Kensuke Tanaka Rumors
Today's minor moves..
- The Rangers have agreed to a minor league deal with Kensuke Tanaka, according to a report from Sponichi (Japanese link) passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (via Twitter). The Giants released the second baseman/left fielder back in September after designating him for assignment. The 32-year-old saw limited time with the Giants this season but excelled in 400 plate appearances at Triple-A Fresno, batting .329/.400/.397 with three homers and 22 steals.
- The Rangers have signed right-hander Justin Germano to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas News (via Twitter). Germano saw two innings of work for the Blue Jays last season but spent most of 2013 with their Triple-A affiliate, turning in a 4.47 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.
- Greg Reynolds signed to pitch for the Seibu Lions of NPB in 2014, according to CAA Sports (via Twitter). Reynolds spent last season with the Reds' Triple-A affiliate, posting a 2.42 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 156 1/3 innings.
- The Mariners announced that they've outrighted outfielder Travis Witherspoon to Triple-A Tacoma. The 24-year-old Witherspoon was designated for assignment last week to clear a roster spot for Corey Hart.
- Rick van den Hurk is returning to the Samsung Lions of the KBO, where he helped them capture the the Korean Series title last year, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The deal is pending a physical exam. VandenHurk, 28, last appeared in the majors with the Pirates for a handful of games in 2012.
- The Pirates announced that they have signed seven minor league free agents, including Travis Ishikawa, Michael Martinez, Daniel Schlereth, Adam Wilk, and Kyle McPherson. All of those deals are minor league contracts with invites to big league spring training. Ishikawa had 20 combined plate appearances for the Yankees and Orioles last season, but spent the bulk of the year at the Triple-A level, where he hit .290/.389/.465 with nine homers. Martinez, 31, had 40 big league PAs for the Phillies and posted a .300/.352/.407 line for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Schlereth, a first-round pick in the 2008 draft, has 94 career big league relief appearances to his credit.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Here are today's minor moves from around the league...
- After being designated for assignment by the Giants on Tuesday, lefty Dan Runzler has been outrighted to Triple-A, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). Having failed to regain his 2009-10 form, when he was effective out of the San Francisco pen, Runzler will become a minor league free agent after the season.
- The Cubs announced that Michael Bowden and Cole Gillespie have both cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa after being designated for assignment earlier in the week. The 26-year-old Bowden pitched to a 4.30 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 37 2/3 innings for the Cubs this season. Gillespie, 29, batted .240/.328/.280 for Chicago in 59 plate appearances after hitting .277/.361/.455 in 269 plate appearances for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate in Fresno.
- The Giants have released second baseman/left fielder Kensuke Tanaka, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (on Twitter). The Giants designated Tanaka for assignment on Tuesday along with Runzler in order to clear 40-man roster spots for right-hander Heath Hembree and catcher Johnny Monell. Tanaka, 32, saw limited time with the Giants this season but excelled in 400 plate appearances at Triple-A Fresno, batting .329/.400/.397 with three homers and 22 steals (though they came in 32 attempts). Tanaka played 55 games at second base and 30 in left field, and he is a career .286/.356/.384 hitter in 4,278 plate appearances in Japan (all of which came with the Nippon Ham Fighters).
- Following these moves, seven players are in DFA limbo, as can be seen in MLBTR's DFA Tracker: Alex Liddi, Hector Ambriz, Edinson Rincon, Hideki Okajima, Juan Diaz, Tim Fedroff and Justin Freeman.
Adam Dunn readily admits that he's frustrated with the White Sox's 2013 season, but at the moment, he doesn't anticipate retiring this winter, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. “I think we went down this road before: the day that I quit having fun and quit enjoying making a struggle to come to the ballpark or not enjoying the competition out there is the day I will go home, whether it be tomorrow, whether it be ten years from now," Dunn said. "I’m still enjoying the competition. It’s just tough losing when you have such high expectations.” Here's more out of the AL Central..
- Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman has left The Legacy Agency and is now represented by SFX, sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Bonderman, who was moved to the bullpen after signing a minor league deal with Detroit, will be a free agent this winter. You can keep track of everyone's representation using the MLBTR Agency Database.
- The Twins made a run at second baseman/left fielder Kensuke Tanaka last winter, but Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter) would be surprised if they still had interest. The Giants designated Tanaka for assignment yesterday. The 32-year-old hit .329/.400/.397 in 400 plate appearances for San Francisco's Triple-A affiliate this season.
- Earlier today, we learned that Paul Konerko intends to play next season, despite hinting at retirement this season.