Evan Meek Rumors

Minor MLB Transactions: 7/19/15

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • The Nationals are set to call up reliever Abel de los Santos, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. The 22-year-old was acquired over the offseason from the Rangers (along with infielder Chris Bostick) for Ross Detwiler. A hard-throwing righty, de los Santos had a 2.65 ERA, 8.44 K/9, and 1.69 BB/9 in 37 innings at Double-A. His promotion will necessitate a move on the Nationals’ 40-man roster which is currently full.
  • Evan Meek has signed with an unknown Korean team, reports Sung Min Kim of River Ave Blues. Meek, 32, threw 37 innings for the Nationals Triple-A affiliate this season. He posted a 2.15 ERA with 7.88 K/9 and 4.54 BB/9. A veteran of six major league campaigns, Meek has a career 3.63 ERA in 196 relief innings. He was an All Star in 2010 while playing with the Pirates.
  • The Mariners have optioned designated hitter Jesus Montero to Triple-A, writes Greg Johns of MLB.com. Montero, 25, was temporarily filling J.A. Happ‘s roster spot. As many remember, the Yankees traded Montero for Michael Pineda during the 2012-2013 offseason. Neither player returned much value prior to this season, but Pineda has emerged as a force in the Yankees rotation and Montero is now showing some life too. During his five game audition, he went 3-for-10 with three walks and one strikeout. He’s hitting .332/.370/.529 at Triple-A with 15 home runs in 368 plate appearances.
  • The Brewers have released former 2009 second round pick Cameron Garfield, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Constitution. In parts of six seasons, Garfield failed to advance beyond High-A. This year, he hit .233/.267/.306 in 202 plate appearances. Per Haudricourt, the Brewers had five picks in the first two rounds of the 2009 draft. Garfield was the last one remaining in the system.

Nationals, Evan Meek Agree To Minor League Deal

The Nationals have signed right-hander Evan Meek to a minor league deal with an invite to big league Spring Training, reports MLB.com’s Bill Ladson (on Twitter). Meek is a client of Relativity Sports.

The 31-year-old Meek isn’t quite as flashy as the Nats’ most recent pickup, but he is a former All-Star setup man. From 2009-11 with the Pirates, Meek posted a strong 2.74 ERA in 147 2/3 innings of work, though other metrics such as his 7.9 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 and 3.58 FIP in that time indicate that he was likely overperforming a bit. A shoulder injury limited Meek to 12 innings in 2012, and he spent the 2013 season with the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate (somewhat curiously starting 15 games despite spending nearly all of his career as a reliever).

Meek was with the Orioles in 2014, but he struggled after breaking camp with the team and found himself outrighted to Triple-A in early June. From there, he went on to dominate at the Triple-A level, posting a 1.94 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 0.9 BB/9 in 41 2/3 innings of work. That earned him a September call-up, but while he got better results in the season’s final month, he still finished with a 5.79 ERA in 23 1/3 big league innings. He’ll compete for a job in a Nats bullpen that features Drew Storen in the closer’s role in front of setup options such as Craig Stammen, Jerry Blevins, Matt Thornton, Blake Treinen and possibly Tanner Roark, who could be bullpen-bound following Washington’s addition of Max Scherzer.

Outrighted: Kalish, Valaika, Vitters, Meek

Here are the day’s outright assignments:

  • The Cubs have made a series of roster trims, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Outfielder Ryan Kalish and infielders Chris Valaika and Josh Vitters have each been outrighted, according to Gonzales. Righty James McDonald has elected free agency as well.
  • The Orioles have outrighted righty Evan Meek to Triple-A, the club announced. Meek will have the right to elect free agency, as he has previously been outrighted (including once earlier this year). Meek, 31, threw to a 5.79 ERA over 23 1/3 innings at the MLB level, all in relief. He struck out 6.2 and walked 4.2 batters per nine over that stretch. Meek has had better stretches in the majors, however, and even made an All-Star appearance with the Pirates back in 2010. Over 41 2/3 Triple-A frames this year, Meek worked to a 1.94 ERA with 8.0 K/9 against just 0.9 BB/9.

Evan Meek Accepts Outright Assignment

SUNDAY, 9:44am: Meek has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk rather than elect free agency, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.

WEDNESDAY, 3:27pm: The Orioles have outrighted reliever Evan Meek off of the club’s 40-man roster, the team announced. It is not yet clear whether Meek will accept the assignment, which he has the right to decline since he has previously been outrighted.

