Friday, December 2, 2016

Notes: Busy Week - Arb, Cutch & Josh on Block, Minor & FO moves, JHK, WBC, CBA & More...

Stuff is happening: All the arbs & pre-arbs tucked away except for Jeff Locke and Eric Fryer; Cutch and Josh being dangled, WBC, some minor signings, office movement...just wait til the meetings begin!

  • Arb results: Tendered - Tony Watson, Juan Nicasio, Gerrit Cole, Jordy Mercer, Drew Hutchison, and Jared Hughes; Signed - Wade LeBlanc (one year + option, $800K guaranteed); DFA'ed - Jeff Locke. C Eric Fryer was also non-tendered; he was a pre-arb player. 
Jeff didn't make the cut. (2016 Topps Now)
  • Cutch is still with us; apparently, Washington and the Bucs weren't ready to pull the trigger. Could get interesting this week as other clubs play the "Price is Right" with Neal.
  • Jung Ho Kang just can't stay out of trouble. Reports from Korea say he was arrested for DUI after fleeing the scene of an accident. Here's a dashcam view of the incident tweeted by Sung Min Kim.
  • The Pirates signed RHP Lisalverto Bonilla. To open a 40-man spot for him (and save themselves a non-tender), they DFA'ed LHP Jeff Locke. Bonilla, 26, tossed five games for the Rangers in 2014, had TJ surgery in 2015, and split time between the Dodger's AA and AAA clubs last year as a reliever and sometimes starter.
  • It's been back burner news, but as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reminds us, Josh Harrison is also available.
Josh on the block, too? (2016 Topps)
  • Matt Joyce got his reward, too, signing a reported two year/$11M deal with Oakland per Ken Rosenthal.
  • Per MLB Trade Rumors: The Bucs brought in LHP Dan Runzler, who last appeared in the bigs in 2012 and put up a 5.82 ERA in 21-2/3 IP in AAA last year with the Twins. Also joining the organization is RHP Jason Stoffel, a 28-year-old who has spent plenty of time in the upper minors but hasn’t cracked the bigs. He put up a 2.44 ERA with 11.9 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 over 59 frames in 2016 in AA-AAA with the Orioles. Both signed MiLB contracts with camp invites.
  • Another P the Bucs were sniffing at is off the boards. The Miami Marlins have struck a two-year/$22M deal with Edinson Volquez, pending his physical (he passed). Eddie didn't do much for KC in 2016 but will be reunited w/Jim Benedict. It is a thin FA group; the Pirates are more likely to sign a project arm and trade for mid-rotation guy.
  • Starling Marte, as reported, and Gregory Polanco are on the preliminary roster (Spanish 101 is helpful) for the Dominican Republic's World Baseball club. There are more Pittsburgh connections to the team - Moises Alou is the GM and Tony Pena is the skipper.
El Coffee is on the WBC roster. (2015 Topps Futures)
  • Jameson Taillon told Jon Morosi of MLB Network that he won't pitch for Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Taillon cited his workload and injury history as his reasons to pass.
  • Well, that was quick. The Rangers claimed RHP Brady Dragmire off waivers from the Pirates. Pittsburgh had bought from the Blue Jays in early October and was hoping to sneak him past waivers while clearing a 40-man roster spot.
  • The Indians signed ex-Bucco C Erik Kratz and former utilityman Michael Martinez to minor league contracts with invites to camp.
  • Vance Worley was non-tendered by the Orioles and is now a free agent. Ditto for ex-Pirates property C Ramon Cabrera, let go by the Reds.
Vanimal is an FA. (2015 Topps)
  • And yet another hit on the administrative team: The Diamondbacks named Mike Fitzgerald as Director of Research & Development. He spent the last five seasons as a quantitative analyst for the Pirates. If that sounds piddling, it isn't. Fitz broke down opponents and analyzed players from the team's data sets. He helped drive the Bucs selection of Russ Martin, was part of Clint's daily pre-game strategy sessions and traveled with the club to provide game input. Mike was the bridge between the dugout and PC boys and is a big loss to the Bucco sabermetric gang.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have hired former utility guy Cole Figueroa, 29, as a baseball development assistant in the front office. He played in a couple of dozen games for the Bucs in 2016, hitting .154.
  • The Pirates aren't the only club that scours the seven seas for players. Ditto for the Brewers. They just hired ex-Bucco P Bryan Bullington as their Asian scout.
Bryan Bullington - from prospect to scout. (2003 Bowman's Best)
  • The new CBA was pounded out. It features a few new items: 10-day DL, no home advantage for ASG winners and an international pool rather than cap, with changes in the luxury tax and FA draft compensation.

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