Ryan Sweeney Rumors
The Cubs have signed outfielder Ryan Sweeney to a minor-league deal, Evan Drellich of MassLive.com reports. Sweeney was released by the Red Sox this weekend. Sweeney is represented by Reynolds Sports Management. Sweeney, a native Iowan, will report to Triple-A Iowa. In 2012, Sweeney hit .260/.303/.373 in 204 at-bats with Boston.
Jeff Johnson of the Cedar Rapids Gazette seems to have been the first to report that Sweeney was headed to the Cubs organization.
The Red Sox have released outfielder Ryan Sweeney, according to a team release. Sweeney signed a minor-league deal with Boston in January. Sweeney hit .260/.303/.373 in 204 at-bats with the Red Sox in 2012. For his career, Sweeney has hit .280/.338/.378 in 1,719 at bats with the Red Sox, Athletics and White Sox. The Red Sox had already informed Sweeney he would not be making their 25-man roster, and he had requested his release, as Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe notes (on Twitter).
MLBTR is launching a new series entitled "Transaction Retrospection" in which we'll take a look back on trades that have taken place to see how the players involved -- including low-level minor leaguers -- have fared in new settings and how the involved teams have been impacted. Remember that you can always look back at the players involved in transactions and check in on them yourself using MLBTR's Transaction Tracker.
Oftentimes, as spectators of the game, we focus on the immediate impact of trades rather than the long-term impact that some major transactions have on the teams involved. For example, while some undoubtedly remember all of the players involved in last year's Andrew Bailey-Josh Reddick trade between the Red Sox and Athletics, the majority of fans likely can't name all five players. The immediate impact was apparent in Reddick's success and Bailey's injuries, but there's more to this trade than just those two names.
The Athletics traded Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to Boston in exchange for Reddick, Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. Reddick's breakout and Bailey's breakdown are well-known, but let's look at each player's individual progress to date:
The Major League Side
- Andrew Bailey: Bailey was supposed to take over as Boston's closer, but he would end up requiring thumb surgery in Spring Training and spend more than four months on the disabled list. Upon returning, he pitched to a disastrous 7.04 ERA in just 15 1/3 innings, walking eight and striking out 14 along the way. Bailey remains under team control through the 2014 season, so he'll have plenty of time to redeem himself and make this trade look better for Boston. However, he's been replaced as the closer following the offseason acquisition of Joel Hanrahan.
- Ryan Sweeney: Sweeney went homerless in 219 plate appearances, batting .260/.303/.373 along the way. He played his typically strong brand of defense in Boston, posting an 11.6 UZR/150 and saving five runs over his 467 1/3 innings, per The Fielding Bible. Sweeney was non-tendered by the Red Sox this offseason but re-signed with the team on a minor league contract late last month.
- Josh Reddick: Reddick exploded over the season's first half, batting a whopping .268/.348/.532 with 20 homers. While he slumped horribly in the second half, Reddick still finished with a .242/.305/.463 batting line with 32 homers. He was worth +22 runs per The Fielding Bible and posted an equally stellar 20.4 UZR/150. FanGraphs pegged Reddick's value at 4.8 wins above replacement. Reddick won't be arbitration eligible until after this coming season and is under team control through 2016.
The Prospect Side
- Miles Head: Head ranks as the A's No. 7 prospect according to Baseball America and No. 9 according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. The 21-year-old primarily played third base in the Oakland organization, but also has experience at first base. He hit a ludicrous .382/.433/.715 with 18 homers in 67 games for High-A Stockton before being promoted to Double-A Midland. He held his own as a 21-year-old at Double-A, batting .272/.338/.404 but whiffed in 32.1 percent of his plate appearances. BA praises his quick, compact swing and "outstanding" bat control, which create enough power to profile as a corner infielder. Head's lack of range and athleticism leave his future at third base in doubt, according to BA.
- Raul Alcantara: Alcantara ranks as the team's No. 26 prospect according to BA and No. 11 prospect according to MLB.com. After a dominant 2011 in Boston's organization, Alcantara struggled with Oakland's Class-A affiliate in Burlington in 2012. He pitched to a 5.08 ERA, 5.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 102 2/3 innings of work. BA has his fastball at 90-95 mph, and they also praise his change-up's depth and armside run. Both Mayo and BA agree that Alcantara's breaking pitches need work but praise his delivery and command. Alcantara turned 20 in December, so it would seem there's plenty of time to hone his secondary pitches and develop a bit more movement on his fastball.
