Juan Abreu Rumors

Minor Moves: Torres, Flores, Thomas, Abreu

Here are today’s minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Dodgers have signed Barry Enright to a minor league deal, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (on Twitter).  Across four big league seasons, Enright has made 26 starts and five relief appearances, posting a 5.57 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 for the D’Backs and Angels.
  • Veteran outfielder Andres Torres left the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox and is looking for an opportunity with a National League team, SB Nation’s Joon Lee reports (Twitter link).  Torres enacted an out clause in his minor league deal with Boston, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reports (via Twitter).  Torres ended up making 95 PA in the Sox system, hitting .275/.298/.473.
  • The Royals released catcher Jesus Flores, according to the Pacific Coast League website’s transactions page.  Flores inked a minor league deal with K.C. in March and posted a .698 OPS over 150 PA with Triple-A Omaha this season.  The 29-year-old appeared in 311 games with the Nationals from 2007-12 and spent last season in the Dodgers’ and Rays’ farm systems.
  • The Angels released southpaw Justin Thomas, who has signed a $160K contract with KIA Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization (hat tip to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net).  This is Thomas’ second taste of international baseball, as he made three starts last year for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan.  Thomas posted a 5.99 ERA over 20 starts for Triple-A Salt Lake City after signing a minor league deal with the Angels in January.
  • The Dodgers released right-hander Juan Abreu, the team announced.  Abreu posted a 7.11 ERA over 6 1/3 relief innings at Triple-A this season after signing a minor league pact with L.A. during the offseason.  The righty has 6 2/3 Major League innings to his name (with a 2.70 ERA and 12 strikeouts), all with the Astros in 2011.
  • The Nationals released right-hander Ryan Perry, the club announced.  Picked 21st overall by the Tigers in the 2008 draft, Perry posted a 4.36 ERA and 132 strikeouts (against 84 walks) over 169 1/3 relief innings with Detroit and Washington from 2009-12.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Injury Notes: Abreu, Gonzalez, Venters, Fielder, Yanks

Here’s the latest on the injury front:

  • The White Sox have placed Jose Abreu on the 15-day disabled list with posterior tibial tendinitis in his left ankle, reports MLB.com’s Scott Merkin. Abreu returned to Chicago today for an examination and was placed in a boot to immobilize the ankle and help facilitate the recovery process. He also will undergo further tests, such as another MRI, and further treatment for at least another day. The rookie sensation is paying early dividends on his six-year, $68MM contract, batting .260/.312/.595 with a MLB-leading 15 home runs and 42 RBIs in 189 plate appearances.
  • The Nationals placed Gio Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation, but the left-hander’s enhanced MRI exam revealed no further damage and confirmed he will only require rest, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
  • The BravesJonny Venters threw batting practice Wednesday and the session was cut short after he reported soreness in his left elbow, writes the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien. “It was just a little sore, so they shut him down and didn’t continue,” said manager Fredi Gonzalez. “They didn’t seem concerned, they made it sound like it was part of the process – first time he’s faced hitters and that kind of stuff.” Venters is just over a year removed from his second Tommy John surgery. 
  • The Rangers‘ injury woes continue with Prince Fielder undergoing a nerve-root injection for a herniated disc in his neck, reports Jay Jaffe of SI.com. Fielder, slashing only .247/.360/.360 with three home runs in 178 plate appearances, says his neck has bothered him since last season, but has worsened lately. Jaffe notes Fielder waited until last month to inform the Rangers of his injury, which has caused pain and stiffness in his neck and weakness in his left arm.
  • Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda is still on track for an early-June return after a successful bullpen session Friday, according to ESPNNewYork.com’s Wallace Matthews (h/t: Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues).
  • Yankees reliever Shawn Kelley could rejoin the team next Sunday, tweets Meredith Marakovits of the YES Network (h/t: Axisa). Kelley, nursing a back injury, will play catch Monday and Tuesday, throw a bullpen Wednesday, and make a minor league rehab appearance Friday.

