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Chris Dickerson Rumors
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- After being outrighted by the Indians, outfielder Chris Dickerson has elected free agency, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Dickerson, 32, slashed .224/.309/.327 in 112 plate appearances this year for Cleveland. He has seen part-time duty with five different clubs in each of the last seven seasons, but has not managed to keep a sustained role at the game’s highest level.
We’ll keep track of today’s outright assignments here..
- The Royals have placed both Chris Dwyer and Blake Wood on outright waivers, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Both hurlers were designated recently to clear space for September call-ups. Once a top prospect, Dwyer has struggled to a 5.59 ERA working mostly in relief at Triple-A this year, while Wood has yet to re-establish himself since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012.
- The Indians announced that they have outrighted outfielder Chris Dickerson to Triple-A Columbus. Cleveland acquired Dickerson from the Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later back in July. GM Chris Antonetti traded for Dickerson because he valued his ability to play all three outfield positions and ability to hit against right-handed pitching.
Entering the All-Star break, the Indians find themselves at .500 and in third place in the AL Central, trailing the Tigers by 7.5 games. Before Cleveland’s 3-2 win over the White Sox, GM Chris Antonetti chatted with reporters for 25 minutes. Here are the highlights (MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian has the complete transcript) :
- Antonetti hasn’t decided whether the Indians will be buyers or sellers at the Trade Deadline. “We’re exploring a lot of different things, opportunities to improve our team for the balance of this season and then position us better moving forward, too. We’ve spent a lot of energy on fits for acquiring guys that we’d have control over beyond this year, not just guys that would just be here for the balance of the year.“
- The Indians’ trade strategy is muddied by the fact there isn’t one glaring weakness on the roster. “It’s actually one of the interesting challenges that we have,” Antonetti said. “So, for us to improve, we need to improve upon a higher standard. And, in some cases, we’re counting on guys that we’ve already made commitments to rebounding. So, it’s a little bit of a different dynamic for us as we look to try to improve our roster.“
- The Indians will “potentially” explore the trade market for starting pitchers. “The one thing we continue to believe is we have quality Major League starting pitchers,” said Antonetti. “Anytime you acquire a guy, you have to think about who it displaces from the team and the rotation, in that case. You have to have a high degree of confidence that it’s an improvement.“
- Antonetti traded for Chris Dickerson because his ability to play all three outfield positions and his success against right-handed pitching is a nice complement to the club in the wake of Michael Bourn‘s hamstring injury. Antonetti added he had interest in Dickerson as a free agent this past offseason, but couldn’t commit at-bats to him at the time.
- Yesterday, the Indians acquired Nick Maronde from the Angels. Antonetti has liked the left-hander “for quite a while” and acknowledged the 24-year-old has had “some trouble throwing strikes, but we think that there’s significant upside there and a guy worth taking a chance on. “
The Indians announced that they have acquired outfielder Chris Dickerson from the Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Dickerson’s contract will be selected for tonight’s game, and George Kottaras has been designated for assignment to create roster space.
The 32-year-old Dickerson has a spotty Major League track record, but he was having an excellent season for Triple-A Indianapolis in the Pirates organization. In 280 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .309/.407/.479 with seven homers and 12 steals.
Dickerson grades out as an excellent defender at all three outfield spots, per Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved — an attribute that likely appealed to Cleveland with Michael Bourn on the shelf for the next three to four weeks due to a hamstring strain. That glove has come along with a questionable bat for much of his career, however, as he’s batted just .233/.275/.361 over his past four stints in the Majors — a span of 287 plate appearances. Dickerson did have a strong start to his big league career with the Reds, however, hitting .283/.383/.440 through his first 421 PA in 2008-09.
The 31-year-old Kottaras has a strong .286/.385/.714 batting line for the Indians this season, though it’s come in a sample of just 27 PA. Nearly all of his production came in his first game with Cleveland, when he went 2-for-3 with a pair of homers. Nonetheless, Kottaras has long been known to have an excellent eye at the plate and some power. The career .216/.326/.415 hitter has 14 percent walk rate in 847 Major League plate appearances, and his .199 isolated power mark (slugging minus batting average) is well above-average for any hitter, let alone a catcher.
8:33am: Dickerson signed a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, and he also drew interest from the Yankees and Indians, according to a second tweet from Biertempfel.
7:55am: The Pirates have signed outfielder Chris Dickerson, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune (Twitter link). Biertempfel does not specify whether or not the MVP Sports Group client received a Major League or minor league deal, but the latter of the two options seems likely. Dickerson is already in Bradenton, Fla. (the Pirates' Spring Training home) for workouts, adds Biertempfel.
The 31-year-old Dickerson batted .238/.266/.400 with four homers and five stolen bases in 109 plate appearances for the Orioles in 2013. He also saw 160 PAs at the Triple-A level where he slashed .243/.350/.368. Originally a 16th-round pick by the Reds in 2003, Dickerson is capable of playing all three outfield positions and has a .745 OPS in 708 career plate apperances.
Pittsburgh has their starting outfied set with Starling Marte in left, 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen in center and Jose Tabata in right, but Dickerson could compete with Travis Snider for a backup role with the Bucs.
Today's minor moves can be found right here in this post …
- Among the many re-signings of players otherwise eligible for minor league free agency reported by Matt Eddy of Baseball America are first baseman Mike Jacobs, who will stay with the Diamondbacks, and reliever David Herndon, who the Yankees have re-signed. Neither saw big league action this year. Jacobs put up a nice .296/.366/.533 line in 514 Triple-A plate appearances in his age-32 season, while Herndon, now 28, was good for a 2.78 ERA in his 35 2/3 innings across the Yanks system.
- Third bagger Andy LaRoche has signed with the Blue Jays, Eddy reports on Twitter. The 30-year-old younger brother of Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche played in just one game with Toronto last year, and has not been a regular big league contributor since leaving the Pirates after the 2010 season.
- Catcher Blake Lalli has caught on with the Diamondbacks, Eddy notes in the same link. Also thirty years of age, Lalli has only forty uneventful MLB plate appearances. Playing at Triple-A for the Brewers last year, he put up a .282/.334/.447 line in 311 plate appearances.
- The Reds have signed 31-year-old outfielder Jason Bourgeois, Eddy reports on Twitter. Bourgeois saw limited time with the Rays last year. His career big league line stands at .259/.305/.326 in 515 plate appearances over parts of six seasons, including 51 stolen bases.
- Right-handed starter Philip Humber, 30, has inked a deal with the Athletics, reports Eddy (via Twitter). The once-perfect Humber had his option declined by the Astros early last month.
- Righty Fabio Martinez signed with the Dodgers, per another Eddy tweet. The longtime Angel farmhand last worked in the Indians system, but has never managed to harness his live arm and posted BB/9 totals of over ten in 2012-13.
- Pitcher Trevor Reckling has signed with the Reds out of independent league ball, Eddy tweets. He played six seasons in the Angels' system, reaching Triple-A at age 21 before moving the wrong way down the ladder. Noted as a reclamation project for the White Sox before the 2012 year, Reckling will give it one more go in Cinci.
- The Rockies re-signed minor league second baseman Angelys Nina in a move designed to keep him from reaching the open market as a minor league free agent, tweets Eddy. Nina managed a .280/.331/.422 line in his second go-round at Tulsa, adding ten home runs and nineteen steals.
- Outfielder Chris Dickerson and first baseman Dan Johnson, each of whom were outrighted on Thursday, have refused their assignments and elected to become free agents, according to an Orioles press release yesterday.
- Remember to check MLBTR's DFA Tracker for updates on players designated for assignment around baseball. Currently, only Tommy Layne is sitting in DFA limbo.
