San Diego Padres Rumors
This evening, Andrew Cashner of the Padres pitched six strong innings against the Dodgers, striking out five and allowing just one run in the first 2014 MLB regular-season game to take place on American soil. That led FOX Sports' Jon Morosi to wonder (via Twitter) who would ultimately win the trade that sent Cashner to the Padres and Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs. That's a question that might not be resolved anytime soon. Early on, the Cubs looked like the likely winners after Rizzo put together an excellent .285/.342/.463 season in 2012, leading to a $41MM extension early in the 2013 season. Rizzo had a disappointing 2013 season, though, and Cashner, with his terrific fastball and strong 2013 season, may be emerging as one of the National League's better young(-ish) starting pitchers. Here are more notes from the NL West.
- The Padres have about 30 percent of their payroll on the disabled list, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. That includes Carlos Quentin ($9.5MM), Josh Johnson ($8MM), Cameron Maybin ($5MM) and Cory Luebke ($3MM). Of course, in Johnson's case, the Padres were well aware he was an injury risk before they signed him. "With Johnson, we thought the risk was worth it. That’s what we’re going to do from time to time and we have to," says Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler. "To balance things, we have to take some risks that other teams don’t have to take."
- The rising salaries of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez might make 2014 their last season as Rockies teammates, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post writes. "I want to play my entire career with CarGo, but of course I think about how it might not happen. I thought it would be the case with (Matt) Holliday, and it didn't work out," says Tulowitzki, who will make $16MM in 2014 before his salary increases to $20MM in 2015. Gonzalez will make $10.5MM in 2014 and $16MM in 2015. The Rockies say, however, that they won't need to trade either player.
Between now and Opening Day, several minor league signees will win jobs with their clubs and earn 40-man roster spots. Here are today's additions:
- The Angels have purchased the contract of infielder Ian Stewart, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The former top prospect, now 28, was brought in on a minor league contract in January.
- Ryan Rowland-Smith will make the Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster, GM Kevin Towers disclosed (via Steve Gilbert of MLB.com). Rowland-Smith was in camp on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010 but was excellent last year for Boston's Triple-A club.
- The Giants announced that right-hander J.C. Gutierrez and infielder Brandon Hicks have been chosen for the Opening Day roster. Hicks had been competing with rookie Ehire Adrianza for a backup infield job, but both have made the team.
- The Braves announced via press release that pitchers Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas have been added to the Opening Day roster.
- Reds manager Bryan Price announced that reliever Trevor Bell and outfielder Roger Bernadina have made the club's Opening Day roster, according to a tweet from the team's Triple-A affiliate. Bell hasn't pitched in the majors since 2011, but threw very well this spring in 8 2/3 innings.
- The Mets are set to add Omar Quintanilla to their Opening Day roster, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Quintanilla figures to serve as the back-up at short. He rejoined the club on a minor league deal after being non-tendered.
- Xavier Nady will break camp with the Padres, tweets AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, and thus will be added to the 40-man roster. The 35-year-old had a solid spring, and will fill in while Kyle Blanks and Cameron Maybin work back from injury.
- The Tigers have purchased the contract of Tyler Collins, the club announced. The 23-year-old, left-handed-hitting outfielder has not played above the Double-A level, but now grabs an Opening Day roster spot for a Detroit club that is without Andy Dirks to start the year. In 530 plate appearances at Double-A last year, Collins put up a .240/.323/.438 line with 21 home runs (and 122 strikeouts against 51 walks).
- The Rangers will add minor league free agent Daniel McCutchen to the roster, according to a tweet from his representatives at Sosnick Cobbe Sports. Texas will need to add the reliever to the 40-man roster in order to activate him.
- Yangervis Solarte will make the Yankees Opening Day roster, tweets Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Fellow utility infielder Eduardo Nunez, meanwhile, will be optioned to Triple-A to start the year. Solarte earned the position after a torrid spring.
- The Phillies have announced their Opening Day roster, which includes three players -- Tony Gwynn Jr., Mario Hollands, and Jeff Manship -- who must be added to the 40-man. Meanwhile, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been put on the 60-day DL to create roster space while infielder Reid Brignac and reliever Shawn Camp have been reassigned to Triple-A, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (Twitter links).
