Author Archives: Zach Links

Minor MLB Transactions: 8/23/15

Today’s minor moves, with the newest transactions at the top of the post…


MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR the last seven days:

  • The MLB Trade Rumors podcast returned this week as host Jeff Todd spoke with Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald about the Red Sox’s surprising front office shakeup.  A new episode of the MLB Trade Rumors Podcast will be released every Thursday and can be accessed on iTunesSoundCloud, and Stitcher.
  • Recently, MLB Trade Rumors launched a brand new official Instagram account:@TradeRumorsMLB.  Each day, we’re sharing conversation-inspiring images about the hottest topics in baseball.  From there, we invite you to give us a like, weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section, and even share the link with a friend.  So, what are you waiting for?  If you don’t have an Instagram account, this is the perfect excuse to sign up and get one.  Follow us on Instagram today!
  • Steve Adams examined Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna as a trade candidate.  Trading Ozuna would be selling low on a player that could certainly blossom into a premium talent, but that same upside would probably be enough to net the Marlins an enticing return, Steve writes.
  • We’ve seen some notable transactions go down on August 23rd in years past.  This morning, we reflected on some of the bigger moves to happen on this date in recent years.
  • If you missed out on the weekly chat hosted by Steve, you can get caught up with the transcript here.
  • Earlier today we rounded up the best from the baseball blogosphere in our weekly feature, Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

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This Date In Transactions History: 8/23/15

The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone but there are still plenty of moves that go down in the month of August.  Historically, we’ve seen some significant transactions go down on the date of August 23rd.  Could we see some moves of note today on MLB Trade Rumors?  While we wait to find out, let’s take a look back at the last few years..

  • One year ago today, the Red Sox signed Cuban sensation Rusney Castillo.  The seven-year deal could be worth up to $72.5MM in total, assuming that the outfielder does not opt out before 2020.  The buzz around Castillo was building momentum all through the summer, but the size of the deal took many around baseball by surprise.  Owner John Henry has acknowledged that missing out on Jose Abreu may have played a role in Boston’s aggressive pursuit of Castillo, but Red Sox exec Allard Baird recently defended the signing and stressed that Boston did its homework on Castillo.  The 28-year-old hasn’t lived up to the expectations of the contract so far but he has looked strong since his latest recall from Triple-A.
  • On this date in 2013, the Nationals sent David DeJesus to the Rays for a player to be named later.  Of course, DeJesus’ stint in Washington amounted to little more than a layover.  The Nats acquired DeJesus in a waiver deal with the Cubs on August 19th and sent him packing just days later.  In total, DeJesus went 0-for-3 with a walk in his brief tenure with the Nationals.  DeJesus would enjoy a lengthier stint with the Rays before a late July deal this season sent him to the Angels.
  • On the same date as the DeJesus deal, the Nationals also shipped Kurt Suzuki to the A’s for minor leaguer Dakota Bacus.  Suzuki’s time in Washington was fairly short, though not as quick as DeJesus’ stint.  The catcher, who was sent to the Nationals in August of 2012, found himself back in Oakland just one year and 20 days later.  After helping the A’s reach the postseason, Suzuki had his $8.5MM option declined in the offseason.  The catcher would go on to sign a one-year deal with the Twins that winter and he later inked a multi-year extension in the midst of his first All-Star campaign.
  • On this date in 2009, the Red Sox signed Xander Bogaerts as an amateur free agent.  While he’s regarded as a possible up-and-coming star today, Bogaerts did not have a great deal of hype around him when he was signed as a 16-year-old.  The Red Sox inked the Aruban shortstop for a paltry $410K signing bonus.


Giants Interested In Drew Stubbs

The Giants have interest in Drew Stubbs, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (on Twitter).  If the Giants were to sign Stubbs, it would have to be on a minor league deal, he adds.

Stubbs cleared waivers Sunday morning after being designated for assignment earlier this month and released late last week.  The 30-year-old Stubbs enjoyed arguably the best season of his career with the Rockies in 2014, but he opened the season with a 6-for-51 slump and was ultimately optioned to Triple-A, where’s he spent much of the year. Stubbs hit well enough in the minors, but his typical power was nowhere to be seen, as he homered just twice at the Triple-A level. He returned to the Majors in early July and has hit well in limited duty, though his overall batting line of .216/.286/.431 leaves plenty to be desired – especially for someone playing half his games at Coors Field.

Stubbs and the Rockies agreed to a $5.825MM contract this winter to avoid arbitration, a raise he earned by hitting .289/.339/.482 in 424 plate appearances last season. Stubbs has always had pretty notable platoon splits, though, and nearly all of his damage both with the Rockies and the Reds came while playing in his hitter-friendly home environments. Defensively speaking, he can handle all three outfield spots with UZR and DRS pegging him as a roughly average center fielder over the life of his career.


Rockies Designate Rafael Betancourt For Assignment

Rockies skipper Walt Weiss says Rafael Betancourt has been designated for assignment, Thomas Harding of MLB.com tweets.  The Rockies manager also wondered aloud if Betancourt could be picked up by another team in the next ten days.

Weiss went on to call Betancourt a “warrior” and he said that his conversation with the veteran right-hander was tough (link).  Weiss said that he admired the way Betancourt came back from Tommy John surgery and gave him a tip of the cap for his Rockies career.

In 45 games for the Rockies this season, Betancourt has struggled, pitching to a 6.18 ERA, although his 9.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 rates are not that far off from his career numbers.  Betancourt was a fixture in the Rockies’ bullpen for many years, finishing out 136 games over parts of six seasons.  In his 12 total MLB seasons with the Indians and Colorado, Betancourt owns a 3.36 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9.

To follow the status of Betancourt and other players in DFA limbo, check out MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.


AL East Notes: Dombrowski, Red Sox, Orioles

Now that Dave Dombrowski is on board as the Red Sox‘s chief decision maker, his No. 1 objective will be to acquire an ace for the rotation, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) writes.  Fortunately for Dombrowski, this year’s market for top-end starters will be strong with options such as David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Zack Greinke, if he opts out of his deal with the Dodgers.  Failing that, Bowden wonders if Boston could parlay its young talent into landing an ace like Sonny Gray or Chris Sale.   Here’s more from the AL East..

  • There’s a team interested in working out a trade for recently DFA’d Orioles outfielder David Lough, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.  There should be a resolution on his situation today, he adds.  If no trade is worked out, Lough will likely be outrighted to Triple-A.  To keep track of Lough and everyone else in DFA limbo, check out MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.
  • Jonah Keri of Grantland reflected on Ben Cherington’s time in Boston and his missteps with the Red Sox.  Cherington whiffed on deals for Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval this offseason while largely neglecting the team’s pitching needs.  Later, despite his reluctance to give a long-term deal to a pitcher, Cherington locked up hurler Rick Porcello to a sizable contract.  Still, despite his mistakes, Keri gives Cherington a good deal of credit for building the team’s farm system.
  • Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com reflected on Dombrowski’s trade history and wondered if he’ll trade away the Red Sox‘s prospects to win in the here and now.

Reds Designate Donn Roach For Assignment

The Reds have designated Donn Roach for assignment, according to Robert Bondy of MLB.com (on Twitter).  The move will help create room for Collin Balester on the 40-man roster.

The Reds claimed Roach off waivers from the Cubs just a little over a month ago. The 25-year-old has made seven starts for Triple-A Louisville and hasn’t fared all that well.  In that small sample size, Roach has a 6.00 ERA with 3.9 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9.  Prior to that, Roach made 15 starts for the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate and posted a 2.33 ERA with 3.3 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.  Roach also has 17 big league appearances to his credit the last two years.

To keep track of Roach and everyone else in DFA limbo, check out MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Utley, Dodgers, Phillies

Here’s this week’s look at the baseball blogosphere..

Please send submissions to Zach at ZachBBWI@gmail.com.


Follow MLB Trade Rumors On Instagram

Recently, MLB Trade Rumors launched a brand new official Instagram account: @TradeRumorsMLB.  Each day, we’re sharing conversation-inspiring images about the hottest topics in baseball.  From there, we invite you to give us a like, weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section, and even share the link with a friend.

This week, we gave fans an early look at traded players in their new jerseys.  We offered a sneak preview of what outfielder Marlon Byrd would look like in a Giants uniform.  We also did a jersey swap on second baseman Chase Utley, who made his Dodgers debut Friday night following this week’s trade.  Another recent Instagram pic asked MLBTR fans whether the Marlins should trade Marcell Ozuna.

We also launched a brand new hashtag campaign.  If you have an awesomely obscure baseball jersey we invite you to post a pic of it on Instagram, use the hashtag #RandomMLBJersey, and at-mention us (@TradeRumorsMLB).  If you have a great jersey, we’ll re-gram your picture to our thousands of followers.

So, what are you waiting for?  If you don’t have an Instagram account, this is the perfect excuse to sign up and get one.  Follow us on Instagram today!


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Red Sox Release Justin Masterson

AUGUST 19: Boston has requested release waivers on Masterson, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe tweets. As Speier notes, that represents the first decision of Dave Dombrowski’s tenure with the club.

AUGUST 9: The Red Sox have designated Justin Masterson for assignment, Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal tweets.  Masterson was among several Red Sox players placed on revocable waivers last week, but there were no takers for the hurler.

Masterson is earning $9.5MM in 2015 after inking a one-year deal with Boston back in December.  The 30-year-old fell off significantly last year after a three-year run in which he averaged 205 frames and a 3.86 ERA (that included outstanding campaigns in 2011 and 2013 sandwiched around a dud in 2012).  In 2014, he scuffled to a 5.88 ERA in 128 2/3 innings last year, striking out 8.1 and walking 4.8 batters per nine while dealing with a variety of shoulder, knee, and back issues.

After injuries held him back, Masterson settled for a one-year deal rather than the long-term deal he probably envisioned for himself.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get back on track in 2015 to reassert his value.  Back in June, he admitted that he was open to a trade if it meant starting elsewhere.

I dont know if it’s in my nature to do that, to say, ‘Beat it guys, trade me or put me in [the rotation],’he said. “No, I don’t think that’s the time right now. Especially the way I see this team going and the way I believe in this team too.”

In nine starts and eight relief appearances this season, Masterson owns a 5.55 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9.  To keep track of Masterson and everyone else in DFA limbo, check out MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.