Alberto Gonzalez Rumors
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...
- Infielders: Brian Bixler (Astros), Sean Burroughs (Twins), Blake DeWitt (Cubs), Alberto Gonzalez (Rangers), Angel Sanchez (Astros), Nate Spears (Red Sox), Drew Sutton (Pirates)
- Outfielders: Travis Buck (Astros), Ryan Langerhans (Angels), Mitch Maier (Royals), Darnell McDonald (Yankees), Jai Miller (Orioles), Trent Oeltjen (Dodgers), Jason Pridie (Phillies), Mike Wilson (Mariners)
- Right-handed Pitchers: Roman Colon (Royals), Mike Ekstrom (Rockies), Jack Egbert (Mets), Ryota Igarashi (Yankees), Evan Meek (Pirates), Scott Richmond (Blue Jays), Kip Wells (Padres), Randy Wells (Cubs), Dan Wheeler (Indians)
- Left-handed Pitchers: Alex Hinshaw (Cubs), Cesar Jimenez (Mariners), Zach Kroenke (Diamondbacks), Garrett Olson (Mets)
Let's keep track of today's outright assignments right here...
- The Rangers have outrighted Alberto Gonzalez to Triple-A according to the MLB.com transactions page. The 29-year-old infielder was designated for assignment last week. Gonzalez hit .241/.241/.315 in 55 plate appearances for Texas this year while playing second, third, and short.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Earlier this month we heard that the Padres were looking for a utility player for their bench, and it appears they've turned their attention to Alberto Gonzalez and Robert Andino. MASNsports.com's Phil Wood reports that San Diego has been "looking hard" at the Nationals' utility infielder, while MLB.com's Corey Brock says Andino is on the radar as well (Twitter link). Both players are out of options.
Gonzalez, 28 in April, has spent the last two full years and part of a third in the nation's capitol, hitting .266/.302/.350 overall. He has plenty of experience at second, third, and short, and has also dabbled at first base and in right field. The Padres currently have Jarrett Hoffpauir, Kevin Frandsen, and Jesus Guzman in camp competing for the utility infielder's job, and the Nats have depth at the position with Jerry Hairston Jr. and Alex Cora.
Andino, 27 in April, is a .226/.275/.318 career hitting in 440 plate appearances, most of which have come with the Orioles. The vast majority of his playing time has come at short, though he's also seen time at second, third, left, and center fields. Baltimore has Cesar Izturis, Nick Green, and Brendan Harris on their utility infielder depth chart as well.
WEDNESDAY, 8:59pm: Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer says "there's not much meat" to the rumor about Carmona and Sizemore potentially going to the Nationals. MLB.com's Bill Ladson says he's heard the same (Twitter links).
TUESDAY, 7:52pm: The Nationals have had "conversations" with the Indians about Fausto Carmona and Grady Sizemore, reports Phil Wood of MASNsports.com. Another source tells Wood the Nats "are working on 'a number' of other trades," as well.
Nats GM Mike Rizzo has been open about his frustration at not being able to acquire a top-flight starting pitcher this winter, but acquiring Tom Gorzelanny and adding Carmona would certainly ease that disappointment. Washington could well have been one of the several teams that were interested in Carmona in December, but the Indians are in no hurry to trade the right-hander given that he's on an affordable, option-heavy contract through 2014.
Sizemore is set to earn $7.5MM this season and the Tribe have an $8.5MM option on him for 2012 (with a $500K buyout). Cleveland would like to unload that contract, but after two injury-plagued years, Sizemore's trade value is at its lowest point. If the Indians accepted a buy-low offer and then saw Sizemore regain his All-Star form elsewhere, that lack of maximum return for Sizemore would be a damaging move to the rebuilding Tribe.
From the Nationals' perspective, they clearly have money to spend and can afford a $7.5MM risk to see if Sizemore returns to form. Carmona is obviously the safer and probably preferable option due to his team-friendly contract and the fact that he could post even better numbers in the NL. The question is whether the Nats have the prospects that Cleveland would want for either player, since Washington's farm system isn't known to be very deep.
In other Nats news, Wood predicts Alberto Gonzalez may be designated for assignment to make room for the newly-signed Alex Cora. Gonzalez, a utility infielder, posted a .578 OPS in 198 plate appearances with Washington last season.