Minor Moves: Haley, Scarpetta, Mastroianni, Ruffin

Here are today's minor moves and outright assignments from around the league…

  • Indians right-hander Trey Haley has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Columbus, the team announced. Haley was designated for assignment last week in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for new closer John Axford.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the Brewers have released right-hander Cody Scarpetta (Twitter link). Baseball America ranked Scarpetta as Milwaukee's No. 4 prospect at one point and ranked his curveball best among Brewers farmhands from 2008-11. Scarpetta, now 25, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012 and struggled to a 7.15 ERA in 34 innings upon his return in 2013.
  • The Twins announced that they've outrighted outfielder Darin Mastroianni to Triple-A Rochester. The 28-year-old was a solid fourth outfielder for the Twins in 2012 with outstanding defense and baserunning contributions, but an ankle injury limited him to 73 plate appearances in 2013. Mastroianni followed up a .250/.328/.350 showing in 2012 with a .185/.229/.215 effort in 2013.
  • Right-hander Chance Ruffin has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma, the Mariners announced. Ruffin was designated for assignment last week in order to clear room on the 40-man roster for Franklin Gutierrez, who re-signed with Seattle on a one-year deal.
  • The Brewers have outrighted right-hander Michael Olmsted off their 40-man roster, according to senior director of media relations Mike Vassallo (on Twitter). The 26-year-old whiffed 60 batters in 59 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2013 but also walked 43 hitters en route to a 5.88 ERA.
  • Right-hander Rhiner Cruz has been outrighted from the Astros' 40-man roster, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Houston selected Cruz out of the Mets organization with the first overall pick of the 2011 Rule 5 Draft. The 26-year-old posted a 3.38 ERA in 21 1/3 innings in 2013 but walked more hitters (11) than he struck out (10) in that time. 
  • The Dodgers have signed right-hander Juan Abreu to a minor league contract, according to the team's transactions page. Now 28 years old, Abreu's only Major League experience came with the Astros in 2011 when he allowed two runs with 12 strikeouts against three walks in 6 2/3 innings of relief. The Dominican native has a 4.30 ERA with 11.5 K/9 and 5.9 BB/9 in 106 2/3 career innings at the Triple-A level.

Minor Moves: Athletics, Nationals, Dodgers

Here's a fresh batch of minor moves courtesy of Baseball America's Matt Eddy (on Twitter)…

Outrighted To Triple-A: Abreu, Ekstrom, Igarashi

Here are the latest outright assignments, courtesy of the MLB.com transactions page

  • The Blue Jays have outrighted right-hander Juan Abreu to Triple-A. Toronto claimed the 27-year-old off waivers from the Astros earlier this week. He's pitched to a 7.04 ERA in 46 Triple-A relief innings this year.
  • The Rockies have outrighted right-hander Mike Ekstrom to Triple-A. The 28-year-old was designated for assignment earlier this week after allowing 11 runs in 15 2/3 relief innings for Colorado this season.
  • The Yankees have outrighted right-hander Ryota Igarashi to Triple-A. New York claimed the 33-year-old off waivers from the Blue Jays earlier this season, and he's allowed four runs during his three innings in pinstripes.
  • The Twins have outrighted outfielder Rene Tosoni to Triple-A. The 26-year-old hit .218/.299/.314 in 293 plate appearances at various levels of Minnesota's farm system this year.

Blue Jays Claim Juan Abreu

The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Juan Abreu off of waivers from Houston. The Astros, who announced the deal in a press release, had designated Abreu for assignment on Tuesday.

Abreu appeared in seven games for the Astros last year, but has spent the entire 2012 season at Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 27-year-old has a 7.09 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 6.7 BB/9 in 45 2/3 innings for the RedHawks this year. He has struck out more than one batter per inning in seven seasons as a professional, but has a high walk rate of 5.6 BB/9.

Astros Designate Juan Abreu For Assignment

The Astros have designated pitcher Juan Abreu for assignment, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com (via Twitter).  The right-hander appeared in seven games for the Astros last season but never saw time on the big league roster in 2012.

Abreu, 27, had a 7.09 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 6.7 BB/9 in 38 appearances for Triple-A Oklahoma City this season.  His Triple-A numbers last season were significantly sharper as he posted a 2.18 ERA with 12.0 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 48 games for the Astros' and Braves' affiliates.