Author Archives: Dan Mennella

A’s Designate Graham Godfrey For Assignment

The Athletics have designated pitcher Graham Godfrey for assignment, the club announced. The move was made to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for infielder Stephen Drew, who was acquired Monday from the Diamondbacks.

After a cup of coffee with Oakland last season, Godfrey, 28, appeared in five games (four starts) this year for the A's, posting a 6.43 ERA in 21 innings pitched. The right-hander was a 34th-round selection by the Blue Jays in 2006, and was traded to the Athletics in the deal that sent Marco Scutaro to Toronto after the 2007 season.

Blue Jays Acquire Yorvit Torrealba

5:34pm: The Blue Jays announced that they have signed Torrealba to a minor league deal. 

2:42pm:  Veteran catcher Yorvit Torrealba, placed on release waivers last week by the Texas Rangers, is close to joining the Toronto Blue Jays, a source tells Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link).

Torrealba, 34, posted a .236/.302/.342 batting line in 182 plate appearances for Texas before being designated for assignment earlier this month.

Cardinals Place Brian Fuentes On Restricted List

4:34pm: Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he was told not to expect Fuentes to rejoin the team this season, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter).

1:54pm: The Cardinals have placed left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes on the restricted list after he asked to be excused for personal reasons, according to Jenifer Langosch of (via Twitter).

Fuentes, 37, signed a minor league deal with the Redbirds exactly a month ago after being released by the Athletics. The 12-year veteran has struggled in 2012, posting a 7.20 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 30 innings with Oakland and St. Louis. He owns a 3.62 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 204 saves in 613 1/3 career innings.

Player on the restricted list do not count against their team's 25- or 40-man rosters. They also do not accrue Major League service time and are sometimes not paid.

Royals To Release Yuniesky Betancourt

The Royals have requested unconditional release waivers on infielder Yuniesky Betancourt, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).

The move comes nine days after the Royals designated Betancourt for assignment, meaning they were unable to trade him. If no team claims Betancourt while he's on release waivers, he'll receive his unconditional release.

Betancourt, 30, has posted a career line of .266/.290/.392 with 67 homers in 3,869 plate appearances. The eight-year veteran has played with the Mariners, Brewers and Royals (two stints).

Padres Designate Alex Hinshaw For Assignment

The Padres have designated left-handed pitcher Alex Hinshaw for assignment, the club announced via press release.

Hinshaw, 30 in October, posted a 4.50 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 28 innings of relief work for the Friars this season. The lefty logged a strong strikeout rate of 11.6 K/9 but struggled with his control (6.4 BB/9). Prior to pitching for San Diego this season, he last appeared in the big leagues with the Giants in 2009.

In a corresponding 40-man roster move, the Padres selected left-hander Tom Layne from Double-A San Antonio.

Mets Acquire Kelly Shoppach From Red Sox

The Mets have acquired catcher Kelly Shoppach from the Red Sox on a waiver claim in exchange for a player to be the named, New York announced (via Twitter).

Shoppach, 32, hit .250/.327/.471 in 158 plate appearances with Boston this season and is a career .227/.316/.422 hitter. He's notably tougher on lefties, though, hitting .270/.364/.530 in his career against southpaws, and has thus been deployed primarily in platoons. Shoppach earns $1.35MM in 2012 and will be a free agent at season's end.

Outrighted to Triple-A: Garrett Olson

We'll keep track of today's outright assignments in this post …

  • The Mets have outrighted left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson to Triple-A Buffalo, the team announced (via Twitter). Olson pitched in just one-third of an inning with the Mets this season before being designated for assignment on Saturday and subsequently clearing waivers.

