Tyler Yates Rumors
As the Giants raise their World Series banner with an assist from the Say Hey Kid, here's some news from around the majors...
- The Brewers received cash, rather than a player to be named later, from the Blue Jays to complete the Carlos Villanueva trade, reports the team (and passed on by MLB.com's Adam McCalvy).
- The Cubs aren't considering trying to lure Braden Looper out of retirement, reports ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine. Looper retired when he didn't make Chicago's Opening Day roster. With right-handers Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells on the disabled list, the Cubs have a sudden lack of pitching depth, but the team will turn to internal options like Casey Coleman, who will start on Sunday.
- The Red Sox got their first win of the season today, but there's still plenty of talk about Boston's slow start. SI's Tom Verducci thinks there are legitimate reasons for worry, namely that Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka "have to suddenly reverse the downward trends of their careers in their 30s."
- Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com also questions Boston's pitching, pointing out that barring rebound years from Beckett, Lackey and Matsuzaka, "they’re essentially the same team as the Yankees — terrific offense, deep bullpen, weak back of the rotation." Rosenthal, however, thinks it is far too early in the season for the Sox and their fans to panic.
- Jack Wilson asked to be taken out of the Mariners' 7-3 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday, Seattle manager Eric Wedge told reporters today. Wilson implied that Wedge had removed him from the game, which upset Wedge, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. The Twitter feed of the Brock & Salk radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle reports that Wedge described Wilson's actions as "unspeakable" and wouldn't discuss the veteran infielder's status with the club.
- Pirates right-hander Tyler Yates has a torn flexor tendon in his throwing elbow, reports Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. Yates hasn't pitched since 2009 due to Tommy John surgery, and Langosch reports that this latest injury might convince Yates to retire, a decision he's already considered earlier in his career.
- The Diamondbacks are looking at Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Danny Hultzen with the third pick in this June's amateur draft, says Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Sources on other teams think this trio will be the first three players taken in the draft, though perhaps not in that order. Arizona also has the seventh overall pick, and Piecoro notes that the D-Backs' priority with that pick is to draft a player they can sign. Vanderbilt's Sonny Grey and high schoolers Dylan Bundy and Taylor Guerrieri are some of the players Piecoro hears connected with this pick.
- Doug Davis held another workout today, tweets Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus. Five or six teams were present, down from the eight clubs that watched Davis throw two weeks ago.
The Pirates optioned Daniel McCutchen to Triple-A and reassigned Sean Gallagher, Tyler Yates, Wyatt Toregas and Josh Fields to minor league camp today. Here are more updates on the Pirates from Florida...
- Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hears that the Pirates will not release Ryan Doumit if they can't work out a trade (Twitter link). Though Doumit will earn $5.1MM this year, the Pirates like his bat.
- GM Neal Huntington told Pat Lackey of Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke that the Pirates haven't focused on pitching in recent drafts, even though it might appear that way. The Pirates have just been selecting the players at the top of their draft board, according to Huntington. Pittsburgh picks first overall in 2011.
- In a separate post, Lackey points out that John Bowker's strong spring has likely assured that Rule 5 selection Josh Rodriguez will be returned to the Indians.
- Huntington told reporters this morning that the goal for McCutchen at the Major League level would be for him to pitch multiple innings as a reliever. The right-hander may return to the Triple-A rotation.
Among San Diego's 20 NRIs is a small handful of players with big-league experience and a decent chance of making the 25-man roster at the end of Spring Training. Here's a quick look at some of those guys:
- Kevin Frandsen has spent parts of five seasons with the Giants and Angels, and he has a "good shot" of catching on with the Padres as a utility man, according to Brock. The 28-year-old plays multiple positions and would earn a salary of $575,000.
- Guillermo Quiroz could challenge Rob Johnson for the backup catching job, notes Brock. Quiroz, 29, has played for four teams (Rangers, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles) in parts of seven seasons.
- Gregorio Petit spent parts of two seasons with the A's as a utility infielder in 2008-09. The 26-year-old spent the entirety of 2010 with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.
