Dalier Hinojosa Rumors

Phillies Claim Dalier Hinojosa From Red Sox

The Phillies have claimed righty Dalier Hinojosa off waivers from the Red Sox, Philadelphia announced. Boston had designated Hinojosa for assignment on Saturday.

Hinojosa came to the Red Sox as a free agent out of Cuba back in 2013, signing for a $4.25MM bonus. The 29-year-old ultimately made just one appearance from the Boston pen. He owns a 3.56 ERA with 9.0 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9 over 103 2/3 Triple-A innings.

Given that he racked up those innings over just 60 appearances, all from the pen, Hinojosa obviously offers the possibility of contributing multiple innings. Philadelphia will start him off at Triple-A, but he could provide some flexibility for its struggling pitching staff in the season’s second half.

Red Sox Designate Dalier Hinojosa For Assignment

The Red Sox have made room for lefty Brian Johnson on their 40-man roster by designating righty Dalier Hinojosa for assignment, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal tweets. Johnson is taking Clay Buchholz‘s spot on the active roster as Buchholz deals with a flexor strain.

The Red Sox signed Hinojosa to a $4.25MM minor league contract following the 2013 season after he pitched for many years in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, but the 29-year-old has struggled to make an impact in Boston’s system. He’s spent most of the past two seasons with Triple-A Pawtucket, tossing 103 2/3 innings of relief with a decent 3.56 ERA and 9.0 K/9, but with a too-high 4.3 BB/9. Still, it looked like he might be able to find a role in middle relief in the big leagues. He appeared in one game with the Red Sox this season, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings but walking three batters and hitting another.

AL East Notes: Cash, Hamels, Swihart, Orioles

The Red Sox have received some impressive performances from non-roster invitees like Mitchell Boggs, Dana Eveland, Dalier Hinojosa, and Noe Ramirez, but they probably won’t crack the 25-man roster due to the numbers crunch, as Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes.

Here’s more from the AL East:

  • Rays manager Kevin Cash will earn $5MM over the life of his five-year deal, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay TimesJon Heyman of CBSSports.com recently reported Cash’s deal was for a lengthy five years, giving him more security than a lot of other skippers around the majors. The pact ties Cash with current Cubs skipper Joe Maddon for the lengthiest remaining guarantee in the game. Of course, the financial terms aren’t exactly the same as Maddon will earn a reported $25MM over the same length of time.
  • The addition of Cole Hamels would undoubtedly separate the Red Sox from the rest of the AL East, but to what degree the club feels pressure to establish that space is what will determine whether they pull the trigger, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald writes. Right now, the Phillies are insisting Boston part with Henry Owens and either Blake Swihart or Mookie Betts while taking on Hamels’ monster deal, so the Red Sox feel that they can live without him. Silverman lays out the pros and cons of Boston waiting on a Hamels trade.
  • Swihart started against the Phillies today going 2-for-3, including a RBI single, and found the timing pure coincidence. “I think people are looking into it too much,” he told reporters, including Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “It’s just my turn to catch right now.” Swihart also addressed the interest shown in him by the Phillies. “It’s an honor that other teams think highly of you. Ultimately, I want to be here (Boston) and to play for this team. Anything I can do to help this team is what I want to do.
  • Orioles GM Dan Duquette spoke with MLB Network Radio (audio link) about how the O’s can replace the offensive production of their free agent losses. Baltimore, of course, saw Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz and Andrew Miller head elsewhere this offseason.

AL East Links: Lester, Hinojosa, Cruz, Orr

George Digby, a Red Sox scout from 1944 to 1994 and a scouting consultant until 2004, passed away on Friday at age 96.  Digby’s long career earned him a spot in the Red Sox Hall Of Fame and his many signings included such notable names as Wade Boggs, Mike Greenwell and Jody Reed.  An even bigger name, however, eluded Digby through no fault of his own.  As ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes relates, Digby pushed the Red Sox to sign Willie Mays in 1949 yet got nowhere thanks to the club’s ban on black players that shamefully existed until 1959.  The MLBTR staff extends our condolences to Digby’s family and many friends around baseball.

Here’s the latest from the AL East…

  • Jon Lester recorded a career-best 15 strikeouts over eight innings of one-hit ball in a 6-3 Boston win over Oakland today.  MLB.com’s Mike Bauman notes that such performances are what makes Lester so valuable to the Red Sox and it only raises the southpaw’s asking price on his next contract.  When last we heard about negotiations, Lester and the Sox had reportedly suspended talks until the end of the season.
  • Dalier Hinojosa has a 7.15 ERA and 12 walks over his first 11 1/3 innings with Triple-A Pawtucket, yet the PawSox coaching staff isn’t yet concerned about the Cuban right-hander, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes.  This is not only Hinojosa’s first taste of American pro baseball since signing a $4.25MM contract with the Red Sox in October, but it is also his first time pitching in cold weather, which the PawSox coaches believe is affecting his performance.
  • Nelson Cruz is off to a hot start and is only under contract through 2014, though MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski opines that the Orioles shouldn’t be in any rush to extend Cruz’s contract.  The O’s have other long-term deals for building block players (i.e. Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy) to consider first, plus Baltimore can also extend a qualifying offer to Cruz in the offseason.
  • Infielder Pete Orr wanted to sign with the Blue Jays last winter, his agent Blake Corosky tells Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith.  “Pete made it clear to them that they were his first choice and starting in [Triple-A] Buffalo was fine.  But they were equally clear there were better options and that they liked him but not enough,” Corosky said.  Orr, born just outside Toronto in nearby Richmond Hill, instead signed a minor league deal with the Brewers.

Twins Notes: Perkins, Mauer, International Free Agents

The Twins announced yesterday that All-Star closer Glen Perkins underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the medial meniscus in his right knee. Perkins, who saved 36 games for the Twins with a 2.30 ERA, 11.1 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9, is expected to be ready for Spring Training. Here's more out of the Twin Cities…

  • Joe Mauer is symptom-free after missing the final 39 games of the regular season with a concussion, GM Terry Ryan told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. There's been chatter of moving Mauer to first base to preserve his health in the Minnesota media, but both Ryan and Mauer himself have said that Mauer will catch in 2014.
  • Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN writes that the Twins were in on Dalier Hinojosa prior to his $4.25MM agreement with the Red Sox over the weekend. Though Hinojosa has pitched as both a starter and a reliever, the Twins viewed the Cuban righty as a starter.
  • Wolfson adds that the Twins will watch Cuban right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne and Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz in Mexico in the coming weeks. Despaigne's agent said yesterday he expects to negotiate a contract with a Major League team while in Mexico.

Red Sox To Sign Dalier Hinojosa

TODAY, 8:34pm: Hinojosa's deal is for $4.25MM, a source tells Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com (Twitter link).

TODAY, 8:37am: The Sox will pay Hinojosa a $4MM bonus, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted early this morning. 

YESTERDAY, 9:54pm: The Red Sox have agreed to a minor league contract with Cuban right-hander Dalier Hinojosa, Baseball America's Ben Badler reports.  Terms of the deal aren't known, but the signing bonus won't count against Boston's international spending cap since Hinojosa is 27 years old.  Hinojosa is represented by Bart Hernandez and Praver/Shapiro.

The Sox were rumored to be interested in Hinojosa when he was cleared as a free agent last July.  The Dodgers, Cubs and Yankees were also reportedly interested in the righty, who Badler says is projected by many scouts as a relief pitcher.  Hinojosa throws "a slurvy breaking ball," a fastball in the 88-92 mph range, and another splitter/changeup-type of pitch.

Jeff Todd and Aaron Steen contributed to this post.

International Notes: Abreu, Hinojosa, Reds

Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu has generated quite a bit of buzz since defecting from the Cuban National team, with some believing he could surpass the contracts signed by Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig. Here's more on Abreu along with some other notes on the international market…

  • MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez spoke with Orioles rookie Henry Urrutia, a childhood friend of Abreu who says that Abreu is "like a brother" to him. Urrutia tells Sanchez that Abreu called him from an undisclosed location recently and is drawing interest from a number of agents who would love to represent him, though he has not yet selected representation.
  • Sanchez also tweets that Cuban right-hander Dalier Hinojosa is currently evaluating offers but has yet to sign a deal. Hinojosa was reportedly granted free agency roughly a month ago and was connected to the Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs and Yankees at that time.
  • The Reds have signed 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Reydel Medina for a $400K bonus, according to a release from the Dominican Prospect League. Baseball America's Ben Badler confirms the signing, noting that Medina is a left-handed hitter with a quick bat, projectable power and above-average times in the 60-yard dash. Some scouts are concerned about his crude approach at the plate, according to Badler. Medina's signing counts against the Reds' international bonus pool because he is under 23 years of age and does not have three years of professional experience.

Cuban Pitcher Hinojosa Granted Free Agency

Cuban righty Dalier Hinojosa received clearance from the U.S. government and has been granted free agency by MLB, tweets MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.  Hinojosa defected from Cuba in February, establishing residency in Haiti, according to a source.  The Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees are among the teams that have shown interest in the 27-year-old, Sanchez wrote in June.  Hinojosa is represented by Praver/Shapiro, MLBTR has learned, and he has already showcased his talents for teams.

Hinojosa throws in the low-to-mid 90s with a slider, curveball, two-seam fastball, and changeup, according to Sanchez.  He starred with the Cuban national team, and is a former teammate of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.  Gonzalez has also been cleared to sign with MLB teams.  There is no limitation to the contracts these Cuban defectors may receive, because they are at least 23 years old and have played as a professional in a Cuban professional league for at least three seasons.  For the 2014-15 international signing period, that minimum requirement will jump to five seasons.