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Ross Detwiler Rumors
1:52pm: MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets that Detwiler’s contract is a Major League deal.
1:42pm: The Braves have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent left-hander Ross Detwiler, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Detwiler, a client of CAA Sports, was recently released by the Rangers after struggling in his first brush with the American League. The Rangers had acquired him from the Nationals in an offseason trade.
Detwiler, 29, was the sixth pick in the 2007 draft out of Missouri State University. Though he never emerged as the consistent rotation option that the Nationals had hoped for when he was selected with that high pick, Detwiler looked the part of a serviceable starter from 2012-13 (3.59 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 in 46 games/40 starts) and posted solid, if unspectacular numbers in the bullpen in 2014. Last year, he notched a 4.00 ERA in 63 innings, averaging 5.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.
The 2015 season, however, has been an ugly on for Detwiler. In 43 innings split between the Texas rotation and bullpen, the lefty has a 7.12 ERA with 5.9 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 and a career-worst 36.4 percent ground-ball rate. With the Rangers, Detwiler cut down on the usage of his four-seamer and relied much more heavily on his sinker, slider and changeup, and the change in pitch selection seems to have contributed to his unfavorable results.
The Braves will hope that a return to the NL East and working with pitching coach Roger McDowell can help Detwiler return to his previously effective form. If nothing else, Detwiler should be a useful relief option against left-handed hitters; even in his poor 2015, he held same-handed batters to a .220/.280/.317 slash line. Throughout his career, lefties have batted just .232/.305/.301 against him.
Detwiler’s earning $3.45MM this season after avoiding arbitration last winter, but the Rangers will be on the hook for all of that figure, less the pro-rated portion of the league minimum for any time spent on Atlanta’s active roster.
JULY 15: The Rangers have requested unconditional release waivers for Detwiler after he rejected an outright assignment, tweets Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
As a player with more than five years of big league service, Detwiler has earned the right to reject his minor league assignment without having to forfeit the remaining $1.55MM of his 2015 salary. The Rangers will remain on the hook for that amount, less the pro-rated portion of the league minimum for any time he spends on another club’s active roster.
If there’s a silver lining on Detwiler’s rough season, it’s that he’s still held left-handed hitters in check quite well. Same-handed batters have posted a meager .220/.283/.317 batting line in 46 plate appearances versus Detwiler this season. Over the course of his career, he’s held them to a similarly weak .232/.305/.301 line. Perhaps, then, a club in need of left-handed relief help will show interest in Detwiler once he officially becomes a free agent.
JULY 11: The Rangers have announced that they’ve designated lefty Ross Detwiler for assignment. The move clears space on the Rangers’ active roster for righty Roman Mendez, who has been promoted from Triple-A Round Rock.
The Rangers acquired Detwiler from the Nationals for two prospects in December. He got off to a poor start in Texas, with a 10.95 ERA through his first three outings, and never really righted the ship. He still had a 6.95 ERA in mid-May when he went on the DL with shoulder trouble, and he continued to struggle after returning a few weeks later. Overall, Detwiler posted a 7.12 ERA with 5.9 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 and a career-low 36.4% ground-ball rate in 43 innings split between the rotation and the bullpen. His $3.45MM salary will likely prevent him from being claimed.
Prior to 2015, Detwiler enjoyed six modestly successful years with the Nationals, who made him the No. 6 overall pick in the draft in 2007. For his career, he has a 4.10 ERA, 5.5 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 514 innings.
The Dodgers released closer Brian Wilson back in December, but he’s apparently kept himself busy, recently playing Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn in a live reading of Major League as the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art. Grantland’s Dave Schilling reports that the flamboyant Wilson dressed for the event in an ’80s Indians uniform and imitated Charlie Sheen’s delivery while reading for the part. Here are more quick notes from around baseball.
- Agent Scott Boras was critical of the Cubs for their handling of the timing of Kris Bryant‘s promotion, but he has no such complaints about the White Sox promoting Carlos Rodon at a similar point in the season, Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com writes. Of course, the two situations are different — Bryant had a full year in the minors after being drafted and had significant time in Triple-A before reaching the Majors, whereas Rodon, who the White Sox picked third overall last June, had neither. And Boras says that he likes that the White Sox plan to be conservative with Rodon’s innings. “The Bryant situation and Carlos’ situation are very different because of the innings issue,” says Boras. “Because of the idea that frankly, you really want this process to get a foundation to it for a pitcher rather than building — because there’s no repetition in amateur baseball that prepares you for what Major League pitchers have to go through.” The White Sox are having Rodon begin his big-league career in the bullpen, much as they did with Chris Sale.
