Matt Tuiasosopo Rumors
The Tigers announced, via press release, that the D-Backs have claimed infielder/outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo off waivers.
The 27-year-old Tuiasosopo batted .244/.351/.415 with seven homers for the Tigers in 2013, seeing most of his time in left field but also appearing in 13 games at first base and one at the hot corner. Despite being a right-handed swinger, Tuiasosopo hit just .216/.336/.371 against southpaws, and his career numbers against lefties aren't any better: .196/.293/.345.
IF/OF Matt Tuiasosopo won a spring training invite with the Tigers after emailing GM Dave Dombrowski his resume, MLive.com's James Schmehl reports. "I just sent it to Dave and told him I was interested in being a part of the organization," says Tuiasosopo. "At the end of the day, it’s my career and I wanted to fight for myself." The Dodgers, Reds, Rockies and Twins were all possible options for Tuiasosopo. Here are more notes from around the AL Central:
- The Indians' payroll could be up to $12MM higher than it was last year, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The leap in payroll is, of course, due primarily to the signings of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Brett Myers and Mark Reynolds. The Indians have four other players (Chris Perez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson) who will make over $5MM in 2013. Last year, the Indians paid over $5MM to only one player, Travis Hafner.
- The Royals are hunting for a lefty-hitting outfielder to spell Jeff Francoeur, but their chances of finding one from outside the organization seem "slim," Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports. As an internal alternative, the Royals are considering David Lough, a lefty who spent most of last season at Triple-A Omaha and has hit .500/.513/.711 this spring.
The latest minor league deals...
- The Mariners signed former MLB reliever Brian Sweeney to a minor league contract, MLB.com's Greg Johns reports. Sweeney spent the 2011 season with the Mets' top affiliate and last appeared in the Majors with the 2010 Mariners.
- The Twins signed left-hander Luke French, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports (Twitter links). French owns a 4.99 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 155 Major League innings.
- The Mets signed infielder Matt Tuiasosopo, who picked up MLB experience with the Mariners from 2008-10, Eddy reports.
- The Blue Jays signed right-hander Tim Redding and left-hander Bill Murphy, according to Eddy. Redding has substantial MLB experience as a starter for the Astros, Nationals and Mets.
- Eddy reports that four catchers signed minor league deals: Mitch Canham joined the Rockies, Orlando Mercado agreed to terms with the Marlins, Kyle Phillips caught on with the Blue Jays and Max St. Pierre signed with the Red Sox. Phillips appeared in 36 games for the 2011 Padres and St. Pierre made his debut with the 2010 Tigers after 14 minor league seasons.
- Former MLB starter Daniel Cabrera signed a minor league deal with the Pirates, Mario Rojas of CandelaDeportiva reports. Cabrera, 30, was a fixture in Baltimore's rotation from 2004-08, but hasn't pitched in MLB since 2009.
- The Cubs re-signed infielder Bobby Scales, who started the 2011 season in Chicago before going to Japan, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus tweets.
- The Phillies re-signed former Tigers outfielder Brent Clevlen, Goldstein tweets.
- The Orioles signed 18-year-old outfielder Andres Aguilar, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets. The speedy Guatemala native has a strong throwing arm.
The Mariners have released minor league infielder Matt Tuiasosopo, according to a club press release. The move makes room on Seattle's 40-man roster for lefty Cesar Jimenez, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Tacoma in a corresponding transaction.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Tuiasosopo that the release was the result of a roster squeeze and the M's would like to have the 25-year-old back in the spring, tweets Shannon Drayer of ESPN 710 radio in Seattle.
Tuiasosopo, a third-round draft pick in 2004, had spent all of 2011 with Tacoma, where he hit .226/.341./.394 with 14 homers. He played in parts of three seasons with the Mariners from 2008-10, hitting .176/.234/.306 in 210 plate appearances.
The 34-year-old agreed to a one-year deal with Seattle in late January. While Byrnes is earning $11MM in the final year of the three-year pact he signed with the D'Backs, the Mariners are responsible for just $400K of that sum.
Seattle has also made a trio of in-house adjustments, sending Matt Tuiasosopo to Triple-A while promoting Ryan Langerhans and Josh Wilson. All four roster moves have been confirmed by a team press release.
Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio Seattle (via Twitter) points out that Langerhans and Wilson were not on the 40-man roster, meaning that another move is on the horizon. She later tweeted that the move will not be shifting a player to the 60-day DL and it will likely not involve a player on the 25-man roster (also via Twitter).
Erik Bedard staying put in Baltimore this winter? Maybe not. Ken Rosenthal and Jason Churchill both busted out brand new material this evening with the latest Bedard chatter. The upshot is that the Mariners seem to have a decent shot at him.
- Rosenthal says the Mariners will put Adam Jones, Jeff Clement, and Matt Tuiasosopo in the deal. He indicates that the Orioles could push to substitute and get one of Tony Butler, Chris Tillman, and Carlos Triunfel. Looks like Bill Bavasi is sticking to the idea of keeping Brandon Morrow. Rosenthal hedges his bets, but admits to "growing indications that the teams could be moving closer to a deal."
- Churchill says something similar: the Mariners and Orioles "may very well be making significant progress." Churchill sees a package of Jones, Triunfel, and George Sherrill as the likely scenario.
- Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein recently listed his Top 11 Prospects for the Mariners. Clement was a five-star, Tillman and Triunfel four-stars, Butler a two-star, and Tuiasosopo an honorable mention. Jones would be first were he still considered a prospect.
- Both Ohio teams have interest in Bedard as well, but a trade to the Indians or Reds seems less likely. The Reds still won't give up Jay Bruce.