Making a roster move the morning after losing the World Series, the Royals traded right-hander Liam Hendriks to the Blue Jays for minor league catcher Santiago Nessy. Hendriks pitched for Toronto briefly this season before being traded to Kansac City along with catcher Erik Kratz for infielder Danny Valencia. They apparently want another look at him.
Hendriks was the Twins’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2011 and has always posted strong numbers in the minors, but he’s been knocked around for a 3-15 record and 5.92 ERA in 189 innings as a big leaguer.
Hendriks’ raw stuff is underwhelming and he’s also a fly-ball pitcher, but he’s still just 25 years old and a 3.19 ERA in nearly 400 innings at Triple-A suggest he could be a decent back-of-the-rotation starter.
Nessy is a 21-year-old who’s yet to advance past Single-A, hitting .231 with one homer and a .645 OPS in 69 games this season.
Raul Ibanez will presumably be forced into retirement at age 42 whether he wants to quit playing or not after hitting .167 this season, but it may not take him long to find a new gig.
Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York reports that “the Yankees plan on talking to Ibanez about a coaching position on Joe Girardi’s staff.”
New York has not hired a replacement for fired hitting coach Kevin Long yet and they also have an opening at first base coach after letting Mick Kelleher go.
Ibanez played for the Yankees in 2012, hitting .240 with 19 homers and a .761 OPS in 130 games along with some memorable postseason moments.
After a pair of injury wrecked seasons the Phillies have declined their $6 million option on right-hander Mike Adams for 2015.
Signed to a two-year, $12 million contract after a five-year run as one of the elite setup men in baseball, Adams continued to pitch well for the Phillies but was limited to a total of 44 innings in two seasons.
He had a 3.50 ERA and 44/19 K/BB ratio in those 44 frames, so even at age 36 he should have plenty of interest from teams wanting to sign him to an incentive-laden one-year deal.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner is on top of the baseball world right now, but back in early 2010 there were a lot of people worried about the then-20-year-old prospect.
Bumgarner was a first-round draft pick and elite prospect, but during spring training in 2010 his velocity was way down into the mid-80s and he posted a 6.43 ERA with seven walks and zero strikeouts while competing for the final spot in the Giants’ rotation.
That got Bumgarner demoted back to the minors and the Giants gave the job to journeyman Todd Wellemeyer (who went on to go 3-5 with a 5.68 ERA).
Here’s what manager Bruce Bochy said at the time:
He’s 20 years old. We think a lot of him and he has a bright future. But we think there are still some things he needs to work on. … It’s fair to say he was just out of sync for the most part this spring. He didn’t have his good command this spring. Building arm strength is part of spring training.
Things were even worse in the minors, as Bumgarner allowed 11 runs on 21 hits in his first two starts while opponents batted .538. And then, suddenly, he was fixed.
Bumgarner put together a 12-start stretch at Triple-A in which he posted a 2.14 ERA and the Giants called him back up to the majors in mid-June. He never looked back, posting a 3.00 ERA in 18 starts as a rookie and then turning in four consecutive 200-inning, sub-3.50 ERA seasons culminating in his historic World Series performance.
At age 20 he was a big question mark. At age 25 he’s the World Series MVP.
Jeff Mathis had his usual terrible season at the plate, hitting .200 with two homers and a .537 OPS in 64 games, but his defense continued to receive praise and the Marlins want him back.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins will exercise their $1.5 million option on Mathis for 2015, keeping the 31-year-old catcher around for a third season in Miami.
Mathis a career .196 hitter and has never topped a .650 OPS in nine seasons as a big leaguer, but pitchers and managers always seem to love his work behind the plate and he doesn’t figure to play much backing up Jarrod Saltalamacchia.