- Ross Detwiler has struggled to a 10.95 ERA through his first three starts with the Rangers, but manager Jeff Banister plans to stick with the slumping southpaw, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Detwiler feels he’s found a flaw in his delivery while watching video of Sunday’s start that will allow him to return to form. The Rangers picked up Detwiler in a trade that sent Chris Bostick and Abel De Los Santos to the Nationals this offseason, but his initial results are clearly not what the team expected.
With the deadline to exchange arbitration figures set for noon CT, there figure to be a large number of agreements to avoid arb today, as there were yesterday. All arbitration agreements can be followed using MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker, and we’ll keep track of today’s smaller agreements in this post, with all projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz…
- Righty Henderson Alvarez agreed to a $4MM deal with the Marlins, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today on Twitter. Alvarez had been projected to earn $4.5MM after putting up a huge 187-inning, 2.65 ERA campaign entering his first season of arb eligibility.
- The Athletics have agreed to a $1.4MM deal with righty Ryan Cook that includes, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports on Twitter. Cook gets a slight increase over the $1.3MM he had been projected to earn. Oakland has also inked outfielder Sam Fuld to a $1.75MM deal, per Mike Perchik of WAPT (via Twitter). He too lands just above his projection, which was for $1.6MM.
- Outfielder Collin Cowgill avoided arbitration with the Angels for $995K, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. He was projected to earn $900K.
- Righties David Carpenter and Nathan Eovaldi both have deals with the Yankees, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports on Twitter. Carpenter will earn about $1.3MM while Eovaldi will take home $3.3MM
- The Rockies have a deal in place with lefty Rex Brothers, tweets MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Brothers was projected to earn $1.3MM but will take home $1.4MM, Harding adds via Twitter.
- ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that the Cubs have settled with both Travis Wood and Luis Valbuena (Twitter links). Wood will receive $5.686MM — a bit north of his $5.5MM projection, while Valbuena will earn $4.2MM, per Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald (on Twitter). Valbuena was projected to earn $3.1MM.
- Mike Perchick of WAPT in New Jersey has a wave of arbitration agreements, starting with the Astros and Hank Conger settling on a $1.075MM, which is just $25K behind Swartz’s projection (Twitter link).
- Also via Perchick, the Athletics and Brett Lawrie settled on a $1.925MM contract (Twitter links). Lawrie, who had been projected at $1.8MM, was acquired by Oakland in the Josh Donaldson blockbuster.
- Rockies backstop Michael McKenry will earn $1.0876MM in 2015, via Perchick. McKenry was projected by Swartz to earn $1.5MM.
- Michael Pineda and the Yankees settled on a $2.1MM salary for the upcoming season, Perchick tweets, which is a direct match with Swartz’s projection.
- Domonic Brown and the Phillies settled on a one-year pact worth $2.6MM, via Perchick, which represents a difference of just $100K between Swartz’s projection and the actual figure. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com tweets that Ben Revere has avoided arbitration as well, and the club now announces that he’ll earn $4.1MM — $100K north of his $4MM projection.
- Red Sox setup man Junichi Tazawa agreed to a $2.25MM payday, according to Perchick. Swartz had pegged him for a $2MM contract.
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After a season in which their pitching staff (and position players) were ravaged by injuries, the Rangers have added an arm to solidify their staff, announcing the acquisition Ross Detwiler from the Nationals. In exchange, Washington will receive righty Abel De Los Santos and infielder Chris Bostick.
Detwiler, a former first-round pick, enters his age-29 season after a somewhat disappointing 2014 campaign. Working from the pen, Detwiler threw 63 innings of 4.00 ERA ball with 5.6 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9.
Previously, Detwiler had established himself as a fairly solid starter: he carried a 3.46 ERA over 301 2/3 frames from 2011-13, most of it working from the rotation. But the Nats shifted him to the pen given the team’s stacked rotation and the possibility that his stuff would play up in that role. Realistically, he did not have much of a place on this year’s Nationals roster with several lefties and starting depth pieces in place.
The southpaw comes with just one year of control — at a projected $3.3MM price tag — but will provide Texas with a rotation option or possible swingman piece. MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes that the Rangers will give Detwiler the opportunity to start, though he could ultimately end up in a setup role if that does not pan out. While it is perhaps optimistic to say he has significant upside at this stage of his career, Detwiler could still deliver plenty of value for the Rangers. In particular, his solid 46.5 percent career ground-ball rate should be an asset with Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre in the infield.
The 21-year-old De Los Santos split the 2014 season between Class-A and Class-A Advanced, posting an outstanding 1.92 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 56 1/3 innings of relief. In his review of the Rangers’ prospects, Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel mentioned De Los Santos as a potential power arm in the bullpen.
Bostick, also 21, was acquired by the Rangers in last year’s Craig Gentry trade. He spent the season with Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach and batted a respectable .251/.332/.412 with 11 homers and 24 steals (though he was caught 11 times as well). Bostick ranked 18th among A’s prospects at the time he was dealt to the Rangers, but his numbers in the Florida State League represented a decline from his work in the Midwest League a year prior.
This swap largely kicks off the offseason for both clubs. They have previously been linked in several trade scenarios, but nothing has been consummated. In fact, per MLBTR’s Transaction Tracker, the last time Texas and Washington matched up on a deal, the Nats acquired Tanner Roark — the man who in large part kept Detwiler from a rotation spot last year.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports first reported that the Rangers would acquire Detwiler (on Twitter). USA Today’s Scott Boeck reported that Bostick and De Los Santos were headed to the Nats (Twitter link).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Yankees came away from the Winter Meetings without completing any deals, though it wasn’t for lack of trying, GM Brian Cashman told reporters, including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “We threw a lot of ideas a lot of different ways, but we’ve got a long way between now and Opening Day,” said Cashman as he left the meetings. We’ll keep our conversations that still are ongoing alive, and just wait and see.” Hoch writes that the Yankees never made proposals to David Robertson or Brandon McCarthy, the latter of whom “went to a level we couldn’t play on,” in Cashman’s words.
More from the AL East…
- The Orioles had definite interest in Ross Detwiler before the Nats traded him to the Rangers, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. That he ended up in Texas may be best for the player himself, however, as Kubatko notes that Baltimore would’ve kept Detwiler in the ‘pen. The Rangers plan to use him as a starter, which is his preference.
- Also from Kubatko, the Orioles have interest in bringing back old friend Nate McLouth, though not at his current $5MM (plus a $750K buyout of a 2016 option) price tag. The Nationals are willing to eat part of that salary to move McLouth, Kubatko adds, but the Orioles will wait to see if he is released for the time being.
- The Orioles have some interest in Melky Cabrera, reports Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, but only on a two- or three-year deal (Twitter link). Cabrera is said to be eyeing a five-year deal, however, and the Mariners’ previously reported interest appears to be stronger than that of the Orioles, based on Encina’s tweet.
- Though the Red Sox have five starters (or will have five, once the Wade Miley trade is completed), Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that they’re still a match for Cole Hamels. He speculates that an arm like Joe Kelly could be a part of a trade with the Phillies, thereby opening a spot in the Boston rotation.
- Peter Gammons looks at the reconstructed Red Sox rotation, noting a heavy emphasis on ground-ball pitchers that places some pressure on Xander Bogaerts and Pablo Sandoval. Gammons notes that the Red Sox brass is aware of its lack of a front-line starter. They’d like to add James Shields, but “exit polls” at the Winter Meetings had him going to the Giants, according to Gammons. Johnny Cueto is of interest, but the “timing and price isn’t there right now,” and Hamels negotiations with the Phillies have been difficult for all teams involved.
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The Indians are pursuing free agent starter Brett Anderson, ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweets. If he’s healthy, the talented but oft-injured Anderson would provide a wild card and a left arm for a talented Indians rotation that currently includes Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer and T.J. House. Anderson has recently been connected to the Twins, Rockies, Royals and Astros. Here’s more from the AL Central.
- The Royals discussed a potential Ross Detwiler trade with the Nationals, but talks didn’t advance, James Wagner of the Washington Post tweets. The Royals saw the lefty reliever and Missouri native as “more of a backup option,” Wagner notes. Detwiler, 28, posted a 4.00 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 63 innings with the Nats last season.
