Chris McGuiness Rumors

Minor Moves: Martinez, McGuiness, Abreu, Rodriguez

Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:

Earlier updates:

  • The Mets will add outfielder Bobby Abreu to their 40-man roster tomorrow when his contract is officially purchased from Triple-A Las Vegas, reports Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The move fills the remaining spot on the team’s 40-man roster. This will be the 40-year-old’s second stint with the Mets this year as he was designated for assignment in August after posting a .238/.331/.336 line in 142 plate appearances. Ten days later, he inked a minor league deal to remain with the organization. 
  • The Rangers have announced they have purchased the contract of infielder Guilder Rodriguez from Double-A Frisco. To make room on the 40-man roster, the club placed Yu Darvish on the 60-day disabled list. Rodriguez holds the distinction for playing the most minor league games of any current player (1,095) without MLB experience. The 31-year-old, profiled by Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest, has a slash of .260/.340/.290 in 384 plate appearances for Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock this season while playing all four infield positions, as well as both corner outfield spots.  
  • There are currently five players residing in DFA limbo, per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker: Michael Kohn (Angels), Chris Dwyer and Blake Wood (Royals), and Matt Hague and Darin Mastroianni (Blue Jays).

Pirates Designate Chris McGuiness

The Pirates have designated first baseman Chris McGuiness for assignment, the club announced.  The move creates a 40-man roster spot for right-hander John Holdzkom, whose contract was selected last night.

McGuiness was originally acquired by the Bucs from the Rangers last December in exchange for righty Miles Mikolas.  He didn’t see any action at the big league level for Pittsburgh this season and hit .264/.358/.412 with nine homers in 489 PA for Triple-A Indianapolis.  Originally drafted in the 13th round of the 2009 draft by the Red Sox, McGuiness has an .801 OPS over 2438 career PA in the minors.  The 26-year-old made his Major League debut in June 2013, appearing in 10 games with Texas.

McGuiness joins Mike Carp (Rangers), Bruce Chen (Royals), Rich Hill (Yankees) and Sergio Santos (Blue Jays) in DFA limbo, according to MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.


Quick Hits: A-Rod, McGuiness, Tanaka, Twins, Jays

Brendan Kuty of the Star-Ledger looks at how much money the Yankees can save based on the outcome of Alex Rodriguez's case.  If his full 211 game suspension is upheld, the Yankees would be off of the hook for his $25MM salary in 2014 and roughly $6.8MM in 2015, good for a total of $31.8MM saved over the next two years.  Meanwhile, if A-Rod manages to win his appeal, he could recoup those funds and potentially more thanks to the incentives he can get for passing Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755), and Barry Bonds (762) on the all-time home run list.  He's in line to get $6MM for each separate milestone. Here are more notes from around the Majors.

  • The Pirates acquired first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Rangers because they were seeking a left-handed first bat to platoon with Gaby Sanchez and have a surplus of bullpen arms, tweets Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Pittsburgh shipped reliever Miles Mikolas to Texas in the deal, whom they acquired in late November from San Diego. It's possible the Pirates will use McGuiness more as a depth option than as their starter at first base against righties, however.
  • Masahiro Tanaka will be more like Rangers standout Yu Darvish than big league bust Daisuke Matsuzaka, opines Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com.
  • The Twins and Blue Jays took different paths towards fixing their rotations this offseason, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.  Since the season ended, Twins GM Terry Ryan has signed Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, and Mike Pelfrey with a series of moves that cost $84MM. Anthopoulos, meanwhile, hasn't signed any starters, opting instead to explore trades and bide his time on select free agents.


Pirates, Rangers Swap McGuiness, Mikolas

The Pirates have acquired first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Rangers for reliever Miles Mikolas, according to a team release. The Rangers also designated outfielder Rafael Ortega for assignment. McGuiness was designated for assignment when the Rangers signed Shin-Soo Choo.

McGuiness, 25, made his big league debut in 2013, batting .176/.176/.206 in 34 plate appearances. Originally acquired from the Red Sox in the trade that sent Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Red Sox, McGuiness batted .246/.369/.423 with 11 homers in 436 plate appearances at Triple-A Round Rock last season.

