Todd Wellemeyer Rumors
It's been a quiet offseason for free agent pitcher Todd Wellemeyer. The 31-year-old righty has surfaced in nary a rumor aside from a November 20th Brewers mention by SI's Jon Heyman. Today, MLBTR learned that the Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Rockies expressed interest at various points. Wellemeyer would prefer to continue starting.
Wellemeyer had a strong 2008 season for the Cardinals, posting a 3.71 ERA in 191.6 innings. But even then there were a few warning signs. His strikeout and walk rates were nothing special at 6.3 and 2.9 per nine. He's a flyball pitcher, leading to 25 home runs in those 32 starts. The biggest concern was the innings jump - Wellemeyer had spent most of his big league career as a reliever.
Wellemeyer agreed to a $4.05MM deal in his final year with the Cards. 2009 didn't go well - his elbow started hurting, his velocity and control slipped, and more flyballs left the yard. He might have to accept a minor league deal for 2010 to redeem himself.
SI's Jon Heyman kicks off his newest column with thoughts on his top 50 free agents. A few highlights from the list and elsewhere in the column...
- Via Twitter Heyman says Mets GM Omar Minaya likes Luis Castillo more than any of the 29 other teams do.
- Heyman groups the Cubs in as a possible Matt Holliday suitor, which does not seem feasible given the team's payroll situation.
- Lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez has "drawn interest from as many as 15 teams."
- A new name on the Brewers' radar as a "No. 5-type guy": Todd Wellemeyer.
- Heyman speaks of "indications the Angels might be willing to trade outfielder Juan Rivera." One such indication popped up earlier this month when Ken Davidoff said the Angels and Tigers discussed a Curtis Granderson deal. Rivera had a solid year - .287/.332/.478 - and has $9.5MM remaining over two years.
According to an MLB.com press release, the Cardinals avoided arbitration with Chris Duncan and Todd Wellemeyer, signing both for 2009. This is a big year for Wellemeyer, who is eligible for free agency after the season. He gets $4.05MM, while Duncan will earn $825K with another $500K in performance bonuses.
Matthew Leach of MLB.com believes the St. Louis Cardinals and right-handed starting pitcher Todd Wellemeyer are close to a deal to avoid arbitration.
This from Wellemeyer himself: "I know it's getting close, I'll tell you that much."
Wellemeyer, 30, went 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 2008.
Leach notes that deals might be close for Chris Duncan and Brad Thompson, too. General manager John Mozeliak said he would like to avoid arbitration with Duncan and Thompson, as well as Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick.
Mozeliak is hopeful that none of the five players will actually go to arbitration. Ankiel is especially challenging given his short tenure as an outfielder, Leach writes.
Buster Olney's latest offering is packed full of links:
- and please, no el cheapo deals for rehabbing pitchers, medically risky pitchers, broken-down pitchers."
- The Pirates have it a little bit tougher. According to pitching coach Jeff Andrews, it consists of Paul Maholm and "a blank sheet." Here's one vote for adding Ian Snell, "on the verge of becoming the best right-handed pitcher to come from Delaware since World War I," according to DelwareBaseball.com, who sponsors his Baseball Reference page.
- According to GM Jim Bowden, the Nationals will explore ways to upgrade their defense for 2009, including the possibility of moving Lastings Milledge from center field back to a corner spot. Left fielder Elijah Dukes could move to center.
- Despite going through a difficult divorce, Padres' owner John Moores is not planning on selling the team---which he bought because of his soon-to-be ex.
- The Mets seem to be rushing John Maine back from the DL in an attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive.
- Dave Krieger is amazed that the Rockies aren't doing anything to try and keep free-agent closer Brian Fuentes.
Random links to start the morning...
- Ben Shpigel says Billy Wagner's $10.5MM for '09 is not covered by insurance, making the Mets unlikely suitors for K-Rod (hat tip to MetsBlog).
- The Padres claimed knuckleballer Charlie Haeger. You have to like the move; he's only 24.
- Ken Davidoff writes about Nationals pitcher Tim Redding, who dreams about returning to the Yankees one day.
- Davidoff also says that contrary to popular belief, C.C. Sabathia did not buy a home in Southern California.
- In another post, Davidoff lists the worst trades of '08.
- Nats GM Jim Bowden will probably bring in a veteran first baseman next year due to health concerns with Nick Johnson and Dmitri Young.
- Not much cooking on the Pedro Alvarez front...Bud Selig testified yesterday, and the next part of the hearing isn't until September 23rd.
- Andrew Baggarly explains Bengie Molina's contentious relationship with the Giants.
- From Saturday: Carl Pavano's side of the story. Can Pavano be a useful pitcher next year?
- Larry Borowsky would like to see the Cardinals enterain an extension for Todd Wellemeyer. He's eligible for free agency after the '09 season.
- Joel Sherman isn't sure the Yankees will invite Andy Pettitte back next year.
- Brad Penny says he pitched through a shoulder injury because of uncertainty around his '09 option.
- Interesting fact...A.J. Burnett is second in MLB with 3286 pitches thrown (Sabathia jumped into the lead last night). Many of the '07 leaders in pitches thrown came down with injuries this year.
- Michael O'Keefe sits down with agent Scott Boras.
- ESPN's Buster Olney notes that the Blue Jays will pursue a shortstop this winter.
- All you ever wanted to know about Dr. James Andrews.
- Jed Hoyer explains where Curt Schilling learned his negotiating tactics.