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A roundup of today's minor transactions, with any new signings added to the top of the page throughout the day….
- The Blue Jays signed catcher Ryan Budde to a minor league deal, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Budde, who has some history with new Toronto manager John Farrell, has seen limited major league playing time in each of the last four seasons with the Angels.
- Softbank, a Japanese club, acquired Anthony Lerew and signed him to a one-year deal, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Lerew had signed with the Athletics earlier this offseason.
- Other players to sign with Japanese teams, Newman reports, include Joel Guzman with Chunichi and Kelvin Jimenez with Rakuten. Guzman was a former top prospect in the Dodgers system; Baseball America ranked him as baseball's fifth-best prospect prior to the 2005 season. Jimenez, meanwhile, last pitched in the majors in 2008 with St. Louis.
- The Indians have signed former Yomiuri Giants pitcher Toru Murata to a minor league deal. According to Newman, "Murat is a former first-round draft pick who never reached the top level in NPB. At 25 he should still have some upside left." A year ago, Murata earned a roster spot in the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars game.
Here is today's batch of minor league deals, with the most recent updates at the top:
- The Mariners signed Luis Rodriguez, a shortstop who played in the majors from 2005-09 with the Twins and Padres, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). The light-hitting 30-year-old exploded with 16 homers and 17 doubles in 400 plate appearances for the White Sox at Triple-A in 2010.
- The Yankees signed Neal Cotts, the Marlins signed Josh Kroeger and the A's signed Adam Heether and Anthony Lerew, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (all links go to Twitter). Cotts, a 30-year-old left-hander, has pitched parts of seven seasons in the majors, but he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 and didn't pitch in 2010 because of hip surgery. Kroeger, 28, has 47 homers and 51 steals over the course of the past three seasons at Triple-A.
- The Red Sox signed former Reds outfielder Drew Sutton, according to Eddy (on Twitter). The 27-year old has a .229/.302/.381 line in 118 major league plate appearances, but he did hit 20 homers at Double-A two seasons ago.
- Eddy reports that the Cubs have re-signed longtime minor leaguer Bobby Scales (Twitter link).
- The Braves have signed four players, according to Eddy (all links go to Twitter). Outfielder Jose Constanza, 27, batted .319/.373/.394 at Triple-A for the Indians; 28-year-old infielder Ed Lucas hit .307/.398/.480 at Triple-A for the Royals; utilityman Wilkin Castillo can catch and play in the infield and outfield, but hasn't hit Triple-A pitching and Shawn Bowman, 25, hit 22 homers at Double-A.
- The Mariners signed left-hander Fabio Castro to a minor league contract, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (on Twitter). The 25-year-old hasn't appeared in the majors since 2007; he posted a 4.93 ERA with 8.8 K/9 for Boston's Triple-A affiliate in 2010.
- The White Sox claimed releiver Waldis Joaquin off of waivers from the Giants, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. The 23-year-old made the Giants' Opening Day roster, but allowed six earned runs and seven walks in 4 2/3 innings, so he was demoted to the minors. He posted a 4.43 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 in 40 2/3 innings split between Rookie ball and Triple-A.
- The Brewers signed signed right-hander Zack Segovia to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. The 27-year-old has big league experience with the Phillies and Nationals. He spent the 2010 season with the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate and posted a 4.19 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 62 1/3 innings.
- The D'Backs signed Sean Burroughs, according to minor league transactions cited by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (on Twitter). The third baseman is reunited with GM Kevin Towers, who signed Burroughs in 1998 to what was then the biggest amateur bonus in team history. Now 30, Burroughs hasn't played pro ball since 2007.
A day after the Royals acquired Sean O'Sullivan from the Angels in exchange for Alberto Callaspo, Kansas City has added O'Sullivan to their active roster. To make room for the right-hander, the team designated Anthony Lerew for assignment, according to a press release.
Lerew started six games for the Royals this year, compiling a 3.63 ERA in his first three starts before getting hit hard (18.00 ERA) in his next three. Lerew's 26.1 IP represent a career high for the former Brave, who was ranked as a top-100 prospect by Baseball America in both 2005 and 2006.
This is the second time this season that the Royals have designated the 27-year-old for assignment.
Links for Wednesday…
- Anthony Lerew cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A, tweets Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The Royals designated Lerew for assignment over the weekend.
- Kat O'Brien of The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote a very interesting piece about what happens in Cuba once their players defect. Said one local cab driver: "[Aroldis] Chapman doesn't exist. He never existed."
- Pirates' team president Frank Coonelly chatted with fans at MLB.com. He fielded a question about what the Pirates would do with the second overall pick in June's draft if for some reason the Nationals pass on Bryce Harper.
- The Tigers released minor leaguer Kory Casto, reports Tom Gage of The Detroit News. Casto had been signed to a minor league deal after a .271/.334/.378 performance for the Nationals' Triple A club. Baseball America ranked him fourth among Nats prospects heading into the '07 season.
- Which of Zach Duke, Paul Maholm, and Ryan Doumit is most likely to be traded this summer? Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tackles the question.
