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Steve Pearce Rumors
The Orioles have re-signed IF/OF Steve Pearce, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. The Orioles have announced that it’s a big-league deal. The O’s had previously designated Pearce for assignment. The Blue Jays claimed Pearce on release waivers, but he elected to become a free agent rather than accepting the claim.
Connolly explains the processes that led the Orioles to re-sign Pearce. The Orioles did not replace Chris Davis on their active roster after Davis went on the disabled list last weekend, which meant they were not restricted by a league rule that would have prevented them from adding Pearce to the active roster so soon after releasing him. With Davis out, having Pearce back allows the Orioles to have an extra first baseman.
Pearce, 31, hit .261/.362/.420 in 138 plate appearances for the Orioles last season, playing mostly DH and left field. He has also played for the Pirates, Astros and Yankees.
TUESDAY: The Orioles have announced that Pearce was claimed on release waivers (although it’s unclear which team claimed him), but that Pearce elected to become a free agent rather than accepting the claim. MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets that the Orioles are interested in re-signing Pearce.
Pearce agreed with the O’s on a $850K deal to avoid arbitration this winter. The veteran made only seven plate appearances in the early portion of the 2014 season but he slashed .261/.362/.420 in 138 trips to the dish at the major league level in 2013. Because the O’s have previously outrighted Pearce, he reserved the right to reject a minor league assignment. However, it hasn’t come to that and the Orioles have instead cut him loose.
Over parts of eight big league seasons with the Pirates, Astros, Yankees, and Orioles, Pearce owns a career .237/.316/.376 slash line. Across six Triple-A seasons, Pearce has slashed .287/.364/.497.
The Blue Jays announced last night that they have optioned the struggling Ryan Goins to Triple-A, and Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that Chris Getz will get the call to take his place. However, as Getz isn’t on the 40-man roster, a corresponding move will have to be made prior to today’s game. Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star wonders if Moises Sierra will lose his spot on the 40-man.
More out of the AL East…
- Rays manager Joe Maddon isn’t sweating his team’s rough start and is in good spirits despite losing Matt Moore, Alex Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson to injuries, writes MLB.com’s Phil Rogers. Maddon said his experience as a minor league manager prepared him by giving him the right attitude in these situations: “A lot of times, when you work in the Minor Leagues, manage in the Minor Leagues, there are times you don’t have the best team out there on a nightly basis, but you still believe you’re going to win somehow.”
- The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly expands on the technicality he reported yesterday that could allow the Orioles to re-sign Steve Pearce (whom they released on Sunday) and immediately add him to the 25-man roster. While clubs that re-sign a released player normally have to wait 30 days to add him to the active roster, that can be avoided if the “club has had less than the full complement of active players at all times from the date of the waiver request to the date [the] player is re-signed.”
- The Red Sox aren’t concerned with the defensive struggles of Xander Bogaerts, writes Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Edes spoke with Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen, who said the team anticipated that there would be “challenges,” and that they could look glaring when compared to the excellent play Boston received at shortstop last year from Stephen Drew. Edes also spoke to a Major League scout who shook his head at any who disparage Bogaerts based on his glove. That scout told Edes that any of his peers that scouted Boston’s system in 2013 said Bogaerts was the best player they saw in Minor League Baseball.
Though they’ve had some issues on the left side of their infield, the Red Sox have yet to waver from their commitment to using Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks as their primary shortstop and third baseman, writes WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. Specifically, Bradford writes that the team has had zero discussions with Stephen Drew and agent Scott Boras since the season kicked off. Drew remains perhaps the most prominent free agent available and could be waiting until after the June draft when teams will no longer need to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. Here’s more on the AL East…
- A roster shakeup is coming for the Orioles, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, who notes that both Manny Machado and Troy Patton will be joining the club soon as they return from knee surgery and a 25-game suspension for Adderall usage, respectively.
- From that same piece, Connolly notes that Steve Pearce‘s release waivers expire tomorrow, and it’s possible for the team to re-sign him and put him on the 25-man roster in place of the injured Chris Davis. Normally, a team that re-signs a released player must wait 30 days to place him back on the active roster, but Connolly spoke with one industry source who said there is a rules scenario that would allow Baltimore to work around that restriction.
- Over the weekend, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet wondered if the Blue Jays‘ need for an eight-man bullpen could make Juan Francisco a roster casualty when Adam Lind returns from the disabled list. With both Brandon Morrow and Dustin McGowan averaging fewer than five innings per start, the team is being forced to carry two long relievers — Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond. Francisco has impressed in his brief eight-game sample thus far, but as a left-handed power bat with serious platoon issues, he could be seen as redundant when Lind is healthy.
