David Lough Rumors

Minor MLB Transactions: 8/23/15

Today’s minor moves, with the newest transactions at the top of the post…

AL East Notes: Dombrowski, Red Sox, Orioles

Now that Dave Dombrowski is on board as the Red Sox‘s chief decision maker, his No. 1 objective will be to acquire an ace for the rotation, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) writes.  Fortunately for Dombrowski, this year’s market for top-end starters will be strong with options such as David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Zack Greinke, if he opts out of his deal with the Dodgers.  Failing that, Bowden wonders if Boston could parlay its young talent into landing an ace like Sonny Gray or Chris Sale.   Here’s more from the AL East..

  • There’s a team interested in working out a trade for recently DFA’d Orioles outfielder David Lough, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.  There should be a resolution on his situation today, he adds.  If no trade is worked out, Lough will likely be outrighted to Triple-A.  To keep track of Lough and everyone else in DFA limbo, check out MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.
  • Jonah Keri of Grantland reflected on Ben Cherington’s time in Boston and his missteps with the Red Sox.  Cherington whiffed on deals for Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval this offseason while largely neglecting the team’s pitching needs.  Later, despite his reluctance to give a long-term deal to a pitcher, Cherington locked up hurler Rick Porcello to a sizable contract.  Still, despite his mistakes, Keri gives Cherington a good deal of credit for building the team’s farm system.
  • Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com reflected on Dombrowski’s trade history and wondered if he’ll trade away the Red Sox‘s prospects to win in the here and now.

Orioles Designate David Lough For Assignment

The Orioles announced that they’ve designated outfielder David Lough for assignment and recalled catcher Steve Clevenger from Triple-A Norfolk.

Though defensively gifted, the 29-year-old Lough struggled to a .202/.243/.318 batting line with four homers in 139 plate appearances this season. Lough has posted nice numbers against right-handed pitching in the past, which, paired with his plus glove-work, has made him a nice platoon option in the corner outfield. Unfortunately, he mustered just a .553 OPS against right-handed pitching this season, which contributed to today’s departure from the 40-man roster.

Lough entered the season with one year, 169 days of big league service time and reached two full years just three days into the 2015 campaign. He’s since accrued 128 days of service (he’ll also get service for any time spent in DFA limbo). Any team claiming him off waivers could control him through the 2019 season, but if he ends the season on a big league roster, he’ll probably be arbitration eligible as a Super Two player.

Clevenger, also 29, will return to the Orioles for his second stint this season. He collected five hits in 11 at-bats his first time around with the club and has enjoyed a solid overall season at the Triple-A level. In 301 plate appearances with Norfolk this season, Clevenger has slashed .305/.375/.393 with four home runs and a nearly even strikeout-to-walk ratio. He’ll give the O’s a second healthy catcher on the roster, as Matt Wieters is currently dealing with a hamstring issue, though he’s not on the disabled list at this time.

East Notes: Buchholz, Kelly, Sandberg, Yankees

Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz will see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his strained flexor tendon, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Buchholz doesn’t believe the injury is more serious than originally thought. However, he trusts Andrews’ opinion as an impartial observer, and they have consulted over previous injuries. Interestingly, Buchholz mentioned his contract status as a reason to seek an opinion outside of the organization. The Red Sox own team options for 2016 and 2017.

Here’s more from the East divisions:

  • Marlins utility man Don Kelly had season-ending Tommy John surgery, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Kelly got into just two games for the Marlins in early April. He also spent a short stint at High-A. In 1,190 plate appearances, mostly with the Tigers, he’s a .232/.296/.335 hitter.
  • A roster move is in the Orioles immediate future and Chris Parmelee may wind up with the short straw, writes Roch Kubatko of MASN. The club plans to recall Kevin Gausman for a start on Wednesday. The O’s are currently carrying just 11 pitchers, so a position player will have to go. In addition to Parmelee, I could see Ryan Flaherty, David Lough, and Nolan Reimold as players who could be designated. Jonathan Schoop could be temporarily optioned if Baltimore didn’t want to risk losing anybody. Also per Kubatko, the Orioles are monitoring prospect Dariel Alvarez. They could promote him soon despite concerns about his defense and plate discipline.
  • When Ryne Sandberg resigned as Phillies manager, it caught colleague and friend Larry Bowa by surprise, writes Jim Salisbury of Philly.com. In an interesting interview, Bowa offered some opinions as to why Sandberg walked away. In addition to expected changes related to the hiring of Andy MacPhail, Bowa posits that Sandberg was fed up with a lack of work ethic in modern players. Bowa offers quite a bit more nuance so I recommend Phillies fans read the article.
  • According to assistant GM Billy Eppler, the Yankees are engaged in several trade discussions, reports Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. Eppler played coy to the specifics, but he did note that it would be hard for the club to outdo the reinforcements they received off the disabled list – namely Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Miller.

Orioles Likely To Part With Outfielder Soon

Right-hander Tyler Wilson is with the Orioles and will be activated today, according to multiple reporters, including MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli (Twitter links). The Orioles have not announced a corresponding move, but Ghiroli says that the team will likely part with an outfielder, possibly via trade. Manager Buck Showalter told the Baltimore media that GM Dan Duquette “is working on some things” in regards to a corresponding move.

