Brandon Claussen Rumors

International Links: Maya, Rodriguez, Minarik

A peck of links on the second day of the Venezuelan Summer League…

  • Cuban righthander Yuniesky Maya is about to be unblocked and become available to sign, according to his agent, tweets the Toronto Star's Morgan Campbell. In April El Nuevo Herald's Jorge Ebro wrote that interest was heating up for the hard-throwing starter, though he has almost entirely been connected thus far to a single team, the Red Sox. At 28, Maya is a bit older than the new crop of Cubans such as Aroldis Chapman and Juan Yasser Serrano, but Maya told Terreno de Pelota upon defecting last September that after two World Baseball Classics, numerous international tournaments and six Cuban National Series, he was ready to jump straight to the majors a la Orlando Hernandez.
  • The Tigers signed 17-year-old righthanded pitcher Jose Rodriguez last Thursday, according to the Venezuelan paper El Sol de Margarita. Rodriguez reportedly throws a strong slider, changeup, and a fastball that tops out at around 90, though that number could rise un poco once he packs a few more arepas onto his 6-foot, 154-pound frame. For now, he's headed to the aforementioned Venezuelan Summer League.
  • The Phillies have signed 16-year-old Czech pitcher Marek Minarik, reports Baseball de World. Minarik has most recently played for Lokomotiva Louny in the Czech Republic and reportedly received offers from four teams after participating in the recent MLB European Academy Tryout in Prague.

Nationals Sign Jerome Williams, Brandon Claussen

The AP is reporting that the Nats inked Jerome Williams and Brandon Claussen today for their rotation. Along with Tim Redding and John Patterson, they’ll give the Nationals some semblance of a rotation.

Williams, 25, lost the Cubs’ fourth starter job to Sean Marshall with a lousy spring in 2005.  He got a couple of starts in April but was sent to Triple A by month’s end.  The A’s claimed him off waivers in September but didn’t use him.  The righty has strong groundball tendencies and a 4.03 career ERA.

Claussen, a southpaw, turns 28 in May.  The Yanks traded him to the Reds for Aaron Boone back in ’03.  Claussen had a solid 2005, making 29 starts with a 4.21 ERA. He had arthroscopic shoulder surgery in August of ’06 and won’t be ready for the start of the ’07 season.