Brandon Snyder Rumors

Minor Moves: Joseph, Zagurski, Snyder, Navarro

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

  • The Yankees have outrighted infielder Corban Joseph, according to the International League transactions page. Joseph made his big-league debut in 2013, collecting seven plate appearances. He spent much of the season at Triple-A Scranton, where he hit .239/.329/.383 in 213 plate appearances.
  • The Indians have signed lefty reliever Mike Zagurski to a minor league deal, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets. Zagurski pitched in the Pirates, Yankees and Athletics organizations in 2013, posting a 3.04 ERA with a ridiculous 14.0 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 53 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. He did, however, get shelled in 6 1/3 big-league innings.
  • The Orioles signed infielder Sharlon Schoop and outfielder Ronald Bermudez to minor league contracts, according to a team release. Schoop last played in the minors in 2012, when he was in the Royals organization. He is the brother of Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop. Bermudez hit .261/.299/.329 in stints at Double-A and Triple-A in the Red Sox organization in 2013.
  • Infielder Brandon Snyder has re-signed what appears to be a minor league deal with the Red Sox, the infielder tweeted himself the other night. Snyder collected 52 plate appearances with the Sox in 2013, hitting .180/.212/.360.
  • The Rays announced yesterday that they have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Sam Runion. The 25-year-old Runion, a client of Dishman Sports Group, was the Royals' second-round pick in 2007. He has a career 3.41 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 at Double-A and reached Triple-A for the first time in 2013. Runion converted to a relief role full-time in 2010 and has enjoyed success since, yielding just eight homers and posting a 3.80 ERA in 170 1/3 frames.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed Yamaico Navarro to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training (Twitter link). The Wasserman Media Group client appeared in eight games for the Orioles last season and slashed .267/.354/.418 at Triple-A.
  • The Nationals inked righty Daniel Stange to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (Twitter link). The 27-year-old posted a 4.52 ERA in 65 2/3 Triple-A innings with the Angels and also made it into three big league games for the Halos in 2013.
  • The Dodgers announced that they've signed former No. 4 overall pick Daniel Moskos to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Now 27 years old, Moskos spent last season with the White Sox' Triple-A affiliate, pitching to a 4.97 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 15 walks in 29 innings of relief.
  • The Dodgers also signed Clint Robinson to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reported earlier in the week. The 28-year-old first baseman split the 2013 campaign between the Blue Jays' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, slashing .254/.353/.421 with 13 homers.
  • The Mets announced that they have signed right-hander Miguel Socolovich to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training (Twitter link). The 27-year-old Venezuelan fired 11 1/3 one-run innings for NPB's Hiroshima Carp last season and owns a career 2.99 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 129 1/3 Triple-A innings. He has some brief Major League experience, having allowed 11 runs in 16 1/3 innings between the Cubs and Orioles in 2012.

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.


