June 2011

Minor Deals: Kensing, Bautista

Let's keep track of today's minor moves here…

  • The Yankees have signed Logan Kensing to a minor league contract according to his representatives, CAA Baseball, on Twitter. The 28-year-old right-hander did not pitch in affiliated baseball last year and has a 5.81 ERA in 161 big league innings. He pitched for Yankees manager Joe Girardi with the Marlins in 2006.
  • Righty Denny Bautista has signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization according to this report passed along by Dan of MyKBO.net. Bautista, 30, had a 4.21 ERA with 12.1 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 36 1/3 innings for the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate this season.

D’Backs Release Melvin Mora

The Diamondbacks released Melvin Mora, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (on Twitter in Spanish). Craig Grialou of 620 KTAR first reported the move (on Twitter).

Mora, 39, hit just .230/.246/.278 in 134 plate appearances this year while seeing time at third base almost exclusively. With Ryan Roberts having a big year, Mora was the odd man out and had to settle for limited action off the bench. Arizona signed him to a one-year deal worth $2MM in the offseason, and they'll still be on the hook for that salary the rest of the season.

Orioles Start Extension Talks With J.J. Hardy

The Orioles have been in touch with J.J. Hardy’s agent to discuss an extension for the shortstop, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail had stated his intention to start talks with Hardy's representatives at LSW Baseball before the All-Star break.

With free agency a few months away, Hardy is having his best season in years. The 28-year-old has a .303/.367/.548 line with 11 homers, nine of which have come in June. Talks haven’t gotten serious between Hardy and the Orioles, but they could pick up this month.

Though top shortstop prospect Manny Machado has an .829 OPS in his first year as a professional, the 18-year-old has yet to play above Class A. The Orioles appear to want to limit an extension for Hardy to two years.

Chicago Links: Williams, Viciedo, Hendry

Chicago's teams have combined for 70 wins and 90 losses, yet the White Sox say they could still turn their season around and the Cubs tell us not to expect a fire sale. Here are the details…

  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times that his team can turn it around and start winning, but is licking its wounds too much at the moment. “We're going to have to start to turn this around quickly,” Williams said. 
  • Jim Margalus of South Side Sox explains that Dayan Viciedo may be in Triple-A because of service time considerations. The prospect is hitting minor league pitching as well as the White Sox could hope (.330/.369/.528 line), but if the White Sox wait another week, Viciedo won't have a full year of service time at the end of the year even if he doesn’t return to Triple-A. Margalus’ analysis is spot-on here. 
  • Cubs GM Jim Hendry told Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald that the Cubs won't have a fire sale this summer. They intend told keep the players who will help down the road, Hendry said. "If we make moves, it will be designed to make us better for the future."

Red Sox Notes: Lee, Beltran, Cuddyer, Millwood

How's this for a fun defensive alignment? Adrian Gonzalez will play right field for Boston tonight while David Ortiz plays first base. Here's the latest on the Red Sox from WEEI.com as we wait for Terry Francona's heavily-scrutinized defenders to take the field…

  • The pitcher who defeated Boston last night, Phillies lefty Cliff Lee, told Kirk Minihane of WEEI.com that the Red Sox had "nonexistent" interest in him last offseason. "I think they were satisfied with their pitching, they weren't looking for pitching," Lee said. "Nothing with any substance to it, they were never serious."
  • MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons reported yesterday that the Red Sox don't have financial flexibility and he explained Boston's predicament in further detail today on WEEI's Mut & Merloni Show. "They’re not getting Carlos Beltran," Gammons said. "They’re not getting Michael Cuddyer." Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com has highlights of Gammons' conversation.
  • Kevin Millwood, who recently decided not to opt out of his minor league contract with the Red Sox, tells Sam Dykstra of WEEI.com that he'd consider it "a great opportunity" to join Boston's big league team.

Cardinals Release Ryan Franklin

The Cardinals have released right-handed reliever Ryan Franklin, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals considered "creative" alternatives such as putting Franklin on the disabled list and designating him for assignment.

The 12-year veteran posted an 8.46 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 27 2/3 innings this year. The results were much better in 2010, when Franklin posted a 3.46 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 to go along with 27 saves. Franklin's average fastball velocity (91 mph) stayed strong this year, though his ground ball rate (37.9%) dropped. He earns $3.25MM in 2011 and the Cardinals will be responsible for all of that less a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary if their former closer signs with a different club.

Cubs Release Doug Davis

The Giants have had a lot of trouble scoring this year, so giving up ten runs to them looks especially bad, even though they're defending World Series champions. Doug Davis did just that yesterday and today he has lost his roster spot. The Cubs have given him his unconditional release, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.

Chicago needed to create space on the active roster for second baseman Darwin Barney, who is returning from the 15-day disabled list. The move creates a spot on the Cubs' 40-man roster, which now stands at 39. 

The Cubs signed Davis to a minor league deal in April after he worked out for a number of interested teams. The left-hander started nine games for the Cubs and posted a 6.50 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 in 45 2/3 innings. 

MLBTR Chat Transcript

Click below to read a transcript of today's chat with Tim Dierkes.


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Mariners Designate Chaz Roe For Assignment

The Mariners announced that they designated right-hander Chaz Roe for assignment to create 40-man roster space for catcher Jose Yepez. The backstop takes the 25-man roster spot of Erik Bedard, who is going on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained knee.

Roe, 24, has a 6.41 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 for the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate. The former first rounder had a respectable 115K/53BB ratio in 2010, but ended up with a similarly high ERA (5.98). The Mariners acquired Roe from the Rockies for Jose Lopez last offseason at the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players.

Astros Claim Luis Durango

The Astros announced that they have claimed outfielder Luis Durango from the Padres and optioned him to Triple-A. They transferred right-hander Alberto Arias to the 60-day disabled list to create room on the 40-man roster. The Padres had designated Durango for assignment eight days ago.

Durango appeared in 28 games as a backup center fielder last year, but has yet to appear in a Padres game in 2011. The 25-year-old has a .243/.328/.294 line with 10 stolen bases at Triple-A Tucson as a center and left fielder this year.