Clayton Mortensen Rumors

Minor Moves: Reds, Mortensen, Green

Here are the latest minor moves from around the league…

  • The Reds have outrighted corner infielder Neftali Soto, per the MLB.com transactions page. Soto, 25, has had two brief big league stints but has spent most of his time since 2011 at the Triple-A level. The third-round pick out of Puerto Rico owns a .270/.323/.410 slash over 1,328 plate appearances at that level.
  • In his latest Minor League Transactions roundup, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports that the Reds have outrighted Trevor Bell to Triple-A Louisville, and the right-hander rejected the assignment in favor of free agency. The 28-year-old Bell allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning at the Major League level this season and has a 5.57 ERA in 116 1/3 big league innings between the Reds and Angels. Bell has a lifetime 4.93 ERA in 199 Triple-A frames.
  • Perhaps of greater note to Reds fans is that Eddy also notes the signing of Australian catcher Jake Turnbull. As Steve Butler of the West Australian reports, Turnbull, 16, signed for a six-figure bonus and fielded offers from six MLB clubs before signing with Cincinnati. He will play in a pair of Australian leagues this winter, including the professional Australian Baseball League, where he’ll join the Perth Heat — the reigning league champions. Turnbull will then head to the U.S. to begin his pro career next spring.
  • Among the other notable names mentioned by Eddy is right-hander Clayton Mortensen, who re-signed with the Royals after posting a 4.74 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 76 innings with Triple-A Omaha this season.
  • MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports (via Twitter) that the Brewers will re-sign Taylor Green to a minor league deal. Green, 27, has been with the Brewers since the 2005 draft but hasn’t reached the Majors since receiving a look in 2011-12. He batted .207/.266/.343 in 154 plate appearances with the big league club and owns a career .299/.371/.485 batting line at the Triple-A level.

Royals Sign Clayton Mortensen

The Royals have re-signed right-hander Clayton Mortensen to a minor league deal, according to the MLB.com transactions page.  Kansas City acquired Mortensen from the Red Sox in late August in exchange for outfielder Quintin Berry.

The 28-year-old pitched to a 5.34 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 last season with the Red Sox.  For his big league career, Mortensen owns a 4.68 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 over five seasons spent with the Cardinals, A's, Rockies, and BoSox.

Mortensen is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council, according to the MLBTR Agency Database.


Royals, Red Sox Swap Berry For Mortensen

The Royals and Red Sox have swapped outfielder Quintin Berry for right-hander Clayton Mortensen, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal (Twitter link).

Berry, 28, was claimed by the Royals from the Tigers on June 4 but quickly outrighted to Triple-A Omaha. In 371 Triple-A plate appearances between the Tigers and Royals, he's batting .193/.309/.260 with 28 stolen bases in 32 attempts. Berry was significantly better when he saw regular time with Detroit last season, hitting .258/.330/.354 with a perfect 21 steals in 21 attempts in 94 games.

Mortensen, also 28, posted a 5.34 ERA with 6.2 K/9, 4.7 BB/9 and a 45.5 percent ground-ball rate in 30 1/3 innings for the Red Sox this season. Boston optioned him to Triple-A Pawtucket in late June and he's fared much better, pitching to a 2.45 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 44 innings. He's moved to the rotation recently, stretching out to seven innings in his most recent outing. Since moving to a starting role on Aug. 2, he's allowed just three runs in 27 1/3 innings.



Clayton Mortensen Clears Waivers

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

  • Red Sox reliever Clayton Mortensen has cleared waivers, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).  Boston designated Mortensen on Saturday to make room for the call-up on Jonathan Diaz.  The 28-year-old posted 5.34 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in 30 and 1/3 innings for the Sox this season.  Last season, Mortensen had a 3.21 ERA in 42 innings for Boston with 8.8 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.

Red Sox To Designate Clayton Mortensen

The Red Sox will designate right-handed reliever Clayton Mortensen for assignment, tweets Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. A roster spot was needed to make room for the call-up of Jonathan Diaz, who will man third base while Stephen Drew recovers from a hamstring injury suffered last night.

Mortensen, 28, has thrown 30 1/3 innings for the Sox this season, posting a 5.34 ERA to go with just 6.2 K/9 versus 4.7 BB/9. He had a solid campaign last year, when he split time between the bigs and upper minors. While throwing for Boston in 2012, Mortensen sported a 3.21 ERA in 42 innings on the back of 8.8 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9.

Diaz, meanwhile, will make his big league debut at age 28. In 917 career plate appearances at Triple-A over five seasons, he has a .239/.358/.317 line. Diaz has logged most of his innings up the middle, though he does have 47 minor league games under his belt at third.


Cafardo On Norris, Overbay, Mortensen, Dodgers

Here's the latest from the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo:

  • Pitcher Bud Norris of the Astros has "drawn interest from at least six teams," but Houston does not appear interested in trading him.
  • The Yankees have had discussions about Lyle Overbay, who could platoon with Juan Rivera at first base in Mark Teixeira's absence. Overbay is currently with the Red Sox, but he has an out clause in his contract that he can trigger on Tuesday.
  • The Red Sox aren't inclined to deal reliever Clayton Mortensen, even though he is out of options.
  • The Orioles, Brewers, Indians, White Sox, and Mets have all had "internal discussions" about surplus Dodgers starters Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly and Aaron Harang, and scouts feel that the Dodgers will ultimately trade at least one of them.
  • The White Sox are looking for another starter because John Danks, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, has struggled this spring, allowing 21 runs in 11 innings.

