P.J. Walters Rumors
The latest minor moves from around MLB...
- The Mets announced that they agreed to sign left-hander Scott Rice to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training. Rice, 31, has a 4.08 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 14 minor league seasons.
- The Mets also signed outfielder Jamie Hoffmann to a minor league contract, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. The 28-year-old spent this past season with the Orioles' Triple-A team.
- The Cardinals agreed to a minor league contract with first baseman/right fielder Jamie Romak, MLBTR has learned. The Cardinals acquired the 27-year-old from the Royals midway through the 2012 season. In 442 total plate appearances in the upper minors, Romak posted a .260/.336/.406 batting line and hit 10 home runs and 21 doubles this past season.
- The Blue Jays signed infielder Jim Negrych to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports (on Twitter).
- The Twins announced that they signed 12 players to minor league contracts that include invitations to MLB Spring Training: right-handers Samuel Deduno, Shairon Martis, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters; outfielders Brian Dinkleman and Wilkin Ramirez; infielders James Beresford and Deibinson Romero and catcher Eric Fryer. Right-hander Tom Boleska and infielder Jason Christian also signed minor league deals with the Twins.
Here's a look at some of the Minor League signings that have come in tonight...
- The Brewers have re-signed infielder Hector Gomez to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, the team informed MLBTR via email. Other non-roster invitees for the Brewers currently include right-hander Darren Byrd and catcher Dayton Buller. The 24-year-old Gomez once cracked Baseball America's Top 100 Prospect list (No. 95 in 2008) but hit just .131 in 95 minor league plate appearances last season.
- The Athletics have signed right-hander Mike Ekstrom to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Jane Lee. Ekstrom pitched 15 2/3 innings out of the Rockies' bullpen this season, allowing 11 earned runs but posting a solid 9:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
- The Twins have re-signed right-hander P.J. Walters to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, tweets MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. Walters' free agency didn't last long; he refused an outright assignment from the Twins just hours ago and elected free agency. The 27-year-old made a dozen starts for the Twinkies in 2012.
Right-hander P.J. Walters is a free agent after refusing a minor league assignment from the Twins, according to the transactions page at CBSSports.com. The Twins outrighted the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster last week.
Walters started 12 games for the Twins this past season, posting a 5.69 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 61 2/3 innings. In four seasons with the Twins, Cardinals and Blue Jays, the 2006 draft pick has a 6.39 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9. He has allowed 24 home runs in 112 2/3 career innings.
The latest outright assignments from around MLB...
- The Twins announced that they have outrighted right-handers Jeff Manship, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez, Kyle Waldrop and P.J. Walters and outfielder Matt Carson off of the MLB roster. All six players contributed to the MLB team in 2012. Vasquez (six starts) and Walters (12 starts) pitched out of the rotation while Manship (12 relief appearances), Perdomo (15 relief appearances) and Waldrop (17 relief appearances) spent time in the bullpen. Carson, the lone position player to lose his roster spot, appeared in 26 games as a corner outfielder. The Twins now have 35 players on their 40-man roster.
The Twins signed infielder Sean Burroughs and catcher Rene Rivera to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Twins also signed right-hander P.J. Walters, according to Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune (on Twitter). Terry Ryan's busy offseason continues with the depth moves.
Burroughs, 31, appeared in 78 games for the Diamondbacks this past season after a four-year absence from the Major Leagues. The former ninth overall selection overcame substance abuse problems to post a .273/.289/.336 line in 115 plate appearances with Arizona. Wasserman Media Group represents Burroughs.
Rivera, 28, appeared in 45 games for the Twins in 2011. The longtime minor leaguer posted just a .412 OPS but did prevent 10 of 25 attempted steals against him (40%). Walters, 26, appeared in four games for the Cardinals and one more for the Blue Jays in 2011. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a 5.17 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
A total of 22 players that finished the year in Triple-A elected free agency after the end of the regular season according to the transaction pages of the Pacific Coast and International Leagues. All but one of those 22 players (Matt Carson, formerly of the Rays) played in the big leagues this season. Here's the full list:
Dusty Brown (Pirates), Travis Buck (Indians), Armando Galarraga (D'Backs), Jay Gibbons (Dodgers), Edgar Gonzalez (Rockies), Steve Holm (Twins), Wil Ledezma (Blue Jays), Andy LaRoche (Athletics), Felipe Lopez (Brewers), Lastings Milledge (White Sox), Pat Misch (Mets), Pat Neshek (Padres), Mike O'Connor (Mets), Matt Palmer (Angels), Felix Pie (Orioles), Brad Snyder (Cubs), Brett Tomko (Rangers), Wyatt Toregas (Pirates), P.J. Walters (Blue Jays), Randy Williams (Red Sox), and Reggie Willits (Angels).