The trade also had an impact on other players already in the organizations. Bailey's injury forced Alfredo Aceves into the closer's role in Boston for the first time, which had unspectacular results. The acquisition of Bailey was supposed to give the Red Sox enough depth to shift Daniel Bard into the starting rotation. Bard struggled, however, and when he returned to the bullpen after a Triple-A stint, he allowed 14 runs in six innings of relief pitching.
Reddick's acquisition, meanwhile, replaced the power production of the departing Josh Willingham -- who signed as a free agent with the Twins -- and vastly improved Oakland's outfield defense in the process. Willingham's departure, the Bailey trade and the Gio Gonzalez trade allowed the A's to invest four years and $36MM in Cuban hotshot Yoenis Cespedes.
The trade looks bleak for the Red Sox right now, but one of the beauties of transactions like this is the seemingly endless web they spin. For example, a strong season from Bailey could lead to another trade, causing the cycle to start all over again.
Baseball America's 2013 Prospect Handbook was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Red Sox have reached an agreement on a minor league deal with outfielder Ryan Sweeney, a major league source told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Sweeney is represented by Reynolds Sports Management and has an opt-out in the deal that would allow him to elect free agency if he is not added to the big league roster before to the end of spring training.
Sweeney, who turns 28 in February, spent last season with the Red Sox after being acquired from the A’s in the deal that also brought right-hander Andrew Bailey to Boston. The outfielder hit .260/.303/.373 for the Red Sox until he punched a clubhouse door in Fenway Park and had to undergo surgery on his hand. His season ended on July 30th, giving him just 63 big league games in 2012.
The veteran will provide the Red Sox with additional depth in the wake of Ryan Kalish's shoulder surgery that will sideline him to start the 2013 season.
Despite indications to the contrary, the Twins never called to inquire about the availability of pitcher Anibal Sanchez, according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500. Sanchez, of course, re-signed with the Tigers for five years and $80MM earlier this offseason. Here's more out of Minnesota, courtesy of Wolfson..
- The Twins still have interest in free agent outfielder Scott Podsednik, but they're not looking to sign free agent outfielder Ryan Sweeney. We recently learned that the Mets aren't among the teams in on Podsednik. The club had brief talks with Sweeney's representatives earlier in the winter.
- Minnesota had interest in signing free agent starter Freddy Garcia in December but they haven't checked in on him since. The Twins have also cut off contact with free agent pitcher Manny Parra. The Twins, along with the Reds and Rockies, were said to be interested in Garcia late last year.
- The Twins have not inquired about free agent shortstop Jason Bartlett, nor free agent second baseman Kelly Johnson.
- The Twins never made an offer to shortstop Cesar Izturis, who signed a minor league deal with the Reds on Wednesday. General Manager Terry Ryan & Co. never had an interest in free agent starter Aaron Cook before he signed with the Phillies either.
- Minnesota could have free agent starter Armando Galarraga on a minor league deal but aren't interested in him. The right-hander hooked on with the Astros on a minor league contract last year after being cut by the Orioles.
Here's the latest on the Twins, courtesy of 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson...
- The Twins had numerous discussions with Brett Myers before the right-hander signed with the Indians, but they never made him an offer.
- Rich Harden's minor league contract with Minnesota includes a July 31st opt-out date according to Wolfson. The right-hander can elect free agency if he's not added to the big league roster by then.
- The Twins will have a scout on hand to watch outfielder Dariel Alvarez and infielder Aledmys Diaz tomorrow. The two Cuban defectors are hosting a workout for teams.
- The club has had "brief talks" with free agent outfielders Ryan Sweeney and Scott Podsednik after trading both Ben Revere and Denard Span this offseason.
- The Twins have talked about Brent Lillibridge and Yuniesky Betancourt, but they're likely to sign elsewhere. Minnesota also has interest in Brandon Inge.
- The Indians have reached out to several teams about Jeanmar Gomez, including the Twins. Gomez was designated for assignment earlier this week and Cleveland has ten days to trade, release, or waive him.
