Hiroyuki Nakajima Rumors

Minor Moves: Robinson, Nakajima

Here’s today’s minor moves:

  • The Twins have signed 30-year-old outfielder Shane Robinson, tweets LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. Robinson has spent his entire career in the Cardinals system, where he’s hit .231/.303/.308 over 452 plate appearances. He’s drawn strong defensive marks in a tiny sample, and he can play all three outfield positions.
  • Former Athletic Hiroyuki Nakajima has signed with Japan’s Orix Buffaloes, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The A’s originally signed Nakajima two years ago to a two-year, $6.5MM deal. The 32-year-old shortstop never reached the majors, splitting his time between Double-A and Triple-A.

Minor Moves: Rapada, Gimenez, Cabrera, Taylor

We'll keep track of the day's minor moves here:

  • The Mariners have signed lefty Clay Rapada and added him to the roster at Triple-A Tacoma, according to Rainiers announce Mike Curto (on Twitter). Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune first reported (via Twitter) that Rapada was working out for the team. The left-hander has a 4.06 ERA in 94 big league innings but has never been able to hold down a consistent big league job despite dominant numbers against left-handed hitters; Rapada has held lefties to a minuscule .164/.255/.231 batting line in his career. However, righties have roughed him up at a .345/.464/.611 clip.
  • Catcher Chris Gimenez has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock, according to the Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant (Twitter link). Gimenez, who has been outrighted previously, has 72 hours to accept or reject the assignment. He was claimed off waivers by the Rangers last week but quickly designated for assignment when the club promoted Daniel McCutchen to the Majors.
  • The Cubs have outrighted reliever Alberto Cabrera to Triple-A after he cleared waivers, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). The 25-year-old righty was designated on Saturday. 
  • Outfielder Michael Taylor has cleared outright waivers and been assigned to Triple-A, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 28-year-old will take up residence in Sacramento for the fifth straight year since joining the Oakland organization.
  • Brian Bogusevic has accepted an outright assignment from the Marlins, reports Cotillo (via Twitter). Bogusevic, a 30-year-old outfielder who was acquired over the offseason for Justin Ruggiano, could have elected free agency since he has previously been outrighted.
  • The Red Sox have released outfielder Scott Cousins, Cotillo also tweets. Cousins, 29, has seen bit action in parts of four MLB seasons. The news was first reported yesterday by Mike Andrews of SoxProspects (via Twitter). According to Andrews, longtime minor leaguer Juan Carlos Linares was also among the players cut loose from the Boston system.
  • Pitcher Armando Galarraga is working on securing a visa after receiving an offer from the Taiwanese club Brother Elephants, his agent tells Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Cotillo tweeted earlier this morning that the former big leaguer was close to a deal to move to Taiwan. In 542 career MLB innings, Galarraga has a 4.78 ERA  with 5.7 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9.
  • Outfielder Dave Sappelt has been released by the Phillies, tweets Cotillo. Sappelt himself said on Twitter that he appreciates the club carrying him while undergoing offseason surgery. The 27-year-old has seen limited action in three big league seasons.
  • The Astros have outrighted reliever Raul Valdes to Triple-A, according to the PCL transactions page. Though he lacks an extensive MLB track record at age 36, Valdes still has an intriguing recent stat line and looks to be a good bet to see time in Houston at some point. His ERA was a ghastly 7.46 last year, but he put up 9.5 K/9 (against just 2.1 BB/9), good for a 3.10 SIERA. Valdes posted numbers more line with those peripherals in 2012 and even during limited action this spring.
  • Likewise, Hiroyuki Nakajima has been outrighted to the top affiliate of the Athletics, also via the PCL transactions page. The move is not surprising, given that Nakajima had only been added to the 40-man in the first place to fill it up to allow for the team to designate Taylor for assignment, according to a report from John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter).

