Zach Duke Rumors

Odds & Ends: Marlins, Duke, Red Sox, Lee

Links for Wednesday, four years after the Padres completed the trade that sent 2010 All-Star Evan Meek to Tampa Bay. A year later, the Pirates shrewdly plucked Meek from the Rays in the Rule 5 draft...

Odds & Ends: Dodgers, Dunn, Duke, Pujols

Ten years ago today, the Giants signed Francisco Liriano as an amateur free agent. In 2003, the Giants famously (and regrettably) traded Joe Nathan, Boof Bonser and Liriano to the Twins for A.J. Pierzynski. Now 27, Liriano is in the midst of a fine season atop the Twins' rotation. Here are today's links...

  • Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has interest in buying the Dodgers, according to Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse. However, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hears that Attanasio does not have interest in the Dodgers (Twitter link).
  • Krasovic also reports that the Padres have talked to former D’Backs manager A.J. Hinch about hiring him as their director of pro scouting.
  • Adam Dunn is not likely to re-sign with the Nationals if you ask Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. Boswell suggests the Nationals should sign Dunn, since power like his is hard to find.
  • Zach Duke was a non-tender candidate before his start yesterday and, as Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains, the lefty didn't do himself any favors by pitching just one-plus inning and allowing four runs. Kovacevic says "indications are powerful" that management will not tender Duke a contract offer through arbitration (though that wouldn't necessarily prevent a return to Pittsburgh).
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan argues that Cardinals fans are more concerned about Albert Pujols than either Colby Rasmus or Tony La Russa.
  • D'Backs Interim manager Kirk Gibson has not had any discussions with ownership about managing after this year, but would like to return, according to Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic.

Zach Duke's Future

Pirates lefty Zach Duke debuted with a splash in 2005, posting a 1.81 ERA over 14 starts and finishing fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting.  Since then Duke has posted more pedestrian numbers, strong enough to garner decent salaries in arbitration but not a multiyear deal.  Duke is arbitration-eligible one last time after the season.  Let's take a closer look at the Pirates' situation.

This year, the 27-year-old Duke has a 5.20 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, and 1.4 HR/9 in 114.3 innings.  Stats like SIERA and xFIP suggest he's been better, deserving of an ERA more in the 4.30 range.  I'd call Duke a back-rotation innings-eater, but he missed significant time this year and in 2007 with elbow injuries.

Duke earns $4.3MM in 2010, and will be due some kind of raise if tendered a contract for 2010.  Given the Matt Capps situation last year, we can't rule out a non-tender for Dukes if the Pirates don't like his salary demands.  Still, a trade seems more likely.  Here's what GM Neal Huntington said to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on July 30th:

"If the package is appropriate for one of our starting pitchers, we are willing to consider a move.  If the interest is in one of our starting pitchers who is one year away from free agency, that shifts the tolerance accordingly, as we would be able to reinvest their potential dollars into a major-league starting pitcher -- via trade or free agency -- and add valuable multiyear pieces to our major-league club and/or system. Again, we will need to feel good about the return to make a move."

Huntington was clearly referring to Paul Maholm and Duke.  I'm guessing he'd prefer to trade only one of the lefties.  They're similar pitchers in terms of performance.  Their contract situations and injury histories are the difference.  Maholm is signed for 2011 at $5.75MM and has a $750K buyout for '12 for a total commitment of $6.5MM.  A team tendering Duke a contract might save a million or more in comparison, but they won't have the '12 option and they will have to worry about his health.  As a result, it should take less to acquire Duke from the Pirates this winter.

Multiple Teams Discussing Paul Maholm

SATURDAY, 1:44am: In a deal for Maholm, the Pirates want a starting pitcher who is ready to contribute, two high-ranking team sources told Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

FRIDAY, 8:23pm: The Dodgers and Pirates aren't necessarily close to a Maholm deal, but the sides believe there's a genuine possibility that a trade happens, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

4:19pm: The Padres are not close to acquiring Maholm, according to Kovacevic (Twitter link).

3:46pm: The Dodgers and Padres are not the only clubs discussing deals with the Pirates, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter). The Mets appear to be involved in discussions for Maholm, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports.

3:12pm: The two teams look close to a deal, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (on Twitter).

