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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Brewers To Re-Sign Francisco Rodriguez

Apparently last season, he had 44 saves, a WHIP under 1, and made the All-Star team. Not even joking!

(That’s 348 saves going into his age 33 season…)

The Brewers have reached agreement on a two-year, $13MM deal with reliever Francisco Rodriguez. The team also holds a club option for the 2017 season over the Boras Corporation client.

The total guarantee is expected to include just $3MM this year and $6MM next season. That would appear to suggest that the contract includes a significant option buyout that would effectively function to backload its structure (and, potentially, make it more likely that the option will be a reasonable pick-up when the time comes)...

Rodriguez, 33, has spent most of the past four seasons in Milwaukee. All said, he owns a 3.11 ERA over his 193 2/3 frames with the Brewers. He has maintained double-digit strikeout-per-nine rates over the last two years in addition to an excellent K%-BB%. Though FIP has been down on Rodriguez’s work in recent campaigns, other ERA estimators like xFIP and SIERA view him as a 3.00 or better performer.

The District Attorney Posted: February 26, 2015 at 11:23 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, francisco rodriguez, free agents, transactions

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cubs, Astros Close To Dexter Fowler Trade

I like Fowler because he’s, like, the last leadoff hitter left.

The Cubs are close to acquiring outfielder Dexter Fowler from the Astros, Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com tweets. The Astros will receive big-league players in return, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets, and one of those is pitcher Dan Straily, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes (on Twitter)...

Fowler, 28, hit .276/.375/.399 in 505 plate appearances in his first season in Houston in 2014, though he posted poor defensive numbers in center. He’s in his final season of arbitration eligibility and is seeking $10.8MM, with the Astros filing at $8.5MM.

The District Attorney Posted: January 19, 2015 at 11:02 AM | 133 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cubs, rumors, trades, transactions

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Giants, Nori Aoki Agree To One-Year Deal

It’s the best way to replicate Travis Ishikawa’s defense, without the inelegance of constantly falling down.

The Giants and outfielder Nori Aoki have agreed to a one-year contract with an option for the 2016 season, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). Aoki, a client of CAA Sports, receives a $4.7MM guarantee plus performance bonuses, via Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter links). He’ll earn $4MM in 2015, and his 2016 option contains a $700K buyout, according to Heyman, who adds that the contract can max out at $12.5MM over two years… Shea tweets that Aoki’s option is valued at $5.5MM, adding that he can earn up to $1.5MM worth of incentives in each year of the deal…

Aoki gives the Giants additional outfield depth and should slot into their starting left field spot, shifting Gregor Blanco into a fourth outfield role, although the two do have relatively similar skill sets… In his lone season with Kansas City, Aoki batted .285/.349/.360 with 17 steals but just one home run.

The District Attorney Posted: January 17, 2015 at 02:48 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, giants, nori aoki, transactions

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Nationals To Acquire Yunel Escobar

Not a Bay Area guy, I guess…

The Nationals have reached an agreement to acquire shortstop Yunel Escobar from the A’s, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). He speculates that a swap of Escobar and Tyler Clippard was a possibility.

Escobar, of course, had only just been acquired by the Athletics this past weekend…

As for the Nationals, the acquisition opens a number of avenues. First and foremost is that Escobar simply supplants Danny Espinosa as the team’s second baseman… However, the possibility of an eventual Desmond trade cannot be outright ignored…

The 32-year-old Escobar, typically a sound defender, had somewhat of a down season on both sides of the ball in 2014. Though he picked things up with the bat late in the season to salvage a .258/.324/.340 batting line (92 OPS+, 95 wRC+), he posted a UZR/150 of -26, and Defensive Runs Saved dinged him equally, rating him at -24 runs. However, Escobar also battled shoulder and knee problems last season and has otherwise always been regarded as an excellent defender, so while some will assume this to be age-related decline, there’s reason to believe that he could rebound in 2015.


Astros To Acquire Evan Gattis

Oh, Rio, Rio, dance away from the Rio Grande.

The Astros have reportedly agreed to acquire Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis. In return, Atlanta will acquire a trio of prospects: righties Michael Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman as well as third baseman Rio Ruiz.

For Houston, it is not entirely clear how the team would use Gattis… Gattis stepped things up with a .263/.317/.493 line and 22 long balls last year in 401 turns at bat.

