Justin Thomas 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.

Minor Moves: Thomas, Olmedo, Darnell, Solis

Here are today's minor transactions, with the latest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Angels signed left-hander Justin Thomas to a minor league deal, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez tweets.  Thomas posted a 6.93 ERA over 24 2/3 IP with the Mariners, Pirates, Red Sox and Yankees from 2008-12.  The 29-year-old southpaw spent the first half of 2013 pitching for the Athletics' Triple-A affiliate before signing with the Nippon Ham Fighters.
  • The Rays signed infielder Ray Olmedo, third baseman/outfielder James Darnell, catcher Ali Solis and right-hander Santiago Garrido to minor league contracts, the team announced via its Twitter feed.  All four players will receive invitation to the Rays' Major League Spring Training camp.
  • Since Rafael Ortega was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals earlier today, only two players remain in DFA Limbo according to the MLBTR DFA Tracker: Padres right-hander Adys Portillo and White Sox lefty Santos Rodriguez.

Minor Moves: Kip Wells, Diaz, Thomas

Five years ago today, the Athletics traded Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin to the Cubs for Josh Donaldson, Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, and Eric Patterson.  At the time, Gallagher was considered the centerpiece for Oakland, though Donaldson, an A ball catcher, had been drafted in the first round the year prior and had promise despite offensive struggles to that point in '08.  Donaldson reached the Majors as a catcher in 2010, but was moved back to third base and became the A's starter there last year.  Now, after a huge first half, Donaldson had the honor of being snubbed for the All-Star team.  Perhaps he'll find his way onto the roster as various players bow out.  On to today's minor moves:

  • 12-year MLB veteran Kip Wells is contemplating retirement, agent Burton Rocks tells MLBTR's Zach Links.  Wells was released by the Angels in late May.  He's looking for a minor league opportunity with a realistic shot of being brought up to contribute at the big league level.  If nothing materializes by season's end, Wells is considering moving into the player development/scouting side of baseball.  Wells was drafted by the White Sox in the first round in 1998; he posted a 3.43 ERA over 395 2/3 innings for the Pirates from 2002-03 and earned over $17MM in his career.
  • Red Sox infielder Jonathan Diaz was outrighted to Triple-A today, tweets Jenny Dell of NESN.  The move brings the team's 40-man roster count down to 39.  Diaz, 28, made his big league debut June 29th, starting at third base and popping out against Toronto's Esmil Rogers.  He was hitting .242/.350/.341 in 220 Triple-A plate appearances.  Diaz was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 12th round in '06, a dozen picks before the Angels snagged Jordan Walden.
  • Lefty Justin Thomas is headed to Japan to join the Nippon Ham Fighters, he announced on Twitter today.  Thomas, who exercised an out clause in his minor league contract with the Athletics earlier this month, joins former big leaguers Micah Hoffpauir, Brian Wolfe, and Kaz Tadano.  Thomas, 29, was drafted by the Mariners in the fourth round in 2005, a round which later produced Major Leaguers Jeremy Hellickson, Justin Maxwell, Gaby Sanchez, Sam LeCure, Chris Getz, Mike Baxter, Mat Gamel, and Brent Lillibridge.
  • Six players currently reside in DFA limbo: Jeremy Bonderman of the Mariners, Adam Rosales of the Athletics, Carlos Carrasco of the Indians, Brandon Lyon of the Mets, Hector Gimenez of the White Sox, and Shawn Camp of the Cubs. The Royals requested unconditional release waivers on Jeff Francoeur on Friday, so he'll likely be a free agent soon.  The Twins' P.J. Walters cleared waivers and is likely to accept an outright assignment.

Minor Moves: Owings, Ramirez, Jurrjens

Today's minor moves from around the league…

  • Justin Thomas exercised his out clause with the Athletics and is now a free agent, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links).  Thomas made 16 starts for the club's Triple-A affiliate, posting a 4.48 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.
  • The Nationals have granted Micah Owings his release from Triple-A Syracuse, tweets Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com. The former pitcher had been trying to make the team as a position player. He batted .265/.305/.480 with eight homers and played primarily left field in 57 games for the Chiefs this season.
  • In addition to the two Rays moves below, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that the team signed recently released right-hander Ramon Ramirez. The 31-year-old was an elite setup ma from 2008-11, posting a 2.77 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 for the Royals, Red Sox and Giants, but he's struggled the past two seasons in San Francisco.
  • The Rays have released Triple-A right-hander Will Inman and signed outfielder Evan Frey, the team announced on Twitter. Inman, 26, posted a 6.47 ERA with more walks than strikeouts in 32 innings. Frey is a .271/.369/.357 hitter in 213 career games at Triple-A. 
  • Jonathan Sanchez has decided against exercising his July 1 opt-out clause with the Dodgers and instead negotiated a new opt-out date, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). The lefty signed with the Dodgers in May but only got the opportunity to start two games for Triple-A Albuquerque. Sanchez began the year with the Pirates but didn't last long as he was designated for assignment after just five appearances and an 11.85 ERA.
  • Jair Jurrjens has been officially optioned to Triple-A, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles optioned Jurrjens rather than technically designating him for assignment, though he had the right to refuse the assignment. Jurrjens accepted, and will report to Norfolk in 72 hours (All Twitter links).
  • Nine players are in DFA limbo: Carlos Marmol (Cubs), Francisley Bueno (Royals), Eric Hinske (D-Backs), Luis Cruz (Dodgers), Alex Liddi (Mariners), Clayton Mortensen (Red Sox), Travis Ishikawa (Orioles), Jeff Francoeur (Royals) and Matt Guerrier (Dodgers).

Steve Adams contributed to this post.

A’s Notes: Shortstops, Escobar, Minor Deals

The Athletics reportedly had meetings lined up in Nashville today with the representatives for Hiroyuki Nakajima and Stephen Drew, as the team's search for a shortstop continues. Here's more on that front, along with the rest of the latest A's notes:

Minor Moves: Athletics, Nationals, Dodgers

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

Carroll, Paulino, Eveland, Thomas Hit Free Agency

We'll track the day's minor moves here…

  • Outfielder Brett Carroll and catcher Carlos Maldonado also elected free agency, Matt Eddy reports (on Twitter). Carroll appeared in five games for the Nationals this past season and Maldonado appeared in four.
  • Catcher Rob Johnson is a free agent after being removed from the Mets' 40-man roster, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. Johnson, 30, appeared in 17 games for the Mets this year plus 45 contests for their Triple-A affiliate. 
  • Orioles catcher Ronny Paulino and left-hander Dana Eveland also elected free agency, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (Twitter links). Eveland appeared in 14 games for the Orioles, posting a 4.73 ERA, and Paulino appeared in 20 games.
  • Yankees left-hander Justin Thomas also elected free agency, according to Eddy. The Yankees outrighted Thomas to Triple-A earlier in the month.
  • Blue Jays reliever Juan Abreu has also elected free agency, Eddy reports. Abreu posted a 6.80 ERA in 42 minor league relief outings this past season.
  • The Brewers announced that Livan Hernandez and Yorvit Torrealba elected free agency after refusing outright assignments to Triple-A. The moves are procedural, as Hernandez and Torrealba were expected to hit free agency.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Justin Thomas

The latest outright assignments from around MLB…

Yankees Designate Justin Thomas For Assignment

The Yankees have designated left-hander Justin Thomas for assignment, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (via Twitter).  After the Red Sox removed Thomas from their 40-man roster in May, he was claimed by the Yankees and posted a 3.45 ERA, a 2.45 K/BB ratio and a 7.7 K/9 rate in 30 games (six of them starts) for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.  Thomas also appeared in four Major League games for New York, allowing three runs in three innings of work.

In a corresponding move, David Aardsma has been activated from the 60-day disabled list and will take Thomas' place on the Yankees' 40-man roster.  Aardsma hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2010 due to hip surgery during the 2010-11 offseason and Tommy John surgery last July.  The Yankees also activated Brett Gardner from the 60-day DL today and designated Steve Pearce for assignment.

Yankees Claim Justin Thomas Off Waivers

The Yankees have claimed left-handed reliever Justin Thomas off of waivers from the Red Sox, Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger confirms (via Twitter).  The move was first reported by Maureen Mullen of CSNNE.com (via Twitter). 

Thomas, 28, was removed from Boston's 40-man roster earlier this week and has one minor league option remaining.  The reliever has a 4.14 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in eight seasons as a minor leaguer.