Wilson, 32, slashed just .189/.255/.250 over 147 plate appearances last season, splitting his time between the Rangers and Rays. Though he’s seen action in parts of seven MLB campaigns, he has not quite reached 600 plate appearances in the majors. Wilson’s calling card is his glove; he continued to draw strong framing ratings last year.
Teams are continuing to prune their 40-man rosters as decisions arise, and there were a number of outrights over the last day or two. We’ll cover them all here:
- The Dodgers outrighted both Justin Ruggiano and Chris Heisey, with both outfielders electing free agency after clearing waivers, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). Ruggiano and Heisey were both added very late in the season — in the latter’s case, re-acquired — and saw limited action overall. It’s worth noting, though, that Ruggiano turned things on after he was demoted early on by the Mariners, raking at Triple-A and even slashing a cool .291/.350/.618 in his sixty plate appearances in Los Angeles. The 33-year-old will be an interesting bench target for teams looking to add a threat against southpaws.
- Catcher Bobby Wilson refused an assignment with the Rangers after clearing outright waivers, as executive VP of communications John Blake announced on Twitter. The 32-year-old spent time with both the Rays and Rangers last year, continuing to serve as a fill-in backstop who does not contribute much at the plate.
- Likewise, outfielder Juan Perez is headed for free agency after he was outrighted by the Giants, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on Twitter. Perez, 28, has received 246 total plate appearances over the last three years in San Francisco, compiling a meager .224/.267/.316 batting line. He’s spent most of his time in recent years at the Triple-A level.
- Lefty Jeff Beliveau and infielder Jake Elmore have elected free agency after losing their 40-man spots with the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports on Twitter. Beliveau impressed in 2014, striking out 28 batters and allowing just seven earned runs in 24 frames, but missed most of 2015 after undergoing shoulder surgery. The 28-year-old Elmore, meanwhile, managed to rack up a career-high 158 plate appearances last year in Tampa Bay, but he slashed just .206/.263/.284.
- Also hitting the open market is infielder Hernan Perez, who the Brewers outrighted, per a club announcement. He’ll qualify as a minor league free agent. The 24-year-old got a 90-game audition in Milwaukee after being claimed from the Tigers, but slashed .270/.281/.365 and apparently did not force his way into the organization’s plans.
- Finally, injured righties Casey Sadler and Brandon Cumpton have lost their 40-man spots with the Pirates, as Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. Neither has spent a significant amount of time in the big leagues, though Sadler has debuted and Cumpton did throw just over 100 frames over 2013-14. Both will factor as rotation and pen depth if and when they are ready to return from their respective arm surgeries.
Today’s minor MLB moves..
- The Rays announced (on Twitter) that catcher Bobby Wilson was claimed off waivers by the Rangers.
- The Pirates designated Deolis Guerra for assignment to clear roster a spot for Joakim Soria, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets. Guerra gave up two three-run homers to Brandon Phillips yesterday, which probably didn’t help his job security with the Bucs.
- The A’s announced that they have acquired lefty Felix Doubront from the Blue Jays for cash. Doubront was designated for assignment just days ago to make room for the acquisition of Troy Tulowitzki.
- Caleb Thielbar will be designated for assignment to make room for Kevin Jepsen on the Twins’ 40-man roster, according to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger (on Twitter).
- To make room for Jonathan Broxton, the Cardinals have designated Marcus Hatley for assignment, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com tweets.
- The Brewers announced that they have claimed Preston Guilmet off waivers from the Dodgers. The well-traveled Guilmet didn’t spend much time with the Dodgers, who selected him off waivers from the Rays on July 10. Guilmet tossed three innings for the club’s Triple-A affiliate prior being designated for assignment. He’s been very good at Triple-A this season, tallying a 1.95 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 32 1/3 innings between Buffalo, Durham and Oklahoma City.
- The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they have assigned catcher Dan Butler outright to Triple-A.
- The Indians announced (on Twitter) that they have acquired left-hander Jayson Aquino from the Pirates for cash considerations.
- The Pirates have outrighted Gorkys Hernandez to Triple-A, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets.
- The Cubs have designated Ben Rowen for assignment, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com tweets.
Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league…
- Brewers lefty Wei-Chung Wang cleared outright waivers and has been assigned to the club’s Class-A affiliate, the team announced. Milwaukee carried Wang all last year on its major league roster to keep him trough the Rule 5 process, but needed a 40-man spot when third baseman Matt Dominguez himself became a 40-man casualty of the Astros. Wang’s struggles at the High-A level (5.93 ERA in 60 2/3 innings) led the club to expose him to an outside claim.
- Rays backstop Bobby Wilson has accepted an assignment with the club after being outrighted, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The veteran defensive stalwart played in 24 games for the big league club earlier this year, and figures to be a good bet to return at some point. He has never produced much at the plate, and this year was no different: Wilson has slashed just .145/.203/.145 in 59 plate appearances.
- Right-hander J.C. Ramirez cleared outright waivers after being designated for assignment and has been outrighted to Triple-A Reno by the Diamondbacks, tweets Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic. Removed from the roster to create a spot for Allen Webster, the 26-year-old Ramirez had worked to a 4.11 ERA with an 11-to-4 K/BB ratio out of the Arizona bullpen this season. This marked his second stint with the big league club and his first since 2013. In 39 1/3 career innings at the Major League level, Ramirez has a 6.18 ERA. He’s worked to a 3.82 ERA in 125 Triple-A innings.
- The Diamondbacks also dealt righty Tim Crabbe to the White Sox for cash or a player to be named later, the club announced (via MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, on Twitter). Crabbe, 27, has spent all of the past three years in the upper minors and has recently converted to relief pitching exclusively. He owns a 5.50 ERA over 34 1/3 innings this year at Triple-A, with 8.7 K/9 but a rough 6.0 BB/9.
Here are today’s minor moves from around baseball, with the newest transactions at the top of the post…
- The Mets are calling up right-hander Akeel Morris from Single-A St. Lucie, the club announced, and the 22-year-old will be activated before tomorrow’s game against the Blue Jays. Morris was a 10th-round draft pick in 2010 and has never pitched above the high-A level — his only high-A experience comes in 31 relief innings for St. Lucie this season. That said, Morris has been a dominant bullpen arm, posting a 1.74 ERA, 12.8 K/9 and 3.14 K/BB rate this year and recording 12 saves. The 2015 Baseball America Prospect Handbook ranked Morris as the 19th-best prospect in the Mets’ system before the season, noting his plus changeup and a 92-94mph fastball.
- The Dodgers have outrighted infielder Darwin Barney to Triple-A, according to MLB.com’s official transactions page. Barney was designated for assignment on Friday to create 40-man roster space for the newly-acquired Ronald Torreyes. Barney has only appeared in two big league games in 2015, and he has struggled to a .214/.273/.259 slash line over 121 Triple-A plate appearances.
- Also from the MLB.com transactions listing, the Rays outrighted catcher Bobby Wilson to Triple-A Durham. Wilson has a .349 OPS over 59 PA with the Rays this season and was designated for assignment on Thursday.
- Now that Barney and Wilson have been outrighted, that leaves six players in “limbo,” as per the MLB Trade Rumors DFA Tracker. Trevor Cahill (Braves), Matt Dominguez (Astros), Erik Kratz (Royals), J.C. Ramirez (Diamondbacks), Tim Stauffer (Twins), and Rickie Weeks (Mariners) are all awaiting their next assignment.
Wilson, 32, has not done much damage on offense, slashing .145/.203/.145 in his 59 plate appearances on the year. He has rated solidly on defense, however. Wilson has seen scant MLB time since a run as the Angels’ backup over 2010-12. All told, he owns a .201/.263/.299 batting line in 510 career trips to the plate.
Here’s a roundup of some 40-man roster news as teams decide who will break camp for Opening Day….
- The Diamondbacks have announced (via Twitter) that Archie Bradley, Gerald Laird, and Jordan Pacheco have made the roster. Bradley, a top prospect, will join the rotation. Laird will serve as the backup catcher while Pacheco will probably take on a super utility role that includes some catching.