- Bullpen hopefuls Luis Perdomo and Scott Munter each have Major League experience. Perdomo made 35 appearances with San Diego in 2009 but only one last season, and Munter was with the Giants for parts of three seasons.
The Pirates, meanwhile, have a slightly more interesting cast of notable names:
- Garrett Atkins, Jeff Clement, Josh Fields and Andy Marte form a quartet of one-time blue-chip prospects. Atkins, in particular, was an above-average player for the Rockies in 2006-07, but he declined quickly in the following years. Clement, a former catcher, was a No. 3 overall pick of the Mariners in 2005, and Fields and Marte were raw-power corner-infield prospects coming up with the White Sox and Braves/Indians, respectively.
- On the pitching side, Tyler Yates has a 8.1 K/9 for his career but did not pitch in the bigs in 2010. Donald Veal, selected by the Bucs from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft prior to the 2009 season, is a hard-throwing but wild lefty. Brian Burres has started 54 games in his five-year career with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates. Sean Gallagher was dealt from the Cubs to the A's in the deal that sent Rich Harden to Chicago, and has appeared in 91 games. Fernando Nieve has appeared in 99 games (19 starts) with the Astros and Mets in parts of four seasons.
The Pirates designated righty Joe Martinez for assignment to open a spot for Kevin Correia, tweets MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. She adds that they also announced non-roster spring training invites for Tyler Yates, Jeff Clement, Rudy Owens, and Justin Wilson.
Martinez, 28 in February, was acquired by the Pirates from the Giants along with John Bowker in the trade deadline deal for Javier Lopez. He posted a 3.94 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and 1.0 HR/9 in 109 2/3 Triple-A innings this year. Baseball America ranked him 30th among Giants prospects heading into the '09 season. They called him "a groundball machine" with a "sinking 86-88 mph fastball, a true curveball and a plus changeup consistently down in the strike zone."
Rounding up today's minor signings:
- The Blue Jays signed Brian Stokes, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). The 31-year-old struggled through 16 2/3 innigns for the Angels last year, but was useful for the Mets from 2008-09 before they sent him to L.A. for Gary Matthews Jr..
- The A's signed right-hander Jonathan Ortiz, who combined a sinker and an above-average changeup to post 11.8 K/9 in the Yankees system this year, according to Eddy (all links go to Twitter).
- The Tigers signed shortstop Argenis Diaz, who was non-tendered by the Pirates despite his strong glovework.
- The Angels signed Ryan Braun - not the Brewers slugger, but the 30-year-old right-hander who posted a 2.20 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 57 1/3 innings at Triple-A Charlotte last year. He last pitched in the majors for the 2007 Royals.
- The Twins signed Matt Brown, a former Angel who should provide corner infield depth.
- The Pirates re-signed Tyler Yates, who missed last season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.
- Brian Barton, who hit 19 homers and stole 18 bases in the Atlantic League this year, signed with the Reds, according to Eddy (on Twitter).
- The Cubs signed lefty Polin Trinidad, who posted a 4.81 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 149 2/3 innings in the upper minor for the Astros last year (Twitter link).
- The Brewers signed Edwin Maysonet and Shawn Riggans to minor league deals and invited them to Spring Training, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (on Twitter). Maysonet, 29, appeared in 46 games as a backup infielder for the Astros in 2008-09 and hit .248/.308/.329 in 356 minor league plate apperances last year. Riggans, who spent parts of four seasons with the Rays, barely played in 2010.
- The Twins inked lefty Chuck James, tweets Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus. The 29-year-old former Brave had rotator cuff surgery in September of 2008.
- The Nationals announced seven signings, including previously unreported contracts for Ryan Mattheus, Michael Aubrey, and Brian Bixler. Mattheus, a 27-year-old right-handed reliever, was acquired by the Nats at the '09 trade deadline in the Joe Beimel deal, the same month he had Tommy John surgery. His is a Major League deal. Aubrey, drafted 11th overall by the Indians in 2003, hit .235/.310/.495 at Triple-A this year. Bixler, a defensive-minded utility infielder, was acquired by Washington from the Pirates in August.
