Casey Crosby Rumors

Minor Moves: Gomes, Stewart, Wallace, Crosby

With a rash of waiver claims today, several players made it through without being added to another club’s 40-man. The Angels announced that outfielder Shawn O’Malley cleared waivers and was released. Meanwhile, the Athletics have outrighted righty Fernando Rodriguez to Triple-A after he cleared, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Indians lefty Nick Maronde has cleared waivers, been assigned to Triple-A, and received an invite to big league camp, per Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer (via Twitter). And the Dodgers announced that outfielder/first baseman Kyle Jensen was outrighted to Triple-A.

Here are the day’s further minor moves:

  • The Rays announced that right-hander Brandon Gomes has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham. He will be invited to Major League Spring Training. The 30-year-old Gomes found himself designated for assignment last week following the Wil Myers trade.
  • Infielder Ian Stewart has joined the Nationals on a minor league pact, Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweets. As Eddy notes, Stewart seems to be a solid match for a Nats’ roster that currently features all right-handed-hitting infielders (if you count Danny Espinosa, who currently sits atop the depth chart at second and is a much better hitter from the right side than the left). Soon to turn 30, Stewart — not unlike Espinosa himself — has failed to maintain the promise of prior MLB seasons, but has shown significant power capability in the past. Stewart will receive $800K in the bigs plus a possible $350K in incentives, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets.
  • The Padres have signed first baseman Brett Wallace to a minor league pact (via Eddy, on Twitter). Like Stewart, Wallace was once a highly-valued prospect. But the 28-year-old has yet to end an MLB campaign with an above-average hitting line, and he does not offer the kind of defensive value that lets his bat play. That said, he could still have some upside remaining and will provide San Diego with a depth piece at a position of need.
  • The Red Sox agreed to terms with lefty Casey Crosby (again, via Eddy). Per Eddy, Crosby landed amongst the Tigers’ top thirty prospects seven times. The oft-injured 26-year-old only received three big league starts in Detroit, however, and continued to have control issues after being converted to relief last year at Triple-A.
  • 28-year-old outfielder Adron Chambers will head to camp with the Cubs, Cotillo tweets. After seeing minimal playing time at the big league level from 2011-13 with the Cardinals, Chambers spent last year at the Triple-A level with the Astros and Blue Jays. Over 206 plate appearances, he slashed a rather typical .283/.351/.411 in the highest level of the minors.
  • The Reds have added several more minor league signings, also via Cotillo. In addition to the previously-reported signing of Ivan De Jesus, Cincinnati has locked up outfielder Jermaine Curtis and righty Nathan Adcock. Curtis, 27, managed only a .675 OPS at Triple-A last year for the Cardinals, and will be looking for a fresh start after spending his entire professional career in that organization. The 26-year-old Adcock has thrown 104 MLB innings over the last several years, mostly in relief, working to a 3.86 ERA in that stretch.
  • The Twins have made a series of additions, per a club announcement (via Dustin Morse, on Twitter). Among them are outfielder Wilkin Ramirez and second baseman Jose Martinez. The former is a 29-year-old who has called the Minnesota organization home since 2012. Last year, he put up a .262/.305/.368 line at the highest level of the minors. Martinez, soon to turn 29, slashed .276/.345/.372 at Triple-A last year with the A’s.

Minor Moves: Crosby, Anderson, Telis

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here.

  • Lefty Casey Crosby, who was released two weeks ago by the Tigers, has re-signed with them, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets. Crosby is out for the rest of the year due to injury, and he’ll rehab with Detroit before becoming a free agent after the season.
  • The Athletics acquired Geovany Soto from the Rangers this afternoon, and they’ve just announced yet another deal for a catcher — they’ve acquired minor-leaguer Bryan Anderson from the Reds for a portion of their international bonus pool. Anderson, 27, has hit .315/.395/.530 in 269 plate appearances split between Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville this season. The former Cardinals prospect got cups of coffee in St. Louis in 2010 and 2012 and with the White Sox last season.
  • With Soto’s departure, the Rangers have announced that they will select the contract of catcher Tomas Telis from Triple-A Round Rock tomorrow. The 23-year-old has hit .319/.353/.434 in a season split between Round Rock and Double-A Frisco.

Tigers Release Casey Crosby

The Tigers announced today that they have selected the contract of right-hander Kevin Whelan and released former top prospect Casey Crosby in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

The 25-year-old Crosby has been on the shelf since mid-May, which is hardly a new sensation for the left-hander. Both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus considered the southpaw to be among the game’s Top 50 prospects following a dominant 2009 campaign at Class A (2.41 ERA, 117 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings), but injuries and command problems have caused his prospect star to dim considerably since that time.

Crosby had Tommy John surgery in 2008, has battled shoulder problems in recent seasons and also underwent elbow surgery to remove loose bodies last August. In total he’s appeared in just 74 minor league games over the past five seasons. Baseball America at various times noted that Crosby had the best fastball and best curveball in the Tigers’ system, and the publication still ranked him as Detroit’s No. 17 prospect after the 2013 campaign. He shifted the bullpen this year, but his injuries and inability to command the strike zone have halted a once-promising career for Crosby, who will now look to latch on with another organization.

