Jason Michaels Rumors
We'll track the day's minor moves here...
- The Nationals signed Jason Michaels as a player/hitting coach for their minor league system, Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Michaels, 36, played in 35 games for the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate in 2012, posting a .202/.265/.288 batting line and playing both corner outfield positions. The 11-year MLB veteran has a career .263/.335/.407 line with the Phillies, Indians, Astros and Pirates. He last played in the big leagues with the 2011 Astros.
The latest minor moves from around the Major Leagues...
- The Nationals announced that they signed outfielder Jason Michaels to a minor league contract. The Nats released Michaels last week, but had been expected to re-sign him to a minor league deal. He posted a .199/.256/.295 line in 169 plate appearances for the Astros in 2011.
- Michael Pineda is headed to the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis, but John Harper of The New York Daily News says the trade was still the right move for the Yankees even if the right-hander won't pay dividends right away.
- Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters (including MLB.com's Bill Ladson) that the team is close to bringing Jason Michaels back. Washington released the outfielder earlier this week.
- The Orioles released a handful of minor leaguers according to Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com (on Twitter). Among those released were former big leaguers Josh Banks and Jeff Larish.
- The Yankees saved about two months of salary by releasing Russell Branyan and re-signing him to a new minor league deal yesterday, reports MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
A few pieces of Nats news courtesy of Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post..
- General Manager Mike Rizzo says that the Nationals are unlikely to make any last-minute changes to their major league roster. Barring "something out of the ordinary," Rizzo says that any changes to the Opening Day roster will come from the players already in-house.
- Rizzo expects Andres Blanco to exercise his opt-out clause and become a free agent. The Nats reassigned the infielder yesterday.
- The Nationals hope to hang on to outfielder Jason Michaels after releasing him on Thursday. Rizzo would like to re-sign the veteran and place him with Triple-A Syracuse.
Here are the latest minor moves from around MLB...
- The Dodgers released Cory Sullivan and catcher Josh Bard, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The pair both signed minor league deals with L.A. in December.
- The Yankees have signed Steve Pearce to a minor league contract, reports Josh Norris of the Trentonian (Twitter link). Pearce, a former well-regarded prospect with the Pirates, signed a minor league deal with the Twins in December but was released on Tuesday.
- The Nationals released outfielder Jason Michaels, the team announced. The Nationals signed the 11-year veteran to a minor league contract in December.
- The Brewers signed catcher Jason Jaramillo to a minor league deal, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. The Cubs released the backstop a couple of days ago after signing him to a minor league deal in January.
- The Red Sox released catcher Max St. Pierre, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (on Twitter). SoxProspects.com first reported the transaction.
- The Brewers released Corey Patterson then re-signed him to another minor league contract, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). Patterson, who signed a minor league deal with Milwaukee in January, will start the season at Triple-A.
- The Indians announced that they acquired right-hander Jairo Asencio from the Braves for cash. The right-handed reliever led the International League in saves in 2009 and 2011 and posted a 1.81 ERA with 11.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 54 2/3 innings at Triple-A last year. Asencio is out of options.
- The Mets have signed infielder Josh Rodriguez to a minor league deal, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. The Pirates selected the 27-year-old in last year's Rule 5 draft, returned him to the Indians in April, and traded for him in June. Rodriguez, who played in seven MLB games last year, posted a .258/.323/.349 line in 330 plate appearances in the upper minors.
- The Braves have expressed interest in Nationals outfielder Xavier Nady, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com (on Twitter). The Braves have been seeking a right-handed hitting outfielder, but were said to prefer players who can handle center field.
- Cole Hamels' reaction to the sale of the Dodgers, via ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (on Twitter): "I didn't know Magic Johnson knew anything about baseball," Hamels said. "That's my reaction." The Phillies left-hander hits free agency following the 2012 season but may sign a long-term deal in the relatively near future.
- Chin-lung Hu had joined the Phillies in anticipation of a deal, but failed his physical, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.
- A National League scout doesn't think the Phillies are that scary once you get past Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. "Other than those three pitchers, they're not very good," the scout told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).
- In case you missed it, I reviewed the Nationals' offseason earlier this morning.
We'll track today's minor moves here...
- The Mets signed outfielder Mike Baxter to a minor league contract, according to the team's official Twitter feed. The deal includes an invitation to the Major League spring training camp. Baxter, 27, was born in Queens and appeared in 22 games with the Mets last season.
- The Nationals signed Andres Blanco to a minor league deal, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson. In 82 plate appearances for the Rangers in 2011, the versatile 27-year-old posted a .224/.263/.342 line and played four positions.
- The Orioles agreed to sign outfielders Antoan Richardson and Lee Cruz to minor league deals, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Richardson, who briefly played for the Braves in 2011, is one of six players in MLB history from the Bahamas, Crasnick tweets.
- The Nationals signed outfielder Jason Michaels to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). Michaels spent the 2011 season with the Astros and posted a .199/.256/.295 line in 169 plate appearances. The 11-year veteran has a career line of .263/.335/.407 and experience at all three outfield positions.
- The Rockies signed catcher Wilkin Castillo and right-handed relievers Mike Ekstrom and Zach Simons to minor league deals, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). Castillo spent the 2011 season at Triple-A, where he hit .262/.285/.366 in 291 plate appearances. Ekstrom, who appeared in one game for the Rays in 2011, posted a 4.35 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 for Tampa Bay's top affiliate. The 26-year-old Simons posted a 5.46 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 61 innings in the Tigers' and Marlins' systems in 2011.
MONDAY: Wade confirmed today via press release that Michaels' option will be exercised and Blum's will be declined.
SUNDAY: The Astros informed Geoff Blum they will not be exercising his $1.65MM option for 2011, the infielder explained to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. The Astros will instead pay a $150K buyout. They will exercise Jason Michaels' option for $900K, according to McTaggart's source.
Astros GM Ed Wade told McTaggart he's leaving the door open to re-signing Blum anyway. However, Blum's comments suggest he'll move on:
"I do know that I will not be here. I'll miss being here, trust me. I've had several conversations with people within the organization and my services are not going to be needed here."
Blum, 37, hit .267/.321/.356 in 218 plate appearances this year while playing all infield positions aside from catcher. He battled elbow and neck injuries.
Michaels, 34, convinced the Astros to retain him by hitting .254/.312/.470 in 202 PAs and playing all three outfield positions.
5:09pm: A "slight update" from Alyson Footer (via Twitter) - the deal includes a club option for 2011.
4:39pm: The Astros re-signed outfielder Jason Michaels to a one-year deal worth $800K, tweets Alyson Footer. Michaels, 34 in May, hit .237/.322/.430 in 152 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions. He gets a $50K raise over last year.
According to MLB.com's Alyson Footer, the Astros signed outfielder Jason Michaels to a one-year deal worth $750K. Michaels, 33 in May, hit .228/.300/.382 in 254 plate appearances for the Pirates this year while earning $2.15MM.