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Andy LaRoche Rumors
Here are today's outright assignments and minor moves from around the league…
- The Blue Jays announced that they outrighted left-hander Juan Perez off the 40-man roster and re-signed him to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. The 35-year-old southpaw posted a 3.69 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 31 2/3 innings for Toronto this season and held lefties to a .200/.280/.333 batting line.
- The Blue Jays also announced that they've re-signed catcher Mike Nickeas and and infielder Andy LaRoche to minor league deals with invites to Spring Training. Nickeas, 30, posted just a .507 OPS at Triple-A this season while LaRoche, the younger brother of Adam LaRoche, slashed .271/.339/.433 in 104 games at the same level.
- The Cardinals announced that they have outrighted catcher Rob Johnson, outfielder Brock Peterson and outfielder Adron Chambers off their 40-man roster. Each has elected free agency, per the MLB.com Transactions page. Johnson spent most of the season in Triple-A, but found his way onto a big league roster for the seventh straight season. In 829 Major League plate appearances he's a .200/.275/.295 hitter. Peterson, 29, made his Major League debut after 11 seasons between the minors and indepedent ball. He collected just two hits in 26 at-bats but dominated Triple-A, hitting .296/.364/.531 with 25 homers in 508 PAs. The 27-year-old Chambers hit .252/.338/.387 with eight homers and 16 steals in the minors, adding 29 big league plate appearances and making the Cards' postseason roster as well.
Today's minor moves can be found right here in this post …
- Among the many re-signings of players otherwise eligible for minor league free agency reported by Matt Eddy of Baseball America are first baseman Mike Jacobs, who will stay with the Diamondbacks, and reliever David Herndon, who the Yankees have re-signed. Neither saw big league action this year. Jacobs put up a nice .296/.366/.533 line in 514 Triple-A plate appearances in his age-32 season, while Herndon, now 28, was good for a 2.78 ERA in his 35 2/3 innings across the Yanks system.
- Third bagger Andy LaRoche has signed with the Blue Jays, Eddy reports on Twitter. The 30-year-old younger brother of Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche played in just one game with Toronto last year, and has not been a regular big league contributor since leaving the Pirates after the 2010 season.
- Catcher Blake Lalli has caught on with the Diamondbacks, Eddy notes in the same link. Also thirty years of age, Lalli has only forty uneventful MLB plate appearances. Playing at Triple-A for the Brewers last year, he put up a .282/.334/.447 line in 311 plate appearances.
- The Reds have signed 31-year-old outfielder Jason Bourgeois, Eddy reports on Twitter. Bourgeois saw limited time with the Rays last year. His career big league line stands at .259/.305/.326 in 515 plate appearances over parts of six seasons, including 51 stolen bases.
- Right-handed starter Philip Humber, 30, has inked a deal with the Athletics, reports Eddy (via Twitter). The once-perfect Humber had his option declined by the Astros early last month.
- Righty Fabio Martinez signed with the Dodgers, per another Eddy tweet. The longtime Angel farmhand last worked in the Indians system, but has never managed to harness his live arm and posted BB/9 totals of over ten in 2012-13.
- Pitcher Trevor Reckling has signed with the Reds out of independent league ball, Eddy tweets. He played six seasons in the Angels' system, reaching Triple-A at age 21 before moving the wrong way down the ladder. Noted as a reclamation project for the White Sox before the 2012 year, Reckling will give it one more go in Cinci.
- The Rockies re-signed minor league second baseman Angelys Nina in a move designed to keep him from reaching the open market as a minor league free agent, tweets Eddy. Nina managed a .280/.331/.422 line in his second go-round at Tulsa, adding ten home runs and nineteen steals.
- Outfielder Chris Dickerson and first baseman Dan Johnson, each of whom were outrighted on Thursday, have refused their assignments and elected to become free agents, according to an Orioles press release yesterday.
- Remember to check MLBTR's DFA Tracker for updates on players designated for assignment around baseball. Currently, only Tommy Layne is sitting in DFA limbo.
Today's minor moves:
- The Twins have released right-handed reliever Anthony Slama to make 40-man room for recently-signed righty Cody Eppley, tweets Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Slama has not seen MLB action since 2011. He struggled to a 13.50 ERA in 13 1/3 innings with the Twins' Triple-A affiliate this season, including an unsightly 0.64 K/BB ratio.
- The Blue Jays outrighted Andy LaRoche to their Triple-A affiliate after he cleared waivers, according to a press release. Toronto designated LaRoche for assignment two days ago to clear a roster spot for Chien-Ming Wang. The 29-year-old appeared in just one game for the Jays this season and went 0-for-4.
- The Mariners announced that they have outrighted Brandon Bantz to Triple-A Tacoma. The catcher was DFA's earlier this week after playing in just one game for the varsity squad.