- There has been plenty of interest in Twins middle infielders Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar, but the Twins do not want to trade either one, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. Dozier and Escobar were among Minnesota’s most productive position players last season, so it’s understandable that the Twins would be reluctant to part with them, although they also got very good seasons from fellow middle infielder Danny Santana and from third baseman Trevor Plouffe.
The Nationals and Mariners have discussed Ian Desmond on several occasions but talks between the two teams have yet to really gain traction, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter). Washington likes Brad Miller, so conceivably the young shortstop could be part of a larger package the M’s would send back to D.C. Here’s some more about the Nationals…
- Jordan Zimmermann has been drawn more trade attention than Desmond this week, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi.
- The Nats are actively discussing Ross Detwiler and Tyler Clippard with multiple teams, Rosenthal tweets.
- The Nationals still want a second base upgrade and they’re talking with lots of teams about Clippard and Jerry Blevins, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).
- The Nationals have inquired on Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist, but it appears like a long shot to pry him away, according James Wagner of the Washington Post.
- Jed Lowrie would appear to be a fit for the Nationals but there doesn’t appear to be anything happening on that front, Wagner writes.
- General Manager Mike Rizzo has said throughout the winter that Anthony Rendon could slide to second base should they acquire a third baseman. While some rolled their eyes at the notion of moving Rendon away from his natural position, people around the Nationals tell Wagner that they are indeed looking at third baseman and if there is a good one to be had, Rendon would be shifted to second.
- The sense from teams that asked the Nationals about Clippard is that Washington wants better than a low-tier prospect and trading him wouldn’t be simply to dump his $9MM salary, according to Wagner.
The latest batch of rumors out of the National League East..
- The Mets have had preliminary contact with free agent reliever Phil Coke, but there have been no substantive discussions yet, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- The Mets have cast a wide net on lefty relievers but at this time nothing is close and no one in that group stands out, according to Marc Carig of Newsday (via Twitter). He also hears that the Mets are not engaged with Coke.
- The Mets met with the reps for Neal Cotts and Craig Breslow, but neither appear to be likely options, according to Carig (via Twitter).
- The Nationals are also open to moving Ross Detwiler to teams that value him as a starter and, therefore, would give them more in return, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Here’s the latest from the NL East…
- Ross Detwiler‘s camp “has suggested” that the Nationals trade the left-hander if possible, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports. After being used as a starter and swingman in previous seasons, Detwiler was used solely as a reliever in 2014 and he posted a 4.00 ERA and -0.2 fWAR over 63 IP. He told Wagner that he had trouble getting used to an irregular bullpen schedule and isn’t sure what his future holds in Washington. “I don’t feel they have confidence [in me] so I don’t feel like I’m going to be in any significant role whatsoever,” Detwiler said. Nats GM Mike Rizzo said he expects Detwiler to fill the same role as a reliever and emergency starter, though Wagner wonders if the club could non-tender Detwiler to save some money. The southpaw is arbitration-eligible and projected to earn $3.3MM by MLBTR’s Matt Swartz.
- Given the overlap between the teams trying to acquire Cole Hamels from the Phillies and the teams trying to sign Jon Lester, Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com looks at how the Lester market could best benefit the Phillies. Since the Red Sox and Cubs are heavily rumored to be going after both lefties, Seidman figures that Lester signing with either Boston or Chicago would hurt the Phillies’ trade demands, as one major suitor would be off the board. Lester signing with the Giants or Yankees would keep both the Cubs and Sox in the Hamels, plus the Red Sox could be more eager to obtain an ace starter to keep up with New York. Lester going to the Giants could also bring the Dodgers into the Hamels market to keep pace with San Francisco, Seidman writes.
- There has been some discussion within the Mets front office about re-signing left-hander Scott Rice, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports. Rice would be brought back on a minor league contract and invited to the big league Spring Training camp. The Mets outrighted Rice off their 40-man roster last month and he elected free agency following a 2014 campaign that saw him post a 5.93 ERA, 8.6 K/9 and 7.9 BB/9 over 13 2/3 IP.
- Jeff Todd covered some Phillies and Marlins items as part of an NL Notes post earlier today on MLBTR.