Tom Gorzelanny Rumors
We've heard for weeks that Ted Lilly will be one of the more attractive pitchers available at this year's July 31 deadline. According to Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times, Lilly's not the only Chicago southpaw drawing interest either.
Tom Gorzelanny, in the midst of one of his best seasons at the Major League level, is getting some attention as well. He's posted a 3.22 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .242 average through 86.2 innings (14 starts). His 3.33 FIP and 8.7 K/9 support his success, but control is an issue, as he's also walking 4.6 per nine innings.
In contrast, Lilly's overall numbers are weaker than Gorzelanny's, but he allows far fewer baserunners. He's walking significantly fewer hitters (2.1 BB/9) and opponents are batting just .236 off him. Lilly's drawn greater interest, according to De Luca, but the Mets are currently backing down their pursuit. Part of their hesitation lies in the Cubs' asking price for the veteran lefty, but also contributing to their concerns is Lilly's drop in velocity. He's never been a flamethrower, but his fastball is averaging just 86mph, which is down from his career mark of 88.2mph.
Gorzelanny is the cheaper option between the two. He's making just $800K in 2010 and is eligible for arbitration following the season. Lilly is a free agent following the season, and while his no-trade clause is believed to include the Phillies, Twins, and Rays, he's unlikely to block a trade to a contender. His current Type A status is appealing, though he's far from a lock to be offered arbitration.
Links for Friday night, as Edwin Jackson tosses a 149-pitch no-hitter against his former team....
- Madison Bumgarner was scratched from tonight's Triple-A start, fueling speculation that the Giants would call him up to start tomorrow's game. However, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that the team still plans to start Joe Martinez tomorrow, with Bumgarner as the backup option.
- In his weekly appearance on WEEI's Big Show, Peter Gammons discusses the Red Sox' bullpen issues and the best one-year signing of this past offseason.
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com wonders if the Nationals will be interested in the recently DFA'd Chad Tracy, given Tracy's connection to Nats GM Mike Rizzo.
- Although it looks as if the Rangers won't be able to afford Roy Oswalt, you can add Texas to the list of teams the pitcher would be willing to play for, according to the Dallas Morning News. Oswalt has previously said he'd accept a trade to anywhere he could contend.
- Garrett Atkins tells MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter link) that being released by the Orioles would be a "welcome opportunity." It appears as though Atkins will soon be designated for assignment.
- Following a blow-up during today's game, Carlos Zambrano has been suspended indefinitely by the Cubs, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. When Zambrano returned to the Cubs' rotation, we discussed Tom Gorzelanny as a trade chip, but as long as Zambrano remains suspended, that possibility looks less likely.
- The Astros signed their second-round pick, right-hander Vincent Velasquez, per a team release.
- Dusty Baker says Gary Matthews Jr. "has got to get his act together" before the outfielder earns a shot at the Reds' big league lineup, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
Let's check out the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- It's hard to imagine the Cubs as sellers, but if they go that route, lefty Ted Lilly would be a logical piece to move. He's a potential free agent with some no-trade protection but they already have two replacements in their bullpen in Tom Gorzelanny and Andrew Cashner. Meanwhile, Derrek Lee has been adamant about not waiving his no-trade clause. However, hooking on with a contender would enhance his value on the open market.
- The Phillies have kept in touch with Pedro Martinez's agent but GM Ruben Amaro says that he will have to be "really motivated" to pitch this season. Rosenthal says that translates to the righty wanting more money than he was paid last season, roughly $1MM for six weeks of work. Money may not be everything for Martinez though as he will be 39-years-old in October and is said to be content.
- The Padres are confident that Ryan Webb could fill a set-up role if they move one of their strong late inning relievers. However, the team is reluctant to make such a move with Mike Adams' durability in question. That said, the Padres would listen to offers for Heath Bell if a club was willing to give them a hitter they could control for several years. Rosenthal instead suggests that they consider Cleveland's Austin Kearns as he is a cheap, affordable outfielder.
- Boston GM Theo Epstein hates trading for relievers, but chances are the club will be in the market for bullpen help come July.
