San Diego Padres Rumors

San Diego Padres trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

With the deadline to exchange arbitration figures set for noon CT, there figure to be a large number of agreements to avoid arb today, as there were yesterday. All arbitration agreements can be followed using MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker, and we’ll keep track of today’s smaller agreements in this post, with all projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz

  • Righty Henderson Alvarez agreed to a $4MM deal with the Marlins, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today on Twitter. Alvarez had been projected to earn $4.5MM after putting up a huge 187-inning, 2.65 ERA campaign entering his first season of arb eligibility.
  • The Athletics have agreed to a $1.4MM deal with righty Ryan Cook that includes, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports on Twitter. Cook gets a slight increase over the $1.3MM he had been projected to earn. Oakland has also inked outfielder Sam Fuld to a $1.75MM deal, per Mike Perchik of WAPT (via Twitter). He too lands just above his projection, which was for $1.6MM.
  • Outfielder Collin Cowgill avoided arbitration with the Angels for $995K, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. He was projected to earn $900K.
  • Righties David Carpenter and Nathan Eovaldi both have deals with the Yankees, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports on Twitter. Carpenter will earn about $1.3MM while Eovaldi will take home $3.3MM
  • The Rockies have a deal in place with lefty Rex Brothers, tweets MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Brothers was projected to earn $1.3MM but will take home $1.4MM, Harding adds via Twitter.
  • ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that the Cubs have settled with both Travis Wood and Luis Valbuena (Twitter links). Wood will receive $5.686MM — a bit north of his $5.5MM projection, while Valbuena will earn $4.2MM, per Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald (on Twitter). Valbuena was projected to earn $3.1MM.
  • Mike Perchick of WAPT in New Jersey has a wave of arbitration agreements, starting with the Astros and Hank Conger settling on a $1.075MM, which is just $25K behind Swartz’s projection (Twitter link).
  • Also via Perchick, the Athletics and Brett Lawrie settled on a $1.925MM contract (Twitter links). Lawrie, who had been projected at $1.8MM, was acquired by Oakland in the Josh Donaldson blockbuster.
  • Rockies backstop Michael McKenry will earn $1.0876MM in 2015, via Perchick. McKenry was projected by Swartz to earn $1.5MM.
  • Michael Pineda and the Yankees settled on a $2.1MM salary for the upcoming season, Perchick tweets, which is a direct match with Swartz’s projection.
  • Domonic Brown and the Phillies settled on a one-year pact worth $2.6MM, via Perchick, which represents a difference of just $100K between Swartz’s projection and the actual figure. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com tweets that Ben Revere has avoided arbitration as well, and the club now announces that he’ll earn $4.1MM — $100K north of his $4MM projection.
  • Red Sox setup man Junichi Tazawa agreed to a $2.25MM payday, according to Perchick. Swartz had pegged him for a $2MM contract.

(more…)


Padres Avoid Arbitration With Kennedy, Ross, Alonso

3:24pm: Ross will earn $5.25MM in 2015, reports MLB.com’s Corey Brock (on Twitter). He’d been projected to earn $5.7MM.

2:09pm: The Padres now announce that they’ve avoided arb with all of their eligible players, including Ross (all others had been previously reported). Terms of Ross’ deal are not yet known, other than the fact that it’s a one-year agreement.

1:40pm: Multiple reports indicate that the Padres and right-hander Ian Kennedy have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $9.85MM salary for 2015, with Mike Perchick of WAPT in New Jersey being the first to report the deal (Twitter link). Kennedy, who is entering his final year of team control prior to free agency, was projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $10.3MM. Though the righty’s name was oft-mentioned in trade talks, it appears now that he’ll join Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross atop the club’s rotation.

Perchick also reports that the Padres have avoided arbitration with Yonder Alonso, agreeing to a one-year, $1.65MM pact. Alonso was projected to earn $1.6MM.


Padres, Alexi Amarista Agree To Two-Year Deal

10:27am: Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Amarista receives a $100K signing bonus before earning $1.1MM in 2015 and $1.3MM in 2016 (Twitter link).

8:38am: The Padres and infielder Alexi Amarista have agreed to a two-year, $2.5MM contract, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The deal will buy out Amarista’s first two years of arbitration eligibility. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected a $1.5MM salary for Amarista in 2015.

