Eric Surkamp Rumors

Minor MLB Transactions: 7/11/15

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • The Mariners have signed Chien-Ming Wang to a minor league deal, reports Greg Johns of The 35-year-old made 10 starts and 11 appearances for the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate earlier this season. He posted a 6.10 ERA with 4.06 K/9 and 3.05 BB/9 in 62 innings. More recently, he appeared in the independent Atlantic League where he made one successful 8.2  inning start. Of course, Wang is best known for his work with the Yankees from 2005 through 2008. His best seasons were 2006 and 2007. He posted 19 wins in both seasons. Wang has a career 4.37 ERA with 4.13 K/9, 2.66 BB/9, and a 59.1% GB% at the major league level.
  • The Mets have signed former outfield prospect Joe Benson, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Benson, 27, was released by the Braves in mid-June after hitting .246/.346/.331 at the Triple-A level. He briefly appeared for the Twins in 2011. He slashed .239/.270/.352 in his brief 74 plate appearance cup of coffee. Once viewed as a power and speed threat, high strikeout rates have limited his productions.
  • Eric Surkamp has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group. The soft tossing lefty made a spot start for the Dodgers last week, allowing four runs and two home runs in 3.1 innings. Surkamp, 27, has a 6.47 ERA in 57 career innings. He’s been much better throughout his minor league career.

Dodgers Designate Eric Surkamp

The Dodgers have designated lefty Eric Surkamp for assignment, the club announced (via J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group, on Twitter).

Los Angeles needed his 40-man spot as part of a series of moves, as the team continues to turn over its bullpen. Yimi Garcia and Ian Thomas will head to Triple-A on optional assignment, while relievers Chin-hui Tsao and Josh Ravin will ascend to the big league roster.

Surkamp, 27, appeared in just one game with the Dodgers this year, allowing four earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one, but permitted two long balls.

Over parts of four big league seasons, Surkamp has only thrown 57 total frames at the MLB level. All said, he owns a 6.47 ERA with 5.8 K/9 against 4.9 BB/9. He has mostly worked from the pen in the majors, though he’s spent most of his minor league time as a starter.

It’s interesting to note the return of Tsao. The 34-year-old native of Taiwan last appeared in the bigs in 2007. In the interim, he found himself banned from his home country’s top league amid game-fixing allegations, as Joseph Yeh of the China Post details. Tsao has managed only a 4.40 ERA over 30 2/3 frames at Triple-A this year, but is carrying an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio of 11.4 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9.

Dodgers Acquire Eric Surkamp From White Sox

The Dodgers have dealt for lefty reliever Eric Surkamp from the White Sox, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports on Twitter. Chicago has acquired righty Blake Smith in the deal, Ken Gurnick of tweets.

Surkamp, 27, has not found much big league success over the years; he owns a 6.20 ERA with 5.5 K/9 against 5.0 BB/9 over 53 2/3 career innings. That included a middling output last year in the White Sox bullpen, which he joined after spending most of his career as a starter in the Giants organization.

Surkamp passed through waivers this spring, but has been rather excellent since. Over 25 2/3 Triple-A innings (in just 11 appearances, including one start), he has fanned 30 hitters while walking only nine and permitting eight earned runs.

For Los Angeles, the move represents yet another pitching depth move. Presumably, Surkamp will continue in a relief capacity, though his long history as a starter makes him at least a spot option in the rotation.

Smith, also 27, had been working at Double-A for the L.A. organization. Only recently converted from an outfielder to a reliever, Smith has racked up 16 2/3 innings of 1.62 ERA ball with 8.6 K/9 against 4.9 BB/9 this year in Tulsa.

White Sox Outright Eric Surkamp

Here are today’s minor transactions from around the league…

  • The White Sox announced today (Twitter link) that left-hander Eric Surkamp has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte. Surkamp, 27, has spent the early portion of the 2015 campaign pitching at Charlotte himself, allowing four runs on eight hits and six walks in 6 1/3 innings. Those numbers aren’t exactly enticing, but he has an outstanding Minor League track record overall, having worked to a combined 3.13 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 569 2/3 innings. Those numbers haven’t translated to the Majors, however, where Surkamp has struggled to a 6.20 ERA with 33 strikeouts against 30 walks (and five hit batters) in 53 2/3 innings split evenly between the rotation and the bullpen. Surkamp was designated for assignment yesterday to clear a 40-man roster spot for righty Scott Carroll.

