Rich Harden Rumors
Today's minor moves..
- Right-hander Billy Buckner cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment by the Angels to Triple-A Salt Lake, tweets MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. Buckner was designated for assignment by the Angels last Thursday.
- Rich Harden asked for and was granted his release from the Twins organization, tweets Dustin Morse, Director of Baseball Communications and Player Relations for the club. Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets Harden's contract contained an opt-out date of July 31, if he wasn't placed on the 25-man roster by then.
- The Astros announced that they have released shortstop Ronny Cedeno. He will be free to sign with another club once he clears unconditional release waivers tomorrow. Cedeno, who was designated for assignment last week, was hitting .220/.260/.298 in 155 plate appearances for Houston.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
Earlier today, Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes reflected on his short time in Miami and told reporters that he feels sorry for former Marlins teammate Giancarlo Stanton. "What is there to feel sorry for me about?," Stanton told the press, including Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. "I'm in the big leagues. I play a game for a living." Stanton went on to say that he won't pout about his situation this season, but that won't stop people from speculating about his future in Miami. Here's more from around baseball..
- If the Indians decide to trade outfielder Drew Stubbs, Twins general manager Terry Ryan will probably get a nudge from special assistant Wayne Krivsky, writes Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. During his tenure as Reds general manager, Krivsky had a hand in taking Stubbs eighth overall in the 2006 draft.
- More from Wolfson, who tweets that Rich Harden will earn a $1MM base salary if he makes the Twins. Harden inked a minor league deal with a big league spring training invite with Minnesota earlier this offseason.
- Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg is eager to prove that he can handle a full 200-plus inning load, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports in a lengthy piece. Strasburg wants to “be the horse in the rotation” for 2013 and beyond.
- Recently-acquired Astro Chris Carter told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart that he is looking forward to playing a major role on the rebuilding Houston club. The 26-year-old Carter is coming off of his first season of consistent playing time on a Major League roster, a 2012 campaign in which he hit 16 home runs for the Athletics over 260 plate appearances. While Carter was primarily a first-baseman for the A's, McTaggart writes that Carter figures to see a lot of time in the outfield in 2013.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
Here's the latest from the AL Central...
- The Indians offered Michael Bourn a deal in November worth roughly as much as the four-year, $44MM offer the team eventually made to Shane Victorino, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Victorino rejected the Tribe to sign with Boston, but Bourn eventually ended up taking a similar offer (four years/$48MM with a $12MM vesting option on a fifth year) from the Indians once a larger contract failed to materialize on the open market. Cleveland's ownership was willing to make the signing since Bourn's deal is backloaded and the Indians will be receiving extra money from a new TV contract.
- White Sox GM Rick Hahn likes his young catching corps and doesn't believe the team needs to add a veteran catcher to the mix, MLB.com's Scott Merkin reports. Tyler Flowers is slated to be Chicago's everyday catcher, with Hector Gimenez as the backup and non-roster invitee Bryan Anderson also present in camp. The three catchers have a combined 337 Major League at-bats.
- The White Sox haven't spoken to the Cubs about outfielder Tony Campana, ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine reports. Campana was designated for assignment by the Cubs earlier this week and was claimed on waivers by the White Sox last August before the Cubs pulled him back. The Pale Hose are known to be looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder, though Campana is better known for his speed (54-for-59 in steals over the last two seasons) than his bat (.605 OPS in 347 career PA).
- Rich Harden tells MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger that he was determined to keep playing and didn't consider retirement after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in January 2012. Harden is trying to revive his career in Minnesota after signing a minor league deal with the Twins two months ago.
- In other AL Central news from earlier today, the Twins signed Rafael Perez to a minor league contract.
Here's the latest on the Twins, courtesy of 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson...
- The Twins had numerous discussions with Brett Myers before the right-hander signed with the Indians, but they never made him an offer.
- Rich Harden's minor league contract with Minnesota includes a July 31st opt-out date according to Wolfson. The right-hander can elect free agency if he's not added to the big league roster by then.
- The Twins will have a scout on hand to watch outfielder Dariel Alvarez and infielder Aledmys Diaz tomorrow. The two Cuban defectors are hosting a workout for teams.
- The club has had "brief talks" with free agent outfielders Ryan Sweeney and Scott Podsednik after trading both Ben Revere and Denard Span this offseason.
- The Twins have talked about Brent Lillibridge and Yuniesky Betancourt, but they're likely to sign elsewhere. Minnesota also has interest in Brandon Inge.
- The Indians have reached out to several teams about Jeanmar Gomez, including the Twins. Gomez was designated for assignment earlier this week and Cleveland has ten days to trade, release, or waive him.
