Josh Fields Rumors
Here are a few updates from the American League West:
- The Rangers are "among the teams who have a scout watching free agent pitcher Kyle Lohse throw simulated games” at a local community college, but "this may be more due diligence than anything," writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Sullivan further reports that "Rangers officials acknowledged they are keeping an eye on Kyle Lohse," but "are still holding to their stance they will not sign Lohse this spring." According to Sullivan, "the Rangers are ready to go with what they have here in camp," most likely either Nick Tepesch or Michael Kirkman.
- Mariners manager Eric Wedge discussed the team's unwillingness to commit a rotation spot to Jon Garland, as reported by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Wedge explained that Garland's out clause created an "unusual situation" because the club has "multiple non-roster guys in this camp that have a chance to make this club." Garland was released on Saturday.
- The Astros are close to deciding whether to keep Rule 5 pick Josh Fields, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Odds look good for Fields, "considering how wide open the bullpen is." Another Rule 5 pick previously in Astros camp, Nate Freiman, has already been claimed by the Athletics.
To get the weekend started with some fascinating insight into the use of analytics by agents, look for the audio link at the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference Player Agent Panel page. Let's take a look at a few updates on some Rule 5 draftees who are hoping to stick with their new clubs:
- Chris McGuiness has impressed the Indians at first and in the outfield, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer, and the team is loath to return him to the Rangers. According to manager Terry Francona, "in a perfect world, I wish he wasn't a Rule 5 pick and he was in our minor league system." If the Indians are unable to keep McGuiness on the big league roster, Francona "hope[s]" that a trade can be worked out to keep him in the system, adds Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
- Jeff Kobernus, primarily an infielder in the Nationals system, continues to battle with Quintin Berry for a spot in the Tigers outfield, writes Jim Hawkins of MLB.com. While it is "possible" that both players could make the roster, according to manager Jim Leyland, that scenario is a "longshot."
- Another player plucked from the Nationals, left-handed pitcher Danny Rosenbaum, "has put up a nice argument for himself in the competition for a middle-relief spot" with the Rockies, writes Thomas Harding of MLB.com. Rosenbaum, who never saw a big league camp while in the Washington organization, spoke with Nats' reliever Craig Stammen to learn how to transition from the rotation to the bullpen.
- Outfielder Ender Inciarte is in the midst of a solid spring and is making a play for the Phillies' fifth outfielder role, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Just 22 years old, Inciarte never played above High-A ball in the Diamondbacks organization.
- Josh Fields came to the Astros from the Red Sox with the first pick in the Rule 5 draft, and acknowledges being "really, really excited when Houston picked me up." As Adam Berry of MLB.com writes, the rebuilding Houston franchise hopes that the 27-year-old, righthanded reliever is ready for the big leagues after he posted a solid 2012 season in Triple-A Pawtucket.
Here are the latest minor transactions from around the league...
- SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization announced the signing of left-handed reliever Doug Slaten. Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (Twitter link) first reported the deal earlier this week. Slaten has a 3.52 ERA in 216 games for the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Pirates since 2006, including a 2.16 ERA in 10 games with the Bucs in 2012.
- The Rockies have signed shortstop Tommy Manzella to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invitation, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Manzella last appeared in the majors in 2010 with the Astros and has bounced around the minors with four different organizations over the last two seasons.
- Right-hander Manny Acosta has signed a one-year, $1.65MM contract with the Yomiuri Giants, according to Gene Mato, Acosta's agent (Twitter link). The deal could be worth another $500K in bonuses. Acosta, 31, was non-tendered by the Mets following a season that saw him post a 6.46 ERA over relief appearances.
- The Giants have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Chad Gaudin, reports Janie McCauley of the Associated Press (via Twitter). Gaudin posted a 4.54 ERA in 46 relief appearances for the Marlins last season.
- The Yankees have signed catcher Bobby Wilson to a minor league deal that contains a Spring Training invite, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link). Wilson hit .211/.277/.292 batting line in 201 plate appearances with the Angels last season and was both claimed on waivers and non-tendered by the Blue Jays earlier this offseason.
- The Yankees have also signed infielder Gil Velazquez to a minor league deal, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). The 33-year-old Velazquez received 57 PAs with the Marlins last year and also has Major League exerperience with the Angels and Red Sox.
- The Cardinals have signed 18-year-old Dominican right-hander Alex Reyes to a contract worth $950K, reports MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez (via Twitter).
- The Nationals signed 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Neivy Pilier to a $225K deal, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America.
