Esmil Rogers Rumors

Yankees Outright Esmil Rogers

The Yankees announced today that right-hander Esmil Rogers has been outrighted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in order to clear a spot on the 40-man and 25-man roster for outfielder Taylor Dugas.

The 29-year-old Rogers has already been designated for assignment and outrighted this season, but the Yankees selected his contract over the weekend to add some depth to the bullpen. Rogers didn’t make an appearance with the team in his most recent stint with the team and currently sports an unsightly 6.27 ERA on the season. He’s averaged 8.5 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 with a 42.5 percent ground-ball rate this season in addition to being quite unlucky on balls in play, leading to significantly better marks in FIP (4.63), xFIP (4.10) and SIERA (3.72). Having been previously outrighted, Rogers does have the option of rejecting the Triple-A assignment in favor of free agency.

As for Dugas, the 2012 eighth-rounder has struggled quite a bit in the minors this season. In 199 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A, he’s batted .198/.316/.235 with no homers and six steals (in eight tries). Taylor didn’t rank among the Yankees’ Top 30 prospects, per and Baseball America, but Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel noted that he could have a future as a fourth or fifth outfielder due to above-average speed and an ability to play all three outfield spots. Dugas does have a keen eye at the plate, as BA wrote prior to the 2013 season that he had the best plate discipline in the Yankees’ farm system.

Minor Moves: Mazzaro, Sizemore, Murata, Rogers

Here are today’s minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post.  All moves were announced by the teams themselves unless otherwise cited.

  • Vin Mazzaro has elected to become a free agent, according to’s official transactions page.  The veteran righty was designated for assignment by the Marlins earlier this week and then outrighted, giving him the option of accepting the assignment or choosing free agency.  Mazzaro has a 3.75 ERA, six strikeouts and six walks over 12 relief innings for Miami this season.
  • The Rays selected the contract of Grady Sizemore prior to today’s game, and the veteran outfielder delivered three hits in his Tampa debut.  Sizemore was released by the Phillies and signed to a minor league deal by the Rays earlier this month.  In corresponding roster moves, righty Matt Andriese was sent to Triple-A and outfielder Desmond Jennings was moved to the 60-day DL.
  • The Indians purchased the contract of right-hander Toru Murata, who is making his MLB debut in a start tonight against the Orioles.  Murata was signed as a free agent out of Japan in 2010 and he owns a 3.88 ERA, 3.01 K/BB rate and 6.8 K/9 over 489 2/3 minor league innings.  In a corresponding move, the Tribe released right-hander Scott Atchison.
  • The Yankees selected the contract of righty Esmil Rogers, who was just outrighted off the roster two weeks ago.  Rogers has a 6.27 ERA over 33 bullpen innings for New York this season, though he has been hamstrung by a .356 BABIP and a very low 56% strand rate.
  • The Pirates selected the contract of utilityman Gorkys Hernandez.  Once a top-100 prospect, Hernandez appeared in 70 MLB games with the Pirates and Marlins in 2012 and hasn’t since been back to the Show.  Hernandez has a .278/.342/.376 slash line, 33 homers and 213 steals (out of 285 chances) over 4055 career minor league plate appearances.
  • The Braves selected the contract of right-hander Ryan Kelly, who is getting his first taste of the majors after nine pro seasons.  Kelly was a 26th-round draft pick for the Pirates in 2006 and he’s compiled a 3.99 ERA, 3.10 K/BB rate and 8.2 K/9 over 462 2/3 innings (mostly as a reliever).

Yankees Outright Esmil Rogers

MONDAY: Rogers has accepted his assignment, Feinsand tweets.

FRIDAY: The Yankees have outrighted righty Esmil Rogers, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets. Rogers has not yet decided whether to accept the assignment, Marly Rivera of ESPN Deportes tweets.

Rogers pitched today and allowed four runs, only one of them earned, in two innings. The seeds of his outright had likely already been planted, however. For the season, Rogers has a 6.27 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9, also allowing five home runs in 31 innings out of the Yankees’ bullpen. In parts of seven seasons (in which he’s also pitched for the Rockies, Indians and Blue Jays), Rogers now has a 5.60 career ERA, and he’s now 29. His good fastball and ability to start (he made 20 starts with Toronto in 2013) will likely continue to earn him chances, however.

Yankees Notes: Tanaka, Ellsbury, Rogers, Trout

The return of Masahiro Tanaka to the Yankees rotation has given the team new life, writes John Harper of the New York Daily News. Tanaka showed good velocity in his return to action, topping out at 96 mph. Beyond Michael Pineda‘s strong season, New York has received inconsistent performances from the rotation. If Tanaka returns to his 2014 form, the club will be in a better position to buy at the trade deadline. Here’s more on the Bronx Bombers:

  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury remains sidelined with a knee injury. He has a heavy-duty brace that won’t be removed for at least another week, reports Wallace Matthews of ESPN. He is currently expected to return to the club in early July. The team has survived his absence by moving Brett Gardner to center field while using Chris Young, Garrett Jones, Carlos Beltran, and Ramon Flores in the outfield corners. A trade appears unlikely since the team has survived Ellbury’s absence for a couple weeks with eight wins and seven losses.
  • Reliever Esmil Rogers may be on a short leash, writes Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The bullpen nearly blew a seven run lead in the ninth inning yesterday. Five of the runs were charged to Rogers who failed to record an out. The Yankees pen currently has five left-handed relievers, but manager Joe Girardi says it isn’t a problem, per Ryan Hatch of Southpaws like Andrew Miller, Justin Wilson, Chasen Shreve, and Jacob Lindgren can be used against both righties and lefties. However, Girardi would like another reliable right-handed weapon – something Rogers may not be able to provide.
  • As we prepare for the Rule 4 draft, Charles Curtis of details just how close the Yankees came to selecting MVP Mike Trout. The club viewed Trout as the second best player in the draft and held the 29th overall pick. An area scout for the club provided coaching for Trout and had firsthand knowledge of his work ethic. Unfortunately for New York, the Angels swooped in with the 25th pick.
  • The Yankees will pick 16th this year, their highest selection since 1993, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Decades of success and big free agent purchases have left the Yankees with few early draft picks. Sherman notes that the club didn’t have the opportunity to select 18 percent of current major leaguers. For those interested, Sherman breaks down the results of recent drafts.


East Notes: Papelbon, Warren, Victorino

Here’s the latest from the game’s eastern divisions to wrap up the day’s news:

  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was notably on hand to watch Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon work early in his outing today against the Yankees, Jim Salisbury of reports. While Salisbury notes that it is impossible to know the reason for the visit, Toronto obviously has some questions at the back of its pen and has been mentioned as a plausible suitor for the veteran righty. Papelbon has looked strong this spring, as the report further notes, though his contract (and, in particular, its vesting clause for next year) remains the largest factor in his trade value.
  • Though the Yankees have yet to say so officially, Adam Warren appears ticketed for the team’s fifth starter role, as Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports. If he does indeed take that slot, the out-of-options Esmil Rogers will either need to lock up a pen slot or, perhaps, find another team.
  • Shane Victorino‘s recent comments about the possibility of the Red Sox dealing for Cole Hamels led to a bit of a dust-up in Boston, due in part to a seemingly strained interpretation suggesting that Victorino was advocating for the departure of phenom Mookie Betts. As Rob Bradford of reports, Victorino vehemently denies that reading of his words. Regardless, of course, as Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal explains, Boston’s front office understandably has little interest in shipping away its most prized young talent for expensive veterans.

AL Notes: Red Sox, Cabrera, Capuano, Mariners

Commisoner Rob Manfred tops the 50 most fascinating figures in baseball, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. Manfred has been pro-active during the first month of his tenure, Sherman opines, by already engaging the MLBPA over issues such as keeping the batter in the box between pitches and being ready to ignite play quicker after half-inning breaks while continuing the pitch clock experiment in the minors with an impetus to have them in MLB by next season. Rounding out Sherman’s top five are: Alex Rodriguez, Matt Harvey, Giancarlo Stanton, and Joe Maddon.

Here’s the latest news and notes from the American League:

Yankees, Esmil Rogers Avoid Arbitration

6:48pm: The deal does indeed come in under the projection, as Rogers will receive a $750K guarantee and will play at the rate of $1.48MM if he makes the club out of camp, per a tweet from Jon Heyman of Of course, that result certainly seems preferable to a non-tender.

6:12pm: The Yankees have avoided arbitration with righty Esmil Rogers, Ben Nicholson-Smith of reports on Twitter. The move comes as something of a surprise, as Rogers had seemed a reasonably likely non-tender candidate.

Rogers, 29, was claimed off waivers by the Yankees from the Blue Jays last summer. He tossed 25 innings of 4.68 ERA ball in New York, after struggling with Toronto earlier in the year. He does offer some added value given his swingman potential.

MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz projected a $1.9MM payday for Rogers, though his early signing could indicate a lower price point. At this point, Rogers is best known for being the short end of the deal that sent Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles from the Jays to the Indians.

Yankees Claim Esmil Rogers, Release Scott Sizemore

2:20pm: The Yankees announced that Scott Sizemore has been released to clear room on the 40-man roster.

1:07pm: The Yankees have claimed Esmil Rogers off waivers from the Blue Jays, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link).

The 28-year-old Rogers has allowed 16 earned runs in 20 2/3 innings this season (6.97 ERA), but he posted a superior 4.77 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 47.6 percent ground-ball rate in 137 2/3 innings for the Jays in 2013. Toronto had designated him for assignment last week.

Blue Jays Designate Esmil Rogers For Assignment

The Blue Jays have designated reliever Esmil Rogers for assignment, reports John Lott of the National Post (via Twitter). In a corresponding move, the team has activated Nolan Reimold from the DL.

This is now the second time this year that Rogers has found himself in DFA limbo; the last time he was outrighted to Triple-A. Since being added back to the roster on Tuesday, Rogers did not make an appearance, leaving his major league ERA at its previous 6.97 mark. He had been more successful in the upper minors, throwing to a 3.14 ERA in 48 2/3 Triple-A innings (including seven starts).

Blue Jays Designate Esmil Rogers For Assignment

The Blue Jays have designated right-hander Esmil Rogers for assignment, manager John Gibbons announced in a radio appearance on The Fan 590 (via Sportsnet’s Jeff Simmons on Twitter). The move clears room on the 40-man roster for tonight’s starter, Liam Hendriks, whose contract has been selected from Triple-A Buffalo.

The DFA brings to end a tenure that will leave Toronto fans wondering what might’ve been. The Blue Jays’ acquisition of Rogers is directly tied to the compensation they received for allowing John Farrell to return to Boston; Toronto acquired Mike Aviles as compensation for Farrell and right-hander David Carpenter (who has emerged as a bullpen ace with the Braves). Before Aviles ever played a game in Toronto, he was flipped to the Indians along with Yan Gomes in exchange for Rogers.

Rogers has gone on to total a 5.06 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 158 1/3 innings with the Jays. He’s been hurt by a bloated homer-to-flyball ratio that is outlandish enough for sabermetric ERA estimator xFIP to project an ERA just over 4.00 based on his work with the Blue Jays, but the results didn’t line up with that favorable projection in either of his two seasons north of the border.

Gomes, meanwhile, has emerged as a breakout catching star for the Indians, having slashed .289/.340/.479 with 17 homers in 477 PA for Cleveland. Gomes has gunned down 38 percent of opposing base stealers while with the Indians — good for 12 percent above the league average — and he’s also regarded as one of the game’s best pitch-framers behind the plate. His contributions to this point have been worth 4.8 WAR (per Fangraphs), and he’s been impressive enough to have earned a six-year, $23MM extension, supplanting Carlos Santana as the team’s everyday catcher.

The 25-year-old Hendriks has excelled in 48 2/3 innings for Buffalo this season, pitching to a sparkling 1.48 ERA with a 36-to-3 K/BB ratio. The former Twins hurler hasn’t had much success in the big leagues to date, however, as he’s been incredibly homer-prone.