Scott Feldman Rumors
With one-fourth of the season in the books, let's have a look around some injury situations and how they might impact the developing trade market.
- The Cardinals and Yankees provide an interesting case study as we enter the second quarter of the season. Both have excellent records and lead their division. Both have sizeable payrolls as well as large portions of those payrolls sitting idle on the DL. Both have had to insert players onto their active roster that they did not anticipate. But, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch well explains, the source of those substitute bodies has been drastically different. While the Yankees spent well over $20MM to bring in players like Lyle Overbay, Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner, and Vernon Wells -- all of whom are 34 or older -- the Cards reached into their minor league system. Remarkably, St. Louis has plugged all of its holes with players making league minimum, including young pitchers John Gast, Shelby Miller, and Seth Maness.
- The Goold piece also includes some valuable insight from GM John Mozeliak. According to Mozeliak, amongst the team's Double-A and Triple-A rosters, "there is almost at any one position, if we needed help at the big leagues, someone we could call on from there." He acknowledges that such cheap, youthful depth cannot always be achieved, and says the team is prepared to pursue other markets as necessary. "I don't want us to go down the path where we feel like we've created this functional model and don't utilize a really robust pro scouting model that makes sure we understand the trade market and understand the free agent market. We can't be scared of those." Yet, by looking internally first, the team has managed to retain salary flexibility to add outside impact down the line. "This organization's way now of staying healthy is not being tied to those outside markets to fill needs," says Mozeliak. "Having some young players step up like they are now gives us additional flexibility when we're going to need it."
- The Cards' internal depth will once again be put to use with starter Jaime Garcia now staring at a strong possibility of season-ending shoulder surgery, writes Goold. Even with fellow starter Jake Westbrook also stuck on the DL, the team has multiple options among its current relief corps and Triple-A rotation that make a look outside the organization unlikely. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Garcia's replacement(s) can match his strong start to the year. He had thrown 55 1/3 innings of 3.58 ERA baseball to open the season. Veteran starter Chris Carpenter is increasingly shaping up as a viable mid-season option for the club. But any setback in his surprising recovery, or hiccups among the team's young hurlers, could lead St. Louis to consider eventually utilizing some of its salary reserves and young minor league depth in a trade.
- The Braves are another National League contender dealing with injured arms. As Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com's Matt Snyder writes, Eric O'Flaherty appears likely to join fellow setup man Jonny Venters as a season-ending Tommy John patient. While the team seems likely to utilize internal options to fill in for the present, the loss of its two late-inning lefties leaves the team with just one southpaw in the pen, Luis Avilan. Ultimately, then, Atlanta could be forced to explore the trade market to re-establish its depth as the season wears on.
- Teams shopping for starters at the trade deadline appear likely to find a limited supply of attractive arms, says ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider subscription required). Two Cubs pitchers headline the developing market, with Scott Feldman shaping up as the surprise top option at the moment. (Matt Garza, of course, will begin his potential audition on Tuesday.) In addition to several other well-documented trade candidates in Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins and the Astros' Bud Norris and Lucas Harrell, Olney pegs the Padres' Jason Marquis and Edinson Volquez as likely available. Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon of the Athletics and Cliff Lee of the Phillies could also be dealt, writes Olney, with the A's having other internal options and the Phils still weighing how to proceed with their excellent (but expensive) 35-year-old co-ace.
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.
Several player agents tell Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that the Mariners' chances of attracting free agent hitters have improved now that Safeco Field's fences are being moved in. That said, while the shorter fences will help, "players look at all of those factors, but in the end, it still comes down to where they can get the best contract. And it always will," one agent says.
Here are some items from a very busy day in baseball....
- The Dodgers met with Zack Greinke on Thursday, tweets Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.
- In an interview with 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio (via Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN), Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said his team will likely pursue free agents over trades at the Winter Meetings. "We probably don't have a lot of pieces that we do have to trade for starting pitching [with Denard Span now gone]," Antony said. "We'll probably be a little more aggressive and spend our time at the winter meetings talking to agents rather than clubs."
- Russell Martin said the Yankees told him they didn't have the money available to match Pittsburgh's two-year/$17MM offer, reports David Waldstein of the New York Times. The Yankees didn't make Martin an offer and have yet to make any offers to position players this offseason, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (both links are to Twitter).
- The Yankees aren't likely to pursue either A.J. Pierzynski or Mike Napoli, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York.