Here are the latest players to get outrighted to the minor leagues...
- The Padres outrighted Pat Neshek to Triple-A today, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter). They had designated the reliever for assignment last Thursday.
- The Yankees outrighted Ryan Pope to Triple-A, reports Marc Carig of The Star Ledger (on Twitter). Pope was designated for assignment last week, when the Yankees needed 40-man roster space for Jesus Montero. The 25-year-old righty posted a 5.12 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 45 2/3 innings split between Double and Triple-A this year.
- The Blue Jays outrighted P.J. Walters to the minor leagues, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (on Twitter). Walters appeared in one game for the Blue Jays after they acquired him in the deal that brought Colby Rasmus to Toronto. In 51 MLB innings, the right-hander has a 7.24 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
On the off-chance you missed it, the Blue Jays, Cardinals and White Sox announced a pair of major trades today. The Blue Jays acquired center fielder Colby Rasmus and pitchers Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters from the Cardinals for starter Edwin Jackson, relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, outfielder Corey Patterson, and three players to be named later or cash considerations. Before completing the deal with St. Louis, the Blue Jays acquired Jackson and third baseman Mark Teahen from the White Sox for reliever Jason Frasor and prospect Zach Stewart. Here’s reaction to the trades from around MLB. Be warned, Cardinals fans, you might not like what follows...
- The price the Cardinals paid to acquire Jackson and bullpen help was "just too high," according to ESPN.com's Keith Law, who suggests St. Louis' internal emphasis is on manager Tony La Russa, not the players. Law loves what Toronto did and doesn't understand Chicago's move.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN says the Cardinals had better win this year "or they will really regret this one." He calls St. Louis' move the "worst trade of the year" and gives the Blue Jays an 'A.'
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirms that the Cardinals turned down the Rays' offer of Jeff Niemann and J.P. Howell for Rasmus (Twitter link). Sherman suggests the Cardinals would have been better off accepting Tampa Bay's offer.
- The Giants showed how to go for it today and the Cardinals showed how not to go for it, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes.
- A longtime scout tells ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that Rasmus has a chance to be a star. “I don't understand that deal at all," the scout said (Twitter link).
- Matthew Leach of MLB.com likes what the Cardinals got for 2011, but finds it hard to like the deal for St. Louis because of what it means for 2012-14 (Twitter link).
- Now that Rasmus and Carlos Beltran are off of the market, the list of teams with possible interest in B.J. Upton is taking shape, as Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times explains. The Braves, Indians, Nationals, Phillies, Pirates and Reds are possible destinations for Upton.
- As Matt Eddy of Baseball America explains, Walters should qualify for a fourth option year in 2012 and Rzepczynski "might be the prototype" pupil for Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan.
- Joe Pawlikowski of FanGraphs explains that it's easiest to see the trade from the Blue Jays' perspective, since they gave up three relievers and a prospect for a player who can help them contend for 2012-14.
- At CloserNews, Dan Mennella wonders if Kyle McClellan could be in line for some saves, now that he's back in the bullpen.
- Tim Dierkes wrote earlier today that “it's hard to see this as anything but a win for the Blue Jays.”
- I agree with Tim and many of the others above- it’s a win for the Blue Jays. Let’s not forget how much has to be in place for this kind of deal to happen: a creative GM who reads the market well, payroll flexibility (for Teahen’s contract), willingness from ownership to take on salary, enough appealing prospects to be able to part with Stewart and enough bullpen depth to send three quality relievers packing on the same day. This trade doesn’t seem simple and in some ways it may actually be more complicated that it appears.
An eight-player deal was struck today, as the Blue Jays announced they've acquired center fielder Colby Rasmus and pitchers Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters from the Cardinals for starter Edwin Jackson, relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, outfielder Corey Patterson, and three players to be named later or cash considerations. ESPN's Buster Olney first tweeted the full details.
