Archive for the ‘Free Agent’ category

Kameron Loe signs minor league deal with San Francisco Giants

January 14, 2014
(Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports)

(Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports)

Kameron Loe had a rough year bouncing around from city to city last year and is looking for a change as he signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants and hopes to make the team out of camp.

The 32 year old right hander posted a 7.09 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 50.5 percent ground-ball rate in 26 2/3 innings for the Mariners, Cubs and Braves last season. His homer-to-flyball ratio was 34.4 percent due to 11 homers given up in 26 2/3 frames. Loe’s career mark is just 13 percent in that category, and the league average was 10.5 percent, suggesting he’s due for some improved luck in that department. Loe has shown he can pitch in the majors, as he posted a 3.61 ERA in 229 1/3 innings from 2008-12 with the Rangers and Brewers.

The Giants pitching has always been their strength in the NL and the bullpen has always been above average each year. The organization knows how to mix pieces together in order to win World Series championships over the past 5 years. Let’s hope Kameron and his sinker can be added to that pen in 2014.

kameron loe tweet

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MLB Hot Stove: Moves that get overlooked so far this winter

November 25, 2013

When it comes to the MLB offseason and Free Agency everyone looks to the Jhonny Peralta’s new 4 year contract with the Cardinals or the big trade swap between Texas and Detroit involving Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler. While those deals are significant for the 2014 season, there are moves that go on throughout the winter that doesn’t get everyone’s attention on television or in the newspaper that should be noted to all baseball fans.

Nick+Punto+Arizona+Diamondbacks+v+Los+Angeles+JTUk13Yrdh4xLet’s start with infielder Nick Punto signing with the Oakland A’s. In Los Angeles last season with the Dodgers, he had a very good defensive year at 3rd Base and Shortstop. But let’s start off with his value. He had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.2 and 22 RAR (runs above replacement). He had a line of .255/.328/.327 in 335 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers but it wasn’t his bat that makes him so important because he defense makes up for that line. His Rdrs/year (Defensive Runs Saved) at 3rd and SS was 11 which is very good at the hot corner including 48 double plays turned and a .974 fielding percentage. Note, this is a utility player who will bring leadership and depth to a team that was lacking that in the postseason. Like I said, this is not a sexy signing but it is very influential to the Oakland A’s ball club in 2014.

Colby+Lewis+Toronto+Blue+Jays+v+Texas+Rangers+kQR2Vtq3VDmlNext is a signing that occurred today with Colby Lewis and the Texas Rangers. He signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. If Lewis makes the major league team, he’ll make $2 million in base salary and can earn up to another $4 million in incentives. He won 26 games for the Rangers in 2010-11 and in the playoffs he was 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA. Here is the important part, he started 200 innings in both of those years and had a winning record in a ballpark that is tough to pitch in. The Rangers will lose Matt Garza and lack veteran leadership in their rotation. If he can get it right after shoulder surgery in 2012, he can be an innings eater and can be that important back of the rotation guy at a very low cost compared to the Royals signing Jason Vargas for 8 million a season with a career 4.30 ERA. At the age of 34, he shouldn’t be the same pitcher we saw 3 years ago but I expect him to be effective and help the club get more wins this season. Watch for his story when Spring Training arises. I like his comeback potential.

penaCatchers are at a premium in baseball, especially defensive ones. When the Cincinnati Reds signed Brayan Pena and the Tampa Bay Rays signed Jose Molina on two-year contracts, I thought they were extremely smart moves from both clubs.

For the Tigers last season, Pena had a good percentage catching 30% of runners stealing bases. He also presented some pop in his bat with a .297 average, 4 home runs, and 11 doubles in 71 games. Not many backups catchers have those types of numbers in the big leagues and the Reds lacked a catcher with home run power and strong defense behind the dish.

molina raysOn the other side, Molina is a defensive wizard and is essential for Tampa Bay’s pitching staff. During the 2012 season he held the staff to a 3.22 ERA and a 3.74 in 2013. He had a value defensively of 6.2 compared to the league average of 0.9 in 2012 and 3.9 compared to league average 1.4 in 2013. In his two years with a Rays uniform he has had 55 runners killed on the base paths which shows how valuable he is compared to any other catcher in the market. Plus, he ranks first in framing runs above average with 33 which is 5 better than his brother Yadier Molina who is the best defensive catcher in the National League.

As for the offense, he has batted a poor .228 with the Rays but his defense is more valuable than his offense and you could see that in the 2013 Wild Card game against the Indians as he led Alex Cobb to 6 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out five.

