Travis Buck Rumors
Buck, 27, hit .228/.275/.342 in 160 plate appearances for the Indians, playing both outfield corners. Buck had signed a minor league deal with the Tribe in December.
Links for Wednesday night..
- Longtime major leaguer Juan Castro told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that he never considered retirement at any point this winter. The 38-year-old is trying to hook on with the Dodgers in 2011 for what would be his fourth stint with the club.
- Earlier today, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told versatile Astros veteran Bill Hall that the club was "this close" to signing him, tweets Jack Curry of the YES Network.
- A source close to the Rockies told Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated that the Rangers sought a "very good player" for Michael Young, but didn't elaborate on who that player might be.
- Some in the Rangers front office feel that Neftali Feliz could develop into the type of starter that would otherwise cost a bundle in a trade, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
- Yankees fans have been hard on A.J. Burnett, who is set to earn $16.5MM annually through 2013. However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that Burnett's career numbers are not all that different from Boston's Josh Beckett.
- Outfielder Travis Buck views his arrival in the Indians locker room as a fresh start, writes MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
The Indians officially announced an agreement today with outfielder Travis Buck on a minor league deal with a spring training invite. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports that Buck would earn $625K in the Majors.
Buck, 27, hit .298/.364/.463 in 141 Triple-A plate appearances, also making a couple of brief appearances with the Athletics this year. He was non-tendered earlier this month, as he would have been arbitration eligible for the first time. The Indians will have the opportunity to control him past 2011. Buck is represented by CAA.
Buck authored a promising rookie campaign in 2007 - .288/.377/.474 in a half-season - but he's battled elbow surgery, shin splints, post-concussion syndrome, and shoulder and oblique injuries since.
Chris Antonetti's first offseason as Indians GM has been a quiet one, with five minor league deals to his credit so far.
This post will list all the American League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.
- Blue Jays: Fred Lewis, Jeremy Accardo
- Red Sox: Hideki Okajima, Andrew Miller, Taylor Buchholz
- Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith
- Rays: Lance Cormier, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, J.P. Howell
- Royals: Josh Fields
- Rangers: Dustin Nippert
- Angels: Kevin Frandsen
- Athletics: Jack Cust, Travis Buck, Edwin Encarnacion
- Yankees: Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Moseley
- Orioles: Matt Albers
- White Sox: Bobby Jenks, Erick Threets
- Tigers: Zach Miner
As major league teams unveil their 2011 schedules, here are some news items....
- As Daniel Hudson improves to 6-1 with a 1.67 ERA as a Diamondback tonight, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets that Hudson "probably" could have been a Brewer had Milwaukee accepted a one-for-one offer from Chicago for Prince Fielder. The problem at the time was that the Brewers projected Hudson as only a third or fourth starter and wanted more for their slugger. Obviously hindsight is 20/20 on any missed trade, but if Hudson continues to pitch well in Arizona, it will put even more pressure on the Brewers to get a big return back if they do end up dealing Fielder.
- An anonymous NL official tells Newsday's Ken Davidoff that Jose Reyes could command "one really good prospect, one solid prospect, and one or two medium-range prospects" in a trade should the Mets put their shortstop on the market this winter. This source seems in favor of a total rebuild for the Mets; he also thinks they should try to deal David Wright and Francisco Rodriguez.
- Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News cites Bronson Arroyo's durability, consistent win totals and veteran presence as reasons why Cincinnati should pick up the right-hander's $11MM option for next season.
- We've heard that the Rockies will look for a right-handed first baseman to platoon with Todd Helton next season, and ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill cites former Rockie Garrett Atkins as a possibility for the role. Atkins was non-tendered
by Colorado last winter and after signing a one-year contract with
Baltimore, was released by the Orioles last July.
- Interim Arizona GM Jerry Dipoto will interview for the full-time position tomorrow, reports MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (Twitter link).
- Any Boston fans tickled by A.J. Burnett's struggles this season might not want to crow too much, since Fangraphs' Joe Pawlikowski cites Burnett as comparable to the also-struggling John Lackey.
- Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wonders if the Red Sox might pursue Jim Thome as a cheaper free agent DH option rather than pick up David Ortiz's 2011 option.
- Travis Buck's "organizational status is clearly at an all-time low" in Oakland, writes Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com. Buck is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter and could be non-tendered given the number of other promising outfielders in the Athletics' system.
- If Jesus Montero can develop a solid catching glove to go along with his powerful bat, the Mariners may regret passing on New York's Montero-centered offer for Cliff Lee, writes ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
- Blogger El Lefty Malo praises the Giants' acquisition of Cody Ross and some other recent Brian Sabean moves.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia thinks the Halos just need a "tweaking" rather than an overhaul in the winter, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says upgrading the infield should be a top priority for the Cardinals in the offseason.
We've completed the National League, so now it's time to jump over to the so-called junior circuit...
- Angels: They moved three pretty good young players to get Scott Kazmir last season, so they might prefer to hold onto the rest of their top prospects. Their best chip is someone you may not have heard of, out of options catcher Bobby Wilson. He's on the 25-man roster but has barely played as the third stringer, yet how many teams would love to have a 27-year old catcher with a very good defensive rep, a .290/.345/.425 batting line in 820 Triple-A plate appearances, and six years of team control left? Pretty much all of them. He'll never clear waivers if the Halos try to send him back to the minors.
