Todd Coffey Rumors


Nationals Notes: Rodriguez, Coffey

The Nationals may have the day off but they're in the news thanks to interest in two players..

  • In the wake of Buster Posey's injury, the Giants have already asked the Nats about Ivan Rodriguez, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  The Nats have received interest in Pudge from other teams including the Red Sox this season.  The club has plenty of catching depth to work with if they do decide to deal Rodriguez.
  • The Rangers have inquired about Nationals right-hander Todd Coffey, a baseball source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com.  While it's known that Texas is looking for a setup man, Ladson cautions that the two clubs are not in serious talks at the moment and it's not known whether the Nats would trade Coffey.  Ben Nicholson-Smith recently highlighted Coffey as a non-tender from last offseason that is now exceeding expectations with a new ballclub.



Non-Tenders Contributing With New Teams

Every winter teams non-tender players when they would rather risk losing them to another team than go through the potentially expensive arbitration process. In 2010, for example, Matt Capps and Kelly Johnson rewarded their new teams with standout years after being cut loose, though most non-tenders don’t make that kind of contribution.

Teams non-tendered over 50 players last offseason and a handful of them are already proving their worth with new organizations. Here’s a breakdown of which 2010 non-tenders are exceeding expectations in 2011:

Starting Pitchers

  • Dustin Moseley, Padres (non-tendered by Yankees) - The 29-year-old leads the league with six losses, but he's been much more effective than his record would indicate. Moseley has a 3.40 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 through 53 frames.

Right-Handed Relievers

  • Joel Peralta, Rays (non-tendered by Nationals) - Unlike most non-tenders, Peralta was effective last year. After 22 1/3 innings in the Rays' revamped bullpen, he's looking like a smart, low-risk addition. Peralta has a 2.82 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
  • Taylor Buchholz, Mets (though Buchholz has never thrown a pitch for Boston, the Red Sox were technically the ones to non-tender him) - Buchholz is looking a lot like his 2008 self through 21 2/3 innings in the Mets' 'pen. The 29-year-old has a 1.66 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.
  • Jose Veras, Pirates (non-tendered by Marlins) - Veras has 26 strikeouts and a 3.06 ERA through 17 2/3 innings. Veras' 13.2 K/9 is seventh-best among MLB relievers this year and few pitchers beat his 94 mph average fastball by much.
  • Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox (non-tendered by Yankees) - The Red Sox need him more than ever with two members of their Opening Day rotation on the shelf. So far, Aceves has a 2.60 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 17 1/3 innings.
  • Todd Coffey, Nationals (non-tendered by Brewers) - Coffey, who added value in 2009-10, has a 2.30 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 2/3 innings.
  • Matt Albers, Red Sox (non-tendered by Orioles) - Though Bobby Jenks was the most prominent non-tender who signed with Boston this winter, Albers may be the most impressive. He has a 1.65 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 52.3% ground ball rate through 16 1/3 innings.

Left-Handed Relievers

  • George Sherrill, Braves (non-tendered by Dodgers) - After a poor showing with the Dodgers in 2010, Sherrill is adding value again. He has raised his strikeout rate (10.2 K/9), lowered his walk rate (4.7 BB/9) and has allowed just seven hits and two earned runs in 9 2/3 innings, mostly against left-handed hitters.

Position Players

  • Russell Martin, Yankees (non-tendered by Dodgers) - Arguably the biggest success story of all, Martin drew interest from a number of AL East teams before signing with the Yankees. He has a .261/.362/.479 line and leads qualified MLB catchers in home runs (7), on-base percentage (.362), wOBA (.380) and WAR (1.5). It’s a win-win, as Martin got $4MM in guaranteed money and a fresh start, while the Yankees get a top catcher who’s under team control through 2012. With Jack Cust, Matt Diaz and others off to slow starts, Martin is the lone non-tendered position player making an impact so far this year.



