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- Yankees Acquire Chase Headley
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- Masahiro Tanaka Has Slightly Torn UCL
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- Aiken Has Elbow Injury; Astros Seeking Discounted Deal
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Angel Berroa Rumors
Baseball America's Matt Eddy's latest piece is a fascinating look back at the history of platoon usage in Major League Baseball and the increasing role of specialized relievers in Major League bullpens. Last season, more pure left-handed relievers (i.e. lefties who made zero starts) appeared in a season than any year in Major League history. Eddy's piece is rife with tables and charts to provide the breakdown on the numbers behind left-on-left matchups as opposed to right-on-right matchups (not surprisingly, the former leans more heavily in the pitcher's favor) and is well worth the read. Here are some more links from around the league for some late-night Thursday reading…
- The Cardinals optioned top prospect Oscar Taveras to Triple-A today, putting an early end to a Spring Training that didn't allow him to fully showcase his talents, writes MLB.com's Jen Langosch. Taveras received just six plate appearances in a pair of games after sitting out the first week due to what Langosch calls "hesitancy to fully trust his surgically repaired right ankle." He also left his second and final Spring Training game with a minor hamstring injury.
- Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley is well ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery and could be ready to pitch in the Majors as soon as late April, reports ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon. Billingsley will face live hitters next week and begin a minor league rehab assignment on April 3. Billingsley's return further crowds the competition for the team's fifth starter. Josh Beckett or Paul Maholm figures to occupy that role to open the season.
- Right-hander Todd Coffey has drawn interest from as many as nine to 10 teams and expects to sign right around Opening Day, according to MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo (Twitter links). Coffey is currently throwing 91 to 92 mph in bullpen sessions, he adds. Coffey last pitched in the Majors for the Dodgers in 2012.
- Cotillo also tweets that free agent catcher Kelly Shoppach is looking to play in 2014 "if the right situation/opportunity presents itself." The 33-year-old isn't close to a deal at this time. He slashed just .199/.288/.339 in 127 PAs between the Mariners and Indians last season.
- Lastly, Cotillo tweets that former AL Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa, now 34, is seeking a minor league deal to return to affiliated baseball. Berroa spent 2012 playing independent ball and was in the Mexican League last season, where he slashed .293/.362/.462 in 460 trips to the plate.
Berroa, 31, spent this season with the Bluefish, appearing in 64 games for the club. The 2003 AL Rookie of the Year last appeared in the majors in 2009, playing in 35 total games for the Mets and Yankees.
Baseball America's Matt Eddy brings us the latest round of minor league transactions, with a few noteworthy moves to mention. Let's take a look….
- The Phillies released Josh Fogg, who they had signed just before the season started. Fogg got knocked around at Double-A Reading, allowing 13 earned runs and 27 baserunners in just 10.1 IP.
- Angel Berroa was let go by the Giants, after he hit .205/.247/.307 in 94 Triple-A plate appearances. His release came two months after the team had inked him to a minor league deal.
- After serving a 50-game suspension for a drug violation, Adam Bostick was released by the Royals. The club also parted ways with Jorge Campillo, who posted a 3.91 ERA in 158.2 innings for the Braves in 2008.
- The Twins signed D'Angelo Jimenez, who had been playing in the Mexican League. The 32-year-old, who always displayed strong on-base skills, last appeared in the majors in 2007 with Washington, hitting .245/.379/.373 in 128 plate appearances.
- The Reds released left-hander Daryl Harang, Aaron Harang's younger brother.
Berroa was signed to a minor league deal by the Dodgers earlier in the winter, but was released before the season began. Since hitting .287/.338/.451 and earning AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2003, the 30-year-old shortstop has posted an uninspiring slash line of .249/.291/.353 in 2033 plate appearances for the Royals, Dodgers, Yankees, and Mets.
Despite being told that he will not make the Dodgers' Opening Day roster, Doug Mientkiewicz's request to be released from his contract has yet to be granted, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Mientkiewicz says that he has been told he is the club's contingency plan in the event that Garret Anderson is hurt.
The Dodgers have contractual control over the 35-year-old first baseman until Friday, when his opt-out clause goes into effect. Mientkiewicz says he doesn't understand why he has yet to be cut loose as Angel Berroa and Eric Gagne were both released upon their requests.
Mientkiewicz, known best for his defense, declined an offer from manager Joe Torre to stay on with the club as a coach. In twelve big league seasons, the veteran has a career slash line of .271/.360/.405.