Meek was previously designated for assignment off the club’s active roster, then optioned to Triple-A once he had cleared optional assignment waivers. By now passing him through outright waivers, Baltimore has cleared a 40-man roster spot.

The 31-year-old has tossed 11 2/3 MLB innings thus far in 2014, surrendering nine earned runs on nine strikeouts and six walks. Meek has scuffled at Triple-A as well, working to a 5.59 ERA in 9 2/3 innings after posting a 4.50 mark in 108 innings in the upper minors last year (including 15 starts). He has thrown 184 1/3 MLB innings of 3.56 ERA ball over his career.

Minor Moves: Nanita, Wilson, Marinez, Robertson, Meek

Today’s minor moves …

  • The Blue Jays have loaned veteran minor-leaguer Ricardo Nanita to Los Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican League, according to the International League transactions page. The 32-year-old outfielder has seen time at or above the Double-A level in every season since 2006, but has yet to crack the bigs in spite of a .315/.364/.463 line through 1,133 plate appearances at Triple-A. Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star profiled Nanita and his dreams of making the Show this spring, but he received only 17 opportunities to swing the bat this year for Buffalo.
  • Outfielder Mike Wilson has been released by the Reds, according to the International League transactions page. Wilson was slashing .205/.293/.364 in 99 plate appearances at Triple-A. The 30-year-old, who received a brief call-up in 2011 with the Mariners, has (like Nanita) spent parts of six seasons at the highest level of the minors.
  • Jhan Marinez, a 25-year-old righty, was released by the Tigers (also via the International League transactions page). Marinez, who has tossed 5 1/3 MLB innings in two brief stints, had worked to a disappointing 8.84 ERA in 18 1/3 frames at Triple-A Toledo, racking up 21 strikeouts but also 21 free passes on the year.
  • The Tigers have granted Nate Robertson his release, a team official told James Schmehl of MLive.com.   Robertson signed a minor league deal with Detroit a little over two months ago. Even though he was a mainstay in the Tigers’ rotation from 2004-2008, Robertson has been out of the major leagues since 2010. There was some hope that the 36-year-old, who has reinvented himself as a sidearming reliever, could fill the second lefty role in the Tigers’ pen.  However, he struggled with command for much of the season in Triple-A Toledo.
  • The Orioles announced that right-hander Evan Meek has cleared optional waivers and been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.  Meek was designated off of the 25-man roster yesterday but kept on the 40-man, but he could not be sent down without passing through revocable optional waivers first.  Through 11 2/3 big league innings, he has allowed nine earned runs and struck out nine against six free passes. Over 184 1/3 career innings, most of them with the Pirates, Meek has a 3.56 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 4.7 BB/9.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.

Orioles Designate Evan Meek Off Of Active Roster

The Orioles have designated righty Evan Meek for assignment off of the 25-man roster, the club announced. Meek will be kept on the 40-man roster and placed on optional assignment waivers tomorrow, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (Twitter links).

Baltimore has recalled fellow righty Brad Brach to take Meek’s place on the active roster; as Kubatko explains, the club had to wait to bring him back up until today because he had not yet been in the minors for the necessary ten-day period. The club can keep Meek in the fold because Brach did not need to take his slot on the 40-man, meaning that Meek was not replaced on the 40-man by the move. He could not, however, be sent down without passing through optional assignment waivers — which are revocable — because he is more than three years removed from his first MLB appearance.

Meek, 31, signed a minor league deal with Baltimore over the offseason. Through 11 2/3 big league innings, he has allowed nine earned runs and struck out nine against six free passes. Over 184 1/3 career innings, most of them with the Pirates, Meek has a 3.56 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 4.7 BB/9. His best season came in 2010, when he put up a 2.14 ERA in 80 innings for Pittsburgh.

