Reggie Willits Rumors


22 Triple-A Players Elect Free Agency

A total of 22 players that finished the year in Triple-A elected free agency after the end of the regular season according to the transaction pages of the Pacific Coast and International Leagues. All but one of those 22 players (Matt Carson, formerly of the Rays) played in the big leagues this season. Here's the full list:

Dusty Brown (Pirates), Travis Buck (Indians), Armando Galarraga (D'Backs), Jay Gibbons (Dodgers), Edgar Gonzalez (Rockies), Steve Holm (Twins), Wil Ledezma (Blue Jays), Andy LaRoche (Athletics), Felipe Lopez (Brewers), Lastings Milledge (White Sox), Pat Misch (Mets), Pat Neshek (Padres), Mike O'Connor (Mets), Matt Palmer (Angels), Felix Pie (Orioles), Brad Snyder (Cubs), Brett Tomko (Rangers), Wyatt Toregas (Pirates), P.J. Walters (Blue Jays), Randy Williams (Red Sox), and Reggie Willits (Angels).



Outrighted To Triple-A: Edgar Gonzalez, Reggie Willits

Saturday's outright assignments...



Angels Designate Reggie Willits For Assignment

The Angels designated outfielder Reggie Willits for assignment, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times (on Twitter). They're calling up journeyman right-hander Jerome Williams, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Times (on Twitter), and optioning Trevor Bell to the minors in a related move.

Willits, 30, placed fifth in the 2007 Rookie of the Year balloting after stealing 27 bases and posting a .293/.391/.344 line for Los Angeles. He hasn't matched that level of productivity since and has just one double and four walks in 28 MLB plate appearances this year. He has spent most of this season in the minors, where he has a .255/.378/.296 line in 305 plate appearances.



Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

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 Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley (2.535MM) and Tim Stauffer ($1.075MM), according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoided arbitration with a $2.45MM deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The team has confirmed the deal.
  • The Pirates announced that they agreed to terms with Joel Hanrahan. It's a $1.4MM deal, according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
  • The Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with Tom Gorzelanny, despite reports that a trade to Washington is imminent. Gorzelanny will earn $2.1MM next year, according to Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com (on Twitter). They also announced a two-year, $4.7MM deal with Sean Marshall.
  • The Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year deal with Joe Saunders.
  • The Padres agreed to a $2.535MM deal with Mike Adams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).
  • The Angels agreed to a $3MM deal with Erick Aybar and a $2.975MM deal with Kendry Morales.
  • The White Sox agreed to a $5.05MM deal with Carlos Quentin, according to Rosenthal.
  • The Braves agreed to a $3.1MM deal with Martin Prado and a $3.25MM deal with Jair Jurrjens according to Rosenthal.
  • The Orioles agreed to a $5.85MM deal with J.J. Hardy, according to Rosenthal.
  • The Athletics agreed to a $4.75MM deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to Slusser (Twitter link).
  • The Giants avoided arbitration with Cody Ross, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ross will earn $6.3MM in 2011.
  • The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jonathan Papelbon ($12MM) and Jacoby Ellsbury ($2.4MM).
  • The Yankees avoided arbitration with Joba Chamberlain ($1.4MM), Phil Hughes ($2.7MM) and Boone Logan ($1.2MM), according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (all Twitter links).
  • The Dodgers agreed to a $6.275MM deal with Chad Billingsley, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
  • The White Sox agreed to a $6MM deal with John Danks, according to Heyman (on Twitter).The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and agreed to a $5.95MM deal, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
  • The Indians avoided arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo, the team announced. The deal is worth $3.975MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
  • The Twins avoided arbitration with Matt Capps ($7.15MM) and Glen Perkins ($700K), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
  • The Rays avoided arbitration with Andy Sonnanstine, agreeing to a deal worth $913K plus incentives, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
  • The Mets avoided arbitration with Mike Pelfrey, agreeing on a deal worth close to $4MM, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra, signing the players to one-year deals, the team announced. Parra will earn $1.2MM, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter).
  • The Athletics avoided arbitration with Dallas Braden ($3.35MM) and Conor Jackson ($3.32MM), according to MLB.com's Jane Lee (on Twitter).
  • The Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Brandon Morrow, the team announced.
  • The Indians announced that they agreed to a one-year deal with Rafael Perez (Twitter link). It's worth $1.33MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
  • The Athletics avoided arbitration with Josh Willingham, agreeing to a $6MM deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Astros signed Michael Bourn to a one-year, $4.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter).
  • The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they avoided arbitration with Michael Morse.
  • The Marlins avoided arbitration with Anibal Sanchez, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). They agreed to a $3.7MM deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Twitter link).
  • The Orioles avoided arbitration with Felix Pie, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The deal is for $985K.
  • The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Rajai Davis, agreeing to a two-year, $5.25MM deal with the outfielder.
  • The Marlins avoided arbitration with Clay Hensley and agreed to a $1.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
  • The Astros agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Jeff Keppinger, avoiding arbitration, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Astros confirmed the deal.
  • The White Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal with Tony Pena, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
  • The Padres avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick with a $6.775MM deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with Clint Barmes, signing the infielder to a one-year, $3.925MM deal, according to Rosenthal.  The Astros confirmed the deal.
  • The Rockies avoided arb with Felipe Paulino and agreed to a one-year, $790K deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
  • The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to terms with Yunel Escobar on a $2.9MM deal for 2011.
  • The Indians signed Chris Perez for 2011, avoiding arbitration, the team announced (on Twitter). It's a $2.225MM deal, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
  • The Royals announced that they agreed to terms with Kyle Davies on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. It's a $3.2MM deal, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel (on Twitter).
  • The Reds avoided arbitration will Bill Bray, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). The AP says the deal is for $645K.
  • The Nationals avoided arbitration with Doug Slaten, and agreed to a one-year, $695K deal according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
  • The Padres avoided arbitration with Heath Bell and agreed to a one-year, $7.5MM deal.


