Andres Blanco Rumors

Phillies Sign Francoeur, Seven Others To Minor-League Deals

The Phillies have announced the signings of eight players to minor league deals with spring training invites. The list includes multiple players who could presumably play a role on the big league team if it deals from its current roster.

The list of announced players is as follows:

Every player on that list has MLB experience, and many have fairly extensive time in the bigs. Francoeur, of course, is a former top prospect and long-time starter who spent time both playing in the outfield and pitching last year in the Padres organization. He is one of several signees who could provide options if the Phillies were to move any of their current outfielders. The infield-capable members of this list may create some flexibility as well.

At various times, all of Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere, and Domonic Brown have found their names as rumored trade candidates. Though shortstop Jimmy Rollins and, to a lesser extent, second baseman Chase Utley have both been named as potential trade chips as well, those players enjoy full no-trade protection and appear less likely to be dealt.


Minor Moves: Urbina, Korecky, Whelan, Fuenmayor

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league, via Baseball America’s Matt Eddy on Twitter.

  • The Mets have released Juan Urbina, reports Baseball America’s Matt Eddy (via Twitter). In five years with the Mets, the 21-year-old left-handed pitcher failed to pass Low-A ball. While he generally posted strong strikeout rates in limited work, he walked nearly the same number of hitters. The once-prospect signed for $1.2MM in 2009 and is the son of former big leaguer Ugueth Urbina.
  • The Phillies have signed outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Darin Mastroianni to minor league deals. Bogusevic last appeared in the big leagues in 2013 and spent last season hitting .260/.349/.411 in 311 plate appearances for Triple-A New Orleans in the Marlins system. Mastroianni appeared briefly for the Twins and Blue Jays in 2014 but spent most of the season with Triple-A Buffalo, hitting .267/.349/.369 in 393 plate appearances.
  • The Blue Jays have re-signed righty Bobby Korecky. The 35-year-old had a strong season in the Buffalo bullpen, posting a 1.97 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 64 innings.
  • The Athletics have signed righty Kevin Whelan, who briefly appeared with the Tigers in 2014 and a 2.70 ERA with 11.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 43 1/3 innings with Triple-A Toledo.
  • The Royals have signed 24-year-old corner infielder Balbino Fuenmayor, who hit .347/.383/.610 in 413 plate appearances with Quebec in the Canadian-American Association, earning BA’s Indy League Player Of The Year award. The Blue Jays released Fuenmayor in 2013.
  • Cubs outfielder Ryan Kalish, White Sox outfielder Michael Taylor and Phillies shortstop Andres Blanco have all elected free agency. All three players were recently outrighted.
  • The Tigers have re-signed third baseman Mike Hessman. The 36-year-old Hessman has gotten few chances in the big leagues, but he’s still a feared slugger in the International League, where he hit 28 home runs and batted .248/.330/.500 in 2014. The veteran has 417 career minor league home runs, including 307 at the Triple-A level.

Phillies Outright Andres Blanco

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • The Phillies have outrighted Andres Blanco off the team’s 40-man roster, Philadelphia announced. Blanco, a 30-year-old utility infielder, saw just 53 plate appearances on the year in his first MLB action since 2011. He has seen time in seven big league seasons, but never made more than 185 plate appearances in one year. Blanco owns a composite .257/.301/.342 slash across 707 plate appearances.


Minor Moves: Laird, Wells, Lerud, Maya, Sappelt

We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves here:

