Results tagged ‘ angels ’
The Rangers have signed free-agent right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to a one-year deal with a club option for 2016, the club announced on Tuesday.
Texas also signed first baseman Kyle Blanks and infielder Tommy Field to Minor League deals with invitations to Major League Spring Training.
Fujikawa, 34, made his big league debut with the Cubs in 2013. Over two seasons in Chicago, he was limited to 27 total appearances due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in June 2013. He’s been effective when healthy, though, striking out 31 in 25 career innings.
Blanks, 28, split time with the Padres and A’s last season. He hit a combined .309 with two home runs in 26 games. In 260 career games in the big leauges, Blanks has a .234 average with 30 homers.
Field was in Triple-A in 2014 with both the Angels and Pirates organizations. The 27-year-old appeared in 33 games with the Rockies and Angels from 2011-12.
The Angels are still engaged in trade talks to acquire middle infield depth, with MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reporting there’s a “good chance they get something done today.”
Gonzalez previously reported that the Angels have interest in both the Rockies’ Josh Rutledge and the Twins’ Eduardo Escobar. They are also said to like Boston’s Brock Holt, though the Red Sox are apparently asking too much in return for the Halos’ liking.
As far as potential trade pieces, Angels relievers Vinnie Pestano and Fernando Salas have both been mentioned in rumors, while Gonzalez adds that fellow reliever Kevin Jepsen is also in play.
It’s still possible that the Angels re-sign backup second baseman Gordon Beckham, but that wouldn’t stop them from pulling the trigger on adding further infield depth. Starting second baseman Howie Kendrick and third baseman David Freese are both set to become free agents after next season, while shortstop Ercik Aybar can hit the market after the 2016 campaign.
– Paul Casella
There wouldn’t seem to be a huge trade market for Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, considering he’s 34 years old, is owed $38 million over the next two seasons and is coming off a disappointing 2014.
Nonetheless, the Angels have made Wilson available, according to a report from CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, who brings up the possibility that such a move could clear payroll for a run at another pitcher, perhaps free agents Max Scherzer or James Shields. The Angels’ starting pitching is thin, so it follows that any trade of Wilson would have to lead toward the addition of at least one other arm.
Wilson was solid for the Angels in 2013, his second season with the club, going 17-7 with a 3.39 ERA. Last year, however, he dropped to 13-10 with a 4.51 ERA, and he led the league with 85 walks, issuing 4.4 per nine innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio dropped to 1.8. Manager Mike Scioscia also pulled Wilson after he gave up three runs over two-thirds of an inning in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Royals. Heyman also reports that the Angels don’t want to eat any of Wilson’s salary in a possible deal.
One thing Wilson does have going for him is durability, as he’s made at least 31 starts in five consecutive seasons, though he threw only 175 2/3 innings last year after topping 200 in each of the previous four campaigns.
– Andrew Simon
Considering their starting pitching depth and other areas of need, it could make sense for the Orioles to be active in the trade market.
If they are, one pitcher who might be on the move is left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. The Baltimore Sun, citing an industry source, reported Saturday that Chen has been the subject of more inquiries than any other player on the club’s 25-man roster.
According to the report, Orioles executives have described interest in Chen as “very high.” The Taiwan product is set to make $4.75 million in his upcoming age-29 season before becoming a free-agent. In 2014, his third year in the big leagues, he went 16-6 with a 3.54 ERA over 31 starts.
The Orioles already have talked about one deal involving Chen this offseason, according to the Sun, discussing but ultimately rejecting a trade with the Angels that involved second baseman Howie Kendrick.
Baltimore also has right-handers Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Bud Norris, Miguel Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez as rotation options. Norris, also set to become a free agent after next season, has received some trade interest, the Sun reported. Jimenez, with $38.75 million left on his contract, would be difficult to move after posting a 4.81 ERA in ’14.
– Andrew Simon
Cuban middle infielder Roberto Baldoquin, who agreed to an $8 million signing bonus with the Angels in early November, is expected to obtain his visitor visa from the Dominican Republic by the end of December, an industry source said Monday.
