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.

Rob Manfred on robot umps: “In general, I would be a keep-the-human-element-in-the-game guy.”

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 5:  Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred talks with media prior to a game between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 5, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
15 Comments

Craig covered the bulk of Rob Manfred’s quotes from earlier. The commissioner was asked about robot umpires and he’s not a fan. Via Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Manfred was wrong to blame the player’s union’s “lack of cooperation” on proposed rule changes, but he’s right about robot umps and the strike zone. The obvious point is that robot umps cannot yet call balls and strikes with greater accuracy than umpires. Those strike zone Twitter accounts, such as this, are sometimes hilariously wrong. Even the strike zone graphics used on television are incorrect and unfortunate percentage of the time.

The first issue to consider about robot umps is taking jobs away from people. There are 99 umps and more in the minors. If robot umpiring was adopted in collegiate baseball, as well as the independent leagues, that’s even more umpires out of work. Is it worth it for an extra one or two percent improvement in accuracy?

Personally, the fallibility of the umpires adds more intrigue to baseball games. There’s strategy involved, as each umpire has tendencies which teams can strategize against. For instance, an umpire with a more generous-than-average strike zone on the outer portion of the plate might entice a pitcher to pepper that area with more sliders than he would otherwise throw. Hitters, knowing an umpire with a smaller strike zone is behind the dish, may take more pitches in an attempt to draw a walk. Or, knowing that information, a hitter may swing for the fences on a 3-0 pitch knowing the pitcher has to throw in a very specific area to guarantee a strike call or else give up a walk.

The umpires make their mistakes in random fashion, so it adds a chaotic, unpredictable element to the game as well. It feels bad when one of those calls goes against your team, but fans often forget the myriad calls that previously went in their teams’ favor. The mistakes will mostly even out in the end.

I haven’t had the opportunity to say this often, but Rob Manfred is right in this instance.

Report: MLB approves new rule allowing a dugout signal for an intentional walk

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 29:  MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred laughs during a ceremony naming the 2016 winners of the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award and the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award before Game Four of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
25 Comments

ESPN’s Howard Bryant is reporting that Major League Baseball has approved a rule allowing for a dugout signal for an intentional walk. In other words, baseball is allowing automatic intentional walks. Bryant adds that this rule will be effective for the 2017 season.

MLB has been trying, particularly this month, to improve the pace of play. Getting rid of the formality of throwing four pitches wide of the strike zone will save a minute or two for each intentional walk. There were 932 of them across 2,428 games last season, an average of one intentional walk every 2.6 games. It’s not the biggest improvement, but it’s something at least.

Earlier, Commissioner Rob Manfred was upset with the players’ union’s “lack of cooperation.” Perhaps his public criticism was the catalyst for getting this rule passed.

Unfortunately, getting rid of the intentional walk formality will eradicate the chance of seeing any more moments like this: