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Xavier Nady Rumors
10:15pm: Nady actually exercised an opt-out clause in his deal with the Mariners, reports Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto (on Twitter).
Nady began the season with the Padres after inking a minor league deal in the offseason and surprising many by making the club’s Opening Day roster. However, while the former second-rounder showed some pop with the Friars, he batted just .135/.238/.405 overall in 42 trips to the plate before being released.
Nady was designated for assignment and eventually outrighted, after which he elected free agency rather than heading to the minors for the Padres. He quickly latched on in Seattle and was assigned to Tacoma. In 98 plate appearances with the Rainiers, the Scott Boras client batted .236/.296/.337 with a pair of homers and three doubles. While those numbers don’t inspire much courage, Nady did hit well against Triple-A pitching in 2013, batting a strong .296/.360/.456 with 15 homers in 495 PA between the Triple-A affiliates for the Rockies and Royals.
The Mariners have agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Xavier Nady, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The sides were said to be in discussion on a minor league deal, according to an earlier report from Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune.
As Dutton explains, Nady will likely join the club’s Triple-A affiliate in hopes of earning a call-up. Should that occur, he would offer an outfield option to slot in against opposing southpaws for a club that has struggled in that department. (Seattle’s outfielders have mustered only a .273 wOBA and 70 wRC+ against lefties, as a unit.)
Though Nady is obviously past his prime, he does carry a career 112 wRC+ against opposite-handed hitters (against a 93 wRC+ against righties). He has continued that trend both in recent major league action and in his solid Triple-A campaign last year, when he put up a .879 OPS in 135 plate appearances against lefties.
The Mariners are close to reaching agreement on a minor league deal with veteran utilityman Xavier Nady, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. Nady, 35, recently declined an outright assignment with the Padres.
Nady will head to Triple-A for a virtual tryout, Dutton explains, with a call-up likely if he impresses at Tacoma. The Mariners outfield mix is rather lefty-heavy at the moment, with Cole Gillespie (.580 OPS) and Stefen Romero (.566 OPS) providing minimal production from the right side of the plate.
Since his last season as a big league regular in 2008, Nady has managed only a .234/.287/.353 slash over 807 plate appearances. But he was solid at Triple-A last year, putting up a .296/.360/.456 line and 15 home runs in 495 trips to the plate for the Royals and Rockies organizations. Nady carried some of that regained pop forward to 2014, hitting three long balls in 42 plate appearances with the Padres this year, though he slashed just .135/.238/.405 in that stretch.
Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez could be headed to the disabled list with elbow inflammation, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest tweets. That’s another potential blow to a Rangers team that has struggled to keep its starters healthy. The Rangers’ rotation currently includes Yu Darvish, Robbie Ross, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis along with Perez. Three other potential starters, Derek Holland, Joe Saunders and Tanner Scheppers, are on the DL. Here are more notes from the AL West.
- Randy Wolf and the Mariners had a falling-out this spring over Wolf’s refusal to sign a 45-day advanced-consent relief form that would have allowed the Mariners to cut Wolf within the first six weeks of the season without paying his full year’s salary. Chris Young signed one, though, and he appears to have none of the issues Wolf did, MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby reports. “A club can release you at any point,” Young says. “That just protects them financially if you don’t perform. … I was confident I’d be successful. You can’t [go in preparing] for the worst.” Young has posted a 2.63 ERA in 37 2/3 innings so far with the Mariners, although with only 4.3 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9.
- The Padres recently designated outfielder Xavier Nady for assignment, and he just elected to become a free agent. The Mariners could be interested in him, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News-Tribune tweets. The 35-year-old appeared in 22 games for San Diego, his first big-league stint since 2012. He played at the Triple-A level in 2013, hitting .296/.360/.456 in 495 plate appearances divided between Omaha and Colorado Springs.
Xavier Nady refused his outright assignment and has elected free agency, a source tells Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (on Twitter). Nady was designated for assignment to clear room for Kyle Blanks before being outrighted on Thursday. MLB.com’s Corey Brock tweeted over the weekend that it was a virtual certainty that Nady would turn down his assignment and hit the open market.
Nady, 35, belted three homers in 42 plate appearances for the Padres but also batted just .135 with a .238 on-base percentage in 2014. This season marked his first big league action since 2012 as well as a return to the organization that originally selected him in the second round of the 2000 draft. Now, he’ll move on in search of his next big league opportunity.
