Cole Gillespie Rumors

Minor Moves: Gillespie, Palmer, Ramirez, Blackley, Morgan

Here are some minor moves to pass on …

  • The Mariners announced three minor league signings that come with MLB Spring Training invites. Outfielder Cole Gillespie, along with righties Matt Palmer and Ramon Ramirez, will try to impress the Seattle brass in Peoria, AZ. All three players have seen MLB action, though only Ramirez (3.42 ERA in 433 2/3 innings as a reliever) has a history as a big league regular.
  • Angels minor league backstop Carlos Ramirez has received a 100 game ban for his third positive test for a "drug of abuse," MLB announced. The 25-year-old has yet to see time above Double-A, and has largely failed to hit in three stints at that level.
  • Two former big leaguers experienced status changes in December with regard to their current careers in Japan. Southpaw Travis Blackley reached terms on a one-year deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles after spending most of last year in the Astros pen, while outfielder Nyjer Morgan has become a free agent after a productive first season with the Yokohama Bay Stars. (All information courtesy of Nikkan Sports, via Yakyu Baka.)
  • You can keep track of any players currently in DFA limbo via MLBTR's DFA Tracker. Three players currently await a final disposition: Santos Rodriguez (White Sox), Rafael Ortega (Rangers), and Adys Portillo (Padres).

Minor Moves: Runzler, Bowden, Gillespie, Tanaka

Here are today's minor moves from around the league…

  • After being designated for assignment by the Giants on Tuesday, lefty Dan Runzler has been outrighted to Triple-A, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). Having failed to regain his 2009-10 form, when he was effective out of the San Francisco pen, Runzler will become a minor league free agent after the season.
  • The Cubs announced that Michael Bowden and Cole Gillespie have both cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa after being designated for assignment earlier in the week. The 26-year-old Bowden pitched to a 4.30 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 37 2/3 innings for the Cubs this season. Gillespie, 29, batted .240/.328/.280 for Chicago in 59 plate appearances after hitting .277/.361/.455 in 269 plate appearances for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate in Fresno.
  • The Giants have released second baseman/left fielder Kensuke Tanaka, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (on Twitter). The Giants designated Tanaka for assignment on Tuesday along with Runzler in order to clear 40-man roster spots for right-hander Heath Hembree and catcher Johnny Monell. Tanaka, 32, saw limited time with the Giants this season but excelled in 400 plate appearances at Triple-A Fresno, batting .329/.400/.397 with three homers and 22 steals (though they came in 32 attempts). Tanaka played 55 games at second base and 30 in left field, and he is a career .286/.356/.384 hitter in 4,278 plate appearances in Japan (all of which came with the Nippon Ham Fighters).
  • Following these moves, seven players are in DFA limbo, as can be seen in MLBTR's DFA TrackerAlex LiddiHector AmbrizEdinson Rincon, Hideki Okajima, Juan Diaz, Tim Fedroff and Justin Freeman.

Cubs Claim Daniel Bard, Designate Cole Gillespie

The Cubs announced that they have claimed Daniel Bard off waivers from the Red Sox.  To make room for the reliever, outfielder Cole Gillespie has been designated for assignment.

The former top-100 prospect was designated for assignment on Sunday.  Bard, 28, emerged as a dominant late-inning reliever in 2010, but didn't respond well when the team attempted to convert him back into a starter in 2012.  He's been beset by injuries this season and walked 27 batters in 15 1/3 minor league innings.  

Bard will be arbitration eligible for a third time this winter and still has an option remaining.  However, because he's only accumulated four days of Major League service time in 2013, he is now controllable through at least the 2016 season instead of the 2015 season, as previously projected.  If Bard can rediscover his 2009-11 form, he could be a rare example of a player who is eligible for arbitration five times.  In fact, if Bard accumulates fewer than 94 days of service time between now and the end of the 2014 season, the Cubs would gain another year of team control, giving them rights to Bard through the 2017 campaign.  In that scenario, Bard would be eligible for arbitration six times.  Baseball's collective bargaining agreement states that a player is eligible for arbitration so long as he has between three and six years of Major League service time (or qualifies as a Super Two) and is on a 40-man roster, so theoretically, a player could be eligible an infinite number of times.  Of course, all of this assumes that Bard will be tendered a contract for the 2014 season, which is certainly not a guarantee given his 2013 performance.

Gillespie, 29, was claimed off waivers from the Giants in July.  In 28 combined big league games this season, the outfielder hit just .203/.294/.237.  His Triple-A numbers have been much stronger as he posted a .277/.361/.455 line in 74 games this season.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.



Cubs Claim Cole Gillespie Off Waivers

The Cubs announced that they have claimed Cole Gillespie off waivers from the Giants.  The outfielder was designated for assignment by San Francisco earlier this week.

Gillespie, 29, played in just three games for the Giants' varsity squad this season.  In 269 plate appearances for the club's Triple-A affiliate this season, the outfielder slashed .277/.361/.455 with nine homers.  Gillespie is expected to provide the Cubs with depth in the outfield but will not yet report to the club today, according to the press release.