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Yusmeiro Petit Rumors
There have been plenty of historic moments this season, but one under-the-radar chase of an MLB record came to a close today, as Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit set a new Major League record by retiring his 46th consecutive batter (video link). Petit’s 46 batters came over a span of eight appearances and included an impressive 26 strikeouts. The 29-year-old will make for an interesting arbitration case this offseason if he remains in the San Francisco rotation going forward, as he’s quietly strung together a pair of excellent seasons after pitching just 4 2/3 innings in the Majors from 2010-12.
Here’s more from the NL West…
- The man that Petit replaced in the Giants rotation, Tim Lincecum, is perhaps best suited to become a closer at this point in his career, writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs. Cameron notes that the move to the bullpen would likely restore some of Lincecum’s lost velocity, but more importantly, he points out the stark contrast between Lincecum’s numbers with the bases empty and with men on base. Because of his struggles pitching from the stretch, Lincecum wouldn’t be a great fit to be a middle reliever that would inherit runners. Rather, pitching the ninth inning would give him as many opportunities to begin an inning with a clean slate as possible, Cameron writes.
- Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall was a guest of Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM today (audio link), and the Arizona executive discussed the hiring of Tony La Russa: “Tony’s been terrific. I’ve really enjoyed being with him every day and he’s put a lot of work into this and he’s motivated and he’s so competitive it is fun to watch each and every day. But I think his assessment, his evaluation is very close to being complete.”
- Hall also discussed the future of GM Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson, telling Duquette and Ferrin that the organization was getting close to deciding on the future of each. “…when we make those decisions, the sooner the better. … It doesn’t make sense to go into the offseason, when we already have so many decisions to make with our player personnel, to still be wondering what we’re going to do in the front office. … So I think we’re getting close to the point of knowing what we’re going to want to do and act swiftly so that when the season does end we’re ready to go and get ready for 2015.”
- Speaking of Towers, the longtime GM participated in a Q&A with Steve Gilbert of MLB.com earlier this week and discussed his recent scouting trip of the team’s minor league system as well as his relationship with La Russa: “It’s nice to have a guy that’s been as successful in uniform around. … It’s nice to be able to pick his brain. I always wanted to pick his brain when he was in the other dugout with the Cardinals. Now when you have him on the same team, it’s very valuable.” Also of note is the fact that Towers said to Gilbert that it was unlikely that top prospect Archie Bradley would be receiving a September callup.
- Trevor Hoffman will be inducted into the Padres‘ Hall of Fame on Saturday, and to commemorate his historic career, MLB.com’s Corey Brock spoke to a number of catchers that had the privilege of catching the likely Hall of Famer. Brock’s story is full of excellent stories from a number of catchers, including current Brewers backstop Jonathan Lucroy, who recalls catching Hoffman’s 600th career save as a rookie in 2010. In describing the legendary closer, Lucroy states: “I always reference Trevor Hoffman when I talk about the kind of guy I want to be.”
The Giants are weighing whether or not to continue with beleaguered right-hander Tim Lincecum in their rotation, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Lincecum himself offered a frank, expletive-laced assessment of his recent performance and sounded aware that he may not make his next start. Shea spoke with manager Bruce Bochy about rotation candidate Yusmeiro Petit‘s struggles as a starter and excellence in the bullpen this year, with Bochy calling Petit’s rotation work too small of sample to judge. Petit’s recent bullpen work, however, has been nothing short of incredible, if not historic. He’s retired 38 consecutive batters, striking out 16. As Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com points out (on Twitter), Petit is seven batters shy of matching the Major League record for most consecutive hitters retired. Lincecum, who is in the first season of a two-year, $35MM extension, has a 9.49 ERA over his past six starts and has totaled just 24 2/3 innings in that time. Baggarly tweets that for now, the team’s Thursday starter is listed as “TBA.”
Here’s more from the NL West…
- While the most commonly linked team to Bartolo Colon (who is currently on revocable waivers) has been the Angels, ESPN’s Buster Olney writes in his daily blog that the injury-plagued Dodgers are a candidate to place a claim as well (ESPN Insider required). Olney points out that Colon’s start against the Dodgers tonight could serve as an audition.
- Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa feels that his team can post a winning record in 2015, he tells Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. La Russa feels that the D’Backs can make improvements with their current roster solely by improving their approach at the plate and improving their baserunning, but he also cites the desire to make “two or three impactful moves” in the offseason, including the addition of at least one hitter and at least one pitcher.
- Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic writes that the D’Backs are in evaluation mode with middle infielders Chris Owings, Didi Gregorius, and Nick Ahmed. Additionally, the club is trying to determine how to mix in veterans Aaron Hill and Cliff Pennington. For the time being, GM Kevin Towers tells Buchanan that Owings will see more time at second base with Gregorius getting a look at short, but that doesn’t mean Owings is being converted to a second baseman full-time. Hill, meanwhile, will see action at third, though a full-time transition there would block prospect Jake Lamb, Buchanan notes. In my view, Pennington is a non-tender candidate following the season and Ahmed could use more work at Triple-A, leaving three infielders for two spots. Hill is guaranteed $12MM in 2015 and again in 2016, making him difficult to trade, but any number of clubs would likely be interested in Owings, Gregorius or Ahmed in trades.
- The Rockies are further away from contending now than they were at the beginning of the season, opines Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Saunders looks at Colorado’s pitching predicament, noting that Tyler Chatwood will miss the 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery and Jhoulys Chacin‘s shoulder cannot be relied upon. Brett Anderson‘s injuries make it difficult to exercise his $12MM option, and Jorge De La Rosa could end up pitching elsewhere, as several sources with whom Saunders has conversed feel that there’s only a 50-50 chance he returns. Add in the persistent trade rumors regarding Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez — Saunders feels the latter is more likely to go — and the offseason is rife with question marks and uncertainty.
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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As you've no doubt heard by now, Giants pitcher Yusmeiro Petit — yes, that Yusmeiro Petit — came within inches of recording 27-straight outs last night. As a youngster, Petit was twice a top-100 prospect as he moved quickly through the Mets system. When he became the headline piece of the deal shipping star first baseman Carlos Delgado to the Mets late in 2005, Marlins GM Larry Beinfest said that Petit would join the Marlins' "stable of outstanding young pitchers." Instead, the Fish quickly lost interest and shipped him to the Diamondbacks in a misguided bid to acquire a proven closer, Jorge Julio. After flaming out in Arizona, Petit's transactional history on MLBTR has provided a crash course on minor roster moves. While we can all celebrate this journeyman hurler's brush with history, does it mean anything for the 28-year-old's future as a ballplayer?
- According to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, Petit "sent a tremendous message that this is where he belongs and this is where he should be pitching," tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. Petit has indeed performed in limited action this year for San Francisco, with a 2.05 ERA over 26 1/3 innings in which he has notched thirty strikeouts against just four walks. Though he hasn't suppressed runs quite as well in Triple-A, he does sport a nifty 7.62 K:BB rate in 92 2/3 innings there.
- It will be interesting to see how the Giants proceed with Petit. As Baggarly notes in another tweet, Petit will reach arbitration eligibility for the first time this offseason. While the Giants can therefore control him for three seasons, it remains to be seen whether the team will be interested in tendering him a contract to do so.
- There is some interesting precedent here. Another highly regarded young pitcher-turned-disappointment, Philip Humber, tossed a perfect game in 2012 but went on to post a 6.44 ERA in 102 innings on the year. When the White Sox released the first-time arb-eligible Humber, the Astros snapped him up and guaranteed him $1.3MM (including the buyout of a 2014 option) just before the tender deadline. Of course, unlike Petit, Humber had put up one full season of solid performance at the big league level, as he notched 163 innings of 3.75 ERA ball in 2011.
- Twins pitcher Mike Pelfrey, set to become a free agent, hopes to stay in Minnesota, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com, but agent Scott Boras will ask for more than $4.5MM per year to make that a reality. (Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Pelfrey signed with the Twins for one-year and $4MM.) This season, Pelfrey's first in a uniform other than the Mets', has seen him struggle to a 4.97 ERA in 26 starts. Pelfrey's ground-ball rate has dropped to a career-low 43.8%, and he continues to strike out less than six batters per nine while posting a below-average K:BB ratio (1.83 this season; 1.62 for his career). Nevertheless, Wolfson opines in another tweet that some club will give the 29-year-old that kind of money, though he believes the Twins would be best served to pass on another year of Pelfrey.
