Ramon Ortiz Rumors

AL East Notes: Red Sox, Nakajima, Martin, Ortiz

Alex Rodriguez signed the largest contract in baseball history on this date four years ago, going back to the Yankees for $275MM over ten years. He did help the Yankees to a World Championship two seasons ago, but it's tough to see that deal having a happy ending. Here's the latest from the AL East…

  • The Red Sox are expected to exceed the $178MM luxury tax threshold next season according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier. The team will try to stay close to the threshold to minimize the penalty, however.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman told David Waldstein of The New York Times that he has continued to negotiate with the agent for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, but the two sides aren't close to a deal. The Yankees won Nakajima's negotiating rights last week.
  • Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com says (on Twitter) that people with the Orioles have given him the impression they were unwilling to offer David Ortiz a two-year contract before he accepted the Red Sox's offer of arbitration.
  • “We will see, I couldn’t say because it hasn’t been discussed," said Cashman to George A. King III of The New York Post when asked if a multi-year deal for Russell Martin was possible. The Yankees tendered all of their eligible players contracts yesterday, including Martin, who is arbitration-eligible for the fourth time as a Super Two.

Cubs Sign Ramon Ortiz

The Cubs have signed Ramon Ortiz to a minor league contract according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. The right-hander will report to the team's Triple-A affiliate and make his first start Monday night.

Ortiz, 38, threw 30 innings for the Dodgers last year (6.30 ERA), his first big league action since 2007. He was designated for assignment in late-May, then moved on to the minor league systems of the Mets and Rays. Ortiz owns a 4.93 ERA in a big league career that has spanned parts of ten seasons, though it's been almost seven years since he was last a viable MLB starter.

The Cubs are a little thin on pitching at the moment with Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells on the disabled list.

Rays Sign Ramon Ortiz

The Rays signed right-hander Ramon Ortiz and assigned him to Triple A Durham, according to the transactions page for the International League. The 37-year-old pitched 30 innings for the Dodgers this year, posting a 6.30 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9. 

After the Dodgers designated Ortiz for assignment, the Mets picked him up on a minor league deal. Ortiz pitched well for the Mets' Triple A affiliate, posting a 3.94 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in Buffalo. He'll presumably stay in the minors until September, since the Rays have a deep rotation, even with Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis on the DL.

Odds & Ends: White Sox, Mariners, Lowell, Myers

More links for Tuesday, as Mike Lowell returns to the Red Sox lineup and blasts a homer over the Green Monster…

Mets Sign Ramon Ortiz

The Mets signed Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal, according to Gerard Guilfoyle of SNY (via Twitter). The Dodgers signed Ortiz in February and designated him for assignment in May after he posted a 6.30 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9. Despite those numbers, they still had interest as recently as last week, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (via Twitter).

The 37-year-old right-hander relies on a 91 mph fastball, a slider and a change, according to data on FanGraphs. Ortiz will start in Triple A Buffalo tonight. The Mets' rotation has been strong, thanks to surprising performances from R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi and Mike Pelfrey's breakout year. Ortiz provides minor league depth, in case they lose a pitcher to injury.

Dodgers Designate Ramon Ortiz For Assignment

The Dodgers designated Ramon Ortiz for assignment to had to make room for Justin Miller, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (via Twitter). The 37-year-old Ortiz appeared in 16 games since the Dodgers signed him in March. He posted a 6.30 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9.

Miller, 32, has yet to appear in the majors this year, but was pitching well at Triple A Albuquerque. He has posted a 2.22 ERA in 18 games with more strikeouts than innings pitched and a respectable rate of 3.0 BB/9.

Odds & Ends: Rangers, Red Sox, Wilson, Dodgers

Links for Saturday..

Odds & Ends: Bell, Dye, Ortiz, Davis, Strasburg

Links for Monday…

  • The MLBTR Forums are rocking with over 3,600 members.  Join the discussion today!  Just added a prospects section; we've also got areas to discuss trade rumors, free agents, the draft, general baseball, fantasy baseball, and every team.
  • Tom Krasovic tweets that the Twins have a scout at tonight's Padres-Giants game, but it's just a routine visit. He adds that Heath Bell remains on Minnesota's radar, but the two sides haven't talked since Spring Training.
  • The Giants have no interest in Jermaine Dye, tweets Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle. The reasons are the same as they've been all winter: defense and asking price.
  • More changes could be coming to the Dodgers' bullpen, says Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times. Russ Ortiz was designated for assignment yesterday, and Hernandez thinks Ramon Ortiz could be next.
  • Talking to MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith, I learned that teams can now safely promote minor leaguers for their MLB debuts with no chance of the player amassing 172 days of service in 2010.  By promoting '08 first-rounder Ike Davis today, the Mets ensured that he will be under team control through 2016 instead of 2015.  In contrast, the Braves have Jason Heyward through '15.
  • On that same topic, agent Scott Boras told MLB.com's Peter Gammons that Stephen Strasburg starting in the minors "had nothing to do with money."
  • Joe Posnanski digs into Forbes' team revenue numbers, noting that the Yankees made $173MM more than any other team.
  • MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch tells us Hayden Penn has accepted the Pirates' Triple A assignment in lieu of electing free agency.
  • In a statement, Cal Ripken said he looks forward to continued talks with the Orioles about a position in the organization.

The Dodgers’ Fifth Rotation Spot

The front of the Dodgers' rotation is pretty well set, with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, and Vicente Padilla set to occupy the first four spots. There's no shortage of candidates for that fifth spot, but as Steve Dilbeck of The Los Angeles Times notes, most of the contenders have unfavorable contract situations. 

Eric Stults and Charlie Haeger are both out of options, Carlos Monasterios is a Rule 5 pick, and both Ramon and Russ Ortiz are believed to have out clauses in their contracts. The one rotation candidate that doesn't have any strings attached is James McDonald, but it doesn't help that he has a 20.25 ERA and a 3.56 WHIP in just over five innings this spring. Regardless of who LA picks for that last spot, there's a chance they'll lose some depth as the other guys succumb to roster limitations.

Let's open this one up for discussion. Who do you think the Dodgers should put in their last rotation spot, and what should they do with the other players? Essentially your choices are a) put them in the bullpen, or b) risk losing them to waivers/out clause/Rule 5 rules. Here are the Spring Training stats, not that they mean anything. 

Dodgers Sign Ramon Ortiz

The Dodgers signed righty Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.  Ortiz, 37 in March, spent 2009 with the Giants' Triple A club.  He posted a 3.05 ERA, 7.9 K/9, and 2.4 BB/9 in 129.6 innings.  Ortiz's career has also included stops with the Angels, Reds, Nationals, Twins, Rockies, and Orix Buffaloes.