Mike Oz

  • Report: Royals sign Edinson Volquez for two years, $20 million

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 28 mins ago

    What a world we live in. Edinson Volquez, who was released by the San Diego Padres 16 months ago, and then had a decent bounce-back season in Pittsburgh in 2014, is set to make $20 million over the next two seasons.

    The Kansas City Royals have reportedly signed Volquez, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, sticking him in their starting rotation along with Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy, Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie.

    Aside from two possible imports — Chihiro Kaneko and Kenta Maeda — and one possible retiree in Hiroki Kuroda, Volquez was the best starting pitcher available on Jeff Passan's Ultimate Free-Agent tracker.

    Volquez, 31, won't be James Shields, that's for sure. He may not even be the 2014 version of himself. With the Pirates, Volquez rebounded from a dreadful 2013 (hello, 5.71 ERA!) and managed a 13-7 record with a 3.04 ERA. He hadn't had an ERA under 4.00 since his rookie season in 2008.

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  • Wade Miley clashed with D-backs because he wasn't gluten-free

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    The Boston Red Sox are OK with players having gluten in their diets, right? Because starting pitcher Wade Miley, who they acquired last week in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, says he clashed with the D-backs about his diet.

    Specifically about not being gluten-free.

    Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic talked to Miley about the trade out of Arizona. Miley compared leaving the D-backs to a break-up. Those often come with after-the-fact complaints. Here's the one that's leaked out about Miley: The D-backs weren't happy with his diet.

    Miley seemed reluctant to bad-mouth the D-backs' staff, but he did admit the complaints about his diet angered him, then he further explained his clash with the club

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  • Report: Giants re-sign reliever Sergio Romo for two years, $15M

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    The San Francisco Giants haven't done much this offseason beyond getting sized for their World Series rings. They earned the bronze medal in the Jon Lester sweepstakes. They haven't addressed their need in left field. They watched Pablo Sandoval leave for Boston, leaving another hole at third base. 

    At the very least, the Giants aren't letting another fan favorite leave.

    The Giants have reportedly re-signed relief pitcher Sergio Romo, their former closer, to a two-year, $15 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. It's pending a physical. It's not an earth-shattering move, but for antsy Giants fans who are watching plenty of moves happen around them, it's something.

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  • Angels reportedly tried to trade Josh Hamilton back to Rangers

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    "So I have a splendid idea. Do you remember how great Josh Hamilton was in a Rangers uniform? I heard y'all down there in Texas are interested in trading for an outfielder. Well, I got just the guy — Josh Hamilton. And he's still playing baseball, so it seems like an ideal fit. Whaddya say? We'll throw in a pair of Mike Trout's cleats!"

    We imagine the Los Angeles Angels calling the Texas Rangers, asking if they'd like to get Josh Hamilton back in a trade, sounded something like that. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Angels tried to shop Hamilton recently to the Rangers, for whom he played from 2008-12 and had that 2010 MVP season.

    The Rangers' response probably went something like this:

    "Sorry, we've got our share of overpaid injured dudes down here in Texas. But we'll be sure to laugh about this later."

    But Rosenthal and at least one of his sources think Hamilton isn't long for the Angels, at least not for those remaining three seasons. He wrote:

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  • Not as thrilling as the rumors: Mariners trade for Justin Ruggiano

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    Nothing's come to fruition yet on the first two. But the last one, well, that happened but the hype didn't match the outcome. It's a lesson in how wild our imaginations get this time of year.

    The Mariners on Wednesday acquired platoon outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs, in a mostly ho-hum deal that's not going to make the Hot Stove burst into flames. Ruggiano is a nice enough player — he should help the Mariners against lefty pitchers — but he's not what people were hoping for when the rumor mill starting spinning. 

    It started with this tweet from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, totally innocent, but a jolt that awoke our imaginations.

    Hearing rumblings that the #mariners are closing in on a trade for a hitter.

    Strong indications that Seattle is the third team in Rays-Padres Wil Myers trade scenario. Walker may end up in SD. Myers to SEA.

    ESPN's Crasnick, who you'll recall started this entire conversation, must have been hearing it from Mariners fans who had dreamed a little too big. Shortly after the Ruggiano trade was official, he tweeted this:

  • Jackie Robinson West should be stripped of title, says rival

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The feel-good story about Chicago's Jackie Robinson West Little League team is a sham, says a rival Little League coach, who is alleging the team recruited ringers from outside its boundaries to advance to the Little League World Series and win the U.S. championship. But so far, Little League International doesn't agree.

