Author: Aaron Gleeman

San Diego Padres Photo Day

Padres “working” to re-sign Josh Johnson


San Diego declined a $4 million option on Josh Johnson after he missed the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Padres are now “working” to re-sign him.

When healthy Johnson has a long history of being an elite starter–he led the league in ERA in 2010 and from 2008-2012 he threw 732 innings with a 3.06 ERA–but unfortunately his injury history is even longer.

After an injury wrecked 2013 season with the Blue Jays he signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Padres, but then got hurt in spring training and went under the knife.

Tigers hire David Newhan as assistant hitting coach

David Newhan

Detroit has hired David Newhan as its assistant hitting coach, replacing Darnell Coles who left the job last month.

Newhan was a Single-A manager in the A’s farm system and previously coached in the Padres organization, where he worked with current Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.

As a player Newhan spent parts of eight seasons in the majors for five different teams and also spent 14 seasons in the minors. Oh, and his dad, Ross Newhan, is a legendary sportswriter.

Diamondbacks “had discussions” with Rays about Jeremy Hellickson

Jeremy Hellickson Getty
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Following reports of the Rays shopping right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes that the Diamondbacks are interested in the former Rookie of the Year winner.

According to Piecoro, general manager Dave Stewart “acknowledged he has had discussions with the Rays about Hellickson” but “didn’t consider the talks to have been especially substantive.”

Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote previously that the Rays were close to dealing Hellickson to a National League team, which is why the Diamondbacks’ admitted interest is especially noteworthy.

Hellickson has two more seasons under team control, but he’s about to get fairly expensive via the arbitration process and has struggled since 2013 with poor performances and injuries.

For the third straight offseason every free agent declined the qualifying offer

Victor Martinez AP

Three straight offseasons filled with speculation about various free agents who received qualifying offers accepting the one-year deals and three straight offseasons in which no one accepted them.

In all 34 players have turned down qualifying offers since the system was put in place and zero have accepted, including borderline cases like Michael Cuddyer, Ervin Santana, and Francisco Liriano declining their teams’ offers today.

Here’s a list of all the free agents to turn down the $15.3 million qualifying offer this time around:

Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays

Nelson Cruz, Orioles

Michael Cuddyer, Rockies

Francisco Liriano, Pirates

Russell Martin, Pirates

Victor Martinez, Tigers

Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers

David Robertson, Yankees

Pablo Sandoval, Giants

Ervin Santana, Braves

Max Scherzer, Tigers

James Shields, Royals

Last year Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew clearly should have accepted what was then a $14.1 million qualifying offer, so we’ll see if any of this year’s offer-declining free agents regret their decisions in a few months.

Ervin Santana declines Braves’ qualifying offer

Ervin Santana

For the second straight offseason Ervin Santana will hit the open market after turning down a qualifying offer, this time declining $15.3 million from the Braves.

Last offseason Santana did the same with a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Royals and then realized the draft pick compensation hurt his market value to the point that he signed with the Braves for the exact same $14.1 million figure.

Last time around Santana was coming off a season in which he threw 211 innings with a 3.24 ERA in the American League. This time around he’s a free agent after throwing 196 innings with a 3.95 ERA in the National League.