Troy Percival Rumors
It's been four years since Troy Percival threw a Major League pitch, and while he's comfortable with the fact that he won't do so again, he's itching to return to Major League Baseball. Percival's agent, Paul Cohen of TWC Sports, tells MLBTR that his client is interested in returning to the bigs in a coaching capacity, with an eye on eventually finding his way into a managerial role:
"He's coached a local high school baseball team in Riverside (California) for a couple of years, in addition to his son's travel team, and now he's ready to get back to the Major League level. Whether that be as a pitching coach or with the thought of eventually becoming a Major League manager, he's expressed a strong desire to get back to that level."
Percival, now 44, saved 358 games and posted a 3.17 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 over 708 2/3 innings in parts of 14 seasons at the Major League level. The four-time All-Star had the privilege of throwing the final pitch of the 2002 World Series -- a fly-ball off the bat of Kenny Lofton that was gloved by Darin Erstad, making Percival's Angels the World Series champions. In addition to the Angels, the UC Riverside product pitched for the Tigers, Cardinals and Rays. Percival's 358 saves currently rank eighth all-time among Major League pitchers.
Links for Monday...
- John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez will likely eventually sign with National League clubs, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. He names the Cardinals, Phillies, Cubs, and Dodgers as potential players for the two veteran right-handers.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak tells MLB.com's Matthew Leach that his club is going to be patient about assessing their bullpen, and is not currently seeking right-handed relief help.
- Troy Percival is in Angels camp as a guest instructor, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. He has no plans to try another comeback.
- I named my undervalued hitters for fantasy baseball leagues over at RotoAuthority.
- Former A's and Padres exec Sandy Alderson has been tasked with revamping MLB's Dominican Republic office, reports ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr.
- Indians third baseman Jhonny Peralta told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports he'd like to remain in Cleveland beyond this year, though Morosi sees a good chance of a trade. Peralta earns $4.6MM this year, and has a $7MM club option for 2011 with a $250K buyout.
- Joe Posnanski profiles Joakim Soria, suggesting the Royals should've tried him as a starter at some point.
- ESPN's Rob Neyer learned from Michael Lewis that Jonah Hill has replaced Demetri Martin as the actor who will play Paul DePodesta in Aaron Sorkin's Moneyball movie. Brad Pitt is still slated to play Billy Beane.
Links for the morning...
- As much as Nyjer Morgan has helped the Nationals, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that Lastings Milledge has been a complete pro so far with the Pirates.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock hears that the Padres are "making progress" towards signing first rounder Donavan Tate.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert reports that the D'Backs are making progress with first rounder Bobby Borchering.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star wonders how much the Royals would improve with a cast of strong fielders.
- We heard on Sunday that Troy Percival was leaning towards retirement. Now, as MLB.com's Bill Chastain reports, Percival says he's done unless something "miraculous" happens.
When Rays closer Troy Percival hit the disabled list in May, we weren't sure if that would be the last time we'd ever see the righty. Well, according to Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times, manager Joe Maddon recently spoke to Percival and is "under the impression his career is over."
Paul Cohen, Pervical's agent, indicated that his client was having severe back problems and is seeing a specialist this week about a possible fusion, but said that the decision to retire hasn't been made yet. Maddon would like to see the team have a day to honor Percival if he does indeed call it quits, saying "He was such a big part of what we did last year, and people have kind of forgotten about that way too fast."
If he does retire, Percy would finish with 358 career saves, good for 8th all time.
The St. Petersburg Times reports that the Rays' injured closer, Troy Pervical, may not be ready to call it quits on his career just yet.
Percival, 39, is working with a chiropractor, and needs to get feeling back in his right arm before he makes a decision on the season. Manager Joe Maddon commented on Percival's situation:
Maddon had originally said he wouldn't be surprised if Percival hung it up.
Links for Friday evening...
- As Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times explains, Adrian Beltre's trade value is diminishing because teams are no longer confident that he'll be a Type A free agent. This means the team that trades for Beltre can't expect two compensation picks for losing the third baseman to free agency.
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman argues that the Braves need to make an immediate change to their outfield and says there's an "indication that we'll begin to see it in the near future." He says the Braves must consider dealing the powerless Jeff Francoeur, or at least finding a more productive outfielder.
- According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post Glendon Rusch is staying at home instead of reporting to Triple A Colorado Springs. The Rockies are expected to put him on the restricted list.
- Via Twitter, Marc Lancaster of the Tampa Tribune reports that Troy Percival, who was just placed on the DL, has gone home to ponder a future "which could be in doubt." Joe Maddon has said he "wouldn't be surprised" to see Percival hang it up, according to Marc Lancaster.
