Michael Bowden Rumors

Minor Moves: Mijares, Bowden, Runzler

Here’s a roundup of some recent minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post.  All moves are from Matt Eddy of Baseball America, unless credited otherwise.

  • The Reds have signed southpaw Jose Mijares and right-hander Michael Bowden to minor league deals.  Mijares posted strong numbers (3.23 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.22 K/BB rate) over 259 relief innings with the Twins, Royals and Giants from 2008-13 but didn’t pitch in 2014 after he opted out of his minor league deal with the Red Sox last March.  Bowden was drafted 47th overall by the Red Sox in the 2005 draft and was considered a top prospect during his stint in Boston’s minor league system.  He couldn’t manage that same success in the majors, posting a 4.51 ERA over 133 2/3 innings with the Red Sox and Cubs from 2008-13.  Bowden pitched in Japan in 2014.
  • The Diamondbacks signed left-hander Dan Runzler to a minor league contract.  Runzler posted a 3.86 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 over 72 1/3 IP with San Francisco from 2009-12 and was released by the Giants’ Triple-A team last July so he could pitch in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes.
  • The Marlins inked outfielder Vinny Rottino to a minor league deal.  Rottino, 34, is returning to North American baseball for the first time since 2012 after playing in Korea and Japan over the last two seasons.  This is Rottino’s second stint in Miami, as he played for the Marlins, Mets, Indians and Brewers while collecting 110 career Major League plate appearances.
  • The Rangers signed infielder Tommy Field to a minor league contract.  Field received 81 plate appearances with the Rockies and Angels from 2011-13 and he spent last season at the Triple-A level in the Angels and Pirates organizations.
  • The Royals outrighted outfielder Moises Sierra and right-hander Casey Coleman to Triple-A, the team announced via Twitter.  The two players were both designated for assignment last week to create roster spots for the recently-signed Kendrys Morales and Yohan Pino, respectively.
  • The Blue Jays announced the signing of left-hander Andrew Albers to a minor league deal that includes a Spring Training invite.  Albers posted a 5.89 ERA over 28 starts for Hanwha of the (very hitter-friendly) Korean Baseball Organization in 2014.  His Major League experience consists of a 4.05 ERA, 3.8 K/9 and 3.57 K/BB rate over 60 innings with the Twins in 2013.

Minor Moves: Runzler, Bowden, Gillespie, Tanaka

Here are today's minor moves from around the league…

  • After being designated for assignment by the Giants on Tuesday, lefty Dan Runzler has been outrighted to Triple-A, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). Having failed to regain his 2009-10 form, when he was effective out of the San Francisco pen, Runzler will become a minor league free agent after the season.
  • The Cubs announced that Michael Bowden and Cole Gillespie have both cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa after being designated for assignment earlier in the week. The 26-year-old Bowden pitched to a 4.30 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 37 2/3 innings for the Cubs this season. Gillespie, 29, batted .240/.328/.280 for Chicago in 59 plate appearances after hitting .277/.361/.455 in 269 plate appearances for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate in Fresno.
  • The Giants have released second baseman/left fielder Kensuke Tanaka, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (on Twitter). The Giants designated Tanaka for assignment on Tuesday along with Runzler in order to clear 40-man roster spots for right-hander Heath Hembree and catcher Johnny Monell. Tanaka, 32, saw limited time with the Giants this season but excelled in 400 plate appearances at Triple-A Fresno, batting .329/.400/.397 with three homers and 22 steals (though they came in 32 attempts). Tanaka played 55 games at second base and 30 in left field, and he is a career .286/.356/.384 hitter in 4,278 plate appearances in Japan (all of which came with the Nippon Ham Fighters).
  • Following these moves, seven players are in DFA limbo, as can be seen in MLBTR's DFA TrackerAlex LiddiHector AmbrizEdinson Rincon, Hideki Okajima, Juan Diaz, Tim Fedroff and Justin Freeman.

Cubs Designate Michael Bowden For Assignment

The Cubs announced that they have designated Michael Bowden for assignment.  In a related move, fellow right-hander Chang-Yong Lim has been promoted to the big league roster.

