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MLB Trade Rumors & Minor Moves – 6 May 14

Are the Dodgers interested in David Price?

One early team looking to make some move and to be active on the trade rumor mill in Major League Baseball are the Los Angeles Dodgers. With the Dodgers having some difficulties in this early season, there is a buzz in the media that David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays may be offered in order to bolster their roster. The Dodgers who were heavily favored to make an appearance in the World Series this year have 18 wins and 15 losses after the first month of activity in the MLB. They have lost two two in a row and are now 31/2 games behind the San Francisco Giants.

For the Dodgers, injuries have been one of the reasons for their slow start. Projected to end up in the World Series come October, the Dodgers have to make a move early in the hope to salvage this season. Built to win now, they do not have many options except the trade route. This is where David Price can possibly help and reinforce the Dodgers pitching rotation.

David Price -1

According to Pete Gammons of ESPN, he suggests a move by the Tampa Bay Rays to unload Price to the Dodgers may help both teams. The Rays who in the past had one of the best farm system in baseball are drying out as far as prospects are concerned. Dealing Price would easily bring three good prospects to Tampa Bay who will need some help in the near future. The Rays, a small market in the AL East, will need some help via prospects to keep up if they want to be able to compete with their AL East rivals.

As for the Dodgers who have put all their eggs in the same basket this year to win it all, have money to spend and if it means sending prospects to make it happen, so be it. Of note, the Dodgers are only 6-9 at home this season and could use David Price’s arm in their rotation. Price who has been in big games before whether it is in a race or in post-season playoffs, would be able to offer that stability in the Dodgers rotation. Time may be a factor since price may be traded at the trade deadline to a team offering a better package and risk losing him at that time.

National tried to secure Doug Fister long term.

The Washington Nationals made one of the biggest trade splash in the off-season when they acquire Doug Fister last December from the Detroit Tigers in exchange of left-handed starter Robbie Ray, infielder Steve Lombardozzi and lefty reliever Ian Krol. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the Nationals have tried to double down on that move when they tried to sign Fister to a long-term deal. Kilgore reports that the negotiation and talks never got very far off the ground. As for Fister himself, he refused to comment on that tactic used by the Nationals.

Doug Fister

Washington GM Mike Rizzo is known to employ this tactic in the past. When he acquired Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland Athletics prior to the 2012 season, Rizzo signed him to a five-year, $42.5MM contract with a pair of $12MM club options. By using this same tactic on Fister and locking him up, it would have ensured the Nationals rotation was built on Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister through at least the 2016 season. Washington tried to lock up its other top starter, Jordan Zimmermann, this offseason as well. Instead, they agreed to a two-year, $24MM contract that gave the team cost certainty but didn’t buy any further team control.

Doug Fister in the last three years has pitched to a 3.30 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a 50.9 percent ground-ball rate in 586 2/3 innings. In 2013, Fister compiled a 14-9 win-loss record with a 3.67 ERA in 208.2 innings pitched. Fister and the Nationals ended up agreeing to a $7.2MM salary after going into arbitration for the 2014 season. Washington will also control Fister through 2015, and he is set to make his team debut on Friday against the A’s.

Minor move in MLB

The Seattle Mariners have released pitcher Mark Rogers according to Tacoma Rainiers announcer Mike Curto, via his Twitter account. Rogers, 28, is now far removed from his days as one of the game’s better pitching prospects. He was given a Spring Training invite in the offseason, but Seattle pulled the plug on his comeback attempt after Rogers walked 7 in his first 7 innings on the year.

Tampa Bay Rays minor league reliever Steve Geltz has been hit with a 50-game suspension after a second positive test for a drug of abuse, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The 26-year-old righty, who came to Tampa last year in exchange for Dane De La Rosa, threw to a 2.82 ERA in 67 frames last year (10.7 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9) and was off to a 3.86 ERA start in his first 16 1/3 innings in 2014.

The Rays have also released catcher Eddy Rodriguez according to Baseball America Matt Eddy via Twitter.  Rodriguez, 28, signed a minor league deal with Tampa in the offseason but had only a .443 OPS in 49 PA for Triple-A Durham.  The veteran catcher has a career .235/.286/.386 slash line over 2271 minor league PAs and he received a two-game cup of coffee in the majors with the Padres in 2012.

Outfielder Dave Sappelt has signed with los Acereros de Monclova in Mexico, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. Sappelt has split the past three seasons between the Cubs and Reds, posting a .251/.301/.343 batting line in 274 big league plate appearances.

Former Detroit Tigers lefty Fu-Te Ni has signed with the independent Atlantic League’s Lancaster Barnstormers in hopes of eventually landing a Major League or Triple-A opportunity, tweets Cotillo. Ni had a solid rookie campaign with Detroit in 2009 but struggled to a 6.65 ERA in 23 innings in 2010. Now 31 years of age, Ni has a strong Triple-A track record but didn’t pitch in affiliated ball last season.

The Chicago Cubs have released left-handed pitcher Tommy Hottovy, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports in full recap of minor league moves. Hottovy signed a minor league contract with Chicago in December but had yet to pitch this season due to injury.  The left-hander threw 13 1/3 innings for the Red Sox and Royals in 2011-12 and spent last season in the Toronto Blue Jays’ farm system.

The Los Angeles Angels have signed left-hander Dustin Richardson to a minor league contract, according to the team’s MLB.com transactions page.  Richardson will report to Triple-A Salt Lake City.  The 30-year-old southpaw appeared in 20 games in Salt Lake last season, as well as six games with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters.  Richardson has 16 1/3 Major League innings to his name (with the Red Sox in 2009-10) and he has also spent time with the Braves’ and Marlins’ Triple-A affiliates and served a 50-game PED suspension.

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