Here are the latest minor moves from around the league…
- The Orioles have signed first baseman Ji-Man Choi to a minor league deal, according to South Korean media outlet Ilgan Sports (hat tip to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun). Choi will be invited to the Orioles’ Major League spring camp and he’ll earn a $650K base salary if he makes the club, plus at least another $350K available in incentives. Still just 24 years old, Choi has five years of minor league experience in the Mariners’ system, hitting .302/.404/.481 with 35 homers over 1378 PA. His bat has fallen off over the last two seasons, however, thanks to injuries and a 50-game PED suspension in 2014.
- The Indians announced that Taiwanese righty C.C. Lee was sold to the Saitama Seibu Lions, with Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting that the Tribe received between $350K-$500K from the NPB club. Lee has been in the Indians organization since 2008 and he posted a 4.50 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 2.06 K/BB rate over 34 relief innings for the Tribe from 2013-15.
- The Athletics have signed left-hander Patrick Schuster to a minor league contract, MLBTR has learned. Schuster has a 3.46 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 1.92 K/BB rate over 408 career minor league innings, most of which came in the Diamondbacks’ farm system before he was dealt to the Reds last June. The 25-year-old was also briefly property of the Astros, Padres and Royals during the 2013-14 offseason, in a flurry of transactions in the wake of Houston taking Schuster first overall in the 2013 Rule 5 draft.
- The Braves have signed reliever David Carpenter to a minor league deal, Scout.com’s Bill Shanks writes. Carpenter elected free agency this week after being outrighted by the Nationals. He had two of the best seasons of his career with the Braves in 2013 and 2014 before being traded to the Yankees, so his signing with Atlanta represents a bit of a homecoming. Carpenter will now get a shot to re-join a Braves bullpen that struggled in 2015. Carpenter posted a 4.01 ERA, 5.5 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 24 2/3 big-league innings last season.
- The Nationals have agreed to terms outfielder Chris Heisey on a minor league deal, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. Crasnick notes that Heisey will be reunited with Dusty Baker, who managed him with the Reds. After spending most of the previous several seasons in the big leagues, Heisey collected only 72 plate appearances with the Dodgers in 2015, instead spending most of the season at the Triple-A level (where he hit .223/.350/.445 in 302 plate appearances). Heisey’s batting average in the big leagues has decreased in each of the last three seasons, suggesting he’s lost a step offensively. He remains, however, a solid defender at any of the three outfield positions.
- The Nationals have also signed infielder Scott Sizemore to a minor league deal, writes MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. Sizemore, a veteran of parts of four seasons with the Tigers, Athletics and Yankees, spent 2015 with the Triple-A affiliates of the Marlins and Nationals, batting .263/.369/.354 in 289 plate appearances while playing second base and third base.
- The Blue Jays have signed Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca writes. The 36-year-old, a veteran of 12 MLB seasons, will likely provide the Jays with catching depth at the Triple-A level. He spent the 2015 season with the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, batting .254/.287/.354 in 305 plate appearances.
- The Brewers have announced a variety of minor league signings and re-signings, including righties Hiram Burgos and Jaye Chapman, outfielder Ben Guez, and catcher Rene Garcia. The 28-year-old Burgos, a longtime Brewers minor leaguer, had a solid year in the minors in 2015, pitching 149 1/3 innings with a 3.62 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. Chapman, also 28, pitched in the bullpens at Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Colorado Springs for the Brewers in 2015, posting a 2.37 ERA, 9.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 64 2/3 innings. Guez established himself as a good minor league hitter in the Tigers system before heading to Colorado Springs in 2015. There, he hit a strong .287/.410/.504, although he missed three months in the middle of the season, apparently due to injury. Garcia, 25, spent 2015 in the Phillies system, batting .318/.332/.359 in 200 plate appearances in the high minors. His previous performances in the Astros system, however, suggest that he’s more of an organizational catcher type than that high 2015 batting average suggests.