Chicago White Sox Rumors

Chicago White Sox trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Quick Hits: Castellini, Aiken, Rays, Brewers

Unless someone blows the Reds away with an offer, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer could see them rolling the dice, effectively staying pat, and hoping for a second-half turnaround.  There are people in the organization willing to blow it all up, but Fay writes that owner Bob Castellini is an optimist.  Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Aroldis Chapman could yield great returns for the Reds, but their owner might not be ready to call it quits on 2015.  The Reds are 32-36 following today’s 5-2 win over the Marlins.

  • Since signing Brady Aiken, the Indians have kept the size of his bonus “on top-secret lockdown for some reason,” MLB.com’s Jim Callis writes (all Twitter links).  Callis predicts that Aiken will receive the “max of what [the] Indians can pay without crossing 105% pool threshold,” so roughly a bonus of $2.7 to $2.75MM, which would top his slot value as the 17th overall pick by over $300K.  Aiken’s bonus has been the source of speculation given how he was both the first player taken in 2014 and a recent Tommy John patient.  As Jason Lukehart of the Let’s Go Tribe blog recently noted, Cleveland has saved a lot of money in their draft pool to go significantly over slot to sign Aiken and 42nd overall pick Triston McKenzie.
  • The Rays have long been able to deliver winning teams on small payrolls, yet Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times observes that the 2015 season may be the club’s most impressive feat yet.  The Rays are in first place in the AL East despite paying almost $36MM of their $72MM Opening Day payroll to players who are either on the DL, in the minors or no longer with the organization.
  • It will be tough for the Brewers to receive good prospect value back on the trade market since so many of their high-priced veterans are struggling, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes.  Dealing controllable pieces like Jonathan Lucroy, Wily Peralta or Jimmy Nelson wouldn’t make sense, so Haudricourt thinks Carlos Gomez or Jean Segura would have to be the ones to go in order for Milwaukee to get some quality minor league talent.
  • Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson have become big parts of the Yankees bullpen, though Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes that the Bombers paid a surprisingly hefty price.  Ex-top prospect Manny Banuelos (dealt for Shreve and the released David Carpenter) is pitching well for the Braves’ Triple-A team while Francisco Cervelli (traded for Wilson) has emerged as a huge help behind the plate for the Pirates.
  • While the chances of the White Sox trading Chris Sale are remote, ESPN’s Buster Olney (Insider-only piece) opines that the Sox should at least consider dealing Sale since the return would be so enormous for a 26-year-old ace who is controllable through 2019 on a team-friendly contract.  White Sox sources told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that the club isn’t making Sale available, which is understandable, though Olney is right in noting that Sale would instantly become the biggest trade chip on the market.

Cafardo On Sale, Ramirez, Uehara, Papelbon

In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggests ten steps to help fix the Red Sox.  The first item on the list is one that has been discussed quite a bit – Boston’s need for a true ace in the rotation.  Beyond that, Cafardo would like to see the Sox trade Clay Buchholz, focus on acquiring players who can thrive in their environment, and hire an executive to oversee and question the moves of GM Ben Cherington.   Here’s a look at some of the highlights from Cafardo’s Sunday offering..

  • White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is on a strikeout tear and teams would surely like to add him this summer.  However, team sources tell Cafardo that Sale is not available.  Even though the White Sox are in last place, they see him as the cornerstone of their franchise.  Sale, 26, has a 2.74 ERA with 12.1 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 through 13 starts this season.
  • There have been conflicting reports on the subject, but Cafardo hears that the Mets have made inquiries on Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez.  Ramirez, who turns 37 this week, has hit just .220/.256/.405 in 211 plate appearances this season.  However, some feel that a move to a contending club could get him back on track.  Cafardo also writes that it wouldn’t be surprising if the Giants or Padres got in the mix on the veteran.
  • Teams are watching Red Sox closer Koji Uehara and monitoring him to make sure that he’s free of serious injury concerns.  At the same time, his $9MM salary for next season is a deterrent for rival teams.   “There’s always going to be a holding of your breath to commit to him, but he’s still very good. Boston would have to pick up some of the salary. But I think teams will definitely inquire and make a push for him,” one AL evaluator told Cafardo.
  • Jonathan Papelbon would seem to be a great fit for the the Blue Jays, but money continues to be an issue for Toronto.  The Phillies could probably assume a lot of Papelbon’s deal for this year and some of the $13MM vesting option for 2016, but the sense is that Toronto wants to go even cheaper.  Also, they don’t want to give up youngster Daniel Norris to find their late-inning solution.

