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Todd Coffey Rumors
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- Outfielder Cole Gillespie has accepted an assignment to Triple-A from the Marlins, tweets MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Gillespie, 30, had the opportunity to elect free agency but has chosen to remain within the organization. The former third-round pick (Brewers, 2006) split the 2014 season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, hitting a combined .243/.300/.311 in 81 plate appearances. He posted a .690 OPS in 33 PAs this spring.
- The Rays have acquired Minor League right-hander Matt Buschmann from the Athletics, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter). The 31-year-old, who is expected to serve as Minor League rotation depth, was a 15th-round pick of the Padres back in 2006 and has spent parts of six seasons at the Triple-A level. Last year, in his first and only season with Oakland, Buschmann worked to a 4.40 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 143 innings of Triple-A ball.
- The Braves have released outfielder Jose Constanza and veteran right-handed reliever Todd Coffey, reports David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The 31-year-old Constanza offers quite a bit of speed (298 Minor League steals) and posted perhaps surprisingly solid numbers with the bat in 2011, but he’s slumped to a .555 OPS in 121 PA since that debut. As for Coffey, the former setup man hasn’t pitched since 2012 due to Tommy John surgery, but he enjoyed a nice run from 2009-12 with the Brewers, Nats and Dodgers, pitching to a 3.76 ERA in 225 innings of relief. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets one more Braves release — veteran catcher Jesus Flores. The 30-year-old spent parts of five seasons as Washington’s backup catcher but hasn’t seen the Majors since 2012.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com provides some finer details on various recently-struck contracts from around the game (links to Twitter):
- Under his two-year deal, Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera can tack on an additional $250K to his 2016 salary based on games finished in 2015. That is not much, but does give at least some suggestion that he and the team have conceived of the possibility that he could end up in a closing role at some point.
- Of course, Herrera is not first or even second in the pecking order there. Royals pen mate Greg Holland will handle the ninth until further notice, and his one-year deal to avoid arbitration contains several bonus provisions, including a $100K bump for taking home another reliever of the year award.
- Todd Coffey‘s minor league deal with the Braves would pay him $800K annually for his time in the majors, if he can crack the roster. Coffey can also earn up to $200K through incentives.
- The Padres will pay pre-arbitration-eligible third baseman Will Middlebrooks rather well. He will make $540,500 over his time in the majors and $324,300 for whatever time he spends in the minors. Last year at this time, MLBTR’s Zach Links took an interesting look at how teams pay pre-arb players.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- Continuing their trend of adding veteran arms on minor league deals, the Braves have added right-hander Todd Coffey on such a pact and invited him to Spring Training, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Coffey missed the 2013 season after undergoing his second career Tommy John surgery and spent much of the 2014 campaign with the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate, where he posted an excellent 1.93 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 37 1/3 innings of work. From 2009-12 with the Brewers, Nationals and Dodgers, Coffey notched a 3.76 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 225 innings. The Braves have also added Jose Veras, Matt Capps, Chien-ming Wang, Wandy Rodriguez and Donnie Veal on minor league deals this winter.
- The Blue Jays announced that first baseman/outfielder Chris Colabello has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A (h/t: Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet). The 31-year-old Colabello found himself designated for assignment to make room for waiver claim Jayson Aquino. The longtime indy ball star has been a nice story since signing with the Twins as a 28-year-old and rising through their ranks to the MLB level.
- The Indians have signed former Phillies utility man Michael Martinez to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (on Twitter). The 32-year-old switch-hitter brings plenty of defensive versatility to the table, though he’s just a .181/.231/.251 hitter in 440 big league plate appearances.
- The Marlins have inked infielder David Adams to a minor league deal that does not include an invitation to big league camp, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). Now 27, Adams slashed a meager .193/.252/.286 in 152 trips to the plate with the Yankees in 2013. He has performed much better in the upper minors, slashing .255/.349/.397 in 333 plate appearances at Triple-A and putting up a .290/367/.443 line in 899 Double-A turns at bat.
