Cole Gillespie Rumors

Minor Moves: Ramirez, Pena, De La Torre, Hood, Sanabia

We’ve already covered quite a few minor moves today, but Matt Eddy of Baseball America has plenty more to consider. Here’s the latest on the minor league front:

  • The Diamondbacks signed pitcher J.C. Ramirez and re-signed catcher Blake Lalli. The 26-year-old Ramirez pitched 24 innings for Philadelphia in 2013, but performed poorly. He spent 2014 in the Indians system. Scouts like his 94 mph fastball, but he struggles with command and control as evidenced by a 5.63 BB/9 in his major league sample. Lalli, 32 next season, hit .275/.340/.373 in 2014 at the Triple-A level. He briefly appeared in the majors for the Cubs and Brewers during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
  • Utility infielder Ramiro Pena has elected free agency after the Braves outrighted him off the 40 man roster. Pena owns a career .244/.288/.330 line over 610 plate appearances in parts of six seasons. Capable of playing shortstop, second, and third base, the 29-year-old offers plenty of flexibility. He’s spent his entire career with the Yankees and Braves.
  • The Reds signed pitchers Jose De La Torre, Marcus Walden, and utility infielder Irving Falu. De La Torre, 29, offers big strikeout stuff with control issues out of the bullpen. He appeared briefly for the Red Sox in 2013. Walden is less flashy than De La Torre, and he has spent most of his minor league career in the rotation. The 26-year-old has posted a 3.92 ERA, 5.4 K/9, and 3.1 BB/9 over 622 minor league innings. His results in the upper minors have been markedly worse. Falu, 32 next season, has appeared briefly for the Royals, Brewers, and Padres over the past two years.
  • The Indians have signed outfielder Destin Hood. Possibly one of the gems of the minor league market, Hood hit .298/.348/.460 across three levels last season – mostly with the Nationals Triple-A affiliate. The former second round pick struggled prior to the 2014 campaign, which is probably why the Nationals did not add him to their 40 man roster. As Eddy notes, Hood hit .315 and slugged .556 against left-handed pitching last season, making him a good fit for a lefty heavy Cleveland lineup. He’s 25 next season.
  • The Angels signed 26-year-old pitcher Alex Sanabia. The former Marlin has 138 major league innings to his name with a 4.15 ERA, 5.58 K/9, and 2.86 BB/9. The righty should serve as rotation depth.
  • The Marlins signed pitcher Chris Narveson and outfielder Cole Gillespie. Narveson, a former Brewer and Cardinal, has a 4.65 ERA over 396 innings. He pitched in Japan last season with similar results. He’ll turn 33 later this month. Gillespie, once a prospect with the Diamondbacks, has bounced around the league. He’s briefly appeared with five major league clubs and owns a .230/.295/.329 batting line in 270 plate appearances. He’s 31 next season.
  • The Padres have re-signed left-handed pitcher Jason Lane. The former Astros outfielder reached the majors as a pitcher last season and performed well in 10 and one-third innings. He allowed just one run on a home run, struck out six, and walked none in his age 37 season.
  • The Mariners signed 32-year-old pitcher Justin Germano. The soft-tossing righty is best used as minor league depth, although he’s appeared with eight major league clubs over nine seasons. He owns a 5.40 ERA, 5.70 K/9, and 2.92 BB/9 in 330 career innings. His fastball averaged 85.5 mph last season.

Minor Moves: Free Agents, Blue Jays

Here are the latest minor moves from around the game.


Blue Jays Outright Cole Gillespie

The Blue Jays have outrighted outfielder Cole Gillespie to Triple-A Buffalo, according to an email from MiLB.com. Toronto had claimed Gillespie from the Mariners last month.

Gillespie has collected 81 plate appearances for Seattle this season, hitting .243/.300/.311. He’s hit .230/.295/.329 in parts of four seasons with the Diamondbacks, Giants, Cubs, Mariners and Jays.



Jays Claim Cole Gillespie, Designate Kenny Wilson

The Blue Jays have announced they have claimed outfielder Cole Gillespie off waivers from the Mariners. To clear room on the 40-man roster, Toronto designated outfielder Kenny Wilson for assignment. The Blue Jays still need to make a 25-man roster move and the team says it will do so once Gillespie reports to the club.

Gillespie was designated for assignment by the Mariners yesterday after posting a line of .254/.312./.324 in 78 plate appearances (56 of those against left-handed pitching). Gillespie signed a minor league deal with the Mariners in January.

For someone who has never seen MLB action, Wilson’s name has graced the pages of MLBTR quite a bit over the past ten weeks. This is the third time the 24-year-old has been designated for assignment and the second by the Blue Jays, who also has claimed him off waivers after the Twins designated him in May. Wilson opened the year as Baseball America’s 22nd-ranked prospect in the Blue Jay organization and is said to have starter upside, if he can translate his tools into production, but he has produced pedestrian numbers this season slashing .234/.312/.333 in 324 plate appearances between the Toronto (Double-A/Triple-A) and Minnesota (Double-A) organizations.


Mariners Designate Cole Gillespie For Assignment

The Mariners have designated outfielder Cole Gillespie for assignment, the team announced.  Corey Hart has been activated from the DL in a corresponding move.

Gillespie hit .254/.312/.324 with one homer in 78 PA for Seattle this season, with 56 of those plate appearances coming against left-handed pitching.  Gillespie signed a minor league deal with the M’s during the offseason.

According to MLBTR’s DFA Tracker, Gillespie is now the eighth player currently in ‘DFA limbo,’ joining Jeff Francis (A’s), Dean Anna (Yankees), Jerome Williams (Astros), Nolan Reimold (Orioles), Joe Saunders (Rangers) Pedro Ciriaco and Justin Maxwell (Royals)


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.