- The Nationals signed infielder Brian Bocock to a minor league contract, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson (Twitter link). Bocock last played in the majors in 2010 and has spent the last two seasons playing in the Phillies, Pirates and Blue Jays organizations.
- The Padres acquired left-hander Chris Rearick from the Rays in exchange for infielder Vince Belnome, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter).
- The Phillies have announced the signings of Andres Blanco, Josh Fields, Cesar Jimenez, Steven Lerud, Michael Martinez, Zach Miner, Jermaine Mitchell, Pete Orr and Humberto Quintero to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training.
We’ll track the day’s minor moves right here...
- The Dodgers signed Osvaldo Martinez to a minor league contract, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The infielder was first acquired by the Dodgers from the White Sox last July and Martinez posted a combined .489 OPS in 340 plate appearances for both clubs' Triple-A affiliates in 2012. Martinez appeared in 34 Major League games with the Marlins during the 2010-11 seasons.
- The Phillies signed third baseman Josh Fields to a minor league contract, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports (hat tip: Matt Gelb). The 29-year-old last played at the MLB level in 2010, but was once regarded as an up and coming player. He hit 23 home runs and posted a .244/.308/.480 batting line for the White Sox in 2007, though he has not come close to replicating those numbers since. Fields, a right-handed hitter who twice ranked among Baseball America's top 100 prospects, spent this past season with the Dodgers' Triple-A team. He hit 13 homers and posted a .322/.392/.488 batting line in 561 plate appearances as a corner infielder and designated hitter.
We'll keep track of today's minor moves right here..
- The Pirates announced that they signed right-hander Logan Kensing to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training. The 29-year-old spent the 2011 campaign with the Yankees' top affiliate after recovering from elbow surgery in 2010.
- The Reds signed catchers Brian Esposito and Brian Peacock to minor league deals, tweets Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
- The Tigers signed utility player Eric Patterson to a minor league deal, tweets Eddy.
- The Mets signed right-hander Jeff Stevens and utility player Corey Wimberly to minor league deals, tweets Eddy.
- The A's signed right-handers Travis Schlichting and Merkin Valdez and left-hander Fabio Castro to minor league deals, Eddy tweets.
- The Yankees signed right-hander Adam Miller and outfielders Cole Garner and Dewayne Wise to minor league deals, Eddy tweets.
- The Diamondbacks signed first baseman Mike Jacobs to a minor league deal, tweets Eddy. Before playing, Jacobs still must serve a 50-game suspension for positive a HGH test in August. He was cut by the Rockies following the test.
- The Marlins picked up right-handers Chad Gaudin and Rob Delaney on minor league deals, Eddy tweets. In nine big league seasons, Gaudin has a 4.63 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9. Delaney spent most of 2011 with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate, posting a 1.86 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9.
- The Dodgers signed third baseman Josh Fields, according to Goldstein (via Twitter).
- The Cubs signed Joe Mather as Triple-A outfield insurance, according to Goldstein (via Twitter). Mather spent 36 games on the Braves' major league roster in 2011.
- The Nationals have signed right-hander Dan Cortes, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (via Twitter).
- Speaking of the Braves, Atlanta released former Rangers draftee Marcus Lemon, Goldstein tweets. Lemon was acquired in a March trade for a PTBNL.
- P.J. Phillips, the younger brother of Brandon Phillips, agreed to a deal with the Reds, tweets Goldstein. The younger Phillips' career never got going due to plate discipline issues.
- The Blue Jays signed former Angels/Braves relief prospect Stephen Marek, Goldstein tweets. The right-hander was outrighted by Atlanta in November and underwent Tommy John surgery in May.
- The White Sox signed 2000 first-round pick Corey Smith, Goldstein tweets. The 29-year-old has never reached the Majors.
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein acquired Mike Aviles, Erik Bedard and Josh Fields in trades this weekend. He joined reporters on a conference call to discuss those moves and other issues pertaining to his first-place team this evening. Here are the details:
- The Red Sox like the way Bedard's stuff looks this year. He "really started to look like one of the best left-handers in the league again," Epstein said.
- Though Bedard was rusty in his lone start since returning from the disabled list, the Red Sox maintained interest in him since he seems healthy and has pitched in the AL East. Plus, he met Boston's biggest need - rotation help.
- The Bedard deal came together at the last minute, since the Red Sox had to acquire Trayvon Robinson from the Dodgers before completing the deal with the Mariners.
- As for the bullpen, Epstein says the Red Sox can get by without adding outside help. "We feel we have some depth, not only in the big leagues, but in Triple-A," he said.
