- Dave Dombrowski Out As Tigers GM; Al Avila Named Replacement
- Rangers Release Wandy Rodriguez
- A.J. Burnett Expected To Miss Four Weeks With Flexor Strain
- Athletics Claim Danny Valencia
- Red Sox President Larry Lucchino To Be Replaced
- C.J. Wilson Likely Out For Season
- Dodgers, Braves, Marlins Complete 13-Player Trade
- Blue Jays Designate Danny Valencia, Ezequiel Carerra
- Orioles Designate Chris Parmelee
- Mets Acquire Yoenis Cespedes
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- Dave Dombrowski Out As Tigers GM; Al Avila Named Replacement
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- A.J. Burnett Expected To Miss Four Weeks With Flexor Strain
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Sergio Santos Rumors
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (audio link) that he’s zeroing in on fixing the starting five before addressing the relief situation. “That’s probably more our priority,” Anthopoulos said. “We could use both, but if I did have to prioritize it I’d say rotation first, bullpen would be next.” Pitcher Aaron Sanchez is expected to join the rotation upon returning from a lat strain, but the GM went on to say that he wouldn’t rule out using Sanchez in the bullpen if he were able to acquire two superior starters via trade. Here’s more out of the AL East..
- It doesn’t sound like we should expect the Blue Jays to pull off any deals anytime soon. “Very few teams are willing to do anything early…Really we might be the only one willing to do anything now,” Anthopoulos said (via SiriusXM on Twitter).
- Red Sox hurler Justin Masterson won’t specifically say that he’ll ask for a trade, but he did acknowledge the possibility, as Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald writes. “I dont know if it’s in my nature to do that, to say, ‘Beat it guys, trade me or put me in [the rotation],’” he said. “No, I don’t think that’s the time right now. Especially the way I see this team going and the way I believe in this team too.” Masterson, who is signed to a one-year, $9.5MM deal, could conceivably draw interest from a team in need of a starter. For his part, Masterson would much rather start than pitch in relief.
- The Yankees announced that reliever Sergio Santos will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, as Grace Raynor of MLB.com writes. Santos made two appearances with the Yankees after signing a minor league pact earlier this month. Over parts of six MLB seasons, Santos owns a career 3.98 ERA with 11.2 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9.
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi suspects that Ivan Nova‘s next start will be in the big leagues, Ryan Hatch of The Star-Ledger writes. Nova last pitched in the majors in April 2014 and underwent surgery on his elbow shortly afterward.
- Tim Britton of The Providence Journal looked at why the Red Sox have been underperforming their projections despite an active offseason.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- The Angels have selected the contract of right-handed reliever Trevor Gott. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was the first to note the move (via Twitter). Gott was a sixth round pick of the Padres who traded him as part of the Huston Street deal. FanGraphs’ Kiley McDaniel ranked Gott the Angels’ 10th best prospect, noting a 93-97 mph fastball and an above average curve. He has a 2.25 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 28 innings across two levels. The club’s 40-man roster was at 39 players after Kirk Nieuwenhuis was designated last week.
- Braves outfielder Eric Young Jr. has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Chris Cotillo of SBNation. Atlanta announced the move yesterday, but Young Jr. had the right to elect free agency. He hit a meager .169/.229/.273 in 85 plate appearances.
- The Yankees have selected the contract of right-handed reliever Sergio Santos, tweets Rosenthal. He’ll take the place of Esmil Rogers in a decidedly left-handed New York bullpen. Santos was initially signed to a minor league deal on June 9th. The Dodgers had previously designated him for assignment, and he elected free agency on June 6th. The righty threw 13 and one-third innings this season with 10.13 K/9, 4.73 BB/9, and a 4.73 ERA.
- The Yankees also optioned left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren and recalled righty Jose Ramirez, writes Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. Lindgren had a 5.14 ERA in seven innings. Most damagingly, he allowed three home runs in his brief work. He did show a health 10.29 K/9, but it was offset by 5.14 BB/9. His minor league work has produced similar strikeout and walk rates. Ramirez has one lousy inning at the major league level (four earned runs allowed). He pitched well in Triple-A with 9.32K/9, 3.86 BB/9, and a 2.25 ERA.
