Justin Huber Rumors

Minor Deals: Sborz, Huber, Royals, Ruiz

We'll keep track of all of the day's minor deals right here:

  • Righty reliever Jay Sborz, 26 in January, signed a minor league deal with the Braves with a Spring Training invite, MLBTR has learned.  Sborz was outrighted by the Tigers on November 4th after posting a 4.74 ERA, 8.7 K/9, 4.9 BB/9, and 1.6 HR/9 with 19 saves in 43 2/3 Triple-A innings this year.
  • The Twins signed Justin Huber to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, tweets Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  Huber last played in the majors with Minnesota in 2009, and has a .580 OPS in 175 career plate appearances.
  • The Royals announced that four players have been designated for assignment: Jordan Parraz, Victor Marte, Gaby Hernandez and former #1 overall pick Bryan Bullington.
  • The Rays released first baseman Jose Ruiz, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
  • The Tigers announced that they signed Al Alburquerque to a major league deal for 2011. GM Dave Dombrowski says the team has been impressed with the right-hander's winter ball performance and expects him to compete for a bullpen job in Spring Training. The 24-year-old has struck out 191 batters in 174 1/3 minor league innings in the Cubs and Rockies organizations.
  • The Yankees have released Jonathan Albaladejo, who signed with a Japanese team, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).
  • The Diamondbacks claimed right-hander Juan Jaime from the Nationals, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson (on Twitter). The 23-year-old right-hander didn't pitch in 2010, but he has a 2.42 ERA with 11.8 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in 111 2/3 minor league innings.
  • The Blue Jays signed Mike Hinckley, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America. The lefty posted a 1.93 ERA in 28 games with the Nationals from 2008-09. Last year he posted 6.8 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 46 2/3 innings in the upper minors.
  • Josh BarfieldRyan Feierabend and Brandon Moss all got Spring Training invitations from the Phillies according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.

Padres Acquire Justin Huber

According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Padres have acquired Justin Huber from the Royals for a player to be named later.  He’s a good candidate to see time in left field for San Diego since he’s out of options.  Backing up Adrian Gonzalez at first probably isn’t an option given Tony Clark‘s presence.

The 25 year-old gets a .255/.322/.420 projection from PECOTA and .279/.334/.437 from ZiPS.  Baseball America spoke of a team official who compared Huber to Matt Diaz.  It’s a decent low-risk acquisition for Kevin Towers once again.

Odds and Ends: Papelbon, Bonds

Your collection of links and rumors…

  • Interestingly, Pirates GM Neal Huntington put out a statement for Pirates’ fans.  He explains why the Pirates have been inactive this winter, and I agree with the logic.  This team doesn’t need to be wasting money on mediocre free agents.
  • Justin Huber is out of options, so he’ll either make the Royals or end up elsewhere.
  • Athletics Nation paints a picture in which the A’s are buyers at this year’s trade deadline.  A parallel universe with a healthy Rich Harden, if you will.
  • The Red Sox are exploring a multiyear deal for Jonathan Papelbon, according to Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe.
  • With 20/20 hindsight, Viva El Birdos rewrites how they might have conducted the Cardinals’ offseason moves.
  • No one wants Barry Bonds.  He’s in game shape, but one exec Andrew Baggarly talked to has heard no rumors at all.  Baggarly has talked to some baseball officials who believe Bonds might play in Japan in 2008.  Now that would be something.