The Blue Jays have claimed outfielder Andy Dirks off waivers, the Tigers announced via press release. Dirks, 28, was expected to serve as Detroit’s primary left fielder this season in a platoon with Rajai Davis, but a back injury required surgery and wound up costing him the entire year. Dirks has a solid career slash line of .276/.332/.413, and he grades out as an excellent defender in left field, having compiled 16 Defensive Runs Saved and an UZR/150 mark of +5.1 in 1569 innings in left field. With Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus both hitting the open market, Dirks makes for a very nice add to the team’s outfield depth if he can return to health in 2015 and beyond. He’s projected to earn $1.63MM in his first time through arbitration this offseason, per MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, and he can be controlled through 2017 via the arb process.
The regular season and postseason have ended, but the Hot Stove season is upon us. Here’s a top-25 list of free agents, plus a few more names to kick around in these days as teams begin to try to get better than the World Series-champion Giants.
As expected, the Brewers have committed to starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo for another season and ended Rickie Weeks’ long tenure with the club.
Astros games will be available to a larger portion of the Houston television market beginning next year after a bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved a Chapter 11 reorganization plan that will allow AT&T and DirecTV to purchase Comcast SportsNet Houston.
The Padres have declined their option on right-handed pitcher Josh Johnson for 2015, but that doesn’t necessarily close the door on him returning to San Diego. The Padres held a $4 million option on Johnson, who will turn 31 in January, a stipulation in the contract that he signed last winter with the team if he made seven or fewer starts in 2014.
Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo’s plan of getting a number of at-bats during the offseason has been derailed by a right thumb contusion he sustained while playing in the Arizona Fall League.
The Orioles have exercised their 2015 club options on pitchers Wei-Yin Chen and Darren O’Day, and they declined the options of right fielder Nick Markakis and catcher Nick Hundley.
The Angels retained a big piece of their bullpen Thursday, picking up their $7 million option on closer Huston Street.
The Cardinals have exercised their league-minimum option on right-hander John Lackey, per a report from the Associated Press. The move is little more than a formality, as there was never any real doubt that the Cardinals would exercise the mere $500K option. That option was a large part of the reason that Lackey was so desirable at this year’s trade deadline and a large part of the reason that the club was willing to part with both Joe Kelly and Allen Craig to land him. Lackey’s original five-year, $82.5MM contract with the Red Sox contained a clause stipulating that if he were to miss a year due to a significant elbow injury, Boston would gain a sixth-year option at the league minimum rate. Lackey underwent Tommy John surgery during the life of that original five-year term, thus triggering the clause. Though the salary is obviously not ideal for Lackey, he has said multiple times that he plans to honor the commitment. Lackey, who turned 36 last week, pitched to a 3.82 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 198 innings for the Red Sox and Cardinals this season. However, he was markedly better with Boston than he was with St. Louis, as he posted a 3.60 ERA (3.56 FIP) with the Sox compared to a 4.30 ERA (4.27 FIP) with the Cards.