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Rajai Davis Rumors
The Blue Jays have exercised their 2013 option for left-hander Darren Oliver, the team announced. The club also declined their option for Rajai Davis, but re-signed him to a one-year deal worth $2.5MM.
Oliver, 42, pitched to a 2.06 ERA in 56 2/3 innings this season. He'll earn $3MM next year. The 32-year-old Davis hit .257/.309/.378 with 46 stolen bases this year. His club option was worth $3MM.
John Farrell inherited a vastly different offense than the one that clubbed a league-leading 257 home runs for Cito Gaston in 2010. Vernon Wells, John Buck and Lyle Overbay are gone and newcomers Rajai Davis (pictured), Corey Patterson and Juan Rivera now have prominent roles on the team. Before the season, the new Blue Jays manager explained his vision of a more complete offense, one that would feature players zipping from base to base instead of waiting for their chance to break into a home run trot.
“I would like us to become a much more aggressive team on the basepaths,” Farrell said in January. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to try to make Jose Molina a base stealer. But it does mean that there are opportunities where we can turn guys loose.”
And turn them loose he did. Even Molina has a pair of steals and Toronto has already stolen more bases than it did during the entire 2010 season. The increase is largely because of Davis, the slumping speedster who has attempted to steal 26 of the 50 times he has been on with an open base ahead of him. Unfortunately for Farrell, Davis has only succeeded 18 times (69%) and his running mate, Patterson, is only 11 for 17 (65%).
As a unit, Blue Jays baserunners are succeeding at a lower rate than they did under Gaston, though they’ve already eclipsed last year’s stolen base total. The team’s success rate has dropped from 74% to 71% in the early going, but the Jays have been successful in another department: taking the extra base. As the table below shows, Blue Jays baserunners have been more aggressive, taking extra bases on plays they showed more caution on under Gaston.
For example, the Blue Jays scored from first on a double 33 times last year. Led by Jose Bautista, who has scored four of the five times he has been on first for a teammate’s two-base hit, the Jays have already scored from first on a double 22 times under Farrell.
But Bautista's success running the bases is mitigated by the fact that he has already been picked off three times. In fact, Farrell's aggressive approach has led to 13 pickoffs so far, just one shy of the team's 2010 total.
Despite the pickoffs, Bautista has been Toronto’s most effective baserunner this year, according to UBR, a stat that measures a player’s impact on the bases (not including attempted steals). Still, Farrell has known all along that home runs are an essential weapon for his right fielder and for his entire offense.
“We’re going to play to that strength,” Farrell said. “But in preparing against this team [as an opponent], it was one that seemed to be one-dimensional and a little predictable.”
The numbers suggest the Blue Jays were among the worst teams baserunning teams in baseball last year. But after placing 27th in MLB with a -11.1 UBR in 2010, they’re fifth in baseball with +4.4 UBR this season. In other words, the Jays are on a pace to add a win on the basepaths this year, after losing a win on the bases last year.
Farrell still finds himself looking for a ‘spark’ and the offense will remain something of a work in progress until Aaron Hill and Travis Snider find their strokes and Brett Lawrie’s wrist is healthy. There’s no denying that the Blue Jays’ offense is sputtering at the moment – they’ve scored only three runs in their past four games – but the group has generally been productive. Only six MLB teams have scored more runs than Toronto this year and the offense is above average thanks in part to Farrell’s aggressive baserunning.
Photo courtesy Icon SMI.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them – it's a question of how much the players will earn.
Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:
- The Angels have agreed to terms with Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick, tweets Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register tweets that Kendrick will earn $3.3MM, Willits $775K (on Twitter).
- The Giants agreed to terms with Santiago Casilla on a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with incentives, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas (on Twitter). The team also announced that they avoided arb with Jonathan Sanchez and Ramon Ramirez (on Twitter). Sanchez will earn $4.8MM with incentives tweets Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle while Ramirez will earn $1.65MM according to Janie McCauley of The Canadian Press.
- The Braves agreed to terms with Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Moylan gets $2MM, O'Flaherty gets $895K according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners agreed to terms with Brandon League, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas, the team announced. Aardsma will earn $4.5MM with plenty of incentives, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (plus Twitter link).
- The Rangers agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links). Cruz gets $3.65MM, and Wilson gets $7.05MM with a chance to earn another $100K according to his agent Bob Garber, via email.
Full Story | 135 Comments | Categories: Andy Sonnanstine | Anibal Sanchez | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Bill Bray | Boone Logan | Boston Red Sox | Brandon League | Brandon Morrow | C.J. Wilson | Carlos Quentin | Chad Billingsley | Chase Headley | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Chris Perez | Cincinnati Reds | Clay Hensley | Cleveland Indians | Clint Barmes | Cody Ross | Colorado Rockies | Conor Jackson | Dallas Braden | David Aardsma | Doug Slaten | Erick Aybar | Felipe Paulino | Felix Pie | Glen Perkins | Heath Bell | Houston Astros | Howie Kendrick | J.J. Hardy | Jacoby Ellsbury | Jair Jurrjens | Jason Vargas | Jeff Keppinger | Joba Chamberlain | Joe Saunders | Joel Hanrahan | John Danks | Jonathan Papelbon | Jonathan Sanchez | Josh Willingham | Kansas City Royals | Kendrys Morales | Kevin Kouzmanoff | Kyle Davies | Kyle Kendrick | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Manny Parra | Martin Prado | Matt Capps | Matt Garza | Miami Marlins | Michael Bourn | Michael Morse | Mike Adams | Mike Pelfrey | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Nelson Cruz | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Peter Moylan | Phil Hughes | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Prince Fielder | Rafael Perez | Rajai Davis | Ramon Ramirez | Reggie Willits | Ryan Ludwick | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Santiago Casilla | Seattle Mariners | Shin-Soo Choo | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Tim Stauffer | Tom Gorzelanny | Tony Pena | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Washington Nationals | Yunel Escobar
The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Rajai Davis and agreed to sign the outfielder to a two-year deal, the team announced. The deal, which includes a club option for 2013, guarantees Davis $5.75MM. He'll earn $2.5MM in 2011, $2.75MM in 2012 and could earn $3MM if the team exercises its 2013 option. If not, he'll obtain a $500K buyout, according to the AP (via the Miami Herald).
The deal covers Davis' second and third seasons of arbitration eligibility and includes an option for his fourth arbitration season. Davis, a super two player, earned $1.35MM in 2010 before the A's traded him to Toronto.
In 561 plate appearances last year, the 30-year-old hit .284/.320/.377 with 50 stolen bases in 61 attempts. He has 143 steals and a .330 OBP in parts of five big league seasons. Davis joins Travis Snider, Vernon Wells and, potentially, Jose Bautista in the Blue Jays' outfield. The team's commitment to Davis suggests GM Alex Anthopoulos believes Davis can continue to be an everyday player.
The Blue Jays added to their outfield mix today by acquiring speedster Rajai Davis from the Athletics for minor league relievers Danny Farquhar and Trystan Magnuson. The Jays also released righty Shawn Hill, according to a press release.
Davis, 30, became more expendable for Oakland after they acquired David DeJesus from the Royals. Davis slipped to .284/.320/.377 this year in 561 plate appearances for the A's, playing all three outfield positions but mainly center. It's not clear how the Jays will employ him, but capable center fielders are a rare commodity. We named him as a trade candidate back on October 25th. Davis is arbitration eligible for the second time this winter and potentially under team control through 2013.
Farquhar, 24 in February, posted a 3.52 ERA, 9.3 K/9, 4.9 BB/9, and 0.82 HR/9 in 76 2/3 Double-A innings this year. Baseball America ranked him 14th among Jays prospects heading into the season, noting that he effectively uses multiple arm angles to keep hitters off balance. The Blue Jays reportedly offered him to the Marlins as part of a deal for Dan Uggla.
Magnuson, a 25-year-old righty, posted a 2.58 ERA, 7.7 K/9, and 1.2 BB/9 with only one home run allowed in 73 1/3 Double-A innings this year. Heading into the season BA had him 22nd among Jays prospects.
Hill, 30 in April, has undergone Tommy John surgery twice in his career but was solid in 15 pro starts this year.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted the deal was close, while MLBTR added Magnuson's inclusion.
The Blue Jays are on the verge of acquiring outfielder Rajai Davis from the Athletics, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Minor league reliever Trystan Magnuson is one of the players heading to Oakland in the deal, MLBTR has learned.
Davis, a 30-year-old speedster, became more expendable for Oakland after they acquired David DeJesus from the Royals. Davis slipped to .284/.320/.377 this year in 561 plate appearances for the A's, playing all three outfield positions but mainly center. It's not clear how the Jays would employ Davis, but capable center fielders are a rare commodity. Davis is arbitration eligible for the second time this winter and potentially under team control through 2013.
Magnuson, a 25-year-old righty, posted a 2.58 ERA, 7.7 K/9, and 1.2 BB/9 with only one home run allowed in 73 1/3 Double-A innings this year. Heading into the season Baseball America had him 22nd among Jays prospects.
Was a better bargain than Andruw Jones signed this winter? The White Sox added him on a one-year deal worth $500K, and all he's given them so far is a batting line of .260/.360/.604. Meanwhile, the man patrolling his old Atlanta center field home, Nate McLouth, checks in at .167/.302/.271, and Gary Matthews Jr., who will make twice what Jones does from the Mets this year (and next year!), is hitting .152/.235/.196.
The problem is, this hasn't allowed the White Sox to move into contention. Thanks to a 14-20 start, combined with Minnesota's 22-12 beginning, Chicago is already eight games out, with Memorial Day still weeks away. So it may well be that the White Sox can, and should flip Jones to a contending team down the stretch. And that reasonable short-term deal means some of the smaller-market contenders are likely to be in the Jones sweepstakes.
What are some possible destinations?
- Washington could be a good fit. Willie Harris is hitting just .182/.313/.418, and with Willy Taveras also getting outfield at-bats, so Jones could be a good fit for regular corner outfield time. The Nationals have several pitchers set to join the big league team, but little in the way of outfield prospects at the top of their system. For now, the Nationals say they're content with Harris and Roger Bernadina.
- Cincinnati has seen Drew Stubbs struggle in center field so far; he's hitting just .196/.283/.321. It shouldn't be hard to convince Dusty Baker to play the veteran Jones over Stubbs, either. It's not clear that Jones is still an every day center fielder, but Chicago has already played him there four times in 2010.
- The Padres have Kyle Blanks in left field, Tony Gwynn Jr. in center field, and Will Venable in right field. Of the three, only Blanks profiles as a top prospect, so the other two could be vulnerable to a Jones acquisition, should San Diego remain in the race.
- With Eric Chavez and Jake Fox struggling, and Rajai Davis reverting to form, the Athletics could use Jones in either center field or at designated hitter to support an imposing starting rotation. The move sounds a lot like acquiring Frank Thomas, doesn't it?
- And don't fall asleep on Seattle, either. Currently 6.5 games out, the Mariners have the talent to climb back into the race, but their DHs, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Sweeney, simply aren't hitting. Jones could also slot into left field.
One thing's for sure: those who believed Andruw Jones' career was over- a sad thing for anyone who saw him dominate baseball in his 20s- appear to have been premature.
Full Story | 49 Comments | Categories: Andruw Jones | Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Drew Stubbs | Eric Chavez | Gary Matthews Jr. | Jake Fox | Ken Griffey Jr. | Kyle Blanks | Mike Sweeney | Nate McLouth | Oakland Athletics | Rajai Davis | San Diego Padres | Seattle Mariners | Tony Gwynn Jr. | Washington Nationals | Will Venable | Willie Harris | Willie Taveras
We see it all the time. Most weeks a handful of players are designated for assignment and more often than not casual fans barely notice. A DFA indicates that a team is willing to part with a player – sometimes for nothing. But sometimes those players come back from DFAs to become stars in the major leagues. Here's a list of some current players who have been designated for assignment:
- David Aardsma – The Red Sox acquired Aardsma after the White Sox designated him for assignment in 2008. A year later, the Mariners traded for Aardsma, who became the team's closer and posted impressive rates of 10.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
- Mike Adams – Adams was designated for assignment in 2006, before he posted absurdly low ERAs and regularly struck out more than a batter per inning.
- Milton Bradley – The Padres acquired Bradley from the A's after Bradley was designated for assignment in 2007. Bradley hit .313/.414/.590 for the Padres and led them to a one game playoff with the Rockies for the Wild Card spot. Of course Bradley didn't play in game 163, since he tore his ACL while manager Bud Black restrained him during an on-field argument earlier in the month.
- Russell Branyan – No one claimed Branyan after his 2006 DFA, but the Cardinals traded for him when the Phillies designated him for assignment the next year. He didn't do much for the Cards in his 39 plate appearances in 2007, but Branyan rebounded to hit 31 homers for the Mariners in 2009.
- Marlon Byrd – The Nationals designated Byrd for assignment in 2006 without losing him and the Rangers did the same in 2007. Byrd recovered from his '07 demotion to post three consecutive productive seasons in Texas.
- Nelson Cruz – The Rangers designated Cruz for assignment at the beginning of the 2008 season – usually a good time to sneak players through waivers. The Rangers must be thrilled no one claimed Cruz, who hit 37 homers in the minors that year and added 33 in the majors the following season.
- Rajai Davis – The A's claimed the outfielder off of waivers from their Bay Area rivals in 2008. Davis was hitting .056/.105/.056 at the time, though he had batted just 19 times. He has gone on to become a useful player, hitting .305/.360/.423 last year with 41 steals and above average defense, according to UZR.
- Jorge de la Rosa – The Royals designated de la Rosa for assignment in March of 2008, but it wasn't until a month later that the Rockies traded for him. The 29-year-old free agent-to-be has been a productive starter in Colorado since.
- Ryan Franklin – The Reds acquired Franklin from the Phillies in 2006 after a poor start to the season. Franklin didn't do much better with the Reds, but he has been productive for three-plus seasons in St. Louis since.
- Jeremy Guthrie – The Orioles claimed the former first round pick from the Indians early in 2007, when Guthrie had just 37 big league innings and a 6.08 ERA to his name. Since, the righty has posted a 4.19 ERA in 610.1 innings.
- LaTroy Hawkins – The Yankees designated the reliever for assignment in 2008 and traded him to Houston, where Hawkins dominated for 24 appearances. He posted a 0.43 ERA along with 10.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9.
- Bobby Jenks – He has fallen out of favor with the White Sox now, but they deserve credit for picking him up after the 2004 season. Jenks has struck out three times as many batters as he has walked in 301 innings with the White Sox.
- Ryan Ludwick – The slugger started the 2005 season hitting just .154/.267/.385 so the Indians designated him for assignment. No one claimed Ludwick then, but the Cardinals made a shrewd pickup when they later signed him.
- Brandon Phillips – The Reds claimed Phillips after the Indians designated him for assignment in 2006. He had just a .206/.246/.310 big league line at the time, but he has averaged 22 homers and 26 steals in his four full seasons with the Reds. UZR rates the 28-year-old as an above average defender at second base, too.
- Joel Pineiro – The Red Sox designated Pineiro for assignment in 2007 when he had a 5.03 ERA and just 20 strikeouts to go along with 14 walks. Later that summer, the Cardinals acquired Pineiro and he went on to post 426.1 solid innings for the Cards. Under the tutelage of pitching coach Dave Duncan, Pineiro posted a walk rate of 1.6 BB/9 in a Cardinals uniform.
- Grant Balfour, Ryan Church, Jack Cust, Matt Diaz, Jerry Hairston Jr., Joel Hanrahan, Livan Hernandez, Mike Jacobs, Colby Lewis, Julio Lugo, Mike MacDougal, Evan Meek, Vicente Padilla, Scott Podsednik, J.C. Romero, David Ross, Brian Tallet, Todd Wellemeyer and Randy Wells are among the many big leaguers who have been designated for assignment.
It's worth noting that this group does not include a superstar (Cruz might be the closest thing to one). Teams designate many talented players for assignment because of roster constraints, but few enjoy as much success as the group above.
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the information.
Full Story | 15 Comments | Categories: Bobby Jenks | Brandon Phillips | David Aardsma | Jack Cust | Jeremy Guthrie | Joel Pineiro | Jorge de la Rosa | LaTroy Hawkins | Marlon Byrd | Mike Adams | Mike Jacobs | Mike MacDougal | Milton Bradley | Nelson Cruz | Rajai Davis | Russell Branyan | Ryan Church | Ryan Franklin | Ryan Ludwick
- Beane was told the A's were the runners-up in the Aroldis Chapman bidding. He said "I think we got slightly outbid" by the Reds' six-year, $30.25MM offer to the Cuban lefty.
