Padres Designate Troy Patton, Chris Nelson

The Padres have designated lefty Troy Patton and infielder Chris Nelson for assignment, MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports on Twitter. Like many of the day’s other DFAs, these moves are related to the team’s September call-up plans.

Patton, 28, was picked up from the Orioles in the deal that sent Nick Hundley to Baltimore. He had been a reasonably effective reliever before struggling out of the gate this year for the O’s. Over 7 1/3 frames in San Diego, Patton actually showed quite well, allowing just two earned runs and striking out eight and walking only one. Over his career, Patton has limited lefties to a .633 OPS while also managing right-handed batters reasonably well (.718 OPS-against).

Nelson, also 28, has bounced around quite a bit in recent years. This season, he spent time at Triple-A with both the Reds and Pads, posting a combined .279/.355/.389 slash over 363 plate appearances. He failed to hit the .300 mark in any of those categories in his 81 trips to the MLB dish this year for San Diego.


Angels Designate Michael Kohn, J.B. Shuck

The Angels have designated righty Michael Kohn and outfielder J.B. Shuck for assignment, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). Los Angeles needed 40-man roster spots to accommodate its September call-ups.

Kohn, 28, has produced a 3.52 ERA in 76 2/3 MLB relief innings over the last two years. But his 9.2 K/9 over that stretch has been countered by 5.6 BB/9, and his control issues worsened this year both at the major league and minor league level. ERA estimators are not fans of his work, moreover, with his earned run numbers propped up by a low home run-to-flyball rate and a .192 BABIP-against.

Meanwhile, the 27-year-old Shuck is out of chances in Los Angeles just one season after receiving 478 plate appearances for the big club. He posted a .293/.331/.366 slash in last year’s audition, but has been much less productive over just 88 plate appearances in 2014. It would not be surprising to see some interest in Shuck from other clubs, however. The controllable outfielder has actually posted his best minor league numbers this year, slashing .320/.382/.446 in 465 plate appearances at Triple-A.


Pirates Designate Michael Martinez For Assignment

The Pirates have designated utilityman Michael Martinez for assignment, the club announced via press release. His roster spot will be used to clear space for the promotion of Chase d’Arnaud, who is one of the team’s expanded roster additions.

Martinez, 31, has always been a light hitter, and this year was no different. After 44 trips to the plate for Pittsburgh, he owns a lifetime .181/.231/.251 triple-slash over four years and 440 plate appearances. Martinez’s calling card, of course, is defensive versatility. He has seen time at every position on the field except for the 1-2-3 spots on the diamond.



Yankees Designate Zoilo Almonte, Release Matt Daley

The Yankees have announced a series of roster moves to clear space for September call-ups. Outfielder Zoilo Almonte has been designated for assignment, while righty Matt Daley has been released.

Almonte, 25, has struggled in limited playing time at the major league level over the past two seasons. At Triple-A this year, he owns a .261/.311/.437 line over 454 plate appearances. Daley, meanwhile, threw 14 1/3 frames of 5.02 ERA ball this year. The 32-year-old reliever also saw 35 2/3 innings at Triple-A, posting a 4.54 ERA.

The Yankees will bring up a group of younger players, including John Ryan Murphy, Preston Claiborne, Bryan Mitchell, and Chase Whitley, and have selected the contracts of veterans Rich Hill and Chris Young. The club also agreed to new, major league deals with outfielder Antoan Richardson and recently-acquired righty Chaz Roe, both of whom will join the club’s reserve mix.


MLBTR Chat Transcript

Click here to read a transcript of this week’s live chat, hosted by MLBTR’s Steve Adams.


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2015 Free Agent Power Rankings

Less than one month remains in the 2014 regular season, so our 2015 Free Agent Power Rankings are starting to resemble the beginning of the Top 50 Free Agents list, which will come out in early November after teams make qualifying offers.  Click here for the previous edition of the power rankings, and click here for the full list of 2015 free agents.

