Joey Gathright Rumors

Quick Hits: Ruiz, Mariners, Vargas, Gathright

The Orioles' record-setting success in one-run games continued on Tuesday as they eked out a 1-0 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.  Both teams combined for just four hits in the game, with Chris Davis' solo homer accounting for the only run.  James Shields was the tough-luck loser as he threw a complete game two-hitter while striking out 15 O's batters.  The Yankees' 12-inning victory over the Red Sox tonight means that New York still holds a one-game lead over Baltimore for first place in the AL East.

Here's the latest from around the majors as we head towards the last day of the regular season…

  • Picking up Carlos Ruiz's club option for 2013 is "a formality," said Phillies GM Ruben Amaro tells's Jim Salisbury, though the club will still wait until after the World Series to make it official.  The 33-year-old Ruiz delivered a career-best .327/.397/.542 line in 416 plate appearances, making his $5MM option a foregone conclusion to be exercised.
  • Mariners players are happy that Safeco Field's fences will be moved in next season, reports's Greg Johns, both for their own sakes and to help the team in acquiring free agent hitters.  "Every time a guy gets on first base, that's all they talk about, how terrible this place is to hit," said Justin Smoak. "Everybody hates hitting here…I'm sure there are a lot of guys out there that have declined coming here because of that reason. This should definitely change some things. Everybody is excited about it."
  • Safeco Field's adjustments will also impact Mariners pitchers, to the point that Fangraphs' Dave Cameron wonders if the M's could non-tender Jason VargasMLBTR's Matt Swartz projects that Vargas will earn $8.1MM in his third trip through the arbitration process, a high price for a pitcher who has had severe home/road splits in three of his four seasons in Seattle.  This season, Vargas has a 2.74 ERA in 14 starts at Safeco and a 4.78 ERA in 19 road starts. 
  • Joey Gathright has tested positive for amphetamines and will face a 50-game suspension when he signs his next contract, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link).  Gathright last played in the Reds organization before being released by their Triple-A team in July.
  • Gordon Blakeley, a long-time scout and special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman, is reportedly interested in leaving New York for a position with the Red Sox, reports ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes.
  • The Rays and Angels fell short of the postseason due to injuries and unexpected rises from the Orioles and Athletics, but's Matthew Leach also points the finger at both teams' failed low-cost signings.  Luke Scott and Carlos Pena provided little offense for Tampa Bay, while LaTroy Hawkins and Jason Isringhausen didn't help stabilize the Halos' bullpen.

Minor Moves: Quintero, Gathright, Threets

Here are the day's minor moves…

  • The Marlins have signed Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal according to the transactions page. The Royals released the 32-year-old backstop earlier this month after he hit .232/.257/.341 in 144 plate appearances.
  • The Reds have released Joey Gathright according to the International League transactions page. The 31-year-old speedster hit .299/.346/.347 in 161 plate appearances for their Triple-A affiliate after signing out of an independent league back in May.
  • The Athletics have released Erick Threets at his request, reports Casey Pratt of (Twitter links). The hard-throwing 30-year-old southpaw pitched to a 1.84 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 44 innings for Oakland's Triple-A affiliate this season.

Minor Moves: Gathright, Dodgers, Phillips, Benitez

The latest minor moves from around MLB…

  • The Reds have signed Joey Gathright to a minor league deal according to the transactions page. The 31-year-old outfielder was hitting .240/.348/.365 in an independent league. He appeared in seven games for the Red Sox last season.
  • The Dodgers announced that they have signed or are in the process of signing more than 20 Latin American players. The group includes at least 10 position players and 10 pitchers and reflects a new approach to the international market from the one adopted under the ownership of Frank McCourt. “With our renewed resources in that area and the upcoming first-year player draft next month, we look forward to adding many talented young players to the Dodger family,” GM Ned Colletti said.
  • The Blue Jays acquired catcher Paul Phillips from the Brewers for cash, according to Mike Vassallo of the Brewers (on Twitter). Phillips had been playing at Triple-A Nashville and owns a .269/.317/.369 batting line in 13 minor league seasons.
  • The Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League signed former MLB closer Armando Benitez, according to Adam Rubin of The 39-year-old has 289 career saves in 15 MLB seasons. He last appeared in the Major Leagues with the 2008 Blue Jays.

Red Sox Links: Gathright, Young, Cherington

Here are a few links from Boston as we wait to hear what players the Red Sox will receive from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein

  • The Red Sox have outrighted Joey Gathright to Triple-A according to the International League transactions page. Gathright had one at-bat and a handful of pinch-runner/defensive replacement appearances in September. Boston's 40-man roster is currently at 39 with an additional five players on the 60-day DL.
  • The Athletics announced in a press release that they have hired former Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young to be their pitching coach, his second stint in that role for Oakland. Young spent just one year in Boston, and Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Sox will pay "a significant portion" of his salary.
  • Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe put together a laundry list of things that new GM Ben Cherington must address in the coming weeks, including hiring a new manager and coaching staff.

