Wil Nieves Rumors

Wil Nieves Elects Free Agency

FRIDAY: Nieves has cleared waivers and rejected an assignment to the minors, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post.  Nieves is eligible for free agency on Saturday.

WEDNESDAY: The Rockies announced that they designated catcher Wil Nieves for assignment after reinstating him from the 15-day disabled list (Twitter link). Nieves appeared in 16 games for the Rockies this year, but has been sidelined since July 8th with turf toe. 

The 34-year-old posted a .298/.333/.404 batting line in 51 plate appearances this year. The nine-year MLB veteran has a career line of .226/.272/.296 that is likely more indicative of his abilities on offense.

Rockies Links: Guthrie, Scutaro, Betancourt, Nieves

The Rockies are one of the few teams in baseball who are firmly out of contention, and thus figure to be sellers as the trade deadline approaches.  Here's the latest on some of Colorado's top trade chips, courtesy of Troy Renck and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post…

  • Jeremy Guthrie's continued struggles are ruining the starter's trade value, writes Renck.  Guthrie has a 6.35 ERA in 19 games this season, including a whopping 9.50 ERA at Coors Field.  Renck suggests that the Rockies could limit Guthrie only to road starts in order to properly showcase him for any trade suitors.
  • Marco Scutaro has drawn interest from the Pirates and Rangers, reports Renck and Saunders, in addition to the Tigers' known interest in the veteran infielder.  Scutaro would be an upgrade over Clint Barmes at shortstop for the Pirates, and he would provide the Rangers with middle infield depth behind Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler.
  • The Braves and Red Sox have shown some interest in Rafael Betancourt.  We heard last month from ESPN's Buster Olney that the Rockies "would have to be overwhelmed" to deal Betancourt or Matt Belisle.
  • The Nationals have scouted Wil Nieves.  The catcher played for Washington from 2008-10 and has a .738 OPS in 51 plate appearances for Colorado after signing a minor league deal with the Rockies in December.  Nieves is on the DL with a turf toe injury.  The Nats also asked about Colorado's Ramon Hernandez as they continue to look for catching help.
  • Scouts say the Rockies want pitching back in any deal.

West Links: Dodgers, Rangers, A’s, Mariners, Pujols

Time for some links from baseball's two West divisions…

  • "I think so," said Dodgers GM Ned Colletti when asked if he was done with his free agent shopping, reports Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). They re-signed Mike MacDougal to a one-year deal today, the tenth free agent they've signed this winter.
  • The Rangers continue to have dialogue about long-term contract extensions with core players like Ian Kinsler and Derek Holland, reports Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. "Our general feeling is to try not to negotiate during the year, but we've made exceptions," said GM Jon Daniels.
  • Daniels also refused to comment about the Rangers' talks with Yu Darvish, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. "It's best for us to lay low," said the GM. "The less noise around that, the better."
  • Athletics GM Billy Beane told MLB.com's Jane Lee that he has some interest in a few free agent outfielders, and he's also exploring trade possibilities (Twitter link). Bullpen help is another possibility, says Joe Stiglich of The Bay Area News Group (on Twitter).
  • Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said they are "still keeping our ears open" regarding veteran starters even after signing Hisashi Iwakuma, reports Shannon Drayer of MyNorthwest.com (on Twitter).
  • ESPN's Buster Olney says (on Twitter) that the union calculated the value of Albert Pujols' contract with the Angels at $246,841,811. Ronald Blum of the AP has a breakdown of the perks in the contract, such as a suite on road trips.
  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post has the details of Wil Nieves' minor league contract with the Rockies (on Twitter). The backstop will earn $700K in the majors and $14K per month in the minors. He's also been invited to Spring Training.

Minor Moves: Wil Nieves

Let's keep track of today's minor league signings here…

  • The Rockies have signed catcher Wil Nieves to a minor league deal according to the MLB.com transactions page. The 34-year-old hit .140/.189/.180 in 54 plate appearances for the Brewers last season and is a .221/.268/.289 career hitter in 823 career plate appearances in the show.

NL East Notes: Marlins, Lowe, Nieves

The NL East looks much different than it did 24 hours ago. Carlos Beltran is out, Zack Wheeler is in and the Phillies and Braves will have to turn elsewhere in their respective searches for offense. Here are the details on the division…

  • The Marlins are asking for a lot in exchange for Leo Nunez and Randy Choate and Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez are off-limits at this point, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • It appears that the Braves will hold onto Derek Lowe, according to Heyman (on Twitter). 
  • The Brewers obtained $1 from the Braves for catcher Wil Nieves, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (on Twitter). That's right – one dollar. The Braves will pay Nieves' remaining salary while he plays for their Triple-A affiliate.

Braves Acquire Wil Nieves

The Braves acquired catcher Wil Nieves from the Brewers for cash considerations, tweets Brewer Nation.  The Braves placed backstop Brian McCann on the DL with an oblique injury earlier today.

Nieves, 33, was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville in June after hitting .140/.189/.180 in 54 plate appearances for the Brewers.

Outrighted: Toregas, Hughes, Pucetas, Nieves

Players who cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A:

Brewers Sign Wil Nieves

The Brewers officially added depth behind the plate today, signing catcher Wil Nieves to a non-guaranteed deal worth $775K. In addition to the base salary, Nieves can earn $45K in incentives.

The Nationals non-tendered Nieves last week, making him a free agent. Milwaukee has been looking for a backstop to pair with Jonathan Lucroy, though George Kottaras and Mike Rivera may also be in the mix.

Nieves, 33, has spent parts of seven seasons in the majors, posting a .227/.273/.297 line overall. He hit .203/.244/.310 in 172 plate appearances for the Nationals last year and threw out 24% of would-be base stealers, matching his career mark.  If the Brewers are thrilled with his performance, they can control Nieves for 2012 as an arbitration eligible player.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted the Brewers were close to a deal with Nieves, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported (on Twitter) that the sides had an agreement and MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reported the financial details (on Twitter).

Brewers Close To Signing Wil Nieves

The Brewers are close to signing Wil Nieves to a major league deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Nationals non-tendered the catcher last week, making him a free agent. Milwaukee has been looking for a veteran backstop to pair with Jonathan Lucroy.

Nieves, 33, has spent parts of seven seasons in the majors, posting a .227/.273/.297 line overall. He hit .203/.244/.310 in 172 plate appearances for the Nationals last year and threw out 24% of would-be base stealers, matching his career mark.

National League Non-Tenders

This post will list all the National League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.