Randy Flores Rumors

Cardinals Hire Randy Flores As Director Of Amateur Scouting

The Cardinals have hired former Major League left-hander Randy Flores as their new director of amateur scouting, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cards looked at candidates from other teams before turning to Flores, who retired from the game as a player following the 2010 season, per Goold.

Since retiring, the now-40-year-old Flores returned to USC to complete a master’s degree in education and serve as the baseball team’s assistant coach. He also founded his own company, OnDeck Digital, which uses video capture technology to allow baseball and softball players to critique their own game. Scouts also use the technology to gain access to of video on prospects/players, and 11 Major League teams currently use the service, Goold adds.

Flores spent parts of five seasons in the Cardinals’ bullpen, totaling a 4.35 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 178 innings. He totaled 250 innings in the Majors, working primarily as a left-handed specialist and accumulating a career ERA of 4.61. Flores won a World Series ring with St. Louis in 2006.

The need for a scouting director, of course, is due to the firing of former director Chris Correa, who was dismissed earlier this summer after admitting to having a role in the Cardinals’ breach of the Astros’ computer network.

Randy Flores Opts Out Of Contract

For the third time this year, lefty reliever Randy Flores has opted out of a minor league contract.  This time he opted out of his Brewers' contract after 11 innings, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  Flores had previously opted out of contracts with the Padres and Yankees.

Flores, 36, hasn't yet made it back to the Majors this year.  At Triple-A he has a 3.05 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9 in 59 innings.

Brewers To Sign Randy Flores

6:03pm: The Brewers are still finalizing details of Flores' contract, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.

4:24pm: The Brewers will sign left-hander Randy Flores to a minor league deal, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The Yankees agreed to release the reliever over the weekend, and the Brewers, who don't have a left-handed reliever on their 25-man roster, picked him up without any delay.

The 36-year-old posted a 3.07 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 29 1/3 innings for New York's Triple-A affiliate after signing with the Yankees in May. Before joining the Yankees, Flores appeared in 19 games for San Diego's top affiliate then opted out of his contract. The eight-year veteran posted a 3.19 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 for the Rockies and Twins last year.

Minor Moves: Flores, Stokes, Ward, Carson

Let's keep track of the day's minor moves here…

  • The Yankees will release Triple-A left-hander Randy Flores tomorrow according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Both sides agreed to the move. Flores pitched to a 2.54 ERA in 28 1/3 innings for New York's top minor league affiliate, but he gave up 14 hits in 14 innings against lefties.
  • The Diamondbacks have signed Brian Stokes and assigned him to Triple-A Reno according to the team's Twitter feed. The righty reliever spent last season with the Angels organization, throwing 16 2/3 innings in the majors and 17 2/3 innings in the minors.
  • The D'Backs also signed infielder Daryle Ward according to the club's Twitter feed. The 36-year-old had been playing with the independent Newark Bears, and he hasn't appeared in the big leagues since 2008. He's headed to Double-A Mobile.
  • The Rays have acquired Matt Carson from the Athletics according to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League transactions page. The 30-year-old outfielder hit .285/.338/.538 with 19 homers and 11 stolen bases in exactly 400 plate appearances for Oakland's Triple-A affiliate this season. He's seen time with the A's in each of the last two seasons, posting a .200/.210/.370 batting line with five homers in 105 plate appearances from 2009-2010.
  • The Astros have released right-hander Brad Hennessey according to Zachary Levine of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The 31-year-old pitched to a 7.76 ERA in 26 2/3 innings for Houston's Triple-A affiliate,

Yankees Sign Randy Flores

The Yankees signed lefty reliever Randy Flores to a minor league deal, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  The deal includes an opt-out, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX SportsJoel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the opt-out is before the All-Star break.

Flores, 35, opted out of his minor league deal with the Padres on Sunday.  Four teams expressed interest in the CAA client, tweets Sherman.  Flores faced lefties about 61% of the time, posting a 9.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 against them.

Mike Axisa profiled Flores at River Ave. Blues yesterday, noting that Yankees lefties Pedro Feliciano, Damaso Marte, and Kei Igawa are unusable currently, leaving Boone Logan as the team's only lefty reliever.  Flores was drafted by the Yankees in the ninth round in 1997 and later traded to the Rangers in the Randy Velarde deal of '01.

Randy Flores Opts Out Of Contract

Randy Flores has opted out of his minor league contract with the Padres according to Sarah Trotto of The Arizona Star Daily (on Twitter). The lefty reliever had a clause in his contract that allowed him to do so if he was not added to the Major League roster by Sunday.

