Andrew Bailey

2013 Non-tender Tracker

6 Comments

We’ll be writing up the non-tenders as they come in prior to Monday’s midnight deadline. These players immediately become free agents.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Angels – RHP Juan Gutierrez, RHP Tommy Hanson, INF Chris Nelson, RHP Jerome Williams

All of these were expected. Hanson and Williams would have cost upwards of $4 million apiece. Williams is worth at least $2 million-$3 million anyway for his value as a swingman, but $4 million is a bit steep. Hanson is likely looking at a cheap one-year deal to battle for a rotation spot on a non-contender.

Blue Jays – C J.P. Arencibia

The Jays worked all day to find a trade partner for Arencibia after signing Dioner Navarro, but couldn’t find anyone willing to give up a prospect and spent $2.5 million-$3 million on his services. Arencibia could yet land a starting job with a thrifty team.

Indians – OF Matt Carson, RHP Tyler Cloyd, C Lou Marson

Carson and Cloyd could be re-signed to minor league deals. The Indians decided not to spend a million or so to retain Marson after he missed most of the year with a neck injury following a collision with Desmond Jennings, but he’s a decent enough backup catcher when healthy.

Orioles – RHP Eddie Gamboa, OF Jason Pridie

Rays – OF Sam Fuld, LHP Wesley Wright

As a true fifth outfielder, Fuld belongs in the NL. He’s too limited to eat up one of the four (or sometimes just three) bench spots on an AL roster. Wright had a nice showing after coming over from the Astros in August, posting a 15/3 K/BB ratio in 12 1/3 innings. The Rays didn’t want to be on the hook for $1.5 million or so, but he should get similar cash elsewhere.

Red Sox – RHP Andrew Bailey, OF Ryan Kalish

The rumor all day was that the Red Sox would work something out with Bailey, even though that would have meant paying him $4 million to spend at least half of next season rehabbing following shoulder surgery. Cutting him makes more sense, and he could yet be re-signed for a cheaper sum. Kalish, a once-promising outfield prospect done in by injuries, will be offered the chance to stay on a minor league contract.

Royals – 2B Chris Getz

After four years and 332 games of replacement level play, Getz is finally gone from Kansas City. He doesn’t have the bat to be a decent starting second baseman or the versatility to carve out a career as a utilityman, so he might be essentially done as a major leaguer.

White Sox – RHP Dylan Axelrod

A fringy swingman, Axelrod had gone 7-13 with a 5.36 ERA in 30 starts and 18 relief appearances for the White Sox the last three seasons. A different ballpark could help him, but he’ll have to battle for a spot in spring training.

Yankees – INF David Adams, RHP Matt Daley, INF Jayson Nix

This according to Brian Cashman. The oft-injured Adams got a look at third last year because of injuries, but he hit just .193/.252/.286 with 43 strikeouts in 140 at-bats. There was no longer any room for Nix after the Brendan Ryan signing. but he should get a utility gig elsewhere after his strong showing defensively at shortstop last season. 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Braves – SS Paul Janish, INF Elliot Johnson, RHP Cristhian Martinez

Janish, 31, hit .171/.222/.220 in 45 plate appearances this year at the major league level, and Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances. Janish, at least, offers quality defense at shortstop, if nothing else. Martinez is on his way back from major shoulder surgery and isn’t expected to be ready for Opening Day.

Brewers – none

Cardinals – RHP John Axford

Thanks to his $5 million salary, Axford was essentially marked for non-tendering after losing his closer gig in Milwaukee in April. He pitched pretty well from then on, and he’s definitely worth $4 million or so the right team. The Cardinals, though, can do without him. 

Cubs – RHP Daniel Bard, 1B-3B Mat Gamel, RHP Chang-Yong Lim

Bard fell apart in 2012 and couldn’t right the ship in 2013. In fact, things have gotten even worse of late: he walked nine while getting just one out in three appearances in the Puerto Rican Winter League. The right-hander posted a 2.88 ERA and 9.7 K/9 over his first 197 major league innings (2009-2011), but he’ll likely have to settle for a minor league contract for 2014. Bard turns 29 next June. … The 37-year-old Lim was given a two-year, minor league deal to sign out of Korea as he was rehabbing following Tommy John surgery last winter. He gave up three runs in five innings after a September callup.

