Tom Gorzelanny Rumors

East Links: Cespedes, Nationals, Hanley

Some afternoon reading pertaining to Eastern division teams…

  • The Orioles traveled to the Dominican Republic to scout Yoenis Cespedes this past weekend, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNSports. Among those in attendance were manager Buck Showalter, executive director or international recruiting Fred Ferreira, director of international operations David Stockstill, scout Carlos Bernhardt, and bullpen coach Bill Castro. Kubatko says O's brass is staying tight-lipped about whether or not they'll attempt to sign Cespedes.
  • Kubatko's colleague Pete Kerzel writes that the Nationals could non-tender Jesus Flores, Doug Slaten, and Tom Gorzelanny before tomorrow night's deadline.
  • There have been some reports that the Marlins have discussed trading Hanley Ramirez, but MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes that the Fish aren't looking to Ramirez and those discussions were all intitiated by other teams.

Players Who Cleared Waivers

This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports. Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause). This list can always be found in the sidebar under MLBTR Features. Player names are linked to the source articles.

Updated 8-30-11 at 10:56pm

Starting pitchers

  • Aaron Harang, Padres - Harang's ERA is a respectable 3.92 with 6.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
  • Dontrelle Willis, Reds – Willis has bounced back with the Reds, posting a 4.10 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9, and 56.8% groundball rate in 52 2/3 innings.
  • Carlos Zambrano, Cubs – Zambrano cleared waivers prior to being placed on the disqualified list.  He has a short fuse, lousy stats, and over $22MM remaining on his contract through next year.
  • Rodrigo Lopez, Cubs – Not surprising to see the journeyman clear waivers.
  • Chris Capuano, Mets – Capuano owns a 3.74 SIERA as of August 14th and earns only $1.5MM plus incentives, so it's hard to see why a few teams didn't place claims.
  • Bronson Arroyo, Reds – His peripheral stats haven't changed much, but Arroyo has a 5.31 ERA as of August 15th.  $15MM of his $35MM contract is deferred through 2021 without interest.  The deferrals are voided if he's traded, however.  At any rate, expect Arroyo to stay put.
  • Bruce Chen, Royals – Chen has his moments, but it's not surprising to see him clear waivers.
  • Jason Vargas, Mariners – Like many of the starters here, Vargas' fastball wouldn't break a window.  But he has less than a million bucks left on his contract this year and is under team control through 2013.  He'd fit nicely at the back end of several rotations.    
  • Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals – His three starts this season were his first in over two years, so it's understandable that contenders wouldn't jump to claim him.
  • Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals – Booted to the bullpen last month, the 29-year-old flyballing southpaw has posted strong strikeout rates in recent years but can't hold a rotation job.
  • Ted Lilly, Dodgers – He always has strong strikeout-to-walk numbers, but is prone to the longball.  With over 82% of his $33MM contract remaining ($27MM+), it's no surprise he cleared waivers.

Relievers

  • Joe Nathan, Twins - Nathan won't be traded, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  • Chad Qualls, Padres – Qualls is enjoying a bounce-back season, though his strikeout rate dipped to 5.3 K/9 this year.
  • Bill Bray, Reds – Bray has been decent this year, and a little tougher against lefties.  He'll be arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason.
  • Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers – A dominant reliever last year, Kuo has dealt with a back injury and anxiety disorder as his control has eluded him.
  • Huston Street, Rockies – Between a recent triceps injury and the $9MM+ owed to him through 2012, Street was expected to clear.
  • Brian Fuentes, Athletics – He's owed over $6MM through next year, and has been mediocre for the A's.
  • Jon Rauch, Blue Jays – Rauch is affordable, but he's on the DL for an appendectomy and wasn't great before that.
  • Mike Gonzalez, Orioles – Gonzalez has been dominant in August, and against lefties.  The problem is that he's still owed almost a million bucks.
  • Kevin Gregg, Orioles – Gregg might be the worst reliever holding down a closer's job, and he's owed at least $6.4MM through next year.
  • John Grabow, Cubs – He's been ineffective even against lefties, and he has over $700K remaining.
  • D.J. Carrasco, Mets – The Mets signed Carrasco to a two-year deal in December – their biggest acquisition of the offseason - but optioned him to Triple-A in April.  He stayed there until mid-June.

Position players

  • Aramis Ramirez, Cubs – In July, Ramirez's agent said that his client would consider an August deal but he has since had a change of heart.  The Cubs hold an option on Ramirez's deal worth $16MM.
  • Alfonso Soriano, Cubs – This one was also obvious.  SI's Jon Heyman notes on Twitter that the Cubs are willing to pay a "major, major chunk" of the $58.35MM owed to the left fielder through 2014.
  • Lance Berkman, Cardinals – Berkman has said he hopes to re-sign with St. Louis after the season, when he hits free agency.  Still, it's a surprise to see him clear waivers.
  • Ryan Theriot, Cardinals - Theriot earns $3.3MM this year and will be a non-tender candidate after the season.
  • David Wright, Mets - It's surprising that Wright cleared waivers, but it doesn't mean the Mets have interest in dealing him. Wright earns $15MM next year and can void a $16MM club option for 2013 if traded.
  • Conor Jackson, Athletics – Olney notes that the Red Sox asked about the light-hitting 1B/LF/RF, but there doesn't seem to be any traction there.
  • David DeJesus, Athletics – DeJesus has had a rough year but could at least be useful against right-handed pitching.
  • Hideki Matsui, Athletics – The Athletics have several waiver trade candidates, and Matsui's hot second half and low salary (owed less than $2MM the rest of the season) could make him a popular target.
  • Jason Bay, Mets – With Bay being owed at least $38.8MM through 2013, this was expected.  It's only been 12 games, but Bay is at least having his first good month of 2011.
  • Willie Harris, Mets – The versatile Harris has less than $200K left on his contract.
  • Angel Pagan, Mets – It's been a dismal year for Pagan, who may be in line for a non-tender after the season.
  • Carlos Lee, Astros – No surprise here, as the 35-year-old is hitting .263/.321/.417 and is owed almost $23MM through next year.  El Caballo's ten-and-five rights kick in after the season.
  • Johnny Damon, Rays – Damon blocked an August trade last summer and 12 months later he's a candidate to be traded once again.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.


Nats Rumors: Storen, Clippard, Desmond, Gorzelanny

The Nationals are listening on top relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but such a trade would have to fill a specific long-term need such as center field.  Teams are calling on Storen, Clippard, and Todd Coffey.

Potential center field targets for Washington include B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus, and Denard Span, writes Rosenthal.  He believes that a reliever alone probably would not bring back a center fielder, but the Nats could also trade shortstop Ian Desmond since some club officials would like to move Danny Espinosa to shortstop.

Storen is under team control through 2016, Clippard and Desmond through '15.  Desmond would be an interesting name for teams seeking shortstop help, though he's limped to a .226/.269/.311 line in 361 plate appearances this year. 

The Nationals also have starting pitching to spare, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that they will move Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez, and Tom Gorzelanny.  Gorzelanny is a bit of a surprise, as he's got strong strikeout and walk rates and is under team control through 2013.



Quick Hits: Duchscherer, Damon, Gorzelanny

Happy birthday to Astros manager Brad Mills, who was born 54 years ago today in Exeter, California.  Here are some news items to help the 'Stros skipper celebrate his big day…

  • Justin Duchscherer recently held private workout sessions for two American League clubs, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.  The Yankees, known to be interested in the right-hander, weren't one of the two teams.  The Pirates, Red Sox and Athletics (Duchscherer's former club) have all expressed some degree of interest in the free agent hurler this winter.
  • As part of an mailbag piece, MLB.com's Lyle Spencer discusses the Angels' search for a leadoff hitter and notes that "it doesn't appear that the Angels are in play" for Johnny Damon.  Spencer also raises the point that if there actually is a rift between the Halos and Scott Boras, signing Damon could be an important olive branch between the club and the agent, esepcially given that Kendry Morales and Jered Weaver are both Boras clients.
  • Did the Cubs really need to trade Tom GorzelannyESPN.com's Justin Havens asks this question and points out that Gorzelanny and Matt Garza had surprisingly similar 2010 seasons.
  • Sean Marshall's two-year contract is examined by Jack Moore of Fangraphs, who compares it to Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes' recent deals with the Athletics.  While Moore thinks the Cubs should probably have not made a multi-year commitment to Marshall, "if a team is going to go multiple years with a reliever, better to do so with young, arbitration eligibles like Marshall than veterans like Balfour and Fuentes."
  • MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez looks at how various teams filled the holes left behind by departing free agents this winter.

Nationals Acquire Tom Gorzelanny

Tom Gorzelanny is heading to Washington for three prospects, the Cubs and Nationals announced today. Lefty Graham Hicks, right-hander A.J. Morris and outfielder Michael Burgess are going to Chicago in the trade. 