White Sox Designate Eric Surkamp For Assignment

The White Sox tweeted they have designated left-hander Eric Surkamp for assignment. The White Sox also tweeted they have added right-hander Scott Carroll to the 40-man roster by purchasing his contract from Triple-A Charlotte, a move necessitated when Matt Albers (who, as chronicled by’s Scott Merkin, was injured in Friday’s brawl with the Royals) was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a compression fracture on the pinky of his throwing hand.

Carroll, who made 19 starts for the White Sox last year and has posted a 2.45 ERA with a 6.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in three starts (14 2/3 innings) for Charlotte in 2015, could be an option to step into the rotation to fill the void created by the five-game suspensions given to Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija stemming from Friday night’s brouhaha. Both Sale and Samardzija are appealing their suspsensions. Manager Robin Ventura also mentioned the recently recalled Carlos Rodon as a possibility for a spot spot.

After being the lone lefty out of the White Sox’s bullpen for most of 2014 and appearing in 35 contests, Surkamp’s stock dropped with the offseason acquisitions of left-handers Zach Duke and Dan Jennings. The 27-year-old started the season at Charlotte and has struggled so far to the tune of a 5.68 ERA and identical K/9 and BB/9 marks of 8.5 in 6 1/3 innings over four games.

AL Notes: Watkins, Correia, Surkamp

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe profiles Red Sox minor-leaguer J.T. Watkins, a 25-year-old backstop who hopes to become the first West Point grad to make it to the Majors. Watkins has spent two years in military service since being drafted, but was given the chance to pursue a baseball career by the Army. Of course, his odds of cracking the majors are somewhat longer those of, say, his 2012 teammate Mookie Betts — who just happened to be signed by Watkins’ father Danny. Here are more quick notes from the American League.

Giants Notes: Balfour, Surkamp, Pill

The Giants have had talks with Grant Balfour, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Schulman rates the Giants' chances of actually signing Balfour as "meh," however. As Schulman reported earlier today, the Giants are looking for a reliever but likely not a closer, so they would appear unlikely to pay steeply for Balfour's services. Since Balfour's deal with the Orioles fell through, he has been connected to the Yankees and Rays. Here's more out of San Francisco.

  • The Giants lost lefty Eric Surkamp (who was claimed by the White Sox) in part because Brett Pill remains on their 40-man roster, Schulman explains. The Giants are selling Pill's rights to the KIA Tigers in Korea, but until that deal is done, Pill has to stay on the 40-man, or the Giants can't collect their $500K transfer fee. That made Surkamp the odd man out when the Giants needed a roster spot for Mike Morse. In any case, Schulman notes that the Giants might have designated Surkamp anyway once they signed their extra reliever.
  • From the outside, the Giants' move to designate Surkamp for assignment didn't make sense, Grant Brisbee of SB Nation writes. Brisbee suggests that the Giants "probably let the next Carlos Villanueva go," reffering to the Giants' 2004 decision to send Villanueva to the Brewers in a minor trade for Wayne Franklin and Leo Estrella.

White Sox Claim Eric Surkamp

The White Sox have claimed left-hander Eric Surkamp off waivers from the Giants, according to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Surkamp was designated for assignment by the Giants last week.

Surkamp split the season between Double-A and Triple-A as he recovered from 2012 Tommy John surgery, spending the bulk of his time in Triple-A Fresno. His work in the minor league was excellent, as he pitched to a 2.80 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 86 1/3 innings.

In his minor league career, Surkamp has a 2.84 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 484 2/3 innings. The former sixth-round pick made his big league debut for the Giants in 2011 and ranked among Baseball America's Top 30 Giants prospects from 2010-13.

Surkamp will provide the White Sox with more pitching depth that is essentially big-league ready. Chicago currently has Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and John Danks as locks for the rotation, with right-handers Erik Johnson, Andre Rienzo and the recently signed Felipe Paulino all as options for the back of the rotation. Surkamp figures to compete with those three for the fourth and fifth slots in the rotation following Hector Santiago's trade to the Angels.

Giants Designate Eric Surkamp For Assignment

The Giants have designated left-hander Eric Surkamp for assignment, according to the team's transactions page. The move was likely made to clear a roster spot for the recently signed Mike Morse.

The 26-year-old Surkamp made one start for the Giants in 2013, yielding an unsightly seven runs in 2 2/3 innings of work. His work in the minor league was excellent, however, as he pitched to a 2.80 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 86 1/3 innings. Surkamp split the season between Double-A and Triple-A as he recovered from 2012 Tommy John surgery, spending the bulk of his time in Triple-A Fresno.

In his minor league career, Surkamp has a 2.84 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 484 2/3 innings. The former sixth-round pick made his big league debut for the Giants in 2011 and ranked among Baseball America's Top 30 Giants prospects from 2010-13.