Amarista, 26 in April, batted .239/.286/.314 in 2014 and is a lifetime .234/.279/.336 hitter. He’s homered five times in each of the past three seasons and swiped 12 bags in 13 attempts last year. Amarista is, at this point, one of two players (along with Clint Barmes) projected to see significant time at shortstop for the Padres this season, though the team could always look for an upgrade and shift Amarista into a super utility role, as he’s capable of playing short, second base, third base and the corner outfield positions. San Diego originally acquired Amarista along with Donn Roach from the Angels in exchange for Ernesto Frieri.



Rangers, Padres, Cardinals, Red Sox Are “Primary Suitors” For Cole Hamels

The Rangers have joined the Padres, Cardinals, and Red Sox as the four primary teams pursuing Phillies lefty Cole Hamels, according to a report from Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Texas has previously been mentioned as having interest, but not much attention has focused on that possible destination.

It is worth noting that Philadelphia is not interested in simply finding the highest bidder. Rather, per the report, the club is holding firm in demanding two premium talents in return and will keep Hamels at least through the summer if it is not satisfied with an offer. Among the possible trade partners, Boston may be “most in the background” at present after its run of pitching acquisitions, Salisbury adds.

Nevertheless, the Phillies do appear to be serious about making a deal. Ruben Amaro Jr. has dedicated significant resources to scouting systems of the clubs he has been in contact with, says Salisbury, who notes that the embattled GM can ill afford a misstep with the organization’s best MLB asset.

Philly is especially interested in adding a young catcher, says Salisbury, who notes that several of the teams most heavily involved on Hamels possess top backstop prospects. The club would likely insist on adding Blake Swihart in a deal with Boston, or Austin Hedges in a deal with San Diego. And, as Salisbury notes, the Rangers also possess a top minor league receiver in Jorge Alfaro along with a nice collection of other heralded young players.


West Notes: Gattis, Rangers, Astros, Padres, Dodgers

It’s been a hectic day in the AL West to say the least, with the Astros acquiring Evan Gattis from the Braves and the Athletics flipping the recently acquired Yunel Escobar to the Nats for Tyler Clippard. However, multiple reports indicated today that the Rangers were heavily interested in Gattis as well, and Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram sheds a bit of light on those talks (Twitter link). Per Wilson, the Rangers were in on Gattis but balked at Atlanta’s asking price of right-hander and former first-round pick Alex Gonzalez and/or top outfield prospect Nomar Mazara (who received a hefty $5MM bonus to sign with Texas in 2011 and reached Double-A last year). In the end, the Astros landed Gattis for righty Michael Foltynewicz, right-hander Andrew Thurman and third baseman Rio Ruiz.

Here are a few more notes on Houston and the game’s Western divisions…

  • The Astros still have some money to spend, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, and the team is currently looking at both the starting pitching market and at corner infielders. Astros fans with visions of elite starters in their minds should temper those thoughts, however, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the club is thinking more along the lines of back-end starters such as Ryan Vogelsong and Kyle Kendrick.
  • MLB.com’s Corey Brock spoke with Padres GM A.J. Preller and chairman Ron Fowler about the team’s flurry of moves this offseason. Specifically, Brock and Preller touched on how differently the offseason could have played out had the Friars secured their top target: Pablo Sandoval“You’ve got to be prepared to move on to Plan B, C, D or F or Z. We don’t have a [front-office] group that dwells on things too long,” Preller told Brock in reference to losing out on Sandoval, who signed with Boston. “…Each decision takes you down a slightly different path. … If we had signed Pablo, it would have changed our course a little bit. That’s just the nature of the offseason.” Fowler told Brock that Preller has often worked on four or five deals at once, and his approach was so tireless that right after acquiring Matt Kemp, Preller said to Fowler, “Let’s go after [Justin] Upton.” The Upton acquisition, Fowler said, was possible due to the fact that the Dodgers front-loaded the money they sent to San Diego in the Kemp deal, sending $18MM of the $32MM right off the bat.
  • Earlier tonight we noted Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi’s candid acknowledgment of the club’s pursuit of Yoan Moncada when speaking with Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio. The audio clip of that discussion is now available, and within it, Zaidi sidesteps a fairly loaded question about Max Scherzer and James Shields, to an extent, but acknowledges that the L.A. front office won’t close any doors. Said Zaidi: “I’m going to give you the same boring and annoying answer that I give to our local media — and they already love me for it — that we don’t comment on free agents that are out there. I will just say we’re not closing any doors at this point. I get asked a lot, ‘Are you guys done?’ And you’re never done. You’re constantly evaluating new options to improve the team, and we’re still in that phase. And if there’s a guy out there that we think makes us better and is available at the right price, we’ll absolutely consider it.”

