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Here are today’s minor moves from throughout baseball.
- The Phillies have signed former Red Sox infielder Nate Spears, reports Mike Ashmore of MyCentralJersey.com (via Twitter; hat tip to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com). Spears, 29, had been playing with the indy league Somerset Patriots. Despite two very brief cups of coffee with Boston, Spears has not recorded a hit in eight MLB plate appearances. He owns a career .244/.335/.371 line through 1,442 career plate appearances at the Triple-A level.
- Joel Pineiro has signed a minor-league deal with the Angels, according to MiLB.com, and he will start tonight for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees. The Cubs had recently released him. Pineiro is attempting to make it back to the big leagues after having last appeared in the Majors in 2011. He had made four starts with the Double-A Tennessee Smokies, posting a 4.43 ERA in 22 1/3 innings with 4.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.
- Infielder Danny Worth has accepted his outright assignment and will head to Triple-A Toledo, Chris Iott of MLive.com tweets. The Tigers designated worth for assignment on Wednesday after he hit .167/.217/.190 in 46 plate appearances.
- The Angels have outrighted pitchers Michael Brady, Jarrett Grube and Brooks Raley, according to MiLB.com. After a strong 2013 season in the Marlins organization, Brady has struggled in the high minors in 2014, posting a 7.18 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9. Grube, 32, made his big-league debut for the Angels last week. He had posted a 3.52 ERA in 61 1/3 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake with 7.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. The Angels claimed Raley from the Twins last month, and he struggled for Salt Lake, allowing 26 runs in 21 innings there. These moves likely signal that the Angels are about to make other transactions that will affect their 40-man roster.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- Though the Tigers announced earlier today that infielder Danny Worth has cleared outright waivers, though as Chris Iott of MLive.com reports, Worth has not yet decided whether or not to accept the assignment. Worth, 28, was designated for assignment earlier in the week when Detroit purchased the contract of shortstop prospect Eugenio Suarez.
- Utility man Andy Simunic has inked a minor league deal with the Braves after being released by the Astros, reports Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (via Twitter). Simunic, a former 17th-round pick, is a career .261/.332/.304 hitter in four seasons at the Triple-A level. The 28-year-old’s entire career has been spent in the Houston organization to this point.
- Pirates reliever Vin Mazzaro, who cleared outright waivers yesterday, has accepted his assignment to Triple-A, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Our own Zach Links initially reported that he was on outright waivers, with Biertempfel reporting last night that he’d cleared.
The Tigers have designated infielder Danny Worth for assignment to clear roster space for Eugenio Suarez, who has been promoted from Triple-A Toledo, according to the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter). MLB.com’s Jason Beck first noted that Suarez was listed as a reserve on the Tigers’ lineup sheet, while Worth’s name was not (Twitter link).
Worth, 28, batted just .167/.217/.190 in 46 plate appearances for the Tigers this season. He, along with Andrew Romine and Alex Gonzalez, have composed an underwhelming shortstop contingent for the Tigers this season after losing Jose Iglesias for the year due to stress fractures in his shins.
Suarez will likely get a look as the team’s everyday shortstop as GM Dave Dombrowski evaluates whether or not he needs to pursue an upgrade on the trade market this summer. The 22-year-old’s power has soared in the minor leagues this season en route to a combined .288/.360/.510 batting line between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. Suarez, who has eight homers after belting just 10 long balls in all of 2013, ranked seventh among Detroit prospects heading into the 2014 season, according to Baseball America.
BA praised Suarez’s “plus arm, quick release, good footwork and soft hands” while also noting he’s a below-average runner that at times can get a bit careless in the field. MLB.com ranked Suarez sixth among Tigers prospects, noting that he can do a little of everything, including hit for decent average, draw some walks and hit with some pop at the plate.
The Tigers acquired Gonzalez in late March in exchange for utility player Steve Lombardozzi, who was shipped to the Orioles less than four months after arriving in Detroit as part of the Doug Fister deal. With Lombardozzi in Baltimore, the Fister deal amounted to Detroit receiving left-handers Ian Krol and Robbie Ray plus a few weeks of Gonzalez. The Tigers had hoped the 37-year-old would serve as a capable replacement for shortstop Jose Iglesias, but his spotty defense and lack of range left much to be desired.
"We thought we'd take a little chance on it," Tigers President/CEO/General Manager Dave Dombrowski told reporters, including MLB.com's Jason Beck. "We thought it was something worth taking the gamble. As we had a chance to watch him, had a chance to get a feel, we just didn't see it getting better, so we thought, with the emphasis on defense for us at shortstop, we thought it was important to get someone who had a little bit more range."
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports notes (via Twitter) the Tigers will pay Gonzalez $1.1MM for only nine games. In that small sample size of 32 at-bats, Gonzalez slashed .167/.219/.233. For his career, Gonzalez owns a .245/.290/.395 line across 16 big league seasons.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Here are today's minor moves from around the league…
- The Dodgers have signed third baseman Josh Bell, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The one-time top prospect has only seen 282 career MLB plate appearances, over which he has a meager .195/.223/.265 triple slash with four home runs. Spending time at Triple-A in the Yankees and White Sox systems last year, Bell hit a combined .226/.324/.356 in 210 plate appearances.
- The Orioles have signed first baseman Chris Marrero to a minor league contract, according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy (on Twitter). Now 25 years old, the former No. 15 overall draft pick and top prospect has a .232/.256/.272 batting line in 133 career Major League plate appearances but has a solid .281/.353/.413 line in 1140 career PAs at Triple-A.
- Right-hander Luis Marte and infielder Danny Worth have both cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Toledo, the Tigers announced. Marte, 27, was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Rajai Davis. Worth, 28, was DFA'ed to clear a roster spot for Joba Chamberlain.
- The Blue Jays have signed infielder Jared Goedert to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). The 28-year-old spent last season in the Pirates organization, batting .241/.316/.390 with 11 homers in 519 plate appearances. The longtime Indians farmhand is primarily a third baseman and owns a career .261/.332/.459 batting line in 1562 Triple-A plate appearances.
Worth, 28, is a career .242/.307/.315 hitter in 246 big league plate appearances. The 2007 second-rounder spent the bulk of the 2013 campaign with the Tigers' Triple-A affiliate in Toledo, batting .223/.305/.308 with a homer and nine steals in 82 games (345 plate appearances). Worth has played mostly shortstop throughout his minor league career but split his time evenly between second base, third base and shortstop this past season.
A rebuilt Indians club should add to the mix of what was a competitive AL Central Division race during the 2012 season. While the Royals and Twins aren't expected to be much of a factor in 2013, the Indians, Tigers and White Sox may find themselves fighting for a playoff spot well into September. Let's catch up on the latest news and headlines from around the division.
- Scott Kazmir told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that he had a variety of offers to choose from but chose to sign with the Indians mostly due to the presence of manager Terry Francona (via Twitter). The 29-year-old lefty signed a minor league deal with Cleveland in December and will be given an opportunity to crack the squad's starting rotation.
- The Twins remain uninterested in signing free agent Freddy Sanchez, who has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons, writes Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). Sanchez, 35, last appeared in over 100 games during the 2010 season with the Giants where he posted a batting line of .292/.342/.397.
- The Tigers remain in need of a right-hander off the bench and will look to find the right piece internally before exploring the free-agent market, says Jason Beck of MLB.com. According to GM Dave Dombrowski, Danny Worth and Jeff Kobernus will receive heavy consideration for the open spot on the roster.
"He's a real special player who means a lot to our community," Dombrowski explained at the MLB General Manager Meetings in Milwaukee. "He's been a Tiger since the day he was drafted and he'll be with us for a long time."
Verlander would have been a free agent this offseason had he not signed his current five-year, $80MM contract before the 2010 season. There's no telling what Verlander would have been worth coming off a season like this, so it's no surprise Dombrowski's glad to have locked the right-hander up for three of his free agent seasons.
Looking ahead to 2012, the Tigers want to get Ryan Raburn's bat in the lineup and may play him at second base at times next year. Danny Worth is another second base candidate for the Tigers, who are also weighing external options.
Wilson Betemit met Dombrowski's expectations after joining the Tigers in a midseason trade, but the GM anticipates adding an extra catcher this offseason, which will limit the Tigers' roster flexibility in 2012. The Tigers haven't pursued Betemit aggressively to this point and Dombrowski didn't suggest that will change. The Tigers want to keep Victor Martinez in the everyday lineup, so adding a backup for Alex Avila is on the agenda this winter.
Everett re-signed his second one-year deal with the Tigers this offseason, following a .238/.288/.325 line in 2009. That limited production may have justified Everett's value when combined with his stellar glove (15.4 career UZR/150 at shortstop), but the 33-year-old has struggled mightily at the plate this season. Everett owns just a .185/.221/.247 line this year through 89 plate appearances. He's been hampered somewhat by a strained hamstring as well.
Worth, 24, was 8-24 (all singles) in 25 plate appearances with the Tigers earlier this year. Through 176 minor league PAs this season, he's hitting .287/.330/.354 while seeing time at third base, shortstop, and second base.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes about Jack Wilson:
Only the Minnesota Twins are known to be interested, but the Los Angeles Dodgers could come back if their bid to re-sign free agent Rafael Furcal falls short.
Ken Rosenthal chimes in that the Astros could become an option if they first overcome the "extremely slim" odds against trading Miguel Tejada. Kovacevic adds that in the Pirates’ final Wilson proposal to the Tigers a few days ago they sought shortstop prospect Danny Worth and one of the team’s top pitching prospects.