- Epstein declined to speak about discussions for Rich Harden, but says he has no hard feelings. It appeared last night that Boston was going to acquire Harden.
- The Red Sox like Fields' "big arm" despite his command issues.
- Though Epstein didn't discuss Clay Buchholz's injury in detail, he acknowledged concern over the right-hander's health.
The Yomiuri Giants have acquired third baseman Josh Fields from the Rockies, according to a Sponichi report. Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along the news and says we should expect an official announcement in a few days (on Twitter).
Fields had been playing for the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs, but the Sky Sox have released him, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. The former first round pick had a .365/.429/.674 line at Triple-A, so the Rockies presumably released him as a formality to enable him to join the Japanese team.
Fields, 28, played for the White Sox and Royals from 2006-10. He clubbed 23 home runs in 2007, posting a .244/.308/.480 line in the process. He never replicated that success and has bounced from team to team since. The White Sox sent him to Kansas City in 2009 and the Royals non-tendered him last winter. The Pirates picked him up in December and flipped him to Colorado late in Spring Training.
The Rockies acquired third baseman Josh Fields from the Pirates for a player to be named later or cash, tweets the team. Fields had been reassigned to the Pirates' minor league camp three days ago. He'd signed a minor league deal in December. The Pirates have jettisoned several of their minor league signings, with Andy Marte perhaps the next to go.
Fields, 28, missed most of the 2010 season due to hip surgery, though he had 104 interesting plate appearances before being non-tendered. Aside from third base, he's dabbled at first and left field.
Fields was drafted 18th overall by the White Sox in 2004 and was once considered a top prospect. He crushed 23 home runs in 418 plate appearances with the Sox in '07, nine of which came in August of that year.
The Pirates optioned Daniel McCutchen to Triple-A and reassigned Sean Gallagher, Tyler Yates, Wyatt Toregas and Josh Fields to minor league camp today. Here are more updates on the Pirates from Florida...
- Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hears that the Pirates will not release Ryan Doumit if they can't work out a trade (Twitter link). Though Doumit will earn $5.1MM this year, the Pirates like his bat.
- GM Neal Huntington told Pat Lackey of Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke that the Pirates haven't focused on pitching in recent drafts, even though it might appear that way. The Pirates have just been selecting the players at the top of their draft board, according to Huntington. Pittsburgh picks first overall in 2011.
- In a separate post, Lackey points out that John Bowker's strong spring has likely assured that Rule 5 selection Josh Rodriguez will be returned to the Indians.
- Huntington told reporters this morning that the goal for McCutchen at the Major League level would be for him to pitch multiple innings as a reliever. The right-hander may return to the Triple-A rotation.
Among San Diego's 20 NRIs is a small handful of players with big-league experience and a decent chance of making the 25-man roster at the end of Spring Training. Here's a quick look at some of those guys:
- Kevin Frandsen has spent parts of five seasons with the Giants and Angels, and he has a "good shot" of catching on with the Padres as a utility man, according to Brock. The 28-year-old plays multiple positions and would earn a salary of $575,000.
- Guillermo Quiroz could challenge Rob Johnson for the backup catching job, notes Brock. Quiroz, 29, has played for four teams (Rangers, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles) in parts of seven seasons.
- Gregorio Petit spent parts of two seasons with the A's as a utility infielder in 2008-09. The 26-year-old spent the entirety of 2010 with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.
- Bullpen hopefuls Luis Perdomo and Scott Munter each have Major League experience. Perdomo made 35 appearances with San Diego in 2009 but only one last season, and Munter was with the Giants for parts of three seasons.
The Pirates, meanwhile, have a slightly more interesting cast of notable names:
- Garrett Atkins, Jeff Clement, Josh Fields and Andy Marte form a quartet of one-time blue-chip prospects. Atkins, in particular, was an above-average player for the Rockies in 2006-07, but he declined quickly in the following years. Clement, a former catcher, was a No. 3 overall pick of the Mariners in 2005, and Fields and Marte were raw-power corner-infield prospects coming up with the White Sox and Braves/Indians, respectively.
- On the pitching side, Tyler Yates has a 8.1 K/9 for his career but did not pitch in the bigs in 2010. Donald Veal, selected by the Bucs from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft prior to the 2009 season, is a hard-throwing but wild lefty. Brian Burres has started 54 games in his five-year career with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates. Sean Gallagher was dealt from the Cubs to the A's in the deal that sent Rich Harden to Chicago, and has appeared in 91 games. Fernando Nieve has appeared in 99 games (19 starts) with the Astros and Mets in parts of four seasons.