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- Cubs Expected To Pursue Ben Zobrist
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Here are a few of the day's minor transactions…
- The Angels signed Mitch Stetter to a minor league contract, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The 31-year-old southpaw last pitched in the majors in 2011 with the Brewers, and he has a 4.08 ERA, a 9.3 K/9 rate and a 5.4 BB/9 rate over 86 career Major League innings since 2007. Stetter spent last season pitching in Milwaukee's minor league system.
- Left-hander Bill Bray and infielder Wilson Valdez have elected to become free agents, according to MLB.com's transactions page. With Valdez entering his second year of arbitration-eligibility and Bray his third, both players were seen as non-tender candidates by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes following their disappointing seasons for the Reds. Valdez, 34, posted a .463 OPS in 208 plate appearances as a backup infielder. Bray was limited to just 14 games due to groin and back injuries, but he'll surely draw interest from teams looking for lefty relief help; Bray posted a 2.98 ERA and recorded 44 strikeouts over 48 1/3 innings for Cincinnati in 2011.
- The Indians re-signed right-hander Hector Rondon and signed infielder Luis Hernandez to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training camp, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Rondon originally signed with the Tribe as an 18-year-old in 2006 and has a 4.16 ERA, an 8.1 K/9 rate and a 4.17 K/BB ratio in seven minor league seasons, though he has only pitched in 13 games since 2010 due to a fractured elbow and Tommy John surgery. Hernandez appeared in two games for the Rangers last year and has a .580 OPS in 292 career PAs with the Rangers, Mets, Royals and Orioles.
Infielders Edwin Maysonet and Luis Hernandez and pitchers Matt Palmer and Juan Perez have declared free agency, according to the transactions page of the Pacific Coast League. All four had seen time on MLB rosters in 2012, before being outrighted to Triple-A.
Maysonet and Perez both saw action with the Brewers this year. Maysonet appeared in 30 games with a slash line of .250/.297/.350, including a game-winning grand slam against the Cubs on May 12, while playing shortstop, second and third base. Perez, a left-hander, appeared in ten games posting 12.9 K/9, 10.3 BB/9, and 2.6 HR/9 in only seven innings of work.
Hernandez played two games for the Rangers in August. He spent the rest of the year at Triple-A Round Rock batting .262/.303/.376 in 129 games, all but one at shortstop and second base. Hernandez also has MLB experience with the Orioles, Royals and Mets.
Palmer, a right-hander, pitched in three games for the Padres in late May before being outrighted to Triple-A. With Tucson, Palmer started 20 of the 21 games in which he appeared posting a 5.66 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9.
Here's an update on two players who were recently removed from their team's 40-man roster…
- Outfielder Jeremy Hermida cleared waivers and has become a free agent, reports MLB.com's Chelsea Janes (on Twitter). The Padres designated the 28-year-old for assignment last week after he hit .250/.333/.375 in 27 plate appearances.
- Infielder Luis Hernandez has cleared waivers been outrighted to Triple-A, reports Jeff Wilson of The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). The 28-year-old was designated for assignment by the Rangers yesterday after hitting .262/.302/.372 for the club's Triple-A affiliate.
The Rangers have designated infielder Luis Hernandez for assignment, according to Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake (on Twitter). The Rangers are reinstating Michael Young from the paternity list in a related move.
Hernandez appeared in two games for the Rangers, who selected his contract three days ago. The 28-year-old spent most of the season at Triple-A Round Rock, where he posted a .262/.302/.372 batting line in 548 plate appearances. Hernandez also has MLB experience with the Orioles, Royals and Mets.
One New York team, the Mets, rested today while the other, the Yankees, opened their season with a win over the Tigers. Here are some items of note for each of Gotham's big league ballclubs …
- Luis Hernandez has decided to remain with the Mets organization after clearing waivers, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The second baseman, rumored at one point during Spring Training to be the favorite to win the starting job at second base, will report to Triple-A Buffalo rather than testing free agency.
- Similarly, left-hander Pat Misch has opted to stay with the organization after clearing waivers, writes Rubin. Misch, too, will report to Triple-A Buffalo.
- All the conjecture over the state of the Yankees' rotation came to an end today, at the outset of the regular season, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Despite the attention paid to the state of the Bombers' rotation this offseason and spring, Sherman writes, their starting five was hardly a sure thing in 2010, when they managed to win 95 games and reach the ALCS. As with last season, the lineup and bullpen are very strong, but it will be interesting to see how the spotty rotation plays out and whether GM Brian Cashman makes any in-season moves in the event that things don't work out between A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia. No team's Nos. 1-5 starters are perfect, of course, but as Sherman notes, the Red Sox and Rays appear to have the better rotations in the AL East on paper as of now.
