Brian Bixler Rumors
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.
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...
- Infielders: Brian Bixler (Astros), Sean Burroughs (Twins), Blake DeWitt (Cubs), Alberto Gonzalez (Rangers), Angel Sanchez (Astros), Nate Spears (Red Sox), Drew Sutton (Pirates)
- Outfielders: Travis Buck (Astros), Ryan Langerhans (Angels), Mitch Maier (Royals), Darnell McDonald (Yankees), Jai Miller (Orioles), Trent Oeltjen (Dodgers), Jason Pridie (Phillies), Mike Wilson (Mariners)
- Right-handed Pitchers: Roman Colon (Royals), Mike Ekstrom (Rockies), Jack Egbert (Mets), Ryota Igarashi (Yankees), Evan Meek (Pirates), Scott Richmond (Blue Jays), Kip Wells (Padres), Randy Wells (Cubs), Dan Wheeler (Indians)
- Left-handed Pitchers: Alex Hinshaw (Cubs), Cesar Jimenez (Mariners), Zach Kroenke (Diamondbacks), Garrett Olson (Mets)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rounding up today's minor signings:
- The Blue Jays signed Brian Stokes, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). The 31-year-old struggled through 16 2/3 innigns for the Angels last year, but was useful for the Mets from 2008-09 before they sent him to L.A. for Gary Matthews Jr..
- The A's signed right-hander Jonathan Ortiz, who combined a sinker and an above-average changeup to post 11.8 K/9 in the Yankees system this year, according to Eddy (all links go to Twitter).
- The Tigers signed shortstop Argenis Diaz, who was non-tendered by the Pirates despite his strong glovework.
- The Angels signed Ryan Braun - not the Brewers slugger, but the 30-year-old right-hander who posted a 2.20 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 57 1/3 innings at Triple-A Charlotte last year. He last pitched in the majors for the 2007 Royals.
- The Twins signed Matt Brown, a former Angel who should provide corner infield depth.
- The Pirates re-signed Tyler Yates, who missed last season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.
- Brian Barton, who hit 19 homers and stole 18 bases in the Atlantic League this year, signed with the Reds, according to Eddy (on Twitter).
- The Cubs signed lefty Polin Trinidad, who posted a 4.81 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 149 2/3 innings in the upper minor for the Astros last year (Twitter link).
- The Brewers signed Edwin Maysonet and Shawn Riggans to minor league deals and invited them to Spring Training, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (on Twitter). Maysonet, 29, appeared in 46 games as a backup infielder for the Astros in 2008-09 and hit .248/.308/.329 in 356 minor league plate apperances last year. Riggans, who spent parts of four seasons with the Rays, barely played in 2010.
- The Twins inked lefty Chuck James, tweets Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus. The 29-year-old former Brave had rotator cuff surgery in September of 2008.
- The Nationals announced seven signings, including previously unreported contracts for Ryan Mattheus, Michael Aubrey, and Brian Bixler. Mattheus, a 27-year-old right-handed reliever, was acquired by the Nats at the '09 trade deadline in the Joe Beimel deal, the same month he had Tommy John surgery. His is a Major League deal. Aubrey, drafted 11th overall by the Indians in 2003, hit .235/.310/.495 at Triple-A this year. Bixler, a defensive-minded utility infielder, was acquired by Washington from the Pirates in August.