Full Story |  Comments (0) | 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

Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

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.

  • Pat Neshek agreed to a one year deal with $625K with another $75K in incentives, avoiding arbitration with the Twins according to MLB.com's Kelly Thesier (via Twitter).
  • The Nationals have agreed to terms with Jason Bergmann, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, and Josh Willingham according to a team press release. All four players avoided arbitration.  MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez tweets that Willingham will make $4.6MM next season, while Bergmann will make $750K according to a tweet from MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
  • MLB.com's Mark Bowman tweets that the Braves and Peter Moylan have agreed to a deal, avoiding arbitration. He gets $1.15MM.
  • Matt Garza avoided arbitration with the Rays, tweets Topkin. The two sides agreed to a one year deal worth $3.35MM, 
  • MLB.com's Jim Street tweets that the Mariners and David Aardsma have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.75MM.
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with Michael Bourn, Matt Lindstrom, and Humberto Quintero according to a tweet from MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Bourn gets $2.4MM, Lindstrom $1.625MM, and Quintero $750K (via McTaggart's Twitter).
  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post reports that the Rockies and Jason Hammel have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $1.9MM.
  • The A's agreed to a one year deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, reports The Oakland Tribune. Oakland acquired Kouzmanoff from the Padres over the weekend.
  • Jered Weaver agreed to a one year deal worth $4.265MM with the Angels to avoid arbitration, according to a tweet from Jon Heyman.
  • Topkin tweets that J.P. Howell agreed to a one year deal worth $1.8MM, avoiding arbitration with the Rays.
  • According to the team's official Twitter feed, the Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Jason Frasor ($2.65MM) and Brian Tallet ($2MM) by agreeing to one year deals.
  • Delmon Young avoided arbitration with the Twins by agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.6MM, according to a tweet by Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune. Kelly Thesier of MLB.com tweets that Young will get $25K each for 575 and 600 plate appearances.
  • According to a team press release, the Royals have avoided arbitration with Alex Gordon and Robinson Tejeda. Terms of either deal was not disclosed.
  • Heyman tweets that Stephen Drew and the Diamondbacks agreed to a one year deal worth $3.4MM, avoiding arbitration.
  • The White Sox and John Danks avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year deal worth $3.45M, according to ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine.
  • Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets that the Mets and Pedro Feliciano have agreed to a one year deal worth $2.9MM, avoiding arbitration. There's another $100K in performance bonuses.
  • The Star Telegram's Anthony Andro reports that the Rangers and Chris Ray have avoided arbitration. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says it's a one year deal worth $975K.
  • Russell Martin has agreed to a one year contract worth $5.05MM, avoiding arbitration with the Dodgers according to Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (via Twitter)
  • MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that the Blue Jays and reliever Jeremy Accardo have agreed to a one year deal worth $1.08MM, avoiding arbitration.
  • Rafael Perez agreed to a one year deal with the Indians to avoid arbitration according to a team press release. MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince tweets that Perez will make $795K in 2010.
  • The Orioles and Luke Scott avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $4.05MM according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. He earned $2.4MM last season, hitting .258/.340/.488 with a career high 25 homers.
  • MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweets that the Cubs have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($975K). Mike Fontenot ($1MM,) Koyie Hill ($700K), Angel Guzman ($825K), and Tom Gorzelanny ($800K). Terms of the deals came from Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun Times (via Twitter).
  • Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the Pirates and Zach Duke have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year deal.
  • Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Radio reports that Mark Lowe and the Mariners have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1.15MM salary for next season.