Quick Hits: International Spending, Giants, Cubans

Remember when the Padres, Red Sox, and White Sox were the most improved teams in the majors? They, along with the Marlins, are below .500 despite their busy offseasons, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. Alternatively, the Blue Jays have pushed into playoff contention with a recent winning streak. Toronto added Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin over the offseason, but the core of the team has remained largely intact. Kepner notes that these quick turnaround rebuilds are no guarantee for solid performance.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • A new international signing period will begin on July 2nd, but 2016 is the time for your favorite team to break the bank, per Ben Badler of Baseball America. The Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Angels, and Diamondbacks are already unable to spend more than $300K on a player for the next two seasons. The Dodgers, Cubs, Royals, Phillies, and Blue Jays may blow past their bonus limit in the 2015 signing period. That will remove many of the most active teams from the market in 2016. Badler gives a complete description of the international market conditions. It’s well worth a read.
  • The Giants will soon face a roster crunch in their rotation, writes Chris Haft of MLB.com. Jake Peavy is medically ready to return, and Matt Cain is nearing readiness. The easiest move would be to option Chris Heston, but he’s tied for the club lead with seven wins and recently no-hit the Mets. Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Hudson have been merely serviceable. The same can be said of Tim Lincecum in recent weeks. With the exception of Heston, the other rotation arms could be lost if they’re designated for assignment. The club could opt to move Lincecum and Vogelsong into the bullpen, but that just pushes the roster crunch elsewhere.
  • An influx of Cuban players could soon flood the majors, writes Bill Shaiken of the Los Angeles Times. Cuban players, even those who fall under international spending restrictions, are currently able to negotiate with all 30 clubs. That increases their bargaining power. It’s a big reason why infielder Roberto Baldoquin cost about four times more than the Angels’ entire 2015 amateur draft class. Cubans are currently the third most represented foreign nation in the majors. Opening day rosters included 18 Cubans, 65 Venezuelans, and 83 Dominicans. Cuba has a comparable population to the Dominican Republic. As such, we could see a surge of Cuban players as diplomatic relations continue to thaw.


Heyman’s Latest: Phillies, C. Johnson, Sellers, Harang, Rays

In his weekly Inside Baseball column, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports begins by taking a look at a messy situation in Philadelphia. Heyman hears the same rumblings that were first reported by CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury — that Andy MacPhail could very well be in line for an executive role with the Phillies. The hiring of MacPhail would bring into question the status of both GM Ruben Amaro and manager Ryne Sandberg. While one exec notes that no one could have had much success with the hand Sandberg has been dealt, his calm demeanor hasn’t motivated the team much, and he may have lost the clubhouse at this point. Heyman notes that partial owner John Middleton, who is believed by some to be calling the shots in Philly, may have extra impetus to get a new decision-maker in the door so that a lame-duck GM (Amaro’s contract expires at season’s end) isn’t the primary decision-maker on what could be a franchise-altering Cole Hamels trade. Speaking of Hamels, Heyman notes that interested teams will want to see him pitch at least twice now that he had a start pushed back due to a hamstring strain, thinning the window of opportunity to trade him. As far as Jonathan Papelbon goes, the belief is that he’d approve any trade that sent him to a contending team, though the Cubs might be his preferred fit at this point if he had a say in the matter.