Pearce, 31, had only seven plate appearances in the early portion of the 2014 season. Last year, in 138 trips to the dish at the MLB level, he put up a .261/.362/.420 line. The club has previously outrighted Pearce, so he would have the right to decline a minor league assignment (assuming he is ultimately exposed to outright waivers).
With tonight’s non-tender deadline looming, several players figure to not only be tendered contracts but agree to their 2014 salaries prior to 11pm CT. We’ll run down the players to avoid arbitration with their respective clubs in this post, and remember that you can track the progress on all arbitration eligible players by using MLBTR’s 2014 Arbitration Tracker. For a reminder on the projected salaries for each of these players, check out Matt Swartz’s projections in MLBTR’s Arbitration Eligibles series.
- The Nationals announced they’ve avoided arbitration with righty Ross Ohlendorf, tweets Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com. Ohlendorf’s deal will guarantee him $1.25MM and can reach $3MM via incentives that can be achieved as a starter or reliever, per the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore.
- The Cubs have avoided arbitration with utility infielder Donnie Murphy, reports Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com (via Twitter), agreeing to a one-year, $825K pact that includes incentives.
- The Orioles have avoided arbitration with outfielder Steve Pearce for $850K, tweets Rosenthal.
- The Padres have reached terms with pitcher Eric Stults on a $2.75MM deal to avoid arbitration, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He had been projected by Swartz to earn $3MM through arbitration. Unlike most arbitration deals, tweets Rosenthal, this one will be guaranteed. Also getting a guaranteed deal from the Padres, per Rosenthal, is righty Tim Stauffer at $1.6MM.
- The White Sox have avoided arbitration with catcher Tyler Flowers with a $950k contract, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Athletics have avoided arbitration with righty Fernando Rodriguez, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Rodriguez, who is represented by Metis Sports Management, LLC, will earn $600K plus award bonuses, MLBTR has learned. The A’s will tender contracts to its remaining arb-eligible players, Slusser notes via Twitter.
- The Indians have avoided arbitration with relievers Frank Herrmann and Blake Wood, the club announced. Each player will earn $560k, tweets Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, which falls below their respective projections from MLBTR’s Matt Swartz.
- Newly-acquired catcher George Kottaras has reached agreement on a one-year, $1.075MM deal to avoid arbitration with the Cubs, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The contract includes incentives, according to Heyman. A left-handed batter, Kottaras managed only a .180 batting average last year, but got on base at a .349 clip in addition to posting a .370 slugging mark in his 126 plate appearances.
- The Orioles have avoided arbitration with outfielder Nolan Reimold, sources tell Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (link to Twitter). The 30-year-old will get a one-year, $1.025MM deal that includes incentives. Reimold lost most of the last two seasons to injury, but has a career .252/.327/.439 slash in 1,056 plate appearances dating back to 2009. His salary will be guaranteed, tweets Connolly.
- The Phillies have avoided arbitration with infielder Kevin Frandsen, the club announced. Frandsen will receive a one-year, $900k deal that includes performance incentives. Last year, Frandsen had a .234/.296/.341 slash line in 278 plate appearances. The deal is guaranteed, Rosenthal tweets.
- The Braves announced that they have avoided arbitration with infielder Ramiro Pena and left-hander Jonny Venters (Twitter link). Pena, 28, batted a solid .278/.330/.443 in 107 PAs this season before shoulder surgery ended his season. Venters’ contract was first reported two weeks ago and is said to be worth $1.625MM.
- MLB.com’s Jason Beck tweets that the Tigers have avoided arbitration with Don Kelly by agreeing to a one-year, $1MM contract for 2014. Kelly will turn 34 in February and batted .222/.309/.343 in 2013 — all numbers that are nearly mirrored by his career .229/.290/.344 batting line. He is represented by LSW Baseball.
- The Pirates have avoided arbitration with Chris Stewart, according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal (on Twitter). Barbarisi reports that the trade sending Stewart to Pittsburgh was actually in place on Friday but was also contingent on Stewart agreeing to a new contract with the Pirates. Stewart, a client of James A. Kuzmich, PLLC, agreed to his new contract today, thereby finalizing the trade. He projected to earn $1MM, per Swartz.
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Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes was surprised when Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports pointed out that his new team is off the the same 2-5 start as the Marlins were a year prior. Reyes, however, isn't worried about his team's outlook: "…there’s no concern at all. There’s way too much talent on this ballclub to continue to play the way we’re playing.” Here are some more links from baseball's two Eastern divisions…
- WEEI.com's Rob Bradford hears that the Red Sox are not interested in trading for Aaron Harang (Twitter link). Reports over the weekend linked Boston to the recently DFA'ed right-hander.