Minor Moves: Goebbert, McCutchen, Mattheus, Anderson, Schlereth

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…

  • Padres outfielder/first baseman Jake Goebbert has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment and was outrighted to Triple-A, tweets Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Goebbert, who was acquired this past May in the Kyle Blanks trade with Oakland, hit .218/.313/.317 in 115 PA with the Padres.
  • Also from Lin, the Padres have signed right-hander Daniel McCutchen to a minor league contract. The 32-year-old made one appearance with the Rangers last season, yielding a pair of earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. That marked McCutchen’s first big league action since 2012 with the Pirates, for whom he played parts of four seasons (2009-12). The former 13th-round pick owns a career 4.47 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 527 2/3 innings at Triple-A.
  • The Angels have signed right-hander Ryan Mattheus to a minor league deal and invited him to big league Spring Training, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post. The 31-year-old Mattheus was a vital cog in Washington’s division-winning club back in 2012, but he struggled in 35 1/3 innings in 2013, posting a 6.37 ERA. Mattheus suffered through a pair of rib injuries last season that limited him to 8 2/3 innings in the Majors, where he allowed just one run. However, he did struggle to a 5.80 ERA in Triple-A while dealing with his injuries. Overall, Mattheus has a 3.60 ERA in 142 1/3 big league innings with 5.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.
  • The White Sox have signed their former first-round pick, Brian Anderson, to a minor league deal, tweets Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. Anderson, who doesn’t receive a camp invite, has been out of pro ball since 2012 but has a .273/.337/.454 batting line at Triple-A and also dabbled with pitching from 2010-12, totaling 31 innings with a 1.74 ERA between the minor leagues and independent ball.
  • Lefty Daniel Schlereth is back with the Tigers on a minor league deal, per the team’s transactions page. The 28-year-old notched a 3.98 ERA with a 69-to-46 K/BB ratio with the Tigers’ bullpen from 2010-12 after coming over in the Max Scherzer/Curtis Granderson/Ian Kennedy blockbuster. He split last season between the Triple-A affiliates for the Pirates and Tigers, battling his control (7.1 BB/9) en route to a 5.89 ERA in 36 2/3 innings.

NL West Notes: Hamels, D’Backs, Rockies, Gee, Closers

The Padres are still involved in some chatter involving Phillies ace Cole Hamels, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Prior reports had indicated that a hypothetical deal could include recently-acquired, high-upside outfielder Wil Myers, but Heyman says that recently-discussed trade scenarios have been based around San Diego prospects. That being said, the report stresses that nothing is close and that other clubs are still involved. And, of course, GM A.J. Preller said recently that he does not expect any more truly significant deals.

More from the National League West:


West Notes: Dunn, A’s, D-Backs, Zobrist, Chavez, Alonso

Adam Dunn‘s agent, Brian Peters, tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link) that Dunn is indeed retiring, as was widely expected. Dunn himself said that he would retire following the season back in August, though he created a bit of doubt when he backed off slightly and said, “That’s it, probably,” following the Athletics’ loss to the Royals in the AL Wild Card game. Dunn’s career was unique, to say the least, as he epitomized the “three true outcomes” player, homering 462 times while striking out in 28.6 percent of his plate appearances and walking in  15.8 percent of them. Just under half (49.9 percent) of Dunn’s career plate appearances ended in a long ball, a walk or a whiff, and he will enter the record books with a .237/.364/.490 batting line. Dunn hit 40-plus homers in six separate seasons, including five consecutive years — four of which finished with 40 on the dot (2005-08). The “Big Donkey” will be fondly remembered by many for his light-tower power — a skill that earned him more than $112MM throughout his career, per Baseball-Reference.com. MLBTR wishes Dunn and his family happiness and the best of luck in his post-playing days.