Links for Sunday..
- The Phillies demoted Phillippe Aumont from Double-A back to High-A after a disastrous start to the season, tweets Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner. Aumont was part of the Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee blockbuster.
- Peter Barzilai of USA Today explains why the Brewers should hold on to Prince Fielder.
- This week's Pirates/Nationals matchup may end up being the most interesting series between sub-.500 teams this season. Not only will Stephen Strasburg make his major league debut on Tuesday, but Pirates GM Neal Huntington says former first-round pick Brad Lincoln could make his first big league start on Wednesday, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says the Cubs received some calls about Tom Gorzelanny's availability a few weeks ago, but that they have no immediate plans to move him.
- The newest Cardinal, Randy Winn, was a player Tony La Russa wanted the team to pursue this past winter, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Larry Brooks of the New York Post would like to see the Mets aggressively attempt to trade for Cliff Lee.
- The Denver Post's Troy Renck hopes the Rockies will inquire on Lee, as well as Dan Haren, if only to see what would it cost to acquire another ace.
- If you play fantasy baseball, be sure to stay on top of the saves category by following our @closernews account on Twitter and tracking the latest news on late-inning relievers around the league.
Jayson Stark, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi have each suggested that clubs could attempt to acquire Tom Gorzelanny from the Cubs. GM Jim Hendry is not shopping the left-hander now, but the Cubs won't have room for Gorzelanny as a starter if Carlos Zambrano pitches well in his return to the rotation tonight.
As long as Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Silva remain healthy, the rotation is set without Gorzelanny. You could make the argument that he is one of the team's top five starters, but he's in the 'pen for now after allowing five earned runs in two of his last three starts.
If the Cubs consider trading Gorzelanny, who turns 28 next month, they should be able to obtain a significant piece or two for him. Despite the pair of rough starts that preceded his move to the bullpen, Gorzelanny has been an improved pitcher since arriving in Chicago last July.
Gorzelanny is striking out more batters (9.3 K/9 vs. 5.9 K/9 with Pittsburgh) and walking fewer batters (3.3 BB/9 vs. 4.1 BB/9 with Pittsburgh) since joining the Cubs. Those improved ratios, and Gorzelanny's 3.66 ERA would compare well with any available starting pitcher this side of Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.
But there's an important difference between Gorzelanny and other trade candidates like Lee, Oswalt, Kevin Millwood and Jake Westbrook. Every one of those starters earns at least ten times as much as the $800K Gorzelanny makes in 2010. That could give the Cubs more potential trade partners, since not every team can afford the salary of a veteran starter. And not only is Gorzelanny cheap, he doesn't hit free agency until after 2013. Unlike most starters we'll hear about in trade rumors, he's controllable and affordable.
Even though there's been lots of talk about Gorzelanny, there hasn't been a concrete rumor indicating that he's available. That may mean the Cubs keep Gorzelanny, but Hendry should be able to obtain good prospects or major league pieces in a trade if the Cubs decide to move him.
Major league executives told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark which starters they would most want to have for the next ten years. Zack Greinke and Tim Lincecum didn't make the cut, but Felix Hernandez, Josh Johnson, Ubaldo Jimenez, David Price, Brett Anderson and Jon Lester did. Here are Stark's latest rumors, as the trade market starts taking shape:
- Two teams say that the Orioles would listen on Kevin Millwood right now.
- A rival executive says the Orioles are "sniffing around for a shortstop." Stark hears rumors that they have interest in Twins prospect Trevor Plouffe.
- The Mariners won't seriously consider trading Cliff Lee before they're sure they can't salvage their season.
- There's increasing pessimism that the Astros will be able to obtain salary relief and prospects for Roy Oswalt.
- Teams are giving up on acquiring Adrian Gonzalez this summer, since the Padres continue to win.
- Two officials believe Heath Bell could be traded even if the Padres stay in contention. Check out this post from earlier in the week for more on Bell's trade value.
- Tom Gorzelanny could be on the market in a couple weeks when John Grabow comes off the DL.
- Stark hears that the Marlins will call Mike Stanton up next week. The Marlins are being cautious, since they want to prevent Stanton from obtaining super two status and teams believe the cut-off will be later than ever this year.
- Stark's sources don't expect the Angels to start searching for a bat to replace Kendry Morales for a few weeks. When they begin looking for offense, they're expected to look for someone who is about to hit free agency or a versatile player who can defend around the diamond. Kendry Morales is under team control through 2013, so Prince Fielder wouldn't be a fit for the Angels.
Links for Wednesday, as the lights go out at Wrigley Field...
- Tigers pitcher Zach Miner will undergo Tommy John surgery, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck.
- The Tigers are better-known for developing power arms, but as Beck shows, the Tigers have successfully developed some position players, too.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Cubs don't appear to be involved in serious talks to trade Tom Gorzelanny, but wonders if clubs like the Tigers and Rangers could inquire if the lefty becomes available.
- You knew Jason Heyward was good, but Dave Cameron of FanGraphs puts the outfielder's amazing start in perspective, saying he's on his way to "one of the great rookie seasons of all time."
- Meanwhile, Cameron wonders if the Rays should deal B.J. Upton to a team looking to capitalize on talent. It would save the Rays money and improve their chances of keeping Carl Crawford around.
- One AL assistant GM told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he doesn't expect the Twins to trade for a reliever this summer.
- 2010 draft prospect and Arlington native Michael Choice tells Chris Cox of MLB.com that it would be "a dream come true" to play for the Rangers, who pick 15th this year. Jonathan Mayo, Frankie Piliere and Keith Law all predicted Choice would be selected before that in their most recent mock drafts.
With FOX airing Saturday evening games this weekend rather than afternoon games, Ken Rosenthal's new Full Count video showed up on their website a little later in the day too. Now that it's been posted, let's recap Rosenthal's latest hot stove tidbits....
- Roy Oswalt is making $15MM this year and $16MM next year, which will make it difficult to trade him. Making it even trickier, owner Drayton McLane won't want to include money in a deal, even if it means getting better prospects in return.
- If the Mariners become sellers, that would further diminish the chances of an Oswalt deal, since the M's could make Cliff Lee available. Lee is the much more affordable ace, earning only $9MM this season.
- The Red Sox don't want to release Mike Lowell, since he provides injury protection at both corner infield spots, and can DH against left-handers. Additionally, if the Sox were to release Lowell, many of their AL rivals, such as the Angels, Rays, and Twins, could have interest in him.
- Ken Griffey's current role of pinch-hitter, occasional DH, and clubhouse mentor is exactly what the Mariners were hoping for when they re-signed the 40-year-old this winter. For now, the club has no desire for Griffey to retire.
- Carlos Zambrano appears to be headed back to the Cubs' rotation, even though he may currently be their sixth-best starter. The team could attempt to trade Tom Gorzelanny or move him to the bullpen, but Rosenthal opines that it would make their pitching staff weaker.
Carlos Zambrano's move to the Cubs' bullpen likely ranks as baseball's most surprising roster decision so far this season. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports opines that the only way out of this "desperation" move for the North Siders is to pull off a trade for a setup man.
Rosenthal suggests that dealing Tom Gorzelanny could kill two birds with one stone for the Cubs: It would clear a spot in the rotation for Zambrano, and the team could potentially acquire a setup man in exchange for the left-hander, who is under club control through 2012.
Despite recording a 5.55 ERA in 47 innings in 2009, Gorzelanny had strong peripherals, including rates of 9.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. The 27-year-old is off to a solid start this year, with a 2.40 ERA through three outings, and could interest some teams who don't possess the same excess of left-handed arms as Chicago. The Cubs' left-heavy bullpen, which features John Grabow, Sean Marshall, and James Russell, was one reason Gorzelanny remained in the rotation over Zambrano.
As Rosenthal notes, Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva "hardly are locks to continue their early-season success," meaning Zambrano may eventually work his way back into the rotation with or without a trade. Rosenthal also names Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson as two minor leaguers who could contribute to the Cubs' staff this year, if the team decides not to make a deal. For now, expect the Cubs to give the Zambrano experiment some time. If it doesn't work out like they're hoping, we should expect to hear trade rumblings grow louder.
