Felix Pie Rumors
Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz continues to draw heavy interest from Major League teams, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Some teams like Diaz, who can't sign until Feb. 19 due to falsifying his age last offseason, as a second baseman. Passan reports that Braves, Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Blue Jays and Cardinals as teams who have been heavily represented at Diaz's most recent showcases in Mexico (Twitter links). Some more links from around the league...
- Jeff Francoeur, who recently underwent LASIK surgery, is seeking a job as a backup outfielder, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Frenchy will also abandon his use of a 35-ounce bat in 2013 -- a weight only utilized by Orioles slugger Chris Davis.
- Felix Pie is nearing an agreement with Korea's Hanwah Eagles, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Pie hasn't seen much big-league action in the last two years, recording just 31 plate appearances in 27 games with the Pirates in 2013.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Royals' offer to Carlos Beltran was slightly less than the Yankees' three-year, $45MM offer but would technically have paid Beltran more due to the tax differences between Kansas and New York.
- The Dodgers have not been involved in negotiations with Omar Infante, tweets Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- As they search for starting pitching help, the Orioles will be open to multiyear contracts rather than just one-year deals, GM Dan Duquette confirmed today (Twitter link via Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com).
- The Twins pursued a catcher before the market dried up, but had no interest in going to three years for any of the free agents they targeted, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Minnesota "made that clear from the start," according to Berardino.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along word, in a translated tweet, that Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda has expressed interest in playing in MLB, perhaps as soon as 2015.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
Here's your list of today's outright assignments and minor moves from around the league...
- The Braves have added two minor league relievers -- lefty Ryan Buchter and righty Wirfin Obispo -- to the club's 40-man roster, per the International League transactions page. The move was designed to prevent both pitchers from qualifying for minor league free agency. Buchter, 26, fanned 15 batters per nine innings last year in 62 Triple-A innings to go with a less-flattering 7.4 BB/9, and ended up with a 2.76 ERA. The 29-year-old Obispo, meanwhile, put up 9.9 K/9 against 4.9 BB/9 in Gwinnett over 63 2/3 innings of 3.53 ERA ball. Both could get a look for an MLB bullpen role in Spring Training.
- The Pirates have outrighted Felix Pie off their 40-man roster, and the outfielder has elected free agency, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune (Twitter link). The 28-year-old former top prospect hit just .138/.194/.172 in 31 plate appearances for the Pirates in 2013 and slashed .251/.321/.390 in 396 plate appearances at Triple-A Indianapolis.
- The White Sox have outrighted right-hander Simon Castro to Triple-A Charlotte, removing him from the 40-man roster, the team announced on Twitter. Castro twice appeared on Baseball America's list of Top 100 prospects as a Padres farmhand and found himself headed to Chicago as part of the Padres' trade for Carlos Quentin. Though he was sharp in his big league debut this season, totaling 6 2/3 innings in the Majors, Castro limped to a 5.83 ERA in 92 2/3 innings at Charlotte.
We’ll keep track of the day’s minor moves here...
- The White Sox signed catcher Bryan Anderson and left-hander David Purcey to minor league deals, Eddy reports (on Twitter).
- The Diamondbacks signed Kila Ka'aihue, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The 28-year-old appeared in 39 games for the Athletics this past season, posting a .234/.295/.398 batting line.
- The Blue Jays announced that they signed outfielder Ricardo Nanita and left-hander Alex Hinshaw to minor league contracts. Nanita played for the Blue Jays' Triple-A team in 2012, hitting 12 home runs. Hinshaw appeared in 33 games for the Padres and Cubs in 2012, posting a 6.04 ERA. The team also confirmed its minor league contracts with infielder Jim Negrych and right-hander Neil Wagner.
- The Chunichi Dragons have agreed to sign utility player Hector Luna to a one-year, $450K deal that includes $200K in incentives, Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com reports (on Twitter). Luna, 32, appeared in 28 games for the Phillies this past season, playing first base, third base and left field. In seven seasons at the MLB level, he has a .262/.314/.385 batting line.
- The Pirates announced that they’ve agreed to sign right-handers Brooks Brown and Erik Cordier to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training. The club also announced minor league deals with right-handers David Bromberg and Luis Sanz, and infielder Alex Valdez. Finally, the Pirates officially announced their minor league deal with former MLB outfielder Felix Pie.
We'll keep track of the latest minor moves here...
- Nick Evans has signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. A broken hand limited the soon-to-be 27-year-old to just 21 games in the Pirates' minor league system last season. Evans has a career .256/.305/.407 batting line in 159 games with the Mets.
- The Pirates signed Felix Pie to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter). Pie, 27, spent the 2012 season with the Braves' top affiliate and hit .285/.338/.459 in 365 plate appearances.
