Brandon Duckworth Rumors

Red Sox Sign Carlos Silva, Ciriaco, Spears

The Red Sox have announced the signings of minor league free agents Carlos SilvaBrandon Duckworth, Charlie Haeger, Will Inman, Doug Mathis, Tony Pena Jr., Chorye Spoone, Jesse Carlson, Rich Hill, Justin Thomas, Pedro Ciriaco, and Nate Spears.  The signings of Spoone, Thomas, Inman, Pena, Carlson, and Hill had been reported previously.

Silva, 32, was released by the Cubs in March of 2011 with $11.5MM remaining on his contract.  He signed with the Yankees in April, but was released in July amid shoulder problems after seven minor league starts.  The control artist was useful upon his initial change of scenery, posting a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts for the 2010 Cubs after the Milton Bradley trade.  As the Red Sox press release notes, "No active hurler with at least 750.0 innings pitched has fewer walks per nine innings than Silva (1.73)."  Silva will make a prorated $1MM while in the Majors, reports WEEI's Alex Speier.    

Ciriaco, 26, was non-tendered by the Pirates in December.  The middle infielder hit .231/.243/.300 in 289 plate appearances in his second career Triple-A stint.  Spears, a versatile 26-year-old, spent the last two years in Boston's minor league system.  In 2011 he hit .248/.355/.397 in 378 plate appearances, getting his first cup of coffee with the big club.    

Haeger, a 28-year-old knuckeballer, spent 2011 with the Mariners' Triple-A club and the Red Sox' Double-A team.  He posted a 5.44 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 5.9 BB/9, and 0.92 HR/9 in 97 2/3 innings.  Mathis, a 28-year-old righty, last appeared in the bigs in 2010 with the Rangers.  As a starter for the Giants' and Athletics' Triple-A affiliates, he put up a 4.27 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, and 0.63 HR/9 in 86 1/3 innings.  Duckworth, 35, last appeared in the Majors in 2008.  He spent 2011 with Boston's Triple-A affiliate, posting a 3.97 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, and 0.84 HR/9 in 118 innings.

Minor Deals: Gotay, Rays, Duckworth, Carlyle

A number of former big leaguers agreed to minor league deals today. Here are the details:

  • The Marlins signed Ruben Gotay, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). The 27-year-old hasn't appeared in the majors since 2008, but he led the Pacific Coast League in walks and posted an .845 OPS last year.
  • The Rays announced that they signed five players, including righty Cory Wade and lefty R.J. Swindle, to minor league deals. Wade, 27, spent last year in the minors, but he pitched for the Dodgers in 2008-09. He has a 3.18 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 99 big league innings. Swindle is another 27-year-old who spent the 2010 season in the minors. He posted a 2.45 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 55 innings for the Rays' Triple-A affiliate. Like Wade, Swindle could prove useful for the 2011 Rays, who are building a bullpen on a budget.
  • The Reds signed outfielder David Cook, according to Eddy (on Twitter). The 29-year-old has a .258/.369/.468 line in eight minor league seasons.
  • The Red Sox signed right-hander Brandon Duckworth, according to Eddy (on Twitter). The 34-year-old spent the 2010 season pitching for the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate, where he posted a 3.32 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9. He has a 5.28 ERA in parts of eight big league seasons.
  • The Yankees signed right-hander Buddy Carlyle to a minor league deal, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Carlyle, 32, spent the 2010 season in Japan after posting a 5.61 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in parts of six big league seasons.
  • The D'Backs signed David Winfree, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The 25-year-old has a .273/.319/.448 line in his eight-year minor league career.

Phillies Sign Brandon Duckworth

The Phillies have signed righty Brandon Duckworth to a minor league contract, reports Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The deal does not include an invitation to Spring Training, which means the soon to be 34-year-old would likely just provide depth at the Triple-A level.

Duckworth has spent the last three seasons in the Royals' organization, mostly in Triple-A. He last appeared in the majors in 2008, and owns a 5.28 ERA in 511 innings pitched. During the last three years in the minors, Duckworth has posted a 4.98 ERA. Philadelphia originally signed him as an undrafted free agent back in 1997, and he spent six years in their system before moving on to Houston as part of the Billy Wagner trade.