- Another utility infielder, Chris Dominguez, has agreed to a minor league pact with the Reds, the club tweeted. Dominguez, who was recently designated and released by the Giants, will participate in MLB camp. The 28-year-old saw his first action in the bigs last year, a quick stop with San Francisco, but has spent most of his time over the last two seasons at Triple-A. In 1,203 total PCL plate appearances, Dominguez owns a solid .278/.312/.446 slash with 39 home runs.
- Lefty Cesar Jimenez has cleared waivers and accepted a Triple-A assignment, the Phillies announced. Despite a strong 2014 and deal to avoid arbitration, Jimenez was designated and then outrighted recently.
It is prospect season yet again, with various evaluators releasing their latest breakdowns of the brightest young players in the game. Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs are working through the systems on a team-by-team basis for the time being, while MLB.com is going position-by-position at present. ESPN.com’s Keith Law (subscription links) has now filed a new top-100 list as well as organization rankings. Kris Bryant and his club, the Cubs, rank atop Law’s respective boards.
- The Phillies should take a flier on Dayan Viciedo, argues CSNPhilly.com’s Corey Seidman. While there are some barriers to such a move, and reasons against it, Seidman says that there is enough upside left in the 25-year-old that Philadelphia ought to roll the dice.
- In another update on Yoan Moncada and the general situation of Cuban ballplayers, Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports that the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) does still issue the “specific licenses” that MLB has required Cubans to obtain before they are cleared to sign. Since it appears that such players would already be able to sign pursuant to a “general license” (more on that here), Badler suggests that MLB-related requests may be receiving a lower priority that extends the delay.
- Free agent reliever Todd Coffey has interest from five or six club and may be nearing a deal, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. The 34-year-old has not seen big league action since 2012, but put up intriguing numbers last year at Triple-A in the Mariners organization.
Coffey, who turns 34 next week, signed a minor league deal with the Mariners earlier this summer after missing the 2013 campaign following his second Tommy John surgery. Somewhat curiously, he didn’t crack Seattle’s big league roster despite fairly dominant numbers in the minors; the veteran righty pitched to a 1.93 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 37 1/3 at Triple-A Tacoma.
Coffey has a lifetime 4.10 ERA as a big leaguer, and that mark is accompanied by 6.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a solid 51.9 percent ground-ball rate. Among contending clubs, the Tigers have had the most glaring bullpen issues this season, although the Pirates, Dodgers and Yankees have all hunted for relief help at times. The Brewers, too, were in the market for relief upgrades, although they may feel set in that department following their acquisition of Jonathan Broxton on Aug. 31.
Of course, the Mariners themselves are contenders, but the club apparently feels content with its bullpen depth. Fernando Rodney has been excellent as the team’s ninth-inning man after signing a two-year, $14MM deal this offseason. Meanwhile, Danny Farquhar, Dominic Leone, Tom Wilhelmsen, Joe Beimel and Yoervis Medina all have ERAs south of 2.50 in at least 40 innings of work.
The Padres need to make a great hire when they find a permanent replacement for former GM Josh Byrnes, Matt Calkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. The Padres shouldn’t worry about hiring a big name, which might excite their fans but might not help rectify the organization’s problems. Here are more notes from around the West divisions.
- As they approach this year’s trade deadline as sellers, the Diamondbacks could look for starting pitchers and outfielders, GM Kevin Towers tells FOX Sports Arizona’s Jack Magruder. The club will also look to shed salary, although Towers says that’s not their only consideration. “When a ball club is 15 games under .500, it’s going to affect attendance. The performance affects attendance. It puts us behind what our projections were. Dollars are part of the equation,” says Towers. “That said, it is not all about saving money.” Infielders Aaron Hill and Martin Prado could be trade candidates, as could lefties Oliver Perez and Joe Thatcher.
- Perez and Thatcher are trying to ignore any trade rumors, AZCentral.com’s Zach Buchanan reports. “It’s something that you can’t really prepare for unless you’ve been through it,” says Thatcher. “I’d heard my name a couple years before, but last year was the first I felt like I was getting traded. It takes a toll on you.” Both players have been traded near the July deadline before — Perez went from the Pirates to the Mets in 2006, and Thatcher went from the Brewers to the Padres in 2007 and the Padres to the Diamondbacks in 2013.
- Right-hander Todd Coffey, who signed a minor league deal with the Mariners roughly five weeks ago, has a June 30 opt-out date in his contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The 33-year-old has pitched well in his return from Tommy John surgery, allowing just one run in 9 1/3 innings. Coffey has walked six in that time, but he’s also allowed just four hits and struck out 10 batters. With a number of clubs looking for bullpen help, he figures to generate some interest if the Mariners can’t make room for him in their big league bullpen.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
THURSDAY: Coffey has passed his physical, making his deal with the Mariners complete, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Coffey’s base salary upon making the Major League roster will be $750K, and his contract contains $350K of incentives. He’ll earn $15K per month in the minor leagues, Heyman adds.
TUESDAY: The Mariners are set to sign right-hander Todd Coffey to a minor league deal, reports Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune (Twitter links). The Beverly Hills Sports Council client’s deal is pending a physical, and he’ll fly to Arizona on Wednesday or Thursday to take that exam, Dutton adds.
Coffey missed the 2013 season after undergoing the second Tommy John surgery of his career. His most recent Major League action came in 2012, when he posted a 4.66 ERA in 19 1/3 innings. Coffey was in the midst of a strong 8 2/3 inning scoreless stretch that season but was hit hard in his final outing — his final appearance before undergoing surgery.
Coffey had posted a 3.62 ERA in 59 2/3 innings the year prior, and has had similar ups and downs throughout his entire career. He’s had fairly wild swings in his year-to-year ERA, but xFIP has consistently pegged him for something in the 3.90 to 4.00 range, while SIERA has been a bigger fan, suggesting marks between 3.50 and 3.80.
Coffey has averaged 93.2 mph on his heater throughout his career, and Yahoo’s Jeff Passan recently reported that he was sitting at 91-92 mph in his most recent workout for teams. The Mariners rank ninth in the Majors in bullpen ERA (3.29), and Coffey will provide them with a nice option, should one of their current arms go down to injury. Seattle also had interest in Heath Bell recently, so it does appear they’ve been actively pursuing additional depth.
While we’re a ways off from seeing trades of major significance come in bulk, ESPN’s Jim Bowden lists five summer deals that he think should happen to improve some fringe contenders (ESPN Insider required and recommended). Among his scenarios are the Blue Jays acquiring Jeff Samardzija, the Orioles acquiring Kurt Suzuki and the Braves acquiring Nick Franklin. Here are some more links from around the baseball world…
- Free agent right-hander Todd Coffey is deciding between offers from two teams and could choose a destination as soon as tonight, reports Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (Twitter link). The Phillies are said to be one team in on Coffey, Cotillo reported over the weekend.
- Fangraphs’ Jason Collette wonders if the emergence of Wade Davis as a dominant reliever in the back of the Royals‘ bullpen will lead them to explore trades of Greg Holland. Davis is striking out batters at a higher clip than anyone in baseball, and he’s cost-controlled over the next two seasons, while Holland is a lock to get expensive via arbitration. Holland is already earning $4.68MM, and as Collette notes, his agent would likely use Craig Kimbrel‘s contract as a comp in extension talks. A trade of Holland could address other needs on the budget-conscious Royals’ roster.
- While some have talked about a perceived drop in draft prospect Jacob Gatewood‘s stock, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo writes that the industry was “probably a little too over-zealous” with him last summer. Mayo has spoken with several scouts and cross-checkers who believe the powerful prep shortstop should go in the mid-to-late first round. Gatewood’s mix of power and swings/misses is reminiscent of sluggers Joey Gallo, Kris Bryant and Giancarlo Stanton, Mayo adds.
- Mayo also profiles prep right-hander Touki Toussaint, noting that his affable personality is an excellent complement to his three-pitch arsenal — each of which has the potential to be above average down the line. Toussaint, who is of Haitian descent but was born in Florida, nearly gave up on baseball at the age of 9 to focus on soccer because of his difficulty hitting. However, he gave it another shot three years later and has been focused entirely on baseball — as both a closer and a starter — ever since. MLB.com ranked Toussaint 16th among draft prospects.
