Blake DeWitt Rumors
The Braves have released infielder Blake DeWitt, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Presumably, the club's signing of Tyler Greene earlier today left DeWitt without a roster spot.
Since signing a minor league deal with the Braves in the off-season, DeWitt has seen little playing time at any level due to a lower-back injury. He was brought up briefly early in the year, registering a double and sacrifice in four plate appearances for Atlanta. DeWitt's career line in the bigs -- most of it accrued with the Dodgers and Cubs -- stands at .257/.324/.381 over 1,247 plate appearances. The 27-year-old was a first-round choice of the Dodgers back in 2004.
A total of 28 players -- all with big league time under their belts -- recently elected free agency after finishing the year in Triple-A. Here is the full list, courtesy of the International League and Pacific Coast League transaction pages...
- Infielders: Brian Bixler (Astros), Sean Burroughs (Twins), Blake DeWitt (Cubs), Alberto Gonzalez (Rangers), Angel Sanchez (Astros), Nate Spears (Red Sox), Drew Sutton (Pirates)
- Outfielders: Travis Buck (Astros), Ryan Langerhans (Angels), Mitch Maier (Royals), Darnell McDonald (Yankees), Jai Miller (Orioles), Trent Oeltjen (Dodgers), Jason Pridie (Phillies), Mike Wilson (Mariners)
- Right-handed Pitchers: Roman Colon (Royals), Mike Ekstrom (Rockies), Jack Egbert (Mets), Ryota Igarashi (Yankees), Evan Meek (Pirates), Scott Richmond (Blue Jays), Kip Wells (Padres), Randy Wells (Cubs), Dan Wheeler (Indians)
- Left-handed Pitchers: Alex Hinshaw (Cubs), Cesar Jimenez (Mariners), Zach Kroenke (Diamondbacks), Garrett Olson (Mets)
The Padres placed Orlando Hudson on release waivers earlier today, and the veteran second baseman figures to draw some interest once he clears and becomes a free agent. Here's the latest from around the so-called Senior Circuit...
- Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com hears from a source that available infield options are "not great" and the Giants must remain patient with Charlie Culberson (Twitter link). Hudson could make sense for San Francisco, though that is just my speculation.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has spent the last few days with his staff looking over ways to improve his club, reports MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. "I can't tell you if there's going to a move or not," said the GM. "Maybe none, but we just kind of want to re-evaluate where we're at, and if there are any other options out there that might make us better and kind of spark the club a little bit."
- "The bullpen has been a frustration. There's no question about that," said Mets GM Sandy Alderson to reporters (including MLB.com's Spencer Fordin and Ethan Asofsky) after designating D.J. Carrasco for assignment last night. "At some point, you have to start making changes, and [this] was a step in that direction. It's not that we have outstanding candidates in the minor league system at this point. We've got some good candidates, but like a number of our other prospects, perhaps they're not ready to pitch at this level."
- Blake DeWitt accepted his outright assignment and will head to Triple-A tomorrow, reports Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago. The Cubs designated DeWitt for assignment then outrighted him off the 40-man roster, but he could have refused the assignment and elected free agency.
Today's minor moves..
- The Cardinals have signed Clay Zavada to a minor league contract and released left-hander R.J. Swindle, according to the Pacific Coast League's transactions page. Zavada, 27, was recently let go by the Reds.
- Cubs infielder Blake DeWitt cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa, tweets Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. The Cubs designated the 26-year-old for assignment ten days ago. Across parts of five big league seasons, DeWitt owns a .257/.324/.380 slash line.
- The Diamondbacks outrighted minor league outfielder David Winfree to remove him from the 40-man roster, tweets Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. Winfree, 26, has hit .285/.331/.476 in four Triple-A seasons.
The 26-year-old started five games at second base for the Cubs this season and hit just .138/.133/.172 in 30 plate appearances. In parts of five big league seasons, DeWitt owns a .257/.324/.380 slash line for the Cubs and Dodgers.
DeWitt could be of interest to teams looking for depth at second or third base. The former first-round pick also started 17 games for the Cubs in left field in 2011.
Earlier today MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reviewed the Marlins' busy offseason. Here are some more links from the NL East...
- Braves GM Frank Wren told reporters that reliever Arodys Vizcaino will miss the 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. The 21-year-old right-hander appeared in 17 games with the Braves last year and entered the season as the 40th-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America.
- The Phillies could start the season with prospect Freddy Galvis at second base, or explore the trade market for alternatives. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney hears from rival executives that there’s a short list of veteran middle infielders available in trades. Maicer Izturis, Alberto Callaspo, Chris Getz and Blake DeWitt appear to be options for teams seeking infield depth.
- Even though they're short on left-handed relief, the Mets are unlikely to sign C.J. Nitkowski, Hong-Chih Kuo or Dontrelle Willis, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports.
- Jayson Stark of ESPN.com hears the Nationals "still have a lot of motivation" to trade John Lannan and his $5MM salary (Twitter link).
Here's a wrap-up of news from around baseball as we head into Tuesday....
- A number of teams have asked the Padres about their bench players, but the Friars are "inclined" to keep them, reports Dan Hayes of the North County Times (Twitter link). Everth Cabrera is one of the players who has been asked about, and Hayes presumes Jesus Guzman is another.
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka's demotion to Triple-A has Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio pointing the finger at both Nishioka and at Twins management for signing the Japanese shortstop and letting J.J. Hardy leave.
- The Giants' rise to prominence has been fueled by their homegrown stars, writes Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle, and the team could be a couple of years away from having almost an entire roster comprised of players drafted and developed internally.
- Gregor Blanco is a virtual "stone-cold lock" to make the Giants' Opening Day roster, writes Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Signed to a minor league deal in November, Blanco has had a huge Spring Training and seemingly has a backup outfield spot sewn up.
- Cubs utilityman Blake DeWitt's name "has come up in recent trade rumors," according to Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago. DeWitt has played mostly second and third in his career, though he appeared in 23 games in left field for the Cubs last season. DeWitt could be a possibility for teams looing for infield depth like the Phillies, Athletics or Twins.
- With the Madoff trustee lawsuit now settled, Andrew Keh of the New York Times wonders if the Mets might now be able to explore keeping David Wright with the team long-term and notes that such a move would help sooth the team's disillusioned fanbase.
Cubs infielder Blake DeWitt accepted his outright assignment, tweets MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. Despite a $1.1MM contract, the Cubs removed DeWitt from the 40-man roster this month to open a spot for Adrian Cardenas. He has a chance to earn his way back on the roster with a good performance this spring.
DeWitt, the Cubs' main return in the July 2010 Ted Lilly/Ryan Theriot trade with the Dodgers, hit .265/.305/.413 in 243 plate appearances last year. A left-handed hitter, DeWitt played left field, second base, and third base in 2011.
FEBRUARY 18TH: DeWitt has apparently cleared waivers and has until Wednesday to decide whether to sign with the Cubs as a non-roster invitee, tweets Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
DeWitt, 26, posted a .265/.305/.413 line in 243 plate appearances in 2011, playing left field, second base and third base. The 2004 first rounder owns a .260/.329/.385 career line in four seasons with the Dodgers and Cubs.
DeWitt and the Cubs had agreed to a $1.1MM salary for 2012 earlier in the offseason, avoiding arbitration. The Cubs could attempt to deal DeWitt, but if they release him, I expect they'll be responsible for one sixth of his salary (approximately $183K). He was arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason.
Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here. Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing. Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints. Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:
- The Cardinals avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle McClellan, tweets B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest. Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter) that the one-year deal is worth $2.5MM with incentives based on starts. MLBTR projected a $2.7MM for the Steve Comte client.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that the Padres and Chase Headley agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.475MM, avoiding arbitration. Earlier this evening, the Padres announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Gregerson, Edinson Volquez, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable. They also avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Joe Thatcher on a deal worth $700K, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. CAA announced catcher John Baker has signed for $750K. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported that the Padres reached agreements with Hundley, Chase Headley, and Tim Stauffer. Hundley will earn $2MM in 2012, MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets the salaries for Volquez ($2.2375MM), Venable ($1.475MM), Gregerson ($1.55MM)
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Matt Harrison, tweets Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. The ACES client gets $2.95MM on a one-year deal. MLBTR had projected a $2.9MM salary.
- The Cubs announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($1.375MM), Blake DeWitt ($1.1MM), Ian Stewart ($2.237MM) Chris Volstad ($2.655MM), and Randy Wells ($2.705MM). MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweeted the salary figures.