Chris Volstad Rumors

Minor Moves: Pena, Torrealba, Volstad, Berg, Enright, Gimenez, Wells, Fellhauer

It has been a busy day as the league returns to action out of the All-Star break. Here are today’s minor moves from around baseball …

  • First baseman Carlos Pena has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports on Twitter. Pena, 36, was designated for assignment yesterday after a rough start to his tenure in Texas.
  • Veteran backstop Yorvit Torrealba has requested and been given his release from the Cubs, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports on Twitter. The 35-year-old has a .256/.315/.379 career MLB triple-slash over 13 seasons of work. He has only seen time at the Cubs’ rookie-league affiliate this year since signing last month.
  • The Angels have signed hurler Chris Volstad to a minor league deal, according to the MLB transactions page. Volstad, a towering righty, has a 4.94 ERA over parts of six MLB seasons, working mostly as a starter until a stint last season with the Rockies. He had been pitching for the Korean Doosan Bears this season, working to a 6.21 ERA over 87 frames with just 3.3 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9.
  • Free agent righty Jeremy Berg has signed a minor league pact with the Cardinals, also via the MLB transactions page. Berg, 28, has yet to pitch in the big leagues and owns a 4.43 ERA in 256 innings at the Triple-A level. He had spent his entire career in the Angels organization.
  • The Phillies released right-hander Barry Enright today, according to the International League transactions page. The 28-year-old has struggled mightily in his most recent stints at the major league level, and carries a 5.58 ERA through 101 2/3 Triple-A innings this season with 5.7 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9.
  • The Brewers have inked catcher Hector Gimenez to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A Huntsville, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (on Twitter). The 31-year-old Gimenez spent some time as the White Sox’ backup catcher in 2013 but posted just a .191/.275/.338 batting line in 80 trips to the dish. He’s a lifetime .216/.280/.330 hitter in 100 big league plate appearances and is a veteran of 12 minor league seasons. He’ll provide some minor league catching depth for Milwaukee.
  • Outfielder Casper Wells has signed with the independent Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish, the club announced on its web site. Once a nice fourth outfielder for the Mariners, Wells’ stock has dropped after hitting just .126/.186/.147 for the White Sox, A’s and Phillies in 2013. He began the year with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate but batted just .197/.290/.230 in 69 PA with Iowa before being released.
  • The Brewers have also acquired outfielder Josh Fellhauer from the Reds in exchange for cash considerations, the team’s player development department announced (on Twitter). A former seventh-round pick, the 26-year-old Fellhauer was hitting .239/.338/.313 in 155 PA between Double-A and Triple-A this season. He’ll also report to Double-A Huntsville with the Brewers.

Quick Hits: Ervin, Volstad, Huff, Carroll, Penny

The Reds are impressed with outfielder and 2013 first-round pick Phillip Ervin, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. "We were really impressed," says Reds director of player development Jeff Graupe. "Obviously, all the physical ability he has is the first thing you see. But over time, seeing the consistent quality of his at-bats was the most impressive thing for me." Ervin, 21, hit .331/.425/.564 in 2013 season split between rookie ball and Class A. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • When the Angels signed pitcher Chris Volstad to a minor-league deal in November, they knew it was possible he might decide to play overseas instead, MLBTR's Zach Links tweets. Volstad recently signed on with the Doosan Bears in Korea.
  • Aubrey Huff has officially retired and accepted a job as a broadcaster with the Pac-12 Network, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports. Huff finishes his 13-year career with a .278/.342/.464 line in 6,786 plate appearances with the Rays, Astros, Orioles, Tigers and Giants.
  • Free-agent infielder Jamey Carroll could soon make a decision on a new team, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweets. Carroll, who will be 40 next month, hit .211/.267/.251 in 249 plate appearances with the Twins and Royals last season. He would likely receive a minor-league deal.
  • Brad Penny could make an "interesting no-risk signing," Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweets. Renck mentions that he has heard Penny has pitched well in offseason workouts. Penny, 35, last appeared in the big leagues in 2012 with the Giants, and he's now in the midst of a comeback attempt.

Angels To Release Chris Volstad To Pursue Offer In Korea

The Angels inked right-hander Chris Volstad to a minor league pact earlier this offseason, but Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net reported this week that he is nearing a deal with the Doosan Bears of the Korea Baseball Organization (Twitter link). Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register confirmed with a source that the Angels are expected to grant Volstad his release this week in order to take an offer in Korea (Twitter link).

The 27-year-old made six appearances for the Rockies in 2013 but allowed runs in each of them, totaling a 10.80 ERA in 8 1/3 innings. He was better at Triple-A, posting a 4.58 ERA in 127 2/3 innings. In 703 2/3 career innings between the Marlins, Cubs and Rockies, Volstad has a 4.94 ERA and a 442-to-248 K/BB ratio.



Starting Pitching Notes: Scherzer, Nats, Miller, Tanaka

The Max Scherzer trade rumors don't make much sense to Lynn Henning of the Detroit News, who argues that a Tigers club built to win in 2014 can't afford to move an ace pitcher unless another team makes "an incredibly loony price" in a trade.  The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore hears from a source who flatly denies that Scherzer will be dealt, and Kilgore wonders if the Tigers' alleged willingness to trade may hint at concerns about Scherzer's future performance.