1.  Max Scherzer.  Scherzer has a 3.07 ERA in eight starts since the power rankings were last published.  The 30-year-old ranks second in the AL with 220 strikeouts, fifth with 187 2/3 innings, 13th with a 3.26 ERA, and 5th with a 2.84 SIERA.  His Tigers are a good bet for the playoffs, which would mark Scherzer’s fourth consecutive postseason.  Scherzer could secure the largest free agent contract ever signed by a pitcher, a record currently held by C.C. Sabathia‘s seven-year, $161MM deal from six years ago.  More recently, free agent Masahiro Tanaka required a $175MM commitment, but $20MM of that was paid to his former team.  Both of those pitchers received opt-out clauses, a likely goal for Scherzer.

2.  Jon Lester.  Lester ranks fourth in the AL with a 2.55 ERA, fifth with 186 strikeouts, sixth with 183 2/3 innings, and eighth with a 3.06 SIERA.  He hasn’t missed a beat since being traded to the Athletics at the July deadline.  Because of the trade, Lester boasts a free agency advantage of not being eligible for a qualifying offer after the season.  He’s headed to the playoffs for the fifth time in his career.  Lester is only six months older than Scherzer, and some teams shopping in the high-end of the free agent pitching market may prefer him.  The Red Sox told Lester they’ll be aggressive in trying to sign him as a free agent, and the lefty says he’s prioritizing his family’s happiness over money.

3.  James Shields.  Shields currently leads all free agent starters with 192 innings, but Scherzer could temporarily overtake him Thursday with a decent outing.  At 33 years old in December, Shields belongs slightly below the Scherzer/Lester tier in what is shaping up to be the best trio of free agent starters since this website began nine years ago.  Shields is looking to reach the playoffs for the fourth time in his career with a Royals club that hasn’t been there since 1985.  ESPN’s Buster Olney and WEEI’s Rob Bradford have suggested the Red Sox could make a play for Shields.  A four-year deal for Shields would be easier to stomach than six or seven years for Scherzer or Lester, although a strong finish could give Big Game James a case for five years.

4.  Hanley Ramirez.  Ramirez spent a few weeks on the DL in August for an oblique strain.  It was his first DL stint of the year, though he missed around 15 games previously due to various ailments.  The 30-year-old is beginning to look injury-prone, and his bat will be less impressive if he doesn’t stick at shortstop for most of his next contract.  The game is flush with cash, but is this a $100MM player?

5.  Pablo Sandoval.  Sandoval has proven to be a useful player who hits for average with slightly above-average pop and surprisingly solid defense given his physique.  He’s a better hitter than Chase Headley and is much younger than Aramis Ramirez, so Sandoval is the best third baseman available.  The Giants seem likely to make a play to re-sign him.

6.  Victor Martinez.  Martinez has been on fire since our last set of power rankings, hitting .344/.433/.526 in 180 plate appearances.  He’s been among the best hitters in all of baseball this year, and no other free agent comes close to his 2014 production.  Martinez is mostly a designated hitter at this point, and he’ll turn 36 in December.  He’ll probably find a team willing to take their chances on a three-year deal, possibly in excess of the $45MM Carlos Beltran received.

7.  Yasmani Tomas.  Last month, Rusney Castillo set a Cuban free agent record in signing a seven-year, $72.5MM contract with the Red Sox.  Tomas is a different type of outfielder, a corner guy with middle of the order power.  He’s also younger, at 24 years old in November.  The Phillies have been linked to Tomas in the early going, but he still has to be cleared by the Office of Foreign Assets Control before becoming a free agent.  Once that happens, Tomas could have the widest market of anyone on this list given his age.

8.  Melky Cabrera.  Cabrera’s solid campaign continues, as he’s hitting .305/.355/.464 in 605 plate appearances.  He recently turned 30 and figures to aim for a five-year deal.  He may only achieve three or four, owing to subpar defense, a potential qualifying offer, and his 2012 suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.

