USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported yesterday that the Indians released Juan Salas and designated Vinnie Chulk for assignment. Reliever Matt Herges was called up, Rafael Perez was demoted and today the Indians added Luis Vizcaino as they revamp their bullpen.
According to MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince, the Indians signed reliever Matt Herges to a minor league deal. Herges cashed in with a $2.5MM deal following a nice ’07 season with the Rockies, but he slipped to a 5.04 ERA in ’08. The main difference between the two seasons was Herges’ batting average on balls in play, so there is hope for a rebound.
According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies declined their $2.5MM option on reliever Matt Herges. The buyout was $250K. Add a few more bucks to the Rockies’ budget. They still have roughly $70MM likely to be committed to current players though.
Herges’ ERA went up significantly this year, but his component skills didn’t change much. His strikeouts and walks are both up a touch, but the big difference was the rate at which batted balls fell for hits.
Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News reports the Marlins have inquired on the availability of Rockies’ catcher Yorvit Torrealba, and outfielders Willy Taveras and Scott Podsednik.
Meanwhile, St. Louis inquired on pitcher Matt Herges to provide a veteran pressence in their bullpen.
The Denver Post is reporting that the Rockies have re-signed catcher Yorvit Torrealba and middle reliever Matt Herges. They’re currently in town for physicals.
It’s believed that Torrealba will sign for a reasonable $7MM over two years with an option for 2010. Contrary to previous reports, he did not fail a physical with the Mets earlier this month. Wonder why they pulled out of that one.
It sounds like the Rox got Herges on a one-year deal, maybe for slightly more than the original $2MM they offered.
These signings aren’t spectacular. They’re both low-risk, low-upside deals. If Torrealba is only making $3.5MM a year it will be OK to allow Chris Iannetta to work his way into the starting role.
Tom Haudricourt spoke to Brewers GM Doug Melvin recently to learn more about possible relief acquisitions.
- Acquiring Joe Nathan or Chad Cordero is highly unlikely, because the Brewers don’t want to create holes at other positions.
- The Crew has an offer out to one free agent reliever but it’s not Matt Herges. That conflicts with a report from Haudricourt from November 14th. Herges must be considering a Mystery Team along with the Rockies.
- Haudricourt speculates that the offer might be out to David Riske, who I imagine wants at least three years and $12MM.
Random pieces of rumorage…
- The Mets have expressed interest in Livan Hernandez, though he appears to be their Plan C or D.
- Jim Bowden and the Nats will be active in the trade market, perhaps finally pulling the trigger on deals for Chad Cordero and/or Jon Rauch.
- The Rays and Twins have had discussions about shortstop Jason Bartlett. Would a 1 for 1 trade for Rocco Baldelli make sense? Buster Olney believes the Rays should consider trading for the Nats’ Cristian Guzman.
- Update on the Rockies’ reliever situation. They’re probably going to pass on Ron Mahay and Jeremy Affeldt, while they should hear Matt Herges’ decision today. Ron Villone is also in their sights.
- The D’Backs will no longer look at annual payroll. Instead, they have a three-year budget to spend. This may allow for a higher payroll in 2008 than 2009. Jack Magruder guesses the number is around $230-240MM for 2008-10.
- Speaking of Arizona, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic believes some kind of Carlos Gonzalez for Dontrelle Willis swap could make sense. Another D’Back note – they offered an extension to Brandon Webb for 2011-13, but he turned down their offer.
- The Scott Linebrink signing is done, and he gets some kind of no-trade protection.
Time for a Rockies update, courtesy of the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders.
- The Rox appear to be making progress with Yorvit Torrealba, though they’re leaving the door open for Michael Barrett or Paul Lo Duca. So things are creeping along there.
- Matt Herges will decide where to pitch within a day or two. It’s down to two teams – the Rockies and perhaps the Brewers. He’d like to stay with Colorado but would prefer a two-year deal.
- Shawn Chacon continues to surface on GM Dan O’Dowd’s radar. O’Dowd will only consider Chacon in a relief role, though Chacon’s agent seems to indicate other teams may toss some starts his way.
Troy E. Renck has the Rockies hot stove buzz, as usual.
- The Rockies are close with reliever Matt Herges, but other teams remain in the mix. It’s known that Herges wants a two-year deal and the Brewers are interested.
- The Rockies are also making progress on a deal with catcher Yorvit Torrealba. The Mets saw something they didn’t like in Torrealba, so he’s come back to the Rockies to talk. Renck says the Rockies had previously offered two years and $7MM with a vesting option for 2010 (seems reasonable). Now they might be able to get him without guaranteeing that third year.
- Renck says Kaz Matsui may sign with the Cubs or Astros next week. Matsui has priced himself out of the Rockies’ range.
UPDATE: Melvin signed sidearmer Randy Choate this afternoon to start things off. This MLB.com article also quotes Cordero’s agent Bean Stringfellow that "numerous" teams have shown serious interest in the closer. The Astros may be making a strong push.
Tom Haudricourt checks in with some names among the eight or nine free agent relievers on Brewers GM Doug Melvin’s radar. And to think, they cut this part out of Haudricourt’s newspaper article.
Melvin is currently interested in righties Matt Herges and LaTroy Hawkins, as well as southpaw Ron Mahay. The Rockies have one-year offers on the table for Herges and Hawkins in the $1.5-2MM range. Any team guaranteeing two years can probably have Herges or Hawkins. Mahay’s in the three-year, $12MM class. Haudricourt suggests David Riske, another 3/12 type, might also be a consideration.
The Brewers have an offer out to Francisco Cordero, and haven’t decided whether to make a proposal to Scott Linebrink. Both are Type A free agents, so at least the Brewers should offer them arbitration. I say let ’em both walk and reap the draft picks. (The Mets, by the way, seemingly won’t be in on Linebrink).