- Athletics: Oakland has plenty of young pitching, but Billy Beane likes to hang on to those kind of guys, and for good reason. With ten infielders on the 40-man roster, someone like Jake Fox or Eric Patterson could be moved, as could outfielders Travis Buck or Gabe Gross since Michael Taylor is coming fast. Plus there's always Ben Sheets.
- Mariners: Jack Zduriencik surrendered a good amount of prospect depth this offseason by acquiring Cliff Lee, but no one will argue with that move. Dustin Ackley, the second overall pick in 2009, will make Jose Lopez expendable in short order, and they could choose to make one of two minor league outfielders - Michael Saunders or Greg Halman - available. Seattle's best trade chip might be their potential ability to absorb some money.
- Rangers: Texas is absolutely loaded with young players, so they have plenty of pieces to offer. They can move Chris Davis because Justin Smoak is knocking on the door, or they could move Derek Holland because Martin Perez isn't too far away. They dangled Max Ramirez this winter, and outfielder David Murphy is about to get expensive through arbitration, so he could find himself on the block. Bottom line: the Rangers have the pieces to go out and get anything they need or want.
Some links for Friday night...
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert tweets that the Diamondbacks and Edwin Jackson have made no progress towards reaching an agreement to avoid arbitration. A hearing is set for February 17th.
- Chuck Finder of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette passes along a report from the independent St. Paul Saints that says that the Pirates have signed 25-year-old outfielder Anthony Norman to a minor league deal.
- Several executives told Morosi that they expect Jermaine Dye to sign with an AL club, though no one's sure which one.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier says that Jon Lester's contract is one of the biggest bargains in baseball when you look at the deals Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander just received. Lester signed a five-year deal last March that guaranteed him at least $30MM.
- Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times wonders if 2010 could be the final year of Manny Ramirez's career. If so, he has a chance to be just the eighth player in history to retire with a career OPS over 1.000.
- ESPN's Keith Law says that the Orlando Hudson signing is a major upgrade for the Twins, likely enough to make them preseason favorites in the AL Central.
- Meanwhile, Law thinks it's too risky for the Diamondbacks to give Mark Reynolds a multi-year contract right now. The two-sides have been discussing such a deal recently.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says the Mets are more likely to sign a pitcher rather than another catcher this month.
- Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle has some quotes from Travis Buck regarding his standing with the A's following all of their outfield additions, and adds that the team has found some interest in Dana Eveland and Gregorio Petit, both of whom were recently designated for assignment.
Thursday night linkage..
- With Hudson having agreed to a deal with the Twins, Jon Heyman of SI tweets that he anticipates the Nationals considering Adam Kennedy.
- Jarrod Washburn is only considering two teams at present - the Twins and the Mariners. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes that if he doesn't receive an offer from either club or expand his list, the 35-year-old hurler may retire.
- Orlando Hudson would be a great fit for the Twins, writes Rob Neyer of ESPN. Neyer writes that the extra one or two wins that Hudson's addition represents are worth at least $3MM. However, according to Buster Olney, Hudson has been offered a one-year pact worth $5MM.
- Despite Travis Buck's reported dissatisfaction with the organization, A's GM Billy Beane is not looking to move the outfielder writes Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.
- Spurred by the recent pickups of Joe Inglett and Marco Estrada, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com takes a look back at the Brewers' best waiver wire moves in recent years. One of the best hidden gems was one of GM Doug Melvin's earliest acquisitions, Scott Podsednik.
- The Orioles have signed Joel Guzman to a minor league deal, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The 25-year-old, once one of baseball's top prospects, will not receive an invite to Spring Training. In 108 games with the Nationals' Double-A affiliate last season, Guzman hit .281/.352/.447 with 12 HRs.
Links for Tuesday...
- We shouldn't expect a Joe Mauer extension soon, according to this tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Scott Hairston, signing the outfielder to a one-year deal worth $2.45MM, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports believes that the Tigers have moved into the non-denial stage regarding Johnny Damon (via Twitter).
- A's outfielder Travis Buck has a chip on his shoulder after watching the A's acquire multiple outfielders, reports CSNBayArea's Mychael Urban. But as ESPN's Rob Neyer points out, Buck hasn't done much recently with the bat.
- Free agent outfielder Darin Erstad told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick he'd love to play in 2010, but "there is nowhere to find at-bats."
- Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times tweets that the Dodgers "remain interested in Jeff Weaver, but their roster situation could prevent them from offering him a major-league deal."
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports names the D'Backs, Cubs, Reds, and Nationals as teams monitoring free agent starter Kris Benson. Benson didn't pitch much in the last three seasons due to rotator cuff surgery.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. further explained his rationale behind the Cliff Lee trade, reports Scott Lauber of The News Journal. Amaro's reasoning didn't sway my opinion; none of the three prospects he received are in Keith Law's top 100 (though Ramirez is #101). The long-term value of Phillippe Aumont, J.C. Ramirez, and Tyson Gillies should not outweigh the extra 4-5 wins Lee would've provided in 2010. And did Amaro even shop Lee around for the best package?
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star is pessimistic on the Royals, who he says don't offer much beyond Zack Greinke, Billy Butler, and Joakim Soria.
- RotoAuthority looks at Boston's closer situation from a fantasy baseball point of view.