Scott Feldman Rumors
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.
Rangers right-hander Koji Uehara is drawing “considerable interest,” MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. A possible deal with the Blue Jays fell through, but the Orioles are intrigued and other teams have shown more interest than Baltimore.
Scott Feldman has also drawn interest, Sullivan reports. However, the 28-year-old right-hander will make $6.5MM in 2012 with a $9.25MM club option for 2013 ($600K buyout), and he spent much of the 2011 season recovering from a winter knee operation. I expect the Rangers would pick up the majority of Feldman’s contract in any trade. He posted a 3.94 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 32 innings in the second half of last season.
Uehara posted a 2.35 ERA with 11.8 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 in 65 innings for the Orioles and Rangers in 2011. However, he allowed 11 regular season home runs and three more in the postseason. He'll earn $4MM in 2012.
Scott Feldman rejected an assignment to the minor leagues after clearing outright waivers and the Rangers will activate him tonight, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The Rangers, who placed Feldman on outright waivers earlier in the week, can option Yoshinori Tateyama to the minors to create active roster space for Feldman, but they'll have to make another move to create room on the 40-man roster.
Once Feldman rejected the minor league assignment, the Rangers had the choice of activating him or releasing him. If they had released Feldman, who has spent the entire season recovering from a winter knee operation, they would still have been responsible for the $9MM or so remaining on his contract.
Feldman was a starter for Texas from 2008-10, but the Rangers will likely put him in the bullpen now. The 28-year-old has a 4.80 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in six seasons. He signed an $11.5MM extension with the Rangers after posting a 4.08 ERA in 189 2/3 innings in 2009.
9:45pm: Feldman will join the Rangers' big league bullpen tomorrow, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The Rangers will need to clear a 40-man roster spot for the righty. Either Andres Blanco is going to the 60-day DL, or someone is getting designated for assignment or outrighted.
10:02am: The Rangers placed starter Scott Feldman on outright waivers, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The waivers expire in about two hours. The Rangers' goal appears to be avoiding adding Feldman back to the 40-man roster, since his stay on the 60-day DL is ending and the roster is currently full.
Feldman had microfracture knee surgery in November of last year, and I think he'll clear waivers because of his contract. He's owed about $1.8MM more this year, $6.5MM in 2012, and a $600K buyout for a total of almost $9MM through next season. Feldman has made ten rehab starts this year, posting a 4.17 ERA, 5.8 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9 across 49 2/3 Double and Triple-A innings.
Feldman, 28, posted a 4.08 ERA in 189 2/3 big league innings in 2009, earning him the multiyear contract. Teams looking for low strikeout innings eaters have safer options this month, such as Jason Marquis and Bruce Chen.
Links for Friday, with less than 24 hours before the deadline...
- The Pirates acquired minor league outfielder Mitch Jones from the Braves, according to MLB.com's transactions page. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the Braves obtained cash in return (Twitter link).
- The Rangers are the only team that has slight interest in Mike Lowell, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (via Twitter).
- The Mets shopped Oliver Perez today, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The Cubs are resigned to the fact that if they want to trade Carlos Zambrano, it will have to happen in the winter, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports will believe that Cody Ross is unavailable once the deadline passes tomorrow. Until then he's a skeptic (Twitter link).
- Teams like Joe Beimel, but are only offering the Rockies non-prospects, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). The Rockies are shopping Randy Flores.
- GM Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash explained to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that the Brewers look for "plus" fastball velocity, quality breaking pitches, solid arm action and delivery and height in the pitchers they pursue.
- The Rangers are talking to rival teams to determine if there's interest in Rich Harden or Scott Feldman, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
- The Astros wanted Chad Billingsley in exchange for Roy Oswalt, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (Twitter link). The Dodgers countered with a four-prospect offer, but the Astros preferred the Phils' offer.
- The Royals aren't making much progress on deals, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (Twitter link).
- I answered questions from Neil Keefe and broke down the trade deadline in detail at WFAN.com.
As Alex Rodriguez takes a step closer to the 600-homer club, here are some news items...
- Barry Shlachter of the Star-Telegram reports on Nolan Ryan's testimony about the Rangers' money problems. The most notable item from Ryan's testimony was that Texas may not be able to afford Josh Hamilton's inevitable arbitration raise this winter. This seems hard to believe, since you'd figure that Texas would cut corners anywhere else to find the money to pay Hamilton or to negotiate a long-term deal with their star.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweets that the Rangers have excess pitching and could make Scott Feldman and/or Rich Harden available in a trade.
- Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Jamie Moyer's recent elbow injury might end the 47-year-old's amazing career.
- The Cardinals feel more confident about their chances of signing draft pick Austin Wilson after the 12th-round selection and his family visited Busch Stadium, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The highly-regarded Wilson has a full scholarship waiting for him at Stanford and thus the Cards' selection was thought to be a longshot.
- Tom Krasovic of the Inside The Padres blog writes that the Friars are looking for "a hitter adept at reaching base against right-handers."
- Holden Kushner of CSNWashington.com examines a potential Adam Dunn deal against the situation the Nationals faced in 2005 when they didn't trade Alfonso Soriano.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com discusses some Indians prospects and more in a fan mailbag.
- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune thinks the White Sox should resist the urge to trade Gordon Beckham for a rent-a-player. Haugh proposes that the Sox should instead offer up Bobby Jenks, whose closing job is up in the air.
A couple of Rangers tidbits..
- Chuck Greenberg says that his group is on the verge of acquiring the Rangers, writes Richard Durrett of ESPN.com. While he says he cannot pinpoint the date that the transfer will be complete, Greenberg says that it is on track to be done on the week of April 19th.
- Meanwhile, GM Jon Daniels says that Scott Feldman will likely be the last player to be given a contract extension before Opening Day, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Texas locked up the 27-year-old yesterday to a deal that will keep him with the Rangers until at least 2012.
Let's take a look at a few more assorted Friday links....
- After seeing Mike Leake earn a spot in the Reds' rotation without pitching in the minors, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon lists the other 20 drafted players who once made the leap straight to the show.
- The Giants officially optioned Buster Posey to Triple A Fresno, writes Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Earlier today, we looked at a potential timeline for when we could see Posey in the majors.
- Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets that the Indians will pay $900K to purchase Jamey Wright's minor league contract. Wright had a provision in his deal that allowed him to opt out if he wasn't on the big league roster by today.
- Julio Lugo expects to see a good deal of playing time in Baltimore, according to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas says that the Rangers anticipate a "continued improvement" from Scott Feldman over the course of the contract they signed him to today. In a separate piece, MacMahon notes that recent addition Ryan Garko will have his playing time dictated, to a certain extent, by how Chris Davis fares early on against lefties.
- Corey Hart doesn't intend to let recent trade rumors involving him become a distraction, according to Anthony Witrado of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.