- The Indians announced that they signed outfielders Matt Carson and Cedric Hunter to minor league contracts that include invitations to MLB Spring Training. Carson, 31, appeared in 26 games with the Twins this past season, posting a .227/.246/.242 batting line in 69 plate appearances and playing both corner outfield positions. Hunter, 24, spent the 2012 season with the Cardinals' top affiliate, posting a .268/.355/.375 batting line in 412 plate appearances at Triple-A.
- The Blue Jays signed right-hander Bobby Korecky to a minor league contract, according to the transactions page at CBSSports.com. The 33-year-old pitched in one game for the Blue Jays in 2012, then lost his 40-man roster spot early in October. Korecky spent most of this past season pitching in relief for Toronto's Triple-A affiliate, posting a 3.44 ERA with 4.9 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 86 1/3 innings with Las Vegas.
Pie, 27, had been playing with the independent Camden River Sharks this spring. He hit .360/.393/.620 with three homers in 56 plate appearances before landing back in affiliated ball. Pie hit .220/.264/.280 in part-time duty with the Orioles last season and is a .249/.298/.374 career hitter in the big leagues.
The Indians have designated Thomas Neal for assignment and released Felix Pie, reports MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (on Twitter). In related moves, Grady Sizemore was placed on the 60-day DL while Dan Wheeler and Jose Lopez were added to the roster. Jeremy Accardo, Ryan Spilborghs, and Rick Vandehurk will all report to Triple-A.
Neal, 24, was part of the trade that send Orlando Cabrera from the Indians to the Giants at least year's deadline. He hit .289/.343/.391 in 277 plate appearances split between Double and Triple-A last year. Pie, 27, is a .249/.298/.374 career hitter in over 1,000 big league plate appearances, most coming with the Orioles.
It was on this day in 1968 that the Royals officially became the Royals, as the new expansion franchise officially announced its name a year before taking the field. The name was inspired by both the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League and Kansas City's annual "American Royal" horse show.
Here's the latest from the AL Central...
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik "would love" to have Brent Lillibridge but knows the White Sox aren't going to trade him, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- Right-hander Deolis Guerra is the last player from the Johan Santana trade still with the Twins, and Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune looks at how Guerra has revitalized his career after a move to the bullpen.
- Felix Pie and Ryan Spilborghs can each opt out of their minor league contracts with the Indians on April 3, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. Fred Lewis, another non-roster invitee, can opt out on June 1.
- Brandon Inge is going through another year of change as he tries to hold onto his spot on the Tigers' roster by moving to second base, writes Scott Miller of CBS Sports.
- Andy Oliver's struggles don't make it any more likely that the Tigers will look outside the organization for a fifth starter, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. Duane Below and Drew Smyly are still contenders for the job and the Nationals' John Lannan, the most plausible trade candidate, may stay in Washington due to Chien-Ming Wang's hamstring injury.
The Indians have reached an agreement on a minor league contract with Felix Pie, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Pie could earn up to $1MM with performance bonuses, and has the option to opt out of the deal before Opening Day.
Pie, 26, ranked among Baseball America's Top 100 prospects each year from 2003 to 2007, but has never become a full-time player in the bigs. In parts of five seasons with the Cubs and Orioles, the outfielder hit .249/.298/.374 in 1051 plate appearances.
A total of 22 players that finished the year in Triple-A elected free agency after the end of the regular season according to the transaction pages of the Pacific Coast and International Leagues. All but one of those 22 players (Matt Carson, formerly of the Rays) played in the big leagues this season. Here's the full list:
Dusty Brown (Pirates), Travis Buck (Indians), Armando Galarraga (D'Backs), Jay Gibbons (Dodgers), Edgar Gonzalez (Rockies), Steve Holm (Twins), Wil Ledezma (Blue Jays), Andy LaRoche (Athletics), Felipe Lopez (Brewers), Lastings Milledge (White Sox), Pat Misch (Mets), Pat Neshek (Padres), Mike O'Connor (Mets), Matt Palmer (Angels), Felix Pie (Orioles), Brad Snyder (Cubs), Brett Tomko (Rangers), Wyatt Toregas (Pirates), P.J. Walters (Blue Jays), Randy Williams (Red Sox), and Reggie Willits (Angels).
Here are the latest players to get outrighted to the minor leagues...
- Felix Pie cleared waivers and the Orioles outrighted him to Triple-A, according to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (on Twitter). Baltimore had designated the outfielder for assignment on Tuesday. Pie can elect free agency instead of accepting the assignment and has until Saturday morning to decide, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. If he elects free agency, he'll lose what remains of his $985K salary. Pie is expected to accept the assignment, according to Connolly (Twitter link).