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Brayan Villarreal Rumors
Here are today’s minor transactions, with the newest moves at the top of the post…
- The Twins have signed right-hander Brayan Villarreal to a split contract, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas reports (via Twitter). The deal contains an invitation to Minnesota’s Spring Training camp and Villarreal will earn $522K if he stays on the Twins’ Major League roster. Villarreal last pitched in the majors in 2013 and spent last season with the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate.
- The Yankees signed infielder Nick Noonan to a minor league deal, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports (Twitter link). Noonan, taken 32nd overall by the Giants in the 2007 draft, has a .262/.316/.368 slash line over 3322 career PA in the minors, all in San Francisco’s farm system. He appeared in 62 games with the Giants in 2013.
- The Rangers signed outfielder Antoan Richardson and right-handers Anthony Bass and Ross Wolf to minor league deals with Spring Training invitations, the team announced (hat tip to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).
- The Marlins are likely to sign free agent infielder Scott Sizemore, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Sizemore signed a minor league deal with the Yankees last winter and played in six games for the club before being released and re-signed over the summer. Due in part to a pair of major knee injuries, Sizemore has only appeared in eight Major League games over the last three seasons.
- The Brewers have released outfielder Jeremy Hermida so he can pursue an opportunity to play in Japan, the team announced. Hermida just signed a new minor league contract with Milwaukee in November. The former 11th overall pick (in the 2002 draft) and top prospect last played in the majors in 2012 as a member of the Padres.
Here are today's minor moves and outright assignments from around the league…
- The Rangers announced that they've signed right-hander Armando Galarraga to a minor league deal. Galarraga will report to minor league camp but did not receive an invite to Major League Spring Training. The 32-year-old righty is most famous for missing a perfect game by one out after a blown call at first base back in 2010. He split last season between the Triple-A affiliates for Colorado and Cincinnati, posting a 3.64 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 121 innings of work.
- The Rangers also announced a minor league deal with Taiwanese outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin, but they will be converting the 25-year-old to a pitcher. The former Red Sox prospect has a career .253/.349/.339 batting line in the minors.
- Red Sox right-hander Brayan Villarreal has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, the team announced. The hard-throwing 26-year-old was designated for assignment last week in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Grady Sizemore. Villarreal was acquired from the Tigers as part of the three-team Jake Peavy trade this past summer and walked the only batter he faced in a Red Sox uniform. He allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings for Boston's Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket and has been invited to Major League Spring Training.
- As can be seen in MLBTR's DFA Tracker, Chaz Roe (Rangers), Everett Teaford (Royals) and Emilio Bonifacio (Royals) are still in DFA limbo.
In order to clear roster space for Grady Sizemore, the Red Sox have designated right-handed reliever Brayan Villarreal for assignment, reports Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (via Twitter). Villarreal came to Boston as part of the last year's Jake Peavy deal.
Villarreal faced only one batter for Boston last year, and spent most of the year at Triple-A for the Tigers. In 42 1/3 innings at that level, he posted a 2.76 ERA and 10.6 K/9 against 6.4 BB/9. Only 26 years of age, Villarreal was strong in his only season of full-time MLB work, throwing 54 2/3 innings of 2.63 ERA ball for the Tigers in 2012 (including 10.9 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9). As Alex Speier of WEEI.com tweets, Villarreal is out of options and therefore faced an uphill battle to stick on the 40-man roster.
The Red Sox got creative last night, orchestrating a three-year deal with the White Sox and Tigers that sent Jake Peavy and Brayan Villarreal to Boston, Jose Iglesias to Detroit, Avisail Garcia to Chicago and three low-level minor leaguers (J.B. Wendelken, Francellis Montas and Cleuluis Rondon) from Boston to Chicago as well. Now that the baseball world has had some time to digest the move, here are some reactions…
- Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs offers up his take on the trade, noting that the White Sox exchanged a questionable outfielder for a questionable infielder, while the Red Sox did well to acquire Peavy at a low cost.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America has a scouting report on all players involved, noting Garcia is the centerpiece for the White Sox and calling him "a five-tool talent who runs, throws and defends enough to handle center field in his youth and right field down the line."
- Two years ago, the Red Sox wouldn't have made this trade, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. However, a strong desire to avoid the new Wildcard play-in game has changed the dynamic of the trade deadline. Passan goes on to write that no GM has had a better year than Ben Cherington, who has taken the Red Sox from one baseball's worst teams in 2012 to an AL East title race in 2013.
- So long as he remains healthy, Peavy should be viewed as a top-of-the-rotation arm, according to ESPN's Keith Law (Insider subscription required). Law says that the Red Sox paid a "modest" price in the deal, and also opines that the Tigers did well to add a Jhonny Peralta replacement that has solid future value as a defense-first middle infielder. He is less rosy on the White Sox end of the trade, however, given his view that Garcia will not develop into an above-average MLB regular.
- Boston was able to "parlay two lucky months from Iglesias into Jake Peavy," according to a rival executive that Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports spoke with. Another source told Rosenthal that the White Sox side of the deal was largely a salary dump, with a less-than-stellar prospect return (albeit one with some upside).