Minor Moves: Jones, Twins, Berry, Snyder, Wolf, Blackley

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

  • The Orioles are placing lefty Chris Jones on their 40-man roster, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. Jones, 25, posted a 2.67 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 70 2/3 innings for Triple-A Norfolk this year. The move will prevent them from losing him to minor-league free agency.
  • Edgar Ibarra has been added to the Twins‘ 40-man roster, the team announced today. The 24-year-old Venezuelan left-hander posted a 1.93 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 60 2/3 innings of relief between Double-Aand Triple-A this season. By adding Ibarra to the 40-man roster, the Twins ensure that he cannot be selected in next month’s Rule 5 Draft.
  • The Twins have also re-signed Wilkin Ramirez, Dan Rohlfing, Aaron Thompson, Jermaine Mitchell, Lester Oliveros, Doug Bernier and James Beresford to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training, tweets MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger. Ramirez and Bernier each saw time with the big league club in 2013, and Oliveros was one of two pitchers received from the Tigers in exchange for Delmon Young in 2011.
  • The Red Sox announced that they have outrighted outfielder Quintin Berry and infielder Brandon Snyder off their 40-man roster. Both are now free agents after spending the majority of this past season at Triple-A. Snyder hit .261/.332/.454 with 10 homers in the minors, while Berry slashed just .191/.309/.257 with three homers and 30 steals in 34 tries at Triple-A.
  • Right-hander Ross Wolf has re-signed with the Rangers on a minor league contract with an invitation to 2014 Spring Training, the team announced. The 31-year-old posted a 4.15 ERA in 22 appearances (three starts) for Texas in 2013, averaging 4.0 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 47 2/3 innings. Wolf had been outrighted off the 40-man roster and cleared waivers before re-signing.
  • In other Rangers news, left-hander Travis Blackley was also outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency. In 50 1/3 innings between the Rangers and Astros, compiling a 4.83 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
  • The Padres announced that they have outrighted left-hander Tommy Layne to Triple-A Tucson. Layne, 29, pitched 8 2/3 innings of 2.08 ERA ball for the Padres in his second big league stint this season. He has a 4.50 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 704 career minor league innings between the Padres and Diamondbacks, who traded him to San Diego for cash considerations in the 2011-12 offseason. Layne was designated for assignment along with fellow lefty Colt Hynes to make roster space for Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland as they returned from the 60-day DL. Hynes has since been acquired by the Indians.

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.


Cafardo On Aceves, Red Sox, Orioles, Angels

One month doesn't tell the entire story for a team, but clubs are trying to look at April performances and figure out what direction things are going in, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  The Phillies aren't getting much production out of Ryan Howard and with the Nationals and Braves likely to pick things up soon, they might sell off pieces like Cliff Lee.  The Mariners have been struggling to open 2013 and so far offseason acquisitions Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse aren't helping.  The 10-13 White Sox are also worth watching because there’s always talk that they would part with players such as Gavin Floyd, Jake Peavy, Alexei Ramirez, Alex Rios, and maybe even Paul Konerko.  Here's more from today's column..

  • Surprisingly, baseball people have an open mind about acquiring Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves.  Boston won't fetch much for him, but one veteran adviser to a GM said, “You’d be crazy not to take that chance with an arm like that. Change of environment can do wonders for a player who might have had a troubled past. I think you always take that risk if the player has skills, and Aceves has skills.”  Cafardo wouldn't be surprised to see the Angels and Rangers show interest.
  • Scouts who have watched Red Sox minor leaguer Brandon Snyder want him on their team.  The first baseman is off to a hot start for Triple-A Pawtucket, hitting .328/.427/.578 with three homers.  Snyder was the O's pick in the first round of the 2005 draft (13th overall), a rich draft in which Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Ricky Romero, Troy Tulowitzki, Mike Pelfrey, Cameron Maybin, Andrew McCutchen, and Jay Bruce were taken ahead of him.  One AL scout said that he can't imagine Snyder not being able to help a big league club. 
  • Orioles decision maker Dan Duquette is trying to make adjustments to his roster, perhaps by acquiring a power bat off the bench and another starting pitcher.


AL Notes: Rodriguez, Andrus, Kazmir, Snyder

The changing nature of free agency has been a hot topic of late, as MLBTR noted earlier today. A series of high-profile extensions this spring have reinforced an apparent new trend towards teams retaining their best young players with long-term deals. As Larry Stone of the Seattle Times posits, this trend also increases the importance of scouting and developing young players, with MLB's recent spending limits potentially leveling the playing field between large and small-market clubs.

