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Free Agency and Trades
Transaction Action: Mike Lowell Fails Physical, Rangers-Red Sox Deal Dead PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Tetreault   
Saturday, 19 December 2009 23:29

Evan Grant, blogger for the Dallas Morning News reports that doctors found a torn ligament in Mike Lowell's thumb which will require surgery for the Red Sox third baseman, effectively killing the proposed trade between the Boston and Texas. Boston was set to receive catching prospect Max Ramirez in exchange for Lowell and $9 million of Lowell's $12 million salary for 2010.

Hampered by a hip injury last season, Lowell still posted a .290/.337/.474 line, though struggling in the field and running the bases. Ramirez also was coming off an injury plagued 2009, as the young catcher suffered with both wrists en route to a .234/.323/.336 slash line in 320 plate appearances in Oklahoma City, Texas' AAA club. Lowell is expected to be unable to resume baseball related activities for at least six weeks after surgery, which is expected to be performed after Christmas.


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Transaction Action: LHP Javier Lopez Signs with Pirates PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Joe Tetreault   
Saturday, 19 December 2009 19:18

The Associated Press details the agreement reached between the Pirates and lefty reliever Javier Lopez. Lopez spent his last four seasons with the Boston Red Sox, contributing to their 2007 World Championship in a lefty specialist role out of the pen. Last season, he saw his walk and hot rates spike, leading to a 9.26 ERA and a one way ticket to AAA Pawtucket, where he pitched effectively the remainder of the season.

Lopez joins an unsettled Pirate bullpen. His new deal calls for a base salary of $775,000 with performance bonuses totaling $550,000 should he appear in more than 70 games in 2010. Key to claiming those bonuses will be translating his re-discovered success in the minors to the major league level.


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Transaction Action: Ricky Nolasco Strikes a Deal with Marlins PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Joe Tetreault   
Saturday, 19 December 2009 19:17

The Miami Herald's Fish Bytes Blog reports on the arbitration avoiding deal Ricky Nolasco signed Friday with Florida. Nolasco's journey through 2009 included a two week demotion to the minors after beginning the year with a 9.07 ERA in his first nine starts.

Returning to Miami in early June, Nolasco posted a 3.82 ERA in 22 starts, striking out four more batters than he allowed to reach base. The Marlins are counting on Nolasco in the second slot of the rotation, behind Josh Johnson. The righty turned 27 earlier in the week.


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Transaction Action: Brewers, Mets, Tigers, Reds and Rockies Minor Moves PDF Print E-mail
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Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Joe Tetreault   
Saturday, 19 December 2009 17:43

Kameron Loe Moves to Milwaukee

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette posts the details of another two-way contract. Kameron Loe, cut loose by the Rangers, will join the Brewers with an opportunity to make $650,000 to $850,000 if he makes the club and meets the incentive bonuses in the contract.

Loe allows too many baserunners, doesn't strike out enough hitters, but does keep the ball in the park at an average rate. The NL may prove a better venue for Loe.

 

Mets Finalize Deals with Dessens, Everts

Bart Hubbuch, Mets beat writer for the New York Post, tweets that the rumored deals for Clint Everts and Elmer Dessens have been officially announced. Dessens returns to the Mets - his 9th major league team - after putting together his best season since 2001. Like 2001, last year was built on an unsustainable hit rate destined to shoot up.

Everts moves to the Mets after seven seasons in the Montreal/Washington organization. Everts was the fifth overall selection in the 2002 draft, but finally reached AAA for the first time in 2009. Originally a starter, Everts, just 25, has transitioned successfully to the bullpen. His upside counters the considerable downside that Dessens carries with him.

 

Tigers Sign Dumatrait

We turn back to Dejan Kovacevic again, who is following former the non-tendered Pirates to their new homes. Phil Dumatrait, who will be 28 next year, is reportedly being considered for a starting job, though the Pirates used him out of the pen when he was with the big club.

Dumatrait was once considered a top-prospect in the Red Sox system, but his stock fell along with his strikeout rate after Tommy John surgery in 2004.

 

Reds Bring Back Nix

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets that Laynce Nix and the Reds have agreed to a minor league contract. Nix spent parts of seven seasons in the big leagues with the Rangers, Brewers and Reds. His career slash line (.236/.277/.421) shows how batting average reliant the 29 year old outfielder is.

Nix plays credibly at each outfield position and showed surprising pop last season for the Reds with a career high .476 slugging percentage. While probably destined for a fourth-outfielder/pinch hitting role with the club, Nix will battle Wladimir Balentien and Chris Dickerson for playing time.

 

Rincon Re-Ups with Rockies

Tom Harding of MLB.com has all the details of Juan Rincon's minor-league deal with the Rockies. Rincon had tremendous success out of the Twins pen early in his career, but has scuffled posting three consecutive seasons with an ERA north of 5.00

Rincon received a ten-game suspension in 2005 under Major League Baseball's drug policy. Colorado is his fourth team in the last two seasons.


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Transaction Action: Reds Restructure Scott Rolen's Contract PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 19 December 2009 15:25

Scott RolenThe Reds and third baseman Scott Rolen have agreed to restructure his contract, which will give the Reds more payroll flexibility now, and add more years to the contract for Rolen.

According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, under the terms of the new contract, Rolen will earn $6 million in 2010, plus a $5 million signing bonus that the sides agreed would be deferred without interest, according to a source who has seen the details of the agreement.

The club, in return, extended Rolen's contract two years, through 2012. He will earn $6.5 million in each of those two seasons.

Rolen earned $11 million in 2010, the final season of the eight-year, $90 million extension he signed in Sept. of 2002 after being traded to the Cardinals. That contract had $10 million deferred compensation ($2 million each year, 2003-2007).


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Transaction Action: Phillies Pick Up Jimmy Rollins 2011 Option PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Tetreault   
Friday, 18 December 2009 14:57

Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse tweeted that the Phillies have exercised their $8.5 million option for shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Rollins remains a good shortstop, though he is two seasons removed from his MVP winning year.

Last season was an off year for Rollins, whose batting average dipped to .250 and drug his other slash line stats with it. At such a low-cost, retaining the leader of the club on a very reasonable salary for an additional year beyond next year was an easy decision.


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Transaction Action: Cubs Send Milton Bradley to Seattle PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Tetreault   
Friday, 18 December 2009 13:50

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times calls the deal a shocker that sheds the final two seasons of Carlos Silva's contract in exchange for the easily disgruntled Milton Bradley. Bradley appears to be the final piece of the Mariner's puzzle as he drops into the left field slot. Bradley's skill with the bat is unquestioned, but he frequently outwears his welcome. Last year's off year in Chicago still saw him hit .257/.378/.397 in 124 games.

Silva on the other hand has been widely regarded as a complete mistake by the Mariners. In 34 starts, he posted a 5-18 record with an ERA north of six. Silva doesn't walk many batters, but even in a park that benefits pitchers and with a very good defense behind him last season, he allowed almost a run per inning pitched.

Bradley is slated to receive $21 million for the next two seasons. Silva has a guarantee of $25 million, which includes a $2 million buyout of his 2012 option. Chicago will receive $9 million from the Mariners as part of the swap.


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Transaction Action: Langerhans Stays in Seattle, Shealy to Tampa, Atlanta Adds Thurston PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Tetreault   
Friday, 18 December 2009 13:04

More minor moves on a Friday afternoon

Ryan Langerhans Returns to Seattle

Greg Johns of the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports that Ryan Langerhans will be back in Seattle for another year of reserve outfielder duties, after he signed a major league contract with the club. Financial terms were not disclosed by the Mariners. Langerhans had been non-tendered by Seattle one week earlier.

Langerhans remains useful as a defensive substitute, even as his hitting has dipped below replacement level with last season's .218/.311/.386 continuing his decline since 2005.

Ryan Shealy Joins Tampa Bay

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports Shealy's new deal with the Rays. The minor league contract comes with an invitation to Spring Training and a chance to make the club, likely as a backup for Carlos Pena.

Shealy spent the entirety of 2009 in AAA Omaha, making only 108 plate appearances, but posting a nifty .345/.454/.425 slash line in an extremely small sample size. His on-base skills have made him a darling of the sabermetric community, but to this point he's never proven to be a starter in the major leagues.

Joe Thurston Jumps to the Braves

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on Joe Thurston's two-way contract with the Braves. The deal calls for an invitation to Spring Training.

Thurston hit .225/.316/.330 in 124 games for the Cardinals, playing a little third, second and some in the outfield.


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Transaction Action: Yankees Sign 1B Nick Johnson PDF Print E-mail
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Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Joe Tetreault   
Friday, 18 December 2009 10:14

Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweeted last night that the Yankees and Nick Johnson had settled on a one year, $5.5 million contract pending a physical to be taken by the notoriously injury prone first baseman.

Johnson played last year for both Washington and Florida, hitting a combined .297/.426/.405 in his first full season since 2006. Johnson came up in the Yankee system and spent parts of the 2001-03 seasons in the Bronx. He replaces Hideki Matsui at DH and may spell Mark Teixeria occasionally at first base.


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Transaction Action: Mets sign Igarashi, Dodgers, Padres and Braves Add Minor League Depth PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Tetreault   
Friday, 18 December 2009 08:28

The Hot Stove season continues as clubs augment with minor league deals, and the Mets sign a key Japanese pitcher.

Mets Sign Ryota Igarashi to Two-Year Deal

Matthew Pouliot of Circling the Bases confirms the Mets newest pitcher will be thirty year old right hander Ryota Igarashi, who forsakes Yakult in favor of Queens. Dollar figures have yet to be disclosed, but it is a two year contract.

Igarashi sports a mid nineties fastball and a bat-missing splitter and is expected to help set up Francisco Rodriguez.

Dodgers Add Quartet on Minor League Deals

Sticking with Pouliot, who has the story of four veterans who accepted Minor League deals offered by the Dodgers. Doug Mientkiewicz, Angel Berroa, Josh Towers and Luis Ayala will spend their spring hoping that good fortune lands them on LA's Opening Day roster.

Mientkiewicz spent all of last season riding Dodger pine or getting treated by Dodger Docs. Berroa returns to the Dodgers after a hiatus in 2009 playing poorly for both New York clubs. Towers was also a part of the Yankees last year, though he toiled primarily in AAA. Ayala is on his fifth organization in three seasons with stops in Washington, Queens, Minneapolis and Miami prior to LA. They all seem destined for designation, barring a stellar spring.

Chris Denorfia Joins the Padres on a Minor League Deal

Rotoworld notes the new deal signed by Chris Denorfia to play in San Diego's organization.

His batting average heavy slash line (.271/.317/.398) as a full time player in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League indicates his role for 2010 - organizational filler and emergency reserve outfielder. The promise he showed when first called up by Cincinnati seems a lifetime ago.

Braves Ink Mitch Jones to Minor League Deal

Another Rotoworld quick hit. Mitch Jones moves from the Dodgers organization to the Braves. The 32-year old veteran led all minor league players with 35 homreuns in 2009.

Wren may be acquiring a power threat for the pinch hitter slot. Jones may be in play for an outfield or firstbase job in Atlanta, unless Adam LaRoche or Greg Norton return. His power numbers and ability to get on base make him a candidate to follow in the footsteps of Russell Branyan and Jack Cust.


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