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun feels that Delmon Young, Steve Pearce, David Lough and Nolan Reimold are the candidates (Twitter links), and an industry source has told him that the Orioles have recently been gauging interest in Young, in particular. Duquette has been in talks with at least one team in the NL regarding Young, he says adding that a DFA is also possible. MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets that Reimold will be remaining with the team, and he feels that Pearce’s versatility is valued by the Orioles, seemingly making him unlikely to be moved.

It seems that Young is possibly on the outside looking in. The 29-year-old had a nice first season with the Orioles in 2014, but he’s struggled in 2015, slashing just .270/.289/.339 in 180 plate appearances. The return of Reimold, who rejoined the team earlier this month, has perhaps made Young expendable. A right-handed bat that’s primarily limited to the corner outfield, Reimold possesses a similar skill set to Young but has been much more productive of late. Since June 9, Reimold is hitting .257/.366/.514 in an admittedly small sample of 41 plate appearances.

Young is earning $2.25MM this season, of which approximately $1.19MM remains. His current deal calls for him to earn an additional $125K for reaching 250 and 300 plate appearances, plus an additional $100K for reaching 400, 450, 500, 550 and 600. Obviously, some of those are out of reach at this point, given his limited playing time to date.

Many clubs are on the lookout for offensive upgrades. The Giants recently lost Hunter Pence and Nori Aoki to injury, and the Pirates could certainly use a platoon partner for Gregory Polanco in right field. The Angels have received little production from left field, although it seems unlikely that they’d be swinging any trades at the moment given the tumultuous state of their front office. The Mariners didn’t get any production out of Rickie Weeks as a platoon option in left field and could look for upgrades. Michael Cuddyer is currently injured for the Mets and hasn’t been terribly productive even when healthy.

East Notes: Herrera, Lough, Rays

Here’s the latest from the East coast:

AL East Notes: Blue Jays, Orioles, Breslow

The Blue Jays only have about $9MM left to spend this offseason, Richard Griffin of TheStar.com writes. The team’s top priority is upgrading the bullpen, which means the Jays aren’t likely to spend most of that money on a second baseman or an additional bat. (Griffin notes on Twitter that the Blue Jays’ apparent lack of funds likely means they won’t get Stephen Drew, who has reportedly been asking for around $9MM.) Griffin suggests that GM Alex Anthopoulos might prefer to add a younger pitcher, which could limit the Jays’ interest in older free agent options like Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano or former team closer Casey Janssen. Instead, he could pursue trade options like Tyler Clippard, Tommy Hunter (although, as a reader points out, it does not seem likely that the Orioles would trade Hunter within the division), Tanner Scheppers, or one of any number of Athletics relievers. Here are more notes from the AL East.

  • The Orioles have recently been connected to Colby Rasmus, and Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com looks at the repercussions for other Orioles outfielders, and especially David Lough, if the O’s were to acquire another left-handed outfielder. The main reason for keeping Lough was his ability to play center field, but Rasmus has played center throughout his career. Separately, Kubatko notes that the Orioles will need to open a 40-man roster spot shortly to clear space for Delmon Young.
  • After struggling in 2014, Craig Breslow took an unusual road back to the Red Sox this offseason, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes. “In terms of the process, it was exciting, it was unsettling,” says Breslow, who agreed to a one-year, $2MM deal to return to Boston after posting a 5.96 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 2014. “[E]veryone will go through a career with one season being their worst. Now, the fact that mine came on the cusp of free agency, that’s not how you draw it up.” Breslow attended the Winter Meetings and sat in on discussions between his agent, Bob Baratta, and various teams, explaining his tough year and making a case for himself. “Ultimately even teams we diverged from mentioned their appreciation for my involvement and that I had left an impression on them,” Breslow says.

AL Notes: Balfour, Indians, Yankees, Pettitte, Lough

Now that Grant Balfour appears to be back on the market after the collapse of his deal with the Orioles, a variety of AL teams could be interested, MLB Network Radio's Jim Duquette notes (on Twitter). The Mariners, White Sox, Yankees and Rays could all make sense, and Duquette also tweets that the Indians could be a possibility as well. He notes that the Indians tried to sign Joaquin Benoit along with the already-signed John Axford, so Balfour might be another possibility in Cleveland. Here's more from around the big leagues.

  • The Yankees have announced a series of hires in coaching and player development, including former Royals manager Trey Hillman and Cubs manager Mike Quade. Hillman will serve as the Yankees' special assistant, major and minor-league operations. Quade will be their roving outfield and baserunning instructor.
  • The Yankees still need pitching, but it doesn't appear they'll be getting it from Andy Pettitte. GM Brian Cashman says Pettitte has "shut it down for good," Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Pettitte returned to the Yankees in 2012 after retiring for the first time following the 2010 season, but it looks like the Yankees won't be able to depend on that again. At 41, Pettitte posted a solid final season in New York in 2013, with a 3.74 ERA, 6.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 185 1/3 innings.
  • Outfielder David Lough is "ecstatic" to be with the Orioles, he tells MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. The O's acquired Lough for Danny Valencia on Wednesday. Lough says that, after the Royals acquired Norichika Aoki, he knew it was a possiblility they would deal him. "[M]y agent got a hold of me and told me that some clubs were interested in me and to kind of sit back and just expect to go to spring training and do what I've always done," says Lough.