Dan Johnson Rumors
We'll track the day's minor moves here...
- The Mariners have signed Ronny Paulino to a minor league deal, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman (via Twitter) reports. The M's were known to be looking for veteran catching depth after dealing John Jaso last week, and Paulino will be in the mix to provide backup behind Jesus Montero. Paulino, 31, posted a .567 OPS in 64 PAs with the Orioles last season and elected to become a free agent in October.
- The Yankees signed first baseman Dan Johnson to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, Sweeny Murti of WFAN reports (on Twitter). Johnson, 33, appeared in 14 games for the White Sox in 2012. He spent most of the season with Chicago's Triple-A team, where he posted a .267/.388/.492 batting line and hit 28 home runs. As Murti notes, Johnson hit a game-tying home run in the final game of the 2011 regular season to help the Rays reach the playoffs.
A number of free agents have found deals in Nashville this week, but there are still a ton available, including 29 of our top 50. Here's the latest on a few of the remaining options:
- Scott Rolen remains undecided on whether he'll retire or continue his playing career, his agent tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. If Rolen decides he wants to play, Fay believes the Reds could be interested in bringing him back in some role.
- Former Rockie Ryan Spilborghs is drawing serious interest in Japan, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link).
- The Mariners like Michael Bourn "very much," though the Phillies and Rangers remain in on the speedy outfielder, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- A couple reasons the Angels' interest in Brandon McCarthy has picked up in Nashville are his age (29) and the fact that he likely won't command more than a two-year deal, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
- Stephen Drew figures to land at least a two-year deal, which would probably take the Tigers out of the running, says MLB.com's Jason Beck. The Red Sox continue to be in on Drew, however, according to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
- In their hunt for left-handed relief help, the Cardinals have inquired on Manny Parra and explored what it would take to sign Sean Burnett, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cards are expected to find their man fairly soon, says Goold.
- Dan Johnson, who was non-tendered by the White Sox last week, is interested in returning to the Rays, but may end up in Japan, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Here are today’s American League non-tenders. All decisions must be in by 11pm CT tonight. Be sure to track all tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker. Related resources include our list of non-tender candidates, our projected arbitration salaries and our arbitration eligibles series.
- The Rays have non-tendered Ben Francisco according to Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays have non-tendered Bobby Wilson, the team announced.
- The Mariners have non-tendered Robert Andino, the team announced. They acquired him from the Orioles less than two weeks ago.
- The Rangers have non-tendered Geovany Soto, Brandon Snyder, and Jacob Brigham according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (on Twitter).
- The Orioles have non-tendered Mark Reynolds in addition to Omar Quintanilla and Stuart Pomeranz, the team announced (on Twitter).
- The Athletics have non-tendered Jermaine Mitchell, the team announced. Mitchell was designated for assignment earlier this week.
- The Red Sox have non-tendered Rich Hill, Ryan Sweeney, and Scott Atchison, the team announced. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports had the Sweeney news earlier (on Twitter) while Rob Bradford of WEEI.com had the Atchison news.
- The Indians announced they non-tendered Jack Hannahan, Rafael Perez and Chris Seddon
- The White Sox announced that they've non-tendered right-hander pitcher Anthony Carter and infielder Dan Johnson.
- The Royals announced that they won't tender outfielder Derrick Robinson a contract for 2013 (Twitter link). Robinson has no MLB experience so he wasn't arbitration eligible.
- The Tigers announced that they will non-tender Daniel Schlereth. The left-hander was limited to six appearances this past season, which he mostly spent on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis. Schlereth was not yet arbitration eligible.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Johnson, 32, hit .273/.382/.459 in 395 Triple-A plate appearances for the Rays' affiliate last year, a downturn from his 2010 production perhaps caused by a wrist injury. He elected free agency after being outrighted by the Rays in November. Johnson clubbed a pair of legendary late-season home runs for the Rays in '08 and '11, as described here by Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Johnson is represented by TWC Sports.
On this date in 2005, the Mets signed Carlos Beltran to a seven-year, $119MM contract. Beltran enjoyed some tremendous seasons and endured some difficult moments with the Mets, who traded him to San Francisco last summer. Here are today's links...
- An extra wild card team is far from a sure thing for 2012, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark, as "big scheduling obstacles remain" to be worked out before baseball can expand its playoffs for this fall.
- Tony La Russa has been "informally offered" Joe Torre's old job as MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations, reports USA Today's Bob Nightengale (via Twitter). La Russa has given no indication that he is interested in the job.
- Magglio Ordonez intends to play in 2012, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. The free agent outfielder is making progress in his recovery from right ankle surgery.
- Kerry Wood said on the Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 that there's "nothing new" to report on his near-deal with the Cubs.
- Dan Johnson, the unlikely hero of the Rays’ exhilarating comeback in the final game of the regular season, tells Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he’s still looking for a job.
- Dodgers scout Carl Loewnstine continues working as he battles bone cancer, Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes. Loewnstine will be honored this weekend at a banquet benefiting the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation in California.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and David Laurila of FanGraphs discussed the role of information in the decision making process of an MLB front office.
- The Red Sox don’t expect to offer guaranteed deals to free agent pitchers, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The asking price for Hiroki Kuroda and Roy Oswalt is dropping, but those pitchers aren’t likely to sign in Boston, Heyman writes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- The Rays have added some bullpen pieces in Joel Peralta, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, J.P. Howell, and Rule 5 pick Cesar Cabrel, but they'll still need someone to pitch the ninth and probably the eighth, Topkin opines. He lists some potential candidates as Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel, Kevin Gregg, Trevor Hoffman, Grant Balfour, and Chad Qualls as options. Remember, the Rays also have Jake McGee.
- There's not much in terms of affordable names for the Rays on the market. Some clarity will be brought to the issue once Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee sign. Topkin mentions Casey Kotchman as a speculative option. Dan Johnson is a fallback if the team can't find an upgrade.
- Johnson is also a backup plan at designated hitter, but the Rays have options at designated hitter, with Johnny Damon, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, and Jason Giambi on the market.