Ross Detwiler Rumors

Rangers Acquire Ross Detwiler

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.

Ross Detwiler

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.


AL East Notes: Yanks, Detwiler, McLouth, Melky, Sox

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.

AL Central Notes: Indians, Detwiler, Royals, Twins

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.


Nationals Rumors: Desmond, M’s, Detwiler, Clippard

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.

NL East Rumors: Mets, Coke, Breslow, Detwiler

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.

NL East Links: Detwiler, Hamels, Rice

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.

NL East Notes: Mets, Detwiler, Penny

We heard earlier today about Bartolo Colon possibly being a trade candidate this summer, and now here’s some more items from around the NL East…

  • There isn’t any reason for the Mets to fire GM Sandy Alderson or manager Terry Collins since such moves would only prolong the club’s rebuilding process, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post opines.  While the Mets are on pace for another losing, the team is in good shape for the future with young talent on the rise and Chris Young‘s contract seems to be the only true mistake on the current roster.
  • Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler could be a trade target for teams looking to add rotation help, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).  Detwiler “could start for most” teams, as Heyman notes, and the southpaw has had trouble finding a spot in Washington’s deep rotation despite some good career numbers.  Detwiler currently has a 4.00 ERA, 1.29 K/BB rate and 5.5 K/9 in 36 relief innings for the Nats, and he’s had control issues, as his 4.3 BB/9 is markedly up from his 2.6 BB/9 over the previous three seasons.
  • Brad Penny and Marlins GM Dan Jennings talk to Greg Stoda of the Palm Beach Post about Penny’s minor league comeback attempt and why Miami brought Penny back to his original franchise.
  • The impending trade of minor league right-hander Andrew Robinson from the Astros to the Braves is taking an unusually long time to complete for a move outside the 40-man roster, which makes MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo think Robinson could be part of a larger transaction between the two clubs.  Cotillo makes it clear that he is just speculating, however.

Quick Hits: Reds, Lee, Yankees, Nationals

The Reds‘ mostly homegrown rotation prevents them from having to spend big on starting pitching in free agency and gives them a big advantage, Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith writes. Homegrown pitchers like Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Tony Cingrani and Homer Bailey (leaving aside Bailey’s large recent extension, at least) have proven to be cost effective, and even Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon, both from outside the organization, were acquired without the Reds having to turn to the free agent market. Here are more notes from throughout the big leagues.

  • Of the high-impact pitchers who might be available at the trade deadline, the PhilliesCliff Lee makes the most sense for the Yankees, the New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand writes. Lee will have an enormous salary in 2015, but the Yankees ignored the luxury-tax threshold last offseason, and there’s little reason to think they couldn’t do it again. Lee’s injury status (he went on the DL with an elbow strain in May) and huge contract might mean the Yankees could acquire him for a lesser cost in prospects.
  • Lee threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session Friday, Marc Narducci of the Inquirer reports. He is not yet 100 percent, however. “It is not pain . . . it is not discomfort,” Lee says. “I would say it is there.”
  • The Nationals aren’t planning on making any big trades anytime soon, reports MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. They don’t want to trade Danny Espinosa, believing he’s a future All-Star, or Adam LaRoche. They would listen to offers on pitcher Ross Detwiler, but aren’t actively looking to deal him.

Rosenthal On Rangers, Cubs, Jays, Utley, Detwiler

Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via two videos on FOX Sports:

  • In light of Prince Fielder‘s injury, the Rangers could pursue free agent Kendrys Morales, although they will not do so until after the draft, since that would require them to lose a pick. If they fall out of contention, they could trade Alex Rios or Joakim Soria, either of whom could become free agents if the Rangers don’t pick up their 2015 options. They could also consider dealing Elvis Andrus, given their depth of young middle infield talent.
  • When the Cubs and Blue Jays discussed a Jeff Samardzija deal this offseason, the Cubs asked for Drew Hutchison plus either Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman, Rosenthal reports. Especially in retrospect, that would have been a steep price to pay — Hutchison has been terrific in the Jays’ rotation so far this year, and while Sanchez has struggled with walks at Double-A New Hampshire, Stroman continues to look like a top prospect. The Jays are not likely to pursue Samardzija again this summer.
  • All signs indicate that the Phillies will not trade Chase Utley: Utley can veto any trade, he signed an extension last August, and GM Ruben Amaro tells Rosenthal that an Utley deal isn’t going to happen.
  • The Astros are not interested in trading pitchers Dallas Keuchel or Collin McHugh, both 26-year-old pitchers who are having surprisingly strong seasons in Houston’s starting rotation.
  • The Nationals could trade Ross Detwiler, a potential starter who’s currently in their bullpen. He’s currently earning $3MM in his second year of arbitration eligibility. (Detwiler is currently struggling with a 5.24 ERA with 13 strikeouts and 13 walks in 22 1/3 innings. That means the Nationals aren’t likely to get much for him.)

NL Notes: Mets, Samardzija, Detwiler, Nationals

As efforts to recover money in relation to the Bernie Madoff scandal continue, the amount owed by the Mets owners — the Wilpon family — continues to go down, reports ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin. At present, the Wilpons’ obligations sit at just above $80MM. Of course, any continued decrease would presumably improve the overall financial health of the franchise. The Mets checked in with the fifth-highest free agent outlay over the past offseason, and could increasingly be a big player on the open market as GM Sandy Alderson works to supplement the team’s young pitching.

  • Speaking of those young Mets arms, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News writes that several pitching prospects are expected to filter up to the big league roster sooner rather than later. Assistant GM John Ricco says that the team is “getting to the point where it’s probably weeks as opposed to months.” Ricco emphasized that the team was taking the long view, even as the bullpen struggles. “We want to make sure when they come up here they are going to actually help,” he said. “The bigger factor is their development. They will be ready to come up here when they have done everything they needed to do down there.” Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom appear to be closest to making the leap from the Mets minor league ranks, according to the report.
  • While the early season dominance of Cubs staff ace Jeff Samardzija has only heightened attention on his situation, GM Jed Hoyer says that it is still not certain that he will be dealt, as Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com reports. While sources told Rogers that no progress has been made in extension talks, Hoyer said that the line of communication remains open. “We’ve tried to keep things quiet,” said Hoyer. “We’ve had a lot of conversations with him. … There’s been pretty consistent dialogue [that] hasn’t reached the point of fruition yet, but there’s always been a dialogue.”
  • Another pitcher who could conceivably change hands at some point is Ross Detwiler of the Nationals, though that is purely my conjecture at present. The team decided to put him in a bullpen role despite a reasonably solid track record as a starter, emphasizing at the time that he could be an impact, power lefty in relief. But as Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes, the 28-year-old has been used in extremely low-leverage situations this year. Most recently, the club decided not to give him a spot start tonight against the Dodgers — preferring instead to promote Blake Treinen for a one-game stint — and then threw him in relief after the team was already down four runs. Detwiler seems expensive and somewhat over-qualified for his current role as a mop-up reliever. (He is earning $3MM in his second season of arbitration eligibility and has a 3.46 ERA in 301 2/3 innings — mostly as a starter — over 2011-13.)
  • Nationals manager Matt Williams said in an interview with MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that the team’s early injury woes have been frustrating, but not altogether unexpected. “You set out the year and get out of Spring Training with this grand plan,” he said, “realizing that it never goes as planned. It simply doesn’t.” While making room for Wilson Ramos, Bryce Harper, and Doug Fister should be fairly straightforward (and most welcome), the team will face some tough decisions when Ryan Zimmerman makes his return. With Danny Espinosa‘s rebirth, and questions still ongoing with regard to Zimmerman’s ability to defend the hot corner, deft management could be required from the rookie skipper in allocating infield playing time the rest of the way. Also in the interview, Williams addressed the much-discussed handling of his young superstar, Harper. Williams spoke highly of the 21-year-old and said that Harper’s pre-injury benching was team-related, rather than an indictment of Harper himself.