Jamie Hoffmann Rumors

Minor Moves: Rice, Romak, Twins

The latest minor moves from around MLB…

  • The Mets announced that they agreed to sign left-hander Scott Rice to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training. Rice, 31, has a 4.08 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 14 minor league seasons.
  • The Mets also signed outfielder Jamie Hoffmann to a minor league contract, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. The 28-year-old spent this past season with the Orioles' Triple-A team.
  • The Cardinals agreed to a minor league contract with first baseman/right fielder Jamie Romak, MLBTR has learned. The Cardinals acquired the 27-year-old from the Royals midway through the 2012 season. In 442 total plate appearances in the upper minors, Romak posted a .260/.336/.406 batting line and hit 10 home runs and 21 doubles this past season.
  • The Blue Jays signed infielder Jim Negrych to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports (on Twitter).
  • The Twins announced that they signed 12 players to minor league contracts that include invitations to MLB Spring Training: right-handers Samuel Deduno, Shairon Martis, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters; outfielders Brian Dinkleman and Wilkin Ramirez; infielders James Beresford and Deibinson Romero and catcher Eric Fryer. Right-hander Tom Boleska and infielder Jason Christian also signed minor league deals with the Twins.

Minor Moves: Jamie Hoffmann, Andres Blanco

Let's keep track of Saturday's minor moves right here as we get closer and closer to Opening Day…

  • The Orioles have signed Jamie Hoffmann to a minor league deal, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com (on Twitter). The 27-year-old outfielder elected free agency after being outrighted by the Rockies earlier this month. Hoffmann battled illness this spring and struggled in games.
  • The Phillies have signed Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, the team announced (on Twitter). The 27-year-old opted out of his minor league deal with the Nationals at some point in the last ten hours or so. Blanco is a .255/.301/.333 career hitter in 654 plate appearances, and has experience all over the infield. The Phillies are trying to add infield depth following Chase Utley's latest knee problems.

Minor Moves: Jamie Hoffmann, Cardinals

Let's keep track of the day's minor moves right here…

  • Outfielder Jamie Hoffmann elected free agency after being outrighted by the Rockies, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. The 27-year-old was slowed by an illness this spring and struggled in games.
  • Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter) that the Cardinals have released four minor leaguers: RHP Pete Parise, LHP Dan Calhoun, LHP Jean Mijares, and RHP Sean Watson. None of the four were among the team's top 30 prospects according to Baseball America, though Goold notes that Parise was once considered a closer-type.

Rockies Claim Jamie Hoffmann

The Rockies claimed outfielder Jamie Hoffmann off waivers from the Dodgers, announced the team on Twitter.  Hoffmann, 27, hit .297/.356/.497 with 22 home runs in 533 plate appearances for the Dodgers' Triple-A team this year, playing all three outfield positions.

Could The Yankees Get Hoffmann Back?

Earlier today the Yankees returned Rule 5 selection Jamie Hoffmann to the Dodgers, however the doesn't mean they lost him forever. Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News notes that there have been "plenty of whispers in recent weeks" about the two teams working out a trade to keep Hoffmann in pinstripes, possibly involving Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre.

Los Angeles already has plenty of options in camp for the back of their rotation, though many of those pitchers have unfavorable contract situations. Both Gaudin and Mitre are out of options, but there's a chance the Dodgers' brass feels more comfortable with one of them in the rotation instead of their current fifth starter hodgepodge. Last week we heard that the Yanks were "almost certain" to deal one of Gaudin or Mitre.

If a trade is made, it would allow the Yankees to stash Hoffmann in Triple-A, something they couldn't do with the Rule 5 strings attached. After dealing both Melky Cabrera and Austin Jackson earlier this offseason, the team is looking to rebuild some outfield depth.

Yankees Return Hoffmann To Dodgers

The Yankees Rule 5 pick Jamie Hoffmann cleared waivers and was returned to the Dodgers, reports Chad Jennings of The Journal News.  New York essentially acquired Hoffmann for Brian Bruney back in December, and he was was battling with Marcus Thames for the chance to serve as the Yanks' right-handed bench bat.  Neither player has done much in Spring Training so far.

Hoffmann, 25, hit .284/.360/.455 for the Dodgers' Triple A club last year while playing center and right field.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Felix, Phillies, Reds

Seven years ago today, Ivan Rodriguez signed a one-year deal with the Marlins worth $10MM, ending a 12-year stint with the Texas Rangers. Pudge hit .297/.369/.474 with 16 homers in his lone season with Florida, leading the franchise to its second World Championship. He signed a little earlier this offseason, landing a two-year deal with the Nationals in early December.

Here's a look at what fans around the web are saying….

  • Lookout Landing re-lives five of Felix Hernandez's career-defining starts in honor of his new deal.
  • TAUNTR thinks the Phillies did well by locking up Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino, even if they didn't receive tremendous discounts.
  • Blue Sox Baseball previews the Reds' starting rotation heading into 2010.
  • Goat Riders of the Apocalypse looks at what's left for the Cubs this offseason.
  • TYU wonders why the Yankees used the top pick in the Rule 5 Draft on Jamie Hoffmann instead of John Raynor.
  • Capitol Avenue Club projects the Braves' depth chart.
  • The Ghost of Moonlight Graham examines the rotations in the NL East.
  • TurnTwo has some suggestions for how the Mariners could use the last $10MM left in their budget.
  • Dodgers Rumors considers the Vicente Padilla signing a big win for Los Angeles.
  • AdamAdkins.net reacts harshly to the Bengie Molina deal.
  • River Ave. Blues wonders how the Yanks might be able to extract some value from Kei Igawa.

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.

Discussion: Left Field In The Bronx

The Yankees finished most of their offseason shopping when they traded for Javier Vazquez and Curtis Granderson, then signed Nick Johnson as a free agent, but the one spot left on the team that warrants an upgrade is left field. 

At the moment, Brett Gardner and Rule 5 Draft pick Jamie Hoffmann are scheduled to start the season in a defense-heavy platoon and hit ninth. GM Brian Cashman has indicated that the team is approaching it's 2010 payroll limit, and it appears they're only willing to spend about $5-6MM for an upgrade. This morning we learned that they're planning to wait out the free agent market before making any moves.

Looking at the list of available free agents, there appears to be plenty of second and third tier outfield options available. What do you think the Yankees should do about their left field situation? Should they stick with the Gardner/Hoffmann platoon, or bring in someone like Reed Johnson or Ryan Church or Rick Ankiel?