Merkin Valdez Rumors

Minor Moves: Jacobs, Gaudin, Delaney, Fields, Mather

We'll keep track of today's minor moves right here..

  • The Pirates announced that they signed right-hander Logan Kensing to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training.  The 29-year-old spent the 2011 campaign with the Yankees' top affiliate after recovering from elbow surgery in 2010.
  • The Reds signed catchers Brian Esposito and Brian Peacock to minor league deals, tweets Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
  • The Tigers signed utility player Eric Patterson to a minor league deal, tweets Eddy.
  • The Mets signed right-hander Jeff Stevens and utility player Corey Wimberly to minor league deals, tweets Eddy.
  • The A's signed right-handers Travis Schlichting and Merkin Valdez and left-hander Fabio Castro to minor league deals, Eddy tweets.
  • The Yankees signed right-hander Adam Miller and outfielders Cole Garner and Dewayne Wise to minor league deals, Eddy tweets.
  • The Diamondbacks signed first baseman Mike Jacobs to a minor league deal, tweets Eddy.  Before playing, Jacobs still must serve a 50-game suspension for positive a HGH test in August.  He was cut by the Rockies following the test.
  • The Marlins picked up right-handers Chad Gaudin and Rob Delaney on minor league deals, Eddy tweets.  In nine big league seasons, Gaudin has a 4.63 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.  Delaney spent most of 2011 with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate, posting a 1.86 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9.
  • The Dodgers signed third baseman Josh Fields, according to Goldstein (via Twitter).
  • The Cubs signed Joe Mather as Triple-A outfield insurance, according to Goldstein (via Twitter).  Mather spent 36 games on the Braves' major league roster in 2011.
  • The Nationals have signed right-hander Dan Cortes, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (via Twitter).
  • Speaking of the Braves, Atlanta released former Rangers draftee Marcus Lemon, Goldstein tweets.  Lemon was acquired in a March trade for a PTBNL.
  • P.J. Phillips, the younger brother of Brandon Phillips, agreed to a deal with the Reds, tweets Goldstein.  The younger Phillips' career never got going due to plate discipline issues.
  • The Blue Jays signed former Angels/Braves relief prospect Stephen Marek, Goldstein tweets.  The right-hander was outrighted by Atlanta in November and underwent Tommy John surgery in May.
  • The White Sox signed 2000 first-round pick Corey Smith, Goldstein tweets.  The 29-year-old has never reached the Majors.

Outrighted: Crowe, Rangers, Rodriguez, Braves

The latest players to be outrighted off 40-man rosters:

Rangers Notes: Valdez, Mendez, Pinto

The Rangers made a trio of signings today, according to Richard Durrett of

  • The Rangers signed right-handed pitcher Merkin Valdez to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock.  The Dodgers released Valdez on Wednesday after he registered a 3.58 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 50 1/3 innings at Triple-A.
  • Texas also signed Venezuelan pitcher Yohander Mendez to a 2012 contract.  The 16-year-old is a 6-foot-5, 175-pound left-hander who played for Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League this past offseason.
  • Outfielder Eduard Pinto, 16, also signed a 2012 contract with the Rangers.  Pinto, who stands at 5-foot-10 and weighs 155 pounds, also played for Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League last season.

Minor Moves: Texeira, Ring, Padres

Matt Eddy of Baseball America has updates on the latest minor moves (Twitter links)…

  • The Yankees re-signed right-hander Kanekoa Texeira to a minor league deal. They released the reliever earlier in the month after re-acquiring him in May.
  • The Red Sox signed left-hander Royce Ring to a minor league deal. The former first rounder logged 23 2/3 innings for the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate this year, posting a 6.08 ERA with 12.5 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.
  • The Padres signed right-hander John Van Benschoten from the Atlantic League. The former Pirate hasn't appeared in the Major Leagues since 2008.
  • The Rays released R.J. Swindle, who last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2009. The left-hander had been pitching at Triple-A, where he had a 4.15 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 34 2/3 innings.
  • The Dodgers released Merkin Valdez. The right-hander, who appeared in two games for Toronto last year, had a 3.58 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 50 1/3 innings at Triple-A.
  • The Brewers released 28-year-old lefty Chase Wright. The former third round pick had a 5.83 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 71 innings in the upper minors this year.

