Jeff Clement Rumors

Minor Moves: Orioles, Clement, Erbe, Quiroz, Red Sox

Here are the latest minor signings from around the league…

  • The Orioles added independent league pitchers Logan Mahon and Chase Johnson on minor league deals, according to CSNBaltimore's Rich Dubroff and the Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina, respectively (Twitter links).
  • The Giants also added an independent league arm today, signing Omar Javier to a minor league deal, tweets Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Omar hasn't pitched in affiliated ball since 2009 with the Cardinals.
  • The Twins have signed former No. 3 overall pick Jeff Clement to a minor league deal, tweets Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. Clement, 29, appeared on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list from 2006-08 and has a career .280/.359/.493 line at Triple-A. However, he's failed to produce in four separate Major League stints between the Mariners and Pirates.
  • ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Phillies have signed righty Brandon Erbe to a minor league deal. The 24-year-old was a third-round selection by the Orioles back in 2005 and was once a highly regarded prospect. He's battled a series of shoulder injuries and pitched to a 6.82 ERA in 30 1/3 innings for Baltimore's Class-A Advanced affiliate in 2012.
  • Stark also reports that the Giants have signed minor league catcher Guillermo Quiroz to a minor league contract (Twitter link). The former top prospect is now 30 years old and carries with him a .260/.323/.424 batting line over parts of nine Triple-A seasons. He's managed just a .538 OPS in 282 Major League plate appearances.
  • The Red Sox have signed right-handers David CarpenterSandy Rosario and Jose De La Torre to minor league deals, according to MLB.com's Evan Drellich. Carpenter appeared in 32 1/3 innings for the Blue Jays and Astros in 2012 but posted an 8.07 ERA. The 27-year-old Rosario has a career 3.48 ERA and 4.4 K/BB ratio in the minors but has barely pitched above the Double-A level. De La Torre was acquired from the Indians for Brent Lillibridge.
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports that the Astros have signed righties Edgar Gonzalez and Jose Valdez to minor league contracts. Gonzalez, 29, has a 5.84 ERA over 350 career innings between the Diamondbacks, Rockies and Astros. Valdez hurled 12 innings for Houston last year after spending the past three seasons in their farm system. He has an impressive 103 strikeouts in 83 2/3 career Triple-A innings. McTaggart has the breakdown of each contract in his piece, including out clauses that allow Valdez to pursue opportunities in Japan.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Clement, Fryer, McCutchen

The latest outright assignments from around MLB…

  • The Pirates outrighted Jeff Clement, Eric Fryer and Daniel McCutchen to Triple-A, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). Fryer, who appeared in six games with the Pirates this past season, elected to become a minor league free agent. Clement appeared in 23 games for the 2012 Pirates, collecting two singles, two walks and one double in 24 plate appearances. McCutchen faced two batters this past season, walking one and allowing a hit to the other. The right-hander spent most of the season pitching in relief at Triple-A.

Hanshin Tigers Eyeing Jeff Clement, Mauro Gomez

The Hanshin Tigers are looking at Jeff Clement and Mauro Gomez for next year, according to a Japanese report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (on Twitter). Both players were recently called up to the MLB level after successful minor league seasons. The Tigers are a Nippon Professional Baseball team based in Japan.

Clement has appeared in 12 games for the Pirates since the end of August after posting a .276/.340/.486 batting line with 16 home runs in 459 plate appearances at Triple-A. The CAA Sports client has a .219/.279/.374 batting line in parts of four MLB seasons.

Gomez, who signed with the Red Sox in February, has appeared in 22 games with Boston this year. The 28-year-old corner infielder has a .299/.342/.448 batting line in 73 MLB plate appearances. He spent most of the 2012 season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he posted a .310/.371/.589 in 426 plate appearances.



Pirates Sign Jeff Clement

Here's where we'll keep track of today's minor moves…

  • The Pirates announced that they have signed first baseman Jeff Clement to a minor league contract. Clement, 28, posted a .201/.237/.368 line for the 2010 Pirates, but didn't appear in the Major Leagues in 2011. The former third overall pick spent this past season in Pittsburgh's minor league system, where he posted a .733 OPS in 106 plate appearances.
  • The Giants have signed right-hander Eric Hacker to a minor league deal, according to the player's agency, Sosnick Cobbe Sports (Twitter link). Hacker spent 2011 in the Twins organization, starting 25 games with Triple-A Rochester and making two relief appearances with Minnesota.
  • The Nationals announced nine minor league signings today.

