Scott Sizemore Rumors
For the latest on negotiations between MLB and Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball on the posting fee arrangement -- which has major implications, in particular, for highly-regarded starter Masahiro Tanaka -- check out this update from Ben Badler of Baseball America. We'll round out the evening with a variety of links from around the National League:
- Alexander Guerrero is dealing with a hamstring injury in his Dominican Winter League stint, tweets Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, and GM Ned Colletti indicated that the missed time could postpone the Dodgers' decision as to whether he'll play short or second next year. That decision -- or, potentially, the inability to make it -- could seemingly have an impact on Los Angeles' off-season shopping list.
- The Diamondbacks are down on the free agent market, reports MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. "I've spoken a little to our own free agents," said GM Kevin Towers. "But from the looks of where this free agent market is right now and where it's headed, it's not a place where I want to do a lot of business." Gilbert notes that the club has made an offer to infielder Eric Chavez, but that he is still mulling interest from other landing spots.
- The Rockies are implementing a new player development structure, reports Thomas Harding of MLB.com. In lieu of roving instructors, the standard in baseball, Colorado will employ "developmental directors" who will each be responsible for a given team and look to prioritize skill development rather than minor league game outcomes.
- Discussing the club's recent signing of Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak explained that a thin shortstop market left Peralta as the best fit for the club. While he said the club considered his PED suspension, he opined that "I don't think it's the Cardinals' responsibility necessarily to be the morality police on potentially future employment." As Peralta admitted his violation of the league's policy and paid his penance, said Mozeliak, "at this point in the game, there's nothing that says he can't go play or isn't free to go sign with another club."
- Mozeliak also said that the club looked around at possible trades, but found the cost prohibitive, tweets Stan McNeal of FOX Sports Midwest.
- In a well-argued set of responses to fan questions, Adam Kilgore and James Wagner of the Washington Post took stock of a wide range of issues facing the Nationals. Among the thoughts offered relate to the second base position. The Nats are well-situated to add Robinson Cano, says Kilgore, and the move makes some sense. But Kilgore explains that such a scenario remains largely unlikely. Meanwhile, fallen keystoner Danny Espinosa has relatively minimal trade value, Wagner offers. His value to the organization, in terms of upside and as a competitor/backup option to Anthony Rendon, probably outweighs what he'd return.
- The Marlins are mulling over a minor league offer to infielder Scott Sizemore, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel. Certainly, Miami would figure to have the inside track on players looking for a legitimate chance to see big league time at second or third.
- Miami has not only lured "superscout" Jeff McAvoy away from the Rays, but sources tell Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports that the club will add Mike Berger from the Diamondbacks in a vice president role (Twitter links). This makes for a quiet but outstanding off-season, opines Passan, who notes that the organization could look quite different if owner Jeffrey Loria gives new GM Dan Jennings more authority than was afforded predecessor Larry Beinfest.
Here are today's minor moves from around the league...
- The Astros have signed righty Peter Moylan to a minor league contract with a Spring Training invite, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. After an injury-plagued 2013, Moylan recently elected to become a free agent rather than accepting an outright assignment from the Dodgers.
- Hansel Robles has cleared waivers and will remain under the Mets' control despite being removed from the 40-man roster, reports Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). The 23-year-old has never appeared above the High-A level; throwing there last year, he put up a 3.72 ERA in 84 2/3 innings, posting 7.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. Robles tossed 18 innings in the Arizona Fall League, striking out 19 batters and registering a 4.00 ERA in that span.
- The Athletics have outrighted second baseman/third baseman Scott Sizemore, according to the team's transactions page. The 28-year-old received crushing news when he was diagnosed with a torn ACL this Spring -- the second straight season in which that exact injury has shelved him for the whole year. Formerly a promising prospect in the Tigers organization, Sizemore is a career .238/.328/.381 with 14 homers in 160 career games.
- Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Royals have signed right-hander Cory Wade to a minor league deal (Twitter link). The 30-year-old split the 2013 campaign between the Rays, Cubs and Mets Triple-A affiliates, totaling a 3.86 ERA in 67 2/3 innings.
- Cotillo also tweets that right-hander Josh Judy has signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers. Judy, 27, posted a 6.75 ERA between the Angels' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates in 2013 but has respectable minor league numbers in his career (3.83 ERA, 9.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9). Judy's deal does not contain an invite to Spring Training.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
The Athletics held their A's Fan Fest today with manager Bob Melvin and GM Billy Beane hosting a Q&A session. Here are the highlights:
- Melvin says second base will be an open competition between Scott Sizemore and Jemile Weeks while Grant Green, the A's fourth-best prospect as ranked by MLB.com, will also receive a hard look, reports MLB.com's Jane Lee (Twitter links).
- Melvin plans to continue with the Brandon Moss/Chris Carter platoon at first base, tweets Lee.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets the A's will not use any one set lineup because Melvin has multiple options depending on matchups and who's hot.
- Melvin views Coco Crisp as the starting center fielder with Chris Young moving around all three outfield spots, Lee tweets.
