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Vin Mazzaro Rumors
Mazzaro lost out on a spot in a deep Bucs bullpen despite posting a 2.81 ERA in 71 2/3 innings last year. It appears that fellow out-of-options relievers Bryan Morris, Stolmy Pimentel, and Jeanmar Gomez will fill out the back of the Pittsburgh relief corps.
With Spring Training's end drawing closer, the Pirates are shopping right fielder Jose Tabata and also willing to listen to offers on out-of-options reliever Vin Mazzaro, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter links).
Tabata, still just 25 years of age, is owed $11.75MM over the next three seasons and has a trio of club options on his deal ranging from $6.5MM to $8.5MM. Tabata will earn $3MM in 2014, $4MM in 2015, $4.5MM in 2016 and has a $250K buyout on his $6.5MM option for 2017.
Coming off a poor 2012 performance, he reversed his fortunes in 2013 by slashing a solid .282/.342/.429, but Tabata already runs far less often than he did in his first two seasons (three steals in 2013 versus 35 in his first two campaigns) and hasn't seen much power develop. Beyond that, he's been injury prone, having spent a combined 77 games on the shelf between his 2011 and 2013 DL stints. Tabata plays a fine left field but is miscast as a center fielder and doesn't have a prototypical right fielder's arm.
Tabata's time as a starter with the organization is likely running out anyhow, a top prospect Gregory Polanco is nearly ready for the bigs. The 22-year-old ranks as baseball's No. 10 prospect according to Baseball America and is ranked 13th and 24th by MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus, respectively. Though he's already been optioned to Triple-A to open the season, Polanco is coming off a 2013 campaign in which he batted .285/.356/.434 with 12 homers and 38 stolen bases and could be with the Pirates as soon as this summer. Alongside, Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen, he could help give the Pirates one of the game's most exciting young outfields.
Mazzaro, 27, enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first season with Pittsburgh last year. The former A's hurler was dealt to the Royals in a trade for David DeJesus but entered 2013 with a career 5.22 ERA in 286 innings. The Pirates acquired him cheaply from Kansas City and were rewarded with 73 2/3 innings of a 2.81 ERA with 5.6 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a career-best 52.2 percent ground-ball rate.
Pittsburgh has a wealth of options in the bullpen, highlighted by All-Star closer Jason Grilli but also featuring Mark Melancon, Justin Wilson and Tony Watson. Biertempfel notes that Mazzaro appears to be the odd man out, and the team is therefore willing to move him, but his phrasing doesn't seem to be as strong regarding Mazzaro as it is in expressing Tabata's availability. Last night, ESPN's Buster Olney speculated that the Pirates, who lost catcher Chris Stewart for an extended period of time, could match up with the Yankees in a trade; New York could use some additional stability in the bullpen, while Pittsburgh could add some depth behind the plate and seek a better defensive backup than Tony Sanchez.
We'll keep track of today's smaller deals to avoid arbitration in this post. Click here for background on the upcoming arbitration schedule and how MLBTR is covering it. You can also check in on our Arbitration Tracker and look at MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz's arbitration projections.
Today's noon CT deadline to exchange arb figures has passed, but negotiations to avoid an arbitration hearing can continue into February. The Braves are the only strict "file and trial" team that did not agree to terms with all of its arb-eligible players, meaning they could be headed for several hearings. The Nats and Indians have also shown a willingness to go to a trial and still have some players unsigned. On to today's contract agreements…
- After exchanging numbers, the Mets and pitcher Dillon Gee have agreed to settle at the midpoint of $3.625MM, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Swartz projected Gee to earn $3.4MM.
- The Cubs have avoided arbitration with reliever Pedro Strop, president Theo Epstein told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). He will earn $1.325MM next year, according to a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. It is not immediately apparent whether the deal was reached before the sides exchanged terms.
- The Angels have reached agreement on a $3.8MM deal with reliever Ernesto Frieri, reports Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (on Twitter).
- Mike Minor has agreed to terms on a $3.85MM deal with the Braves to avoid arbitration, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (Twitter links). The deal came before figures were exchanged, Bowman notes.
- Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the D-Backs and lefty Joe Thatcher have avoided arb with a one-year, $2.375MM deal (Twitter link).
- Nicholson-Smith tweets that the Angels and Fernando Salas reached an agreement to avoid arbitration. Salas is the first Halos player to avoid arb. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times tweets that Salas will earn $870K, which beats out his $700K projection.