Flores, 36, struck out 19 and walked six in 18 2/3 innings with San Diego's Triple-A affiliate this year. Left-handed batters had eight hits and two walks against him in 11 1/3 innings. Flores is left-handed and breathing, so there's likely to be a market for his services. He's held same-side batters to a .275/.345/.435 batting line in a big league career that has spanned eight seasons and four different teams.

Stark On Pirates, Royals, Bedard, K-Rod

Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Jayson Stark of ESPN.com that he wants “to fight that mentality of, 'We're .500, so we're really on our way.'" Huntington points out that it takes years to develop an elite team and an elite farm system and says one season of .500 ball isn't going to satisfy the Pittsburgh front office. Here are the rest of Stark's rumors from around the league:

  • People in the game suggest the Royals' decision to call Eric Hosmer up early may mean they intend to compete in the AL Central this year. Stark hears that the Royals will have money to spend in July if necessary (remember that Gil Meche retired instead of collecting the $12MM he was scheduled to earn).
  • The Royals believe Triple-A pitchers Danny Duffy and Mike Montgomery are nearly MLB-ready, so GM Dayton Moore may talk about moving Kyle Davies and Jeff Francis within a few weeks. The Royals probably wouldn't get much for Davies, but Francis could draw interest.
  • Erik Bedard could be an attractive trade chip this summer, but one NL executive says the left-hander needs to “prove he can log innings.” Tim Dierkes suggested a month ago that Bedard could have lots of appeal at the deadline.
  • Left-hander Randy Flores can opt out of his minor league deal on Sunday if the Padres don't call him up from Triple-A. Cory Luebke is the lone left-hander in the Padres' 'pen at the moment, so they could consider calling on Flores instead of cutting him loose.
  • Teams are still skeptical of Francisco Rodriguez, despite his 10 saves and 1.10 ERA. K-Rod has walked 10 of the 73 batters he has faced (16 1/3 innings).
  • Stark points out that it's been a while since Giants GM Brian Sabean made win-now midseason trades that cost him top prospects.

Padres Sign Randy Flores

The Padres signed Randy Flores, according to CAA, the reliever's agency, on Twitter. Flores is set to sign a minor league deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (Twitter link).

The 35-year-old left-hander started last season in Colorado and the Twins picked him up off of waivers in August. In 31 total innings last year, Flores posted a 3.19 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9. Not surprisingly, he has fared better against left-handed hitters in his career, posting 7.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 against them. Flores induces more ground balls against right-handed batters, though.

Examining Minnesota’s Bullpen

It’s not easy to imagine a bullpen with more question marks than Minnesota’s. That's not to say the Twins don’t have quality relievers, it’s just hard to predict which ones will return in 2011. Kelly Thesier of MLB.com breaks down the team’s bullpen, which includes six free agents and a non-tender candidate.

Matt Guerrier, Jesse Crain, Jon Rauch, Brian Fuentes, Ron Mahay and Randy Flores all hit free agency but they won’t all return. Thesier says the Twins are not likely to keep Mahay or Flores and seem most likely to target Crain and Guerrier.

Crain, who ranks as a Type B free agent, says he loves Minnesota but would like the chance to close. That won’t happen if he stays put, since Joe Nathan should return from Tommy John surgery next year. Matt Capps, who saved 42 games in 2010, figures to be next in line for saves.

The Nathan-Capps duo promises to be effective, but it will definitely be expensive. Nathan earns $11.25MM next year and Capps will get a raise from his $3.5MM salary through arbitration.

If the Twins lose certain pitchers after offering arbitration, they could gain picks in next year’s draft. Crain, Rauch and Fuentes rank as Type B free agents and could each bring the Twins a supplementary first round pick. Guerrier is a Type A free agent, so the Twins would get two top picks if he leaves after declining arbitration.

Clay Condrey, who didn’t pitch in 2010 due to elbow problems, is a non-tender candidate. Despite all the uncertainty in the 'pen, Bill Smith & Co. head into the offseason with a more stable rotation.

Twins Claim Randy Flores

The Twins claimed lefty reliever Randy Flores off waivers from the Rockies, according to a press release. The 35-year-old posted a 2.96 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 27.1 innings for the Rockies this year, but the Rockies designated him for assignment last week. He earns a total of $650K this year and hits free agency after the season, so the Twins make only a minor financial commitment.

The Twins transferred another lefty reliever, Ron Mahay to the 60-day DL in a corresponding move. With Mahay and Jose Mijares injured, the Twins had a clear need for left-handed relief and it didn't take long for GM Bill Smith to address it cheaply.