The 30-year-old Whelan has had a dominant season with Triple-A Toledo this season, notching a 1.85 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 39 innings. He’s yet to allow a homer and has surrendered just 26 hits in those 39 frames. If and when he takes the hill for the Tigers, it’ll be his first big league action since a brief 2011 stint with the Yankees.



Relief Notes: Perez, Sipp, Mets, Tigers

In the midst of a lack of rumors surrounding lefty Oliver Perez, Fangraphs' Mike Petriello outlines the 32-year-old as a potential bargain. While Perez's career once looked to be over, he's reinvented himself as a bullpen arm. Petriello points out that Perez's contact rate over the last two seasons is within one percent of Max Scherzer and Glen Perkins. Perez's swinging-strike rate is better than that of Clayton Kershaw or Michael Wacha and on par with Joe Nathan, and he pounds the strike zone at nearly the same rate as Hisashi Iwakuma. Petriello is quick to point out that these positive indicators don't guarantee success from Perez, but with Boone Logan and J.P. Howell signing lucrative multiyear deals, Perez could be a value add late in the offseason. Other relief market notes…

  • Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports (via Twitter) that left-hander Tony Sipp is moving closer to a deal with an unidentified team. The 30-year-old Sipp posted a 4.78 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 37 2/3 innings for the Diamondbacks in 2013 but elected free agency after Arizona designated him for assignment earlier in the offseason.
  • The Mets are still looking to add a reliever, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. New York is likely looking at someone on a low-base salary deal, but with multiple irons still in the fire, nothing is expected in the next couple of days.
  • George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press writes that if former top prospect Casey Crosby again makes it to the Majors with the Tigers, it will most likely be as a reliever and not a starter. "I think he’ll adapt to pitching out of the bullpen," Pithching coach Jeff Jones told Sipple. "I think he’ll do fine with that. A lot of times, you take guys who started all their lives and you put them in the bullpen and they just flourish."

Roy Halladay Rumors: Thursday

5:07pm: Ricciardi tells Ed Price of AOL FanHouse that he's not ruling out a trade. "We're waiting 'til 4 o'clock tomorrow," Ricciardi said.

4:23pm: Jack Curry of the New York Times has additional comments from Ricciardi on Halladay:

"We've got nothing going on.  We expect him to be with us."

The Phillies are out, and the other suitors failed to wow Ricciardi.

3:19pm: Rosenthal and Morosi say the Dodgers have enough in their system to make a competitive offer for Halladay, even after acquiring Sherrill.  And for Evan Grant's thoughts on the Rangers and Halladay, click here.

However, in another entry Rosenthal and Morosi talk to J.P. Ricciardi and label the Halladay sweepstakes "all but over."  Ricciardi's comments indicate the same.  Toronto's GM seems intent on keeping Scott Rolen, Marco Scutaro, and others if Doc stays.

2:23pm: Morosi says Halladay is looking unlikely for the Angels, who shot down a Toronto proposal that included Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, and Brandon Wood

The Halos are also looking for bullpen help, with names such as Heath Bell and George Sherrill in play (their offer for Mike Wuertz fell short).

1:26pm: Rosenthal and Morosi have a source saying things are "very quiet" on the Halladay front.  Still, the Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, Rays, and Red Sox remain interested.

1:14pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown sees the Dodgers and Red Sox as the frontrunners for Doc in what is shaping up as a two-team race.  Brown says the only Major Leaguer in the Dodgers' offer is James McDonald, while the Sox will part with Clay Buchholz, one of Justin Masterson, Michael Bowden, and Lars Anderson, and some lesser prospects.  My guess is that the Red Sox find a way to get this done, given the quality they're already offering.  ESPN's Jayson Stark says one Dodgers prospect who is off-limits is shortstop Devaris Gordon.

Meanwhile, Lynn Henning of the Detroit News says the Jays wanted Rick Porcello, Ryan Perry, and Casey Crosby from the Tigers for Halladay.  Henning says the Tigers bowed out upon that request.  Henning adds that the Tigers would consider adding Adam Dunn or Josh Willingham but the price is steep on the sluggers as well.

12:59pm: A Rosenthal/Morosi source with knowledge of the Jays' thinking discusses a package of Dodgers minor leaguers that could catch Toronto's attention in a Halladay deal.

12:21pm: Joe McDonald of the Providence Journal sees the Dodgers in the lead for Halladay, with the Rangers in the mix and talks with Boston calming down.

9:09am: Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe feels the chances of the Red Sox acquiring Halladay are "remote," and believes that Boston has yet to increase their initial offer for him.  And in an earlier column, Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald said the Blue Jays and Red Sox have not been in contact over the last three days.

8:37am: SI's Jon Heyman says the Dodgers balked at the Blue Jays' asking price for Halladay and are moving on to Orioles closer George Sherrill.  Check out yesterday's Sherrill info here.

Meanwhile, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun finds Halladay unlikely to be traded.  ESPN's Buster Olney says there are "no active talks" at present.

7:55am: We'll start with a review of yesterday's Roy Halladay rumorsThe Phillies acquired Cliff Lee instead, cutting into J.P. Ricciardi's leverage for Doc.  Ricciardi now has the Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Dodgers, and possibly Angels and Rays to work with.  The Blue Jays' GM is thinking about keeping Halladay for 2010, based on his comments to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  On to a few new links…