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Jeff Fiorentino Rumors
Today's minor moves..
- The Athletics have released Triple-A outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, according to Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). Fiorentino was released as one of two moves to free up spots for Daric Barton and Tyson Ross.
- The Padres signed outfielder Jorge Padilla to a minor league contract, according to CBSSports.com's transactions page. Padilla, 33 in August, had a 29-game cup of coffee with the Nationals in 2009 for his only big league service time. He's a career .292/.360/.413 hitter in parts of 15 minor league seasons.
We'll keep track of today's minor moves here, with the latest up top…
- The Athletics have signed Jim Miller to a minor league contract, reports Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle. The 29-year-old righty reliever was outrighted by the Rockies last month after pitching to a 5.25 ERA in 72 innings at Triple-A. He appeared in six games for Colorado as well.
- Within the same link, Slusser reports that the Athletics have also signed outfielder Jeff Fiorentino to a minor league pact. Fiorentino, 28, spent last season in the Orioles' and Braves' minor league systems, hitting .255/.350/.405 in 360 plate appearances. He played in Japan in 2010, and got into two games for the 2008 Athletics.
Fiorentino, 28, signed a minor league deal to return to the Orioles in January after spending a year in Japan. The Orioles drafted him in the third round in 2004, and he owns a .270/.341/.324 line in 173 plate appearances. Last year he hit .246/.356/.325 in 151 plate appearances for the Hiroshima Carp. He'll report to Double-A initially, reports O'Brien.
- The Giants signed Josh Banks to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Chris Haft. Banks, a former second round pick of the Blue Jays, has played in the majors every year since 2007, but his only extended taste of the big leagues came in 2008, when he posted a 4.75 ERA in 85 1/3 innings. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 5.66 ERA with 4.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 119 1/3 career innings.
- Jeff Fiorentino is returning to the Orioles on a minor league deal after a year in Japan, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Fiorentino, 27, has appeared in parts of four big league seasons with the Orioles and A's. He made the majors the year after the Orioles selected him the third round of the '04 draft and has since compiled a .270/.341/.324 line in 173 career plate appearances. He has played all three outfield positions, but most of his big league experience has come in center.
Let us entertain you between World Series games…
- Pitcher Rich Hill, outfielder Jeff Fiorentino and catcher Guillermo Rodriguez all rejected a minor league assignment by the Orioles and elected free agency instead. Alfredo Simon, who was also removed from the 40-man roster last week, accepted an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. Hill could draw some interest this winter.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports that former Colorado manager Clint Hurdle is likely to be the next hitting coach of the Rangers.
- Don Mattingly passed on a chance to interview for Washington's managerial opening, according to Alden Gonzalez and Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
The Orioles have declined Melvin Mora's $8MM option for 2010, likely ending his successful tenure with Baltimore.
Mora struggled in 2009, hitting just .260/.321/.358 in 496 plate appearances this past season. He will be 38 years old, and will likely command far less than his option number as a free agent.
However, for teams looking for a third baseman, Mora might be a reasonable option. He is just a year removed from hitting .285/.342/.483, while his Ultimate Zone Rating was still 1.1 runs saved above average per 150 games in 2009.
Mora criticized Dave Trembley, Baltimore's manager, in August over a lack of playing time. Therefore, once Baltimore announced Trembley's return, it became far less likely the team would retain Mora, even at a lesser cost.
Mora hit 158 home runs with Baltimore after coming over from the New York Mets in a deal for Mike Bordick.
Other Baltimore moves this afternoon included declining the $850K option on catcher Chad Moeller and outrighting outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, pitchers Chris Lambert and Jim Miller and catcher Guillermo Rodriguez after each cleared waivers.