- MLB.com's Jason Beck reports (via Twitter) that the Tigers and righty Al Alburquerque have reached agreement on a deal to avoid arb. The hard-throwing righty will earn $837.5K in 2014, tweets Beck.
- Sherman tweets that the Yankees and Ivan Nova avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.3MM deal.
- The Pirates and Vin Mazzaro inked a one-year, $950K deal in lieu of an arbitration hearing, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune.
- The Royals announced that they've avoided arbitration with infielder Emilio Bonifacio. Heyman tweets that Bonifacio will earn $3.5MM in 2014.
- Sherman reports that the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeremy Hellickson and Sean Rodriguez (Twitter link). Hellickson landed a $3.625MM payday with a $25K bonus if he hits 195 innings pitched. Rodriguez will get $1.475MM with a $25K bump for hitting 300 plate appearances.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that Brian Matusz avoided arb with the Orioles. Sherman adds that he'll earn $2.4MM in 2014.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that Jason Castro and the Astros have avoided arbitration. McTaggart adds in a second tweet that Jesus Guzman avoided arb as well. Heyman reports that Castro will be paid $2.45MM, while Sherman tweets that Guzman will make $1.3MM.
- The Indians tweeted that they've avoided arb with lefty Marc Rzepczynski, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that he'll earn $1.375MM in 2014. Bastian adds that Scrabble will earn an additional $25K for appearing in 55 games and another $25K for 60 games.
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Yusmeiro Petit, according to MLBTR's Steve Adams (on Twitter). He'll earn $845K, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith (via Twitter).
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The Pirates announced that they acquired right-hander Vin Mazzaro and first baseman Clint Robinson from the Royals for minor league pitchers Luis Rico and Luis Santos. The Pirates designated Yamaico Navarro and Matt Hague for assignment in a related move.
Mazzaro and Robinson had been designated for assignment on November 20th. Mazzaro, 26, posted a 5.73 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 44 innings with the Royals this past season. Robinson made his MLB debut in 2012, but spent most of the year at Triple-A, where he posted a .292/.393/.452 batting line in 570 plate appearances.
Rico, a 19-year-old left-hander, has a 5.29 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 5.8 BB/9 in 20 appearances as a professional. Santos, a 21-year-old right-hander, has a 2.51 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 24 minor league appearances.
Navarro, 25, appeared in 29 games for the Pirates this past season, posting a .160/.232/.220 batting line as a utility player. Hague, 27, appeared in 30 games for the Pirates, posting a .229/.270/.257 batting line in 74 plate appearances and playing first base.
The Royals announced that they designated seven players for assignment to create 40-man roster space for players who would otherwise have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft. The Royals designated right-handers Vin Mazzaro and Chris Volstad, left-hander Ryan Verdugo, catcher Brayan Pena, infielder Clint Robinson and outfielder Derrick Robinson for assignment.
The Royals, who are also designating catcher Adam Moore for assignment, now have a full 40-man roster. They selected the contracts of left-handers Chris Dwyer, Donnie Joseph, John Lamb, Justin Marks and Mike Montgomery, and right-hander J.C. Gutierrez in related moves.
The move could amount to an early non-tender for two players. Pena was on track for a salary in the $1.1MM range as a third time arbitration eligible player. Meanwhile, Volstad projected to earn $3MM as a second time eligible player.
- The Royals optioned Vin Mazzaro to Triple-A and returned Louis Coleman, Luis Mendoza and Zach Miner, Irving Falu and Lance Zawadzki to minor league camp, according to the team. Mazzaro should join the Royals in the middle of April when the club needs another starter.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press that the organization has never been stronger during his nine-year tenure in the Motor City. “We have now a nice blend of young players at the big-league level, veteran players and some guys in the prime of their career,” Dombrowski said. “And they’re backed up by some guys behind them that are prospects that are talented."
- Adam Everett told Jordan Bastian and Tom Singer of MLB.com that he would have been ready to contemplate retirement if he hadn't made the Indians' Opening Day roster.
The A’s acquired David DeJesus from the Royals for right-hander Vin Mazzaro and left-hander Justin Marks, the teams announced today. Royals GM Dayton Moore says Mazzaro will join the team’s rotation and Marks will start the season at high Class A Wilmington.
