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- Cubs Expected To Pursue Ben Zobrist
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Today's minor moves…
- Former Pirates pitcher Chris Leroux signed with Japan's Yakult Swallows, tweeted Chris Cotillo last night. The signing has since been confirmed by Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, who spoke to Leroux's agent, Fred Wray of Octagon. Leroux received a $500K contract for 2013 that includes incentives and a 2014 vesting option, reports Nicholson-Smith. The 29-year-old righty had been designated for assignment by the Pirates earlier this month, after which point he elected free agency. He's never exceeded 25 big league innings in a season, tallying 63 2/3 Triple-A frames in 2012.
- Infielder Alberto Gonzalez and righty John Maine have been outrighted to Triple-A by the Cubs and Marlins, respectively, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Both players had been designated for assignment on Friday, Gonzalez for Julio Borbon and Maine for Tom Koehler.
- Three players currently reside in DFA limbo: the Indians' Fernando Nieve, the Mets' Aaron Laffey, and the Astros' Xavier Cedeno.
The 31-year-old Maine tallied 7 1/3 innings for the Fish over the course of four appearances, but the results weren't pretty. The right-hander allowed 10 runs on 15 hits and five walks, leading to a 12.27 ERA. This was Maine's first big league action since 2010 with the Mets. Maine underwent shoulder surgery in May of 2010 and hasn't been able to get his career back on track since. From 2006-08 with the Mets, Maine totaled a 3.93 ERA in 421 innings for the Mets.
As MLB.com's Anthony DiComo mentions, catcher John Buck was attached to a pair of major trades during the offseason, both times with a team just trying to dump his $6MM salary. Buck has been more than an afterthought in the early going, however – after adding four RBIs in today's defeat of the Marlins, the backstop now leads the National League with nine runs knocked in. More on the Mets:
- Continued success by Buck would allow more time for Mets catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud to marinate in the minors, wrote Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal last night. From a business standpoint, it makes sense for the Mets to wait until at least mid-June to recall D'Arnaud, so that he will not be arbitration eligible as a Super Two player after the 2015 season. Same goes for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, who is "not far away" according to Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman (Mark Hale of the New York Post reporting). With a walk rate of 4.7 per nine innings in his young Triple-A career, Wheeler legitimately needs the development time.
- To make room on the 40-man roster for Sunday starter Aaron Laffey, the Mets moved Johan Santana to the 60-day DL, notes DiComo. Santana's Mets career is already over, as he underwent season-ending shoulder capsule surgery this week. Check out this ESPN report from earlier this week for more on the procedure. Between his $25.5MM salary and the $5.5MM buyout he'll receive after the season, the Mets are paying Santana $31MM in 2013.
- "My shoulder was being held together with duct tape at the time. They knew everything that was going on. They all knew. It was obvious. You don’t go from throwing 94 to 84 miles per hour. They knew my condition. I was 100 percent upfront about it; I didn’t lie about it. At the time it wasn’t so much pain, I just didn’t have anything," Marlins reliever John Maine told Jorge Arangure Jr. of the New York Times Friday, regarding the end of his time with the Mets in 2010. Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen had called Maine a "habitual liar" regarding his health, after that game. Maine, 31, has clawed his way back to the bigs as part of Miami's pen.
- Worth a read: Conor Glassey of Baseball America published an interview with Mets scouting director Tommy Tanous yesterday.
- Did you know MLBTR has a Mets Facebook page with over 2,300 fans? Join in the discussions today!
Let’s keep track of Monday’s minor signings right here…
- The Marlins have signed John Maine to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. The 31-year-old right-hander posted a 4.97 ERA in 79 2/3 innings for the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate last season. He hasn’t appeared in the big leagues since 2010 with the Mets.
The latest minor moves…
- The Yankees will sign right-hander John Maine to a minor league deal, Evan Drellich of MLB.com tweets. The Red Sox recently released the 31-year-old, who has missed considerable time with shoulder injuries. He posted a 7.43 ERA in 46 innings with the Rockies' top affiliate in 2011 before signing with the Red Sox this January.
- The Cubs signed infielder Diory Hernandez, Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweets. The Astros had released Hernandez earlier in the week.
- The Diamondbacks signed right-hander Gaby Hernandez from the independent Frontier League, Eddy tweets. The 26-year-old pitched at Triple-A for the Diamondbacks and White Sox last year.
