- The Braves have released catcher Yenier Bello. Bello, of course, signed out of Cuba for a $400K bonus last year, but the 30-year-old obviously did not show enough to stay in the system. He slashed .308/.315/.404 over just 55 plate appearances last season split between the Rookie and low-A levels.
- Brewers right-hander David Herndon will also be in search of a new organization after being released. The 29-year-old carries a 3.85 career ERA over 117 big league frames, but has not seen action at the game’s highest level since 2012.
- The Diamondbacks have released big league veterans Jeremy Accardo and Henry Rodriguez. Both righties, Accardo (eight years) and Rodriguez (six years) each have seen their share of time at the major league level, including action in a closing role. Accardo owns a 4.30 ERA with 6.5 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 across 284 2/3 big league innings, but last saw action at that level in 2012. Rodriguez, still just 28, has worked to a 4.31 ERA over his 150 1/3 lifetime frames, striking out 9.0 and walking 6.4 per nine.
- The Rangers also released a couple of right-handers in Mark Rogers and Mitch Atkins. Rogers, once one of the game’s brightes pitchign prospects, has struggled with a variety of injury issues and was not able to gain traction in camp. Atkins, 29, had worked to a 3.76 ERA with 7.0 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 in 141 1/3 innings last year in the upper minors. Both players have some big league experience to their credit, but none in recent campaigns.
- Reds right-hander Wilmer Font and oufielder Felix Perez have both been released. Font is just 24 and has reached the bigs briefly in each of the last two seasons with the Rangers. But he ended last season with an elbow injury and never played in major league camp this spring. The 30-year-old Perez, meanwhile, hit .280/.325.450 at the Triple-A level last year but struggled in camp this spring.
The expensive costs of youth travel leagues are an obstacle to attracting young talent to baseball, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen writes in a piece for The Players Tribune. The full scholarships provided by college basketball or football make them more appealing sports than the long, usually financially-unrewarding path to the majors that the vast majority of prospects face — McCutchen himself admits that, were it not for an ACL tear when he was 15, he would’ve likely pursued NCAA football and not been a big league star today. He argues that kids from low-income families need more entry points into the game, with one possible solution being a new system similar to the academy program for international prospects.
Here’s the latest from around the NL and AL Central divisions…
- The Indians don’t have interest in signing veteran southpaw Barry Zito, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The Tribe were one of multiple teams who recently saw Zito throw during a workout session.
- Right-hander Matt Albers threw at the same session and the Indians were interested in signing him, Pluto reports, but Albers instead chose a minor league deal with the White Sox.
- David Herndon is happy to finally be healthy and pleased to have signed a minor league deal with the Brewers, the right-hander tells Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We had dialogue with them throughout the offseason and at the end of the day we got it done. It’s been a long road but we’re going to get back on track this year,” Herndon said. He also mentioned that the Padres were interested in his services, and he threw a workout for San Diego earlier this offseason.
- In less than a year’s time, catcher has gone from a weak spot within the Cubs organization to a position of potentially great depth, CSN Chicago’s Tony Andracki writes. The Cubs have Miguel Montero, David Ross and Welington Castillo at the big league level, and prospects Victor Caratini, Kyle Schwarber and Mark Zagunis developing in the minors.
- Between the big contracts David Robertson and Andrew Miller earned in free agency and Aroldis Chapman’s sizable $8.05MM deal for 2015, the Twins’ extension with Glen Perkins is looking better and better for the club, 1500 ESPN’s Derek Wetmore writes. After earning $4.025 MM for another strong season in 2014, Perkins is owed $18.15MM through the 2017 campaign. It’s worth noting that Perkins was shut down in September with a left forearm strain, though he has said his arm has felt good in offseason workouts.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- Righty David Herndon has signed a minor league deal with the Brewers, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com tweets. The 29-year-old, who is trying to reach the bigs for the first time since 2012, has been significantly limited by injuries over the last several seasons. Over 117 total MLB frames from 2010-12, Herndon owns a 3.85 ERA with 5.8 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9.
- Third baseman Josh Bell has signed a minor league deal with the Padres, agent Josh Kusnick announced on Twitter. Formerly a top prospect with the Dodgers and one of the top 40 prospects in baseball (per Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus), Bell spent much of last season in Korea, hitting .267/.345/.433 with the LG Twins. Those numbers are a near-mirror image of his career line at Triple-A, where he’s batted .267/.355/.451 in 1402 plate appearances.
