Tom Gorzelanny Rumors

Minor MLB Transactions: 8/9/15

The latest minor moves…

  • Prior to today’s game, the Tigers purchased the contract of lefty Tom Gorzelanny while optioning Shane Greene to Triple-A.  Gorzelanny pitched in today’s 7-2 Tigers loss to the Red Sox, allowing a run in a third of an inning.  The southpaw was designated for assignment then outrighted to Triple-A in July, and heading into today, Gorzelanny had posted a 6.38 ERA over 24 relief innings for Detroit.
  • The Mariners have traded Triple-A third baseman Carlos Rivero to the Red Sox for cash considerations, as Greg Johns of MLB.com tweets.  Rivero joined Seattle when he was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox in November of 2014.  In December, the M’s re-signed him to a minor league deal.  Rivero made his Major League debut last season, appearing in eight games with Boston.  In part of five Triple-A seasons, Rivero has slashed .274/.324/.388.
  • The Orioles announced that infielder Chris Parmelee has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk.  The O’s designated Parmelee for assignment when they acquired Gerardo Parra at the trade deadline and they outrighted him days later.  He has hit .216/.255/.433 in 102 plate appearances with Baltimore.

Outrighted To Triple-A: O’Sullivan, Wilson, Gorzelanny

Here are today’s outright assignments from around the league…

  • The Phillies announced that right-hander Sean O’Sullivan has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. O’Sullivan was outrighted earlier this week after spending the bulk of the first half in the Phillies’s rotation. The 27-year-old has never enjoyed much success in the Majors, but he’s soaked up 302 1/3 innings with the Royals, Padres, Angels and Phillies from 2009-15, including 71 frames for the Phils in 2015. O’Sullivan worked to a 6.08 ERA this year. That number is clearly unappealing, but he did provide a serviceable 4.79 ERA through his first 10 starts before allowing six runs in each of his final three turns.
  • Infielder Josh Wilson accepted an outright assignment from the Tigers after being DFA earlier this week, writes MLive.com’s Chris Iott. The versatile veteran actually hit quite well in a small sample with Detroit this season but doesn’t have a track record of offensive success. Rather, he’s carved out a career through defensive versatility, as he’s logged significant innings at shortstop, second base and third base in addition to brief cameos in left field and at first base.

Earlier Updates

  • Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny has accepted an outright assignment from the Tigers after clearing waivers, tweets MLB.com’s Jason Beck. Gorzelanny was designated for assignment alongside Joba Chamberlain on Friday and had the right to elect free agency and retain what remained of his $1MM salary. Instead, he’ll work on a sidearm delivery at Triple-A Toledo, according to Beck. The veteran Gorzelanny posted a 6.38 ERA in 24 innings for Detroit this season.

Tigers Designate Joba Chamberlain, Tom Gorzelanny

The Tigers will designate right-hander Joba Chamberlain for assignment, Kurt Mensching of SB Nation and the Detriot News first reported (on Twitter). Anthony Fenech of the Detroit News reports (via Twitter) that lefty Tom Gorzelanny will be designated for assignment as well. The Tigers have since announced the moves, adding that righties Jeff Ferrell and Drew VerHagen have been added to the roster in place of the departed veterans.

Chamberlain and Gorzelanny both came to the Tigers on one-year, $1MM contracts this offseason, and while each looked to be at least a reasonable low-cost roll of the dice at the time, neither has panned out as GM Dave Dombrowski and his staff have hoped.

The 29-year-old Chamberlain has posted a 4.09 ERA with 6.1 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 41 percent ground-ball rate in 22 innings with Detroit this season. Those numbers, on the surface, aren’t entirely unsightly, but Chamberlain has been plagued by the long ball in 2015. He’s yielded five homers in those 22 innings, resulting in an FIP mark of 5.49. (xFIP, which normalizes his homer-to-flyball rate, figures the 4.09 mark is more or less represented of Chamberlain’s talent level this year.) Chamberlain’s in the midst of a particularly poor stretch, having allowed nine runs (eight earned) in his past six innings — a span of eight appearances.

Gorzelanny’s struggles have been even more prolonged. The 32-year-old has totaled just 12 1/3 innings over his past 15 appearances, surrendering an alarming 15 runs, which translates to a 10.95 ERA in that stretch. Overall, he has a 6.75 ERA this season with 7.1 K/9, 5.6 BB/9 and a 36.7 percent ground-ball rate. While he’s proven capable of handling lefties in the past, same-handed hitters are batting .273/.380/.419 against Gorzelanny in 2015. Those numbers pale in comparison, though, to the batting line authored by opposing right-handed hitters: .382/.477/.600.

