In unwelcome news for the Mets, left-hander Steven Matz is dealing with elbow irritation and won’t make his scheduled start Monday, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com was among those to report (Twitter links here). Doctors have assured Matz that he doesn’t have ligament damage, per DiComo, and the 25-year-old insists he’s fine and will throw off flat ground Monday. However, general manager Sandy Alderson is concerned about Matz. “It’s worrisome that he continues to be injured,” said Alderson. Matz’s stellar rookie campaign last year ended in August because of a “massive” bone spur in his elbow, which led to October surgery. Before that, he logged a 3.40 ERA, 8.77 K/9, 2.11 BB/9 and 51.1 percent ground-ball rate in 132 1/3 innings. Fortunately for the Mets, they do have enviable rotation depth to fill in for Matz if he should miss regular-season time. “This is why we have (Robert) Gsellman and (Seth) Lugo,” a team source told Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

More from the East Coast:

  • Likely to go without injured shortstop Didi Gregorius for the first month of the season, the Yankees are scouring the trade market for help, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. Ideally, the Yankees would like to acquire an inexpensive player who’s on an expiring contract and has minor league options remaining. New York is reportedly eyeing the Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, who checks two of those boxes (he’s cheap and comes with options), while the club’s uninterested in pricier shortstops in the Reds’ Zack Cozart and the Tigers’ Jose Iglesias. If no trade materializes, the Yankees will choose an Opening Day shortstop from an in-house group consisting of Ronald Torreyes, Pete Kozma, Tyler Wade, Ruben Tejada and Starlin Castro.
  • Considering they’re not on the Red Sox’s 40-man roster, outfielder Rusney Castillo and first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig are already facing uphill battles to achieve relevance in Boston. Moreover, their onerous contracts make even short promotions to the majors unlikely, notes WEEI’s John Tomase (via colleague Rob Bradford).  Castillo, for instance, would cost the Red Sox $56,596 per day to keep on their 25-man roster. Thus, a two-week stint with the Sox would cost $800K and push them over the luxury-tax threshold, which they’ve been careful to stay under. Castillo and Craig have upped their stock this spring, writes Bradford, but the team unsurprisingly sent the pair back to Triple-A on Sunday. They’ll combine to make $21.5MM in the minors this season.
  • Nationals reliever Koda Glover is reportedly likely to win their closer job, which is the role he has wanted since the team selected him in the eighth round of the 2015 draft, details Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. The first time Glover reported to the Nationals, they had him fill out a questionnaire. One of the questions asked, “Are you a starter or reliever?” Glover wrote, “I’m a closer,” which has “reverberated through the organization ever since,” per Janes.

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The Phillies have released veteran left-hander Sean Burnett, according to a team announcement. The reliever, who had an opt-out in his minor league contract for Sunday, requested his release.

At his best, Burnett was a high-end bullpen option from 2009-12, when he combined for a 2.86 ERA and a 55.4 percent ground-ball rate with the Pirates and Nationals. Arm issues have derailed Burnett’s career since, however, as the two-time Tommy John surgery recipient didn’t throw more than 9 2/3 innings in any of the previous four major league seasons. After missing all of 2015, he returned to the bigs with the Nationals last year and allowed two earned runs on three hits in 5 2/3 frames. Burnett spent most of the season at the Triple-A level as a member of four different organizations – the Nats, Braves, Dodgers and Twins.

While spring training stats don’t carry any significance, the 34-year-old Burnett did fare decently in camp with the Phillies. In nine innings, he yielded two earned runs on six hits and two walks, though he didn’t record any strikeouts. That showing clearly wasn’t enough for the Phillies to hand Burnett a roster spot, and he’ll attempt to catch on with a different organization as a result.

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MLBTR Originals

Posted: March 26, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

A roundup of MLBTR’s original content from the past week:

  • In a fascinating, extremely detailed piece, MLBTR contributor and former Cubs front office man Chuck Wasserstrom went back in time to the team’s active offseason after the 2006 campaign. The Cubs won just 66 games in 2006, leading the Tribune Company – which owned the franchise at the time and was looking to sell it – to give then-general manager Jim Hendry the green light to spend in free agency. Improving the on-field product would increase the Cubs’ value, the Tribune Company figured, so Hendry brought in famed manager Lou Piniella and made several signings. Wasserstrom interviewed both Hendry and Piniella about that offseason, and Hendry noted that left-hander Ted Lilly was the Cubs’ top free agent pitching target entering the Winter Meetings. Both Lilly and his agent, Larry O’Brien, as well as Hendry, Piniella and Yankees GM Brian Cashman (the Bombers were Lilly’s top choice) were among those who detailed the courting of Lilly, who ultimately signed a four-year, $40MM deal with Chicago. At the same time, though, Hendry was in a terrifying personal situation, having found out that he’d need to undergo an emergency heart procedure. When Lilly agreed to join the Cubs, Hendry was in the midst of an EKG. “To this day, the story obviously has been embellished in some ways by the fact that a couple hours later I was going to have a heart procedure – but the fact is that Larry O’Brien called me when I was on the gurney,” Hendry said. Added Cashman, who now works with Hendry in the Yankees’ front office, “I know we as an industry were worried sick about Jim and his health, but it’s nice to be able to look back on it in a fond way promoting how dedicated Jim is – because he survived it.” Hendry’s signing of Lilly proved to be a quality move, as the left-hander went on to post a 3.70 ERA in 113 starts with the Cubs and help the team to two playoff appearances.
  • Brewers reliever and funnyman Tim Dillard, who’s in minor league camp in Arizona, returned to share the second part of his Inner Monologue. Here’s an excerpt: “Yesterday a teammate walked in the clubhouse carrying coffee and wearing a huge round fancy wristwatch.  So just to be stupid, I asked him what time it was.  The guy stopped… dug his watch hand into his pocket… and emerged with a smart phone.  He hit the button to make the screen light up, but it was upside down.  But after repositioning his coffee between his arm and chest, he managed to flip the phone right side up.  “It isssssssss 6:37.”’
  • This year’s Offseason In Review series continued with looks at five teams. Tim Dierkes handled both Chicago clubs (links: Cubs, White Sox), while I tackled the Mets and Athletics, and Mark Polishuk analyzed the Blue Jays.

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MLBTR Originals

Posted: March 26, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

A roundup of MLBTR’s original content from the past week:

  • In a fascinating, extremely detailed piece, MLBTR contributor and former Cubs front office man Chuck Wasserstrom went back in time to the team’s active offseason after the 2006 campaign. The Cubs won just 66 games in 2006, leading the Tribune Company – which owned the franchise at the time and was looking to sell it – to give then-general manager Jim Hendry the green light to spend in free agency. Improving the on-field product would increase the Cubs’ value, the Tribune Company figured, so Hendry brought in famed manager Lou Piniella and made several signings. Wasserstrom interviewed both Hendry and Piniella about that offseason, and Hendry noted that left-hander Ted Lilly was the Cubs’ top free agent pitching target entering the Winter Meetings. Both Lilly and his agent, Larry O’Brien, as well as Hendry, Piniella and Yankees GM Brian Cashman (the Bombers were Lilly’s top choice) were among those who detailed the courting of Lilly, who ultimately signed a four-year, $40MM deal with Chicago. At the same time, though, Hendry was in a terrifying personal situation, having found out that he’d need to undergo an emergency heart procedure. When Lilly agreed to join the Cubs, Hendry was in the midst of an EKG. “To this day, the story obviously has been embellished in some ways by the fact that a couple hours later I was going to have a heart procedure – but the fact is that Larry O’Brien called me when I was on the gurney,” Hendry said. Added Cashman, who now works with Hendry in the Yankees’ front office, “I know we as an industry were worried sick about Jim and his health, but it’s nice to be able to look back on it in a fond way promoting how dedicated Jim is – because he survived it.” Hendry’s signing of Lilly proved to be a quality move, as the left-hander went on to post a 3.70 ERA in 113 starts with the Cubs and help the team to two playoff appearances.
  • Brewers reliever and funnyman Tim Dillard, who’s in minor league camp in Arizona, returned to share the second part of his Inner Monologue. Here’s an excerpt: “Yesterday a teammate walked in the clubhouse carrying coffee and wearing a huge round fancy wristwatch.  So just to be stupid, I asked him what time it was.  The guy stopped… dug his watch hand into his pocket… and emerged with a smart phone.  He hit the button to make the screen light up, but it was upside down.  But after repositioning his coffee between his arm and chest, he managed to flip the phone right side up.  “It isssssssss 6:37.”’
  • This year’s Offseason In Review series continued with looks at five teams. Tim Dierkes handled both Chicago clubs (links: Cubs, White Sox), while I tackled the Mets and Athletics, and Mark Polishuk analyzed the Blue Jays.

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via IFTTT

MLBTR Originals

Posted: March 26, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

A roundup of MLBTR’s original content from the past week:

  • In a fascinating, extremely detailed piece, MLBTR contributor and former Cubs front office man Chuck Wasserstrom went back in time to the team’s active offseason after the 2006 campaign. The Cubs won just 66 games in 2006, leading the Tribune Company – which owned the franchise at the time and was looking to sell it – to give then-general manager Jim Hendry the green light to spend in free agency. Improving the on-field product would increase the Cubs’ value, the Tribune Company figured, so Hendry brought in famed manager Lou Piniella and made several signings. Wasserstrom interviewed both Hendry and Piniella about that offseason, and Hendry noted that left-hander Ted Lilly was the Cubs’ top free agent pitching target entering the Winter Meetings. Both Lilly and his agent, Larry O’Brien, as well as Hendry, Piniella and Yankees GM Brian Cashman (the Bombers were Lilly’s top choice) were among those who detailed the courting of Lilly, who ultimately signed a four-year, $40MM deal with Chicago. At the same time, though, Hendry was in a terrifying personal situation, having found out that he’d need to undergo an emergency heart procedure. When Lilly agreed to join the Cubs, Hendry was in the midst of an EKG. “To this day, the story obviously has been embellished in some ways by the fact that a couple hours later I was going to have a heart procedure – but the fact is that Larry O’Brien called me when I was on the gurney,” Hendry said. Added Cashman, who now works with Hendry in the Yankees’ front office, “I know we as an industry were worried sick about Jim and his health, but it’s nice to be able to look back on it in a fond way promoting how dedicated Jim is – because he survived it.” Hendry’s signing of Lilly proved to be a quality move, as the left-hander went on to post a 3.70 ERA in 113 starts with the Cubs and help the team to two playoff appearances.
  • Brewers reliever and funnyman Tim Dillard, who’s in minor league camp in Arizona, returned to share the second part of his Inner Monologue. Here’s an excerpt: “Yesterday a teammate walked in the clubhouse carrying coffee and wearing a huge round fancy wristwatch.  So just to be stupid, I asked him what time it was.  The guy stopped… dug his watch hand into his pocket… and emerged with a smart phone.  He hit the button to make the screen light up, but it was upside down.  But after repositioning his coffee between his arm and chest, he managed to flip the phone right side up.  “It isssssssss 6:37.”’
  • This year’s Offseason In Review series continued with looks at five teams. Tim Dierkes handled both Chicago clubs (links: Cubs, White Sox), while I tackled the Mets and Athletics, and Mark Polishuk analyzed the Blue Jays.

from MLB Trade Rumors http://ift.tt/2nk8Gm4
via IFTTT

MLBTR Originals

Posted: March 26, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

A roundup of MLBTR’s original content from the past week:

  • In a fascinating, extremely detailed piece, MLBTR contributor and former Cubs front office man Chuck Wasserstrom went back in time to the team’s active offseason after the 2006 campaign. The Cubs won just 66 games in 2006, leading the Tribune Company – which owned the franchise at the time and was looking to sell it – to give then-general manager Jim Hendry the green light to spend in free agency. Improving the on-field product would increase the Cubs’ value, the Tribune Company figured, so Hendry brought in famed manager Lou Piniella and made several signings. Wasserstrom interviewed both Hendry and Piniella about that offseason, and Hendry noted that left-hander Ted Lilly was the Cubs’ top free agent pitching target entering the Winter Meetings. Both Lilly and his agent, Larry O’Brien, as well as Hendry, Piniella and Yankees GM Brian Cashman (the Bombers were Lilly’s top choice) were among those who detailed the courting of Lilly, who ultimately signed a four-year, $40MM deal with Chicago. At the same time, though, Hendry was in a terrifying personal situation, having found out that he’d need to undergo an emergency heart procedure. When Lilly agreed to join the Cubs, Hendry was in the midst of an EKG. “To this day, the story obviously has been embellished in some ways by the fact that a couple hours later I was going to have a heart procedure – but the fact is that Larry O’Brien called me when I was on the gurney,” Hendry said. Added Cashman, who now works with Hendry in the Yankees’ front office, “I know we as an industry were worried sick about Jim and his health, but it’s nice to be able to look back on it in a fond way promoting how dedicated Jim is – because he survived it.” Hendry’s signing of Lilly proved to be a quality move, as the left-hander went on to post a 3.70 ERA in 113 starts with the Cubs and help the team to two playoff appearances.
  • Brewers reliever and funnyman Tim Dillard, who’s in minor league camp in Arizona, returned to share the second part of his Inner Monologue. Here’s an excerpt: “Yesterday a teammate walked in the clubhouse carrying coffee and wearing a huge round fancy wristwatch.  So just to be stupid, I asked him what time it was.  The guy stopped… dug his watch hand into his pocket… and emerged with a smart phone.  He hit the button to make the screen light up, but it was upside down.  But after repositioning his coffee between his arm and chest, he managed to flip the phone right side up.  “It isssssssss 6:37.”’
  • This year’s Offseason In Review series continued with looks at five teams. Tim Dierkes handled both Chicago clubs (links: Cubs, White Sox), while I tackled the Mets and Athletics, and Mark Polishuk analyzed the Blue Jays.

from MLB Trade Rumors http://ift.tt/2nk8Gm4
via IFTTT

MLBTR Originals

Posted: March 26, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

A roundup of MLBTR’s original content from the past week:

  • In a fascinating, extremely detailed piece, MLBTR contributor and former Cubs front office man Chuck Wasserstrom went back in time to the team’s active offseason after the 2006 campaign. The Cubs won just 66 games in 2006, leading the Tribune Company – which owned the franchise at the time and was looking to sell it – to give then-general manager Jim Hendry the green light to spend in free agency. Improving the on-field product would increase the Cubs’ value, the Tribune Company figured, so Hendry brought in famed manager Lou Piniella and made several signings. Wasserstrom interviewed both Hendry and Piniella about that offseason, and Hendry noted that left-hander Ted Lilly was the Cubs’ top free agent pitching target entering the Winter Meetings. Both Lilly and his agent, Larry O’Brien, as well as Hendry, Piniella and Yankees GM Brian Cashman (the Bombers were Lilly’s top choice) were among those who detailed the courting of Lilly, who ultimately signed a four-year, $40MM deal with Chicago. At the same time, though, Hendry was in a terrifying personal situation, having found out that he’d need to undergo an emergency heart procedure. When Lilly agreed to join the Cubs, Hendry was in the midst of an EKG. “To this day, the story obviously has been embellished in some ways by the fact that a couple hours later I was going to have a heart procedure – but the fact is that Larry O’Brien called me when I was on the gurney,” Hendry said. Added Cashman, who now works with Hendry in the Yankees’ front office: “I know we as an industry were worried sick about Jim and his health, but it’s nice to be able to look back on it in a fond way promoting how dedicated Jim is – because he survived it.” Hendry’s signing of Lilly proved to be a quality move, as the left-hander went on to post a 3.70 ERA in 113 starts with the Cubs and help the team to two playoff appearances.
  • Brewers reliever and funnyman Tim Dillard, who’s in minor league camp in Arizona, returned to share the second part of his Inner Monologue. Here’s an excerpt: “Yesterday a teammate walked in the clubhouse carrying coffee and wearing a huge round fancy wristwatch.  So just to be stupid, I asked him what time it was.  The guy stopped… dug his watch hand into his pocket… and emerged with a smart phone.  He hit the button to make the screen light up, but it was upside down.  But after repositioning his coffee between his arm and chest, he managed to flip the phone right side up.  “It isssssssss 6:37.”’
  • This year’s Offseason In Review series continued with looks at five teams. Tim Dierkes handled both Chicago clubs (links: Cubs, White Sox), while I tackled the Mets and Athletics, and Mark Polishuk analyzed the Blue Jays.

from MLB Trade Rumors http://ift.tt/2nk8Gm4
via IFTTT