Quick Hits: Guerrero, Kawakami, Johnson, Dodgers

Some links from around the majors as the market for Vladimir Guerrero becomes a little clearer…

  • When I looked at possible destinations for Guerrero last week, I listed the Rangers, Angels, Orioles and Blue Jays. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that the Rays are not in on Guerrero, which makes sense, since they already added Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez (Twitter link).
  • The Braves would like to trade Kenshin Kawakami this spring, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter). The Braves have a number of starting pitching options without Kawakami, especially now that they've signed Rodrigo Lopez.
  • D'Backs GM Kevin Towers told's Steve Gilbert that he considers Kelly Johnson's arbitration case a tough one, but hopes to "create some dialogue" before the sides go to a hearing. As our Arb Tracker shows, Johnson asked for $6.5MM while the D'Backs countered with a $4.7MM offer.
  • Longtime Astros right-hander Brandon Backe, who last pitched in the majors in June of 2009 and is recovering from a pair of shoulder operations, told Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner that he is working toward a possible comeback.
  • The Dodgers signed right-hander Merkin Valdez to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America. The 29-year-old appeared in two games for the Blue Jays last year after spending parts of three seasons with the Giants.

Merkin Valdez Clears Waivers

THURSDAY, 2:39pm: Valdez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple A Las Vegas, tweets Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star.

TUESDAY, 8:53am: The Blue Jays designated reliever Merkin Valdez for assignment last night as part of a series of moves, reports's Jordan Bastian.  Valdez, 28, appeared in only two games for the Jays.

Valdez was designated for assignment in January by the Giants to make room for Aubrey Huff.  Six days later, the Blue Jays acquired the reliever for cash considerations.  He's out of options, a factor in the team's decision to keep him around this long.  Valdez posted a 5.66 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 5.1 BB/9 in 49.3 innings for the Giants last year.  He throws in the mid-90s and was ranked among the top 60 prospects in baseball before October '06 Tommy John surgery.

Blue Jays Acquire Merkin Valdez

The Blue Jays acquired pitcher Merkin Valdez from the Giants for cash considerations, reports's Mychael UrbanValdez was designated for assignment on January 14th to make room for Aubrey Huff.

Valdez, 28, posted a 5.66 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 5.1 BB/9 in 49.3 innings for the Giants last year.  He throws in the mid-90s and was ranked among the top 60 prospects in baseball before October '06 Tommy John surgery.

Merkin Valdez Designated For Assignment

Reliever Merkin Valdez was designated for assignment today to make room for Aubrey Huff, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Valdez, 28, posted a 5.66 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 5.1 BB/9 in 49.3 innings for the Giants last year. 

With a 95.5 mph average fastball, someone will give Valdez a look.  Heading into the 2004 season Baseball America ranked him as the #40 prospect in baseball.  Heading into '05 he was at #58.  Valdez had Tommy John surgery in October of '06.

Giants Seek Catcher, Reliever

According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News:

Scouts are buzzing that the Giants are actively looking to upgrade at backup catcher and long relief. One possibility is catcher Rob Bowen, whom the A's released Tuesday.

Baggarly suggests the Giants' trade chips include pitchers Luis Perdomo and Merkin Valdez, as well as outfielder Eugenio Velez.

A handful of catchers remain on the free agent market, including new member Josh BardTracy Ringolsby wonders if the Rockies will renew their interest in Bard.  The Marlins, however, don't appear interested according to's Joe Frisaro.  The free agent market also features about a dozen relievers.

Stark’s Latest: Davis, Valdez, Roberts, Lofton

ESPN’s Jayson Stark checks in with a blog entry jam-packed with rumorage.

  • Stark says the Giants are shopping Rich Aurilia, Ray Durham, Steve Kline, Randy Winn, Tyler Walker, Rajai Davis, and Merkin Valdez.  The vets we knew about; the last two are a surprise.  Probably stems from both being out of options.
  • Brian Roberts update: Stark talked to a club official who’s in touch with the Cubs and O’s.  That guy expects a deal to be done next week.  Plus, Stark sees the O’s as an active suitor for Kyle Lohse at the right price.
  • Stark confirms the rumblings that the Rays have checked in on Kenny Lofton.  Lofton could be a nice bargain this year for a couple mil.