Some more highlights from Heyman’s latest (though there’s more in the column than we can cover here)…

  • The Braves have tried to trade Chris Johnson and even offered to substantially pay down the remaining money on his contract, but there’s been little interest. The Johnson deal was widely questioned from the start, and there’s still about $21MM owed to Johnson through the end of the 2017 season. Johnson’s a viable weapon against lefties, but he’s a sub-par hitter against right-handed pitchers and is not well-regarded from a defensive standpoint.
  • Rival teams are beginning to wonder if the Red Sox might sell some pieces this summer, with Mike Napoli, Clay Buchholz and Koji Uehara among the possible names listed by Heyman. Napoli isn’t hitting for average but has shown good power and a nice walk rate. Buchholz has improved after a rocky start and Uehara again has strong numbers in the ‘pen.
  • The White Sox are beginning to think about selling, Heyman hears, but they’re not quite ready to move their bigger pieces. Emilio Bonifacio might be the first name they make available, but eventually, Jeff Samardzija‘s name could be out there. Heyman writes that while Samardzija isn’t pitching well in 2015, his big arm is so tantalizing to scouts that there will still be interest in him.
  • The Reds aren’t expected to sell until after the All-Star Game and would be very open to shedding Brandon Phillips‘ contract, per Heyman, though I have a difficult time envisioning too many teams lining up to take on the remainder of that deal. Phillips is owed about $34.1MM through the end of the 2017 season and has seen his power more or less vanish. Heyman speculates that Everth Cabrera could be a fit in Cincinnati with Zack Cozart out for the year, and there’s some logic to that scenario, though they may first prefer to see what they have in Eugenio Suarez. The Mets aren’t interested in Cabrera, he adds later.
  • The Marlins aren’t selling yet, according to GM-turned-manager Dan Jennings. “We’re in it, we’re not jumping off the ship. No doubt about that,” Jennings told Heyman. If their attitude changes, Heyman thinks they’ll find interest in Martin Prado and Mike Dunn.
  • The Astros like Aaron Harang but are said to be aiming higher when looking at potential trade targets to bolster their rotation.
  • The Dodgers are on the hunt for a top-tier starting pitcher and a late-inning arm to help bridge the gap to Kenley Jansen. In other Dodgers-related news, Heyman hears that No. 35 pick Kyle Funkhouser is strongly considering returning to Louisville. Funkhouser was once looked at as a potential Top 10 pick, but he fell to a slot with a $1.756MM value. He’d have less leverage in 2016 as a senior sign, of course, but he could certainly improve his draft stock and his bonus with a big senior year.
  • Yankees chief international officer/executive vice president Felix Lopez is no longer listed on the team’s web site and some indicate that he’s been gone from the organization for three months, Heyman writes. Lopez was said to have angered Yoan Moncada‘s camp after calling to express displeasure with their decision to sign in Boston over New York. The team hasn’t made a statement on his departure.
  • The Rays are looking for first base help with James Loney on the disabled list, but Loney’s said to be returning around the All-Star break. Heyman speculates on the possibility of Ryan Howard ending up in Tampa Bay if the Phillies eat some or all of the contract, but I’d think there’d be something of a logjam there once Loney is activated in that scenario.

Trade Notes: Taylor, Cueto, Cards, Indians, Rangers, White Sox

The Nationals and Athletics have matched up on trade deadline rentals (and other deals) with some frequency of late, and the clubs have reportedly discussed both Ben Zobrist and Tyler Clippard this year. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports, nothing has gained significant traction as of yet. Oakland has expressed interest in young Nats outfielder Michael Taylor, who has found himself playing a significant role on the club this year as a fill-in for Denard Span (to start the year) and Jayson Werth (currently on the DL). The A’s have also asked about the Nats’ young arms, per Rosenthal, who argues that the Taylor ask suggests that Oakland GM Billy Beane could be looking to “operate as both a buyer and seller” this summer. From my perspective, looking to add an unpolished but big-league-ready and controllable piece like Taylor is to be expected, whether or not Beane thinks his club has enough time to get back in contention this season. I’d also add that the Nats seem unlikely to move Taylor with Span set to hit free agency after the season.

