The Texas Rangers acquired outfielder Josh Hamilton from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations, the teams announced on Monday.
The move represents a rocky end to Hamilton's tenure with the Angels, one that included a drug relapse and team officials outwardly looking to get out of his deal. When Hamilton was found not able to be suspended under the collective bargaining agreement by an arbitrator, the Angels should have been happy, or at least supportive towards Hamilton.
Said Angels president John Carpino at the time: "It defies logic that Josh's reported behavior is not a violation of his drug program."
Regardless, the Angels have been looking for ways to get out of Hamilton's contract and not deal with the outfielder any more. With Hamilton on the disabled list, many Angels and baseball execs around the game believed that his career with L.A. was over even before the deal came into place.
Even after removing Hamilton from their club, the Angels are still on the hook for almost the entirety of the remaining dollars on his contract, with the Rangers paying a reported less than $7 million in the last three years of his deal.
Hamilton had signed a five-year, $125 million deal with the Angels prior to the 2013 season.
The deal is easily classified as a bust, with Hamilton hitting just .255/.316/.426 with 31 homers and 123 runs batted in over 1,017 plate appearances in 2013 and 2014 with the club. He did not go to an All-Star game and his OPS was considered just 10 percent better than the league average.
With the Rangers in the five years prior, Hamilton did not miss an All-Star game (going in all five seasons) and won the 2010 American League MVP award, hitting .305/.363/.549 with 142 homers and 506 runs batted in over 2,814 plate appearances. Hamilton's .912 OPS was 37 percent better than league average and 170 points better than his OPS with the Angels.
The Rangers gave Hamilton the support he needed with his drug addiction problem and he produced. Now let's see if he can do it again.
Detroit Tigers right-hander Joe Nathan has torn the ulnar collateral ligament as well as a tendon in his right elbow, the team announced. Nathan will undergo season ending Tommy John surgery "at a later date," per the club.
The Tigers had Nathan undergo an MRI yesterday, after he left a rehab outing with an injury.
The 40-year-old Nathan is in the second year of the two-year, $20 million deal that he signed with the Tigers prior to the 2014 season. Nathan had been coming off an excellent season with the Rangers, when he went 6-2 with a 1.39 ERA and 43 saves in 64.2 innings.
Nathan pitched in 58 innings last season with Detroit, saving 35 games in 42 opportunities. Despite decent save numbers, Nathan wasn't stellar like he had been in 2013, pitching to a 4.81 ERA and a 3.94 FIP, due to his uncharacteristic 54/29 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
This is not the first time in Nathan's career that he will undergo Tommy John, as he had the procedure with the Twins in 2010.
While the Tigers likely didn't see Nathan as the long-term closer this season, they probably hoped that he could contribute out of their bullpen. Detroit's bullpen hasn't been fantastic to start the season (ranking in the bottom third of the league in xFIP) and the loss of Nathan certainly doesn't help. They'll likely need to acquire a bullpen piece before the end of the season.
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta hired the ACES baseball agency (Sam and Seth Levinson) to become his new agent just prior to the 2015 season, a source with knowledge of the situation told Cover Those Bases yesterday.
Peralta had been with Onyx Sports Management.
The 27-year-old Peralta broke onto the scene as a very good outfielder with the Diamondbacks last season, hitting .286/.320/.450 with eight homers and 36 runs batted in over 348 plate appearances with Arizona.
Peralta has started off on a similarly hot start this season, hitting two homers in his first 11 games already, with his OPS nearly 100 points better than what it was last season. Though it is a small sample, Peralta is still trying to prove that he is not a fluke.
ACES represents some of the best players in Major League Baseball. Jon Lester, David Wright, Jonathan Papelbon, Brandon Phillips, and Dustin Pedroia are all represented by ACES.
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The Chicago White Sox will promote top prospect Carlos Rodon on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported.
Rodon, who is a left-handed starting pitcher, will begin his Major League career out of the bullpen, per Rosenthal's report.
The White Sox drafted Rodon less than a year ago, picking him with the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. Even though he has just 11 professional appearances under his belt, Rodon appeared ready for live Major Leaguers in Spring Training.
Rodon went 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA in six games (five starts) in Spring Training, fanning 21 and walking just five in 17.2 innings pitched. The North Carolina State graduate becomes the second player from his draft class (2014) to make the Major Leagues.
Using the excellent data on BrooksBaseball.net, Rodon features four offerings, a fastball, sinker, changeup and slider. Rodon's best three pitches--his fastball, sinker, and slider--are praised highly by Brooks Baseball:
His fourseam fastball is blazing fast and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers. His slider is thrown extremely hard, generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sliders, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sliders and has short glove-side cut. His sinker is thrown at a speed that's borderline unfair and is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' sinkers.
Rodon was ranked as the White Sox' best prospect and the 15th best prospect overall, via MLB.com's prospect rankings. MLB.com's scouting report considers Rodon to be a 60-grade pitcher overall (which is based on the 20-80 scale), which would be an above-average Major Leaguer.
MLB.com believes Rodon's best pitch is his slider, which is graded at a 70 on the same 20-80 scale.
Over his professional career, Rodon is 1-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 11 appearances (8 starts). He has 51 strikeouts, as compared to 17 walks, in just 34.1 innings. While he never pitched above High Single-A last season, Rodon pitched in Triple-A to begin 2015, and allowed four runs in 10 innings there.