August 2012

Quick Hits: Astros, Putz, Soriano, Giants

A hearty congratulations goes out to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus who bid farewell to the internet today as he will be joining the Astros as a Pro Scouting Coordinator.  Houston also announced that they will be bringing Oz Ocampo on board as Director of International Scouting.  More from around baseball..

  • Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers spoke very highly of closer J.J. Putz, tweets Steve Gilbert of  Arizona holds a $6MM option on Putz for 2013, but Towers (Twitter link) made it sound as though it's a price he's ready to pay.  "$6MM for an experienced closer is probably not a bad number," said the GM.
  • Alfonso Soriano made it clear this summer that he would not accept a trade to the Giants due to the climate there, but the outfielder brought some clarity to the situation this evening.   Patrick Mooney of tweets that the outfielder explained that the weather in San Francisco would be detrimental to his knee.  Earlier reports suggested that Soriano did not like the idea of hitting in colder weather.
  • Scott Miller of looks back at the dismissal of Angels scout Eddie Bane, the man responsible for landing Mike Trout, Jered Weaver, Mark Trumbo, and many other key Halos pieces.  Bane admitted that he and then-General Manager Tony Reagins did not get along overall.

East Notes: Red Sox, Phillies, Nationals, Strasburg

We'll be waiting to see if any waiver trades take place between now and 11pm CDT, but a few clubs are already indicating that they won't be waiting near the phones.  Here's a look at the latest out of the AL and NL East..

  • With the waiver trade deadline closing in, a baseball source told Sean McAdam of (via Twitter) that the Red Sox are "not expecting anything" in terms of a deal.  Earlier today we learned that they're reportedly in no rush to spend the money that has been freed up in the wake of their blockbuster trade with the Dodgers.  We also heard that Boston wouldn't be trading Cody Ross or Jacoby Ellsbury today.
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro also doesn't anticipate making any moves today, according to Jim Salisbury of (via Twitter).  Outfielder Juan Pierre cleared waivers today and could be of interest to clubs as he is set to make just $160K for the remainder of the season.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports opines that Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo could go back on the innings limit imposed on Stephen Strasburg if he publicly shifts the onus back to agent Scott Boras.  While such a move would hurt the Nats' relationship with Boras, Rosenthal believes that he wouldn't turn down their money for Michael Bourn or any other of his clients.

Angels Acquire Barry Enright

AUGUST 31: The Diamondbacks announced that they have acquired first baseman Frazier Hall as the player to be named later.  The 24-year-old spent 2012 with Single-A Cedar Rapids where he hit .254/.322/.386 with 13 homers in 510 plate appearances.

JULY 24: The Angels announced that they acquired right-handed pitcher Barry Enright from the Diamondbacks in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations. He'll report to Triple-A, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports (on Twitter).

Enright, 26, started 21 games for Arizona's Triple-A affiliate this year. The right-hander posted a 5.87 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 110 1/3 innings. Enright has a 4.87 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 over the course of 136 2/3 career innings with the Diamondbacks.

Rays Designate Albert Suarez For Assignment

The Rays have designated right-hander Albert Suarez for assignment, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). The move will allow Tampa Bay to create space for the newly-acquired Ben Francisco.

Suarez, 22, spent the year with Advanced-A Charlotte where he posted a 4.08 ERA with 4.4 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 25 starts.

Rays Acquire Ben Francisco From Astros

The Rays announced that they have acquired Ben Francisco from the Astros in exchange for a player to be named later.  Houston first acquired the outfielder from the Blue Jays in their ten-player trade on July 20th.

Francisco, 30, hit .244/.292/.370 with two homers in 144 plate appearances for the Astros and Blue Jays this season.  The veteran has now been a part of four trades in his big league career and will join his fifth club when he arrives in Tampa Bay.  Across six big league seasons, the outfielder owns a .258/.328/.425 slash line.

