Ezequiel Carrera Rumors

Blue Jays Option Drew Hutchison To Triple-A

The Blue Jays announced that they have optioned struggling right-hander Drew Hutchison to Triple-A, as Shi Davidi of Sportsnet first reported they would. His demotion (along with yesterday’s demotion of left-hander Aaron Loup) clears way for Toronto to bring up outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and infielder Matt Hague, though Carrera’s promotion has not yet been made official. The Blue Jays will utilize a four-man rotation until a fifth starter is needed on Aug. 29, according to Davidi.

Hutchison, 24, was expected to hold down a rotation spot for the bulk of the 2015 season, with some projecting him to be Toronto’s most effective starter. Hutchison worked to a 4.46 ERA in 2014, but he struck out a batter per inning with good control (2.9 BB/9) and was looked upon more favorably by stats such as FIP (3.85) and xFIP (3.82). Those same stats feel he’s been slightly worse in 2015, but not to the point where his ERA should be a its current mark of 5.06.

The timing of Hutchison’s demotion has to be difficult for the right-hander, though, as he’s turned in a pair of very solid outings in his two most recent trips to the hill (combined three runs on seven hits and three walks with 11 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings). He’s already cleared three years of service time this season and wouldn’t have had a chance at four, so this move won’t prevent him from reaching arbitration and won’t delay his free agency.

Hague, 30, was claimed by the Blue Jays 364 days ago and will join the big league club for the first time on the one-year anniversary of that transaction. He’s currently hitting .348/.427/.482 with 10 homers at Buffalo. He’ll serve as a bench piece, with the Blue Jays presumably hoping that he can fill a role similar to that of Danny Valencia earlier this season.

Carrera, 28, has already logged 70 games with Toronto this season. The speedy outfielder has batted .279/.327/.374 in 164 big league plate appearances this year and is batting a very similar .276/.349/.345 in Triple-A.


Minor MLB Transactions: 8/8/15

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.

  • Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The 28-year-old was designated for assignment after Toronto acquired Ben Revere at the trade deadline. Carrera has managed a solid .279/.327/.374 line with three home runs and two steals in 164 plate appearances.
  • Lefty Aaron Laffey has accepted the Rockies‘ outright assignment and will head to Triple-A Albuquerque, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Colorado designated Laffey for assignment last week. He has pitched 7 1/3 innings for them this season.
  • The Phillies have released veteran righty Juan Gutierrez, MLBTR’s Steve Adams tweets. Gutierrez’s camp is negotiating with at least two teams, including one with whom it’s deep in talks. The 32-year-old Gutierrez has posted a 3.66 ERA, 7.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 51 2/3 innings this season at two Triple-A affiliates. He spent last season in the Giants bullpen.
  • The Orioles have outrighted OF/1B Chris Parmelee, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. The O’s designated Parmelee for assignment when they acquired Gerardo Parra at the trade deadline. He hit .216/.255/.433 in 102 plate appearances with Baltimore.
  • The Mets have outrighted lefty Alex Torres to Triple-A Las Vegas, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets. The Mets designated him for assignment when they acquired Eric O’Flaherty last week. Torres has posted a 3.15 ERA and 9.2 K/9 in 34 1/3 innings with the Mets this year, but with 6.8 BB/9.
  • Catcher Eric Fryer has accepted the Twins‘ outright assignment and will report to Triple-A Rochester, the Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino tweets. The Twins designated Fryer for assignment on Thursday. He’s played very sparingly in parts of five seasons with Pittsburgh and Minnesota, batting .235/.316/.324 in 152 plate appearances in his big-league career.
  • The Diamondbacks plan to select the contract of righty-hitting infielder/outfielder Jamie Romak, agent David Sloane tells MLBTR. The 29-year-old Romak hit .289/.373/.554 with 22 home runs in 458 plate appearances for Triple-A Reno after the D-backs signed him to a minor-league deal last offseason. He played briefly for the Dodgers in 2014 but has spent most of the past several years in the high minors. In parts of 13 seasons, Romak has also played in the Braves, Pirates, Royals and Cardinals organizations, and he has a career .255/.344/.463 line in the minors. He has played outfield, first base and third base throughout most of his career, but this year he has also appeared in 24 games at second base.

Minor MLB Transactions: 8/3/2015

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • The Blue Jays have outrighted outfielder Ezequiel Carrera to Triple-A, Ben Nicholson-Smith reports on Twitter. The 28-year-old was recently designated for assignment after seeing his role taken by trade acquisition Ben Revere. Over 164 plate appearances for Toronto this season, Carrera owns a solid .279/.327/.374 with three home runs and two stolen bases. That represents his most significant big league action since his rookie campaign.
  • Angels reliever Vinnie Pestano has also cleared waivers and been outrighted, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. The recently-designated, 30-year-old righty has tossed 11 2/3 innings of 5.40 ERA pitching on the year, though he has had more success in the past. Over 202 2/3 career frames, he’s allowed just under three earned per nine. While he’s continued to strike out better than ten batters per nine, control issues (6.2 BB/9) have limited Pestano’s effectiveness this season.


Blue Jays Designate Danny Valencia, Ezequiel Carerra

The Blue Jays have designated 3B/OF Danny Valencia and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment, Scott MacArthur of TSN tweets. The Jays also recalled middle infielder Munenori Kawasaki and optioned righty Ryan Tepera. The moves were likely made so that the team could add newcomers Ben Revere and Mark Lowe to their active roster, although those moves haven’t yet been announced.

Valencia, 30, is in the midst of a strong offensive season, hitting .296/.331/.506 in 173 plate appearances. With Devon Travis on the DL, though, the Jays were short in the middle infield, so Kawasaki will join the team instead. It’s still a bit surprising that the Jays would designate Valencia, however, given that the addition of Lowe will leave them with 13 pitchers on their staff. Valencia is making just $1.68MM this year, and he could become an attractive target in a trade or on the waiver wire, given his strong hitting this season (even if it’s somewhat out of character) and his ability to hit lefties and play third base, first base and outfield. He has also appeared in three games at second for the Jays this year.  Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says he expects Valencia will be claimed, as Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets.

Carerra, 28, was batting .279/.327/.374 in 164 plate appearances this year. He became somewhat superfluous, however, with the Jays’ trade for fellow lefty hitter Revere. Carrera is a career .259/.311/.349 hitter in parts of five seasons also spent with the Indians, Phillies and Tigers.


Minor Moves: Beavan, Herrera, Sitton, Kohn, Carrera, Obispo

Here are the latest minor moves …

  • The Diamondbacks have signed righty Blake Beavan to a minor league deal, via the MLB.com transactions page. The former first-round pick was outrighted by the Marines back in August.
  • The Cubs inked second baseman Jonathan Herrera, per the same source. Herrera lost his roster spot with the Red Sox a month ago after a fairly disappointing campaign in Boston.
  • The Angels re-signed righty Yoslan Herrera on a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports on Twitter. Herrera had been non-tendered yesterday.
  • Likewise, southpaw Kraig Sitton has re-signed with the Rockies on a minor league deal a day after being non-tendered, the club announced via Twitter. Sitton posted a 3.68 ERA last year at the Double-A level.
  • Righty Michael Kohn has gone to the Braves on a minor league deal with a big league camp invite, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports on Twitter. Kohn originally signed with the Rays but was designated off the 40-man roster.
  • The Blue Jays announced the signing of outfielder Ezequiel Carrera to a minor league deal. Carrera was designated recently to clear space for the Tigers’ claim of Josh Zeid.
  • The Brewers have signed righty Wirfin Obispo, the club’s player development account tweeted. Obispo, 30, spent last year with the Braves and Pirates organizations and worked to a 4.12 ERA over 48 Triple-A frames.

Minor Moves: Pena, Boyer, Gutierrez, Swarzak, Belisario, Kohn

Some minor moves from around the league…

  • Also outrighted today was Ramiro Pena of the Braves, per the MLB.com transactions page. The utility man was designated recently, presumably in large part due to his rising arbitration salary.
  • Righty Blaine Boyer (Padres), Anthony Swarzak (Twins), and Juan Gutierrez (Giants) have elected free agency rather than accepting outright assignments, also via the MLB transactions page.
  • The White Sox have outrighted righty Ronald Belisario, per the MLB.com transactions page. Belisario was designated recently to make room for the claim of reliever Onelki Garcia.
  • Likewise, the Rays have outrighted righty Michael Kohn. It has been an odd start to the offseason for Kohn, who was signed to a MLB deal before being designated within weeks by Tampa.
  • Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reported a number of new transactions in his weekly Minor League Transactions roundup on Monday. Of particular note is a crop of Phillies signings: catcher Koyie Hill, right-hander Paul Clemens, and infielders Chase d’Arnaud and Cord Phelps. Clemens gives them some pitching depth, as he’s totaled 98 innings with the Astros over the past two seasons, albeit with a 5.51 ERA.
  • Also from Eddy, the Reds have inked outfielder Brennan Boesch to a minor league contract. The 29-year-old Boesch hit .269/.330/.436 in 248 games with the Tigers from 2010-11, but since that time, he’s batted just .237/.277/.376 in 635 plate appearances with the Tigers, Yankees and Angels.
  • The Tigers have announced that outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has elected free agency rather than accepting an assignment to Triple-A after being outrighted (Twitter link). The 27-year-old hit .261/.301/.348 in 73 plate appearances with Detroit this season and is a lifetime .253/.305/.340 hitter in the Majors. Carrera hasn’t hit much in 478 big league PAs, but he brings some speed and solid baserunning to the table and is capable of handling all three outfield spots.