The Yankees are set to sign righty Sergio Santos to a minor league deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. He’ll reportedly head to Double-A.
Santos was designated by the Dodgers and ultimately elected free agency. He put up 13 1/3 innings for Los Angeles, producing a 4.73 ERA while striking out 10.1 and walking 4.7 batters per nine to go with a 46.2% groundball rate. Santos has held righties to a collective .555 OPS this year, though lefties have punished him with a .400/.409/.700 batting line.
New York’s pen has been quite good, though that is due in large part to the unbelievable contributions of Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. The current relief corps is heavily left-handed, a rather unusual alignment that creates a window of opportunity for the former White Sox and Blue Jays hurler to step into.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the game.
- Reliever Sergio Santos has cleared waivers and will elect free agency, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The Dodgers designated Santos for late last month after the former White Sox closer struck out 15 batters and walked seven while allowing seven runs in 13 1/3 innings this season.
- The Marlins have announced that they’ve outrighted catcher Jhonatan Solano to Triple-A New Orleans. The designated him for assignment yesterday. The 29-year-old has a career .184/.222/.301 line in 108 career plate appearances with the Nationals and Marlins, hitting a somewhat better .241/.286/.346 in about two seasons’ worth of plate appearances at the Triple-A level.
- The Indians have announced that outfielder Jerry Sands has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus. Last week, the Indians designated Sands for assignment for the second time this season. The 27-year-old Sands has hit 9-for-27 with a home run and two doubles for the Indians this year. Perhaps more representative is his .257/.385/.473 at Triple-A, a line consistent with the strong minor-league performances he’s posted throughout much of his career.
- The Phillies have released catcher John Hester, MLBTR’s Steve Adams tweets, noting that Hester had surgery on his meniscus this spring but is now healthy. The 31-year-old has played in ten minor-league games this season. He spent 2014 with Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels organization, batting .261/.338/.411. He has a career .216/.294/.351 line in 232 big-league plate appearances spread over four seasons with the Diamondbacks and Angels.
The Dodgers have designated reliever Sergio Santos for assignment, the club announced. He’ll be replaced on the active roster by outfielder Chris Heisey, though more broadly the move is presumably related to the six-player trade expected to be announced soon — which will deliver new relief arms to L.A.
Santos, 31, came to Los Angeles on a minor league deal but quickly ascended to the MLB roster. Over 13 1/3 big league innings, he owns a 4.73 ERA with 10.1 K/9 versus 4.7 BB/9 and a 46.2% groundball rate. Santos seems likely to receive another chance at some point, with the Dodgers organization or otherwise, particularly as advanced metrics suggest his mediocre ERA has masked somewhat more promising actual performance levels.
In yet another round of reliever roulette, the Dodgers have designated the just-acquired Xavier Cedeno for assignment. The club selected the contract of veteran righty Sergio Santos, necessitating the move.
Cedeno, a southpaw, was just added in a deal with the Nationals, who had designated him. Like Ryan Dennick and Daniel Corcino before him, Cedeno was added to the roster only long enough to be designated off of it, presumably with intentions of seeking outright waivers to facilitate a stashing in Triple-A.
Santos had an opt-out clause that was due May 1, so it was a use him or lose him situation for L.A. The 31-year-old has had a roller coaster of a career to this point, flashing plenty of talent while struggling with a variety of arm ailments. In 4 2/3 innings at Triple-A this year, he has allowed two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out eight opposing batters.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro discusses the path that led the Marlins to link up with young outfielder Christian Yelich on a still-unofficial extension. After exploratory talks last year, the team waited to see how other spending scenarios would shake out — including, notably, James Shields — before revisiting discussions with several younger players. Negotiations with Yelich gained traction when the team made clear it would beat Anthony Rizzo‘s seven-year, $41MM deal, says Frisaro, and proceeded quickly from that point. Frisaro will discuss that and other Marlins matters as a guest on tomorrow’s MLBTR Podcast.
