Tag: Chad Gaudin

2014 MLB Free Agents: Low-Profile Signings That Could Make a Big Difference

While the hype surrounding Major League Baseball’s free agency period tends to focus on well-known and high-profile players, smaller signings are often just as important.

In a way, low-profile signings can be the difference between a championship team and one that is out of any race before September. 

There are two things in common among the players included on this list.  First, they are not exactly the biggest targets in 2014.  Second, they may be the big difference makers each team needs to have success over the course of a full year.

Whether they provide adequate depth, round out a rotation or even just provide an unsung upgrade at a position, the teams that end up employing their services next season will be better off in 2014.

Chad Gaudin

Position: Relief Pitcher

2013 Team: San Francisco Giants

Right-handed reliever Chad Gaudin is an interesting commodity when it comes to free agency.  The 31-year-old reliever-turned-starter had a nice season filling in for San Francisco’s injured starter Ryan Vogelsong.

He is capable of both long relief and spot starting, which can help almost any rotation.  His 2013 contract of $750,000 makes him affordable as well.

Do the Giants want him back?  Probably, as tweeted by Larry Krueger of their flagship station KNBR in San Francisco.

Yet there are plenty of other teams that could be interested.  The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies could use a versatile starter.  The Boston Red Sox need bullpen help.  Gaudin can provide both. 

Gaudin earned his keep in San Francisco and is likely to stay there, but the deep pockets of teams like Boston, New York and Philadelphia could lure his services back east.


Carlos Ruiz

Position: Catcher

2013 Team: Philadelphia Phillies

Veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz will be 35 years old when the 2014 season starts.  At that age, it is likely  that his best days are behind him.  Yet he can still provide good offensive prowess.

The other question is whether or not Ruiz returns to Philadelphia—the team he has spent his entire career with. 

The Phillies do need to get younger and more athletic.  Do they plan on keeping Ruiz in their equation, or do they look more to the future?  As of now, Philadelphia does not have an in-house option to replace Ruiz and the market for catchers is pretty thin.

Ruiz would also like to stay, but will a deal be made before he hits the open market at a thin position?  He probably won’t make as much compared to his previous contract, which makes him more attractive as a commodity.

In all likelihood Ruiz will remain in Philadelphia, but there is a good chance he could land with another squad looking for catching help.  The Tampa Bay Rays could use an offensive upgrade over the aging Jose Molina.  The White Sox and Tigers may also be looking for upgrades. 

This market is very thin and if Philadelphia does not lock up Ruiz soon, he may take a contract elsewhere.


Nate McLouth

Position: Outfield

2013 Team: Baltimore Orioles

There is a lot of upside to outfielder Nate McLouth.  The nine-year veteran has a lot of attributes that teams will be looking for during the offseason.  He has a good on-base percentage, hits right-handed pitching well and he can steal bases.

While he is nowhere close to a splashy free agent, his 2013 base salary of $2 million would mean the 31 year old would be a cheap option for a team looking to add depth or find an upgrade in the outfield.

Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com breaks down what will happen if McLouth leaves the Orioles and emphasizes what he can provide for another team that is interested.  He writes:

The Orioles aren’t brimming with alternatives to replace McLouth, and will have to turn to the free agent and trade markets if they don’t re-sign him.  Since McLouth could assume more of an above-average, oft-used fourth outfielder role, he could boost the depth of many clubs. 

The Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates—where McLouth started his professional career—may be looking for help in the outfield.

It would not be surprising to see McLouth land with either squad if it does not work out in Baltimore.  Both of those teams need the help and McLouth can provide it.


Stephen Drew

Position: Shortstop

2013 Team: Boston Red Sox

If you forget 2007 and 2012, shortstop Stephen Drew is actually a nice option at the position.

Playing on a talented Red Sox team helps his numbers quite a bit, but there is a potential that he could move on to somewhere else. 

Will he command the contract he got with Boston in 2013?  Probably not, even though his agent is Scott Boras.  Will he provide good defense with above-average numbers at the plate?  Absolutely.

So, which teams would be interested? 

The shortstop market is both relatively old and thin. 

With that in mind, there are a number of teams looking to add something at the position.  The New York Mets are a possible candidate as tweeted by Andrew Vazzano of SNY.tv.

