- White Sox Claim Kyle Drabek
- Brady Aiken Undergoes Tommy John Surgery
- Chris Tillman, Orioles Begin Extension Discussions
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- Twins Extend Brian Dozier
- White Sox Extend Adam Eaton
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- Dodgers To Sign Cuban Pitcher Pablo Millan Fernandez
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Kyle Davies Rumors
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- The Phillies have outrighted lefty Cesar Jimenez to Triple-A, according to the International League transactions page. Despite inking a one-year deal to avoid arbitration back in October, Jimenez lost his roster spot to Chad Billingsley. He had strong results last year both in the bigs and upper minors, working to a 1.69 ERA in 16 MLB frames and a 1.45 mark over 49 2/3 innings at Triple-A.
- Likewise, the Nationals passed righty Eric Fornataro through waivers and assigned him to Triple-A, the club announced. Washington claimed Fornataro off waivers from the Cardinals earlier in the offseason, then designated him to make room for Casey Janssen. The 27-year-old reached the bigs last year for the first time, but spent most of his season working to a 2.57 ERA in 56 Triple-A innings.
- The Yankees have inked right-hander Kyle Davies to a minor league deal, Sweeny Murti of WFAN reports on Twitter. Davies, 31, has worked in the minors over the past two years with the Twins and Indians organization, tossing 154 1/3 innings of 3.91 ERA ball last year. He has seven years in the bigs on his resume, though he owns a career 5.59 ERA with 6.4 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9.
- The Rays announced that they’ve signed utility man Jake Elmore to a minor league deal and invited him to Major League Spring Training. The 27-year-old Elmore elected free agency last week after being outrighted by the Pirates. He spent last season with the Triple-A affiliates for the Reds and the A’s (plus a brief MLB stint with Cincinnati), batting .281/.376/.345. Elmore’s most extensive MLB experience came with Houston in 2013, when he batted .242/.313/.325 in 136 plate appearances. Elmore played every position on the diamond with Houston that season, and he even pitched and caught in the same game.
- Right-hander Tim Alderson signed a minor league deal with the Nationals, according to the team’s transactions page. San Francisco selected Alderson 22nd overall in 2007, and in the 2008-09 range, he was one of the organization’s top pitching prospects, alongside Madison Bumgarner. Alderson twice ranked in Baseball America’s Top 100, but his career stalled after he was flipped to the Pirates in the Freddy Sanchez trade of 2009. Now 26, Alderson has a lifetime 5.02 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 129 Triple-A innings, and a 4.24 ERA in his minor league career as a whole.
Here are the lastest minor transactions from around the league…
- The Indians announced yesterday that they've agreed to a minor league deal with former big leaguer Kyle Davies. The right-hander did not receive an invite to Major League Spring Training, however. Davies, still just 30 years old, spent the 2013 season pitching with the Twins' minor league system as he recovered from shoulder surgery. Davies posted a 3.41 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 across three levels, though he didn't pitch at Triple-A. He has a 5.59 ERA in 768 Major League innings between the Braves and Royals.
- The Pirates announced today that they've inked Taiwanese lefty Yao-Hsun Yang to a minor league pact with an invite to big league Spring Training. Yang has a career 3.08 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in Nippon Professional Baseball, but he's thrown just 90 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old spent last season pitching in the Japanese minor leagues, according to the Pirates' release.
- Three players are currently in DFA limbo: Jimmy Paredes and Chris Hatcher of the Marlins along with the Reds' Henry Rodriguez. You can keep an eye on their statuses using MLBTR's DFA Tracker.
The Twins placed Ryan Doumit on the seven-day concussion list today and activated Josh Willingham — who could be an August trade candidate if healthy — to take his place. Here's more on the Twins, who are in fourth in the AL Central…
- Twins owner Jim Pohlad spoke with Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and said it's been "terrible" watching the team struggle over the past three seasons. Pohlad said the team has to be "relentless" in looking to acquire talent on the free agent market this offseason as well as through its scouting endeavors.
