Zach McAllister Rumors
Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan had dinner with principal owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson Friday night to discuss his future role with the franchise. Simpson called the meeting "productive" while Ryan remained silent until today when he released a statement through the team. "Over the last week, Ray Davis, Bob Simpson, and I have been in discussion and met in-person. The conversations have been productive, and we have discussed my role as CEO of the organization. We agreed these discussions will continue as we go forward. I am very proud of what the Rangers have accomplished over the last several years, and I believe our preparations for upcoming season are what is important." Sources have told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Ryan could leave after he fulfills his two remaining team obligations: in San Antonio for the Rangers' two exhibition games there March 29-30 and in Houston during the Rangers' season-opening series against the Astros. In other news and notes from the American League:
- Rick Porcello became the first Tiger pitcher to pitch five innings this spring, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out four. George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press tweets Porcello was happy to discuss his outing, but refused to comment on the many trade rumors surrounding him.
- J.A. Happ, also a subject of trade rumors, is frustrated by his role with the Blue Jays and sees himself as a Major League starting pitcher, according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm (Twitter links). Happ, as quoted by Chisholm on Twitter, realizes he is auditioning for other teams, "I know there are other people in the stands as well so I'm trying to just keep my routine and we'll see what happens."
- Indians manager Terry Francona has named Zach McAllister as the team's fourth starter, the Associated Press reports (via the Boston Herald). If the Indians choose to start Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, and Corey Kluber in the minors, the leading veteran candidates for the final spot are Scott Kazmir and Daisuke Matsuzaka, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who would put his money on Kazmir.
The Indians have been very busy during the first days of 2013 officially announcing the free agent signings of Nick Swisher and Brett Myers. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports the team will open the season with a payroll hovering around $66-68MM (not including the $2.75MM buyout of Travis Hafner's 2013 club option and the $3.5MM sent to the Reds in the Shin-Soo Choo trade). As a result, GM Chris Antonetti has said the team's financial resources have been exhausted. The lone remaining hole in the lineup is designated hitter. Bastian says the Tribe could rely on internal options like Mike Aviles, Yan Gomes, Ezequiel Carrera, Tim Fedroff, and Rule 5 selection Chris McGuiness. Even bringing back Hafner is a possibility according to Antonetti, "I think some of that is going to depend upon other opportunities for Travis and his thoughts on returning, as well as what opportunities we may have for him compared to other guys." Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has more news and notes concerning the Indians:
- Hoynes adds Matt LaPorta to the list of in-house DH options, but says Antonetti could still sign a hitter or bring one in on a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
- Hoynes thinks Delmon Young would look good as the Tribe's DH, but doesn't see it happening at this time because of his asking price and character issues.
- The Indians will still consider trading Asdrubal Cabrera or Chris Perez, but only if the return is comparable to what they received in the Choo deal.
- The starting rotation looks like Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Myers, and Zach McAllister. Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco are the leading candidates for the fifth spot.
- With the flush of spending of this season, does this put extra pressure on the front office to win now? Hoynes doesn't sense any panic in the hallways of power, especially since new manager Terry Francona can opt-out of his deal if certain members of management lose their jobs.
Some links for Saturday evening as the cold weather makes its way back to the Northeast..
- Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall told Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic that the team will "spend the money necessary to sign the players that are the best players out there when our turn comes," referring to the draft. The D'Backs hold two of the first seven picks after failing to sign sixth overall pick Barret Loux last year.
- Before landing with the Athletics on a minor league contract, Andy LaRoche drew interest from the Red Sox and Indians according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).
- Astros outfielder Hunter Pence tweeted that he found the arbitration process to be fascinating but is glad to have it in the rear view mirror. Earlier today, Pence won his arb case, meaning that he'll earn $6.9MM in 2011.
- The Diamondbacks' 2011 payroll should be in the low $60MM range, managing partner Ken Kendrick told Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (via Twitter).
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels doesn't sound too upset about the status of his relationship with Michael Young in this tweet from Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram.
- White Sox slugger Adam Dunn is ready to embrace his new role in Chicago, writes Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Former Yankees prospect Zach McAllister is looking forward to a new start with the Indians, writes MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
The Indians have acquired pitcher Zach McAllister from the Yankees to complete the Austin Kearns deal, according to a team press release. The trade called for Cleveland to receive a player to be named later or cash.
McAllister, a native Midwesterner, has a 5.09 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 for the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate this season. He enjoyed a strong 2009 in Double-A Trenton, however, posting a 2.23 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9.
Heading into the season, Baseball America ranked the 6'5" righthander as the fifth-best prospect in the organization and the second-best pitcher behind the now-departed Arodys Vizcaino. According to their 2010 Prospect Handbook, he had the best control of any pitcher in the Yankees system but his slider is his only plus pitch.
7:31am: SI's Jon Heyman dished Yankees rumors in yesterday's column...
- The Yankees "made a big proposal" for Soria. With three club options, the 26-year-old righty is under team control through 2014. Had Soria not signed a team-friendly extension in May of 2008, he'd be eligible for free agency after the 2012 season. The only blemish on his record was missing most of May last year with a sore shoulder. How do the Yankees and Royals match up? You'd expect Dayton Moore to pursue Montero or Austin Romine, though the Royals already have Billy Butler and Wil Myers in the organization.
- Heyman notes that the Yankees "have been in touch" with the Nationals about Adam Dunn, but "so far found the price prohibitive." With six days until the trade deadline, will Mike Rizzo drop the price on Dunn? Heyman also links the Yankees to familiar names Ty Wigginton, Jhonny Peralta, and Cody Ross.
- Heyman doesn't see the Yankees going after Roy Oswalt, but tweets that they like Ted Lilly. Teams like the Cubs and Astros have to hope the Diamondbacks' unimpressive return for Dan Haren doesn't have a ripple effect on their available starters.
- Heyman tweets that the Yankees' offer for Haren consisted of righties Ivan Nova and Zach McAllister plus one or two prospects. Baseball America viewed Nova and McAllister as future No. 4 types heading into the season.