Donald Veal Rumors

Minor Moves: White Sox, Indians, Valdes

The latest minor moves…

  • The White Sox announced that they signed left-handers Donnie Veal and Jose Quintana. Veal, 27, posted a 4.22 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in the Pirates' system this past season. Quintana, 22, posted a 2.91 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 for the Yankees' Class A team in 2011.
  • The Indians announced that they signed catcher Michel Hernandez to a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training. The 33-year-old hit .273/.384/.381 in the upper minors of the Indians' and Orioles' systems in 2011.
  • The Phillies have signed left-handed reliever Raul Valdes to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Valdes pitched 12 total innings for the Yankees and Cardinals in 2011 after spending the 2010 season with the Mets. In 63 2/3 innings at Double-A and Triple-A this past season, Valdes posted a 4.38 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.
  • The Twins re-signed Brian Dinkelman to a minor league deal, according to Morosi (on Twitter).
  • The Brewers re-signed Erick Almonte, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The 33-year-old utility player appeared in 16 games for the Brewers in 2011, playing first base and right field. Almonte spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he hit .303/.380/.447.
  • The Mariners signed right-hander Jeff Marquez to a minor league deal, according to his agency, Sosnick Cobbe Sports (via Twitter). Marquez, a first-round pick in 2004, was granted free agency by the Yankees last week.

Padres’, Pirates’ Notable Non-Roster Invitees

The Padres and Pirates have announced their Spring Training non-roster invitees, write MLB.com's Corey Brock and Jenifer Langosch, respectively.

Among San Diego's 20 NRIs is a small handful of players with big-league experience and a decent chance of making the 25-man roster at the end of Spring Training. Here's a quick look at some of those guys:

  • Kevin Frandsen has spent parts of five seasons with the Giants and Angels, and he has a "good shot" of catching on with the Padres as a utility man, according to Brock. The 28-year-old plays multiple positions and would earn a salary of $575,000.
  • Guillermo Quiroz could challenge Rob Johnson for the backup catching job, notes Brock. Quiroz, 29, has played for four teams (Rangers, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles) in parts of seven seasons.
  • Gregorio Petit spent parts of two seasons with the A's as a utility infielder in 2008-09. The 26-year-old spent the entirety of 2010 with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.
  • Bullpen hopefuls Luis Perdomo and Scott Munter each have Major League experience. Perdomo made 35 appearances with San Diego in 2009 but only one last season, and Munter was with the Giants for parts of three seasons.

The Pirates, meanwhile, have a slightly more interesting cast of notable names:

  • Garrett Atkins, Jeff Clement, Josh Fields and Andy Marte form a quartet of one-time blue-chip prospects. Atkins, in particular, was an above-average player for the Rockies in 2006-07, but he declined quickly in the following years. Clement, a former catcher, was a No. 3 overall pick of the Mariners in 2005, and Fields and Marte were raw-power corner-infield prospects coming up with the White Sox and Braves/Indians, respectively.
  • On the pitching side, Tyler Yates has a 8.1 K/9 for his career but did not pitch in the bigs in 2010. Donald Veal, selected by the Bucs from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft prior to the 2009 season, is a hard-throwing but wild lefty. Brian Burres has started 54 games in his five-year career with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates. Sean Gallagher was dealt from the Cubs to the A's in the deal that sent Rich Harden to Chicago, and has appeared in 91 games. Fernando Nieve has appeared in 99 games (19 starts) with the Astros and Mets in parts of four seasons.

Minor Deals: Yankees, Chulk, Van Every, Coats

Let's take a look at today's notable minor league deals, with the most recent updates at the top:

  • The Yankees signed Doug Bernier, Buddy Carlyle, Neal Cotts and Gustavo Molina to minor league deals, the team announced. The club officially announced its deals with Andy Sisco and outfielder-turned-pitcher Brian Anderson.
  • The Pirates have welcomed back Donald Veal just two weeks after non-tendering him, Eddy tweets.  Veal underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this year. 
  • The Rays picked up right-handed reliever Jonah Bayliss, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (via Twitter).  Bayliss turned in a 3.58 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 for Houston's Triple-A club last season.
  • The Athletics signed right-handed reliever Vinnie Chulk, tweets Eddy.  Chulk appeared in 28 games for Pittsburgh's Triple-A affiliate in 2010 and spent the other half of the year with the Hiroshima Carp.  His numbers overseas left much to be desired but the righty carries more than 250 games of big league experience.
  • First baseman Andy Tracy has hooked on with the Diamondbacks, tweets Baseball America's Matt Eddy.  The left-handed hitter, who turned 37-years-old on Saturday, has spent the last three years with the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate.  In 2010 he hit .275/.373/.492, numbers that are slightly better than his career averages.
  • The Nationals signed outfielder Jonathan Van Every, according to Eddy (via Twitter).  The 31-year-old boasts a career .471 slugging percentage in Triple-A and can play all three outfield positions.  Van Every played in 39 games for Boston's varsity squad across the last three years.
  • Washington picked up another versatile, left-handed hitting outfielder in Buck Coats, Eddy tweets.  Coats, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Cubs, has a lifetime slash line of .294/.352/.407 at the Triple-A level.
  • The Cubs invited first baseman Bryan LaHair and outfielder Brad Snyder to Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat (on Twitter).


Pirates Notes: Cedeno, Karstens, Non-Tenders

The Pirates have avoided arbitration with Ronny Cedeno and Jeff Karstens, signing both players to one-year contracts.  MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch has the contract details.  Cedeno will earn a $1.85MM base in 2011, and has a club option for '12 that includes significant incentives based on starts.  Karstens will earn $1.1MM next year.   

Cedeno is the incumbent starter at shortstop, though the Pirates are known to be looking for help at the position.  The veteran has played mostly shortstop over the last two years, but has also played second, third and the outfield in his career.  Cedeno has a .682 OPS in 672 plate appearances as a Pirate.

Karstens came to the Bucs in July 2008 as part of the trade that sent Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady to the Yankees.  In 74 appearances (41 of them starts) for Pittsburgh, Karstens has posted a 4.95 ERA and a 1.73 K/BB ratio.  As Biertempfel pointed out in his longer article, Karstens' $1.1MM salary for 2011 is almost triple what he earned last season.

Other news from Biertempfel…

  • Infielder Argenis Diaz, outfielder Lastings Milledge and left-handers Brian Burres and Donald Veal were all non-tendered by the Bucs, but the club wants to re-sign Burres and Veal.  Diaz "is unlikely to return."
  • Milledge could be welcomed back "if we think it's the right fit for the team, and he thinks it's the right fit for him," said Neal Huntington.  The Pirates GM said he couldn't work out a contract with Milledge before the non-tender deadline and "began to explore alternatives" to fill Milledge's corner outfield spot.  Two options are Jack Cust and Matt Diaz, both of whom were non-tendered themselves by the A's and Braves, respectively.

Odds & Ends: Nationals, Chapman, Duffy, Veal

Not even one no-hitter, perfect game or near-perfect game in the majors today?  How unusual.  These news items will have to do in the meantime…


Pirates Notes: Rule 5, Duke, Yates

Dejan Kovacevic has a new column up focusing on a number of Pirates topics:

  • After liking what they've found in Rule 5 Draft picks Evan Meek and Donnie Veal, the Pirates are actively scouting available players and have identified some potential targets to use their #2 pick on in this year's Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 10. Meek posted a 3.45 ERA out of the 'pen for the Buccos in 2009. And, while Kovacevic points out that Veal's numbers this season were ugly, he recently dominated the Arizona Fall League. Veal posted a 2.14 ERA through 21 innings, allowing only a .221 opponent average, striking out 22 and walking seven.
  • Last offseason, the Pirates locked up Ryan Doumit, Nate McLouth, and Paul Maholm, but Kovacevic says not to expect any long-term deals this time around. That includes Zach Duke, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.
  • Tyler Yates, who underwent Tommy John surgery back in July, is back to playing pain-free long-toss and is discussing a minor league deal to keep him in the Pirates organization.

Jake Peavy Rumors: Friday

1:47pm: This Scott Miller column is from yesterday, but it has some good info.  Miller’s source believes the Braves are the frontrunners for Peavy and are willing to include Gorkys Hernandez.  Additionally, the source said the Cubs are very aggressive and the Dodgers are making a strong pitch.