Of course, Gattis also comes with an attractive contractual situation. He will play at league minimum for the final time this year before qualifying for arbitration in 2016…

Foltynewicz, who briefly reached the bigs last year as a reliever, sat at number three on Baseball America’s list of the best ‘Stros prospects and at fourth on the MLB.com version... Ruiz… slashed .293/.387/.436 with 11 home runs in 602 plate appearances at High-A last year… Thurman, 23, was taken in the second round in 2013 but has struggled to adapt to pro ball…

The deal is not yet complete, caution [the New York Post’s Joel] Sherman (via Twitter) and MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (via Twitter), with the former saying the terms are settled upon pending physical and the latter warning there is still a chance that Gattis could be moved to another club.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Braves To Sign A.J. Pierzynski

Mmm, pierogi and grits.

The Braves have reached a one-year deal with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports on Twitter.

The District Attorney Posted: December 24, 2014 at 01:57 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. pierzynski, braves, free agents, transactions

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pirates Win Bidding For Jung-ho Kang

The Pirates have won the bidding for Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The amount of the winning bid has yet to be reported, but Kang’s former club, the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, will reportedly accept the bid.

The Heroes, you say???

The District Attorney Posted: December 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: international, jung-ho kang, korea, pirates, transactions

Friday, December 19, 2014

Zuckerman - Trea Turner Named Now, Plays Later

Actually, I can’t say his name or I have to kill you.

They may not be allowed to announce that player’s name yet, but he does have a name: Trea Turner. The 21-year-old shortstop isn’t allowed by MLB rules to be traded until 12 months have passed since he was drafted. Thus, Turner (the 13th overall pick this summer out of N.C. State) will remain a member of San Diego’s organization until mid-June 2015, at which point he’ll officially join the Nationals and complete the transaction, according to sources familiar with the deal.

What remains unclear is whether the Nationals have agreed to a contingency plan with the Padres in the event Turner gets injured before changing franchises next summer…

boteman Posted: December 19, 2014 at 03:18 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, trades, transactions

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jed Lowrie signing: Looking back at the Astros trade that sent Lowrie to Oakland

A good analysis of a “win-win” trade. Houston is going to end up with more total value from the Lowrie trade, but the A’s got value concentrated in two years when it helped them reach the playoffs.

SoCalDemon Posted: December 16, 2014 at 02:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, transactions

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mets To Sign John Mayberry Jr.

I guess this still makes the winter meetings “active” by Mets standards.

The Mets have agreed to a major league contract with outfielder John Mayberry Jr., Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter. Mayberry gets a $1.45MM deal, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets.

The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2014 at 12:51 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, john mayberry jr., mets, transactions

Red Sox To Sign Justin Masterson

“Our pitchers are so mediocre. And we have so few of them!”

The Red Sox have agreed to sign righty Justin Masterson, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports on Twitter. The deal is for approximately $9MM, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.

Masterson, 29, fell off significantly last year after a three-year run in which he averaged 205 frames and a 3.86 ERA… In 2014, he scuffled to a 5.88 ERA in 128 2/3 innings last year, striking out 8.1 and walking 4.8 batters per nine while dealing with a variety of shoulder, knee, and back issues. Masterson lost nearly three ticks on his average fastball velocity last year, though he managed to carry a typically stellar 58.2% groundball rate.

The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2014 at 12:47 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, justin masterson, red sox, transactions

Tigers Acquire Alfredo Simon

The Tigers have officially agreed to a deal with the Reds for starter Alfredo Simon, . A pair of 23-year-olds will be headed to Cincinnati in the trade: shortstop Eugenio Suarez and pitching prospect Jonathan Crawford.

Simon, a veteran righty, is projected by MLBTR and Matt Swartz to earn $5.1MM in his final year of arbitration eligibility.

The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2014 at 12:42 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: alfredo simon, eugenio suarez, reds, tigers, trades, transactions

Marlins To Acquire Mat Latos From Reds

And Cat Latos, natch.

Marlins pitching prospect Anthony DeSclafani is likely headed to the Reds in the deal, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets. Chad Wallach is also going to Cincinnati, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter.


Royals To Sign Kendrys Morales

Yeah, everyone else make sure you copy what these guys do.

The Royals have agreed to a two-year, $17MM deal with free agent DH Kendrys Morales. Morales can earn an additional $750K per year through performance incentives.