Of course, Boston will look to entertain his return to the Red Sox.  Considering some of his extra-base hitting prowess displayed during the year, Boston would be smart to at least try an offer.

Other possibilities include the Pittsburgh Pirates, who could lose Clint Barmes via free agency, as well as the Tampa Bay Rays with Yunel Escobar.  Both clubs have good prospects waiting for their chance, but Drew could be the bridge in the meantime until their respective prospects are ready.

Yet the favorite here has to be Boston.  The Mets could lure him away if they want to overpay.  If contract negotiations become a problem, perhaps a short-term option becomes reality.

While none of these free agents are likely considered “high priority” by teams around the league, each offers a unique set of skills that could prove to be the difference heading forward into 2014.

In Gaudin‘s case, it is his versatility on the mound either as a starter or reliever.  Think how valuable that is to a rotation and/or bullpen late in the season.  With Ruiz, veteran catchers who can provide some offensive thump are a bonus to any lineup.  Ruiz’s ability to work with elite pitchers also makes his signing a bonus.

McClouth is a solid, if not stellar, outfielder.  There are plenty of teams that need corner outfielders and McClouth provides that.  He has good defense, enough offensive prowess and would add depth in a worst-case scenario.  At best, he could be a cheaper staple of a good offense.

Drew is also a likable option for teams needing good defense at shortstop.  He has some pop in his bat as well.  Those are both great assets considering the position. 

None of these signings will likely command the media attention given to players like Robinson Cano or Carlos Beltran.  Yet these free agents are no less important to helping teams win. 

After all, it is not necessarily the best players that help a team win—it is the right ones.


Peter Panacy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.  Follow him @PeterMcShots on Twitter.

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San Francisco Giants: 4 Battles Within the Team to Watch for in Spring Training

For the second time in three years, the San Francisco Giants will enter spring training with the feeling of being World Series champions. 

However, there are still some questions that need to be answered and some concerns about the defending champions.

Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence were among the players who struggled last year, and while they both stepped up in the playoffs to help the Giants win the World Series, both have a lot to prove in 2013. While the Giants didn’t make any major offseason moves, they gave out a lot of minor-league deals.

What does that mean? Every player who received one of those miniature contracts has a lot to prove in spring training.

Here are four battles within the team to watch for in 2013.

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Syndal Gorden Remains Only Reason to Ever Know Chad Gaudin’s Name

Who the hell is Chad Gaudin? That must have been the question running through most of a TLC-loving nation. Well, the answer is simple—and quite hot, actually. 

You see, Chad Gaudin is married to Syndal Gorden. The blushing bride was originally featured on an episode of Say Yes to the Dress back in January. 

The couple was then wed in March, giving Gaudin his only glimpse of notoriety. To say that he is forgettable is an understatement. You have to rack your brain as if one were asked a brain teaser to recall he was a meager middle reliever for the Yankees. 

He is currently under a minor league contract for the Toronto Blue Jays. That’s like leaving the job you now have to go clean toilets. If you currently clean toilets, it’s like you leaving to become Chad Gaudin’s arm. 

Here is a tweet sent when Gorden showed her gorgeous figure on TLC once again in a re-run. 

Here is another tweet that made me laugh…then chuckle. 

Simply put, Gorden is gorgeous, and it takes you just a few short moments of watching her to know that Gaudin is a lucky man. 

He can forget his lifetime ERA, which is on the wrong side of 4.50. He can push aside the recollection of his record, which obviously contains more losses than wins. 

He has a gorgeous wife and a lifetime of bliss ahead of him. I look forward to now forgetting the names Chad and Gaudin until TLC, in their infinite wisdom, give us a replay of Gorden picking out a dress that costs way too much. 

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New York Yankees Notes: Ring, Brackman, Marte, D-Rob, and Kearns

The big series in the standings may be the Yankees vs. the Rays, but judging by the ticket prices on StubHub, the one the fans care about is Yankees vs. Red Sox and we have a good one tonight as Andy Pettitte goes up against Josh Beckett.

