Steve Kline Rumors

Odds and Ends: Gibbons, Skipworth, Viciendo

Let’s catch up with some more links.

Phils Still Looking For Lefty Relief Help

David Murphy quotes Phillies GM Pat Gillick as saying he’s still looking for lefthanded relief help.  Recently signed lefty Steve Kline is in the mix to fill the role, but isn’t a lock.  Kline’s currently with the Phils’ Triple A club.

The Pirates’ John Grabow would be a nice addition; he’s thrown twelve scoreless innings.  Damaso Marte is also probably available.  Ron Mahay, George Sherrill, Scott Schoeneweis, Jamie Walker, and Royce Ring are other possibilities in my mind.  But since the Phils already have J.C. Romero doing a nice job, maybe they’ll just pick up a lower-cost guy like Ray King or Mike Stanton.

Phillies Sign Steve Kline

According to Scott Lauber, the Phillies signed veteran lefty Steve Kline to a minor league deal.  Kline had been released by the Giants.  The Phils recently added Rudy Seanez to their bullpen as well.  Might as well stock up and hope that a few guys work out.

Kline, 35, had a career low strikeout rate in ’07.  Lefties hit .318/.375/.365 off him.  Kline is known for his colorful personality.

Odds and Ends: Alfonzo, Hill, Kline, Reitsma

Time for a link roundup.

Phillies Sign Rudy Seanez

12:20pm: Scott Lauber quotes Phils GM Pat Gillick as having no interest in southpaw relievers Mike Stanton and Steve Kline.  Also, it’s likely Wes Helms or Tim Lahey will be let go to make room when Brad Lidge comes off the DL this weekend.

8:55am: According to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, the Phillies have signed reliever Rudy Seanez.  The 39 year-old had been released by the Dodgers last week.

The Phils mark Seanez’s 12th organization.  He can be homer-prone, but he wasn’t terrible last year in posting a 3.79 ERA and 8.64 K/9 with the Dodgers in 76 innings.  On the other hand, he was not typically used in high leverage situations.

The Phils are also looking for a lefty reliever, but they aren’t looking to acquire recently designated Steve Kline "at this time" according to Ruben Amaro Jr.

Giants Designate Steve Kline

Chris Haft at reports the Giants have designated lefty reliever Steve Kline for assignment.  Adds Haft,

"Dropping Kline… was not completely unexpected. Kline, 35, is coming off his worst season since his rookie year of 1997, having posted a 4.70 ERA and more walks than strikeouts last year. He also allowed left-handed batters to hit .318 off him. This spring, Kline owned a 5.40 ERA in 11 appearances and had yielded 17 hits in 11 2/3 innings."

Lefties who can’t get lefties out aren’t well sought after.  Still, somebody will probably take a flier on Kline.  Any ideas as to who could use him?

By Nat Boyle

Phils Talking To Giants, Reds About Helms?

THURSDAY: Jim Salisbury says the Helms for Kline idea has fallen through, and Hal McCoy nixes the Helms for Stanton possibility.

WEDNESDAY: The Phillies would like to conclude their offseason by swapping third baseman Wes Helms and the $2.9MM owed to him for a lefty reliever.  According to Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Phils are talking to the Giants and Reds about Helms.  Steve Kline ($1.75MM) or Mike Stanton ($3.5MM) are the targets.  The Reds may deem Stanton too pricey to cut.

The Giants recently picked up Jose Castillo, but they also lost Kevin Frandsen.  Moving Kline would make sense, because then they could fit both Merkin Valdez and Erick Threets.  The Reds have Jolbert Cabrera and Andy Phillips battling for a bench spot, and don’t seem to have a place for Helms.

Odds and Ends: Rivera, Hamels, Sherrill

Here’s today’s gathering of links.

  • John Shea examines the Giants’ roster crunch, which would be greatly relieved by trading Dave Roberts and Steve Kline.
  • Adam Rubin implies that the Angels want too much from the Mets for Juan RiveraJon Niese or Bobby Parnell.  A deal seems unlikely.
  • Cole Hamels, accused by a heckler of being a cross between Casey Fossum and Shawn Camp.  BURNED!
  • Buster Olney is hearing from other teams that the Orioles may shop 30 year-old newly anointed closer George Sherrill this summer.
  • Joe Christensen believes that we’ll learn about Joe Nathan‘s future with the Twins by week’s end.
  • Brock For Broglio posted an interesting interview with Voros McCracken.  This quote from McCracken caught my eye: "One of the things that kind of bugged me with the Red Sox was a somewhat implied expectation that I’d come up with something like DIPS on a regular basis."

What To Do With Wes Helms?

In the 2006-07 offseason, Wes Helms had just finished his best year (in terms of rate stats, at least).  He hit .329/.390/.575 for the ’06 Marlins, facing a disproportionate number of lefties. 

David Bell and Abraham Nunez had combined for an OPS under .700 at the hot corner for the ’06 Phillies, so they figured Helms would be an upgrade even stretched as a full-timer.  They gave him a two-year, $5.45MM deal with a $3.75MM club option for ’09.  Part of the motivation was to save money for an Alfonso Soriano bid.  Plus, Mark DeRosa had already signed with the Cubs.

The signing did not go as planned, as Helms hit just .246/.297/.368 and lost full-time status quickly.  The Phils gave third base time to Nunez and Greg Dobbs, once again generating subpar results.  They signed Pedro Feliz to a two-year deal this winter.

The Phils would like to trade Helms now, and David Murphy suggests swapping him with Steve Kline could make sense.  The Giants aren’t interested though.  Baseball Prospectus’ John Perrotto says the Phils indeed desire a southpaw reliever for Helms, who is drawing interest from the Braves and Marlins (both clubs he’s played for previously).

Stark’s Latest: Davis, Valdez, Roberts, Lofton

ESPN’s Jayson Stark checks in with a blog entry jam-packed with rumorage.

  • Stark says the Giants are shopping Rich Aurilia, Ray Durham, Steve Kline, Randy Winn, Tyler Walker, Rajai Davis, and Merkin Valdez.  The vets we knew about; the last two are a surprise.  Probably stems from both being out of options.
  • Brian Roberts update: Stark talked to a club official who’s in touch with the Cubs and O’s.  That guy expects a deal to be done next week.  Plus, Stark sees the O’s as an active suitor for Kyle Lohse at the right price.
  • Stark confirms the rumblings that the Rays have checked in on Kenny Lofton.  Lofton could be a nice bargain this year for a couple mil.