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Here are Friday’s minor moves from around baseball…
- Catcher Ryan Lavarnway has elected free agency rather than taking an outright assignment from the Orioles, the club announced. The 27-year-old received just 32 plate appearances with Baltimore, registering only three hits. He has yet to make good on his former promise, but should have no trouble finding another club interested in giving him a slot at Triple-A to get back on track.
- The White Sox released Jairo Asencio, according to a tweet from its Triple-A affiliate. Asencio, 31, has tossed 55 2/3 big league innings in parts of four years, but has not appeared in the majors since 2013. He worked to a 5.03 ERA in 19 2/3 innings at Triple-A, but did rack up an impressive 28 strikeouts against just six walks.
- Both outfielder Engel Beltre and utilityman Jeff Kobernus have signed minor league deals with the Giants, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports on Twitter. Both have a smattering of big league experience, though neither has hit much in limited action. Beltre was a long-time Rangers farmhand, while Kobernus has only previously appeared professionally in the Nationals organization (though he did spend a spring with the Tigers as a Rule 5 pick before being returned).
- The Blue Jays announced that right-hander Todd Redmond has cleared waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Buffalo. Redmond was designated for assignment a week ago and will have the option to reject the assignment in favor of free agency. He pitched well in more than 70 innings for the Jays in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons, but he’s struggled in 2015, yielding 11 runs in 8 1/3 innings of work thus far.
- The Astros and Cuban right-hander Yoanis Quiala have agreed to terms on a minor league contract, reports Scout.com’s Max Wildstein. Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle tweets that the Astros view Quiala as a starting pitcher, though he did work mostly in relief in his lone pro season in Cuba. The 22-year-old Quiala made 16 appearances (nine in relief, seven from the rotation) in the 2012-13 season in Cuba, totaling 52 2/3 innings with a 2.22 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald reported (Spanish link) back in November that Quiala had been granted free agency by Major League Baseball, adding that he can run his fastball up into the mid-90s. Given his age and limited experience, Quiala would be subject to international signing limitations. Because the Astros have already spent the vast majority of their 2014-15 budget, it seems unlikely that Quiala received a significant bonus; even $1MM would put Houston well over their allotted pool. Ben Badler of Baseball America ran down all of Houston’s significant expenditures in his April review of their international signings.
- The KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization have signed first baseman Dan Black, who had been playing with the Triple-A affiliate for the White Sox, Han Lee of Global Sporting Integration reports (on Twitter). Black, 27, is a former 14th-round pick of the White Sox (2009) that was hitting an impressive .324/.457/.568 with six homers in 34 games for Triple-A Charlotte this season. He’ll be paid $300K, according to the Yonhap News Agency, and will be replacing former big league right-hander Andy Sisco on the Wiz’s roster. Sisco, who was recently released by the Wiz (according to the Yonhap), posted a 6.23 ERA with 42 strikeouts but 25 walks in 39 innings of work with the Wiz in what was his only KBO action to this point of his career.
Here's the latest from the eastern side of the baseball map…
- Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that the team wants to "concentrate on the season right now" and wouldn't comment on whether the Fish would offer Edwin Rodriguez a contract extension before the year is up. Rodriguez, who took over as Florida's manager last June, is only on a one-year deal.
- The Yankees also released southpaw Andrew Sisco, according to the International League's transactions page. Sisco posted a 5.18 ERA in 151 relief appearances for the Royals and White Sox between 2005-07 and hasn't been back to the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2008. Sisco, 28, had a 1.88 ERA and a 9.4 K/9 rate in 16 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, though he'd also allowed 12 walks in 14 1/3 innings pitched.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs calls for the Blue Jays to release Edwin Encarnacion or at least permanently relegate him to the bench. "[Encarnacion is] an absolute disaster in the field, and his bat simply doesn’t even come close to making up for it," Cameron writes.
- J.C. Ramirez, one of the prospects the Phillies received in the Cliff Lee trade, has pitched well at Double-A this season, writes Jim Salisbury for Baseball America.
- It looks as if Domonic Brown will remain with the Phillies when Shane Victorino returns from the DL, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. This could mean the Phils send John Mayberry Jr. down to the minors, or perhaps Rule 5 draft pick Michael Martinez, who would of course have to be offered back to the Nationals.
- The Orioles are expected to release right-hander Ryan Drese, reports Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. Drese, 35, last pitched in the majors in 2006 and currently has a 6.55 ERA in nine games (six of them starts) for Triple-A Norfolk.
- Overpaying for a designated hitter is "a new market inefficiency," writes Jason Collette of the DRaysBay blog. Collette suggests the Rays (and other teams) should look to fill the DH spot with the same low-cost approach that the Rays used to rebuild their bullpen this winter.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
On this date last year, the Yankees signed Chan Ho Park. After surrendering seven homers in 35 1/3 innings of 5.60 ERA ball, the Yankees cut Park loose. He joined the Pirates for the rest of 2010 and will spend the 2011 season pitching for the Orix Buffaloes. Here's the latest from the AL East:
- The Red Sox can option Hideki Okajima to the minor leagues if they prefer the work of their other lefties this spring, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Southpaws Andrew Miller, Felix Doubront, Rich Hill, Dennys Reyes and Andrew Miller are all vying for roster spots.
- Speier also suggests Doubront will "almost surely" open the season at Triple-A.
- If you ask Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Carl Crawford has some adjustments to make, even though he's still playing left field for an AL East contender. The Red Sox are always in the spotlight, so playing in Boston will likely present different challenges than the ones Crawford encountered in Tampa Bay.
- Did the Yankees release Andy Sisco or not? As Matt Eddy of Baseball America explains, they released and re-signed the left-hander (Twitter link).
A few Yankees-related tidbits..
- Jack Curry of YES (via these Twitter links) spoke to Cliff Lee about his offseason and flirtation with the Yankees. The left-hander said that before the Phillies got involved, the Yankees were a "likely possibility". Lee had three good options in the Yankees, Phillies, and Rangers, but ultimately felt that he could win multiple titles with the Phils, despite seeing the Yanks as "attractive". Even though Lee left money on the table to return to Philadelphia, he says that one monster contract is just as good as another in his view.
- Despite reports to the contrary, the Yankees did not release left-handed pitcher Andy Sisco, writes Josh Norris of The Trentonian. The 6'10" hurler has a 5.18 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in 151 career big league appearances. His last stint in the majors came in 2007 with the White Sox.
Some Minor League moves of note as some teams try to trim rosters and others look to amass organizational depth.
- The Yankees released left-handed pitcher Andy Sisco, tweets Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Sisco has bounced around in recent years and last appeared in the big leagues with the White Sox in 2007.
- The Yankees and Braves each inked a veteran international free agent, with New York signing Cuban shortstop Yadil Mujica and Atlanta signing Australian outfielder-turned-pitcher Andrew Russell, a righty, tweets Eddy.
- The Angels signed catcher Cole Armstrong, who could claim a spot on the Halos' 40-man roster as a defense-first specialist, tweets Eddy.
- The Rockies offered Jon Garland a similar deal to the one he agreed upon with the Dodgers, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is willing to spend in order to make Detroit a winner again, writes Peter Gammons for MLB.com.
- The Yankees have signed right-hander Brian Anderson and left-hander Andy Sisco to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Anderson was recently cut by the Royals and is new to pitching after playing the outfield his entire career. Sisco threw 66.2 innings for the Giants Double-A affiliate this year after having Tommy John surgery in 2008.
- ESPN's Buster Olney asked several talent evaluators for their opinion of Manny Ramirez (Insider req'd). Most see him as a designated hitter (unsurprisingly) that is good offensively but no longer elite. One compared him to a healthy Nick Johnson, meaning good average, great OBP, some power. Almost everyone Olney polled suggested an incentive-laden deal, which is what Scott Boras is seeking.
- Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle says the Astros need to make a big move in free agency if Drayton McLane really hopes to sell the team for $800MM. He throws the names of Carl Pavano, Jorge de la Rosa, Jeff Francis, Rafael Soriano, and Dan Wheeler out there as possibilities.
- Jonathan Albaladejo finalized a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants that will pay him $950K according to the AP (via ESPN New York). The Yankees released Albaladejo at his request earlier this month.
As always, Matt Eddy's minor league transactions post at Baseball America contains a few interesting names.
- The Angels signed reliever Chad Orvella. The 29-year-old spent '09 with the Royals' Double A club and the Rays' Triple A team. Once considered the Rays' closer of the future, Orvella had shoulder surgery in May of '08.
- The Twins signed pitcher Brad Hennessey. Hennessey soaked up 360.6 big league innings for the Giants in his career, but the former first-rounder sat out the '09 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
- The Giants signed lefty Andy Sisco. The towering 27-year-old southpaw missed the last two seasons due to April '08 Tommy John surgery. The Giants also inked Pablo Sandoval's older brother Michael out of the Atlantic League.
According to the Denver Post’s Troy Renck, the A’s have agreed to terms with left-handed reliever Andrew Sisco on a minor league contract.
The deal is worth $550K. Sisco, 26, last pitched in the majors in 2007. He has a 5.18 career ERA in over 147 major league innings. The A’s had their sights set on Dennys Reyes, before he signed with the Cardinals, and Joe Beimel, who remains a free agent. Sisco was obviously the cheaper option in the end.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland Athletics and Nomar Garciaparra are "in serious talks" about a bench spot for the team. Slusser notes that the Phillies are likely competing for Nomar’s services as well; I myself would also mention the Cubs as a team in need of a right-handed bench bat.
Additionally, Slusser points out that signing Garciaparra would not preclude the Athletics from also going after Orlando Cabrera. However, it seems as though the two parties continue to have difficulty in bridging the salary gap, despite Cabrera’s reducing his salary demands from $9MM to roughly $5.5MM at this point.
Also on the A’s radar are a pair of relievers: lefties Dennys Reyes and Andrew Sisco.