- Right-hander Gonzalez Germen has cleared outright waivers and been assigned to Triple-A Iowa by the Cubs, tweets the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. Germen, who has been designated for assignment a stunning four times this winter, will finally know which organization he will be a part of come Spring Training. He’ll be invited to Major League camp, per Gonzales.
- Reds left-hander Ismael Guillon has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, reports MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon (on Twitter). Guillon was designated for assignment when the team signed Burke Badenhop over the weekend. Guillon, who turns 23 years old today, has been a mainstay on Cincinnati’s Top 30 prospects list (per Baseball America), topping out at No. 9, but he’s struggled to a 4.82 ERA over the past two seasons at multiple Class-A levels. Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel recently ranked him 21st among Reds farmhands, noting that one scout called him a “pull your hair out” type of guy due to his wild inconsistencies.
- The Giants have signed lefty specialist Clay Rapada to a minor league contract, reports Baseball America’s Matt Eddy (via Twitter). Yankees blogger Robert Casey first reported the news recently on Twitter. Rapada, 34 in March, has just two Major League innings over the past two seasons but has an excellent track record of dominating left-handed hitters. He’s held opposing lefties to a .164/.255/.231 batting line in 257 big league plate appearances, but righties have tattooed him at a .345/.464/.611 clip. Rapada held lefties to a .639 OPS in Triple-A last season, but righties got to him for a 1.134 OPS.
Third baseman Nick Delmonico, who was released by the Brewers last week, has latched on with the White Sox on a minor league deal, tweets Eddy. If Delmonico’s name looks familiar, it’s because he was the player the Brewers received from the Orioles in exchange for Francisco Rodriguez in 2013. Formerly one of Baltimore’s top prospects, Delmonico was suspended last summer for amphetamine usage. The 22-year-old has yet to climb higher than Class-A Advanced, where he is a .241/.332/.417 hitter in 500 plate appearances.
- Eddy also tweets that the Red Sox have signed right-hander Jess Todd — not to be confused with MLBTR scribe Jeff Todd — to a minor league contract. Todd, originally drafted by the Cardinals, was traded to the Indians alongside Chris Perez in return for Mark DeRosa back in 2009. Now 28 years of age, Todd has little MLB experience (28 1/3 innings) but does boast a strong track record at Triple-A, where he’s worked to a 3.62 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 380 1/3 innings.
Today's minor moves can be found right here in this post …
- Among the many re-signings of players otherwise eligible for minor league free agency reported by Matt Eddy of Baseball America are first baseman Mike Jacobs, who will stay with the Diamondbacks, and reliever David Herndon, who the Yankees have re-signed. Neither saw big league action this year. Jacobs put up a nice .296/.366/.533 line in 514 Triple-A plate appearances in his age-32 season, while Herndon, now 28, was good for a 2.78 ERA in his 35 2/3 innings across the Yanks system.
- Third bagger Andy LaRoche has signed with the Blue Jays, Eddy reports on Twitter. The 30-year-old younger brother of Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche played in just one game with Toronto last year, and has not been a regular big league contributor since leaving the Pirates after the 2010 season.
- Catcher Blake Lalli has caught on with the Diamondbacks, Eddy notes in the same link. Also thirty years of age, Lalli has only forty uneventful MLB plate appearances. Playing at Triple-A for the Brewers last year, he put up a .282/.334/.447 line in 311 plate appearances.
- The Reds have signed 31-year-old outfielder Jason Bourgeois, Eddy reports on Twitter. Bourgeois saw limited time with the Rays last year. His career big league line stands at .259/.305/.326 in 515 plate appearances over parts of six seasons, including 51 stolen bases.
- Right-handed starter Philip Humber, 30, has inked a deal with the Athletics, reports Eddy (via Twitter). The once-perfect Humber had his option declined by the Astros early last month.
- Righty Fabio Martinez signed with the Dodgers, per another Eddy tweet. The longtime Angel farmhand last worked in the Indians system, but has never managed to harness his live arm and posted BB/9 totals of over ten in 2012-13.
- Pitcher Trevor Reckling has signed with the Reds out of independent league ball, Eddy tweets. He played six seasons in the Angels' system, reaching Triple-A at age 21 before moving the wrong way down the ladder. Noted as a reclamation project for the White Sox before the 2012 year, Reckling will give it one more go in Cinci.
