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Former NBA star Tracy McGrady has made the independent Sugar Land Skeeters roster, Chris Cotillo tweeted earlier today. The club confirmed that the swingman-turned-hurler has been inked, as Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports Houston reports. “He showed enough progress,” said manager (and 20-year MLB veteran) Gary Gaetti. “He showed enough ability and we’re going to see where this goes.”
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- Infielder Alberto Gonzalez was released by the Padres, according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock (via Twitter). The 31-year-old had been working in Triple-A, but presumably was supplanted by the just-acquired Tyler Greene at Tucson. Gonzalez, who has seen action in seven MLB seasons, was off to a tough .208/.218/.264 start in 56 plate appearances.
- The Rangers announced that they have acquired outfielder Dan Robertson from the Padres in exchange for cash considerations. Texas has purchased Robertson’s contract and will bring the 28-year-old to Oakland, where he will be available to play today. The move likely comes as an unexpected thrill for Robertson, who was a 33rd-round pick in 2008 and has spent the past two-plus seasons in Triple-A, where he has compiled a triple-slash line of .295/.371/.394 with six homers and 41 steals in 270 games. Texas had an open spot on its 40-man roster and placed Pedro Figueroa on the 15-day disabled list in order to clear a 25-man roster spot for Robertson.
- The Royals have released right-hander Cory Wade from Triple-A Omaha, reports Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). The 31-year-old Wade posted a 6.57 ERA in 12 1/3 innings for Omaha this year, with just four strikeouts against four walks in that short time. Wade was a solid relief option for the Dodgers in his 2008 rookie campaign (2.27 ERA in 71 1/3 innings) and again for the Yankees in 2011 (2.04 ERA in 39 2/3 innings). He last appeared in the Majors with the Yanks in 2012, posting a 6.46 ERA in 39 innings of work. Wade inked a minor league deal with Kansas City back in November.
The Padres have signed infielder Alberto Gonzalez to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, per the team's Transactions page. The deal was first reported a week ago by Hely D. Rodriguez of the Venezuelan newspaper El Siglo (Twitter link).
The 30-year-old batted a combined .193/.217/.281 in 60 plate appearances between the Cubs and Yankees in 2013. In parts of seven Major League seasons, the Venezuela native has a .239/275/.315 batting line with four homers. He has more than 400 innings of experience at shortstop, second base and third base, and he's also made brief appearances at first base and each of the outfield corners.
Here is Tuesday's rundown of minor moves from around the league…
- The Royals acquired outfielder Gorkys Hernandez from the Marlins yesterday in exchange for shortstop Alex McClure, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Hernandez, 25, is a former top prospect and has hit .275/.330/.375 for Triple-A New Orleans this season — numbers that are almost identical to his career marks at the Triple-A level. The 24-year-old McClure has hit just .219/.257/.267 in 274 minor league plate appearances this season.
- Infielder Alberto Gonzalez has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A by the Yankees, according to the International League's transactions page. Gonzalez was designated for assignment over the weekend after hitting just .176/.176/.206 for the Yankees in 34 plate appearances.
- Left-hander Daniel Moskos has signed to play with the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (Twitter link). The former No. 4 overall selection in the draft was released by the White Sox a month ago and will now join the same team which Manny Ramirez played for earlier this season. Moskos, 27, has a career 4.43 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 439 minor league innings.
- Six players are currently in DFA limbo: Carlos Pena and Ronny Cedeno of the Astros, Brendan Harris of the Angels, Chris Dickerson of the Orioles, J.C. Gutierrez of the Royals and Chris Heston of the Giants.
12:21pm: Gonzalez has in fact been designated for assignment, the Yankees announced in a press release. The club has placed outfielder Zoilo Almonte on the 15-day DL to clear the other needed active roster spot.
12:03pm: The Yankees have removed infielder Alberto Gonzalez from the club's active roster, tweets Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. While the precise roster move to be made has not yet been reported, Gonzalez is out of options and would need to clear waivers to be sent down, making it likely that he has been designated for assignment (assuming he has not been released). The move will create space for the call-ups of outfielders Melky Mesa and Thomas Neal.
New York acquired Gonzalez from the Cubs in May. They promptly designated him and then assigned him to Triple-A when he cleared waivers. On the year, Gonzalez has accumulated just 60 plate appearances for the Yankees and Cubs, posting a meager .193/.217/.281 line and six stolen bases. The 30-year-old is a career .239/.275/.315 hitter across 1023 big league plate appearances spanning seven seasons.
Gonzalez became expendable with the team's decision to activate third baseman Alex Rodriguez from the DL on Monday. It continues to be a busy season of transactions for the Yanks, who originally designated Gonzalez to make room for the since-designated Reid Brignac. The club will certainly hope that Rodriguez can hold down a spot on the hot corner for the rest of the year.
The latest minor moves…
- The Rangers plan to purchase the contract of lefty reliever Neal Cotts if tonight's game is played, tweets Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest. The 33-year-old hasn't seen big league action since 2009, but he's been dominant in 23 Triple-A innings this year. The Rangers already have an open spot on their 40-man roster for him.
- The Hanshin Tigers have a basic agreement with righty reliever Blaine Boyer, according to Sanspo (via Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker). Boyer, 31, pitched 15 relief innings for the Royals' Triple-A affiliate before exercising his out clause to pursue the opportunity in Japan.
- The Mariners signed 17-year-old Brazilian righty Daniel Missaki, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Badler notes that he was the youngest player in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
- The Athletics announced that first baseman Daric Barton cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A, after he was designated for assignment Saturday to open a spot for Chris Young. He's earning $1.1MM this year, which may have limited interest. Barton led the American League in walks as a 24-year-old in 2010, but has battled injuries since. He's still a walk machine at Triple-A, though, with a .422 OBP through 128 plate appearances.
- The Angels outrighted outfielder Scott Cousins to Triple-A yesterday, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Cousins had been designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for Chris Nelson.
- The Yankees outrighted infielder Alberto Gonzalez to Triple-A yesterday, according to the International League transactions page. Gonzalez had been designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for Reid Brignac.
- Three players currently reside in DFA limbo: Jon Rauch of the Marlins, Derek Lowe of the Rangers, and Michael Bowden of the Cubs. Rauch and Lowe figure to be released by their clubs in the coming days, while Bowden will have to decide whether to accept an outright assignment if he clears waivers.
In order to make room for the recently-acquired Reid Brignac, the Yankees have designated fellow infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment, tweets Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. As McCullough further tweets, Yankees GM Brian Cashman says he wanted Brignac's left-handed bat to platoon on the left side of the infield with the right-handed swinging David Adams and Jayson Nix.
Gonzalez was acquired by New York just over two weeks ago, and saw only nine plate appearances for the team. Over a total of 35 plate appearances this year with the Yankees and Cubs, Gonzalez has put up a .250/.286/.375 line.
Today's minor moves…
- The Yankees have acquired minor league shortstop Alberto Gonzalez from the Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later or cash, tweets Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. Gonzalez, who first appeared in the big leagues with the Yankees back in 2007, has seen limited MLB action over the last two years for Texas and Chicago. Over 989 career plate appearances, he has a .241/.279/.319 line.
- The Orioles acquired third baseman Brandon Wood from the Royals for cash considerations, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Wood will report to Triple-A Norfolk. The 28-year-old is hitting .264/.304/.396 in 56 Triple-A plate appearances. Wood, then with the Angels, was ranked as the third-best prospect in baseball after the '06 season by Baseball America, which said he profiled as a perennial All-Star. He's received 751 big league plate appearances with the Angels and Pirates, posting a .186/.225/.289 line.
- The Red Sox will promote reliever Jose De La Torre, GM Ben Cherington said today on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show. The Red Sox transferred reliever Joel Hanrahan, who has at least a flexor muscle strain, to the 60-day DL to open a 40-man roster spot for De La Torre.
- Kyle Kaminska, a righty who was with Boston's High A affiliate, has retired according to Evan Lepler on his MLB.com blog. The 24-year-old had joined the organization in December as the player to be named later in the Zach Stewart deal with Pittsburgh.
Today's minor moves…
- Former Pirates pitcher Chris Leroux signed with Japan's Yakult Swallows, tweeted Chris Cotillo last night. The signing has since been confirmed by Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, who spoke to Leroux's agent, Fred Wray of Octagon. Leroux received a $500K contract for 2013 that includes incentives and a 2014 vesting option, reports Nicholson-Smith. The 29-year-old righty had been designated for assignment by the Pirates earlier this month, after which point he elected free agency. He's never exceeded 25 big league innings in a season, tallying 63 2/3 Triple-A frames in 2012.
- Infielder Alberto Gonzalez and righty John Maine have been outrighted to Triple-A by the Cubs and Marlins, respectively, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Both players had been designated for assignment on Friday, Gonzalez for Julio Borbon and Maine for Tom Koehler.
- Three players currently reside in DFA limbo: the Indians' Fernando Nieve, the Mets' Aaron Laffey, and the Astros' Xavier Cedeno.
The 30-year-old Gonzalez hit .217/.269/.391 in 11 games for the Cubs this season. The Venezuela native has hit .241/.279/.319 over parts of seven Major League seasons with the Nationals, Yankees, Rangers, Padres and Cubs.
Tomorrow is the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. Every player, coach, and umpire will honor Robinson by wearing his iconic jersey number 42 and it is a significant ritual appreciated by today's generation of players. "It's definitely one of those things you take a lot of pride in, putting on that jersey," said Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (as quoted by MLB.com's Tom Singer). "What (Robinson) went through, stepping up and being that guy to take that important step…it's something we need to always remember." This weekend, the nation remembered the Hall of Famer by making the biopic 42 the domestic box office champion with $27.3MM in ticket sales. This is the first time a baseball movie has ever grossed more than $20MM in its opening weekend and is also an opening weekend record for any baseball-themed movie when adjusted for inflation, according to Forbes. Here's the latest news and notes from America's Pastime:
- David Ortiz was scratched from his Triple-A rehab start today due to illness and it could become a very expensive setback, reports Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Ortiz's 2014 salary will be cut by $2MM (from $15MM to $13MM), if he spends more than 20 days on the disabled list and day 20 is next Sunday. His next rehab start could come tomorrow.
- Carlos Quentin announced he has withdrawn his appeal and will start serving his eight-game suspension today (first reported by the USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Twitter). "I’ve had time to have dialogue with Major League Baseball and a chance for the players association to protect me and my rights as a player,” Quentin told reporters including Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “When that time passed, I’ve prepared to serve my suspension." Quentin will miss the Padres' three-game series against the Dodgers, which begins tomorrow in Los Angeles.
- The Cubs could designate Brent Lillibridge or Alberto Gonzalez for assignment when Darwin Barney is activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, speculates the Daily Herald's Bruce Miles.