  • LaVelle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune tweets that the Twins and J.J. Hardy have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $5MM. He gets a small raise over last year's $4.65MM salary after hitting .229/.302/.357.
  • According to the Cardinals' official Twitter feed, the team has avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick by agreeing to a one year deal. Heyman tweets that he'll receive $5.45MM next year after earning $3.7MM in 2009.
  • The Rangers avoided arbitration with Josh Hamilton, giving him $3.25MM plus awards-based bonuses according to a tweet from SI.com's Jon Heyman. It was his first time eligible. Hamilton hit .268/.315/.426 in 2009, missing time with back trouble and a sports hernia.
  • Mark Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times tweets that the Rays and Jason Bartlett have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $4MM salary for 2010. He earned just under $2MM in 2009, hitting .320/.389/.490 with a career high 14 homers. 
  • Casey Janssen agreed to a $700K deal for 2010 to avoid arbitration, according to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed. It was his first time up for arbitration.
  • Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun Sentinel reports (via Twitter) that the Marlins and Jorge Cantu have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $6MM. Cantu hit .289/.345/.443 while making $3.5MM in 2009, his first year of arb eligibility.
  • MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that both Carlos Gomez and Rickie Weeks have agreed to one year deals to avoid arbitration. Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel tweets that Weeks will earn $2.75MM next year, while Gomez will earn $1.1MM as a Super Two.
  • Heyman tweets that the Dodgers have avoided arbitration with both George Sherrill and James Loney. Sherrill gets $4.5MM plus incentives in his third year eligible, Loney $3.1MM in his first go around.
  • According to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed, reliever Shawn Camp has agreed to a $1.15MM deal for 2010, avoiding arb. He was eligible for the second time after posting a 3.50 ERA in 79.2 innings last season.
  • Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that Leo Nunez and the Marlins have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $2MM salary for 2010. Sticking with the theme of the day, it was his first time eligible for salary arbitration.
  • MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets that the Dodgers and Hong Chih-Kuo have agreed to a one-year deal worth $950K, avoiding arb. It was Kuo's first time eligible.
  • Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Mets and Jeff Francoeur have avoided arb by agreeing to a $5MM deal. Francoeur earned $3.375MM in 2009 and hit .280/.309/.423 for the Mets and Braves.
  • Heyman tweets that Howie Kendrick and the Angels have agreed to a $1.75MM deal with incentives. This was Kendrick's first crack at arbitration. 
  • Heyman tweets that the A's and Rajai Davis agreed to a $1.35MM salary for 2010, plus incentives. This was Davis' first year eligible for arbitration.
  • Heyman tweets that Jonathan Sanchez avoided arb with the Giants by agreeing to a $2.1MM deal, plus incentives. He posted a 4.24 ERA in 163.1 innings last year, and was up for arbitration for the first time in his career.


Full Story |  Comments (0) | 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

Rays Likely To Fill Outfield Void Through Trade

According to Marc Lancaster, the Rays would prefer to fill their need for a fourth outfielder via trade as opposed to signing a free agent such as Kenny Lofton.

Lancaster notes the Rays are likely to offer one of their surplus of starting pitchers. The Rays have five pitchers competing for the final two spots in the rotation and two of those pitchers (Edwin Jackson and Jason Hammel) are out of options. In addition Lancaster mentions that the Rays have a number of pitching prospects at AA and AAA that could be included in a deal.

The Rays would prefer a player that in addition to regular playing time in right field, can serve as a backup to center fielder BJ Upton. Lancaster lists several players that match this description including Juan Rivera, Reggie Willits, Coco Crisp, Reed Johnson and Ryan Freel. Ken Rosenthal previously said that Willits is untouchable, and Crisp and Johnson seem unlikely as trades rarely occur within a division. The Reds seem like the best fit of this group as they have been rumored to be active in the trade market this off-season for a starting pitcher.

Cork Gaines writes for Rays Index and can be reached here.



Rosenthal's Latest: Roberts, Horacio, Willits

Rumor guru and baseball insider Ken Rosenthal has a new column at FOX Sports.  Let's discuss.