Pirates Notes: Clement, Wood, Sanchez

If they continue at their current pace, the Pirates will win 69 games this year, a level they haven't reached since 2004.  That year, Oliver Perez posted a 2.98 ERA with 239 strikeouts, Jason Bay slugged .550, and Jose Mesa saved 43 games.  Today's Bucs links:

  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports has a feature on the Jeff Clement, one of few draft picks among the first dozen in 2005 who has yet to become at least a big league regular.  The Mariners nearly chose Troy Tulowitzki third overall instead of Clement, but GM Bill Bavasi apparently drafted for need.  Clement's agent Brodie Van Wagenen believes his client didn't get a legitimate opportunity with the Mariners.  Clement is trying to move forward as a first baseman for the Pirates, once he recovers from knee surgery.
  • Regarding recent low-risk pickup Brandon Wood, GM Neal Huntington told Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Our scouts still see the authority off the bat, they still see the raw power, they still see the impact.  Obviously the guy with this kind of pedigree, sometimes a change of scenery helps these guys. Our due diligence we did said it's a good person, it's a hard worker who needed a change of scenery."  Wood's Pirates debut will come tonight at third base, batting sixth against John Lannan and the Nationals.
  • Freddy Sanchez took his '09 trade from the Pirates to the Giants hard, he told Brink's colleague Dejan Kovacevic.  It didn't help that he wasn't able to contribute much to his new team due to knee and shoulder injuries.
  • Be sure to check out MLBTR's Pirates Facebook and Twitter pages and RSS feed.  For my look at the team's 2012 contract issues, click here.

Padres’, Pirates’ Notable Non-Roster Invitees

The Padres and Pirates have announced their Spring Training non-roster invitees, write MLB.com's Corey Brock and Jenifer Langosch, respectively.

Among San Diego's 20 NRIs is a small handful of players with big-league experience and a decent chance of making the 25-man roster at the end of Spring Training. Here's a quick look at some of those guys:

  • Kevin Frandsen has spent parts of five seasons with the Giants and Angels, and he has a "good shot" of catching on with the Padres as a utility man, according to Brock. The 28-year-old plays multiple positions and would earn a salary of $575,000.
  • Guillermo Quiroz could challenge Rob Johnson for the backup catching job, notes Brock. Quiroz, 29, has played for four teams (Rangers, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles) in parts of seven seasons.
  • Gregorio Petit spent parts of two seasons with the A's as a utility infielder in 2008-09. The 26-year-old spent the entirety of 2010 with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.
  • Bullpen hopefuls Luis Perdomo and Scott Munter each have Major League experience. Perdomo made 35 appearances with San Diego in 2009 but only one last season, and Munter was with the Giants for parts of three seasons.

The Pirates, meanwhile, have a slightly more interesting cast of notable names:

  • Garrett Atkins, Jeff Clement, Josh Fields and Andy Marte form a quartet of one-time blue-chip prospects. Atkins, in particular, was an above-average player for the Rockies in 2006-07, but he declined quickly in the following years. Clement, a former catcher, was a No. 3 overall pick of the Mariners in 2005, and Fields and Marte were raw-power corner-infield prospects coming up with the White Sox and Braves/Indians, respectively.
  • On the pitching side, Tyler Yates has a 8.1 K/9 for his career but did not pitch in the bigs in 2010. Donald Veal, selected by the Bucs from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft prior to the 2009 season, is a hard-throwing but wild lefty. Brian Burres has started 54 games in his five-year career with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates. Sean Gallagher was dealt from the Cubs to the A's in the deal that sent Rich Harden to Chicago, and has appeared in 91 games. Fernando Nieve has appeared in 99 games (19 starts) with the Astros and Mets in parts of four seasons.

Pirates Designate Joe Martinez For Assignment

The Pirates designated righty Joe Martinez for assignment to open a spot for Kevin Correia, tweets MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.  She adds that they also announced non-roster spring training invites for Tyler Yates, Jeff Clement, Rudy Owens, and Justin Wilson.

