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- Rafael Soriano Changes Agents
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- Matt Adams Out At Least 4 Months With Quad Tear
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- Nick Kingham Undergoes Tommy John Surgery
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Here are the day’s minor moves:
- Continuing their trend of adding veteran arms on minor league deals, the Braves have added right-hander Todd Coffey on such a pact and invited him to Spring Training, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Coffey missed the 2013 season after undergoing his second career Tommy John surgery and spent much of the 2014 campaign with the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate, where he posted an excellent 1.93 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 37 1/3 innings of work. From 2009-12 with the Brewers, Nationals and Dodgers, Coffey notched a 3.76 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 225 innings. The Braves have also added Jose Veras, Matt Capps, Chien-ming Wang, Wandy Rodriguez and Donnie Veal on minor league deals this winter.
- The Blue Jays announced that first baseman/outfielder Chris Colabello has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A (h/t: Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet). The 31-year-old Colabello found himself designated for assignment to make room for waiver claim Jayson Aquino. The longtime indy ball star has been a nice story since signing with the Twins as a 28-year-old and rising through their ranks to the MLB level.
- The Indians have signed former Phillies utility man Michael Martinez to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (on Twitter). The 32-year-old switch-hitter brings plenty of defensive versatility to the table, though he’s just a .181/.231/.251 hitter in 440 big league plate appearances.
- The Marlins have inked infielder David Adams to a minor league deal that does not include an invitation to big league camp, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). Now 27, Adams slashed a meager .193/.252/.286 in 152 trips to the plate with the Yankees in 2013. He has performed much better in the upper minors, slashing .255/.349/.397 in 333 plate appearances at Triple-A and putting up a .290/367/.443 line in 899 Double-A turns at bat.
- Another utility infielder, Chris Dominguez, has agreed to a minor league pact with the Reds, the club tweeted. Dominguez, who was recently designated and released by the Giants, will participate in MLB camp. The 28-year-old saw his first action in the bigs last year, a quick stop with San Francisco, but has spent most of his time over the last two seasons at Triple-A. In 1,203 total PCL plate appearances, Dominguez owns a solid .278/.312/.446 slash with 39 home runs.
- Lefty Cesar Jimenez has cleared waivers and accepted a Triple-A assignment, the Phillies announced. Despite a strong 2014 and deal to avoid arbitration, Jimenez was designated and then outrighted recently.
We’ll keep track of today’s outright assignments here..
- The Orioles announced that they have outrighted infielder David Adams to Double-A Bowie. Adams, who was claimed off waivers from the Indians in late March, batted .214/.295/.371 with two homers in 21 games for Triple-A Norfolk this season. The 26-year-old hit just .193/.252/.286 in 152 plate appearances with the Yankees in 2013, but offered a more robust .268/.366/.405 slash line in 255 plate appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. With the move, the O’s now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
TUESDAY: De La Cruz has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, the Orioles announced.
SATURDAY: The Orioles have claimed David Adams from the Indians on outright waivers, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets. The move clears space on the Indians' 40-man roster for infielder Elliot Johnson. The Orioles have announced that, to make room on their roster for Adams, they have designated pitcher Kelvin De La Cruz for assignment. De La Cruz, 25, posted a 2.67 ERA with 11.2 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in the high minors of the Dodgers system in 2013. The lefty was out of options.
Adams, 26, hit just .193/.252/.286 in 152 plate appearances with the Yankees in 2013, but more robust .268/.366/.405 in 255 plate appearances at Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre. The Indians signed him to a big-league deal in December after the Yankees non-tendered him.
Both De La Cruz and Adams were signed to big-league deals this offseason despite a lack of MLB experience (De La Cruz has none). It's a strange coincidence, then, that both would be involved in the same transaction. In January, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes looked at the trend of signing young-ish players with little or no MLB experience to big-league deals.
Adams, who turns 27 next May, batted just .193/.252/.286 in 152 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2013. However, the 2008 third-rounder has an excellent minor league track record, having slashed a healthy .291/.376/.441 in 1798 plate appearances.
Adams has missed significant time due to ankle injuries in the past, which slowed his rise through the Yankees' system. He reached Triple-A for the first time in 2013, posting a solid .268/.366/.405 batting line. The right-handed hitter has extensive experience at both second base and third base, so he could be an option to platoon with Lonnie Chisenhall at the hot corner.
The Cubs dealt Matt Garza yesterday and are exploring a deal to send Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees, though that trade is far from complete (if it happens at all). Here's the latest from Wrigley Field…
- The Garza negotiations were "pretty all-consuming" for the organization, Theo Epstein told reporters (including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune). With that deal now settled, Epstein said his team "can focus on some other things that we thought would happen closer to the deadline."
- Epstein tells reporters (including MLB.com's Carrie Muskat) that the Yankees aren't the only team who have called about Soriano.
- A "large gap" exists between the Cubs and Yankees about Soriano's value, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets. The two teams are also far apart in determining how the $24.9MM remaining on Soriano's contract will be split up.
- CBS Sports' Jon Heyman believes the Cubs will end up paying more than half of Soriano's remaining salary and that a Soriano-to-New York deal "simply makes too much sense" for either side to balk.
- The Cubs have shown interest in Yankees third baseman David Adams in the past, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (Twitter link), though Sherman isn't sure if Adams' name has come up in the Soriano trade talks.
