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Here are today’s minor transactions from around baseball, with the latest moves at the top of the post…
- The Reds outrighted right-hander Dylan Axelrod off their 40-man roster and down to Triple-A, according to the team’s official transactions page. This move will help free up space for one of the several veterans Cincinnati is looking to add to its 40-man roster. Axelrod posted a 2.95 ERA in 18 1/3 IP for the Reds last season and a 4.01 ERA in 103 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level in the Reds and White Sox organizations.
- The Phillies have put Rule 5 Draft pick Andy Oliver on waivers, CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports. If Oliver clears waivers, Salisbury notes that the Phils could try to fully obtain the lefty’s rights from the Pirates in a trade. As a Rule 5 Draft player, Oliver must spend the entire season on a 25-man roster or else be offered back to his original club (Pittsburgh).
- The Giants seem to have released left-hander Travis Blackley, as per the southpaw’s own Twitter page. Blackley tweeted his thanks to the organization for giving him a chance to pitch this spring (on a minor league deal) and used the past tense in describing the Giants as “a very classy organization that I was proud to play for!” Blackley posted a 5.23 ERA over 192 2/3 innings spread over four MLB seasons between 2004-13 with the Mariners, Giants, A’s, Astros and Rangers, and he spent the 2014 campaign pitching in Japan.
- The Twins have released left-hander Wil Ledezma, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports (via Twitter). Ledezma, 34, signed a minor league deal with the Twins in December and was looking to reach the big leagues for the first time since 2011.
- The White Sox released outfielder Brian Anderson, CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes reports (via Twitter). The Sox also parted ways with two more veterans according to their team transactions page, releasing right-hander J.D. Martin and infielder Andy LaRoche.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- Padres outfielder/first baseman Jake Goebbert has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment and was outrighted to Triple-A, tweets Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Goebbert, who was acquired this past May in the Kyle Blanks trade with Oakland, hit .218/.313/.317 in 115 PA with the Padres.
- Also from Lin, the Padres have signed right-hander Daniel McCutchen to a minor league contract. The 32-year-old made one appearance with the Rangers last season, yielding a pair of earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. That marked McCutchen’s first big league action since 2012 with the Pirates, for whom he played parts of four seasons (2009-12). The former 13th-round pick owns a career 4.47 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 527 2/3 innings at Triple-A.
- The Angels have signed right-hander Ryan Mattheus to a minor league deal and invited him to big league Spring Training, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post. The 31-year-old Mattheus was a vital cog in Washington’s division-winning club back in 2012, but he struggled in 35 1/3 innings in 2013, posting a 6.37 ERA. Mattheus suffered through a pair of rib injuries last season that limited him to 8 2/3 innings in the Majors, where he allowed just one run. However, he did struggle to a 5.80 ERA in Triple-A while dealing with his injuries. Overall, Mattheus has a 3.60 ERA in 142 1/3 big league innings with 5.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.
- The White Sox have signed their former first-round pick, Brian Anderson, to a minor league deal, tweets Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. Anderson, who doesn’t receive a camp invite, has been out of pro ball since 2012 but has a .273/.337/.454 batting line at Triple-A and also dabbled with pitching from 2010-12, totaling 31 innings with a 1.74 ERA between the minor leagues and independent ball.
- Lefty Daniel Schlereth is back with the Tigers on a minor league deal, per the team’s transactions page. The 28-year-old notched a 3.98 ERA with a 69-to-46 K/BB ratio with the Tigers’ bullpen from 2010-12 after coming over in the Max Scherzer/Curtis Granderson/Ian Kennedy blockbuster. He split last season between the Triple-A affiliates for the Pirates and Tigers, battling his control (7.1 BB/9) en route to a 5.89 ERA in 36 2/3 innings.
Former White Sox first-rounder and top prospect Brian Anderson is making one last comeback attempt, he tells MLB.com's Scott Merkin. After trying his luck as a pitcher, the soon-to-be 32-year-old Anderson is looking to catch on as an outfielder once again and believes he's made adjustments that will allow him to succeed. Making those adjustments didn't always come easily, he tells Merkin: "…I was too stubborn to fully commit to making adjustments. That led to my demise and my inconsistency at the plate. I wanted everything that came with the big leagues without having to prove myself." Anderson is hoping for a Spring Training invite with a chance to win a fourth outfielder gig before hitting his way into more playing time. Here's more out of baseball's Central divisions…
- Steph Rogers of Getting Blanked interviewed Twins top pitching prospect Alex Meyer and covered a number of topics ranging from the best advice he's received to the transition to pro ball to the most beneficial aspects of winter ball. Meyer tells Rogers that he treasures the time he's been able to spend with former Reds left-hander Tom Browning in winter ball. Says Meyer of Browning, who pitched a perfect game in 1988: "If I can continue to pick his brain for the limited time I have left, it would be so beneficial."