Braves Acquire Jeff Baker From Tigers

The Tigers announced that they have traded Jeff Baker to the Braves for a player to be named later.  The 31-year-old was designated for assignment earlier today to make room for Avisail Garcia on the roster.

Baker appeared in 15 games for the Tigers this month after he was acquired from the Cubs.  The veteran has played second base and all four corner positions this year, while posting a line of .254/.293/.408 in 181 total plate appearances.  For his career, Baker boasts a strong batting line of .298/.346/.505 against left-handers.

International Notes: Mariners, Rangers

We'll keep track of today's international news right here..

  • The Mariners have signed 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Leurys Vargas for $400K, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.  Vargas, who stands at 6'3", 215 pounds, is the son of former big league lefthander Yorkis Perez.  Badler writes that he has great bat speed and raw power from the left side but could be moved to first base because of his size. 
  • The Rangers signed Luis Terrero, a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic, Badler writes.  The 6'0", 180 pound shortstop is built similarly to a young Juan Uribe and has a solid righthanded bat.  Terrero has a chance to stick at shortstop but his build might push him over to second or third base.

Stark On Clemens, Dodgers, Red Sox, Mauer

In his latest column,'s Jayson Stark writes that Astros players have told their friends on other teams that they already think Roger Clemens' arrival in Houston is a done deal.  An old friend of Clemens himself also told Stark that he is convinced The Rocket is gearing up for a big league comeback.  Here's more from Stark..

  • The Dodgers have $181.3MM committed to 17 players for next season, putting them at $3.3MM over the $178MM tax threshold. However, team president Stan Kasten says that he isn't terribly concerned about it.  "I don't know. It's not something we've focused on yet," he said. "To us, that's a secondary issue. First, we want to put the best team on the field now and worry about other things later. We're not focusing on that yet."  In the long term, Dodgers' brass wants to lean heavily on scouting and player development with a payroll close to what other teams in "similar markets" have, according to Kasten.
  • The Red Sox are giving agents and other teams the vibe that they aren't in a rush to spend just because of their new found payroll space.  People who have talked with Boston predict that they're more likely to make creative moves this offseason rather than eat an undesirable contract like that of a Joe Mauer or Cliff Lee.
  • Speaking of Mauer one exec that checked in on him says trade talk surrounding the catcher lately is "garbage."  As for Lee, Stark writes that he is also likely to stay as the Phillies made it clear earlier this year that they have no interest in moving him.
  • Stark asked an AL scout and an NL scout about their thoughts on Dan Haren, who will be a free agent after the Angels buy out his final option year.  Both said that while there are concerns about his velocity and his all-around stuff, he could be an intriguing one-year pickup at the right price. 
  • The scouts were also asked about Jeremy Guthrie and neither scout was terribly high on him.  The NL scout pointed out his high volume of mistakes over the plate but said that he would install him in the back of a rotation on a one-year deal.  The AL scout on the other hand said he would rather take his chances with Daisuke Matsuzaka or Haren.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Moskos, Duncan

The latest outright assignments from around MLB… 

  • The White Sox outrighted left-hander Daniel Moskos to Triple-A, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports (on Twitter). Moskos has spent the entire season at Triple-A and posted a 4.05 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 in 33 1/3 innings for the top affiliates of the Pirates and White Sox this year.
  • The Indians announced that they outrighted outfielder Shelley Duncan to Triple-A. They had designated the 32-year-old for assignment two days ago after he posted a .203/.288/.388 batting line with 11 homers.

Diamondbacks Claim Cody Ransom

The 2012 season will conclude as it began for Cody Ransom, who has been claimed off of waivers by the Diamondbacks from the Brewers (Twitter link). The Diamondbacks will activate the infielder when rosters expand tomorrow.

Ransom appeared in 17 games for the Diamondbacks before being claimed off of waivers by the Brewers on May 23rd. He appeared in 64 more games for Milwaukee and has a season batting line of .214/.305/.400 in 252 total plate appearances. Ransom, 36, has played all four infield positions this year.