- Offseason acquisition Denard Span has given the Nationals a "new kind of offensive identity," writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The presence of Span and Jayson Werth atop the lineup forces pitchers to work, given the high volume of pitches the pair averages per plate appearance. Werth and Adam LaRoche both offer high praise for the Nats' new leadoff man, who was acquired from the Twins for Alex Meyer this offseason.
- Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca chronicles the early work that former Blue Jays ace Ricky Romero has done so far in his attempts to rediscover his mechanics. As Dividi notes, given the $7.5MM owed to Romero in each of the next three seasons, Toronto has no reason to rush and every reason to make sure they get it right.
- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that struggling ace Roy Halladay will have as long of a leash as he needs to get things sorted out: "If he needs 30 starts he’ll get it. As long as he’s healthy and he keeps working at it — as much as he needs."
- Chris Dickerson is set to be added to the Orioles' 40-man and 25-man roster today, but speculation that it could result in a Steve Pearce DFA doesn't make sense, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports, who hears that the upcoming move won't involve Pearce.
Last week the Orioles extended manager Buck Showalter and executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette through the 2018 season. Here's a look at what Orioles management is doing to boost their chances of returning to the playoffs in 2013…
- The Orioles plan to offer left-hander Mark Hendrickson a minor league deal that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training, Eduardo A. Encina The Baltimore Sun reports. Hendrickson, the former NBA player who pitched with Baltimore from 2009-11, threw bullpen sessions for Orioles personnel last week. The 38-year-old is now pitching sidearm as he attempts to return to the MLB level for the first time since 2011.
- After a turbulent 2012 season, Steve Pearce's travels appear to have ended now that he’s a non-roster player with the Orioles. The 29-year-old said he’s glad he’s still in Baltimore, Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com reports. “This is the place I wanted to be,” Pearce said. “I wasn’t thinking about being claimed by anyone else, and this is where I wanted to be.”
The latest outright assignments from around MLB…
- The Astros outrighted infielder Brandon Laird and outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin to Triple-A after the players cleared waivers, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Yankees announced that they outrighted right-hander Jim Miller to Triple-A. They had designated him for assignment two days ago to create 40-man roster space for Ichiro Suzuki.
- The Red Sox outrighted Pedro Beato to Triple-A after he cleared waivers, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports (on Twitter). The Red Sox designated the right-hander for assignment two days ago to create roster space for Ryan Dempster.
- The Diamondbacks outrighted shortstop Gustavo Nunez to Detroit's Triple-A affiliate, the Tigers announced. Nunez, a 2011 Rule 5 Draft selection, spent the 2012 season on the Pirates' disabled list recovering from right ankle surgery. The Diamondbacks claimed him off of waivers from Pittsburgh on October 26th before returning him to Detroit today.
- The Orioles announced that they outrighted outfielder Steve Pearce to Triple-A. The club now has one open 40-man roster spot.
- The Cubs announced that they outrighted Gerardo Concepcion to Class A Kane County after the left-hander cleared waivers. Chicago's 40-man roster now includes 39 players.
- The Blue Jays announced that they outrighted right-hander Mickey Storey to Triple-A Buffalo. Toronto had claimed Storey off of waivers earlier in the week.
It's been another major day of hot stove news, headlined by Josh Hamilton's deal with the Angels and Anibal Sanchez's forthcoming choice between the Cubs and Tigers. Here are some final items as we hit Friday…
- Michael Bourn's market has become hard to determine, though MLB.com's Richard Justice notes that the Hamilton, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols signings have taught us that top free agents tend to get their paydays, sometimes with surprising teams.
- Nick Swisher has never seen the Red Sox "as a likely landing spot," reports Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). Boston is one of several teams — including the Phillies, Orioles, Indians, Rangers and Mariners — linked to the free agent slugger this winter.
- Cuban players Dariel Alvarez and shortstop Aledmys Diaz are both officially free agents, tweets Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald. Alvarez, a 24-year-old outfielder, and 22-year-old shortstop Diaz were profiled by MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez last month.
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli breaks down the contract details of the arbitration-avoiding deals signed by Taylor Teagarden, Alexi Casilla and Steve Pearce with the Orioles, plus the details of Mark Reynolds' one-year contract with the Indians.
- The Diamondbacks are more likely to trade Jason Kubel than Justin Upton at this point, opines MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (Twitter link).
- The Rangers may have lost Hamilton today but a rival executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link) that the Rangers could potentially sign Swisher, A.J. Pierzynski and Adam LaRoche to upgrade their lineup.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports looks at how the Phillies and Red Sox are planning to rebound in 2013.