Ryan Webb Rumors
The Orioles and right-hander Ryan Webb have agreed to a two-year, $4.5MM contract, according to Jonah Keri of Grantland and Baseball Tonight (Twitter link). Webb, who was somewhat surprisingly non-tendered by the Marlins earlier in the week, is represented by the Wasserman Media Group.
As Keri notes, the Orioles like that Webb has a similarly high ground-ball rate to the recently traded Jim Johnson (Twitter links). Indeed, Webb's 56.3 percent ground-ball rate in 2013 was just a shade below Johnson's mark of 58 percent. In total, Webb posted a 2.91 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 80 1/3 innings for the Marlins last season.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has been active on the bullpen front this offseason. In addition to trading Johnson, he's added under-the-radar options in left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz and right-hander Edgmer Escalona to surprising, albeit low-risk Major League contracts.
Webb projected to earn just $1.5MM through arbitration this offseason (per MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz), so his agents did well to secure a two-year pact at a higher annual value.
Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of National League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.
- The Reds non-tendered outfielders Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson, according to the AP. Robinson had been designated for assignment last Thursday to open a roster spot for Skip Schumaker.
- The Rockies have non-tendered reliever Mitchell Boggs, tweets Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
- The Dodgers have non-tendered Ronald Belisario, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
- The Marlins have non-tendered outfielder Chris Coghlan and reliever Ryan Webb, the club announced via press release.
- The Pirates have non-tendered Garrett Jones, Michael McKenry, and Kyle McPherson, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Giants have non-tendered Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Cubs have non-tendered Mat Gamel, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The club has also non-tendered Chang-Yong Lim, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com.
- The Mets officially announced their slate of non-tenders, which includes a few new names in Jeremy Hefner and Justin Turner (via tweet from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News).
- The Braves announced that they have non-tendered infielders Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish as well as right-hander Cristhian Martinez (Twitter link). Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances between the Royals and Braves last season. Janish was less productive in 45 PAs, batting .171/.222/.220. Martinez, 31, missed nearly the entire season due to shoulder surgery. However, he posted a 3.63 ERA in 151 1/3 innings for Atlanta from 2011-12, making him a potential buy-low candidate for another club.
- The Mets have non-tendered Jordany Valdespin, Rubin reports. Valdespin has been a persistent source of drama for the Mets, lashing out at manager Terry Collins after being demoted and also being slapped with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is a career .219/.271/.380 hitter in 350 big league plate appearances. Valdespin's non-tender comes despite him not yet being arbitration eligible, illustrating the Mets' frustration with the second baseman/outfielder.
- The Cubs will non-tender right-hander Daniel Bard, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. Bard was claimed off waivers in September and never threw a pitch for the Cubs organization. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford notes that Bard was pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League but walked nine batters while recording just one out. The Cubs could still agree to a non-roster deal with Bard, he adds. Bard's control has vanished into thin air, as the formerly dominant setup man has also walked 56 batters over his past 47 1/3 minor league frames.
- The Mets have informed shortstop Omar Quintanilla that he will be non-tendered, Quintanilla told Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger. Quintanilla projected to earn $900K this offseason after batting .222/.306/.283 in a career-high 359 plate appearances last season.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin tweets that the Mets will also non-tender Scott Atchison. The right-hander projected to earn $1.3MM coming off a 4.37 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 45 1/3 innings. Atchison will turn 38 in late March.
The Marlins have improved greatly over the course of the season, as evidenced by their 22-17 record since May 31. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes that the team attributes the success to a young core coming together and isn't likely to sell significant pieces to jeopardize that core.
According to Frisaro, Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn are all considered building blocks and are likely to stay put with the Fish. All of that could change if the Marlins are overwhelmed by a team willing to overpay, but even a package for Cishek would have to start with a team's No. 1 prospect, according to Frisaro. As it stands, the 27-year-old closer is not available.
Ryan Webb and Chad Qualls may still be dealt, as could position players Placido Polanco, Greg Dobbs and Justin Ruggiano. That quintet of veterans has less team control than the untouchables listed by Frisaro, and those players likely aren't seen as core members of the team going forward. It's likely that the Marlins' biggest July trade has already occurred in the form of the Ricky Nolasco trade. The Marlins, according to Frisaro, may be more active on the August waiver trade front than before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
While a deal sounds unlikely, the team has still received plenty of hits on Stanton as well as its many bullpen arms. Ruggiano has also drawn some interest from teams like the Rangers and Yankees, although he's another player the team isn't in a rush to trade.
