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Jerry Sands Rumors
The day’s minor moves will be tracked right here:
- The Dodgers have outrighted Scott Baker to Triple-A Oklahoma City following his DFA, tweets J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group. The 33-year-old Baker was designated on Sunday following a pair of starts in which he allowed seven runs in 11 innings of work with an 8-to-3 K/BB ratio. The former Twin has yet to establish himself as a credible mid-rotation starter, as he was in Minnesota from 2007-11, after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012.
- Left-hander Joseph Ortiz has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa after being designated for assignment by the Cubs over the weekend, MLBTR has learned (Twitter link). The 24-year-old Ortiz enjoyed a solid season with the Rangers in 2013 at just 22 years of age, working to a 4.23 ERA with 27 strikeouts against eight unintentional walks in 44 2/3 innings. Ortiz was involved in a freak accident prior to the 2014 season when was struck by a motorcyclist while walking down the street in his native Venezuela. The resulting fractures in his left foot cost him much of the 2014 season. Ortiz was claimed off waivers by the Cubs this winter and has a 3.38 ERA in 10 2/3 Triple-A innings, though he’s struck out just one hitter despite a career K/9 of 8.6 in the Minors.
- Steven Tolleson has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A by the Blue Jays, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca tweets. The infielder could find himself back on the active roster in short order, per Davidi, as the club is currently lacking a reserve middle infielder after today’s roster moves.
- The Padres have purchased the rights to catcher Yenier Bello from the independent league’s Joplin Blasters, according to Mark Schremmer of the Joplin Globe (via Twitter). Bello, 30, was released by the Braves just one year after signing out of Cuba. It seems rather likely that he will be looked upon as an organizational depth piece by the San Diego organization.
- The Indians announced that outfielder Jerry Sands has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A. Sands could have declined the assignment and shopped his early-season .348/.400/.435 batting line on the open market, but apparently felt his best opportunity remained with the Cleveland organization.
Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:
- The Athletics have released outfielder Cody Ross, according to the MLB.com transactions page. The A’s designated Ross for assignment yesterday when they claimed outfielder Alex Hassan from the Rangers. Ross will now be free to sign elsewhere, with the Diamondbacks still responsible for most of his $9.5MM salary (and the entire $1MM buyout on his 2016 option). After struggling with Arizona last season, Ross got just two hits in 25 plate appearances with Oakland.
- The Indians have outrighted outfielder Jerry Sands to Triple-A, tweets MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. Since the 27-year-old has been outrighted before, he can decline the assignment and become a free agent. Sands was designated for assignment by the Indians Wednesday after compiling a .348/.400/.435 slash in 25 plate appearances.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Marlins), Steven Tolleson (Blue Jays), Jorge Rondon (Rockies), Andy Wilkins (Blue Jays), Matt West (Blue Jays), and Joseph Ortiz (Cubs) remain in DFA limbo, per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.
Sands, 27, has taken 25 trips to the plate this year and produced eight base hits and two walks, good for a short-sample .400 on-base percentage. He has not received much opportunity at the big league level since a solid-enough run at age 23 with the Dodgers (.253/.338/.389 in 227 plate appearances). But in parts of five seasons at the Triple-A level, Sands has slashed a useful .264/.346/.483.
Following yesterday’s MRI, the Twins will place right-hander Ricky Nolasco on the disabled list and recall prospect Trevor May to join the rotation, reports Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. After signing a four-year, $49MM contract in the 2013-14 offseason, Nolasco’s first season was marred by an elbow injury that limited his time on the field and led to an ERA well north of 5.00. He improved upon returning from the DL, so both he and the team hoped to leave last season’s struggles in the past. Unfortunately, his elbow flared up again in an ugly first start, leading to the forthcoming decision to officially place him back on the DL. May, ranked as one of Minnesota’s best prospects by Baseball America (No. 9), MLB.com (No. 11) and Fangraphs (No. 9), notched an excellent 2.85 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 98 Triple-A innings last year. He was hit hard in his first taste of MLB action, registering a ghastly 7.88 ERA, but a sky-high .377 BABIP contributed heavily to those troubles. One would think that this could be an opportunity for May to seize a rotation spot for the long run if he performs well out of the gate.
Here’s more from the AL Central…
- The Indians announced today that they’ve purchased the contract of first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands, optioned Austin Adams to the Minors and transferred Josh Tomlin to the 60-day DL. The addition of Sands may not be a long-term maneuver, however, as MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian tweets that Sands will serve as outfield insurance while Michael Brantley deals with a back issue. (Brantley is in the lineup for today’s home opener, though.)
- In a Royals mailbag, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star notes that while the team’s bullpen is excellent, its composition isn’t exactly ideal. The only Royals relievers with options remaining are Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera. The Royals lack the flexibility to option a lesser reliever to the Minors without first exposing them to waivers, thereby eliminating the possibility of making roster moves to bring in a fresh arm when necessary. McCullough opines, though, that a trade won’t be necessary upon Luke Hochevar‘s activation from the disabled list. McCullough also handicaps future rotation options and discusses Mike Moustakas‘ outlook in the piece.
