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The latest minor moves…
- Prior to today’s game, the Tigers purchased the contract of lefty Tom Gorzelanny while optioning Shane Greene to Triple-A. Gorzelanny pitched in today’s 7-2 Tigers loss to the Red Sox, allowing a run in a third of an inning. The southpaw was designated for assignment then outrighted to Triple-A in July, and heading into today, Gorzelanny had posted a 6.38 ERA over 24 relief innings for Detroit.
- The Mariners have traded Triple-A third baseman Carlos Rivero to the Red Sox for cash considerations, as Greg Johns of MLB.com tweets. Rivero joined Seattle when he was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox in November of 2014. In December, the M’s re-signed him to a minor league deal. Rivero made his Major League debut last season, appearing in eight games with Boston. In part of five Triple-A seasons, Rivero has slashed .274/.324/.388.
- The Orioles announced that infielder Chris Parmelee has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. The O’s designated Parmelee for assignment when they acquired Gerardo Parra at the trade deadline and they outrighted him days later. He has hit .216/.255/.433 in 102 plate appearances with Baltimore.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.
- Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The 28-year-old was designated for assignment after Toronto acquired Ben Revere at the trade deadline. Carrera has managed a solid .279/.327/.374 line with three home runs and two steals in 164 plate appearances.
- Lefty Aaron Laffey has accepted the Rockies‘ outright assignment and will head to Triple-A Albuquerque, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Colorado designated Laffey for assignment last week. He has pitched 7 1/3 innings for them this season.
- The Phillies have released veteran righty Juan Gutierrez, MLBTR’s Steve Adams tweets. Gutierrez’s camp is negotiating with at least two teams, including one with whom it’s deep in talks. The 32-year-old Gutierrez has posted a 3.66 ERA, 7.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 51 2/3 innings this season at two Triple-A affiliates. He spent last season in the Giants bullpen.
- The Orioles have outrighted OF/1B Chris Parmelee, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. The O’s designated Parmelee for assignment when they acquired Gerardo Parra at the trade deadline. He hit .216/.255/.433 in 102 plate appearances with Baltimore.
- The Mets have outrighted lefty Alex Torres to Triple-A Las Vegas, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets. The Mets designated him for assignment when they acquired Eric O’Flaherty last week. Torres has posted a 3.15 ERA and 9.2 K/9 in 34 1/3 innings with the Mets this year, but with 6.8 BB/9.
- Catcher Eric Fryer has accepted the Twins‘ outright assignment and will report to Triple-A Rochester, the Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino tweets. The Twins designated Fryer for assignment on Thursday. He’s played very sparingly in parts of five seasons with Pittsburgh and Minnesota, batting .235/.316/.324 in 152 plate appearances in his big-league career.
- The Diamondbacks plan to select the contract of righty-hitting infielder/outfielder Jamie Romak, agent David Sloane tells MLBTR. The 29-year-old Romak hit .289/.373/.554 with 22 home runs in 458 plate appearances for Triple-A Reno after the D-backs signed him to a minor-league deal last offseason. He played briefly for the Dodgers in 2014 but has spent most of the past several years in the high minors. In parts of 13 seasons, Romak has also played in the Braves, Pirates, Royals and Cardinals organizations, and he has a career .255/.344/.463 line in the minors. He has played outfield, first base and third base throughout most of his career, but this year he has also appeared in 24 games at second base.
Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz will see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his strained flexor tendon, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Buchholz doesn’t believe the injury is more serious than originally thought. However, he trusts Andrews’ opinion as an impartial observer, and they have consulted over previous injuries. Interestingly, Buchholz mentioned his contract status as a reason to seek an opinion outside of the organization. The Red Sox own team options for 2016 and 2017.
Here’s more from the East divisions:
- Marlins utility man Don Kelly had season-ending Tommy John surgery, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Kelly got into just two games for the Marlins in early April. He also spent a short stint at High-A. In 1,190 plate appearances, mostly with the Tigers, he’s a .232/.296/.335 hitter.
- A roster move is in the Orioles immediate future and Chris Parmelee may wind up with the short straw, writes Roch Kubatko of MASN. The club plans to recall Kevin Gausman for a start on Wednesday. The O’s are currently carrying just 11 pitchers, so a position player will have to go. In addition to Parmelee, I could see Ryan Flaherty, David Lough, and Nolan Reimold as players who could be designated. Jonathan Schoop could be temporarily optioned if Baltimore didn’t want to risk losing anybody. Also per Kubatko, the Orioles are monitoring prospect Dariel Alvarez. They could promote him soon despite concerns about his defense and plate discipline.