Here are some more notes on the trade market:

  • The Yankees are getting a good look at Reds starter Johnny Cueto, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. New York has sent a scout to watch both of Cueto’s last two starts, per the report. Of course, they surely are not alone in dedicating attention to the player who could be the best arm available this July.
  • Though he doesn’t call for a trade directly, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch breaks down the flaws in the Cardinals bench alignment. In particular, utility infielder Pete Kozma has struggled badly at the plate for some time. And the team’s resources have been stretched somewhat with Mark Reynolds needed to fill in for the injured Matt Adams. Certainly, as the team looks to fortify itself for a stretch run and hopeful post-season berth, reserve players could be on the wish list.
  • The Indians remain in a somewhat uncertain position in a tough AL Central; entering today’s action, the team remains four games under .500 and eight back in the division. In an appearance on MLB Network Radio (Twitter link), Cleveland GM Chris Antonetti certainly sounded more like a buyer. “We’re still learning about our team,” he said. “We’re still trying to find out where we’ll need to supplement.”
  • In his own recent MLB Network Radio spot several days ago (via Twitter), Rangers GM Jon Daniels explained that he is preparing to take a hard look at the trade market. “If someone out there can help us, we have to be open-minded,” said Daniels. “We’ll evaluate our own guys first and go from there.” As both of these executive quotes indicate, one somewhat underappreciated factor in the slow onset of serious trades is the fact that many clubs are interested in obtaining an extended look at multiple internal options — all while seeing how other teams’ players are performing — before deciding whether to part with assets.
  • The White Sox are in an even tougher spot than their division rivals from Cleveland, but GM Rick Hahn emphasized that the team is still focused on crawling back into contention, as Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports. “The organization still absolutely believes in this team,” Hahn said. “The focus on the ballgames and the belief we will win ballgames is there.” Of course, as Levine rightly notes, the best way to get back in the hunt — improved performance — is also the optimal means of building trade value. Hahn went on to explain that he had no interest in giving public insight into the team’s strategic thinking. “Do we have thoughts on potential moves to reinvigorate the 2015 club and put us in a better position to contend going forward? Absolutely,” said Hahn. “As for the timing or the nature of those moves, that is not something that we will lay out in advance.”
  • ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark lays out his top ten targets, rating Cole Hamels of the Phillies as the biggest trade piece. One executive tells Stark that Hamels has probably increased his value over the first few months of the season, though of course he is out right now with what is hoped to be a relatively minor hamstring issue. Teams that have had contact with the Phils are indicating that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is still insisting on young players that possible buyers have said they’re not willing to move. One source tells Stark that a “more creative” approach will be needed to get something done. Amaro has obviously taken a lot of heat for his handling of the team’s trade chips, though at this point it is probably best to withhold judgment; after all, Hamels is a somewhat unique trade commodity given his large but manageable contract, and a bidding war remains a plausible scenario.

Minor Moves: Wang, Wilson, Ramirez, Crabbe

Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league…

  • Brewers lefty Wei-Chung Wang cleared outright waivers and has been assigned to the club’s Class-A affiliate, the team announced. Milwaukee carried Wang all last year on its major league roster to keep him trough the Rule 5 process, but needed a 40-man spot when third baseman Matt Dominguez himself became a 40-man casualty of the Astros. Wang’s struggles at the High-A level (5.93 ERA in 60 2/3 innings) led the club to expose him to an outside claim.
  • Rays backstop Bobby Wilson has accepted an assignment with the club after being outrighted, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The veteran defensive stalwart played in 24 games for the big league club earlier this year, and figures to be a good bet to return at some point. He has never produced much at the plate, and this year was no different: Wilson has slashed just .145/.203/.145 in 59 plate appearances.
  • Right-hander J.C. Ramirez cleared outright waivers after being designated for assignment and has been outrighted to Triple-A Reno by the Diamondbacks, tweets Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic. Removed from the roster to create a spot for Allen Webster, the 26-year-old Ramirez had worked to a 4.11 ERA with an 11-to-4 K/BB ratio out of the Arizona bullpen this season. This marked his second stint with the big league club and his first since 2013. In 39 1/3 career innings at the Major League level, Ramirez has a 6.18 ERA. He’s worked to a 3.82 ERA in 125 Triple-A innings.
  • The Diamondbacks also dealt righty Tim Crabbe to the White Sox for cash or a player to be named later, the club announced (via MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, on Twitter). Crabbe, 27, has spent all of the past three years in the upper minors and has recently converted to relief pitching exclusively. He owns a 5.50 ERA over 34 1/3 innings this year at Triple-A, with 8.7 K/9 but a rough 6.0 BB/9.

