Clete Thomas Rumors

Minor Moves: Hill, O’Sullivan, Sale, Daley, Gimenez, Thomas

Here are today’s minor moves …

  • The Tigers inked right-hander Shawn Hill to a minor league deal today, as James Wagner of the Toledo Blade reports on Twitter. Hill, 33, has seen mostly scattered MLB action since taking 28 starts for the Nationals over the 2007-08 seasons. He has a 4.87 ERA through 105 1/3 innings (4.7 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9) in the upper minors this year with the White Sox and Blue Jays organizations.
  • The Phillies have outrighted Sean O’Sullivan to Triple-A, according to the International League transactions page. The righty accepted a previous outright assignment earlier this year, but will once again have the right to elect free agency instead.
  • Rays prospect Josh Sale has been hit with a 50-game suspension for recreational drug use, MLB announced today. This is hardly the first brush with trouble for the 23-year-old former first-round pick, who came into the 2013 season rated Tampa’s 24th-best prospect by Baseball America. After a previous drug-related suspension, Sale missed all of last year when the team banned him for inappropriate conduct. He had slashed .238/.313/.344 over 361 plate appearances on the year at the High-A level.
  • After reporting earlier today that Matt Daley has accepted an outright assignment from the Yankees, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets that Daley has actually been optioned by the club. The righty still occupies a 40-man spot.
  • Catcher Chris Gimenez has accepted an outright assignment from the Rangers rather than electing free agency, tweets John Blake, the club’s executive VP of communications. The 31-year-old was designated for assignment five days ago, and apparently has not found a better opportunity with another organization.
  • The Phillies have released outfielder Clete Thomas, Cotillo tweets. The 30-year-old has seen 794 MLB plate appearances in parts of four seasons, but had not been elevated by Philadelphia this season. Over 226 minor league plate appearances, he carries a .247/.345/.335 slash.

Earlier Updates

Baseball America’s Matt Eddy has posted his weekly look at minor league transactions from around the league from the past seven days. We’ll highlight a couple of the (relatively) notable names that were missed in the past week:

  • Eddy reports that the Cardinals have released southpaw Pedro Feliciano from his minor league deal. The 37-year-old, once an excellent setup man with the Mets, pitched to a 5.57 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 21 frames with Triple-A Memphis this season.
  • The Reds have released left-hander Scott Maine, Eddy reports. The former Cub was inked to a minor league deal in June after pitching well for the independent Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish, but he posted a 6.10 ERA in 10 1/3 innings with the Reds organization.
  • The Athletics have released first baseman/third baseman B.A. Vollmuth, tweets Eddy. Vollmuth, a third-rounder as recently as 2011, batted just .207/.278/.341 this season at Class A Beloit. The 24-year-old has yet to move above the Class-A Advanced level and a has a .702 OPS in his pro career.

Phillies Sign Clete Thomas, Cesar Jimenez

The Phillies announced that they have signed outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro and left-hander Cesar Jimenez to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. The team also confirmed its previously reported signing of right-hander Shawn Camp.

Thomas, 30, batted .214/.290/.307 with four homers in a career-high 322 plate appearances for the Twins last season. The former Tiger is a career .250/.326/.423 hitter in parts of six Triple-A seasons and can play a solid defensive center field, making him a nice depth pickup for the Phils.

Jimenez, who turned 29 on Tuesday, posted a 3.71 ERA with 11 strikeouts and 10 walks in 17 innings for Philadelphia in 2013 and has a 4.96 career ERA in 65 1/3 Major League innings. Opposing lefties have batted .250/.311/.361 against Jimenez in 120 plate appearances over his big league career.

Castro, 24, spent the 2013 season with Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley, batting .256/.280/.368 with eight homers and 20 stolen bases in 458 plate appearances.


Twins Outright Roenicke, De Vries, Thomas, Martis

The Twins have outrighted center fielder Clete Thomas and right-handers Josh Roenicke, Cole De Vries and Shairon Martis off their 40-man roster, the team announced via press release.

The Twins claimed Roenicke, 31, off waivers from the Rockies last offseason, and he spent the entire season in the team's bullpen. Roenicke posted a 4.35 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9 in 62 innings for Minnesota, appearing in 63 games and earning one save along the way. Roenicke is eligible for arbitration this offseason, but because he has more than three years of service time and was outrighted off the 40-man roster, he is eligible to elect free agency.

Thomas came to the plate 322 times for the 2013 Twins despite slashing just .214/.290/.307 and striking out in 28.6 percent of his plate appearances. Thomas' sound defensive play kept him in the lineup, as he appeared at all three outfield positions and totaled a UZR/150 mark of +9.6 in 727 1/3 innings.

De Vries was injured for most of the season and allowed 18 runs in 15 innings at the Major League level. The 27-year-old's minor league numbers didn't look much better, as he posted a 7.02 ERA in 50 innings at Triple-A. 

Martis totaled a 4.26 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 80 1/3 innings in the minors and yielded six runs in 9 2/3 Major League innings. The Curacao native reached the Majors in 2013 for the first time since pitching more than 100 innings for the 2008-09 Nationals.



Minor Moves: Thomas, Berlind

We'll keep track of Sunday's minor transactions here…

  • Clete Thomas has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Rochester by the Twins, the team announced (on Twitter). Thomas homered in his second plate appearance for Minnesota, but hit just .143/.172/.286 overall while striking out in 14 of his final 19 plate appearances.
  • The Cubs released right-hander Dan Berlind, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. Berlind, a seventh round selection of the Twins in 2007, had walked 10 through 8 1/3 innings, leading to 16 earned runs.

Twins Claim Komatsu, DFA Thomas

The Twins claimed outfielder Erik Komatsu off of waivers from the Cardinals and designated Clete Thomas for assignment to make room on the 25-man roster, according to a team press release. 

Komatsu, selected from the Nationals in last winter's Rule 5 draft, was designated for assignment on Tuesday by St. Louis.  The 24-year-old appeared in 15 games for the Cardinals and saw time at all three outfield positions. 

The Twins picked up Thomas off of waivers from Detroit less than a month ago.  The 28-year-old saw time in twelve games for Minnesota and played mostly in right field.  In parts of four Triple-A seasons with the Tigers, Thomas has a slash line of .252/.336/.409.

The club also announced that third baseman Sean Burroughs cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A.  Burroughs, 31, was DFA'd on Tuesday to make room for Drew Butera.


Twins Claim Clete Thomas

The Twins have claimed Clete Thomas off waivers from the Tigers, reports MLB.com's Jason Beck (on Twitter). The team confirmed the move and announced that they've placed Scott Baker on the 60-day DL to open a 40-man roster spot. Detroit designated Thomas for assignment earlier this week

Thomas, 28, has appeared in three games this season. He has a .253/.336/.391 line in 443 MLB plate appearances, most of which came during the 2008-09 campaigns. Thomas played for Triple-A Toledo last year, posting a .251/.314/.401 line in 406 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions.


East Links: Podsednik, Carroll, Thomas, Izzy, A-Rod

AL MVP runner-up Jacoby Ellsbury sublexed his shoulder in yesterday's game and there is no timetable for his return (Twitter link). The Red Sox will call up Che-Hsuan Lin to take his roster spot. Here's the latest from baseball's two East divisions…

  • Scott Podsednik could be an option for the Red Sox following Ellsbury's injury, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). The Phillies would let Podsednik out of his minor league deal for a big league job, and Rosenthal says they could also trade for a Marlon Byrd or Coco Crisp type later in the season.
  • With some help from a reader, Rosenthal speculates that the recently DFA'd Brett Carroll and Clete Thomas could also be fits for the Red Sox following Ellsbury's injury (Twitter links).
  • "I’m still thankful they gave me the chance," said Angels reliever Jason Isringhausen to Dan Martin of The New York Post, referring to his time with the Mets last season. Izzy said he spoke to the Mets about a return this offseason.
  • Alex Rodriguez hit his 630th career home run yesterday, tying him with Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth on the all-time list. Joel Sherman of The New York Post says his homer bonuses will become an issue for the Yankees if they intend to get under the $189MM luxury tax threshold by 2014. A-Rod will get $6MM each for his 660th, 714th, 755th, 762nd, and 763rd career homers.

Tigers Designate Thomas For Assignment

The Tigers designated outfielder Clete Thomas for assignment, the Detroit Free Press tweets. The Tigers now have ten days to remove the left-handed hitting 28-year-old from their roster.

Thomas has appeared in three games this season, including today's contest against the Rays. He has a .253/.336/.391 line in 443 MLB plate appearances, most of which came during the 2008-09 campaigns. Thomas played for Triple-A Toledo last year, posting a .251/.314/.401 line in 406 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions.


Rosenthal On Tigers, Castillo, Astros

Blue Jays' rookie third baseman Brett Lawrie has been raking this spring but the 21-year-old might not start the year in the majors, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The club might send him to the minors to work on his defense – and to prevent him from becoming eligible for a fourth year of arbitration.  Here's more from Rosenthal..

  • One scout following the Tigers says the team is deep enough in young outfielders to possibly move one for a starting pitcher.  Right now, Brennan Boesch, Clete Thomas, Casper Wells, and Andy Dirks are all vying for reserve spots.  Wells appears to be a lock to make the big league roster as he is the only right-handed hitter of the bunch and plays all three outfield positions.
  • The Marlins are talking about signing second baseman Luis Castillo once he clears waivers, but they also have in-house options.  The club could decide to go with Emilio Bonifacio at second and Omar Infante at third if they choose to demote rookie third baseman Matt Dominguez.
  • If the Astros go with Carlos Lee over Brett Wallace at first base they would like to add a left-handed hitting outfielder to platoon with Jason Michaels.  However, the club is at the payroll limit and the team's greater need is a replacement for catcher Jason Castro.

Odds & Ends: Upton, Jackson, Tigers, Lopez

Friday night linkage..

  • B.J. Upton and the Rays had their arbitration hearing today and the decision from that hearing is expected tomorrow, writes Bill Chastain of MLB.com.  Tampa Bay is offering $3MM while Upton wants $3.3MM.
  • Steve Gilbert of MLB.com tweets that there is still no movement in talks between the D-Backs and Edwin Jackson.  Jackson is seeking $6.25MM while Arizona is offering $4.6MM.
  • If the Tigers ink Johnny Damon, the club may look make a trade to free up their glut in the outfield, writes James Schmehl of MLive.comRyan Raburn and Clete Thomas could be shipped elsewhere in order to make room for Damon in the lineup.  Schmehl also writes that GM Dave Dombrowski may try to move Nate Robertson and Carlos Guillen, though their hefty contracts will be an impediment.
  • Phil Wood of MASNSports.com fails to understand the Nats' interest in pitcher Kris Benson.  The 35-year-old has not pitched a full season since 2006, when he posted a 4.82 ERA with 4.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 for the Orioles.
  • Australian catcher Guy Edmonds has signed with the Texas Rangers, according to Christian Nicolussi of The Daily Telegraph.  Nicolussi writes that the 16-year-old has the potential to outperform the country's greatest baseball export, Dave Nilsson.
  • ESPN's Rob Neyer defends Tim Lincecum's signing of a two-year deal with the Giants.  Tiny Tim was seeking $13MM in arbitration with the club.
  • Rangers pitchers Omar Beltre and Alexi Ogando – banned for the past five years due to their involvement in a visa fraud scandal – have received their visas and are expected in Spring Training, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.  In total, the Rangers are expecting 56 players in camp.
  • On his website, MetsBlog.com founder Matthew Cerrone was asked by a reader if reporters in the mainstream media "make up" hot stove rumors.  While he says that this is not the case, the seriousness of talks between clubs are, at times, not communicated effectively.  Because of the strange nature of the baseball rumor mill, Cerrone says that he and Tim Dierkes provide an important service to fans by adding context to hot stove rumblings.