Esteban German Rumors

Minor Moves: Royals, Stavinoha, Santiago, German

Today's minor moves…

  • The Royals signed Juan Gutierrez to a minor league deal, according to's Steve Gilbert (on Twitter).  The right-hander posted a 5.40 ERA with 11.3 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 18 1/3 innings with Arizona this past season.
  • The Astros released Nick Stavinoha so that he can sign with a Japanese team, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.  The 29-year-old spent the 2011 season at Triple-A, where he hit .270/.329/.488 in 586 plate appearances.  The Hiroshima Carp are working toward a deal with Stavinoha, according to a Japanese report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker.
  • The Nationals signed Jarrett Hoffpauir to a minor league deal, according to's Bill Ladson (on Twitter).  Hoffpauir, 28, posted a .281/.356/.428 for the Padres' top affiliate this past season.
  • The Royals announced that the club has granted the release of minor league pitcher Mario Santiago in order for the right-hander to sign a contract with the SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization.  Santiago, who turns 27 on Friday, split time between the Royals' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates in 2011.
  • Japan's Seibu Lions signed former Rangers utility man Esteban German for $1MM, tweets Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.  The 33-year-old was removed from the Rangers' 40-man roster in November.

Outrighted: Crowe, Rangers, Rodriguez, Braves

The latest players to be outrighted off 40-man rosters:

Minor Deals: German, Carroll, Moore, Tracy

A look at the minor deals struck today…

  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that Esteban German is returning to the Rangers on a minor league deal.  German, 33 in January, hit .280/.371/.388 in 567 Triple-A plate appearances this year, playing all around the diamond.  He was outrighted on November 5th and chose to become a free agent.
  • The Royals signed outfielder Brett Carroll to a minor league contract, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). The 28-year-old is a .205/.284/.325 career hitter in 319 plate appearances with the Marlins.
  • Infielder Scott Moore signed a minor league deal with the Cubs, reports Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. He originally broke in with the Cubs back in 2006, but was later traded to the Orioles for Steve Trachsel.
  • Infielder Chad Tracy signed with the Hiroshima Carp for about $1.3MM according to a report passed along by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman (Twitter link).

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

Five More Potential Free Agents

SATURDAY, 10:47am: reports that German, Mathis, and McCarthy all refused the minor league assignments and elected to become free agents. 

FRIDAY, 3:54pm: Two White Sox will soon hit free agency and a trio of Rangers could join them before long. Left-hander Randy Williams and catcher Donny Lucy were outrighted and will soon become free agents, according to's Scott Merkin (on Twitter).

Meanwhile, the Rangers outrighted Esteban German, Doug Mathis and Brandon McCarthy off of the 40-man roster and all three can become free agents, according to's T.R. Sullivan. McCarthy was a non-tender candidate, though he's just 27, made 17 useful starts for the Rangers last year and posted a 3.36 ERA at Triple-A in 2010.

Rangers Designate Alex Cora For Assignment

The Rangers designated infielder Alex Cora for assignment to create roster space for Esteban German. The Rangers signed Cora last month after the Mets released him, but the 34-year-old played in just four games for Texas, batting only seven times (he singled twice). 

German, 32, has not yet appeared in the majors this season, though he is an eight-year major league veteran. He posted a .280/.371/.388 line at Triple A this year, spending most of his time at short, second and third. The utilityman also played left and center, though the Rangers presumably intend to use German on the infield.

Rangers Sign Geary, Olmedo

Texas has signed reliever Geoff Geary and infielder Ray Olmedo to minor league contracts and invited both players to spring training, reports T.R. Sullivan of  Geary, a right-hander, spent the last two seasons in Houston, posting an 8.10 ERA in 16 appearances last year and spending most of 2009 pitching with the Astros' Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock.  Geary played with the Phillies for the first five years of his career, with his best season coming in 2006 (2.96 ERA, 3.00 K:BB ratio, 81 appearances).