In Rasmus (pictured), Alex Anthopoulos acquired a good young player who had worn out his welcome with management, much like the Blue Jays GM did with Yunel Escobar last summer. Rasmus, 24, is hitting .246/.332/.420 in 386 plate appearances, a down year compared to 2010. He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time after this season, so he's under team control through 2014. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak recently called a Rasmus trade "highly unlikely," but as Strauss notes, the center fielder has "fascinated and frustrated" the Cardinals over the last three years and made repeated trade requests. Mozeliak shopped Rasmus to the Blue Jays, Rays, and Red Sox, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He adds that prior to public criticism from manager Tony La Russa earlier this month, the Cardinals were in contract extension negotiations with Rasmus.
Miller, 38, has been used sparingly by the Cardinals this year, logging only 15 2/3 innings. Most of them came against left-handed hitters, but Miller hasn't pitched well no matter how you slice it. About $700K remains on his contract. Tallet, 33, has been ineffective as well and currently resides on the DL for an intercostal strain. He spent the previous five seasons with the Jays. About $263K remains on his contract.
Walters, 26, has logged 50 innings in the bigs since 2009. The righty has a 4.27 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, and 0.8 HR/9 in 103 1/3 Triple-A innings this year, his fourth stint at the level. Baseball America ranked him 19th among Cardinals prospects prior to the season, praising his plus changeup but projecting a long relief/swingman role.
Jackson, 27, was traded for the fifth and sixth times in his career today. The 27-year-old flourished in nearly 200 innings with the White Sox, and improves a Cardinals rotation that ranks seventh in the NL with a 3.84 ERA. The acquisition gives the Cards the flexibility to move Kyle McClellan back to the bullpen, leaving a rotation of Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Jackson, Jake Westbrook, and Kyle Lohse. Jackson, a Scott Boras client, figures to test free agency after the season as a Type B. About $2.9MM remains on his contract.
The Cardinals' bullpen gets a lift from Dotel, Rzepczynski, and McClellan. Dotel, 37, has a 3.68 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 1.53 HR/9, and 28.6% groundball rate on the season; he excels against right-handed batters. Should the Cardinals turn down his $3.5MM club option, Dotel projects as a Type B free agent in the AL at the moment. If the option is declined, about $1.7MM remains on Dotel's contract.
Rzepczynski, 25, switched to full-time relief this year. He has a 2.97 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.46 HR/9, and strong 65.7% groundball rate in 39 1/3 innings this year. He complements Dotel nicely, having dominated lefties and struggled against righties. Rzepczynski is under team control through 2015. Dotel and Rzepczynski do not appear to be a threat to closer Fernando Salas, writes Dan Mennella of CloserNews.
Patterson, 31, is hitting .252/.287/.379 in 341 plate appearances for the Blue Jays this year. He restores a little bit of outfield depth for St. Louis.
Though there are eight players in this deal, it mostly boils down to the Cardinals renting Jackson and Dotel and getting Rzepczynski long-term in exchange for Rasmus' three arbitration years. It's hard to see this as anything but a win for the Blue Jays. Ultimately Rasmus cost the Jays Zach Stewart, Jason Frasor, Dotel, Rzepczynski, and Teahen's contract.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
12:08pm: The Cardinals will send Rasmus, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters to the Blue Jays for Jackson, Rzepczynski, Dotel, and Corey Patterson, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. Olney adds that Miller is then expected to be traded to the White Sox.
12:01pm: This trade is not yet official because of the money involved, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. He says that aspect may need to be reworked before it's approved.
11:35am: A trade of Rasmus to the Blue Jays for Jackson, Dotel, and Rzepczynski is imminent, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He says an announcement could come early this afternoon.
11:22am: Edwin Jackson is definitely going to be traded by the Blue Jays, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. Heyman heard it's going to be for Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus. Rasmus being under team control through 2014 and still highly-regarded, the Cards will require more than just two months of Jackson. The two teams have talked about Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, notes Olney, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Cards asked about outfielder Eric Thames.
Rasmus is a popular trade target. ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Rays offered one of Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, and Alex Cobb, and the young center fielder is very much available. The Indians have interest as well.