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MLB News and Notes: Indians ink Nyjer Morgan

MLB News and Notes: Indians ink Nyjer Morgan
January 15, 2014
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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: @ajnicholsIBI.

With no major signings or trades occurring on Tuesday, there are no "Top Stories." Instead, I will give a rundown of all of the day's news and notes.

Here are the stories from Tuesday, January 14th.

News and Notes

  • The Indians agreed to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite with outfielder Nyjer Morgan. Morgan, 33, spent last season in Japan with the Yokohama Bay Stars, where he hit .294/.361/.434 with 11 homers. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported that Morgan can earn over $1 million if he makes the big league club and reaches his incentives.
  • In other Indians news, the team avoided arbitration with newly acquired reliever Josh Outman, although the terms have not been released as of late Tuesday night.
  • Buster Olney of ESPN wrote on Tuesday that many executives now feel that the Rays will not trade David Price this offseason. In Olney's article, he quotes one executive saying, "Ninety percent chance he stays. The trade market hasn't materialized."
  • Despite "decent offers" from up to four teams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Michael Young is still considering retirement. Rosenthal states that Young is interested in spending more time with his wife and kids.
  • Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that former A's pitcher Dallas Braden has decided to retire. Braden hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2011, but in 2010 he threw 192.2 innings with a 3.50 ERA and a perfect game.
  • The Mariners reached a one-year, $1 million deal with catcher John Buck. Buck's deal is the first major league contract reached since December 31st, when Jesse Crain agreed to a deal with the Astros.
  • Catcher Rod Barajas has retired for the time being to coach the Padres Rookie League club.
  • Former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks believes he can make a comeback. Jenks last pitched in 2011 with the Red Sox, and has battled injury and addiction issues in the past.
  • Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reported that Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed that his club never met with Masahiro Tanaka. Many rumors have pegged the Angels as a potential favorite to land Tanaka.

User Comments

January 16, 2014 - 10:13 AM EST

The situation where Young would DH over Santana or Raburn is when there is a lefty on the mound. Adding Young could give you a DH to take Santana's place allowing him to play 3B. Raburn would be in RF platooning for Murphy in this situation. You could argue the difference between Young and Aviles is negligible of course though.

As far as Jose Ramirez...I disagree he should be the 3rd bench guy. I'm not as high on him as some (Jim for example); however, I do think he's too good to waste on the bench. I'd rather see him getting everyday at-bats at AAA, at least to start the year. While he looked good in his short stint with the club, let's not forget that he has never played in AAA and actually didn't hit all that well in AA. Yes, before someone jumps on me he did hit well for how young he was and did improve offensively at AA, but I don't think he's shown enough to warrant a big league job. Could argue he's better than Adams, Cooper, or Giambi...but IMO not enough to justify stunting his development. Maybe if you traded Asdrubal and truly felt Ramirez could start at the big league level you put him on the club...but to sit on the bench seems like a waste to me (at this point at least).

I disagree too that you need Ramirez to provide depth at SS/2B...Aviles is a better SS/2B than he is 3B and that's where Aviles's value really lies, his ability to play SS and play it decently well.
January 16, 2014 - 12:02 AM EST
Well on a technicality, its "professional" in the sense they get payed an allowance and can play with a contract unlike NCAA. It's major junior, ages 16-20. I know this because I'm a big CHL/OHL fan. Even though it was only 7 games, still good enough to appear at the highest level of amateur hockey.
January 15, 2014 - 10:05 PM EST

How has he behaved the last couple of years? I grew up some last year and just turned 65. How about you?
January 15, 2014 - 5:30 PM EST
Reynolds was still in his "prime" though, while Young is old and likely only to get worse. And Reynolds was ultimately below replacement level with Cleveland too, so it's not like the $6 million they gave him was a good idea.

Between Chisenhall, Aviles, and Santana, it would seem they have 3b, the only position Young can play, taken care of. Over the past 2 years, Chisenhall's got a wRC+ of 93, Young's at 90, with defensive metrics showing Young playing comparable defense to Mark Reynolds. Young's offense is an okay batting average and nothing. Barring injury, I can't think of a situation where you'd want Young at DH over Santana or Raburn. If he's recovered from his injury in time, I'd think Jose Ramirez should get the other bench spot. They already have the corners covered, but could use someone other/better than Aviles who can cover 2b and SS.
January 15, 2014 - 3:32 PM EST
I think by signing Francouer and Morgan as outfield depth will allow for Moncrief to continue his development in Columbus this year.
January 15, 2014 - 2:23 PM EST
Well, seems like the last thing we need is another LH outfielder, but hey, I guess its who cares, since its only a minor league signing. Maybe he ends up in AAA. The fact is, Bourn is at the age where durability is a concern, and at any time he could go down, and its good to have a replacement, even if he is in Columbus.
January 15, 2014 - 2:01 PM EST
Seth, very valid point.

Then again, Reynolds had a negative fWAR each of the previous two seasons before the Tribe signed him and a -0.9 rWAR during those two years. Tribe gave him $6M.

Definitely get what you're saying about him vs Giambi on the bench. But what are the alternatives at this point?

The bench right now is Raburn and of Giambi, Adams, Cooper, Ramirez, Francour, Morgan, etc....

Is Young really worse than those guys? Answer could be yes, espcially at his price, but not exactly competing against the best lot there.

Still would prefer a guy like Jeff Baker to Young...but think Young could be a very nice addition to the 2014 Indians.
January 15, 2014 - 1:42 PM EST
Having been worth around -2 WAR over the past 2 years, it would be pretty odd if anyone gave Young much more than league minimum. A guy with a 700ish OPS who can't play defense is pretty worthless. Might rather have him than Giambi, but would prefer neither.
January 15, 2014 - 1:39 PM EST
Also wonder what exactly "decent offers" are for Michael Young. 1yr/$6M (similar to Reynolds)? 1yr/$3M? 2 year offers?
January 15, 2014 - 11:37 AM EST
He's an interesting cat. Born in S.F. and played professional ice hockey when he was 20. Very athletic, good bat speed. He can turn on a fast ball with the best of them....I can't see him playing in Cleveland- S.F. or Oakland maybe, but let's see what happens.
January 15, 2014 - 11:15 AM EST
I was wondering the same thing on Young. We are really seeing a lot more intriguing guys get minor league deals. I think it is a growing problem with just a handful of guys now getting top dollar and so many guys now seem to be making league minimum. Or just seems that way.
January 15, 2014 - 11:09 AM EST
Curious if Cleveland may be one of those 4 teams on Michael Young. Could use another bench bat/part-time DH. Could maybe play some 3B too.
January 15, 2014 - 11:05 AM EST
Morgan is a head case. I watched him play for the Nationals and saw him throw his glove at a ball, give up on a ball in play and pout that he missed it, scream at team mates on the bench etc. I can't imagine why they would take a chance on a 33 year old with his history.

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