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Albert Pujols has a .304/.373/.551 line after tonight's four-hit performance, but the Cardinals' win didn't bring them any closer to the Braves, who still hold a 2.5 game advantage in the Wild Card standings. Here are tonight's links…
- Aramis Ramirez told Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald that he has "probably" played his last game as a Cub at Wrigley Field (Twitter links). As Ramirez points out, he can't negotiate a new deal with the Cubs at the moment since they don't currently have a permanent GM. I took a look at possible suitors for the third baseman last week.
- Manny Ramirez intends to play in the Dominican winter league for the Cibao Eagles, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN).
- The Royals are promoting Kelvin Herrera, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). They will need to create 40-man roster space to promote the right-hander, as their roster is at its full complement. The Royals don't have any players on the 15-day DL, so there's no way of transferring a player to the 60-day DL for an easy fix.
- Shawn Camp and Edwin Encarnacion told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca that they'd like to return to Toronto in 2012. Camp hits free agency after the season, while the Blue Jays control Encarnacion's rights for '12 with an option that I discussed earlier in the month.
San Diego's relievers combined to strike out more than a batter per inning over the course of the 2010 season, while limiting hits, walks and homers. Manager Bud Black saw five of his relievers appear in 30 or more games and emerge with ERAs under 2.00 at the end of the season and the Padres' NL West rivals weren't the only ones to notice.
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says he'd like to have a deep bullpen in 2011, like the Padres did last year. He says he's happy to keep more relievers than usual on his roster this year and that the acquisition of Frank Francisco doesn't mean a trade is imminent. The Blue Jays' plans for their relievers haven't changed.
"No impact at all," Anthopoulos said yesterday on a conference call to announce the acquisition of Francisco from the Rangers. "They're all quality relievers and we love having depth in the bullpen one through seven."
Or maybe one through eight. The Blue Jays have discussed the possibility of opening the season with an eight-man bullpen to accomodate their arms and provide manager John Farrell with a variety of options. Though the Jays could open the year with an extra arm in the 'pen, Anthopoulos said a traditional seven-man ensemble is more likely at this point. The Blue Jays' rotation is relatively young and inexperienced, so the team's front office would like to support starters like Brett Cecil and, possibly, Kyle Drabek with steady relief pitching.
"It's certainly part of it," Anthopoulos said. "We don't want to overtax our young starters."
The Blue Jays don't want to overtax their relievers, either. Anthopoulos says there can be a ripple effect when teams have deep bullpens. If every reliever is capable of performing in meaningful situations, no pitcher gets overused. But Anthopoulos has no illusions; even qualified, well-rested relievers struggle and the 2011 Blue Jays won't be any different.
"We all know that they will get hurt," he said. "Some of them won't perform. They'll have bad months."
Take Jason Frasor (pictured), one of the holdovers in the team's new-look bullpen. He walked nearly a batter per inning in April, 2010 and posted an 8.38 ERA through the season’s first month, but recovered from his turbulent start and put together a fine year. He'll join Francisco and free agent signings Jon Rauch and Octavio Dotel, the relievers Anthopoulos expects to compete for the Jays' closing job.
Shawn Camp, Casey Janssen and Carlos Villanueva are also right-handed relievers under team control for $1MM-plus in 2011, so the Blue Jays have a surplus of big league arms and could hear from pitching-starved teams before the season begins.
The Jays have seven established right-handed relievers, but Toronto's left-handers have considerably less experience. David Purcey, an out-of-options 28-year-old, was reasonably effective in 2010. He's a leading candidate to make the club, though his walk rate and fly ball rate have been high throughout his brief MLB career. Jo-Jo Reyes is also out of options, but he has made just 11 relief appearances as a pro. Jesse Carlson, who was a mainstay in 2009, could also crack the team's roster.
While their AL East rivals to the south, the Rays, had to lower payroll this offseason and rebuild their bullpen on a budget, Anthopoulos reaffirmed that he has the flexibility to ask for more money if necessary. The Blue Jays can continue spending on their bullpen, even as their young starters become more expensive.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
Teams and players exchange arbitration figures tomorrow if they haven't already come to terms for 2011. That means plenty of players will likely avoid arbitration today. We'll keep track of them all right here and with our Arbitration Tracker; the latest updates are at the top of this post:
- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Shawn Camp, agreeing to a one-year, $2.25MM deal, according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm (on Twitter).
- The Tigers avoided arbitration with Armando Galarraga by agreeing to a one-year, $2.3MM deal, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.
- The Orioles and Jim Johnson have agreed to a one-year, $975K deal, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun.
- The Blue Jays have reached agreement on a one-year, $830K deal with Jesse Litsch, according to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star (Twitter links).
- The Indians have avoided arbitration with Asdrubal Cabrera, agreeing to a one-year deal, according to the team's Twitter feed. The deal is worth $2.025MM, according to the Associated Press.
- The Marlins have agreed to terms one-year deals with Leo Nunez and Edward Mujica, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (via Twitter). Nunez will earn $3.65MM, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com tweets. Meanwhile, Mujica will make $800K according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel (via Twitter).
