Sergio Mitre Rumors
Earlier today the Yankees returned Rule 5 selection Jamie Hoffmann to the Dodgers, however the doesn't mean they lost him forever. Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News notes that there have been "plenty of whispers in recent weeks" about the two teams working out a trade to keep Hoffmann in pinstripes, possibly involving Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre.
Los Angeles already has plenty of options in camp for the back of their rotation, though many of those pitchers have unfavorable contract situations. Both Gaudin and Mitre are out of options, but there's a chance the Dodgers' brass feels more comfortable with one of them in the rotation instead of their current fifth starter hodgepodge. Last week we heard that the Yanks were "almost certain" to deal one of Gaudin or Mitre.
If a trade is made, it would allow the Yankees to stash Hoffmann in Triple-A, something they couldn't do with the Rule 5 strings attached. After dealing both Melky Cabrera and Austin Jackson earlier this offseason, the team is looking to rebuild some outfield depth.
A National League executive tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that the D'Backs are exploring trades for rotation depth. Brandon Webb is recovering from a shoulder injury, so the D'Backs have some concern about their starting five. Right now, that group consists of Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson and some combination of Ian Kennedy, Billy Buckner, Kevin Mulvey and Rodrigo Lopez.
Links for Thursday...
- ESPN's Jorge Arangure tweets that Jose Julio Ruiz has changed agents, which will likely complicate any negotiations. The Red Sox were reported hot on the Cuban defector's trail.
- Tim Marchman of SI.com ranks MLB's 30 general managers, from Andrew Friedman to Dayton Moore.
- Moore tells Doug Tucker of the AP that he's confident he'll continue to build the team's farm system. The Royals have tripled their budget in Latin America under Moore.
- Stephania Bell of ESPN.com explains the injury risks that come with Billy Wagner, Troy Glaus, Takashi Saito and Tim Hudson, four players the Braves signed or extended this offseason.
- I've ranked the American League offenses over at RotoAuthority, using CHONE projections and the Baseball Musings lineup analysis tool.
- Jack Curry tweets that no one has called the Yankees yet about Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre, and GM Brian Cashman won't deal until late spring anyway.
- Milton Bradley told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that "obviously, it was something with Chicago, not me." Bradley says the Cubs tried to make him a player he's not, expecting 30 home runs.
- Cubs manager Lou Piniella said on ESPN's Waddle & Silvy show that he'll determine his future after the season.
The Yankees head into the 2010 season with the front four spots of their rotation set, but with an open competition for the final spot. Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain are the front runners for that spot, but manager Joe Girardi maintains that others like Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, and Alfredo Aceves will be give a chance to win the job.
Gaudin, 27 in March, will earn $2.95MM in 2010 and will become a free agent after the season. In 31 games (25 starts) for the Padres and Yankees, he posted a 4.64 ERA with an 8.5 K/9 and a 4.3 BB/9. He has experience starting and relieving, and has thrown at least 90 innings in each of the last three seasons.
Mitre, on the other hand, with earn $850K in his age-29 season in 2010, and still has another year of arbitration eligibility ahead of him. After missing the entire 2008 season with Tommy John surgery, Mitre posted a 6.79 ERA in 12 games (nine starts) last year, striking out just 5.6 men per nine innings. He should improve as he gets further away from his surgery.
Since both Gaudin and Mitre are out of options, they would need to clear waivers before they could be sent to the minors. Since the Yankees only have room for one of them on their pitching staff, the other could become trade bait. Can you think of any potential fits of either Gaudin or Mitre? Maybe the Dodgers since they need a fifth starter?
Some links for Tuesday evening...
- In an appearance on Jim Bowden's XM-175 radio show, Yankees' GM Brian Cashman said the team never made an offer to Hideki Matsui, and that their offer to Johnny Damon was conditional (link goes to Twitter).
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that the Brewers have agreed to terms with four of their pre-arbitration eligible players.
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News mentions that the contracts of Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin are not guaranteed. The Yanks could cut them in Spring Training and would only be required to pay them 30-45 days of termination pay.
- Luis Castillo spoke about all of the offseason trade rumors he was involved in, writes MLB.com's Marty Noble.
- A Mets' official told Adam Rubin of The New York Daily News that the team would like to sign a lefty reliever like Joe Beimel, as long as the pitcher was willing to accept a contract worth about $1MM for just one year.
- The Astros signed Felipe Paulino to a one-year deal that will pay him $415K if he makes the big league roster, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter). Paulino is likely to be arbitration eligible for the first time as a Super Two next season.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that the Diamondbacks and Mark Reynolds have agreed to negotiate a contract extension until Opening Day, though talks will cease after that. Heyman spoke to some executives who think Prince Fielder's two-year, $18MM deal could be used as a comparison.
- ESPN's Buster Olney hears from officials involved in the Felipe Lopez bidding that they think the free agent infielder is likely to end up back in St. Louis (link goes to Twitter).
- Former Blue Jays' GM J.P. Ricciardi is joining ESPN as a television analyst, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- Now that the Rod Barajas deal is official, the order for the 2010 draft is set. The Blue Jays, Barajas' former team, hold ten of the first 126 picks.
The Yankees and pitcher Sergio Mitre avoided arbitration, reaching an agreement for $850K plus incentives tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Mitre had Tommy John surgery in July of '08, and was released by the Marlins in September of that year. The Yankees signed him a few months later and were able to retain him for 2010 even after declining his option.
Mitre, 29 in February, served a 50-game PED suspension as he recovered from the elbow surgery. He ended up tossing 54.3 strong minor league innings and 51.6 ugly big league frames. He could become trade bait if the Yankees go elsewhere for their fifth starter.
Javier Vazquez was traded for the fifth time in his 12-season career today, and we've collected reactions.
- Braves GM Frank Wren told reporters that Melky Cabrera is a nice fit, but he's still looking for offense. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the $8MM or so saved by the Braves probably won't go toward Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, but he wonders if they'll try for Adrian Gonzalez. We've got more on potential bats for the Braves here.
- ESPN's Keith Law says the Braves were "lucky to get a young pitcher as good as Arodys Vizcaino," as he feels this trade was basically a salary dump. Law believes the Braves' Kenshin Kawakami signing in January was unnecessary, and that led to this Vazquez trade.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post has pretty much every Yankees angle covered. Vazquez was simply the best available option for them. The Yanks' payroll is up around $198MM against a $200MM target, though trading Sergio Mitre and/or Chad Gaudin would free up a little cash. The Yanks will try to snag a veteran left fielder at a bargain rate, and aren't considering Holliday or Bay.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman confirmed that he won't be adding a big piece (MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reporting). Chad Jennings of The LoHud Journal has quotes from Vazquez from the conference call.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Rays, Orioles, and Blue Jays should just give up now.
Now that they're set to acquire Javier Vazquez, the Yankees have a surplus of pitching. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says (via Twitter) that the Yanks will try to trade Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre before Spring Training ends to free up some money.
Both pitchers will become free agents after the season. Mitre earned $1.25MM last year, striking out 32 batters in 51.2 innings for a 6.79 ERA (5.40 FIP). Gaudin earned $2MM, striking out 139 in 147.1 innings and allowing just 146 hits for an ERA of 4.64 (4.16 FIP). Gaudin would figure to have some value on the trade market.
We've heard a lot about the "Joba Rules" ever since Joba Chamberlain was first called up to the Yankees in 2007. Going into next season, however, the "Rules" are up in the air since nobody seems to even know what the game will be for the young right-hander in 2010. Chamberlain told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo that the Yankees have yet to inform him if he will be a starter or a reliever next season.
Chamberlain doesn't seem bothered by the lack of information, saying "it helps me just to know that I've been put in a lot of situations and it's going to help me in the long run." In fact, Chamberlain also said that he hopes Andy Pettitte (a man he regards as a good friend and mentor) comes back for another season in New York, even though Pettitte's return might squeeze Chamberlain out of a rotation spot.
DiComo notes that should Pettitte re-sign with the Yankees, he would be the No. 3 starter behind C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. This leaves the final two spots in the New York rotation open, to be contested between the likes of Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Alfredo Aceves and possibly Chien-Ming Wang (as reported last week by the New York Post's Joel Sherman). This competition could end up being for just one rotation spot should the Yankees sign a free agent pitcher like John Lackey.
Chamberlain posted a 4.75 ERA in 31 starts for New York last season, but was hit hard in the second half of the season --- the Nebraskan had a 7.67 ERA in August and September. He was moved to the bullpen for the Yankees' playoff run and recorded a 2.84 ERA in 10 relief appearances, plus a win in Game 4 of the World Series.
Interestingly, DiComo said that Hughes is "more of a lock to start than Chamberlain" in spite of the fact that Hughes flourished coming out of the bullpen in 2009. Hughes had a 5.45 ERA in seven starts last season, but a 1.40 ERA in 44 relief appearances as he gradually became Mariano Rivera's primary set-up man.
What do you think, Yankees fans? Who would you be more comfortable with as a starter in 2010 if you could pick only one: Chamberlain or Hughes? For what role do you think each pitcher is ideally suited?
1:13pm: Marc Carig of The Newark Star Ledger reports that the Yanks have declined Sergio Mitre's 2010 option. Mitre remains under team control and is arbitration eligible.
12:43pm: George A. King III of The NY Post has some Yankee rumbings for us today, so let's round 'em up...
- GM Brian Cashman said he's received calls from various agents, but hasn't returned them yet because he has to "wait to see about payroll." The team's pro scout meetings begin tomorrow, and after that Cashman will "take the ideas and estimated money to the Steinbrenner family."
- King says that John Lackey's representatives have contacted the Yankees. An agent (not Lackey's) thinks righty can land a deal similar to Barry Zito's seven year, $126MM contract.
- An industry source says "Everybody seems to be in a wait-and-see mode and that plays into how the Yankees have been working. Take Jason Bay, they can wait around like they did with Mark Teixeira last winter."
- Regarding Ben Sheets, Cashman said they'll "go through the scouting reports and see where the market is. After we decide what it is, that will determine if we have less or more (interest)."
- Sheets' agent, Casey Close, says that more than half-a-dozen teams have called to tell him to "keep them in the loop."