Diamondbacks – RHP Daniel Hudson

While still rehabbing after the first, Hudson needed a second Tommy John surgery in June. The smart play might be for him to sit out the entire 2014 season, but he’ll probably aim for a return after the All-Star break instead. He’s still a very intriguing long-term property. It doesn’t look like the Diamondbacks have given up on bringing him back.

Dodgers – RHP Ronald Belisario

Belisario is a decent enough setup man, but the Dodgers are going to upgrade there, which might not be a bad idea given that their two best defensive infielders are free agents and Hanley Ramirez may stay at shortstop. A strikeout guy could help them more.

Giants – OF Francisco Peguero, RHP Sandy Rosario

The Giants are so loaded in the pen that they could non-tender a guy in Rosario who had a 3.02 ERA in 41 2/3 innings last season and makes nothing (he won’t even be eligible for arbitration for two years). They’ll probably just plug prospect Heath Hembree into his spot.

Marlins – OF Chris Coghlan, RHP Ryan Webb

The former Rookie of the Year is the name here, but Webb is the much bigger loss. The Marlins are giving away a perfectly fine reliever just because he’ll make $1.5 million-$1.8 million next year. The sinkerballing Webb had a 2.91 ERA in 80 1/3 innings last season, and he still seems to be getting better as he enters his age-28 campaign. Unless there’s some sort of injury here that we don’t know about, letting him go for nothing is the height of foolishness.

Mets – RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Jeremy Hefner,  INF Omar Quintanilla, INF Justin Turner, 2B-OF Jordany Valdespin

Atchison and Quintanilla were non-tendered by other teams last year, so they know how it works. Atchison likely would have undergone elbow surgery a year ago if he had been 26 rather than 36. He managed to get through 51 appearances for the Mets, but a late swoon left him with a 4.37 ERA. Quintanilla spent too much of the year as the Mets’ starting shortstop, hitting .222/.306/.283 in 315 at-bats. He’s a 25th man at best. Valdespin’s latest off-field transgression was a Biogenesis tie, but he’ll attract offers from other teams because of his age (26 on December 23) and past flashes of promising minor league production. … Hefner and Turner were late additions to the list. Hefner will miss most or all of next season following Tommy John surgery, but since he would have cost a mere $500,000 to keep around, it’s surprising the Mets didn’t ante up.

Pirates – 1B Garrett Jones, C Michael McKenry, RHP Kyle McPherson

All of these guys had already been designated for assignment. This just officially wipes them from the books. The Pirates did opt to keep outfielder Travis Snider, who was thought to be on the borderline.

Reds – OF Xavier Paul, OF Derrick Robinson

NL teams are always looking for pinch-hitting types, and Paul hit .273 with three homers in 33 at-bats in that role last season, which should serve to keep him employed. Robinson was DFA’d previously.

Rockies – RHP Mitchell Boggs

Boggs wasn’t the same disaster in his September callup with the Rockies (3 R in 8 2/3 IP) that he was with the Cardinals earlier in the season (18 ER in 14 2/3 IP), but neither did he show his 2010-12 form. Another pitching coach will get to take him on as a project.

Pitchers to receive new visor-like protective headgear

Headgear
MLB/MLBPA
3 Comments

For the past few years MLB, the MLBPA and cap and helmet manufacturers have been working on various models of protective headgear for pitchers. Some of the models have been unworkable, some of them have not met the satisfaction of pitchers and others have, well, looked a little odd. At present the only pitcher who routinely wears any headgear is Alex Torres, who wears the bulky isoBLOX helmet.

Now, however, there is a new option. And, as you can see above it’s a bit different than what we’ve seen before. It’s more or less like a visor, which will have a nylon top on them to give a full cap-like appearance. The ear flaps will be lefty and righty-specific, given that righties are more likely to be hit on the right and lefties on the left given their follow-throughs.

