Shawn Kelley Rumors

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

We'll keep track of today's smaller deals to avoid arbitration in this post. Click here for background on the upcoming arbitration schedule and how MLBTR is covering it. You can also check in on our Arbitration Tracker and look at MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz's arbitration projections.

Today's noon CT deadline to exchange arb figures has passed, but negotiations to avoid an arbitration hearing can continue into February. The Braves are the only strict "file and trial" team that did not agree to terms with all of its arb-eligible players, meaning they could be headed for several hearings. The Nats and Indians have also shown a willingness to go to a trial and still have some players unsigned. On to today's contract agreements…

  • After exchanging numbers, the Mets and pitcher Dillon Gee have agreed to settle at the midpoint of $3.625MM, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Swartz projected Gee to earn $3.4MM.
  • The Cubs have avoided arbitration with reliever Pedro Strop, president Theo Epstein told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). He will earn $1.325MM next year, according to a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. It is not immediately apparent whether the deal was reached before the sides exchanged terms.
  • The Angels have reached agreement on a $3.8MM deal with reliever Ernesto Frieri, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (on Twitter). 
  • Mike Minor has agreed to terms on a $3.85MM deal with the Braves to avoid arbitration, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (Twitter links). The deal came before figures were exchanged, Bowman notes.
  • Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the D-Backs and lefty Joe Thatcher have avoided arb with a one-year, $2.375MM deal (Twitter link).
  • Nicholson-Smith tweets that the Angels and Fernando Salas reached an agreement to avoid arbitration. Salas is the first Halos player to avoid arb. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times tweets that Salas will earn $870K, which beats out his $700K projection.
  • MLB.com's Jason Beck reports (via Twitter) that the Tigers and righty Al Alburquerque have reached agreement on a deal to avoid arb. The hard-throwing righty will earn $837.5K in 2014, tweets Beck.
  • Sherman tweets that the Yankees and Ivan Nova avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.3MM deal.
  • The Pirates and Vin Mazzaro inked a one-year, $950K deal in lieu of an arbitration hearing, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune.
  • The Royals announced that they've avoided arbitration with infielder Emilio Bonifacio. Heyman tweets that Bonifacio will earn $3.5MM in 2014.
  • Sherman reports that the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeremy Hellickson and Sean Rodriguez (Twitter link). Hellickson landed a $3.625MM payday with a $25K bonus if he hits 195 innings pitched. Rodriguez will get $1.475MM with a $25K bump for hitting 300 plate appearances.
  • Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that Brian Matusz avoided arb with the Orioles. Sherman adds that he'll earn $2.4MM in 2014.
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that Jason Castro and the Astros have avoided arbitration. McTaggart adds in a second tweet that Jesus Guzman avoided arb as well. Heyman reports that Castro will be paid $2.45MM, while Sherman tweets that Guzman will make $1.3MM.
  • The Indians tweeted that they've avoided arb with lefty Marc Rzepczynski, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that he'll earn $1.375MM in 2014. Bastian adds that Scrabble will earn an additional $25K for appearing in 55 games and another $25K for 60 games.
  • The Giants avoided arbitration with Yusmeiro Petit, according to MLBTR's Steve Adams (on Twitter).  He'll earn $845K, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith (via Twitter).

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Yankees Acquire Shawn Kelley

The Yankees have acquired right-hander Shawn Kelley from the Mariners in exchange for outfielder Abraham Almonte, according to Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune (on Twitter).  The Mariners designated Kelley for assignment on Thursday to make roster space for Kelly Shoppach.

Kelley, 28, appeared in 47 games for the Mariners in 2012, posting a 3.25 ERA with 9.1 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, and a 28.8% ground ball rate in 44 1/3 innings.  The right-hander will earn $930K in 2013.

Meanwhile, Almonte will give the M's some much needed minor league depth at the centerfielder position and can also play the corners.  The 23-year-old spent last season in Double-A, hitting .276/.350/.392 in 78 games.


Mariners Designate Shawn Kelley For Assignment

The Mariners announced that they designated right-hander Shawn Kelley for assignment. The move creates roster space for Kelly Shoppach, whose one-year deal is now official.

Kelley appeared in 47 games for the Mariners in 2012, posting a 3.25 ERA with 9.1 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 28.8% ground ball rate in 44 1/3 innings. The 28-year-old will earn $935K in 2013 after avoiding arbitration with the Mariners last month.

The Mariners have ten days to outright Kelley to the minor leagues, trade him or release him. It won't be surprising if he's claimed or traded given his 2012 numbers.



Mariners Avoid Arbitration With Shawn Kelley

We'll keep track of tonight's sub-$3MM deals to avoid arbitration right here in this post..

  • Mariners reliever Shawn Kelley agreed to a $935K deal to avoid arbitration, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.  The 28-year-old Kelley will receive sequential bonuses for 60, 90, 120, and 150 days on #mariners roster that could boost the total value to $1.1M.  The M's offered Kelley $750K while he filed for $1.2MM.  

Rosenthal & Morosi On Gonzalez, Phillies, Perkins

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledges his team’s upcoming series in Atlanta will have an impact on Philadelphia’s trade deadline plans, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. “We have to play well against these guys,” Amaro said. “They’re a very tough team. We don’t necessarily have to sweep ‘em. But it’s important for us to win the series.” Here are the latest rumors from Rosenthal and colleague Jon Paul Morosi…

  • Carlos Gonzalez is at or near the top of the Rangers’ wish list of outfielders for 2013, Morosi and Rosenthal report. For now, however, the Rockies are keeping Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler off-limits in trade talks.
  • Mariners relievers Shawn Kelley, Josh Kinney and Steve Delabar are drawing mild interest, Morosi tweets.
  • Left-hander Glen Perkins is drawing heavy interest, Morosi reports (on Twitter). The Twins have a very high asking price for Perkins, who signed a three-year, $10.3MM extension with the club in March.
  • The Orioles would like to add a left-handed reliever, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
  • The Giants want a right-handed bat and are expected to make a push for Hunter Pence if the Phillies make him available, Morosi reports (on Twitter). Jonathan Broxton is also of interest for the Giants, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
  • The Pirates aren't optimistic about their search for a hitter at this point, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter).
  • The White Sox haven't ruled out the possibility of adding another reliever, Morosi reports (on Twitter).