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Added To The 40-Man Roster: Saturday

Between now and Opening Day, several minor league signees will win jobs with their clubs and earn 40-man roster spots. Here are today's additions:

  • The Angels have purchased the contract of infielder Ian StewartBill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The former top prospect, now 28, was brought in on a minor league contract in January.
  • Ryan Rowland-Smith will make the Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster, GM Kevin Towers disclosed (via Steve Gilbert of MLB.com). Rowland-Smith was in camp on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010 but was excellent last year for Boston's Triple-A club.
  • The Giants announced that right-hander J.C. Gutierrez and infielder Brandon Hicks have been chosen for the Opening Day roster. Hicks had been competing with rookie Ehire Adrianza for a backup infield job, but both have made the team.
  • The Braves announced via press release that pitchers Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas have been added to the Opening Day roster.
  • Reds manager Bryan Price announced that reliever Trevor Bell and outfielder Roger Bernadina have made the club's Opening Day roster, according to a tweet from the team's Triple-A affiliate. Bell hasn't pitched in the majors since 2011, but threw very well this spring in 8 2/3 innings.
  • The Mets are set to add Omar Quintanilla to their Opening Day roster, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Quintanilla figures to serve as the back-up at short. He rejoined the club on a minor league deal after being non-tendered.
  • Xavier Nady will break camp with the Padres, tweets AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, and thus will be added to the 40-man roster. The 35-year-old had a solid spring, and will fill in while Kyle Blanks and Cameron Maybin work back from injury. 
  • The Tigers have purchased the contract of Tyler Collins, the club announced. The 23-year-old, left-handed-hitting outfielder has not played above the Double-A level, but now grabs an Opening Day roster spot for a Detroit club that is without Andy Dirks to start the year. In 530 plate appearances at Double-A last year, Collins put up a .240/.323/.438 line with 21 home runs (and 122 strikeouts against 51 walks).
  • The Rangers will add minor league free agent Daniel McCutchen to the roster, according to a tweet from his representatives at Sosnick Cobbe Sports. Texas will need to add the reliever to the 40-man roster in order to activate him.
  • Yangervis Solarte will make the Yankees Opening Day roster, tweets Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Fellow utility infielder Eduardo Nunez, meanwhile, will be optioned to Triple-A to start the year. Solarte earned the position after a torrid spring.
  • The Phillies have announced their Opening Day roster, which includes three players — Tony Gwynn Jr., Mario Hollands, and Jeff Manship — who must be added to the 40-man. Meanwhile, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been put on the 60-day DL to create roster space while infielder Reid Brignac and reliever Shawn Camp have been reassigned to Triple-A, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (Twitter links).
  • The Athletics have selected the contract of infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima and optioned him to Triple-A, according to the MLB transactions page. After failing to see MLB action in the first year of his two-year, $6.5MM deal with Oakland, Nakajima was outrighted and ultimately re-signed to a minor league deal.

Aaron Steen contributed to this post.



Minor Moves: Nakajima, Jimenez, Lotzkar, Poreda

Here are today's minor moves from around the league…

  • The Athletics have re-signed shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports.  Nakajima hit .283/.331/.367 in 384 PA for Triple-A Sacramento this season, his first in North America after signing a two-year, $6.5MM deal with the A's last winter.  Nakajima was outrighted off Oakland's 40-man roster last August.
  • Left-hander Cesar Jimenez has elected to become a free agent, as reported by the International League's transactions page.  Jimenez was outrighted off the Phillies' 40-man roster to Triple-A last week.  The southpaw posted a 3.71 ERA, 11 strikeouts and 10 walks over 17 relief innings for Philadelphia in 2013.
  • The Rangers signed right-hander Kyle Lotzkar and lefty Aaron Poreda to minor league deals, according to the latest minor league transactions report from Baseball America's Matt Eddy (which contains many more minor transactions). Lotzkar, 23, was released by the Reds in September. A former supplemental-round pick, Lotzkar was said by Baseball America to have some of the best stuff in the Reds' organization, but he's battled through Tommy John surgery and a stress fracture in his elbow in recent years. Though his 8.05 ERA in the minors this season was alarming, he whiffed 41 batters in 38 innings and has a career 10.5 K/9.
  • Poreda, 27, didn't pitch in affiliated ball this season. Formerly BA's No. 63 overall prospect and a White Sox first-rounder, Poreda has a 3.53 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9 in 454 career minor league innings. He reached the Majors in 2009 with both the Sox and Padres, as he was part of the haul San Diego received for Jake Peavy. BA wrote multiple times that he's "built for durability," but his lack of a true plus secondary pitch has led to many struggles.
  • As shown in MLBTR's DFA Tracker, there are currently four players residing in DFA limbo: Pedro Beato of the Red Sox, Peter Moylan of the Dodgers and Tommy Layne and Colt Hynes of the Padres.

