Tony Gwynn Jr. Rumors


Added To The 40-Man Roster: Saturday

Between now and Opening Day, several minor league signees will win jobs with their clubs and earn 40-man roster spots. Here are today's additions:

  • The Angels have purchased the contract of infielder Ian StewartBill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The former top prospect, now 28, was brought in on a minor league contract in January.
  • Ryan Rowland-Smith will make the Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster, GM Kevin Towers disclosed (via Steve Gilbert of MLB.com). Rowland-Smith was in camp on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010 but was excellent last year for Boston's Triple-A club.
  • The Giants announced that right-hander J.C. Gutierrez and infielder Brandon Hicks have been chosen for the Opening Day roster. Hicks had been competing with rookie Ehire Adrianza for a backup infield job, but both have made the team.
  • The Braves announced via press release that pitchers Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas have been added to the Opening Day roster.
  • Reds manager Bryan Price announced that reliever Trevor Bell and outfielder Roger Bernadina have made the club's Opening Day roster, according to a tweet from the team's Triple-A affiliate. Bell hasn't pitched in the majors since 2011, but threw very well this spring in 8 2/3 innings.
  • The Mets are set to add Omar Quintanilla to their Opening Day roster, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Quintanilla figures to serve as the back-up at short. He rejoined the club on a minor league deal after being non-tendered.
  • Xavier Nady will break camp with the Padres, tweets AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, and thus will be added to the 40-man roster. The 35-year-old had a solid spring, and will fill in while Kyle Blanks and Cameron Maybin work back from injury. 
  • The Tigers have purchased the contract of Tyler Collins, the club announced. The 23-year-old, left-handed-hitting outfielder has not played above the Double-A level, but now grabs an Opening Day roster spot for a Detroit club that is without Andy Dirks to start the year. In 530 plate appearances at Double-A last year, Collins put up a .240/.323/.438 line with 21 home runs (and 122 strikeouts against 51 walks).
  • The Rangers will add minor league free agent Daniel McCutchen to the roster, according to a tweet from his representatives at Sosnick Cobbe Sports. Texas will need to add the reliever to the 40-man roster in order to activate him.
  • Yangervis Solarte will make the Yankees Opening Day roster, tweets Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Fellow utility infielder Eduardo Nunez, meanwhile, will be optioned to Triple-A to start the year. Solarte earned the position after a torrid spring.
  • The Phillies have announced their Opening Day roster, which includes three players -- Tony Gwynn Jr., Mario Hollands, and Jeff Manship -- who must be added to the 40-man. Meanwhile, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been put on the 60-day DL to create roster space while infielder Reid Brignac and reliever Shawn Camp have been reassigned to Triple-A, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (Twitter links).
  • The Athletics have selected the contract of infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima and optioned him to Triple-A, according to the MLB transactions page. After failing to see MLB action in the first year of his two-year, $6.5MM deal with Oakland, Nakajima was outrighted and ultimately re-signed to a minor league deal.

Aaron Steen contributed to this post.



Phillies Sign O'Sullivan, Sappelt, Gwynn, Marson

The Phillies announced that they've signed right-hander Sean O'Sullivan, outfielders Dave Sappelt and Tony Gwynn Jr. and catcher Lou Marson to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training.

O'Sullivan, 26, posted a 3.96 ERA in 25 innings (three starts, four relief appearances) for the Padres last season. However, the former Angel and Royal also walked more batters (14) than he struck out (12) in that time. O'Sullivan has struggled overall at the Major League level, pitching to a 5.89 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 218 2/3 innings. The former third-round pick has a 4.40 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 486 1/3 career innings at Triple-A.

Sappelt, 27 in January, batted .240/.269/.280 in 78 plate appearances for the Cubs in 2013. One of three players acquired by Chicago in the trade that sent Sean Marshall to the Reds (the others were Travis Wood and Ronald Torreyes), Sappelt is a career .251/.301/.343 hitter in 274 big league plate appearances. He's been much better at Triple-A, batting .279/.332/.402 in 1356 PAs.

Gwynn spent the bulk of the 2013 campaign with the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate, where he batted .300/.393/.384 with a pair of homers and 12 steals in 391 plate appearances. The 31-year-old is an outstanding defender in center field, making him a nice depth piece for the Phils.

Marson, 27, was drafted by the Phillies in the fourth round of the 2004 draft. Philly traded him to the Indians along with Jason Knapp (who is attempting a comeback), Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald in the 2008 blockbuster that netted Cliff Lee. Marson spent most of the 2013 season on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Yan Gomes' breakout with the Indians displaced Marson as the team's backup catcher. He is a .219/.309/.299 career hitter in 882 Major League PAs.



Outrighted To Triple-A: Conrad, Kelly, Gwynn

The latest outright assignments...