International Signings: White Sox, Mariners, D’Backs

A couple of notable international free-agent deals to pass along …

  • The White Sox have agreed to terms with Dominican right-hander Victor Done, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. The 16-year-old Done has a good delivery and throws a hard fastball and sharp curveball, reports Badler, who adds that the South Siders have "significantly increased" their international presence over the past year.
  • The Mariners have signed 16-year-old Brazilian left-hander Luiz Gohara, whom many teams regarded as the best pitcher in this year's international signing class, according to Badler. Gohara's fastball already touches 94 mph, reports Badler, and he throws a good slider. (h/t to Andy Loretta of Baseball Latin America, who first passed along a link to a Portuguese-language report of Gohara's signing).
  • The Diamondbacks have signed Venezuelan outfielder Jose Ordaz, according to Badler. Ordaz, who turned 16 on Saturday, is a left-handed hitter with a "broad skill set" and a chance to stay in center field. 

West Links: Athletics, Dodgers, Profar

Here are a few odds and ends regarding three contenders out of MLB's West divisions …

  • The Athletics, only a half-game behind the Rays and Orioles for one of two wild card berths, are one of baseball's most surprising teams, prompting Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle to examine how they've done it. "It isn't blind one luck," said one Major League executive. "There is thought behind it."
  • Similarly, the Dodgers are a much deeper and balanced team after a string of unheralded but important moves, writes Christina Kahrl of ESPN's SweetSpot blog. The recent additions of Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton prove that GM Ned Colletti "never made the mistake of settling."
  • The Rangers may soon promote prized shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar to the Major Leagues, according to T.R. Sullivan of Profar, 19, is currently hitting .285/.363/.470 in 111 games with Double-A Frisco and would become the youngest position player in the Majors. Texas is currently playing with a three-man bench on its current road swing but will revert back to a four-man bench when it opens a homestand Monday. Recall that the Rangers "balked" at including Profar in any pre-deadline trades.

The Latest On David Wright, R.A. Dickey

After a couple of seasons marred by injuries and overall slip in production, Mets third baseman David Wright has certainly picked the right time to recapture the form that made him an elite player throughout the first few years of his career. With a potential foray into free agency looming after 2013, the right-handed hitter has been worth 5.8 WAR so far in 2012 according to fangraphs, positioning him nicely for extension talks that both he and the Mets have suggested they'd like to explore. Here's the latest on Wright and the Mets, from Mike Puma of the New York Post

Wright is "optimistic" that he and the Mets can reach agreement on a long-term extension, though he cautioned that winning is more important to him than money alone: “The money issue for me, I don’t think that will be the deciding factor,” Wright said. He's pleased with the organization's recent direction but characterized it as a "baby step" and said there's still a way to go before the team has fully turned the corner to becoming perennial playoff contenders.

Further, as has been the case this season, Wright will not engage in talks during the 2013 campaign, so it appears the window for the sides to reach an extension would be during this upcoming offseason. Wright promises he will be listening if and when the Mets come to discuss a new deal, though: “Coming up through the system, I have a tremendous amount of loyalty to this organization,” Wright said. “I can’t tell you what the future holds, but I’m hoping — optimistic — that something will get done.”

The Mets, of course, hold a $16MM option on Wright for 2013, which they are almost certain to exercise. It has been speculated that Wright's next contract will very likely break the nine-figure barrier.

New York also holds a 2013 option on 38-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, this one for a more modest $5MM. And, like Wright, Dickey wants to remain a Met but would prefer not to enter into in-season extension talks in 2013, according to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. Again, that would leave only the upcoming offseason for the sides to hammer out a possible extension.

People with knowledge of the situation said that the Mets and Dickey did briefly discuss a short-term extension earlier this season — a deal that would have at least kept the pitcher in New York through 2014 — although the team decided to wait and see how the season would play out. Dickey has since pitched like a legitimate Cy Young Award candidate, although the extension talks earlier this season never included salary talks on par with a pitcher of that caliber.

Despite Dickey's age, a rival NL executive told McCullough that the right-hander should be able to command at least a three-year contract after 2013:

With his kind of knuckleball, you’ve got to believe [he can last] three or four more years, at least. He’s got such great makeup. He’s going to keep himself in great condition. He’s going to keep that edge for quite a while.