Humberto Quintero Rumors
Braves rookie Julio Teheran came within an inning of his first big league shutout tonight before a Josh Willingham homer halted that effort. The Braves hung on to win, preserving a three-game lead on the NL East. As it stands right now, only Atlanta has a positive run differential in that division. Here's more on the Braves and their NL East rivals...
- The Braves are already without Jonny Venters following Tommy John surgery. But with today's news that Eric O'Flaherty needs the same operation, the team will need to mix and match with some unproven options late in games, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I imagine that the Braves could find themselves shopping for relief help as the trade deadline nears.
- The Marlins selected the contract of outfielder Jordan Brown from Triple-A New Orleans after placing Matt Diaz on the DL, tweets Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. The Marlins already had an open 40-man roster spot, so there was no corresponding move necessary.
- In a similar situation, the Phillies announced that they've selected Humberto Quintero's contract from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and placed Mike Adams on the disabled list. Like the Marlins, the Phillies already had an open spot on their 40-man roster.
Quintero hit .313/.353/.438 in his 17 plate appearances with the Phils this year while serving as the backup to Erik Kratz. Quintero was designated for assignment when Carlos Ruiz, the team's primary catcher, completed serving a 25-game suspension for amphetamines.
Despite a career batting line of just .234/.267/.324, Quintero has appeared in the Majors in each season dating back to 2003. The 33-year-old Venezuela native controls the running game well, as he's caught 32 percent of base stealers as compared to the 27 percent league average in his time. The majority of his career has been spent with the Astros, though he's also appeared with the Padres and Royals.
The emergence of Evan Gattis as a power threat could soon create a logjam at catcher for the Braves, MLB.com's Mark Bowman writes. Brian McCann is nearly set to return from the disabled list, but the Braves don't want to demote Gattis (who has six home runs), and it's too early to get rid of Gerald Laird, in part because the Braves signed him to a two-year contract over the winter. (Laird has also hit well in limited time so far.) Jason Heyward's recent appendix surgery could create a temporary opportunity for Gattis in the outfield, but as the season progresses, it could be interesting to watch Atlanta's catching situation. McCann is a free agent after the season, and as Jeff Todd noted last week, Gattis' emergence, if it continues, could make the Braves feel better about McCann's likely departure. Here are more notes from around the National League.
- The Phillies recently designated catcher Humberto Quintero for assignment, but they want him to clear waivers, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Now that Carlos Ruiz is returning from his suspension, the Phillies have settled on Erik Kratz to be his backup. But they want more veteran catching depth in their organization, and they value Quintero's big-league experience. "There's a chance he could still be with us, and selfishly, we hope he is," says assistant GM Scott Proefrock.
- The Rockies are waiting to see what happens to infielder Chris Nelson, who they designated for assignment on Sunday, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. Nelson was the Rockies' first-round pick in the 2004 Draft. "It's important to honor Nellie and what he's meant to this organization," says Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "Personally, my relationship goes beyond player-manager. They brought him in and worked him out before the Draft, and I was out there taking ground balls with him in front of our entire scouting department, and I was with him in our Minor League system."
2:00pm: Quintero has already agreed to report to Triple-A, if the Phillies are unable to swing a trade and no other team claims him on waivers, according to Gelb.
Quintero has looked good so far this year, posting a .313/.353/.438 slash line over a tiny sample size of 17 plate appearances. The 33-year-old was the more logical choice to be DFA'd, however, as fellow backstop Erik Kratz still has an option remaining. However, Kratz hasn't been terribly sharp as the starting catcher in April, hitting .191/.222/.309 in 72 plate appearances.
Quintero hooked on with the Phillies in November after finishing out 2012 with the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate. Prior to that, the Royals released the catcher outright less than four months after acquiring him.
Rob Neyer, writing for SB Nation, took a look at the future of the game, including some issues that a hypothetical new commissioner might tackle. His list included the poor attendance of the Athletics and Rays, Jeffrey Loria, and the absence of major league baseball from markets like Portland and Charlotte. Elsewhere in baseball ...
- The Red Sox have been very pleased with the early returns on free agent signee Ryan Dempster, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Boston gave the soon-to-be 36-year-old a two-year, $26.5MM deal this past offseason. This raised the usual questions about how Dempster would transition to the American League, and in particular its East division. The righty has responded by sporting an impressive 12.9 K/9, albeit with an elevated walk rate, both of which could be the result of increased use of his splitter. David Ross seemed to confirm that analysis after catching Dempster yesterday, saying that he was throwing "a Bugs Bunny splitty."
- With Carlos Ruiz returning, the Phillies are facing a backup catcher roster dilemma, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phils must remove a player from both the 25-man and 40-man rosters to make way for the team's top backstop. Humberto Quintero has played well in limited action, putting up a .313/.353/.438 line over 17 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Erik Kratz still has an option remaining and has struggled as the team's primary catcher, hitting .191/.222/.309 in his 72 plate appearances. The club has until Sunday to assess whether to designate Quintero for assignment or, instead, option Kratz and make an alternative 40-man move.
- Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti is looking prescient for prioritizing versatility in the team's bench, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. With Mark Ellis the latest Dodger infielder to suffer an injury, the team can still turn to players like Nick Punto (acquired from the Red Sox last season) and Skip Schumaker (traded from the Cardinals this offseason). Much like with the L.A. rotation, the club's backup infield stock once seemed so full as to warrant a trade, but now looks like valuable depth.
Here are the latest minor transactions from around the league...
- SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization announced the signing of left-handed reliever Doug Slaten. Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (Twitter link) first reported the deal earlier this week. Slaten has a 3.52 ERA in 216 games for the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Pirates since 2006, including a 2.16 ERA in 10 games with the Bucs in 2012.
- The Rockies have signed shortstop Tommy Manzella to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invitation, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Manzella last appeared in the majors in 2010 with the Astros and has bounced around the minors with four different organizations over the last two seasons.
- Right-hander Manny Acosta has signed a one-year, $1.65MM contract with the Yomiuri Giants, according to Gene Mato, Acosta's agent (Twitter link). The deal could be worth another $500K in bonuses. Acosta, 31, was non-tendered by the Mets following a season that saw him post a 6.46 ERA over relief appearances.
- The Giants have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Chad Gaudin, reports Janie McCauley of the Associated Press (via Twitter). Gaudin posted a 4.54 ERA in 46 relief appearances for the Marlins last season.
- The Yankees have signed catcher Bobby Wilson to a minor league deal that contains a Spring Training invite, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link). Wilson hit .211/.277/.292 batting line in 201 plate appearances with the Angels last season and was both claimed on waivers and non-tendered by the Blue Jays earlier this offseason.
- The Yankees have also signed infielder Gil Velazquez to a minor league deal, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). The 33-year-old Velazquez received 57 PAs with the Marlins last year and also has Major League exerperience with the Angels and Red Sox.
- The Cardinals have signed 18-year-old Dominican right-hander Alex Reyes to a contract worth $950K, reports MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez (via Twitter).
- The Nationals signed 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Neivy Pilier to a $225K deal, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America.
- The Nationals signed infielder Brian Bocock to a minor league contract, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson (Twitter link). Bocock last played in the majors in 2010 and has spent the last two seasons playing in the Phillies, Pirates and Blue Jays organizations.
- The Padres acquired left-hander Chris Rearick from the Rays in exchange for infielder Vince Belnome, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter).
- The Phillies have announced the signings of Andres Blanco, Josh Fields, Cesar Jimenez, Steven Lerud, Michael Martinez, Zach Miner, Jermaine Mitchell, Pete Orr and Humberto Quintero to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training.
We'll keep track of tonight's minor moves here..
- The Phillies signed catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal, according to Jim Salisbury of of CSNPhilly.com (via Twitter). The veteran will be in the mix for backup catching depth in spring training. Quintero was cut loose by the Royals in July and finished out the year with the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate.
- The Phillies also re-signed second baseman/third baseman Pete Orr on a minor league deal, according to Salisbury (via Twitter). Orr played in 35 major league games last season and hit .258/.314/.354 in 81 Triple-A games.
- The Nationals signed left-hander Bobby Bramhall to a minor league pact, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com (via Twitter). The 27-year-old posted a 3.17 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 30 minor league outings for the Marlins organization last year.
The Brewers have signed catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). This comes on the heels of the Brewers reportedly closing in on a deal to send recently DFA'd catcher George Kottaras to Oakland.
Quintero, 32, was cut loose by the Royals after being designated for assignment earlier this month. Kansas City acquired Quintero in March along with Jason Bourgeois from the Astros for Kevin Chapman and minor league outfielder D'Andre Toney. Quintero hit .232/.257/.341 line in 144 plate appearances for the Royals in 2012.
Here are the day's minor moves...
- The Marlins have signed Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal according to the CBSSports.com transactions page. The Royals released the 32-year-old backstop earlier this month after he hit .232/.257/.341 in 144 plate appearances.
- The Reds have released Joey Gathright according to the International League transactions page. The 31-year-old speedster hit .299/.346/.347 in 161 plate appearances for their Triple-A affiliate after signing out of an independent league back in May.
- The Athletics have released Erick Threets at his request, reports Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com (Twitter links). The hard-throwing 30-year-old southpaw pitched to a 1.84 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 44 innings for Oakland's Triple-A affiliate this season.
The Royals acquired Quintero and Jason Bourgeois from Houston for Kevin Chapman and minor league outfielder D'Andre Toney back in March. The backstop posted a .232/.257/.341 line in 144 plate appearances for the Royals before being removed from the roster. Once Quintero clears release waivers, teams will be able to sign him for a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary.