Samuel Deduno Rumors
While there haven't been any extension talks (and won't be) between the Royals and James Shields, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that it's not completely out of the question for Shields to re-sign their ace this coming offseason. However, in order to do so, the team will need to make the postseason, he adds. Royals executives have said that they might take a loss this year due to the team's record payroll, but they also believe that a postseason run could push them into the black, according to Heyman. That type of turnaround could keep them in the bidding to retain Shields, who will hit free agency entering his age-33 season.
Here's more on baseball's Central divisions...
- Close to 25 scouts were on-hand to watch Jeff Samardzija's start against the Mariners yesterday, writes Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. According to Levine, the Blue Jays had three scouts present to watch the Cubs' Opening Day starter, including director of pro scouting and former Cubs GM Ed Lynch.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington tells Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he is not interested in making a trade for a backup catcher despite the injury to Chris Stewart (Twitter link). That suggests that Tony Sanchez will open the season as Pittsburgh's secondary backstop.
- Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at the Pirates' bullpen surplus, wondering if a trade of Vin Mazzaro or Bryan Morris (neither has minor league options remaining) is on the horizon. Brink writes that right-handers Stolmy Pimentel and Jeanmar Gomez (both also out of options) will open the season in the bullpen, leaving Morris and Mazzaro as logical trade candidates.
- The Twins have named former first-rounder and top prospect Kyle Gibson their fifth starter, reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. That means that out-of-options starters Scott Diamond, Sam Deduno and Vance Worley are out of luck. Deduno will start the season in the bullpen, while Worley has already been placed on outright waivers (the expiration of those waivers has come and gone, but there's yet to be a report on his status). It's unclear at this time what Diamond's fate will be.
- Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma is trying not to focus on trade rumors surrounding his name, he tells Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Strauss speculates that with the decision to option Tyler Lyons to Triple-A Memphis, GM John Mozeliak could look to acquire a long reliever via trade.
- Other news from the game's Central divisions today included the Tigers' acquisition of Andrew Romine from the Angels as well as the news that flamethrowing setup man Bruce Rondon will be the latest victim of Tommy John surgery. Also, Indians minor league signee David Aardsma was granted his release.
SB Nation's Grant Brisbee examines the ups and downs of Joe Mauer's contract and wonders what Mauer would have signed for had he been a free agent this offseason. Mauer is owed $115MM over the remainder of his contract, and while Brisbee feels he'd fall a bit shy of that, he still predicts a healthy six-year, $101MM contract. Mauer would have been the second-best hitter in this year's free agent class, Brisbee notes, pointing out that among 2013-14 free agents, only Robinson Cano has a higher OPS+ than Mauer over the past two seasons. More Twins-related news and rumors...
- Mike Pelfrey's two-year, $11MM contract with the Twins includes $3.5MM in incentives based on innings thresholds, as broken down by Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- There isn't any change in negotiations between the Twins and Matt Garza, according to 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson (Twitter links). As Wolfson reported earlier this week, Minnesota is willing to meet Garza's price but only on a short-term deal, while Garza is looking for a longer commitment.
- The Twins are not one of the six teams that have expressed interest in a minor league deal for Nyjer Morgan, according to Darren Wolfson (Twitter link). Morgan recently switched agents and is weighing a return to the Majors after a strong season in Japan.
- Major League sources tell Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that a reunion between the Twins and Johan Santana is a real possibility. Minnesota has continued to discuss its former ace internally, has stayed in contact with Santana's agents and has some interest in a reunion.
- The Twins face an interesting battle for the fifth spot in their rotation, wrote MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger in his most recent Twins Inbox. Samuel Deduno, Vance Worley and Scott Diamond are all out of minor league options, but the rotation figures to have room for just one of the three with Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey all under control. That's to say nothing of top prospect Kyle Gibson, who struggled in 2013 but still projects to be in the rotation at some point. Bollinger feels that Deduno is the front-runner for the fifth spot but doesn't see a Worley or Diamond trade happening until at least midway through Spring Training, as each pitcher's value is at a low point.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
The latest minor moves from around MLB...
- The Mets announced that they agreed to sign left-hander Scott Rice to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training. Rice, 31, has a 4.08 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 14 minor league seasons.