Tigers Claim Josh Zeid, Designate Ezequiel Carrera

The Tigers have claimed reliever Josh Zeid off waivers from the Astros, the club announced. Detroit designated outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment to create roster space.

Zeid is a 27-year-old righty who has made over twenty appearances in each of the last two years for Houston. After a solid, if unspectacular 2013, he hit a wall last year with a 6.97 ERA and 6.33 FIP in 20 2/3 innings. While Zeid’s K:BB numbers (7.8 strikeouts and 3.0 walks per nine) were not problematic, he allowed 13.1 hits per nine and surrendered a troubling 27.3% HR/FB rate. On the positive side, both his xFIP (3.87) and SIERA (3.64) marks were within range of league average.

Carrera, also 27, swings from the left side and has seen scattered MLB action over the last several years. All told, he owns a .253/.305/.340 line through 478 total MLB plate appearances. It would seem that his usefulness in Detroit was undermined by the addition of Anthony Gose.


Tigers Sign Crowe, Carrera, Sanchez

The Tigers announced today that they will invite 16 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training, including outfielders Trevor Crowe and Ezequiel Carrera and right-hander Eduardo Sanchez.

Crowe, 30, was selected 14th overall by the Indians in the 2005 draft. The switch-hitter spent the 2013 season with the Astros organization. A .304/.364/.368 batting line in 60 minor league games earned him a shot with the big league club, but Crowe batted just .218/.287/.291 in 181 Major League plate appearances. Though he has 888 Major League innings in center field, he has a -19.3 UZR/150 mark there for his career to go along with a -3 Defensive Runs Saved total. He does have positive defensive marks at each corner outfield position.

Carrera, 26, is also a product of the Indians organization, though he spent a month with the Phillies last season after being claimed on waivers. Cleveland claimed him back from Philadelphia exactly one month after losing the fleet-footed outfielder. Carrera had three hits in 21 big league plate appearances last season and owns a career .251/.306/.339 batting line in 405 Major League plate appearances. He's also stolen 18 bases in 24 tries. Most of his 2013 campaign was spent in Triple-A Columbus, where he has a career line of .275/.340/.365 with 124 stolen bases in 389 games.

Sanchez, 24, made an impressive Major League debut with the Cardinals in 2011, posting a 1.80 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9 in 30 innings of relief. His high walk rate got the best of him, however, as he's walked 18 batters in just 21 1/3 big league innings since (coming between the Cardinals and Cubs). Sanchez spent most of 2013 in the Cubs organization, and although he posted a solid 3.38 ERA in 40 innings at Triple-A, he also averaged 5.2 walks per nine innings.


White Sox Claim Mike McDade

The White Sox claimed first baseman Mike McDade off waivers from the Indians, according to the Tribe's official Twitter feed.  They also announced outfielder Ezequiel Carrera cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A.  The White Sox made room for McDade on the 40-man roster by putting Gavin Floyd on the 60-day DL, adds Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.

McDade, 24, had been designated for assignment by the Indians last Thursday to open a 40-man roster spot for Carrera, who was designated himself three days later.  McDade has struggled in 83 Triple-A plate appearances this year.  The Las Vegas native came up through the Blue Jays' system, hitting .285/.360/.445 with 19 home runs in 508 plate appearances across Double and Triple-A last year.  Drafted by the Jays in the sixth round in '07, McDade never ranked among the Baseball America's top 30 prospects for the team in any season.


Indians Designate Ezequiel Carrera For Assignment

The Indians announced that they have designated outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment.  In a related move, the Tribe recalled left-hander Scott Barnes from Triple-A Columbus.

The move marks the second time that Carrera has been designated for assignment by Cleveland this season.  For those of you keeping track of the 25-year-old's travels, Carrera was DFA'd by the Tribe and went to the Phillies before winding back up with the Indians.

Carrera had three hits in 21 plate appearances for the Indians and Phillies this year.  In parts of three big league seasons, Carrera owns a .251/.306/.339 slash line with two homers.  He's fared better at the Triple-A level where he has hit .286/.351/.372 across three seasons.