Kameron Loe Rumors
The Royals have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Kameron Loe, pending a physical, reports MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo (Twitter links). The PSI Sports Management client will head to Triple-A Omaha, and his contract contains a June 15 opt-out clause, Cotillo adds.
The 32-year-old Loe appeared with the Mariners, Cubs and Braves in 2013, combining for a 7.09 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a solid 50.5 percent ground-ball rate. Loe's undoing was an alarming amount of home runs for his limited workload; he surrendered 11 homers in just 26 2/3 frames between the three clubs. His 34.4 percent homer-to-flyball ratio was a wild departure from his career mark of 11.5 percent heading into 2013, and it's so high that it is a virtual guarantee to be a fluke. ERA estimators such as xFIP and SIERA, which normalize HR/FB, felt that Loe's skill set was more indicative of a mid-4.00 ERA, which would align with his career mark of 4.49.
Kansas City took a hit to its bullpen depth in Spring Training when Luke Hochevar went down with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Loe will hope to pitch well enough at Omaha to work his way into a strong Kansas City relief corps or to attract another team in need of relief help this summer.
Here are today's minor moves from around the league.
- Pitcher Kameron Loe has opted out of his minor-league deal with the Giants, and he's now a free agent, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo tweets. Loe pitched for the Mariners, Cubs and Braves in 2013, accumulating 20 innings with a 5.85 ERA, 5.4 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.
- The Indians have released outfielder Jeff Francoeur, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets. They had signed him to a minor-league deal in January. Francoeur, 30, collected 256 plate appearances with the Royals and Giants in 2013, hitting .204/.238/.298. Francoeur has also played with the Braves, Mets and Rangers in his nine-year big-league career.
Loe, 32, posted a 7.09 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 50.5 percent ground-ball rate in 26 2/3 innings for the Mariners, Cubs and Braves in 2013. A bloated 34.4 percent homer-to-flyball ratio was Loe's undoing last season, as it led to an unthinkable 11 homers in those 26 2/3 frames. Loe's career mark is just 13 percent in that category, and the league average was 10.5 percent, suggesting that he's due for some improved luck in that department. Loe isn't far removed from big league success, as he posted a 3.61 ERA in 229 1/3 innings from 2008-12 with the Rangers and Brewers.
Gutierrez, 30, pitched to a 4.23 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 42.6 percent ground-ball rate in 55 1/3 innings for the Angels and Royals in 2013. Formerly referred to as "Juan" rather than "J.C.," Gutierrez has 222 2/3 innings of Major League experience and spent a good chunk of the 2010 season closing for the Diamondbacks, collecting 15 saves in the process.
The 28-year-old Rosario saw the most extensive action of his big league career in 2013, totaling 41 2/3 innings of 3.02 ERA ball for the Giants. His ratios weren't as impressive as his ERA, as he averaged 5.2 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 to go along with a 44.7 percent ground-ball rate.
All three pitchers in this group will hope to win a spot alongside closer Sergio Romo and relievers Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez and Santiago Casilla, each of whom is a lock for a spot in manager Bruce Bochy's relief corps.
Here are your minor moves from Monday and Tuesday with the trade deadline having passed...
- Nate Adcock was outrighted off the 40-man roster by the Diamondbacks, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. Adcock has an alarming 7.35 ERA in 89 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level this season between the D'Backs and Royals organizations.
- The Braves outrighted Kameron Loe Triple-A Gwinnett after he cleared waivers, according to the International League transactions page. Loe was designated for assignment to clear 40-man roster space for Scott Downs. He threw 42 1/3 innings of 3.19 ERA ball at Triple-A Gwinnett before being called up to the Major League team last week.
- Greg Reynolds cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Louisville by the Reds, according to the team's assistant director of media relations, Jamie Ramsey (on Twitter). That seems somewhat surprising, as the former No. 2 overall draft pick posted a 2.54 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 127 1/3 innings at Louisville this season before being designated for assignment. Ramsey also notes that the Reds signed Brandon Short to a minor league deal after the outfielder was released by the White Sox.
- The Orioles have announced that right-hander Jairo Asencio has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A as well. Asencio was designated for assignment over the weekend.
- The Orioles also released right-hander Joel Pineiro from Triple-A Norfolk yesterday, the team announced on Twitter. Pineiro, a veteran of 12 Major League seasons, was injured all season and didn't throw a pitch for the Tides in 2013. He last appeared in the bigs with the Angels in 2011 and has a career 4.41 ERA in 1754 1/3 innings.
- Left-hander Duane Below has signed with the Kia Tigers of Korea, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link) and Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (also via Twitter). Below posted a 2.44 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 99 2/3 innings between the Triple-A affiliates for the Marlins and Tigers this season. He has a 4.27 ERA in 78 Major League innings.
- Nine players are in DFA limbo: Steve Susdorf of the Phillies, Joe Martinez of the Indians, Jason Bay of the Mariners, Brad Hawpe of the Angels, Yusmeiro Petit and Hunter Strickland of the Giants, Ted Lilly of the Dodgers, Brandon Inge of the Pirates and Carlos Pena of the Astros.