Here are today’s American League non-tenders. All decisions must be in by 11pm CT tonight. Be sure to track all tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker. Related resources include our list of non-tender candidates, our projected arbitration salaries and our arbitration eligibles series.
- The Rays have non-tendered Ben Francisco according to Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays have non-tendered Bobby Wilson, the team announced.
- The Mariners have non-tendered Robert Andino, the team announced. They acquired him from the Orioles less than two weeks ago.
- The Rangers have non-tendered Geovany Soto, Brandon Snyder, and Jacob Brigham according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (on Twitter).
- The Orioles have non-tendered Mark Reynolds in addition to Omar Quintanilla and Stuart Pomeranz, the team announced (on Twitter).
- The Athletics have non-tendered Jermaine Mitchell, the team announced. Mitchell was designated for assignment earlier this week.
- The Red Sox have non-tendered Rich Hill, Ryan Sweeney, and Scott Atchison, the team announced. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports had the Sweeney news earlier (on Twitter) while Rob Bradford of WEEI.com had the Atchison news.
- The Indians announced they non-tendered Jack Hannahan, Rafael Perez and Chris Seddon
- The White Sox announced that they've non-tendered right-hander pitcher Anthony Carter and infielder Dan Johnson.
- The Royals announced that they won't tender outfielder Derrick Robinson a contract for 2013 (Twitter link). Robinson has no MLB experience so he wasn't arbitration eligible.
- The Tigers announced that they will non-tender Daniel Schlereth. The left-hander was limited to six appearances this past season, which he mostly spent on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis. Schlereth was not yet arbitration eligible.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Red Sox are in extra innings against the Yankees as they try to get back to .500. Currently 50-51, Boston is 4.5 games back from a wild card spot. Here are the latest off-the-field rumblings...
- The Red Sox have explored the possibility of trading Josh Beckett, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. One general manager told Heyman it's "unlikely" that a team would take on Beckett, who would have to waive his 10-and-5 rights to facilitate a deal. As Heyman points out, however, Beckett's mediocre numbers and large contract make it likely that he'd clear waivers and be eligible for an August trade.
- One Major League executive insisted to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that the Red Sox are "trying to dump" Beckett but it's unlikely they'd be able to find a taker without a big discount.
- Edes writes that the Red Sox aren't willing to part with the type of prospects they would need to surrender in order to acquire Josh Johnson from the Marlins.
- Edes also hears that the Red Sox are shopping Ryan Sweeney.
- The Red Sox were in on Francisco Liriano all the way to the end before the Twins dealt him to the White Sox, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
We checked in on the AL East this morning, but with less than a week remaining before the trade deadline, the rumors don’t stop coming. Here’s the latest...
- The Red Sox won't trade Jon Lester this summer, Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports. The Red Sox are working to add starting pitching and have interest in controllable right-handers Matt Garza and Josh Johnson, Edes writes.
- Several clubs have approached the Red Sox about possible trades involving outfielders such as Ryan Kalish, Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross. The Pirates and Reds have both scouted the Red Sox extensively, according to Edes.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Blue Jays are trying to move Yunel Escobar and suggests they could have interest in Jose Reyes. The Blue Jays were very interested in Reyes as a free agent, Sherman writes.
- The Yankees aren’t likely to pursue Aramis Ramirez, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). They could have interest in Chase Headley, however.
- In case you missed it, the Rays designated Hideki Matsui for assignment.
Teams are calling the Red Sox about the availability of “several” outfielders, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports. The Red Sox are “open-minded” about trading away an outfielder now that Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford are nearly ready to return to the MLB roster.
Ryan Sweeney and Daniel Nava could be trade chips for the Red Sox, but the team is “not looking to move Sweeney,” Silverman reports. Scott Podsednik and Ryan Kalish are at Triple-A, and Cody Ross fits well with Boston’s current needs.
Though the Cubs aren’t interested in Sweeney, the Red Sox are eyeing a pair of Cubs pitchers. Boston has expressed preliminary interest in Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster, but is “not fully engaged yet,” Silverman reports. I recently previewed the trade market for starting pitchers and outfielders.
Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal explained how Boston’s 40-man roster will impact the team’s next few weeks. The Red Sox are far more likely to trade surplus players such as Sweeney, Kelly Shoppach or Matt Albers than make major changes this month, MacPherson writes.