- Jeff Samardzija tells Carrie Muskat that he hasn't thought much about a long-term extension with the Cubs. "I haven't had too many talks with my agent outside of bill paying and insurance paying and taxes, which are always the most fun conversations. We'll see what happens in the offseason," Samardzija said. The right-hander is controlled through the 2015 season and has two remaining years of arbitration eligibility. The two sides discussed an extension in the offseason but not much progress was made.
The Yankees have released infielder David Adams to make space on the team's 40-man roster for Vernon Wells, tweets Sweeny Murti of WFAN. Adams, 25, spent last season in Double-A, where he hit .306/.385/.450 over 383 plate appearances.
As Larry Stone wrote in the Seattle Times a few years back, a failed medical exam of Adams held up the Yankees' attempt to acquire Cliff Lee in 2010. "I had him," Cashman said of Lee, until the Mariners found that Adams had what turned out to be a fractured ankle. When Cashman refused to replace Adams with Eduardo Nunez or Ivan Nova, Texas jumped in with a deal centered around Justin Smoak. The change of events not only kept Lee from going to the Yanks, but also prevented catcher Jesus Montero from going to Seattle (for the time being).
The Mariners endured their 13th walk-off loss of the season at the hands of the Twins yesterday, setting a franchise record. Seattle which is tied with the Angels for the most walk-off losses in baseball this season, visits the Rangers tonight…
- The Mariners are expected to sign Daniel Thieben, an 18-year-old right-hander who's the youngest member of Germany's World Cup roster, according to John Manuel of Baseball America. The deal will likely become official in early November, when international scouting director Bob Engle visits Germany. Thieben's best pitch is a curveball and his fastball sits in the mid or upper-80s.
- Brian Cashman's comments about Carl Crawford made headlines today and his candor extended to the near-trade that would have sent Jesus Montero and others to the Mariners for Cliff Lee last summer. The GM told Ian O'Connor of ESPNNewYork.com that Montero "would've been by far the best player moved" in any of the three deals involving Lee.
- Cashman told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that he had Lee until the Mariners decided they didn't like the medicals on second baseman David Adams and moved on to the Rangers, who were offering Justin Smoak.
Jesus Montero and David Adams are likely the main prospects headed to the Mariners in exchange for Cliff Lee. So who are they? A 20-year-old catcher who ranks among the game’s best prospects and a 23-year-old second baseman hitting well at AA.
Baseball America ranked Montero first among Yankees prospects before the season, citing his “hand-eye coordination, keen pitch recognition, knack for barreling balls and tremendous strength.” Montero has hit .253/.329/.408 in Triple A since placing fourth overall in Baseball America’s pre-season prospect rankings and 10th on Keith Law’s list.
BA placed Montero fifth among all MLB prospects in their recently-released mid-season rankings, but they say that Montero hasn’t improved this year and has convinced scouts that he won’t stay at catcher long-term. Scouts are still convinced that Montero can hit, so he may end up playing first base like former catchers Paul Konerko and Carlos Delgado.
Adams doesn’t have the same top prospect pedigree as Montero. He ranked 22nd among Yankees prospects before the season, according to Baseball America. Adams has gap power and a good arm, but doesn’t run particularly well or have great range. Baseball America suggested he could move to third base and that seems like a real possibility now, since the Mariners have top second base prospect Dustin Ackley.
So far in 2010, Adams has continued to hit well. He posted a .309/.393/.507 line in 173 plate appearances at AA Trenton.
9:25pm: An AL GM told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that he believes the Twins could acquire Lee with a package built around prospect Wilson Ramos. Rival GMs believe the Rangers may be better off holding onto their prospects than acquiring Lee.
4:15pm: The Mariners have not started making counter offers for Lee, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. Rival executives remind Olney that the Mariners may want to deal soon, since an injury would deflate Lee's trade value (all Twitter links)
3:37pm: The Mets, Yankees, Rangers and Phillies appeared to be the only teams scouting Lee last night, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Twins and Dodgers were among the interested teams that did not attend, but it is early and Lee is a known commodity, so the lack of scouts hardly means there's a lack of interest.
10:11am: The Mariners will require a blue-chip prospect in a Cliff Lee trade, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post, even though the last two Lee trades may not have included one. Sherman suggests the Mets want Lee badly, while the Yankees would just like the Ms to "keep them posted."
Sherman explains that the Mariners like, but don't love, Mets pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia. He feels that a Mets trade would have to be built around Mejia or Wilmer Flores. The Mets are willing to trade Flores in a Lee deal, reports Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog. They're reluctant to part with other top prospects. The Mets would like to trade for a starting pitcher as soon as possible, but Cerrone says the Mariners prefer to wait until after the All-Star break to trade Lee.
From the Yankees side, Sherman recommends they make Jesus Montero available. They've done so before when Lee and Roy Halladay were on the trade market. Sherman also notes that the Mariners like Yankees Double A second baseman David Adams. Baseball America ranked Adams 22nd among Yankees prospects heading into the season, and he sports a .309/.393/.507 line at Trenton. Should the Yanks prefer to pursue Lee as a free agent, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News learned that old friend C.C. Sabathia would be happy to help recruit.
In a longer blog post, Sherman elaborates on what Lee would mean for the Mets, what the Mariners will require, and how prospects are overvalued these days.