Mazzaro, 24, posted a 4.27 ERA in 122 1/3 innings for the A's this year with 5.8 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9. He became expendable when Oakland won the bidding for Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma earlier in the week. If the A's reach a deal with Iwakuma, he'll join Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden in the team's rotation.
DeJesus batted .318/.384/.443 in 394 plate appearances this year, but he missed the final two months of the season because he required surgery on his right thumb. The 30-year-old, who has spent all of his eight-year career with the Royals, has experience in left, center and right. He joins Rajai Davis, Coco Crisp, Ryan Sweeney, Conor Jackson and Jack Cust in a crowded Oakland outfield that could clear up if Jackson and Cust are traded or non-tendered.
Marks, 22, posted a 4.87 ERA as a starter in the lower minors in 2010. The 2009 third rounder posted 9.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 as he picked up his first significant experience as a pro.
DeJesus will earn $6MM in 2011 and qualify for free agency after the season. Mazzaro may qualify for arbitration as a Super Two next winter, but he cheap for now and won't hit free agency until after the 2015 campaign.
Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse hears that Arizona’s payroll will sit between $50-60MM next year. The Diamondbacks started the season with a $75MM payroll, but shed considerable salary with a flurry of midseason trades. They now have just shy of $20MM committed to the 2011 team (not including potential free agents or arbitration-eligible players). Here’s the latest on the Diamondbacks:
- Krasovic hears that the D’Backs considered offering Mark Reynolds to the A’s for Kevin Kouzmanoff and Vin Mazzaro before Kevin Towers took over as the team’s GM.
- The club also talked to the Tigers about exchanging Rick Porcello for Stephen Drew earlier in the summer, but Detroit wasn’t interested.
- Krasovic wouldn’t be surprised to see the Diamondbacks sell high on Kelly Johnson, who is heading into his final season of arbitration.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has his latest Full Count video up, so let's dive in:
- Mets assistant general manager John Ricco won't replace Omar Minaya as general manager if Minaya is removed from the position. The Mets feel that Ricco is not yet ready for that role.
- Padres owner Jeff Moorad told Rosenthal concretely that the Padres will not trade Adrian Gonzalez this winter. He could, of course, still be moved during the season if things don't go well for San Diego.
- The Pads would be willing to give Gonzalez a three-year deal beyond 2011, but the slugger can certainly do better than that on the free agent market. The Padres won't be able to stay in talks if Gonzalez pursues a deal similar to Mark Teixeira's eight-year, $180MM deal.
- The Tigers will have the money to pursue one or more of the market's top free agents, such as Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn, and Jayson Werth. They can also afford to take on a great deal of salary in trades should they choose to go down that road.
- The A's still don't know if they'll end up in San Jose, which makes their financial future difficult to predict.
- Oakland's difficulty in luring free agent position players leads Rosenthal to suggest a trade of Vin Mazzaro in order to acquire the talent they're seeking.
We’ll kick it off with a few links today and add more bullets periodically.
- Cole Hamels feels that he handled his contract renewal last year immaturely.
- Over at The Hardball Times, Geoff Young looks at the best compensation picks of the 20th century.
- Geoff Blum‘s ’09 option vests with one more plate appearance.
- Bronson Arroyo has a plan to make the Reds competitive.
- Matthew Cerrone explains Carlos Delgado‘s ’09 option.
- Jeff Passan on the Cardinals’ brilliant signing of Ryan Ludwick.
- Baseball Prospectus profiles #26-50 on their list of players to build a team around.
- Twins reliever Brian Bass accepted a Triple A assignment, so he won’t become a free agent.
- MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo takes a preliminary look at the ’09 draft order.
- Jamey Newberg wonders if the Rangers could pry Scott Kazmir loose this winter. It’s hard to see the Rays trading him.
- Susan Slusser expects the A’s to add an impact bat this winter, but free agent DHs Frank Thomas and Mike Sweeney will probably be let go. In a related note, ESPN’s Buster Olney says the A’s had a chance earlier this year to acquire Jason Bay for a package including pitching prospect Vin Mazzaro.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Bronson Arroyo | Carlos Delgado | Cincinnati Reds | Cole Hamels | Frank Thomas | Geoff Blum | Houston Astros | Jason Bay | Mike Sweeney | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Scott Kazmir | St. Louis Cardinals | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Vin Mazzaro