- Young says being reunited with Melvin is "like a breath of fresh air." (A's team Twitter feed).
- Melvin calls Yoenis Cespedes one of most talented players in the league and Beane adds he wouldn't be surprised if the 27-year-old Cuban takes it to another level, Slusser tweets.
- Beane is confident Hiroyuki Nakajima will make a successful transition to MLB, tweets Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com. In fact, Beane joked he will have a tougher transition in dealing with the effervescent Japanese shortstop.
- Beane expects their top prospect, outfielder Michael Choice, to open the season in Triple-A, unless something unforeseen happens, according to Pratt (via Twitter).
- The A's are convinced shortstop Addison Russell, last year's first round draft choice, is mature enough to be invited to Spring Training even though it wasn't part of his contract, writes Slusser on Twitter. Slusser adds this is an indication of how much the 19-year-old has wowed the front office.
Links for Saturday afternoon..
- Yoenis Cespedes' deal with the Athletics is now official, according to the club's Twitter account. Cespedes' deal is for four years and is reportedly worth $36MM.
- In a corresponding move, the A's opened a spot for Cespedes on the 40-man roster by placing Scott Sizemore on the 60-day disabled list. Sizemore will miss the entire 2012 campaign after tearing his left ACL.
- Outfielders Rick Ankiel and Brett Carroll, who are both on minor league deals, are making a solid case to make the Nationals' major league squad, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
- Although people in the Nationals organization like Davey Johnson wanted him to return, Livan Hernandez says that he knew early on that his time was up in Washington, tweets Ladson.
- The Brewers renewed the contract of right-hander John Axford this afternoon and the two sides continue to talk about a multiyear deal, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
- Right-hander Kiko Calero is considering a procedure similar to what Bartolo Colon underwent as he weighs a comeback, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
- Both the Yankees and Red Sox are operating differently in 2012 thanks to the luxury tax threshold of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.com. The new provision, Speier writes, creates the possibility for more payroll parity than the game has seen in years.
This time next year the Houston Astros will be about to join the AL West, but for now it remains baseball's only four-team division. Here's the latest news, starting with a serious injury...
- The Athletics announced that third baseman Scott Sizemore has a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the 2012 season.
- An A's official tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that the club is high on Josh Donaldson as a possible replacement for Sizemore (Twitter link). However, today's news makes the A's person "want to vomit."
- The Athletics would likely have interest in Angels infielder Alberto Callaspo if they explore the trade market for a third baseman, Slusser wrote Sunday. The A's probably wouldn't part with a significant prospect for him, however.
- Athletics first baseman Kila Ka'aihue told Jane Lee of MLB.com that he was always looking over his shoulder with the Royals. "They never really wanted me there," he said. "I always did well enough to hang around but was always passed up." Ka'aihue is competing for the first base job in Oakland.
- The Angels plan to find Bobby Abreu regular playing time --perhaps 400 plate appearances or so -- and the left-handed hitter is ‘fine’ with the arrangement, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes. Earlier this month Abreu told ESPN Deportes that he would like to be traded if the Angels don't find him an everyday role.
- Not counting team president Nolan Ryan and special assistant Greg Maddux, do the Rangers have an ace? Jerry Crasnick asks this question at ESPN.com, pointing out that the two-time defending AL Champions have lost Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson to free agency since 2010. "If we don't have a No. 1, we're stacked with 2s," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "And that's OK.''
Here are some notes on the A's as they get set to take on the Orioles in Baltimore..
- The A's recalled Scott Sizemore from Triple-A Sacramento, and demoted third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to the team's official Twitter page. Oakland acquired Sizemore from the Tigers in exchange for David Purcey in late May.
- The Athletics have confirmed that Jason Bergmann signed a minor league deal with the club on June 1st. The right-hander has been placed on the Double-A Midland roster. The 29-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in December but was cut loose in March due to a shoulder injury.
A night after striking out four times in four plate appearances, Adam Dunn walked in all four of his plate appearances in Friday's 4-2 loss to Toronto. If we're sticking to a pattern of Dunn's "three true outcomes," then theoretically, Dunn should hit four home runs against the Blue Jays tomorrow. Set your fantasy lineups accordingly!
Some news from around the majors as we go into the weekend...
- Frank McCourt will be able to meet the Dodgers' May 31 payroll, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. One of Shaikin's sources says McCourt is still looking to secure the funds to meet the next payroll deadline on June 15. If McCourt fails to meet payroll, Major League Baseball will seize control of the team from the embattled owner and cover the payroll itself.
- With Bobby Abreu on pace to easily reach 433 plate appearances and cause his $9MM option for 2012 to vest, the Angels will owe $48MM in 2012 to Abreu, Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter. Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com thinks allowing Abreu's option to vest "would be just another poor long-term decision for a GM [Tony Reagins] that seems to be specializing in them," and wonders why the Halos would tie so much money up in the outfield when their top prospect (Mike Trout) is an outfielder and Peter Bourjos is in the picture.