Both are owed $519K through the end of the season, and neither reliever appeared in enough games to see his incentives kick in. Chamberlain, somewhat notably, was five appearances shy of earning an additional $100K.



Tigers Sign Tom Gorzelanny, Designate Luke Putkonen

2:14pm: Gorzelanny’s deal is for approximately $1MM in guaranteed money, Beck tweets.

10:10am: The Tigers have signed lefty swingman Tom Gorzelanny to a one-year deal, the team announced. To create roster space, right-hander Luke Putkonen was designated for assignment, MLB.com’s Jason Beck tweets.

Gorzelanny threw well last year for the Brewers in limited action. After returning from shoulder surgery, the 32-year-old put up a stellar 0.86 ERA in 21 innings of work. Interestingly, of the 23 games in which he appeared, Milwaukee went on to win only two. That, along with his limited workload, demonstrates that his former club was handling him quite delicately.

Detroit will hope that Gorzelanny can return to being a workhorse long man and spot starter, as he had been previously. Over parts of ten MLB seasons, Gorzelanny owns a 4.27 ERA with 7.2 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9. As one would expect, he has been much stingier against lefties, holding them to a .661 OPS (versus a .780 lifetime mark for opposing right-handed hitters). Likewise, the southpaw has been much better when working out of the pen, where he owns a 2.88 ERA in 171 2/3 career frames.

Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Putkonen missed most of last season after suffering a bone spur in his right elbow, which ultimately require surgery. He had thrown 29 2/3 promising innings at the major league level the year prior, working to a 3.03 ERA with 8.5 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9. Putkonen had been on an upward trajectory after transitioning from a starting role, and his mid-90s heater (when healthy) should draw plenty of interest around the league.


Brewers Notes: Garza, Braun, Reynolds, Gorzelanny

Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio opened Brewers On Deck, the team's annual winter fan festival, earlier today by announcing the signing of right-hander Matt Garza (#7 on MLBTR's 2014 Top 50 Free Agents list). The four-year, $50MM contract also includes deferred money, $1MM per year in incentives, and a $13MM vesting option for 2018. The total take for Garza could total $67MM over five years. In other Brewers news and notes coming out of Milwaukee today:   

  • "I was expecting an open market, and that’s what I got. I’m really happy I’m a Milwaukee Brewer," Garza told reporters, including MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (Twitter link), in an impromptu news conference. Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel provides a transcript of Garza's comments including this tidbit: Brewers fans heard about the deal before he did because he was attending his son's basketball game.
  • GM Doug Melvin said the Brewers' interest in Garza dates back to the Winter Meetings and his addition provides rotation depth, but will wait until Spring Training to see how the starting five shakes out, Rosiak reports (Twitter links).
  • Melvin told WTMJ Radio in Milwaukee the lack of draft pick compensation attached to Garza was a very important factor in the signing (h/t Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Twitter). 
  • Ryan Braun was in attendance at the fan event and continues to be apologetic for his actions which led to his 65-game suspension, writes Rosiak. "I don’t ever know if I could apologize enough for what’s occurred, you know?" said Braun. "I just continue to move forward and obviously I’ll be apologetic. I wish I could go back and do things differently, but I can’t. All I can do is move forward and make the best of the opportunities presented to me." Braun refused to divulge further details of why he was suspended saying he addressed everything last November at a team-sponsored food drive and "I think I addressed it pretty specifically in the statement that we gave (in August)."
  • Braun also offered praise for his newest teammate, Garza, according to McCalvy. "I’m excited about it," Braun said. "I think he could be a difference-maker. Facing him over the last few years, I think he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball. One of the toughest at-bats. Great stuff. Very competitive — a fiery competitor, which is something I think could benefit the whole pitching staff and our whole team."
  • Mark Reynolds says he signed with the Brewers because of the starting opportunity at first base, playing in the NL, and the fan support in Milwaukee, Rosiak tweets.
  • Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, has yet to begin a throwing program, but he expects to be ready for Opening Day, tweets McCalvy.
  • In response to a fan's question about payroll, Melvin said (as tweeted by Rosiak), "Ask Mark." To which the principal owner replied, "Wallet is a lot lighter now.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets his approval of what Melvin and the Brewers have been able to accomplish this offseason: spent money on a starting pitcher, filled the hole at first base with a solid combinaton of Reynolds and Lyle Overbay, kept right-hander Tyler Thornburg (the Mets' reported price for Ike Davis), and their draft picks.

