Author: Aaron Gleeman

Houston Astros v Texas Rangers

Royals re-sign Jason Frasor for $1.8 million


Jason Frasor will be back with the Royals, agreeing to a one-year, $1.8 million deal with a team option for 2016.

Kansas City acquired Frasor from Texas in mid-July and the 36-year-old right-hander pitched very well down the stretch with a 1.53 ERA and 16/4 K/BB ratio in 18 innings.

A veteran of 11 seasons and 647 career appearances, Frasor has posted a sub-4.00 ERA in five of the past six years and has a combined 2.62 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 96 innings since 2013.

Barring some trades he’ll fill a middle relief role for the bullpen-rich Royals in 2015 and a total commitment under $2 million is a bargain.

Not so fast on the Cardinals’ reported interest in Jon Lester

Jon Lester

Earlier this week Peter Gammons reported that the Cardinals planned to bring in free agent left-hander Jon Lester for a visit, but now that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes that the Cardinals “had no plans to bring Lester to St. Louis for a visit” and “their interest in the lefty appears as much opportunistic as enthusiastic.”

In other words, if for some reason his price tag doesn’t rise as high as nearly everyone expects the Cardinals may try to jump in and steal Lester at a discount. So don’t count on it, especially with Carlos Martinez waiting in the wings to step into the rotation.

Dave Martinez is moving toward a reunion with Joe Maddon

Dave Martinez

When the Rays passed over Joe Maddon’s longtime bench coach, Dave Martinez, to replace him as manager the assumption was that Martinez would wind up joining Maddon’s new staff with the Cubs.

Sure enough, earlier this week Martinez announced that he was leaving the Rays organization and now Carrie Muskat of reports that Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer “will talk to Maddon about Martinez.”

Martinez was drafted by the Cubs in 1983 and debuted for Chicago in 1986, playing a total of four seasons for the Cubs among 16 total years in the majors. He spent seven years as Maddon’s bench coach in Tampa Bay, yet didn’t even make the Rays’ three finalists for the job.

Oh, and there’s also this: Hoyer interviewed Martinez for the Cubs manager job last offseason before deciding on Rick Renteria, who was fired to make room for Maddon.

Thought experiment: How many MLB teams would wipe the slate clean?

CC Sabathia AP

Baseball news is slowing down for Thanksgiving and for some reason this idea randomly popped into my head while on Twitter, so I figured I’d ask it here: How many MLB teams, if given the option, would say yes to being taken off the hook for all guaranteed contracts currently on their books?

In other words, all or nothing. Wipe the slate clean. Every player signed for guaranteed money is no longer on your team and you’re no longer responsible for their contract. You get to keep all players not signed to specific, non-minimum salaried contracts, which means pre-arbitration eligible players basically.

For instance, my beloved Twins would wipe six players off their books: Joe Mauer, Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Glen Perkins, Kurt Suzuki, and Mike Pelfrey. Hughes would hurt a lot, since he was great in 2014 and is reasonably priced, but Mauer, Nolasco, and Pelfrey would be easy calls to jettison. Overall the Twins would probably be better off with a clean slate.

Another example is the Yankees, who’d be wiping these players off their books: Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Martin Prado, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young. Obviously some of those would hurt, but as a whole the Yankees would seemingly jump at that chance to wipe the slate clean.

Which other teams would do the same?

Rays designate Sean Rodriguez for assignment

Sean Rodriguez AP

After five seasons in Tampa Bay utility man Sean Rodriguez has been designated for assignment by the Rays.

Rodriguez was projected to make around $2 million via arbitration, but the Rays decided to move on after the 29-year-old hit .211 with 12 homers and a .701 OPS in 96 games this season.

Rodriguez has played at least 300 career innings at second base, shortstop, third base, left field, and first base, but he never developed as much as hoped offensively on the way to a lifetime .225 batting average and .670 OPS.