9.  Russell Martin.  By measure of Fangraphs wins above replacement, Martin has been roughly as valuable as Jose Bautista this year while playing in 70% as many games.  Martin has been one of the best catchers in all of baseball, with an uncharacteristic .414 OBP and his typical excellent defensive work.  It’s hard to find even a surefire starter among the other free agent catchers, so the 31-year-old Martin is about to cash in.  A four-year deal north of $50MM seems possible.

10.  Nelson Cruz.  Cruz leads MLB with 36 home runs, yet he’s tumbled from sixth to tenth on this list.  The 34-year-old’s success amounts to two good months to start the season, after which he’s hitting .214/.282/.406 in 340 plate appearances.  He could still reach 40 home runs, which can’t be ignored, but with another qualifying offer Cruz might find free agency disappointing again.  Cruz said recently he’d like to work out an extension with the Orioles before the end of the season, but talks to date have been casual.

26-year-old Japanese righty Kenta Maeda remains worth watching; he has a 2.73 ERA in 142 innings.  Ervin Santana has been excellent in eight starts since our last power rankings and seems primed for a multiyear deal.  Jason Hammel has settled in in Oakland, pitching quite well in four of his last five starts.  Jake Peavy and Brandon McCarthy have excelled following trades, while Justin Masterson‘s stock has plummeted and he’s been moved to the Cardinals’ bullpen.  Francisco Liriano and Jorge De La Rosa also warrant mention as multiyear deal candidates, though De La Rosa may end up with a qualifying offer attached to his name.  Josh Beckett may be lost for the season with a hip injury, muddying his free agent picture.

On the position player side, Aramis Ramirez continues putting up strong numbers, and Mike Morse has remained useful in recent weeks.  Asdrubal Cabrera has hit well in his new role as the Nationals’ second baseman.  J.J. Hardy didn’t hit a home run until June 21, but he’s gone deep nine times since while playing his typical brand of elite defense at shortstop and should secure a nice multi-year deal.  Nick Markakis has been steady and productive for most of the season.  Late signees Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales have continued to struggle after being traded, calling their offseason strategy into question.


Astros Designate Paul Clemens, David Martinez

The Astros announced that they have designated right-handers Paul Clemens and David Martinez for assignment in order to make room on their 40-man roster for September callups. Righties Jorge De Leon and Nick Tropeano each had their contracts selected, necessitating corresponding 40-man moves. Additionally, catcher Max Stassi, outfielder L.J. Hoes and shortsop Jonathan Villar have been recalled, while lefty Darin Downs has been activated from the DL and waiver claim Sam Deduno has been added to the active roster.

Clemens, 26, has mopped up 98 innings for the Astros over the past two seasons and posted a 5.51 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 36.9 percent ground-ball rate in the process. Though he posted strong numbers through Double-A in his minor league career, he stumbled at Triple-A and has recorded a combined 5.91 ERA in 182 2/3 innings over parts of four seasons at that level.

The 27-year-old Martinez has logged 18 1/3 innings with Houston over the past two seasons with a 6.38 ERA and a 12-to-5 K/BB ratio in that time. He, too, has struggled at Triple-A, posting a 6.03 ERA over his two seasons (94 innings) with Oklahoma City.

Tropeano is the most notable prospect of the bunch, ranking 13th among Astros prospects on the midseason list compiled by Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of MLB.com. The 2011 fifth-round pick pitched to a 3.03 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 124 2/3 innings as a member of Triple-A Oklahoma City’s rotation this year. Callis and Mayo note that his low-90s fastball and changeup give him two above-average offerings, and his slider has the potential to be above-average as well. With the potential for three above-average offerings, Tropeano would seem to have a shot at being a rotation member in the future.


Brewers Designate Caleb Gindl, Release Hiram Burgos

The Brewers announced that they have designated outfielder Caleb Gindl for assignment and released right-hander Hiram Burgos. These moves have helped clear room for infielders Matt Clark, Hector Gomez and Jason Rogers, who have been added to the roster as September callups.

Gindl received his second taste of Major League action this year, but he didn’t receive nearly the same playing time that he did last year when Ryan Braun was serving his suspension. Gindl slashed just .158/.304/.158 in 23 plate appearances — a far cry from the very respectable .242/.340/.439 triple-slash he posted last year with the Brewers. However, the 26-year-old’s struggles weren’t confined to the Majors, as he batted just .227/.310/.354 in 408 PA with Triple-A Nashville.

Burgos, 27, ranked as Milwaukee’s No. 12 prospect heading into the 2013 season (per Baseball America), but as MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy points out (on Twitter), a shoulder injury has wrecked the last two seasons. Burgos posted a 6.44 ERA in the Majors last season and a 6.50 ERA at Triple-A this year as he battled through that injury, but prior to that he had totaled a 3.27 ERA in 77 Triple-A innings. Heading into this season, Burgos had a 3.64 ERA and a 427-to-137 K/BB ratio in 497 1/3 career minor league innings.


Blue Jays Designate Darin Mastroianni, Matt Hague; Neil Wagner Released

The Blue Jays announced a flurry of roster moves with rosters expanding for the month of September. Both Darin Mastroianni and Matt Hague have been designated for assignment, while right-hander Neil Wagner, who was designated yesterday, has been released. Additionally, Brett Lawrie has been transferred to the 60-day DL.

The 40-man moves create space for the selection of top prospect Dalton Pompey‘s contract, the selection of veteran George Kottaras‘ contract and the reinstatement of Brandon Morrow from the 60-day disabled list. Additionally, Toronto has activated Dan Johnson from the DL and recalled Ryan Goins, Anthony Gose, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Daniel Norris from Triple-A.

Mastroianni, 29, hit .156/.156/.250 in 32 plate appearances with the Blue Jays after they claimed him on waivers from the Twins earlier this season. The Jays had lost Mastroianni to the Twins on waivers two years prior, and the speedster looked to have carved out a spot for himself in Minnesota as a fourth outfielder following a solid .252/.328/.350 batting line in 77 games. However, a series of ankle injuries kept Mastroianni off the field, and he’s yet to again show the respectable bat and plus speed that made him an asset in that 2012 season.

Hague, also 29, has posted strong Triple-A numbers this season between the Pirates and Blue Jays organizations. He’s totaled a .282/.371/.465 batting line with 15 homers in his fourth season at that level. Hague has never received an extended look in the Majors, though the first baseman does have 76 PA in the bigs. He’s hit just .222/.263/.250 in that limited chance, however.

Wagner underwent Tommy John surgery in August, which will likely sideline him for the majority of the 2015 season. He was a reasonably effective bullpen piece for the Jays in 2013, posting a 3.79 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 38 innings. Those numbers aren’t too dissimilar from his career marks at Triple-A, where he’s posted a 3.91 ERA with a superior 10.1 K/9 and a 3.3 BB/9 rate.


Astros Notes: Porter, Luhnow, Managerial Search

The Astros fired manager Bo Porter yesterday, and owner Jim Crane confirms to Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle that Porter and GM Jeff Luhnow weren’t seeing eye to eye. “[The GM and the manager] have to be closely aligned and singing the same song,” said Crane. “That wasn’t happening.” Crane acknowledged that Porter was put in a difficult situation and said he feels Porter “did a pretty good job with what we gave him” before voicing his support for Luhnow’s vision. Crane says that Nolan Ryan, Reid Ryan and Craig Biggio will all be involved in the search for the next Houston manager, and he wonders if the Astros would benefit from someone with more managerial experience.