Brewers Notes: Lohse, Rotation, Mat Gamel

Today, the Brewers are hosting Brewers On Deck, their annual winter fan festival. Here's the news being made at the event:

  • Owner Mark Attanasio says there's always a chance the Brewers could enter the bidding for free agent starter Kyle Lohse, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. "It’s a function of size of contract, length of contract." Attanasio said. "Kyle had a phenomenal two seasons the last two seasons. We just have to see if that fits in our overall scheme." Attanasio refused to specifically say if the team has spoken with Scott Boras, Lohse's agent.
  • Manager Ron Roenicke indicated Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada are locks for the starting rotation leaving Mike Fiers, Wily Peralta, Mark Rogers, and Chris Narveson vying for the other three spots, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Roenicke questioned whether Narveson, who underwent rotator cuff surgery last May on his throwing shoulder, will be ready for camp; but, assistant GM Gord Ash said everything is great with the left-hander and he is not behind schedule, reports Haudricourt
  • Roenicke touted the team’s rotation depth, arguing the five starters at the beginning of the season don’t have to be the same five at the end, writes McCalvy. Roenicke referred to options like recently signed free agent reliever Tom Gorzelanny, who has experience as a starter, and prospects Tyler Thornburg and Hiram Burgos.
  • Earlier today, we learned the Brewers are seeking first basemen in light of Corey Hart's knee surgery on Friday, which will force him to miss the first two months of the season. Mat Gamel, Hart's replacement, himself underwent knee surgery last May. Assistant GM Gord Ash said Gamel was examined today and "he is ready to go," Haudricourt tweeted
  • Melvin did say he is talking to a couple of free agent infielders, reports McCalvy on Twitter. Haudricourt opines it sounds like shortstop Alex Gonzalez is still in play (Twitter link). Gonzalez played 24 games for the Brewers in 2012 before his season was cut short by knee surgery.
  • The Brewers will lose the only catchers on their 40-man roster, Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado, to the World Baseball Classic. Haudricourt stumped Roenicke when he asked the manager about the catching depth chart. "Don't ask me that question because I don't know," said Roenicke. "I want a guy that's going to be with us to be working with these (pitchers), to get them locked in. We're not going to have our two guys there talking to them all the time. So it's going to be difficult. There isn't (an obvious No. 3 catcher)." The Brewers will have five non-roster catchers in camp who have a combined six games of big league experience.

Brewers Sign Tom Gorzelanny

The Brewers have signed free-agent left-hander Tom Gorzelanny to a two-year contract, the team announced. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who first reported the agreement between the Brewers and the SFX client, reports that it's a $5.7MM deal. Gorzelanny obtains a $300K signing bonus and will earn $2.6MM in 2013 and $2.8MM in 2014.

The Nationals non-tendered Gorzelanny last month instead of offering him arbitration. Gorzelanny had a projected salary of $2.8MM entering his final year of arbitration eligibility, but he hit free agency a year early instead. He also drew interest from the Pirates after the Nationals cut him loose.

Gorzelanny, 30, joins a Brewers pitching staff that previously lacked left-handed pitching. Other than left-handed starter Chris Narveson, the Brewers don't have an established southpaw on their pitching staff after non-tendering Manny Parra. Haudricourt reports that it's unclear how the Brewers plan to use Gorzelanny. He pitched out of the bullpen in 2012, but does have extensive experience starting.

Gorzelanny appeared in 45 games for the Nationals this past season, posting a 2.88 ERA with 7.8 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 42.9% ground ball rate in 72 innings. The eight-year MLB veteran started 23 games for the Cubs in 2010 and 15 games for the Nationals in 2011, before making one spot start in 2012.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported that the deal would fall in the $6MM range (Twitter link).


Latest From The NL Central

A few NL Central free agent targets were identified today, as the Brewers and Cubs are in on Jason Grilli among other relievers, the Pirates have expressed interest in John Lannan, and the Cardinals are in the mix for Scott Hairston.  More from the division…

Earlier updates:


Central Notes: Reds, Chicago, Brewers, Pirates, Twins

Here are the latest news and notes from the NL and AL Central divisions:


National League Non-Tenders

Here are today’s National League non-tenders. All decisions must be in by 11pm CT tonight. Be sure to track all tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker. Related resources include our list of non-tender candidates, our projected arbitration salaries and our arbitration eligibles series.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.