Here are a few notes on some of the game’s Western division clubs, including the final team for which Dunn played…

  • Athletics right-handers Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin are doubtful for Opening Day, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. That’s not a huge shock, given that both underwent Tommy John surgery last spring, though Parker, whose surgery was on March 25, would have seemed to at least have a chance at being ready. Oakland still has plenty of pitching depth, however, with Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Hahn, Jesse Chavez, Drew Pomeranz, Chris Bassitt, Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman all in the fold. Once Griffin and Parker are healthy, Oakland will have a plethora of MLB-ready rotation options, and only Kazmir is set to depart following the 2015 campaign.
  • Morosi also tweets that the Diamondbacks have received calls from the Orioles regarding their outfield depth. Baltimore is known to be looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder, and both David Peralta and Ender Inciarte would fit that description, Morosi notes. Peralta’s name has surfaced in trade talks already this offseason, as the Reds were said to be interested in him prior to acquiring Marlon Byrd. Moving Peralta would allow Arizona to shift Yasmany Tomas to the outfield rather than trying him at third base, as is the current plan, although first-year GM Dave Stewart specifically mentioned Peralta when discussing the club’s strengths shortly after his hiring.
  • Also from Morosi, the D-Backs have called the Blue Jays about Dioner Navarro, but talks haven’t advanced much to this point. Morosi noted last night that Arizona is working hard to acquire a catcher, as Tuffy Gosewich is the lone player on their 40-man roster with big league experience. Navarro is known to be available after the Jays inked Russell Martin to a huge five-year deal earlier this offseason.
  • The Giants tried to work out a deal to acquire Ben Zobrist from the Rays before he was dealt to Oakland, but San Francisco deemed Tampa’s asking price to be too high, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
  • The Mariners are one option for veteran outfielder Endy Chavez, tweets Heyman. Soon to be 37, Chavez remains on the free agent market on the heels of a season in which he batted .276/.317/.371 (99 OPS+, 97 wRC+). While Chavez has never brought much to the table in terms of offense, he’s graded out well from a defensive standpoint throughout his career (though defensive metrics have soured on him over the past two seasons).
  • Yonder Alonso tells Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he is 100 percent healthy after undergoing surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right wrist. Alonso says that he hasn’t been pain-free in his hands since he broke a metacarpal bone in his right hand when he was hit by a pitch on May 31, 2013. Padres GM A.J. Preller has indicated that first base is likely to be handled by some combination of Alonso, Tommy Medica and Will Middlebrooks, and Lin notes that perhaps a lower-pressure environment with more offensive threats throughout the lineup will help Alonso. Still, he notes, Alonso’s tenure with the Padres has been a disappointment to many. “I really thought he’d unleash some power,” a scout from another club tells Lin. “It’s been disappointing.”

Cuban Right-Hander Yoan Lopez Weighing Offers

JAN. 12: Lopez is already weighing multiple offers and could receive the largest bonus ever for an international amateur prospect, tweets MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. Currently, Roberto Baldoquin‘s $8MM signing bonus stands as the largest ever signed by an international amateur. (Players such as Jose Abreu, Rusney Castillo, Yasiel Puig, etc. were considered professionals when they signed.)

If a record-setting bonus is to be expected, then it stands to reason that the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Rays all have a leg up when it comes to signing Lopez, as each team has already incurred the maximum penalties for exceeding their bonus pool this signing period. None of those four will be able to sign a player for more than $300K next two signing periods, so they may be more willing to take on the added cost right now while they’re still able to add talent. The Cubs and Rangers, on the other hand, can’t sign a player for more than $250K after exceeding their pools last signing period, and therefore can’t bid aggressively on Lopez.

JAN. 9: The United States Office of Foreign Assets Control has cleared Cuban right-hander Yoan Lopez to sign with Major League teams, reports MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. The 21-year-old Lopez was already cleared by Major League Baseball back in November, meaning that he can now officially sign with a big league club at any time. Sanchez writes that Lopez is expected to sign with a club prior to Spring Training.

Because Lopez is just 21 years of age and has only three seasons of professional experience in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, he will still be subject to international spending limitations. To this point, the Yankees, Dodgers, Padres and D-Backs have shown the most serious interest in Lopez, according to Sanchez.

