St. Louis Cardinals Rumors
Jackson, 25, went hitless in seven plate appearances for the Cardinals in 2013 and is just 2-for-24 in his brief big league career to date. However, he's posted a much stronger .275/.343/.371 batting line in 1,013 career plate appearances at Triple-A and is capable of playing second base and third base as well. It's hardly a surprise to see the Astros claim him, as GM Jeff Luhnow likely played an integral role in selecting Jackson in the fifth round of the 2009 draft when he served as the Cardinals' VP of scouting and player development.
The 26-year-old Martinez owns a career .251/.300/.387 slash line with 24 homers in 975 plate appearances. He hit the DL on two separate occasions in 2013 -- once for a sprained wrist and once for a sprained knee.
Chris Carpenter has told the Cardinals that he is officially retiring, general manager John Mozeliak revealed at today's press conference to announce manager Mike Matheny's three-year extension (Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporting on Twitter).
Carpenter attempted a comeback this season but was unable to make it back to a big league mound. The 38-year-old didn't pitch in 2013 and managed just 17 innings in 2012 after a strong 2011 campaign that saw him lead the NL in starts and innings pitched.
Injuries to Carpenter shortened what could have been one of the most impressive careers of a generation, but few were better than Carpenter when he was healthy. From 2004-11, Carpenter posted a 3.06 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 1,331 2/3 innings. He took home the National League Cy Young Award in 2005 and finished in the Top 3 on two other occasions.
Carpenter's career will conclude with a 144-94 record, 3.76 ERA, 33 complete games, 15 shutouts and 1,697 strikeouts in 2,219 1/3 innings between the Blue Jays and Cardinals. Baseball-Reference pegs his career at 35.5 wins above replacement, and Fangraphs likes him for 38.9 WAR. Carpenter earned $98.5MM in his career, according to Baseball-Reference. The Cardinals are said to be discussing a new role in the organization with Carpenter, so St. Louis fans will likely continue to see his name in the news. Best of luck in life after pitching, Chris.
The Cardinals have signed manager Mike Matheny to a three-year extension that will run through the 2017 season, the team announced on Twitter.
The past two seasons as the Cardinals' skipper are the only two seasons of managerial experience Matheny has at the big league level, but it's hard to argue with the results. Matheny's Redbirds have turned in a 185-139 record. They reached the National League Championship Series in his first season as manager and made it to Game 6 of the World Series this season, ultimately being defeated by the Red Sox.
Matheny's initial contract ran through the 2013 season and contained a club option for 2014, which the team exercised this past February.
Here's a rundown of the latest minor moves from around the league...
- The Giants signed catcher Guillermo Quiroz and right-handers Caleb Clay and Mason Tobin to minor league deals, Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports (via Twitter). Quiroz appeared in 43 games for San Francisco last season and was designated for assignment in August.
- The Orioles announced the signings of five players, via the Norfolk Tides Twitter feed. Left-hander Nick Additon, right-handers Tim Alderson and Brock Huntzinger and outfielders Chih-Hsien Chiang and Kyeong Kang have all inked minor league deals.
- The Cardinals have signed catcher Ed Easley to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, the club announced. Easley was drafted 61st overall by the Diamondbacks in 2007 and has a .262/.338/.357 slash line over 2217 PA in Arizona's system. He enjoyed a big year at Triple-A in 2013, posting an .872 OPS in 328 PA.
- The Diamondbacks have signed left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets. The Aussie spent his age-30 season with Boston's Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket where he pitched to a masterful 1.55 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 52 1/3 innings of relief work. Rowland-Smith posted an outstanding 0.94 WHIP and held opposing lefties to a mere .192/.244/.274 batting line, though his .200/.268/.278 line from opposing righties is equally impressive. He hasn't appeared in the Majors since 2010, and all 362 2/3 of his big league innings have come in a Mariners uniform.
Pour a tall cup of coffee and open up a Baseball Reference tab. It's time for this Saturday morning's minor moves, via the Pacific Coast League and International League transaction pages (except where otherwise noted) ...