- Joakim Soria is better equipped to be the Tigers‘ closer than Joe Nathan, writes MLive.com’s James Schmehl, and while Soria will indeed own the ninth inning while Nathan is on the disabled list, that transition in no way fixes the Detroit ‘pen, he opines. The Tigers lack a reliable option to step into the eighth inning on a consistent basis, and the move of Soria to the ninth inning only further exemplifies what a thin relief corps Detroit has on its hands. Manager Brad Ausmus called the bullpen “a little bit of a concern” but said he only expects Nathan to be sidelined for a few weeks. All this said, I doubt there’d be much surprise around the game if the Tigers were yet again seeking bullpen help on the trade market this season.
Let’s have a look at some notes out of Indians camp:
- While extension negotiations between the Indians and Corey Kluber have been friendly, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that it is a high-risk situation for both sides. For the team, the appeal of cost certainty (and, potentially, extended team control) is obvious, but guaranteeing money for the soon-to-be 29-year-old does have downside. And for Kluber, as agent B.B. Abbott notes, there is a balance to be struck between achieving fair value and locking up some security as an older pre-arb player. “If he considers this, he is doing it with his eyes wide open,” said Abbott. “He knows this will be the only time to sign this kind of multi-year deal.”
- The Indians have informed veteran pitchers Bruce Chen, Shaun Marcum, and Scott Downs that all three will not be on the Opening Day roster out of camp, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer reports. All three are in camp on minor league deals. Of that group, only Downs is an Article XX(B) free agent, meaning that he will need to be offered a $100K retention bonus if the club wishes to retain his rights in the minors. Both Chen and Marcum have out clauses in their deals permitting them to return to the open market rather than going to Triple-A, Hoynes reports.
- Another player still battling for a roster spot, outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands, helped his cause with a mammoth home run yesterday, as Hoynes reports. While the quality production out of his right-handed bat this spring has increased his appeal to Cleveland, Sands is still not far removed from surgery on his tendon sheath and can be controlled through an assignment in the minors to start the year. “I don’t know if Sands fits yet,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “But you have to believe that a guy that can do what he does at some point is going to help us. Is it opening day, we don’t know yet. But we’re glad he’s here.”
Former Royals infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen has retired from baseball, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Now 33 years old, Teahen last appeared in the Majors in 2011 and most recently split the 2013 season between the D-Backs’ minor league system and indy ball. Teahen had an outstanding 2006 season in which he batted .290/.357/.517 with 18 homers and 10 steals, but he was never able to repeat that success. Teahen eventually found himself the recipient of a three-year, $14MM extension with the White Sox that provided the bulk of his $21MM career earnings. All told, he will finish his career as a .264/.327/.409 hitter in 3171 plate appearances.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- Outfielder Jason Pridie and right-hander Merrill Kelly have signed with the SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. The 31-year-old Pridie has received cups of coffee in each of the past three seasons but accrued most of his big league service time with the 2011 Mets when he batted .231/.309/.370 in 236 PA. He’s perhaps best known for being part of the trade that sent Delmon Young to Minnesota and Matt Garza to Tampa. Kelly, on the other hand, has spent his entire career with the Rays organization. He’s posted a career 3.40 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 527 1/3 innings and reached Triple-A for the first time in 2014.
- Former Tigers infielder Danny Worth has signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks, reports MLive.com’s Chris Iott. Worth received offers from multiple clubs, including one who had interest in him as a pitcher, Iott adds (Worth pitched twice in 2014 and actually throws a decent knuckleball). The 29-year-old Worth is a career .230/.293/.295 hitter with Detroit and a .242/.320/.350 hitter at the Triple-A level.
- Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports (via Twitter) that the D-Backs have also signed former big league outfielder Ben Francisco to a minor league deal. Francisco, now 33 years of age, didn’t see big league action in 2014 but has a career .253/.323/.418 batting line in parts of seven big league seasons.
- Eddy also tweets that the Red Sox have signed right-hander Nestor Molina and catcher Luke Montz to minor league deals. Molina struggled in parts of three seasons in the White Sox’ minor league system after being acquired in the Sergio Santos trade. Montz is a 31-year-old veteran with 56 big league plate appearances and a .232/.318/.456 batting line in parts of four seasons at the Triple-A level.
- The Royals have signed infielder Gabriel Noriega, tweets Eddy. Noriega is described by Eddy as a slick fielder who made a couple of Royals Top 30 prospects lists. The 27-year-old hit .275/.299/.360 between Double-A and Triple-A in the Mariners organization last year.
- The Marlins have acquired righty Craig Stem from the Dodgers to complete the Kyle Jensen trade, Miami announced. Stem reached Double-A last year at age 24, but struggled mightily upon his promotion. The Dodgers are now expected to designate Jensen for assignment to clear room for the signing of Brandon McCarthy, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.
- First baseman Clint Robinson has joined the Nationals on a minor league pact, Ryan Walton reported on Twitter (and Robinson himself confirmed through a tweet). The 29-year-old has scant MLB experience, but torched the PCL with a .312/.401/.534 line over 499 plate appearances last year.