Nady is represented by Scott Boras, as shown in the MLBTR Agency Database.
We learned recently that the Pirates had offered a seven-year contract extension to outfield prospect Gregory Polanco, who has of course yet to take the major league field. The extension tender was particularly interesting because of the contrast between Polanco’s situation and that of players like the Astros‘ George Springer, whose similar extension offer came from a non-contender (and who has since been promoted), and Oscar Taveras of the Cardinals, who does not have an obvious spot at the MLB level. Those looking for more thoughts on this situation have a few pieces to check out. In a piece for Grantland, Ben Lindbergh breaks down the overall promotion picture, explaining that several organizations employ quite a different philosophy than strict service time controllers like the Bucs and Rays — and noting that there are very real risks to holding down talent. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that the Pirates are now in a tough spot, given their desire to save money but equally obvious team need for Polanco. Meanwhile, over at Fangraphs, Dave Cameron writes that the discount demanded by the team on Polanco’s reasonably anticipated earnings was just too great, and opines that Pittsburgh should be willing to up its guarantee by $10MM to $15MM.
Here’s more from the National League:
- It is virtually certain that outrighted veteran Xavier Nady will decline his assignment and become a free agent, reports MLB.com’s Corey Brock (via Twitter). The 35-year-old veteran stands at a .135/.238/.405 triple-slash in 42 plate appearances on the season. He did put up a quality .296/.360/.456 line in 495 trips to the plate at the Triple-A level last year.
- The Mets have a detailed plan in the works regarding highly-rated pitching prospect Rafael Montero, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. With an innings limit in play, New York hopes to work Montero as a reliever (first at Triple-A, then in the bigs) before sending him back to the minors to stretch back out and join the MLB rotation later on in the season.
- The first three picks of the amateur draft appear fairly set (at least at this point), which could make the Cubs (who hold the fourth overall choice) the first true wild card. With Tommy John victim Jeff Hoffman now likely out of play, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune says that possibilities include prep arm Kyle Freeland, TCU lefty Brandon Finnegan, or high school catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson.
The Padres announced that they have designated right-hander Hector Ambriz for assignment and recalled fellow right-hander Kevin Quackenbush from Triple-A El Paso (Twitter link). Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (via Twitter) that in addition to that move, outfielder Xavier Nady has been outrighted to El Paso. Nady, was designated for assignment earlier in the week to clear room for Kyle Blanks, will have three days to accept or reject the assignment.
Ambriz was with the team for less than 24 hours, making one relief appearance and allowing an earned run on two hits and two walks with a strikeout in two innings of work. Ambriz was excellent in 16 2/3 innings at Triple-A this season, allowing just three earned runs and posting a 13-to-3 K/BB ratio in that time. Overall, in his big league career, the 29-year-old Ambriz has a 5.35 ERA in 106 innings between the Indians, Astros and Padres.
In a return to the team that originally drafted him, Nady batted .135/.238/.405 with three home runs in 42 plate appearances — his first taste of big league action since 2012.
The Padres announced (on Twitter) that they have designated outfielder Xavier Nady for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 25-man roster for Kyle Blanks, who will be recalled from Triple-A El Paso for tonight’s game.
Though the 35-year-old Nady belted three homers in 42 plate appearances for the Padres, he also batted just .135 with a .238 on-base percentage in 2014. This season marked his first big league action since 2012 as well as a return to the organization that originally selected him in the second round of the 2000 draft
Blanks, 27, has hit very well for El Paso this season, slashing .265/.364/.651 with nine home runs in 99 trips to the plate. The former top prospect has seen his share of big league experience but has never been able to replicate the strong production he posted in his 54-game debut as a 22-year-old back in 2009. Over the past four seasons in the Majors, Blanks has batted .223/.300/.375 with 18 homers in 624 plate appearances — a far cry from 2009’s .255/.355/.514 with 10 round-trippers in 172 PA.
The Padres could use all of the help they can get offensively, as the team has batted just .216/.268/.325 as a collective unit thus far, causing them to rank last in the Majors in nearly any measure of offensive output (e.g. runs scored, OPS, wOBA, OPS+ and wRC+).