- The Astros are still working on finalizing the rest of the club's September call-ups, tweets Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle. As he notes in another tweet, fans pining for top prospects to taste the big leagues should bear in mind that players must be on the 40-man roster to be on the active MLB roster, and adding a player necessarily carries repercussions for managing the 40-man going forward.
- General managers around baseball seem to be coalescing around the idea that a rule change should be made that limits the September roster expansion, writes USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Among the GMs and managers that Nightengale cites, only Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers prefers to reward teams that have deep farms with a larger active roster, though he says an even better solution is to "expand in April" so teams "won't wear out [their] bullpen early, and guys won't get injured so easily coming out of spring training." Most importantly, several members of the league's committee for on-field matters — including Tony LaRussa and Mike Scioscia — seem to believe that a change is warranted to avoid the sudden and massive shift in the game's rules during its most strategically challenging month.
The 28-year-old Petit appeared in one game with the Giants this season, hurling 5 1/3 innings of strong relief. He fanned seven and walked none while issuing just two runs. In 13 minor league starts for the Giants this season, the Venezuela native has a 5.01 ERA, though he has a far more impressive 6.8 K/BB ratio in 73 2/3 innings.
Petit has appeared in parts of six Major League seasons since debuting with the Marlins as a 21-year-old in 2006. Most of his experience came with the Diamondbacks from 2007-09 when he made 35 starts and 21 relief appearances.
The Giants have designated right-hander Yusmeiro Petit for assignment, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The move clears roster space for right-hander Guillermo Moscoso who was acquired from the Cubs on Friday.
Petit was added to the roster last Tuesday and appeared that night in the first game of a doubleheader against the Reds (and the second pitcher from that twinbill to be designated today). He tossed 5 1/3 innings of two-run relief while scattering six hits and striking out seven. Petit had made 12 starts for Triple-A Fresno before his recall posting a 5.24 ERA, 9.7 K/9, and 1.6 BB/9 in 68 2/3 innings.
This is the second time in four months the 28-year-old has been dropped from the Giants' 40-man roster, as he was outrighted last March. The Giants now have ten days to either trade, release, or outright Petit.
The Giants have designated right-hander Hunter Strickland for assignment, CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly reports (Twitter link). This creates 40-man roster space for Yusmeiro Petit, as CSN Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez reports (via Twitter) that the Giants have purchased Petit's contract and optioned George Kontos to Triple-A.
Strickland, 24, was originally an 18th-round draft choice of the Red Sox in 2007 and was dealt to the Pirates in 2009 as part of the Adam LaRoche trade package. The Giants claimed Strickland off waivers in April and he'd posted an 0.86 ERA, 9.9 K/9 and 4.6 K/BB ratio over 21 relief innings at High-A ball this season. Strickland has a 3.80 ERA and 3.18 K/BB ratio over 388 career minor league innings.
Petit was outrighted off San Francisco's 40-man roster in March but chose to accept his assignment to Triple-A instead of becoming a free agent. Petit pitched 4 2/3 innings for the Giants last season, his first taste of Major League action since 2009. The right-hander posted 5.57 ERA over 229 1/3 innings for the Marlins and Diamondbacks from 2006-09 and he has a 5.24 ERA over 12 starts for Triple-A Fresno this season.
The Padres received some bad news earlier today when they found out that Chase Headley will miss a month of action with a fractured thumb, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter). Here's some more out of baseball's Western divisions…
- Kyle McClellan will not exercise the out clause in his minor league deal with the Rangers despite the fact that he might not pitch in a game for eight weeks, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. McClellan is on the shelf with a strained muscle in his rib cage but will remain with the Rangers as he rehabs from his injury.