- The White Sox have signed lefty David Purcey to a minor league deal. The 31-year-old had rejected an outright assignment from the Sox in late October to become a free agent. Purcey made 24 apperances for the Sox's major league club in 2013, posting a 2.13 ERA but walking 6 batters per nine innings.
- The Dodgers signed first baseman/outfielder Jamie Romak to a minor league deal, according to MLBTR's Tim Dierkes (on Twitter). Romak's deal includes a July 1st opt out. The 28-year-old posted a .242/.322/.461 slash line with 22 homers in 134 games for the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate last season.
- Right-handed reliever Mark Lowe, 30, has signed with the Rays, reports ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Lowe was battered in just eleven appearances with the Angels last year, but posted a 3.60 ERA across 2009-12 and has continued to notch high strikeout totals while being stashed in the upper minors.
- The Cardinals signed third baseman Scott Moore, a thirty-year-old who has thrived at Triple-A but has yet to have a real shot in the bigs. Last year, over 485 plate appearances in the Oakland and San Diego organizations, he hit .271/.353/.448 with fourteen long balls. In his most extended MLB action, a 2012 stint with the Astros, Moore hit a more-than-respectable .259/.330/.448 with nine home runs in 228 plate appearances.
- Right-hander Jim Miller is back with the Yankees on a minor league pact after making just one MLB appearance last year, an ill-fated inning-and-a-third that resulted in three earned runs. The 31-year-old had been a solid member of the A's pen just one year prior, however, as he registered a 2.59 ERA in 48 2/3 innings for Oakland. Miller did flash a 13.1 K/9 rate during his 63 1/3 Triple-A innings last year, a somewhat intriguing mark given his manageable walk rates. Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com had the news first on Twitter.
- Lefty reliever Will Startup will stay with the Tigers after he notched a 3.41 ERA in 58 Double-A innings last year. Startup reached Triple-A as a 21-year-old back in 2006, but before joining Detroit had landed with the Sugar Land Skeeters in 2012.
- The Giants have inked two righties to minor league deals, bringing aboard Jason Berken and Daryl Maday. Berken, 29, has thrown in 110 MLB games, including 28 as a starter, and recorded a 5.36 ERA over 248 2/3 innings. He spent last year at the White Sox' Triple-A affiliate, where he managed a 3.80 ERA in 161 innings -- all as a starter -- and posted 6.5 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9. Meanwhile, at 28 years of age Maday has yet to see San Francisco, but will continue to keep the dream alive in the Giants system. He has bounced between Double-A and Triple-A since 2008, and now serves primarily as a reliever. Last year, Maday notched a cumulative 4.17 ERA in 49 2/3 innings, with 7.1 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.
- The Pirates signed first baseman Miles Durham and catcher Francisco Diaz to minor league deals. At age thirty, Durham has spent his entire career in the Pittsburgh organization, other than a brief Independent League stint, and apparently served as a player-coach last season. Dia, 23, has all the markings of a light-hitting backstop (two career home runs in 1,115 plate appearances), though he has reached base at a productive clip in the low minors.
- Longtime Yankees farmhand Walter Ibarra has agreed to play short in the Cubs organization on a minor league pact. The 26-year-old reached Triple-A for the first time last year. Known for his defense, Ibarra failed to himpress with a cumulative .276/.308/.367 slash across 212 Double-A and Triple-A plate appearances in 2013.
- And the Nationals have reached agreement with a player by the name of Josh Johnson -- not the starting pitcher, but the middle infielder and third baseman who has been in the Nats' system since 2010. Last year, playing at both of the two highest minor league levels, the 27-year-old Johnson put up an impressive .293/.390/.458 line in 300 trips to the plate. He was especially impressive in his short time at Syracuse, where he had a .924 OPS and was a perfect six-for-six in stolen bases in just 111 plate appearances. Washington also added catcher Sean McCauley to the fold on a minor league pact. The 24-year-old was brought back to professional baseball by the Nats last year in a coaching capacity after losing his career to injury.
- The Rangers have signed righty Zach Russell away from the Cards' system. The 24-year-old reliever topped out with a brief Double-A stint last year, but struggled there.