- The Athletics have selected the contract of infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima and optioned him to Triple-A, according to the MLB transactions page. After failing to see MLB action in the first year of his two-year, $6.5MM deal with Oakland, Nakajima was outrighted and ultimately re-signed to a minor league deal.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
Clayton Kershaw has been scratched from the Dodgers' North American opener against the Padres on Sunday, the club announced. The left-hander is suffering from inflammation of the teres major muscle in his upper back and the Dodgers are understandably being very cautious with their ace, though Kershaw still intends to start the Dodgers' home opener against the Giants on April 4. Kershaw also told reporters (including MLB.com's Ken Gurnick) that he didn't believe his injury was caused either by his 102-pitch outing in the Dodgers' opener against the Diamondbacks or the long flights back and forth from Australia.
Here's some more from around the NL West...
- Chone Figgins is thankful to be back on a Major League roster after his struggles of the last few seasons, which included missing the entire 2013 campaign, the utilityman tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Figgins signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in January and while he hasn't hit much in Spring Training, his on-base ability and positional versatility were enough for him to win a bench job.
- Tony Sipp won't opt out of his contract with the Padres, MLBDailyDish.com's Chris Cotillo reports (via Twitter). Sipp was told earlier in the week that he wouldn't make San Diego's Opening Day roster and he could've opted out of his minor league deal today, but will instead report to Triple-A. The southpaw faces another opt-out date on June 1.
- At least two years and $50MM separate Pablo Sandoval and the Giants in extension talks, and the large gap is indicative of how wary the Giants are about committing a long-term deal to Sandoval, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Notable players like Curt Schilling, Carlos Lee and Delmon Young have signed contracts with weight clauses in the past, but the MLBPA "frowns on them, especially for marquee free agents." Shea lists the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox as teams who could be looking for a third base upgrade next winter when Sandoval is a free agent, and Shea thinks Sandoval could find his price on the open market.
We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves here:
- Outfielder Trent Oeltjen tweets (via Rotoworld) that he has signed with the Diamondbacks. Oeltjen, 31, has not appeared in the big leagues since 2011 with the Dodgers, but he has hit well at the Triple-A level, putting up a line of .255/.345/.483 for the Angels' Triple-A Salt Lake affiliate last season.
- The Orioles have released lefty Aaron Laffey, MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski tweets. Laffey pitched just 12 2/3 innings in the big leagues in 2013, spending most of it struggling at Triple-A, but he pitched 100 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays in 2012.
- The Rockies have released pitcher Bobby Cassevah, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo tweets. Cassevah, who accumulated a 3.20 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 from 2010-2012 in the Angels bullpen, is currently rehabbing an injury.
- Veteran lefty Randy Wolf has requested, and received, his release from the Mariners, MLB.com's Greg Johns tweets. Wolf was attempting a comeback after missing the entire 2013 season. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2012, when he pitched for the Brewers and Orioles. The Mariners told Wolf he had made the team, but he did not want to sign a 45-day advance consent release, Johns notes.
- The Blue Jays have signed pitcher Shawn Hill from the York Revolution of the Atlantic League, MLive.com's Chris Iott tweets. Hill, 32, last appeared in the big leagues in 2012 with the Jays. He posted a 5.51 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 150 1/3 innings with the Tigers' Triple-A Toledo affiliate in 2013.
- The Padres have acquired catcher Adam Moore from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations, tweets Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. The 29-year-old has seen bit action at the MLB level in each of the last five years. In his longest stint, a 2010 run with the Mariners, Moore managed only a .513 OPS in 218 plate appearances.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.
Francoeur, 30, hit .204/.238/.298 in 256 plate appearances with the Royals and Giants in 2013. He has hit .263/.306/.419 in his nine-year big-league career, but has struggled both offensively and defensively in each of the past two seasons.
The Royals have claimed Rule 5 choice Patrick Schuster off of waivers from the Padres, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reports (Twitter links). The 23-year-old southpaw was the first choice in this year's Rule 5 draft.
Kansas City will now have the same rights as did San Diego, meaning the club will need to keep him on its active roster all year in order to keep him going forward. Otherwise, he would once again hit the waiver wire and ultimately (if he clears waivers) be offered back to the Diamondbacks, his original team.