Bowden, 27 on Monday, has a 4.30 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 34 relief outings this season.  In parts of six big league seasons, the 6'3" hurler owns a 4.51 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.  This marks the second time that Bowden has been DFA'd by the Cubs this season – he was also removed from the 40-man back in May.

With so many players in DFA limbo, there's no better time to get familiar with our new DFA Tracker.



Minor Moves: Lambin, Andino, Putnam, Bowden

Today's minor moves…

  • The Royals signed third baseman Chase Lambin to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (Twitter link).  Lambin, 33, had been playing for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, the latest stop in a 12-year minor league career that has seen him play in the Mets', Marlins', Nationals' and Twins' farm systems, plus a year in Japan with the Chiba Lotte Marines.  Lambin is still looking for his first cup of coffee in the majors after posting a .270/.343/.437 line over 4475 minor league PA.
  • Mariners infielder Robert Andino has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (via Twitter).  Andrino was designated for assignment (in rather complicated fashion) by the M's last week.  The Orioles considered making an offer for Andino, Connolly reports, but the club decided against bringing back their former utilityman.
  • The Cubs have selected the contract of right-hander Zach Putnam and added him to the 40-man roster, the team announced.  Kyuji Fujikawa was moved to the 60-day DL and Alex Burnett was sent to Triple-A in a pair of corresponding moves.  Putnam has a 3.26 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 in 19 1/3 relief innings in Triple-A this year and a 4.82 ERA in 9 1/3 career Major League innings with the Indians and Rockies.
  • Reliever Michael Bowden cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A by the Cubs, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page.  He accepted the assignment, notes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.  Having been outrighted before, Bowden had the right to elect free agency, but then his contract would have been terminated.  The 26-year-old posted a 3.78 ERA, 3.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and 35.3% groundball rate with no home runs allowed in 16 2/3 relief innings for the Cubs before being designated for assignment on Tuesday of last week to open a roster spot for Matt Garza.  The Red Sox drafted Bowden 47th overall in 2005 as part of the compensation for the loss of free agent Derek Lowe.  He was chosen five picks after Clay Buchholz, who was part of the compensation for the team's loss of Pedro Martinez.
  • Eight players currently reside in DFA limbo: Ben Francisco and David Huff of the Yankees, Francisco Martinez of the Mariners, Edinson Rincon of the Padres, Ramon Ortiz and Clint Robinson of the Blue Jays, Nick Green of the Marlins, and Mark Lowe of the Angels.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post


Cubs Designate Michael Bowden For Assignment

TUESDAY: As expected, Bowden has been designated for assignment, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.

SUNDAY: The Cubs will designate Michael Bowden for assignment, Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald reports (on Twitter). The move clears space on the Cubs' active roster for Matt Garza, who had been out with a strained lat. Garza's return will bump Carlos Villanueva to the Cubs' bullpen, which is why the Cubs need to jettison a reliever.

Bowden, 26, has pitched in 14 games out of the Cubs' bullpen in 2013, with a 3.78 ERA, 3.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. In parts of six seasons with the Cubs and Red Sox, he has a 4.47 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.


Michael Bourn Rumors: Wednesday

Michael Bourn is "by far the best defensive center fielder in the game," agent Scott Boras told reporters today, and you know Boras never exaggerates about his clients.  The latest:

  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is past the tire-kicking stage on Bourn, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan, and is trying to gauge price.  Boras needs the Phillies more than they need Bourn, in my opinion, because the Phils still have plenty of ways to stock their outfield.
  • Boras told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times he met with the Mariners already, and plans to continue talks in the days and weeks to come.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Bowden, Hall

The latest outright assignments from around MLB…

  • The Cubs outrighted Michael Bowden to Triple-A after the right-hander cleared waivers, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reports (on Twitter). The Cubs had designated Bowden for assignment last week.
  • The Orioles outrighted Bill Hall to Triple-A Norfolk after the utility player cleared waivers, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (Twitter links). The Orioles signed Hall to a minor league deal in April and they've designated him for assignment twice since then.

Cubs Claim Asencio, DFA Bowden

The Cubs claimed right-hander Jairo Asencio off of waivers from the Indians, ESPN.com's Keith Law tweets. Chicago designated right-hander Michael Bowden for assignment in a corresponding move.