The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, kendrys morales, royals, transactions

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Braves To Sign Alberto Callaspo

Second base??? *hearty laughter; wipes away tear from eye* No, seriously, where?

The Braves have agreed to a deal with free agent infielder Alberto Callaspo pending physical…

His .223/.290/.290 slash over 451 plate appearances [in 2014] was obviously well below-average. But Callaspo has produced at an average to slightly-above-average clip in recent seasons, and Atlanta may have cause to believe that he’ll return to that level.

Presumably, Callaspo would have the inside track to take over at second for Atlanta. He also represents an option at third, where he has spent some time, either as a platoon mate or replacement for Chris Johnson if the incumbent is dealt away.

The District Attorney Posted: December 09, 2014 at 02:58 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: alberto callaspo, braves, free agents, transactions

Monday, December 08, 2014

Indians Acquire Brandon Moss

In a widely anticipated swap, the Athletics have officially agreed to ship outfielder/first baseman/DH Brandon Moss to the Indians in exchange for minor league second baseman Joe Wendle.

Moss, 31, is projected by MLBTR/Matt Swartz to earn $7.1MM this year, his second-to-last of arbitration eligibility. He is an accomplished power bat, with a 135 OPS+ and 76 home runs over the last three years…

Wendle, a 24-year-old prospect, did not rate among the Indians’ top ten prospects in the recent estimation of Baseball America but did land at ninth on MLB.com‘s most recent list Wendle’s calling card is his hit tool, with which he combines decent power and solid defense. A broken hamate bone cut the 24-year-old’s season short, but he had put up a .253/.311/.414 line over 370 Double-A plate appearances and owned even an even more robust slash the prior year at High-A.

The District Attorney Posted: December 08, 2014 at 01:27 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, brandon moss, indians, joe wendle, trades, transactions

Friday, December 05, 2014

Yankees To Sign Andrew Miller

Do we need to revisit the Miguel Cabrera trade?

The Yankees and Andrew Miller have agreed to a four-year, $36MM contract, tweets Jack Curry of the YES Network...

The 29-year-old Miller (30 next May) broke out in a huge way in 2014, pitching to a 2.02 ERA with an eye-popping 14.9 K/9 (an AL record), 2.5 BB/9 and a 46.9 percent ground-ball rate in 62 1/2 innings for the Red Sox and Orioles… Miller will pair with Dellin Betances — an electric breakout story himself — at the back of the Yankee bullpen, giving manager Joe Girardi a pair of dominant late-inning options… The Miller signing doesn’t necessarily preclude the Yankees from retaining [David] Robertson, as some reports have indicated that it’s at least possible for GM Brian Cashman to spend to bring both elite relievers to the Bronx…

Miller’s contract is the largest ever for a non-closing reliever… As excellent as Miller was in 2014, the contract is clearly not without risk for the Yankees. Setting aside the volatile nature of all relievers, this past season marked the first year in which Miller displayed above-average control and was also the first in which he was allowed to face both right-and left-handed hitters in a full setup capacity.

The District Attorney Posted: December 05, 2014 at 03:59 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew miller, free agents, transactions, yankees

Yankees To Acquire Didi Gregorius In Three-Team Deal With D-Backs, Tigers

Didi has big shoes to fill, although those shoes don’t necessarily have to cover much ground.

Tigers, whether or not this works out, most likely got FISTERED!

The Yankees, Diamondbacks and Tigers have completed a three-team trade that will send Didi Gregorius to the Yankees, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Rosenthal adds that Robbie Ray will indeed go from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks and Shane Greene will be heading to the Tigers.


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Braves To Sign Nick Markakis

I was kidding about Kimbrel, but seriously, someone ain’t gonna make it to Cobb County.

The Braves have agreed to a four-year deal with free agent outfielder Nick Markakis, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports on Twitter. He will be guaranteed $44MM in the pact, per Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:24 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agents, nick markakis, transactions

Dodgers Acquire Chris Heisey For Matt Magill

Take our advice, at any price… a pitcher like Magill is not much of a sacrifice.

The Dodgers have officially agreed to acquire outfielder Chris Heisey from the Reds, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports on Twitter. Heisey, 29, is arb eligible and is projected by MLBTR/Matt Swartz to earn $2.2MM. Righty Matt Magill is coming back to the Reds for Heisey, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter...