Minor Moves: Nakajima, Robinson, Hayes

Today's minor moves from around the league…

  • The Athletics have outrighted Hiroyuki Nakajima off their 40-man roster, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.  Nakajima will remain with Triple-A Sacramento, where he has spent the entire season.  The Japanese infielder signed a two-year, $6.5MM deal with Oakland in December and posted a .282/.336/.368 line in 324 minor league plate appearances.
  • The Padres purchased the contract of catcher Chris Robinson from Triple-A Tucson, the team announced.  In corresponding moves, Nick Hundley was put on the paternity list and Jason Marquis was transferred to the 60-day DL.  Robinson, 29, was dealt from Baltimore to San Diego in June.  The London, Ontario native was a third-round pick of the Tigers in the 2005 draft and has a .275/.320/.355 line in 2326 PA over nine minor league seasons.
  • The Royals have outrighted catcher Brett Hayes to Triple-A Omaha, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Hayes, 29, was designated for assignment after appearing in just three big league games for Kansas City this season. He's batted .231/.280/.441 in 68 Triple-A contests and is a career .219/.366/.364 hitter in 146 games at the Major League level — all of which came with the Marlins prior to his brief stint with the Royals.
  • With Hayes having been outrighted, just two players are currently in DFA limbo: Ryan Roberts of the Rays and Elliot Johnson of the Royals. Both were designated for assignment yesterday.

A’s Notes: Lineup, Young, Cespedes, Nakajima

The Athletics held their A's Fan Fest today with manager Bob Melvin and GM Billy Beane hosting a Q&A session. Here are the highlights:

  • Melvin says second base will be an open competition between Scott Sizemore and Jemile Weeks while Grant Green, the A's fourth-best prospect as ranked by MLB.com, will also receive a hard look, reports MLB.com's Jane Lee (Twitter links).
  • Melvin plans to continue with the Brandon Moss/Chris Carter platoon at first base, tweets Lee
  • Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets the A's will not use any one set lineup because Melvin has multiple options depending on matchups and who's hot. 
  • Melvin views Coco Crisp as the starting center fielder with Chris Young moving around all three outfield spots, Lee tweets.
  • Young says being reunited with Melvin is "like a breath of fresh air." (A's team Twitter feed).
  • Melvin calls Yoenis Cespedes one of most talented players in the league and Beane adds he wouldn't be surprised if the 27-year-old Cuban takes it to another level, Slusser tweets
  • Beane is confident Hiroyuki Nakajima will make a successful transition to MLB, tweets Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com. In fact, Beane joked he will have a tougher transition in dealing with the effervescent Japanese shortstop.
  • Beane expects their top prospect, outfielder Michael Choice, to open the season in Triple-A, unless something unforeseen happens, according to Pratt (via Twitter).
  • The A's are convinced shortstop Addison Russell, last year's first round draft choice, is mature enough to be invited to Spring Training even though it wasn't part of his contract, writes Slusser on Twitter. Slusser adds this is an indication of how much the 19-year-old has wowed the front office.

