Brent Lillibridge Rumors
Here are Friday's minor moves from around the league...
- Brent Lillibridge has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa by the Cubs, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat (on Twitter).
- The Cubs have also released right-hander Jensen Lewis, according to Muskat (Twitter link). The 28-year-old Lewis hasn't appeared in the Majors since 2010. He has a 3.68 ERA, 8.0 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 198 Major League innings -- all coming with the Indians.
- The Braves have signed right-hander Erik Hamren and first baseman Nick Weglarz to minor league deals, tweets Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Hamren, 26, threw 12 1/3 innings for the Padres in 2011 and posted a 4.38 ERA. Weglarz at one point ranked 58th on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list, but his stock has fallen since that 2009 list. He has a career .252/.375/.439 batting line in the minors.
The Cubs claimed infielder Cody Ransom off waivers from the Padres, GM Jed Hoyer told reporters including MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. The team also purchased the contract of Kevin Gregg. Sunday's waiver claim, Kameron Loe, is also joining the Cubs' bullpen, while reliever Hisanori Takahashi and infielder Brent Lillibridge were designated for assignment. Second baseman Darwin Barney has been reinstated from the DL, as expected.
Ransom had been designated for assignment by the Padres on Friday. The 37-year-old had the most exposure of his big league career last year, racking up a .220/.312/.411 line in 282 plate appearances for the Brewers and Diamondbacks. If Ransom somehow sticks on the Cubs' roster, he'll be arbitration eligible after the season.
Takahashi, 38, was scored upon in two of his three appearances for the Cubs this year. The lefty posted a 5.54 ERA, 9.3 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 1.43 HR/9, and 37.1% groundball rate in 50 1/3 innings for the Angels and Pirates in 2012. The Cubs' bullpen is already being retooled, with a 5.82 ERA in the early going.
Lillibridge, 29, had one hit in 24 plate appearances for the Cubs this year. He played second and third base. Lillibridge hit .195/.250/.274 in 209 plate appearances for the White Sox, Red Sox, and Indians last year. He was part of a "numbers crunch," Hoyer told reporters including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. With the recent additions of Ransom, Gregg, and Loe, the Cubs' 40-man roster remains full.
Tomorrow is the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. Every player, coach, and umpire will honor Robinson by wearing his iconic jersey number 42 and it is a significant ritual appreciated by today's generation of players. "It's definitely one of those things you take a lot of pride in, putting on that jersey," said Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (as quoted by MLB.com's Tom Singer). "What (Robinson) went through, stepping up and being that guy to take that important step...it's something we need to always remember." This weekend, the nation remembered the Hall of Famer by making the biopic 42 the domestic box office champion with $27.3MM in ticket sales. This is the first time a baseball movie has ever grossed more than $20MM in its opening weekend and is also an opening weekend record for any baseball-themed movie when adjusted for inflation, according to Forbes. Here's the latest news and notes from America's Pastime:
- David Ortiz was scratched from his Triple-A rehab start today due to illness and it could become a very expensive setback, reports Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Ortiz's 2014 salary will be cut by $2MM (from $15MM to $13MM), if he spends more than 20 days on the disabled list and day 20 is next Sunday. His next rehab start could come tomorrow.
- Carlos Quentin announced he has withdrawn his appeal and will start serving his eight-game suspension today (first reported by the USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Twitter). "I’ve had time to have dialogue with Major League Baseball and a chance for the players association to protect me and my rights as a player,” Quentin told reporters including Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “When that time passed, I’ve prepared to serve my suspension." Quentin will miss the Padres' three-game series against the Dodgers, which begins tomorrow in Los Angeles.
- The Cubs could designate Brent Lillibridge or Alberto Gonzalez for assignment when Darwin Barney is activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, speculates the Daily Herald's Bruce Miles.
St. Patrick's Day is as much of a baseball holiday as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or Labor Day thanks to former Reds GM Dick Wagner. Tom Singer of MLB.com chronicles how the baseball tradition of wearing the green came about 35 years ago. Elsewhere from the Reds and the rest of the National League:
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty expects a decision in the next few days on whether Aroldis Chapman will pitch out of the bullpen or be moved into the starting rotatation, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Chapman stated publicly he wants to close, which didn't sit well with Jocketty. "We don’t let every player tell us how they want to be used," the GM told MLB.com.
- Ian Stewart's lingering left quad injury could affect his chances at making the roster and how the Cubs build their bench, writes MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. Brent Lillibridge, Luis Valbuena, Edwin Maysonet, and Alberto Gonzalez are competing to fill that void while manager Dale Sveum mentioned Steve Clevenger could be an interesting option and added the team is watching all the waiver wires.
- The Rockies are giving serious consideration to making Nolan Arenado their starting third baseman with one club official telling Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com "it’s a tough call." If Arenado receives the nod, Rosenthal believes incumbent third baseman Chris Nelson could be used to acquire a veteran starting pitcher.