So after reading this I hope you realize that while adding a player like Robinson Cano can make a huge difference in wins for any roster in the major leagues, it is the buying low and getting high reward players that fans don’t know about going into spring training. I hope I have kept you informed on smart deals for teams that needed improvements at those positions.

Former Marquette Guard Trent Lockett signs with Sacramento Kings

September 3, 2013
(Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com)

(Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com)

The Sacramento Kings have signed undrafted rookie free agent guard Trent Lockett to a contract after playing for them during the Las Vegas Summer League.

Lockett averaged seven points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists during his senior year at Marquette and during his time with the Kings Vegas Summer League team, he averaged seven points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in five games.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed and many sources believe this is just a training camp invite.  With Lockett’s signing, the Kings are currently at 15 roster spots, but they can add more for training camp.

Here is a video from MUTV Sports on the former Golden Eagle guard…

Tim Tebow agrees to stay in the AFC East and joins the Patriots

June 10, 2013

VIA ESPN:

20130607-tebow-samsonite-350This picture on the left is what everyone will be seeing at New England’s minicamp tomorrow morning.

Tim Tebow, the three year player out of Florida, has played two seasons with the Denver Broncos and last season with the New York Jets.  “Tebow Time” prospered in Denver 2011 leading his team to the playoffs and pulling off a miraculous overtime win over Pittsburgh but in New York, Tebow’s time was over once he arrived at Jets camp.

But the 25 year old still expects to play at the quarterback position and will compete with Ryan Mallett in training camp for the spot at backup quarterback behind Tom Brady, the star of the franchise.

While this may seem like a crazy move, it is actually the best move for Tebow moving forward. Tim will reunite with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was the Broncos‘ head coach when Denver traded into the first round to draft the Heisman Trophy winner in 2010.

So Tim Tebow could be used at different positions on the New England roster and could even line up at tight end now that Rob Gronkowski will be sidelined for a period of time due to his recent forearm and back injuries.

Bill Belichick values versatility in his players, having used wide receivers Troy BrownJulian Edelman and Matthew Slater at defensive back when injuries hit that position.

While the circus may be headed to New England in 2013, the media monstrosity may be minimized by Belichick, who keeps a tight lid on players’ interactions with reporters.

In the end, Tebow has a new life but that life could change in one week or one year. This journey will be interesting to follow and I am excited to see how it pans out. He could be one of the best role players in the game or he could ride the bench all year.

Start that clock again because “Tebow Time” is now ticking in Foxborough.

Texas Rangers bolster pitching rotation by adding Roy Oswalt

May 29, 2012

Free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt has signed with the Texas Rangers.

The sources said that if Oswalt is called up by July 1, he gets $8 million pro-rated — 4 million in his pocket. He can also earn an extra $1 million in incentives if he makes 10 starts.

Oswalt, who had previously auditioned for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and the Rangers, had given teams indications that Texas was his destination of choice. He has a close relationship with club president Nolan Ryan, and he apparently likes the thought of pitching for a contending team that’s close to his Mississippi home.

Oswalt, 34, has a career record of 159-93 in 11 seasons with Houston and Philadelphia. He is a three-time All-Star who has finished among the top five in National League Cy Young Award balloting five times in his career.

After waiting until spring training and failing to land a job to his satisfaction, Oswalt told major league clubs in late February that he planned to wait until midseason to return.

This is a big move by the Rangers. Their main problem this season has been the rotation and by adding the veteran Oswalt, it gives them much-needed depth. The amount of money they spent on him is a little pricy but this reminds me of the same deal the Phillies made with Pedro Martinez back in 2009. Martinez became a big part of the Phils run in October bringing them all the way to the World Series and staying healthy to last through two months. If the Rangers want to win, they need to pitch. It is as simple as that baseball fans and Oswalt provides that stability to try for a ring three years in a row…

Mr. Hercules himself aka LaRon Landry joins the New York Jets

March 19, 2012

@MrLandry30..."You can't build a reputation on what your going to do"... #grindmode http://pic.twitter.com/PxFzz5jA

The New York Jets have agreed to a deal with former Washington Redskins safety LaRon Landry. The deal is for one year and $4 million.

The Jets were running out of options in a safety market that had already lost three players to franchise tags. They made an offer to Reggie Nelson, but he opted to re-sign Sunday with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Jets also showed interest in Brandon Meriweather, who signed with the Redskins last week.

Landry, the No. 6 overall pick in 2007, missed 15 games over the last two seasons because of an Achilles-tendon issue. He reportedly was told by the Redskins to have surgery to remove bone spurs from the tendon area, but he opted for alternative medicine procedures.

The Redskins didn’t make a strong push to re-sign him, opting for Meriweather. Landry also visited with the Patriots.

With Eric Smith the only experienced safety under contract, the Jets wanted to fortify the position before the draft.

Former starter Jim Leonhard, only three months removed from major knee surgery, is a free agent — but a return isn’t out of the question. Brodney Pool, who replaced Leonhard in the lineup, signed a free-agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Jets want a playmaker at safety, as their safeties combined for only two interceptions last season. They also struggled in pass coverage against tight ends. However, Landry isn’t known for his pass coverage; he has only four interceptions in five seasons.

The 6-foot, 220-pound Landry is better around the line of scrimmage, a physical tackler that should improve the Jets’ run defense. He has six forced fumbles and 5½ sacks for his career.

Landry was on his way to becoming a premier safety when he was sidelined by a strained Achilles tendon in 2010. The injury forced him to miss the final seven games. Rather than surgery, recommended by the team, he received platelet-rich plasma treatments.

After missing the first two games of the 2011 season with a hamstring injury, Landry came back strong and started to flash his old form, but he went down with an injured groin. Some believe it may have stemmed from the still-troublesome Achilles tendon. Once again, the team recommended surgery. He opted for stem-cell treatment.

Landry said in late January that he expected to be 100 percent by free agency in March.

Regardless of all the injuries, if the photo up above doesn’t scare you then you are the toughest person on the block. This top 10 pick back in 2007 is in great shape as you can see and I think if the Jets bring back Jim Leonhard they would improve drastically on defense. Also if they brought both in and one gets hurt, you have the other option to go to and get production on the field. I think this was a high risk, high reward deal because of the injuries. But if he can play in 2007 form again, the Jets defense can be really scary next season…

New York Yankees added much needed pitching this season with key deals

January 23, 2012

Last year, the Yankees were still the best in baseball despite having such a mixed rotation. This has been the story for the Yankees in the past few years since they have won the World Series in 2009.

Let’s be honest Yankee fans, you cannot win baseball games when your #4 and #5 starters are Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. While they made great stories and both players produced, it doesn’t lead to postseason success.

So the Yankees made two significant deals in their big spending week. The New York Yankees traded top prospect Jesus Montero and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for phenom pitcher Michael Pineda and righty Jose Campos.

The Yankees receive the 22-year-old Pineda after he went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA for the Mariners as a rookie last year.

After an up-and-down year in Triple-A, Montero came up to the majors and showed off his electric bat. In 18 games, he hit .328 with four home runs and 28 RBIs. He was expected to be the Yankees designated hitter this season.

This was the right move because the Yankees needed to get better in the rotation and Pineda has PLUS stuff and he is definitely the right pitcher the Yankees needed in the rotation. With Lefty Sabathia and Righty Pineda both throwing 95+ at the top of your rotation, it scares a lot of batters. This move makes the Yankees better in 2012 and for future seasons regardless of letting go of Montero.

He was a guy who had potential and tons of power but where were the Yankees going to play him? DH spot? Catcher? He had no clear-cut decision. Now he goes to the already young Mariners who are looking for some offense and Montero can do that especially playing the DH position. He can be put in the middle of the lineup with Smoak, Ackley, Wells, and Ichiro.

He will get a chance to play everyday on a young squad and will not be played around like the Yankees did for the past few seasons. Yankee fans should thank the organization for giving him a chance somewhere else. Otherwise, he would have been stuck in Yankees purgatory for many years.

The Yankees didn’t stop there. They added former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to their rotation.

Kuroda went 13-16 in 2011, but that was more a reflection of the Dodgers’ awful run support than his performance. He posted a career-best 3.07 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 202 innings. He made $12.5 million last season and has a 3.45 ERA with a win-loss record of 41-46 in four years.

This deal gives the Yankees depth and now a rotation that fills out to be Sabathia, Pineda, Hughes, Kuroda, and Nova. Freddy Garcia and A.J. Burnett will be the 6th and 7th starter on the team in case of injury or emergency.

This depth in the rotation gives the Yankees stability that they can win 97 games but also can be a consistent AL East winner every single year. So yes they did give up offense in Montero but how did they lose to the Tigers last year in the Playoffs? Pitching.

The games of baseball always comes down to the guy on the mound. If the starter cannot get you into the 7th or 8th inning, you won’t be able to hear “Enter the Sandman” as much as you want to on a daily basis. The Yankees made great moves and you will see the improvement this season.