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Chad Moeller Rumors
The Rockies have released catcher Chad Moeller, reports Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post (as tweeted by his Post colleague Troy Renck). According to the club's official Twitter feed, the move was made so Moeller "can seek more playing time with another team."
Moeller, 36, signed a minor league deal with Colorado in January. The 11-year veteran has also played for the Twins, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Reds, Dodgers, and Orioles in his career, plus two stints with the Yankees, including nine games with the Bombers last season.
Moeller has never provided much pop (a .640 career OPS) but it wouldn't be a surprise seeing him sign with another team that is in need of an experienced catcher. Two clubs in the last week alone have had vacancies open up behind the plate — the Astros (in the wake of Jason Castro's season-ending injury) and the Padres (now that Gregg Zaun has retired).
The Rockies are considering available free agents as they look to add rotation depth, left-handed relief and infield help, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Rockies would like to add a veteran starter and David Bush and Rodrigo Lopez are among the team’s targets.
The team would also like to sign a left-handed reliever to a minor league deal. Matt Reynolds (21 career appearances) and Franklin Morales (88 career appearances) are the team's current options, so they’re eyeing veteran help. Former Rockie Joe Beimel does not appear to be an option, according to the Denver Post.
Alfredo Amezaga, Cristian Guzman and Aaron Miles are among the backup infielders the club is considering. The Rockies appear to prefer Amezaga to Miles, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Rockies still have interest in a higher profile infielder: Michael Young. Young will earn $16MM in each of the next three seasons and the Rangers say they expect him to stay in Texas.
Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine told Mike Ferrin and Morgan Ensberg on MLB Network Radio that “we’re looking at [Young] as our primary DH but also a guy who’s going to play all over the infield.” The team expects Young to get plenty of playing time, even though they just acquired former division rival Mike Napoli.
SATURDAY, 7:37pm: Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News tweets that Moeller has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A.
MONDAY, 6:15pm: The Yankees have designated Chad Moeller for assignment, tweets Sweeny Murti of WFAN. Colin Curtis, who was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, will take Moeller's place on the roster.
Moeller joined the big-league club after Jorge Posada's injury, starting just four games and hitting .182/.250/.364 in 12 plate appearances. The 35-year-old backstop has been well-traveled over the past few years, spending time with the Orioles, Dodgers, Reds, Brewers, and Yanks (twice) since 2006.
With catchers Jorge Posada, Francisco Cervelli, and Mike Rivera all battling minor injuries, Moeller will provide the Yankees with some depth at Triple-A. Jennings says the team is expected to release Rivera. Moeller hit .258/.313/.438 in 100 plate appearances for the O's last season, and played for the Yanks in 2008.
Jennings adds that the Yanks also signed utility man Robby Hammock to a minor league deal as well. The former Diamondback spent last season in the minors, and is a career .255/.313/.409 hitter in 525 big league plate appearances.
The Orioles granted catcher Chad Moeller his request to be released, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles re-signed Moeller to a minor league deal in December, but recently chose Craig Tatum to back up Matt Wieters. Moeller refused a minor league assignment. The Sun's Peter Schmuck questioned the Tatum selection in an article yesterday.
Zrebiec notes that the Orioles are now in the market for a backup catcher to help out at Triple A.
Links for Tuesday…
- I joined Jeff & Jeff on KNFS 590 St. Louis today; click here to listen to audio.
- Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald tweets that the Red Sox signed 22-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Padron to a minor league deal with a $350K bonus. Cuban Ball Players has a bit on Padron here.
- SI's Jon Heyman tweets that the Royals will join the Mariners in the Jarrod Washburn bidding. Heyman first made the Royals-Washburn connection on January 11th, but nothing much came of it.
- Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times spoke to Orlando Cabrera, Tony Reagins, and Walt Jocketty about the decline in multiyear free agent contracts.
- Rays first baseman Dan Johnson cleared waivers and accepted a Triple A assignment, tweets Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
- Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun feels that Orioles catcher Chad Moeller is unlikely to accept a minor league assignment now that the team has chosen Craig Tatum to back up Matt Wieters.
- Aroldis Chapman is expected to begin the season in the minors, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs praises the Rockies for their player development, but questions their offseason tweaking. For more on that topic, check out our Rockies offseason in review.
- Rich Hill, recently reassigned to Triple A, can elect free agency around June if he's not in the Majors according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Catcher Chad Moeller agreed to a minor league deal with the Orioles, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles had declined Moeller's $850K option, preferring to have him on a minor league contract. Zrebiec says Moeller will battle recent pickups Craig Tatum and Michel Hernandez for the chance to be Matt Wieters' backup.
Moeller, 35 in February, hit .258/.313/.438 in 100 plate appearances this year while catching 239 innings.
Links for Friday…
- The Diamondbacks are looking to add a veteran setup man or two in free agency, explains MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.
- The Boston Herald's Sean McAdam has an in-depth look at Red Sox shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias.
- Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post wonders if the Orioles will pursue Garrett Atkins in free agency, assuming he is released or non-tendered. Renck also notes that if the Mets are to sign Yorvit Torrealba this winter, they'll have to settle their 2007 grievance first.
- Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun finds it "fairly likely" that catcher Chad Moeller will re-sign with the Orioles on a minor league deal, despite the team declining his $850K option.
- Tommy Bennett of Beyond the Boxscore looks at the relationship between the average MLB salary and the GDP.
The Orioles have declined Melvin Mora's $8MM option for 2010, likely ending his successful tenure with Baltimore.
Mora struggled in 2009, hitting just .260/.321/.358 in 496 plate appearances this past season. He will be 38 years old, and will likely command far less than his option number as a free agent.
However, for teams looking for a third baseman, Mora might be a reasonable option. He is just a year removed from hitting .285/.342/.483, while his Ultimate Zone Rating was still 1.1 runs saved above average per 150 games in 2009.
Mora criticized Dave Trembley, Baltimore's manager, in August over a lack of playing time. Therefore, once Baltimore announced Trembley's return, it became far less likely the team would retain Mora, even at a lesser cost.
Mora hit 158 home runs with Baltimore after coming over from the New York Mets in a deal for Mike Bordick.
Other Baltimore moves this afternoon included declining the $850K option on catcher Chad Moeller and outrighting outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, pitchers Chris Lambert and Jim Miller and catcher Guillermo Rodriguez after each cleared waivers.