- When Ryne Sandberg resigned as Phillies manager, it caught colleague and friend Larry Bowa by surprise, writes Jim Salisbury of Philly.com. In an interesting interview, Bowa offered some opinions as to why Sandberg walked away. In addition to expected changes related to the hiring of Andy MacPhail, Bowa posits that Sandberg was fed up with a lack of work ethic in modern players. Bowa offers quite a bit more nuance so I recommend Phillies fans read the article.
- According to assistant GM Billy Eppler, the Yankees are engaged in several trade discussions, reports Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. Eppler played coy to the specifics, but he did note that it would be hard for the club to outdo the reinforcements they received off the disabled list – namely Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Miller.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that the AL East boasted only one team with a winning record. Now, the Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays are over the .500 mark and the Orioles are right on the line with an even 31-31 record. The only team yet to turn things around are the Red Sox, who have lost six in a row to drop to 27-37 on the season (tied with the Marlins for the fourth-worst record in baseball). Here’s some news from around the division…
- Though the Red Sox have continued to struggle, manager John Farrell and GM Ben Cherington “remain safe for now,” Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. Earlier this month, owner John Henry said both men were in no danger of being fired.
- The Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers each had a scout at Johnny Cueto‘s last start, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports (Twitter links). As Morosi notes, it’s hard to see Boston buying at the trade deadline given their current record, and Cueto isn’t a fit on a non-contender since he’s only under contract through 2015.
- Chris Parmelee is thought to have a June 15 opt-out date in his minor league deal with the Orioles, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter). Parmelee, owner of a .709 OPS over 901 PA with the Twins from 2011-14, took a .319/.388/.454 slash line over 260 Triple-A plate appearances into today’s action. If the Orioles don’t promote Parmelee and he opts for free agency, Rosenthal lists the Rays as a team that could be interested the first baseman/outfielder’s services.
- Nolan Reimold‘s agent and some family members thought a “fresh start” might be best for the outfielder rather than rejoining the Orioles last offseason, but he tells MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski that he wanted to return to Baltimore. Reimold signed a minor league deal with the O’s and returned to the bigs last Tuesday, already delivering two homers and a 1.232 OPS over his first 16 plate appearances.
The Yankees announced today that injured ace Masahiro Tanaka threw a 29-pitch bullpen session at Nationals Park. The bullpen session was the third for Tanaka, who has been on the disabled list for about three weeks with a forearm strain. The Yankees continue to be hopeful that Tanaka, who suffered a small tear in his right elbow’s ulnar collateral ligament last year, will be able to avoid Tommy John surgery (or any other serious operation). Tanaka made two starts at the end of the 2014 season after coming back from the injury and pitched well in four starts prior to his injury in 2015.
Elsewhere in the AL East…
- Rays manager Kevin Cash won’t name a closer now that Jake McGee is back from the disabled list, writes Troy Provost-Heron of MLB.com. Cash maintains that he’ll use Brad Boxberger (who has closed in McGee’s absence) and McGee in save situations, depending on matchups. Boxberger tells Provost-Heron that he’s ok with not being the team’s sole closer, as McGee helps deepen the bullpen and take pressure of the rotation. However, I’ll note that given Boxberger’s early dominance in the ninth inning, being downgraded to a timeshare or even back to a setup role could have significant impact on his arbitration earnings following the 2016 season. Were Boxberger to have amassed a pair of dominant seasons at the back end of the game, he’d have been in line for a hefty payday. Greg Holland, for instance, landed a $4.65MM payday in his first trip through the arb process. The usage of both McGee and Boxberger will have a strong bearing on how affordable they are for the cost-conscious Rays in the years to come, making their closer situation of particular interest. (As a side note to fantasy players, remember that you can follow MLBTR’s @closernews account on Twitter for consistent updates on closer/setup situations throughout the season.)
