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Xavier Cedeno Rumors
12:31pm: The Rays have moved John Jaso to the 60-day disabled list in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Cedeno, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Because Cedeno won’t join the team for a couple of days, there will be no 25-man move to accommodate him just yet, Topkin adds.
Cedeno, who was designated for assignment by the Nationals and quickly acquired by the Dodgers, found himself again DFA’ed in Los Angeles after the team selected the contract of Sergio Santos. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman had stated after acquiring Cedeno that he expected the southpaw to be added to the active roster, but Cedeno never appeared in a game with the Dodgers.
For the Rays, Cedeno will give them a desperately needed left-handed relief option. Tampa has lost Jeff Beliveau for the season after the southpaw tore the labrum in his left shoulder, necessitating surgery. Fellow left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser recently hit the disabled list as well, leaving the Rays even more thin in terms of lefty relief.
The 28-year-old Cedeno has a relatively limited Major League track record, but he did post a 3.77 ERA with 10.5 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9 in 31 innings for the 2012 Astros. Since then, he’s been limited to just 22 1/3 big league innings, tallying a 5.64 ERA along the way. Cedeno comes with an outstanding Triple-A track record, having totaled a 2.83 ERA with 10.9 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 127 1/3 innings at that level.
In yet another round of reliever roulette, the Dodgers have designated the just-acquired Xavier Cedeno for assignment. The club selected the contract of veteran righty Sergio Santos, necessitating the move.
Cedeno, a southpaw, was just added in a deal with the Nationals, who had designated him. Like Ryan Dennick and Daniel Corcino before him, Cedeno was added to the roster only long enough to be designated off of it, presumably with intentions of seeking outright waivers to facilitate a stashing in Triple-A.
Santos had an opt-out clause that was due May 1, so it was a use him or lose him situation for L.A. The 31-year-old has had a roller coaster of a career to this point, flashing plenty of talent while struggling with a variety of arm ailments. In 4 2/3 innings at Triple-A this year, he has allowed two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out eight opposing batters.
The Dodgers made a big splash last month with two successive signings of Cuban free agents: infielder Hector Olivera ($62.5MM) and righty Pablo Fernandez ($8MM). But as J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group reports, both players still have yet to receive their visas — and, as a result, have not undergone physicals. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman explained that the club could have elected to perform physicals in the Dominican Republic, where Olivera and Fernandez are both residing. But the Dodgers prefer to wait to allow team doctors a personal inspection. All said, it does not appear that there is any reason to doubt that the agreed-upon terms will ultimately be formalized. In the case of Olivera, however, questions about elbow health were an issue that was reportedly addressed in the contract itself, and his past medical difficulties (along with the significant guarantee) raise the stakes of the physical.
- Meanwhile, the Dodgers have managed to pull together quite a productive bullpen this year at rather a low cost, as Dave Cameron explains in a piece for FOX Sports. The club has continued to tinker with that unit, claiming and designating a pair of arms and then dealing for Xavier Cedeno earlier today. Friedman explains that the club is building depth and expects to add Cedeno to the active roster (via Hoornstra’s Tout feed).
- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio says that he is “not looking at the manager or the general manager right now” as the club looks to turn around an awful start, as MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports. Attanasio placed the blame on the fact that many of the club’s players are not matching their career standards. He also defended the organization’s decision to keep its core together and try to compete in 2015, saying that it performed “a huge amount of analysis” in making that call.
- If the Marlins do make a change at manager, Mets Triple-A skipper Wally Backman is not a candidate, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Miami owner Jeffrey Loria is “actively reviewing” the situation of Mike Redmond as the team tries to shake off a rusty start. Over at Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan argues that, though the club’s awful opening is obviously disappointing, the expectations never should have been very high at the start of 2015.
This move caps an eyebrow-raising series of moves out of Los Angeles. The club has claimed and designated both Corcino and his former Reds teammate Ryan Dennick in short order. It could be that the club is looking for an opportunity to add some depth to the upper minors by trying to outright the arms it has claimed.