3:10pm: The Padres are discussing Maholm with the Pirates, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports (on Twitter).

2:59: The Pirates are "close" to trading Maholm, according to Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio (on Twitter). However, Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse hears that the Padres are not discussing a deal for Maholm (Twitter link). Meanwhile,'s Buster Olney hears that the Padres are making progress on a Maholm deal (Twitter link).

2:36pm: The Padres are discussing Maholm with the Pirates, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

1:29pm: The Pirates are willing to trade a starting pitcher for the right price, GM Neal Huntington told Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Huntington referred to starters close to free agency, which implies Paul Maholm or Zach Duke.

Kovacevic figures Maholm to be more popular than Duke, since the latter spent time on the DL this year with an elbow strain.  Maholm is signed reasonably through next year with a club option for 2012, making him appealing to the Dodgers.  The Mets, Cardinals, Padres, Twins, and Tigers may also be in the hunt for a starter.

Odds & Ends: LaRoche, Lee, Nationals, Simpson

It was on this day in 1938 that Reds lefthander Johnny Vander Meer became a baseball immortal by throwing his second consecutive no-hitter.  What better way to commemorate the Vanderversary than with some news items? 

Odds & Ends: Lerew, Cuba, Coonelly, Hechavarria

Links for Wednesday...

Rosenthal's Latest: D'Backs, Robertson, Pirates

Some notes from Ken Rosenthal of

  • The Diamondbacks continue to pursue a number three or four starter in the wake of Brandon Webb's setback. A club official acknowledged that such a pickup was possible, but “I don’t think any team will be willing to give up that kind of pitcher at the start of the season.”
  • Rosenthal says the team has infield depth to use in a trade, and reiterated that they'd love to move Chris Snyder and the $11.25MM left on his contract. The Rangers and Red Sox are said to be looking for infielders, and the Mariners could join them following Jack Hannahan's injury.
  • The Tigers are shopping Nate Robertson, but Arizona doesn't consider him enough of an upgrade. Zach Duke and Paul Maholm are not available.
  • The best available starter may be Chad Gaudin, who was released by the Yankees on Thursday.  
  • The Brewers considered a Jeff Suppan for Snyder trade, but didn't want to take on Snyder's 2011 salary. Suppan will earn $12.5MM this season, the final one on his contract.
  • The Cubs do not expect to make a trade for a reliever before Opening Day, but they've scouted Jason Frasor and Scott Downs, plus Luke Gregerson of the Padres.
  • Nick Green has an out clause in his minor league contract, but the Dodgers may add him to the roster to serve as the backup shortstop.

Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

Noon ET today was the deadline for both the team and player to submit their salary figures for arbitration, however the two sides can come to an agreement at any point before the actual hearing. The hearings are scheduled for the first week of February.

We'll keep track of the players who avoid arbitration today by agreeing to deals here. Make sure you check back in for updates, and be sure to click the "Continue Reading" link to see today's full list of settlements.  Yesterday's list can be found here.

  • Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels avoided arbitration with Mike Napoli and Reggie Willits by signing the duo to one-year deals.  Napoli will earn $3.6MM in 2010 with a $100K bonus if he makes 120 starts.  Willits' contract is worth $625K. 
  • Zach Duke's one-year contract with Pittsburgh is worth $4.3MM with no performance bonuses, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • The Padres and reliever Mike Adams have agreed to a contract, reports's Corey Brock (via Twitter).  Brock's follow-up tweet says Adams' deal is worth $1MM, virtually splitting the difference between San Diego's $875K offer and Adams' $1.2MM demands.
  • Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets that the Twins have agreements in place with all eight of their arbitration eligible players.  In a follow-up tweet, Christensen reports that Francisco Liriano agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.6MM and Jesse Crain agreed to a one-year contract worth $2MM.
  • Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that the Mets avoided arbitration with reliever Sean Green (via Twitter).  The one-year deal was worth $975K, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron.
  • The Tigers avoided arb with Gerald Laird and Zach Miner as well according to James Jahnke of The Detroit Free Press.'s Jason Beck tweets the details on the one-year contracts: Laird will earn $3.95MM, Miner will earn $950K.
  • Christensen tweets that the Twins avoided arb with Brendan Harris, signing him to a two year deal worth $3.2MM with another $650K in possible incentives.
  • The Tigers and Bobby Seay avoided arbitration according to's Jason Beck (via Twitter), agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.475MM.
  • Thesier tweets that Matt Guerrier agreed to a one year deal worth $3.15MM with the Twins, avoiding arb.
  • Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe tweets that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen, with Delcarmen getting $905K plus incentives according to Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal. Boston avoided arb with Jonathan Papelbon as well.

  • Pat Neshek agreed to a one year deal with $625K with another $75K in incentives, avoiding arbitration with the Twins according to's Kelly Thesier (via Twitter).
  • The Nationals have agreed to terms with Jason Bergmann, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, and Josh Willingham according to a team press release. All four players avoided arbitration.'s Alden Gonzalez tweets that Willingham will make $4.6MM next season, while Bergmann will make $750K according to a tweet from's Bill Ladson.
  •'s Mark Bowman tweets that the Braves and Peter Moylan have agreed to a deal, avoiding arbitration. He gets $1.15MM.
  • Matt Garza avoided arbitration with the Rays, tweets Topkin. The two sides agreed to a one year deal worth $3.35MM, 
  •'s Jim Street tweets that the Mariners and David Aardsma have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.75MM.
  • The Astros avoided arbitration with Michael Bourn, Matt Lindstrom, and Humberto Quintero according to a tweet from's Brian McTaggart. Bourn gets $2.4MM, Lindstrom $1.625MM, and Quintero $750K (via McTaggart's Twitter).
  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post reports that the Rockies and Jason Hammel have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $1.9MM.
  • The A's agreed to a one year deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, reports The Oakland Tribune. Oakland acquired Kouzmanoff from the Padres over the weekend.
  • Jered Weaver agreed to a one year deal worth $4.265MM with the Angels to avoid arbitration, according to a tweet from Jon Heyman.
  • Topkin tweets that J.P. Howell agreed to a one year deal worth $1.8MM, avoiding arbitration with the Rays.
  • According to the team's official Twitter feed, the Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Jason Frasor ($2.65MM) and Brian Tallet ($2MM) by agreeing to one year deals.
  • Delmon Young avoided arbitration with the Twins by agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.6MM, according to a tweet by Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune. Kelly Thesier of tweets that Young will get $25K each for 575 and 600 plate appearances.
  • According to a team press release, the Royals have avoided arbitration with Alex Gordon and Robinson Tejeda. Terms of either deal was not disclosed.
  • Heyman tweets that Stephen Drew and the Diamondbacks agreed to a one year deal worth $3.4MM, avoiding arbitration.
  • The White Sox and John Danks avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year deal worth $3.45M, according to ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine.
  • Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets that the Mets and Pedro Feliciano have agreed to a one year deal worth $2.9MM, avoiding arbitration. There's another $100K in performance bonuses.
  • The Star Telegram's Anthony Andro reports that the Rangers and Chris Ray have avoided arbitration.'s T.R. Sullivan says it's a one year deal worth $975K.
  • Russell Martin has agreed to a one year contract worth $5.05MM, avoiding arbitration with the Dodgers according to Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (via Twitter)
  •'s Jordan Bastian tweets that the Blue Jays and reliever Jeremy Accardo have agreed to a one year deal worth $1.08MM, avoiding arbitration.
  • Rafael Perez agreed to a one year deal with the Indians to avoid arbitration according to a team press release.'s Anthony Castrovince tweets that Perez will make $795K in 2010.
  • The Orioles and Luke Scott avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $4.05MM according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. He earned $2.4MM last season, hitting .258/.340/.488 with a career high 25 homers.
  •'s Carrie Muskat tweets that the Cubs have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($975K). Mike Fontenot ($1MM,) Koyie Hill ($700K), Angel Guzman ($825K), and Tom Gorzelanny ($800K). Terms of the deals came from Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun Times (via Twitter).
  • Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the Pirates and Zach Duke have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year deal.
  • Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Radio reports that Mark Lowe and the Mariners have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1.15MM salary for next season.
  • LaVelle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune tweets that the Twins and J.J. Hardy have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $5MM. He gets a small raise over last year's $4.65MM salary after hitting .229/.302/.357.
  • According to the Cardinals' official Twitter feed, the team has avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick by agreeing to a one year deal. Heyman tweets that he'll receive $5.45MM next year after earning $3.7MM in 2009.
  • The Rangers avoided arbitration with Josh Hamilton, giving him $3.25MM plus awards-based bonuses according to a tweet from's Jon Heyman. It was his first time eligible. Hamilton hit .268/.315/.426 in 2009, missing time with back trouble and a sports hernia.
  • Mark Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times tweets that the Rays and Jason Bartlett have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $4MM salary for 2010. He earned just under $2MM in 2009, hitting .320/.389/.490 with a career high 14 homers. 
  • Casey Janssen agreed to a $700K deal for 2010 to avoid arbitration, according to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed. It was his first time up for arbitration.
  • Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun Sentinel reports (via Twitter) that the Marlins and Jorge Cantu have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one year deal worth $6MM. Cantu hit .289/.345/.443 while making $3.5MM in 2009, his first year of arb eligibility.
  •'s Adam McCalvy tweets that both Carlos Gomez and Rickie Weeks have agreed to one year deals to avoid arbitration. Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel tweets that Weeks will earn $2.75MM next year, while Gomez will earn $1.1MM as a Super Two.
  • Heyman tweets that the Dodgers have avoided arbitration with both George Sherrill and James Loney. Sherrill gets $4.5MM plus incentives in his third year eligible, Loney $3.1MM in his first go around.
  • According to the Blue Jays official Twitter feed, reliever Shawn Camp has agreed to a $1.15MM deal for 2010, avoiding arb. He was eligible for the second time after posting a 3.50 ERA in 79.2 innings last season.
  • Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that Leo Nunez and the Marlins have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $2MM salary for 2010. Sticking with the theme of the day, it was his first time eligible for salary arbitration.
  •'s Ken Gurnick tweets that the Dodgers and Hong Chih-Kuo have agreed to a one-year deal worth $950K, avoiding arb. It was Kuo's first time eligible.
  • Jon Heyman of tweets that the Mets and Jeff Francoeur have avoided arb by agreeing to a $5MM deal. Francoeur earned $3.375MM in 2009 and hit .280/.309/.423 for the Mets and Braves.
  • Heyman tweets that Howie Kendrick and the Angels have agreed to a $1.75MM deal with incentives. This was Kendrick's first crack at arbitration. 
  • Heyman tweets that the A's and Rajai Davis agreed to a $1.35MM salary for 2010, plus incentives. This was Davis' first year eligible for arbitration.
  • Heyman tweets that Jonathan Sanchez avoided arb with the Giants by agreeing to a $2.1MM deal, plus incentives. He posted a 4.24 ERA in 163.1 innings last year, and was up for arbitration for the first time in his career.

