The 28-year-old Peters appeared in the majors during the previous four seasons with the Marlins and Angels. Peters has recorded a 5.83 ERA/5.22 SIERA with a 16.7 percent strikeout rate and a 9.9 percent walk rate over 132 2/3 big league frames. He has also had trouble at the Triple-A level, where he has logged a 6.15 ERA in 169 2/3 innings.
The Angels have been granted a fourth minor league option over both right-hander Jaime Barria and lefty Dillon Peters, tweets Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. Both were among a group of players waiting for an arbiter to rule on how the truncated length of the 2020 season determined their eligibility for a fourth option.
Teams can be granted a fourth option over players who have fewer than five “full” seasons but have exhausted all three of their original minor league options. The league’s rules stipulate that 90 or more days on an active big league or minor league roster — but not time on the injured list — constitutes a “full” season. In the wake of last year’s shortened schedule and 67-day season, there was some uncertainty as to whether several players were out of options or whether their teams would be granted a fourth.
In the case of the Angels, the additional options are welcome news — particularly with regard to Barria. The Halos certainly would’ve carried the 24-year-old righty on the Opening Day roster rather than expose him to waivers, but they’ll now have the flexibility to option him back and forth in 2021 without exposing him to waivers.
At present, they’ll open the season with Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney, Jose Quintana, Griffin Canning, Alex Cobb and Shohei Ohtani in a six-man rotation. There was no immediate starting job for Barria, and had he been out of options, he’d have likely been put into a long relief role in the ’pen to begin the year. The team can now keep him stretched out as a starter at their alternate site and (when the season begins) in Triple-A, upgrading their depth. For an Angels club that has been routinely decimated by injury in recent seasons, that extra flexibility and depth could prove vital.
Peters’ situation differs a bit, given that he was outrighted from the 40-man roster after clearing waivers over the winter. His option will only come into play if the Angels select him back to the 40-man roster, although the fact that he now has an extra option probably makes it likelier for him to be considered for such a move.
Barria sandwiched a rough 2019 season between strong showings in 2018 and 2020. On the whole, he’s pitched 244 1/3 innings of 4.46 ERA ball in the Majors, striking out a below-average 19.3 percent of opponents but also delivering a low 8.0 percent walk rate. He’s likely a back-of-the-rotation type starter, making him a nice depth option for the 2021 season and perhaps setting him up for a larger role in 2022 and beyond. Bundy, Heaney, Quintana and Cobb are all free agents at season’s end.
Some minor league moves from around the sport…
- The Cardinals have signed outfielder Matt Szczur to a minor league deal that contains an invite to their big league Spring Training camp, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reports (via Twitter). Szczur hit .231/.312/.355 over 667 plate appearances with the Cubs and Padres from 2014-18 but he hasn’t since returned to the majors. The 31-year-old signed minor league contracts with the Diamondbacks prior to the 2019 season and the Phillies prior to 2020, with Philadelphia releasing Szczur back in June.
- The White Sox signed infielder Marco Hernandez to a minor league contract back in January, as originally noted by the transactions page for Triple-A East (formerly the International League). Hernandez was released by the Red Sox in August, ending a six-year stint in the Boston organization that saw Hernandez hit .265/.300/.342 over 271 plate appearances in parts of three MLB seasons. He was part of Boston’s 60-man player pool but didn’t see any big league action in 2020. Hernandez played mostly second base with the Red Sox but he also has experience at third base and shortstop, so he will be competing for a utility infield job in Chicago’s camp.
- The Angels announced that left-hander Dillon Peters was outrighted Triple-A at clearing waivers. Peters will be invited to the team’s Spring Training camp after being designated for assignment last week. The southpaw pitched in just one MLB game in 2020, getting hit for four runs (three earned) over 1 2/3 innings for the Angels. A groundball specialist while coming up in the Marlins’ farm system, Peters has a 5.83 ERA and only a 16.7K% over 132 2/3 career Major League innings with Miami and Anaheim.
- Diamondbacks left-hander Taylor Guilbeau has been outrighted to Triple-A, the team announced. Guilbeau cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week, and he will also be invited to Arizona’s big league Spring Training camp. Guilbeau posted a 2.70 ERA over 20 MLB innings with the Mariners from 2019-20, with the D’Backs acquiring the grounder specialist on a waiver claim in October.
- The Twins announced that southpaw Brandon Waddell has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A after being designated for assignment last Thursday. Waddell has been invited to the Twins’ Major League Spring Training camp. A fifth-round pick for the Pirates in the 2015 draft, Waddell made his MLB debut in 2020, tossing 3 1/3 innings over two games with Pittsburgh. Minnesota claimed Waddell off waivers from the Pirates in October.