Corcino, 24, will of course first have a chance to be acquired by another organization. He saw his first MLB action last year, working to a 4.34 ERA in just 18 2/3 innings. In 134 career frames at the minor league level, Corcino owns a 5.91 ERA with 6.4 K/9 against 5.2 BB/9.
The Dodgers have acquired left-hander Xavier Cedeno from the Nationals in exchange for cash, Washington announced. Cedeno, 28, broke camp with the Nationals but did not last long after giving up two earned runs in three innings of work.
His most extensive work came in 2012 with the Astros, when he tossed 31 innings of 3.77 ERA ball while striking out 10.5 and walking 4.1 batters per nine. Since then, Cedeno has logged 22 1/3 frames with a 5.64 ERA, and has seen his strikeout rate drop to 7.3 K/9.
Cedeno is the latest in a series of DFA’ed arms that the Dodgers have added. The others were in turn designated before seeing action. If Cedeno makes it into the bullpen mix, he will join fellow southpaws J.P. Howell and Paco Rodriguez.
Cedeno earned a spot on the team out of camp when fellow southpaw Jerry Blevins was surprisingly dealt away late this spring. The 28-year-old has made five appearances already in 2015, allowing two earned runs over three innings while striking out four and walking two batters. He has filled some temporary pen shortages over the last two years in D.C., but was out of options this season and so had to be added to the active roster heading out of camp. That seemed unlikely until the team traded Blevins.
Righty Rafael Martin will take his place on the active roster for the time being. Martin, 30, is a veteran minor leaguer who has yet to see any MLB action. The Nationals signed Martin out of the Mexican League in 2010, before his age-26 season, and he has bounced up and down the system since. He turned a corner in the upper minors last year, when he worked to a 1.39 ERA over 58 1/3 innings with 10.2 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9. He was particularly nasty in 33 2/3 Triple-A frames, allowing just three earned runs and striking out more batters (42) than he allowed on base (27) by hit or walk.
Of course, the move will leave the Nats’ pen with just one lefty, Matt Thornton. The team does have veteran Rich Hill and well-regarded youngster Matt Grace available at Triple-A, however, and apparently feels comfortable with those options.
The Cubs‘ impending decision about whether to have Kris Bryant start the season in the minors has players around baseball talking about service-time rules, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune writes in a story that collects responses to Bryant’s situation from players from several teams. “Hey, we have a chance to make a lot of money in this game, but the rules are the rules,” says Yankees reliever Andrew Miller. “If that works in the Cubs favor, and the Cubs are a better team for that, they’re entitled to (use the rule to their favor). We negotiated that. It’s the reality of what our collective bargaining agreement says.” Here’s more from the National League.
- Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia will miss his start due to a shoulder issue, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Garcia likely will not be in the team’s Opening Day rotation. Garcia had impressed the team in camp and might well have made the Cardinals’ rotation, particularly since having him start rather than Marco Gonzales or Carlos Martinez would have been the best way for the Cards to protect their assets — they could have easily just optioned Gonzales to the minors, put Martinez in the bullpen and kept all three pitchers. Instead, it’s yet another injury for Garcia, who’s dealt with plenty of them in the past few seasons. There is, however, reason to hope it won’t be serious — GM John Mozeliak (via Langosch on Twitter) characterizes the injury as fatigue and the missed start as “more of a pause than anything.”
- Pitcher Carlos Villanueva, who’s on a minor-league deal with the Cardinals, can opt out of that deal Monday, Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch notes (via Twitter). Villanueva has gotten fairly good results in camp and has a track record of providing solid performances in a swingman role, so the Cardinals could try to find space for him on their roster.
- Intentionally or not, the Nationals, who have lefty relievers available, gave the lefty-starved Mets a look at Jerry Blevins Saturday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. (Blevins struck out Curtis Granderson but gave up a triple to Lucas Duda.) The Nationals have Blevins, along with Xavier Cedeno and Matt Thornton, and all are out of options, so they could end up trading one.