- Dan Johnson is set to reach a minor league deal with the Astros, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. Johnson is 35 and has not reached triple-digit MLB plate appearances since 2010 (and 2007 before that), but owns a lifetime .281/.401/.509 slash at the Triple-A level.
- The White Sox have added lefty Zach Phillips on a minor league deal, Eddy reports on Twitter. As Eddy notes, the South Siders have been loading up on LOOGY depth this offseason. The 28-year-old has seen sporadic big league action, with 15 2/3 innings to his credit over 2011-13, and spent some time last year playing in Japan.
- The Indians have added catcher Brett Hayes and corner outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands on minor league deals, Eddy tweets. Hayes has appeared in six-straight big league seasons, though he’s never seen more than 144 plate appearances in a season. Sands, 27, has mostly played at the Triple-A level in recent seasons, but did get 227 plate appearances in 2011 (.253/.338/.389).
- After being non-tendered, Jose Campos (Yankees) and Gus Schlosser (Braves) have returned to their prior organizations, Eddy reports on Twitter. Both righties have moved into swingman roles in their organizations, though Campos has yet even to reach High-A while Schlosser saw 15 games in the big leagues last year.
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Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:
- Outfielder Jerry Sands has elected free agency rather than accept his outright assignment to Triple-A by the Rays, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The 27-year-old played just 12 games for the Rays last season (.190/.227/.333 in 22 plate appearances) before being sidelined by wrist surgery in July.
- Within the same tweet, Topkin reports the Rays have outrighted infielder Vince Belnome to Triple-A. The 26-year-old was designated for assignment, along with Sands, last Monday. Belnome, who made his MLB debut with the Rays in 2014 with 14 plate appearances in four games, has spent the past three seasons in Triple-A, but posted his worst slash at that level this year (.245/.358/.383 in 492 plate appearances).
- The Brewers have released left-hander Miguel De Los Santos, according to the team’s transactions page. The Brewers claimed the 26-year-old off waivers from the Rangers two years ago, but he never threw a pitch for the organization because of shoulder surgery and visa issues. Baseball America ranked De Los Santos 29th among Texas prospects before the 2012 season with the best changeup in the Rangers’ system.
- Eric Stults (Padres), Donn Roach (Padres), Rob Scahill (Rockies), and Roger Kieschnick (Angels) are the players remaining in DFA limbo, per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- Free agent lefty Troy Patton has received an 80-game suspension for a positive amphetamine test, the league announced today. The 29-year-old lefty only threw 14 MLB innings this year after two full seasons with the Orioles, but had been solid in eight appearances with the Padres after a mid-season trade and surely would have found at least a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite.
- Backstop Johnny Monell is headed to the Mets, he announced on Twitter. He’ll get a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp in the spring, per a tweet from Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 28-year-old has only nine big league plate appearances, but has a combined .261/.343/.450 slash line over 724 Triple-A plate appearances.
- Previously designated for assignment, outfielder Jerry Sands has been outrighted by the Rays, according to the MLB.com transactions page. The 27-year-old has seen only a smattering of MLB time since a partial-season stint with the Dodgers back in 2011. At Triple-A this year, he slashed .268/.352/.474 with nine long balls over 219 plate appearances.
- The Reds have re-signed infielder Jake Elmore, with the news also coming via MLB.com. He had been outrighted after being acquired by Cincinnati in the middle of the 2014 season.
The Rays have designated outfielder Jerry Sands and infielder Vince Belnome for assignment, according to a team press release. Sands and Matt Moore were activated off the 60-day DL, and Belhome’s DFA creates a spot for Moore on Tampa Bay’s 40-man roster.
Sands was claimed off waivers from the Pirates last offseason. He only appeared in 12 games with the Rays due to wrist surgery in July. Sands, 27, has a .689 OPS over 273 Major League PA with the Rays and Dodgers since 2011.
Belnome was a 28th-round draft pick of the Padres in 2009 and he made his Major League debut with the Rays in 2014, making 14 plate appearances over four games. He has primarily played first base during his career, though he has also seen lots of time at second and third. The 26-year-old Belnome has a strong .289/.402/.459 slash line over 2613 career PA in the minors.
Here’s the recap of some notable players who saw their roster status changed over the weekend…
- The Marlins moved Jose Fernandez to the 60-day disabled list, opening up roster space for newly-acquired reliever Bryan Morris. Fernandez, of course, will be sidelined for roughly the next year as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
- The Rays moved infielder Tim Beckham to the 60-day DL and filled his 40-man roster spot by purchasing the contract of outfielder Jerry Sands from Triple-A. Sands will help fill in for Wil Myers, who went on the 15-day DL yesterday. Beckham, the first overall pick of the 2008 draft, tore his right ACL during the offseason.
- The Diamondbacks moved left-hander Matt Reynolds to the 60-day DL in order to create a 40-man roster spot for outfielder David Peralta, who had his contract purchased from Double-A. (A.J. Pollock was placed on the 15-day DL in a corresponding move.) Reynolds posted an impressive 1.98 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 4.60 K/BB rate in 27 1/3 IP out of the Arizona bullpen last season before undergoing Tommy John surgery in September.