Bard, Melancon, Mortensen On Waivers

The Red Sox have placed Daniel Bard, Mark Melancon and Clayton Mortensen on revocable waivers, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). The Red Sox have placed many players on waivers since the current waiver period opened at the beginning of August; this is by no means an indication that they intend to trade more players.

 If the right-handers go unclaimed, the Red Sox would be able to trade them to any team (the players wouldn’t be eligible for postseason rosters). If a team claims one of the players, the Red Sox will have three choices. They can let the player (and his contract) go to the claiming team, they can complete a trade with the claiming team, or they can pull the player back off of waivers. American League teams will have claiming priority on the three Red Sox pitchers. 


AL East Links: Red Sox, Scutaro, Mortensen, Montero

The Red Sox sent Marco Scutaro to the Rockies for Clayton Mortensen and avoided arbitration with Daniel Bard earlier this evening, but now let's round up the latest from the AL East…

  • The Scutaro trade freed up approximately $6MM for the Red Sox to use on an "aggressive bid" for a starting pitcher, says ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald confirmed that the trade was made trade strictly for salary relief. Earlier tonight we learned that the Sox have intensified their pursuit of Roy Oswalt.
  • The Red Sox are comfortable with a Nick Punto/Mike Aviles platoon replacing Scutaro, but WEEI.com's Alex Speier hears they will continue to pursue an upgrade at any position, not just shortstop.
  • Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal confirmed that Mortensen does have a minor league option remaining, so the Red Sox can send him to Triple-A if they choose (Twitter link)
  • Jesus Montero has arrived in Seattle following a visa/passport issue, reports MLB.com's Greg Johns. He underwent his physical today, but a formal announcement of the trade sending him from the Yankees to the Mariners isn't expected until Monday.
  • We posted some Orioles notes earlier today, including a quote from GM Dan Duquette about the possibility of adding Prince Fielder.

Rockies Acquire Marco Scutaro

The Rockies have acquired Marco Scutaro from the Red Sox in exchange for Clayton Mortensen, the teams announced. Scutaro is the second shortstop the Sox have traded this winter, following the deal that sent Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland to the Astros for Mark Melancon.

Icon_13085738Scutaro, 36, fills the Rockies' need for a second baseman, as the veteran will return to the position after primarily playing shortstop over the last three seasons. He hit .299/.358/.423 in 445 plate appearances with Boston in 2011, and is returning to the NL for the first time since he broke into the Majors with the Mets in 2002-03. Renck says Colorado earmarked Scutaro as a target when the offseason began.

Mortensen, 26, was a supplemental first-round pick (36th overall) for the Cardinals in the 2007 draft. The right-hander was part of the trade package the Cardinals sent to the A's in July 2009 in exchange for Matt Holliday. Mortensen has a 5.12 ERA, a 4.7 K/9 rate and a 3.7 BB/9 rate in 24 Major League games (13 of them starts) with the Rockies, A's and Cardinals. His 51.3% ground ball rate helps offset the lack of strikeouts.

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe says (on Twitter) that the Red Sox will platoon Mike Aviles and Nick Punto at shortstop. The deal relieves the team of Scutaro's $6MM salary, giving the club some more money to use towards a starting pitcher. Mortensen is still in his pre-arbitration years.

Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN first reported the agreement (on Twitter) while Troy Renck of The Denver Post said the two sides were finishing up the trade earlier today. Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


Rockies, Red Sox Close To Completing Scutaro Deal

The Rockies and Red Sox are "finishing up" a trade that would send Marco Scutaro to Colorado in exchange for a pitcher, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link).  Renck believes the pitcher heading to Boston could be Clayton Mortensen, whose name was mentioned in previous discussions between the two teams (via Twitter).

Renck reported the deal as being close yesterday, though talks also seemed to fizzle just as quickly.  Today, negotiations restarted as Renck says the Rockies had to "work through financial issues" to fit Scutaro's $6MM salary into the payroll.

Scutaro fills the Rockies' need for a second baseman, as the veteran will return to the position after primarily playing shortstop over the last three seasons.  Scutaro hit .299/.358/.423 in 445 plate appearances with Boston in 2011, and is returning to the NL for the first time since he broke into the Majors with the Mets in 2002-03.

For the Red Sox, the deal frees room in the payroll for the club to pursue a starting pitcher.  It also creates a hole at shortstop, with a Mike Aviles-Nick Punto platoon being the likeliest short-term solution.  Prospect Jose Iglesias could also be in the mix if he has an excellent Spring Training.

Mortensen, 26, was a supplemental first-round pick (36th overall) for the Cardinals in the 2007 draft.  He was part of the trade package the Cardinals sent to the A's in July 2009 in exchange for Matt Holliday.  Mortensen has a 5.12 ERA, a 4.7 K/9 rate and a 3.7 BB/9 rate in 24 Major League games (13 of them starts) with the Rockies, A's and Cardinals.

This post was originally published on January 21st.