- Another piece of Rays news from the same Lancaster report - With Scott Kazmir headed to the DL, it's likely that David Price will make his long-awaited season debut in Kazmir's place on Monday.
- As MLB.com's Brian Hoch reports, Chien-Ming Wang is returning to the Yankees as a long reliever because of the team's depleted bullpen.
John Perrotto's Every Given Sunday column is up over at Baseball Prospectus. This week, he takes a look at some of the position battles teams will face entering Spring Training. And, as always, there's some interesting items in his Rumors & Rumblings section. Let's take a look:
- Some of the more interesting position battles mentioned: 1B/DH/RF in Oakland (Daric Barton, Jack Cust, Jason Giambi, Aaron Cunningham, and Travis Buck all in the mix), Tampa's closer if Troy Percival gets hurt or falters (Dan Wheeler, J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour), and the White Sox rotation behind John Danks, Mark Buerhle, and Gavin Floyd (Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Bartolo Colon, Jeff Marquez).
- Brian Roberts still wants a four-year deal before Spring Training starts up, or he'll cut off negotiations. Does Roberts make more sense as a cornerstone in Baltimore or as a trade chip?
- Perrotto feels Tom Glavine will inevitably re-sign with the Braves.
- The White Sox have minor interest in signing Ivan Rodriguez as a backup for A.J. Pierzynski. I'm sure Pudge would prefer a starting gig, but at this point, it's tough to be picky.
- We've heard a lot about the Orioles having interest in Rich Hill lately, but Perrotto reminds us that the Mariners are interested in the 28-year-old lefty as well.
On this date 28 years ago, the Red Sox traded Fred Lynn to the California Angels for Frank Tanana and Joe Rudi. After six seasons that included an MVP and six all-star appearances, the Red Sox were forced to trade Lynn when the front office failed to mail a new contract to Lynn by the mandated deadline. Without the new contract, Boston was faced with the possibility that Lynn would be declared a free agent (Carlton Fisk was declared a free agent for the same reason). The player's association dropped their case when Lynn agreed to a contract extension with the Angels. With many of this year's free agent class still waiting for contracts to be mailed, let's take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere...
- Bucco Blog sees an Adam LaRoche-Jonathan Sanchez trade as a "win-win deal."
- DRays Bay would like to see the Tigers take either Troy Percival or Dan Wheeler off the Rays' hands.
- Mets Geek makes a case for the Mets signing Andy Pettitte.
- Goat Riders of the Apocalypse are not worried that the Cubs have traded away yet another former top prospect.
- Center Field isn't buying that Jason Varitek didn't know about the draft pick compensation as a result of his refusing arbitration.
- Her Rays isn't taking the loss of Rocco Baldelli well at all.
- Dodger Thoughts doesn't understand why the Dodgers keep spending money on veteran, offensively-challenged backup catchers that will never play.
- Anaheim Angels all the way says the Reds replaced "90% of Adam Dunn" with Jonny Gomes and a very favorable contract. On Baseball and the Reds is not sure Gomes' offense will offset his horrible defense and sees him as a decent platoon option.
- UmpBump grades the Rays offseason favorably.
- El Lefty Malo laments the contract of Dave Roberts and feels he is the type of player that would be forced to retire if he were a free agent this off-season.
- Twins Geek speculates on what it would take to sign Joe Mauer to a long-term deal.
- Bullpen Call sees only the Mets and Yankees as options for Juan Cruz.
4:18pm: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times has a post up about the signing. He writes that Nelson gives the Rays another closer option, just in case Troy Percival isn't ready to go following his back surgery.
Topkin, who states about 20 teams had interest in Nelson, adds the deal is pending a physical.
2:36pm: Right-handed reliever Joe Nelson has signed with the Tampa Bay Rays, Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald is reporting. It's a one-year deal worth $1.3MM.
Nelson, 34, was with the Marlins last season.
MLB.com's Bill Chastain writes of an impending Rays roster crunch. Closer Troy Percival can come off the DL Friday. Percival's replacement, Grant Balfour, doesn't deserve a demotion. He's out of options, and the Rays would have to sneak him through waivers to get him back to Triple A. Balfour did clear waivers in April. Given his situation and success this year, perhaps we can add Balfour to our Reliever Market list.
The Rays acquired Balfour from the Brewers for Seth McClung last July. He's endured all kinds of injury problems but seems on track in '08. DRays Bay suggests keeping Balfour and either cutting Gary Glover or trading Jason Hammel.