- Pohlad also said that the decision on whether or not to retain manager Ron Gardenhire, whose contract expires at season's end, is up to general manager Terry Ryan.
- Phil Miller of the Star-Tribune profiled Casey Fien's leap from journeyman to elite setup reliever. Fien tells Miller that former big leaguer Ricky Bones taught him the cut fastball that he's used to thrive since being picked up by the Twins. Fien has a 2.40 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 82 1/3 innings with the Twins dating back to last season. His 1.3 fWAR in 2013 ties him for 18th among qualified relievers.
- Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that another minor league signee — right-hander Kyle Davies — may get a look with the big league club before the season is over. A veteran of seven Major League seasons, Davies is still just 29 years old but hasn't appeared in the Majors since 2011. He has a 3.40 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 53 innings in 2013 and has boosted his fastball velocity back up to 90 mph after pitching at 84-86 mph earlier in the year.
Padres starter Edinson Volquez is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season, but his preference is to sign an extension with San Diego, says Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Before considering a new contract, the Padres want to see Volquez improve his control, Center notes. Volquez allowed 105 walks in 2012. Here are more notes from around baseball…
- The Dodgers' surplus of starters is yet another factor working against Kyle Lohse as he tries to find a suitable deal this winter, rival officials tell Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). Teams looking for pitching can pick up the phone and call the Dodgers to ask about Chris Capuano or one of their other available starters. Lohse is obviously a stronger option, but he's also more expensive and teams have less flexibility than they did earlier this winter.
- Pitcher Kyle Davies agreed to a minor league deal with the Twins that does not include an invite to big league camp, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. The 29-year-old owns a career 5.59 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 across seven big league seasons.
- New Indians outfielder Michael Bourn says that the offseason market for his services took a turn for the worse after the Twins traded not one, but two center fielders in Denard Span and Ben Revere, CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports. The trades of Span and Revere took the Nationals and Phillies out of the market for a center fielder. "I was looking at that like, ‘Man, are you serious?' Those were two teams I pretty much thought would be fighting for me," Bourn says.
- The Phillies discussed trading Domonic Brown to the Astros this offseason, Jon Heyman reports (on Twitter), but the Phils, still low on talent in the outfield, are reluctant to deal him. The former top prospect is current competing for time in left field with the Phillies.
- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons hints that the club might turn to Josh Thole or Henry Blanco, rather than J.P. Arencibia, to catch R.A. Dickey, Richard Griffin of TheStar.com reports. The Jays will go with a personal catcher for Dickey, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm notes. Arencibia wants to catch for Dickey, but Thole and Blanco both caught Dickey and his knuckleball when Dickey played for the Mets.
Here's the latest from the around the league, including updates on two low-profile free agents…
- Wes Helms is currently working out and waiting for an opportunity with the right team, reports MLBTR's Tim Dierkes (on Twitter). The 35-year-old hit .191/.276/.236 with the Marlins last season before being released in August.
- Free agent right-hander Kyle Davies is currently rehabbing from a December shoulder surgery, tweets Dierkes. Davies, 28, pitched to a 6.75 ERA in 13 starts for the Royals last year before getting released in August.
- Sources tell Jeff Blair of The Globe and Mail that the Blue Jays will not add a starting pitcher owed significant money right now. A cheap, innings-eating stopgap is more likely. Toronto has been connected to Joe Blanton and Gavin Floyd recently.
- Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com interviewed Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich about the upcoming amateur draft. Baltimore holds the fourth overall pick this year.
The Blue Jays have signed right-hander Kyle Davies to a minor league deal, reports Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts. (Twitter link) Davies became a free agent yesterday after clearing release waivers from the Royals.
In 151 career games (144 of them starts) with the Royals and Braves, Davies has a 5.59 ERA. Davies, who turns 28 next month, had a 6.75 ERA in 13 starts for Kansas City this season, though his xFIP was over two runs lower (4.43). While he posted career highs in K/BB ratio (1.92) and K/9 (7.3), Davies couldn't keep men off base, allowing an ungainly 12.3 H/9.