- The Dodgers released right-hander Shane Lindsay, Eddy tweets. The reliever had walked more than one batter per inning at Triple-A this year.
Matt Eddy of Baseball America has the complete minor league transactions for the first week of May. Here's the most noteworthy move:
- The Red Sox released right-hander John Maine, according to Eddy. Maine, 31, last pitched in the Majors with the 2010 Mets. He had a strong 2007 season, but his performance later dropped off and he missed considerable time with shoulder injuries. Maine posted a 7.43 ERA in 46 innings with the Rockies' top affiliate in 2011 before signing with the Red Sox this January.
The Red Sox signed right-hander John Maine to a minor league contract, Steve DeShazo of the Fredericksburg Freelance-Star reports. Agent Rex Gary told DeShazo that the Red Sox will look at Maine as a reliever.
Maine, 30, last pitched in the Majors with the 2010 Mets. He had a strong 2007 season, when he posted a 3.91 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 191 innings, but his performance later dropped off and he missed considerable time with shoulder injuries. Maine posted a 7.43 ERA in 46 innings with the Rockies' top affiliate in 2011.
The Orioles officially announced that they’ll name Dan Duquette their executive VP of baseball operations tomorrow. While that front office change was expected, the Twins’ decision to replace Bill Smith with Terry Ryan was most certainly not. Here are some notes from around MLB on yet another busy day for front office movement…
- The Cubs will interview Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux for their managerial opening Wednesday, according to reporters, including MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat (on Twitter). Maddux withdrew from Boston’s managerial search for family reasons.
- ESPN.com’s Keith Law explores the middle infield market and warns potential suitors that Willie Bloomquist, Alex Gonzalez and Yuniesky Betancourt may disappoint in 2012. MLBTR has examined the market for shortstops and second basemen in recent weeks.
- John Maine feels healthy and intends to pitch in 2012, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).
- The Yankees have had preliminary discussions with agent Scott Boras about free agent starter Edwin Jackson, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports explains that the upcoming collective bargaining agreement relates to the market for starting pitching, since teams aren’t likely to commit tens of millions to players before the details of the CBA become clear. Morosi also reports it’s likely, but not definite that Yu Darvish will be posted this offseason.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has told clubs and agents he intends to be proactive this winter, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark (on Twitter). Stark and others have reported that the Phils are currently pushing to sign Ryan Madson.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America looks back at the drafted players who fell furthest because of signability questions.
John Maine has left the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate and is considering retirement, reports Jack Etkin of InsideTheRockies.com. Maine was hit hard on Monday, his latest poor start in a tough season that has seen the right-hander post a 7.43 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP in 11 starts for Colorado Springs. Maine "felt he needed to get away from the game" for a while given his struggles but he still wants to pitch.
Maine, 30, signed a minor league deal with the Rockies in February after being non-tendered by the Mets last fall. He has a career 4.35 ERA and 1.86 K/BB ratio in 108 games (105 of them starts) with the Mets and Orioles over seven Major League seasons. Maine has battled shoulder and rotator cuff problems for the last three years and these arm issues may have persisted in part due to Maine's penchant for trying to tough out his injuries, as detailed in this piece by Fangraphs' Alex Remington.
On this date in 1975, Nolan Ryan won his 100th career game in style, pitching his fourth no-hitter and tying Sandy Koufax's record (a mark Ryan would later eclipse). Here are the latest links from around the Major Leagues…
- Daisuke Matsuzaka is leaning toward Tommy John surgery, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (Twitter link). Dr. Lewis Yocum found a significant tear in Matsuzaka's elbow and the right-hander will now discuss his options with the Red Sox.
- In honor of the many intriguing draft-eligible college pitchers, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reviews nine current MLB pitchers who didn't spend much time in the minor leagues.
- Marc Kroon, who was a candidate to make the Giants' Opening Day roster, has decided not to opt out of his Triple-A contract, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. The 38-year-old has not appeared in the Majors since 2004, but he has a 3.10 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 20 1/3 innings at Triple-A this year. It would be great to see the 1991 second rounder get another chance in the big leagues.
- Similarly, John Maine is staying in Triple-A instead of exercising his opt-out with the Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says it's time for the Mariners to make a move and find some "players who can square up on a ball more than a couple of times per week."