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Aaron Cunningham Rumors
Here are the day’s minor moves …
- The Diamondbacks have inked outfielder Aaron Cunningham to a minor league deal, according to the MLB.com transactions page. The 28-year-old has seen 501 career MLB plate appearances, all of those coming between 2008-12. Once a well-regarded prospect, Cunningham was never able to sustain production at the major league level. Arizona previously released Cunningham in mid-August after he put up a .255/.342/.346 slash in 281 plate appearances at Triple-A Reno.
Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB, updates first:
- The Rangers have released veteran first baseman Carlos Pena from their Triple-A roster, per the PCL transactions page. Pena struggled at the major league level for Texas with a .136/.190/.237 line in 63 plate appearances. He performed better during his month at Triple-A with a .297/.350/.500 line in 80 plate appearances. No word on why the club cut ties with Pena.
- The Mariners have released right-handed pitcher Matt Palmer from the Triple-A Rainiers, according to the PCL transactions page. The 35-year-old pitched to a 5.42 ERA for the Rainiers over 73 innings. He last appeared in the majors with the Padres in 2012. Angels fans may remember him from his 2009 season, when he won 11 games and posted a 3.93 ERA over 121 innings.
- Resolving an earlier bit of news, the Tigers have outrighted the contract of right-handed pitcher Kevin Whelan to Triple-A. The 30-year-old appeared once for the big league club and allowed two runs over one and one-third innings. Prior to his call up, he served as the closer for the Mud Hens, where he posted a 2.45 ERA, 10.93 K/9, and 4.02 BB/9. Presumably, he will return to that role. The team announced the move on Twitter.
- Padres minor league outfielder Corey Adamson has retired to pursue a career in Australian rules football, reports Jeff Sanders of U-T San Diego. The 22-year-old, six-year pro was hitting .257/.340/.399 in 348 plate appearances at the High-A level.
- The Brewers have signed right-hander Billy Buckner to a minor league contract, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 30-year-old was released two weeks ago by the Padres. Buckner made one spot start for San Diego this season allowing three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings and, in 15 appearances (14 starts) for Triple-A El Paso, has posted a 5.80 ERA, 6.2 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings.
- Cotillo also tweets the Diamondbacks have released outfielder Aaron Cunningham from their Triple-A affiliate. The 27-year-old, who signed a minor league deal with Arizona in March, slashed .255/.342/.346 in 281 plate appearances for Reno. Cunningham hasn’t appeared in a MLB game since 2012 when he hit .175/.245/.247 for the Indians in 109 plate appearances.
- Per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker, there are four players in DFA limbo: Corey Brown (Red Sox), Charlie Leesman (White Sox), Matt Hague (Pirates), and Wirfin Obispo (Pirates).
Brad Johnson contributed to this post.
We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves right here:
- The Diamondbacks signed Aaron Cunningham to a minor league deal earlier this week. The 27-year-old outfielder posted a .628 OPS over 501 PA with the Indians, Padres and A's from 2008-12 and spent last season playing with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate. Cunningham was released by the Cubs two weeks ago after he signed a minor league contract with them in November.
- The Orioles released veteran right-hander Luis Vizcaino from their minor league camp, MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski reports. Vizcaino last appeared in the majors in 2009 and didn't play any professional baseball from 2010-12 before posting a 1.40 ERA over 45 relief innings for Yucatan of the Mexican League in 2013. The O's signed Vizcaino to a minor league deal in January.
- The Astros have released Peter Moylan, the pitcher himself tweets. Last week, it was reported that Moylan had a UCL tear. He was to meet Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion this week. Moylan, 35, pitched 15 1/3 innings for the Dodgers last season. He has a career 2.80 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 276 innings, most of them with the Braves.
- The Phillies have released reliever Michael Stutes, the club announced. Already outrighted off of the club's 40-man roster, Philadelphia has now parted with a once-promising arm at just 27 years of age. After a solid 2011 rookie year in which he threw 62 innings of 3.63 ERA ball, Stutes struggled with arm issues. Last year, he posted a 4.58 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 17 2/3 big league innings.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk and Charlie Wilmoth also contributed to this post.
Here are today's minor moves and outright assignments from around the league…
- The Cubs granted outfielder Aaron Cunningham his release, the team announced. Cunningham, 27, signed a minor league deal with Chicago in November and had appeared in six Spring Training games for the Cubs. Cunningham last appeared in the majors with the Indians in 2012, and he has a career .628 OPS over 501 PA with Cleveland, San Diego and Oakland.
- The Tigers have released right-hander Luis Marte, tweets Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. The 27-year-old posted a 2.77 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 32.9 percent ground-ball rate in 26 innings for Detroit from 2011-12. However, a great deal of that success was tied to an unsustainable 92.1 percent strand rate. Though Marte has a solid minor league track record — a 3.23 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 454 innings — he has just 56 career innings above Double-A and missed nearly all of 2013 due to shoulder surgery. Manager Brad Ausmus told Fenech that the team knew Marte wouldn't make the club and didn't have room for him in the minors.
Here are today's outright assignments and minor moves from around the league…
- Outfielder Aaron Cunningham has agreed to a minor league deal with the Cubs, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reported yesterday (on Twitter). A former top prospect, Cunningham has batted just .219/.280/.347 in 501 Major League plate appearances between the A's, Padres and Indians. He spent the 2013 season with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate, slashing .247/.337/.401 in 115 games.
- The Rockies have signed right-hander Greg Burke to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The 31-year-old Burke hurled 31 2/3 innings for the Mets in 2013. His 5.68 ERA doesn't look very pretty, but Burke whiffed eight hitters per nine innings and averaged 4.3 walks per nine. His 3.93 FIP and 3.95 xFIP give plenty of reason for optimism.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a Sanspo article reporting that the Hanshin Tigers have an agreement in place to acquire Mauro Gomez (Twitter link). Gomez, 29, spent most of the season in the Blue Jays system but was claimed off waivers by the Nationals on Sept. 5. The powerful righty swatted 29 home runs for Triple-A Buffalo this season and slashed .249/.332/.521 in 453 plate appearances.
- Athletics right-hander Pat Neshek has elected free agency, per the A's Transactions page. Neshek, 33, has played an important role in Oakland's bullpen over the past two seasons, totaling 60 innings of 2.70 ERA ball with 6.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. The side-armer has faced 555 right-handed hitters in his career, holding them to a paltry .181/.257/.315 batting line. As shown in our A's Arbitration Eligibles post, Neshek is just short of six full years of service time and would have qualified for arbitration one more time this winter, projecting to earn $1.2MM, per MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.
- The Braves have outrighted second baseman Philip Gosselin to Triple-A Gwinnett, according to the team's Transactions page. The 25-year-old Gosselin made his MLB debut this year, collecting a pair of singles and a walk in seven plate appearances. In 469 minor league plate appearnces split between Double-A and Triple-A, Gosselin batted .254/.299/.318.
The latest minor moves…
- The Rangers have signed left-hander Neal Cotts, catcher Juan Apodaca, right-hander Yonata Ortega, and outfielders Jim Adduci and Aaron Cunningham to minor league deals, according to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest. Cotts and Cunningham both have extensive Major League experience.
- Outfielder Jason Bourgeois has cleared waivers and can now elect free agency, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Bourgeois, 30, appeared in 30 games for the Royals this past season, playing left and center field.
- The Tigers signed right-hander Shawn Hill to a minor league contract, James Schmehl of MLive.com reports. Hill elected free agency last month after the Blue Jays removed him from the 40-man roster. The 31-year-old appeared in one game for the Blue Jays this past season, pitching three scoreless innings. He spent most of the 2012 season at Triple-A where he posted a 4.52 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 89 2/3 innings.
Let's keep track of today's outright assignments right here…
- Aaron Cunningham has cleared waivers and been assigned to Triple-A by the Indians, reports Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter). The 26-year-old outfielder hit .175/.245/.247 in 109 plate appearances for the Tribe before being designated for assignment last week.
- The Astros have outrighted Aneury Rodriguez to Triple-A, reports Zachary Levine of The Houston Chronicle. The 24-year-old right-hander pitched to a 6.67 ERA in Triple-A this year but allowed three runs in six innings in his lone big league start.
- The Astros have also outrighted Enerio Del Rosario to Triple-A according to Levine. Del Rosario, 26, allowed 14 runs in 15 relief innings for Houston this year.
The Indians have designated Aaron Cunningham for assignment, reports Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer (on Twitter). The move creates room on the roster for the recently acquired Brent Lillibridge.
Cunningham, 26, hit .175/.245/.247 with one homer in 109 plate appearances for the Tribe, including .179/.304/.308v against lefties. The Indians originally acquired him from the Padres back in December.
Cunningham, who is out of options, posted a .178/.257/.367 line in 101 plate appearances for the Padres in 2011, playing right and left field. The 25-year-old also posted a .931 OPS in 384 plate appearances for the Padres' top affiliate this past season. He has a .231/.290/.375 career line in four seasons with the Padres and A's as a corner outfielder.
Burns, 24, posted a 2.11 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 59 2/3 innings of relief at Double-A in 2011. He has saved 88 of the 130 minor league games he's appeared in since being selected in the 2009 draft. Sosnick Cobbe Sports represents both Cunningham and Burns.
The A's acquired Kevin Kouzmanoff and Eric Sogard from the Padres for Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham. Oakland GM Billy Beane dealt from outfield depth to add certainty at third base, while San Diego GM Jed Hoyer strengthened his outfield with a former Padre.
Kouzmanoff, 28, hit .255/.302/.420 in 573 plate appearances for the Padres last year. He's arbitration-eligible for the first time. His glovework grades out as slightly above average, according to UZR/150.
Baseball America ranked Sogard as San Diego's 17th best prospect coming into the 2009 season, before he hit .293/.370/.400 with more walks (58) than strikeouts (47) in Double-A.
Former Padres GM Kevin Towers dealt Hairston to the A's in July. Now the 30-year-old heads back to San Diego. He hit well with the Padres last year but struggled with the A's. He's arbitration-eligible for the second time.
Cunningham, 24 in April, spent most of '09 at Triple A where he hit .302/.372/.479. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick mentions in a tweet that Cunningham recently underwent surgery for a sports hernia. This is Cunningham's third time being dealt.
Our apologies for initially naming Gio Gonzalez as part of this deal.