Matt Chico Rumors

Dodgers Sign Bard, Ledezma, Castillo, Guzman, More

The Dodgers announced the signing of 15 non-roster players yesterday, reported's Ken Gurnick: catcher Josh Bard, lefty reliever Wil Ledezma, lefty reliever Alberto Castillo, righty reliever Angel Guzman, outfielder Cory Sullivan, righty reliever Fernando Nieve, righty reliever Jose Ascanio, righty Ryan Tucker, righty Will Savage, lefty Matt Chico, lefty Scott Rice, corner infielder Jeff Baisley, infielder Lance Zawadzki, and infielder Luis Cruz.

Bard, 33, had 86 plate appearances for the Mariners this year and another 250 in Triple-A.  His signing was first rumored last week at the Winter Meetings.  Ledezma, 30, briefly appeared in the Majors with Toronto this year.  He struck out 64 batters in 48 Triple-A innings as well.  Castillo, a 36-year-old Cuban, tossed 11 2/3 innings for the Diamondbacks and a strong 42 1/3 frames at Triple-A.  His near-deal was first reported last week.

Ascanio, 26, appeared briefly in the bigs with the Pirates this year and also whiffed 50 in 44 Triple-A innings.  He was part of the July '09 John Grabow-Tom Gorzelanny trade with the Cubs, but he had labrum surgery in October of that year.  Tucker, 25, is a former first-round pick of the Marlins who pitched five innings with the Rangers this year and 68 1/3 more in Triple-A.  Guzman, Sullivan, Nieve, Chico, Baisley, Zawadzki, and Cruz have also spent time in the Majors.  Guzman, notably, was a successful setup man for the Cubs in '09.

Minor Moves: Chico, Singleton, Dobies, Dodgers

Here’s where we’ll keep track of the day’s minor moves…

  • Baseball America's Matt Eddy has a host of moves in this week's edition of minor league transactions, highlighted by a number of draft signings.
  • The Nationals have released lefty Matt Chico according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post. The 28-year-old had a 5.87 ERA in 46 innings in the Nats' minor league system this year.
  • Steve Singleton, who was released by the Twins this weekend, has signed with the Phillies, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter). The 25-year-old has a .282/.329/.418 line in six seasons with Minnesota's farm teams.
  • The Royals signed left-hander Andrew Dobies from the Atlantic League, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). The 2004 third rounder has a 4.08 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in six minor league seasons.
  • The Yankees released right-hander Alan Horne, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). Horne, a first rounder ten years ago, allowed 13 runs in 6 1/3 innings at Double-A Trenton this year.
  • Eddy also reports that the Dodgers released left-hander Wilkin De La Rosa and right-hander Justin Orenduff. De La Rosa, 26, has a 3.24 ERA with 9.2 K/9 in 328 minor league innings as a starter and occasional reliever.

Nationals Sign Four

The Nationals agreed to sign right-hander J.D. Martin, left-hander Matt Chico, catcher Carlos Maldonado and first baseman Kevin Barker the team announced. Chico gets a Major League deal and the others get minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. All four players have big league experience and everyone but Barker has suited up for the Nationals before.

The Nationals released Martin last month after he pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 4.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 125 innings from 2009-10.  Martin spent most of the last three years at Triple-A, where he posted a 3.21 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 144 innings.

Chico, 27, is a former second rounder who has a 4.95 ERA in 220 big league innings. He spent the 2010 season with Washington's top affiliates, posting a 3.62 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 141 2/3 innings.

Maldonado, 32, has had cups of coffee in three big league seasons. The backstop has a .256/.328/.358 line in parts of 15 minor league seasons.

Barker, 35, has a .249/.328/.354 line in 323 career plate appearances for the Brewers, Padres, Reds and Blue Jays. The 1996 draft pick has 260 minor league homers to his name and an .843 OPS in the minor leagues.

Matt Chico Clears Waivers

WEDNESDAY: Chico was outrighted to Triple-A, the Nationals announced on TwitterHe'll be in spring training camp as a non-roster invitee.

TUESDAY: The Nationals have designated Matt Chico for assignment, according to the team (on Twitter). The 27-year-old left-hander started one game for Washington in 2010 after missing the 2009 season because of Tommy John surgery.

Back in May, the club designated Chico for assignment in a purely procedural move designed to send him to the minor leagues. The 2003 third rounder posted a 3.62 ERA in 141 2/3 innings as a starter at Double-A and Triple-A this year. His strikeout (5.5 K/9) and walk (2.6 BB/9) were both low, but he seems to be healthy.

Odds & Ends: Pirates, Chico, Burrell, Cust, Indians

Links for Saturday…

  •'s Jenifer Langosch writes that Pirates outfield prospect Starling Marte may require surgery on his left hand.  Baseball America's Prospect Handbook called the 21-year-old "the first tangible result of the Pirates' renewed commitment to scouting Latin America."
  • Matt Chico could start for the Nationals on Wednesday, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.  Chico was DFA'd by the club earlier this week, but only so that the club could place him in Triple-A.
  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tweets that the recently-DFA'd Pat Burrell is another reason why teams won't be spending major money on designated hitter-types anymore.
  • Jack Cust is on his way back to Oakland after Eric Chavez managed just a .247/.298/.355 batting line during the first six weeks of the season, tweets's Mychael Urban. The A's 40-man roster is full, so a move will need to be make to accommodate Cust.
  • Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer touched base with Indians' GM-in-waiting Chris Antonetti about having the fifth overall pick in June's draft. MLB's recommended bonus for that pick is in the $2.5MM-$3MM range, and Antonetti acknowledged that that money has already been set aside in the budget.
  • Mike Morse is close to returning from the disabled list, which will create a bit of a roster crunch for the Nationals since he's out of options, writes's Bill Ladson.
  • Meanwhile,'s Owen Perkins notes that the Rockies would have a similar problem if they were to call someone up to help fill in for the injured Eric Young Jr.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney spoke to Ken Griffey Jr.'s agent, who indicated that everything that happened this past week will have no bearing on his client's relationship with the club after he retires. Both links go to Twitter.

Nationals Designate Matt Chico For Assignment

11:22am: In an update to his blog post, Goessling has quotes from GM Mike Rizzo on the move.  Rizzo explains that it was necessary to DFA Chico in order to put him in the minors because he was on the major league squad for just one day.  He added that there is zero risk of the club losing the 26-year-old.

10:30am: The Nationals have designated pitcher Matt Chico for assignment, though he will soon return to the club's 40-man roster, writes Ben Goessling of  The move is concurrent with Washington's purchase of Doug Slaten's contract from Triple-A Syracuse.  

Chico, 26, made his first big league appearance in nearly two years when he got the start against the Marlins yesterday.  In five innings, Chico allowed two runs, registered three strikeouts, and didn't walk any batters.  

Slaten has been golden in 17 Triple-A innings this season.  The 30-year-old has not allowed a single run while racking up 17 strikeouts with just one walk.  In 126 career big league outings, the lefty has a 3.68 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.

Goessling adds that he is unsure as to why Chico is being DFA'd only to be retained.  Nats GM Mike Rizzo is scheduled to give a more detailed explanation of the move later this morning.