Ben Francisco Rumors

Minor Moves: Teahen, Pridie, Kelly, Worth, Francisco

Former Royals infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen has retired from baseball, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Now 33 years old, Teahen last appeared in the Majors in 2011 and most recently split the 2013 season between the D-Backs’ minor league system and indy ball. Teahen had an outstanding 2006 season in which he batted .290/.357/.517 with 18 homers and 10 steals, but he was never able to repeat that success. Teahen eventually found himself the recipient of a three-year, $14MM extension with the White Sox that provided the bulk of his $21MM career earnings. All told, he will finish his career as a .264/.327/.409 hitter in 3171 plate appearances.

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…

  • Outfielder Jason Pridie and right-hander Merrill Kelly have signed with the SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. The 31-year-old Pridie has received cups of coffee in each of the past three seasons but accrued most of his big league service time with the 2011 Mets when he batted .231/.309/.370 in 236 PA. He’s perhaps best known for being part of the trade that sent Delmon Young to Minnesota and Matt Garza to Tampa. Kelly, on the other hand, has spent his entire career with the Rays organization. He’s posted a career 3.40 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 527 1/3 innings and reached Triple-A for the first time in 2014.
  • Former Tigers infielder Danny Worth has signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks, reports MLive.com’s Chris Iott. Worth received offers from multiple clubs, including one who had interest in him as a pitcher, Iott adds (Worth pitched twice in 2014 and actually throws a decent knuckleball). The 29-year-old Worth is a career .230/.293/.295 hitter with Detroit and a .242/.320/.350 hitter at the Triple-A level.
  • Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports (via Twitter) that the D-Backs have also signed former big league outfielder Ben Francisco to a minor league deal. Francisco, now 33 years of age, didn’t see big league action in 2014 but has a career .253/.323/.418 batting line in parts of seven big league seasons.
  • Eddy also tweets that the Red Sox have signed right-hander Nestor Molina and catcher Luke Montz to minor league deals. Molina struggled in parts of three seasons in the White Sox’ minor league system after being acquired in the Sergio Santos trade. Montz is a 31-year-old veteran with 56 big league plate appearances and a .232/.318/.456 batting line in parts of four seasons at the Triple-A level.
  • The Royals have signed infielder Gabriel Noriega, tweets Eddy. Noriega is described by Eddy as a slick fielder who made a couple of Royals Top 30 prospects lists. The 27-year-old hit .275/.299/.360 between Double-A and Triple-A in the Mariners organization last year.
  • The Marlins have acquired righty Craig Stem from the Dodgers to complete the Kyle Jensen trade, Miami announced. Stem reached Double-A last year at age 24, but struggled mightily upon his promotion. The Dodgers are now expected to designate Jensen for assignment to clear room for the signing of Brandon McCarthy, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.
  • First baseman Clint Robinson has joined the Nationals on a minor league pact, Ryan Walton reported on Twitter (and Robinson himself confirmed through a tweet). The 29-year-old has scant MLB experience, but torched the PCL with a .312/.401/.534 line over 499 plate appearances last year.
  • Dan Johnson is set to reach a minor league deal with the Astros, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. Johnson is 35 and has not reached triple-digit MLB plate appearances since 2010 (and 2007 before that), but owns a lifetime .281/.401/.509 slash at the Triple-A level.
  • The White Sox have added lefty Zach Phillips on a minor league deal, Eddy reports on Twitter. As Eddy notes, the South Siders have been loading up on LOOGY depth this offseason. The 28-year-old has seen sporadic big league action, with 15 2/3 innings to his credit over 2011-13, and spent some time last year playing in Japan.
  • The Indians have added catcher Brett Hayes and corner outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands on minor league deals, Eddy tweets. Hayes has appeared in six-straight big league seasons, though he’s never seen more than 144 plate appearances in a season. Sands, 27, has mostly played at the Triple-A level in recent seasons, but did get 227 plate appearances in 2011 (.253/.338/.389).
  • After being non-tendered, Jose Campos (Yankees) and Gus Schlosser (Braves) have returned to their prior organizations, Eddy reports on Twitter. Both righties have moved into swingman roles in their organizations, though Campos has yet even to reach High-A while Schlosser saw 15 games in the big leagues last year.

Padres Sign Ben Francisco

The Padres have signed Ben Francisco to a minor league deal, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com (on Twitter).  The outfielder was designated for assignment by the Yankees in late May and released in early June.  Francisco will report to Triple-A Tuscon and provide San Diego with some additional minor league depth.

The 31-year-old hit just .114/.220/.182 in 50 plate appearances this season with the Bombers but has a .253/.323/.418 career line across seven seasons.  Francisco spent the first six seasons of his career with the Indians and Phillies but has had stints with four big league clubs from 2012-13.


Yankees Release Ben Francisco

Outfielder Ben Francisco, designated for assignment by the Yankees last Wednesday, has been released, tweeted Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com last night.  Francisco, 31, struggled in 50 plate appearances for the Yankees this year.

A right-handed hitter, Francisco has a .253/.323/.418 career line spanning seven seasons.  He was drafted in the fifth round in 2002 by the Indians.  That was two picks after Clete Thomas, who recently had his contract purchased by the Twins.  Francisco signed with the Yankees in March after being released by Cleveland.



Yankees Designate Ben Francisco For Assignment

The Yankees have designated Ben Francisco for assignment, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). The move will create room for the newly-acquired David Huff on the roster.

Francisco, 31, has hit just .114/.220/.182 in 50 plate appearances this season. The Bombers signed the outfielder to a minor league deal in March after he was cut loose by the Indians. Francisco played for the Blue Jays, Astros, and Rays in 2012 and posted a combined .240/.285/.385 batting line with four home runs in 207 total plate appearances.


AL East Notes: Yankees, Red Sox, Ellsbury

The Yankees will now be partners in a new Major League Soccer franchise, as announced on MLB.com. "We look forward to the opportunity to work with Manchester City to create something very special for the soccer fans of New York — and to bringing another terrific team to this city for all sports fans to enjoy," stated Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner.  This isn't the Bombers' first foray into the world of soccer as they had a marketing partnership with Manchester United during their "YankeeNets" phase.  Here's a look at tonight's other news from the American League East..

  • Ben Francisco's days with the Yankees may be coming to an end, opines Mike Axisa of the River Avenue Blues blog. The 31-year-old outfielder has struggled to provide an impact in New York, hitting for just a .114/220/.182 line in 50 plate appearances so far this season.  
  • Jacoby Ellsbury has not played as the Red Sox would have hoped in his contract year, notes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Lauber compares Ellsbury to Red Sox teammates Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, as both performed below expectations during their final seasons before hitting free agency.  Ellsbury is off to a .241/.303/.335 start in a league-leading 208 PA.  
  • Lauber also discusses how the two-year, $10MM deal Jonny Gomes signed with the Red Sox has affected the outfielder.  While Gomes has gotten off to a slow start in 2013, Lauber argues that the security of a multiyear deal has helped the 32-year-old focus on providing leadership to younger Red Sox players.  

Yankees Notes: Ben Francisco, Chipper Jones

The Yankees acknowledged yesterday that they're interested in Derrek Lee, Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen. However, none of those veteran free agents seem particularly likely to sign with the Bronx Bombers at this point. Here's the latest from New York, starting with a player the Yankees actually did sign…

  • GM Brian Cashman said the Yankees signed Ben Francisco to a minor league deal in the hopes that he can compete for an extra outfield role and a spot on the Yankees' bench, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports (via Sulia). “I think he’s definitely worthy for competition, so that’s what we’re going to take a look at," Cashman said.
  • Longtime owner George Steinbrenner would have loved the Yankees' unexpected and public pursuit of Jones, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. As farfetched as the idea of signing Jones was, some long shots have worked out for Cashman over the years.

Yankees Sign Ben Francisco

The Yankees have signed outfielder Ben Francisco, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter). The Indians released the John Boggs client earlier today, making him a free agent.

Francisco is on his way to Florida, where he'll join the Yankees and compete for an outfield job, Sherman reports. The 31-year-old played for the Blue Jays, Astros and Rays in 2012. He began the year in Toronto and joined the Astros in a July trade before being dealt to Tampa Bay in August. In total he posted a .240/.285/.385 batting line with four home runs in 207 total plate appearances, playing both corner outfield positions. Francisco, a right-handed hitter, has a career line of .252/.329/.414 against left-handed pitching.

The Mets had some preliminary interest in Francisco, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported today (Twitter link).


Indians Release Ben Francisco

The Indians announced that they released outfielder Ben Francisco. The team selected the contract of Rich Hill and placed right-hander Blake Wood on the 60-day disabled list in related moves.

The Indians signed Francisco to a minor league deal with an invitation to MLB Spring Training in January. Francisco played for the Blue Jays, Astros and Rays in 2012. The 31-year-old began the year in Toronto and joined the Astros in a July trade before being dealt to Tampa Bay in August. He posted a .240/.285/.385 batting line with four home runs in 207 total plate appearances, playing both corner outfield positions. The John Boggs & Associates client has a career line of .252/.329/.414 against left-handed pitching.


Indians Sign Ben Francisco

The Indians announced that they signed outfielder Ben Francisco to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training. The team also confirmed the signing of utility player Ryan Raburn.

Francisco played for the Blue Jays, Astros and Rays in 2012. The 31-year-old began the year in Toronto and joined the Astros in a July trade before being dealt to Tampa Bay in August. He posted a .240/.285/.385 batting line with four home runs in 207 total plate appearances, playing both corner outfield positions.

The Yankees and Mets were among the other teams interested in the John Boggs & Associates client. Francisco, a right-handed hitter, has a career line of .252/.329/.414 against left-handed pitching. 


New York Notes: Hairston, Pavano, Francisco

Mark Hale of the New York Post has a number of updates related to New York’s two teams. Here’s the latest (all links go to Twitter)…

  • The Mets remain interested in Scott Hairston, Hale reports. GM Sandy Alderson has checked in on a number of outfielders, including Jason Kubel and Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks.
  • Agent Dave Pepe, who represents free agent right-hander Carl Pavano, said there’s some mutual interest between the Mets and his client. "We clearly have an interest and I think they do too,” Pepe told Hale. “We’ll see where it goes.” The agent added that Pavano’s workouts are going well and that he’s drawing interest from multiple teams.
  • The agent for Scott Podsednik said the Mets haven’t shown any interest in the free agent outfielder, Hale reports.
  • Agent John Boggs said the Yankees and Mets are among five teams to express interest in free agent outfielder Ben Francisco. Playing time will figure into Francisco’s decision, according to Boggs. The right-handed hitting Francisco has a career line of .252/.329/.414 against left-handed pitching.
  • The Yankees don’t have interest in Jim Thome, Hale reports.