Arizona Diamondbacks Rumors


Pitching Notes: Hernandez, Cordero, Lewis, Gonzalez

Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez has a torn UCL and may require Tommy John surgery, Hernandez's agent Jason Hoffman tells FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link).  Hernandez is getting a second opinion but if the original diagnosis is confirmed, the right-hander will miss the entire 2014 season.  Since coming to Arizona in December 2010 as part of the Mark Reynolds trade, Hernandez has posted a 3.42 ERA, 3.17 K/BB and 10.8 K/9, though he struggled a bit last season due to an inflated home run rate.  Losing Hernandez would further hurt the Arizona pitching staff, which also lost Patrick Corbin to an UCL tear earlier this month.

Here are some more notes about pitchers whose roster status is in question...

  • Francisco Cordero has been told by the Red Sox that he isn't making the Opening Day roster, so the veteran reliever is now deciding whether to go to Triple-A Pawtucket or leave for another team, WEEI.com's Alex Speier reports.  While Cordero doesn't officially have an opt-out clause in his minor league deal with the Sox, the two sides have an agreement that Cordero would be released if he finds a job elsewhere.
  • Colby Lewis can opt out of his minor league deal with the Rangers on April 10, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports.  Lewis was brought back on a minors contract after missing the entire 2013 season recovering from hip-resurfacing surgery, and the Rangers have been easing him back into action during Spring Training.
  • If the Phillies are in need of another 40-man roster spot, GM Ruben Amaro said that Miguel Alfred Gonzalez could end up on the 60-day DL, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.  Gonzalez was officially placed on the 15-day DL (backdated to March 21) today due to tendinitis in his right shoulder.



Minor Moves: Duncan, Manzella, Russell, Rauch

Here are today's minor transactions, with the newest moves at the top of the page...

  • The Diamondbacks have released first baseman Shelley Duncan, shortstop Tommy Manzella and right-hander Adam Russell, Matt Eddy reports (via Twitter).  All three players signed minor league deals with the Snakes during the offseason.  Duncan had a .606 OPS in 64 PA with the Rays in 2013, while Russell and Manzella last appeared in the majors in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
  • The Royals released veteran reliever Jon Rauch, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets.  Rauch, 35, signed a minor league deal with K.C. in January.  The right-hander posted a 7.56 ERA in 16 2/3 IP with the Marlins and a 2.89 ERA in 9 1/3 IP for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate last season.
  • The Nationals released infielder Mike Fontenot.  The veteran last played in the Majors in 2012, spending last season with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate and then signing a minor league deal with Washington in January.  Formerly a staple of the Cubs infield, Fontenot has a .265/.332/.401 line over 1586 career PA with the Cubs, Giants and Phillies.
  • The Cardinals outrighted Joey Butler to Triple-A Memphis.  Butler, 28, made his Major League debut last season by appearing in eight games for the Rangers, following six years in the Texas farm system that saw him post a .291/.375/.442 slash line with 72 homers over 3036 PA.  The outfielder was claimed off waivers by St. Louis in October.
  • The Brewers released outfielder Greg Golson, who had been signed to a minor league contract in January.  Golson appeared in 40 Major League games with the Phillies, Rangers and Yankees from 2008-11 and has playing in the minors ever since.



Minor Moves: Armstrong, Vitek, Keck, Arroyo, Broxton

We'll keep track of the day's minor moves here:

  • Jack Armstrong, a 2011 third-round choice of the Astros, has hung up his spikes, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links). Selected as a pitcher and given a $750K signing bonus, Armstrong never even got on the hill professionally due to a series of arm injuries. He had been hoping to switch to first base. 
  • 2010 Red Sox first-rounder Kolbrin Vitek has retired, reports Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Injuries slowed the toolsy player, who never managed to translate his raw abilities into production. As Speier notes, however, several other players taken in that draft have panned out quite nicely.
  • Reliever Jon Keck has signed on with the Rockies on a minor league pact, according to the MLB transactions page. The 25-year-old southpaw had spent his entire career in the Royals organization, and threw 52 relief innings of 3.81 ERA ball at the Double-A level last year. It would appear that he had some significant control issues, however, as he walked 6.8 batters (striking out 8.7) for every nine innings.
  • The Diamondbacks have acquired lefty Spencer Arroyo from the White Sox for cash, according to the MLB transactions page. The 25-year-old spent most of his time as a starter in Double-A last year, putting up a 3.50 ERA in 149 1/3 innings while posting 5.8 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9. 
  • The Pirates have acquired outfielder Keon Broxton from the Diamondbacks in exchange for a player to be named later, Pittsburgh announced via press release. Selected 95th overall in the 2009 draft, Broxton was outrighted off of the Arizona 40-man roster back in October. Broxton has struggled to translate his athleticism -- he was the D'backs most athletic prospect last year, per Baseball America -- into consistent production. Playing at Double-A last year, Broxton was unable to follow up on a strong 2012 campaign in his repeat of the HIgh-A level, and hit just .231/.296/.359 with eight home runs and five steals in 372 plate appearances.
  • At the start of the day, two players -- Carlos Peguero of the Royals and Johnny Monell of the Orioles -- were in limbo in the MLBTR DFA Tracker. They have since been joined by Bobby LaFromboise of the Mariners and Raul Valdes of the Astros.



