Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer has penned an interesting piece on the process for evaluating medicals in prospective trades — a matter that has taken on increasingly public significance with several recent swaps blown up after agreement was reportedly reached in principle. He chats at length with Reds orthopedist Dr. Timothy Kremchek and GM Dick Williams about the “streamlined” but still-nuanced assessment of player health in finalizing trades. “You’re hearing more about the ones that don’t happen,” Williams explained. “I do think because the technology is better. In the old days, it’s like, ‘Well, he has a sore elbow, but I’m sure it’ll be fine by spring.’ Now they’re taking scans and x-rays and you’re getting a lot more detail. There’s a lot more opportunity for interpretation. The dollars have gotten so much bigger that doctors don’t want to be the scapegoat.” The article is well worth a full read.
Of course, Williams also chatted recently with MLBTR about quite a different topic — his time at the University of Virginia. (As a fellow U.Va. alum, that made for an especially interesting trip down memory lane.) Here’s the latest from the National League:
- Righty Jim Henderson has cracked the Mets’ Opening Day roster, as the team announced and ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin reports. Once a late-inning reliever, Henderson has struggled with shoulder injuries in recent years, but impressed this spring by allowing just two earned runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out 13 over 10 2/3 frames. Meanwhile, lefty Sean Gilmartin — who had a strong season in the pen as a Rule 5 pick last year — has been optioned down to Triple-A. Logan Verrett will instead make the roster and function as New York’s longman.
- Outfielder Chris Heisey will take a reserve role with the Nationals out of camp, Devan Fink first reported on Twitter. A 40-man spot was cleared by adding TJ rehabber Aaron Barrett to the 60-day DL.
- Meanwhile, Blake Treinen appears to have beaten out Sean Burnett and Trevor Gott for the final pen role, James Wagner of the Washington Post tweets. Burnett is set to opt out of his deal, and the team has announced that Gott was optioned. What’s surprising isn’t so much that Treinen made the pen — he has an impressive arsenal and nice spring under his belt — but that Matt Belisle took the spot that had seemed destined to go to Gott. It’s not as if he had rough camp, as he finished with three earned runs on his tab over nine innings, allowing nine hits and two walks while recording five strikeouts. Though he generated quite a few grounders last year with the Angels, Gott only struck out 5.1 batters per nine, and he could certainly stand to add some polish to his curve to develop another pitch to go with a 96.1 mph heater. Gott enters the year with 114 days of service on his ledger, so a sufficiently lengthy minor league stint could also buy the club another year of control. He could eventually join Barrett, Treinen, and lefty Felipe Rivero in a young, cheap, high-powered pen corps of the future.
- Brewers manager Craig Counsell says that lefty Sean Nolin has been diagnosed with a “significant” injury to his UCL, MLB.com’s Chris Abshire reports. There had been some suggestion that Nolin had avoided a ligament issue, but today’s news seemingly puts a lengthier absence on the table. A final prognosis will await a second opinion, though, so the 26-year-old’s fate remains to be seen. Nolin, who was claimed off waivers from the A’s over the winter, had been competing for a pen spot before he was shut down a few weeks ago.
Can someone explain how Rule 5 picks work a bit better? So Gilmartin had been stuck in the minors the max number of years without being called up, I guess five, so he was exposed to the Rule Five Draft, and the Mets picked him, and they rostered him all last year, ok. But now that he spent a year on a big league roster, he is able to be optioned, in a standard way over three years I guess. Is that right? Seems weird somehow…
Its about whether the player is on the 40-man roster or not. So when a player is on the 40-man, they can be optioned to the minors and the team still retains control over the player’s rights. Prior to being on the 40-man, the team controls a player’s rights for 4 or 5 years (depending on whether they are a college draftee or HS/Intl), before they are exposed to the rule 5 draft. The draft was put in place to ensure that teams don’t just hide a ton of talent in their minors without giving them a chance to crack a major league roster.
Yes. After he’s picked in the Rule V Draft, he remains on the roster the entire season, then the team has full rights to him as any other player on their roster, so he can be optioned. In a more complicated situation, last year, the DBacks picked catcher Oscar Hernandez, who got hurt during Spring Training, and spent most of the season on the DL. Near the end of the season, he was activated, and spent something like 21 days on the active roster. While a DL stint counts as Major League time, they must be active for at least 90 days, so Hernandez, a year later, is still subject to Rule V Draft rules until he surpasses the 90 days, so he must stay on the DBacks’ active roster for at least 69 or something days before the DBacks gain his full rights, or be offered back to his original club.
I really liked Logan Verrett last season, but I was surprised that he made the team, just because articles I’d read seemed to indicate that Gilmartin had the edge.