The Indians acquired Asencio from the Braves for cash at the end of March then designated him for assignment four days ago. The out of options reliever posted a 5.96 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 25 2/3 innings for the Indians this year. He led the International League in saves in 2009 and 2011 and posted a 1.81 ERA with 11.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 54 2/3 innings at Triple-A last year.

The Cubs acquired Bowden from the Red Sox in the April trade that sent Marlon Byrd to Boston. The 25-year-old has a 7.45 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in 9 2/3 innings with the Cubs since the trade.


Red Sox Acquire Marlon Byrd From Cubs

Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd confirmed that he has been traded to the Red Sox, tweets Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. The Cubs will receive Michael Bowden and a player to be named later in exchange for Byrd while paying all but roughly $400K of his $6.5MM salary (the prorated minimum), according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (via Twitter).

The Red Sox designated infielder Nate Spears for assignment to make room for Byrd on the 40-man roster, the club announced. Spears, 26, appeared in four games with Boston this season, including today's loss to the Yankees.

Meanwhile, the player to be named will not be left-hander Andrew Miller, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com

Byrd, 34, has just three singles and one walk in 47 plate appearances this season, resulting in a .070/.149/.070 batting line. He hit .276/.324/.395 in 482 plate appearances last season while missing time with multiple fractures after taking a pitch to the face, an injury that occurred in Fenway Park. Byrd is in the final season of his three-year, $15MM contract and will earn $6.5MM this year. He is not in Chicago's lineup this afternoon.

Ellsbury's subluxed his right shoulder last week and there is still not timetable for his return. Carl Crawford is also on the shelf with wrist and elbow problems, leaving the Red Sox with an outfield of Jason Repko, Ryan Sweeney, Cody Ross, and Darnell McDonald. Byrd has played center field exclusively during his time with the Cubs, though he has experience in all three outfield spots.

Boston has been actively exploring the outfield market following Jacoby Ellsbury's shoulder injury.  The deal will be announced after today's Red Sox game, according to Levine's tweet.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


Red Sox Close To Acquiring Marlon Byrd

2:23pm: The deal remains probable but timing issues remain, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  The Cubs are likely to pay most of Byrd's remaining $6.5MM salary and Red Sox pitcher Michael Bowden is in play.

2:19pm: The structure of Byrd's deal could help the Red Sox' payroll for luxury tax purposes, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.com. If the Cubs sent $5.5MM to Boston to offset the outfielder's salary, then it would actually decrease the Red Sox' payroll number that sum would be subtracted from Byrd's $5MM average annual salary.

The veteran is set to earn $6.5MM in the final year of a three-year, $15MM deal.

1:34pm: Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine acknowledged to reporters that the club's talks with the Cubs are advanced, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald“The talks have been good talks, from what I gather,” Valentine said. “Ben [Cherington] will try to get as good a player as he can get.”

12:17pm: The Cubs have been actively attempting to trade Byrd according to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. A trade with the Red Sox is not final, but Bradford hears that it is "probable." Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter) that Boston has looked at other outfield options as well.

10:59am: The Red Sox are close to acquiring Marlon Byrd from the Cubs, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. Boston has been actively exploring the outfield market following Jacoby Ellsbury's shoulder injury.

Byrd, 34, has just three singles and one walk in 47 plate appearances this season, resulting in a .070/.149/.070 batting line. He hit .276/.324/.395 in 482 plate appearances last season while missing time with multiple fractures after taking a pitch to the face, an injury that occurred in Fenway Park. Byrd is in the final season of his three-year, $15MM contract and will earn $6.5MM this year. He is not in Chicago's lineup this afternoon.

Ellsbury's subluxed his right shoulder last week and there is still not timetable for his return. Carl Crawford is also on the shelf with wrist and elbow problems, leaving the Red Sox with an outfield of Jason Repko, Ryan Sweeney, Cody Ross, and Darnell McDonald. Byrd has played center field exclusively during his time with the Cubs, though he has experience in all three outfield spots.

If completed, this will be the first real trade between the two teams since Theo Epstein left the Red Sox to take over as Chicago's president of baseball operations. The two sides did work out the compensation package for Epstein, however.