The new caps will be given out to players this spring and, like the old ones, will be used or not used at the choice of the players. You can read more about the new helmet at ESPN’s Outside the Lines report.

Brewers sign reliever Blaine Boyer

Blaine Boyer
Leave a comment

Right-hander Blaine Boyer, who spent last season with the Twins, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Brewers that includes an invitation to spring training.

Boyer was also on a minor-league deal last spring when he snagged a spot in the Twins’ season-opening bullpen and he stayed there all year, posting a 2.49 ERA in 65 innings. His secondary numbers weren’t quite so impressive, particularly his managing just 33 strikeouts compared to 19 walks, but the 34-year-old journeyman is a decent middle relief option.

Boyer has a 4.22 career ERA, including a 2.91 ERA in 105 innings since returning from injuries in 2014.

The Padres have been shopping Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp
Getty Images
7 Comments

Robert Murray of BaseballEssential.com reports that the Padres have tried to trade Matt Kemp.

Shocker given that he’s 31 and is owed $21.75 million over each of the next four seasons. Still, if the Padres eat some cash someone may bite. Kemp started slowly in 2015 but was solid in the second half. He finished with a line of .265/.312/.443, 23 home runs, and 100 RBI in 648 plate appearances. That last number is key because the once-fraglie Kemp has been healthy for two years now. Someone could use that level of production.

Just not at those prices.

The Braves and Fulton County are fighting over a Hank Aaron statue

FILE- In this Nov. 12, 2013 file photo, a statue of Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron stands outside Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta. The Atlanta Braves pulled perhaps the most surprising move of the year. They announced after months of secret talks with Cobb County leaders plans to move to a suburban stadium and leave downtown where they’ve played since moving from Milwaukee in 1966. The impending Braves’ departure aside, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed managed to keep the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons happy. He agreed for the city to cover part of the construction costs for a new retractable-roof stadium to replace the Georgia Dome downtown. Both new stadiums are projected to open in 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
Associated Press
28 Comments

Divorce is hard. It’s hard on the kids and hard on your own emotions. Then, of course, there’s the fighting over money. Eventually you sort that stuff out too, but at some point you’ll come across something that cannot be divided between you and for which visitation schedules simply aren’t suitable.

Maybe it’s the family photo album. Maybe it’s that 60-year-old cast iron skillet which you got at that estate sale and which is perfectly seasoned and, oh God, you can’t imagine making fried chicken in anything else YOU GOT THE HOUSE, JENNY, MY GOD I GET TO KEEP THE SKILLET!!!

Um. Sorry. Got carried away there for a second. Where was I? Oh yes. Maybe it’s that statue you and your ex both love. You know, that one of the guy who hit 755 home runs and who has served as the face of your franchise for over 60 years:

For about three hours Wednesday, it looked like the statue of baseball hall of famer Hank Aaron would be staying in Atlanta.

The agency that owns Turner Field proudly announced it holds documents showing “the people of Atlanta and Fulton County” own the bronze, and that a deal had been struck with the Braves to keep the statue at Turner Field.

Then came a statement from the Braves saying, in effect: nuh huh. The statue, the team said, should go wherever the Hammer wants it.

And with those dueling press statements, the fate over one of Atlanta’s treasured sports landmarks remained in limbo, just as it has been since the day the Braves announced plans in late 2013 to move from downtown to Cobb County after the 2016 season.

The latest: Hank Aaron says he wants no part of the dispute and that the club and the city should solve it themselves. Which is absolutely the right move. And, frankly, kind of crappy of the Braves to throw it in Aaron’s lap in the first place. They’re the ones who, figuratively speaking, broke up the marriage by messing around with that younger, richer suitor after all. Now they’re trying to make Aaron either be a bad guy to Braves fans who attend games after 2016 and don’t get to see the statue or the city of Atlanta who would have yet another piece of their baseball history transplanted to the burbs? Forget that.

If I were Aaron I’d propose that we saw the thing in half. Then we’d see who values it more. I heard that approach has worked before.