Brian Bixler Rumors

Minor Moves: Brian Bixler, Matt LaPorta

Here are the day's minor moves:

  • Utilityman Brian Bixler has agreed to a minor league deal with the Phillies, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 31-year-old has seen time at the MLB level with the Pirates, Nationals, and Astros, but spent last season with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate. His career big league line is a modest .189/.249/.269 in 356 plate appearances, and he slashed .259/.323/.372 in 345 plate appearances in the upper minors last year. Bixler's calling card is versatility: he has played every field position but pitcher and catcher at the MLB level, and in fact appeared everywhere but the battery and at first during his 2013 stint at Las Vegas.
  • The Orioles have signed 29-year-old outfielder Matt LaPorta to a minor league deal that does not include an invite to major league camp, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). LaPorta was the 7th overall pick of the 2007 draft and twice a Baseball America top-30 prospect, but has managed only a .238/.301/.393 line in 1,068 MLB plate appearances between 2009-12. With unfavorable defensive ratings, he graded out as a sub-replacement-level player for most of his time in the bigs. At Triple-A last year with the Indians organization, LaPorta slashed .238/.310/.476 with ten home runs in 185 plate appearances. LaPorta was the key piece in the deal that shipped C.C. Sabathia out of Cleveland, but became a minor league free agent this year.
  • Checking in on the MLBTR DFA Tracker, three players sit in DFA limbo: Brett Wallace of the Astros and Emilio Bonifacio and Everett Teaford of the Royals.

Mets Sign Brian Bixler

The Mets announced that they signed utility player Brian Bixler to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training (Twitter link). Octagon represents Bixler, who spent the 2012 season with the Astros.

Bixler appeared in 36 games with Houston, playing second base, third base, shortstop and both corner outfield positions. The 30-year-old posted a .193/.253/.330 batting line in 96 plate appearances. Bixler, who also has MLB experience with the Nationals and Pirates, has a .279/.356/.401 batting line in six seasons at the Triple-A level.


Minor Moves: 28 Players Elect Free Agency

A total of 28 players — all with big league time under their belts — recently elected free agency after finishing the year in Triple-A. Here is the full list, courtesy of the International League and Pacific Coast League transaction pages…



Outrighted To Triple-A: Brian Bixler

Today’s outright assignments..

  • Brian Bixler has been outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City after clearing waivers, tweets Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.  Bixler, DFA’d by Houston on Thursday, appeared in 36 games this yea and saw time at second, third, shortstop, and both corner outfield positions.  The 29-year-old has a .267/.349/.366 slash line in 229 Triple-A plate appearances.

Astros Designate Brian Bixler For Assignment

The Astros announced that they designated infielder Brian Bixler for assignment. The move creates 40-man roster space for Tyler Greene, who was claimed off of waivers from St. Louis.

Bixler has appeared in 36 games for the Astros this year, playing second, third, shortstop and both corner outfield positions. He posted a .193/.253/.330 line in 96 plate appearances at the MLB level and has a .267/.349/.366 batting line in 229 plate appearances at Triple-A. The Astros claimed the 2004 second round pick off of waivers from Washington last November.


Quick Hits: Astros, Angels, Cespedes

We wouldn’t want the biggest news of the day — that the Rangers won the bidding for Yu Darvish — to completely overshadow some secondary notes from around MLB. Here are some quick hits from around the league, starting in Texas:

  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told fans at MLB.com that Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and Carlos Lee are “very good players” who could help the Astros going forward. “We will look for any opportunity to improve our team in the medium and long term,” Luhnow explained, “so if there were a trade that made sense, we would consider it.”
  • Brian Bixler cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Oklahoma City, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. The Astros designated the infielder for assignment last week to create roster space for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland.
  • The Cubs and Red Sox have agreed that former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein won't be able to hire anyone from the Red Sox for three years, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (on Twitter).
  • Angels GM Jerry Dipoto likes the depth in his team's starting rotation, but doesn't yet know whether his bullpen is a strength or a weakness, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times. Ideally, the Angels would like to add a late-inning reliever and make the lineup a little more left-handed, Dipoto says.
  • There's a consensus among international MLB people that the Yankees are "BIG" on Yoenis Cespedes, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (on Twitter).
  • Cespedes is close to establishing residency in the Dominican Republic, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. The Cuban outfielder still needs to secure a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control since his residency is not permanent. The process could take two weeks, but he should be cleared to sign sometime in January.

Removed From 40-Man: Jesse Chavez, Brian Bixler

We'll keep track of which players are removed from 40-man rosters right here…

  • Right-hander Jesse Chavez cleared waivers and the Blue Jays outrighted him to Triple-A, the team tweeted.
  • The Astros designated Brian Bixler for assignment, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Astros, who needed roster space because of today's trade, had claimed Bixler from the Nationals last month. The 29-year-old appeared in 79 games for the Nationals in 2011, playing all three outfield positions, shortstop, third base and first base. He posted a .205/.267/.265 line in 94 plate appearances. 

Astros Claim Brian Bixler

The Astros announced that they claimed utility player Brian Bixler off of waivers from the Nationals. Houston's 40-man roster now includes 38 players.

Bixler, 29, appeared in 79 games for the Nationals, playing all three outfield positions, shortstop, third base and first base. He posted a .205/.267/.265 line in 94 plate appearances. The Pirates selected Bixler in the second round of the 2004 draft and sold him to the Nationals in 2010.


Nationals Designate Lee Hyde For Assignment

The Nationals designated left-handed reliever Lee Hyde for assignment, according to a team press release.  The move was made in order to create a roster spot for Brian Bixler, whose contract was recently purchased from Triple-A Syracuse.

This was Hyde's first season with the Nats after spending the previous five in the Braves organization.  The left-hander has performed well in Double-A but has struggled at the Triple-A level.  In 29 Triple-A appearances, the 26-year-old owns a 5.64 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 7.1 BB/9.


East Notes: Wright, Salty, Bixler, A-Rod

Rainfall on the East Coast has already postponed a couple games on Friday night, but here's some items of note to hold you over …

  • Mets third baseman David Wright's days in New York may be winding down, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The Mets, who may be in full-on rebuild mode as soon as midseason, could opt to trade Wright because he is signed to team-favorable terms through 2013 and would therefore yield a better haul in a trade than Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran or Francisco Rodriguez, writes Rubin. That the Mets could entertain this is indicative of how far they've fallen the past couple years; it once seemed likely Wright would spend his entire career in Queens.
  • Red Sox catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek have struggled so far this season, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.com, but with underwhelming and unready in-house options and limited trade or free-agent targets out there, a move is not imminent. Bengie Molina, 36, is still unsigned, but as Speier points out, would he be much of an improvement?
  • The Nationals have purchased the contract of infielder Brian Bixler from Triple-A Syracuse, tweets Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com. A corresponding move on the 40-man roster was to be announced. Bixler, a second-round pick of the Pirates in 2004 out of Eastern Michigan, last appeared in the bigs in 2009. In 166 career plate appearances, he has a .178/.238/.237 line.
  • Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has hired Steve Loy of Gaylord Sports Management to handle his marketing. As our Agency Tracker shows, A-Rod has not officially announced an agent since parting ways with Scott Boras, and he may not need one for a while considering he's signed through age 42. For a complete list of Scott Boras clients, click here.