Quick Hits: McCutchen, Upton, Cameron

15 years ago today, the Mariners' acquisition of third baseman Dave Hollins was completed when they sent a 20-year-old first baseman named David Ortiz Arias to the Twins.  Arias had just hit .322/.390/.511 for the Low-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.  By the following year Ortiz had dropped the Arias in his name and earned a September call-up.  Ortiz posted a .266/.348/.461 line in 455 games spanning 1997-2002 with Minnesota, battling wrist and knee injuries.  After the '02 season the Blue Jays reportedly expressed interest in Ortiz, but ultimately the Twins non-tendered him in lieu of a raise from his $950K salary.  New Red Sox GM Theo Epstein signed Big Papi for $1.25MM, and the rest is history.  Today's links…

  • The Pirates are far apart in contract talks with Andrew McCutchen, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden.  Bowden feels that a six-year deal in the $47-49MM range, plus a club option, would be a fair compromise.  In my opinion, there's a good case to be made for a McCutchen contract to exceed the $51.25MM Justin Upton received over six years in March of 2010.  McCutchen has played in over 100 more games than Upton had at that point, their offensive lines are very similar, and McCutchen plays center field.
  • ESPN's Keith Law discusses MLB's European presence and what must be done for further growth.
  • Answering a question from Craig Heist of WTOP about playing in Washington, Rays center fielder B.J. Upton said he'd love to remain in Tampa Bay but otherwise would like to play for the Nationals with old friend Ryan Zimmerman.  You can follow Craig on Twitter here;'s Bill Ladson transcribed the discussion.  Upton is heading into his last arbitration year and projects for a $7MM salary.
  •'s Jonathan Mayo names 20 young, next generation GM candidates.  To check out MLBTR's top 20 plus honorable mentions, click here.
  • Mike Cameron was consistently one of the best players in baseball when he was on the field, writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs.
  • The Orioles will try Chris Davis at third base for the rest of the season, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.  The 25-year-old was a key piece of the July 30th Koji Uehara trade with Texas.  With Mark Reynolds getting comfortable at first base, it's conceivable that the Orioles will sit out the corner infielder bidding this winter.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports chronicles how Joey Gathright went from being managed by Jose Canseco as a member of the independent league Yuma Scorpions to a minor league deal with the Red Sox.

Minor Moves: Joey Gathright

Let's keep track of today's minor moves right here…

  • The Red Sox purchased the contract of Joey Gathright from the Yuma Scorpions, according to the North American Baseball League. Gathright, who last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2009, has a .263/.327/.303 line in parts of six MLB seasons. The speedy 30-year-old has 80 stolen bases (109) attempts to his name.

Orioles Release Joey Gathright

The Orioles released speedy outfielder Joey Gathright this morning, according to's Brittany Ghiroli (via Twitter). The 29-year-old was hitting .185/.255/.222 in 244 plate appearances at Triple A. A three-time 20-steal man in the majors, Gathright was 12 for 18 stealing bases in the minors this season. 

He has played for the Royals, Rays, Red Sox and Cubs in his six-year MLB career and last appeared in the majors in 2009. Gathright appeared in 37 games for the Cubs and Red Sox last year, but didn't do much at the plate. However, he has been an above-average defender in the outfield, according to UZR. Gathright could sign with another organization, but would almost certainly have to return to the minors.

Orioles Sign Joey Gathright

The Orioles signed outfielder Joey Gathright to a minor league deal, reports's Brittany Ghiroli.  The Blue Jays released Gathright on Sunday after a poor spring.

Gathright, 29 in April, spent most of 2009 with Baltimore's Triple A club.  He hit .329/.386/.376 there, swiping 24 bags in 80 games.

Odds & Ends: Gaudin, Mets, Cain, Parra

Links for Sunday evening..

Blue Jays Release Joey Gathright

The Blue Jays released outfielder Joey Gathright, reports's Jordan Bastian.  The Jays gave Gathright plenty of spring playing time – 43 plate appearances – and he hit just .167/.186/.167.

Gathright, 29 in April, spent most of 2009 with Baltimore's Triple A club.  He hit .329/.386/.376 there, swiping 24 bags in 80 games.

The Gathright cut comes as no surprise, as Bastian wrote yesterday that Toronto's final bench spot would probably go to Jeremy Reed or Mike McCoy.