Of that group, the Yankees have already gone well over their 2014-15 spending pool. As such, it stands to reason that they could be willing to outspend other interested teams, as they’re already set to incur the maximum penalties during the next international signing period. Additionally, the Rays, Red Sox and Angels have gone over their pools, though Sanchez doesn’t specifically link any of those three clubs to Lopez.

Lopez has held multiple showcases for Major League clubs since defecting from Cuba and establishing residence in Haiti, and he’s also held private workouts for multiple yet-unreported clubs. Sanchez writes that Lopez’s fastball sits 93 to 95 mph, but he’s touched 100 mph on occasion. He also throws a cutter, curve, changeup and slider, per Sanchez, who adds that Lopez worked to a 3.12 ERA with a 28-to-11 K/BB ratio in 49 innings in his final season in Cuba.


Rockies, Padres, Giants Interested In Dillon Gee

Following a report from last night in which Andy Martino of the New York Daily News indicated that the Mets are in active trade talks regarding Dillon Gee, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Rockies, Padres and Giants are all looking at a trade for the 28-year-old righty.

The Rockies were linked by Rosenthal’s colleague, Jon Morosi, to free agent Ryan Vogelsong last night, and Morosi reported late last week that the Rox also had mild interest in Dan Haren. It’s not surprising to see Colorado looking to add some arms, and Gee would seem a bit of a better fit than either Vogelsong or Haren. For one, his projected $5.1MM price tag (courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz) is half that of Haren’s. But more importantly, Gee is more of a ground-ball pitcher than either of the other two veteran righties; he posted a 44.1 percent ground-ball rate in 2014 and sports a 45.6 percent mark for his career. While those numbers are roughly league average, they’re much higher than the marks Haren and Vogelsong have posted in recent years. Both have a ground-ball percentage of about 39 percent in that time. Gee is also controllable for two seasons via arbitration — another factor that Colorado likely finds appealing.

It’s a bit puzzling to see the Padres linked to a starting pitcher, but perhaps it shouldn’t be, given how active GM A.J. Preller has been on the trade front this winter. San Diego currently projects to have a strong crop of starters, fronted by Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy. Beyond that trio, injury-prone but talented righties Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson will compete with Odrisamer Despaigne, Robbie Erlin andCory Luebke for the final two spots. Of course, both Luebke and Johnson are on the mend from Tommy John surgery, so they’re unlikely to be ready for the beginning of the season. And, Cashner, Morrow and Johnson all have lengthy injury histories, so perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that the Friars are looking for more depth. San Diego also traded away the talented Jesse Hahn, who seemed destined for a rotation spot, in the Derek Norris deal with the A’s.

As for the Giants, they’ve had uncertainty surrounding their rotation for quite some time, and that only increased when they learned that Tim Hudson would require ankle surgery that would keep him shelved for eight weeks. Following that news, vice president/assistant GM Bobby Evans told reporters that the team still wasn’t considering adding a Major League arm to its ranks, but that no longer appears to be the case. The Giants have Madison Bumgarner atop the rotation and re-signed Jake Peavy to a two-year deal, but both Matt Cain and Hudson are now coming off surgery, Tim Lincecum has been unstable for the better part of three years, and Yusmeiro Petit has never handled a full season’s workload as a starter (though he has been brilliant as a swingman for the past two seasons). San Francisco also watched Vogelsong hit the open market this winter, further depleting their rotation.

Gee, who turns 29 in late April, worked to an even 4.00 ERA in 137 innings with the Mets last season. He was limited by a strained lat muscle that led to a prolonged DL stint, but he did toss 199 innings the year prior. Over the past four seasons in the Mets’ rotation, Gee has worked to a 4.01 ERA (4.24 FIP) with 6.6 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. The Mets are known to be looking to shed a veteran starter this winter, and Gee’s name has come up the most frequently of late.

Among the areas that the Mets could be looking to address on their big league roster are left-handed relief and shortstop. I find it unlikely that the Mets receive a starting-caliber shortstop in a trade of Gee, but a left-handed reliever is certainly a plausible return, and they could simply move him for the best package of minor league talent offered by any of the interested parties as well.