Tyler Yates Rumors

Pirates Sign LaRoche, Duke, Grabow, Yates

1:21pm: Kovacevic says the Bucs also avoided arb with Zach Duke ($2.2MM plus $100K in incentives), John Grabow ($2.3MM plus $75K in incentives), and Tyler Yates ($1.3MM plus $25K in incentives).

9:28am: According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Pirates avoided arbitration with first baseman Adam LaRoche by signing him for $7.05MM for ’09.  He can make another $100K based on plate appearances.  Dejan Kovacevic reports the same.

LaRoche will be eligible for free agency after the season.  2009 would be a fine time to overcome his April/May inadequacies.

Stark’s Non-Tender Candidates

With midnight on Friday being the deadline to tender a contract to an arbitration-eligible player, ESPN’s Jayson Stark has some predictions on who could be added to the free agent market…

Pitchers: Daniel Cabrera, Chad Gaudin, Jimmy Gobble, Brandon Backe, Takashi Saito, Tyler Yates, Wil Ledezma

Hitters: Marcus Thames, Gabe Gross, John Buck, Jose Bautista, Chris Burke, Willy Taveras, Jonny Gomes

What does everyone out there think? Any other non-tender possibilities?  MLBTR posted a speculative list a week ago.

Pirates Acquire Tyler Yates From Braves

10:23am: Byung-Hyun Kim‘s gone, in the accompanying move.  So is Jaret Wright, according to RotoWorld.

8:40am: Dave O’Brien was right – the Braves chose Tyler Yates as the out of options reliever to deal.  They sent him to the Pirates today for a minor league hurler named Todd Redmond.  On Monday, O’Brien said he expected the Braves to trade one of Scott Thorman or Brayan Pena as well.

Yates, a 30 year-old Hawaiin, has a solid 8.3 per nine innings strikeout rate in his 162 inning career.  He needs to work on his control though. Yates was drafted by the A’s and dealt to the Mets in the Dave Justice deal.  Baseball America says he began ’04 as the Mets’ fifth starter but was shortly converted to relief.  He missed the ’05 season with rotator cuff surgery.  His acquisition may push Jaret Wright or Byung-Hyun Kim out of Pittsburgh.

Redmond, 23 in May, was ranked as the Pirates’ #27 prospect by Baseball America.  They note his "outstanding control" but lack of dominant stuff.  BA believes he profiles as a middle reliever in the long term.

Braves Expect Trades

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien talked to Braves GM Frank Wren, and he learned that Wren expects to "make a deal or two."

DOB says the Braves are looking to add a proven bench bat.  They can spare an out of options reliever from the group of Blaine Boyer, Chris Resop, Tyler Yates, and Royce Ring.  O’Brien sees Yates as the one to go.  Catcher Brayan Pena and first baseman Scott Thorman are other possible trade chips.

As for who’s coming to Atlanta, O’Brien pretty much ruled out Reed Johnson and Robert Fick.  He considers Wes Helms a possibility.  The Orioles and Giants are two teams with veterans to spare, though most are of the overpriced variety.