Clay Rapada Rumors
The Yankees are close to signing lefty reliever Clay Rapada to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training reports MLB.com's Zack Meisel. The Meister Sports Management client was released by the Orioles a few days ago.
Rapada, 30, posted a 6.06 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 16 1/3 innings for the Orioles last year. He had pitched 52 2/3 MLB innings over the course of five seasons for the Tigers, Rangers, Cubs and Orioles and is not yet arbitration eligible. The Yankees are likely trying to replenish some left-handed relief depth after Hideki Okajima failed his physical.
This post was originally published on Feb. 18th.
Rapada, who turns 31 next month, posted a 6.06 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 16 1/3 innings for the Orioles last year. He had pitched 52 2/3 MLB innings over the course of five seasons for the Tigers, Rangers, Cubs and Orioles and is not yet arbitration eligible.
Rapada, 31 in March, has tallied 52 2/3 big league innings for the Tigers, Cubs, Rangers, and Orioles across five seasons. He's done a nice job against lefties in 34 2/3 career innings.
SUNDAY: Rapada has cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
WEDNESDAY: The Orioles announced that they designated Clay Rapada for assignment to create active roster space for Alfredo Simon. The Orioles open up a 40-man roster spot by activating Simon from the 15-day disabled list and removing Rapada from the roster.
Baltimore signed Rapada to a minor league deal in January, a few months after the Rangers released him. The 30-year-old lefty appeared in 22 games for the Orioles (12 1/3 innings) and posted a 7.30 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9. Rapada has thrown his slider 43.8% of the time this year a mark that only 11 pitchers have surpassed so far in 2011 (minimum 10 IP).
Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun first reported the move (on Twitter).
Let's take a look at some Orioles news..
- The O's are unlikely to make a move with Alfredo Simon until February 26th, the mandatory date for all players to report to Spring Training, writes Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun. After being named as the primary suspect in a murder and denied bail in the Dominican Republic, Simon probably won't be able to join the club by that date. Once that date passes, Baltimore can move the reliever to the restricted list, freeing up a spot on the 40-man roster.
- Baltimore has signed a trio of free agent pitchers to minor league deals according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America. The club reached deals with right-handers Chris Jakubauskas and Mark Worrell as well as lefty James Houser. Houser, who was tabbed by the Rays in the second-round of the 2003 draft, turned in a 3.67 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 for the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate in 2010. The Orioles now have a handful of interesting pitchers in their farm system after signing Clay Rapada and Nick Bierbrodt last week.
The 29-year-old appeared in 13 games for the Rangers last year, but hasn't spent considerable time on a big leaugue mound since 2008. The left-hander posted a 4.22 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 5.9 BB/9 in 21 1/3 innings for the Tigers that year.
The latest on three players who were recently designated for assignment...
- The Indians announced that Jordan Brown has cleared waivers. The Indians had designated the 2006 Carolina League MVP for assignment last week, but he will remain in the Cleveland organization and arrive in Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.
- Ryota Igarashi cleared waivers as expected and was outrighted to Triple-A, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The Mets DFA'd Igarashi last week.
- The Rangers put left-hander Clay Rapada on release waivers and intend to release him, according to ESPNDallas.com. The Rangers designated Rapada and Max Ramirez for assignment last week.
Ramirez appeared in 28 games for the Rangers last year, batting .217/.341/.348 in 85 plate appearances. The 26-year-old has spent most of his seven-year pro career in the minors, where he has a .298/.396/.476 career line. The Rangers already have three backstops on their 40-man roster: Taylor Teagarden, Yorvit Torrealba and Matt Treanor.
Rapada, 30 in March, appeared in 13 games for the Rangers last year. He pitched just nine innings, walking seven and striking out five. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a 1.82 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 59 1/3 innings. Those numbers, which are similar to the ones he posted for the Tigers' Triple-A affiliate in 2009, have yet to translate into big league success for the left-hander.
Texas has signed reliever Geoff Geary and infielder Ray Olmedo to minor league contracts and invited both players to spring training, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Geary, a right-hander, spent the last two seasons in Houston, posting an 8.10 ERA in 16 appearances last year and spending most of 2009 pitching with the Astros' Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock. Geary played with the Phillies for the first five years of his career, with his best season coming in 2006 (2.96 ERA, 3.00 K:BB ratio, 81 appearances).
Olmedo last played in the majors with Toronto in 2007, and spent the last two seasons with Tampa Bay and Washington's Triple-A teams, respectively. He has a career slash line of .228/.276/.293 in 442 major league plate appearances and has experience playing at second, third and shortstop.
Sullivan also notes that the Rangers assigned Esteban German and Clay Rapada to Triple-A Oklahoma City after the two players cleared outright waivers.