Jeff Gray Rumors
The White Sox announced that they agreed to sign seven players to minor league contracts that include invitations to MLB Spring Training. Right-handers Jeff Gray and Ramon Troncoso, left-hander David Purcey, catcher Bryan Anderson, infielders Josh Bell and Steve Tolleson and outfielder Stefan Gartrell will all report to Glendale next month.
Gray pitched for the Twins in 2012, posting a 5.71 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 52 innings. Troncoso, who turns 30 next month, pitched for the Dodgers' Triple-A team in 2012. Purcey also spent the 2012 season at Triple-A, and he struck out more than one batter per inning at that level while struggling to limit walks. The 26-year-old Anderson appeared in ten games for last year's Cardinals team. Bell, formerly a top prospect, played in 21 games for the Diamondbacks in 2012. Tolleson appeared in 29 games with the 2012 Orioles, posting a .183/.227/.310 batting line as a utility player. Gartrell posted a .787 OPS with 20 home runs for the Braves' top affiliate last year.
Tonight's minor moves, courtesy of Baseball America's Matt Eddy (all links go to Twitter)..
- The Diamondbacks signed right-handers Nelson Figueroa, Alexis Lara, and Warner Madrigal, Eddy tweets. Figueroa, 38, spent 2012 with the Yankees and Red Sox's Triple-A affiliates. The veteran posted a 3.89 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 15 starts and ten relief appearances.
- The Dodgers signed journeyman third baseman Dallas McPherson, according to Eddy. The 32-year-old infielder has hit 144 HR at the Triple-A level for Pirates, White Sox, Athletics, Marlins, and Angels with a .276/.349/.572 batting line.
- The Nationals signed defensive-minded shortstop Brian Bocock to a minor league deal, Eddy tweets. Bocock spent last year with the Blue Jays in the minors.
- Right-hander Dave Bush will return from pitching in Korea to sign with the Blue Jays, Eddy reports. Toronto originally drafted him in the second-round in 2002.
- The Reds inked 7'1" right-hander Loek Van Mil, whose is better than his numbers would indicate, in Eddy's opinion.
- The White Sox signed utility man Andy Gonzalez, and right-hander Jeff Gray while re-signing catcher Damaso Espino and right-hander Matt Zaleski.
- The Cubs signed right-handers Andrew Carpenter and Cory Wade plus first baseman Brad Nelson to minor league deals. Wade elected free agency from the Blue Jays in late November.
- The Giants signed outfielder Cole Gillespie, a 28-year-old right-handed hitter with a career .390 OBP in Triple-A for the Diamondbacks and Brewers.
The latest outright assignments from around MLB...
- The Twins announced that they outrighted right-hander Jeff Gray to Triple-A Rochester to create 25-man roster space for Chris Parmelee. Gray, 30, posted a 5.71 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 52 innings of relief work for Minnesota this year before being removed from the roster.
Gray, 29, spent the 2011 season with the Mariners and White Sox. He posted a 4.28 ERA with 4.3 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 48 1/3 innings of relief.
The Mariners claimed Jeff Gray off of waivers from the White Sox, according to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times (on Twitter). The White Sox designated the right-hander for assignment earlier in the week. Seattle has yet to announce a corresponding move.
Gray, 29, had pitched 13 1/3 innings for the White Sox this year, with 4.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. He has a 4.36 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 53 2/3 career innings with the Athletics, Cubs and White Sox.
The White Sox designated righty Jeff Gray for assignment to open a spot on the 25-man roster for Jake Peavy, tweets MLB.com's Scott Merkin. The move leaves the Sox with 35 players on their 40-man roster.
Gray, 29, tossed 13 1/3 innings for the Sox this year, including a nice three-inning effort yesterday. The team had signed Gray to a minor league deal in December after he'd been outrighted by the Cubs. Gray had been part of the December '09 deal that sent Jake Fox and Aaron Miles to Oakland.
- Jon Daniels called a report indicating that he asked the Mets (through back channels) to hold off on their GM announcement until after the World Series "complete bull," according to CBSSports.com's Scott Miller. Daniels can opt out of his contract after the season since the Rangers were sold this year.
- Hisanori Takahashi switched agents from Peter Greenberg to Arn Tellem, tweets Newday's David Lennon. We learned that Takashi and the Mets were discussing an extension just a few days ago, but it appears that the lefty is positioning himself to test the free agent waters.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the "belief in the sport" is that Josh Byrnes will join the Padres' front office after losing out on the Mets GM gig. Byrnes has strong ties to San Diego's front office, most notably owner Jeff Moorad.
- Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe wonders if the Tigers and Red Sox are getting ready to battle for the same free agents in a few weeks.
- The Yankees have had internal discussions about how much money they'd be willing to offer Cliff Lee, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network.
- The Cubs outrighted Jeff Gray to Triple A, so he’s no longer on the team’s 40-man roster. The 28-year-old righty struggled through 9.1 big league innings this year.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com explains that the Red Sox will have trouble finding another pitching coach like John Farrell, the new Blue Jays manager.
- Omar Minaya isn't sure whether he'll stay with the Mets, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Heyman says there's a decent chance Minaya returns, since he gets along well with owner Fred Wilpon and incoming GM Sandy Alderson.
10:36pm: Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com provides us with a look at the newest Cubs, Ronny Morla and Matt Spencer.
Mayo characterizes Morla as a "solid mid-range" prospect and notes that he has been able to maintain a 93-94 MPH fastball as a starter. He also speculates that he could increase his velocity into the mid-90s if he is moved to the bullpen.
Spencer, meanwhile, is a solid athlete, especially when considering he is 6'4, 225 lbs. He has the versatility to play first base but his strong arm makes him more intriguing as an outfielder. In fact, there was once talk of him being drafted as a pitcher during his time at Arizona State.
5:51pm: Oakland will receive $1MM from the Cubs to help offset Aaron Miles' $2.7MM contract, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times (via Twitter).
5:35pm: The other two players in the deal are Ronny Morla and Matt Spencer, tweets Brent S. Gambill of Sirius XM. The Cubs will also give the Athletics cash considerations as part of the deal.
5:18pm: The Cubs have traded Jake Fox and Aaron Miles to the A's for Jeff Gray and two minor-leaguers, according to ESPNChicago.com.
Fox is the more attractive of the two for Oakland, as he has performed quite well in the Cubs' minor league system over the last three years. The 27-year-old took it to another level in '09 when he posted a remarkable slash line of .409/.495/.841 in 45 games for Chicago's Triple-A affiliate. This led to a promotion in late May in which he recorded a .779 OPS with 11 HRs in 241 plate appearances.
Miles disappointed the Cubs with his 2009 performance after receiving a two-year deal worth $4.9MM. The second baseman recorded an atrocious .466 OPS in 74 games.
One wonders if the addition of Fox could mean that Jack Cust's time in Oakland is through, as he may not be tendered an offer.