The Nationals have been looking to bolster their rotation all offseason long. Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke spurned the Nationals, but GM Mike Rizzo continued his pursuit of arms. Once the Cubs acquired Matt Garza from the Rays, Chicago had a starter to spare and the team seriously considered moving Gorzelanny.

Gorzelanny posted a 4.09 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 126 1/3 innings for the Cubs last year. The left-hander started 23 games, after spending most of the 2009 season as a reliever. Though Gorzelanny faded as the 2010 season progressed, he has logged over 200 innings before. The 28-year-old's best season may have come in 2007, when he posted a 3.88 ERA in 201 2/3 innings for the Pirates.

Morris, 24, posted a 3.77 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 86 innings as a swingman at Rookie ball and Class A last year. The 2009 fourth rounder has yet to pitch in the upper minors. Neither Morris nor Burgess appeared on Baseball America's list of top ten Nationals prospects.

Burgess, 22, posted a .265/.357/.465 line in 529 plate appearances at Class A and Double-A last year. The 2007 supplementary first rounder has hit at least 18 homers in eacch of the past three seasons.

A super two player, Gorzelanny is on track to hit free agency after the 2013 season. He agreed to terms on a $2.1MM deal for 2011 yesterday.

Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com first reported the trade and MLB.com's Bill Ladson and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported on the deal as the story broke.


Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them – it's a question of how much the players will earn.

Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:

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Cubs, Marshall Agree To Two-Year Deal

The Cubs announced that they have agreed to a two-year deal with Sean Marshall. They also avoided arbitration with Tom Gorzelanny, who's still technically a Cub despite reports that a trade to Washington is imminent.

Marshall will earn $4.7MM over the course of the next two seasons, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Marshall will earn $1.6MM in 2011 and $3.1MM in 2012.


NL Central Notes: Gorzelanny, Wood, Reds

After looking at news from the eastern and western sides of the baseball world tonight, let's turn our attention to the NL Central…

  • Tom Gorzelanny could be the odd man out of the Cubs' crowded rotation, reports Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com.  Chicago has already been shopping the left-hander this winter, and the Mets and Tigers were both reportedly interested. 
  • Before Kerry Wood signed with the Cubs, he was promised a post-retirement job with the team by chairman Tom Ricketts, Levine writes.  No specific job was mentioned, though Levine cites a radio report that said Wood had been offered a broadcasting position.
  • Walt Jocketty tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds "haven’t made a lot of progress" with their four remaining arbitration-eligible players.  One of those four arb-eligible Reds is Joey Votto, so it's possible his longer-term negotiations are taking up Jocketty's time.
  • The Brewers have signed Eulogio de la Cruz, reports Matthew Eddy of Baseball America (via Twitter).  De La Cruz, 26, spent last season pitching in Japan.  The right-hander has an 11.84 ERA and a 9.9 BB/9 rate in 15 career Major League games with the Padres, Marlins and Tigers since 2007, though his career minor league numbers (3.73 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 rate) are more respectable.

Mets Like Tom Gorzelanny, Matt Garza

Mets GM Sandy Alderson is believed to have inquired on Tom Gorzelanny, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. The Mets like Gorzelanny's ability to strike opponents out and the fact that he would fit into their budget.

Gorzelanny made $800K last year and is set to receive a raise through arbitration. He posted a 4.09 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 136 1/3 innings for the Cubs in 2010. He became more hittable as the season progressed, but pitched respectably in his return to the rotation. The Tigers reportedly contacted the Cubs about Gorzelanny earlier in the month, when the Cubs appeared to be shopping him.

The Mets have also discussed Matt Garza internally, according to Puma. However, he's an unlikely fit, since he's about to earn a substantial raise. Garza earned $3.35MM in 2010 and could earn over $6MM through arbitration in 2011.


Cubs Shopping Tom Gorzelanny

6:52pm: The Tigers contacted the Cubs about Gorzelanny, according to Steve Kornacki of MLive.com.

9:38am: The Cubs are aggressively shopping lefty Tom Gorzelanny, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Trading Gorzelanny would open up a spot in the Cubs' rotation, but wouldn't clear much payroll.

Gorzelanny, 28, posted a 4.09 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 0.73 HR/9, and 40.7% groundball rate in 136 1/3 innings this year.  He's arbitration eligible for the second time after earning $800K in 2010.