Nationals To Sign Todd Coffey

The Nationals have agreed to sign Todd Coffey, the team announced. MLB.com's Bill Ladson (on Twitter) first reported the agreement and Jon Heyman of SI.com first reported that the team was closing in on a deal with the BHSC client. Heyman reports that the deal guarantees Coffey $1.35MM (Twitter link).

Coffey posted a 4.76 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 for the Brewers last year before they non-tendered him. He has appeared in at least 69 games in 2009 and '10, so the Nationals are adding a durable piece to Jim Riggleman's bullpen. The 30-year-old right-hander boasts a 52.1 % career ground ball rate and an average fastball velocity of 93.2 mph.

Click here for more analysis of the Beverly Hills Sports Council's work with relievers this winter.



Nationals Closing In On Todd Coffey

The Nationals are closing in on a deal with reliever Todd Coffey, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. The 30-year-old right-hander posted a 4.76 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 62.1 innings with the Brewers last season. They non-tendered him in December after Coffey earned $2.025MM in 2010.



Rockies Looking At Aardsma, Balfour, Coffey

The Rockies have spoken to the Mariners about a possible David Aardsma trade, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link).  Colorado has also shown interest in right-handers Grant Balfour and Todd Coffey, though Renck tweets that Balfour would have to be acquired in a "sign-and-trade" arrangment since the Rockies don't want to lose their first round draft pick as compensation for signing the Type A free agent.

Aardsma, who is known to be on the market, would be used in a set-up role with the Rockies since Huston Street is established as Colorado's closer.  Balfour's Type-A status isn't the only hindrance to a possible signing, as he reportedly wants a three-year contract.  The Rockies may be hesitant to give a middle reliever that kind of long-term commitment, though Joaquin Benoit, Jesse Crain, Scott Downs and Matt Guerrier have all signed three-year deals this winter.

Coffey, non-tendered by the Brewers earlier this month, comes with the smallest price tag but is also coming off the least-accomplished season (4.76 ERA, 9.4 H/9 rate) of the three pitchers.  Renck adds that Colorado's "wish list" also includes Jon Rauch and Chad Qualls (Twitter link).



Non-Tender Candidate: Todd Coffey

Coming into the 2010 season, the back of the Brewers' bullpen appeared to be one of the most reliable areas of the team's pitching staff. Trevor Hoffman, LaTroy Hawkins, and Todd Coffey were all coming off strong 2009 campaigns, and looked poised to hold down the late innings in Milwaukee. All three right-handers struggled this year though, with Hoffman losing the closer's job and Hawkins missing most of the season due to shoulder trouble.

Hawkins is under contract for 2011 and Hoffman's time in Milwaukee is likely over, but the team will face a decision on Coffey in the coming weeks. The 30-year-old will be arbitration-eligible for the final time and, in spite of his underwhelming performance, probably has a slight raise coming on this year's $2.025MM salary.

Prior to the 2010 season, Coffey had been one of the team's best relievers, posting a 2.67 ERA over 91 innings since the 2008 waiver claim that sent him from Cincinnati to Milwaukee. This year, however, in 62.1 IP, Coffey's ERA ballooned to 4.76. Of course, his numbers weren't all bad; his walk and home run rates were only slightly above his career averages, and he recorded a career-best strikeout rate (8.1 K/9). Whether or not the Brewers decide to tender him a contract this year will depend on if they believe those peripheral stats suggest a bounceback 2011 season is in the cards.

The Brewers' bullpen pitched 518 innings, third-most in the National League, and ranked just 12th in the NL in ERA (4.48). It figures to be an area the team will focus on improving this winter, but before they look to the free agent market, the Brewers will need to make a decision on Coffey. Will the righty be non-tendered this offseason? Click here to weigh in, and click here to view the results.



Red Sox Have Explored Trades For Many Relievers

FRIDAY, 1:03am: Theo Epstein has discussed multiple possible trades with former Red Sox assistant GM and current Padres GM Jed Hoyer, according to Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Globe duo believes Boston could have interest in a reliever like Joe Thatcher, and, given the team's excess of outfielders when Jacoby Ellsbury returns, they may match up with San Diego.