- The Red Sox accomplished exactly what they needed to and did so at an extremely reasonable price, opines WEEI.com's Alex Speier. He notes that the trade not only upgrades the rotation this year and next with Peavy, but allows the Sox to improve their bullpen by shifting Brandon Workman to relief duty.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington discussed the trade in a conference call, with WEEI.com's Rob Bradford passing on the highlights. Noting that the deal came together late, Cherington said the team was comfortable moving Iglesias given the organization's depth at shortstop. He noted that the team also sees Villarreal as a promising power bullpen piece moving forward.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski acknowledged the role that the Biogenesis scandal had in nabbing Iglesias, reports MLB.com's Jason Beck. "There's a lot of uncertainty facing the situation which concerned me," said Dombrowski, "especially with our scenario trying to win a championship. … My problem ends up being that after 4 o'clock tomorrow, I cannot aggressively try to do anything that's assured. Because after 4 o'clock, if anything happens, and people know we're looking for a shortstop, there are shortstops that aren't going to make it through waivers." Dombrowski did make clear that the team would not have pulled the trigger if it hadn't been confident in Iglesias as a long-term solution at short.
- In his own conference call, posted on CSNChicago.com, White Sox GM Rick Hahn explained that the deal evolved out of talks with many teams from prior to the All-Star break. According to Hahn, the three-team deal did not really come together until this afternoon.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
The Red Sox have announced a three-team trade with the Tigers and White Sox that will send right-handers Jake Peavy and Brayan Villarreal to Boston and shortstop Jose Iglesias to Detroit. The White Sox will receive outfield prospect Avisail Garcia as well as minor league right handers J.B. Wendelken and Francellis Montas and shortstop Cleuluis Rondon.
Peavy, 32, has a 4.28 ERA with 8.6 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 35.2 percent ground-ball rate in 80 innings for the White Sox this season, though he's spent some time on the disabled list with a broken rib. Peavy hasn't had any pitch limitations since returning from the disabled list, however, as he fired 118 pitches in his final start with the White Sox. Advanced metrics like FIP (4.09) and xFIP (3.68) indicate that Peavy has been the recipient of some poor luck. He's more than a rental, as the Red Sox will control him for $14.5MM in 2014.
Villarreal allowed 10 runs in just 4 1/3 innings for the Tigers this season prior to the trade, but he was significantly better in 2012, posting a 2.63 ERA In 54 2/3 innings for the big league club. He averaged 97.1 mph on his heater last season, according to Fangraphs. In 34 1/3 innings at Triple-A Toledo this year, the 26-year-old Villarreal owns a 3.15 ERA with 10.7 K/9 but a troubling 6.8 BB/9 rate.
Iglesias, 23, is hitting .330/.377/.410 in 231 plate appearances for the Red Sox this season. While those numbers look terrific, Iglesias' bat has drawn been questioned, and he's been mired in a dreadful slump of late, hitting .212/.248/.222 with just one extra-base hit in his past 105 plate appearances. However, Baseball America ranked him ninth among Red Sox prospects prior to the season based largely on his glove, calling him perhaps "the best defensive shortstop prospect in the game." In a small sample of 452 1/3 Major League innings at shortstop, Iglesias has 22.2 UZR/150 and grades out as seven runs above average according to The Fielding Bible. He will provide the Tigers with an insurance policy in the event of a Biogenesis suspension for Jhonny Peralta and can take the reins as Detroit's full-time shortstop in 2014 should the club let Peralta depart via free agency.
Baseball America ranked the 22-year-old Garcia as the No. 74 prospect in baseball prior to the season, and he's delivered on that hype at Triple-A Toledo, hitting .382/.414/.549 with five home runs in 152 plate appearances. Garcia has the tools to be an everyday right fielder with average defense and All-Star upside, BA wrote in its preseason scouting report.
Montas, 20, has a 5.70 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 85 1/3 innings for Class-A Greensville this season. He ranked 22nd among Red Sox prospects prior to the season according to Baseball America. BA wrote that Montas "can light up a radar gun" better than anyone in Boston's system, as he regularly touches triple digits with his fastball. Montas flashes plus sliders at times but without consistency, BA adds. Ben Badler of Baseball America tweets that Montas has "freakish arm strength" and misses bats.
Wendelken, also 20, has worked out of the bullpen at Greenville this season. In 64 innings for Greenville, he has a 2.81 ERA with 7.6 K/0 and 2.8 BB/9. The Red Sox selected him in the 13th round of the 2012 draft, and BA noted that he was one of the country's most effective relievers, allowing just one run in 44 innings at Middle Georgia College and reaching 94 mph with his heater.
Baseball America's Ben Badler tweets that Rondon is a very smooth defender at short but offers little with the bat. The 19-year-old Rondon is hitting .277/.328/.353 for short-season Class-A Lowell this season.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports was the first to report that the Red Sox and White Sox had a deal for Peavy (Twitter link). WEEI.com's Alex Speier first broke the news that it was a three-team trade involving the Tigers, and Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweeted that Iglesias was going to the Tigers. Bob Nightengale of USA Today was the first to tweet that Garcia was headed to the White Sox. Speier also reported that Rondon would be included in the trade (on Twitter).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.