Loe, 31, signed a minor league contract with Atlanta back in May after being designated for assignment by the Cubs and Mariners. He threw 42 1/3 innings of 3.19 ERA ball at Triple-A Gwinnett before being called up to the Major League team last week. Loe hurled one scoreless inning before allowing three runs in 1 2/3 frames on July 25. In 17 2/3 innings for the Mariners, Cubs and Braves this season, Loe has an 8.15 ERA with 10 strikeouts against seven walks (two intentional).
The Braves have signed right-hander Kameron Loe to a minor league deal, Trade Deadliner's Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link). Loe was released by the Cubs yesterday after being designated for assignment earlier this week.
Loe has a 7.80 ERA in 15 combined innings with the Mariners and Cubs in 2013. It has been a busy season for the nine-year veteran, as Loe has already been designated for assignment and changed teams twice within a month. Loe spent the previous three seasons in Milwaukee, where he posted a 3.67 ERA, 7.3 K/9 rate and a 3.18 K/BB ratio in 195 relief appearances for the Brewers.
Right-hander Kameron Loe was granted his release by the Cubs and is now a free agent, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago (on Twitter). Loe was designated for assignment by the Cubs earlier in the week.
So far in 2013, Loe has given up an unthinkable nine home runs in just 15 innings of work. Nearly half of the fly-balls given up by Loe this season have resulted in homers. According to Fangraphs, Loe's 47.4 percent HR/FB ratio is the third-highest single-season mark by a pitcher with at least 10 innings since the stat began being tracked in 2002. Oddly, Loe was still able to maintain his typically stellar ground-ball rate by posting a mark of 50 percent in that category.
In parts of nine seasons between the Rangers, Brewers, Mariners and Cubs, the 31-year-old Loe has a 4.46 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and 56.5 percent ground-ball rate.
The Cubs designated reliever Kameron Loe for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot for outfielder Ryan Sweeney, tweets MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. In related moves, the team optioned outfielder Dave Sappelt and promoted reliever Rafael Dolis. The Cubs now have six outfielders on the active roster: Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus, Nate Schierholtz, Scott Hairston, Julio Borbon, and Sweeney.
Loe, 31, made only seven appearances this year for the Cubs before losing his 40-man roster spot. The Cubs had claimed him off waivers from Seattle in mid-April upon that team's acquisition of Aaron Harang. Last year, Loe posted a 4.61 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 1.19 HR/9, and 57.3% groundball rate in 68 1/3 innings for the Brewers.
Sweeney was signed to a minor league deal by the Cubs on April 2nd after being released by the Red Sox. The 28-year-old hit .337/.396/.627 in 91 Triple-A plate appearances to earn a trip back to the Show. Sweeney knows Chicago well. He was drafted by the White Sox in the second round ten years ago, and began his career with the South Siders before being traded to Oakland in the 2008 Nick Swisher/Gio Gonzalez trade.
The Cubs announced that they have claimed right-hander Kameron Loe off of waivers from the Mariners. Seattle designated Loe for assignment after acquiring Aaron Harang from the Rockies on Thursday. The Cubs made room for Loe on the 40-man roster by placing Steve Clevenger on the 60-day disabled list with a strained left oblique suffered yesterday.
Loe signed a minor league deal with the Mariners in February but the 31-year-old allowed six home runs in 6 2/3 innings of work (four games) this season. The 27-year-old Clevenger meanwhile has appeared in eight games for the Cubs, primarily as a pinch-hitter, with one hit in eight at-bats.
The Mariners added rotation depth today, offically acquiring veteran Aaron Harang and cash from the Rockies for minor league reliever Steven Hensley. The Mariners also announced they've designated Kameron Loe for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot for Harang.
The Rockies acquired Harang and $4.25MM from the Dodgers for catcher Ramon Hernandez last week, and then immediately designated Harang for assignment. Harang earns $7MM this year and has a $2MM buyout after the season, and the Rockies will send money to the Mariners to cover most of that. The Rockies will save more than $2MM with the series of trades, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Harang, 35 next month, posted a 3.61 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 0.70 HR/9, and 38.6% groundball rate in 179 2/3 innings for the Dodgers last year. His peripheral stats from 2012 suggest an ERA close to 5.00. This isn't the Harang of his Reds glory days, when he pitched 230 innings a year with around four strikeouts for every walk. Harang will likely replace Blake Beavan in Seattle's rotation. Hensley, 26, posted a 6.27 ERA, 5.3 K/9, 4.8 BB/9, and 1.21 HR/9 in 37 1/3 Triple-A innings last year.
Loe, 31, signed a minor league deal with the Mariners in February but allowed six home runs in 6 2/3 innings to start his season.
The Mariners and Rockies last matched up on a trade in December 2010, when Colorado acquired Jose Lopez for Chaz Roe. More recently, a pitcher jumped from the Mariners to the Rockies when Jon Garland exercised his opt-out clause to leave the Mariners in March and signed with Colorado.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the trade was close. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.