Noon ET today was the deadline for both the team and player to submit their salary figures for arbitration, however the two sides can come to an agreement at any point before the actual hearing. The hearings are scheduled for the first week of February.
We'll keep track of the players who avoid arbitration today by agreeing to deals here. Make sure you check back in for updates, and be sure to click the "Continue Reading" link to see today's full list of settlements. Yesterday's list can be found here.
- Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels avoided arbitration with Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits by signing the duo to one-year deals. Napoli will earn $3.6MM in 2010 with a $100K bonus if he makes 120 starts. Willits' contract is worth $625K.
- Zach Duke's one-year contract with Pittsburgh is worth $4.3MM with no performance bonuses, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The Padres and reliever Mike Adams have agreed to a contract, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter). Brock's follow-up tweet says Adams' deal is worth $1MM, virtually splitting the difference between San Diego's $875K offer and Adams' $1.2MM demands.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets that the Twins have agreements in place with all eight of their arbitration eligible players. In a follow-up tweet, Christensen reports that Francisco Liriano agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM and Jesse Crain agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM.
- Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the Mets avoided arbitration with reliever Sean Green (via Twitter). The one-year deal was worth $975K, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron.
- The Tigers avoided arb with Gerald Laird and Zach Miner as well according to James Jahnke of The Detroit Free Press. MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets the details on the one-year contracts: Laird will earn $3.95MM, Miner will earn $950K.
- Christensen tweets that the Twins avoided arb with Brendan Harris, signing him to a two year deal worth $3.2MM with another $650K in possible incentives.
- The Tigers and Bobby Seay avoided arbitration according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter), agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.475MM.
- Thesier tweets that Matt Guerrier agreed to a one year deal worth $3.15MM with the Twins, avoiding arb.
- Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, with Delcarmen getting $905K plus incentives according to Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Boston avoided arb with Jonathan Papelbon as well.
- Pat Neshek agreed to a one year deal with $625K with another $75K in incentives, avoiding arbitration with the Twins according to MLB.com's Kelly Thesier (via Twitter).
- The Nationals have agreed to terms with Jason Bergmann, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, and Josh Willingham according to a team press release. All four players avoided arbitration. MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez tweets that Willingham will make $4.6MM next season, while Bergmann will make $750K according to a tweet from MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman tweets that the Braves and Peter Moylan have agreed to a deal, avoiding arbitration. He gets $1.15MM.
- Matt Garza avoided arbitration with the Rays, tweets Topkin. The two sides agreed to a one year deal worth $3.35MM,
- MLB.com's Jim Street tweets that the Mariners and David Aardsma have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.75MM.
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Michael Bourn, Matt Lindstrom, and Humberto Quintero according to a tweet from MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Bourn gets $2.4MM, Lindstrom $1.625MM, and Quintero $750K (via McTaggart's Twitter).
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post reports that the Rockies and Jason Hammel have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $1.9MM.
- The A's agreed to a one year deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, reports The Oakland Tribune. Oakland acquired Kouzmanoff from the Padres over the weekend.
- Jered Weaver agreed to a one year deal worth $4.265MM with the Angels to avoid arbitration, according to a tweet from Jon Heyman.
- Topkin tweets that J.P. Howell agreed to a one year deal worth $1.8MM, avoiding arbitration with the Rays.
- According to the team's official Twitter feed, the Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Jason Frasor ($2.65MM) and Brian Tallet ($2MM) by agreeing to one year deals.
- Delmon Young avoided arbitration with the Twins by agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.6MM, according to a tweet by Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune. Kelly Thesier of MLB.com tweets that Young will get $25K each for 575 and 600 plate appearances.
- According to a team press release, the Royals have avoided arbitration with Alex Gordon and Robinson Tejeda. Terms of either deal was not disclosed.
- Heyman tweets that Stephen Drew and the Diamondbacks agreed to a one year deal worth $3.4MM, avoiding arbitration.