- SI's Jon Heyman speculates that the Phillies would probably have to trade Raul Ibanez to be able to retain Jayson Werth after this season.
- Adeiny Hechavarria's visa has been approved and he's headed to the U.S. to take his physical this week for the Blue Jays, tweets ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan suggests the Rays will have long-term difficulty competing, while Jonah Keri offers a rebuttal.
- Rocco Baldelli still has hopes of playing baseball, according to this FOX Sports Florida article. He's currently rehabbing a shoulder injury and working with Rays minor leaguers.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin says the Mets will not place Canadian third base prospect Shawn Bowman on waivers until they've exhausted trade possibilites.
- In search of an accurate Mariners payroll number, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times arrives at about $93MM.
- Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies explains why free agent Braden Looper would be a good fit for Colorado. On a related note, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post learned that the Rockies are not interested in Jarrod Washburn.
- Elsewhere on the "nothing brewing" front, Jim Bowden of FOX Sports tweets that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told him the team has had no discussions regarding Pedro Martinez.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adeiny Hechavarria | Anthony Lerew | Aroldis Chapman | Braden Looper | Cincinnati Reds | Colorado Rockies | Detroit Tigers | Jarrod Washburn | Jayson Werth | Kansas City Royals | New York Mets | Paul Maholm | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Raul Ibanez | Rocco Baldelli | Ryan Doumit | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Zach Duke
Lerew, 27, posted a 4.05 ERA through 13.1 innings for the Royals last season, but only managed seven strikeouts versus eight walks. Over 35 major league innings, Lerew has walked 23 batters.
Baseball America ranked Lerew as a Top 100 prospect prior to both the 2005 (#99) and 2006 (#93) seasons. Unfortunately, Lerew's never found a way to match his minor league success (3.52 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 through 914.2 innings) in the big leagues over parts of four seasons with the Braves and Royals.
Links for Friday…
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News reports that Marcus Thames can opt out of his contract with the Yankees if he doesn't make the team out of Spring Training. Thames signed a minor league deal earlier this month that would pay him $900K in the big leagues.
- Alyson Footer, the Astros' Sr. Director of Social Media, tweets that the team has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with infielder Tommy Manzella worth $400K. He's expected to be the team's regular shortstop in 2010, and he has less than a month's worth of service time.
- Mike Aviles and Anthony Lerew agreed to terms with the Royals according to a team press release. Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star tweets that both deals are expected to be worth less than $500K. Both players are not yet eligible for arbitration.
- Meanwhile, the Marlins also agreed to terms with six of their pre-arbitration eligible players, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
- Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun reports that Orioles' lefty Brian Matusz has changed agents, and is now represented by CAA Sports. He had a 4.63 ERA in 44.2 innings last year, and is widely considered to be one of the two or three best pitching prospects in the game.
- Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo spoke about the Livan Hernandez signing to MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling, and said that the righty isn't guaranteed a rotation spot.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports polled nearly 20 baseball people about Carl Crawford's next contract. Many of the agents and executives expect Crawford to command a five-year deal worth $12-16MM per season, but some think the left fielder could make as much as $18MM per year when he hits the open market, probably after 2010.
- Scott Rolen was happy to restructure his contract so the Reds could "free up some money to go out and be more competitive," according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- Nationals pitcher Rafael Martin tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson that he agreed to his deal on February 8th (Twitter link).
- Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd told Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports that he wants his players to be driven by "more than money." O'Dowd also told Ringolsby that he did not shop Brad Hawpe this winter.
- The Mets are still looking at lefty and righty relievers, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (via Twitter).
- Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt tells Scott Lauber of the News Journal that he expects Placido Polanco to make a smooth transition to third base.
- Marlon Byrd tells USA Today's Bob Nightengale that he's uncomfortable being compared to friend and former teammate Milton Bradley.
- Big market clubs sent $433MM to small market clubs last year, according to Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball.
- The Red Sox don't generally use insurance on their long-term deals. Principal owner John Henry tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that "it isn't always easy to get paid," even once players are injured.
- Jose Julio Ruiz may be close to signing, but it won't be with the Nationals, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- Astros owner Drayton McLane, who has "a huge amount of confidence" in GM Ed Wade, would consider selling his team for $600MM or more, according to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle.
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Links for Thursday…
- A confident Sidney Ponson expects his agent to receive a few calls after he pitches in the WBC Saturday, according to Phil Miller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- ESPN’s Rob Neyer looks at the most interesting remaining free agents.
- Jorge Says No! names their 8 Worst Free Agent Contracts of the offseason.
- Former Dodgers GM Fred Claire weighs in on the Manny Ramirez contract, noting the player’s control over the team’s finances. Check out Manny’s comments made to the AP. Juan Pierre doesn’t have much to say about the signing.
- Baseball America’s Ben Badler talks about the reactions of Latin American scouts to the Esmailyn Gonzalez scandal.
- ESPN’s Jayson Stark looks at the top players who are on Spring Training invites.
- Rockies reliever Taylor Buchholz will miss the rest of Spring Training with a sprained elbow.
- Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the Braves made room for Tom Glavine on the 40-man roster by outrighting pitcher Anthony Lerew, who cleared waivers.