Ricky Nolasco shared some emotional goodbyes with his Marlins teammates on Sunday morning, the right-hander told Andre C. Fernandez of the Miami Herald, but he is excited about going home to southern California and pitching for the Dodgers. The Marlins figure to have more moves up their sleeves before the trade deadline so here's the latest out of the Sunshine State...
- The Marlins are confident they will be able to sign first round draft pick Colin Moran, though they're not sure about third-rounder Ben Deluzio, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The Marlins have offered both players contracts that match the assigned slot prices of the sixth (approximately $3.516MM) and 80th ($681.7K) overall picks. While Moran is coming out of UNC, Deluzio is a high schooler who "is reportedly leaning toward attending Florida State."
- Also from Spencer, he thinks pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs and relievers Chad Qualls and Ryan Webb could all be dealt before the trade deadline. The two right-handers have already drawn interest from reliever-needy teams.
- We heard earlier today that the Yankees, Rangers and other teams had checked in on Justin Ruggiano but the Marlins aren't particularly interested in dealing the outfielder, Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Moving Ruggiano could create a depth problem in the outfield given Chris Coghlan's injury status, Christian Yelich's relative under-performance in Double-A and the team's desire to keep Jake Marisnick off the 40-man roster this season.
- The Nolasco trade seemed to be primarily about dumping salary in 2013 rather than building for the future for the Marlins, Fangraphs' David Cameron opines. Cameron wonders if situations like this could lead the MLB Players Association to seek some type of "salary floor" in the next collective bargaining agreement.
Former Colorado Rockie Ryan Spilborghs has been blogging for The Denver Post about his experiences playing for the Seibu Lions in Japan this season, and he weighs in on the issue of PEDs in his latest post. While Spilborghs doesn't approve of PED use, he suggests that baseball's long season can push players too far without giving them enough time to recover. A better model may be the schedule adopted by Japan's NPB league, which has teams playing 144 games in about 180 days, Spilborghs says.
Some more notes from around the senior circuit...
- Ike Davis will rejoin the Mets on Friday for their matchup with the Brewers, a source told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Davis was demoted on June 10 after hitting just .161/.242/.258 in 207 plate appearances, but work with Triple-A coaches to address a hitch in Davis' swing was apparently successful, as the first baseman has compiled a .293/.424/.667 line with the Las Vegas 51s. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes speculated in a May post that Davis could be a non-tender candidate this offseason.
- The Dodgers are expected to activate outfielder Carl Crawford from the DL as soon as Friday, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Los Angeles will soon be faced with a long-anticipated glut of regular outfielders, with Crawford joining Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and sensation Yasiel Puig on the active roster. Manager Don Mattingly acknowledges that it will be a "sticky" situation to manage. It remains to be seen whether the Dodgers will consider moving Andre Ethier, who was given a five-year, $85MM extension just over a year ago.
- While Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers has been the subject of trade dialogue, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the righty is determined not to let the rumors affect him. "We all hear things. I'm not going to lie. ... But basically I just leave it at that. I hear them, and then don't think about it too much." Gallardo did acknowledge, however, that he had become aware of some of the teams on his no-trade list.
- Though the loss of Jesse Crain to the DL dampens the reliever market, a number of potentially available NL hurlers could help bolster a contender's bullpen, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports notes. The Cubs' Kevin Gregg has earned 14 saves in 15 opportunities, while the Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez is a perfect seven for seven in save chances and could help the Tigers, Rosenthal says. John Axford, Milwaukee's former closer, could also be a useful piece.
- The Marlins could offer Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn, or Ryan Webb, as they have power arms in the pipeline and "never mind trading relievers," according to Rosenthal. Both Cishek and Dunn have been effective for the Fish and become eligible for arbitration after this season. Miami could have a tougher time finding a taker for Webb, however, as he's shown discouraging strikeout and walk trends.