- Just as the Red Sox‘ rotation has begun to show signs of improvement, the team’s offense has gone into the tank, observes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Lauber feels that the team needs to drop Mookie Betts from the leadoff spot as the 22-year-old sorts out his struggles and, perhaps more importantly, call up the hot-hitting Rusney Castillo from Triple-A. Lauber opines that Castillo could deliver more consistently competitive at-bats against right-handed pitching than Shane Victorino, adding that additional rest for Victorino is the best way to keep him healthy at this point. The Red Sox, who lost 5-0 to James Paxton and the Mariners yesterday, have been particularly feeble against left-handed pitching.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com looks at a number of Orioles-related topics in his latest notebook. Kubatko notes that GM Dan Duquette told his colleague, MASN’s Steve Melewski, that there’s a “distinct possibility” that the team will select Chris Parmelee‘s contract from Triple-A, though as Kubatko notes, there’s no clear spot for the corner outfielder/first baseman on the roster. He also notes that catcher Steve Clevenger‘s defense has drawn rave reviews from Triple-A manager Ron Johnson. Baltimore optioned Clevenger to Triple-A, citing a need to improve his defense, and Clevenger has caught 12 of 34 base stealers (35%) this season.
- Lastly, Kubatko wonders what will come of Everth Cabrera when he’s eligible to be activated from the disabled list. The team can clear a roster spot by optioning Rey Navarro, but they’ll also need a spot in the infield for Ryan Flaherty. Cabrera is out of options and can refuse his outright assignment but still collect his $2.4MM salary if the Orioles pass him through waivers, lending the possibility that a situation similar to that of Ryan Webb could come up in the near future.
Parmelee, who turns 27 next month, has the most service time of the three at two years, 58 days. The former first-round pick has built up an impressive track record at the Triple-A level, slashing .295/.395/.530 in 615 plate appearances, but he’s never hit much in the Majors outside of a September call-up with the Twins in 2011. Parmelee was a force that year, slashing .355/.443/.592 with four homers in 88 plate appearances in his big league debut. While that performance was clearly unsustainable, the Twins likely hoped for better than the .238/.304/.371 batting line that Parmelee compiled in 813 plate appearances over the three subsequent seasons. Presumably, he’ll compete for playing time in the outfield and at first base, although his outfield defense leaves quite a bit to be desired.
De La Rosa, who will be 32 next week, underwent knee surgery late in the season but was expected to be ready to go come Spring Training. Though he pitched just 2 1/3 big league innings in 2014, he was a vital cog in the 2013 Angels bullpen, appearing in a hefty 75 games and logging 72 1/3 total innings of 2.86 ERA ball with 8.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 51.3 percent ground-ball rate.
The Orioles think that Rasmus could accept a one-year deal in the $5MM-$8MM range, much like the one-year, $8MM deal to which they signed Nelson Cruz last offseason. Such a one-year deal would give Rasmus the opportunity to improve his reputation and then sign a bigger contract next offseason, just as Cruz did this winter. The Orioles don’t “covet Rasmus greatly,” according to a source of Kubatko’s, but would be interested if they got a good deal. Buck Showalter would likely want to speak to Rasmus before the Orioles signed him, just as he did with Cruz and Delmon Young, who both came with perceived character issues.
Kubatko also notes that the Orioles have interest in signing another catcher despite the recent addition of Ryan Lavarnway, who can also play first base and isn’t a lock to make the team anyway. The O’s could also have interest in first baseman and outfielder Chris Parmelee, who recently became a free agent after being outrighted by the Twins.
Today: Parmelee has declined his outright assignment to Triple-A and is now a free agent, tweets the Twins’ Dustin Morse.
Dec 13: The Twins have designated lefty 1B/OF Chris Parmelee for assignment to clear space on their 40-man roster for Ervin Santana, Phil Miller of the Star Tribune tweets. Parmelee, who will be 27 in February, hit .256/.307/.384 in 270 plate appearances for the Twins last season, only a bit worse than his career line of .249/.317/.392.
The 2006 first-round draft pick hit well in the minors and was brilliant in a small sample in his first season in the big leagues in 2011, but he hit a wall in 2012, when he struggled in the big leagues and wasn’t much better for Triple-A Rochester. He’s gotten 901 career plate appearances in the big leagues, but his offensive contributions haven’t been especially strong, particularly for a player with limited defensive value.
1:50pm: Parmelee has cleared waivers and been assigned to Triple-A. As he has never been outrighted before, he must accept the assignment.
1:23pm: The Twins have placed first baseman/outfielder Chris Parmelee on waivers, and his waiver period expires today, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. Parmelee is one of several out-of-options Twins players to hit the wire.
Chosen 20th overall in the 2006 draft, Parmelee has not seen his skill and minor league success translate to the bigs. In 631 lifetime plate appearances, the 26-year-old has a .246/.322/.395 slash with 17 home runs.