Josh Lindblom Rumors

Minor Moves: Lindblom, Rowen, Minicozzi

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.

  • The Pirates have released pitcher Josh Lindblom, per the transactions page. The Bucs claimed Lindblom earlier this month, then designated him days later. He’ll reportedly head to the Lotte Giants in Korea. Lindblom posted a 5.79 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in the rotation of the Athletics’ Triple-A Sacramento affiliate in 2014.
  • The Rangers have released pitcher Ben Rowen after designating him for assignment last week, according to the transactions page. The 26-year-old Rowen posted a 3.45 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 47 innings of relief for Triple-A Round Rock in 2014, also appearing in eight big-league games. The Dallas Morning News’ Gerry Fraley explains that the Rangers were forced to place Rowen on release waivers, rather than outright waivers, due to an obscure rule that came into play due to an injury Rowen suffered early in the season and his time in the big leagues later on. The Rangers could re-sign him if he clears release waivers.
  • The Nationals have signed 1B/OF Mark Minicozzi to a minor-league deal, tweets CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly, noting that Minicozzi announced the news on his Facebook page. The 31-year-old independent league veteran posted an impressive .298/.400/.470 line at Triple-A Fresno in the Giants’ system in 2014, but he’s never played in the Majors.

Pirates Designate Josh Lindblom

The Pirates have designated reliever Josh Lindblom for assignment, the team announced. The move was made in conjunction with the team’s announcement of the signing of Radhames Liz.

Pittsburgh claimed Lindblom off waivers from the Athletics just five days ago. Lindblom, 27, only made one appearance at the big league level last year in Oakland. Over 84 minor league frames, he posted a 5.79 ERA while striking out 6.4 and walking 2.8 batters per nine. In parts of four seasons in the bigs, Lindblom owns a 3.82 ERA.

Pirates Claim Josh Lindblom, Outright Angel Sanchez

The Pirates have claimed righty Josh Lindblom off waivers from the Athletics, Pittsburgh has announced. Oakland recently designated him for assignment.

In a corresponding move, the Bucs outrighted right-hander Angel Sanchez to Triple-A. Sanchez was claimed by Pittsburgh back in July. He has yet to appear above the Double-A level.

As for Lindblom, the 27-year-old saw just one MLB appearance last year. He tossed 84 minor league innings, working to a 5.79 ERA with 6.4 K/9 versus 2.8 BB/9. Lindblom has played in parts of four major league campaigns.

Athletics Designate Josh Lindblom, Kyle Blanks

The Athletics have designated Josh Lindblom and Kyle Blanks for assignment to clear roster space for tonight’s major trade, tweets’s Jane Lee.

Lindblom is a 27-year-old righty who has bounced around quite a bit over the last several seasons but has generally produced fairly solid results as a reliever at the MLB level. But he has not seen much time in the majors over the last two years after struggling to end the 2012 campaign with the Phillies, and spent most all of 2014 with the A’s Triple-A affiliate. Over 16 starts and 84 frames, he threw to a 5.79 ERA at Sacramento.

Blanks, meanwhile, was added to the mix in Oakland last May. Now 28, Blanks was expected to provide right-handed power from left, first, and the DH spot. He did just that, with a .333/.446/.489 slash, but made only 56 plate appearances for the A’s after suffering a partial calf tear. Injuries have been a major damper on Blanks’s career to date, though his ability remains tantalizing. He seemed to have a tenuous hold on a roster spot after the club added Billy Butler through free agency.

Athletics Acquire Craig Gentry, Josh Lindblom

12:48pm: The A's will also receive right-hander Josh Lindblom from the Rangers, tweets Passan. Minor league second baseman Chris Bostick will head to Texas in the trade as well.

12:47pm: The Rangers are receiving multiple minor leaguers in the deal, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

12:38pm: The A's have acquired outfielder Craig Gentry from the Rangers in exchange for Michael Choice, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Other players are involved in the deal as well, adds Passan.

Gentry, who turned 30 last week, is regarded as one of the game's best defensive outfielders and is coming off a season in which he batted .280/.373/.386 with a pair of homers and 24 stolen bases in 27 attempts. He boasts an outstanding 29.5 UZR/150 in more than 1400 career innings in center field, and The Fielding Bible likes him for +34 runs saved in his career.

Gentry has thrived against left-handed pitching throughout his career, compiling a solid .288/.376/.399 slash line. He's serviceable against right-handed pitchers as well, though his OBP (.334) and slugging (.335) are significantly lower against same-handed pitching.

