Juan Morillo Rumors
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).
Links for Friday...
- RotoAuthority looks at the April offensive stat leaders.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America discussed Jim Bowden's Stephen Strasburg comments. Bowden says the Nationals' decision to draft Strasburg has been made, and predicts they'll sign him for around $15MM minutes before the deadline.
- ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. talked to Nats interim GM Mike Rizzo about their revamped Latin American plan.
- Mark Teixeira talked to Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times about his decision to sign with the Yankees.
- Brian Stensaas of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes about Kerry Ligtenberg, who is attempting a comeback with the St. Paul Saints.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci spoke with one GM who points to struggling older teams and says "it's better to be young these days."
- Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Tigers are being patient with pitchers Ryan Perry and Rick Porcello.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock doesn't expect GM Kevin Towers to sit back and watch if the Padres continues to struggle.
- Here's Baseball America's list of the hottest prospects in the minors right now.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law scouts a pair of college players who could turn up on BA's list next year: Tim Wheeler and Drew Storen.
- Twins reliever Juan Morillo cleared waivers, so he'll head to Triple A according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Links for Monday...
- Become a fan of MLB Trade Rumors on Facebook! We're up to 9,828 fans.
- Jed Lowrie will have wrist surgery, and Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe learned that he could return by the All-Star break. Julio Lugo, recovering from knee surgery, should be ready to take over soon.
- ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. says "negotiations between the New York Yankees and Cuban exile prospect Felix Perez have broken down because of the outfielder's problem in obtaining a visa." Perez was set for a bonus north of $3MM, but questions have been raised about his age. The Yanks may have interest in a couple of other Cuban players, Noel Arguelles and Jose Iglesias, once they're declared free agents.
- According to Phil Miller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Torii Hunter would seemingly like to finish his career with the Twins.
- MLB.com's Alyson Footer says sending Drew Sutton to the Reds for Jeff Keppinger was "a great, great deal for the Astros." Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle explains why the move was made.
- Aaron Gleeman weighs in on the Twins' decision to swap out Philip Humber for Juan Morillo.
- David Pinto of Baseball Musings gives his opinion of the Ryan Zimmerman extension.
- South Side Sox and Sox Machine discuss the minor tiff between Ozzie Guillen and Nick Swisher.
- Tony Jackson of the L.A. Daily News says the Dodgers signed pitcher Chuck Tiffany to a minor league deal. They'd traded him to the Rays in '06 as part of the Danys Baez deal, and the Rays released him in March of this year.
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.
Links for Thursday...
- Delwyn Young talks about his trade to the Pirates, and GM Neal Huntington also commented to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Tracy Ringolsby of Inside The Rockies says hard-throwing reliever Juan Morillo is now on waivers.
- El Lefty Malo notes that the Giants aren't a lock to be competitive in 2010.
- Yahoo's David Brown spoke to Royals relief ace Joakim Soria.
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.
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.
I think you would all agree that today should be a federal holiday. Monday links to tide you over until games start...
- According to David Lennon of Newsday, Gary Sheffield expected to get a call from Albert Pujols about possibly playing for the Cardinals, before the Mets signed him.
- Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post says the Rockies' acquisition of Jason Hammel may mean Juan Morillo's time with the team is drawing to a close. Morillo throws in the high 90s with poor control, and he's out of options.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic talked to John Dewan about The Fielding Bible and the D'Backs' defense.
- Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News says the Giants continue to try to work out a trade for Rule 5 pick Luis Perdomo, who will otherwise have to be offered back to the Cardinals.
- Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star has a great profile of Zack Greinke.
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy has the latest minor league transactions.
- John Hickey recently wrote about Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre. Beltre, a Boras client, is entering his contract year.
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 Podsednik...Joey Gathright would be of interest if non-tendered.
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 Redding-Willy 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 Rusch. Renck says they do have interest in Luis Ayala.