THURSDAY, 12:59pm: Though they're on his no-trade list, the Red Sox asked the Brewers about Trevor Hoffman, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX SportsRosenthal adds that the Brewers are not inclined to move Hoffman.  Meanwhile they're getting calls on Carlos Villanueva and Todd Coffey.

12:05pm: The Red Sox are leaving no rock unturned in their search for relief help.  They've explored Rafael Perez, Will Ohman, Mike Gonzalez, Matt Capps, Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow, Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, David Aardsma, and Kyle Farnsworth, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  Cafardo says Scott Downs looks unlikely unless the Blue Jays back down from their top prospect requests.  On a related note, SI's Jon Heyman tweets that the Jays asked the Mets for outfield prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis and one other player for Downs and were denied. 

Marshall is the interesting name here.  The 27-year-old lefty has had a dominant year in relief, posting a 1.71 ERA, 10.4 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9 in 52.6 innings with one home run allowed.  He's been especially strong against lefties.  Marshall is under team control through 2012 and would presumably be very difficult to pry loose from the Cubs.  Gonzalez is another surprising name, since he's spent most of the season on the shelf with a shoulder injury and is still owed good money.

Cafardo adds that the Red Sox have been shopping reliever Ramon Ramirez, and offers the opinion that a National League team might want to take a look at him.  Ramirez has a 4.57 ERA, 6.5 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 in 41.3 innings with six home runs allowed and is a potential non-tender candidate after the season.



Odds & Ends: Gomes, Coffey, Nolasco, Vazquez

Links for Thursday...



Players Tendered Contracts

Midnight ET is the non-tender deadline, so we'll keep track of all the players who are offered and/or agreed to contracts today in this post. Keep coming back throughout the day for updates.



Brewers Face Plenty Of Roster Decisions

After a tremendous run last year that resulted in the club's first playoff berth in a quarter-century, the Brewers sat 13.5 GB of a playoff spot coming into today's action, and sport the National League's worst starting rotation thanks to their 5.22 ERA. As Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes, the club has a ton of roster decisions to make this offseason, although GM Doug Melvin says "We've got a lot of decisions, and none of them will be discussed until the end of the season."

Some of the issues facing the Brew Crew this offseason are...

  • Impending Free Agents: Trevor Hoffman, Claudio Vargas, Mike Cameron, Felipe Lopez, Jason Kendall, Craig Counsell, Frank Catalanotto, and Corey Patterson will all be free agents after the season. The clubs holds a $3.7MM option for David Weathers next year ($400K buyout), and there's a $6.5MM mutual option for Braden Looper ($1MM buyout) that McCalvy says the club "will almost certainly pick up."
  • Arbitration Eligibles: Dave Bush, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, Seth McClung, J.J. Hardy, Jody Gerut, and Todd Coffey are all eligible for salary arbitration. Coffey, who's been the club's primary setup man, figures to get a nice raise over his current $800K salary.
  • Starting Pitching: As I mentioned earlier, Milwaukee sports the NL's worst starting staff. McCalvy reports that "Melvin promised this week that he would be much more aggressive this winter in his search for answers," and that the club might take a "little more chances and risks" than they're accustomed to taking.

The Brewers also have questions about the key up-the-middle positions. They have to sort out the Hardy-Alcides Escobar situation at short, and decide whether to try and retain Lopez or give Weeks another shot at second base duty. Cameron and Kendall have both made it clear they'd like to return, but those decisions will have to wait until the winter.

Milwaukee also must figure out third base, and whether Mat Gamel or Casey McGehee deserves the job. Prince Fielder has the other corner infield spot locked down, and is under contract for $10.5MM next year before being arbitration eligible in 2011, his final year before free agency. McCalvy also mentions that manager Ken Macha faces a lame-duck year next season, and that Melvin is fielding questions about whether another managerial change may be in order.









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