Justin Thomas Rumors
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:
- Oakland is "kicking the tires" on just about every shortstop out there, but isn't close on anyone, says Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
- Yunel Escobar was appealing to the A's in part because he wasn't expected to have significant trade value, so Oakland doesn't want to get in a bidding war for him, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Within the same piece, Slusser notes that GM Billy Beane's preference is for a shortstop that can make an impact in 2013. A long-term piece isn't necessarily something the team wants, with prospect Addison Russell in the pipeline.
- The A's finalized a number of minor league signings, according to Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). Kyler Newby, Luke Montz, Justin Thomas, Garrett Olson, Scott Moore, Darwin Perez, and Mike Ekstrom were added by Oakland.
Here's a fresh batch of minor moves courtesy of Baseball America's Matt Eddy (on Twitter)...
- The Athletics have signed left-hander Justin Thomas and utility man Darwin Perez to minor league deals. The 28-year-old Thomas allowed seven runs in 7 2/3 innings for the Red Sox and Yankees this year.
- The Nationals have signed left-hander Fernando Abad and right-hander Caleb Clay to minor league contracts. Abad, 26, has pitched to a 5.10 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 84 2/3 innings for the Astros over the last three seasons.
- The Dodgers have signed righty Juan Abreu, lefty Kelvin De La Cruz, infielder Miguel Rojas, righty Hector Correa, catcher Wilkin Castillo, and righty Gregory Infante to minor league deals. The 27-year-old Abreu struck out 12 in 6 2/3 innings for the Astros this year, his big league debut.
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.
The latest outright assignments from around MLB...
- The Yankees outrighted Justin Thomas to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, according to MLB.com’s transactions page. The Yankees had designated Thomas for assignment a week ago after the 28-year-old appeared in four games for New York. Thomas posted a 3.45 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 62 2/3 innings at Triple-A this year.
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.
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.
The Red Sox have removed left-hander Justin Thomas from their 40-man roster, Alex Speier of WEEI.com tweets. In corresponding moves, the Red Sox optioned Clayton Mortensen to the minor leagues and selected the contract of Daniel Nava. It's not clear if the Red Sox designated Thomas for assignment or released him.
Thomas, 28, appeared in seven games for the Red Sox this year, allowing ten hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings while striking out four. He has a 4.14 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in eight seasons as a minor leaguer.
The Red Sox have announced the signings of minor league free agents Carlos Silva, Brandon Duckworth, Charlie Haeger, Will Inman, Doug Mathis, Tony Pena Jr., Chorye Spoone, Jesse Carlson, Rich Hill, Justin Thomas, Pedro Ciriaco, and Nate Spears. The signings of Spoone, Thomas, Inman, Pena, Carlson, and Hill had been reported previously.
Silva, 32, was released by the Cubs in March of 2011 with $11.5MM remaining on his contract. He signed with the Yankees in April, but was released in July amid shoulder problems after seven minor league starts. The control artist was useful upon his initial change of scenery, posting a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts for the 2010 Cubs after the Milton Bradley trade. As the Red Sox press release notes, "No active hurler with at least 750.0 innings pitched has fewer walks per nine innings than Silva (1.73)." Silva will make a prorated $1MM while in the Majors, reports WEEI's Alex Speier.
Ciriaco, 26, was non-tendered by the Pirates in December. The middle infielder hit .231/.243/.300 in 289 plate appearances in his second career Triple-A stint. Spears, a versatile 26-year-old, spent the last two years in Boston's minor league system. In 2011 he hit .248/.355/.397 in 378 plate appearances, getting his first cup of coffee with the big club.
Haeger, a 28-year-old knuckeballer, spent 2011 with the Mariners' Triple-A club and the Red Sox' Double-A team. He posted a 5.44 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 5.9 BB/9, and 0.92 HR/9 in 97 2/3 innings. Mathis, a 28-year-old righty, last appeared in the bigs in 2010 with the Rangers. As a starter for the Giants' and Athletics' Triple-A affiliates, he put up a 4.27 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, and 0.63 HR/9 in 86 1/3 innings. Duckworth, 35, last appeared in the Majors in 2008. He spent 2011 with Boston's Triple-A affiliate, posting a 3.97 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, and 0.84 HR/9 in 118 innings.
- Darek Braunecker, the agent for Cliff Lee, told the AP (on CBS Sports) that his client is “clearly the best player on the free-agent market.” Hard to argue with that one.
- If the A's reach a deal with Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma, they'll have a surplus of arms and a number of suitors for them, so Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea wouldn't be surprised if Oakland flips a starter for some offense this offseason.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson will interview DeMarlo Hale, Clint Hurdle and Don Wakamatsu for the team's managerial opening according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter).
- Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears that the Mets will also consider internal candidates Tim Teufel and Ken Oberkfell.
- The Blue Jays announced that Wakamatsu will serve as the team's bench coach assuming the Mets don't hire him to be their next manager. Joining Wakamatsu on John Farrell's staff: former AL Cy Young Award winner Pat Hentgen.
- Derrek Lee, who had surgery on a ligament in his right thumb, told Yahoo's Tim Brown that he'd like to sign with a team that has a good chance of reaching the playoffs.
- The Pirates agreed to a minor league deal with left-handed reliever Justin Thomas, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.
- Mike Hampton, who pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings with Arizona last year, wants to pitch again and is drawing interest, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
Here are some news items from the National League's middle division...
- Ryne Sandberg has turned down an offer to return as the Cubs' Triple-A manager, tweets MLB.com's Carrie Muskat, and Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports that Sandberg won't be with the organization at all in 2011. Sandberg was heavily rumored to take over managing the Cubs after Lou Piniella's retirement, but Chicago instead gave the job to interim manager Mike Quade.
- A roundtable of Cardinals writers collected by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discussed the Colby Rasmus trade rumors and the majority don't like the idea. Comments range from "there would be no logic behind a trade" to "trading Rasmus would be incredibly stupid unless it’s an offer that’s so ridiculously good that it cannot be rejected."
- Pirates president Frank Coonelly discussed the team's manager search and other topics in a chat with fans on MLB.com.
- Steven Jackson, Brandon Moss and Justin Thomas can all become minor league free agents after being outrighted to Pittsburgh's Triple-A affiliate, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. Sean Gallagher, who was also outrighted, can declare free agency on Saturday but Langosch says the Pirates will try to sign the pitcher to a contract before then.
- Walt Jocketty tells MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that the Reds want to work out a contract extension with Bronson Arroyo before Opening Day. "I don't want to go into the season negotiating," Sheldon said. "We'll try to [get it done] before the start of the season."
- Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times praises Milwaukee's hire of Ron Roenicke as manager.
- Former Phillies hitting coach Milt Thompson has interviewed for the hitting coach job in Houston, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.