- Center fielder Coco Crisp, signed to a one-year, $5.5MM deal, was considered "good value relative to the cost." Beane admitted that the A's probably will not be able to afford to re-sign Crisp if he has a healthy season. While there was trade interest in Rajai Davis, Beane is looking for continuity.
- Beane was frank in saying that he expects to "follow the cycle" of the last 10-15 years if the team does not get a new venue. That implies trading Ben Sheets and/or other veterans in July if the team falls out of contention, but conversely making acquisitions if the A's are still in the hunt.
- Brad Pitt met with Beane in preparation for the actor's role in the Moneyball movie. Beane described Pitt as "very down-to-earth."
Noon ET today was the deadline for both the team and player to submit their salary figures for arbitration, however the two sides can come to an agreement at any point before the actual hearing. The hearings are scheduled for the first week of February.
We'll keep track of the players who avoid arbitration today by agreeing to deals here. Make sure you check back in for updates, and be sure to click the "Continue Reading" link to see today's full list of settlements. Yesterday's list can be found here.
- Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels avoided arbitration with Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits by signing the duo to one-year deals. Napoli will earn $3.6MM in 2010 with a $100K bonus if he makes 120 starts. Willits' contract is worth $625K.
- Zach Duke's one-year contract with Pittsburgh is worth $4.3MM with no performance bonuses, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The Padres and reliever Mike Adams have agreed to a contract, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter). Brock's follow-up tweet says Adams' deal is worth $1MM, virtually splitting the difference between San Diego's $875K offer and Adams' $1.2MM demands.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets that the Twins have agreements in place with all eight of their arbitration eligible players. In a follow-up tweet, Christensen reports that Francisco Liriano agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM and Jesse Crain agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM.
- Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the Mets avoided arbitration with reliever Sean Green (via Twitter). The one-year deal was worth $975K, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron.
- The Tigers avoided arb with Gerald Laird and Zach Miner as well according to James Jahnke of The Detroit Free Press. MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets the details on the one-year contracts: Laird will earn $3.95MM, Miner will earn $950K.
- Christensen tweets that the Twins avoided arb with Brendan Harris, signing him to a two year deal worth $3.2MM with another $650K in possible incentives.
- The Tigers and Bobby Seay avoided arbitration according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter), agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.475MM.
- Thesier tweets that Matt Guerrier agreed to a one year deal worth $3.15MM with the Twins, avoiding arb.
- Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, with Delcarmen getting $905K plus incentives according to Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Boston avoided arb with Jonathan Papelbon as well.
Full Story | 104 Comments | Categories: Alex Gordon | Angel Guzman | Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Brandon Laird | Brendan Harris | Brian Tallet | Carlos Gomez | Casey Janssen | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Chris Ray | Colorado Rockies | David Aardsma | Delmon Young | Francisco Liriano | George Sherrill | Hong-Chih Kuo | Houston Astros | Howie Kendrick | Humberto Quintero | J.J. Hardy | J.P. Howell | James Loney | Jason Bartlett | Jason Bergmann | Jason Frasor | Jason Hammel | Jeff Baker | Jeff Francoeur | Jered Weaver | Jeremy Accardo | Jesse Crain | Jesus Flores | John Danks | Jonathan Papelbon | Jonathan Sanchez | Jorge Cantu | Josh Hamilton | Josh Willingham | Kansas City Royals | Kevin Kouzmanoff | Koyie Hill | Leo Nunez | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Luke Scott | Manny Delcarmen | Mark Lowe | Matt Garza | Matt Guerrier | Matt Lindstrom | Miami Marlins | Michael Bourn | Mike Adams | Mike Fontenot | Mike Napoli | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Pat Neshek | Pedro Feliciano | Peter Moylan | Pittsburgh Pirates | Rafael Perez | Rajai Davis | Ramon Ramirez | Reggie Willits | Rickie Weeks | Robinson Tejeda | Russell Martin | Ryan Ludwick | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Sean Green | Seattle Mariners | Shawn Camp | St. Louis Cardinals | Stephen Drew | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Tom Gorzelanny | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Washington Nationals | Wil Nieves | Zach Duke | Zach Miner