Once Baldoquin obtains his visa, he can fly to the United States, take his physical and sign on the dotted line, a process that isn’t expected to last longer than 72 hours. The Angels haven’t commented on the agreement and can’t until it’s finalized.
Baldoquin, who turns 21 in May, would likely be invited to Major League Spring Training and could start the season in Double-A.
The right-handed hitter is deemed by some evaluators to already be capable of handling shortstop at the Major League level, but still needs to prove he can produce consistently at the plate. The Angels went after him aggressively because third baseman David Freese and second baseman Howie Kendrick are free agents at season’s end, with shortstop Erick Aybar slated for free agency after 2016.
The Angels — taxed 100 percent on the overage and unable to sign anybody for more than $300,000 for the next two international signing periods because of the Baldoquin agreement — likely won’t make another major addition in this international signing period.
– Alden Gonzalez
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto picked up closer Huston Street’s $7 million club option for 2015 shortly after the World Series and may explore a contract extension with the 31-year-old right-hander before Opening Day.
Those talks, however, won’t occur until the start of Spring Training.
“In picking up his option for 2015, I told him we can talk about it when we get to Spring Training,” Dipoto told MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert from the General Managers Meetings in Phoenix on Tuesday. “We’ve made a habit out of whatever we’re doing for the coming season we’ll take care of after the New Year once we get to Spring Training and everybody is face-to-face rather than trying to piece things together over an offseason. And if something works out, great. If nothing works out, I’m sure he’s going to do just fine in the free market in 2016.”
Street, who features a plus changeup, has posted a 1.97 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP and a 3.85 strikeout-to-walk ratio while converting 97 of his 103 save chances over the last three years. Another season like 2014 — 1.37 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 41 saves and an invitation to the All-Star Game — and Street could fetch major dollars on the free-agent market, which is why the Angels would love to lock him up before then.
After the 2015 season, the Angels will free up some money under the luxury-tax threshold with second baseman Howie Kendrick, catcher Chris Iannetta, third baseman David Freese and infielder Gordon Beckham headed for free agency. The Angels aren’t expected to engage in extension talks with any of those four players before the 2015 season. Kendrick and Freese are getting shopped this winter, and Beckham could be non-tendered in early December.
– Alden Gonzalez
That’s the big question after the Angels attained some much-desired cost-controlled starting pitching by using backup catcher Hank Conger to get 24-year-old right-hander Nick Tropeano (and Minor League catcher Carlos Perez) from the Astros.
Howie Kendrick’s name has been thrown around quite a bit this month, similar to what took place around this time last year. Last week, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting before the trade that the Angels are “likely” to trade Kendrick, along with third baseman and fellow walking free agent David Freese. And on Thursday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca wrote that the Blue Jays have “placed multiple calls” on Kendrick.
The Blue Jays, Mets, Marlins and Rays are reportedly the four teams Kendrick can block trades to this offseason, and it remains to be seen how aggressively the Angels will continue to shop the 31-year-old right-handed hitter.
Kendrick has been one of the best second basemen in baseball in recent years, posting a .288/.332/.420 slash line since 2010 while compiling a Wins Above Replacement score of 18.7 (according to Baseball-Reference). He’s only got one year left on his contract — at $9.5 million — and second base is the Angels’ deepest position organizationally. Trading him can, at the very least, free up some payroll space, with Grant Green potentially taking over.
But the Angels tried to shop Kendrick for cost-controlled starting pitching last winter and couldn’t get much value in return, ultimately having to use Mark Trumbo to get Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago. And the acquisition of Tropeano at the very least lessens the urgency to part ways with more Major League position players in pursuit of pitching.
“The team that you saw at the end of the season is probably something similar to what you’ll see at the start of the next, as far as our everyday players go,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said after Wednesday’s trade. “There could be a subtle change here and there, but we don’t anticipate anything dramatic at this point.”
– Alden Gonzalez
The Angels retained a big piece of their bullpen on Thursday, picking up their $7 million option on closer Huston Street.
