Jason Botts Rumors

Mets Sign Jason Botts

The Mets have signed first baseman/outfielder Jason Botts, according to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger (via Twitter).  Botts, who will be assigned to Triple-A Buffalo, was playing for the York Revolution of the Atlantic League.

The 30-year-old hooked on with the Nationals organization last summer, hitting .279/.345/.438 with eight homers for their Triple-A affiliate.  In parts of five seasons at the Triple-A level, Botts owns a .909 OPS.  In addition to the independent circuit, Botts also saw time overseas when he spent parts of two seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Minor League Transactions: Johnson, Mastny, Botts

Tom Mastny and Jason Botts were among the former major leaguers to sign deals with big league clubs from June 8th-14th. Baseball America's Matt Eddy has the details:

  • Ben Johnson, one of the players the Padres sent the Mets for Heath Bell, has signed a deal with the Tigers. The outfielder, who has a .230/.313/.414 line in parts of three major league seasons, had been playing in the Golden League.
  • Scott Patterson, who played briefly with the Yankees and Padres in 2008, signed with the Mariners after posting an 18K/3BB ratio in the Atlantic League.
  • The Marlins turned to Tom Mastny in their search for relievers, signing the former Indian out of the Atlantic League. Mastny, 29, posted a 6.13 ERA in 94 innings with Cleveland from 2006-08.
  • The Royals released Jason Taylor four years after drafting him in the second round and signing him to a $763K deal.
  • The Nationals signed Jason Botts out of the Atlantic League. Botts, who has a minor league OPS of .875, spent parts of the 2005-08 seasons with the Rangers.
  • The Orioles and Royals, two of the organizations that have seven domestic minor league clubs, have pursued and signed non-drafted free agents aggressively.
  • Mike Curto reports (via Twitter) that the Astros acquired Tommy Everidge from the Mariners. Everidge appeared in 24 games for the A's last year.

White Sox Release Daniel Cabrera, Jason Botts

The White Sox released pitcher Daniel Cabrera and outfielder Jason Botts, according to a team press release.

Cabrera, 29 in May, allowed eight hits and seven runs in three spring innings.  He was coming off an ugly 2009 season in which he walked 42 and struck out 23 in 51 innings for the Nationals and Diamondbacks.  It's been a while since we saw the Cabrera who averaged 95 mph on his fastball, though he's always been able to get groundballs.

Botts, 29, spent the 2009 season in Japan but tallied only 24 plate appearances for the Nippon Ham Fighters.  He went 1 for 12 this spring.

Minor League Transactions

Baseball America's Matt Eddy is back with minor league transactions for the period of December 21-31.  A few notable moves…

  • The White Sox signed 1B/OF Jason Botts, who compiled a .230/.325/.344 career line with the Rangers.
  • The Marlins signed reliever Chris Schroder, who posted a 2.22 ERA in 56.6 Triple A innings last year.
  • The Dodgers brought Jay Gibbons aboard.  Gibbons signed a minor league deal with the Marlins in January of '09 and was cut in March.
  • The Yankees added outfielder Reid Gorecki, who hit .286/.351/.464 in Triple A.  Also, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yanks signed lefty reliever Royce Ring and outfielder David Winfree
  • The Giants signed reliever Kevin Cameron, who had a respectable rookie season with the Padres back in '07.  He pitched only 32.3 innings in '09 for various A's affiliates.
  • The Blue Jays signed left fielder Chris Lubanski, who was originally drafted fifth overall by the Royals in 2003.

Odds & Ends: Lowe, Bay, Gonzalez

News and notes from around the big leagues tonight…

  • Derek Lowe tells MLB.com's Mark Bowman that he doesn't expect to be back in Atlanta in 2010 and feels rather disrespected by being put on the trade market just a year after signing with the Braves: "I would have never even considered going there if I knew that ultimately this was going to happen."
  • The Providence Journal's Joe McDonald considers Theo Epstein's comments from the Mike Cameron press conference to be a virtual farewell to Jason Bay's time in Boston.
  • As if the Mike Gonzalez and Garrett Atkins signings weren't enough, the Orioles also "made a pretty good run" at trading for Adrian Gonzalez at the winter meetings, tweets ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes.
  • Scott Merkin of MLB.com is reporting (via Twitter) that Jason Botts has been given an invitation to spring training by the White Sox.  Botts played in Japan last season after posting a .230/.325/.344 line in 326 plate appearances with Texas from 2005 to 2008.
  • MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (via Twitter) quoted Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. as saying "Right now, it doesn't look good," in regards to Chan Ho Park re-signing with Philadelphia.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark talks with Baseball America's John Manuel about how the Phillies' farm system looks in the wake of the big Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee deal.
  • Jose Contreras wanted a three-year contract from the Rockies, but the club "didn't bite," reports Thomas Harding of MLB.com.  Harding notes that Colorado may have to wait to see what happens with Rafael Betancourt's possible arbitration case before they can make a move toward signing relievers like Contreras or Joe Beimel.
  • If the Nationals can't sign any relief help, they will move a willing Collin Balester into the bullpen, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
  • Jake Westbrook seems fit after his stint Puerto Rican Winter League, reports MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.  It was rumored that the Tribe would have been in the market for a veteran starter (maybe Carl Pavano) to anchor their staff had Westbrook suffered a setback from his Tommy John surgery in 2008.

