Tony Armas Jr. Rumors

Odds & Ends: Bonds, Armas, Strasburg

Links for Wednesday…


Mets Moves: Valentin, Armas, Spivey, Nieve

4:01pm: Hubbuch says the Mets put Nieve on waivers and will keep Rule 5 reliever Darren O'Day.  Nieve, who is out of options, was claimed from the Astros recently.

12:20pm: According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, the Mets released veterans Jose Valentin, Tony Armas Jr., and Junior Spivey today.  Valentin could return to the organization as a coach eventually.


Odds and Ends: Colon, Clark, Gagne

Random rumors, let’s round ‘em up.



Blue Jays Like Lo Duca, Clement, Armas

J.P. Ricciardi is going bargain-shopping this winter.  The Jays won’t be in on any big-name free agents.  Instead, names like Paul Lo Duca, Matt Clement, and Tony Armas are on Ricciardi’s shopping list.

The Jays like the idea of pairing Gregg Zaun with another veteran backstop, but don’t want to give out a deal greater than one year.  It doesn’t seem like Lo Duca would go for that, but sometimes the last catcher standing has to settle.  It happened to Bengie Molina in ’06 and he was coming off a decent year.  The Marlins could pluck one of Lo Duca or Michael Barrett and the other one could get screwed.

The Jays have good rotation depth: Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Casey Janssen, and Gustavo Chacin.  That front three stacks up with anyone’s when healthy.  You can never have too much pitching, however, so projects like Clement and Armas are being considered.  Clement worked with Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg in Florida.  The Padres might be the favorite, but plenty of teams are interested.


Bucs To Let Chacon, Armas, Izturis Go

According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are likely to cut ties with three of their veteran players this winter: Shawn Chacon, Tony Armas Jr., and Cesar Izturis.  As it should be.

Chacon, 29, has been decent in relief (3.52 ERA in 76.2 innings).  His 1.7 K/BB is worrisome, but Chacon has always been prone to the free pass.  One change is that Chacon is back to getting groundballs near a league average rate, as he did when he succeeded with the Yankees in ’05.  While Chacon wanted to stay, a contract of at least two years, $8MM would be required.  Such a deal just doesn’t make sense for Pittsburgh.  $3.8MM off the books when Chacon leaves.

Armas was a bad move by Dave Littlefield in the first place.  He was predictably bad this year.  Then again, I didn’t think much of Steve Trachsel in the AL East and the O’s spun him into two useful players (Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry).  Anyway, the Pirates will give those 93 innings Armas ate up to a younger player in 2008.  That’s $3.5MM off the books.

Izturis was an odd acquisition.  I think Littlefield expected to move Jack Wilson when he acquired Izturis.  When that fell through the Pirates just looked silly.  The Cubs paid the Pirates an undisclosed amount of cash to take Izturis so I can’t say how much is off the books here.

The result of dumping this trio is $8MM to play with for the next Pirates’ GM.  Let’s hope he or she uses it wisely for once.



Pirates Sign Tony Armas Jr.

Pirates GM Dave Littlefield announced today that the team has signed righty Tony Armas Jr. to a one-year deal with a club option for ’08.  RotoWorld reports that Armas will make $3MM in ’07 and has a $500,000 buyout for ’08.  The move should thankfully push Shawn Chacon out of the rotation.

It’s hard to believe Armas would represent an improvement in anyone’s rotation after posting a 5.03 ERA in 154 innings last year in a National League pitchers’ park.  Basically the one thing Armas has going for him is that he’s on the right side of 30.  And he was traded for Pedro once.



Pirates Sign Tony Armas Jr.

Pirates GM Dave Littlefield announced today that the team has signed righty Tony Armas Jr. to a one-year deal with a club option for ’08.  RotoWorld reports that Armas will make $3MM in ’07 and has a $500,000 buyout for ’08.  The move should thankfully push Shawn Chacon out of the rotation.

It’s hard to believe Armas would represent an improvement in anyone’s rotation after posting a 5.03 ERA in 154 innings last year in a National League pitchers’ park.  Basically the one thing Armas has going for him is that he’s on the right side of 30.  And he was traded for Pedro once.



Blue Jays Sign Tomo Ohka

UPDATE: The Blue Jays signed Ohka to a one-year deal with incentives.  He’s guaranteed $1.5MM and can double it by reaching incentives.

The Washington Post reports that Tomo Ohka will likely decide on a team today or tomorrow.  The Nats are unlikely, and he’s leaning towards Toronto.  Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Ohka now only wants a one-year deal.  Looks like he couldn’t get three years so he’d rather re-enter the market in ’08 after a hopefully solid year.  The Pirates are definitely out of the running.  The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review mentions that the Mets are still in on Ohka.

The Bucs, however, have turned their focus to Tony Armas Jr.  Several teams are interested in him, with the Pirates in the lead.  Though he’s not particularly good, he is relatively healthy and on the right side of 30.  Beggars can’t be choosy.



Mets Consider Remaining Free Agent Starters

According to the New York Times, the Mets are interested in Tomo Ohka or Tony Armas Jr. to fill in the middle of their rotation.  Both pitchers played under Minaya when he was GM of the Expos.  Ohka would likely require a two-year deal, while Armas might be had for one year and $5MM or so.

Meanwhile, the New York Post adds that the Mets could give Jeff Weaver a second chance in New York.  They’d be unlikely to exceed a two-year deal, and I have a hunch someone could offer three.  Once again, Scott Boras and Weaver are signing a contract late in the free agent season.