Royals Return Rule 5 Pick Schuster To Diamondbacks

The Royals have returned Rule 5 pick Patrick Schuster to the Diamondbacks, according to the MLB transactions page. It appears that Schuster has passed through waivers this time after being claimed by the Royals just three days ago.

After being selected first overall in this year's Rule 5 draft by the Astros, Schuster was shipped to the Padres before being picked up by the Royals. But with a stacked Kansas City pen, the 23-year-old never appered to have much of a chance of making the roster, let alone sticking on it for the full season.

Instead, according to a report from Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star, the move was designed to create a reason for designating out-of-options outfielder Carlos Peguero for assignment. That, in turn, started a ten-day waiting period for Peguero. The Royals apparently hope that other clubs' 40-man spots will be occupied by the time the clock runs, making it more likely that they will be able to slip him through waivers to the minors.



Minor Moves: Cunningham, Vizcaino, Moylan, Stutes

We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves right here:

  • The Diamondbacks signed Aaron Cunningham to a minor league deal earlier this week.  The 27-year-old outfielder posted a .628 OPS over 501 PA with the Indians, Padres and A's from 2008-12 and spent last season playing with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.  Cunningham was released by the Cubs two weeks ago after he signed a minor league contract with them in November. 
  • The Orioles released veteran right-hander Luis Vizcaino from their minor league camp, MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski reports.  Vizcaino last appeared in the majors in 2009 and didn't play any professional baseball from 2010-12 before posting a 1.40 ERA over 45 relief innings for Yucatan of the Mexican League in 2013.  The O's signed Vizcaino to a minor league deal in January.
  • The Astros have released Peter Moylan, the pitcher himself tweets. Last week, it was reported that Moylan had a UCL tear. He was to meet Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion this week. Moylan, 35, pitched 15 1/3 innings for the Dodgers last season. He has a career 2.80 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 276 innings, most of them with the Braves.
  • The Phillies have released reliever Michael Stutes, the club announced. Already outrighted off of the club's 40-man roster, Philadelphia has now parted with a once-promising arm at just 27 years of age. After a solid 2011 rookie year in which he threw 62 innings of 3.63 ERA ball, Stutes struggled with arm issues. Last year, he posted a 4.58 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 17 2/3 big league innings.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk and Charlie Wilmoth also contributed to this post.



Minor Moves: Oeltjen, Laffey, Cassevah, Wolf, Hill

We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves here:

  • Outfielder Trent Oeltjen tweets (via Rotoworld) that he has signed with the Diamondbacks. Oeltjen, 31, has not appeared in the big leagues since 2011 with the Dodgers, but he has hit well at the Triple-A level, putting up a line of .255/.345/.483 for the Angels' Triple-A Salt Lake affiliate last season.
  • The Orioles have released lefty Aaron Laffey, MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski tweets. Laffey pitched just 12 2/3 innings in the big leagues in 2013, spending most of it struggling at Triple-A, but he pitched 100 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays in 2012.
  • The Rockies have released pitcher Bobby Cassevah, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo tweets. Cassevah, who accumulated a 3.20 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 from 2010-2012 in the Angels bullpen, is currently rehabbing an injury.
  • Veteran lefty Randy Wolf has requested, and received, his release from the Mariners, MLB.com's Greg Johns tweets. Wolf was attempting a comeback after missing the entire 2013 season. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2012, when he pitched for the Brewers and Orioles. The Mariners told Wolf he had made the team, but he did not want to sign a 45-day advance consent release, Johns notes.
  • The Blue Jays have signed pitcher Shawn Hill from the York Revolution of the Atlantic League, MLive.com's Chris Iott tweets. Hill, 32, last appeared in the big leagues in 2012 with the Jays. He posted a 5.51 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 150 1/3 innings with the Tigers' Triple-A Toledo affiliate in 2013.
  • The Padres have acquired catcher Adam Moore from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations, tweets Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. The 29-year-old has seen bit action at the MLB level in each of the last five years. In his longest stint, a 2010 run with the Mariners, Moore managed only a .513 OPS in 218 plate appearances.

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.



