Ramirez posted a 6.40 ERA, 7.8 K/9 and 3.11 K/BB rate over 32 1/3 innings out of Cincinnati’s bullpen this season, allowing an ungainly seven homers over that stretch. The 27-year-old has a 6.41 ERA over 80 career innings with the Reds, Diamondbacks and Phillies dating back to 2013. He could serve as bullpen depth in Anaheim, given how the Angels already have a number of right-handed relief options, or it’s possible another move could be forthcoming.
The 26-year-old Melville had been up for his first major league stint. He ultimately allowed 11 earned runs in nine innings — including two starts — while recording eight strikeouts against nine walks. Melville worked to a 4.63 ERA in 151 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level last year in the Tigers organization.
As for Ramirez, 27, this will be his third MLB team in parts of three seasons of action. All said, he owns a 6.42 ERA over 47 2/3 innings, with 6.0 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9. But he’s been better at the Triple-A level. That’s especially true in the present season, as Ramirez has struck out ten in six innings and has yet to allow a run.
Let’s catch up on some recent minor league transactions, all from Baseball America’s Matt Eddy unless otherwise noted.
- The Reds announced the signing of right-hander J.C. Ramirez to a minor league contract earlier this month. Ramirez posted a 5.32 ERA over 23 2/3 innings with the Diamondbacks and Mariners in 2015, and he was outrighted by the M’s after the season.
- The Athletics signed left-hander Eric Surkamp to a minors deal. Surkamp pitched in just one MLB game in 2015, a 3 1/3 inning relief stint for the Dodgers. He has a 6.47 ERA over 57 innings with the Dodgers, White Sox and Giants in a career that was slowed by missing all of 2012 due to Tommy John surgery.
- The Giants signed infielder Ramiro Pena to a minors contract. Pena hit .244/.288/.330 over 610 PA as a utilityman with the Yankees and Braves from 2009-2014, and he spent 2015 with the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate.
- The Angels signed veteran right-hander Ramon Ramirez to a minor league contract. Ramirez threw at least 63 2/3 innings in all but one season from 2006 through 2012, soaking up innings as a bullpen workhorse and posting a 3.32 ERA over 428 frames for five different clubs in that span. After being dealt to the Giants at the 2010 trade deadline, Ramirez posted an 0.67 ERA in 27 relief innings to help San Francisco reach the postseason in what ended up as a World Series championship year. Ramirez has pitched just 6 2/3 Major League innings over the last three seasons, however, and he spent 2015 in the Mexican League.
- The Indians signed righty Felipe Paulino to a minors deal. Paulino posted a 4.93 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 over 104 innings with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate. The 32-year-old looked to have turned a corner as a Major Leaguer after joining the Royals in 2011 and he got off a hot start in K.C.’s rotation in 2012 before injuries forced him to undergo Tommy John surgery. He last appeared in the majors in 2014 as a member of the White Sox, and he has 403 2/3 career innings over six years in the bigs.
Robertson, 30, totaled 80 plate appearances with the Halos last season and has logged 277 trips to the plate in parts of two big league seasons split between the Rangers and Angels. He’s a .274/.324/.325 hitters as a Major Leaguer and is capable of playing all three outfield spots. Robertson has a nice track record in the minor leagues as well, where he has authored a .288/.364/.385 batting line in parts of four seasons at the Triple-A level.
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is obviously quite familiar with Robertson, having acquired him from the Rangers while serving as general manager in Anaheim. This marks the second time that Dipoto has acquired Robertson, who fits the on-base percentage/athleticism mold which Dipoto has voiced a desire to add throughout the organization.
The 26-year-old Ramirez came to the Mariners from the Diamondbacks in a minor mid-season exchange, marking his second stint in Seattle. The Mariners were the team to initially sign Ramirez out of Nicaragua, but they traded him to Philadelphia along with Tyson Gillies and Phillippe Aumont in the now-lopsided Cliff Lee trade back in 2009. Ramirez has a 6.42 ERA in 47 2/3 Major League innings and a solid but unspectacular 3.80 ERA with 7.0 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 in parts of four Triple-A seasons. He can refuse the outright assignment and elect minor league free agency.
With Triple-A seasons coming to a close, there’s been another wave of players whose contracts of have been selected to their respective teams’ 40-man rosters. Here’s a list of today’s 40-man moves…
- The D-Backs announced that they’ve selected the contract of slugging prospect Peter O’Brien. The catcher-turned-outfielder was the key piece that Arizona picked up from the Yankees in last summer’s Martin Prado swap. The 25-year-old O’Brien batted .284/.332/.551 and belted 26 homers this season for Triple-A Reno. The knock on O’Brien has long been his lack of a true position. Arizona seemed to be of the belief that he could remain behind the plate, but that’s no longer the case, as he’s been shifted to the outfield. That thinking led the D-Backs to leave their catching vacancy largely unaddressed this winter, although the midseason acquisition of Welington Castillo has certainly shored things up on that front. Evan Marshall was moved to the 60-day DL to accommodate O’Brien’s addition.
- The Mets have selected Tim Stauffer’s contract, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Stauffer, who can serve in a long relief capacity for manager Terry Collins, began the season with the Twins after signing a one-year, $2.2MM contract as a free agent. The longtime Padres hurler got off to a dreadful start in Minneapolis, though, posting a 6.60 ERA in 15 innings before being released. Stauffer went to indy ball, pitching 16 innings for the Sugar Land Skeeters before the Mets signed him to a minor league deal. He notched a 2.48 ERA in eight Triple-A starts for the Mets.
- The Red Sox have selected Rich Hill’s contract, as first reported by Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal (Twitter link). The 35-year-old spent parts of three seasons in Boston from 2010-12 and had a 2.83 ERA in 54 innings between the Triple-A affiliates for the Red Sox and Yankees. He also had a brief stop in indy ball this season, pitching well in 11 frames for the Long Island Ducks.
- The Mariners announced that they’ve selected the contracts of catcher Steven Baron and right-hander J.C. Ramirez. Baron, 24, hit .265/.334/.361 between Double-A and Triple-A this season, catching 28 percent of opposing base stealers. As for Ramirez, the 27-year-old has a strong 2.72 ERA at the Triple-A level this season and also worked to a 4.11 ERA in 15 1/3 innings with the Diamondbacks. Seattle picked him up from the D-Backs in exchange for cash considerations in late July. Charlie Furbush was transferred to the 60-day DL in order to clear room for one of the two additions.
We’ve got some catching up to do on the minor moves front after a busy couple of days:
- Reds outfielder/first baseman Chris Dominguez has cleared outright waivers and been assigned to Triple-A, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Dominguez has seen short big league stints in each of the past two seasons, but the 28-year-old has played mostly in the upper minors. He owns a .216/.264/.368 slash over 221 plate appearances on the year at Louisville.
- The Pirates outrighted infielder Steve Lombardozzi to Triple-A after recently designating him for assignment, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Twitter). Following two seasons as a significant utility piece for the Nationals, Lombardozzi has received only 85 big league plate appearances over the 2014-15 campaigns. He owns a .303/.362/.352 slash in his 291 turns at bat for Triple-A Indianapolis.
- After he, too, cleared waivers, Pirates third baseman Brent Morel elected free agency, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). The 28-year-old has spent at least some time in the big leagues in every season since 2010, putting up a .601 OPS in 712 plate appearances. In 326 times coming to bat at Triple-A this year, he owns a .266/.322/.441 batting line.
- As expected, Astros outfielder Alex Presley has accepted an outright assignment with the organization, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports on Twitter. He previously agreed to an outright assignment in order to preserve his $1MM arbitration salary, and chose to do the same once again.
- The Mariners acquired righty J.C. Ramirez from the Diamondbacks, Seattle announced. Ramirez, 26, made it up to the big leagues for the second time this year, throwing 15 1/3 innings of 4.11 ERA ball from the Arizona pen. He’ll return to his first professional team, which shipped him to the Phillies in the 2009 Cliff Lee trade.
Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league…
- Brewers lefty Wei-Chung Wang cleared outright waivers and has been assigned to the club’s Class-A affiliate, the team announced. Milwaukee carried Wang all last year on its major league roster to keep him trough the Rule 5 process, but needed a 40-man spot when third baseman Matt Dominguez himself became a 40-man casualty of the Astros. Wang’s struggles at the High-A level (5.93 ERA in 60 2/3 innings) led the club to expose him to an outside claim.
- Rays backstop Bobby Wilson has accepted an assignment with the club after being outrighted, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The veteran defensive stalwart played in 24 games for the big league club earlier this year, and figures to be a good bet to return at some point. He has never produced much at the plate, and this year was no different: Wilson has slashed just .145/.203/.145 in 59 plate appearances.
- Right-hander J.C. Ramirez cleared outright waivers after being designated for assignment and has been outrighted to Triple-A Reno by the Diamondbacks, tweets Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic. Removed from the roster to create a spot for Allen Webster, the 26-year-old Ramirez had worked to a 4.11 ERA with an 11-to-4 K/BB ratio out of the Arizona bullpen this season. This marked his second stint with the big league club and his first since 2013. In 39 1/3 career innings at the Major League level, Ramirez has a 6.18 ERA. He’s worked to a 3.82 ERA in 125 Triple-A innings.
- The Diamondbacks also dealt righty Tim Crabbe to the White Sox for cash or a player to be named later, the club announced (via MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, on Twitter). Crabbe, 27, has spent all of the past three years in the upper minors and has recently converted to relief pitching exclusively. He owns a 5.50 ERA over 34 1/3 innings this year at Triple-A, with 8.7 K/9 but a rough 6.0 BB/9.
