Seth Smith Rumors
The Padres have avoided arbitration with outfielder Seth Smith, the club announced on Twitter. Smith will earn $4.5MM, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected that Smith would merit a $4.3MM salary in his final trip through arbitration.
The 31-year-old hit .253/.329/.391 in 410 plate appearances last year in Oakland, including eight long balls. He had hit at least 14 home runs in each of the previous four seasons, though three of those were spent at homer-prone Coors Field. Smith has been most attractive in a platoon role throughout his career, posting a lifetime .844 OPS against righties and just a .582 OPS versus same-handed hurlers.
San Diego acquired Smith from the Athletics back in December, in exchange for reliever Luke Gregerson. As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, the Pads have reached agreement with three arb-eligible players (Tim Stauffer and Eric Stults, in addition to Smith) and have six more to go: Kyle Blanks, Everth Cabrera, Andrew Cashner, Chase Headley, Ian Kennedy, and Tyson Ross. Swartz projects that group to command a total of $22.7MM, on top of the $8.85MM that the club has already committed through arbitration this year.
Smith, 31, batted .253/.329/.391 with eight home runs in 410 plate appearances for Oakland this season. Always a better hitter against right-handed pitching, he continued that trend in 2013, posting a .748 OPS against right-handers and just a .621 mark against lefties. For his career, Smith has mashed right-handers to the tune of a .279/.357/.487 batting line. Smith's defense in left field has consistently graded out as a positive (+7.7 UZR/150, +2 Defensive Runs Saved), but he's limited to a corner position and hasn't received great marks in right field.
MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected Smith to earn $4.3MM this offseason in his final round of arbitration. He's eligible for free agency next winter.
Gregerson, 29, is also a free agent following this season and projected to earn a comparable $4.9MM salary, per Swartz. He enjoyed yet another strong season in the Padres' bullpen last year, pitching to a 2.71 ERA with 8.7 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 45.5 percent ground-ball rate. Gregerson is the second high-profile reliever added by the A's in the past 24 hours, as GM Billy Beane also acquired Jim Johnson from the Orioles last night.
The trade was first reported by Oakland-area blogger Chris Kusiolek (on Twitter).
7:46pm: Jaso's deal is worth $1.8MM, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
6:24pm: The A’s announced that they have agreed to terms with catcher John Jaso and outfielder Seth Smith on one-year contracts for the 2013 season. Terms of the deals are not yet known. Jaso is a client of ACES while Smith is represented by Aegis Sports Management.
Oakland acquired Jaso just yesterday from the Mariners in the three-team deal that sent Mike Morse to Seattle. The 29-year-old, who is first-time arbitration eligible this winter, is under team control through the 2015 season. Jaso hit .276/.394/.456 in 108 games last season, his best offensive campaign to date.
Smith, 30, has a career .267/.345/.470 slash line across six big league seasons. The A's acquired Smith from the Rockies for Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman on Wednesday. Smith, who will hit the open market after the 2014 season, earned $2.4MM from Colorado last season.
Most of the top available starting pitchers currently play in the National League, but there’s still lots of trade talk in the AL this summer. Buster Olney provides updates on the junior circuit trade market in today’s column at ESPN.com. Here are some highlights:
- The Mariners won’t trade Felix Hernandez, but Kevin Millwood, Chone Figgins, Jason Vargas and Brandon League could be dealt.
- The Red Sox have focused on adding starting pitching. Some executives believe the Rangers will make a big play for the best starting pitchers available.
- Meanwhile, the White Sox have been asking around about relievers.
- Teams have called about Seth Smith, but the Athletics will keep him. However, Kurt Suzuki could be available and the A’s will listen to offers for Brandon McCarthy, Bartolo Colon and Grant Balfour.
- The Indians figure to pursue right-handed bats and Carlos Quentin could be an option in Cleveland, Olney writes.
- The Blue Jays plan to assess their chances at the All-Star break, and some rival officials expect Toronto to sell.
- The Orioles need pitching, but Olney doesn’t expect the team to make a major addition. Similarly, the Twins figure to seek pitching in any midseason trades they consider.
- Here’s MLBTR’s recap of Olney’s look at the NL trade market.
The A's could be gearing up for a sale closer to the deadline, but for now Oakland sits at 37-40 as they enter tonight's game in Texas and may look to see how things play out. In the interim, the club would like to move left-hander Brian Fuentes. Here's the latest out of Oakland..
- In addition to Fuentes, the A's will also be willing to move Brandon McCarthy once he is healthy, major league sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The right-hander has a 2.54 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 through 12 starts this season. However, Rosenthal notes that his injury concerns could require extra rest from which ever team may acquire him. Sources add that the A's are under no financial pressure to make moves.
- The A’s also are open to moving right-hander Grant Balfour, but will seek more in return than they would for McCarthy, Rosenthal writes. Balfour is under control for 2013 with a $4.5MM club option.
- A source also tells Rosenthal that outfielder/DH Seth Smith is unlikely to be traded. Smith makes just $2.415MM this season and is and under club control through 2014.
- Fuentes politely declined to comment when asked about trade rumors or whether he has requested a trade, tweets Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group.
The Athletics acquired outfielder Seth Smith from the Rockies for righty Guillermo Moscoso and lefty Josh Outman, according to the Rockies' Twitter feed. The A's are a somewhat surprising match for Smith, but they did need corner outfield help after losing Josh Willingham and David DeJesus to free agency. Josh Reddick and Coco Crisp round out Oakland's outfield.
Smith, a 29-year-old left-handed hitter, batted .284/.347/.483 with 15 home runs in a career-high 533 plate appearances for the Rockies last year. The corner outfielder has struggled against southpaws in his career. Smith (pictured) is under team control through 2014, and MLBTR reported last night that he'll earn $2.415MM in 2012. The Rays, Mariners, Braves, and Mets are among the other teams that showed interested in Smith this winter. He became expendable after the Rockies signed Michael Cuddyer for $31.5MM in December.
Moscoso, 28, had his first prolonged big league exposure last year for the A's. He posted a 3.38 ERA, 5.2 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 0.98 HR/9, and 26.8% groundball rate in 128 innings. His flyball/pitch-to-contact approach might not play well at Coors Field. Originally signed by the Tigers, Moscoso was traded to the Rangers in December of '08 for Gerald Laird and then to the A's a year ago for Ryan Kelly. Prior to the 2010 season, Baseball America wrote, "Moscoso is ready for a big league role, either as a back-of-the-rotation starter, a long reliever, or a swingman."
Outman, 27, tossed 58 1/3 big league innings last year and another 78 1/3 at Triple-A. He's been a useful starter in the Majors, with a chunk of missed time due to June 2009 Tommy John surgery. Outman was drafted by the Phillies in 2005 and traded to Oakland in '08 as part of the Joe Blanton deal. Prior to that season, BA said Outman profiled as a number three starter. Now, he'll join Moscoso in what Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd called a "raging competition" for rotation spots. The Rockies are actually close to adding a veteran starter to the mix for more depth, tweets Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
8:46pm: Smith will earn $2.415MM, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned.
Smith, 29, was eligible for arbitration for the first time. The outfielder has been a productive offensive player thus far in his career, posting a .275/.348/.485 line in 1,449 plate appearances. The left-handed hitter is well above average against righties (.290/.364/.518) but struggles mightily against southpaws (.202/.269/.319), so he's best deployed in a platoon.
Smith, a second-round pick of the Rox in 2004, was projected by MLBTR's Matt Swartz to earn $2.6MM through arbitration.
Exactly one year ago, the Rays and Cubs finalized an eight-player deal that sent Matt Garza to Chicago. 365 days later, Garza is on the block again, though so far teams have balked at the Cubs' asking price. Could Garza be back in the AL East before Opening Day? While we wait to find out, here are a few links from the division:
- Although we heard in recent weeks that Tampa Bay was interested in Rockies' outfielder Seth Smith, the Rays may not have held onto Smith had they acquired him. According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider link), one deal discussed earlier in the winter involved the Rays trading for Smith and flipping him to the Reds in exchange for catcher Ryan Hanigan.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff explains why the Yankees haven't made a move for one of the top starting pitchers (including Garza) available via free agency or trade.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com looks into the Orioles' search for a designated hitter.
- Check out this morning's Red Sox notes here and last night's AL East notes here.
Rockies outfielder Seth Smith remains a coveted trade chip, though the Braves’ interest in him has cooled, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported yesterday. The Rockies would like to trade Smith for a back-of-the-rotation starter or a second baseman, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes.
The Rays are not in the hunt for Smith, though the Rockies covet Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann, Renck reported. The Athletics and Mariners have interest in Smith, according to Rosenthal, who reported along with Jon Paul Morosi last month that the Mets have expressed interest as well. Rosenthal now adds the Indians and Red Sox to the list of teams that have shown at least some interest in Smith.
Smith, a left-handed hitter, posted a .284/.347/.483 line with 15 homers in 533 plate appearances this past season, playing left and right field. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz estimates a 2012 salary of $2.6MM for the 29-year-old via the arbitration process. He’ll remain under team control through 2014.
Links for Thursday night, starting with a pair of notes on the offseason's top remaining free agent...
- The Nationals appear to be a leading suitor for Prince Fielder, but first baseman Adam LaRoche told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that he won’t hold grudges if he’s not a part of Washington’s plans for 2012. “Hopefully, I'll be a part of it. If not, that's life," he said.
- If the Mariners are serious about making Fielder a competitive offer without hamstringing the organization, they could propose a backloaded seven-year, $155MM deal that includes an opt-out after three years, Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner explains.
- ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick suggests the Marlins are convinced Javier Vazquez is retiring (Twitter link). Miami rounded out its rotation today, obtaining the unpredictable Carlos Zambrano for Chris Volstad.
- Angels infielder Mark Trumbo says the stress fracture in his right foot is taking longer than expected to heal and that his rehabilitation will likely extend to late February, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times.
- The Braves’ interest in Rockies outfielder Seth Smith has cooled, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Rays, who had interest in Smith earlier in the offseason, are not in the hunt any longer, Renck writes.
- The Rockies aren’t actively pursuing Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens, though they continue to monitor the market for starting pitching, according to Renck.
- The Mets continue to look for a shortstop to back up Ruben Tejada, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. They brought Omar Quintanilla in on a minor league deal this week, but the move doesn’t necessarily eliminate the need for shortstop depth. Jack Wilson and Ryan Theriot have been linked to the Mets this offseason.