Ross Ohlendorf Rumors
The latest from the Bucs, who are looking to keep their streak of losing seasons from reaching 20 next year...
- The Pirates are expected to decline contract options on Ryan Doumit, Chris Snyder and Paul Maholm, plus non-tender Ross Ohlendorf, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Doumit will earn a $500K buyout and says he hasn't considered renegotiating his contract in order to possibly remain in Pittsburgh.
- Ohlendorf tells Biertempfel that he'd like to return next season. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes listed Ohlendorf as "on the non-tender bubble" in his recent analysis of the Buccos' arbitration-eligible players. Ohlendorf would receive just a modest raise from his $2.025MM salary in 2011, though Biertempfel believes that the Pirates can't afford paying that much to a pitcher who projects best as an extra bullpen arm.
- With Doumit and Snyder possibly both gone, it could leave the catcher's job wide open for Michael McKenry. Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talked to McKenry about how the young backstop has developed this season.
The Cardinals won and the Braves lost, so only 2.5 games separate the two clubs in the National League Wild Card race. Here's the latest news from around MLB...
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington didn't say whether he intends to offer arbitration to Ross Ohlendorf this offseason, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Ohlendorf would earn a raise from his current $2.025MM salary if the Pirates tender him a contract this winter.
- The Cubs told scouting director Tim Wilken that he'll be back in 2012, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. There had been some rumblings that Wilken would receive a four-year extension like the one director of player personnel Oneri Fleita obtained, but Wilken will return on a one-year deal.
- Giants officials acknowledged to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that it will be hard to bring back both Jeremy Affeldt ($5MM option) and Javier Lopez (free agent) next year. The two left-handers could hit free agency this offseason.
- Jayson Werth told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that he still believes that the Nationals are headed for success. The outfielder hasn't lived up to his $126MM contract so far, but he says he has found his swing and regained his composure.
- Mike Mosa, the agent for Tim Byrdak, told MLBTR's Tim Dierkes that Byrdak's decision to sign an extension with the Mets had to do with the team's willingness to include an opt-out in his deal for 2011 (Twitter link).
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explains that serious analysts don't believe "that awards voting should be done according to an ordinal ranking" of the wins above replacement statistic. WAR is a tool that guides baseball fans, not an absolute statement about value or ability.
- In this week's edition of Ask BA, Jim Callis of Baseball America explains that he doubts we'll ever see an international draft because of all the logistics that would be involved. Commissioner Bud Selig has long supported a worldwide draft, which will come up during this round of collective bargaining.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports brought us another edition of Full Count today while sporting yet another fantastic bow tie. Here are some highlights..
- The Marlins could wind up trading Ricky Nolasco if they fail to get back to the .500 mark. The Rangers have shown interest in Nolasco since last winter and the Yankees could look to reunite him with manager Joe Girardi. If the Fish make such a deal, it won't be in one of their classic salary dumps, it will be instead for baseball reasons. They're looking to increase their payroll ahead of their move into a brand new stadium and they could be major players for free agents this winter.
- The Rays still could end up as sellers but right now they appear to be buyers as they were looking to get Francisco Rodriguez before the Brewers swooped in at the final hour. If Tampa Bay sells, it's doubtful that they'll move any of their starters but B.J. Upton is another story. In theory, the Nationals, Phillies, and Braves could all be potential destinations for the outfielder.
- The three teams with the best chance of meeting the Rockies' asking price for Ubaldo Jimenez are the Yankees, Tigers, and Reds. The concerns with Jimenez are that he's not back to his 2009/early 2010 form and that his velocity has dropped. One scout told Rosenthal that he's not back to his ace form yet but he's getting close.
- The first-place Pirates are after upgrades but they should also improve from within. They have a number of injured players returning such as Jose Tabata, Evan Meek, and Ross Ohlendorf. The Bucs continue to search for a bat but they're not terribly interested in the Cubs' Carlos Pena.
On this date in 1916, the Cubs purchased future Hall of Famer Three Finger Brown from the Chicago Whales. The right-hander's career was over 12 appearances later, but he retired with a 2.06 ERA (139 ERA+) and 239 wins. Here's the latest on some of the Cubs' division rivals...
- The Phillies have watched former Reds reliever Jon Coutlangus throw recently, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The lefty logged 41 innings for the 2007 Reds and has a 3.94 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 189 2/3 minor league innings.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch points out that few players have put St. Louis on their no-trade lists in recent years.