NL Notes: Corbin, Guerrero, Young, Francisco, Matsuzaka, Fowler

MLBTR's own Charlie Wilmoth has just released a new book. Titled "Dry Land," the volume traces the Pirates and their fans through the club's historic losing streak and recent renaissance. Be sure to check out this post for more details and how you can order a copy. On to the links:

  • In two expected moves out of the NL West, Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks underwent Tommy John surgery today, MLB.com's Steve Gilbert tweets, while the Dodgers optioned Alex Guerrero to Triple-A, as MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets.
  • The Nationals have received trade interest from three or four clubs in starter Chris Young, who has an opt-out in his contract this coming Thursday, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The 33-year-old has had an impressive spring, but seems unlikely to crack the Nats' rotation. 
  • The Pirates have no interest in signing Juan Francisco if he clears waivers, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. We learned earlier today that the team had chosen to go with Travis Ishikawa over Andrew Lambo as its left-handed bat at first.
  • For the Mets, giving Daisuke Matsuzaka a $100K bonus is in large part a strategic effort to protect the club in the event that Jon Niese is unable to make his first start, explains ESPN.com's Adam Rubin. This way, the team can rely on both Matsuzaka and Jenrry Mejia if the need arises, or can simply pick between them for the fifth starter slot.
  • The Rockies are better off without center fielder Dexter Fowler because he "isn't tough enough," opines Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. (Fowler, of course was dealt to the Astros. As presented in my offseason review for the club, I have a different take on the subject of Fowler's departure from Colorado.) Though Kiszla initially credited Fowler with having "the determination to grind through pain" in mid-August of last year, he apparently adjusted his analysis after the 28-year-old missed twenty games late in the season with ongoing hand and wrist injuries. Manager Walt Weiss effectively pushed Fowler out of town, says Kiszla, because the latter "was not the kind of player Weiss needs on a team that must grind out victories in the National League West." Apparently referring obliquely to Fowler, Weiss emphasized the need for players "to compete and grind and play with grit," while assistant GM Bill Geivett explained that the manager "has got to feel comfortable in the weapons he has to attack the other team." 



Royals Claim Rule 5 Pick Patrick Schuster

The Royals have claimed Rule 5 choice Patrick Schuster off of waivers from the Padres, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reports (Twitter links). The 23-year-old southpaw was the first choice in this year's Rule 5 draft.

Kansas City will now have the same rights as did San Diego, meaning the club will need to keep him on its active roster all year in order to keep him going forward. Otherwise, he would once again hit the waiver wire and ultimately (if he clears waivers) be offered back to the Diamondbacks, his original team.

As Dierkes notes, the Royals had seemed ready to give its last pen slot to fellow lefty Francisley Bueno. Instead, perhaps, the club will see if Schuster is able to contribute enough to occupy a valuable roster slot. Of course, Kansas City would need to pass the out-of-options Bueno through waivers to stash him in the minors.



Padres Place Rule 5 Pick Patrick Schuster On Waivers

The Padres have informed Rule 5 selection Patrick Schuster that he will not make the Opening Day roster, reports Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter). This means that Schuster -- whose rights were acquired from the Astros via trade -- will be offered back to his former club, the Diamondbacks, if he clears waivers.

The 23-year-old lefty was the first overall choice in this year's Rule 5 draft. He has thrown eight spring innings for San Diego, putting up a 2.25 ERA and striking out three against one walk. Nevertheless, he has yet to see any regular-season action above the High-A level. Schuster posted strong numbers there last year with the Diamondbacks organization, throwing to a 1.83 ERA in 44 1/3 frames while striking out 9.1 per nine and walking 3.7 per nine.

With both Schuster and fellow southpaw Tony Sipp getting notice that they would not break camp, it appears that San Diego could start out with just one lefty in its bullpen.



Pirates, D'Backs Have Discussed Didi Gregorius

The Pirates have had trade talks with the Diamondbacks about shortstop Didi Gregorius, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Last Wednesday, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reported the D'Backs were making Gregorius available in trade, after Chris Owings won the team's starting shortstop job.  Rubin wrote that the Diamondbacks seek an MLB-ready starting pitcher to offset the loss of Patrick Corbin.

Rubin implied potential interest from the Mets, and now we have another possible suitor in the Pirates.  The Pirates enter the season with Jordy Mercer atop their shortstop depth chart, with top prospect Alen Hanson likely ticketed to return to Double-A.  Though he's not Major League ready, the Pirates have a pitching prospect who's fairly close in Nick Kingham.  Easier to acquire would be Jeff Locke, who will begin the season back at Triple-A, with, as he tells Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "a bit of a chip on my shoulder."

Aside from the Mets and Pirates, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports lists the Reds, Tigers, and Yankees as teams the D'Backs "have thought of as possibilities" for Gregorius.









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