Mike Hinckley Rumors

Minor Deals: Sborz, Huber, Royals, Ruiz

We'll keep track of all of the day's minor deals right here:

  • Righty reliever Jay Sborz, 26 in January, signed a minor league deal with the Braves with a Spring Training invite, MLBTR has learned.  Sborz was outrighted by the Tigers on November 4th after posting a 4.74 ERA, 8.7 K/9, 4.9 BB/9, and 1.6 HR/9 with 19 saves in 43 2/3 Triple-A innings this year.
  • The Twins signed Justin Huber to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, tweets Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  Huber last played in the majors with Minnesota in 2009, and has a .580 OPS in 175 career plate appearances.
  • The Royals announced that four players have been designated for assignment: Jordan Parraz, Victor Marte, Gaby Hernandez and former #1 overall pick Bryan Bullington.
  • The Rays released first baseman Jose Ruiz, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
  • The Tigers announced that they signed Al Alburquerque to a major league deal for 2011. GM Dave Dombrowski says the team has been impressed with the right-hander's winter ball performance and expects him to compete for a bullpen job in Spring Training. The 24-year-old has struck out 191 batters in 174 1/3 minor league innings in the Cubs and Rockies organizations.
  • The Yankees have released Jonathan Albaladejo, who signed with a Japanese team, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).
  • The Diamondbacks claimed right-hander Juan Jaime from the Nationals, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson (on Twitter). The 23-year-old right-hander didn't pitch in 2010, but he has a 2.42 ERA with 11.8 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in 111 2/3 minor league innings.
  • The Blue Jays signed Mike Hinckley, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America. The lefty posted a 1.93 ERA in 28 games with the Nationals from 2008-09. Last year he posted 6.8 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 46 2/3 innings in the upper minors.
  • Josh BarfieldRyan Feierabend and Brandon Moss all got Spring Training invitations from the Phillies according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.

Odds & Ends: Guillen, Overbay, Johnson

A round-up of several items from around the majors…..

  • Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News reports that Jose Guillen would be willing to waive his limited no-trade clause in order to be dealt to the Mets.  The Royals have reportedly proposed an Angel Pagan-for-Guillen swap that would also see Kansas City include some cash to help the Mets pay for Guillen's $12MM salary next season.  Guillen hit .242/.314/.367 in 312 plate appearances for K.C. during his injury-plagued 2009 season, and it's probably for those reasons that Rubin thinks the trade is a long-shot to actually happen.
  • The Globe and Mail's Jeff Blair (via Twitter) was told by a non-Toronto executive that there is a 90 percent chance that the Blue Jays will trade Lyle Overbay at the winter meetings.
  • While talking about Josh Johnson's contract situation, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told The Miami Herald's Clark Spencer that the club has no set policy against giving pitchers contracts longer than three years.
  • Former outfielder Doug Glanville wrote an interesting blog entry for the New York Times website about the issues a player can face when entering free agency for the first time, especially if they're thinking of leaving their long-time home.
  • The Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles signed southpaw reliever Mike Hinckley to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.  Hinckley threw 13.2 scoreless innings in 14 relief appearances for Washington in 2008, but his perfect streak was snapped last year when he posted a 4.66 ERA in 14 appearances with the Nationals.  He spent most of last season pitching for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.
  • This could be an item for the 'Saying All The Right Things' file, but MLB.com's Matthew Leach reported that at the press conference for Albert Pujols' MVP Award, the Cardinals superstar said he wanted to play in St. Louis, "hopefully for 15 more years if I can play for that long and can retire as a Cardinal." 

Rangers To Sign Mike Hinckley

According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers are close to inking left-hander Mike Hinckley to a minor league contract.  

The 26-year-old opted for free agency after he was designated for assignment by the Nationals last week.  He had a 1.93 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in two seasons with Washington, but displayed major control problems out of the gate this year.  The Rangers will add him to their Triple-A Oklahoma City roster.