Reliever Michael Kohn signed with the Braves a couple of weeks ago. He knew this would happen eventually:
When he wrote that, Jeff Blauser was the starting shortstop, but he only had one more season of that left, so it wasn’t an awful call.
Anyway, I don’t think Andrelton Simmons is worried. Still, nice call.
Right-hander Michael Kohn has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Braves that includes an invitation to spring training.
Kohn was dropped by the Angels in September and later signed with the Rays, but was dropped by Tampa Bay last month as well when he declined an assignment to Triple-A.
During the past two seasons Kohn had a 3.52 ERA in 88 appearances for the Angels, striking out 78 batters in 77 innings to go with a mid-90s fastball, but he also walked 5.6 batters per nine frames.
He’ll compete for a middle relief gig.
In the first move of the post-Andrew Friedman Era, the Rays announced this evening that they have signed reliever Michael Kohn to a one-year, major league contract.
Kohn began this season on the Angels’ Opening Day roster, but he ended up making just 25 appearances in the majors. While he had a 3.04 ERA and struck out 26 batters in 23 2/3 innings, he also issued 20 walks. The 28-year-old right-hander opted for free agency after being outrighted off the 40-man roster earlier this month.
Kohn has never shown great control, but he misses bats with his mid-90s fastball and he showed some potential as a late-inning arm in 2013 after coming back from Tommy John surgery. He’s a decent flier for the Rays, whose coaching staff has a history of success stories.
Managers almost always come out to the mound to remove pitchers from the game, so when the pitching coach makes a mound visits it’s usually just to chat. And that was Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher’s plan Sunday when he came out to talk to Jered Weaver, but then Weaver surprised everyone involved by actually asking to be removed from the game in the seventh inning.
He’d thrown 6.1 innings of one-run ball on 102 pitches and the Angels were up 7-1, but Weaver wasn’t happy with how he was pitching and specifically told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that he “didn’t have any command of my fastball.”
And because he’s Jered Weaver, longtime excellent pitcher with a good reputation for such things, Butcher had plenty of praise for him, saying: “It takes a man to tell you he wants to come out of the game. Hats off to him.”
Weaver’s catcher, Hank Conger, said: “I was a little shocked. He always loves taking the ball.”
And the reliever who came in to replace him, Michael Kohn, said: “I was surprised. I was warming up, taking my time, and they said, ‘You’re in the game.'”
Sunday’s start may have been a batter or two shorter than manager Mike Scioscia planned, but it was Weaver’s fifth straight strong outing since beginning the season with three straight rough games. During that five-start stretch he’s 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 23/8 K/BB ratio in 32 innings and has allowed just one homer.
The setup market is all set up: Joe Smith and the Angels have come to terms on a three-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown reports that it’s worth $15.75 million.
Obviously, it’s a big price for a pretty anonymous guy, but Smith has a 2.97 ERA since entering the league in 2007 and has come in under that each of the last three years. He finished 6-2 with a 2.29 ERA and a 54/23 K/BB ratio in 63 innings for the Indians last season.
The big key with Smith is that he’s improved enough against left-handers these last few years that he can be left in to face them in big situations. When he first came into the league, he could only be trusted against righties. Lefties hit a modest .227/.325/.373 against him last season, and that was actually the best they’ve fared since 2010.
Smith will overtake Dane De La Rosa as the top setup man in front of Ernesto Frieri in the Anaheim bullpen. He’s an upgrade for sure, but at what cost? This is $5 million that can’t be spent to upgrade a rotation that has Garrett Richards for a third starter and some combination of Joe Blanton, Jerome Williams, Tommy Hanson, Wade LeBlanc and Chris Volstad next on the depth chart (Williams and Hanson are both non-tender candidates). The money would have been better used there. Between Frieri, De La Rosa, a much improved Michael Kohn, old standby Kevin Jepsen and other pieces like Ryan Brasier, Cory Rasmus, Juan Gutierrez and the newly acquired Fernando Salas, it seems like the Angels could have cobbled together the right-handed portion of their pen just fine.