March 17, 2014
Benefits and Perkins
Signed RHP Brett Tomko to a minor-league deal. [3/13]
Signed RHP Ramon Troncoso to a minor-league deal. [3/14]
Troncoso has never built upon a promising 2009 with the Dodgers. The sinkerball specialist appeared in 29 games last season with the White Sox, and was only effective against same-handed batters. Despite the respectable groundball rates, he walked too many batters and allowed too many home runs to be a reliable part of a bullpen. The Royals will work with him in Triple-A.
Tomko has not pitched in the majors since 2011, and turns 41 in a matter of weeks. There's no reason to believe he'll make an impact for the Royals—even if he's sitting in the low-90s—yet his love of the game merits attention. The former second-round pick could have retired during the winter with nearly 400 big-league appearances to his name, but he continues to hang on and rise buses. He's not changing the world one pitch at a time, or anything of the sort. He's just a ballplayer who seemingly loves the game.
Agreed to a four-year extension with LHP Glen Perkins worth $22.18 million with a club option worth $6.5 million. [3/12]
A sensible agreement with unusual circumstances. Perkins was already under contract through the 2015 season, with the Twins holding an option on his services in 2016. Yet that didn't stop Terry Ryan from handing him a new deal with an immediate raise, as Perkins will make an additional $3.5 million or so over the next two seasons. In exchange, the Twins gain two more years of control.
You can understand Minnesota's desire to do this deal. Perkins is a quality reliever—possibly the best closer to never get talked about as one of the best closers—and one who'll be paid below his market value potentially through the 2018 season. The free-agent market was not as sweet toward closers as usual this past winter, but it's hard to imagine Perkins maxing out at $6.5 million on the open market, which is what he does under this agreement. Factor in the cost certainty and the benefits of keeping a guy you know versus signing someone you don't, and the Twins got a sweet deal.
Perkins didn't make out too badly himself. The Minnesota native gets to stay home for the foreseeable future. The Twins even provided him with some no-trade protection—he's able to block trades to three teams and the option turns into the player variety if he is dealt. Perkins could have left in a few years and made more money on the open market. Instead he chose to stay home, make decent money, and help usher in a new era of Twins baseball. The union might call him selfish, but you can understand his perspective.
Released C-R Lou Marson. [3/14]
The fleeting life of a backup catcher. Marson returned to his original organization over the offseason, having spent the previous five and a half years in Cleveland as the Indians' primary reserve, but seldom played this spring before his release. He missed most of 2013 due to a shoulder injury that was (at least in part) caused by a collision at the plate. A healthy Marson offers limited utility. Offensively, he'll walk a fair bit, but he strikes out too much for someone without power. Defensively, he grades as a below-average receiver and above-average goalie. The Phillies favored Wil Nieves and Cameron Rupp to Marson, which means our protagonist has entered the third catcher phase of his career.