly, on Twitter.
  • Entering his final year of arbitration, infielder Daniel Murphy has filed for $8.6MM while the Mets have submitted a $7.4MM figure, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets.
  • Reds 9th inning man Aroldis Chapman filed for $8.7MM while the team countered at $6.65MM, per Heyman (via Twitter).
  • The Orioles and outfielder Alejandro De Aza will negotiate between filing figures of $5MM and $5.65MM, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.
  • Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer filed at $6.7MM and the team countered at $4.6MM, Heyman tweets. The club will also have some ground to make up with closer Greg Holland, who filed at $9MM versus a team filing of $6.65MM, per another Heyman tweet.
  • Newly-acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson has filed at $5.75MM, while the Blue Jays countered at $4.3MM, Heyman tweets.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

With the deadline to exchange arbitration figures set for noon CT, there figure to be a large number of agreements to avoid arb today, as there were yesterday. All arbitration agreements can be followed using MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker, and we’ll keep track of today’s smaller agreements in this post, with all projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz

  • Righty Henderson Alvarez agreed to a $4MM deal with the Marlins, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today on Twitter. Alvarez had been projected to earn $4.5MM after putting up a huge 187-inning, 2.65 ERA campaign entering his first season of arb eligibility.
  • The Athletics have agreed to a $1.4MM deal with righty Ryan Cook that includes, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports on Twitter. Cook gets a slight increase over the $1.3MM he had been projected to earn. Oakland has also inked outfielder Sam Fuld to a $1.75MM deal, per Mike Perchik of WAPT (via Twitter). He too lands just above his projection, which was for $1.6MM.
  • Outfielder Collin Cowgill avoided arbitration with the Angels for $995K, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. He was projected to earn $900K.
  • Righties David Carpenter and Nathan Eovaldi both have deals with the Yankees, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports on Twitter. Carpenter will earn about $1.3MM while Eovaldi will take home $3.3MM
  • The Rockies have a deal in place with lefty Rex Brothers, tweets MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Brothers was projected to earn $1.3MM but will take home $1.4MM, Harding adds via Twitter.
  • ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that the Cubs have settled with both Travis Wood and Luis Valbuena (Twitter links). Wood will receive $5.686MM — a bit north of his $5.5MM projection, while Valbuena will earn $4.2MM, per Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald (on Twitter). Valbuena was projected to earn $3.1MM.
  • Mike Perchick of WAPT in New Jersey has a wave of arbitration agreements, starting with the Astros and Hank Conger settling on a $1.075MM, which is just $25K behind Swartz’s projection (Twitter link).
  • Also via Perchick, the Athletics and Brett Lawrie settled on a $1.925MM contract (Twitter links). Lawrie, who had been projected at $1.8MM, was acquired by Oakland in the Josh Donaldson blockbuster.
  • Rockies backstop Michael McKenry will earn $1.0876MM in 2015, via Perchick. McKenry was projected by Swartz to earn $1.5MM.
  • Michael Pineda and the Yankees settled on a $2.1MM salary for the upcoming season, Perchick tweets, which is a direct match with Swartz’s projection.
  • Domonic Brown and the Phillies settled on a one-year pact worth $2.6MM, via Perchick, which represents a difference of just $100K between Swartz’s projection and the actual figure. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com tweets that Ben Revere has avoided arbitration as well, and the club now announces that he’ll earn $4.1MM — $100K north of his $4MM projection.
  • Red Sox setup man Junichi Tazawa agreed to a $2.25MM payday, according to Perchick. Swartz had pegged him for a $2MM contract.

(more…)


Pirates Avoid Arbitration With Melancon, Harrison, Snider, Watson

4:21pm: Pittsburgh has also settled with outfielder Travis Snider for $2.1MM, as Mike Perchick of WAPT was first to report (Twitter link). That is just $100K short of the MLBTR/Matt Swartz projection.

Pittsburgh has also reached agreement with reliever Tony Watson for $1.75MM, tweets Perchick. That figure falls a quarter-million shy of Watson’s $2MM projection. And Perchick also reports that Sean Rodriguez and the Pirates have avoided arb with a $1.9MM deal for 2015 — $100K shy of his projection.

2:52pm: The Pirates have agreed to a $5.4MM salary with closer Mark Melancon, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). Additionally, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that Josh Harrison will receive $2.8MM on the heels of a breakout 2014 campaign.