Olmedo last played in the majors with Toronto in 2007, and spent the last two seasons with Tampa Bay and Washington's Triple-A teams, respectively.  He has a career slash line of .228/.276/.293 in 442 major league plate appearances and has experience playing at second, third and shortstop.

Sullivan also notes that the Rangers assigned Esteban German and Clay Rapada to Triple-A Oklahoma City after the two players cleared outright waivers.

Players Tendered Contracts

Midnight ET is the non-tender deadline, so we'll keep track of all the players who are offered and/or agreed to contracts today in this post. Keep coming back throughout the day for updates.

Odds & Ends: Diaz, Cedeno, German, Ojeda

A few tidbits from around the majors….

  • Blue Jays reliever Jeremy Accardo hopes to be non-tendered tomorrow, writes's Jordan Bastian.  The righty, 28 this month, dealt with a groin injury and bounced up and down between Triple A and the Majors this year.  He earned $900K.
  • Cases of players avoiding arbitration and signing for 2010, according to the AP: Matt Diaz of the Braves at $2.55MM, Ronny Cedeno of the Pirates at $1.125MM, and Esteban German of the Rangers at $600K. Diaz gets a 106% raise, heading into his third arbitration year.
  • The AP also notes that the Nationals signed pitcher Ryan Speier for $425K.  The 30-year-old toiled at Triple A for the Rockies this year, mainly.
  •'s Steve Gilbert (via Twitter) reports that the Diamondbacks have avoided going to arbitration with Augie Ojeda by re-signing the veteran infielder to a one-year deal.  Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the contract is worth $825K.  Ojeda, 34, has spent the last three seasons with Arizona and hit .246/.340/.345 in 309 plate appearances in 2009.  The defensive specialist is a valuable utilityman, able to play second, third and shortstop.
  • Twins GM Bill Smith tells Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that his traditionally low-spending team has "substantial funds" to cover arbitration raises and potential signings that could raise Minnesota's payroll into the $90MM neighborhood for next season.  The general manager was predictably non-committal when asked if "substantial" translated to "enough to extend Joe Mauer."
  • NPB Tracker passes on news from Japanese site that the Yakult Swallows will announce next week that they have signed Eulogio De La Cruz.  The right-hander was released by the Padres on Wednesday.  De La Cruz has an 11.84 ERA in 15 appearances over three seasons with San Diego, Florida and Detroit.
  • The White Sox seem ready to stick with Randy Williams as the only left-handed reliever (besides, of course, set-up man Matt Thornton) next season, as Chicago GM Kenny Williams told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  Gonzales notes that if the club changes its mind, a possible target could be former White Sox reliever Neal Cotts, who will be non-tendered by the Cubs tomorrow.

Royals Claim Metcalf; Rangers Sign German

According to's T.R. Sullivan, the Royals claimed third baseman Travis Metcalf off waivers from the Rangers today.  The Rangers signed infielder Esteban German, formerly of the Cubs and Royals, to replace Metcalf.

Metcalf, 26, has a career line of .249/.300/.475 in 242 plate appearances.  He has not had success in a couple of Triple A stints.  Back in their '06 Handbook, Baseball America said Metcalf profiled as "as average hitter with potentially above-average power."  They considered him a "solid defender" at the time.  Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star notes that Metcalf starred at the University of Kansas back in the day.

German, 31, hit .245/.303/.338 in 242 plate appearances last year, spending time at multiple positions.  He played for the Rangers back in '05 before he was traded to the Royals for Fabio Castro.

Cubs Sign Esteban German

According to a press release from the team, the Cubs signed infielder Esteban German to a minor league deal.  He was released by the Royals last week after clearing waivers.

German, 31, hit .245/.303/.338 in 242 plate appearances last year while playing in left field as well as all around the infield.  Presumably the Cubs consider German a possible third base backup; he played 281 innings at the hot corner in ’07 and 43 in ’08.  The Cubs will have the option of keeping German for 2010, as he’ll be arbitration-eligible after ’09.