Andres Blanco Rumors
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 Burke. Headed 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 Orioles, Reds, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The latest players to be outrighted off 40-man rosters:
- The Indians outrighted Trevor Crowe off of their 40-man roster, according to the team. Crowe, who appeared in 15 games for the Indians in 2011, cannot elect free agency
- The Rangers outrighted pitchers Omar Beltre, Merkin Valdez and Eric Hurley and infielders Andres Blanco and Esteban German off of the 40-man roster, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Blanco, who would have been arbitration eligible, projected to earn $500K through arbitration. He posted a .605 OPS in 82 plate appearances as a utility player and was the only one of the outrighted players to pick up significant playing time in 2011.
- The Mariners outrighted infielder Luis Rodriguez, tweets Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. I named Rodriguez and David Aardsma as the Mariners' primary non-tender candidates back in September, and now both are off the 40-man roster, which stands at 36. Rodriguez has elected free agency, reports MLB.com's Greg Johns.
- The Braves outrighted catcher J.C. Boscan, reliever Stephen Marek, outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, and outfielder Antoan Richardson to Triple-A Gwinnett, tweets MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Meanwhile, starter Todd Redmond's contract was selected. Marek had Tommy John surgery in May; he was obtained from the Angels with Casey Kotchman for Mark Teixeira at the '08 trade deadline. I thought at the time that the Braves' return topped the value of a couple of draft picks. That hasn't been true if you look at who the Angels took with their two Teixeira picks: top prospect Mike Trout and lefty Tyler Skaggs, a main component in the Dan Haren trade.
Patrick Newman from NPB Tracker and MLBTR's Nick Collias relay some information from foreign sources:
- According to Newman, the Chiba Lotte Marines made a conditional agreement last offseason to allow Tsuyoshi Nishioka to move to MLB. This explains the otherwise puzzling move to post Nishioka coming off his strongest season, with three years left before he's eligible for free agency. Newman says the decision to post Nishioka will be resolved by the 17th.
- According to this article (translated by Collias), the Twins signed right-handed reliever Yorman Bazardo to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. The 26-year-old has previously been with the Marlins, Tigers, Mariners, and Astros organizations. He's seen 60 1/3 innings in the big leagues, but hasn't duplicated his minor league success (3.89 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 5.4 K/9 in 1091 innings).
- In a second article translated by Collias, we hear that the Rangers have told Andres Blanco that they view him as either an outfielder or catcher, but no longer as an infielder. The 26-year-old will work out at both positions in the Venezuelan winter leagues to try to earn another spot with the Rangers. In 68 games (185 PAs) this season, Blanco hit .277/.330/.349 while backing up Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus.
7:19pm: Mike Sweeney has made the Mariners' Opening Day roster, writes Morosi. The 36-year-old was set to retire if he didn't make a team's Opening Day squad. Sweeney will be in a designated hitter platoon with Ken Griffey Jr.
Meanwhile, a source tells Morosi that the Rangers' current interest level in Garko isn't high.
5:10pm: The Mariners have put Ryan Garko on waivers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Seattle signed the first baseman to a one-year, $550K deal roughly two months ago. The 29-year-old still has options remaining.
Morosi points out that the Rangers are in search of a right-handed bat, though he is unsure if they are interested in Garko. Texas is in search of a backup corner infielder and although manager Ron Washington seems willing to give middle infielder Andres Blanco a chance at third, it is unlikely that Garko is up to the task. Before he landed with the M's, the Rangers were said to be interested in Garko's services.
In 40 games (127 plate appearances) for the Giants last season, Garko hit .235/.307/.330 with 2 HRs.