Alex Hinshaw Rumors

Quick Hits: Hardy, Betts, Mets, Hinshaw

In his 65th game of the season, J.J. Hardy launched his first home run of 2014 off Yankees reliever Jose Ramirez. Hardy, who will turn 32 years old in August, has hit at least 22 home runs in each of the last three seasons. He’s in the final year of a three-year, $22.5MM contract with the Orioles. Despite the power outage, he hasn’t been a total loss at the plate with a .288/.317/.354 line entering today. Aside from home runs, Hardy is best known for superb defense at shortstop, so he should have suitors lined up regardless of his offensive value. Obviously, a return to his previous home run bashing ways will improve his leverage as a free agent.

  • Mookie Betts may be moving closer to a major league promotion, speculates Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Red Sox manager John Farrell mentioned Betts unprompted when asked about recent signee Andres Torres, saying “I know Mookie Betts is swinging the bat well.” Betts natural position is second base, but he’s been learning the outfield due to the presence of incumbent Dustin Pedroia. According to leaderboards available at FanGraphs, Red Sox outfielders rank third to last in baseball with a .233/.310/.339 line. A shot in the arm appears justified.
  • Rather than trade for an elite slugger like Giancarlo Stanton, the Mets may employ a strategy similar to the Rays and Athletics, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. To further reinforce Martino’s point, one Mets official asks “what big bat is out there to trade for?” With the Marlins in the playoff race, Carlos Gonzalez on the disabled list, and Matt Kemp underperforming his contract, there aren’t many places to look for franchise altering bats. Instead, it might be easier to find and develop hidden values like Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, and Ben Zobrist. Mets fans who are waiting to turn Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler into a superstar are liable to be disappointed.
  • The Cubs are the only team jumping into the trade market with both feet according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. GMs are cautious about pulling the plug too quickly, which keeps negotiations from moving forward until the deadline approaches. League wide parity and the second Wild Card have conspired to allow most teams to dream of contention. There’s also the annual game of roster chicken. Says one AL executive, “Everyone overvalues their prospects and they wait because they are always convinced the prices are going to come down.”
  • Former big league lefty Alex Hinshaw is once again drawing the interest of major league teams, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith. The 31-year-old is now pitching for the Independent League Wichita Wingnuts, with 18 strikeouts in eight and two-thirds innings. He last spent time in the majors in 2012, when he threw 28 innings for the Padres and one-third of an inning for the Cubs. Walks plagued Hinshaw, as evidenced by his 6.04 ERA, 11.44 K/9, and 6.67 BB/9.

Minor Moves: Ka’aihue, Hinshaw, Luna, Pirates

We’ll keep track of the day’s minor moves here…

  • The White Sox signed catcher Bryan Anderson and left-hander David Purcey to minor league deals, Eddy reports (on Twitter). 
  • The Diamondbacks signed Kila Ka'aihue, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The 28-year-old appeared in 39 games for the Athletics this past season, posting a .234/.295/.398 batting line.
  • The Blue Jays announced that they signed outfielder Ricardo Nanita and left-hander Alex Hinshaw to minor league contracts. Nanita played for the Blue Jays' Triple-A team in 2012, hitting 12 home runs. Hinshaw appeared in 33 games for the Padres and Cubs in 2012, posting a 6.04 ERA. The team also confirmed its minor league contracts with infielder Jim Negrych and right-hander Neil Wagner.
  • The Chunichi Dragons have agreed to sign utility player Hector Luna to a one-year, $450K deal that includes $200K in incentives, Enrique Rojas of reports (on Twitter). Luna, 32, appeared in 28 games for the Phillies this past season, playing first base, third base and left field. In seven seasons at the MLB level, he has a .262/.314/.385 batting line.
  • The Pirates announced that they’ve agreed to sign right-handers Brooks Brown and Erik Cordier to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training. The club also announced minor league deals with right-handers David Bromberg and Luis Sanz, and infielder Alex Valdez. Finally, the Pirates officially announced their minor league deal with former MLB outfielder Felix Pie.

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: Hinshaw

Today's outright assignments:

  • The Cubs have outrighted left-hander Alex Hinshaw to Triple-A Iowa, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page.  Hinshaw had been designated for assignment last Tuesday, after surrendering back-to-back-to-back home runs in a game against the Brewers the night before. Hinshaw has a 6.04 ERA with 11.4 K/9, 6.7 BB/9, and 2.5 HR/9 in 33 games between the Padres and Cubs this season.

Cubs Designate Alex Hinshaw For Assignment

The Cubs designated left-hander Alex Hinshaw for assignment just nine days after claiming him from the Padres, Doug Padilla of reports (on Twitter). The Cubs called up right-handed reliever Blake Parker in a related move.

Hinshaw posted a 4.50 ERA with 11.6 K/9 and 6.4 BB/9 in 28 innings with the Padres before being claimed off of waivers by Chicago on August 19th. He appeared in two games for the Cubs, recording just one out. The 29-year-old allowed three home runs to the Brewers last night and didn't record an out.

Cubs Claim Alex Hinshaw

The Cubs have claimed left-handed pitcher Alex Hinshaw off outright waivers, tweets Corey Brock of Hinshaw was designated for assignment by the Padres last Tuesday.

Hinshaw posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 28 innings of relief work for San Diego this season. He logged a strong strikeout rate of 11.6 K/9, but struggled with his control (6.4 BB/9). Prior to pitching for the Padres this season, he last appeared in the big leagues with the Giants in 2009.

Hinshaw is expected to join the Cubs in Milwaukee tomorrow in time for their series against the Brewers, tweets Doug Padilla of The Cubs, however, have yet to announce a corresponding roster move.  

Padres Designate Alex Hinshaw For Assignment

The Padres have designated left-handed pitcher Alex Hinshaw for assignment, the club announced via press release.

Hinshaw, 30 in October, posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 28 innings of relief work for the Friars this season. The lefty logged a strong strikeout rate of 11.6 K/9 but struggled with his control (6.4 BB/9). Prior to pitching for San Diego this season, he last appeared in the big leagues with the Giants in 2009.

In a corresponding 40-man roster move, the Padres selected left-hander Tom Layne from Double-A San Antonio.