Lindblom, 26, has primarily served as a reliever in his big league career, but Passan notes that the A's are planning to use him as a starter (Twitter link). Lindblom has a career 3.82 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 34.3 percent ground-ball rate. His flyball tendencies should be much better suited for Oakland's O.Co Coliseum than Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Choice is a 24-year-old outfielder who played all three positions for the Athletics' Triple-A club this year.  The 10th overall pick by the A's in 2010, Choice made his big league debut in September this year.  Prior to the season, Baseball America ranked him second among A's prospects, praising his power and bat speed while noting a propensity for strikeouts and fringy arm strength.  Choice went on to hit .302/.390/.445 with 14 home runs in 600 Triple-A plate appearances.  He's a native of Arlington, Texas.

Bostick, 21 in March, was a 44th round pick out of high school by the A's in 2011.  A second baseman, he hit .282/.354/.452 with 14 home runs in 555 A-ball plate appearances this year.  Prior to the season, BA ranked him 20th among A's prospects, citing sneaky power and the potential to become more than a utilityman.

Phillies Acquire Michael Young

1:53pm: The Rangers will assume $10MM of Young's $16MM salary and the Phillies will be responsible for the $1.2MM Young will receive for waiving his no-trade clause, reports T.R. Sullivan of

SUNDAY, 11:14am: The Phillies announced that the trade is official after receiving approval from MLB.

SATURDAY, 12:49pm: The Phillies have a new third baseman and an era has come to an end for the Rangers. Philadelphia has agreed to acquire infielder Michael Young from Texas in exchange for right-hander Josh Lindblom and minor leaguer Lisalverto Bonilla. Young will receive $1.2MM in benefits in exchange for agreeing to waive his no-trade clause, which accounts for the difference in state tax.

Uspw_6431590Young, 36, was originally drafted by the Blue Jays but has spent his entire big league career in Texas after being acquired as part of a package for Esteban Loaiza back in 2000. He hit just .277/.312/.370 in 651 plate appearances this year, but he's one year removed from a .338/.380/.474 performance in 2011. Young is the Rangers' all-time leader in games played (1,823), plate appearances (8,047), hits (2,230), doubles (415), and triples (55) among many other statistics.

Lindblom, 25, has been traded for the second time in five months. The Phillies acquired him from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino swap just before the trade deadline. The righty pitched to a 3.55 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 71 total innings this year. Lindblom is a fly ball pitcher and thus very homer-prone (1.6 HR/9), which could be a bad mix for The Ballpark in Arlington. He is under team control through 2017.

Bonilla, 22, pitched to a 1.55 ERA with 12.4 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 46 1/3 relief innings split between Single-A and Double-A this season. Baseball America ranked him as Philadelphia's number 12 prospect before the season in their 2012 Prospect Handbook, saying Bonilla "has a chance to be a mid-rotation starter, but he could also serve as a late-inning reliever."

The Rangers have been targeting free agent Zack Greinke as well as exploring three- and four-team trades for Justin Upton in recent days. They also remain in the hunt for Josh Hamilton. With Young gone, they lack an established DH and a right-handed platoon partner for first baseman Mitch Moreland. Top prospect Mike Olt could step in to fill that role if he isn't traded, however. Texas still needs a utility infielder as well.

Young will plug the third base hole for the Phillies, though the club will need to continue looking for outfield help. Lindblom's departure figures to ramp up their search for bullpen help as well. This is Philadelphia's second significant trade in the last week as they acquired Ben Revere from the Twins a few days ago. The two deals have cost the Phillies a total of four pitchers.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today first reported Young had agreed to waive his no-trade clause (Twitter links) as well as miscellanous financial details (all Twitter links). Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News first reported the inclusion of Lindblom and Bonilla, which's T.R. Sullivan confirmed. Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

Michael Young Could Approve Trade Today

12:34pm: Young has indicated a willingness to accept the trade but is likely to seek some sort of compensation for waiving his no-trade clause, reports Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. There are still some financial issues to work out before the deal is final.

Grant says the Rangers would receive righty Josh Lindblom and a minor leaguer in the trade. Lindblom, 25, pitched to a 3.55 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 71 innings this season. The Phillies acquired him from the Dodgers at the deadline in the Shane Victorino trade. The minor leaguer is believed to be right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla. The 22-year-old posted a 1.55 ERA with 12.4 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 46 1/3 relief innings split between Single-A and Double-A in 2012.

10:19am: The Rangers expect a decision from Young today but do not know which way he is leaning, reports Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter).

