Mike Baxter Rumors

Minor Moves: Hendrickson, Baxter, Perez

Here are today’s minor moves from around the game.

  • The Orioles have agreed to terms with Mark Hendrickson on a deal that includes a Spring Training invite, Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com tweets. The deal is presumably of the minor-league variety. The tall lefty last pitched in the big leagues with Baltimore in 2011, and he’s now 40 and has a 5.03 ERA with 5.1 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in parts of 10 big-league seasons. He is, however, coming off a good season with the independent York Revolution, posting a 1.54 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 52 2/3 innings of relief. The O’s also reportedly have interest in hiring Hendrickson as a coach when he’s done playing.
  • The Cubs have signed corner outfielder Mike Baxter, Matt Eddy of Baseball America writes. Baxter, best known for his stints with the Mets in 2012 and 2013, has a career .225/.331/.342 line in parts of five seasons. He spent most of 2014 with the Dodgers’ Triple-A Albuquerque affiliate, batting .289/.365/.439.
  • The Rangers have signed lefty Juan Perez, Eddy writes. The 36-year-old Perez did not pitch in 2014, but he was effective coming out of the Blue Jays’ bullpen the previous year, posting a 3.69 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 31 2/3 innings with a fastball that reached into the mid-90s. Before that, Perez had pitched in brief stints with the Pirates, Phillies and Brewers.

Minor Moves: Ciriaco, Mazzaro, Bixler, Accardo

The day's minor moves:

  • The Royals have assigned infielder Pedro Ciriaco to Triple-A after he cleared outright waivers, tweets Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. Ciriaco, 28, will have to wait in the minors for another big league opportunity to open with Kansas City's middle infield. The club just called up Johnny Giavotella to fill in for injured second baseman Omar Infante, who is expected to return to action soon without a DL trip.
  • Pirates reliever Vin Mazzaro has accepted an outright assignment from the team to Triple-A, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune (via Twitter). That is a good result for a Pittsburgh club that had expected to lose the 27-year-old righty, who was an effective piece for them last year.
  • Utility man Brian Bixler has been released by the Phillies, according to the International League transactions page. Bixler, 31, had been playing with the Phils' Triple-A affiliate. He last appeared in the bigs in 2012 with the Astros.
  • The independent ball Atlantic League has made two notable additions today, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (Twitter links). Right-hander Jeremy Accardo, an eight-year MLB veteran, has inked with the Long Island Ducks. And shortly after being released by the Red Sox, 29-year-old outfielder Scott Cousins has joined the Camden Riversharks.
  • The Dodgers have outrighted Mike Baxter, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to Triple-A, according to the PCL transactions page. The outfielder was designated for assignment to create 40-man space for another DFA'd player in Colt Hynes. Baxter, 29, struggled at the MLB level last year, but had a strong 2012 campaign (.263/.365/.413 in 211 plate appearances).
  • With this move, only four players are left in DFA limbo: Seth Rosin (Rangers, Rule 5), Pedro Ciriaco (Royals), Hector Noesi (Mariners), and Jeremy Jeffress (Blue Jays). As always, you can track DFA situations past and present using MLBTR's DFA Tracker.

Dodgers Designate Mike Baxter For Assignment

The Dodgers have announced they have designated outfielder Mike Baxter for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for left-hander Colt Hynes, who was acquired earlier today from the Indians. Baxter played four games, including one start in left field, for the Dodgers this season and was hitless with one walk in eight plate appearances before being optioned Friday to Triple-A Albuquerque. 

Baxter was arbitration eligible for the first time this past offseason as a Super Two, but avoided a hearing after agreeing to a one-year deal worth $700K. The Dodgers claimed the 29-year-old off waivers from the Mets in October after he batted only .189/.303/.250 in 155 plate appearances. Baxter, however, is just a season-plus removed from a 2012 slash of .263/.365/.413 with three home runs in 211 plate appearances.  

Dodgers Avoid Arbitration With Elbert, Butera

4:50pm: Butera's deal includes $100K in attainable performance bonuses, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Likewise, Elbert can earn up to $100k in incentive pay, Heyman further tweets.

4:01pm: The Dodgers' deals with Elbert, Butera, and Mike Baxter are all non-guaranteed, Hernandez tweets.

3:49pm: The Dodgers have avoided arbitration with Scott Elbert and Drew Butera, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).  Elbert gets a one-year, $575K deal while Butera will earn $700K (link).  

Our own Matt Swartz projected that Elbert would earn $600K through arbitration while Butera would get $700K.  Elbert, 28, underwent Tommy John surgery in June and was considered a non-tender candidate, but it would appear that the Dodgers are confident that he will bounce back strong in 2014.  The lefty reliever posted a 2.20 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 2012.  

Butera, 30, saw just six big league games in total last season for the Twins and Dodgers.  The catcher came to Los Angeles in a July 31st deal for a player to be named later.  In 43 Triple-A games last year, Butera hit just .187/.228 /.281.

The Dodgers have now avoided arbitration with three of their players today after signing Elbert, Butera, and Mike Baxter earlier today.  There are four remaining arbitration eligible Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, A.J. Ellis, and Ronald Belisario.

Dodgers, Mike Baxter Avoid Arbitration

2:45pm: Baxter settled with the Dodgers for $700K in 2014, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).

1:50pm: The Dodgers have avoided arbitration with outfielder Mike Baxter, according to his representatives at the Beverly Hills Sports Council (via Twitter).  Terms of the one-year deal are not known for Baxter, who was projected to earn $500K by MLBTR's Matt Swartz.

Baxter, 29 in December, was arbitration eligible for the first time this winter as a Super Two.  The Dodgers claimed the outfielder off waivers from the Mets in October, hoping that he could regain his form from 2012 where he slashed .263/.365/.413 with three homers in 211 plate appearances.  In 74 games for the Mets in 2013, Baxter hit just .189/.303/.250.

Dodgers Claim Baxter, Designate Castellanos

The Dodgers announced they have claimed Mike Baxter off waivers from the Mets.  To make room on the 40-man roster for Baxter, L.A. designated fellow outfielder Alex Castellanos for assignment.

Baxter, 29 in December, hit just .189/.303/.250 in 74 games for the Mets in 2013.  In 2012, however, Baxter slashed .263/.365/.413 with three homers in 211 plate appearances appearances.  Baxter has significant experience playing in both left and right field.

Castellanos, 27, has 24 big league games to his credit over the last two years with the Dodgers but spent the bulk of that time in Triple-A.  In 199 games at Triple-A Albuquerque, the outfielder hit .291/.382/.525.  The Dodgers acquired Castellanos in July 2011 from the Cardinals for Rafael Furcal and cash.

To keep track of Castellanos and all other players in DFA limbo, be sure to check out MLBTR's DFA Tracker.  Baxter is the second player to be plucked from the Mets roster this afternoon following the Angels' claim on Robert Carson.