Gorkys Hernandez Rumors

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 MLB.com’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).

Minor Moves: Leach, Nix, Pirates, Martin, Brown

The Brewers have re-signed left-hander Brent Leach to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league Spring Training, MLBTR has learned (Twitter link). The 31-year-old Leach has an opt-out clause as well as Asian buyout language worked into his contract. Leach enjoyed a solid campaign at Triple-A Nashville last year, posting a 3.28 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 while holding lefties to a .220/.331/.330 batting line.

Some more minor moves from around the game…

  • Infielder Jayson Nix elected free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment from the Royals, according to the club’s transactions page. The seven-year veteran is a career .212/.282/.345 hitter that has shown a bit of pop and some speed while playing third base, second base, shortstop and the outfield corners in the past.
  • The Pirates announced that they have signed outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, catcher Sebastian Valle and third baseman Deibinson Romero to minor league deals with Spring Training invites. Hernandez, 27, saw big league action with the Bucs back in 2012 and spent parts of four seasons in their minor league system. He’s a .272/.340/.367 hitter at the Triple-A level. Valle, 24, was formerly one of the Phillies’ top prospects per Baseball America, but his bat never caught up to his glove. He’s a lifetime .234/.265/.384 hitter at Double-A and has minimal Triple-A experience. Romero, 28, has spent his career with the Twins but never reached the bigs. He has a .266/.366/.412 line in two seasons at Triple-A.
  • The Dodgers announced that lefty Jarret Martin has been outrighted to Triple-A after being designated for assignment upon the club’s acquisition of Mike Bolsinger. The 25-year-old had a 3.29 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings at Triple-A last year, but he also walked an alarming 48 batters.
  • Outfielder Corey Brown has signed a minor league deal with the Rays, per a tweet from his agents at O’Connell Sports Management. The 29-year-old is a Tampa native that has batted .171/.244/.390 with a pair of homers in 46 big league PAs to go along with a career .249/.326/.458 batting line at Triple-A.

White Sox Acquire Gorkys Hernandez

The White Sox have acquired outfielder Gorkys Hernandez from the Royals and assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate, the Charlotte Knights, according to a tweet from the Knights. Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune tweets that the White Sox will send cash considerations to the Royals to complete the deal.

The 26-year-old Hernandez once seemed ticketed for the Majors, as Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus each listed him as a Top 100 prospect in 2008 and again in 2009. However, his prospect star has dimmed since that time, as he's put together a career .269/.337/.370 batting line in four seasons at the Triple-A level.

Hernandez has been in a few high-profile trades after signing with the Tigers as a free agent back in 2005. The Tigers traded him to the Braves along with Jair Jurrjens in the deal that sent Edgar Renteria to Detroit, and the Braves dealt him to the Pirates along with Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton to acquire Nate McLouth. More recently, Hernandez was traded from the Bucs to the Marlins along with a Competitive Balance draft pick to land Kyle Kaminska and Gaby Sanchez. Last year, he was flipped in a swap of minor leaguers, as the Royals acquired him for infielder Alex McClure.

The well-traveled Hernandez does have some big league experience under his belt, as he batted  .192/.267/.301 with three homers and seven stolen bases in 173 plate appearances between the Marlins and Pirates in 2012. The White Sox could use a bit of additional outfield depth after receiving the bad news earlier today that right fielder Avisail Garcia will miss the season due to a torn labrum in his shoulder that will require surgery.

Minor Moves: Laird, Wells, Lerud, Maya, Sappelt

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

  • The Royals announced a series of minor league signings, including for third baseman Brandon Laird, outfielder Paulo Orlando and right-hander Wilking Rodriguez. Laird, 26, is the younger brother of Gerald Laird and joins the Royals from the Astros, where he received major league playing time in 2013. Orlando, 28, is re-upping with the Royals after six seasons in the organization. The 23-year-old Rodriguez will transition to the Royals after seven seasons in the Rays' farm system. He has a career 3.90 ERA, mostly as a starter, but has never reached Double-A.
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America has updates on a number of clubs' minor league signings. Among those with MLB experience (with links to Twitter): The Rockies will return Bobby Cassevah and Matt McBride, and have added righty Greg BurkeHeaded to the Tigers is righty Jhan Marinez, while Gorkys Hernandez and Edinson Rincon will stick with the Royals organization. The Phillies have brought back shortstop Andres Blanco. And the Dodgers inked utility infielder Brendan Harris. Other clubs with new signings include the OriolesReds, Marlins,  White Sox, and Athletics
  • The Cubs have signed outfielder Casper Wells, according to a tweet from Eddy. The team also added righties Paolo Espino and Carlos Pimentel, along with shortstop Jeudy Valdez. Wells got 102 plate appearances with three different clubs last year, posting a meager .126/.186/.147 line that is perhaps understandable given his constant movement and scant playing time. In 2012, over 316 plate appearances with the Mariners, Wells was good for a .228/.302/.396 slash. 
  • In addition to bringing back righty Benino Pruneda and catcher Jose Yepez on minor league deals, the Braves have added former Phillies backstop Steven Lerud, tweets Eddy. Lerud appeared in nine games for the Phils between 2012-13. At Triple-A last year, he had an interesting .217/.353/.311 line over 219 plate appearances, as he drew nearly as many walks (35) as he had hits (39).
  • Cutting ties with a major international acquisition, the Nationals have released righty Yunesky Maya, Eddy tweets. Washington saw little return on its $6MM investment in Maya, who had been outrighted off of the club's major league roster early in the 2013 season. After struggling in two brief call-ups in 2011-12, Maya's last stint with the Nats was even more regrettable. In his only MLB appearance of the 2013 season, Maya retired one batter in the bottom of the tenth before surrendering a walk-off home run to Pablo Sandoval
  • The Cubs have released outfielder Dave Sappelt, tweets Eddy. As Eddy notes, Sappelt was one of the pieces — along with lefty Travis Wood and second baseman Ronald Torreyes — picked up by Chicago in the deal that sent Sean Marshall to Cincinnati. The 26-year-old Sappelt has a .251/.301/.343 slash line in 274 plate appearances spread over the 2011-13 seasons. He has spent most of his time in Triple-A over that time frame, and posted a sub-.700 OPS in each of his two years at Iowa.