Mikolas, also 25, has 27 big league relief appearances to his credit over the last two years.  The right-hander spent the bulk of the year with the Padres' Triple-A Tucson affiliate, where he pitched to a 3.25 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 54 relief appearances.  Mikolas came from San Diego in a late November trade along with Jaff Decker but he didn't stay long.  He entered the season ranked 25th among Padres prospects, per Baseball America, who noted that he has a good curveball and can touch 98 mph with a fastball that doesn't have much movement on it.  BA wrote that his ceiling may be a middle reliever or setup man, but he has a high probability of reaching that level.

Ortega, 22, spent the year at the Double-A level in the Rockies' system, hitting .228/.315/.297 in 42 games.  Last season was the outfielder's sixth season in the Rockies' system and his first in Double-A.  You can keep track of everyone in DFA limbo using MLBTR's DFA Tracker.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Rangers Designate Chris McGuiness For Assignment

The Rangers announced that they have designated first baseman Chris McGuiness for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for Shin-Soo Choo, whose seven-year deal is now official.

McGuiness, 25, made his big league debut in 2013, batting .176/.176/.206 in 34 plate appearances. Originally acquired from the Red Sox in the trade that sent Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Red Sox, McGuiness batted .246/.369/.423 with 11 homers in 436 plate appearances at Triple-A Round Rock last season.


Rangers Receive Chris McGuiness Back From Indians

The Rangers announced that they have received Chris McGuiness back from the Indians.  The first baseman was selected in the Rule 5 draft on December 6th.

The Indians were fond of McGuiness and were hoping to work out a trade with Texas to hang on to him.  The soon-to-be 25-year-old hit .268/.366/.474 with 23 homers for the Rangers' Double-A affiliate last season.


Quick Hits: Expos, Vlad, Indians, Betancourt, Ankiel

Former Expos outfielder Warren Cromartie is convinced that the city of Montreal would welcome baseball back with open arms, writes Bill Beacon of the Canadian Press. Cromartie is heading up the Montreal Baseball Project — an organization that has been formed with the goal of bringing baseball back to Montreal. The $400K project will be completed by year's end and feature financial analysis, legal consultation and extensive market research among the city's population. Here's more from around the league for those of you in the mood for some late-night reading…

  • Former Expo (and Angel, Ranger and Oriole) Vladimir Guerrero has an offer from the independent league Quebec Capitales, and he's been in contact with the Long Island Ducks as well, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (confirming an earlier tweet from Chris Cotillo).
  • The Indians are hopeful of working out a trade with the Rangers to keep Rule 5 Draft pick Chris McGuiness, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
  • The Yankees had preliminary discussions with Yuniesky Betancourt on Sunday but don't see a fit, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reports (via Twitter).
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart breaks down Rick Ankiel's incentive structure with the Astros (on Twitter). Ankiel, who has a $750K base salary, will receive $75K for 200, 250 and 300 plate appearances. He'll then receive $100K for 350, 400 and 450 plate appearances. All told, he could earn $1.275MM. Ankiel, an Article XX(B) free agent, was named the team's everyday right fielder earlier today.
  • Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times expects the Angels to receive a low- to mid-level prospect from the Yankees when the reported Vernon Wells trade is finalized (Twitter link).
  • Joey Nowak of MLB.com lists 12 notable out of options players who could be traded before the end of Spring Training.

Rule 5 Report: McGuiness, Kobernus, Rosenbaum, Inciarte, Fields

To get the weekend started with some fascinating insight into the use of analytics by agents, look for the audio link at the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference Player Agent Panel page.  Let's take a look at a few updates on some Rule 5 draftees who are hoping to stick with their new clubs:

