The Phillies have inked left-hander Elvis Araujo to a major league deal, the club announced today. The towering lefty never moved past the Double-A level with the Indians, but was hard to score on at that level and has looked good in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Araujo, 23, has struggled with control at times in his minor league career, including over his 21 Double-A frames, over which he walked 15 batters. But he did miss bats, posting a career-high 9.0 K/9 at both the High-A and Double-A level last season.
The southpaw nevertheless drew enough interest to warrant a major league pact, as Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com tweets. It could be that his time this winter in his home country turned some heads. As the Phillies note in their release, Araujo has struck out eight and given up just three hits in seven frames thus far.
So he’s gonna be on the major league team then?
Not necessarily. He could still be sent to the minors, but would make the MLB minimum, or whatever his contract is for (presumably not much more than the $510k minimum),
He’ll be on the 40-man roster. Not necessarily in the Majors.
Steve, could you give me some insight as to why these Major League deals are happening this early? It seems like buying to high on a guy that has not pitched past 2A and has pitched 7 solid frames in a winter league. Does that mean he is turning down minor league contract offers which made a team make a major league offer?
These moves happen every year, we just usually forget about them because little comes of them. I know the O’s gave out three or so of them last year (Kelvin De La Cruz, Francisco Peguero).
It’s basically a case where there are probably several clubs, say five to six, who like a player and want him on a minor league deal, and one commits the 40-man spot in hopes that he eventually justifies it.
Some teams don’t like to do it. There’s no financial risk, really, but it fills up a 40-man spot that could go to protecting someone from the Rule 5 Draft, which some clubs just don’t want to do.
Still, it occasionally pays off. This is how the White Sox got Jose Quintana.
Tim wrote an in-depth article on this very subject last January: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/01/minor-league-free-agents-finding-major-league-deals.html
Thank you! Makes sense
Maybe they’re hoping he can do a Ken Giles turnaround with regards to control.
Nothing wrong with a lefty reliever who can strike guys out. I’m presuming the idea is hoping that this guy will replace Bastardo.
I understand that the Phils need to cut payroll, and I understand that Bastardo didn’t have the numbers last year that he did the year before… but I’m not so sure if the Phils should either hang on to Bastardo, or make sure they get some pretty good return on him. He has some top-flight stuff.
With this, and the re-signing of Cesar Jimenez to an MLB contract 3 weeks ago, I have to imagine they are going to trade Bastardo.
Well if he is gonna be on a major league team, it cant be the Phillies, they aren’t aa major league team.