9:30am: The Rangers and Phillies had advanced talks about a trade involving Michael Young earlier this week, and's T.R. Sullivan says the deal could happen today. Young is expected to waive his no-trade clause to approve the move to Philadelphia.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports heard the Phillies are "recruiting (Young) like he's the No. 1 pick in the country." (Twitter link) It's unclear what Texas would receive in return for the franchise's all-time hits leader, but the team would reportedly eat more than half of Young's $16MM salary in the trade. A young Major League reliever and a low-level prospect could also be heading to the Rangers.

Young, 36, hit .277/.312/.370 in 651 plate appearances this year and would presumably take over as the Phillies' full-time third baseman. He is heading into the final season of the five-year, $80MM extension he signed prior to the 2007 season. Young has full 10-and-5 no-trade protection.

This post was originally published on December 8th.

Amaro: Manuel To Return In 2013

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. confirmed to Jim Salisbury of that Charlie Manuel will return as the team’s manager in 2013. Manuel will remain in place next year and the sides will re-evaluate following the ’13 season. Amaro said he’s pleased with Manuel’s performance but acknowledged that the two disagree at times, as most GMs and managers do.

Here are some more highlights from Amaro’s Q&A with Salisbury:

  • Amaro said Ryne Sandberg has been great as the organization’s Triple-A manager. The GM declined to call Sandberg the successor to Manuel, but said he’s worthy of consideration for MLB managerial jobs. Amaro added that he is hopeful Sandberg gets the chance to manage in the Major Leagues and said he would like to keep him in the organization.
  • Chase Utley is an option at third base for the 2013 Phillies, Amaro said. The decision depends on Utley’s comfort level at the position. If the Phillies look outside of the organization for third base help they could seek a left-handed hitter to platoon with Kevin Frandsen.
  • The Phillies aren’t impressed by the free agent options at the hot corner. “There are no third basemen out there,” Amaro said. “Very, very few. The options are very, very small. It’s no secret that that’s one of the things we were looking for at the deadline and the availability of third basemen was basically zero. And the ones that were available, the prices on them were enormous.”
  • The Phillies may find their setup relievers from within the organization, Amaro said. Pitchers such as Antonio Bastardo, Phillippe Aumont, Justin De Fratus and Josh Lindblom are options. However, the Phillies were disappointed with Bastardo’s performance this year and he’s an unknown going forward.

Dodgers Acquire Shane Victorino

Shane Victorino is returning to the organization that drafted him in 1999.  The Dodgers acquired Victorino from the Phillies today for starting pitching prospect Ethan Martin and reliever Josh Lindblom, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (Twitter link).  The deal has been officially announced by both teams, and the Phillies also received a player to be named later or cash considerations.  It's been another active summer for Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, who also acquired Hanley Ramirez, Randy Choate, and Brandon League this month.


Victorino, 31, has $3.3MM remaining on his contract and will be eligible for free agency after the season.  The center fielder has a .261/.324/.401 line in 431 plate appearances for the Phillies this year.  It seems likely he'll play left field for the Dodgers, despite less than 200 career innings at that position.  For the Phillies, Domonic Brown will come up to play left field with John Mayberry Jr. becoming the regular center fielder.  

The Flyin' Hawaiian was drafted by the Dodgers in the sixth round in 1999.  Former Dodgers GMs Dan Evans and Paul DePodesta let him go twice in the Rule 5 draft, claiming him back from the Padres the first time in '03 but not from the Phillies in '05.  Victorino went on to become a star for the Phils, snagging three Gold Gloves, two All-Star appearances, and even some MVP votes in his time with the club.  With the team's surprising last place performance this season, Victorino was dealt to a contender a few months prior to free agency.  The Reds, Orioles, and Giants had also reportedly been in the mix.  The Dodgers announced they've designated lefty Michael Antonini to open a 40-man roster spot for Victorino.

Martin, the Dodgers' first-round draft pick from 2008, owns a 3.58 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, and 0.38 HR/9 in 118 Double-A innings this year.  Drafted as a raw high schooler, Baseball America ranked Martin 17th on their Dodgers prospect list prior to the season.  They wrote that Martin "maintains the ceiling of a No. 2 starter but has a long way to go."

Lindblom, 25, has a 3.02 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 1.70 HR/9, and 38% groundball rate in 47 2/3 relief innings this year, so he's had some issues with the longball.  He doesn't have much big league service time, and is technically under team control through 2017.  Drafted in the second round in '08, Lindblom was once considered one of the team's top prospects.  Lindblom was made more expendable by the Dodgers' acquisition of League from the Mariners last night.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire/Robert Mayer.  Jon Heyman first reported a deal was very likely.

Dodgers Close To Acquiring Victorino

Roughly 10% of you feel that Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino will be the biggest name dealt today.  The latest: