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Here are today’s minor moves from around baseball.
- The Indians have signed Casey Weathers to a minor-league deal, Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan tweets. The hard-throwing righty and former Rockies first-round pick has struggled with his control throughout his career. He also has a lengthy injury history and missed most of the past two seasons with elbow trouble, although he says he’s now pain-free, and Passan links to a recent video of Weathers throwing 106 MPH after getting a running start.
- The Rays have signed another hard-throwing righty reliever, Jhan Marinez, according to the International League transactions page. Marinez, 26, posted a 6.69 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 7.1 BB/9 in 40 1/3 innings in the Dodgers and Tigers systems in 2014, struggling badly with his control. He last appeared in the big leagues with the White Sox in 2012.
- The Rangers have signed righty Mitch Atkins, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Atkins, 29, pitched for Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett in the Braves system in 2014, posting a combined 3.76 ERA, 7.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 141 1/3 innings. He pitched briefly in the big leagues for the Cubs (2009-2010) and Orioles (2011).
Today’s minor moves …
- The Blue Jays have loaned veteran minor-leaguer Ricardo Nanita to Los Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican League, according to the International League transactions page. The 32-year-old outfielder has seen time at or above the Double-A level in every season since 2006, but has yet to crack the bigs in spite of a .315/.364/.463 line through 1,133 plate appearances at Triple-A. Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star profiled Nanita and his dreams of making the Show this spring, but he received only 17 opportunities to swing the bat this year for Buffalo.
- Outfielder Mike Wilson has been released by the Reds, according to the International League transactions page. Wilson was slashing .205/.293/.364 in 99 plate appearances at Triple-A. The 30-year-old, who received a brief call-up in 2011 with the Mariners, has (like Nanita) spent parts of six seasons at the highest level of the minors.
- Jhan Marinez, a 25-year-old righty, was released by the Tigers (also via the International League transactions page). Marinez, who has tossed 5 1/3 MLB innings in two brief stints, had worked to a disappointing 8.84 ERA in 18 1/3 frames at Triple-A Toledo, racking up 21 strikeouts but also 21 free passes on the year.
- The Tigers have granted Nate Robertson his release, a team official told James Schmehl of MLive.com. Robertson signed a minor league deal with Detroit a little over two months ago. Even though he was a mainstay in the Tigers’ rotation from 2004-2008, Robertson has been out of the major leagues since 2010. There was some hope that the 36-year-old, who has reinvented himself as a sidearming reliever, could fill the second lefty role in the Tigers’ pen. However, he struggled with command for much of the season in Triple-A Toledo.
- The Orioles announced that right-hander Evan Meek has cleared optional waivers and been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Meek was designated off of the 25-man roster yesterday but kept on the 40-man, but he could not be sent down without passing through revocable optional waivers first. Through 11 2/3 big league innings, he has allowed nine earned runs and struck out nine against six free passes. Over 184 1/3 career innings, most of them with the Pirates, Meek has a 3.56 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 4.7 BB/9.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves here:
- The Royals announced a series of minor league signings, including for third baseman Brandon Laird, outfielder Paulo Orlando and right-hander Wilking Rodriguez. Laird, 26, is the younger brother of Gerald Laird and joins the Royals from the Astros, where he received major league playing time in 2013. Orlando, 28, is re-upping with the Royals after six seasons in the organization. The 23-year-old Rodriguez will transition to the Royals after seven seasons in the Rays' farm system. He has a career 3.90 ERA, mostly as a starter, but has never reached Double-A.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America has updates on a number of clubs' minor league signings. Among those with MLB experience (with links to Twitter): The Rockies will return Bobby Cassevah and Matt McBride, and have added righty Greg Burke. Headed to the Tigers is righty Jhan Marinez, while Gorkys Hernandez and Edinson Rincon will stick with the Royals organization. The Phillies have brought back shortstop Andres Blanco. And the Dodgers inked utility infielder Brendan Harris. Other clubs with new signings include the Orioles, Reds, Marlins, White Sox, and Athletics.
- The Cubs have signed outfielder Casper Wells, according to a tweet from Eddy. The team also added righties Paolo Espino and Carlos Pimentel, along with shortstop Jeudy Valdez. Wells got 102 plate appearances with three different clubs last year, posting a meager .126/.186/.147 line that is perhaps understandable given his constant movement and scant playing time. In 2012, over 316 plate appearances with the Mariners, Wells was good for a .228/.302/.396 slash.
- In addition to bringing back righty Benino Pruneda and catcher Jose Yepez on minor league deals, the Braves have added former Phillies backstop Steven Lerud, tweets Eddy. Lerud appeared in nine games for the Phils between 2012-13. At Triple-A last year, he had an interesting .217/.353/.311 line over 219 plate appearances, as he drew nearly as many walks (35) as he had hits (39).
- Cutting ties with a major international acquisition, the Nationals have released righty Yunesky Maya, Eddy tweets. Washington saw little return on its $6MM investment in Maya, who had been outrighted off of the club's major league roster early in the 2013 season. After struggling in two brief call-ups in 2011-12, Maya's last stint with the Nats was even more regrettable. In his only MLB appearance of the 2013 season, Maya retired one batter in the bottom of the tenth before surrendering a walk-off home run to Pablo Sandoval.
- The Cubs have released outfielder Dave Sappelt, tweets Eddy. As Eddy notes, Sappelt was one of the pieces — along with lefty Travis Wood and second baseman Ronald Torreyes — picked up by Chicago in the deal that sent Sean Marshall to Cincinnati. The 26-year-old Sappelt has a .251/.301/.343 slash line in 274 plate appearances spread over the 2011-13 seasons. He has spent most of his time in Triple-A over that time frame, and posted a sub-.700 OPS in each of his two years at Iowa.
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Here are Sunday's minor moves from around MLB:
- The White Sox outrighted reliever Jhan Marinez to Triple-A Charlotte, according to MLB.com's transaction page. Marinez posted a 6.11 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 for Charlotte in 2013. He had big-league cameos with the White Sox in 2012 and Marlins in 2010. The White Sox acquired him from Miami when they sent Ozzie Guillen to the Fish after the 2011 season.
- The Mets tweeted right-hander Aaron Harang will join the club tomorrow along with catcher Juan Centeno and outfielder Mike Baxter. Neither Harang nor Centeno are on the Mets' 40-man roster and, with no openings, corresponding moves will need to be made. Harang was signed to a minor league deal by the Mets a week ago today and appeared in just one game at Triple-A Las Vegas: four innings, two runs (both earned), seven hits (one home run), five strikeouts, and one walk. Harang made 22 starts for the Mariners this year. In 120 1/3 innings, the 35-year-old posted a 5.76 ERA, 6.5 K/9, and 2.1 BB/9.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.