- Fernando Gonzalez isn't the only Dominican prospect the Cardinals signed. Goold reports that the Cardinals have agreed to sign 17-year-old outfielder Jorge Araujo. Vice president of player procurement Jeff Luhnow says the left-handed hitter is "toolsy."
- Paul Swydan of FanGraphs asks whether Ross Ohlendorf used advanced stats to beat the Pirates in arbitraiton and concludes that it wasn't necessarily to Ohlendorf's advantage to use anything more complicated than ERA, WHIP and K/BB. The right-hander beat the Pirates in arbitration yesterday after winning one game in 2010.
- The incentives in Shaun Marcum's deal were part of the reason the Brewers were able to avoid arbitration with him. MLB.com's Adam McCalvy has the details on Marcum's incentives, which provide the former Blue Jay with a $200K bonus if he reaches the 200-inning plateau.
Ross Ohlendorf won just one game last year, but it didn't take him long to pick up his first victory of 2011. The right-hander beat the Pirates in arbitration, MLBTR has learned. Ohlendorf will earn $2.025MM instead of the $1.4MM salary the Pirates had offered.
Ohlendorf, a super two player, posted a 4.07 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 to go along with his 1-11 record last year. The 28-year-old has a 4.40 ERA in 354 big league innings with the Pirates and Yankees. He set himself up for higher future salaries by beating the Pirates, who have now come to terms with all of their arbitration eligible players.
Ohlendorf is seeking $2.02MM while the club is offering $1.4MM, as our Arbitration Tracker shows, leaving a midpoint of $1.71MM. The hearing marks the first of the 2010-11 offseason and the Pirates' first since Jack Wilson in 2004, blogs Rob Biertempfel of TribLIVE.com.
Ohlendorf, 28, has started 50 games over the past two seasons with the Bucs, and has a career ERA of 4.40 in his four-year career spent with Pittsburgh and the Yankees. He earned $439K last season, when he went 1-11 and posted a 4.07 ERA in 21 starts.
In addition to Ohlendorf, 12 other arbitration-eligible players have not yet settled their 2011 salaries: Carlos Marmol, Delmon Young, Hunter Pence, James Loney, Jered Weaver, Jeremy Guthrie, Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton, Kelly Johnson, Luke Scott, Rickie Weeks and Shaun Marcum.
Of course, they could have hearings or avoid hearings by settling on one- or multiyear deals.
On this day in 2006, Frank Thomas officially parted ways with the White Sox, signing a free agent contract with the Athletics. The Big Hurt left Chicago after suffering through two injury-plagued years, a dispute with GM Kenny Williams and virtually no role in the team's run to the 2005 World Series title. Thomas had a huge bounce-back year with the A's, posting a .926 OPS to help lead Oakland to the ALCS.
Some news to wrap up a busy Monday night...
- Both Ross Ohlendorf and the Pirates would prefer to avoid an arbitration hearing, but "each party [is] hesitant to budge too much" from the $625K gap in proposed salaries, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. The Bucs don't want Ohlendorf's price driven up for future arb years, though Ohlendorf is only asking for $2.025MM in 2011. As the Arbtracker tells us, Ohlendorf is Pittsburgh's last remaining arbitration-eligible player without a contract.
- Jason Isringhausen had a throwing session for Reds pitching coach Bryan Price today and "threw the ball fine," Price told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty was non-committal about the chances of Isringhausen rejoining the Reds organization on a minor league deal. "We're not sure if we will pursue it or not," Jocketty said. "We'll discuss it in the next few days. We have quite a bit of right-handed pitching."
- Jim Edmonds' agent tells Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link) that Edmonds will "probably" know by early next week if he'll retire or try to come back in 2011. Walt Jocketty recently opined that Edmonds would retire.
- If Jesus Flores proves he's healthy during Spring Training, MLB.com's Bill Ladson thinks the Nationals might try to trade him to a catcher-needy team.
- The Orioles had no shortage of needs this offseason, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun points out that the O's have "at least theoretically, filled each of the roster's gaping holes that loomed in October."
- The Twins and Royals both appear to be finished their winter additions. MLB.com's Kelly Thesier says Minnesota is out of payroll space, and Dayton Moore tells Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star that the Royals are done shopping "unless something comes up that we’re not expecting." Moore wouldn't comment on rumors that K.C. is looking at Kevin Millwood.
Links for Friday...
