UPDATE: Now that the Rule 5 draft is over the player to be named later has been revealed as Double-A right-hander Daniel Turpen, a side-arming reliever who’s a marginal prospect at best.
Kevin Slowey, who fell out of favor in Minnesota after being demoted from the rotation to the bullpen in spring training, has been traded to Colorado for a player to be named later.
Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that the deal will become official later today.
Slowey was a solid mid-rotation starter for the Twins from 2007-2010, throwing 473 innings with a 4.41 ERA, but he was perhaps unfairly dumped from the rotation in favor of weaker options and then balked at becoming a full-time reliever.
Minnesota has been shopping him since March, so the player to be named later figures to be of minimal value. Slowey is under team control for two more seasons and will likely be in line for around $3 million via the arbitration process despite spending most of the season on the disabled list or in the minors and going 0-8 with a 6.67 ERA in 59 innings for the Twins.
When healthy and happy in his role Slowey is very capable of throwing 175 innings with a four-something ERA and excellent strikeout-to-walk ratios, but as an extreme fly-ball pitcher without overpowering raw stuff Coors Field is probably the worst possible home for him.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.