White Sox Designate Hector Noesi For Assignment

The White Sox announced today that they have designated right-hander Hector Noesi for assignment and recalled fellow righty Scott Carroll from Triple-A Charlotte to fill his spot on the roster (Twitter link).

The 28-year-old Noesi soaked up 166 innings in the White Sox rotation in 2014 after Chicago claimed him off waivers from the Rangers, but he’s struggled greatly this season. In 32 2/3 innings, Noesi has produced a 6.89 ERA with 22 strikeouts against 16 walks. His spot in the rotation has been taken over by Carlos Rodon, the No. 3 overall pick from the 2014 draft.

Carroll, 30, has been up and down with the White Sox over the past two seasons, totaling 129 1/3 innings last season and 17 2/3 innings this year. His 2015 efforts at the Major League level have yielded a 3.12 ERA, although he’s fanned just seven hitters against seven walks in that time. Carroll has notched a 2.37 ERA with 5.3 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 in 30 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level this season and could serve as swingman in the Chicago bullpen.


AL Central Notes: Buxton, Sox, V-Mart, Tigers, Young

Speaking about the team’s recent promotion of top prospect Byron Buxton, Twins GM Terry Ryan told Kris Atteberry of Twins Radio (audio link): “We brought up Buxton because he’s the best one we had available at the time. We have a few guys down there that we considered, but they aren’t as good as Buxton, so we brought up Byron to give him a shot. … I’m hoping that things go well enough that we don’t have to worry about it.” Based on Ryan’s comments, it seems that Buxton will have the opportunity to play his way into a regular role moving forward. A productive Buxton would certainly increase Minnesota’s chances of remaining in the hunt for the division and could also eliminate a potential area of need in trades — an upgrade in the outfield.

More from the AL Central…

  • Asked by MLB.com’s Scott Merkin about the possibility of the White Sox becoming deadline sellers, David Robertson said that he would be understanding of any route that GM Rick Hahn felt was best for the team. “If that happens, you know, that’s just part of the game,” said the closer, who signed a four-year, $46MM contract this winter. “That’s obviously a decision that I’m not even involved in. The organization has to do what’s best for them. If that’s the way this season turns out, then so be it.” Robertson, however, feels that the Sox still have the pieces to contend and believes a turnaround is possible with strong performances against division rivals in Kansas City and Detroit. Chicago is currently seven games under .500 and nine back in the AL Central.
  • Victor Martinez will rejoin the Tigers this weekend in New York and could be activated from the disabled list at that time, writes James Schmehl of MLive.com. Martinez has been out since May 19 but looked strong on a Triple-A rehab assignment to date, going 4-for-12 with a double in 12 plate appearances.
  • In a mailbag column, Schmehl addresses potential trade scenarios for the Tigers this summer, reporting that the team will consider adding starting pitching. Johnny Cueto and Scott Kazmir are two seemingly speculative names tossed out by Schmehl. He adds that Detroit is likely to add a relief arm as well, though not an elite closer like Aroldis Chapman, as the team is happy with Joakim Soria in the ninth inning.
  • In a piece for FOX Sports, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs examines the unique nature of Chris Young‘s ability to drastically outperform his FIP by virtue of consistently posting one of the lowest BABIP marks in baseball. While there’s a good amount of luck involved in BABIP, Young’s extreme fly-ball tendencies — specifically his ability to induce infield flies — has allowed him to post a .240 BABIP dating back to 2006. Cameron notes that in such a heavily analytical era, it’s not surprising that teams were so reluctant to gamble on a 36-year-old soft-tosser with a 5.02 FIP in 2014, but Young’s mastery of a rare skill set has made him a bargain.

