Jason Lane Rumors

Minor Moves: Jason Lane, Mike MacDougal

We’ll keep track of the day’s minor moves here …

  • The Padres have outrighted lefty Jason Lane, according to the PCL transactions page. Lane, an outfielder-turned-hurler who just returned to the bigs seven seasons after his last tour, was designated for assignment on Saturday.
  • Righty Mike MacDougal was released by the Mariners, also via the PCL transactions page. The 37-year-old righty carries an 8.25 ERA through 12 innings for Triple-A Tacoma. He last threw in the bigs in 2012, and owns a lifetime 4.00 ERA through 394 MLB frames over parts of 12 seasons.
  • Per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker, the following players have yet to have their situations resolved: Jordan Pacheco (Rockies), David Huff (Giants), Jason Kubel (Twins), Trevor Cahill (Diamondbacks), and Wilton Lopez (Rockies).

Padres Designate Jason Lane For Assignment

The Padres have designated lefty Jason Lane for assignment, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports on Twitter. His roster spot will be taken by Andrew Cashner, who is set to come off the DL to start tonight.

A veteran of six MLB seasons as an outfielder, Lane received his first big league action as a pitcher at age 37. While it took quite an effort for Lane to return to the bigs, his stay was short. He tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit with four strikeouts and no free passes.

Of course, Lane could well find his way back to San Diego this year. He currently owns a 4.36 ERA through 11 starts at Triple-A, and even remains a threat at the plate with a .407/.484/.667 triple-slash in 31 plate appearances.


Quick Hits: Lane, Francoeur, Rays, Astros

Jason Lane is a former outfielder who’s now a pitcher, and Jeff Francoeur is an outfielder who occasionally pitches. Both of them are with the Padres‘ Triple-A affiliate in El Paso, trying to get back to the Majors, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports. Lane, the former Astros outfielder, converted to pitching two years ago and is still working on it as a 37-year-old, posting a 4.36 ERA with 3.9 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 64 innings so far this season. He also pinch-hits. Francoeur, who played for the Royals and Giants last season, is hitting .278/.309/.450 for the Chihuahuas and occasionally taking his turn as a reliever, appearing in six games on the mound so far this season. Kepner notes that Francoeur is “pitching for fun,” so presumably he won’t be looking for a similar role in the Majors. Also, he still has hope as an offensive player. “If I keep hitting like this, I’ve got a chance to go to the Futures Game!” he says. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • At 23-34, the Rays‘ season hasn’t gone as planned, but owner Stuart Sternberg isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet, Bill Chastain of MLB.com writes. Sternberg certainly isn’t ready to commit to selling at the trade deadline — not that there’s much urgency on that front at this point. “[I]f you think you’re in striking distance, and more importantly, if you have confidence in the guys here that they’ve got a good stretch of baseball in them, in a week or two, you look back and you could be in a different position,” he says.
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is pleased with the results of a recent trip to Japan with pro scouting coordinator Kevin Goldstein, writes MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Luhnow and Goldstein met with Japanese teams and interviewed candidates for a scouting position in Japan. “[W]e really felt like this is an important first step for us in re-engaging our activity in Japan and hopefully, eventually signing some good Japanese players,” says Luhnow, who says one motivation for the trip was that the Yankees had a scout watching all of Masahiro Tanaka‘s starts in Tanaka’s last two years in Japan.


Minor Moves: Jason Lane

We'll keep track of today's minor moves here.

  • Lefty pitcher Jason Lane, recently of the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, has signed with the Padres and has been assigned to Triple-A Tucson, the Skeeters announce (via the Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith on Twitter). This is the same Jason Lane who played outfield for the Astros (and, briefly, the Padres) from 2002 through 2007. Since then, he's bounced around Triple-A and independent baseball, both as a hitter and as a pitcher. He posted a 2.79 ERA in 99 2/3 innings with Sugar Land in 2013, with 4.3 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9.

Minor Moves: Brandon Snyder, Padres, Twins

Here are Wednesday's minor moves…

  • The Rangers have signed Brandon Snyder to a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The 26-year-old former first round pick of the Orioles hit .277/.309/.446 in 69 plate appearances with Texas last year while playing first base, third base, and both corner outfield spots.
  • The Padres have re-signed Juan Oramas to a minor league deal according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter). The 22-year-old left-hander was non-tendered last month and is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
  • The Padres have also signed right-hander Sean O'Sullivan, infielder Gregorio Petit, and catcher Rene Rivera to minor league contracts, the team announced. All three players received invitations to Spring Training.
  • The Twins have signed outfielder Brandon Boggs, infielder Ray Olmedo, right-hander Bryan Augenstein, first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez, right-hander Scott Elarton, right-hander Virgil Vasquez, left-hander Mike O'Connor, and left-hander Jason Lane to minor league deals according to MLB.com's Adam Berry. Boggs, Olmedo, and Augenstein received invitations to Spring Training.

Quick Hits: Jackson, Perkins, Lane, Nitkowski

Happy birthday to Hall-of-Famer Jim Rice, who turns 59 today.  On a more somber note, it was on this day in 1999 that the legendary Joe DiMaggio passed away at age 84 after a battle with lung cancer.

Here's some news from around the majors as we head into the end of the work week…

  • Edwin Jackson tells Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he didn't receive any interest from the Cardinals about returning to the team.  "There was no involvement with the Cardinals. Pitching wasn't a department they needed help in. Their rotation is pretty much set," Jackson said.  "It was a place I wouldn't have minded going back to…but, coming into the offseason, it was never a place I realistically thought I had a chance to go back to."
  • Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio details Glen Perkins' path from filing a grievance against the Twins in 2009 and seemingly being on the outs with the club to today's three-year extension that keeps the southpaw in Minnesota through 2015.
  • Jason Lane talks to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic about his attempt to return to the Major Leagues as a pitcher, and how a chance meeting with Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers last summer led to Lane getting a minor league deal with Arizona.
  • C.J. Nitkowski, who last pitched in the majors in 2005, threw a bullpen session with the Mets on Thursday, reports MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.  Nitkowski pitched in Japan and Korea from 2007-2010 and, as MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince details, underwent a controversial blood-and-stem cell treatment last year.  Nitkowski was the ninth overall pick of the 1994 amateur draft and pitched for eight teams in a 10-year Major League career, including a five-game stint with the Mets in 2001.
  • The long-term effects of Lucas Giolito's UCL strain have yet to be determined, but Baseball America's Conor Glassey examines how the injury could impact Giolito's position in the 2012 amateur draft.
  • The Mexican Baseball League has announced that Jose Canseco will not play for Quintana Roo Tigers after the slugger allegedly took a banned substance and refused to take a drug test, reports ESPN's news news services.  League president Plinio Escalante told ESPN Deportes that testosterone was the banned substance.  Canseco has denied the charge on his Twitter account.

Quick Hits: Pujols, Wilson, Beltran, Bergesen, Lane

Fifteen years ago today, the Astros and Tigers swung a nine-player trade. Houston received Brad Ausmus, Jose Lima, Trever Miller, C.J. Nitkowski, and Daryle Ward while Detroit imported Doug Brocail, Brian Hunter, Todd Jones, and Orlando Miller. It's not often you see a club turnover 20% of its roster in a single deal. Here are some evening links…