  • Rosenthal does not see the Cubs taking on the salaries of both Brian Roberts and Coco Crisp, even if they shed their Jason Marquis commitment.  Roberts remains the focus.
  • Horacio Ramirez's agent says seven clubs have already expressed interest in his client.  Perhaps he meant to say 0.7.
  • Rosenthal runs through many Rocco Baldelli replacement options for the Rays: Reggie Willits, Kenny Lofton, Gabe Gross, and Reed Johnson.  Only Willits seems the perfect fit, and the Angels aren't making him available. Willits and his .393 career OBP could be headed to Triple A.
  • The Phillies are looking for middle relief help; Rosenthal suggests a possible match with Arizona.  Or, how 'bout signing Bob Wickman?  Is he officially retired?



Rosenthal's Latest: Crede, Willits, Rivera, Belliard

Ken Rosenthal checks in with all kinds of hot stove info.

  • Continuing on yesterday's post regarding Joe Crede and the Dodgers , Rosenthal reports that a source close to Dodgers management explained that the team trading for a third baseman like Crede or Brandon Inge is "all about the budget and whether [owner Frank] McCourt will allow them to add money."  Rosenthal continues to point out that Crede is a better deal than Inge in terms of their contracts, and that Crede could also be more attractive to Dodgers management because the White Sox might be willing to trade for prospects, while the Tigers are looking for immediate bullpen help.
  • The Mariners had been in the market for a veteran right-handed hitting outfielder, but have opted instead for in-house options.  It seems Coco Crisp could have filled a need.  Sure, he's a switch-hitter, but his splits suggest it could have made some sense.  If they didn't have to part with too much, it might have worked.
  • The Angels have a surplus in the outfield -- Juan Rivera and Reggie Willits -- and Rosenthal reports that Willits is now untouchable according to the Angels (two teams have inquired after him recently).  The two are blocked by Vladimir Guerrero, Garrett Anderson, Torii Hunter, and Gary Matthews Jr.  While it sounds as if they'd prefer to move Rivera (a free agent at season's end), it's hard to imagine that they'd send Willits to the minors (he has options remaining) if they don't find a good match for Rivera (Umpbump Coley suggested the Padres or Mets yesterday).  As Coley pointed out, the Angels have numerous banged up pitchers, and there are a number of teams out there who are going to be starting center fielders with inferior skill sets compared to Willits (as Tim pointed out a few days ago).
  • The Nationals are dealing with a surplus at second base, and Rosenthal believes that Ron Belliard is the most logical piece to move, what with his $1.6MM salary this season, and his $1.9MM for next.  Rosenthal pinpoints the Rockies (perhaps too little range on the right side with Jeff Baker and Todd Helton), Cardinals, Twins, and White Sox as potential trade partners.

Posted by Matt Birt



Blocked Prospects: Reggie Willits

As a 26 year-old with roughly one full season worth of Major League experience, Reggie Willits may not technically be a prospect.  But with Torii Hunter signed through 2012, Vladimir Guerrero through 2009 and likely to stay longer, and Gary Matthews Jr. through 2011, Willits certainly qualifies as blocked.  Terry Evans and Nathan Haynes are similarly impeded, and the latter is out of options.  But let's center on Willits.

I want to focus on Willits because he is capable of playing center field.  In their 2007 handbook, Baseball America called him an "above-average center fielder with an average arm and plus speed."  So he clearly won't embarrass himself with the glove. 

Offensively, Willits profiles as the ideal leadoff hitter.  In 576 big league plate appearances, he's drawn 80 walks.  A walk rate near 14% and a .393 career OBP makes for a valuable center fielder, even with no power.  Baseball Prospectus sees him dipping to .269/.353/.354 this year, a performance worth $5MM even if he plays only two-thirds of a season.  He's also a switch-hitter with no discernible split.  And for the next two seasons, Willits will earn less than a million bucks total.

I'll assume another team would look to maximize Willits' value by using him in center.  He could help the Twins, A's, Braves, Marlins, Cubs, and Padres to various degrees.  The first four teams do have more interesting long-term options in center though.  The idea of Willits to San Diego has come up before; that's the best fit.  The Angels are going with internal options at third base and shortstop as well as in the rotation.  If any of those fail, Willits, Evans, and Haynes could become primary trading chips.



Willits Not On Braves' Radar

UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 6:50pm: O'Brien corrects himself - Willits is not on the Braves' radar.  Nor is Josh Hamilton, in case you were wondering.  They've got some mild interest in Chris Duffy.

FROM 12-4-07 at 8:26pm:

According to David O'Brien of the AJC, the Braves have talked to the Angels about outfielder Reggie Willits.  The Braves could plug Willits into their center field spot for a few years.  But what could they offer the Angels?









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