    Four months after the Little League World Series ended, officials in Evergreen Park, a suburb that's right next to Chicago, are still upset. Chris Janes, who is the vice president of the Evergreen Park Athletic Association, says many of the Jackie Robinson West players were recruited from the suburbs, thus violating Little League rules. He told CBS Chicago that the team should be stripped of its title:

    Little League International issued a statement Tuesday saying the Jackie Robinson West team met its eligibility requirements. Fromthe Chicago Tribune:

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  • Marlins sign Michael Morse, add to impressive offseason haul

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Miami Marlins gave Giancarlo Stanton the richest contract in MLB history, and that was only the start of their offseason maneuvering.

    They've traded for Dee Gordon and Mat Latos, two players who immediately make them better, and Tuesday the Marlins reportedly signed slugger Michael Morse to a two-year contract.

    Morse is expected to play first base for the Marlins, adding another power bat to a lineup that's already centered around Stanton. Word hasn't trickled out yet about how much Morse will make for his two seasons. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was the first to report the signing.

    The Marlins could use another quality starting pitcher, but as they sit now, these aren't the Marlins we've used as a punchline. These made-over, more mature Marlins can contend.

  • Royals sign Alex Rios, hoping to find one-year contract magic

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Ahhh, the wonders of the one-year veteran contract. The best recent example one-year magic is Nelson Cruz, who signed an $8 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles before the start of the 2014 season, then led the league with 40 homers and drove in 108 runs.

    For players with baggage or players trying to get over a subpar season, the ol' one-year deal is a way to prove themselves and get back on the open market. It's also a way for teams to buy low and cross their fingers for the best. The Orioles got one of Cruz's best seasons, won the AL East, then waved goodbye when he signed a four-year, $57 million deal with the Mariners.

    To the point here: The Kansas City Royals and Alex Rios would both pretty happy if they produced the sequel to Cruz's one-year magic.

    The Royals are expected to put Rios in right field, where free-agent Nori Aoki played last season. Manager Ned Yost will likely spell Rios in the late innings for Jarrod Dyson, whose speed and defense helped the Royals down the stretch in 2014. 

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  • Jon Lester wearing No. 34 in Chicago to honor Walter Payton, Kerry Wood

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Chicago Cubs gave Jon Lester $155 million to be their new ace, but they couldn't give him the number he previously wore on his jersey. In Cubs history, No. 31 is retired in honor of both Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux.

    So instead, Lester chose No. 34 — another number that sports fan in Chicago are used to rooting for.

    Lester was officially introduced as a member of the Cubs on Monday, putting on his new No. 34 and saying it's a tribute to three people, two of whom Chicago loved: Kerry Wood and Walter Payton. The third No. 34 is Nolan Ryan, and if the Lester can throw a few no-hitters, Chicago would dig that too.

    Kerry Wood told #Cubs it would be an honor if Jon Lester wore 34, so he took it

    Hey @JLester31 if you wanted my number all you had to do was ask jajajaja.....best of luck in chicago bro!!! pic.twitter.com/pjkTSzmxij

  • Dodgers sign pitcher Brett Anderson to risky $10 million deal

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    If any team has the money to spend $10 million on oft-injured, high-potential pitcher, it's the Los Angeles Dodgers. So it makes sense that free-agent pitcher Brett Anderson is reportedly headed for Hollywood.

    ESPN's Buster Olney reported Monday that a deal had been struck between the two sides, giving Anderson — who has started just 30 games the past three seasons — a chance for reinvention in Dodger blue.

    Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan confirmed the details, which include additional incentives that kick in if Anderson reaches 150 innings pitched. Only once in his six-year career has he pitched more than 150 innings, and that was as a rookie in 2009.

    Yankees, Braves and Royals were runners-up for Brett Anderson, who goes to the Dodgers for one year and $10M. Incentives start at 150 IP.

    Dodgers rotation now Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, McCarthy and Anderson. Could take 'em out of Hamels sweepstakes. @Buster_ESPN had signing first.

    Sup. pic.twitter.com/Zxq0hnEmkh

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