  • Alex Rodriguez's record-breaking 2007 contract extension with the Yankees was re-visited in a piece on Saturday from David Waldstein of the New York Times. Waldstein reports on the events that ensued after Rodriguez exercised the opt-out clause in his contract, with the announcement infamously coming in the midst of what turned out to be the final game of the World Series. After receiving counsel from people ranging from Mariano Rivera to Warren Buffett, Rodriguez apologized to Hal and Hank Steinbrenner to pave the way to a new deal with the Yanks. The unprecedented contract included a $265MM salary guarantee over ten seasons, a $10MM signing bonus, and career home run milestone payments of up to $30MM. With Rodriguez now suffering from some combination of ineffectiveness, injury, and intrigue, Waldstein writes, New York may be exploring a variety of ways to get out from under the deal.
  • An opt-out clause could play a big role in another potential ten-year commitment: the recently-inked eight-year, $120MM extension between Elvis Andrus and the Rangers. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains, the deal's opt-out clause is likely to turn the Andrus extension into a four-year, $60MM deal. While this seems to be a big concession by Texas, Rosenthal says it was necessary to lock up four of the Scott Boras client's free agent years. The club will pursue insurance to protect itself in the event that Andrus does not exercise the opt-out clause due to injury. The deal also gives the Rangers plenty of flexibility to take advantage of super-prospect Jurickson Profar, either in their lineup (at second base) or via trade.
  • While still not conforming his new deal, Andrus commented today on his relationship with Boras, as reported by T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Discussing his agent's penchant for testing the market, Andrus said: "We're the boss. I know everybody thinks that about Scott but it's different if you're the one in that position. He works for us. I know he tries to get the best deal that he can but it comes down to my choice and what's better for me and my family."
  • Scott Kazmir appears close to coming all the way back to the big leagues after being activated by the Indians, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. In a corresponding move, the club optioned left-hander Nick Hagadone to Triple-A. Kazmir, who will now receive a $1MM base salary after initially signing a minor league deal, may still have to wait to actually make an appearance after straining his ab. As the Indians noted on Twitter, today's transaction allows the club to back-date a Kazmir DL stint if he is not ready to go.
  • The Red Sox are signing infielder Brandon Snyder to a minor league deal, as first reported by Chris Cotillo (Twitter link). Alex Speier of WEEI.com confirmed (via Twitter) that Snyder, who was recently released by the Rangers, has signed with Boston and is headed to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Rangers Notes: Snyder, Robertson, Borbon

Here are some notes from Texas:

  • The Rangers announced via press release that infielder Brandon Snyder "has requested and received his unconditional release from his minor league contract." Snyder, a former 1st round pick of the Orioles, hit .277/.309/.446 in 69 plate appearances last year for Texas.
  • The Rangers have asked pitcher Nate Robertson to accept an assignment to Triple-A, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Though he has not pitched in the big leagues since 2010, Robertson has over seven years of service time and must therefore assent to such a move. Robertson is expected to agree to the assignment, though he will keep looking for opportunities with other major league clubs and expects the Rangers to work with him should he find a chance.
  • Outfielder Julio Borbon is still waiting to find out what will happen to him with GM Jon Daniels working hard to trade him, according to Sullivan. With Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry set to man center field, and Borbon out of options, he seems destined for waivers if Daniels cannot find a deal.

Minor Moves: Brandon Snyder, Padres, Twins

Here are Wednesday's minor moves…

  • The Rangers have signed Brandon Snyder to a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The 26-year-old former first round pick of the Orioles hit .277/.309/.446 in 69 plate appearances with Texas last year while playing first base, third base, and both corner outfield spots.
  • The Padres have re-signed Juan Oramas to a minor league deal according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter). The 22-year-old left-hander was non-tendered last month and is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
  • The Padres have also signed right-hander Sean O'Sullivan, infielder Gregorio Petit, and catcher Rene Rivera to minor league contracts, the team announced. All three players received invitations to Spring Training.
  • The Twins have signed outfielder Brandon Boggs, infielder Ray Olmedo, right-hander Bryan Augenstein, first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez, right-hander Scott Elarton, right-hander Virgil Vasquez, left-hander Mike O'Connor, and left-hander Jason Lane to minor league deals according to MLB.com's Adam Berry. Boggs, Olmedo, and Augenstein received invitations to Spring Training.

American League Non-Tenders

Here are today’s American League non-tenders. All decisions must be in by 11pm CT tonight. Be sure to track all tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker. Related resources include our list of non-tender candidates, our projected arbitration salaries and our arbitration eligibles series.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


Rangers Acquire Brandon Snyder

The Rangers acquired infielder Brandon Snyder from the Orioles for cash considerations, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Snyder, 25, was drafted 13th overall by the Orioles in 2005, a first round that has become legendary for the talent produced.