Here are some notes:

  • The Yankees have begun making plans for the postseason, and those include plans for Phil Hughes. They won’t reveal those plans though.
  • Brian Cashman confirmed what I thought yesterday, Royce Ring can pitch himself on to the playoff roster.
  • Andrew Brackman has been activated and Cashman told Joe Girardi to feel free to use him. That doesn’t necessarily mean he will pitch though.
  • Girardi gave us another Damaso Marte update, he isn’t likely to make it back this season after all.
  • Last night Javier Vazquez became the first Yankee to ever hit three batters in a row.
  • David Robertson‘s back is apparently feeling better after suffering spasms the other day. He could be back today, but Girardi will likely try to avoid using him.
  • Austin Kearns has been dealing with a sore right index finger. It’s feeling better, but not yet 100 percent and is why he didn’t play against David Price last night, who is a lefty.

That sucks to hear that Marte is not making a comeback after all. I have a feeling we’re going to get to see Ring pitch quite a bit over the next nine games.

I would like to see Brackman pitch, but I’m not holding my breath.

I’m starting to think that the Yankees could carry Ivan Nova and Ring on the playoff roster and not Vazquez.

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Could Royce Ring Help New York Yankees in Postseason?

Last night in a 7-2 loss to Tampa Bay, Yankees manager Joe Girardi brought in relief pitcher Royce Ring, who was making his debut this season after pitching in Triple-A for most of 2010.

Ring was very effective and efficient, so should Girardi include Ring on the postseason roster?

All three of the teams the Yankees could potentially face in the playoffs—Tampa Bay, Texas, and Minnesota—have big name left-handed batters. The Yankees currently have just one lefty specialist in the bullpen, Boone Logan. In his first season on the Yankees, Logan has pitched well particularly against lefties.

Logan has given up 15 hits in 19.2 innings against lefties and sports a 1.83 ERA. He has struck out 29 batters while walking just nine. Sure that’s all fine and good, but the Yankees will need more than one pitcher to face the tough lefties late in games.

It may not matter too much, as it appears the combination of Kerry Wood, Joba Chamberlain, and Mariano Rivera will control the seventh inning on. It would be safer though to have a second lefty specialist available.

Ring had a terrific season in Triple-A. In 52 appearances, the lefty pitched 42 innings, giving up just 35 hits while walking 11 and striking out 39. He had an overall ERA of 1.93 this season for Scranton. Against left-handed batters, Ring allowed just 18 hits and struck out 26. Left-handed batters hit just .202 against him.

Some of the left-handed hitters the Yankees will face in the postseason may include Dan Johnson, Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, and Brad Hawpe from Tampa Bay, Josh Hamilton, Chris Davis, and David Murphy of Texas, and Joe Mauer, Jim Thome, and Jason Kubel from Minnesota.

Continue Reading at Double G Sports.

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Chad Gaudin Re-Acquired To Help New York Yankees’ Depleted Bullpen

The Yankees are about to get a familiar face back on their pitching staff.

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Yankees and Chad Gaudin have reached an agreement for the 2010 season.

Gaudin pitched very well for the Yankees both as a starter and reliever in 2009, going 2-0 with a 3.43 ERA in 11 starts.

Since all of the Yankees’ starters are healthy, Gaudin will be heading to the bullpen for a long relief/middle relief role.

More importantly, Gaudin will be taking over the role of Alfredo Aceves.

Aceves has been on the disabled list since the beginning of May with a back injury. The Star-Ledger had reported that while trying to throw on flat ground, Aceves’ back flared up again on Tuesday.

The Daily News said that Aceves could be headed towards surgery to fix a herniated disk in the back, so Aceves’ return date is now unknown.

The 27-year-old Gaudin will bring a fresh arm to a Yankees pitching staff that needs stability in the worst way.

Gaudin was 0-2 with an 8.83 ERA with the Oakland A’s this season before he was released on May 21. Because Gaudin refused a minor league assignment, it made him a free agent.

As long as Gaudin pitches the way he did in 2009, where he was not only undefeated, but the Yankees were undefeated every time he started, then he might be a great addition and a good luck charm of sorts for the Yankees.

Gaudin could also be a sixth starter just in case any one of the five starters in the rotation gets injured. If Gaudin started, it could also keep Sergio Mitre in the bullpen as the long reliever, which is where Mitre has pitched much better from rather than Mitre as a starter.

With the Yankees five games back of the first-place Rays right now, the Yankees need all the help and extra arms they can get. Time will tell to see if this re-addition of Gaudin will help the Yankees.

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