Rosenthal On Rangers, Nakajima, Upton

The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports

  • Rangers officials aren’t overwhelmed by the remaining free agent position players available, Rosenthal reports. Texas has done background work on A.J. Pierzynski, and could work to sign him. However, Adam LaRocheNick Swisher and Michael Bourn seem like less likely targets. The Rangers are particularly concerned about makeup, according to Rosenthal. Manager Ron Washington knows Swisher from their days in Oakland and likes the outfielder, Rosenthal reports.
  • The Rangers still want to add to their bullpen, and Rosenthal suggests they could make a play for Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan. The team is also exploring other bullpen options via trades and free agency. Hanrahan’s projected salary of $6.9MM limits interest from the Dodgers and Tigers, Rosenthal writes.
  • Hiroyuki Nakajima has range that is average “at best,” one executive told Rosenthal. However, the A’s agreed to sign the 30-year-old free agent to a two-year deal in part because they like his offensive potential.
  • Now that many free agent third basemen have signed, the Marlins could pursue a top third base prospect who’s close to contributing at the MLB level. However, it would be difficult to put together a package for a player such as Mike Olt.
  • Some executives believe the Diamondbacks will trade Justin Upton even after GM Kevin Towers said a deal seems unlikely. There’s a perception that the Diamondbacks are down on Upton, Rosenthal notes.
  • When Mets executive Paul DePodesta watched outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra in 2011, he liked the prospect’s athleticism and effort. The Mets acquired the 18-year-old Becerra in the R.A. Dickey trade.
  • The Red Sox are always looking to upgrade their bullpen, Rosenthal adds.

Quick Hits: Mets, Anibal, Brewers, Bourjos

MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the R.A. Dickey trade, the Josh Hamilton signing, the Anibal Sanchez deal and the latest rumors on todays’ edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast. Click here to listen in, and continue reading for the latest from around the league…

  • The Mets are closing in on adding an outfielder, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. Puma's source tells him that the player hasn't previously been linked to the Mets (Twitter links). Puma doesn't specify if the acquisition would come via free agency or trade. New York has previously been linked to Cody Ross, which seems to rule him out.
  • Sanchez's agent, Gene Mato, told Anthony Fetch of the Detroit Free Press that Sanchez left a larger offer from an unnamed team on the table at the Winter Meetings. The right-hander didn't want to make his decision based solely on money but also on where he felt comfortable.
  • Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that his team is interested in Jon Rauch, Jason Frasor, Kyle Farnsworth and Mike Gonzalez (Twitter link).
  • Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets that the Marlins aren't particularly interested in Peter Bourjos because they'd prefer a better hitting outfielder. Earlier today it was reported that the Fish may be interested in Bourjos.
  • Some teams aren't convinced that Hiroyuki Nakajima's glove is good enough to play shortstop at the Major League level, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN. The Japanese slugger signed with the Athletics earlier today.
  • Former Cubs coach Pat Listach has been hired by the Dodgers as the team's new minor league infield coordinator, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).

Athletics To Sign Hiroyuki Nakajima

5:05pm: Nakajima receives a two-year deal worth $6.5MM and a club option for a third year at $5.5MM, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The deal contains "numerous incentives and escalators," according to Slusser (Twitter links).

4:45pm: The Athletics have agreed to sign shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported the sides were nearing a deal (Twitter links). Nakajima, a free agent, also had offers to return to Japan, according to the FOX Sports writers. The A's have announced that a news conference will take place tomorrow.

When Nakajima was available via the posting system last winter, the Yankees submitted the winning bid. However, the sides did not reach a deal, and instead Nakajima returned to the Seibu Lions on a one-year, $3.64MM contract.

Nakajima, 30, posted a .311/.382/.451 batting line for the Lions in 2012. The right-handed hitter has a similar career mark of .310/.381/.474. He'll replace Stephen Drew as the Athletics' starting shortstop in 2013. Drew recently agreed to terms with the Red Sox on a one-year contract.


Athletics, Nakajima Nearing Deal

The Athletics are nearing a deal with shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports report (Twitter links). Nakajima, a free agent, also had offers to return to Japan, according to the FOX Sports writers. The A's have announced a news conference that will take place tomorrow and feature GM Billy Beane and a "special guest."

When Nakajima was available via the posting system last winter, the Yankees submitted the winning bid. However, the sides did not reach a deal, and instead Nakajima returned to the Seibu Lions on a one-year, $3.64MM contract.

Nakajima, 30, posted a .311/.382/.451 batting line for the Lions in 2012. The right-handed hitter has a similar career mark of .310/.381/.474.