The Dodgers have released infielder Angel Berroa, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. The club is confident they have a long-term fill-in for Rafael Furcal in-house if needed, and they wanted to give Berroa enough time to catch on with another team before the season starts.
Berroa, 30, hasn't been a productive big leaguer since his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2003. He's a .249/.291/.353 hitter in over 2,000 plate appearances since then, though his numbers at Triple-A during the last three years are promising. At the very least, he can play all over the infield.
WEDNESDAY, 3:48pm: Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times writes that Green will get a $550K base salary if he's on the big league roster, with another $100K in incentives. Hernandez also has contract details for Angel Berroa, Doug Mientkiewicz, and Russ Ortiz.
MONDAY, 1:25pm: The Dodgers signed Nick Green to a minor league deal, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosental says Green would be Rafael Furcal's primary backup at shortstop.
Green, 31, hit .236/.303/.366 in 309 plate appearances for the Red Sox last year, logging 644.3 innings at short. His defense graded as a positive in that insufficient sample. Green had back surgery in November and was outrighted by the Sox shortly thereafter. The Rockies also showed interest this offseason.
MLB.com's Ken Gurnick notes two other Dodgers signings: pitcher Scott Dohmann and infielder Argenis Reyes. Dohmann, 31, was released by the Hiroshima Carp in June and landed in the D'Backs organization. Reyes, 27, hit .282/.336/.377 for the Mets' Triple A club.
The Dodgers signed first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz and shortstop Angel Berroa to minor league deals, writes Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.
Mientkiewicz, 35, had only 20 plate appearances with the Dodgers this year and another 64 in the minors. He had shoulder surgery in April, missing the bulk of the season. Aside from his defense, Mientkiewicz may be best known for catching and retaining (for a while) the ball that marked Boston's 2004 championship.
Berroa, 32 in January, totaled 55 plate appearances with the New York teams this year and 80 more in the minors. He received significant playing time for the '08 Dodgers after coming over in a trade with the Royals. Berroa's claim to fame is his 2003 Rookie of the Year award and subsequent four-year, $11MM contract with Kansas City. The contract serves as a reminder that it doesn't always pay to lock up a young player through his arbitration years.
More odds, more ends, more links…
- Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog reports that the Mets have designated Angel Berroa for assignment. Berroa's tenure in Flushing lasted 31 plate appearances, in which he fashioned a .148-.233-.185 batting line.
- George A. King III of The NY Post reports that the Yankees placed second baseman Robinson Cano, as well as relievers Brian Bruney, David Robertson, and Mark Melancon on waivers this past Wednesday. King says it's "highly unlikely the Yankees will deal Cano."
- MLB.com's Daniel Paulling spoke to Greg Genske, agent for Rangers' supplemental first round pick Tanner Scheppers, and reports that Genske is "setting up an audition for Scheppers for about a half dozen Japanese teams within a couple of weeks." Genske hasn't decided whether or not to invite the Rangers to workout, and also mentions that Scheppers has been given a clean bill of health.
- In addition to eighth rounder Colton Cain, the Pirates have also signed fourth round pick Zackry Dodson according to MLB.com's Jen Langosch. Team president Frank Coonelly denied a report that the team reached an agreement with Dodson last month.
- Patrick at NPB Tracker passes along a report that Chris Resop has left the Hanshin Tigers and returned home to the States to recover from pain in his throwing elbow. Resop doesn't have any immediate plans to return to Japan, and Patrick says he's unlikely to get another shot with Hanshin.
There's no such thing as too many links…
- Most fans expressed their displeasure with the move in our comments, but Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus defends the Mets' signing of Angel Berroa.
- ESPN's Keith Law tell tells you everything you need to know about the prospects playing in this year's Futures Game, and then some. The game is tomorrow at 1pm CST.
- Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer comfirmed to NoMaas' Lane Meyer that the team has signed two draft picks, including seventh rounder Sean Black. Black was the highest unsigned pick in the 2006 draft, heading to Seton Hall instead of signing with the Nationals as the 59th overall selection.
- MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reports that Pedro Martinez "has said the parties are negotiating a deal," referring to his representatives and the Phillies.
- Jeff Blair of The Globe and Mail says he's "hearing some interest in (Scott) Rolen." He mentions that there are a dozen scouts at tonight's Blue Jays game, including two from the Dodgers.