- The Pirates considered pursuing Napoli but didn't think he could stay healthy and effective as a full-time catcher in the NL, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Royals offered Ryan Dempster a two-year, $26MM contract but are no longer bidding on the Canadian right-hander now that his price tag has risen, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. At least six teams besides Kansas City have been connected to Dempster this offseason.
- Also from Dutton, the Royals offered Scott Feldman a one-year, $4.5MM deal before the righty agreed to a one-year, $6MM contract with the Cubs earlier this week.
- MLB.com's John Schlegel lists 10 potential bargain signings on the free agent market.
- The week's minor league transactions are recapped by Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette tells MASNsports.com's Mel Antonen (Twitter link) that negotiations with Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders have been a "little slow" to develop.
The Cubs announced that they agreed to sign right-hander Scott Feldman to a one-year contract. Feldman, a client of agent Matt Brown, obtains a base salary of $6MM with $1MM in incentives, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports (on Twitter).
Feldman appeared in 29 games for the Rangers this past season, making 21 starts and pitching as a reliever eight times. He finished the season with a 5.09 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 42.2% ground ball rate in 123 2/3 innings. In parts of eight seasons with the Rangers, Feldman has a 4.81 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. His best season came in 2009, when he posted a 4.08 ERA in 189 2/3 innings and won 17 games.
Dave Cameron of FanGraphs identified Feldman as one of the best buys available for teams seeking value at the back of their rotations, explaining that Feldman resembles Brandon McCarthy in many ways. Feldman joins Scott Baker, Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and others in the Cubs' projected rotation.
By signing Baker and Feldman, GM Jed Hoyer has addressed one of the Cubs' most pressing offseason needs -- rotation depth -- in a meaningful and affordable way. Like Paul Maholm, who signed in Chicago last offseason, Hoyer's additions figure to provide average or better than average production on contracts that don't limit the Cubs in the long-term.
ESPN.com's Buster Olney first reported the sides were nearing a deal.
Feldman appeared in 29 games for the Rangers this past season, making 21 starts and pitching as a reliever eight times. He finished the season with a 5.09 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 42.2% ground ball rate in 123 2/3 innings. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs identified Feldman as one of the best buys available for teams seeking value at the back of their rotations, explaining that Feldman resembles Brandon McCarthy in many ways.
The Rangers declined their 2013 option for Feldman last month, choosing a $600K buyout over a $9.25MM salary.
This post was originally published on November 27th, 2012.
5:42pm: Tateyama's 2013 option was worth $1.2MM, according to our own Ben Nicholson-Smith (via Twitter).
4:03pm: The Rangers have declined their 2013 options for Scott Feldman and Yoshinori Tateyama, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The Rangers reinstated Neftali Feliz from the 60-day disabled list and purchased the contract of Justin Miller in related moves.
Feldman obtains a $600K buyout instead of a $9.25MM salary. The 29-year-old started and relieved for the Rangers this past season, posting a 5.09 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 123 2/3 innings.
The value of Tateyama's option remains unknown, but his 2012 option was valued at $1MM. The 36-year-old allowed 17 earned runs in as many innings this year after a promising debut season. He spent most of the 2012 campaign at Triple-A where he pitched much more effectively.
Many teams now find themselves flush with cash thanks to lucrative national and local TV contracts, making this a promising offseason for free agents, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). "There's so much money out there, it's scary," said a highly ranked executive. Top free agents such as Zack Greinke are obviously in line for major paydays, but other free agents such as Angel Pagan, Ryan Ludwick, and Mike Adams could be in for more money than they ever imagined. More from around baseball..
- Even after moving Chris Young, the Diamondbacks could part with Justin Upton and go with an outfield of Gerardo Parra, Adam Eaton, and Jason Kubel with A.J. Pollock in reserve, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Arizona could also move Kubel and keep Upton instead, but financially it would make more sense to move Upton as he is owed $38.5MM over the next three years.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times imagines that the Rays would have interest in Alex Rodriguez as a DH if the Yankees were willing to eat enough of his contract. The embattled third baseman is owed $114MM over the next five years and holds a complete no-trade clause.
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News lists some possible destinations for Rodriguez in 2013.
- Yankees' GM Brian Cashman told ESPN Radio he will listen to offers for Rodriguez (h/t MLB.com's Evan Drellich). "It's not like I'm going to hang phones up on anybody who wants to make any overtures about anything. You're talking about realistic stuff and unrealistic stuff. I don't think it's realistic at all for us to be moving forward with anything but Alex Rodriguez at third base."