Draft Signings: White, Maese, Miller, Erwin, Graham

It’s been a busy day on the draft signing front. Among the notable names locked up today, with slot values courtesy of Baseball America (all links to Twitter):

  • Shortstop Mikey White will receive a $900K bonus from the Athletics, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis. His second round selection spot (63rd overall) came with a $979,600 allocation, so the team will save some cash in the deal. White checked in at 34th on the board of Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs, who cites his development at the plate and solid raw power for his position. Other talent evaluators had him further down the board, in the sixties, with some doubting whether he’ll stick at short.
  • The Marlins will pay third-rounder Isaiah White an at-slot $698,100 bonus, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports. Baseball America had White rated the 138th-best talent available, citing his outstanding speed as his best tool. Miami locked up fourth-rounder Cody Poteet with a slot-value $488.7K bonus, per Cotillo. And the Fish also added sixth-round catcher Justin Cohen for a $540K bonus, well above his $274K slot number at the 176th selection, per Callis. BA credited Cohen’s arm and receiving ability behind the plate, noting that he has some power potential with the bat.
  • The Blue Jays have reached a $300K deal with third-round choice Justin Maese, per Callis. That constitutes a somewhat rare below-slot deal for a high school arm, as the slot value was $636,400. While Maese has shown a big fastball and strong slider, Baseball America says he has been inconsistent. Toronto also agreed to a $450K bonus with fourth-round pick Carl Wise, Callis reports, falling just $11,200 of the slot value.
  • The Royals have added Western Kentucky outfielder Anderson Miller for a slot bonus of $581,300, says Callis. Baseball America rated Miller within the top 200 prospects available, citing his solid hitting ability, increased power, and potential to play center field as a professional.
  • White Sox fourth-rounder Zack Erwin will receive a slot bonus of $508K, Callis  reports. The Clemson lefty was the 117th name on BA’s list, calling him a good athlete with the potential to harness three above-average offerings. Chicago also agreed to terms with sixth-round pick Corey Zangari, a power righty, for $510K, Callis adds. He works in the upper nineties when he’s on, per BA, but is inconsistent. He also has some promise as a hitter, though he likely won’t be able to catch (as he has as an amateur) and would profile as a first baseman.
  • The Braves signed their fourth-round pick, Josh Graham of Oregon, for $500K, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports. That’s just a shade under $30K over the slot value. Recently converted from catcher to the mound, Graham has a nice low-to-mid-90s fastball, average slider, and “surprisingly decent change,” according to Baseball America.
  • 11th-round pick Brantley Bell has agreed to terms with the Reds for $400k, according to Mayo. Bell, a JuCo shortstop out of State College of Florida Manatee, did not place on any prospect lists.

Minor Moves: McGehee, McGowan, Schebler, Venditte, Marrero, Mooneyham, Demeritte

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • Several notable players are en route to the big leagues. The Giants have brought back third baseman Casey McGehee after he hit well in a brief Triple-A stint (having accepted an optional assignment). Fellow veteran Dustin McGowan, a right-hander, has been recalled by the Phillies; he had been outrighted off the 40-man earlier in the year. And the Dodgers have called up outfielder Scott Schebler, the organization’s minor league player of the year in 2013, who will see his first MLB action. He was placed on the club’s 40-man roster last year, though his numbers have fallen off somewhat early this season after two consecutive .900+ OPS campaigns in the high minors.
  • Most exciting of all, perhaps, is the news that the Athletics have announced that switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has been added to the big league roster. A nearly-unprecedented hurler, Venditte reverses the very idea of platoons by moving seamlessly between pitching with his right and left arms. He’s been outstanding this year at Triple-A, tossing 33 frames of 1.36 ERA ball with 9.0 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9. The 29-year-old has been particularly stingy when facing lefties, holding them to a remarkable .095/.136/.095 slash.
  • First baseman Chris Marrero has reached a minor league deal with the White Sox, Mike Ashmore of MyCentralJersey.com writes. The former Nationals prospect, now 26, had been playing with the indy league Somerset Patriots. He’ll report to Double-A for the Chicago organization.
  • The Nationals have released lefty Brett Mooneyham, who was their third-round pick in the 2012 draft, Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweets. Mooneyham, a 25-year-old Stanford product, has struggled badly with control and shifted exclusively to the pen at the A-ball level this year. He owned just a 6.41 ERA over 19 2/3 frames with 16 strikeouts against 13 walks.
  • Rangers prospect Travis Demeritte, a first-round pick in 2013, has been hit with an 80-game suspension for using banned substances, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest reports on Twitter. The infielder was repeating the Sally League at age 20. Over 664 plate appearances at the level, he owns a .220/.320/.438 slash with 30 long balls and 16 stolen bases but a whopping 240 strikeouts.