Here are today's minor moves and outright assignments from around the league…
- The Orioles announced that they have outrighted outfielder Chris Dickerson and first baseman Dan Johnson to Triple-A Norfolk. The 31-year-old Dickerson hit .238/.266/.400 in 109 plate appearances for the O's, surviving a DFA and being outrighted to Norfolk only to resurface with the club later in the season. Johnson, 34, was hitless in five at-bats for the O's and is a career .236/.337/.411 hitter in parts of eight big league seasons. He is most famous for the dramtic two-out, two-strike, game-tying home run that he hit in the bottom of the ninth inning in the final game of the Rays' 2011 season. Tampa would go on to win the game, sending them to the postseason.
JULY 29: Dickerson has been outrighted to Triple-A after accepting the assignment, according to the team.
JULY 19: The Orioles have designated Chris Dickerson for assignment, the team announced on Twitter. The move will clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Henry Urrutia, who will be promoted to the Majors to start the season's second half.
The 31-year-old Dickerson hit .245/.274/.412 in 106 plate appearances for the Orioles after being promoted in early April. He signed a minor league deal with the O's this offseason. Dickerson broke into the Majors as a 26-year-old with the Reds in 2008 and is a career .263/.340/.408 hitter, though he's produced very little since his first two seasons with Cincinnati.
Urrutia's prospect stock has risen quickly this season, as the Cuban import has batted .365/.427/.531 with seven long balls in 288 plate appearances between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. The lefty swinger should give manager Buck Showalter an additional threat at designated hitter, and he could see occasional time in the outfield as well, though the Orioles are mostly set in that capacity with Nate McLouth, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis.
Dickerson, 31, was designated for assignment by the O's on July 19, managing a .245/.274/.412 line in 106 plate appearances prior to that point. He's been the subject of several trade rumors since his DFA, with FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal suggesting the Phillies as one possible destination. The Phils are known to be targeting an outfielder for their back up centerfielder job. Dickerson has logged 114 innings in the outfield so far this year, splitting them roughly evenly between left, center and right.
A left-handed hitter, Dickerson has hit 266/.342/.425 for his career against right-handed pitching, so he could also be useful as a late-inning pinch hitter. He's appeared in the majors every year since 2008, but has never managed to accumulate more than 300 plate appearances in any single season.
Ken Rosenthal's latest column for FOX Sports begins with a look at the Braves' rotation without veteran Tim Hudson, who sustained a season-ending ankle fracture last night. Rosenthal notes it's a very young group without Hudson, and seems to be lacking a true number one starter. Such a pitcher is probably not available on the trade market, which I imagine the Braves will be eyeing more keenly. Elsewhere from Rosenthal's column:
- The Cardinals are not actively pursuing the Astros' Bud Norris or the Blue Jays' Mark Buehrle. The Cards didn't push for Matt Garza, but did scout Jake Peavy's last start. Ervin Santana is available as well, but Rosenthal wonders if "a trade might not be worth the trouble," given the Cardinals' current group of talented young pitchers.
- The Red Sox never got serious on Garza due to concerns with his injury history. The Red Sox and Tigers were the other AL clubs in on reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who was recently traded to the Orioles.
- After making a late run at Garza, the Athletics are interested in Peavy and Santana. Sometimes it helps to add to a strength, explains Rosenthal.
- The Rangers ask the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton "every week," a Major League source tells Rosenthal, and keep hearing "no." In addition to Alex Rios of the White Sox, the Rangers are considering Justin Ruggiano of the Marlins and Chris Denorfia of the Padres. However, they have "not mounted a serious push" for Ruggiano, while the Padres don't plan to trade Denorfia or teammate Carlos Quentin.
- "Some with the Brewers" wonder if the presence of Ryan Braun might make it more difficult to attract free agents.
- The Phillies are "narrowing their search for a backup center fielder," writes Rosenthal, and the recently-designated Chris Dickerson could be one option.
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