While Melancon falls shy of his $7.6MM projection, Swartz explained in an Arbitration Breakdown post that Melancon’s unique statistical profile “broke” his projection algorithm in a way similar to Craig Kimbrel last offseason (when Swartz first wrote about “The Kimbrel Rule“). As Swartz explained in that post, he personally considered Melancon to be a Kimbrel-esque exception to his model and expected a salary in the $5.6MM to $6.1MM range.

The 29-year-old Melancon was dominant for a second straight season in 2014, registering a 1.90 ERA with 9.0 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, 33 saves and 14 holds in 71 innings. That rare combination of ERA, saves and holds led the projection model to overshoot Melancon’s salary despite the fact that there’s no historical precedent for a raise of that magnitude for a relief pitcher (hence Swartz’s followup post and personalized expectations for Melancon).

As for Harrison, the 27-year-old broke out with a surprisingly excellent season that landed him ninth in NL MVP voting. Harrison batted .315/.347/.490 with 13 homers and 18 stolen bases, playing strong defense all over the diamond — second, short, third, corner outfield — before settling in at third base and displacing incumbent Pedro Alvarez. Harrison figures to man the hot corner on an everyday basis in 2015. He topped his $2.2MM projection by a hefty $600K.



Pirates Sign Jung-ho Kang

10:40am: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports (via Twitter) that Kang’s deal actually guarantees him $11MM. MLB.com’s Tom Singer tweets that the option is valued at $5.5MM and contains a $1MM buyout.

JAN. 16, 9:58am: The Pirates have officially announced the signing of Kang to a four-year contract with a club option for a fifth season.

JAN. 12: The Pirates and Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang have agreed to terms on a four-year deal with a fifth-year option, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio (Twitter links). Kang’s contract, which is still pending a physical, will guarantee him about $16MM, according to Bowden. Kang is represented by Octagon’s Alan Nero.

Kang’s former club, the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, announced recently that the 2014 KBO MVP was flying to Pittsburgh to take a physical this week, and Nero himself told reporters last week that he expected an agreement to be reached with the club this week. Kang had reportedly been seeking about $5MM per year on a four-year deal, so it appears that Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington and his staff were able to talk Kang and Nero down a bit.

The 27-year-old Kang (28 in April) is coming off an incredible season with the Heroes in which he batted .356/.459/.739 batting line and 40 home runs in 117 games between the regular season and the playoffs. Though KBO is notoriously hitter-friendly, those numbers still garnered quite a bit of attention from big league clubs, even though some were clearly skeptical, as Pittsburgh’s $5,002,015 winning bid for the negotiation rights was relatively modest.

MLBTR’s Charlie Wilmoth recently penned an international profile on Kang, noting that Dan Szymborski, who created the ZiPS projection system, likened the KBO to a hitter-friendly version of Double-A. Within that profile, Charlie notes that an MLB international scouting director to whom MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes spoke opined that Kang possessed no plus tools, merely raw power that wouldn’t translate to games in the Majors.

On the other side of the coin, however, some scouts do think that Kang can be a regular in the Majors. ESPN’s Keith Law ranked Kang 15th among free agents this offseason, noting that he’d start Kang at shortstop and give him every opportunity to prove he belongs. Likewise, former MLB and KBO pitcher Ryan Sadowski, now with Global Sporting Integration, said that he feels Kang can absolutely be a regular player and hit about 20 homers per season at the big league level when he spoke with Jeff Todd on the MLBTR Podcast.

It’s unclear exactly how Kang will fit into the Pirates’ plans. He could supplant Jordy Mercer as the club’s starting shortstop, but Mercer is coming off a solid enough season that he could make a case to start in spite of Kang’s arrival. Kang has said that his preference is to play third base if he has to move off shortstop, per Jeeho Yoo of Korea’s Yonhap News Agency (Twitter link), as he’s more familiar with that position. However, Josh Harrison appears locked in at third coming off a brilliant season in which he was one of the National League’s most valuable players. Kang could bounce around the diamond in a role similar to the one that Harrison filled for much of 2014 and settle into a permanent spot in the event of an injury to one of Pittsburgh’s infielders or regression from Mercer or Harrison.