- In his analysis of today's Scott Sizemore-for-David Purcey trade, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that the Tigers first contacted the Athletics about Purcey on the very day that Oakland acquired the left-hander from the Blue Jays. The deal was a natural match since "the A’s long have had interest in Sizemore," and plan to convert him to a third baseman.
- Matthew Eddy of Baseball America wraps up the week's minor league transactions.
- Joe Girardi said he could move Nick Swisher into a platoon with Chris Dickerson if Swisher doesn't pick up his hitting from the left side of the plate, reports Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. Swisher still has four months to get on track, but right now it looks like there's no chance the Yankees will pick up his $10.25MM option for 2012.
- Ryan Drese was granted his release by the Orioles earlier today, and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports the veteran righty is expected to sign a minor league deal with the Astros.
The Tigers have acquired left-hander David Purcey from the Athletics for second baseman Scott Sizemore, the teams announced. The move provides the Tigers with another left-handed relief option and gives the A's second base depth behind the struggling Mark Ellis. In related moves, the Tigers called Danny Worth up and the A's called Bobby Cramer up.
Purcey, a 2004 first rounder, arrived in Oakland last month, after the Blue Jays designated him for assignment. He has a 3.60 ERA for the A's and Blue Jays this year with a 10K/7BB ratio through 15 innings. Last year, the 29-year-old posted a career-best 3.71 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 34 innings out of Toronto's 'pen.
Sizemore has been Detroit's everyday second baseman since getting the call to the Majors in early May. He has a .222/.329/.238 line in 74 plate appearances this year, which is similar to the batting line he produced as a rookie in 2010 (.224/.296/.336). A fifth round pick in 2006, Sizemore has a .301/.387/.453 line in the minor leagues.
The Tigers currently have three left-handed relievers on the active roster: Daniel Schlereth and recent additions Charlie Furbush and Adam Wilk (Brad Thomas is on the DL). Wilk and Furbush debuted this week and Purcey has pitched more MLB innings than Schlereth and Thomas combined, so he'll provide manager Jim Leyland with something of a known commodity.
The Tigers made quite a bit of noise yesterday, declining to pick up Magglio Ordonez's option and announcing that they would not pursue Cliff Lee or another top tier free agent starting pitcher, among several other things. John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press has some more today...
- First base (Miguel Cabrera) and centerfield (Austin Jackson) are the only positions set in stone for next year, and they plan to fill several others from within. Alex Avila (.228/.316/.340 in 333 plate appearances) will take over as the starting catcher, and Ryan Raburn (.280/.340/.474 in 410 PA) will essentially have a full-time outfield job. Second base will also be filled from within, with Will Rhymes and Scott Sizemore representing the early favorites. Once he returns from knee surgery, Carlos Guillen is expected to be a "jack of all trades."
- The Tigers do have interest in bringing Ordonez back, presumably at a rate much lower than the $15MM option they declined. That could fill the hole at designated hitter.
- Dave Dombrowski acknowledged that Brandon Inge's defense is why they want him back, but they feel he can chip in double digit homers as well. Yesterday we heard that the two sides were discussing a multi-year contract.
- Brennan Boesch, who hit .163/.237/.222 in the second half after a .342/.397/.593 first half, will "have to step up" like any young player who wants a full-time job according to the GM.
- Dombrowski told Tom Gage of The Detroit News that he wants to add a middle-of-the-order bat, and he would prefer it to be a lefthanded hitter (Twitter link). Cabrera led the league with 32 intentional walks, so finding him some protection is a must. Some notable lefty bats that will be on the free agent market: Adam Dunn, Russell Branyan, Brad Hawpe, and Hideki Matsui, though all of those guys are defensively challenged.
Links for Sunday....
- More from Rosenthal, as he tweets that the Padres are not looking to move Tim Stauffer despite there being several teams interested in the pitcher. Stauffer has been rumored to be on the trade block as he is out of options.
- FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter) that the Twins will use a closer-by-committee approach to start the season, which presumably means no trades are imminent.
- Dave Dombrowski denies that the Tigers are looking for a second base upgrade, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark had reported that Detroit could be in the market for a second baseman, given Scott Sizemore's up-and-down spring, but Dombrowski says the club's lineup is set. The GM also mentions that "a lot of clubs have been calling" about the Tigers' pitching.
- Ian Desmond has been named the Nationals' starting shortstop, according to the team's Twitter page. The rookie beat out Cristian Guzman, who will now earn $8MM this season as a utilityman. Guzman, for his part, will not ask for a trade, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The Rockies had interest in Chad Gaudin last year, but don't think they have a spot for him anymore, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports.
- Mike Lowell is maintaining a realistic outlook on his current situation, writes Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston. Edes adds in a tweet that Lowell took grounders at third base this morning, a good sign for the health of his knee.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post explains the decision facing the Nationals regarding Scott Olsen. The Nats are evaluating whether or not Olsen belongs in their rotation, and will owe him his full 2010 base salary ($1MM) if he's with the team past March 31.