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Tuesday

Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here.  Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing.  Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints.  Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:

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Mariners Notes: Laffey, Kelley, Lawson, Ackley

Some links pertaining to the Mariners and their newest acquisition..

  • The newly acquired Aaron Laffey will have a shot to compete for both a rotation and bullpen job, GM Jack Zduriencik told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times.  Jack Z also told Baker that Laffey has a minor league option left, meaning that he can be bumped down to Triple-A in favor of a non-roster player.
  • The M's won't have to cut or release anyone to make room for Laffey on the 40-man roster, as they have placed right-hander Shawn Kelley on the 60-day disabled list, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com (via Twitter).  Kelley is on the mend from from partial Tommy John surgery and isn't expected back until June.
  • A fun fact from MLB.com's Jordan Bastian: Following the Laffey deal, the Indians now have five players who were traded for Cliff Lee.  Infielder Matt Lawson was involved in trade that sent Lee from Seattle to Texas last July.
  • Larry Stone of The Seattle Times writes that the potential Super Two status of second baseman Dustin Ackley and pitcher Michael Pineda will likely impact when they are called-up to the bigs.

Why The Mariners Don’t Need A Lefty Reliever

Believe it or not, the Mariners have not used a left-handed reliever all season long. Conventional wisdom would have us believe that every bullpen needs a lefty or two to retire opponents' best left-handed bats in close games. But Mariners pitching coach John Wetteland is willing to challenge conventional wisdom.

"You don't need to have a lefty in the 'pen just because it's obvious that lefties do well against lefty hitters," Wetteland told MLB.com's Doug Miller last week.

Wetteland knows that as well as anyone. The righty allowed a .223/.292/.346 career line against lefty batters – not far from the line Wetteland allowed against righties. But not every reliever is as well-equipped to shut batters on both sides of the plate down.

To find out if Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik needs to add a left-handed reliever, let's see how the bullpen has done against lefties. Five weeks of data isn't much, so let's take a look at the numbers Mariners relievers have posted against lefties in their respective careers.

  • Shawn Kelley – He has done much better against lefties in his career, limiting them to a .219/.268/.314 line.
  • Sean White – His .219/.312/.322 line against lefties is quite good. However, left-handed batters are hitting just .225 on balls in play and homering on 4.5% of their fly balls against White. Both of those figures can be expected to rise and when they do, White's slash line will likely rise, too.
  • David Aardsma – His .248/.363/.331 line is actually better than his line against righties.
  • Kanekoa Texeira – Though Texeira has faced lefties just 26 times in the majors, his .208/.269/.292 line looks promising. Texeira struck out 106 batters in as many innings against lefties in his minor league career.
  • Brandon League – His .284/.343/.453 line against lefties does not inspire much confidence, but League has allowed homers on 18.4% of fly balls against him and allowed a batting average of .321 on balls in play, which suggests he has been unlucky against lefties in his career.
  • Mark Lowe – He has an ugly .298/.382/.514 line against lefties in his career. As Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner noted earlier in the month, Lowe is "something of a glorified right-handed specialist." Lowe is now on the DL with an inflamed disc in his lower back.
  • Jesus Colome – Lefties have hit .275/.382/.449 against Colome, so the Mariners should minimize his exposure to lefties.
  • Ian Snell – Snell has allowed lefties to post a .294/.386/.484 line against him in his career. He should face righties whenever possible.

It turns out that Don Wakamatsu has more than enough weapons to retire opposing left-handers, especially now that Kelley's back on the team. But the Mariners have to use their 'pen carefully. Aardsma, Texeira and Kelley can succeed against lefty batters, but Colome, Snell and eventually Lowe should not face lefties in close games. The Mariners have their share of issues these days and their bullpen could be better, but Zduriencik can ignore conventional wisdom and proceed without acquiring a lefty.


Odds & Ends: Stanton, Mariners, Indians, Salome

Friday night linkage..

  • John Sickels of Minor League Ball looked at interesting high school hitters in the 2010 draft.  Sickels portioned out the goodness in two parts: part one and part two.
  • Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post spoke to Larry Beinfest, Marlins' baseball operations president, who doesn't sound as though he's in a rush to call up Mike Stanton.
  • Rather than place Jesus Colome on waivers, the Mariners optioned Shawn Kelley to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for Cliff Lee.  M's manager Don Wakamatsu told Ryan Divish of The News Tribune (via Twitter) that there was "not a chance" that Colome could have cleared waivers.
  • The Indians have called up righty Hector Ambriz, whom they selected from Arizona in the Rule 5 draft, writes Dennis Manoloff of The Plain Dealer.  The Tribe had until May 8th, the end of his rehab assignment, to decide what to do with him.
  • Brewers catching prospect Angel Salome will be given additional time off following the birth of his child, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel.

Heyman On Tigers’ Edwin Jackson Demands

SI's Jon Heyman tweets a rumor of the Tigers' demands from the Mariners in an Edwin Jackson trade:

"Hearing Tigers sought young pitchers Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelley for Jackson.  Mariners apparently said no."

So the Tigers offered two years of Jackson for four years of Morrow and five of Kelley.  Were the Mariners right to turn it down?