Snyder gave up catching after the 2006 season and now plays the infield corners.  In 2011 he hit .261/.312/.406 in 494 Triple-A plate appearances, his third stint at the level.


Orioles Notes: MacPhail On Bedard, Hendrickson

According to MASN's Roch Kubatko, the Orioles are simply looking for "any kind of pitching" as the club winds down its winter shopping.  While corner infield help ostensibly remains at the top of Baltimore's shopping list, O's GM Andy MacPhail told Kubatko that it isn't a critical priority given the club's organizational strength at the corners (i.e. prospects Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder).

As for pitching, however, MacPhail said, "we'll always sort of stay in the hunt for pitching."  Here's what MacPhail had to say about two potential free-agent targets…

  • Erik Bedard.  We've heard some rumors about the O's looking to bring the left-hander back to Baltimore, but the lack of activity should not be taken as a decline in interest on the club's part.  Bedard "doesn't seem to be in a rush to sign" with anyone, and MacPhail noted that Bedard was likely to sign "a late-January type deal anyway, if that."  Given how Bedard's probable contract will be a one or two-year, incentive-laden deal, it makes sense that clubs would wait to see how the rest of the offseason pitching market shakes down before making Bedard an offer.  MacPhail added that based on some preliminary medical information the Baltimore staff has received about Bedard, the southpaw will be able to pitch before midseason, contrary to what some reports have suggested. 
  • Mark Hendrickson.  It's been widely assumed that Hendrickson would re-sign with Baltimore, and the pitcher himself said he was hoping to get a deal done quickly back in October.  But now we're a third of the way through January and the left-hander is still a free agent.  MacPhail said the team is still interested in bringing Hendrickson back, but they have been waiting "to see how some of these other things play out, as far as what we do and how extensive it's going to be and how our roster shapes up.  So we can't quite commit yet, but we never pretended that there wasn't interest." 

Kubatko also reported that the door seems to be closed on Ben Sheets joining the Orioles.  Sheets fit the Bedard mold as a pitcher who would sign a short-term deal, but Kubatko said Baltimore asked for (and never received) Sheets' medical records.  Sheets "apparently wants to be paid as if he isn't a health risk," which is a pretty firm negotiating stance for a pitcher who hasn't appeared in a Major League game since 2008.


Orioles Looking “Short-Term” At The Corners

The Orioles aren't expected to be major players on the free-agent market this winter, but if the team does make a move, it will likely be to acquire a veteran presence at first and/or third base.

Speaking to MASN Sports' Steve Melewski, Baltimore team president Andy MacPhail said that given the Orioles' young outfield and second-year catcher Matt Wieters, he would "like to put more proven bats" in the lineup to compliment the team's young stars.  The O's have prospects Brandon Snyder and Josh Bell in the pipeline at first and third, respectively, but since MacPhail said he doesn't see either making the leap to the majors in 2010, the experienced hitters that MacPhail wants will have to come at the corner infield spots.

Baltimore already has Luke Scott (a team-leading 25 homers in 2009) penciled in at either first base or DH, and utilityman Ty Wigginton is available to play third.  Prospect Michael Aubrey (an .826 OPS in 95 plate appearances last season) is also in the 1B mix, possibly in a lefty-righty platoon with Wigginton that would lock Scott into a DH/LF split with Nolan Reimold and would then leave third base open for either a free agent or a player to be acquired in a trade.  The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly predicted the O's would sign Pedro Feliz, while there has been some speculation that the Orioles will make a trade with Florida for Dan Uggla and then move Uggla from second to third base.

In his Offseason Outlook series entry about Baltimore, Tim Dierkes listed names like Adrian Beltre, Carlos Delgado and Nick Johnson as possible targets for the Orioles.  These players would fit the "short-term" designation that MacPhail mentioned, but since MacPhail didn't rule out the possibility of "the right deal for the right player, even if it was a longer-term deal," would there be any other bigger-name corner infielders that you could realistically see Baltimore signing?