Three clubs were willing to offer major league deals to Kyle Farnsworth, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Farnsworth chose the Astros in part because he could see high leverage chances and due to his relationship with manager Bo Porter. Here are some notes on a few other players who are still looking for their next professional opportunity:
- Brian Burres, who has been throwing well this year in the independent Atlantic League, has recently received interest from a few clubs, MLBTR has learned. The 33-year-old southpaw carries a 1.80 ERA through 20 innings, striking out 6.3 and walking 1.8 batters per nine. Burress has 358 1/3 MLB innings under his belt; he last saw MLB time in 2011 with the Pirates.
- The Yankees and Mariners are two of the five finalists to sign Cuban outfielder Daniel Carbonell, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. The Twins attended Carbonell’s most recent showcase, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, and are “monitoring” him. Carbonell, 23, was declared a free agent back in April.
- The Phillies are in on Todd Coffey, a source tells Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish (via Twitter). The Orioles, meanwhile, are likely out on Coffey after signing Heath Bell (link). Coffey has multiple offers in hand and could decide soon, according to sources.
- Lefty Pedro Feliciano is getting a hard look from the Cardinals, according to Steve Nations of KSDK Sports. Feliciano threw live BP to Cards minor leaguers yesterday, and will appear in a simulated game today in hopes of convincing the St. Louis brass to give him a minor league deal. The 37-year-old has seen time in nine MLB campaigns, returning to the bigs for 25 appearances (but just 11 1/3 innings) with the Mets last year, putting up a 3.97 ERA. His career mark stands at 3.33 earned per nine over 383 2/3 frames.
Baseball America has released its list of the top 100 amateur prospects for this year’s draft. Interestingly, both Jeff Hoffman and Erick Fedde are still listed in the top ten, despite the fact that the pair of collegiate righties will enter the draft fresh off of Tommy John surgery. Here are some notes from around the game:
- Free agent reliever Todd Coffey impressed in a workout today, throwing his fastball consistently in the low-90s, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links). He could sign by the weekend, according to Passan. Twelve to fifteen clubs were represented at the showcase today, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish lists some of the clubs in attendance. From the American League, the Tigers, Mariners, Astros, Athletics, and Orioles sent scouts, while the Braves and Diamondbacks were among the NL clubs on hand.
- Reliever Rich Hill of the Red Sox has an opt-out date from his minor league deal tomorrow, tweets Cotillo. The nine-year MLB veteran has been strong at Triple-A, throwing to a 2.84 ERA through 19 innings pitched with 10.4 K/9 against 4.7 BB/9.
- Diamondbacks top prospect Archie Bradley is set to begin throwing and move towards a return to the rubber, reports Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (via Twitter). GM Kevin Towers said that the club does not have any further medical tests planned at present for the young hurler. Given his current situation, it seems that the club will exercise plenty of caution in promoting the 21-year-old.
- With the Rockies off to a hot start, Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post opines that the club should act decisively to seize the momentum by exploring a trade for Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija. While the price will surely be steep, Kiszla sas that the team should be willing to deal either of the team’s two prized young prospect arms — Jonathan Gray and Eddie Butler — to make a deal.
- The Blue Jays never saw in Yan Gomes the potential that has been unleashed since he was dealt to the Indians, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. In some part, says Davidi, that could be due to the fact that Gomes was buried in the minor league depth charts, such that he never caught more than 58 games in a single season. “Ultimately you wonder if we didn’t have other prospects that were so talented, if Yan had played more, would the development path have changed, would we have had a better feel for him?” Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said. “We were finding places for him to play, but he was never the everyday catcher because there was always someone else who was there.” Gomes, of course, has excelled (and been rewarded with an extension) in Cleveland after coming over with Mike Aviles in exchange for reliever Esmil Rogers. “We always liked Yan,” said Anthopoulos. “Clearly he’s become a better player sooner than we would have expected. That’s not a slight against him, that’s a full credit to him.”
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