Juan Morillo Rumors

Minor Moves: Robinson, Knapp, Egan, Morillo, Garrison, Wrigley, Geer, Johnson

Here are some of today's notable minor moves — a rather interesting group on the whole — all courtesy of Baseball America's Matt Eddy unless otherwise noted:

  • Catcher Chris Robinson will retire, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 29-year-old, who was a 3rd round pick of the Tigers back in 2005, had a chance to see his first MLB action (and hit his first home run) last year with the Padres. At Triple-A with the Pads and Orioles, Robinson put up a .282/.307/.320 line in 255 plate appearances.
  • The Rangers have signed righty Jason Knapp to a minor league deal, tweets Eddy. As MLBTR's Steve Adams recently explained, Knapp is attempting a comeback after washing out of baseball following successive shoulder surgeries. The big hurler was once a top prospect, and headlined the deal that sent Cliff Lee from the Indians to the Phillies. Though he hasn't thrown a professional pitch since 2010, Knapp is just 23 years old and reportedly has managed to build his heater back up into the 90s.
  • Reliever Pat Egan has signed with the Reds, Eddy tweets. Though he has yet to crack the bigs at age 29, the towering righty has found success in recent seasons at the upper reaches of the minors. In 2013 with the Braves organization, Egan notched a 2.95 ERA in 73 1/3 innings (though he was better at Double-A than Triple-A). And in 2012, he was good for 67 innings of 1.61 ERA ball for the Orioles' top affiliates.
  • Reliever Juan Morillo has signed a minor league deal with the Orioles, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun recently reported. The 30-year-old fireballer struggled in four MLB cups of coffee, and washed out of American professional baseball after 2012 as his walk totals reached unsustainable levels. According to Encina, Morillo served as the closer for the Taiwanese EDA Rhinos, during which time his heater registered at a league-record 99.4 mph.
  • The Orioles have also signed lefty Steve Garrison and first baseman Henry Wrigley to minor league deals, tweets Eddy. Garrison, 27, has thrown in just one big league game, and worked 43 2/3 innings of 3.30 ball for the Diamondbacks' Double-A affiliate last year, his first as a reliever. In the process, he boasted significantly higher strikeout totals (10.1 K/9) than he carried as a starter. Wrigley, also 27, spent his entire career in the minors with the Rays before moving to the Rockies in 2013. Previously a solid (if strikeout-prone) hitter with 20-home run power, Wrigley struggled to a .188/.227/.348 line in 119 Double-A plate appearances last year.
  • Righty Josh Geer has re-signed with the Padres, Eddy tweets. Geer battled back from Stage III melanoma before the 2012 season. Now 30, the RIce University product saw time in the bigs over 2008-09 but has thrown in the upper minors since. Working mostly as a reliever for the first time last year, he threw 104 1/3 innings of 3.54 ERA baseball with 6.9 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9.
  • Longtime catcher Rob Johnson will attempt to move onto the mound with the Padres organization, Eddie notes in the same tweet. The 31-year-old saw MLB action behind the dish in every season between 2007-13, carrying a lifetime .200/.275/.295 line in the process. Though a surprising number of converted catchers have found success as pitchers, far fewer can say they appeared at both positions at the big league level.
  • One example that Johnson can hope to emulate is Chris Hatcher, who has seen MLB time as a catcher and pitcher. Hatcher was recently designated by the Marlins and remains in DFA limbo. As MLBTR's DFA Tracker shows, two others join Hatcher in waiting to learn their fates: Henry Rodriguez (Reds) and Jimmy Paredes (Marlins).

Odds & Ends: Nationals, Teixeira, Ligtenberg

Links for Friday…

Odds & Ends: Hunter, Keppinger, Swisher

Links for Monday…

Twins Claim Morillo; Designate Humber

According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins claimed reliever Juan Morillo off waivers from the Rockies and designated Philip Humber for assignment.  They must feel that Morillo has more upside given the mid-90s heat.  Both pitchers are out of options.  Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies notes that the Twins were the 21st in line to make the Morillo claim.

Humber, 26, was chosen third overall by the Mets in '04.  He was traded to the Twins as part of the Johan Santana deal in February of '08.

Odds & Ends: Young, Morillo, Soria

Links for Thursday…

Marlins Interested In Juan Morillo

According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins are interested in right-hander Juan Morillo, who was recently designated for assignment by the Rockies.

Morillo, 25, made Colorado's Opening Day roster, but didn't appear in a game and was dumped Friday when the club decided to call up Matt Belisle.  Morillo may never turn into anything more than a decent middle reliever, but he boasts a fastball that can reach into the high 90s and he's had a decent amount of success in the minors.

Juan Morillo Designated For Assignment

According to Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies, pitcher Juan Morillo was designated for assignment today.  The Rockies needed to clear a spot for Matt Belisle.

Morillo, 25, is out of options.  He throws in the mid to high 90s, but exhibits poor control.  It might make sense for a non-contending team to take him on as a project.

Odds & Ends: Sheffield, Morillo, Perdomo

I think you would all agree that today should be a federal holiday.  Monday links to tide you over until games start…

Willy Taveras Will Be Non-Tendered

Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post says to expect outfielder Willy Taveras to join the free agent market:

The Nationals’ unwillingness to take Taveras and Juan Morillo for Tim Redding — a deal Colorado thought was done — will lead the Rockies to non-tender the center fielder today, making him a free agent.

Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News agrees he’ll be non-tendered, noting the Yankees, Red Sox, Reds, Marlins, and White Sox also had trade discussions for Taveras.

Renck adds that Glendon Rusch has a minor league offer for $750K in hand, and is weighing offers from four other clubs.  Rusch would be the Rockies’ second lefty behind newly signed Alan Embree.

A few more notes: the Rockies have mild interest in bringing back Josh Fogg…they’re the favorite for Redding if he’s non-tendered too…the Rox will make a non-guaranteed offer to Scott PodsednikJoey Gathright would be of interest if non-tendered.

Rockies Rumors: Redding, Taveras, Penny

2:47am: MLB.com’s Thomas Harding digs further.  He says Taveras did not fail a physical, and the other player in the trade was hard-throwing righty Juan Morillo (who is out of options).

12:50am: Troy Renck says the Tim ReddingWilly Taveras deal is on life support.  An upgrade from dead, I suppose.  He says:

A potential deal died late Tuesday over apparent concerns about Willy Taveras’ left leg stress fracture. However, a Natonals’ source said that the bigger issue was a medical issue with a pitcher Washington was to receive as part of the deal. That leaves the lingering possibility that something could get done Thursday following the Rule 5 draft.

Both players remain non-tender candidates for Friday.  Thomas Harding says the Rockies have slim hope of a deal for Taveras.

Other notes from Harding:  The Rockies decided against making an offer to Brad Penny and they’re waiting to hear back on a minor league offer to Glendon RuschRenck says they do have interest in Luis Ayala.