- New Cardinals center fielder Peter Bourjos told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he wasn't surprised to be traded by the Angels this offseason. Bourjos told Hummel that one of his goals with the Cards is to steal 40 bases, adding that it will depend on how he swings the bat because he knows drawing walks is not one of his strengths.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tackles a number of trade Indians scenarios in his latest Inbox piece but ultimately concludes that Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Masterson and Lonnie Chisenhall will all be in the organization come Opening Day (though he doesn't believe Chisenhall will start at third base).
- Earlier today, I ran down several NL Central notes, including pieces on Kolten Wong, Mark Reynolds and several Cubs topics.
Tigers skipper Jim Leyland has proven over the years that he is not afraid to step away when he doesn't feel he is the right fit, but he knows that returning to the Tigers in 2013 is the right move, writes Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com. The veteran manager, who will be in the dugout for his 22nd season this year, stepped away from jobs with the Marlins, Pirates, and Rockies all on his own accord. At the same time, he admits that he feels pressure to win and knows that he could be out of a job if his team struggles. Here's more out of the AL Central..
- The Twins are among the teams that could have interest in the recently DFA'd Reid Brignac along with the Astros, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The 27-year-old appeared in 16 games for the Rays last year and spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a .231/.323/.353 batting line in 400 plate appearances as a middle infielder.
- In today's inbox, a reader asked MLB.com's Scott Merkin if White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson could potentially return to the club on a minor league deal. Anderson recently told Merkin that he's working towards hooking on somewhere as a pitcher but is also considering a move into broadcasting.
- Another reader proposed a swap to Merkin that would send Chris Sale and Dayan Viciedo to the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton. Surprisingly, Merkin feels that such a deal would be ill-advised for the White Sox as they would be exchanging two dynamic young players for one.
- Former Indians first baseman Russ Canzler has had quite a journey this offseason but he is optimistic that he can take his coat off and stay a while in Baltimore, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. It looked like the first baseman had an opening for playing time after the departure of Travis Hafner, but the signing of Mark Reynolds made him expendable.
We'll track the latest minor moves right here…
- The Rockies signed right-handed reliever Brian Anderson, Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweets. The converted outfielder had been in camp with the Dodgers earlier this year.
- The Brewers re-signed Mitch Stetter to a minor league deal and he reported to extended Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter). The 31-year-old left-hander has appeared with the Brewers in each of the past five seasons, including 16 games a year ago. The Rangers had signed Stetter to a minor league deal this offseason.
- The Nationals signed shortstop Brent Greer, according to MLB.com's transactions page. The 24-year-old spent the 2011 season at Class A, where he posted a .247/.306/.359 line in 246 plate appearances. The Diamondbacks selected Greer in the 14th round of the 2009 draft.
Here's the latest from the eastern side of the baseball map…
- Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that the team wants to "concentrate on the season right now" and wouldn't comment on whether the Fish would offer Edwin Rodriguez a contract extension before the year is up. Rodriguez, who took over as Florida's manager last June, is only on a one-year deal.
- The Yankees also released southpaw Andrew Sisco, according to the International League's transactions page. Sisco posted a 5.18 ERA in 151 relief appearances for the Royals and White Sox between 2005-07 and hasn't been back to the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2008. Sisco, 28, had a 1.88 ERA and a 9.4 K/9 rate in 16 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, though he'd also allowed 12 walks in 14 1/3 innings pitched.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs calls for the Blue Jays to release Edwin Encarnacion or at least permanently relegate him to the bench. "[Encarnacion is] an absolute disaster in the field, and his bat simply doesn’t even come close to making up for it," Cameron writes.
- J.C. Ramirez, one of the prospects the Phillies received in the Cliff Lee trade, has pitched well at Double-A this season, writes Jim Salisbury for Baseball America.
- It looks as if Domonic Brown will remain with the Phillies when Shane Victorino returns from the DL, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. This could mean the Phils send John Mayberry Jr. down to the minors, or perhaps Rule 5 draft pick Michael Martinez, who would of course have to be offered back to the Nationals.
- The Orioles are expected to release right-hander Ryan Drese, reports Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. Drese, 35, last pitched in the majors in 2006 and currently has a 6.55 ERA in nine games (six of them starts) for Triple-A Norfolk.
- Overpaying for a designated hitter is "a new market inefficiency," writes Jason Collette of the DRaysBay blog. Collette suggests the Rays (and other teams) should look to fill the DH spot with the same low-cost approach that the Rays used to rebuild their bullpen this winter.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
Here are a few AL East items of note for Feb. 12. On this day in 1981, a contract violation by the Red Sox made catcher Carlton Fisk a free agent. Pudge eventually signed with the White Sox, with whom he spent the balance of his 24-year, Hall of Fame career.
- Vladimir Guerrero's physical with the Orioles is scheduled for Wednesday, blogs Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. The Orioles' and Vlad's verbal agreement was first reported Feb. 4, so it's been an unusually long period between the agreement and scheduled physical, but O's president Andy MacPhail said that Guerrero's agent, Fernando Cuza, has signed an agreement that he can't accept another offer in the interim.