- The Diamondbacks signed pitcher J.C. Ramirez and re-signed catcher Blake Lalli. The 26-year-old Ramirez pitched 24 innings for Philadelphia in 2013, but performed poorly. He spent 2014 in the Indians system. Scouts like his 94 mph fastball, but he struggles with command and control as evidenced by a 5.63 BB/9 in his major league sample. Lalli, 32 next season, hit .275/.340/.373 in 2014 at the Triple-A level. He briefly appeared in the majors for the Cubs and Brewers during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
- Utility infielder Ramiro Pena has elected free agency after the Braves outrighted him off the 40 man roster. Pena owns a career .244/.288/.330 line over 610 plate appearances in parts of six seasons. Capable of playing shortstop, second, and third base, the 29-year-old offers plenty of flexibility. He’s spent his entire career with the Yankees and Braves.
- The Reds signed pitchers Jose De La Torre, Marcus Walden, and utility infielder Irving Falu. De La Torre, 29, offers big strikeout stuff with control issues out of the bullpen. He appeared briefly for the Red Sox in 2013. Walden is less flashy than De La Torre, and he has spent most of his minor league career in the rotation. The 26-year-old has posted a 3.92 ERA, 5.4 K/9, and 3.1 BB/9 over 622 minor league innings. His results in the upper minors have been markedly worse. Falu, 32 next season, has appeared briefly for the Royals, Brewers, and Padres over the past two years.
- The Indians have signed outfielder Destin Hood. Possibly one of the gems of the minor league market, Hood hit .298/.348/.460 across three levels last season – mostly with the Nationals Triple-A affiliate. The former second round pick struggled prior to the 2014 campaign, which is probably why the Nationals did not add him to their 40 man roster. As Eddy notes, Hood hit .315 and slugged .556 against left-handed pitching last season, making him a good fit for a lefty heavy Cleveland lineup. He’s 25 next season.
- The Angels signed 26-year-old pitcher Alex Sanabia. The former Marlin has 138 major league innings to his name with a 4.15 ERA, 5.58 K/9, and 2.86 BB/9. The righty should serve as rotation depth.
- The Marlins signed pitcher Chris Narveson and outfielder Cole Gillespie. Narveson, a former Brewer and Cardinal, has a 4.65 ERA over 396 innings. He pitched in Japan last season with similar results. He’ll turn 33 later this month. Gillespie, once a prospect with the Diamondbacks, has bounced around the league. He’s briefly appeared with five major league clubs and owns a .230/.295/.329 batting line in 270 plate appearances. He’s 31 next season.
- The Padres have re-signed left-handed pitcher Jason Lane. The former Astros outfielder reached the majors as a pitcher last season and performed well in 10 and one-third innings. He allowed just one run on a home run, struck out six, and walked none in his age 37 season.
- The Mariners signed 32-year-old pitcher Justin Germano. The soft-tossing righty is best used as minor league depth, although he’s appeared with eight major league clubs over nine seasons. He owns a 5.40 ERA, 5.70 K/9, and 2.92 BB/9 in 330 career innings. His fastball averaged 85.5 mph last season.
The Indians announced (on Twitter) that they have signed right-hander J.C. Ramirez to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Cleveland has also re-signed infielder Ryan Rohlinger to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training as well.
Ramirez, 25, allowed 20 runs in 24 innings for the Phillies this season en route to an ugly 7.50 ERA. He walked nearly as many batters as he struck out (15 BB, 16 K) but posted a respectable 4.04 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 49 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
The 30-year-old Rohlinger hit .266/.353/.367 with five homers in 372 plate appearances at Triple-A Columbus this season, splitting his time between shortstop, third base and second base. Rohlinger also has big league experience, totaling 72 plate appearances with the Giants from 2008-11, though he managed just a .134/.183/.194 batting line.
We'll keep tabs on today's minor moves via updates to this post.
- Righty J.C. Ramirez joined outfielders Roger Bernadina and Casper Wells as now-former Phillies players who have elected free agency, according to the International League transactions page. The trio was recently outrighted by Philadelphia. Ramirez, 25, struggled mightily in his first 24 big league innings this year and has not posted a sub-4.00 ERA campaign in the minors since he was 17. Bernadina, 29, was a major contributor for the Nationals in 2012 (.291/.372/.405 slash in 261 plate appearances) before falling off a cliff this season (.181/.250/.295 in 250 plate appearances). And Wells, 28, saw scant MLB action with three teams in 2013, putting up a sub-zero OPS+ after having been an approximately league average hitter over the first three years of his major league career.
- Sidearming left-handed reliever Clay Rapada has elected free agency from the Indians, also per the International League transactions page. In his first season as a regular big leaguer in 2012, Rapada posted an impressive 2.82 ERA in 38 1/3 innings over 70 appearances. The 32-year-old didn't surrender a run or a walk in 2013, but that was in large part because he threw just four innings for the Indians. Rapada did, however, put up a stellar 2.14 ERA in 33 2/3 Triple-A innings, though he managed only 6.4 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9.
- Righty Jeff Manship has elected free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment from the Rockies, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. In eleven appearances, including four starts, Manship threw 30 2/3 innings of 7.04 ERA ball for Colorado's top club, matching the general ineffectiveness the 28-year-old has exhibited throughout his career at the highest level.
- Remember to follow MLBTR's DFA Tracker for the latest on players that have been designated for assignment by their clubs. At present, only Alex Castellanos of the Dodgers is stuck in DFA limbo.