Author: Aaron Gleeman

Casey Janssen

Nationals decline 2016 options on Casey Janssen, Nate McLouth


Washington has declined its 2016 options on right-hander Casey Janssen and outfielder Nate McLouth, making both players free agents.

Janssen gets a $1.5 million buyout instead of a $7 million option after throwing 40 innings with a 4.95 ERA in a setup role. He was the Blue Jays’ primary closer from 2012-2014 and was supposed to replace Tyler Clippard in the Nationals’ bullpen, but instead he missed the first six weeks of the season with a shoulder injury and mostly struggled at age 33.

McLouth missed the entire season following shoulder surgery, so giving him a $750,000 buyout instead of a $6.5 million option was a no-brainer. He’s topped a .700 OPS just once since 2010 and is now 34 years old, meaning he may have to settle for a minor-league deal this offseason.

Cardinals keep Jaime Garcia for 2016, decline Jonathan Broxton’s option

Jaime Garcia

St. Louis has exercised its $11.5 milliion option on Jaime Garcia to keep the left-hander around for 2016, but has declined its $9 million option on right-hander Jonathan Broxton to make him a free agent.

Garcia had a rough playoff start, but was fantastic in 20 regular season outings after coming back form his latest arm problems. He’s always a major health question mark, but Garcia has a 3.31 ERA in 724 career innings through age 28 and will be a big part of the Cardinals’ rotation.

Broxton was acquired from the Brewers on July 31 and did a solid job for the Cardinals in a setup role with a 2.66 ERA and 26/12 K/BB ratio in 24 innings, but as a good but not great reliever he’d have been overpriced at $9 million. Instead he gets a $2 million buyout–some of which is covered by the Brewers as part of the trade–and hits the open market at age 32.

Blue Jays promote Tony LaCava to interim GM, replacing Alex Anthopoulos

Tony LaCava Blue Jays

Alex Anthopoulos stepped down as Blue Jays general manager last week, rejecting a five-year contract offer because of the changes in role he believed would be forced upon him working under new team president Mark Shapiro.

Today the Blue Jays decided on a replacement general manager, with Jamie Campbell of Toronto Sportsnet reporting that they’ve promoted Anthopoulos’ longtime assistant general manager Tony LaCava to the interim role. LaCava has been in Toronto’s front office since 2002 and has been assistant GM since 2007.

Assuming that the Blue Jays also retain manager John Gibbons, it would mean basically maintaining the same coaching and front office structure minus Anthopoulos and plus Shapiro. LaCava is now the GM, but the buck ultimately stops with Shapiro and Anthopoulos–who was named “Executive of the Year” moments before quitting–wasn’t comfortable with that change.

Yoenis Cespedes is “highly likely” to leave Mets and sign with another team

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes limping off the field after fouling a ball off his knee may stand as his final moment with the Mets, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the free agent outfielder is “highly likely” to sign elsewhere.

That’s not a shock, as Cespedes was viewed as a two-month rental when the Mets acquired him from the Tigers minutes before the July 31 trade deadline. Rubin writes that the Mets “are expected to modestly pursue” Cespedes on the open market, which leaves open the possibility of a return if for some reason the 30-year-old slugger fails to receive a bunch of huge long-term offers.

He had an incredible impact in 57 games following the trade, hitting .287 with 14 homers and a .942 OPS, but then hit just .222 with two homers and a .584 OPS in 14 playoff games.

New York parted with pitching prospect Michael Fulmer to get Cespedes and would not receive draft pick compensation for his departure.

Don Mattingly officially announced as Marlins manager

Don Mattingly Marlins

Don Mattingly and the Marlins made things official this morning, holding a press conference to announce his four-year contract and introduce the team’s new manager to the local media who covered eight managers in the previous six years.

The vibe of the press conference put forth by the Marlins and Mattingly was that he’s different than all those other managers, which would be fine except similar things were said about Ozzie Guillen and Mike Redmond before they were fired midway through multi-year contracts.

Mattingly had a .551 winning percentage in five seasons as the Dodgers’ manager, including three straight division titles, but Guillen was a World Series-winning manager with a .524 winning percentage in eight seasons with the White Sox when the Marlins hired him for huge money and he lasted exactly one season.

One of Mattingly’s quotes stood out to me:

I signed a four-year deal. I plan on being here at least 10.

The last Marlins manager to complete four full seasons on the job was … no one. In the 23-year history of the team no manager has completed four full seasons without a change being made and Mattingly is the 15th different manager since 1993. Good luck, Donnie.