Robert Andino Rumors
Earlier this month we heard that the Padres were looking for a utility player for their bench, and it appears they've turned their attention to Alberto Gonzalez and Robert Andino. MASNsports.com's Phil Wood reports that San Diego has been "looking hard" at the Nationals' utility infielder, while MLB.com's Corey Brock says Andino is on the radar as well (Twitter link). Both players are out of options.
Gonzalez, 28 in April, has spent the last two full years and part of a third in the nation's capitol, hitting .266/.302/.350 overall. He has plenty of experience at second, third, and short, and has also dabbled at first base and in right field. The Padres currently have Jarrett Hoffpauir, Kevin Frandsen, and Jesus Guzman in camp competing for the utility infielder's job, and the Nats have depth at the position with Jerry Hairston Jr. and Alex Cora.
Andino, 27 in April, is a .226/.275/.318 career hitting in 440 plate appearances, most of which have come with the Orioles. The vast majority of his playing time has come at short, though he's also seen time at second, third, left, and center fields. Baltimore has Cesar Izturis, Nick Green, and Brendan Harris on their utility infielder depth chart as well.
WEDNESDAY, 1:09pm: Andino has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple A Norfolk, according to an Orioles press release. MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli has comments from Andino on the situation.
The recent acquisition of Julio Lugo from the Cardinals made the soon-to-be 26-year-old expendable. Baltimore GM Andy MacPhail says that the roster, barring injury, is now set, according to MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli.
In 215 plate appearances for the O's last season, Andino hit .222/.274/.288 with 2 HRs. However, he played an above-average shortstop, posting a UZR/150 of 6.3.
Robert Andino is out of options and the Orioles just added Julio Lugo, so as MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli reports, Andino's future with the Orioles is anything but certain. The Orioles aren't likely to carry two middle infield backups, but they would have to pass Andino through waivers before sending the 25-year-old to the minors. The O's have two days to set their Opening Day roster and that makes Andino a trade candidate. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told Ghiroli that the club is considering a number of options.
"We will see how that plays out," MacPhail said. "We still have some moving pieces, and we will see how that shakes out here in the next week."
A week ago, the Rangers would have seemed like a logical fit for Andino, who has experience around the infield. The Rangers have since added Andres Blanco, who promptly won the team's utility infield job. At this point, the Rangers' interest in Andino presumably depends in part on the team's confidence that Ian Kinsler's sprained ankle will soon heal.
4:21pm: Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has Larry Beinfest's thoughts on the Marlins' acquisitions today. Berardino also says Dallas McPherson "might wind up with the Yankees."
11:54am: Interesting swap today: the Marlins acquired pitcher Hayden Penn from the Orioles for shortstop Robert Andino. Both players are out of options.
Penn, 24, wasn't able to crack the Orioles' weak rotation. Perhaps he can recover the promise he had back in '05 and '06 with a fresh start.
Andino, 25 later this month, hit .287/.356/.497 in his second attempt at Triple A. He was blocked by Hanley Ramirez in Florida, but he plays strong defense and may be able to chip away at Cesar Izturis' playing time in Baltimore. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun says it looks like Chris Gomez will be released now. Schmuck also has Andy MacPhail's explanation of the deal.
10:39pm: Frisaro says the Marlins released McPherson, as they were unable to find a trade.
10:36am: Joe Frisaro of MLB.com has the latest on the Marlins.
- Out of options Marlins shortstop Robert Andino remains on the Pirates' radar; the interest dates back to at least the Winter Meetings. Frisaro wonders if the idea of an Andino-Brian Bixler swap could be reignited. However, with Andino being out of options and Bixler raising his profile during Spring Training, that seems unlikely. My own speculation - the San Diego would be a good destination for Andino.
- Frisaro says the Marlins appear to be shopping third baseman Dallas McPherson, who is also out of options. McPherson, 28, hit .275/.379/.618 with 42 home runs in 448 at-bats last year at Triple A. Projection systems remain unimpressed, but I'd like to see what he could do in Minute Maid Park.
- The Marlins are eyeing lefty relief help, with Frisaro naming Pittsburgh's Sean Burnett and free agent Ron Villone as possibilities.
4:53pm: According to John Perrotto of Pirates Report, the Pirates are also interested in Niemann. He says the Bucs also remain interested in Robert Andino and Jeff Baker.
Additionally, Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse says the Rockies have jumped in on Hammel.
11:16am: Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote Saturday regarding the Padres' interest in Rays pitcher Jeff Niemann:
In return, the defending American League champions have inquired about Padres prospects Simon Castro, Wynn Pelzer, Juedy Valdez and Nick Schmidt. The Padres have deemed the price too high. Niemann is out of minor league options, reducing the Rays' trade leverage.
Out of those four Baseball America likes righty Castro the most, ranking him 14th among Padres prospects. Pitchers Pelzer (16) and Schmidt (21) also make their top 30.
Niemann will make a minor league start today, perhaps his last chance to win the fifth starter job. The decision will probably be made today; Jason Hammel appears to be the favorite. UPDATE: Niemann tossed six scoreless innings.
Links for Thursday...
- The Nationals remain interested in Duaner Sanchez, says Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan talked to Mark Prior.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post heard Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras consider the contract with the Dodgers a one-year deal with a safety net. Sherman wonders if the Yankees and/or Mets could get involved depending on how Manny's 2009 season plays out.
- Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon commented about Manny to Chris Jones in the April issue of Esquire. It's a good article and there's a lot more to it than the Manny comments.
- Free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez is working out at first base, according to Will Gonzalez of MLB.com.
- The Padres have the third pick in the June draft. Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune asks whether they'll finally take a player with big upside.
- Jake Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod seems to be writing off the Padres, in comments to Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune: "It's tough with the Padres' situation. They are not very good and it looks like it is going to be another long year for them."
- Marlins shortstop Robert Andino is out of options, so Mike Phillips of the Miami Herald says this is his audition.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says Mark Mulder's audition is drawing closer and he's throwing well. Olney also says Luis Gonzalez is waiting by the phone. For a look at the other remaining free agents, click here.
6:52pm: Frisaro says Pirates shortstop Brian Bixler is a name that has surfaced as a possible return for Andino.
6:20pm: Kovacevic says this trade "looks as if it might not advance past the talking stage."
11:51am: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald notes that Andino is out of options and Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez has publicly admired Paulino.
11:33am: Related note from MLB.com's Joe Frisaro:
There has been talks at the Winter Meetings about Florida showing interest in catcher Ronny Paulino. But according to a National League source, there didn't seem to be any discussions about sending the catcher to the Marlins.
11:08am: According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are discussing a trade with the Marlins for shortstop Robert Andino. It's not known who else is being discussed, but Kovacevic notes the Marlins' earlier interest in catcher Ronny Paulino.
Andino, 24 in April, has a .549 OPS in his brief Major League career. He did show a little potential in his second stint at Triple A though. Baseball America wrote in their 2007 Handbook that Andino plays "exemplary defense."