Shawn Estes Rumors

Nationals Release Shawn Estes, Eddie Guardado

The Nationals released pitchers Shawn Estes and Eddie Guardado, reports's Bill Ladson.

The Nats had signed Estes, 37, to a $600K minor league deal on February 6th.  Estes tossed one spring inning for the Nats.  In June, Estes said he'd retired from Triple A but not from baseball.  He posted a 3.07 ERA, 4.9 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 in 73.3 minor league innings for the Dodgers' affiliate.

The Nationals added Guardado in late December.  The 39-year-old had considered retirement, but decided his knee could handle the rigors of another season.  Guardado had this to say to Ladson after he signed: "The Nationals came at me like they really wanted me."  Instead, Everyday Eddie was given only two innings to prove his worth (during which he allowed seven hits).  Last year for the Rangers he posted a 4.46 ERA, 4.7 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9 in 38.3 innings.  Guardado rejoins a list of free agent lefty relievers that includes Joe Beimel, Alan Embree, Ron Mahay, Glendon Rusch, and Jamie Walker.

Nationals Sign Shawn Estes To Minor League Deal

The Nationals have signed veteran lefty Shawn Estes to a minor league contract according to the AP (via's Alden Gonzalez). Estes will earn $600K and could pocket another $400K in incentives if he makes the club.

Estes, 37 later this month, last pitched in the big leagues back in 2008, when he gave the Padres 43.2 innings of 4.74 ERA ball, though his peripherals were ugly (3.9 K/9, 3.7 BB/9). He spent last season with the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate, posting a 3.07 ERA in 13 starts despite similar peripherals. On the bright side, he did hold lefties to a .206 batting average.

Estes Hopes To Play In Majors

Shawn Estes told Chris Gabel of the Reno Gazette-Journal that he "retired from Triple A," not from baseball. Earlier in the month we heard that Estes had retired, but his recent comments make it clear that he wants to pitch in the majors again.

He was tiring of the minor league lifestyle and decided not to pitch in Triple A anymore. All the major league teams received an e-mail explaining that any interested club should contact Ned Colletti and the Dodgers, who say they won't ask for a significant return. 

Shawn Estes Retires?

6:24pm: Mark Gonzales tweets that Estes says he hasn't retired. Instead, Estes indicates that he feels good but can't get his release from the Dodgers organization.

1:46pm: Diamond Leung reports that Shawn Estes has retired. The 36-year-old was pitching for the Dodgers in Triple A, where he started the season 3-4 with a 3.07 ERA. The lefty accepted the minor league assignment in hopes of fortifying the Dodgers' pitching later in the year.

His best major league season came in 1997, when he went 19-5 with a 3.18 ERA and 181 Ks for the Giants. Estes pitched for six teams other than the Giants, including every NL West team but the Dodgers.

The Dodgers’ Rotation

They're 15-8, in first place in the NL West, but the Dodgers face questions about a rotation that includes three ERAs of 5.50 or more. Behind Chad Billingsley and Randy Wolf, they have Clayton Kershaw, who hasn't pitched out the the fifth inning his last two starts, James McDonald, who has walked a batter an inning this year, and Eric Stults, who's allowing two baserunners an inning. Yahoo's Tim Brown takes stock of the rotation and how Ned Colletti will progress with it.

  • Brown says it's unlikely the Dodgers will add Pedro Martinez, Paul Byrd, Odalis Perez or Freddy Garcia.
  • One scout's analysis: "There's plenty of pitching available. None you'd want."  
  • Brown suggests the Dodgers need a club like the Indians, Reds or Mariners to fall from contention so some quality arms become available.  
  • If David Price pitches his way into the Rays' rotation, Jeff Niemann could become trade bait.  

The Dodgers could rely on pitchers already in the organization. Hiroki Kuroda is rehabbing, though's Ken Gurnick reports the righty is likely weeks away from a return. Jason Schmidt is rehabbing too, according to GurnickJeff Weaver pitched well against the Padres last night and Eric Milton and Shawn Estes are stashed away in the minors.

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Dodgers Sign Shawn Estes

The AP is reporting the Dodgers have come to terms with Shawn Estes on a minor league contract worth up to $1.55MM. According to the report, Estes would get $550,000 if he makes the 40-man roster and could earn up to $1MM in performance bonuses for games started.

No announcement yet from the Dodgers. This will be Estes’ 8th Major League team.

Bard, Estes Become Free Agents

According to’s Corey Brock, catcher Josh Bard and pitcher Shawn Estes have elected free agency and cleared waivers.  Both players were expected to join the free agent class, though perhaps not this early.

Bard is interesting – he will be 31 in March, and was injured for much of ’08.  In ’07 he hit pretty well away from PETCO.

Additionally, pitcher Dirk Hayhurst was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays.  Hayhurst’s claim to fame is writing a "non-prospect diary" for Baseball America.