Davies actually earned the fourth-highest salary of any Kansas City player this season, earning $3.2MM. He was in his final season of arbitration and is eligible for free agency next year.
FRIDAY, 5:32pm: Davies has cleared waivers and is now a free agent, tweets Dutton.
Davies posted a 6.75 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 38.5% ground ball rate in 61 1/3 innings this year (for what it's worth, Davies' xFIP this season is just 4.42 and his SIERA is just 4.21). In seven seasons with the Royals and Braves, the 27-year-old has a 5.59 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9. He earns $3.2MM this year and was headed for free agency after the season.
For a while, it seemed as though we'd have a quiet trade deadline. So much for that – today we saw Ubaldo Jimenez, Derrek Lee, Orlando Cabrera, Rich Harden, Koji Uehara, Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Jason Marquis, Mike Aviles, Jerry Hairston Jr., Doug Fister and David Pauley all get traded. Let's gear up for the deadline itself with another round of links…
- The Twins would like to move Kevin Slowey and the Rockies are interested, though they don't want to pay too much for him, according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- Teams are still calling on Bruce Chen, Jeff Francis and Kyle Davies of the Royals, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). Any deal will likely come at the deadline tomorrow.
- Teams are still inquiring on Brandon League, even though top Mariners executives have said he's going nowhere, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels expects a quiet day tomorrow, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- The Astros would love to convince Carlos Lee that there's no point in refusing to waive his no-trade clause, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
- The Astros wanted a package of players including Josh Reddick and Kyle Weiland from the Red Sox for Hunter Pence, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
Though Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies are drawing interest from several clubs, the Royals may hold onto all three and continue using a six-man rotation, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. The Royals continue to say they’re happy to hold onto the starters, who hit free agency after the season.
“Nothing has changed with our situation,” GM Dayton Moore told Dutton. “The guys we have, I think, are more valuable to us than the potential [return].”
Chen projects as a Type B free agent under our most recent projections, so the Royals could obtain a supplementary draft pick if the left-hander turns down an offer of arbitration to sign elsewhere. Francis and Davies, however, don’t currently project as ranked free agents, so the Royals can’t expect picks for them.
Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Jayson Stark of ESPN.com that he wants “to fight that mentality of, 'We're .500, so we're really on our way.'" Huntington points out that it takes years to develop an elite team and an elite farm system and says one season of .500 ball isn't going to satisfy the Pittsburgh front office. Here are the rest of Stark's rumors from around the league:
- People in the game suggest the Royals' decision to call Eric Hosmer up early may mean they intend to compete in the AL Central this year. Stark hears that the Royals will have money to spend in July if necessary (remember that Gil Meche retired instead of collecting the $12MM he was scheduled to earn).
- The Royals believe Triple-A pitchers Danny Duffy and Mike Montgomery are nearly MLB-ready, so GM Dayton Moore may talk about moving Kyle Davies and Jeff Francis within a few weeks. The Royals probably wouldn't get much for Davies, but Francis could draw interest.
- Erik Bedard could be an attractive trade chip this summer, but one NL executive says the left-hander needs to “prove he can log innings.” Tim Dierkes suggested a month ago that Bedard could have lots of appeal at the deadline.
- Left-hander Randy Flores can opt out of his minor league deal on Sunday if the Padres don't call him up from Triple-A. Cory Luebke is the lone left-hander in the Padres' 'pen at the moment, so they could consider calling on Flores instead of cutting him loose.
- Teams are still skeptical of Francisco Rodriguez, despite his 10 saves and 1.10 ERA. K-Rod has walked 10 of the 73 batters he has faced (16 1/3 innings).
- Stark points out that it's been a while since Giants GM Brian Sabean made win-now midseason trades that cost him top prospects.