Blake Wood Rumors

Minor Moves: Butler, Robinson, Solano, Marcum, Lincoln

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

  • The Cardinals have outrighted right-hander Keith Butler off the team’s 40-man roster, according to the MLB.com transactions page. St. Louis has also released center fielder Shane Robinson. The 25-year-old Butler has yet to establish himself in the bigs, but has been quite good in the upper minors. Robinson, 30, has seen his role reduced and was no longer a valuable piece for a Cardinals club that just picked up Jason Heyward.
  • The Nationals have released catcher Jhonatan Solano, also per MLB.com. Solano, the older brother of Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano, has seen minimal big league time over the past two years and did not have a clear role in the organization moving forward.
  • The Indians announced that they’ve re-signed right-handers Shaun Marcum and Dustin Molleken to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. Marcum, 33 next month, was of course a fixture in the Blue Jays and Brewers rotations from 2007-12, though he dealt with his share of injuries in that time. Still, he posted a 3.67 ERA in 830 1/3 innings in that span before thoracic outlet syndrome in 2013 required surgery and has kept him on the shelf since. He did make it back to a minor league mound with Cleveland last season, posting a 2.35 ERA in 15 1/3 Triple-A innings in August.
  • Molleken, 30, made 54 relief appearances for Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate last season and posted big strikeout numbers but also struggled with his command, to an extent. In 74 1/3 innings, he pitched to a 4.84 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.
  • The Pirates have signed a familiar name to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training in the form of Brad Lincoln, per the club’s transactions page. Lincoln was selected fourth overall by the Bucs in 2006. He struggled through the early portion of his career but got off to a good start as a reliever in 2012 and was flipped to the Blue Jays for the man who was drafted 10 picks after him in ’06 — Travis Snider. Toronto would eventually deal Lincoln to the Phillies for Erik Kratz and Rob Rasmussen. Lincoln struggled with Philly but had success in Pittsburgh and Toronto, posting a 3.76 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 119 2/3 innings from 2012-13.
  • The Pirates also announced a host of other signings, including righties Collin Balester, Blake Wood, and Deolis Guerra, lefty Jeremy Bleich, and shortstop Gustavo Nunez.
  • The Twins have re-signed infielder/outfielder Eric Farris to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, reports 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson (on Twitter). The 28-year-old hit .280/.316/.356 with Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate last season, playing primarily center field.

Players Who Have Elected Minor League Free Agency

A total of 43 players have elected to become minor league free agents, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy in his latest round-up of minor league transactions.  MLBTR has already reported on some of these moves over the last few days, and here is the rest of the list, with players grouped by their most recent team…


Outrighted: Ryan Wheeler, Blake Wood, Chris Dwyer

Here are the day’s minor moves …

  • The Angels have outrighted corner infielder Ryan Wheeler, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Wheeler, 26, was designated on Monday. He has a career .310/.354/.471 slash over three seasons at the Triple-A level, but has yet to find success in limited MLB action.
  • Royals pitchers Blake Wood and Chris Dwyer have cleared outright waivers and accepted their assignments to Triple-A, the club announced on Twitter. The 29-year-old Wood has seen action in parts of four MLB seasons, including 119 1/3 relief innings with the Royals over 2010-11, while Dwyer has enjoyed only a brief cup of coffee last year with K.C.


Minor Moves: Chris Dwyer, Blake Wood, Chris Dickerson

We’ll keep track of today’s outright assignments here..

  • The Royals have placed both Chris Dwyer and Blake Wood on outright waivers, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Both hurlers were designated recently to clear space for September call-ups. Once a top prospect, Dwyer has struggled to a 5.59 ERA working mostly in relief at Triple-A this year, while Wood has yet to re-establish himself since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012.
  • The Indians announced that they have outrighted outfielder Chris Dickerson to Triple-A Columbus.  Cleveland acquired Dickerson from the Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later back in July.  GM Chris Antonetti traded for Dickerson because he valued his ability to play all three outfield positions and ability to hit against right-handed pitching.

Quick Hits: Wood, Gattis, Cubs, ChiSox

The Commissioner’s Office and the MLBPA have been working on “clarification” of the rule preventing collisions at home plate, sources tell ESPN’s Jayson Stark.  The two sides hope any uncertainty concerning how catchers can block the plate can be cleared up before any pennant races or postseason games are impacted, though rulings in several games earlier this year have already left many managers and players confused.

Here’s some more from around baseball as we kick off the week…

  • The Royals will place right-hander Blake Wood on waivers tomorrow, MLBTR’s Zach Links reports (Twitter link).  Wood was designated for assignment last week.
  • Evan Gattis has been a big part of the Braves‘ lineup, but the catcher’s defensive limitations could see the club trade him to an AL team, Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes (AJC subscription required).  Gattis could be better served by a regular DH role, while the Braves could trade him for a long-term outfield solution given that Justin Upton and Jason Heyward are both only signed through 2015.  Gattis played some left field himself in 2013, though he was a defensive liability there as well.
  • It doesn’t seem likely that the 2015 Cubs rotation will feature both Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood, ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers writes.  The Cubs may be stuck with Jackson due to his contract, though Wood is only on a one-year, $3.9MM deal (with two years of arbitration eligibility left).  Wood has a 5.15 ERA in 162 2/3 IP this season and could be a non-tender candidate, though he still has some value as an innings-eater.
  • The White Sox have some holes to fill in the rotation, bullpen and lineup, yet Grantland’s Jonah Keri sees them as a possible sleeper team for 2015.  The Sox have lots of payroll space to address those issues and build around their core of Jose Abreu, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Adam Eaton.
  • A veteran player suggests to ESPN’s Buster Olney (Insider subscription required) that players who fail two PED tests should be limited to one-year contracts for the remainder of their career.  This would be a deterrent against players with one suspension on their record potentially using PEDs again in the hopes of scoring a big multiyear deal.  As the veteran put it, “If I was someone who had been suspended before, why wouldn’t I use again?  If you’ve robbed a bank before and you see that you could again and still walk away with millions, why wouldn’t you?
  • Also from Olney, he feels the Rockies have “an easy decision” to decline Brett Anderson‘s $12MM option for 2015, as the team can’t afford to commit that much payroll space to a pitcher with Anderson’s injury history.  This would likely end Anderson’s tenure in Colorado, as Olney notes he wouldn’t accept a cheaper one-year deal from the Rockies when he could rebuild his value elsewhere in a more pitcher-friendly ballpark.
  • Several key members of the Giants and Tigers hail from Venezuela, and FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi looks at how both teams approach scouting and development in the country.

Royals Designate Chris Dwyer, Blake Wood

The Royals have designated left-hander Chris Dwyer and righty Blake Wood for assignment, the team announced.  The moves create 40-man roster spots for outfielder Carlos Peguero and lefty Brandon Finnegan, whose contracts were purchased today.

Dwyer, a fourth-rounder in the 2009 draft, showed up on a few top-100 prospect rankings prior to the 2011 but he has struggled since, particularly due to control issues.  This season saw him pitch primarily out of the bullpen at Triple-A Omaha, and he has a 5.59 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 over 66 innings.  Dwyer’s only Major League experience came in the form of three scoreless innings with the Royals last September.

Wood has now been designated for assignment by two different organizations this year, as he was previously DFA’ed by the Indians in May, which led him to be claimed off waivers by Kansas City.  Wood struggled at the upper levels of the Royals’ farm system (posting a 6.84 ERA over 25 combined innings at Double- and Triple-A) and he also had a 7.11 ERA in 6 1/3 relief innings with the Tribe this season.  It appears as though Wood is still trying to find his way back after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012.

Dwyer and Wood join Bruce Chen as Royals currently in “DFA Limbo,” according to the MLB Trade Rumors DFA Tracker., along with Mike Carp (Rangers), Rich Hill (Yankees), Chris McGuiness (Pirates) and Sergio Santos (Blue Jays).


Royals Claim Blake Wood

The Royals have claimed right-hander Blake Wood off waivers from the Indians, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link).  Wood was designated for assignment by the Tribe last week.

Wood was originally drafted by Kansas City in the third round of the 2006 draft and he posted a 4.30 ERA and 1.72 K/BB rate in 119 1/3 relief innings with the team in 2010-11.  He missed all of 2012 recovering from Tommy John surgery and was waived by K.C. following the season.  Wood struggled with Cleveland this season, posting a 7.11 ERA and issuing an equal number of walks (seven) as strikeouts over 6 1/3 IP of work.

With Wood claimed, only Jeremy Horst (Phillies), Vin Mazzaro (Pirates) and Wade LeBlanc (Angels) remain in DFA Limbo according to the MLB Trade Rumors DFA Tracker.


Indians Designate Blake Wood For Assignment

The Indians have designated righty Blake Wood for assignment, the club announced via press release. Though Wood had previously been optioned to Triple-A, his 40-man spot was needed for the club’s selection of the contract of catcher George Kottaras.

Wood, 28, had tossed 6 1/3 innings for Cleveland this year, allowing five earned runs and striking out seven while surrendering seven free passes. Over eight Triple-A frames, he had allowed just one earned and struck out seven, though he had also issued a troubling 11 walks. Wood was a mainstay in the Royals pen from 2010-11, but missed the 2012 campaign due to Tommy John surgery and has seen mostly spot time in the bigs since joining the Indians organization before the 2013 season.


Indians Avoid Arbitration With Blake Wood

The Indians have avoided arbitration with Blake Wood, signing the right-hander to a one-year, $560K contract, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Wood was arbitration-eligible for the first time.

Wood was claimed off waivers from the Royals earlier this month.  The 27-year-old posted a 4.30 ERA, a 1.72 K/BB ratio and a 7.0 K/9 rate in 106 relief appearances for Kansas City in 2010-11, and he underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2012.  Wood's new $560K contract was slightly less than the $600K that MLBTR's Matt Swartz projected he would receive through the arb process.

With Wood's deal out of the way, the Tribe still has nine other arb-eligible players to settle contracts with for the 2013 season.  You can follow all the offseason arbitration dealings for the Indians and every team via MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker.


Indians Claim Blake Wood

The Indians claimed right-hander Blake Wood off of waivers from the Royals, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). Wood hasn't pitched since undergoing Tommy John surgery this past May.

Wood contribued out of the Royals' bullpen in 2010-11, posting a 4.30 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 119 1/3 total innings. The 27-year-old posted improved numbers in 2011, his second full MLB season. He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time this coming offseason, when he projects to obtain a raise to $600K or so.