The Angels have acquired right-hander Aaron Slegers from the Rays for a player to be named later or cash considerations, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The Halos also designated lefty Dillon Peters for assignment, per Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times.
Slegers, a fifth-round pick of the Twins in 2013, was traded to Tampa Bay before 2019 and then had his most experience at the big league level last season. While Slegers combined for 32 innings in the majors from 2017-19, that barely outpaced the 26 frames he amassed in 2020. In all, the soft-tossing, 6-foot-10 Slegers has put up a 4.66 ERA over 58 major league frames.
Peters, who – like Slegers – is 28 years old, was with the Marlins and Angels from 2018-20. He recorded a 5.83 ERA/5.22 SIERA then with a 16.7 percent strikeout rate and a 9.9 percent walk rate in 132 2/3 innings between the clubs
3:30pm: The two teams have announced the swap of Peters and Stevens. Peter will go on the Halos’ 40-man roster, while Stevens will not be added to Miami’s 40-man roster.
2:15pm: The Angels are putting the finishing touches on a trade with the Marlins that will send lefty Dillon Peters to Los Angeles, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (via Twitter). Righty Tyler Stevens is set to move to Miami in return.
If completed, the swap would send Peters onto the Halos’ 40-man roster. He was designated for assignment by Miami yesterday as the team looked to set its 40-man roster in advance of next month’s Rule 5 Draft. Though the 26-year-old has not found any success in his two attempts at the majors, he was viewed as one of the organization’s more promising arms at this time last year and considered to be a mostly MLB-ready starter. To this point, Peters has only worked as a starter, though as Fletcher notes, he experienced a velocity boost in 2018, so perhaps he’ll be given a shot to transition into a relief role.
As for the 22-year-old Stephens, he reached the Triple-A level in his second season as a pro after opening the year with excellent numbers at High-A and Double-A. But the right-handed reliever was drubbed at the highest level of the minors, surrendering 34 earned runs on 58 hits in just 28 frames — though he did still maintain a respectable combination of 11.6 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9. Stevens is still rather young for that level and was a quick riser through the Angels’ system last year, so he’ll hope for better results with some additional experience under his belt in a second run at the Triple-A level.
The Marlins announced an avalanche of roster moves in advance of tonight’s deadline for protection from the Rule 5 Draft. Being selected to the 40-man roster are right-handers Jorge Guzman, Jordan Yamamoto, Jordan Holloway and Kyle Keller, infielder Isan Diaz, outfielder Monte Harrison and left-hander Jose Quijada. Adding that group required the creation of three spots on the 40-man roster, which led the club to designate left-hander Dillon Peters, outfielder Braxton Lee and right-hander Ben Meyer for assignment.
Of the players to be designated for assignment, Peters is perhaps the most interesting. It’s not long ago that the 26-year-old lefty was deemed one of the more promising arms in an admittedly thin Marlins system on the heels of a 2.38 ERA between Class-A Advanced and Double-A in 2016. Peters didn’t have gaudy strikeout numbers but showed excellent control, and he followed up that season with a 1.57 ERA, 7.9 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 through 63 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017.
He’s been shelled in the Majors, though, surrendering a 6.10 ERA in 59 innings while displaying walk issues that weren’t present as he worked through the minors. At this point, he’s 26-year-old (27 next August) who’s yet to even pitch at Triple-A and hasn’t had success in the Majors — but one who did draw praise for an above-average breaking ball in the past. A year ago at this time, he was viewed as a largely MLB-ready back-of-the-rotation starter.
Lee, meanwhile, drew plus running grades as a prospect and was said to have an average or better glove with a chance to play center. He’s never shown any semblance of power but has previously had excellent contact skills and even won a Double-A batting title in 2017. His 2018 campaign was a disaster, though, as Lee hit just .233/.316/.294 across three minor league levels and didn’t hit in a tiny sample of 18 MLB plate appearances.
Meyer, 26 later this offseason, debuted in 2018 and was clobbered for 22 runs in 19 innings of work. He was sensational in 2017, pitching to a 2.02 ERA with 10.8 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9 in 111 1/3 innings — but those numbers came against much younger opposition, as Meyer was a college pitcher in his third full pro season splitting the year between Class-A and Class-A Advanced. He logged a 4.24 ERA with 6.9 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 in 63 2/3 Triple-A innings this season.
While the Mets had intended to conduct a second round, the team jumped at the chance to hire Mickey Callaway as manager after his first interview, Marc Carig of Newsday writes. He stressed a need to engage the team’s players as “human beings and individuals,” while GM Sandy Alderson cited a need to establish “rapport [and] empathy.” In other news relating to the hiring situation, Carig also notes (Twitter link) that the club interviewed Mark DeRosa before reaching its decision. The long-time big leaguer currently works for MLB Network; his candidacy had not previously been reported.
