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Cesar Jimenez Rumors
The Phillies have agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration with lefty Cesar Jimenez, the club announced. Terms were not made available, though MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projected Jimenez to earn just over league minimum, $600K, through the arbitration process.
In concert with the team’s recent one-year extensions — really, pre-market free agent deals — with Grady Sizemore and Jerome Williams, it appears that Philadelphia is pursuing a strategy of locking in cost certainty early on with several veterans.
Jimenez, 29, had his best season as a pro in 2014. After largely struggling in limited MLB action, he tossed 16 innings of 1.69 ERA ball. But his peripherals were less promising, as he struck out 4.5 and walked 3.9 batters per nine while generating a 40.8% groundball rate. And ERA estimators provided cause to expect regression, as Jimenez put up a 4.26 FIP, 5.22 xFIP, and 5.02 SIERA.
Today’s outright assignments..
- The Phillies announced that left-hander Cesar Jimenez cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies designated Jimenez for assignment last week. Jimenez, 29, appeared in 19 games for the Phillies last season en route to a 3.71 ERA, and he has a career 4.81 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a 36.9 percent ground-ball rate in 67 1/3 innings.
- The Yankees have outrighted reliever Alfredo Aceves to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Aceves, 31, signed with the Yankees after opting out of his minor league deal with the Orioles late in the spring. He had worked to a 6.52 ERA in 19 1/3 frames this year before being designated for assignment last week.
- The Mets outrighted right-hander Buddy Carlyle to Triple-A, according to the transactions page. Carlyle, 36, made just two appearances for the Mets in 2014, working four-and-a-third innings without allowing a run. He has seen sporadic MLB action over parts of eight seasons, notching 256 1/3 innings and compiling a 5.51 ERA. The Mets DFA’d Carlyle on June 4th.
The 29-year-old Jimenez appeared in two games for the 2014 Phils, firing a pair of shutout innings on a hit and a walk with one strikeout. He appeared in 19 games for the Phillies last season en route to a 3.71 ERA, and he has a career 4.81 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a 36.9 percent ground-ball rate in 67 1/3 innings. Jimenez has held opposing left-handers in check, though he hasn’t necessarily dominated them– yielding a .245/.311/.355 batting line in his career.
Cedeno, 31, hit reasonably well with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, posting a .286/.327/.367 triple-slash in 160 plate appearances. He split last season between the Astros and Padres, posting a combined .617 OPS in 288 PA. In parts of nine big league seasons with the Cubs, Pirates, Mets, Mariners, Padres and Astros, Cedeno is a .246/.289/.354 hitter.
The Phillies announced that they have signed outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro and left-hander Cesar Jimenez to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. The team also confirmed its previously reported signing of right-hander Shawn Camp.
Thomas, 30, batted .214/.290/.307 with four homers in a career-high 322 plate appearances for the Twins last season. The former Tiger is a career .250/.326/.423 hitter in parts of six Triple-A seasons and can play a solid defensive center field, making him a nice depth pickup for the Phils.
Jimenez, who turned 29 on Tuesday, posted a 3.71 ERA with 11 strikeouts and 10 walks in 17 innings for Philadelphia in 2013 and has a 4.96 career ERA in 65 1/3 Major League innings. Opposing lefties have batted .250/.311/.361 against Jimenez in 120 plate appearances over his big league career.
Castro, 24, spent the 2013 season with Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley, batting .256/.280/.368 with eight homers and 20 stolen bases in 458 plate appearances.
Here are today's minor moves from around the league…
- The Athletics have re-signed shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports. Nakajima hit .283/.331/.367 in 384 PA for Triple-A Sacramento this season, his first in North America after signing a two-year, $6.5MM deal with the A's last winter. Nakajima was outrighted off Oakland's 40-man roster last August.
- Left-hander Cesar Jimenez has elected to become a free agent, as reported by the International League's transactions page. Jimenez was outrighted off the Phillies' 40-man roster to Triple-A last week. The southpaw posted a 3.71 ERA, 11 strikeouts and 10 walks over 17 relief innings for Philadelphia in 2013.
- The Rangers signed right-hander Kyle Lotzkar and lefty Aaron Poreda to minor league deals, according to the latest minor league transactions report from Baseball America's Matt Eddy (which contains many more minor transactions). Lotzkar, 23, was released by the Reds in September. A former supplemental-round pick, Lotzkar was said by Baseball America to have some of the best stuff in the Reds' organization, but he's battled through Tommy John surgery and a stress fracture in his elbow in recent years. Though his 8.05 ERA in the minors this season was alarming, he whiffed 41 batters in 38 innings and has a career 10.5 K/9.
- Poreda, 27, didn't pitch in affiliated ball this season. Formerly BA's No. 63 overall prospect and a White Sox first-rounder, Poreda has a 3.53 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9 in 454 career minor league innings. He reached the Majors in 2009 with both the Sox and Padres, as he was part of the haul San Diego received for Jake Peavy. BA wrote multiple times that he's "built for durability," but his lack of a true plus secondary pitch has led to many struggles.
- As shown in MLBTR's DFA Tracker, there are currently four players residing in DFA limbo: Pedro Beato of the Red Sox, Peter Moylan of the Dodgers and Tommy Layne and Colt Hynes of the Padres.
We'll keep track of today's minor moves here.
- The Astros have outrighted outfielder Trevor Crowe and pitcher Jorge De Leon, according to a team press release. Crowe, a former first-round pick of the Indians, hit .218/.287/.291 in 181 plate appearances with the Astros in 2013. With Crowe's departure, the only Astro remaining who is eligible for arbitration is Jason Castro. De Leon pitched ten innings of relief for Houston after spending much of the year with Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
- The Mets have outrighted relievers Greg Burke and Sean Henn, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York tweets. Burke, 31, pitched 31 2/3 innings for New York in 2013, posting a 5.68 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9. He also made 31 appearances for Triple-A Las Vegas. Before 2013, Burke had not appeared in the Majors since 2009, when he was with the Padres. Henn appeared in four games with the Mets in 2013, pitching most of the season in Las Vegas.
- The Phillies outrighted four players to Triple-A Lehigh Valley: outfielders Casper Wells and Roger Bernadina, left-hander Cesar Jimenez, and right-hander J.C. Ramirez. Wells, who also spent time with the White Sox and Mariners in 2013, had a dismal .126/.186/.147 combined slash line in 102 plate apparances. Ramirez posted a 7.50 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9 in 18 relief appearances but posted stronger numbers at Lehigh Valley. Bernadina hit .291/.372/.405 for the Nats in 2012 but he had an OPS of just .545 in '13.
- Correcting an earlier item, the Phillies did not re-sign Michael Martinez. We regret the error.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.