Jason Botts Acquired By Nippon Ham

According to Sanspo.com, the Nippon Ham Fighters have acquired Jason Botts from the Rangers.  Botts, 27, is hitting .242/.342/.515 in Triple A.  He wasn’t able to figure it out in 282 career ABs with the Rangers.

Thanks to Patrick Newman for the tip.

Odds and Ends: Botts, Red Sox, McLouth

Roundup of links!

  • According to Jamey Newberg, Jason Botts has cleared waivers.  He probably won’t get another chance with the Rangers though.
  • Gordon Edes notes that the Red Sox have five picks in the first three rounds of the June draft.  Even though they don’t start until the 30th pick, the Sox have had much success in recent years.
  • No extension talks have begun with Nate McLouth, but Dejan Kovacevic does expect it to happen.
  • I updated the fantasy baseball closers depth chart over at RotoAuthority.
  • SI.com’s Jon Heyman says Freddy Garcia is "progressing nicely" in rehab and will throw off a mound about a week from now.
  • Marc Topkin wonders if the Rays should consider Jason Michaels (among others) if they aren’t satisfied with their current right field options.

Jason Botts Designated

WEDNESDAY: Botts wants out of Texas; he’d like a fresh start with another team.  GM Jon Daniels will attempt to find a taker, but otherwise Botts will have to go to Triple A.

TUESDAY: The Rangers have given up on Jason Botts, designating him for assignment.  Botts, 27, played first base and various other roles in 15 games for the Rangers this year.

I can see him passing through waivers unclaimed.  Botts may have earned the dreaded Quad-A label.  He’s failed to produce in 282 big league ABs but has raked Triple A pitching.

Odds and Ends: Braves, Cruz, Breslow

Some nuggets from today…

  • The Braves look to be the market for a bat off the bench and according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution it’s not likely to be a minor name. O’Brien asked Wren if the Braves "had money to add a player of significant salary to their payroll," throwing out an accompanying figure of $3-4MM, to which Wren said yes "without hesitation." Let’s use this to set the stage for what should be an interesting late spring Reed Johnson sweepstakes.
  • Evan Grant of the The Dallas Morning News believes that Jason Botts 2 for 5 performance on Saturday versus the Mariners has locked up a roster spot for the young DH/1B. Speculation is that Kevin Mench, who can be optioned, would be sent to the minors and that Nelson Cruz could be designated for assignment.
  • MLB.com speculates the ugly spring put up by Aaron Fultz may have played a part in the team’s decision to claim Craig Breslow off  waivers from the Red Sox. Fultz has put up an 11.88 ERA in just over eight innings and last week he gave up four runs on five hits during a performance against Double-A Akron in an intrasquad game last week.

Aaron Shinsano writes for East Windup Chronicle.

Rockies Rumblings: Barmes, Sullivan, Podsednik

While talking to reporters Saturday, Rockies General manager Dan O’Dowd tried to make it clear he has no plans to trade infielder Clint Barmes.  His name recently surfaced in rumors with the Angels and Orioles.

However, according to the Denver Post, O’Dowd’s reaction was decidedly less definitive regarding the possibility of dealing reserve outfielder Cory Sullivan. Why? It’s likely due to the torrid spring of Scott Podsednik, who on Saturday made a "full tilt, horizontal to the ground, fully extended" diving catch (this according to manager Clint Hurdle) to rob Rangers’ DH Jason Botts of an hit.

This spring Podsednik leads the Rockies in steals, swiping six in seven attempts. He’s also getting on base at a .529 clip. Can Pods make a return to his 2005 form and make the Rockies? One would think he’d at least help fill the speed void left by the departure of Kaz Matsui.

Aaron Shinsano writes for East Windup Chronicle.