Josh Banks Rumors

Quick Hits: Hamilton, Axelrod, Abreu, Pelfrey, Mets

Saturday night linkage..

  • Josh Hamilton told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas that he's open to talking to the Rangers about a contract extension during the season. “If they want to talk to my agent, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” he said after previously indicating an unwillingness to negotiate during the season.
  • Agent Barry Axelrod has been discussing employment opportunities with the Diamondbacks, reports Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic (Twitter links). Axelrod and GM Kevin Towers are close friends.
  • Unlike agents Jeff Moorad and Arn Tellem, Scott Boras has no desire to own a major league team, writes Jon Paul Morosi of
  • The Angels' deal to trade Bobby Abreu to the Indians fell apart due to salary concerns, a source familiar with the talks told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Cleveland wanted the veteran slugger but the two sides couldn't agree upon how much of his $9MM salary they would assume.
  • Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey was surprised to learn that his job was on the line during spring training, writes David Lennon of Newsday. The front office was kicking around the idea of releasing the 28-year-old before Opening Day to free up roughly $4MM, the non-guaranteed portion of his one-year, $5.7MM deal.
  • Scouts covering the Giants say the club is getting nervous about rotation depth, tweets Jayson Stark of
  • The Orioles cut minor league pitcher Josh Banks, tweets Steve Melewski of The right-hander spent most of 2011 with the Giants' Triple-A affiliate and posted a 7.27 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in twelve starts and seven relief appearances.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

East Links: Pineda, Michaels, Banks, Larish, Branyan

Happy birthday to Jeff Mathis (29) and Chien-Ming Wang (32). Here's the latest from their respective divisions, the AL East and NL East…

Orioles Sign Josh Banks

The Orioles signed righty Josh Banks to a minor league deal, tweets Roch Kubatko of  He notes that the Yankees and Dodgers were also interested in the 29-year-old, who will start at minor league camp.

Former slugger Gary Sheffield has apparently become an agent, because it was revealed this morning that he represents Banks.  Banks hails from Severna Park, Maryland, and Sheffield reached out to arrange a tryout with the Orioles, according to's Brittany Ghiroli.  Sheffield also represents Pirates reliever Jason Grilli, reported Ghiroli.

Banks tossed 17 innings for the Long Island Ducks last year, and also tallied 78 unimpressive frames for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate.

Minor Moves: Hayhurst, Banks

The latest minor moves…

  • The Rays released Triple-A right-hander Dirk Hayhurst, according to the Tampa Tribune (on Twitter). Hayhurst, author of the highly entertaining book The Bullpen Gospels, last appeared in the Major Leagues with the 2009 Blue Jays. He had a 4.12 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 59 innings for the Rays' top affiliate this year.
  • The independent Long Island Ducks announced that they signed former Major LeaguerJosh Banks. The 2003 second rounder pitched for the Astros last year and also has MLB experience with the Blue Jays and Padres.

Minor Deals: Banks, Fiorentino

Mark Hendrickson and Greg Dobbs already agreed to minor league deals today. We'll keep track of some lower-profile agreements right here:

  • The Giants signed Josh Banks to a minor league deal, according to's Chris Haft. Banks, a former second round pick of the Blue Jays, has played in the majors every year since 2007, but his only extended taste of the big leagues came in 2008, when he posted a 4.75 ERA in 85 1/3 innings. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 5.66 ERA with 4.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 119 1/3 career innings.
  • Jeff Fiorentino is returning to the Orioles on a minor league deal after a year in Japan, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Fiorentino, 27, has appeared in parts of four big league seasons with the Orioles and A's. He made the majors the year after the Orioles selected him the third round of the '04 draft and has since compiled a .270/.341/.324 line in 173 career plate appearances. He has played all three outfield positions, but most of his big league experience has come in center.

Josh Banks Clears Waivers

WEDNESDAY: Banks cleared waivers and accepted an assignment at Triple A Round Rock, according to Footer (via Twitter).

SUNDAY: The Astros have designated righthander Josh Banks for assignment, according to Alyson Footer of the Astros (via Twitter).  The move will allow the club to reinstate fellow righty Bud Norris from the disabled list.

The soon-to-be 28-year-old's stint on the Astros' big league roster was brief.  Banks was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday to start against the Rangers on Saturday.  Texas went to town on Banks, scoring six runs and drawing four walks in four innings.

Banks, a former second-round selection of the Blue Jays, found success this year pitching for the Astros' Triple-A affiliate.  In 15 starts, he posted a 2.97 ERA with 2.2 BB/9, though his 3.2 K/9 left much to be desired.

Odds & Ends: Padres, Greene, Dye, Giants

Here are some links to close out the week…

Astros Sign Josh Banks

The Astros signed righty Josh Banks to a minor league deal, tweeted's Corey Brock last night.  Banks, 27, has a 4.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.5 HR/9, and 5.38 ERA in his 115.3-inning big league career.  For the Padres' Triple A affiliate this year he logged a 3.46 ERA in 125 innings.  The Padres had claimed Banks off waivers from the Blue Jays in April of '08.

Banks made an appearance in Baseball America's 2008 Handbook, where his control, durability, and pitch efficiency were praised.  However, they labeled his fastball as straight and suggested he "may be around the strike zone too much."

Padres DFA Josh Banks

Via a team press release, the Padres have designated righthander Josh Banks for assigment. The move frees up room on the roster for top prospect Mat Latos, who was called up to start tomorrow's game. Banks got into six games with the Friars this year (three starts), allowing 34 baserunners and pitching to 7.15 ERA in 22.2 IP.

Not much of a birthday present for Banks, who turns 27 today.

Waiver Claims: Davis, Banks

A couple of waiver claims were made today; let’s discuss.

The A’s picked up 27 year-old outfielder Rajai Davis, designating Kirk Saarloos.  Davis had been the Giants’ bounty in the Matt Morris deal (aside from the main benefit of shedding Morris’ contract).  Davis is known for his blazing speed, which helps him in the outfield and on the basepaths.  It seems unlikely that Davis will ever force his way into a starting role with Oakland.

The Padres snagged 25 year-old pitcher Josh Banks.  He’s a starter with superb control, but the Padres will convert him to relief.  Certainly a Padres-like project.