Soon to be 30, Heisey, has scuffled at the plate in each of the last two seasons with Cincinnati but has been looked upon fondly by defensive metrics. Despite below-average offensive production, his work in the outfield grass has made him a positive overall contributor. And Heisey does have some more promising campaigns at the plate in his history…

The 25-year-old Magill made six starts for the Dodgers in 2013, struggling mightily. And he had a rough go of it at Triple-A in 2014, posting a 5.21 ERA and messy ratio of 7.4 K/9 against 6.3 BB/9, even while spending much of his time in relief. But he has shown some ability to miss bats at times, and could be a useful swingman or middle relief piece for Cinci.

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:17 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: chris heisey, dodgers, matt magill, reds, trades, transactions

Braves Sign Jim Johnson

Guess they realize they should trade Kimbrel.

The Braves announced that they have signed former Orioles closer Jim Johnson to a one-year, Major League contract (Twitter link)...

The 2012 All-Star lost his closing gig to Sean Doolittle early in the 2014 season and never appeared comfortable in green and gold. He posted a 7.14 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 5.1 BB/9 and a typically strong ground-ball rate of 56.8 percent. After being designated for assignment and ultimately released, Johnson latched on with the Tigers but didn’t fare much better, allowing 10 runs in 13 innings with a 14-to-12 K/BB ratio…

Johnson’s base salary will be $1.6MM, and he can earn up to $900K worth of incentives, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo.

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:11 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agents, jim johnson, transactions

Mariners, Blue Jays Swap Michael Saunders, J.A. Happ

Just Adequate.

The Mariners have acquired lefty J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Michael Saunders, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports on Twitter.

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:05 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, j.a. happ, mariners, michael saunders, trades, transactions

Prospectus: Kusnick: Advice For The Teenaged Rumors Reporters

Thanks to Cotillo, it’s a teenage monkeyland out there.

Among the professional journalism crowd, and I suppose all baseball circles to some degree, these “kids” are a constant topic of discussion. I have seen only one of these reporters break through to the mainstream, meaning he is likely the exception, not the rule. And he didn’t get to this point by being lazy. He got his foot in the door, took advice, learned rapidly and now has a bright future. Sadly, this is not the case for many of what I call “Transaction Monkeys,” the kids who frantically tweet every minor move that can easily be found on milb.com or any transaction website. Repetitiveness is not a skill, nor should it be rewarded.

Greg Franklin Posted: December 03, 2014 at 05:01 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: advice, agent, journalism, media, online, rumors, transactions

Friday, November 28, 2014

Blue Jays To Acquire Josh Donaldson From Athletics For Brett Lawrie, Others

A’s fans: “I Spit on Your Graveman!”

The Blue Jays have struck a deal to acquire third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Athletics, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Infielder Brett Lawrie, righty Kendall Graveman, and shortstop Franklin Barreto are part of the package going back. Prospect Sean Nolin is also in the deal, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets...

Donaldson has racked up 15.4 rWAR and 14.1 fWAR in [the past two years]... Projected by Matt Swartz/MLBTR to earn $4.5MM in his Super Two season of arbitration eligibility, Donaldson was just starting off on a track to become rather pricey. But he comes with four seasons of control…

Though significantly younger, Lawrie comes with one less year of control. He is, however, projected to take home just $1.8MM this season and will therefore also have a much lower starting point for his next two seasons of earnings… Over his first three-plus seasons in the bigs, Lawrie owns a .265/.323/.426 slash (good for a 104 OPS+) and has generally drawn solid-to-outstanding reviews on his defensive work…

Barreto could be the hidden gem in the package, with Ben Badler of Baseball America noting on Twitter that the 18-year-old was the top July 2 prospect of two years prior and is probably at top-100 level player at this point.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Red Sox Claim Juan Francisco

“We don’t need a DH because we have Dioner Navarro,” said no Juan ever.

The Red Sox have claimed Juan Francisco off waivers from the Blue Jays, Boston announced today…

Francisco is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to take home a $2.2MM payday through arbitration… Last year, Francisco posted a fairly typical .220/.291/.456 slash over 320 plate appearances for the Jays, swatting 16 home runs in the process.

The District Attorney Posted: November 19, 2014 at 05:19 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: juan francisco, red sox, transactions

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