April 4, 2012
MLB notes: Lannan asks for trade
By QMI Agency
Rather than quietly accept his demotion to Triple-A Syracuse, Washington National pitcher John Lannan asked general manager Mike Rizzo for a trade.
Lannan, the Nationals starter in the season opener last year, emailed to reporters a statement outlining his trade request Wednesday, a day after he was sent down.
According to the Washington Post, Lannan, who will make $5 million this season, is the highest-paid player ever optioned to the minors at the end of spring training. He lost his spot in the rotation to another lefthander, Ross Detwiler.
"I know what my rights and the team's rights are, and while I am still a member of the Washington Nationals organization, I let Mike know that I believe a trade would be the best solution for everyone in both the short and long term," he said. "I believe that I belong in a big-league rotation. I am a proven major-league starting pitcher, with a track record of success."
In 2011, Lannan went 10-13 with a 3.70 earned-run average in 33 starts. He has a career record of 38-51.
MORE BUCKS FOR CABRERA
The Cleveland Indians signed all-star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to a two-year, $16.5 million contract extension Wednesday.
Cabrera, who will make $4.55 million this season, gets a pay bump to $6.5 million in 2013 and $10 million in 2014.
"We obviously had an interest in extending Asdrubal's term here," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "As importantly, Asdrubal -- from the very beginning of the process -- demonstrated, and continued to communicate, that he wanted to be an Indian and he wanted to be an Indian long term."
The Indians got Cabrera, then a minor-leaguer, in a 2006 deal with the Seattle Mariners. The 26-year-old had a breakout season in 2011, hitting .273 with 25 home runs and 92 RBIs in 151 games.
"This is the team I want to be with for my whole career," Cabrera said after inking the extension.
ACEVES GETS GIG
With Boston Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey expected to be out for up to five months after having surgery on his right thumb Wednesday, Alfredo Aceves has inherited the job.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine confirmed that Aceves will get the call when a game needs to be saved during Bailey's absence. Bailey has been put on the 60-day DL.
"He loves competition," Valentine told ESPN Boston. "He's one of the best competitors I've seen. I could be wrong. I haven't seen him up close and personal in battle. But he's a very good competitor, to say nothing of being a very good pitcher."
Aceves has limited experience as a closer but was effective out of the bullpen last season. He had two saves, 11 holds and a 2.61 earned-run average in 55 games with the Red Sox.
Boston righthander Josh Beckett is also nursing a thumb injury but is expected to start Saturday in Detroit. Outfielder Chris Crawford (off-season surgery on his left wrist) will start the season on the 15-day DL.
NIESE CASHES IN
The New York Mets have signed left-hander Jon Niese to a five-year contract extension that could be worth as much as $46 million, according to ESPN New York.
The deal, which was confirmed by two sources, is worth $25.5 million but two team options could raise the value to almost double that. Club options in 2017 and '18 are worth a total of $20.5 million.
Not bad dough for a pitcher who went 11-11 with a 4.40 earned-run average in 26 starts last season. He made just $452,000 in 2011.
The deal is similar to the five-year, $28.5 million contract that lefty Derek Holland signed with the Texas Rangers.
Former Blue Jays starter A.J. Burnett , who is still recovering from surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone, will be inactive for the start of the season. The Pittsburgh Pirates put Burnett and fellow righthanders Charlie Morton and Chris Leroux on the DL Wednesday ... The Minnesota Twins sent right-hander Jason Marquis to Double-A New Britain. Marquis signed a one-year deal with the Twins in December ... The Cleveland Indians put outfielder Grady Sizemore on the 60-day DL. Sizemore, who had back surgery last month, has been limited to just 104 games over the last two seasons due to injuries ... Lower back soreness has sent Tampa Bay Rays outfielder B.J. Upton to the DL. The move is retroactive to March 26 ... Baltimore Orioles minor-league catcher Brian Ward has been suspended 50 games for his second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program ... The New York Yankees acquired catcher Chris Stewart from the San Francisco Giants for right-hander George Kontos. The Yankees also optioned catcher Francisco Cervelli to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ... Outfielder Carlos Quentin, the San Diego Padres' big off-season acquisition, will start the season on the DL after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in March. Quentin is a two-time all-star and former Silver Slugger winner.