Dan Johnson Rumors

Minor Moves: Braves, Johnson, Orr, Blue Jays

Here are today's minor moves…

  • The Braves signed outfielder Jordan Parraz to a minor league deal with an adjusted big league salary, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The deal includes an invitation to Spring Training
  • Dan Johnson, who was outrighted earlier today, has elected free agency, according to the Tampa Tribune (on Twitter).
  • Utility player Pete Orr re-signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (on Twitter). The deal includes an invitation to Spring Training.
  • The Blue Jays signed 16-year-old right-hander Jesus Tinoco out of Venezuela, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. Meanwhile, the Reds signed 16-year-old righthander Soid Marquez.
  • Here's a note for the diehard transactions fans out there: the Blue Jays actually released Adam Loewen, tweets Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star (the team announced that it had outrighted Loewen this morning). The Blue Jays would have interest in re-signing Loewen to play at Triple-A if he doesn't find a better offer. Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi tweets that Loewen became a six-year minor league free agent.
  • The A's signed right-hander Edgar Gonzalez to a minor league deal, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The 28-year-old appeared in one game with the Rockies in 2011, but spent most of the season at Triple-A. He posted a 5.00 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 133 1/3 innings for the top affiliates of the Rays and Rockies.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Johnson, Vasquez, Blue Jays

The latest outright assignments from around MLB…

  • The Rays might not have made the playoff were it not for Dan Johnson's heroics in the final game of the regular season, but he's no longer on Tampa Bay's roster. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Rays outrighted Johnson to Triple-A (Twitter links). The first baseman can elect free agency.
  • The Mariners announced that they outrighted left-hander Anthony Vasquez to Triple-A. The 25-year-old posted a 8.90 ERA with 4.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 29 1/3 innings for Seattle in 2011. Vasquez must accept the assignment.
  • The Blue Jays announced that they outrighted outfielder Adam Loewen and reliever Jesse Carlson off of their 40-man roster. Loewen, the fourth overall selection in the 2002 draft, successfully completed the transition from left-handed pitcher to outfielder in 2011. He posted a .306/.377/.508 line with 46 doubles at Triple-A before appearing in 14 games with the Blue Jays. 
  • Carlson, 30, spent the 2011 season on the disabled list after experiencing arm soreness in Spring Training and undergoing season-ending rotator cuff surgery in May. Carlson would have been arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason and his projected salary of $700K made him a clear non-tender candidate.

Dan Johnson Clears Waivers

TUESDAY: Johnson cleared waivers and accepted a Triple-A assignment, reports Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

FRIDAY: The Rays have designated Dan Johnson for assignment according to a team press release. Rob Delaney was also optioned to Triple-A, and the moves free up roster spots for Justin Ruggiano and J.P. Howell.

Johnson, 31, hit just .115/.179/.167 in 84 plate appearances this year. Though his left-handed bat seemed serviceable, Johnson lost his starting job and has only appeared in six games this month. The Rays signed Johnson before the 2010 season and saw him post a .343 OBP with seven homers in 140 plate appearances despite a .198 batting average.

Quick Hits: Brown, Padres, Johnson

On this date in 1919, Babe Ruth hit his first career grand slam to help the Red Sox beat the Browns. Oh yeah, and he pitched a complete game. Here’s the latest from around the league on the anniversary of the Babe’s big day… 

  • The Phillies placed Shane Victorino on the 15-day DL with a right hamstring strain and called up outfielder Domonic Brown from Triple-A, the team announced.
  • By waiting a month, the Phillies could have ensured themselves that Brown would finish the 2011 season with less than a full year of service time, but their focus is clearly (and rightfully) on winning games now.
  • The Padres are close to announcing a 20-year TV deal with Fox that will provide the team with $25-30MM per season, according to John Maffei of the North County Times
  • Teddy Cahill of Baseball America lists draft-eligible prospects with connections to current and former big leaguers and others around the game.
  • Dan Johnson, who was designated for assignment earlier today, told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that he's "kind of numb," but open to remaining in the organization if he clears waivers.

Rays Notes: Bullpen, First Base, DH

The Rays find themselves in a difficult position as the 2011 season approaches. Forced to cut payroll, they've lost Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, (presumably) Rafael Soriano, and most of their bullpen to free agency, and traded Jason Bartlett as he approaches his final arbitration year.

Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times looks at some of the issues left to be addressed as the Rays begin bargain shopping this offseason:

Rays Rumors: Howell, Johnson, Bartlett

The latest on the Rays, who are looking to re-build their bullpen and acquire a hitter or two:

Blalock To Join Rays Today

2:31pm: Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman confirmed the promotion of Blalock in a blog post by Topkin

Friedman insists that the move has nothing to do with Blalock's contract situation and potential opt-out clause.  The club, he says, talked during Spring Training about re-evaluating things at this point in the season. 

He added that Dan Johnson, currently in Triple-A Durham, was also considered for promotion.  The 30-year-old has been posting even stronger numbers than Blalock, hitting .311/.382/.647 with 11 HRs.

10:52am: The team has yet to confirm the move, but it appears that Hank Blalock will join the Rays for today's game against the Mariners according to Heath Baywood at DRaysBay. Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times backs up the report.

Earlier this week Scott Boras indicated that Blalock would exercise the opt-out clause in his contract if he wasn't called up within a week. The two-time All Star hit .349/.405/.505 with Tampa's Triple-A affiliate, though oddly enough he hit lefties better than righties. That could easily be a function of limited at-bats, however.

Tampa Bay has two open spots on it's 40-man roster, but they will need to clear a 25-man roster spot for Blalock. Topkin says that it remains to be seen if this is the end of the Pat Burrell era, even though he's hitting just .202/.292/.333 this year. Either way, the Rays are the hook for his $9MM salary this season.

Odds & Ends: Padron, Washburn, Moeller, Chapman

Links for Tuesday…

Rays Sign Dan Johnson

The Rays signed first baseman Dan Johnson to a one-year, Major League deal worth $500K, writes Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.  The Rays sold Johnson's rights to the Yokohama BayStars about a year ago, and the 30-year-old hit .215/.330/.462 in 382 plate appearances in Japan in 2009.  He's got a career line of .248/.343/.420.  Most his big league time came with the A's from 2005-07.

Odds And Ends: Johnson, Bloomquist, Smoltz

Links for Saturday:

  • We knew Dan Johnson was heading to Japan, but now it’s official. He’ll play for the Yokohama BayStars and earn $1.5MM in 2009.
  • Rob Neyer writes that the Willie Bloomquist signing caps an offseason that’s cost the Royals a lot and left them with very little top talent.
  • Losing John Smoltz hasn’t been easy for the Braves.
  • MLB.com’s Tom Singer takes a look at some of the remaining free agent pitchers.
  • Buster Olney creates a team of the remaining free agents and it doesn’t look bad. He also has a fun idea for teams who want to sign a Type A free agent without losing their top pick.
  • Jim Johnson seems likely to start the season in the bullpen for Baltimore.
  • Peter Schmuck writes that at a low enough price it would make sense for the O’s to gamble on some pitchers to fill out the rotation.
  • Larry LaRue wonders whether the Mariners will hold onto Jamie Burke; Burke does too.