- The Blue Jays and Casey Janssen have agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.095MM, according to the Associated Press.
- The Rays and B.J. Upton avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4.825MM, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (Twitter links).
- The Nationals avoided arbitration with John Lannan, agreeing to a one-year, $2.75MM deal, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Rockies and Matt Lindstrom agreed to a two-year deal.
- The Royals avoided arbitration with Robinson Tejeda, agreeing to a one-year contract, the team announced. It's worth $1.55MM, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). The deal leaves Billy Butler and Kyle Davies as Kansas City's remaining unsigned arbitration eligible players.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Asdrubal Cabrera | B.J. Upton | Baltimore Orioles | Casey Janssen | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | Jesse Litsch | Jim Johnson | John Lannan | Kansas City Royals | Leo Nunez | Matt Lindstrom | Miami Marlins | Robinson Tejeda | Shawn Camp | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Washington Nationals
SATURDAY, 12:24pm: ESPN's Buster Olney says that the Jays will probably not be moving any of their relievers at this point.
FRIDAY, 8:09pm: Blue Jays relievers Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg, and Shawn Camp were all claimed off trade waivers according to The Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott (Twitter link). It's unknown who any of claiming teams were.
The Jays made all of their relievers available before the trade deadline, but no one stepped up and met their asking price(s). There has also been no indication that the team is trying to move any of the four, but Downs and Frasor are scheduled to become free agents after the season while there is a club option for Gregg's services. Camp is under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next season as well.
The Blue Jays made most of their relief pitchers available before the trade deadline, but no team stepped forward to meet their asking price for Scott Downs, Kevin Gregg, Jason Frasor, and/or Shawn Camp. There was plenty of interest in each, but nothing came of it.
Yesterday we learned that all four were claimed off trade waivers by unknown teams (or perhaps it was just one team), but we don't know how sincere GM Alex Anthopoulos is about moving his top late game relievers. With Frasor and Downs scheduled to become a free agents after the season, it's possible he'll look to move them for prospects now rather than gamble on compensation draft picks later (both project to be Type-A free agents).
Which relievers will the Blue Jays trade?
Links for Wednesday, after a roller coaster win by Joey Votto and the Reds…
- GM Doug Melvin told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that the Brewers won't discuss an extension with Rickie Weeks until the season's over. Weeks, who will hit free agency after 2011, recently switched agents.
- Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Shawn Camp, Kevin Gregg and John Buck all hit waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). There's no indication that the Blue Jays intend on moving any of their players this month.
- Over at RotoAuthority, Tim Dierkes analyzes the seasons some top second basemen are having.
- Number 18 is an 'ace number' in Japan, so Daisuke Matsuzaka has a clause in his contract ensuring that he gets to wear it. Matsuzaka explained to Alex Speier of WEEI.com that a childhood idol of his, Masumi Kuwata, wore the number for the Yomiuri Giants.
- Ben Kabak of River Ave. Blues calls the Javier Vazquez trade a "true disappointment," but hesitates to label it a "true bust."
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post argues that the Mets should make decisions with the future of the organization in mind, instead of "letting a lame-duck manager make choices" to win as much as possible.
- Manny Ramirez isn't the only Dodger on waivers. As Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times notes (on Twitter), Casey Blake, Jay Gibbons and Scott Podsednik also hit the waiver wire today.
Noon ET today was the deadline for both the team and player to submit their salary figures for arbitration, however the two sides can come to an agreement at any point before the actual hearing. The hearings are scheduled for the first week of February.
We'll keep track of the players who avoid arbitration today by agreeing to deals here. Make sure you check back in for updates, and be sure to click the "Continue Reading" link to see today's full list of settlements. Yesterday's list can be found here.
- Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels avoided arbitration with Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits by signing the duo to one-year deals. Napoli will earn $3.6MM in 2010 with a $100K bonus if he makes 120 starts. Willits' contract is worth $625K.
- Zach Duke's one-year contract with Pittsburgh is worth $4.3MM with no performance bonuses, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The Padres and reliever Mike Adams have agreed to a contract, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter). Brock's follow-up tweet says Adams' deal is worth $1MM, virtually splitting the difference between San Diego's $875K offer and Adams' $1.2MM demands.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets that the Twins have agreements in place with all eight of their arbitration eligible players. In a follow-up tweet, Christensen reports that Francisco Liriano agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM and Jesse Crain agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM.
- Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the Mets avoided arbitration with reliever Sean Green (via Twitter). The one-year deal was worth $975K, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron.
- The Tigers avoided arb with Gerald Laird and Zach Miner as well according to James Jahnke of The Detroit Free Press. MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets the details on the one-year contracts: Laird will earn $3.95MM, Miner will earn $950K.
- Christensen tweets that the Twins avoided arb with Brendan Harris, signing him to a two year deal worth $3.2MM with another $650K in possible incentives.
- The Tigers and Bobby Seay avoided arbitration according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter), agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.475MM.
- Thesier tweets that Matt Guerrier agreed to a one year deal worth $3.15MM with the Twins, avoiding arb.
- Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, with Delcarmen getting $905K plus incentives according to Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Boston avoided arb with Jonathan Papelbon as well.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Alex Gordon | Angel Guzman | Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Brandon Laird | Brendan Harris | Brian Tallet | Carlos Gomez | Casey Janssen | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Chris Ray | Colorado Rockies | David Aardsma | Delmon Young | Francisco Liriano | George Sherrill | Hong-Chih Kuo | Houston Astros | Howie Kendrick | Humberto Quintero | J.J. Hardy | J.P. Howell | James Loney | Jason Bartlett | Jason Bergmann | Jason Frasor | Jason Hammel | Jeff Baker | Jeff Francoeur | Jered Weaver | Jeremy Accardo | Jesse Crain | Jesus Flores | John Danks | Jonathan Papelbon | Jonathan Sanchez | Jorge Cantu | Josh Hamilton | Josh Willingham | Kansas City Royals | Kevin Kouzmanoff | Koyie Hill | Leo Nunez | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Luke Scott | Manny Delcarmen | Mark Lowe | Matt Garza | Matt Guerrier | Matt Lindstrom | Miami Marlins | Michael Bourn | Mike Adams | Mike Fontenot | Mike Napoli | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Pat Neshek | Pedro Feliciano | Peter Moylan | Pittsburgh Pirates | Rafael Perez | Rajai Davis | Ramon Ramirez | Reggie Willits | Rickie Weeks | Robinson Tejeda | Russell Martin | Ryan Ludwick | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Sean Green | Seattle Mariners | Shawn Camp | St. Louis Cardinals | Stephen Drew | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Tom Gorzelanny | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Washington Nationals | Wil Nieves | Zach Duke | Zach Miner
ESPN's Jayson Stark has a new blog post up.
- The Astros plan to give Chris Johnson a chance to win the third base job, but Stark says Juan Uribe, Jose Bautista, and Jeff Baker "could still show up on their shopping list in the next two weeks."
- Stark heard "rumblings the Yankees are poking around again on Mike Cameron's availability." Back in December, the Yanks and Brewers were pretty close on a deal.
- Eric Milton is looking decent and appears to be the frontrunner for the Dodgers' fifth starter job (given Pedro Martinez's asking price).
- Will Ohman seeks a one-year, $1.75MM deal with easily-reachable incentives for another million. He also prefers the West Coast, and Stark believes the Padres and Giants are more likely than the Dodgers. Like the Dodgers, the Phillies and Marlins have interest at a lesser price. Stark has also heard the Phils connected to Giants lefty Jack Taschner.
- Shawn Camp, Geoff Geary, John Buck, and Geoff Jenkins are currently available. The Phillies would eat almost all of the $8MM owed to Jenkins.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Colorado Rockies | Eric Milton | Geoff Geary | Geoff Jenkins | Houston Astros | Jack Taschner | Jeff Baker | John Buck | Jose Bautista | Juan Uribe | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Dodgers | Miami Marlins | Mike Cameron | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Pedro Martinez | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Shawn Camp | Toronto Blue Jays | Will Ohman
According to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, the Blue Jays have agreed to $750K deal with Shawn Camp for 2009. The agreement gives the Blue Jays 12 straight years without an arbitration hearing.
Camp had originally requested $950K; the Blue Jays countered with $700K. He pitched to a 4.12 ERA in 40 appearances last year.
Here are some hot stove links to digest this evening.
- The New York Post’s Joel Sherman runs down some third base options for the Yankees. He feels that Scott Rolen, Bill Hall, Freddy Sanchez, and a few others might be reasonable options. Bernie Miklasz says there’s no indication any team is truly interested in Rolen, though Randy Youngman suggests the Angels may look at him.
- Youngman also believes the Halos have slight interest in Carlos Silva, if he can be had at less than $10MM annually. Not bloody likely.
- Jon Paul Morosi thinks the Tigers could go after the Pirates’ Damaso Marte, Salomon Torres, or even Matt Capps.
- Hat tip to Bucco Blog on the Sherman and Morosi links above. Check out Jake’s latest post, where he uncovers some interesting minor league free agents.
- Rob Biertempfel names David Riske, Doug Brocail, Shawn Camp, and Scott Linebrink as some relievers the Pirates might consider. I imagine Riske and Linebrink will be too pricey.
- Troy E. Renck believes the Rockies might inquire about Cliff Lee.
- RotoAuthority assesses the health risks within the Nationals’ rotation.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Bill Hall | Carlos Silva | Cleveland Indians | Cliff Lee | Colorado Rockies | Damaso Marte | David Riske | Detroit Tigers | Doug Brocail | Freddy Sanchez | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Matt Capps | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Pittsburgh Pirates | Salomon Torres | Scott Linebrink | Scott Rolen | Shawn Camp | St. Louis Cardinals