Here’s more on Porter’s firing and the search for the next Astros skipper…

  • There were some within the Astros organization that thought Porter should be dismissed following the 2013 season, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney in his daily Insider-only blog. However, the prevailing opinion wound up being that it was too soon to let go of a manager who had just completed his first season. Olney spoke with team sources that told him some players and club employees are angry over the situation. Some club employees are even looking for jobs elsewhere, according to Olney.
  • With porter out of the picture in Houston, Luhnow could be next on the chopping block if the team does not show significant improvement in 2014, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports opines (video link). One specific area of improvement for Luhnow will be showing that he can successfully build a bullpen, Rosenthal points out.
  • Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle spoke with pitching coach Brent Strom regarding his relationship with Porter, and Strom had positive things to say. Strom was hired by Luhnow and has a longstanding relationship with the GM, but says he learned a lot from Porter, whom he met just this past offseason. “I really grew to appreciate his intelligence and his attention to detail,” Strom said. “I actually learned a great deal from him, I really did. Stuff that in all my years of baseball I had not thought about, and I documented all those things and actually had passed it on to our minor league pitching coaches for future years throughout our system.”
  • Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo is likely to be a candidate, sources tell ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).
  • Some “potential candidates,” according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, include former Astros star (and current adviser) Craig Biggio. Other possibilities include bench coaches Tim Bogar (Rangers) and Dave Martinez (Rays) along with third base coaches Dave Clark (Tigers) and Joe McEwing (White Sox). McTaggart’s colleague, Richard Justice, also tweets that Bogar is a candidate.
  • In addition to the names listed above, Drellich lists some other hypothetical candidates for the skipper’s role. Former big league managers Manny Acta and Trey Hillman, A’s bench coach Chip Hale, Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo, recent Padres assistant GM A.J. Hinch, and interim manager Tom Lawless.

Poll: Most Impactful August Acquisition

Though trades completed after the expiration of the non-waiver period generally lack the marquee appeal of their predecessors, August swaps can have wide-ranging impact — as the blockbuster of 2012 amply illustrates. This year, most of the heavy lifting was done during July, but that doesn’t mean that the more recent set of trades (and straight waiver claims) will go without meaning.

So, MLBTR readers: which of the following dozen players will, in your opinion, be the most impactful addition for their new club? (Players listed in alphabetical order by last name, randomized in poll; links go to the relevant transaction.)

Gordon Beckham, INF, Angels — Beckham has not hit well this year — or, really, for much of his career — but is just 27 and can play around the diamond.

Jonathan Broxton, RP, Brewers — One of the game’s most effective set-up men this year, Broxton will be Milwaukee’s for 2015 as well, at a $9MM price tag.

Kevin Correia, SP, Dodgers – Injury flare-ups created a need for innings, but Los Angeles decided to add at the back of the rotation rather than giving up top youngsters.

Alejandro De Aza, OF, Orioles – Though he has had a down year, De Aza appears to be a solid reserve piece and comes with control for next year (though he is a possible non-tender).

Adam Dunn, DH, Athletics — Dunn can still mash, especially against righties, and his bat will be nice to have handy in a now-likely play-in game.

Roberto Hernandez, SP, Dodgers — See above re Correia.

Kelly Johnson, INF, Orioles — With Manny Machado down for the year and second base still a weakness, Johnson is an obvious fit.

Josh Outman, RP, Yankees — Apparently missing Thornton somewhat, New York added the lefty-killer and will have the chance to control him for 2015.

Geovany Soto, C, Athletics — Catcher didn’t seem likely to become a need for Oakland, but Soto could be a good get to plug a late-arising hole.

Matt Thornton, RP, Nationals — Thornton represented the lefty specialist that Washington wanted, and he has been lights out since being nabbed.

Jacob Turner, SP, Cubs — The only non-contender acquisition on this list came about when the Marlins tired of waiting for the 23-year-old’s promise, and his lack of options required an ill-timed DFA.

Josh Willingham, OF, Royals — After a quiet non-waiver deadline, Kansas City made its move to add the still-productive veteran hitter.