Here’s more from the National League:
- The Braves are in a better situation than many realize, MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince argues. Internally, Atlanta thinks it could have a winning record and may even stay in the Wild Card picture. And in the grander scheme, the organization has improved its financial flexibility and added some interesting, upper-level arms. “What we didn’t want to have happen,” said assistant GM John Coppolella, “is finish this year .500, and then we lose [Jason] Heyward and [Justin] Upton and get back Draft picks 35 and 36 and we’re like, ‘What the heck just happened?’ Then we’d be in deep trouble for the next five or six years.” President of baseball operations John Hart explained things this way: “We’ve tried to walk down the parallel line to allow ourselves a chance to be competitive.”
- Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly praised the defensive improvements shown by infielder Alex Guerrero, as MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Los Angeles has moved him all over the diamond in an effort to expand his versatility and see where he fits most comfortably. The club will either need to put Guerrero on the big league roster or take a big hit on his four-year, $28MM deal to move him.
- After an offseason full of organizational change, the Dodgers bullpen still remains unsettled, Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com writes. At the moment, the only sure things for the Opening Day roster, per Saxon, are J.P. Howell, Chris Hatcher, and Joel Peralta, with Kenley Jansen and possibly Brandon League out with injuries. Juan Nicasio and Dustin McGowan also seem good bets, though veteran non-roster invitees Mike Adams and Sergio Santos are battling. That latter duo could end up fighting for one spot, with the loser heading to the minors to start the year.
In an interview with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link), Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said his club had looked at signing Kevin Correia and Kyle Kendrick. Houston’s interest in Correia was reported earlier this week, while Kendrick has been linked to the ‘Stros as another potential fit to fill out the back of their rotation. Luhnow also stated that the Astros had been looking at other similar starters with Major League experience. Here’s some more from both the AL and NL West divisions…
- The Athletics have checked in on free agent outfielder Nolan Reimold, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets. The Indians and Orioles are also known to be interested in Reimold, and Dan Duquette said earlier today that the O’s have extended an offer for Reimold to return to Baltimore.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto was non-committal about the idea of his team pursuing any of the top arms available in next year’s free agent market, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez writes. Payroll space could be an issue given how (according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts) the Halos have over $128MM committed to only seven players for the 2016 season.
- With Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson both set for free agency after 2016, Gonzalez wonders if the Angels could sign a major starter and then use Weaver or Wilson as trade bait, similar to how the Nationals signed Max Scherzer and now have the depth to explore trading Jordan Zimmermann or Doug Fister. There were rumors earlier this winter that the Angels were already shopping Wilson, though Dipoto issued a denial.
- Sergio Santos will earn $1MM if he makes the Dodgers‘ Major League roster, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports (via Twitter), plus another $3.05MM is available in incentives. Santos signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers last month.
- The Dodgers are committed to rebuilding their minor league system and thus are wary about exceeding their international bonus pool to sign Yoan Moncada, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes. While L.A. is very interested in Moncada, any team that wants to sign the Cuban phenom would have to greatly exceed their bonus pool to do so, and thus be limited to international signings of $300K or less for the next two international signing periods, or until July 2017. Of course, several teams have employed the strategy of exceeding the pool limit to load up on premium international talent during one signing period — the Red Sox, Angels, Rays, Yankees and Diamondbacks already face that $300K limit during the 2015-17 international signing market.
- The Diamondbacks hired former slugger Joe Carter as a special assistant to GM Dave Stewart, the team announced. Carter and Stewart were teammates in Toronto in 1993-94, both playing major roles in the Blue Jays’ 1993 World Series title.
The Dodgers have agreed to sign reliever Sergio Santos to a minor-league deal, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. Santos, the former White Sox and Blue Jays closer, has fallen on hard times over the past three seasons due largely to injury issues. The converted infielder battled a forearm strain in 2014, a triceps strain in 2013 and underwent surgery in his right shoulder to repair a frayed labrum in 2012.
Prior to his injury issues, Santos posted a strong 3.29 ERA (2.97 FIP) with 11.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 115 innings with the White Sox. After being traded to the Blue Jays (in exchange for prospect Nestor Molina), Santos struggled in 2012 but was outstanding in 2013 prior to his triceps injury; he posted a 1.75 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 25 1/3 frames out of the Toronto bullpen that season.
Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca originally tweeted that Santos was about to sign a minor-league deal with an NL West team, and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported that team was the Dodgers.
Former Royals infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen has retired from baseball, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Now 33 years old, Teahen last appeared in the Majors in 2011 and most recently split the 2013 season between the D-Backs’ minor league system and indy ball. Teahen had an outstanding 2006 season in which he batted .290/.357/.517 with 18 homers and 10 steals, but he was never able to repeat that success. Teahen eventually found himself the recipient of a three-year, $14MM extension with the White Sox that provided the bulk of his $21MM career earnings. All told, he will finish his career as a .264/.327/.409 hitter in 3171 plate appearances.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- Outfielder Jason Pridie and right-hander Merrill Kelly have signed with the SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. The 31-year-old Pridie has received cups of coffee in each of the past three seasons but accrued most of his big league service time with the 2011 Mets when he batted .231/.309/.370 in 236 PA. He’s perhaps best known for being part of the trade that sent Delmon Young to Minnesota and Matt Garza to Tampa. Kelly, on the other hand, has spent his entire career with the Rays organization. He’s posted a career 3.40 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 527 1/3 innings and reached Triple-A for the first time in 2014.
- Former Tigers infielder Danny Worth has signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks, reports MLive.com’s Chris Iott. Worth received offers from multiple clubs, including one who had interest in him as a pitcher, Iott adds (Worth pitched twice in 2014 and actually throws a decent knuckleball). The 29-year-old Worth is a career .230/.293/.295 hitter with Detroit and a .242/.320/.350 hitter at the Triple-A level.
- Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports (via Twitter) that the D-Backs have also signed former big league outfielder Ben Francisco to a minor league deal. Francisco, now 33 years of age, didn’t see big league action in 2014 but has a career .253/.323/.418 batting line in parts of seven big league seasons.
- Eddy also tweets that the Red Sox have signed right-hander Nestor Molina and catcher Luke Montz to minor league deals. Molina struggled in parts of three seasons in the White Sox’ minor league system after being acquired in the Sergio Santos trade. Montz is a 31-year-old veteran with 56 big league plate appearances and a .232/.318/.456 batting line in parts of four seasons at the Triple-A level.
- The Royals have signed infielder Gabriel Noriega, tweets Eddy. Noriega is described by Eddy as a slick fielder who made a couple of Royals Top 30 prospects lists. The 27-year-old hit .275/.299/.360 between Double-A and Triple-A in the Mariners organization last year.
- The Marlins have acquired righty Craig Stem from the Dodgers to complete the Kyle Jensen trade, Miami announced. Stem reached Double-A last year at age 24, but struggled mightily upon his promotion. The Dodgers are now expected to designate Jensen for assignment to clear room for the signing of Brandon McCarthy, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.
- First baseman Clint Robinson has joined the Nationals on a minor league pact, Ryan Walton reported on Twitter (and Robinson himself confirmed through a tweet). The 29-year-old has scant MLB experience, but torched the PCL with a .312/.401/.534 line over 499 plate appearances last year.
- Dan Johnson is set to reach a minor league deal with the Astros, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. Johnson is 35 and has not reached triple-digit MLB plate appearances since 2010 (and 2007 before that), but owns a lifetime .281/.401/.509 slash at the Triple-A level.
- The White Sox have added lefty Zach Phillips on a minor league deal, Eddy reports on Twitter. As Eddy notes, the South Siders have been loading up on LOOGY depth this offseason. The 28-year-old has seen sporadic big league action, with 15 2/3 innings to his credit over 2011-13, and spent some time last year playing in Japan.
- The Indians have added catcher Brett Hayes and corner outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands on minor league deals, Eddy tweets. Hayes has appeared in six-straight big league seasons, though he’s never seen more than 144 plate appearances in a season. Sands, 27, has mostly played at the Triple-A level in recent seasons, but did get 227 plate appearances in 2011 (.253/.338/.389).
- After being non-tendered, Jose Campos (Yankees) and Gus Schlosser (Braves) have returned to their prior organizations, Eddy reports on Twitter. Both righties have moved into swingman roles in their organizations, though Campos has yet even to reach High-A while Schlosser saw 15 games in the big leagues last year.
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