- Within the same piece, sources tell Rosenthal the Rockies want to move Ramon Hernandez and are willing to assume some of his $3.2MM salary to facilitate a trade.
- Don't expect the Braves to have any interest in the recently released Matt Diaz because there isn't a need right now, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- The Marlins have returned Rule 5 selection Braulio Lara to the Rays, reports Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post. The left-hander appeared in four games for the Marlins this spring throwing four innings allowing two earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Lillibridge, a CAA Sports client, appeared in 102 games for the White Sox, Red Sox and Indians in 2012. The 29-year-old posted a .195/.250/.274 batting line in 209 total plate appearances while appearing at every position except pitcher and catcher.
McDonald, a 34-year-old client of McNamara Baseball Group, played for the Yankees and Red Sox in 2012. He appeared in 42 total games, posting a .205/.297/.352 batting line in 103 plate appearances and playing all three outfield positions.
Here's the latest on the Twins, courtesy of 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson...
- The Twins had numerous discussions with Brett Myers before the right-hander signed with the Indians, but they never made him an offer.
- Rich Harden's minor league contract with Minnesota includes a July 31st opt-out date according to Wolfson. The right-hander can elect free agency if he's not added to the big league roster by then.
- The Twins will have a scout on hand to watch outfielder Dariel Alvarez and infielder Aledmys Diaz tomorrow. The two Cuban defectors are hosting a workout for teams.
- The club has had "brief talks" with free agent outfielders Ryan Sweeney and Scott Podsednik after trading both Ben Revere and Denard Span this offseason.
- The Twins have talked about Brent Lillibridge and Yuniesky Betancourt, but they're likely to sign elsewhere. Minnesota also has interest in Brandon Inge.
- The Indians have reached out to several teams about Jeanmar Gomez, including the Twins. Gomez was designated for assignment earlier this week and Cleveland has ten days to trade, release, or waive him.
On this day in baseball history (1941), Indians shortstop Lou Boudreau replaced outgoing manager Roger Peckinpaugh to become the youngest manager in baseball history at the age of 24. Here's the latest news coming out of Cleveland...
- Utility man Brent Lillibridge has declined his outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus, tweets MLB.com writer Jordan Bastian. The move makes him a free agent.
- Left-hander Nate Spears has received an invitation to the Indians' big league camp for Spring Training after being signed last week to a Minor League contract, says Bastian (via Twitter).
- Former first base coach Tom Wiedenbauer and bullpen coach Dave Miller are staying with the Indians organization as field coordinator and pro scout, respectively, tweets Bastian.
Teams have until tonight at 10:59 PM CST to set their 40-man rosters before the Rule 5 draft, hence explaining the flurry of transactions around the majors today. Here are the players who have been outrighted off their teams' 40-man rosters, with the most recent at the top of the page (all roster moves were announced by the teams unless otherwise stated)....
- The Indians outrighted Matt LaPorta and Brent Lillibridge to Triple-A Columbus. According to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (via Twitter), Lillibridge has the option to refuse the assignment and become a free agent.
- The Rockies have outrighted Andrew Brown and Matt McBride to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
- The Astros have outrighted infielder Scott Moore to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Moore has the option of accepting the assignment or electing free agency.
- Cubs right-hander Carlos Gutierrez has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Iowa.
The Indians announced that they acquired Brent Lillibridge from the Red Sox for right-hander Jose De La Torre. The Indians transferred Lonnie Chisenhall to the 60-day disabled list to create roster space for Lillibridge, who was recently designated for assignment by Boston.
Boston acquired Lillibridge in the trade that sent Kevin Youkilis to Chicago last month. Lillibridge, 28, has a .165/.212/.177 line in 86 total plate appearances this year. He has a career batting line of .212/.279/.351 in five seasons with the Braves, White Sox and Red Sox.
De La Torre, 26, posted a 2.91 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 55 2/3 innings for Cleveland's Double-A and Triple-A affiliates this year. He had signed with the Indians as a minor league free agent in January.
Indians president Mark Shapiro says the trade market is slow because of the new rules regarding draft pick compensation and the abundance of teams in contention, particularly in the American League (Twitter links). However, the Indians are "heavily engaged" in the trade market, according to Shapiro. Here are more notes from around MLB...
- Indians manager Manny Acta said the team’s front office has been working aggressively to add an outfield bat or a starting pitcher, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox have enough starting pitching depth not to have to rush into the market for rotation help, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- Heyman could see the Mariners picking up Brent Lillibridge (Twitter link). Seattle likes the utility player, who was recently designated for assignment by the Red Sox.
- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post lists some outfield possibilities for the Yankees, including Shane Victorino, Carlos Quentin, Denard Span and Will Venable. Here’s a detailed look at the market for outfielders.
- Matt Holliday, Starlin Castro and Matt Wieters have considerable trade value, Dave Cameron writes in the continuation of his Trade Value series at FanGraphs.