As Dierkes notes, the Royals had seemed ready to give its last pen slot to fellow lefty Francisley Bueno. Instead, perhaps, the club will see if Schuster is able to contribute enough to occupy a valuable roster slot. Of course, Kansas City would need to pass the out-of-options Bueno through waivers to stash him in the minors.
The Padres have informed Rule 5 selection Patrick Schuster that he will not make the Opening Day roster, reports Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter). This means that Schuster -- whose rights were acquired from the Astros via trade -- will be offered back to his former club, the Diamondbacks, if he clears waivers.
The 23-year-old lefty was the first overall choice in this year's Rule 5 draft. He has thrown eight spring innings for San Diego, putting up a 2.25 ERA and striking out three against one walk. Nevertheless, he has yet to see any regular-season action above the High-A level. Schuster posted strong numbers there last year with the Diamondbacks organization, throwing to a 1.83 ERA in 44 1/3 frames while striking out 9.1 per nine and walking 3.7 per nine.
With both Schuster and fellow southpaw Tony Sipp getting notice that they would not break camp, it appears that San Diego could start out with just one lefty in its bullpen.
The Rockies don't look like a top team this year, but their best-case scenario could get them to the playoffs, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. That might mean staying near .500 until the summer, adding a bit of talent at the trade deadline, and clearing the way for young pitchers Eddie Butler and Jon Gray to help propel the team into the postseason. That might not be likely for the Rockies, Renck suggests. But it's possible. Here are more notes from the West divisions.
- The Astros' recent approach to pre-free-agency extensions (they've discussed them with Matt Dominguez and Robbie Grossman, who lack star upside, as well as Jason Castro and George Springer) is different than most teams', CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes. "In the past these deals were limited to the best players in the game," GM Jeff Luhnow says. But that's not the Astros' philosophy. Their approach to extensions is typical of the Astros' outside-the-box view of how to build a team, Heyman suggests.
- The Padres won't pursue starting pitching help from outside, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. They feel they have enough depth with the young starting pitching already in the organization. San Diego, one of many teams dealing with pitching injuries, recently lost Josh Johnson for the first several weeks of the season, and Joe Wieland is now out until the All-Star Break as well.
The Padres will shut starting pitcher Josh Johnson down for 10 days to two weeks with a strained flexor, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. Johnson will be out for at least four weeks. It must be a frustrating injury for Johnson, who only started 16 games last season. While the injury doesn't appear to threaten a huge portion of the season, the Padres can feel grateful for an option they built into Johnson's contract -- if Johnson starts fewer than seven games this season, the Padres get a $4MM option on his services for 2015. Here are more notes on pitchers.
- Another Padres pitcher, Joe Wieland, will have minor surgery to address irritation in his elbow, tweets MLB.com's Corey Brock. He is expected to be back by the All-Star Break. Wieland spent last season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
- The Rangers are facing a decision on Tommy Hanson, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan writes. Hanson has a split contract that calls for him to receive $2MM guaranteed in the Majors and less than that in the minors. If the Rangers don't option him by Wednesday, they'll be on the hook for the entire $2MM, but if they do option him, he can opt out and become a free agent. The Rangers are trying to figure out what to do in their rotation after Yu Darvish, Martin Perez and Tanner Scheppers.
Here are today's minor moves from around the league.
- The Orioles have released DH Jack Cust and 1B Matt LaPorta, MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski reports. Cust was out of baseball in 2013 but hit .243/.400/.442 in 493 plate appearances for two Triple-A teams in 2012. He has played in parts of two big-league seasons, collecting by far the most playing time as a DH/OF for the Athletics from 2007 through 2010. LaPorta, 29, hit .238/.310/.476 in 184 plate appearances for the Indians' Triple-A Columbus affiliate in 2013. He was the key piece in the 2008 trade that sent C.C. Sabathia from Cleveland to Milwaukee.
- The Padres have released pitcher Zach Braddock and infielder Brandon Wood, tweets MLB.com's Corey Brock. Braddock, 26, pitched 51 innings combined in 2010 and 2011 with the Brewers. Wood, of course, was once a top prospect with the Angels. He spent 2013 playing Triple-A ball with the Orioles and Royals, hitting .226/.262/.329 in 252 plate appearances. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2011 with the Pirates.
- The Brewers have released pitcher Eric Arnett, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets. Arnett, a 2009 first-round pick, pitched sparingly in 2013, missing most of the season after having knee surgery.