The latest procedural notes…
- D'Backs manager Kirk Gibson told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that Tony Abreu cleared waivers and is going to Triple-A (Twitter link).
- The Royals told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that Gregor Blanco cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Triple-A (Twitter link).
- Outfielder Nick Evans cleared waivers yesterday, GM Sandy Alderson told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter). The Mets outrighted Evans when he didn't make the Opening Day roster.
- Another Mets player, Luis Hernandez cleared waivers, reports MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. He's unsure whether he'll accept a minor league assignment.
- Cubs catcher Max Ramirez cleared waivers and was outrighted to minor league camp, tweets MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- The Tigers outrighted infielder Audy Ciriaco to create a 40-man spot for reliever Enrique Gonzalez, tweets MLB.com's Jason Beck.
- Retired reliever Billy Wagner was removed from the Braves' 40-man roster today, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wagner has no plans to come out of retirement, but if he did he'd have to play for the Braves in 2011. The AP has details.
- Orioles righty Rick Vandenhurk cleared waivers, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
- Mets reliever Jason Isringhausen, who didn't make the club out of Spring Training, agreed to spend two weeks in Port St. Lucie. According to ESPN's Adam Rubin, one condition of the extended Spring Training agreement is that "if another team approaches Isringhausen in the interim about a major league opportunity, the Mets must either call up Izzy or let him depart." The Mets chose Blaine Boyer over Isringhausen for the Opening Day roster, which so far has allowed them to retain both relievers.
- Outfielder Brandon Boggs, outrighted by the Brewers yesterday, accepted his Triple-A assignment according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Brandon Boggs | Chicago Cubs | Detroit Tigers | Jason Isringhausen | Kansas City Royals | Luis Hernandez | Max Ramirez | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | Nick Evans | Rick VandenHurk | Tony Abreu | Transactions
D'Backs infielder Tony Abreu, Cubs catcher Max Ramirez, Royals outfielder Gregor Blanco and Mets infielder Luis Hernandez are on waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork adds that Nick Evans and Pat Misch of the Mets are also on waivers.
It's not surprising to see Abreu on waivers, since Arizona made him available earlier in the month. Ramirez is no stranger to waivers, having been claimed twice this past winter. Hernandez doesn't have an obvious role on the Mets and has drawn trade interest.
Mets infielder Luis Hernandez is drawing trade interest, according to ESPN's Adam Rubin. The Mets appear poised to give the backup middle infield job to Chin-lung Hu instead. Hernandez is out of options, and Rubin does not think he would clear waivers. The Mets signed Hernandez to a minor league deal back in February of last year.
Hernandez's trade value is limited, as glove-only middle infielders are not hard to come by in most organizations. MLB.com's Corey Brock can envision the Padres having interest (Twitter link). The Padres are known to be eyeing Alberto Gonzalez and Robert Andino, who are both out of options. For our full list of out of options players, click here.
Mets manager Terry Collins downplayed rumors that he wants the team's front office to release Luis Castillo and said that the second baseman has "picked it up" recently, according to Rich Coutinho of MetsBlog. Despite Collins' statements, the Mets' second base situation remains murky.
Mike Puma of the New York Post hears that Collins remains committed to making Luis Hernandez the team's starting second baseman, but Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork hears that Hernandez has just an "outside" shot at the job (Twitter links).
Hernandez and Castillo are in competition with Daniel Murphy and Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus for the starting second base job. Castillo is set to earn $6MM in 2011, the last year of his four-year, $25MM contract and the Mets appear prepared to absorb the 35-year-old's salary if he doesn't have a role on the team. He hit .235/.337/.267 last year and spent 47 days on the DL recovering from a left foot injury.
- Johan Santana and the Mets denied a report by Steve Popper and Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record that suggested Santana's rehab wasn't progressing and the Mets were close to shutting him down. The left-hander, who turns 32 today, told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork, "We're right on the right track and where we're supposed to be. Whoever is saying that I'm not ready I think is lying."
- While pitching coach Dan Warthen was also positive about Santana's progress, a July return is definitely no sure thing. ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider-only) says the Mets consider the southpaw's rehab a long process, and aren't expecting a significant contribution from him this year. If Santana needs more time to recover, he won't be rushed back.
- Olney's piece indicates there's some optimism about the Mets being competitive this season, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post isn't so sure. He runs through all the pieces that would have to fall into place for the Mets to become a contender.
- Within Sherman's column, one scout says he has been pleasantly surprised by Lucas Duda this spring. As Rubin writes in an ESPN.com piece, Duda could be an important contributor for the Mets this season if Carlos Beltran's knees act up.
- You can throw Luis Hernandez's name into the Mets' second base mix, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.