Storylines: Potential injury to Aiken holding up deal
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Monday, July 7.
- The ominous delay between No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken's arrival in Houston to sign his contract and the announcement of an official deal now has some clarity, as Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that Aiken has an issue with a ligament in his left elbow. The Astros are now seeking to reduce his signing bonus from the previously agreed upon $6.5 million to $5 million, according to Heyman's sources. As Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle explained in late June, Aiken would become a free agent if he failed his physical and the Astros did not make an offer of at least 40 percent of his slot value (roughly $3.17 million). Clearly, based on Heyman's report, Houston is still comfortable enough with Aiken's elbow that this scenario is unlikely. Drellich spoke with Aiken's athletic trainer, Paul Flores, who said that to his knowledge, Aiken is "absolutely healthy." Flores said that there is nothing Aiken is unable to do in their regular workouts, adding: "When it comes to throwing off a mound, that's not my area of expertise. But I know he's throwing, so. He's not in pain. He comes to me after, and I always ask, ... 'How do you feel today?' ... He always tells me he feels great — and not good — great."
- The Indians announced that they acquired outfielder Chris Dickerson from the Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Dickerson's contract was selected for last night's game, and George Kottaras was designated for assignment to create roster space.
- By designating George Kottaras for assignment, the Indians removed their backup catcher from the roster. Francona said Carlos Santana would be the backup to Yan Gomes for at least Monday, but indicated that Cleveland might have another roster move coming. Triple-A catcher Roberto Perez is an internal option.
- On Monday the Indians announced that Michael Bourn's left hamstring injury is worse than initially believed. An MRI exam of Bourn's problematic hamstring, which has been an issue off and on since late last season, confirmed a mild to moderate strain. Cleveland indicated that Bourn will likely miss between three to four weeks with the injury.
- Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reported that outfielder Nyjer Morgan, who injured his right knee on May 14 and is currently on the 60-day disabled list, remains limited to rehab work. Cleveland announced Monday that Morgan is scheduled to get a second opinion on his knee this week with Dr. Christopher Parker in Santa Barbara, California.
- Prior to Monday's game, the Indians paid tribute to the team's late television and radio personality, Mike Hegan, who passed away in December. Prior to his career in broadcasting, Hegan was signed by the Yankees in 1961 and spent parts of three seasons with New York. Hegan spent 23 years in the Cleveland organization.
News and Notes:
- The White Sox are willing to move second baseman Gordon Beckham, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported, but Jose Quintana isn't available.
- Diamondbacks right-hander Bronson Arroyo told reporters yesterday, including MLB.com's Steve Gilbert, that he will have to undergo Tommy John surgery. Arroyo added that he actually made six starts this season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
- "The Yankees don't have a strong interest in" reacquiring A.J. Burnett, George A. King III of the New York Post reported. Burnett is a logical trade candidate if the Phillies decide to sell, though the veteran has a partial no-trade clause in his contract.
- A member of the Mets organization described Starlin Castro as "a perfect match" for their club, John Harper of the New York Daily News reported. Addison Russell's acquisition makes the Cubs even deeper at shortstop and Castro seems like a logical trade candidate, while Harper felt the Mets have the young pitchers necessary to swing a deal. Harper suggested Zack Wheeler and a minor league leaguer could interest the Cubs, though the Mets would balk at moving Wheeler and Jacob deGrom, or top prospect Noah Syndergaard.
- Michael Cuddyer hasn't spoken to the Rockies about a contract extension, though he told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that he would certainly listen to such an offer.
- The Marlins acquired right-hander Matt Ramsey from the Rays in exchange for international bonus money, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reported that the Rays will acquire Miami's second, third and fourth bonus slots, which add up to a total of $1,000,800. Subsequently, the Rays officially announced the signing of top international prospect Adrian Rondon, with who the team reportedly agree to terms last week, for $2.95 million. The additional money acquired from the Marlins bumps Tampa's international bonus pool to $2,998,900, meaning that the Rondon signing will not push them over their limit.
- The Athletics announced that they acquired minor league right-hander Rodolfo Fernandez from the Brewers for the No. 57 international bonus slot, which carries a value of $339,000. The Brewers have been rumored to be on the hunt for some additional bonus money, as they agreed to terms with Dominican shortstop Gilbert Lara on a $3.2 million bonus but have an international bonus pool of just over $2.6 million. This new move boosts their overall bonus pool $2,950,800, which is still $249,200 short of Lara's reported bonus. That means that their agreement with Lara would still result in an overage of 8.4 percent, which would be enough to prevent them from signing a player in next year's signing period for any more than $500,000.
- Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake announced a series of roster moves: Texas recalled right-hander Roman Mendez and purchased the contract of outfielder Jake Smolinski from Triple-A Round Rock, with Michael Choice being optioned to Round Rock and Donnie Murphy being designated for assignment to clear roster space.
- The Athletics designated left-hander Brad Mills for assignment, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Dodgers agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Roger Bernadina, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reported.
Considering the depth of bullpen arms, it's something I think the Tribe should look into doing, maybe they have, but they have yet to make a similar move. Here's my thoughts, the Tribe seems to always have these pen arms that are bogged down in AA/AAA for a variety of reasons, why not trade from this depth to add to their pool and make an a few aggressive moves on the International front. Think of this, the Tribe could sign two or three players like Francisco Mejia and Luis Lugo for the cost of a bullpen arm. I get the Tribe would be trading for much younger prospects (essentially), that's where effective scouting comes into play. My point being, there are creative ways to maximize organizational talent. That's what it's about. Why not trade from an excess area where an arm or two are blocked to land potentially better prospects? Think of this, why not trade an excess arm / talent (think: TJ McFarland or Hector Rondon) instead of loosing them in the Rule 5 draft? It's about maximizing the organizational talent, that includes re-investing some talent to land more.
I think the Tribe has to be willing to take a risk, if they could get that kind of return - young FOR arm - I think they should maximize it.