Author: Aaron Gleeman

Los Angeles Dodgers v Boston Red Sox

Cubs, Felix Doubront avoid arbitration for $1.925 million


Left-hander Felix Doubront and the Cubs have avoided arbitration, with Jon Heyman of reporting that they agreed to a one-year, $1.925 million deal.

Acquired from the Red Sox at the trade deadline, Doubront made just four starts for the Cubs and also spent some time in the minors.

He has a 4.78 ERA in 438 career innings as a big leaguer, often struggling to consistently throw strikes. Chicago’s rotation may be full, meaning Doubront could slot into a bullpen role at age 27, but he’s actually fared much worse as a reliever during his career.

Billy Beane and Mike Rizzo love trading with each other

Billy Beane

Yesterday the A’s swapped shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Nationals for reliever Tyler Clippard, and in doing so completed the ninth trade between general managers Billy Beane and Mike Rizzo since December of 2010.

Or, put another way: Oakland and Washington have made an average of one trade every five months for the past four years.

Some of them have been minor deals and they actually swapped catcher Kurt Suzuki back and forth twice, but in addition to this significant Escobar-Clippard trade they also had big ones involving Josh Willingham, Gio Gonzalez, and Derek Norris, plus a three-team trade with the Mariners that had Michael Morse and John Jaso in it. has the full trading history between the two teams, because has everything always.

Beane is perceived as pretty new-school, Rizzo is perceived as pretty old-school, and they love making trades together.

Yankees sign Ivan Nova, avoid arbitration

Ivan Nova Getty

Right-hander Ivan Nova and the Yankees have agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

Nova will reportedly get the same $3.3 million salary he received in 2014, which is fairly standard for a player who missed the entire season due to injury.

In his case it was Tommy John elbow surgery in mid-April, which means Nova may not be ready for the beginning of the season. Nova, who turned 28 years old this week, has a 4.20 ERA in 538 innings for the Yankees since debuting in 2010.

Johan Santana throws two innings in Venezuela

National League New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana during first inning action in Washington

Johan Santana officially began his latest comeback attempt last night in Venezuela, retiring all six batters he faced in a winter ball appearance for his first action since a torn Achilles’ tendon in June.

According to the Associated Press he threw 17 pitches in two innings and failed to record a strikeout.

Santana seemed close to being called up by the Orioles when the injury ended his season and he’s still a long way from being declared healthy, but as far as baby steps go it was a good one for the former two-time Cy Young winner.

Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012, as shoulder injuries repeatedly derailed what once looked like a potential Hall of Fame career. At age 36 he’ll almost surely have to settle for a minor-league contract and compete for a job during spring training, and the Yankees are among the teams said to be interested.

Report: Braves are still shopping Evan Gattis

evan gattis getty

When the Braves traded Jason Heyward and Justin Upton the assumption was that they did so in part because they wanted to shift Evan Gattis from catcher to left field, but now Mark Bowman of says they continue to shop Gattis on the trade market as well.

Nothing is imminent, according to Bowman, but the Astros, Royals, and Rangers are among the teams to express interest. Gattis would seemingly be a much better fit as a designated hitter or perhaps catcher/designated hitter, which is why it’s no surprise to see American League teams in the mix for him.

Through two seasons he’s averaged 33 homers per 600 plate appearances while posting a .791 OPS, and moving out from behind the plate full time could potentially help him boost those numbers even further. The question is whether the Braves or any other teams want to take the defensive hit required to make him anything but a DH.