- The Astros have selected the contract of Roberto Hernandez, per the MLB transactions page. The right-handed sinker specialist has a 4.60 ERA in 1,264 innings. He split the 2014 season between the Phillies and Dodgers.
- The Dodgers have released right-handed pitcher Barry Enright, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Enright is a veteran of four major league seasons, although he struggled at the top level. He owns a 5.57 ERA, 4.60 K/9, and 3.15 BB/9 in 148 innings.
- The Nationals will select the contract of outfielder Clint Robinson, reports Chelsea Janes of the Washington Times. Robinson, 30, is a career minor leaguer with just 14 major league plate appearances. In 1,771 Triple-A plate appearances, he’s hit .303/.392/.494. Janes also notes that the club is almost certain to retain second baseman Dan Uggla. He’s one of just five healthy infielders with the club.
- The Blue Jays have opted to roster eight relievers for the start of the season with Liam Hendriks making the cut, writes Sean Farrell of MLB.com. The righty appeared for the Jays and Royals last season. He has a career 5.92 ERA in 188 innings. Second baseman Ryan Goins was optioned in a corresponding move.
- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that utility man Pedro Ciriaco and pitcher Cody Martin will probably make the team. Ciriaco is a career .270/.299/.372 hitter over 498 plate appearances split over five seasons. The pair were added at the expense of outfielder Todd Cunningham and pitcher Michael Foltynewicz.
- Also making the Atlanta roster is pitcher Eric Stults, writes Bowman. The soft-tossing lefty has a solid big league career with a 4.12 ERA, 5.69 K/9, and 2.53 BB/9. His best season came with the Padres in 2013 when he pitched 203 innings with a 3.93 ERA.
- The Yankees have selected the contract of infielder Gregorio Petit, reports Chad Jennings of LoHud. Petit, 30, is a career .278/.301/.391 hitter in 156 plate appearances.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels says Anthony Bass will travel with the club to Oakland, reports Stefan Stevenson (via Twitter). He’ll make the team barring a last minute acquisition. The 27-year-old reliever struggled with the Astros last season. In 27 innings, he allowed a 6.33 ERA with 2.33 K/9 and 2.33 BB/9.
- The Phillies have selected the contracts of right-handed reliever Jeanmar Gomez and left-handed reliever Cesar Jimenez, the team announced on Twitter. Gomez owns a career 4.41 ERA with 5.23 K/9 and 3.14 BB/9. He pitched well this spring in 12 and two-thirds innings, allowing a 0.71 ERA with nine strikeouts and one walk. Jimenez is familiar with the Phillies as he’s bounced between Philadelphia and Triple-A over the past two seasons. In 81 innings, he has a career 4.32 ERA with 6.09 K/9 and 3.09 BB/9.
Reliever Heath Bell, who just retired after being released by the Nationals, recently spoke to MLB Network Radio (audio link) about the difficulty in having a family while playing in the big leagues. The constant need to travel is a problem, Bell suggests — a ballplayer can have his family travel with him, but that prevents his kids from having long-lasting friendships as they get older. Bell describes watching his kids grow up through videos and photos. Now that his career is over, he’ll finally get to watch them grow up in person. Here are more notes from the East divisions.
- The Rays face several upcoming roster moves, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Due in part to injuries, they have a number of non-roster players (Everett Teaford, Jake Elmore, Bobby Wilson, and others) seemingly under consideration to break camp with the team. A player like Tim Beckham, who is on the 40-man roster and who has plenty of experience in the upper minors, is a good bet to make the team if only because they won’t have to use an additional spot to clear space for him. The Rays can open one spot on their full 40-man by moving Matt Moore to the 60-day DL, and they could also trade David DeJesus, which would clear another. Nonetheless, they’ll face some tough decisions as they prepare for the start of the season.
