Luke Scott

Tracking the non-tenders: Joe Saunders, Luke Scott, Hong-Chih Kuo

41 Comments

Here’s the official list of players non-tendered prior to the Monday midnight deadline:

American League

Baltimore: OF/DH Luke Scott, LHP Jo-Jo Reyes, RHP Willie Eyre

Scott went from hitting .284/.368/.535 during an excellent 2010 season to .220/.301/.402 in 209 at-bats during a 2011 season shortened by shoulder surgery. The Orioles could re-sign him for significantly less than the $6 million he was due in arbitration. If not, he’ll enter the crowded free agent market as a lesser version of Jason Kubel.

Boston: LHP Rich Hill

Hill figures to miss at least the first month or two after Tommy John surgery, but since he did show promise as a sidewinding reliever last season, the Red Sox debated tendering him. They’ll make an attempt to re-sign him to a minor league contract.

Chicago: none

Cleveland: none

The Indians said they’ll tender everyone. Their only borderline arbitration-eligible player is third baseman Jack Hannahan, and he shouldn’t come in at much more than $1 million. Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Masterson and Shin-Soo Choo are due for bigger raises, though Choo’s rough year will cost him.

Detroit: 2B Will Rhymes

Rhymes quickly fell out of favor after opening last season as Detroit’s primary second baseman. He has a nice career line of .283/.341/.370 in 276 major league at-bats, but if anyone had much interest in him, he would have been traded. He’s making the minimum, so that wasn’t an issue.

Kansas City: LHP Aaron Laffey

The Royals claimed Laffey off waivers from the Yankees in October, so it seems they want him around. Still, they weren’t interested in risking arbitration. A sinkerballing lefty, Laffey has a 4.34 ERA in 373 2/3 career innings. He may get a guaranteed deal from some team, but it will be for less than $1 million.

Los Angeles: none

The Angels said they’re tendering all of their arbitration-eligible players, a list that includes Kendrys Morales.

Minnesota: LHP Jose Mijares

Mijares should be a hot name with so little left-handed relief available this winter. He was terrible last season, with a 30/30 K/BB ratio and a 4.59 ERA in 49 innings, but he had an 83/32 K/BB ratio and a 2.67 ERA in 94 1/3 innings between 2009-10. Although he has a reputation as a bit of a head case, he’ll get guaranteed money.

New York: none

Yankees GM Brian Cashman confirmed that he would have no non-tenders tonight.

Oakland: none

Daric Barton, Landon Powell and Adam Rosales all agreed to one-year deals today, and the A’s announced that they’re tendering everyone. Powell and Rosales risked being non-tendered if they didn’t sign today.

Seattle: RHP Dan Cortes, C Chris Gimenez

Cortes’ inclusion is explained by the fact that he underwent a previously unrevealed shoulder surgery in October, leaving his status for the beginning of 2012 in doubt. The hard-throwing-but-wild right-hander could be re-signed to a minor league deal.

Tampa Bay: RHP Andy Sonnanstine

Sonnanstine was expendable regardless, but the trade for Burke Badenhop on Monday made it even more obvious he had no place in the Rays’ plans going forward. He might have a chance of surviving as a swingman in the NL.

Texas: RHP Fabio Castillo

Good arm, bad year in Double-A. The Rangers will probably re-sign him to a minor league deal.

Toronto: none

Jeff Mathis took a paycut and thus avoided being non-tendered. Dustin McGowan is another one who might have been non-tendered had he not agreed to a one-year deal on Monday.

National League

Arizona: LHP Joe Saunders, RHP Micah Owings

Confirmed now. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Saunders would be a non-tender after failing to come to terms with the Diamondbacks on either a one- or two-year contract. He might be able to get a two-year deal from another team, possibly for $7 million-$8 million per year.

Atlanta: RHP Peter Moylan, INF Brooks Conrad

Moylan will miss at least the first month or two after rotator cuff surgery. The Braves will probably re-sign the veteran setup man to a lesser deal.

Chicago: C Koyie Hill

Here’s a move that’s long overdue. Hill is pretty atrocious offensively and isn’t really exceptional on defense either. Welington Castillo should prove to be an immediate upgrade behind Geovany Soto for the Cubs.

Cincinnati: none

John Fay reports that the Reds will tender everyone. Paul Janish and Jose Arredondo were the only arbitration-eligible players somewhat in doubt. The Reds have been looking for a veteran backup shortstop, suggesting that Janish’s place on the team is still far from assured.

Colorado: OF Ryan Spilborghs, OF Cole Garner

Spilborghs spent five years as a really nice part-timer for the Rockies before collapsing last year. He hit just .210/.283/.305 in 200 at-bats for Colorado. At 32, he has a chance to bounce back and serve as a productive bench player elsewhere. The Red Sox have often been mentioned in connection with him when his name has come up in trade rumors.

Florida: RHP Clay Hensley

The Marlins opted to keep Chris Volstad, which qualifies as a minor surprise. Hensley had already been designated for assignment, so this non-tender was a given. He washed out as a starter last season, but he did have a 3.51 ERA in 25 2/3 innings out of the pen. In 2010, he had a 2.16 ERA in 75 innings as a reliever.

Houston: none

The Astros had just two arbitration-eligible players in Humberto Quintero and J.A. Happ, and they’ve already re-signed Quintero.

Los Angeles: LHP Hong-Chih Kuo

Kuo’s case of the yips and likely $3 million salary was viewed as a bad combination by the Dodgers. There will be several teams interested if Los Angeles can’t re-sign him; when Kuo is on, he’s as unhittable as any lefty in the game.

Milwaukee: none

New York: OF Mike Baxter, C Ronny Paulino

Paulino seems to be wearing out his welcome with teams pretty quickly, but he still offers a nice bat versus left-handed pitching. It could get him a backup gig. The Mets are leaning towards going with light-hitting Mike Nickeas as Josh Thole’s backup, though that could change if Jason Varitek or Ivan Rodriguez is willing to sign for $1 million.

Philadelphia: none

Pittsburgh: C Jason Jaramillo, INF Pedro Ciriaco

Those two were already removed from the Pirates’ 40-man roster last week. Right-handers Jason Grilli and Chris Resop were the two veterans the Pirates considered non-tendering. Grilli saved his job by agreeing to a one-year deal today.

St. Louis: INF Ryan Theriot

Skip Schumaker took a two-year contract and avoided being non-tendered. Theriot will try to find a starting job at second base somewhere. His poor play at shortstop really limits his value as a utilityman.

San Diego: OF Jeremy Hermida

Hermida had already been designated for assignment. The Padres also re-signed outfielder Chris Denorfia to a one-year deal today. They’ll hold on to right-hander Dustin Moseley, who was considered a possible non-tender after surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.

San Francisco: 2B Jeff Keppinger, C Eli Whiteside

Mike Fontenot signed a one-year deal, so he escaped this fate. It helped his case that he’s a better shortstop than Keppinger. Keppinger can hit, though, and might get a look as a starter at second base.

Washington: LHP Doug Slaten

Slaten was limited to 31 appearances by an elbow injury last season, but he was a nice lefty specialist in 2010, when he had a 3.10 ERA in 40 2/3 innings. Mark Zuckerman says this will be the Nationals’ only non-tender, meaning Tom Gorzelanny will stick around as the second lefty in the Washington pen along with Sean Burnett. Jesus Flores was also offered a deal.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.

It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Getty Images
6 Comments

The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.