The Halos acquired Street in a July 19 trade with the Padres, and he pitched 28 games for them down the stretch, converting 17 of 19 save chances. Overall, the 31-year-old right-hander posted career-bests with 41 saves and a 1.37 ERA in 59 1/3 innings, striking out 57 and walking 14.
Street has collected 275 saves over 10 big league seasons, putting him fifth on the active list. He’s saved at least 20 games for six straight years.
On the other hand, the Angels declined their $4.5 million option on lefty reliever Sean Burnett, who pitched only 10 1/3 innings for the club over the past two seasons due to injury.
In a free-agent market light on shortstops, Stephen Drew would figure to be a hot commodity, coming off a year in which he played solid defense at the position and produced a .777 on-base-plus-slugging percentage for the Red Sox. Yet the 30-year-old seems to be running out of options, with Spring Training rapidly approaching.
On Tuesday night, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo that it is “unlikely” his club will sign Drew. On Wednesday, our Bryan Hoch reported that the Yankees are not considering bringing in Drew, while Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and MLB Network wrote that the A’s also are not interested.
All of those factors could make a return to Boston more likely for Drew, who is tied to Draft pick compensation after receiving a qualifying offer.
In other news from around the league:
- The Phillies could be a team to watch in the competition for veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett, a free agent who recently decided to pitch this season. Signing Burnett would be a great move for Philadelphia, one that just might get it back to the postseason, writes MLB.com columnist Richard Justice. Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Tom Singer offers an idea for how the Pirates could manage to bring back Burnett.
- Bronson Arroyo told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that while 12 teams have contacted his agent this offseason, he has not come close to a deal with any of them. Arroyo and Burnett are drawing some interest from the Blue Jays, but Toronto appears more focused on fellow free-agent right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, according to Rosenthal.
- After a 15-year career that included six All-Star teams, a World Series title and 366 home runs, Lance Berkman told MLB.com that he has decided to retire. Berkman spent an injury-plagued 2013 with the Rangers.
- Right-hander Scott Baker, who returned from Tommy John surgery at the end of last season, signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners and figures to compete for a spot in their starting rotation.
- Former Phillies closer Ryan Madson, who has missed the past two seasons due to injury, held a private workout for an unknown team on Tuesday and is planning a public audition for more clubs on Feb.7 in Phoenix, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
- The Cardinals and infielder Daniel Descalso agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration, while the Cubs did the same with outfielder Justin Ruggiano.
- The Reds bolstered their infield depth by signing veteran Ramon Santiago to a Minor League contract.
- For the third time this offseason, the Twins signed a former member of the organization to a Minor League deal, this time bringing back reliever Matt Guerrier.
- The Angels added Chad Tracy to the mix in their crowded competition for bench spots.
- The Royals acquired outfielder Carlos Peguero from the Mariners for a player to be named later and designated left-hander Everett Teaford for assignment.
– Andrew Simon
After missing out on Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka and possibly veteran right-hander Matt Garza — Garza remains in talks with the Brewers after a deal seemed imminent on Thursday — the Angels have reportedly turned their sights elsewhere for starting pitching help. On Thursday, after it seemed Garza had been taken off the market by Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez tweeted that he expects the Angels to either stand pat or strike a bargain-type deal with a pitcher such as Bronson Arroyo, Chris Capuano or Paul Maholm.
On Friday, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that the Angels indeed have a “bit of interest” in Arroyo, but they would also feel comfortable entering spring training with their current options.
The Halos’ starting rotation, as of now, consists of Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Garret Richards, Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs. Joe Blanton, Mark Mulder, Wade LeBlanc and Matt Shoemaker could all also potentially enter the equation.
As far as any other options, Gonzalez reported Thursday that the club is unlikely to surrender its 15th overall Draft pick to sign Ubaldo Jimenez or reunite with Ervin Santana. Veteran A.J. Burnett is not considered to be an option either, as it is unlikely he would want to pitch on the West Coast, assuming he pitches at all, in 2014.
– Paul Casella