AL East Notes: Santana, Lester, Yanks, Meek, Escobar

Last week, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that several Blue Jays players were willing to defer their salary in order to help the team bring Ervin Santana on board, and it was later reported by Sportsnet's Shi Davidi that the group of Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey were the five who were willing to do so. Last night, Rosenthal added to the story, reporting that Santana was so close to heading to Toronto that the MLBPA had already approved the deferrals. Rosenthal again speculates on the possibility of Rogers Communications imposing a payroll limit on the 2014 Blue Jays, which would help explain their quiet offseason (which was previously examined by our own Mark Polishuk). Elsewhere in the AL East…

  • The Boston Herald's Gerry Callahan opines that while Jon Lester is clearly the No. 1 starter for the Red Sox, he's not elite and isn't worth the money he could make on the open market. Callahan writes that another team will "get stupid" with Lester, offering him something in excess of $130-140MM, and if talks get to that point, then Boston would be wise to emulate the A's or Rays instead of the Dodgers or Yankees, and let their high-priced star walk.
  • In a second column from Rosenthal, he looks at a number of topics that also pertain largely to the AL East, beginning firstly noting that we shouldn't expect to see the Yankees pursue any outside help after injuries to Mark Teixeira or David Robertson. The Yankees feel that both injuries will be short-lived, and therefore aren't looking strongly at Ryan Madson and/or Joel Hanrahan, nor are they considering trades for first basemen.
  • Also of interest to Yankees fans will be Rosenthal's look at the rise of Yangervis Solarte — a minor league signing who has experience an unlikely rise to prominence in the Majors. Solarte's agents, Chris Leible and Peter Greenberg of the Legacy Agency, recall that their initial representation of Solarte was merely a favor to his uncle, Roger Cedeno. At one point this offseason, the Yankees dropped out of the bidding for Solarte, who was highly sought after. However, he was recommended by three different scouts, and Leible encouraged him by advising that his best ticket to the Majors was in a utility role.
  • Rosenthal also looks at the long road back to the Majors for Evan Meek, who signed a minor league deal with the Orioles this offseason only after calling his former Pirates manager (and current O's bench coach) John Russell and asking for a look. He ultimately auditioned for seven or eight clubs, but chose to go to Baltimore.
  • Lastly, Rosenthal notes that the extension for Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar was "almost certainly" his own call rather than that of his agents at Miami Sports Management. He writes that Escobar seems to prefer even minor levels of security and would rather have his new guarantee than risk waiting until free agency to sign, even if the outcome could have been something along the lines of Omar Infante's four-year deal with the Royals this offseason.

Orioles Designate Mike Belfiore For Assignment

The Orioles have announced via a press release they have designated left-hander Mike Belfiore for assignment. The move, along with placing right-hander Edgmer Escalona on the 60-day disabled list, clears roster space for the addition of outfielder Delmon Young and right-hander Evan Meek to the 40-man roster.

Belfiore made his MLB debut last September for the Orioles throwing 1 1/3 innings against the Red Sox allowing three hits, including a pair of home runs. At Triple-A, the 25-year-old made 37 relief outings posting a 3.18 ERA, 9.7 K/9, and 3.4 BB/9. The Diamondbacks made Belfiore the 45th overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft, but shipped him to Baltimore in 2012 as the player to be named later when they acquired Josh Bell

Orioles To Sign Jack Cust, Evan Meek

We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves here …

  • The Orioles have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder/DH Jack Cust, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Cust, 35, has not seen MLB action since 2011, when he hit .213/.344/.329 in 270 plate appearances at DH for the Mariners. He was out of baseball last year, but slashed an interesting .243/.400/.442 (with 20 home runs) in 493 Triple-A plate appearances in 2012.
  • Baltimore has also inked righty Evan Meek, tweets Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun. The 30-year-old has made 156 MLB appearances, all as a Pirates reliever, and logged 172 2/3 innings of 3.34 ERA ball over the span of 2008-12. But he struggled in limited action in 2012, and worked as a Triple-A swingman for the Rangers last year (posting a 4.50 ERA in 108 innings).
  • With Chaz Roe electing free agency, only the Royals' Everett Teaford and Emilio Bonifacio remain in DFA limbo, as reflected in the MLBTR DFA Tracker.

Rangers Sign Evan Meek, Randy Wells

The Rangers signed reliever Evan Meek, starter Randy Wells, first baseman Brandon Allen, and starter Jake Brigham to minor league deals with invites, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Meek, 29, made the All-Star team during a 2.14 ERA campaign for the Pirates in 2010.  Since then, he's been limited by a shoulder injury.

Wells, 30, made 82 starts for the Cubs from 2009-11, even placing sixth in the NL Rookie of the Year vote in '09.  He spent much of this year struggling at Triple-A Iowa.

Allen, 26, never caught on in the Majors and spent the second half of this season in Japan.