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Ramon Santiago Rumors
5:00pm: Santiago will earn $1.1MM if he makes the big league roster, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).
Santiago, 35, spent the 2014 season with the Reds, hitting .246/.343/.324 with a pair of homers in 214 plate appearances. The Beverly Hills Sports Council client spent time at third base, second base and shortstop in Cincinnati, as he has done throughout his 13-year big league career. Santiago typically grades out as a plus defender at shortstop, per Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved, and he’s been roughly average at second and third as well. His upside with the bat, however, is fairly limited, as evidenced by his lifetime batting line of .243/.314/.330.
Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement contains a provision that allows certain free agents who are signed to minor league contracts to receive a $100K retention bonus if they are not on the team's 25-man roster or the Major League disabled list five days prior to the season.
Free agents who qualify for this distinction are those who have at least six years of Major League service time and had a Major League contract expire at the end of the previous season, but signed a minor league deal ten or more days prior to Opening Day.
MLBTR has confirmed with MLB that the deadline for teams to decide on these players is today at 11am central time. By the deadline, teams with these players in camp need to decide whether to:
- Add the player to their 25-man roster or Major League disabled list (or agree to do so in writing).
- Grant the player his outright release from the minor league contract so that he may pursue opportunities with other teams.
- Pay the player a $100K retention bonus to keep him in the organization beyond the deadline and send him to the minors.
Here's the latest news from around the league on Article XX(B) signees and their roster statuses with their respective teams (newest updates on top).
- The Red Sox released left-hander Rich Hill this morning and then re-signed him to a new minor league contract, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. Presumably this move was made so the Sox could keep Hill and avoid paying the $100K bonus.
- Ramon Santiago has been informed that he's made the Reds roster, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The 34-year-old will serve as the team's utility infielder.
The Reds have reached agreement on a minor league deal with infielder Ramon Santiago, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (Twitter links). Santiago gets a Spring Training invitation, and will earn $1.1MM if he breaks camp with the club.
The 34-year-old Santiago, who recently joined the Beverly Hills Sports Council, has been a regular utility cog with the Tigers for ten of the last twelve years. Since his one season of everyday playing time in 2003, Santiago has only once exceeded 300 plate appearances, but has received at least 150 in each of the last six campaigns. In 2013, Santiago stepped up to bat 234 times and registered a .224/.298/.288 triple-slash, continuing a downturn in his stat line that began the year before. Santiago still rates out well with his glove, however, and boasts generally solid defensive metrics up the middle and at third.
For the Reds, the switch-hitting Santiago should have a good chance at cracking the roster. Though the team has other infield backup options in the fold, such as Skip Schumaker, Jack Hannahan, and Chris Nelson, none of those players has spent significant time at shortstop. Santiago has played the majority of his big league games at the position, with most of his remaining appearances coming at the second base position.
After public expressions of interest recently between the Astros and Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan, the stage is set for another step forward. Team owner Jim Crane has arranged to meet Ryan in person at some point next week. Presumably, the two will discuss a role for the former Rangers CEO with a Houston organization that already features his son as its president of business operations. Here are a few more stray notes to round out the week:
- Freddy Garcia does not want to pitch in Triple-A for the Braves, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has an opt-out on March 25 that can be exercised if he has not been added to the MLB roster, but Garcia is confident that he won't need to do so.
- Two of his countrymen were cleared to sign today, but Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz is still ineligible to sign until February 19th due to age misrepresentation issues. He is now training in Arizona, tweets Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, and plans to showcase himself for scouts on at least two occasions in February. The 23-year-old has reportedly drawn wide interest from MLB clubs.
- 34-year-old infielder Ramon Santiago has chosen new representation, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. He will rely on the Beverly Hills Sports Council to find him a home after eight years with the Tigers.
There were no new developments today relating to Matt Garza, who looked to have a deal in place with the Brewers yesterday before an unidentified snag held things up. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel provided some updates from the inside, however, reporting that a source said negotiations were "ongoing." When asked whether there were any new developments, GM Doug Melvin told Haudricourt "nothing yet."
Here are a few bits of information elsewhere on the current free agent pitching market:
- Bronson Arroyo and the Dodgers have had discussions since Masahiro Tanaka chose not to sign with Los Angeles, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The level of interest remains uncertain, Heyman notes.
