Cory Gearrin Rumors

Quick Hits: Russell, Drew, Morales, Garcia, Twins, Gearrin

There was more bad injury news out of Oakland, as top Athletics prospect Addison Russell has torn his right hamstring and will be down for at least a month, according to a report from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Though Russell was not necessarily expected to contribute much at the MLB level this year — he had started his age-20 season at Double-A — a prolonged absence will certainly be unwelcome news for an Athletics club that could hypothetically look to Russell for a late-season boost or audition for 2015. Here are a few more stray notes from the day:

  • There is a sense that the free agent market for Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales could be thawing, according to a report from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Multiple clubs have gone to scout the pair, says Heyman, and Morales in particular seems to be drawing increased activity. Heyman cites the Orioles, Mariners, and Brewers as teams thought to have interest, with the Pirates also a potential landing spot.
  • Free agent starter Freddy Garcia has been throwing to Drew and Morales, Heyman adds. Though Garcia has received minor league offers since being cut loose by the Braves, he is holding out in hopes of signing straight into a MLB role.
  • The Twins will be among the teams with the most cash to spend through international bonus pools and the amateur draft. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN provides some updates on the club's current direction (Twitter links). Minnesota still has several hundred thousand dollars of uncommitted international cash to work with, and has narrowed its options for the 5th overall pick to eight players (most of whom are pitchers).
  • As expected, Braves reliever Cory Gearrin will have Tommy John surgery and miss the 2014 season, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported yesterday (via Twitter). The 27-year-old was a useful arm last year, throwing 31 innings of 3.77 ERA ball after notching 20 innings at a 1.80 ERA clip in 2012. Though the club has already filled in for Gearrin in the immediate term, his loss takes another depth piece away from an organization that has suffered more than its share of recent pitching injuries.

NL Notes: Dodgers, Giants, Braves

MLB.com's Terence Moore profiled Stan Kasten, the legendary sports executive who has built his reputation by turning around struggling franchises. As Braves president from 1986 through 2003, Kasten hired Hall of Famer Bobby Cox and helped build the organization that won a record 14 consecutive division titles. He now helms the Dodgers. Here are more late-night NL links:

  • Josh Beckett has won the Dodgers' fifth starter job, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports. He had been competing with lefty Paul Maholm. The announcement makes Maholm's one-year, $1.5MM deal with the Dodgers all the more puzzling. Though not one of this winter's top available starters, few would have projected that the lefty would end up with a deal that didn't even guarantee him a rotation job. 
  • Ben Haber of MLB.com examined how adjusting a pitcher's mechanics can turn around their career. Giants' reliever Javier Lopez struggled with an over-the-top delivery early on, but has carved out a long career in the bullpen after switching to a sidearm motion, Haber notes.
  • Braves reliever Cory Gearrin may require Tommy John surgery, The Atlanta Journal Constitution's David O'Brien tweets. GM Frank Wren says there is "ligament involvement" in the injury to the right-hander's elbow, leading the club to place him on the disabled list. In what appear to be related moves, the Braves added pitchers Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas to their Opening Day roster earlier this evening.

Minor Moves: Garcia, Gearrin, Broussard

Happy Fourth of July to all of our readers! Here's your rundown of today's minor moves from around the league…

  • The Tigers announced via Twitter that they optioned Avisail Garcia to Triple-A Toledo following tonight's game with the Blue Jays. Garcia has appeared at all three outfield positions for the Tigers this season, hitting .241/.273/.373 in 88 plate appearances.
  • The Braves optioned pitcher Cory Gearrin to Triple-A Gwinnett and will announce a corresponding move tomorrow, The Atlanta Journal Constitution's David O'Brien reports via Twitter. Gearrin, a right-hander, has a 3.77 ERA in 31 innings for the Braves this year.
  • The Royals have signed first baseman Ben Broussard to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Omaha, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The 36-year-old was hitting .302/.344/.509 with eight homers in 44 games for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. Broussard, a former second-round pick, served as the regular first baseman/DH for the Indians and Mariners from 2003-06, hitting .267/.330/.470 with 73 homers in 541 games. He last appeared in the Majors with the Rangers in 2008.
  • Twelve players are currently in DFA limbo: Brandon Lyon (Mets), Hector Gimenez (White Sox), P.J. Walters (Twins), Shawn Camp (Cubs), Miguel Olivo (Marlins), Chien-Ming Wang (Blue Jays), Kyle McClellan (Rangers), Jeff Francoeur (Royals), Travis Ishikawa (Orioles), Alex Liddi (Mariners), Eric Hinske (D-Backs) and Francisley Bueno (Royals).