- The Diamondbacks have sold right-handed reliever Warner Madrigal to Japan's Chunichi Dragons for an undisclosed sum, the team announced in a press release. The 29-year-old had been solid this year at Triple-A Reno, where he sported a 2.75 ERA in 36 innings of work and maintained a 10.2 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
LaRoche, 29, appeared in just one game for the Jays this season and went 0-for-4. The infielder is a former top prospect who ranked on Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list each year from 2005-08, placing as high as No. 19. However, in parts of six Major League seasons (1,336 plate appearances), he's hit just .226/.304/.336 with 22 home runs. LaRoche, who has spent time with the Dodgers, Pirates, A's and Blue Jays, was originally a 39th-round selection by the Dodgers in the 2003 draft. He is the younger brother of Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche.
We'll track the day's minor moves here…
- The Blue Jays announced that they signed infielder Andy LaRoche to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training. LaRoche, who last appeared at the MLB level with the 2011 A's, posted a .251/.335/.422 batting line at Triple-A in 2012.
- The Orioles signed relievers Rob Delaney and Manny Delcarmen and outfielder Chris Pettit to minor league deals, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). Delcarmen, 30, last pitched at the MLB level in 2010 with the Red Sox and Rockies. He pitched for the Yankees' top affiliate in 2012, posting a 4.42 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in 57 innings. The 28-year-old Delaney pitched in four games for the 2011 Rays and spent the 2012 season with the Marlins' Triple-A team, posting a 2.29 ERA in 63 innings. Pettit played briefly for the Angels in 2009 and 2011. The right-handed hitting 28-year-old posted a .282/.354/.454 batting line in the upper minors this past season.
- The White Sox signed right-hander Andrew Brackman, Eddy reports (on Twitter). The former first round pick posted a 6.71 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 6.0 BB/9 in the Reds' minor league system last year.
A total of 549 minor league players became free agents after the season, and Baseball America's Matt Eddy lists each and every one by team and position. Some are big league veterans (Joel Pineiro, Conor Jackson), some are former top prospects (Andy LaRoche, Brandon Wood), and most fall somewhere in between.
Players who have been in the minor leagues for at least parts of seven seasons are automatically granted free agency, though there are other conditions that allow players to hit the open market earlier in their careers.
Here's a recap of today's minor league transactions, courtesy of Baseball America's Matt Eddy…
- The Red Sox have signed Andy LaRoche after the Indians released him late last month. The 28-year-old infielder has already played in six games for their Triple-A affiliate and is hitting .265/.352/.418 in 193 minor league plate appearances overall this season.
- The Cubs have released Hong-Chih Kuo. They signed him to a minor league deal in early-June. The 30-year-old left-hander has not appeared in a game yet this season after battling back and anxiety issues last year. Kuo owns a 3.73 ERA in parts of seven big league seasons, all with the Dodgers.
We'll keep track of today's minor moves right here…
- The Indians announced that infielder Andy LaRoche has been released from Triple-A Columbus (via Twitter). LaRoche, 28, was once a modest prospect with the Dodgers but hasn't been able to make the most of big league playing time with Los Angeles, the Pirates and Athletics.
- The Yankees have signed Jonathan Meloan and assigned him to Double-A, reports Mike Ashmore of The Trentonian. The 27-year-old right-hander had been pitching in an independent league and turned down offers from Mexico and Asia to sign with New York. Meloan owns a 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 big league innings with the Dodgers, Indians, and Athletics.
- The Braves have signed Fabian Williamson according to the MLB.com transactions page. The 23-year-old left-hander had been pitching in an independent league and has previously been involved in trades for David Aardsma and Eric Patterson. Williamson owns a 4.00 ERA in 472 minor league innings and has never appeared in the show.
Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported over the weekend that the Indians were in talks with both LaRoche and Mike Cameron. While the Tribe missed out on Cameron, who agreed to sign a contract with the Nationals, they'll bring LaRoche into the fold to provide depth and injury insurance. GM Chris Antonetti said LaRoche will compete for a spot on the Major League roster, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (Twitter link).
LaRoche, 28, has posted a career slash line of just .226/.305/.337 in parts of five Major League seasons, including a .654 OPS in 104 plate appearances for Oakland in 2011. However, he was long considered a top prospect, having ranked among Baseball America's top 20 prior to both the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
The Indians have had "serious talks" with Mike Cameron and have also talked to Andy LaRoche, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian confirms (via Twitter) that the Tribe have had discussions with both players and could sign them to minor league contracts.
Cameron, 38, saw a dip in production in 2011 with the Red Sox and Marlins, hitting .203/.285/.359 in 269 overall plate appearances. However, the Indians view him as an insurance policy for center field if Grady Sizemore continues to be plagued by health problems, according to Pluto.
The 28-year-old LaRoche, meanwhile, would likely just provide the organization depth at the Triple-A level. The former top prospect spent the past season with the Athletics, splitting time between the big league club and Triple-A Sacramento.