Yusmeiro Petit Rumors

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

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).


Quick Hits: Petit, Pelfrey, Astros, Call-Ups

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.

Giants Outright Yusmeiro Petit

Yusmeiro Petit has cleared outright waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Fresno, MLBTR has learned. The Giants had designated the right-hander for assignment ten days ago.

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.

Giants Designate Yusmeiro Petit For Assignment

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.

Giants Designate Hunter Strickland For Assignment

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.

West Notes: Headley, McClellan, Petit, D-Backs

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…

Giants Outright Yusmeiro Petit

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.

This Date In Transactions History: Marlins Fire Sale

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.

Minor Deals: Rupe, Mariners, Villarreal

We'll keep track of the day's minor signings, trades and claims right here:

  • The Orioles agreed to sign right-handed reliever Josh Rupe to a minor league deal, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The 28-year-old appeared in 11 games for the Royals in 2010, posting a 5.59 ERA with eight strikeouts and seven walks in 9 2/3 innings. The 2002 third-rounder also posted a 2.92 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 52 1/3 Triple-A innings.
  • The Mariners signed right-hander Yusmeiro Petit, left-hander Chris Seddon and outfielder Mike Wilson as minor league free agents, according to the team. All three players receive invitations to big league Spring Training. Petit, who turned 26 yesterday, has a 5.57 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 229 1/3 big league innings over the course of four seasons. He last pitched in the majors for the 2009 D'Backs.
  • The Dodgers added right-handed reliever Oscar Villarreal as a non-roster invitee, according to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times. The 29-year-old hasn't appeared in a major league game since 2008, but he has logged 336 innings in the major leagues. He has a respectable 3.86 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 258 appearances.

Mariners Re-Sign Yusmeiro Petit

The Mariners re-signed pitcher Yusmeiro Petit, reports Baseball America's Matt Eddy.  Eddy says the Ms released Petit on March 17th but re-signed him four days later.

Petit was claimed off waivers from the Diamondbacks by the Mariners in November.  He was designated for assignment in February to make room for Erik Bedard, and cleared waivers a few days later.  The 25-year-old posted a 5.82 ERA, 7.4 K/9, and 3.4 BB/9 in 89.6 innings for Arizona last year, allowing 19 home runs.