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Todd Coffey Rumors
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.”
Full Story | Comments | Categories: 2014 Amateur Draft | Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Chicago Cubs | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | Detroit Tigers | Houston Astros | Jeff Hoffman | Jeff Samardzija | Oakland Athletics | Rich Hill | Seattle Mariners | Todd Coffey | Toronto Blue Jays | Yan Gomes
Here are some stray notes from around the game to finish up the evening:
- 35-year-old former big leaguer Juan Rincon, who has not thrown in the bigs since 2010, is looking to mount a comeback, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Rincon, a righty who owns a 4.03 ERA in 507 MLB innings, has thrown for several clubs already, says Heyman.
- Meanwhile, another veteran — 33-year-old right-hander Todd Coffey — is set to put on a showcase tomorrow, Heyman tweets. Heyman says that the eight-year veteran, whose career ERA stands at 4.10, has amped his fastball up into the 92mph to 94mph range as he looks to return after sitting out all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
- Besting both of the aforementioned players in both age and MLB service is Angels outfielder Raul Ibanez, who is now in his 19th big league campaign at age 41. But with a disappointing .139/.248/.267 slash through 117 plate appearances, Ibanez could be in danger of losing his roster spot, writes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. With rookie C.J. Cron off to an outlandish 1.128 OPS start (albeit in only 29 plate appearances), and having shown the ability to hit righties at the Triple-A level, Ibanez could prove superfluous. On the other hand, manager Mike Scioscia appeared to downplay that possibility. “I don’t know that it’s going to be C.J. versus Raul,” he said. “We’ll find at-bats for guys who are swinging the bat well.”
- While hard-throwing young arms are the story of this year’s amateur draft, none has more power than Texas prep righty Tyler Kolek, writes Baseball America’s John Manuel. The mountainous Kolek has consistently hit triple-digits on the radar gun, leading scouts to tell Manuel that he throws harder than any high school pitcher in the draft era. Of course, that kind of radar reading comes with risks, as all observers of the game are aware. Fellow BA writer J.J. Cooper breaks down the rise of power arms in the high school ranks, discussing the risks — and, of course, the immense upside — that come with top-end speed at a young age.
Baseball America's Matt Eddy's latest piece is a fascinating look back at the history of platoon usage in Major League Baseball and the increasing role of specialized relievers in Major League bullpens. Last season, more pure left-handed relievers (i.e. lefties who made zero starts) appeared in a season than any year in Major League history. Eddy's piece is rife with tables and charts to provide the breakdown on the numbers behind left-on-left matchups as opposed to right-on-right matchups (not surprisingly, the former leans more heavily in the pitcher's favor) and is well worth the read. Here are some more links from around the league for some late-night Thursday reading…
- The Cardinals optioned top prospect Oscar Taveras to Triple-A today, putting an early end to a Spring Training that didn't allow him to fully showcase his talents, writes MLB.com's Jen Langosch. Taveras received just six plate appearances in a pair of games after sitting out the first week due to what Langosch calls "hesitancy to fully trust his surgically repaired right ankle." He also left his second and final Spring Training game with a minor hamstring injury.
- Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley is well ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery and could be ready to pitch in the Majors as soon as late April, reports ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon. Billingsley will face live hitters next week and begin a minor league rehab assignment on April 3. Billingsley's return further crowds the competition for the team's fifth starter. Josh Beckett or Paul Maholm figures to occupy that role to open the season.
- Right-hander Todd Coffey has drawn interest from as many as nine to 10 teams and expects to sign right around Opening Day, according to MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo (Twitter links). Coffey is currently throwing 91 to 92 mph in bullpen sessions, he adds. Coffey last pitched in the Majors for the Dodgers in 2012.
- Cotillo also tweets that free agent catcher Kelly Shoppach is looking to play in 2014 "if the right situation/opportunity presents itself." The 33-year-old isn't close to a deal at this time. He slashed just .199/.288/.339 in 127 PAs between the Mariners and Indians last season.
- Lastly, Cotillo tweets that former AL Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa, now 34, is seeking a minor league deal to return to affiliated baseball. Berroa spent 2012 playing independent ball and was in the Mexican League last season, where he slashed .293/.362/.462 in 460 trips to the plate.
Jon Rauch is close to signing with a team, MLBTR's Zach Links reports (Twitter link). The 35-year-old posted a 7.56 ERA in 16 2/3 IP with the Marlins last season and also made 10 appearances for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate after signing a minor league contract with the O's in June. Despite his outlier of a 2013 season, Rauch has been a solid right-handed bullpen arm for much of his career, posting a 3.65 ERA, 2.79 K/BB and 7.2 K/9 over 549 2/3 IP from 2004-2012.
Here's some more news as we wrap up a busy Wednesday around baseball…
- The Braves only offered Eric O'Flaherty a one-year contract to remain with the team, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via Twitter). Though O'Flaherty underwent Tommy John surgery last May and will miss at least part of the 2014 season, he still scored a two-year, $7MM deal from the A's earlier today.
- Yuniesky Betancourt will decide on his new club within the week, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link). Betancourt was drawing interest from several teams, potentially even as a starter.
- Also from Cotillo, there is "strong interest" in right-hander Todd Coffey. At least nine of the 14 teams who attended Coffey's throwing session last week want to see his second session. Coffey is looking to return to action after missing all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
- Much of the Indians' success at the plate last season was due to their lineup flexibility and use of bench players, a trait that MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince believes could be somewhat difficult to duplicate in 2014, though Carlos Santana's proposed attempt to play third base would be a great help in that department.
- The Twins didn't have any interest in Grady Sizemore this winter, though the club checked in on him last summer, 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson reports (via Twitter).
- "Another issue with a physical does nothing to enhance the Orioles' reputation in the industry, which is taking a two-fisted beating this winter," Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes in regards to the news that Baltimore's agreement with Tyler Colvin has been delayed due to a problem with the outfielder's physical. Kubatko wonders if the O's could be trying to get Colvin to sign a minor league contract instead of a Major League deal, as the club did last offseason when it wasn't satisifed with Jair Jurrjens' physical.
- The Phillies liked Masahiro Tanaka and engaged in "cursory negotiations" with his representatives, but GM Ruben Amaro told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the team wasn't prepared to go beyond five years to sign the Japanese righty. The Phillies seem likely to go into 2014 with their current pitching options, as they only would've exceeded their payroll limitations for "an exception" like Tanaka.