Full Story |  Comments (0) | Categories: Alex Gordon | Angel Guzman | Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Brandon Laird | Brendan Harris | Brian Tallet | Carlos Gomez | Casey Janssen | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Chris Ray | Colorado Rockies | David Aardsma | Delmon Young | Francisco Liriano | George Sherrill | Hong-Chih Kuo | Houston Astros | Howie Kendrick | Humberto Quintero | J.J. Hardy | J.P. Howell | James Loney | Jason Bartlett | Jason Bergmann | Jason Frasor | Jason Hammel | Jeff Baker | Jeff Francoeur | Jered Weaver | Jeremy Accardo | Jesse Crain | Jesus Flores | John Danks | Jonathan Papelbon | Jonathan Sanchez | Jorge Cantu | Josh Hamilton | Josh Willingham | Kansas City Royals | Kevin Kouzmanoff | Koyie Hill | Leo Nunez | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Luke Scott | Manny Delcarmen | Mark Lowe | Matt Garza | Matt Guerrier | Matt Lindstrom | Miami Marlins | Michael Bourn | Mike Adams | Mike Fontenot | Mike Napoli | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Pat Neshek | Pedro Feliciano | Peter Moylan | Pittsburgh Pirates | Rafael Perez | Rajai Davis | Ramon Ramirez | Reggie Willits | Rickie Weeks | Robinson Tejeda | Russell Martin | Ryan Ludwick | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Sean Green | Seattle Mariners | Shawn Camp | St. Louis Cardinals | Stephen Drew | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Tom Gorzelanny | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Washington Nationals | Wil Nieves | Zach Duke | Zach Miner

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