- The Giants expect Yusmeiro Petit to accept his outright assignment to Triple-A Fresno, reports Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Petit was outrighted off the 40-man roster last night but can elect to become a free agent rather than accept the assignment.
- D-backs top prospect Tyler Skaggs was among the players optioned to Triple-A today, writes MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Skaggs was one of the players that Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic profiled in a piece that examines some of the roster decisions manager Kirk Gibson and GM Kevin Towers will be facing as Spring Training draws to a close.
- Angels backstop Hank Conger called today's signing of Chris Snyder "more motivation to come out and try to do my job," tweets MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. The Halos inked Snyder earlier today following his release from the Nationals.
Pitcher Yusmeiro Petit has been outrighted off the Giants' 40-man roster, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly reports (on Twitter). Petit, 28, spent most of the 2012 season with Triple-A Fresno, posting a 3.46 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 166 2/3 innings. He pitched 4 2/3 innings in the majors in 2012, allowing two runs while striking out one and walking four. Baggarly reports that Petit will decide on Monday whether to accept an assignment to Fresno or become a free agent.
Two weeks ago, the Marlins agreed to send basically every player making decent money on their roster to the Blue Jays for a package of prospects. The 12-player blockbuster became official a week ago, leaving Miami with just three players scheduled to make $2MM+ in 2013. Ricky Nolasco ($11.5MM) and Yunel Escobar ($5MM) could both still be moved before the end of the winter as well.
This isn't the first time the Marlins have torn things down and rebuilt from scratch, of course. They did it immediately following their 1997 World Series win, then again a few years after bringing home the 2003 World Championship. On this date in 2005, the team officially swung a pair of trades sending three of their highest paid players elsewhere.
Trade #1: Boston Red Sox
Josh Beckett, then just 25, was coming off a 3.38 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 178 2/3 innings for Florida. He earned $2.4MM in 2005 and was due a significant raise in his second trip through arbitration, plus the team was unlikely to re-sign him long-term when he hit free agency after 2007.
Beckett had significant trade value, so the Marlins took advantage by attaching then-31-year-old Mike Lowell to him in talks. If a team wanted Beckett, they had to take Lowell as well. The third baseman slipped to .236/.298/.360 with eight homers in 558 plate appearances that year, but more importantly he was scheduled to earn $18MM total from 2006-2007.
Few teams could meet Florida's demand for a young shortstop, but the Red Sox were one of them. The two sides worked out a seven-player trade that sent Beckett, Lowell, and Guillermo Mota to Boston in exchange for prospects Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Harvey Garcia, and Jesus Delgado. The Marlins saved all $18MM owed to Lowell in addition to second- and third-year arbitration salaries for Beckett and a third-year arbitration salary for Mota. The trade worked out well for both teams as Beckett and Lowell helped the Red Sox to the 2007 World Championship while Ramirez developed into an MVP candidate and Sanchez became a rock solid innings-eater for the Marlins.
Trade #2: New York Mets
During the 2004-2005 offseason, Florida landed the top free agent slugger by signing Carlos Delgado to a four-year, $52MM contract with a fifth-year vesting option. The then-33-year-old hit .301/.399/.582 with 33 homers in the first year of the contract, good enough to earn him a sixth-place finish in the MVP voting. However, like the contracts of Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, Delgado's deal with the Marlins was heavily backloaded. He earned just $4MM in 2005, then his salary was scheduled to jump to $13.5MM in 2006, $14.5MM in 2007, $16MM in 2008, and potentially $12MM in 2009 if the option vested ($4MM buyout).
Rather than pay him that huge salary over the next three years, the Marlins traded Delgado to the Mets for three minor leaguers: Yusmeiro Petit, Mike Jacobs, and Grant Psomas. The Mets also received $7MM from Florida in the trade, but it was a drop in the bucket compared to the $48MM left on the contract. Delgado hit .265/.349/.505 with 100 homers during his first three years with New York, which was enough for the team to exercise his option even though it didn't vest. Jacobs had three decent years with the Marlins while Petit and Psomas flamed out, but the real get for the club was the $41MM in payroll savings. Combined with the Red Sox swap, the Marlins shed more than $59MM in contract obligations with these two moves seven years ago today.