  • The Royals announced a series of minor league signings, including for third baseman Brandon Laird, outfielder Paulo Orlando and right-hander Wilking Rodriguez. Laird, 26, is the younger brother of Gerald Laird and joins the Royals from the Astros, where he received major league playing time in 2013. Orlando, 28, is re-upping with the Royals after six seasons in the organization. The 23-year-old Rodriguez will transition to the Royals after seven seasons in the Rays' farm system. He has a career 3.90 ERA, mostly as a starter, but has never reached Double-A.
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America has updates on a number of clubs' minor league signings. Among those with MLB experience (with links to Twitter): The Rockies will return Bobby Cassevah and Matt McBride, and have added righty Greg BurkeHeaded to the Tigers is righty Jhan Marinez, while Gorkys Hernandez and Edinson Rincon will stick with the Royals organization. The Phillies have brought back shortstop Andres Blanco. And the Dodgers inked utility infielder Brendan Harris. Other clubs with new signings include the OriolesReds, Marlins,  White Sox, and Athletics
  • The Cubs have signed outfielder Casper Wells, according to a tweet from Eddy. The team also added righties Paolo Espino and Carlos Pimentel, along with shortstop Jeudy Valdez. Wells got 102 plate appearances with three different clubs last year, posting a meager .126/.186/.147 line that is perhaps understandable given his constant movement and scant playing time. In 2012, over 316 plate appearances with the Mariners, Wells was good for a .228/.302/.396 slash. 
  • In addition to bringing back righty Benino Pruneda and catcher Jose Yepez on minor league deals, the Braves have added former Phillies backstop Steven Lerud, tweets Eddy. Lerud appeared in nine games for the Phils between 2012-13. At Triple-A last year, he had an interesting .217/.353/.311 line over 219 plate appearances, as he drew nearly as many walks (35) as he had hits (39).
  • Cutting ties with a major international acquisition, the Nationals have released righty Yunesky Maya, Eddy tweets. Washington saw little return on its $6MM investment in Maya, who had been outrighted off of the club's major league roster early in the 2013 season. After struggling in two brief call-ups in 2011-12, Maya's last stint with the Nats was even more regrettable. In his only MLB appearance of the 2013 season, Maya retired one batter in the bottom of the tenth before surrendering a walk-off home run to Pablo Sandoval
  • The Cubs have released outfielder Dave Sappelt, tweets Eddy. As Eddy notes, Sappelt was one of the pieces — along with lefty Travis Wood and second baseman Ronald Torreyes — picked up by Chicago in the deal that sent Sean Marshall to Cincinnati. The 26-year-old Sappelt has a .251/.301/.343 slash line in 274 plate appearances spread over the 2011-13 seasons. He has spent most of his time in Triple-A over that time frame, and posted a sub-.700 OPS in each of his two years at Iowa.

Minor Moves: Blanco, Hawkins, Tanner, Smith

Here are today's minor transactions, with the latest moves at the top of the page…

  • The Phillies re-signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports.  The club released Blanco a few weeks ago.  Blanco last played in the majors in 2011 and he has a career .634 OPS in 654 PA over six seasons with the Rangers, Cubs and Royals.  He spent last year with the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate.
  • The Mets recently released and quickly re-signed right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, Eddy reports. The move was just "procedural," according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin (via Twitter), as the Mets needed to "correct something in [Hawkins'] contract."  Hawkins, 40, signed his original minor league deal with the Mets in January.
  • The Athletics signed middle infielder Antonio Lamas to a minor league deal, Eddy reports.  John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reported the A's were close to signing Lamas last month.  Lamas, 23, has a .307/.350/.437 line over 1504 PA for Monclova of the Mexican League since 2008.  He was primarily used as a shortstop but he played 100 games at second base in 2012.
  • The Orioles signed left-hander Clayton Tanner to a minor league deal, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports.  Tanner, a third-round pick of the Giants in the 2006 draft, has a career 3.85 ERA, 2.11 K/BB and 6.6 K/9 in 182 games (123 starts) over seven seasons in the Giants' and Reds' minor league systems.  O's executive VP Dan Duquette tells Kubatko that the team scouted Tanner when he pitched for Australia during the World Baseball Classic.
  • The Twins have signed first baseman/outfielder Curt Smith to a minor league deal, Netherlands manager Hensley Meulens tells Tyler Kepner of the New York Times (Twitter links).  Smith has a 1.008 OPS in 24 ABs for the Netherlands in WBC play, helping lead the Dutch to the tournament semi-finals.  Smith was originally a 39th-round draft pick of the Cardinals in 2008 and he has a .301/.341/.461 line in 1703 career minor league PA in the Cards' and Marlins' systems.

Minor Moves: Maloney, Hampson, Blanco, Blue Jays

Here's a look at today's minor moves, courtesy of Baseball America's Matt Eddy..

  • The Red Sox have signed left-hander Matt Maloney to a minor league deal, according to Eddy. The 29-year-old has spent time in the big leagues in each of the past four seasons and owns a career 3.83 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in Triple-A.
  • The Mets have re-signed left-hander Justin Hampson, Eddy writes.  The 32-year-old posted a 2.33 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 for Triple-A Buffalo in 2012.  Hampson also saw time in 13 big league games last season for the Mets and a combined 74 for the Padres in 2007 and 2008.
  • The Phillies released shortstop Andres Blanco, according to Eddy.  Blanco, 28, last appeared in the majors with the Rangers in 2011 and owns a career .255/.301/.333 slash line across six big league seasons.
  • The Blue Jays re-signed right-hander Clint Everts, Eddy reports.  Everts, who spent last season with Toronto's Triple-A affiliate, was taken with the fifth-overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Expos.