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Top Prospect Promotions: Pompey, Franco, Norris

The September roster expansions mean that some of baseball’s most notable prospects will be called up to the big leagues for the first time.  Here are some of the familiar names from various prospect rankings (from MLB.com, Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law) who will soon debut in the Show…

  • Blue Jays outfield prospect Dalton Pompey will also get a September call-up, the youngster himself tweeted (hat tip to John Lott, via Twitter). Pompey cracked the top fifty midseason prospect list of Baseball America, while checking in at 91st on MLB.com’s latest listing. The 21-year-old has seen only limited action at the Triple-A level, and started out this season at High A, but has compiled a strong .313/.388/.462 line across 494 plate appearances at three levels on the year. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca tweets the full, and lengthy, list of Toronto’s expanded roster additions.
  • The Phillies will promote third baseman Maikel Franco, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.  Franco, who just turned 22 last week, has a modest .257/.298/.427 slash line and 16 homers over 553 PA at Triple-A this season, though he has hit much better over the last two months.  Franco was ranked 50th and 57th, respectively, on Baseball America and MLB.com’s midseason prospect lists and ranked 63rd on Law’s preseason top 100 list.
  • The Blue Jays will promote left-hander Daniel Norris, Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi reports.  Norris, 21, was a second-round pick in the 2011 draft who began this season at high-A ball but pitched well enough to earn promotions to both Double-A and Triple-A.  The southpaw has a 2.53 ERA, 11.8 K/9 and 3.79 K/BB rate over a combined 124 2/3 IP at all three farm levels in 2014.  Norris, who was ranked 25th by Baseball America and 28th by MLB.com, is expected to begin his Major League career pitching out of the Jays’ bullpen.

Minor Moves: Hill, Gwynn, Berry, Rangers, Reds

Here are today’s minor transactions from around baseball, with the most recent moves at the top of the post…