- The White Sox and John Danks avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year deal worth $3.45M, according to ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine.
- Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets that the Mets and Pedro Feliciano have agreed to a one year deal worth $2.9MM, avoiding arbitration. There's another $100K in performance bonuses.
- The Star Telegram's Anthony Andro reports that the Rangers and Chris Ray have avoided arbitration. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says it's a one year deal worth $975K.
- Russell Martin has agreed to a one year contract worth $5.05MM, avoiding arbitration with the Dodgers according to Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (via Twitter)
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that the Blue Jays and reliever Jeremy Accardo have agreed to a one year deal worth $1.08MM, avoiding arbitration.
- Rafael Perez agreed to a one year deal with the Indians to avoid arbitration according to a team press release. MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince tweets that Perez will make $795K in 2010.
- The Orioles and Luke Scott avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $4.05MM according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. He earned $2.4MM last season, hitting .258/.340/.488 with a career high 25 homers.
- MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweets that the Cubs have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($975K). Mike Fontenot ($1MM,) Koyie Hill ($700K), Angel Guzman ($825K), and Tom Gorzelanny ($800K). Terms of the deals came from Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun Times (via Twitter).
- Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the Pirates and Zach Duke have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year deal.
- Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Radio reports that Mark Lowe and the Mariners have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1.15MM salary for next season.
- LaVelle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune tweets that the Twins and J.J. Hardy have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $5MM. He gets a small raise over last year's $4.65MM salary after hitting .229/.302/.357.
- According to the Cardinals' official Twitter feed, the team has avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick by agreeing to a one year deal. Heyman tweets that he'll receive $5.45MM next year after earning $3.7MM in 2009.
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Josh Hamilton, giving him $3.25MM plus awards-based bonuses according to a tweet from SI.com's Jon Heyman. It was his first time eligible. Hamilton hit .268/.315/.426 in 2009, missing time with back trouble and a sports hernia.
- Mark Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times tweets that the Rays and Jason Bartlett have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $4MM salary for 2010. He earned just under $2MM in 2009, hitting .320/.389/.490 with a career high 14 homers.
- Casey Janssen agreed to a $700K deal for 2010 to avoid arbitration, according to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed. It was his first time up for arbitration.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun Sentinel reports (via Twitter) that the Marlins and Jorge Cantu have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $6MM. Cantu hit .289/.345/.443 while making $3.5MM in 2009, his first year of arb eligibility.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that both Carlos Gomez and Rickie Weeks have agreed to one year deals to avoid arbitration. Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel tweets that Weeks will earn $2.75MM next year, while Gomez will earn $1.1MM as a Super Two.
- Heyman tweets that the Dodgers have avoided arbitration with both George Sherrill and James Loney. Sherrill gets $4.5MM plus incentives in his third year eligible, Loney $3.1MM in his first go around.
- According to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed, reliever Shawn Camp has agreed to a $1.15MM deal for 2010, avoiding arb. He was eligible for the second time after posting a 3.50 ERA in 79.2 innings last season.
- Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that Leo Nunez and the Marlins have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $2MM salary for 2010. Sticking with the theme of the day, it was his first time eligible for salary arbitration.
- MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets that the Dodgers and Hong Chih-Kuo have agreed to a one-year deal worth $950K, avoiding arb. It was Kuo's first time eligible.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Mets and Jeff Francoeur have avoided arb by agreeing to a $5MM deal. Francoeur earned $3.375MM in 2009 and hit .280/.309/.423 for the Mets and Braves.
- Heyman tweets that Howie Kendrick and the Angels have agreed to a $1.75MM deal with incentives. This was Kendrick's first crack at arbitration.
- Heyman tweets that the A's and Rajai Davis agreed to a $1.35MM salary for 2010, plus incentives. This was Davis' first year eligible for arbitration.
- Heyman tweets that Jonathan Sanchez avoided arb with the Giants by agreeing to a $2.1MM deal, plus incentives. He posted a 4.24 ERA in 163.1 innings last year, and was up for arbitration for the first time in his career.