The latest out of the AL West..
- The Rangers are high on catcher Brian McCann, but a few GM's are thinking Texas still has interest in Jacoby Ellsbury, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- The Rangers have put their pursuit of free agent pitchers Masahiro Tanaka and Matt Garza (as well as top trade target David Price) to the side as they seek out a big bat, writes Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram.
- In an appearance on 95.7 The Game, A's manager Bob Melvin threw cold water on the idea that Jed Lowrie could be traded to the Cardinals, tweets Jane Lee of MLB.com. "Maybe [the Cardinals] made a call and inquired about him ... we’re not looking to move Jed Lowrie."
- Athletics GM Billy Beane spoke with Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com about the GM Meetings and his club's needs. Beane says he's on the lookout for backend bullpen help, a right-handed hitting outfielder to replace Chris Young, and added that there is mutual interest in a return between the A's and Bartolo Colon.
- Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com examines Carlos Beltran as a possible target for the Rangers.
Here's a look at the latest from Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, with all links going to Twitter..
- The Yankees are talking to the Cardinals about a deal for third baseman David Freese, a source tells Feinsand (via Twitter). The Cardinals could theoretically part with Freese since they can move Matt Carpenter to third base and use Kolten Wong at second. Freese, 30, would give the Yankees a solid plan B in the event that Alex Rodriguez's suspension is upheld. Even if the suspension isn't upheld, A-Rod will probably have to play a good amount of DH. Freese hit just .262/.340/.381 with nine homers last season but his career slash line of .286/.356/.427 is much stronger.
- A source says the says Mariners have "no interest" in Jacoby Ellsbury but the Cubs appear to be stealthily waiting in the wings (link). The Cubs are probably targeting 2015 to make a move towards contending but its possible that they'll look to make a splash this winter in advance of that.
- According to Rangers source, the club is working to schedule Carlos Beltran for a visit to Dallas (link). Two other teams are believed to be working on the same thing. Feinsand lists the Yankees, Red Sox, Royals, Indians, and Mariners as the other clubs showing serious interest and notes that they're all AL clubs (link).
The Orioles and Cardinals had trade talks revolving around Shelby Miller and J.J. Hardy, but the Cardinals told Baltimore there's no deal to be made, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Some have speculated that the Cards could consider trading Miller this winter despite his brilliant rookie season. However, there was no indication that St. Louis is thinking that way in this exchange.
Hardy is coming off of a season in which he hit .263/.306/.433 while belting 25 home runs. Of course, the Cardinals are aggressively pursuing an upgrade at the shortstop position, but this deal wasn't up their alley.
While the Cardinals believe in keeping an open mind to all opportunities, many at the GM Meetings are wondering why they would even think about trading the right-hander, Heyman writes. The Cards have recieved many inquiries about their wealth of young pitchers over the last couple of days.
A quick look at the latest from the AL and NL West..
- The Mariners have interest in free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz, sources tell Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The M's have been expected to be in the hunt for right-handed hitting this winter and one possible target, Marlon Byrd, came off the board earlier today.
The Rockies continue to tell teams that stars Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, and Michael Cuddyer are unavailable, but they did talk to a couple teams about center fielder Dexter Fowler, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Cardinals are said to have been one of the teams to call on Fowler, but people close to the situation say there wasn't an apparent match.
- A's pitcher Brett Anderson could hit the trade block and the odds will only increase if Bartolo Colon is retained, writes Heyman. The A's also have starters Sonny Gray. Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily, and Tommy Milone. in the fold.
The Cardinals are shopping for an upgrade at shortstop and Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily hears that Jed Lowrie of the Athletics is now on their list. The A's could theoretically move Lowrie to fill a need elsewhere and promote Addison Russell to the majors this season.
Meanwhile, despite the speculation that the Athletics would move Lowrie, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter) hears that it won't happen. The plan all along has been for him to be a two-year bridge to Russell and they are now entering year two.
Lowrie, 29, hit .290/.344/.446 in 662 plate appearances last season for the A's. The veteran came to Oakland in a five-player deal with the Astros in February 2013 .