- The Braves are happy to have more veteran leadership in their clubhouse this year, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes. After losing Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Tim Hudson in recent seasons, the 2014 Braves were low on veterans who could step up, but they believe this year will be different now that they’ve added Jonny Gomes, Nick Markakis, Jason Grilli and A.J. Pierzynski. Jason Heyward and Justin Upton both were serious competitors, but hadn’t been around long enough to be leaders in a big-league clubhouse, Bowman says. “When you see Gomes, you make sure you do the right thing,” says Andrelton Simmons. “He’s scary, but he’s a nice guy.” It is, perhaps, debatable whether someone like Pierzynski, whose clubhouse presence came into question as recently as last season, will provide the sort of veteran leadership the Braves are looking for. But it’s interesting to see Braves players’ responses to what was apparently a deliberate strategy by their front office to acquire more veterans.
It may seem obvious, but a study has now shown that concussions diminish offensive performance, reports Nicholas Bakalar of the New York Times. The study appeared in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. A total of 66 position players were included in it. The group hit .249/.315/.393 in the two weeks prior to injury and .227/.287/.347. Some of the players involved never went on the disabled list. Based on the Times article, it’s unclear if more detailed analysis was performed. For example, missing time for any reason would hypothetically reduce performance some unknown amount. So it’s probably incorrect to attribute the entire decline to concussions alone.
Here’s more from around baseball:
- ESPN’s Buster Olney has “real concerns about the Red Sox,” reports Nik Beimler on WEEI.com. Olney identified problems with four of the five members of the rotation. Rick Porcello was the one guy who didn’t draw a negative comment. While Cole Hamels is often connected to the Sox, Olney thinks they should wait on any trades. “I think there will be a lot of opportunities to trade for pitching during the course of summer.” Even with inconsistent pitching, the club could still hit enough to reach the postseason.
- The Rays may need to play roster roulette while they wait for Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly, and Alex Colome to recover, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The rotation will affect the number of NRIs the club can add. Presently, Bobby Wilson, Jake Elmore, Brandon Gomes, and Everett Teaford are battling for one or two spots (pending a trade of David DeJesus). Teaford may have a temporary advantage since he can provide long relief or a spot start.
- Pirates pitcher Clayton Richard can opt out of his contract at the end of spring training, tweets Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Per Richard, he can opt out if not on the 40-man roster. He’s the latest in a long string of reclamation projects for the Pirates. His last successful season came in 2012 when he allowed a 3.99 ERA with 4.40 K/9 and 1.73 BB/9 in 218 innings.
- Based upon interviews of rival scouts and executives, nobody believes Diamondbacks third baseman Yasmany Tomas can remain in the infield, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Most cited his thick body type, although they also said he doesn’t have the hands for the position. If Tomas moves to the outfield, it will create a roster crunch for Arizona. The current plan is to share playing time in left field between David Peralta, Ender Inciarte, and Cody Ross. Of course, the club could option Tomas to the minors too.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- The Orioles have agreed to a minor league pact with righty Chaz Roe, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reports on Twitter. The 28-year-old reliever has only seen 24 1/3 innings at the big league level, but has posted strong numbers in the upper minors over the past two seasons, including attractive K/BB rates.
- The Rays have announced the signing of three players to minor league deals with Spring Training invites, via Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune (Twitter link). Catcher Bobby Wilson, outfielder Corey Brown, and utilityman Eugenio Velez will be joining the Tampa organization. Wilson has not seen much MLB time since serving as a backup with the Angels, and the same holds of Velez, who was a semi-regular with the Giants five years back. Brown, 29, spent most of last year at Triple-A in the Red Sox system.
- Likewise, the Blue Jays have added a trio of minor league contracts that include spring invites, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (via Twitter). Righty Wilton Lopez, outfielder Caleb Gindl, and corner infielder Jake Fox will take a shot at making the Toronto roster. Lopez, 31, was a pen mainstay for the Astros and then the Rockies before suffering through a rough 2014 in Colorado. Gindl, just 26, showed some promise in 2013 with the Brewers but struggled last year at Triple-A and in a brief big league stint. And the 32-year-old Fox has not reached the bigs since 2011, but launched 38 home runs in the upper minors last year with the Phillies.
- The Marlins have added outfielder Scott Sizemore on a minor league deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets (a deal that Chris Cotillo of SB Nation recently said was in the works). Sizemore, 29, has seen action in parts of four MLB seasons, and owns a useful .240/.327/.383 slash with 14 home runs over 614 career plate appearances.