Duane Below Rumors

Minor Moves: Kevin Gregg, Duane Below

Earlier today, the Reds announced that they’ve signed Kevin Gregg to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training. Gregg, 36, allowed 10 earned runs in nine innings with the Marlins last season before undergoing season-ending surgery to remove bone chips from his throwing elbow. The former Cubs/Marlins/Blue Jays closer has a lifetime 4.15 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 709 2/3 innings. He has a $1.5MM base salary on his contract should he make the team, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

Here are the rest of the day’s minor moves from around the league…

  • The Mets have signed left-hander Duane Below to a minor league contract, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Below, however, was not invited to big league camp. Instead, the former Tigers hurler will head to Triple-A and attempt to earn his way up to the big league roster with a strong performance in-season. Below, 29, has a 4.27 ERA in 78 big league innings, having averaged 5.2 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. Though he shows much better control versus lefties, he’s allowed nearly identical .716 and .715 OPS marks to right-handers and left-handers, respectively. He has a 3.60 career ERA in the minors with a 730-to-341 K/BB ratio in 883 innings. Below spent last season with Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate.

Minor Moves: Seibu, Below, Maier, McCutchen

Here's the roundup of today's minor transactions, with the latest moves at the top of the page…

  • The Seibu Lions have announced the signings of infielder Cody Ransom, right-hander Michael Bowden and left-handers Randy Williams and Porfirio Lopez (passed on by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman).  Seibu also annnounced the signing of righty Greg Reynolds, which we heard about yesterday.
  • The Tigers signed left-hander Duane Below to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, MLive.com's James Schmehl reports (Twitter link).  Below is back in Detroit after being designated for assignment last April, and he also pitched for the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate and for Korea's Kia Tigers in 2013.  Below posted a 4.27 ERA, 2.14 K/BB rate and 5.2 K/9 over 78 Major League innings with the Tigers.
  • The Cubs have signed outfielder Mitch Maier to a minor league contract with a Spring Training invitation, the team announced.  Maier spent 2013 with the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate and posted an .882 OPS, though he only received 137 PA due to a wrist injury.  Maier, 31, was drafted by the Royals with the 30th overall pick of the 2003 draft and he hit .253/.332/.346 over 1043 PA with Kansas City from 2006-11.
  • The Rangers have signed right-hander Daniel McCutchen to a minor league deal, according to the Sosnick/Cobbe Sports' Twitter feed (McCutchen's agents).  McCutchen posted a 3.43 ERA, 8.1 K/9 and 3.60 K/BB rate over 60 1/3 combined innings for the Orioles' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, though his season didn't begin untl late May due to a 50-game suspension for a failed PED test.  The 31-year-old Texas native has a career 4.77 ERA over 188 2/3 IP with the Pirates from 2009-12.
  • The Orioles signed righty Fabio Castillo to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, the team announced.  Though Castillo doesn't turn 25 until February, he already has eight years of pro baseball under his belt, posting a 4.63 ERA, 8.3 K/9 and 2.01 K/BB rate over 514 2/3 IP over his minor league career.  Castillo pitched in the Giants' system in 2013 after spending the previous seven years with the Rangers.

Minor Moves: Adcock, Loe, Reynolds, Asencio, Pineiro

Here are your minor moves from Monday and Tuesday with the trade deadline having passed…

  • Nate Adcock was outrighted off the 40-man roster by the Diamondbacks, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Adcock has an alarming 7.35 ERA in 89 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level this season between the D'Backs and Royals organizations.
  • The Braves outrighted Kameron Loe Triple-A Gwinnett after he cleared waivers, according to the International League transactions page. Loe was designated for assignment to clear 40-man roster space for Scott Downs. He threw 42 1/3 innings of 3.19 ERA ball at Triple-A Gwinnett before being called up to the Major League team last week.
  • Greg Reynolds cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Louisville by the Reds, according to the team's assistant director of media relations, Jamie Ramsey (on Twitter). That seems somewhat surprising, as the former No. 2 overall draft pick posted a 2.54 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 127 1/3 innings at Louisville this season before being designated for assignment. Ramsey also notes that the Reds signed Brandon Short to a minor league deal after the outfielder was released by the White Sox.
  • The Orioles have announced that right-hander Jairo Asencio has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A as well. Asencio was designated for assignment over the weekend.
  • The Orioles also released right-hander Joel Pineiro from Triple-A Norfolk yesterday, the team announced on Twitter. Pineiro, a veteran of 12 Major League seasons, was injured all season and didn't throw a pitch for the Tides in 2013. He last appeared in the bigs with the Angels in 2011 and has a career 4.41 ERA in 1754 1/3 innings.
  • Left-hander Duane Below has signed with the Kia Tigers of Korea, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link) and Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (also via Twitter). Below posted a 2.44 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 99 2/3 innings between the Triple-A affiliates for the Marlins and Tigers this season. He has a 4.27 ERA in 78 Major League innings.
  • Nine players are in DFA limbo: Steve Susdorf of the Phillies, Joe Martinez of the IndiansJason Bay of the Mariners, Brad Hawpe of the Angels, Yusmeiro Petit and Hunter Strickland of the Giants, Ted Lilly of the Dodgers, Brandon Inge of the Pirates and Carlos Pena of the Astros.

Marlins Claim Duane Below

The Marlins claimed Duane Below off of waivers, according to a press release from the Tigers.  Detroit designated the lefty yesterday in order to create roster space for Jose Valverde.

From 2011-12, the 27-year-old totaled 75 1/3 innings at the Major League level, posting a 4.06 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, and a 43.4% groundball rate.  Below has also spent parts of three seasons at the Triple-A level, posting a 3.30 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 26 starts.  Prior to the 2012 season, Baseball America wrote, "Below's stuff is average at best, but he throws strikes and has good feel for pitching."  BA noted, "He fits best as a No. 5 starter or swingman."

Tigers Designate Duane Below For Assignment

The Tigers have designated left-hander Duane Below for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for Jose Valverde, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (on Twitter)

The 27-year-old Below is a Michigan native who was selected by the Tigers in the 19th round of the 2006 draft. From 2011-12, he totaled 75 1/3 innings at the Major League level, posting a 4.06 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 43.4 percent ground-ball rate. Despite the fact that he's left-handed, Below posted nearly identical numbers versus right-handed (.256/.313/.381) and left-handed hitters (.286/.313/.389).

The Tigers announced yesterday that they had selected the contract of Valverde from Class A Lakeland, and GM Dave Dombrowski told the media that a corresponding 40-man roster move would be made today.