Pirates Notes: Carroll, Liz, Alvarez, Arbitration

The Pirates have reportedly agreed to terms with Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang on a four-year deal that is worth about $16MM and contains a fifth-year option, but that’s not the only chatter coming out of Pittsburgh today. Here’s the latest on the Buccos…

  • Former big league infielder Jamey Carroll has joined the Pirates’ front office and will serve as a special assistant to the baseball operations staff, the team announced earlier today. Carroll, 40, last appeared with the Twins and Royals in 2013. A lifetime .272/.349/.338 hitter in parts of 12 big league seasons, he joins former Pirate Kevin Young as an offseason addition to the baseball operations department. “He’s an outstanding person and there’s a lot of good things that Jamey Carroll, much like Kevin Young, is going to add to this organization,” GM Neal Huntington told Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Specifically, Huntington mentioned the “ability to relate to players and mentor players as a guy who was just there, who just did that.” Brink notes that adding recent big leaguers to the baseball ops department was a goal for the Pirates this winter.
  • Also from that piece, Brink spoke with Huntington and right-hander Radhames Liz about the righty’s contract with the Bucs, and the reason for the delay in finalizing the deal. Reports at the time of the announcement — which came nearly a month after word of the agreement broke — indicated that there were issues with Liz’s physical. However, both Liz and Huntington denied those claims.
  • Both Young and Carroll spoke with Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about their new roles with the team (video link). Young says he specifically looks forward to working with Pedro Alvarez in the transition from third base to first base — a move that he himself made during his playing days. Carroll notes that he’ll be working a great deal with the club’s infielders but is open to helping in various capacities and learning about other elements of baseball operations.
  • The Pirates opened their voluntary mini-camp today, and Alvarez was not in attendance. While many fans seem to be upset about the notion of Alvarez passing up a chance to work out with the team and improve on his transition to first base, Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle don’t seem too bothered by the decision. Hurdle told MLB.com’s Tom Singer (Twitter link), “I don’t read things into people being there or not. It’s voluntary.” Meanwhile, Huntington told Brink: “Pedro had the complete option to come in and not come in and we expect him to be ready to go the first day of spring training and get after it with Nick [Leyva] but also with Kevin [Young].” Names such as Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Francisco Liriano, Josh Harrison and Gregory Polanco (among others) were also absent from the workouts.
  • One last note from Brink, who tweets that the Pirates will again employ a “file and trial” approach to arbitration this winter. In other words, the team will not negotiate arb deals beyond the date on which figures are exchanged — that being this coming Friday. Any unresolved cases at the time of the exchange deadline will be settled in a hearing. Pittsburgh has 12 players eligible for arbitration, so it should be a busy week for them as they look to avoid arb hearings with that group. For those interested, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes took a longer look at “file and trial” clubs in the 2013 offseason.

Pirates Nearing Four-Year Deal With Jung-ho Kang

MONDAY: The Nexen Heroes, Kang’s KBO team, have announced (link in Korean, but Yonhap News Agency has the details in English) that Kang will travel to Pittsburgh on Wednesday and will take a physical later in the week. That suggests that Kang and the Pirates are, in fact, close to a deal.

FRIDAY 2:10pm: Nero tells Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he expects a deal between the two sides to be completed next week (Twitter link).

1:31pm: The Pirates and Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang are close to an agreement on a four-year deal, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Pittsburgh won the bidding for Korea’s top player last month with a $5,002,015 posting fee. Kang’s agent, Alan Nero of Octagon, recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bill Brink that he was confident the two sides would work out a deal. Terms of the deal aren’t yet clear, although it’s known that Kang was seeking about $5MM annually.

Kang, who turns 28 in April, is coming off an astounding season in the Korea Baseball Organization. Though the league is notoriously hitter-friendly, it’s tough not to marvel a bit at the .356/.459/.739 batting line and 40 home runs that Kang posted in 117 games (501 plate appearances) between the regular season and postseason.

Despite those gaudy numbers, however, some scouts simply don’t think that Kang’s skills will translate to the Major Leagues. MLBTR’s Charlie Wilmoth recently penned an international profile on Kang, noting that Dan Szymborski, who created the ZiPS projection system, likened the KBO to a hitter-friendly version of Double-A. Within that profile, Charlie notes that an MLB international scouting director to whom MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes spoke opined that Kang possessed no plus tools, merely raw power that wouldn’t translate to games in the Majors.

On the other side of the coin, however, some scouts do think that Kang can be a regular in the Majors. ESPN’s Keith Law ranked Kang 15th among free agents this offseason, noting that he’d start Kang at shortstop and give him every opportunity to prove he belongs. Likewise, former MLB and KBO pitcher Ryan Sadowski, now with Global Sporting Integration, said that he feels Kang can absolutely be a regular player and hit about 20 homers per season at the big league level when he spoke with Jeff Todd on the MLBTR Podcast.

Heyman notes that it’s not clear at this time whether Kang would supplant Jordy Mercer at shortstop or if he would simply bounce around the field at a variety of positions. At the time the Pirates won the bidding, I noted that it wouldn’t be a shock to see Kang fill in a role similar to the one that Josh Harrison occupied for much of the 2014 season before unseating Pedro Alvarez as the everyday third baseman. With Harrison locked in at third and Alvarez likely seeing the bulk of playing time at first base, Kang could start several times a week by spelling regulars at second, short, third and in the corner outfield. It’ll be interesting to see if his power does indeed translate to the Majors, as his new home, PNC Park, is one of the toughest parks in all of baseball on right-handed power.


Quick Hits: Burnett, Red Sox, Yankees, Reds

On this date 42 years ago, MLB owners unanimously approved a three-year experiment for the American League to use the designated hitter. The initial vote had all NL owners vetoing the DH while the AL split 8-4 in favor with the concept’s creator, A’s owner Charlie Finley, voting against because his idea of a designated runner was nixed.

Here’s the latest from around baseball:

  • Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett tells Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review this will be his last season. “I got one (season) left,” said Burnett. “It’s going to be one of those rides where you know it’s the end.
  • The Red Sox, with their current roster, are poised to exceed the luxury tax threshold and will set an Opening Day record of more than $193MM, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. The overage may only last one season, as MacPherson notes the club’s 2016 payroll obligations total $130MM.
  • The current Yankee roster is more intuned with GM Brian Cashman’s philosophy than previous years, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. “We’re just trying to improve ourselves and get better,” Cashman told Davidoff. “We’re trying to plot a new road to another championship. I think we’re more diverse and have more flexibility.
  • The Yankees are expected to hire Jeff Pentland as their hitting coach, Alan Cockrell as assistant hitting coach, and Joe Espada as their infield coach beating out Willie Randolph, reports YES Network’s Jack Curry (Twitter links).
  • Fangraphs’ David Laurila opines the Reds are spinning their wheels this offseason by trading established starting pitchers Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon for decent-but-not-great prospects and surrendering a prospect for the 37-year-old Marlon Byrd.

Minor Moves: Red Sox, Pirates, Rodriguez, Rangers

Here are some minor moves from around the league to kick off your Friday morning…

  • Among the Red Sox players signing minor league deals with spring invites, in addition to the previously-reported Mitchell Boggs, are middle infielder Jeff Bianchi and catcher Luke Montz, the club announced (via Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com, on Twitter). Bianchi is a 28-year-old who has struggled in limited MLB action over the last three years with the Brewers, but has slashed .299/.349/.428 at Triple-A over parts of three seasons. Montz, 31, has seen even more limited time in the majors but owns a solid .232/.318/.456 slash over 781 career plate appearances at Triple-A.
  • The Pirates have added righty Wilfredo Boscan and lefty Charlie Leesman to their slate of non-roster invitees to MLB camp after signing the duo to minor league deals, the team announced. Boscan, a 25-year-old out of Venezuela, has yet to appear at the MLB level and has worked as a swingman in recent years in the upper minors. The 27-year-old Leesman has seen very minimal time with the White Sox but has logged plenty of innings out of that organization’s Triple-A rotation, working to a cumulative 3.27 ERA over 291 1/3 innings.
  • Catcher Arturo Rodriguez has signed with the Marlins, per the Mexican League website (on MiLB.com). The 23-year-old slashed an impressive .379/.421/.618 and hit 15 long balls in 359 plate appearances last year in his nation’s top league.
  • The Rangers announced yesterday that they have signed first baseman Mike McDade and right-hander Mason Tobin to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training. McDade, a 25-year-old switch-hitter, spent the first six seasons of his pro career with the Blue Jays and returned to Toronto in 2014 after spending a season with the Indians and White Sox organizations. He struggled in 326 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A, slashing .242/.298/.349.
  • As for Tobin, if he sounds familiar to Rangers fans, it’s because he broke camp with the club in 2011 and pitched 5 1/3 innings for Texas that season before requiring a second Tommy John operation. The 27-year-old hasn’t been in the bigs since. He’s spent the past two seasons with San Francisco’s Triple-A affiliate, posting a combined 4.74 ERA with a 50-to-35 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings.
  • The Angels have signed right-hander Steven Hensley to a minor league contract without a Spring Training invite, tweets MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. Hensley, who turned 28 in December, posted a 2.09 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 60 1/3 innings with the Orioles’ Double-A affiliate last year, though he was obviously quite a bit more experienced than much of his competition. Perhaps of more interest to Halos fans is that Gonzalez adds that we should look for the Angels to continue to add relievers. Anaheim added another minor league relief arm yesterday, acquiring righty Nate Hyatt along with third baseman Kyle Kubitza in a trade of minor leaguers that sent high-upside lefty Ricardo Sanchez to Atlanta.

NL Central Links: Walker, Cubs, Cardinals

We’ve already shared one set of NL Central notes earlier today, and here’s even more news out of the division…

  • The possible addition of Jung-ho Kang could be a sign that the Pirates are preparing to eventually part ways with Neil Walker, MLB.com’s Tom Singer writes.  The Bucs have discussed an extension with Walker, who will be 31 when his current deal expires after the 2016 season, though seemingly little progress had been made.  Singer notes that shortstop prospect Alen Hanson has been playing second base in Dominican Winter League action, which could simply be a developmental move, or another hint that the Pirates are covering their bases if a Walker extension can’t be worked out.  Of course, this could be a moot point if Pittsburgh doesn’t sign Kang — the team has about two more weeks to work out a contract with the Korean infielder after posting the highest bid for his services.
  • With the Cardinals rumored to be looking for a top-tier starting pitcher, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch speculates that this interest could be fueled by the Cubs‘ aggressive offseason.  “If indeed the Cardinals view the Cubs as a rising power, then that’s another reason to make a big move here to strengthen your roster for the long haul,” Miklasz writes.
  • The Cubs and WGN-TV announced a new broadcasting deal today that will see the local station air 45 Cubs games per year through the 2019 season.  No financial terms of the contract were revealed.  As Robert Channick of the Chicago Tribune notes, the Cubs’ local and cable TV rights are now both set to expire after the 2019 season, so the team could pursue creating its own regional sports network.

NL Central Notes: Kang, Cueto, Garrett, Reds, Cards

Alan Nero, the agent for Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang, is confident that his client will reach a deal with the Pirates, he tells Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Nero described the negotiation process as positive and said that GM Neal Huntington has “tried very hard to basically come to the table with an offer.” Brink notes that Kang could begin the season in a bench role, providing insurance in case Neil Walker‘s back continues to be problematic or in case Jordy Mercer struggles at short. I’d think that given the expected financial commitment, the Pirates will look to get Kang as many at-bats as possible.

More news from the NL Central…

  • There’s been no recent progress in extension talks between the Reds and Johnny Cueto, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Cueto’s agent said last month that his client loves Cincinnati and is open to staying for the right price, but they’ll only talk extension prior to the start of the regular season.
  • Reds prospect Amir Garrett has thrived after giving up basketball this past year, writes MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. Cincinnati selected Garrett in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft and allowed him to play college basketball as well, but the left-hander explained to Sheldon why he elected to give his full attention to one sport for the first time in his life. Reds player development director Jeff Graupe tells Sheldon that the shift to focus solely on baseball is a large reason behind Garrett’s 2.86 ERA over his final 14 starts. Now on the 40-man roster, Garrett will be in big league camp for the first time in 2015.
  • In a piece for Baseball America, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans spoke with Reds GM Walt Jocketty about his club’s direction for the future. Jocketty stressed the importance of stockpiling pitching talent — something the club has made an effort to do in recent drafts — as the key to sustained success. The breakthroughs of both Devin Mesoraco and Todd Frazier have given the Reds even more reason for optimism, Rosecrans writes, but there are still questions in the rotation and with some of the club’s injured stars.
  • Though reports have indicated that the Cardinals are toying with the idea of adding a front-line starter such as Cole Hamels, Max Scherzer or David Price, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeff Gordon feels that the Cards should trust the depth they have and make only a minor addition, if any. (Gordon suggests that flipping Peter Bourjos for a lower-caliber arm could make sense.) Any trade for Price or Hamels would likely have to include one of Stephen Piscotty or Randal Grichuk (among other players, of course), which would leave the Cardinals thin when Jason Heyward hits free agency next winter. Gordon notes that the trade of Shelby Miller in the Heyward deal suggest that GM John Mozeliak and his staff are confident in Michael Wacha‘s ability to rebound from injury, thereby lessening the need for a large addition.