- The Angels have "a bit" of interest in Arroyo but are also content to take their current group to Spring Training, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Angels acquired Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs this offseason to join Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards in the rotation.
- It's been a different type of offseason for the Angels this year, writes MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez, noting the patience and restraint the team has shown on the free agent market. Gonzalez notes that the Angels aren't interested in Matt Garza at the $13MM AAV he would receive in his near-deal with the Brewers, as it would push them up against the luxury tax threshold. He lists Arroyo, Jason Hammel, Chris Capuano, Scott Baker and Paul Maholm as potential rotation options that would leave some cushion between Anaheim's payroll and the luxury tax.
- With a lot of starters still available on the open market, there are plenty of teams that have yet to fill up their slate of rotation candidates. Joining the O's and Jays among the clubs that are looking for starters are both of Chicago's two franchises, according to Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com (via Twitter). Levine indicates that the Cubs are looking over the list of remaining free agents, but he does not say whether the White Sox have any interest in open-market players.
- MLB.com's Greg Johns tweets that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik thinks the team is done making "major" additions, but tweaks are still possible. However, semantics could come into play heavily, as manager Lloyd McClendon said the team would still like to add a No. 3 starter, per ESPN 710's Shannon Drayer (Twitter link). New team president and COO Kevin Mather indicated today that the club would have the financial resources necessary to make more additions before the start of the season.
- There are five clubs vying for the services of Hammel, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Hammel is expected to choose a landing spot within a week.
- Swingman Jerome Williams has offers on the table from at least three clubs, Cotillo tweets. He, too, appears to be nearing a decision point.
- Southpaw reliever Tim Byrdak will not be re-signing with the Mets, the reliever tweeted (via Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com). The 40-year-old indicated that the team decided against signing him.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Theo Epstein admitted that the Cubs "got a little ahead of ourselves" in signing Edwin Jackson to a four-year, $52MM contract last winter. In response to a fan's question at a season ticket-holders event in Chicago, Epstein said the team “didn’t fully understand the scope of our situation, the overall situation with the timing of our business plan, the timing of our facilities and the timing of our baseball plan." (hat tip to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times). The Jackson signing was seen a surprise move for the rebuilding Cubs and it hasn't worked out thus far, as Jackson posted a 4.98 ERA over 175 1/3 IP in 2013.
Here are some more items as we head into the weekend…
- Epstein told reporters (including MLB.com's Carrie Muskat) that he expects Jackson to be a positive for the Cubs next season, though he noted that the team plans to add more "quality" starting pitching this winter. "Every starting pitcher we acquire is someone we hope is starting Game 1 of the World Series for us," Epstein said.
- The Indians' biggest needs this winter are bullpen pieces and a complementary bat, Tribe general manager Chris Antonetti tells Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link).
- Scott Boras scoffed at projections that Stephen Drew would only find a three-year contract this winter, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes. "A three-year deal, for a 30-year-old free agent, really? Are these writers aware of what Elvis Andrus signed for?", Boras asked. The Andrus comparison isn't as entirely outlandish as it first appears, since Andrus' eight-year, $120MM extension with the Rangers is only guaranteed for four years and $62MM since Andrus has opt-out clauses. Still, even that price tag seems quite high — MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted Drew for a four-year, $48MM deal this winter and that was with reservations about the fourth year and the draft pick compensation attached to Drew's free agency.
- Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan could be a better catching option for 2014 than Jarrod Saltalamacchia even aside from the financial considerations, Fangraphs' Dave Cameron opines (Twitter links). Hanigan actually has a higher career WAR than Saltalamacchia (8.3 to 6.9) and could be available in a trade, while "Salty" could cost a team around $36MM in free agency.
- The Dodgers should at least consider trading Yasiel Puig, ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon argues. He would certainly net more in a deal than any club's higher-priced outfielders and the Dodgers could be selling high on Puig since it's unclear whether his style of play will age well.
- The Angels don't have much payroll room to make big changes for 2014 but MLB.com's Tracy Ringolsby thinks the Halos might only need a few tweaks to contend.
- The Tigers aren't likely to re-sign Ramon Santiago, MLive.com's Chris Iott reports, as the team has younger and cheaper utility infield options available. Santiago, 34, has played for Detroit since 2006 and spent 10 seasons overall with the Tigers as a backup or part-time starter in the middle infield.
Here are some notes on a few possible trade situations shaping up around baseball:
- The Tigers are shopping middle infielder Ramon Santiago, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). The 33-year-old Santiago has spent 9 of his 11 big league seasons in Detroit, but his performance fell off last year when he hit just .206/.283/.272 in 259 plate appearances for the Tigers.
- In light of today's news that Padres third baseman Logan Forsythe suffered a setback in his attempt to recover from a foot injury, the club once again finds itself wondering who will man the hot corner for the start of the season after already losing Chase Headley. As reported by Bill Center of The San Diego Union-Tribune, manager Bud Black acknowledged that a DL stint was likely for Forsythe. GM Josh Byrnes says that it is unlikely that the team will look outside the organization for a replacement, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. Center suggests that, instead, rookie Jedd Gyorko will move over to third, with Alexi Amarista filling in at second.
- Meanwhile, the White Sox also have some injury concerns that they do not expect to address via trade, writes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. However, GM Rick Hahn says that the team is "looking around outside for other upgrades." Chicago manager Robin Ventura also announced that righty Dylan Axelrod will be the team's fifth starter to begin the year, writes Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, in conjunction with the news that John Danks will begin the year on the DL.
Let's round up a few rumblings from Nashville on players who might be on the trade block…
- The Phillies are dangling pitcher Vance Worley as a trade chip and may be willing to include pitching prospect Trevor May in a deal, writes Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
- The Dodgers are becoming aggressive in shopping starters Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, in a potential sign of confidence regarding a Zack Greinke signing.
- There have been "no conversations" about trading Andre Ethier, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly tells Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
- One rival executive thinks the Royals will eventually make a deal for Rays starter James Shields, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Within his piece, Knobler explains why the Royals are more inclined to trade Wil Myers than Billy Butler.
- The return the Twins received for Denard Span has somewhat hampered the Indians' efforts to trade Shin-Soo Choo, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains in a pair of Twitterlinks.
- Ramon Santiago's name has surfaced at the Winter Meetings as a potential trade candidate, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter). While Beck isn't sure if the Tigers would move him, he says the utility infielder could draw interest.
- The Dodgers are "aggressively shopping" Juan Uribe in Nashville, but predictably aren't receiving much interest, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets that when he asked an MLB official if the Yankees could have interest in Uribe with Alex Rodriguez out, he was met with a chuckle.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Aaron Harang | Andre Ethier | Chris Capuano | Cleveland Indians | Detroit Tigers | James Shields | Juan Uribe | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Dodgers | New York Yankees | Philadelphia Phillies | Ramon Santiago | Shin-Soo Choo | Tampa Bay Rays | Trevor May | Vance Worley
Here are a few links to peruse on your Saturday, as Redsfest continues in Cincinnati:
- Joey Votto and Yonder Alonso aren't bothered by trade rumors and speculation, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon writes in two separate pieces. Votto concedes "it would be disappointing to get traded," but it doesn't appear he'll have to face that possibility this offseason – GM Walt Jocketty said during the GM meetings that the Reds won't move the 2010 MVP this winter.
- Jocketty says the Reds have identified six starting pitchers as potential trade targets, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). While the GM didn't name anyone specifically, Fay guesses that James Shields, Gio Gonzalez, and Jair Jurrjens are on the list.
- The Reds are looking for a veteran infielder who can play shortstop, tweets Sheldon. They were interested in Ramon Santiago before the 32-year-old agreed to return to Detroit.
- Sheldon also says that manager Dusty Baker hopes the club can give the closer's job to a specific pitcher. Baker's thoughts on the topic: "We're going to look in-house. We're going to look at trades or free agents and try to come up with a guy, a main guy. The one thing we don't want to do is have a closer by committee."
The Tigers announced that they've agreed to sign Ramon Santiago to a two-year contract. The deal guarantees Santiago slightly more than $4MM, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The 32-year-old infielder will provide manager Jim Leyland with a familiar option for three infield positions.
Santiago hit .260/.311/.384 in Detroit this past season, appearing at shortstop, second and third. He became the Tigers’ regular second baseman toward the end of the season and continued starting in the postseason. He was not a ranked free agent, so the team would not have obtained a draft pick had he signed elsewhere.
Though the Tigers like Santiago, they didn't appear to view him as an everyday solution at second base heading into the offseason. It's not clear if they now view him as a viable everyday starter or if he'll return as a utility player.