- Rosenthal is also less high on the Phillies' Jonathan Papelbon, noting his high salary and declining strikeout rate, and the Brewers' Michael Gonzalez, a lefty who opponents have managed a .746 OPS against despite his high K/9 rate.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the Marlins are receiving quite a bit of interest in their bullpen, with left-hander Mike Dunn and righties Steve Cishek, Ryan Webb and Chad Qualls all drawing interest.
While the Fish have hardly enjoyed a successful season, their bullpen has been reasonably effective, ranking 17th with a 3.73 ERA and 16th with a 3.68 FIP. The veteran Qualls is a free agent at season's end, but the rest of the Marlins relievers figure to have higher costs due to the extra team control that they have.
The 28-year-old Dunn is controlled through 2016 and will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season. Cishek, 27, is controlled through 2017 and is also arb-eligible for the first time this offseason. Webb is controlled through the 2015 season and is eligible for arbitration a second time this winter. He is making $975K this season.
The Marlins have been said to be open to dealing Webb, but their preference is to hang onto Dunn and Cishek. Of course, Ricky Nolasco has been the Marlins' hottest trade chip, with three teams currently rumored to be in heavy pursuit of the 30-year-old right-hander.
The Marlins are open to trading Ricky Nolasco and could also move right-hander Ryan Webb for the right offer, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports. Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn are not on the market, however, as the Fish had told clubs that the two relievers aren't for sale.
Nolasco's name has come up in rumors at each of the last two July trade deadlines and the buzz continued this past winter during the Marlins' fire sale. Matt Sosnick, Nolasco's agent, said in December that his client would have preferred to be traded elsewhere though Nolasco never officially asked to be dealt. Nolasco is currently enjoying one of the best seasons of his eight-year career, as the right-hander has a 3.61 ERA, 3.35 K/BB ratio and 7.3 K/9 through 13 starts.
A source tells Frisaro that the Marlins would receive a mid-level prospect in return for Nolasco, a fair return given that Nolasco is due to hit free agency this winter. Nolasco is hitting the open market a little later than most (he'll be 31 years old on Opening Day 2014) but he could get a lot of attention this winter given how many injury questions surround most of the other top free agent arms.
Webb, 27, has a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings out of Miami's bullpen this season despite some unimpressive (6.00 K/9, 4.8 BB/9) peripheral numbers. Webb has a 3.43 ERA in 225 2/3 career innings and has been tough on right-handed hitters, holding righty bats to a .248/.307/.286 line over his career. Webb is eligible for arbitration for the second time after this season and came to the Marlins (along with Edward Mujica) from the Padres in November 2010 in the deal that sent Cameron Maybin to San Diego.
Cishek and Dunn will both be arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason. Cishek has had a few shaky outings en route to a 4.50 ERA in 24 innings, though he has held onto the closer's role and recorded five saves. Cishek drew a lot of interest from other teams in March and would probably be ticketed for a non-closing job with a new team. Dunn, a southpaw, has a 3.08 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 26 1/3 IP this season, all slightly down from his career averages of 3.68 ERA, 9.9 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9.
Ken Rosenthal's new video for FOX Sports offers a variety of trade tidbits on the Cubs, Brewers and Marlins.
- Matt Garza of the Cubs makes an intriguing trade candidate, but Rosenthal says that one can't rule out the possibility that the Cubs will keep Garza and extend him a qualifying offer at the end of the season, hoping to collect draft-pick compensation. Scott Feldman might also be traded, but Rosenthal notes that his peripherals indicate he has been lucky so far.
- Alfonso Soriano has only one year left on his eight-year, $136MM contract, which could make him a more attractive trade target than in years past, Rosenthal notes, but Soriano also has a no-trade clause, allowing him to control his destination.
- The Brewers, meanwhile, have fewer trade options, Rosenthal argues. Corey Hart is hurt, Rickie Weeks is in the midst of a poor season, and Aramis Ramirez is owed $16MM in 2014 and has a $4MM buyout on his mutual option the following season. The Brewers will be "reluctant" to trade Yovani Gallardo, whose contract carries him through next season and gives the Brewers an option on his services in 2015.
- The Marlins have received calls on relievers Steve Cishek, Ryan Webb and Mike Dunn, Rosenthal reports.