  • Lefty Rich Hill has been outrighted to Triple-A by the Yankees, according to the International League transactions page. Hill was designated to make room for fellow southpaw Josh Outman. Though he has seen little time at the MLB level this year and posted an unsightly 6.28 ERA last year, the 34-year-old has historically been quite tough on same-handed hitters and could make sense as an extra lefty specialist on an expanded roster. Having previously been outrighted, Hill will have the right to elect free agency.
  • The Phillies announce that they have selected the contract of outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. To make room on their 40-man roster, they transferred Cliff Lee to the 60-day DL. The Phillies outrighted and then released Gwynn earlier this summer, only to re-sign him to a minor league deal. He’s a career .239/.310/.311 hitter in parts of eight big-league seasons.
  • The Orioles will select the contract of outfielder Quintin Berry, Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com tweets. Berry had a good season for Triple-A Norfolk, hitting .285/.382/.367 in 432 plate appearances, and did his usual good job on the bases, stealing 25 of them while being caught six times. In his brief big-league career with the Tigers and Red Sox, Berry has stolen 24 bases without being caught, making him an ideal September promotion candidate for a team seeking speed.
  • The Rangers have announced that they will select the contract of lefty Michael Kirkman as a September call-up tomorrow. Also, they will select the contract of fellow pitcher Spencer Patton on Thursday. Kirkman has posted a 4.47 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9 while pitching 54 1/3 innings of relief this season at Triple-A Round Rock. The Royals outrighted him in April. Patton has posted a combined 3.90 ERA with 12.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 62 1/3 innings with Round Rock and the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate in Omaha. The Rangers acquired him for reliever Jason Frasor in July.
  • The Reds have selected the contracts of outfielder Jason Bourgeois and lefty Ryan Dennick, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon writes. They have also cleared one spot on their roster by transferring Homer Bailey to the 60-day DL. The veteran Bourgeois hit .278/.329/.364 in 595 plate appearances this season for Triple-A Louisville. Also at Louisville, the 27-year-old Dennick posted a 2.36 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 49 2/3 innings of relief.
  • The Giants will select the contract of pitcher Brett Bochy, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Bochy, the son of Giants manager Bruce Bochy, has had a solid season in the bullpen at Triple-A Fresno, posting a 3.57 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 53 innings. The 27-year-old was a 20th-round draft pick out of the University of Kansas in 2010.
  • The Rockies have selected the contract of infielder Rafael Ynoa, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Ynoa, 27, played for eight years in the Dodgers organization before signing with the Rockies last winter. This season, he posted a .297/.356/.419 line in 473 plate appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs, playing shortstop, second base and third base.
  • The Athletics have selected the contract of catcher Bryan Anderson, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. The A’s acquired Anderson in a minor trade with the Reds late last month, apparently in a bid to acquire more catching depth due to John Jaso‘s injury. The 27-year-old Anderson hit .320/.397/.538 in 293 plate appearances in the minors in 2014. He’s played briefly at the big-league level with the Cardinals and White Sox.
  • The Blue Jays have outrighted reliever Sergio Santos to Double-A New Hampshire, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Last week, the Jays designated Santos for assignment for the second time this year. He’s posted an 8.57 ERA in 21 innings with the big club, striking out 29 batters but walking 18.
  • The Padres have selected the contracts of pitcher Leonel Campos and 2B/3B/OF Cory Spangenberg and moved Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso to the 60-day DL, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. Campos has posted a 6.34 ERA with 5.6 BB/9 in a season split between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso, but with 11.8 K/9. He can start or relieve. We noted earlier this week that the Padres appeared likely to promote Spangenberg, a former first-round draft pick.
  • The Orioles purchased the contract of left-hander Joe Saunders, the team announced.  Saunders signed a minor league deal with the O’s last month and posted a 1.50 ERA in 12 relief innings for Triple-A Norfolk.  The veteran southpaw has never pitched out of the bullpen in the majors but the Orioles intend to use him as a reliever down the stretch.  Buck Showalter told reporters (including MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli) that Saunders could also make a spot start when the O’s face the Yankees in a double-header on September 12.
  • The Twins will purchase the contracts of utilityman Doug Bernier and right-handers Lester Oliveros and A.J. Achter prior to Tuesday’s game, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.  The trio are three of eight players Minnesota is adding to its expanded September roster.
  • Rays catcher Ali Solis has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (via Twitter).  Solis was outrighted yesterday to create a spot on the Rays’ 40-man roster for right-hander Steve Geltz, who will be promoted today.
  • The Brewers purchased the contract of catcher Matt Pagnozzi, the team announced.  Jeff Bianchi was shifted to the 60-day DL in a corresponding move.  Pagnozzi has 105 career PA since 2009 with the Cardinals, Rockies, Pirates and Astros and he’s also spent time with the Braves’ and Indians’ Triple-A affiliates over the last two seasons.  Pagnozzi has a career .219/.297/.318 slash line over 3026 career PA in the minors.
  • The Angels selected the contract of shortstop Shawn O’Malley, according to Tim Mead, the team’s VP of communications (Twitter link).  O’Malley will join the Halos on Tuesday and add some versatility to the bench; he has mostly played short over his pro career but has played all over the diamond this season.  Originally a fifth-round pick of the Rays in the 2006 draft, O’Malley is looking to make his Major League debut after nine years in the minors, hitting .258/.351/.338 over 2982 PA.

Blue Jays Designate Neil Wagner For Assignment

The Blue Jays have designated reliever Neil Wagner for assignment, Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets. Wagner had Tommy John surgery in August. He pitched ten innings for the Blue Jays this year, all of them in April and May.

The 30-year-old Wagner was a late-round draft pick by the Indians in 2005, and he made his way to the Athletics in a minor trade in 2010. He briefly appeared in the big leagues with the A’s in 2011, then briefly pitched in the Padres organization before signing with the Jays in 2012. He had his only significant stint in the big leagues in 2013, when he pitched reasonably well, posting a 3.79 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 38 innings.


Dodgers Designate Carlos Triunfel For Assignment

The Dodgers have have announced that they’ve designated infielder Carlos Triunfel for assignment. The move clears roster space for top outfield prospect Joc Pederson, who was promoted today.

Triunfel, 24, has received 16 plate appearances with the Dodgers this season. Formerly a top shortstop prospect with the Mariners, he also got cups of coffee with Seattle in 2012 and 2013 before the Dodgers claimed him in April. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Albuquerque and hit .223/.256/.330 in 321 plate appearances, not an impressive performance in a favorable environment for hitters.