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Here are today’s minor moves from around the game.
- The White Sox have announced that they’ve selected the contract of righty Chris Beck to be the 26th man for the second game of their doubleheader today. Beck, 24, has made his way through the minors with few strikeouts but strong control, posting 5.4 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 since the White Sox drafted him in the second round in 2012. This season, he had a 4.78 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 26 1/3 innings with Triple-A Charlotte.
- The Reds have signed outfielder Jose Constanza to a minor-league deal, according to MLB.com’s transactions page. The 31-year-old Constanza collected 240 plate appearances with the Braves from 2011 through 2014, batting .273/.316/.323. He spent most of last season with Triple-A Gwinnett. The Braves released him last month.
- The Blue Jays have signed veteran starter Joel Pineiro to a minor-league deal and assigned him to Double-A New Hampshire, Jays broadcaster Mike Wilner tweets. Pineiro, 36, last pitched in the big leagues with the Angels in 2011. He pitched briefly in the Cubs and Angels systems in a comeback bid last season, then pitched winter ball in Puerto Rico.
- The Brewers will sign infielder Chris Nelson to a minor-league deal, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (Twitter links). The Phillies recently released Nelson from their minor-league deal with him. The five-year veteran played briefly with the Padres in 2014. The former first-round pick has a career line of .265/.311/.388, with many of his at-bats coming in hitter-friendly Coors Field.
- The Padres have outrighted catcher Wil Nieves to Triple-A El Paso, according to the MLB.com transactions page. The Padres designated Nieves for assignment earlier this week to make room for top prospect Austin Hedges. It’s unclear whether Nieves will accept his outright assignment or opt for free agency. Nieves appeared in just six games for the Padres this year.
- The Cubs have outrighted righty Anthony Varvaro, also according to the MLB.com transactions page. The Cubs recently claimed Varvaro from the Red Sox and then designated him for assignment on Wednesday. He did not appear in a game for them. He pitched in nine games for Boston earlier this season.
- The Athletics have released outfielder Alex Hassan, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. That news might actually come as a relief to Hassan, who had been claimed five times in the past seven months. The A’s designated Hassan for assignment yesterday.
- The Angels have released corner infielder Ryan Wheeler, via the Pacific Coast League transactions page. They had claimed the 26-year-old from the Rockies last August. Wheeler, who played briefly in the big leagues in 2012, 2013 and 2014, was hitting .291/.304/.418 for Triple-A Salt Lake, although he has a track record of hitting for better power at the Triple-A level.
- The Rays have announced that they’ve placed Alex Cobb, who’s having Tommy John surgery, on the 60-day DL and selected the contract of 23-year-old righty Andrew Bellatti. Bellatti had struck out 20 batters in 21 1/3 innings at Triple-A Durham this season, posting a 2.11 ERA, pitching as a starter even though he had spent most of the previous three seasons working in relief. As Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times explains, it’s been a strange path to the Majors for Bellatti, a 2009 draft pick who spent a few months in jail for vehicular manslaughter following a 2010 car accident.
Full Story | 18 Comments | Categories: Alex Hassan | Anthony Varvaro | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Chris Nelson | Cincinnati Reds | Joel Pineiro | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Milwaukee Brewers | Oakland Athletics | Ryan Wheeler | San Diego Padres | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Wil Nieves
Here are today’s outright assignments and minor moves from around the league…
- UPDATE: Maikel Cleto has not, in fact, been released by the White Sox, according to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin (via Twitter). The International League transactions page indicates that the righty has been released, apparently erroneously. Cleto, 25, has seen his most extended MLB time this year after enjoying cups of coffee in each of the last three seasons. But he has not taken advantage, and owns a 5.14 ERA through 14 frames with an ugly 6.4 K/9 against 9.6 BB/9. Cleto’s 20 2/3 innings in Triple-A have not been much better, as he has worked to a 6.53 mark, though he has managed 12.2 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9.
- Righty Joel Pineiro, recently released by the Angels, has been hit with a 50-game PED suspension, reports MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter). The prohibited substance at issue was heptaminol, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (tweet in Spanish). The 35-year-old, who had been attempting a comeback, owns a 5.93 ERA through 44 innings in the upper minors on the year.
- Shortstop Paul Janish has been released by the Rockies, according to the PCL transactions page. Janish opted out of his minor league pact, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter). The 31-year-old has spent the entire year at Triple-A, putting up a .234/.284/.301 slash in 226 plate appearances.
- Righty Chris Resop has opted out of his contract with the Red Sox, tweets Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. The 31-year-old owns a 4.42 ERA through 38 2/3 frames at Triple-A. He has made MLB appearances in eight of the last nine seasons.
- The Dodgers have acquired first baseman Brock Peterson from the Nationals in exchange for cash considerations, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Peterson, 30, owns a .250/.332/.367 line through 301 plate appearances at Triple-A this year. He has, however, shown much more power in recent seasons in the high minors with the Cardinals.
- The White Sox have released righty Mitchell Boggs from Triple-A, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (via Twitter). The move will clear space for the addition of fellow reliever Henry Rodriguez, who signed a minor league deal recently, as Scott Merkin of MLB.com reported on Twitter. Boggs struggled to a 9.50 ERA in 36 innings with the Sox’ top affiliate this year, while Rodriguez was utterly unable to throw strikes consistently during his tenure with the Marlins.
- The Phillies announced that right-hander Sean O’Sullivan has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 26-year-old allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his lone start of the year with the Phillies and has a career 5.90 ERA with 4.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 224 1/3 innings of work. O’Sullivan has been outrighted in the past and has the option to reject the outright assignment in favor of free agency.
Here are today’s minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…
- Phillies outfielder Zach Collier cleared waivers and was outrighted to Double-A, the team announced. The Phils designated Collier for assignment earlier this week. Collier, picked 34th overall in 2008, has a .240/.312/.349 slash line over 2084 career minor league plate appearances.
- The Braves released righty Kameron Loe, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via Twitter). Loe posted an 8.83 ERA in 17 1/3 relief innings with Triple-A Gwinnett after signing a minor league deal with the Braves last month. This is Loe’s third change of teams in 2014, as he already opted out of a minor league deal with the Giants in March and was released by the Royals in May.
- The Angels released right-hander Joel Pineiro, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports (Twitter link). Pineiro struggled to a 7.48 ERA over four Triple-A starts after signing a minor league deal with the Halos earlier this month. Pineiro was attempting a comeback after missing most of 2012 and all of 2013 recovering from shoulder problems, and the Angels were his second stop after already being released by the Cubs earlier this season.
- The Reds have signed left-hander Scott Maine to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A. Maine had been pitching for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League, and the transaction was announced via Bridgeport’s team website. The southpaw had a 4.95 ERA, 10.4 K/9 and a 5.75 K/BB rate in 20 innings for the Bluefish this season, with all but one of his 19 appearances coming out of the bullpen. Maine posted a 5.59 ERA and 48 strikeouts over 46 2/3 IP with the Cubs and Indians from 2010-12, though he was plagued by both the long ball (1.5 HR/9) and walks (4.8 BB/9) over his brief stint in the bigs. Maine spent 2013 pitching in the Marlins’ farm system.
Here are today’s minor moves from throughout baseball.
- The Phillies have signed former Red Sox infielder Nate Spears, reports Mike Ashmore of MyCentralJersey.com (via Twitter; hat tip to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com). Spears, 29, had been playing with the indy league Somerset Patriots. Despite two very brief cups of coffee with Boston, Spears has not recorded a hit in eight MLB plate appearances. He owns a career .244/.335/.371 line through 1,442 career plate appearances at the Triple-A level.
- Joel Pineiro has signed a minor-league deal with the Angels, according to MiLB.com, and he will start tonight for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees. The Cubs had recently released him. Pineiro is attempting to make it back to the big leagues after having last appeared in the Majors in 2011. He had made four starts with the Double-A Tennessee Smokies, posting a 4.43 ERA in 22 1/3 innings with 4.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.
- Infielder Danny Worth has accepted his outright assignment and will head to Triple-A Toledo, Chris Iott of MLive.com tweets. The Tigers designated worth for assignment on Wednesday after he hit .167/.217/.190 in 46 plate appearances.
- The Angels have outrighted pitchers Michael Brady, Jarrett Grube and Brooks Raley, according to MiLB.com. After a strong 2013 season in the Marlins organization, Brady has struggled in the high minors in 2014, posting a 7.18 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9. Grube, 32, made his big-league debut for the Angels last week. He had posted a 3.52 ERA in 61 1/3 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake with 7.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. The Angels claimed Raley from the Twins last month, and he struggled for Salt Lake, allowing 26 runs in 21 innings there. These moves likely signal that the Angels are about to make other transactions that will affect their 40-man roster.
The Cubs have agreed to terms with right-hander Joel Pineiro on a minor league contract, according to Hiram Torraca of El Nuevo Dia in Puerto Rico (Spanish Twitter link). The Puerto Rican veteran will spend 10 days in extended Spring Training before reporting to Triple-A Iowa, per Torraca. Pineiro is a client of the Wasserman Media Group.
Pineiro, 35, hasn't appeared in the Major Leagues since 2011 or the minor leagues since 2012. He inked a minor league deal with the Orioles last offseason after shoulder surgery cut his 2012 campaign short. Pineiro spent some time rehabbing with the club, but he was released midway through the season without getting into a game. Earlier this offseason, Pineiro was said by MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez to be attempting a comeback.
Pineiro experienced success with the Mariners early in his career, posting a 3.29 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 481 1/3 innings with the team from 2001-03 — his age-22 to age-24 seasons. He scuffled over the next several years, however, and ultimately found himself released by Seattle.
After a brief stop with the Red Sox, Pineiro became one of the many pitchers to experience a career resurgence under the tutelage of Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan. Pineiro pitched to a 3.49 ERA in 214 innings for the Cardinals in 2009 and led the league with a stellar 1.1 BB/9 rate (which helped offset his low 4.4 K/9 clip). That performance helped him land a two-year, $16MM contract with the Angels, and while he maintained his strong performance in 2010, he struggled again in 2011 and hasn't been back to the bigs since.
For his career, Pineiro owns a 4.41 ERA with 5.4 K.9, 2.5 BB/9 and a strong 49.2 percent ground-ball rate thanks to his sinker. Chicago's rotation currently consists of Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel and Carlos Villanueva, with both Jake Arrieta and James McDonald on the disabled list. A strong performance for Pineiro at Triple-A could get him some consideration for starts later in the season in the event of further injuries or trades of current rotation members such as Samardzija or Hammel.
Two-sport stars do not always choose baseball, but those who do tend to cite the better financial prospects from the player's perspective, writes USA Today's Gabe Lacques. Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley, for example, says it was hard to turn down the chance to be "a legend" by playing quarterback for Oklahoma, but his awareness of the lack of guaranteed money and attrition in football led him to take a $5MM signing bonus. Billy Hamilton and Carl Crawford are other players quoted in the article who do note regret their choice. "Look, there's way more money in baseball," says Cubs president Theo Epstein. "We have to do a better job as an industry in promulgating that fact." Or, as Bradley puts things, "obviously, guaranteed money is never a bad thing."
Here are a few more stray notes from the day:
- Longtime Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter says he is at peace with his decision to hang up his spikes, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 38-year-old says that, after working out over the winter, he knew it was time: "It's not going to work," he realized. "No matter how hard I push it's just not going to happen." Carpenter and GM John Mozeliak are still sorting out what role he will play in the organization going forward.
- Veteran hurler Joel Pineiro is still working on his comeback, tweets Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. He showed off his form a few days back in front of at least a dozen teams' representatives. The 35-year-old righty has played in parts of twelve MLB campaigns, posting a lifetime 4.41 ERA over 1,754 1/3 innings, but has not pitched in the bigs since 2011.
- Another familiar arm, Aaron Cook, is now pumping the brakes on his own attempt at a return, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Though he is not retiring, Cook is reportedly unlikely to pitch in the coming season. The 35-year-old has a career stat-line not unlike that of Pineiro, with a 4.60 ERA over 1,406 1/3 frames in parts of 11 seasons. After developing into a solid innings-eater in his late twenties, Cook's production took a distinct downturn over the 2010-12 campaigns.
Former Mariners, Red Sox, Cardinals and Angels pitcher Joel Pineiro is trying to make his way back to the big leagues, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports. Pineiro is pitching in Puerto Rico this winter, and he'll start against a Cuban team on Tuesday in the Caribbean Series. Sanchez notes that the start could help Pineiro win a minor-league deal, but it also could be his last start as a pro. Still, Pineiro remains hopeful.
"Hopefully, I'll know more after Tuesday," Pineiro says. "[L]ook at a guy like Scott Kazmir. He stands out because he was with us in Anaheim, goes to Independent ball, got a chance with Cleveland and made the team. … A lot of players like Kazmir or Marlon Byrd have a good winter ball experience and Caribbean Series and all of a sudden, they get a second chance."
Pineiro last pitched in the big leagues in 2011 with the Angels. He made five starts in the Orioles system in 2012, but missed much of the season with shoulder trouble. He did not pitch in 2013, and the O's released him last July. The 35-year-old has a career 4.41 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 1,754 1/3 innings, most of them as a starter.
Here are your minor moves from Monday and Tuesday with the trade deadline having passed…
- Nate Adcock was outrighted off the 40-man roster by the Diamondbacks, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Adcock has an alarming 7.35 ERA in 89 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level this season between the D'Backs and Royals organizations.
- The Braves outrighted Kameron Loe Triple-A Gwinnett after he cleared waivers, according to the International League transactions page. Loe was designated for assignment to clear 40-man roster space for Scott Downs. He threw 42 1/3 innings of 3.19 ERA ball at Triple-A Gwinnett before being called up to the Major League team last week.
- Greg Reynolds cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Louisville by the Reds, according to the team's assistant director of media relations, Jamie Ramsey (on Twitter). That seems somewhat surprising, as the former No. 2 overall draft pick posted a 2.54 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 127 1/3 innings at Louisville this season before being designated for assignment. Ramsey also notes that the Reds signed Brandon Short to a minor league deal after the outfielder was released by the White Sox.
- The Orioles have announced that right-hander Jairo Asencio has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A as well. Asencio was designated for assignment over the weekend.
- The Orioles also released right-hander Joel Pineiro from Triple-A Norfolk yesterday, the team announced on Twitter. Pineiro, a veteran of 12 Major League seasons, was injured all season and didn't throw a pitch for the Tides in 2013. He last appeared in the bigs with the Angels in 2011 and has a career 4.41 ERA in 1754 1/3 innings.
- Left-hander Duane Below has signed with the Kia Tigers of Korea, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link) and Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (also via Twitter). Below posted a 2.44 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 99 2/3 innings between the Triple-A affiliates for the Marlins and Tigers this season. He has a 4.27 ERA in 78 Major League innings.
- Nine players are in DFA limbo: Steve Susdorf of the Phillies, Joe Martinez of the Indians, Jason Bay of the Mariners, Brad Hawpe of the Angels, Yusmeiro Petit and Hunter Strickland of the Giants, Ted Lilly of the Dodgers, Brandon Inge of the Pirates and Carlos Pena of the Astros.
We'll track the day's minor moves here…
- The Padres signed second baseman Adam Buschini to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock. The 25-year-old Buschini was a fourth-round pick of the Phillies in 2009 but hasn't appeared in affiliated ball since 2010. He spent this past season in the Australian Baseball League where he won the Triple Crown by hitting .363 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs.
- Left-hander Brian Burres has agreed to sign with Taiwan's Lamigo Monkeys, agent Marc Kligman tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The 31-year-old Burres has a 5.75 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 358 1/3 innings between the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates.
- The Orioles agreed to sign right-hander Joel Pineiro to a minor league deal, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (all Twitter links). The 34-year-old last-pitched at the MLB level with the 2011 Angels. Pineiro, who pitched in the Orioles' minor league system in 2012, had surgery to repair a SLAP tear in his right shoulder last July.
- The Orioles also completed a minor league deal with left-hander Mark Hendrickson, Connolly reports. Hendrickson, the former NBA player who pitched with Baltimore from 2009-11, recently threw bullpen sessions for Orioles personnel. The 38-year-old is now pitching sidearm as he attempts to return to the MLB level for the first time since 2011.
- The Indians have agreed to sign Jeremy Hermida to a minor league contract, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter). Hermida played for the Padres in 2012, appearing in 13 games. The 29-year-old was regarded as a top prospect early in his professional career and he hit 18 home runs for the 2007 Marlins, but he hasn't produced on offense in the past three seasons. Hermida, a first round pick in 2002, bats from the left side.
A total of 549 minor league players became free agents after the season, and Baseball America's Matt Eddy lists each and every one by team and position. Some are big league veterans (Joel Pineiro, Conor Jackson), some are former top prospects (Andy LaRoche, Brandon Wood), and most fall somewhere in between.
Players who have been in the minor leagues for at least parts of seven seasons are automatically granted free agency, though there are other conditions that allow players to hit the open market earlier in their careers.