Minor Moves: Hernandez, Gonzalez, Moskos

Here is Tuesday's rundown of minor moves from around the league…

Cox, Hernandez, Maine Clear Waivers

WEDNESDAY: Cox, Hernandez and Maine have all cleared waivers, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Reed, on the other hand, was claimed by the Tigers and optioned to Triple-A Toledo earlier today.

SUNDAY: The Marlins have designated Zack Cox, Gorkys Hernandez, Scott Maine, and Evan Reed for assignment, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel (on Twitter).  In a related move, Jose Fernandez will make the club's Opening Day roster and start next Sunday vs. the Mets, tweets Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post.

Fernandez, 20, will make the leap directly from High-A ball to the majors to start the 2013 season.  While clubs often delay the debuts of their most promising prospects, the Marlins will put Fernandez on the major league roster despite not being in a position to contend.  In 25 Single-A and Advanced-A games last year, the right-hander posted a 1.75 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.

We heard last week that the Marlins were exploring a trade for the out-of-options Hernandez, but it appears that they were unable to find a deal.  The 25-year-old didn't do much in his 173-plate appearance big league debut with the Pirates and Marlins last season.  In Triple-A, he hit .257/.353/.346 in 281 Triple-A plate appearances, playing mostly left field.  

The Marlins acquired Cox last July from the Cardinals in exchange for Edward Mujica.  In 108 games for the Cards' Triple-A affiliate and the Marlins' Double-A affiliate, the 25-year-old hit .254 /.301/.409 with ten homers.

Maine, 28, made 30 relief appearances for the Indians and Cubs in 2012, posting a 6.08 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9.  Reed, 27, split time between the Marlins' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates last season, posting a 4.68 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.

Marlins To Explore Trading Gorkys Hernandez

The Marlins will explore trade options for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.  Hernandez is out of options, and has been told he did not make the Opening Day roster.  If a trade partner cannot be found, Hernandez will be released.

Hernandez, 25, struggled in his 173-plate appearance big league debut in 2012 with the Pirates and Marlins.  He hit .257/.353/.346 in 281 Triple-A plate appearances, playing mostly left field.  Prior to the 2012 season, Baseball America ranked Hernandez 20th among Pirates prospects, praising his center field defense but questioning his offense.  Signed by the Tigers out of Venezuela in 2005, Hernandez joined Jair Jurrjens in the 2007 deal with the Braves that brought Edgar Renteria to Detroit.  In June 2009 he went to Pittsburgh with Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton for Nate McLouth.  Finally, the Bucs traded him to Miami at last year's trade deadline with a draft pick for Gaby Sanchez and Kyle Kaminska.

Pirates Acquire Gaby Sanchez

2:28pm: The Pirates obtained right-handed reliever Kyle Kaminska in the deal, Peter Gammons of MLB Network reports (on Twitter). The 23-year-old has a 5.20 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 53 2/3 innings of work for the Marlins' top two affiliates this year. He was selected in the 25th round of the 2007 draft.

2:08pm: The Pirates have acquired first baseman Gaby Sanchez from the Marlins for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive balance pick, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Gaby Sanchez - Marlins (PW)

Sanchez, 28, hit 19 homers in both 2010 and 2011 and entered the 2012 season with a career batting line of .269/.346/.440. However, he posted a .202/.250/.306 batting line in 196 plate appearances with Miami this year, and the Marlins optioned him to the minor leagues on July 5th.

Hernandez, 24, appeared in 25 games for the Pirates this year, playing all three outfield positions and collecting his first two hits as a Major Leaguer. The former top prospect has a .281/.343/.377 batting line in seven minor league seasons. Hernandez was traded to Pittsburgh along with Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton three years ago in the Nate McLouth trade.

The Marlins are tentatively going to obtain the 33rd overall pick in the draft from Pittsburgh, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). MLB recommended a bonus of $1.525MM for the 33rd overall selection this year.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

Pirates Close To Acquiring Gaby Sanchez

The Pirates are close to acquiring first baseman Gaby Sanchez from the Marlins for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive balance pick, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Pirates Designate Two For Assignment

Friday was the deadline for teams to set their 40-man roster for next month's Rule 5 Draft, and MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports that the Pirates cleared up two spots for prospects by designating Robinzon Diaz and Justin Thomas for assignment. They also designated Jeff Karstens for assignment yesterday.

Diaz, a 26-year-old catcher, hit .279/.307/.357 in 138 plate appearances for Pittsburgh in 2009. Thomas, a 25-year-old lefty reliever, had a 4.48 ERA in 60.1 innings with Seattle's Triple-A affiliate.

Among the players the Pirates added to the 40-man roster were righthanders Brad Lincoln and Bryan Morris, as well as outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. Lincoln was the 4th overall pick in the 2006 draft, while Morris was acquired in the Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay trade, and Hernandez in last summer's Nate McLouth deal.