- The Mets also signed outfielder Jamie Hoffmann to a minor league contract, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. The 28-year-old spent this past season with the Orioles' Triple-A team.
- The Cardinals agreed to a minor league contract with first baseman/right fielder Jamie Romak, MLBTR has learned. The Cardinals acquired the 27-year-old from the Royals midway through the 2012 season. In 442 total plate appearances in the upper minors, Romak posted a .260/.336/.406 batting line and hit 10 home runs and 21 doubles this past season.
- The Blue Jays signed infielder Jim Negrych to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports (on Twitter).
- The Twins announced that they signed 12 players to minor league contracts that include invitations to MLB Spring Training: right-handers Samuel Deduno, Shairon Martis, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters; outfielders Brian Dinkleman and Wilkin Ramirez; infielders James Beresford and Deibinson Romero and catcher Eric Fryer. Right-hander Tom Boleska and infielder Jason Christian also signed minor league deals with the Twins.
The Twins have agreed to sign Sam Deduno and Esmerling Vasquez to minor league contracts, Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Both pitchers were outrighted off of Minnesota's 40-man roster in recent weeks.
Deduno, 29, started 15 games for the Twins this past season, posting a 4.44 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 6.0 BB/9 in 79 innings. The right-hander also has some MLB experience with the Rockies and Padres. Vasquez, 28, started six games for the Twins in 2012, posting a 5.68 ERA with 4.0 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 31 2/3 innings. The Twins claimed him off of waivers from Arizona in September of 2011.
Moves listed here without specific attribution come from MLB.com's transactions page...
- The Rockies have signed infielder Brandon Wood, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Wood will make $100K over the league minimum if he makes the big league roster, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). Wood, of course, was once a blue-chip prospect with the Angels.
- The Twins have signed right-handers Brendan Wise, Jared Burton, Samuel Deduno and Luis Perdomo, and outfielders Matt Carson and Wilkin Ramirez to Minor League deals, tweets Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune.
- The Padres released second baseman Alberto Gonzalez. San Diego appears to be clearing 40-man roster space in anticipation of next month's Rule 5 draft.
- Right-hander Taylor Buchholz elected free agency. The Mets removed Buchholz from their 40-man roster earlier in the week. He would have earned roughly $1.2MM in 2012 had the Mets retained him through arbitration. Earlier in the week GM Sandy Alderson was unsure if anxiety and depression would prevent Buchholz from pitching in 2012.
- The Angels released right-hander Anthony Ortega.
The Padres designated Samuel Deduno for assignment to create 40-man roster space for Blake Tekotte, the team announced. To create 25-man roster space, the team optioned Will Venable to Triple-A Tucson.
Deduno earned a spot on the Padres' Opening Day roster and made two relief appearances before getting optioned to the minors on April 10th. The 27-year-old right-hander has a 2.92 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 6.6 BB/9 through 24 2/3 innings of relief work in Triple-A this year. The Padres claimed Deduno from the Rockies last offseason.
Tekotte, who turns 24 tomorrow, has a .291/.410/.486 line in 180 plate appearances at Double-A this year. He is the second player from the Padres' 2008 draft to make the Major Leagues (Logan Forsythe was the first).
Salazar appeared in 85 games for the Padres last year, playing left, right, first, second and third. The 32-year-old Venezuelan hit .237/.318/.336 in 148 plate appearances. In parts of four seasons with the Padres, Orioles and Tigers, Salazar has a .269/.342/.435 line. His lone DL stint with the Padres occurred last August, when he missed four weeks with a right achilles strain.
After being designated for assignment by the Rockies earlier this week, Samuel Deduno has been claimed on waivers by the Padres, according to MLB.com. Colorado had designated the right-hander to make room for the newly acquired Clayton Mortensen.
Deduno missed part of last season due to injuries, but made his big league debut with the Rockies late in the year. Heading into 2010, Baseball America ranked the 27-year-old as Colorado's 11th-best prospect, writing that he "can be a solid major league starter if he sharpens his command and develops a changeup. His two strikeouts pitches should make him a good bullpen arm regardless."
Although he has struggled with his control throughout his minor league career (5.1 BB/9), Deduno has averaged 10.0 K/9 as a starter in 120 outings. San Diego could be a good fit for the righty, given the team's knack for finding and developing relievers.