Martinez, 28 in February, was acquired by the Pirates from the Giants along with John Bowker in the trade deadline deal for Javier Lopez.  He posted a 3.94 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and 1.0 HR/9 in 109 2/3 Triple-A innings this year.  Baseball America ranked him 30th among Giants prospects heading into the '09 season.  They called him "a groundball machine" with a "sinking 86-88 mph fastball, a true curveball and a plus changeup consistently down in the strike zone."


Pirates And Mariners Make Seven Player Deal

1:24pm: Kovacevic reports that the Pirates will pay nearly all of the money owed to Wilson and Snell this year. The Mariners will pay each player $400k. Kovacevic breaks out the calculator and finds that the Pirates will send a total of $3,308,702.19 to Seattle along with Snell and Wilson.

12:28pm: Kovacevic hears that the Pirates are contributing a "significant amount" of cash in the deal. 

12:16pm: ESPN's Buster Olney believes the Mariners might be inclined to exercise Wilson's 2010 option, which wasn't likely for the Pirates.  Jack Zduriencik's comments support this:  "As we move forward over the next few years it is nice to know that we have solidified the shortstop position."

11:58am: Kovacevic says Cedeno's the only player who will report to the Pirates. Clement will head to Triple A, the others to A ball. 

MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo calls it a "pretty good haul" for the Pirates and Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus says it's the best deal the Pirates have made yet. 

11:45am: Kovacevic says the Mariners acquire Wilson and Ian Snell for Clement, Ronny Cedeno, Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin and Nathan Adcock.

11:41am: Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Mariners acquire Jack Wilson in the deal.

11:40am: Ed Price of AOL FanHouse hears that the Pirates are getting Jeff Clement from the Mariners along with other minor leaguers.

WEDNESDAY, 10:14am: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports report that the Indians and Rays say they're not involved in talks for Clement, who was told last night that he's about to be dealt.

TUESDAY, 11:36pm: DH/catcher Jeff Clement was pulled from the Tacoma Rainiers' lineup in the third inning tonight, according to Ryan Divish of The News Tribune.  His analysis:

I have it on pretty reliable source that it is not injury related.  Clement has been rumored to be part of possible trades already this season and maybe he is part of a package deal.  Or perhaps, he is being called up in place of another player for the Mariners, who might be getting dealt.

Meanwhile trade target Jarrod Washburn just wrapped up what could be his last start with the Mariners.  He tossed seven strong innings to lower his ERA to a sparkling 2.64 in front of scouts from the Yankees, Phillies, Brewers, and Rangers.  Washburn, a Boras client and impending free agent, sure knows how to time his best seasons.


Brewers Aren’t Pursuing Washburn

Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports report that the Brewers aren't seriously discussing a trade for Jarrod Washburn. They've lost 16 of their last 23 games and are reluctant to give up the prospects the Mariners would require in return, especially when Washburn profiles only as a Type B free agent.

The Mariners are looking to make a bigger deal involving Washburn, possibly one involving recent trade candidate Jeff Clement. Rosenthal says the Yankees inquired about the Mariners' lefty recently.


Taking Stock Of Seattle’s Trade Chips

The Mariners are in the playoff hunt with a 46-42 record, though many expected them to be sellers this month. As Gregg Bell of the AP reports, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu and trade candidate Jarrod Washburn say they want to keep the team together and attempt to win now.

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says the Mariners "seem destined to make some trades" this month and offers up some trade candidates:
  • Miguel Batista – Baker says it makes sense to move Batista, who makes $3.3MM before the end of the year. He could offset salary coming to Seattle.
  • Relievers Sean White and Mark Lowe would atract interest and the Mariners may feel they have enough depth to part with one of them, especially with prospect Phillippe Aumont on his way.
  • Unless the Mariners fall from contention, Baker suggests it makes sense to hold Erik Bedard, whose value is limited because of his time on the DL.  
  • Dealing Jarrod Washburn is a "no-brainer" if the M's fall out of it.  
  • Brandon Morrow, Wladimir Balentien and Jeff Clement could all be moved as well.