Items out of the AL and NL Central..
- The White Sox are looking around for a left-handed hitter, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The club has also made it known once again that Gavin Floyd is available. Interest in the right-hander is said to be high and the Orioles are one of the clubs who have him on the radar.
- It doesn't sound like the Brewers are going to be making a run at Kyle Lohse after GM Doug Melvin explained that the team is "getting down to the end" of adding players, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com tweets. Lohse looks to be the top starter available following Edwin Jackson's four-year deal with the Cubs.
- Twins General Manager Terry Ryan isn't sure if Rich Harden will be slotted in as a starter or a reliever, tweets Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. “It depends on how he responds. We could go either way with him," said the GM. Harden signed a minor league deal with Minnesota this morning that includes a MLB spring training invite.
The Twins have signed free agent starter Rich Harden to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training, the team announced. Wasserman Media Group represents Harden, who missed the entire 2012 season with a right shoulder strain. The right-hander underwent shoulder surgery to repair his right rotator cuff in January.
Harden last pitched at the MLB level in 2011, posting a 5.12 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 82 2/3 innings for the Athletics. If healthy, the 31-year-old would join a number of other newcomers in a rotation that's been remodeled in the past two months. GM Terry Ryan has also acquired starters Vance Worley, Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey and prospect Alex Meyer this offseason.
Harden achieved considerable success early on in his career, posting a 3.99 ERA in 189 2/3 innings in his age-22 season. He continued to strike out opposing hitters at an impressive rate, but soon sustained shoulder and oblique injuries. The Victoria, British Columbia native has not qualified for the ERA title since his first full season with the A's, back in 2004.
The Twins were in contact with the agent for free agent pitcher Rich Harden, sources tell La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. The right-hander is represented by Brett Laurvick of the Wasserman Media Group.
Harden, who has been hampered by injuries in recent years, is attempting a comeback after missing the 2012 season. Harden would likely sign a minor league deal and be invited to major league spring training. It's not clear at this time if the veteran is attempting to come back as a starter or a reliever. The situation, according to Neal, is heating up quickly.
Harden spent the 2011 season with the A's and posted a 5.12 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 starts. The 31-year-old also missed the bulk of the 2006 and 2007 seasons due to injury.
Pitchers Rich Harden and Brandon Webb both plan to return to pitching in 2013, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Harden missed the 2012 season after undergoing shoulder surgery while Webb has not thrown a pitch in the majors since 2009.
Harden's agent agent Brett Laurvick told Morosi that there is "a lot of interest" from clubs in his client. The right-hander spent the 2011 season with the Athletics and posted a 5.12 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 starts. The 31-year-old has struggled with injuries in the past, having missed the bulk of the 2006 and '07 seasons.
Webb, 33, has dealt with multiple shoulder injuries over the last few years. The 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner signed a one-year, $3MM contract with the Rangers prior to the 2011 season but never made it to the mound. For his career, Webb owns a 3.27 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.
Rich Harden will miss the 2012 season while he recovers from a shoulder operation, Peter Gammons of MLB Network reports on Twitter. Dr. James Andrews repaired a torn capsule in Harden's shoulder last week and the free agent right-hander aims to come back healthy in 2013.
Harden started 15 games for the 2011 Athletics, but he's no stranger to serious injuries, having spent much of the 2006 and 2007 seasons on the disabled list. The 30-year-old posted a 5.12 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 82 2/3 innings for the A's in 2011. He drew interest as a starter and as a reliever this offseason from teams such as the Rockies.
- Free agent right-hander Rich Harden is drawing interest from teams that would use him either as a starter or a reliever, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Harden posted 9.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 82 2/3 innings as a starter for the Athletics in 2011.
- The Twins continue eyeing affordable right-handed relievers and have been in touch with the agent for Dan Wheeler, according to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com. Wheeler, who has also drawn some interest from the Pirates, sits below a couple of pitchers on the Twins’ list.
- The Pirates have had discussions with free agent left-hander Paul Maholm, but it remains highly unlikely that he'll return to Pittsburgh, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Mat Latos trade improved a Padres farm system that already ranked among the game’s best, Jim Callis of Baseball America wrote in this week’s edition of Ask BA.
- One MLB executive suggested to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Cubs and Blue Jays may prefer to pass on Prince Fielder, since Joey Votto projects to hit free agency two years from now when both Chicago and Toronto could have stronger teams (Twitter link).
- Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com provides contract details for Mets relievers Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco, who both agreed to terms during the Winter Meetings.