- The Rockies re-signed minor league second baseman Angelys Nina in a move designed to keep him from reaching the open market as a minor league free agent, tweets Eddy. Nina managed a .280/.331/.422 line in his second go-round at Tulsa, adding ten home runs and nineteen steals.
- Outfielder Chris Dickerson and first baseman Dan Johnson, each of whom were outrighted on Thursday, have refused their assignments and elected to become free agents, according to an Orioles press release yesterday.
- Remember to check MLBTR's DFA Tracker for updates on players designated for assignment around baseball. Currently, only Tommy Layne is sitting in DFA limbo.
The Yankees have signed right-hander David Herndon to a one-year contract, reports his agent Joshua Kusnick (via Twitter). The split contract will pay Herndon $750K if he makes the Major League roster, plus $50K in possible incentives.
Herndon was claimed by the Yankees earlier this month and, according to a team press release, had elected free agency after he was outrighted to Triple-A. Herndon has a career 3.85 ERA in 97 relief appearances for the Phillies over the last three seasons, though he appeared in just five games in 2012 and underwent Tommy John surgery in June.
The Yankees claimed David Herndon off of waivers from Toronto, according to the team's website. The Blue Jays designated the right-hander for assignment one week ago after claiming him from Philadelphia on October 23rd.
The 27-year-old underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in June, which means he won't be ready to return until midway through the 2013 season. Herndon was a key contributor for the Phillies from 2010-11, when he posted a 3.79 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 over the course of 92 games. He appeared in five games for the Phillies this April before being placed on the disabled list.
The Blue Jays announced that they claimed left-hander Scott Maine off of waivers from the Indians. In related moves they designated outfielder Scott Cousins and right-hander David Herndon for assignment.
Maine spent the 2012 season with the Cubs and the Indians. The 27-year-old made 30 relief appearances, posting a 6.08 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 in 26 2/3 innings. Cleveland claimed him from the Cubs in August.
The Blue Jays claimed both Cousins and Herndon earlier this month. Cousins, 27, hit .163/.200/.267 in 92 plate appearances for the Marlins this past season. Herndon underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in June, which means he won't be ready to return until midway through the 2013 season.
The Blue Jays needed to create 40-man roster space for right-handers Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Dustin McGowan and Sergio Santos plus left-handers J.A. Happ and Luis Perez. All of those pitchers were reinstated from Toronto's 60-day disabled list.
The Blue Jays have claimed right-hander David Herndon off of waivers from Philadelphia, the Phillies announced. The 27-year-old underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in June, which means he won't be ready to return until midway through the 2013 season.
Herndon was a key contributor for the Phillies from 2010-11, when he posted a 3.79 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 over the course of 92 games. He appeared in five games for the Phillies this April before being placed on the disabled list.
Links for Easter Sunday…
- Baseball America's John Manuel provides updates on five Rule 5 picks: Carlos Monasterios with the Dodgers, John Raynor with the Pirates, Zachary Kroenke, who was optioned to the minors by the D'Backs, Kanekoa Texeira with the Mariners, and David Herndon with the Phillies.
- Peter Gammons previews storylines for the 2010 season, such as emerging stars, prospects of the future, a slew of contenders, and the ever-present unpredictability of baseball.
- Dave Campbell of the AP looks at Jacque Jones and how Minnesota's late-season surge in 2009 inspired a comeback attempt for 2010 when he was on the verge of retirement. Jones is reporting to Triple-A Rochester after hitting .366/.409/.585 with the Twins this spring.
- In an interview with Mike Wilner of the FAN 590 in Toronto, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said while the team hasn't officially said anything about Adeiny Hechevarria, international cases like his are often slowed by visa issues and other approval processes.
- Tom Haudricourt tweets that there will be no last-minute changes to the Brewers 25-man roster.
- The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser spoke with recently-DFA'ed Jack Cust, who is shocked and offended by the move. Cust says he will accept a minor league assignment if he clears waivers, but won't let Oakland "walk all over" him. The 31-year-old slugger has led the A's in home runs the past three seasons. Slusser takes a deeper look at the Cust move in a separate piece.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times looks at what the Cubs' performance in 2010 means to Jim Hendry's job, and talks to several players about their positive relationships with the Chicago GM.
- Elliot Johnson cleared waivers and will report to Triple-A Durham, according to Marc Topkin. He adds that the Rays have set their roster and are waiting to hear from Hank Blalock on whether or not he'll accept a minor league assignment.