- Brian Anderson is in Yankees camp and trying to make the team as a reliever, writes Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. The former outfielder and first-round pick of the White Sox was DFA'd by the Royals in December after spending 2010 in the Kansas City organization, converting to life as a hurler. Anderson, signed to a minor league deal by the Bombers, said he was told by the Yankees that he has a chance to make the team out of camp, but if he doesn't, he will return to the minors to contine working.
- The Rays were one of two finalists to sign reliever Manny Delcarmen, blogs Alex Speier of WEEI.com, but the right-hander ultimately chose Seattle over Tampa Bay. Both clubs offered minor league deals, and as we noted Thursday, Delcarmen also turned down a Major League offer from a National League team.
Let's take a look at today's notable minor league deals, with the most recent updates at the top:
- The Yankees signed Doug Bernier, Buddy Carlyle, Neal Cotts and Gustavo Molina to minor league deals, the team announced. The club officially announced its deals with Andy Sisco and outfielder-turned-pitcher Brian Anderson.
- The Pirates have welcomed back Donald Veal just two weeks after non-tendering him, Eddy tweets. Veal underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this year.
- The Rays picked up right-handed reliever Jonah Bayliss, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (via Twitter). Bayliss turned in a 3.58 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 for Houston's Triple-A club last season.
- The Athletics signed right-handed reliever Vinnie Chulk, tweets Eddy. Chulk appeared in 28 games for Pittsburgh's Triple-A affiliate in 2010 and spent the other half of the year with the Hiroshima Carp. His numbers overseas left much to be desired but the righty carries more than 250 games of big league experience.
- First baseman Andy Tracy has hooked on with the Diamondbacks, tweets Baseball America's Matt Eddy. The left-handed hitter, who turned 37-years-old on Saturday, has spent the last three years with the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate. In 2010 he hit .275/.373/.492, numbers that are slightly better than his career averages.
- The Nationals signed outfielder Jonathan Van Every, according to Eddy (via Twitter). The 31-year-old boasts a career .471 slugging percentage in Triple-A and can play all three outfield positions. Van Every played in 39 games for Boston's varsity squad across the last three years.
- Washington picked up another versatile, left-handed hitting outfielder in Buck Coats, Eddy tweets. Coats, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Cubs, has a lifetime slash line of .294/.352/.407 at the Triple-A level.
- The Cubs invited first baseman Bryan LaHair and outfielder Brad Snyder to Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat (on Twitter).
- The Rockies offered Jon Garland a similar deal to the one he agreed upon with the Dodgers, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is willing to spend in order to make Detroit a winner again, writes Peter Gammons for MLB.com.
- The Yankees have signed right-hander Brian Anderson and left-hander Andy Sisco to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Anderson was recently cut by the Royals and is new to pitching after playing the outfield his entire career. Sisco threw 66.2 innings for the Giants Double-A affiliate this year after having Tommy John surgery in 2008.
- ESPN's Buster Olney asked several talent evaluators for their opinion of Manny Ramirez (Insider req'd). Most see him as a designated hitter (unsurprisingly) that is good offensively but no longer elite. One compared him to a healthy Nick Johnson, meaning good average, great OBP, some power. Almost everyone Olney polled suggested an incentive-laden deal, which is what Scott Boras is seeking.
- Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle says the Astros need to make a big move in free agency if Drayton McLane really hopes to sell the team for $800MM. He throws the names of Carl Pavano, Jorge de la Rosa, Jeff Francis, Rafael Soriano, and Dan Wheeler out there as possibilities.
- Jonathan Albaladejo finalized a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants that will pay him $950K according to the AP (via ESPN New York). The Yankees released Albaladejo at his request earlier this month.
Links for Wednesday, the second day of the GM Meetings, as Ron Gardenhire and Bud Black take home Manager of the Year honors…
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein says he'd like to add starting pitching depth, tweets Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
- The Rockies, Blue Jays, and Athletics are among the teams that have shown interest in Alex Gordon according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. "I surely don't want [a trade] to happen, but it's part of baseball and it could happen," said Gordon.
- Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star reports that outfielder turned pitcher Brian Anderson has opted for free agency after being designated for assignment by the Royals.
- David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Phillies GM Ruben Amaro reiterated that he has not been given a firm payroll by ownership. Their payroll has increased steadily over the last several years, peaking at approximately $138MM last season.
- The Pirates and reliever Chan Ho Park have mutual interest in a new contract, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, but Langosch believes the Bucs would only do a minor league deal. Park posted a 3.49 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 for the Pirates this year after coming over from the Yankees. Jeremy Bonderman is also on the Pirates' radar, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf confirmed to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that the Sox asked the Marlins for a particular player as compensation for talking to manager Ozzie Guillen. Reinsdorf told Wittenmyer the player was not Mike Stanton; the Sun-Times writer speculates it may have been Logan Morrison.
- As you might expect, the Rays are not in a big rush to trade B.J. Upton given the loss of Carl Crawford, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal feels the Rays will also be reluctant to trade a starting pitcher right now, but would be willing to part with shortstop Jason Bartlett.
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