Minor Moves: Slaten, Manzella, Acosta, Gaudin

Here are the latest minor transactions from around the league…

  • SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization announced the signing of left-handed reliever Doug Slaten.  Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (Twitter link) first reported the deal earlier this week.  Slaten has a 3.52 ERA in 216 games for the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Pirates since 2006, including a 2.16 ERA in 10 games with the Bucs in 2012.
  • The Rockies have signed shortstop Tommy Manzella to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invitation, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  Manzella last appeared in the majors in 2010 with the Astros and has bounced around the minors with four different organizations over the last two seasons.
  • Right-hander Manny Acosta has signed a one-year, $1.65MM contract with the Yomiuri Giants, according to Gene Mato, Acosta's agent (Twitter link).  The deal could be worth another $500K in bonuses.  Acosta, 31, was non-tendered by the Mets following a season that saw him post a 6.46 ERA over relief appearances.
  • The Giants have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Chad Gaudin, reports Janie McCauley of the Associated Press (via Twitter).  Gaudin posted a 4.54 ERA in 46 relief appearances for the Marlins last season.
  • The Yankees have signed catcher Bobby Wilson to a minor league deal that contains a Spring Training invite, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link).  Wilson hit .211/.277/.292 batting line in 201 plate appearances with the Angels last season and was both claimed on waivers and non-tendered by the Blue Jays earlier this offseason.
  • The Yankees have also signed infielder Gil Velazquez to a minor league deal, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).  The 33-year-old Velazquez received 57 PAs with the Marlins last year and also has Major League exerperience with the Angels and Red Sox.
  • The Cardinals have signed 18-year-old Dominican right-hander Alex Reyes to a contract worth $950K, reports MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez (via Twitter).
  • The Nationals signed 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Neivy Pilier to a $225K deal, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America.
  • The Nationals signed infielder Brian Bocock to a minor league contract, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson (Twitter link).  Bocock last played in the majors in 2010 and has spent the last two seasons playing in the Phillies, Pirates and Blue Jays organizations.
  • The Padres acquired left-hander Chris Rearick from the Rays in exchange for infielder Vince Belnome, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter).
  • The Phillies have announced the signings of Andres Blanco, Josh Fields, Cesar Jimenez, Steven Lerud, Michael Martinez, Zach Miner, Jermaine Mitchell, Pete Orr and Humberto Quintero to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

Minor Moves: Jamie Hoffmann, Andres Blanco

Let's keep track of Saturday's minor moves right here as we get closer and closer to Opening Day…

  • The Orioles have signed Jamie Hoffmann to a minor league deal, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com (on Twitter). The 27-year-old outfielder elected free agency after being outrighted by the Rockies earlier this month. Hoffmann battled illness this spring and struggled in games.
  • The Phillies have signed Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, the team announced (on Twitter). The 27-year-old opted out of his minor league deal with the Nationals at some point in the last ten hours or so. Blanco is a .255/.301/.333 career hitter in 654 plate appearances, and has experience all over the infield. The Phillies are trying to add infield depth following Chase Utley's latest knee problems.

Nationals Notes: Roster Moves, Blanco, Michaels

A few pieces of Nats news courtesy of Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post..

  • General Manager Mike Rizzo says that the Nationals are unlikely to make any last-minute changes to their major league roster.  Barring "something out of the ordinary," Rizzo says that any changes to the Opening Day roster will come from the players already in-house.
  • Rizzo expects Andres Blanco to exercise his opt-out clause and become a free agent.  The Nats reassigned the infielder yesterday.
  • The Nationals hope to hang on to outfielder Jason Michaels after releasing him on Thursday.  Rizzo would like to re-sign the veteran and place him with Triple-A Syracuse.

Minor Moves: Baxter, Blanco, Orioles, Michaels

We'll track today's minor moves here…

  • The Mets signed outfielder Mike Baxter to a minor league contract, according to the team's official Twitter feed.  The deal includes an invitation to the Major League spring training camp.  Baxter, 27, was born in Queens and appeared in 22 games with the Mets last season.
  • The Nationals signed Andres Blanco to a minor league deal, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson. In 82 plate appearances for the Rangers in 2011, the versatile 27-year-old posted a .224/.263/.342 line and played four positions.
  • The Orioles agreed to sign outfielders Antoan Richardson and Lee Cruz to minor league deals, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Richardson, who briefly played for the Braves in 2011, is one of six players in MLB history from the Bahamas, Crasnick tweets.
  • The Nationals signed outfielder Jason Michaels to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). Michaels spent the 2011 season with the Astros and posted a .199/.256/.295 line in 169 plate appearances. The 11-year veteran has a career line of .263/.335/.407 and experience at all three outfield positions.
  • The Rockies signed catcher Wilkin Castillo and right-handed relievers Mike Ekstrom and Zach Simons to minor league deals, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). Castillo spent the 2011 season at Triple-A, where he hit .262/.285/.366 in 291 plate appearances. Ekstrom, who appeared in one game for the Rays in 2011, posted a 4.35 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 for Tampa Bay's top affiliate. The 26-year-old Simons posted a 5.46 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 61 innings in the Tigers' and Marlins' systems in 2011.