12:53pm: Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald says Samardzija is not on the table and has a full, not partial, no-trade.  Additionally, the Cubs have not thrown Fontenot into the mix.  Miles gives a 50-50 chance of the Cubs getting Peavy.

9:39am: GM Kevin Towers expects to trade Jake Peavy before the winter meetings, saying, "The train’s kind of left the station."  Continuing the metaphor, Barry Axelrod said, "The only thing we’ve got is a brake."

According to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, the Cubs have moved in front of the Braves in the battle for Peavy.  Passan says the Padres want Jeff Samardzija (who has a limited no-trade clause), and the Cubs could also include players such as Felix Pie, Sean Marshall, Ronny Cedeno, Kevin Hart, and Donald VealChris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times suggests Rich Harden or Mike Fontenot could be involved.  De Luca notes that a Peavy trade would probably prevent the Cubs from acquiring Brian RobertsESPN’s Buster Olney believes Josh Vitters would have to be involved, while the Daily Herald’s Bruce Miles adds Jose Ceda, Welington Castillo, and Mitch Atkins as possibilities.  Miles does not see the Cubs as a player for C.C. Sabathia, by the way.

The Padres would prefer a deal with Atlanta, but can’t pry Tommy Hanson loose.  The Braves are willing to trade Yunel Escobar, Charlie Morton, and Jordan Schafer.

Meanwhile, Tom Krasovic at the San Diego Union-Tribune says Peavy and Barry Axelrod are concerned about the Braves’ shortstop situation if they are to include the defensively-talented Escobar.  Perhaps the Braves could sway them by outlining some contingency plans at the position.


On The Failed Brian Roberts Talks

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun dug up some information about the failed Brian Roberts trade talks from the past offseason.

  • Zrebiec says one of the Cubs’ offers included Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, and Donald Veal.  According to Andy MacPhail, a deal was never close.  The O’s continue to hunt for a shortstop.
  • MacPhail also talked to the Indians and Twins about Roberts (the Twins are a new one for me).  It seems that MacPhail may also have spoken to the White Sox.
  • The Orioles don’t seem to be planning to trade Roberts anymore, as they’re 5.5 games out of the wild card.  No talks have occurred yet, but the Orioles could even extend Roberts past ’09.

Cubs Outfield Situation: Crisp, Johnson, Byrd

Quite a bit of info is floating about this evening regarding the Cubs’ quest to add an outfielder.  Let’s put it all together.

  • SI.com’s Jon Heyman names Coco Crisp, Jay Payton, Marlon Byrd, and Brandon Inge as possible targets.  Inge makes the least sense given his salary and the Tigers’ need for him while Curtis Granderson is out.
  • ESPN’s Jayson Stark confirms Ken Rosenthal’s assertion that the Cubs are leading the pack for Reed Johnson.  Stark speculates that such an acquisition could prompt the Cubs to trade Matt Murton
  • ESPN’s Peter Gammons says Red Sox scout Allard Baird is currently observing the Cubs.  Other scouts in ‘zona are speculating about a Sean Gallagher for Crisp scenario.  Gammons notes that the Red Sox wouldn’t mind getting Murton back, either.  He thinks the Sox are wary of trading Crisp right now though, echoing a sentiment from Buster Olney
  • Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes that the Rangers want Murton plus one of Jose Ceda, Gallagher, or Donald Veal for Byrd.  Jim Hendry did recently re-engage the Rangers, according to Grant.


Orioles Eyeing Cubs’ Marshall?

The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says the Cubs offered the Orioles Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, Donald Veal, and possibly Jose Ceda for Brian Roberts earlier this spring.  As you know, there are differing schools of thought on whether the Cubs took the initiative and made an offer.  And Ceda’s inclusion is questionable.

Regardless, one player Baltimore may have in mind is pitcher Sean Marshall. The Cubs do not have room for the lefty in the rotation or the bullpen – always a situation conducive to trade rumors – and the Orioles had scouts in the stands yesterday, during Marshall’s start against the Rockies.

Marshall said he doesn’t pay any attention to those guys, however. "They’re there every day."

Sarah Green writes for the Boston Metro and UmpBump.com. She can be reached here.