Alberto Gonzalez Rumors

NL Notes: Chapman, Stewart, Rockies, Braves

St. Patrick's Day is as much of a baseball holiday as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or Labor Day thanks to former Reds GM Dick Wagner. Tom Singer of MLB.com chronicles how the baseball tradition of wearing the green came about 35 years ago. Elsewhere from the Reds and the rest of the National League:

  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty expects a decision in the next few days on whether Aroldis Chapman will pitch out of the bullpen or be moved into the starting rotatation, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Chapman stated publicly he wants to close, which didn't sit well with Jocketty. "We don’t let every player tell us how they want to be used," the GM told MLB.com.
  • Ian Stewart's lingering left quad injury could affect his chances at making the roster and how the Cubs build their bench, writes MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. Brent Lillibridge, Luis Valbuena, Edwin Maysonet, and Alberto Gonzalez are competing to fill that void while manager Dale Sveum mentioned Steve Clevenger could be an interesting option and added the team is watching all the waiver wires. 
  • The Rockies are giving serious consideration to making Nolan Arenado their starting third baseman with one club official telling Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com "it’s a tough call." If Arenado receives the nod, Rosenthal believes incumbent third baseman Chris Nelson could be used to acquire a veteran starting pitcher.
  • Within the same piece, sources tell Rosenthal the Rockies want to move Ramon Hernandez and are willing to assume some of his $3.2MM salary to facilitate a trade.
  • Don't expect the Braves to have any interest in the recently released Matt Diaz because there isn't a need right now, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • The Marlins have returned Rule 5 selection Braulio Lara to the Rays, reports Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post. The left-hander appeared in four games for the Marlins this spring throwing four innings allowing two earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

Cubs Sign Brian Bogusevic

The Cubs signed outfielder Brian Bogusevic to a minor league contract, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The Cubs also signed infielder Alberto Gonzalez, right fielder Johermyn Chavez and catcher J.C. Boscan, according to Eddy.

Bogusevic, a 2005 first round pick, appeared in 146 games for the Astros in 2012. He posted a .203/.297/.299 batting line with seven home runs and nine doubles in 404 plate appearances. The left-handed hitter played all three outfield positions for Houston. Beverly Hills Sports Council represents Bogusevic.

Gonzalez appeared in 24 games with Texas in 2012, posting a .241/.241/.315 batting line while playing second base, third base and shortstop. Boscan, 32, appeared in six games for the Braves this past season. Chavez posted a .725 OPS in 288 plate appearances for the Mariners' Double-A affiliate in 2012.


Minor Moves: 28 Players Elect Free Agency

A total of 28 players — all with big league time under their belts — recently elected free agency after finishing the year in Triple-A. Here is the full list, courtesy of the International League and Pacific Coast League transaction pages…



Outrighted To Triple-A: Alberto Gonzalez

Let's keep track of today's outright assignments right here…


Rangers Designate Alberto Gonzalez For Assignment

The Rangers have designated infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment, Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com reports (on Twitter). The move creates roster space for Mark Lowe, who is returning from the disabled list.

Gonzalez appeared in 24 games for the Rangers this year, playing second base, third base and shortstop. The 29-year-old has collected 13 hits, including two doubles and a triple, in 55 plate appearances. Gonzalez, who was signed to a minor league deal last offseason, earns $750K and will be arbitration eligible this offseason should the Rangers or another team choose to tender him a contract.


Minor Moves: Bianchi, Threets, Gallagher, Atilano

Here are some of the day's minor transactions…

  • The Cubs have acquired minor league infielder Jeff Bianchi on a waiver claim, the team announced.  Bianchi was designated for assignment by the Royals last week to make room for Jonathan Broxton on their 40-man roster.  Bianchi was a second-round pick for K.C. in the 2005 draft and has yet to reach the majors, though he missed close to two full seasons recovering from a torn labrum (2006) and reconstuctive elbow surgery (2010).
  • The Athletics have signed left-hander Erick Threets to a minor league deal, tweets Matthew Eddy of Baseball America.  Threets, 30, last pitched in the Majors in 2010, throwing 12.1 scoreless relief innings for the White Sox.
  • The Reds signed right-handers Luis Atilano and Sean Gallagher to minor league deals, reports Eddy.
  • The Brewers have signed catcher Mike Rivera to a minor league contract, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  The deal includes an invitation to the Brewers' big league spring training camp and is worth $500K if Rivera makes the Major League roster.  Rivera, 35, has spent five of the last six years in the Brewers' organization and will provide the club with extra catching depth.
  • The Rangers signed Alberto Gonzalez to a minor league contract with an invite to the Major League spring training camp, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Gonzalez was released by the Padres last month.  The utility infielder has a career .242/.281/.317 line in 908 Major League plate appearances over five seasons with the Padres, Nationals and Yankees.
  • The Yankees have designated Colin Curtis for assignment, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.  The move creates space on New York's 40-man roster for Freddy Garcia, whose signing was made official today.  Curtis, a fourth-round draft pick in 2006, has 64 Major League plate appearances to his name.

Minor Moves: Wood, Burton, Gonzalez, Buchholz

Moves listed here without specific attribution come from MLB.com's transactions page

  • The Rockies have signed infielder Brandon Wood, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Wood will make $100K over the league minimum if he makes the big league roster, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). Wood, of course, was once a blue-chip prospect with the Angels.
  • The Twins have signed right-handers Brendan Wise, Jared Burton, Samuel Deduno and Luis Perdomo, and outfielders Matt Carson and Wilkin Ramirez to Minor League deals, tweets Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune.
  • The Padres released second baseman Alberto Gonzalez. San Diego appears to be clearing 40-man roster space in anticipation of next month's Rule 5 draft. 
  • Right-hander Taylor Buchholz elected free agency. The Mets removed Buchholz from their 40-man roster earlier in the week. He would have earned roughly $1.2MM in 2012 had the Mets retained him through arbitration. Earlier in the week GM Sandy Alderson was unsure if anxiety and depression would prevent Buchholz from pitching in 2012.
  • The Angels released right-hander Anthony Ortega.

Giants Attempting To Extend Matt Cain

While we heard earlier today that the Giants are more focused on a long-term extension for Tim Lincecum than fellow starter Matt Cain, team president Larry Baer says the club is trying to lock up Matt Cain as well, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. Heyman adds that the Giants may prefer deals of approximately four years.

Here are a few other items of interest from the National League West:

  • The Padres are preparing for the Rule 5 draft with some minor moves. They've requested waivers on Alberto Gonzalez, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (Twitter link), and will remove Jeremy Hermida from the roster later in the week, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (via Twitter).
  • Rusty Ryal signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks after having spent a year in Japan, reports Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies met with Milton Bradley's agents today, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Padres Acquire Alberto Gonzalez

The Padres acquired Alberto Gonzalez from the Nationals for right-hander Erik Davis and cash considerations, the teams announced. The Padres, who had been working to upgrade their bench, were looking hard at Gonzalez this week. The A's, Astros and Braves were also eyeing the infielder over the weekend.

Davis split the 2010 campaign between three levels, posting a 3.52 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 143 1/3 innings as a starter. The 24-year-old right-hander has made just eight starts above Class A, where he spent the first two seasons of his pro career. Davis, who played at Stanford with Nationals reliever Drew Storen, led all minor league pitchers with 30 wins in 2009-10.

Gonzalez, 27, played in 114 games last year, appearing at every infield position and in right field. He hit .247/.277/.301 last year in his fourth MLB season.

The move boosts the chances that Mets infielder Luis Hernandez goes unclaimed while on waivers.


Alberto Gonzalez Drawing Interest

At least four teams have "serious interest" in the out of options Alberto Gonzalez, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson (via Twitter). Ladson names the Athletics, Astros, Padres, and Braves as teams who are eyeing the Nationals' infielder.

Last Sunday, we heard the Padres were "looking hard" at Gonzalez, who has the ability to play an array of defensive positions. Though the 27-year-old posted just a .578 OPS in part-time duty for the Nationals a year ago, he has played well this spring, hitting .365/.400/.404. Still, with Jerry Hairston Jr. and Alex Cora on board, there may not be room for Gonzalez on the Nats' Opening Day roster.