The Pirates agreed to terms on minor league contracts with pitchers Brian Burres, Neal Cotts, and Tyler Yates today, according to a team press release.
Burres, 29 in April, spent the season with the Blue Jays' Triple A affiliate after being claimed off waivers from Baltimore in February. He posted a 7.0 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, and seemingly-undeserved 4.76 ERA in 107.6 innings.
Cotts, 30 in March, had Tommy John surgery in July and was non-tendered by the Cubs after the season. Yates, 32, also had Tommy John surgery in July and was outrighted by the Bucs in October.
Dejan Kovacevic has a new column up focusing on a number of Pirates topics:
- After liking what they've found in Rule 5 Draft picks Evan Meek and Donnie Veal, the Pirates are actively scouting available players and have identified some potential targets to use their #2 pick on in this year's Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 10. Meek posted a 3.45 ERA out of the 'pen for the Buccos in 2009. And, while Kovacevic points out that Veal's numbers this season were ugly, he recently dominated the Arizona Fall League. Veal posted a 2.14 ERA through 21 innings, allowing only a .221 opponent average, striking out 22 and walking seven.
- Last offseason, the Pirates locked up Ryan Doumit, Nate McLouth, and Paul Maholm, but Kovacevic says not to expect any long-term deals this time around. That includes Zach Duke, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.
- Tyler Yates, who underwent Tommy John surgery back in July, is back to playing pain-free long-toss and is discussing a minor league deal to keep him in the Pirates organization.
TUESDAY: Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the team is in dialogue with Yates in hopes of retaining him.
MONDAY: Tyler Yates elected free agency after being outrighted by the Pirates, according to a team press release. Yates had Tommy John surgery in July, and outrighting him now takes him off the 40-man roster earlier than non-tendering him in December. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote in July that "the Pirates' tentative plan for Yates is to offer him a minor league contract for 2010." The press release notes that the Pirates' 40-man roster is at 38, with Evan Meek and Jose Ascanio still on the 60-day DL.
Yates, 32, tossed 73.3 innings last year with a 4.66 ERA. At 5.0 per nine innings, walks were a problem. The Bucs acquired Yates from the Braves in March of '08 for Todd Redmond.
- Kovacevic says the Pirates "do not plan to pursue a starting pitcher through free agency or trade this offseason." The Bucs figure to enter Spring Training next year with four rotation spots decided and many options for the last spot.
- As hot stove junkies, we love when GMs are revealing about offseason plans and payroll space. However, it's often not in the best interest of the team for the GM to disclose that information. With that in mind, Huntington is staying mum on free agent targets and the team's 2010 payroll.
- Pirates president Frank Coonelly admitted next year's payroll will exceed the current $28MM projection, but wouldn't provide more detail. Coonelly added, "This is a relatively weak free-agent class. Nevertheless, there are several players who would be of interest to us if they become free agents." A few weeks ago, Kovacevic suggested Rick Ankiel and John Grabow are possible free agent targets for the Pirates.
- The Pirates fell below their draft and international budgets this year, and Coonelly says that money will roll over to the corresponding budgets in 2010.
- Huntington and manager John Russell are signed through next year. Coonelly expects both to remain with the team beyond 2010.
- In a Pirates 2010 outlook for MLB.com, Jenifer Langosch names Denny Bautista and Tyler Yates as non-tender candidates.
Some links to read through this afternoon...
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick says the Nats "absolutely, positively must sign" Stephen Strasburg this summer. The Strasburg saga is just one of Crasnick's nine stories to watch in the second half.
- Stan McNeal of the Sporting News says a fringe prospect should be enough for the O's to ship Aubrey Huff and his $8MM salary away.
- Pedro Martinez said he was pitching hurt with the Mets, but feels better now, according to the AP (via ESPN).
- Benjamin Kabak of River Ave. Blues says the Yankees would have to be prepared to give up a painful amount in a possible Roy Halladay deal.
- Pirates reliever Tyler Yates had Tommy John surgery, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Check out my thoughts on the market for outfielders this offseason at NESN.com. Evans Clinchy of NESN.com believes it's now time for the Red Sox to lock Jason Bay up.