Scouts have identified Cardinals left-hander Sam Freeman and Nationals left-hander Xavier Cedeno as logical trade candidates for the Mets, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com writes. Both relievers are out of options and unlikely to make their clubs’ Opening Day rosters, though Rubin stresses that the Mets’ level of interest in either player is unknown. The Mets could be on the lookout for a lefty reliever in the wake of Josh Edgin‘s decision to undergo Tommy John surgery. Here’s more on the Mets and other news out of the NL East..
- The Mets don’t see Phil Coke as someone who can help them, Marc Carig of Newsday tweets. That has been their internal evaluation for some time and that has not changed in the wake of Edgin’s injury. Coke signed a minor league deal with the Cubs earlier this month and apparently chose that opportunity over at least one MLB offer.
- Veteran Wandy Rodriguez has pitched effectively enough to position himself for one of the two vacant spots in the Braves‘ rotation, but the team will still have to decide whether its worth taking a $2MM gamble on a pitcher who has made just 18 starts over the last two years, Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes. The left-hander inked a minor league deal with Atlanta after failing a physical with the Phillies.
- The Mets have four lefty options in camp in Sean Gilmartin, Dario Alvarez, Jack Leathersich and Scott Rice, but none have shined thus far, as Matt Ehalt of The Bergen Record writes.
- Meanwhile, the Mets will be keeping their fingers crossed when it comes to starter Zack Wheeler as they’re sending his MRI results to team medical director Dr. David Altchek, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com tweets. The Mets, meanwhile, are still saying they’re not concerned about Wheeler’s long-term situation.
Mets starter Zack Wheeler is experiencing elbow discomfort due to tendinitis, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Wheeler has dealt with similar discomfort throughout his career, and the pain increased during last season. At no point did it require an injection, but the club has used “anti-inflammatories and other treatments” in the past. For now, Wheeler will rest to see how it responds. Should it progress to a more serious level, the club could turn to Dillon Gee, Noah Syndergaard, or a number of other pitching prospects.
- With left-handed reliever Josh Edgin headed to the disabled list, the Mets are keeping tabs on the lefty relief market, writes Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Two early trade candidates are Cardinals southpaw Sam Freeman and Nationals lefty Xavier Cedeno. Both pitchers are out of options and unlikely to make their respective clubs. A scout also floated the idea of Nationals lefty Jerry Blevins. He’s owed $2.4MM, which may exceed what the club is looking to spend. Internal options include Scott Rice, Sean Gilmartin, Dario Alvarez, and Jack Leathersich.
- Mets outfielder Cesar Puello appears to be in the same situation as Freeman and Cedeno, writes Rubin. Puello is out of options, and he’s either sixth or seventh on the outfield depth chart. If Puello doesn’t make the club, he’ll be exposed to waivers. Last year in Triple-A, the soon-to-be 24-year-old hit .252/.355/.393 with seven home runs and 13 stolen bases.
The Nationals claimed lefty reliever Xavier Cedeno off waivers from the Astros, according to a tweet from the team. They've optioned him to Triple-A Syracuse. Cedeno had been designated for assignment by the Astros on Thursday. He nearly made it through unclaimed, as the Nationals were the last team in the waiver order.
Cedeno, 26, was scored upon in four of his five appearances this year. In 2012, he posted a 3.77 ERA, 10.5 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 0.87 HR/9, and 50.0% groundball rate in 31 relief innings, tossing another 27 2/3 innings at Triple-A. A native of Puerto Rico, Cedeno was drafted by the Rockies in the 31st round in 2004. They released him in March 2010, and he signed with the Astros as a free agent in December of that year. Cedeno made seven appearances in the World Baseball Classic this year for Puerto Rico.
The Nationals only have one other left-handed reliever on their 40-man roster: Zach Duke.