  • Chris McGuiness has impressed the Indians at first and in the outfield, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer, and the team is loath to return him to the Rangers.  According to manager Terry Francona, "in a perfect world, I wish he wasn't a Rule 5 pick and he was in our minor league system."  If the Indians are unable to keep McGuiness on the big league roster, Francona "hope[s]" that a trade can be worked out to keep him in the system, adds Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
  • Jeff Kobernus, primarily an infielder in the Nationals system, continues to battle with Quintin Berry for a spot in the Tigers outfield, writes Jim Hawkins of MLB.com.  While it is "possible" that both players could make the roster, according to manager Jim Leyland, that scenario is a "longshot."
  • Another player plucked from the Nationals, left-handed pitcher Danny Rosenbaum, "has put up a nice argument for himself in the competition for a middle-relief spot" with the Rockieswrites Thomas Harding of MLB.com.  Rosenbaum, who never saw a big league camp while in the Washington organization, spoke with Nats' reliever Craig Stammen to learn how to transition from the rotation to the bullpen.
  • Outfielder Ender Inciarte is in the midst of a solid spring and is making a play for the Phillies' fifth outfielder role, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.  Just 22 years old, Inciarte never played above High-A ball in the Diamondbacks organization.
  • Josh Fields came to the Astros from the Red Sox with the first pick in the Rule 5 draft, and acknowledges being "really, really excited when Houston picked me up."  As Adam Berry of MLB.com writes, the rebuilding Houston franchise hopes that the 27-year-old, righthanded reliever is ready for the big leagues after he posted a solid 2012 season in Triple-A Pawtucket.

Indians Notes: Payroll, Hafner, DH, Starting Rotation

The Indians have been very busy during the first days of 2013 officially announcing the free agent signings of Nick Swisher and Brett Myers. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports the team will open the season with a payroll hovering around $66-68MM (not including the $2.75MM buyout of Travis Hafner's 2013 club option and the $3.5MM sent to the Reds in the Shin-Soo Choo trade). As a result, GM Chris Antonetti has said the team's financial resources have been exhausted. The lone remaining hole in the lineup is designated hitter. Bastian says the Tribe could rely on internal options like Mike Aviles, Yan Gomes, Ezequiel Carrera, Tim Fedroff, and Rule 5 selection Chris McGuiness. Even bringing back Hafner is a possibility according to Antonetti, "I think some of that is going to depend upon other opportunities for Travis and his thoughts on returning, as well as what opportunities we may have for him compared to other guys." Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has more news and notes concerning the Indians:

  • Hoynes adds Matt LaPorta to the list of in-house DH options, but says Antonetti could still sign a hitter or bring one in on a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. 
  • Hoynes thinks Delmon Young would look good as the Tribe's DH, but doesn't see it happening at this time because of his asking price and character issues.
  • The Indians will still consider trading Asdrubal Cabrera or Chris Perez, but only if the return is comparable to what they received in the Choo deal.
  • The starting rotation looks like Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Myers, and Zach McAllister. Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco are the leading candidates for the fifth spot.
  • With the flush of spending of this season, does this put extra pressure on the front office to win now? Hoynes doesn't sense any panic in the hallways of power, especially since new manager Terry Francona can opt-out of his deal if certain members of management lose their jobs.

2012 Rule 5 Draft Results

Each year, Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings conclude with the Rule 5 Draft. For those who are unfamiliar with the event, MLBTR offers an in-depth description, but here's a quick overview.

Players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if they aren't on the 40-man roster four or five years after signing, depending on the age at which they signed. Teams draft in the reverse order of the previous season's standings but aren't required to make a selection. If they do choose a player, they pay his former team $50K and must keep that player on the Major League roster all season or offer him back to his original team for $25K.

The results from the Major League phase:

  1. Astros take righty Josh Fields from Red Sox
  2. Cubs take righty Hector Rondon from Indians
  3. Rockies take lefty Danny Rosenbaum from Nationals
  4. Twins take righty Ryan Pressly from Red Sox
  5. Indians take first baseman Chris McGuiness from Rangers
  6. Marlins take outfielder Alfredo Silverio from Dodgers
  7. Red Sox take second baseman Jeff Kobernus from Nationals; traded to Tigers for infielder/outfielder Justin Henry
  8. Royals
  9. Blue Jays
  10. Mets take lefty Kyle Lobstein from Rays; traded to Tigers for cash considerations
  11. Mariners
  12. Padres
  13. Pirates
  14. Diamondbacks take righty Starling Peralta from Cubs
  15. Phillies take outfielder Ender Inciarte from Diamondbacks
  16. Brewers
  17. White Sox take infielder Angel Sanchez from Angels
  18. Dodgers
  19. Cardinals
  20. Tigers
  21. Angels
  22. Rays
  23. Orioles take lefty T.J. McFarland from Indians
  24. Rangers take righty Coty Woods from Rockies
  25. Athletics
  26. Giants
  27. Braves
  28. Yankees
  29. Reds
  30. Nationals

Second round of Major League phase: