Hector Luna Rumors

Minor Moves: Ka’aihue, Hinshaw, Luna, Pirates

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.

Pirates Sign Hector Luna

Here are the day's minor transactions…

Hector Luna Elects Free Agency

The Phillies announced that infielder Hector Luna elected free agency after being outrighted off of the team's 40-man roster. The Phillies now have one open spot on their 40-man roster.

Luna appeared in 28 games for the Phillies this year, playing left field and both corner infield positions. The 32-year-old posted a .226/.273/.355 batting line in 66 plate appearances, hitting two home runs. Luna is a seven-year veteran with experience on the Cardinals, Blue Jays, Indians and Marlins.

Minor Moves: Velez, Hernandez, Luna, Montanez

We'll keep track of today's minor league transactions here …

  • The Cardinals signed utility player Eugenio Velez, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Velez appeared in 34 games for the Dodgers this past season, but didn't collect a single hit. He did post an .834 OPS in 235 Triple-A plate appearances, while playing right field, left field, second base and third base.
  • The Pirates have agreed to terms with infielder Anderson Hernandez on a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, the team announced. Hernandez, 29, has played in 240 Major League games over six seaons with the Mets, Nationals, Indians and Astros. He last appeared in the bigs with Houston in 2010.
  • The Phillies announced they've signed infielder Hector Luna and outfielder Luis Montanez to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training. Luna has seen seen Major League action with the Cardinals, Indians, Blue Jays and Marlins, getting as many as 379 plate appearances with the Redbirds in 2006. Montanez appeared in 36 games with the Cubs in 2011.

Red Sox Sign Hector Luna

The Red Sox signed Hector Luna to a minor league deal, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Luna, who turns 31 next month, is a six-year MLB veteran with experience at every position but pitcher and catcher.

Luna appeared in 27 games for the Marlins last year, batting .138/.133/.379 with two homers in 30 plate appearances. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he hit .294/.367/.477 in 411 plate appearances. Most of Luna's big league experience comes on the infield, at second, thid and short.

Jed Lowrie provides the Red Sox with similar versatility and he is ahead of Luna on the depth chart after posting a .907 OPS in 197 plate appearances last year.

Tankersley, Others Hit Free Agency

Taylor Tankersley and a number of others with big league experience recently hit free agency, as Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports. Joining the left-hander on the open market are Bobby Scales (Cubs), Justin Lehr (Reds), Paul Phillips (Rockies), Juan Rincon (Rockies), Hector Luna (Marlins), Anderson Hernandez (Astros), Adam Stern (Brewers), Denny Bautista (Giants), Brandon Medders (Giants), Willie Eyre (Rangers) and Sean Henn (Blue Jays).

Tankersley, the Marlins' first round pick in the 2004 draft, succeeded early in his career, but has since struggled. Still just 27, Tankersley brings a career 8.8 K/9 to the free agent market and could become a lefty specialist. He missed all of 2009 with a stress fracture in his elbow, but it wouldn't be surprising to see a team like the Diamondbacks take a flier on the former prospect.

Bautista, who turns 28 this weekend, is another interesting arm. He posted a 3.74 ERA with the Giants this year and struck out (11.8 K/9) and walked (7.2 BB/9) tons of batters in 33.2 innings. The right-hander has always walked lots of hitters, but his mid-90s fastball and ability to induce strikeouts may tempt teams looking to buy low on live arms.

Odds & Ends: Halladay, Dodgers, De La Rosa

Links for Thursday, as we await another day of playoff games. It will be nearly impossible to match the show Roy Halladay put on in his playoff debut last night, but October baseball is always worth following…

  • Former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he was surprised not to see better offers for Halladay when the right-hander was on the market last year. "We kept sitting there saying, ‘This is Roy Freaking Halladay! Do people know?’ Not only will you have him for this year, but you’ll have him for next year."
  • Dodgers executive De Jon Watson told Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse that Zach Lee and James Baldwin are two farmhands to watch. The 2010 draftees are impressing their new organization with their play so far. (Baldwin, the son of former MLB pitcher James Baldwin, is an outfielder.)
  • Krasovic also says the Rockies “likely will lose” Jorge de la Rosa to free agency this winter. GM Dan O’Dowd recently said re-signing the left-hander is an offseason priority for the team.
  • The Marlins outrighted Brett Carroll, Hector Luna, Mike Rivera, Taylor Tankersley and Tim Wood, which means those five players are no longer on the team’s 40-man roster.

Odds & Ends: Oeltjen, Hensley, Gload, Halladay

Links for Friday, as team execs and media folk pack their bags for Monday's Winter Meetings in Indianapolis…

  • The Brewers signed Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  Oeltjen, 27 in February, hit .303/.362/.500 in his third Triple A tour, playing the outfield corners.
  • Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash spells out why his team won't be acquiring Roy Halladay, talking to McCalvy.
  • MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets six minor league free agents signed by the Marlins, including Jesse Foppert, Vinny Rottino, and Hector Luna.
  • The Pirates expressed "mild interest" in free agent pitcher Clay Hensley, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Hensley, 30, spent the year at Triple A in the Astros and Marlins organizations, posting a 3.56 ERA in 124 innings.
  • Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post feels there's "still a good chance [Ross] Gload returns [to the Marlins] with a two-year deal."
  • Darren Dreifort's five-year, $55MM deal tops Jeff Passan's list of the ten worst contracts of the 2000s for Yahoo.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why the Yankees probably won't sign Rafael Soriano.
  • In his Winter Meetings preview for AOL FanHouse, Ed Price says there was some discussion about a Tigers-Diamondbacks trade involving Edwin Jackson and Max Scherzer.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney talked to rival executives who say the Tigers have not aggressively shopped Curtis Granderson.
  • Olney doesn't think the Mariners will pay up for Jason Bay.  He believes the Red Sox are "controlling the market" for Bay and Matt Holliday.
  • Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals are "increasingly weighing spreading what it would cost to retain Holliday over several players."  Bernie Miklasz of the P-D feels the Cards are "enacting their exit strategy from the Holliday sweepstakes."  I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals make their best offer soon - let's say $110MM over six years – and entirely move on if Scott Boras rejects it.
  • SI's Jon Heyman tweets that Nick Johnson is "drawing interest from the Giants, maybe Braves, and a half-dozen more."
  • MLB.com's Corey Brock talked to former Padres GM Kevin Towers, who will meet with the Mets, Yankees, Mariners, and Red Sox at the Winter Meetings.
  • ESPN's Keith Law isn't impressed with the Phillies' Placido Polanco signing.  My initial impression upon hearing about the signing is that no other team would've valued Polanco that highly.
  • MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweets that other teams have been more aggressive on Jamey Carroll than the Marlins.  Other Carroll suitors include the Rockies, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, A's, Rangers, Pirates, Reds and Indians.

Dodgers Sign Hector Luna

According to Diamond Leung, the Dodgers signed Hector Luna to a minor league deal (hat tip to Drunk Jays Fans).

Rosenthal: Belliard To Cards

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Cardinals will acquire Ron Belliard from the Indians sometime soon.  Belliard went 2 for 4 in today’s game against Seattle.  Will Carroll is reporting that Hector Luna would go to the Tribe.

Belliard, a 31 year-old second baseman, was hitting .289/.335/.419 entering today’s game.  He’s been consistently solid since becoming a regular in 2003.  The second base class plays at a higher level in the NL; league average is .276/.341/.424.  Belliard is also middle of the pack as far as defense, but he will make a skilled double play partner for David Eckstein.  Belliard, an impending free agent, makes $4MM this year.

Belliard represents a clear upgrade over Aaron Miles, though I’m not sure that he’s signficantly better than Hector Luna.  Luna, a 26 year-old, has a career line of .276/.336/.398 in 533 ABs.  The versatile Luna has played every position but catcher in his Cardinal career.  Walt Jocketty got him as a Rule 5 pick in 2002.

Based on yesterday’s update from Bernie Miklasz, the Cardinals seem content to tinker rather than make an impact trade.