Here are some items about notable arms that could be had via trade or free agency this offseason…

  • The Nationals have the minor league depth to acquire the likes of Scherzer or David Price, Kilgore writes.  It could be more likely that the Nats pursue a younger pitcher who is under control for more years, a la the team's deal for Gio Gonzalez
  • Shelby Miller is "an under-the-radar potential [trade] target," a baseball official opines to Kilgore.  Miller pitched just one postseason inning for the Cardinals due to concerns that he had a tired arm, though Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that were rumors that Miller was really being saved for a possible trade this winter.  I'm not sure if I believe that theory; you'd think the Cards would've had all healthy arms on deck in pursuit of a World Series.
  • The Cubs are interested in Masahiro Tanaka, GM Jed Hoyer told David Kaplan on WGN Radio's The David Kaplan Show (Twitter link).  "He's going to help somebody and we will be in on him," Hoyer said.
  • Matt Sosnick, Josh Johnson's agent, says he has talked to "nearly every team" about his client, including the Rangers, ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett reports.  The Rangers appeal to Johnson due to their winning ways because he lives in nearby Oklahoma, though since Sosnick says Johnson would prefer "at least a pitching-neutral ballpark," Rangers Ballpark might be a hindrance.
  • The Angels' signing of starter Chris Volstad could spell trouble for starters Jerome Williams and Tommy Hanson, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles TImes. Volstad is cheap and young, and DiGiovanna says that the club may not see much difference between him and the club's pricier, pre-existing options. In his breakdown of the Halos' arbitration-eligible players, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes calls Hanson a definite non-tender candidate, and says Williams could also be shown the door.
  • ESPN's Jim Bowden speculates about six possible David Price trades (ESPN Insider subscription required).

MLBTR's Jeff Todd also contributed to this post


Angels Sign Chris Volstad To Minor League Deal

The Angels have signed right-hander Chris Volstad to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. Volstad is represented by Moye Sports Associates.

Volstad, 27, made six appearances with the Rockies' big league club this season but allowed runs in each of them, totaling a 10.80 ERA in 8 1/3 innings. He was considerably better at the Triple-A level, pitching to a 4.58 ERA in 127 2/3 innings, though his 4.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 ratios weren't exactly inspiring.

Originally selected by the Marlins with the No. 16 overall selection in the 2005 draft, Volstad thrice ranked on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospect list, placing 97th prior to the 2006 season, 40th prior to the 2007 season and 58th prior to the 2008 season. Unfortunately for Volstad, he's never put things together at the Major League level. In 703 2/3 career innings between the Marlins, Cubs and Rockies, Volstad has a 4.94 ERA and a 442-to-248 K/BB ratio.


Rockies Outright Chris Volstad, Logan Kensing

The Rockies have announced that Chris Volstad and Logan Kensing have cleared waivers and accepted outright assignments to Triple-A Colorado Springs (Twitter link).

Volstad was placed on waivers in order to clear a roster space for Roy Oswalt. The 26-year-old allowed 10 runs in 8 1/3 innings this season. He posted a 4.79 ERA with 3.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 47 innings at Triple-A so far this season.

The 30-year-old Kensing pitched just two-thirds of an inning for the Rockies this season — his first big league action since 2009. The former second-round pick has a 5.79 ERA in 161 2/3 career innings with 8.0 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9. He's fared significantly better in Triple-A, though, where he owns a career 3.67 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.


Minor Moves: Volstad, Hughes

We'll keep track of today's minor moves here..

  • Right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to rejoin the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate, according to the Sky Sox's Twitter feed.  Volstad was waived last week to make room on the roster for Roy Oswalt.
  • Left-hander Dusty Hughes has retired from baseball, MLBTR's Chris Cotillo has learned. Hughes, who was released by the Braves in May, posted a 4.99 ERA with a 6.5 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 80 appearances over three major league seasons with the Royals and Twins.  The 30-year old will become a coach at a private school.

Rockies Waive Volstad; Promote Oswalt

The Rockies have placed Chris Volstad on waivers, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The move creates a 40-man roster spot for Roy Oswalt, who will be promoted and start tonight for Colorado. Jeff Francis has accepted a minor league assignment to Triple-A Colorado Springs, which clears a 25-man roster spot for Oswalt. We learned yesterday that Francis would be removed from the 25-man roster, but it wasn't clear whether he would accept a trip to the minors or be designated for assignment.

Volstad, 26, appeared in six games for the Rockies this season and allowed 10 runs in 8 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and one walk. In 10 games (nine starts) for Colorado Springs this season, Volstad has a 4.79 ERA with 3.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9.

Oswalt, 35, has pitched briliantly for Double-A Tulsa since signing with the Rockies in May. In five starts (33 1/3 innings), the longtime Astro has a 2.16 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. Last week I examined how much Oswalt would earn based on the incentives in his contract if he were promoted this week. Given the date, it's likely that he could earn nearly $4.3MM if he stays healthy and pitches well.

Francis, 32, re-signed with the Rockies on a one-year deal with a $1.5MM base salary and another $1.5MM worth of incentives. In 52 innings this season, he's posted a 6.58 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. The strikeout rate is actually the highest of Francis' career, as is his 50.3 percent ground-ball rate. He's been hurt by a homer-to-flyball ratio (20.4 percent) that's nearly double that of his career mark.


Rockies Designate Ramon Hernandez, Will Harris

FRIDAY: The Rockies tweet that they have officially designated Hernandez and pitcher Will Harris for assignment. They have also selected the contracts of Torrealba and pitcher Chris Volstad. Harris appeared in 17 2/3 innings for the Rockies in 2012, posting an 8.15 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9.

THURSDAY: The Rockies will designate catcher Ramon Hernandez for assignment, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (on Twitter). Yorvit Torrealba will serve as the backup to Wilin Rosario, Renck tweets.

The Rockies signed Hernandez to a two-year, $6.4MM contract following the 2011 season. He hit .217/.247/.353 in 184 at bats with Colorado in 2012. The Rockies had been rumored to be trying to trade him.


NL Notes: Phillies, Reds, Rockies, Figgins

As players, coaches, and front office personnel begin to arrive in Florida and Arizona for Spring Training 2013, let's take a look at the news and notes from the National League: