Ramon Ortiz Rumors
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.
More links for Tuesday, as Mike Lowell returns to the Red Sox lineup and blasts a homer over the Green Monster...
- White Sox minor league hitting coordinator Jeff Manto told Paul M. Banks of the Sports Bank that prospect Brandon Short has "some of the fastest hands we have in the organization," when discussing Chicago's prospects.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told the AP that Don Wakamatsu is the team's manager for the foreseeable future. "We are trying to win baseball games with Don running the ship," Zduriencik said (link at CBS Sports).
- The Red Sox told Lowell they won't release him, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com (via Twitter). Speier notes that the Yankees were on Lowell's no-trade list (Twitter link).
- The Astros wanted Ruben Tejada and Bobby Parnell from the Mets for Brett Myers, according to Peter Gammons (Twitter link).
- The Mets released Ramon Ortiz Sunday, according to the International League transactions page. GM Omar Minaya signed the right-hander back in June.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan explains how Barret Loux is a casualty of the rule that guarantees teams a future pick if they fail to sign their first rounder. The D'Backs first rounder has an uncertain future after a failed physical.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo shows how some prospects have performed since switching organizations before the July 31st trade deadline.
- Pat Andriola of FanGraphs explains the Nationals' choices with Adam Dunn, who hit waivers today.
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.
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.
Links for Saturday..
- Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News notes all of the roster turnover the Rangers have already experienced this season.
- Ian Browne of MLB.com (via Twitter) says that outfielder Jonathan Van Every is being placed on the 40-man roster so that Josh Reddick can get more at-bats in the minors.
- Angels catcher Bobby Wilson was on the receiving end of a violent collision at the plate on Friday, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. With Wilson and Jeff Mathis sidelined, the Angels likely won't be able to move one of their catchers anytime soon.
- Ramon Ortiz was essentially auditioning to keep his job with the Dodgers on Friday night, says Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.
- Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun writes that the promotion of Rhyne Hughes could mean a reduced role for starting first baseman Garrett Atkins.
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 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.
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.
According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants signed right-hander Ramon Ortiz to a minor league contract.
Ortiz will be invited to spring training. The 35-year-old spent last season in Japan, going 4-7 with a 5.82 ERA in 17 starts. Schulman assumes that he'll start the '09 season with the club's Triple-A affiliate in Fresno and will only be brought up if the Giants need a spot starter.
UPDATE: The deal is done for $3.1MM.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Twins are the frontrunner to sign free agent starter Ramon Ortiz at a deal worth more than $3MM. It would be an odd expenditure for a cash-strapped club; I'm sure they have a kid capable of putting up the same 5.50+ ERA for the league minimum.
Do you remember the days when a 4.00 ERA was crap? I do vividly, and I'm only 24. Now we're inching toward 5.00 being average, as J.P. Ricciardi recently mentioned.