- Justin Duchscherer threw 50-55 pitches in front of two teams today, including the Orioles according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun. Duchscherer has invited every team except the Athletics to a public workout next Tuesday. Connolly says it's possible he'll sign before then. (Twitter links)
- "Both sides of the table are hopeful of finding a solution without going to a hearing," said Pirates GM Neal Huntington to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch when asked about Ross Ohlendorf's arbitration case. "But both sides are fully prepared to go to a hearing if that's the only way to find a resolution. That's not an ideal ending, and I think both sides are fully aware of the ramifications if we had to go there." Pittsburgh hasn't gone to a hearing with a player since Jack Wilson in 2004. Our Arbitration Tracker shows that Ohlendorf filed for $2.02MM, the team $1.4MM.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock says we shouldn't expect the Padres to move any starting pitchers in Spring Training this year.
- The Athletics announced that infielder Steven Tolleson has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A. He was designated for assignment last week when Oakland announced the Brian Fuentes signing.
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times has some odds and ends from around the baseball universe; let's take a look at some of the highlights:
- The trades of players like Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt signify that the Astros have finally moved on and are looking ahead. Wandy Rodriguez is the only remaining player who played in the 2005 World Series with the club.
- General manager Ed Wade refuted speculation that he prefers to trade with the Phillies, the team for which he served as general manager from 1998-2005. Instead, he simply says that the Phillies provided the best offers to improve the Astros. Wade has traded both Oswalt and Brad Lidge to Philadelphia.
- Wade praises first-year manager Brad Mills for keeping the Astros focused after a 17-34 start to the season. Houston went 17-12 in August and has recently swept both the Phillies and Cardinals.
- Edwin Jackson is happy to be in Chicago on a fresh start. “It’s like a new season,” Jackson said. Earlier today we heard that Daniel Hudson, one of the players the Diamondbacks received in the deal, is experiencing similar enjoyment in Arizona.
- Kepner points out that the pitchers acquired from the Yankees in recent years haven't panned out for the Pirates. Ross Ohlendorf has experienced some success, but Jeff Karstens and Daniel McCutchen have both disappointed. All three came to Pittsburgh in the trade for Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady. It's worth pointing out that the other component of that trade was Jose Tabata, who has played very well in his first taste of the big leagues this year.
9:43am: Sherman tweets that the deal is done.
9:08am: Not surprisingly, the Yankees will pay Vazquez's entire salary, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter).
8:40am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that it's a two for one deal. The money is still unclear, though it would be a surprise to see the Braves pay any of Vazquez's $11.5MM salary next year.
8:34am: The Yankees are closing in on a deal for Vazquez, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Heyman says the Yankees will acquire Vazquez and Boone Logan for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and a prospect.
TUESDAY, 8:08am: Olney reports (via Twitter) that the Yanks have inquired on Pirates pitchers Ross Ohlendorf, Paul Maholm and Zach Duke before. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Yankees aren't trading for Duke or Mahlom (though he doesn't mention Ohlendorf).
MONDAY, 9:11pm: Now Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that the Yankees are "close to a deal for a starting pitcher, says a source. Still working on who, but I'm told it's not a salary dump deal."
8:55pm: Now Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets "Hear that Yankees have 'two or three' serious trade talks for starting pitcher - Harang isn't one of them." FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal adds via Twitter: "Source: Yankees in 'active negotiations' for a starting pitcher. Not Harang. Trying to find out who."
8:07pm: Could this be related to what David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote in the comments section of his blog earlier this evening?
"Got a call from a NY writer today wanting to know if I’d heard anything heating up between Yankees and Braves…. Apparently Yankees have hinted at doing “something big” soon. Don’t know if that means pitching."
Hard to imagine the Yankees will go another round with Javier Vazquez, but could this mean Derek Lowe? Like Harang, the Yankees could be among the few teams able to take on Lowe's three-year, $45MM deal.
7:49pm: ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets the following: "Yankees working very hard tonight on deal for starting pitcher. Remember that they came close to deal for Aaron Harang in summer."
If Harang is indeed the target, the Yankees could be one of the few teams that could afford him. Harang is due $12.5MM in 2010, with a $12.75MM team option for 2011 (and more likely, a $2MM buyout).
Harang pitched to a 4.21 ERA in 162 1/3 innings with Cincinnati in 2009, though his peripherals- 142 strikeouts, 43 walks- were strong.
With Andy Pettitte, C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett all under contract for 2010- acquiring Harang would likely spell the end of either Philip Hughes or Joba Chamberlain in the 2010 rotation plans.