Here’s more from the National League:
- Trimming payroll down to a reported $90MM obviously represents a big challenge for the Marlins. The challenge is made all the more difficult, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes, by the state of the team’s rotation. With some paring of veteran assets seemingly all but inevitable, it seems likely that the team will look to bring back some new arms if at all possible. Of course, the organization will surely still be looking to rely on internal options to fill out the staff. A team source had some rather harsh words for two such candidates, telling Jackson that promising youngster Dillon Peters “needs to lose weight” and charging that the struggling Adam Conley fails to accept instruction and “thinks he has all the answers.” Neither of those two southpaws produced appealing results in 2017, though the former drew a ton of groundballs in his first 31 1/3 MLB frames (and was also quite good at Double-A) while the latter had quite a lot of success in the prior two seasons.
- The Reds’ pitching staff has easily been the worst in baseball over the past two seasons, but there are certainly some useful pieces in place. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon takes a look at one such pitcher, southpaw reliever Wandy Peralta. The 26-year-old was a pleasant surprise in his rookie campaign, working to a 3.76 ERA in 64 2/3 frames with 7.9 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 to go with a 54.2% groundball rate. Peralta has a diverse slate of pitch offerings — a pair of big fastballs along with a slider and change — that he utilized nearly equally in 2017. Given the number of questions marks among Cincinnati hurlers, hopes are obviously high that Peralta will continue to cement his status as a solid bullpen asset.
- The pitching coach carousel seems to be a particular area to watch in the coaching ranks this offseason, with Jim Hickey among the notable names on the market. Per MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, via Twitter, the former Rays pitching coach held a chat with the Cubs today. He has also already engaged with the Giants and Cardinals, she notes.
Thanks to an improbable late-season rally, the Marlins entered Saturday a game over .500 and 4.5 games behind Colorado for the National League’s last wild-card spot. They’re not going to attempt to sell veterans such as 49-home run right fielder Giancarlo Stanton or reliever Brad Ziegler anytime soon, then, Rosenthal suggests (video links). Dealing Stanton during the season looked extremely unlikely even before the Marlins’ recent run, given his enormous contract (10 years, $295MM left after this season), the opt-out in the deal after the 2020 campaign and his full no-trade clause – not to mention the team’s impending ownership change. Nevertheless, the Marlins have been getting calls on the surging 27-year-old, according to Rosenthal, who reports that teams have been offering packages consisting of prospects, salary relief and major leaguers for Stanton. Miami has not seriously considered any offers to this stage, but if Stanton’s incredible performance keeps up, proposals from other clubs should only get more appealing, Rosenthal posits.
Ziegler, meanwhile, could have interested contenders looking for bullpen help. The 37-year-old has posted some mediocre-at-best numbers this season (4.73 ERA, 4.73 K/9, 3.15 BB/9 over 40 innings), but the ground-ball machine (66.6 percent) has worked 11 straight scoreless appearances and is under control in 2018 for a fairly reasonable $9MM. He and Stanton have each reportedly cleared trade waivers this month, freeing them up for August moves, though it looks like a moot point in both cases.
More from Rosenthal on the Marlins and two other clubs:
- Whether Tigers left fielder Justin Upton continues his torrid pace through September and whether he’s willing to stick with a rebuilding team will help determine his opt-out decision after the season, Rosenthal says. Upton, who has been one of the majors’ most valuable outfielders this season, will have a chance to walk away from the four years and $88.5MM left on his deal in hopes of landing a similar or better pact elsewhere. If he chooses to exit Detroit, facing less competition on the market than he did when he was a free agent in 2015 and not being eligible for a qualifying offer would aid him in his search for another big payday, Rosenthal notes. As a free agent a couple winters ago, Upton inked a six-year, $132.75MM pact with the Tigers despite being part of a class of available players that included other star-caliber outfielders in Jason Heyward, Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon.
- On account of their unexpected success, the Marlins seem to be on the lookout for rotation help, though president of baseball operations Michael Hill told Rosenthal that the starters who have cleared waivers in August are “not inspiring at all.” Stuck with the likes of Vance Worley and Justin Nicolino in their rotation, the Marlins could promote minor league left-hander Dillon Peters, per Rosenthal. The 24-year-old Peters has posted impressive numbers across 45 2/3 Double-A innings this season, with a 1.97 ERA, 7.88 K/9 against 2.17 BB/9 and a 46 percent grounder rate, and MLB.com ranks him as the Marlins’ fourth-best prospect.
- The Nationals would like to retain contract-year manager Dusty Baker past this season, GM Mike Rizzo informed Rosenthal. The Baker-led Nats have gone 171-117 since he took over in advance of the 2016 campaign and are coasting to a second straight NL East title. Baker has said on multiple occasions that he wants to remain with the Nationals, but he’s also aiming for a pay raise.