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) suggests that the Yankees blow up the team in an effort to get younger and more athletic. Bowden's proposed plan calls for the club to start by convincing Rodriguez to waive his no-trade clause and filling his spot with the likes of a Chase Headley.
- The Orioles should have interest in Scott Feldman, if the Rangers decline his $9.25MM option, reasons CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff. The Orioles need additional rotation depth and a long reliever, roles Feldman has performed before. The right-hander is also liked by manager Buck Showalter, who was the Rangers' skipper when Feldman made his debut in 2005.
- The Blue Jays will look to trade Yunel Escobar but it won't be easy because of his reputation, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- The revival of Mark McGwire's baseball career stems from the opportunity former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa gave the slugger as the team's hitting coach, writes Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. For McGwire, he's brought staggering results to the St. Louis lineup as the team has led the National League in batting average over the past three seasons under his tutelage.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
The Rangers are expected to make right-handers Scott Feldman and Mark Lowe available at the trade deadline, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. GM Jon Daniels will look for a right-handed hitting outfielder in return.
The Rangers have an abundance of right-handed pitching after signing Roy Oswalt. Relief prospect Tanner Scheppers continues to pitch effectively at Triple-A, and Neftali Feliz will re-join the pitching staff at some point.
Lowe, 28, has a 2.66 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 20 1/3 innings two months into the season. He'll earn $1.7MM this year before hitting free agency. Feldman, 29, has a 4.50 ERA with 4.1 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 24 innings as a fill-in starter and reliever this year. The Rangers figure to decline their $9.25MM club option ($600K buyout) for Feldman if he's still on their roster after the season.
The Rangers "might prefer" to keep some of the extra arms on their pitching staff rather than make a trade, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Scott Feldman, Koji Uehara and Mark Lowe are cited as Rosenthal as the expendable members of the Rangers staff but they look likely to remain in Texas unless relievers Robert Ross or Tanner Scheppers perform well enough in Spring Training to earn jobs, which could convince the club to deal one of their veterans.
Most of the Rangers' rotation and bullpen jobs are set, and the presence of Alexi Ogando as a swingman gives Texas some backup if one of the starters falters. This leaves Feldman, who has battled both injuries and ineffectiveness since his breakout 2009 campaign. Feldman did pitch well in limited action in 2011 --- a 3.94 ERA and 2.20 K/BB ratio in 32 innings. The right-hander will earn $6.5MM this season and the Rangers hold a $9.25MM club option on him for 2013 that looks almost certain to be bought out (at a cost of $600K).
Feldman, Uehara and Lowe all drew trade buzz over the winter, with the Red Sox showing interest in the two relievers, and Uehara using his limited no-trade clause to reject a proposed deal to the Blue Jays. Uehara has posted better numbers than Lowe over the last three seasons but turns 37 in April and is earning $4MM in 2012; Lowe is eight years younger and a cheaper option at just $1.7MM.
Rosenthal notes that the Rangers received calls about Colby Lewis during the offseason as well, but the club preferred to keep the right-hander due to his durability (200+ IP in each of the last two seasons). It's no surprise Texas wanted to keep Lewis since their rotation, while deep and promising, has several question marks --- Matt Harrison and Derek Holland aren't yet completely proven entities as reliable starters, Neftali Feliz is transitioning to starting from the bullpen and Yu Darvish is making his debut to North American baseball.
On this date in 2000, the Rangers acquired David Segui and cash in a three-team trade. Texas sent Lee Stevens to the Expos, the Expos sent Brad Fullmer to the Blue Jays, and the Jays sent Segui and cash to the Rangers. Here's the latest from the two-time defending AL champs...
- The Rangers have gotten calls about Scott Feldman, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). They have a strong inclination to hang onto the versatile 29-year-old right-hander, however.
- Given their deep cache of right-handed relievers, Heyman says (on Twitter) that Texas could still trade Koji Uehara or Mark Lowe. Uehara invoked his no-trade clause to reject a deal to the Blue Jays in January.
- The Rangers rolled the dice with Brandon Webb last season, and ESPN's Buster Olney says (on Twitter) that the 32-year-old sinkerballer continues to work out with the intention of getting back on the mound for a team at some point.