  • Albert Pujols' new ten-year contract with the Angels will keep him with the team for another ten years after it expires. MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reports (on Twitter) that the deal will keep him on board as a consultant to owner Arte Moreno for a decade after his playing days are over.
  • In a second tweet, Gonzalez heard from C.J. Wilson that not only did the Marlins offer him a sixth guaranteed year, but they also offered him an option for a seventh year as well.
  • Even after signing Rafael Furcal to a two-year, $14MM contract, Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter) that the Cardinals remain in contact with free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran. Beltran could step in at right field and help replace some of the offense lost when Pujols left.
  • "I haven't talked to anyone," said non-tender candidate and Orioles right-hander Brad Bergesen to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, indicating that he doesn't know what will happen before Monday's deadline to tender contracts to players with less than six years of service time. "I have no idea. I don't know what the plan is. I don't know how they view me or if I fit in their plans. All I can do is prepare myself and be ready for whatever comes my way."
  • Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports that the Diamondbacks have signed former Astros outfielder Jason Lane as a left-handed pitcher. The 34-year-old hasn't appeared in the big leagues since 2007, but he made the move to the mound this past season. Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Journal-Review chronicled the conversion back in August.

Minor Transactions: Madrigal, Lane, Vasquez

Tobi Stoner and Jason Pridie both cleared waivers and were outrighted to the Mets' Triple-A affiliate today, reports Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger (Twitter link).  The duo were designated for assignment earlier this week.

Here are some other minor moves from around baseball today, courtesy of Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.  All contracts are minor league deals, and all links are to Goldstein's Twitter feed.

  • The Yankees signed right-hander Warner Madrigal, who last pitched in the majors with Texas in 2009.  Madrigal originally broke into pro ball as an outfielder, but converted to pitching in 2006.  He posted a 3.73 ERA in 35 games with the Rangers' Double-A and Triple-A teams last year.
  • The Blue Jays re-signed Jason Lane.  Best known for his 26-homer season with Houston in 2005, Lane hasn't played in the big leagues since 2007 and has played for the Padres, Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays and Marlins organizations since leaving the Astros.
  • The Angels signed Virgil Vasquez.  The right-hander pitched in Tampa Bay's system last year.  A seventh-round pick of the Tigers in the 2003 draft, Vasquez has a 6.60 ERA in 19 career Major League games (10 of them starts) with Detroit and Pittsburgh.
  • The Rangers signed catcher Robinzon Diaz, who is best known for being the player to be named later that Toronto sent to Pittsburgh for Jose Bautista in 2009.  Diaz had 139 plate appearances with the Bucs before being released in the offseason.  He played Triple-A ball for Detroit last year.
  • The Rockies signed Kala Ka'aihue.  Ka'aihue was putting up minor league numbers akin to those of his older brother Kila through the 2008 season, but has struggled the last two years.

Minor League Transactions

Here are a few of the noteworthy names involved in this week's minor league transactions, as compiled by Baseball America's Matt Eddy

  • Fernando Cortez was signed to his second go-around with the White Sox organization.  The utilityman last played in the majors in 2007 as a member of the Royals, and has a .665 OPS in 3948 career plate appearances in the minor leagues.
  • The White Sox also released Justin Fuller, best known as the minor-leaguer acquired last summer from Los Angeles in the Jim Thome trade.
  • John Koronka was released by the Dodgers.  The veteran southpaw made two starts for Florida in 2009 before signing with L.A. in January.
  • Jason Lane was released by the Marlins.  Best known for his time with Houston from 2002 to 2007, Lane's finest year came in 2005 when he hit 26 homers and posted an .815 OPS in 561 plate appearances for the Astros.  He last appeared in the majors in 2007 with San Diego.
  • Texas dealt right-hander Jailen Peguero to the Astros for future considerations.  Peguero posted a 7.50 ERA in 25 relief appearances for the Diamondbacks in 2007-08.
  • Cleveland released Josh Phelps just a few weeks after signing him to a minor-league deal.
  • The Mariners signed pitcher Billy Traber.  The left-hander has a 5.65 ERA in 96 career major league appearances, 28 of them starts.  He appeared in one game last season, allowing five runs in 3 2/3 innings of mop-up duty for Boston.

Odds & Ends: Blue Jays, Gomes, Lincecum

Links for Saturday…