Dodgers Designate Tony Gwynn Jr. For Assignment

The Dodgers announced that they designated outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. for assignment. Los Angeles recalled outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands from Triple-A in a related move.

Gwynn, 29, hit .232/.276/.293 in 277 plate appearances this season while missing some time with a shoulder contusion. He saw lots of action in center field while Matt Kemp was on the DL and is considered to be a strong defender in all three outfield spots by the various advanced metrics. Gwynn is in the first year of a two-year, $2MM contract.



Players To Avoid Arbitration

Tonight is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. Many teams will agree to terms with players before the deadline and we'll keep track of them here:

  • The Orioles have agreed to terms with Dana Eveland on a one-year, $750K deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Giants have agreed to terms with Mike Fontenot on a one-year deal for 2012, avoiding arbitration, MLBTR has learned. It's a $1.05MM deal, according to the Associated Press.
  • The Red Sox announced that they re-signed Matt Albers. He'll earn $1.075MM, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
  • The Padres agreed to terms with Chris Denorfia on a one-year deal, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (Twitter link). The deal is worth $1.165MM, according to Ronald Blum of the AP
    The Pirates agreed to terms with Jason Grilli on a one-year, $1.1MM deal for 2012, MLBTR has learned.
  • The Rockies agreed to terms with Kevin Slowey on a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Slowey obtains $2.75MM from the Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link). MLBTR had projected a $2.7MM salary.
  • The Blue Jays agreed to sign Jeff Mathis to one-year deal that guarantees the backstop $1.5MM in 2012, MLBTR has learned. The Blue Jays have since confirmed the move.
  • The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with Jesse Litsch (one-year, $975K) and Dustin McGowan (one-year, $600K) according to a team press release.
  • The Dodgers have signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year deal.
  • The A's announced that they agreed to terms with Landon Powell, Daric Barton and Adam Rosales on one-year deals for 2012. The A's aren't non-tendering any arbitration eligible players this offseason. Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group hears Barton will earn $1.1MM in 2012 (Twitter link). Rosales will earn $600K and Powell will earn $620K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Marlins signed Donnie Murphy to a contract for 2012, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). He'll earn $560K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Brewers announced that they signed George Kottaras to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. He'll earn $700K, according to Ronald Blum of the AP.
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with Humberto Quintero, signing him to a one-year deal worth $1MM, according to the team. MLBTR had projected a $1.2MM salary for Quintero.
  • The Angels agreed to terms with right-hander Jerome Williams on a one-year deal, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times (on Twitter). Williams agreed to sign for $820K with $120K in incentives, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (on Twitter).
  • Skip Schumaker is nearing a two-year deal with the Cardinals.



Dodgers, Tony Gwynn Jr. Sign Two-Year Deal

The Dodgers announced that they signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year deal. Gwynn will earn $850K in 2012 and $1.15MM in 2013 for a total of $2MM, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter).

Gwynn, 29, posted a .256/.308/.353 line in 340 plate appearances this past season, playing all three outfield positions. The non-tender candidate had been projected to earn $1.1MM through arbitration in 2012. Gwynn is a Legacy Sports client.



Ned Colletti Talks Offseason

Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times has a slew of information from Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti regarding the team's offseason plans. Colletti feels that his team's pitching and defense have been sufficient, but that the offense is lacking and needs to be bolstered:

"I say the most dramatic way we can improve the offense, that would be the way we would go," Colletti said.

Obviously, that could be an allusion to Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols, but the Dodgers' uncertain ownership and financial situations make a signing of that magnitude a stretch. Dilbeck points out that Colletti has never signed a player to a $100MM+ deal, and that Kevin Brown is the only player in Dodgers' history to receive such a contract. At the same time, however, Dilbeck also notes that the Dodgers do have $25MM in contracts coming off the books, so a run at one of the Top 2 free agents isn't necessarily unfathomable.

In the likely event that neither player comes to the Dodgers, Colletti says that James Loney is someone they'd "love to have back." Loney's overall numbers don't appear all that productive, but he's batting .355/.435/.653 with seven homers in his last 37 games. A strong finish could persuade the Dodgers to bring him back, although doing so would require giving him a raise on this year's $4.875MM salary -- a risk given Loney's mostly underwhelming numbers.

Colletti also mentions re-signing Hiroki Kuroda as a priority; even if they were to retain Kuroda though, they'd require a fifth starter. Nathan Eovaldi and Dana Eveland can both be candidates, and of course the free agent market figures to offer plenty of low-budget reclamation projects that could be brought in to fill that role as well.

Beyond that, role players such as Tony Gwynn Jr., Casey Blake, Aaron Miles, and Juan Rivera may all return "in the right situation." For what it's worth, Gwynn told Dilbeck's colleague Jim Peltz that he hopes to return to the Dodgers next season.



Non-Tenders Contributing With New Teams

Every winter teams non-tender players when they would rather risk losing them to another team than go through the potentially expensive arbitration process. Most non-tenders don’t come back to haunt their former clubs, but they definitely have the potential to do so.

Teams non-tendered over 50 players last offseason and a handful of them have added value for new organizations. Here’s a breakdown of which 2010 non-tenders are contributing in 2011:

Outfielders

  • Tony Gwynn Jr., Dodgers (non-tendered by Padres) - Gwynn has a .255/.312/.333 line with 15 stolen bases in 252 plate appearances for the Dodgers and has played all three outfield positions.
  • Scott Hairston, Mets (non-tendered by Padres) - Hairston has a robust .264/.331/.527 line with seven homers in a part-time role for the Mets.

Infielders

  • Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays (technically non-tendered by Athletics) - Encarnacion has a .277/.326/.446 line this year, including an .894 OPS since June 1st.

Catchers

  • Ronny Paulino, Mets (non-tendered by Marlins) - Paulino has been a serviceable part-time backstop for the Mets, posting a .293/.328/.374 line in 187 trips to the plate.
  • Russell Martin, Yankees (non-tendered by Dodgers) - Martin has 12 homers and a .228/.324/.383 line in 349 plate appearances. He's tenth among all MLB catchers with 2.1 wins above replacement.

Right-Handed Relievers

  • Matt Albers, Red Sox (non-tendered by Orioles) - The right-hander has a 2.31 ERA with 9.1 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 46 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. Albers is easily having his best season yet and all he cost was $875K. He's under team control through 2013.
  • Todd Coffey, Nationals (non-tendered by Brewers) - The big righty has a 4.40 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 45 innings so far in 2011. The numbers are solid, but not so good that the Brewers have much to second-guess themselves on.
  • Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox (non-tendered by Yankees) - Aceves has a 3.18 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 76 1/3 innings as a swingman for the Red Sox this year. Considering the injuries the Boston pitching staff has sustained, you could argue that Aceves has been one of their best offseason additions.
  • Jose Veras, Pirates (non-tendered by Marlins) - Veras has a 3.19 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 53 2/3 innings this year and has been a key weapon in Clint Hurdle's bullpen.
  • Dustin Moseley, Padres (non-tendered by Yankees) - Moseley has a 3.30 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 20 starts. Now on the DL, Moseley has completed a career-high 120 innings.
  • Taylor Buchholz, Mets (technically non-tendered by Red Sox) - When healthy, Buchholz has been effective, posting a 3.12 ERA with a 26K/7BB ratio in 26 innings. He has been on the disabled list since June.
  • Joel Peralta, Rays (non-tendered by Nationals) - The 35-year-old leads the American League in appearances (55) and has a 3.68 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 after 51 1/3 innings in Tampa Bay.

Left-Handed Relievers

  • George Sherrill, Braves (non-tendered by Dodgers) - Sherrill has a 3.38 ERA with a 36K/11BB ratio in 32 innings for his new club. He has mostly faced left-handed hitters.



Dodgers Notes: Zach Lee, Mattingly, McCourt

Some news as the Dodgers start a weekend series in San Diego...

  • Zach Lee, the Dodgers' first-round pick in the 2010 amateur draft, made his pro debut tonight for the Class A Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League, reports Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times.  Lee allowed two hits and three walks in four scoreless innings for the Loons, striking out five.  Lee was recently ranked as the 89th-best prospect in the game by Baseball America.
  • From that same item, Dilbeck reports that the Dodgers have brought back Preston Mattingly, son of manager Don Mattingly.  The younger Mattingly was drafted 31st overall by L.A. in the 2006 amateur draft, traded to the Indians in September and released by the Tribe last week.
  • Major League Baseball has not yet reached a decision about Frank McCourt's proposed new TV deal with Fox, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.  SI's Jon Heyman reported earlier that MLB wasn't going to approve a $200MM loan from the network to McCourt, but that was in reference to a seperate proposal that Bud Selig rejected last month.
  • Tony Gwynn Jr. talks to ESPNLosAngeles.com's Tony Jackson about how he's enjoying playing for the Dodgers and how disappointed he was to be non-tendered by San Diego over the winter.
  • Matt Kemp is off to a strong start, and ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne looks at some of the little things the center fielder is doing to rebound from a disappointing 2010 season.



Quick Hits: Weeks, Dodgers, Cuddyer, Mets

On this day 20 years ago, the Atlanta Braves signed Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders as a free agent. Though he struggled in his first year as a Brave, 'Prime Time' was a key contributor for the National League champs in 1992; he hit .304/.346/.495 with 26 stolen bases in 325 regular season plate appearances and added eight hits and five steals in four World Series games. Sanders ended up leaving both Atlanta franchises in 1994, but not before he racked up 75 stolen bases and ten touchdowns for the Braves and Falcons respectively. Here are Sunday's links:









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