Between now and Opening Day, several minor league signees will win jobs with their clubs and earn 40-man roster spots. Here are today's additions:
- The Angels have purchased the contract of infielder Ian Stewart, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The former top prospect, now 28, was brought in on a minor league contract in January.
- Ryan Rowland-Smith will make the Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster, GM Kevin Towers disclosed (via Steve Gilbert of MLB.com). Rowland-Smith was in camp on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010 but was excellent last year for Boston's Triple-A club.
- The Giants announced that right-hander J.C. Gutierrez and infielder Brandon Hicks have been chosen for the Opening Day roster. Hicks had been competing with rookie Ehire Adrianza for a backup infield job, but both have made the team.
- The Braves announced via press release that pitchers Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas have been added to the Opening Day roster.
- Reds manager Bryan Price announced that reliever Trevor Bell and outfielder Roger Bernadina have made the club's Opening Day roster, according to a tweet from the team's Triple-A affiliate. Bell hasn't pitched in the majors since 2011, but threw very well this spring in 8 2/3 innings.
- The Mets are set to add Omar Quintanilla to their Opening Day roster, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Quintanilla figures to serve as the back-up at short. He rejoined the club on a minor league deal after being non-tendered.
- Xavier Nady will break camp with the Padres, tweets AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, and thus will be added to the 40-man roster. The 35-year-old had a solid spring, and will fill in while Kyle Blanks and Cameron Maybin work back from injury.
- The Tigers have purchased the contract of Tyler Collins, the club announced. The 23-year-old, left-handed-hitting outfielder has not played above the Double-A level, but now grabs an Opening Day roster spot for a Detroit club that is without Andy Dirks to start the year. In 530 plate appearances at Double-A last year, Collins put up a .240/.323/.438 line with 21 home runs (and 122 strikeouts against 51 walks).
- The Rangers will add minor league free agent Daniel McCutchen to the roster, according to a tweet from his representatives at Sosnick Cobbe Sports. Texas will need to add the reliever to the 40-man roster in order to activate him.
- Yangervis Solarte will make the Yankees Opening Day roster, tweets Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Fellow utility infielder Eduardo Nunez, meanwhile, will be optioned to Triple-A to start the year. Solarte earned the position after a torrid spring.
- The Phillies have announced their Opening Day roster, which includes three players — Tony Gwynn Jr., Mario Hollands, and Jeff Manship — who must be added to the 40-man. Meanwhile, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been put on the 60-day DL to create roster space while infielder Reid Brignac and reliever Shawn Camp have been reassigned to Triple-A, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (Twitter links).
- The Athletics have selected the contract of infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima and optioned him to Triple-A, according to the MLB transactions page. After failing to see MLB action in the first year of his two-year, $6.5MM deal with Oakland, Nakajima was outrighted and ultimately re-signed to a minor league deal.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
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Top pitching prospect Julio Urias, just 17, will start the Dodgers' spring training game today against the Padres, the team has announced. Urias has never pitched above the Class A Midwest League, where the lefty posted a 2.48 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 54 1/3 innings last season. That in itself was an accomplishment, given that it was only Urias' age-16 season, and he was pitching in a full-season league. Baseball America's Prospect Handbook 2014 ranks Urias the Dodgers' third-best prospect, noting that he throws 91-96 MPH, has an advanced approach to pitching, and could make quick progress through the minors. The Dodgers will surely have him start the season in the bush leagues, but even starting a big-league spring training game is quick progress indeed for a 17-year-old. Here are more notes from the West divisions.
- The Mariners are still trying to re-sign DH Kendrys Morales, ESPN's Jim Bowden tweets. They still would like Morales to reduce his price, however. Morales, of course, is still a free agent because the qualifying offer has depressed his market. Bowden also tweets that Felix Hernandez has been in touch with Morales and says that Morales would like to return if the two sides' financial differences can be resolved.
- Veteran Xavier Nady is back with the Padres, the team that drafted him, as an NRI, and he's trying to enjoy all the baseball he has left, writes MLB.com's Corey Brock. "I'm thankful for every day to put this uniform on," says Nady. "I know it doesn't last forever, but it's sure been a lot of fun." Nady also looks back to the beginning of his career, when he signed with the Padres in 2000 as a second-round pick out of UC-Berkeley and was immediately promoted to the Majors, where he went 1-for-1 in his only big-league at-bat before heading to the minors for the first time the following season.