Mike Jacobs Rumors

Minor Moves: Jacobs, Herndon, LaRoche, Lalli, Bourgeois, Humber

Today's minor moves can be found right here in this post …

  • Among the many re-signings of players otherwise eligible for minor league free agency reported by Matt Eddy of Baseball America are first baseman Mike Jacobs, who will stay with the Diamondbacks, and reliever David Herndon, who the Yankees have re-signed. Neither saw big league action this year. Jacobs put up a nice .296/.366/.533 line in 514 Triple-A plate appearances in his age-32 season, while Herndon, now 28, was good for a 2.78 ERA in his 35 2/3 innings across the Yanks system.
  • Third bagger Andy LaRoche has signed with the Blue Jays, Eddy reports on Twitter. The 30-year-old younger brother of Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche played in just one game with Toronto last year, and has not been a regular big league contributor since leaving the Pirates after the 2010 season.
  • Catcher Blake Lalli has caught on with the Diamondbacks, Eddy notes in the same link. Also thirty years of age, Lalli has only forty uneventful MLB plate appearances. Playing at Triple-A for the Brewers last year, he put up a .282/.334/.447 line in 311 plate appearances.
  • The Reds have signed 31-year-old outfielder Jason Bourgeois, Eddy reports on Twitter. Bourgeois saw limited time with the Rays last year. His career big league line stands at .259/.305/.326 in 515 plate appearances over parts of six seasons, including 51 stolen bases.
  • Right-handed starter Philip Humber, 30, has inked a deal with the Athletics, reports Eddy (via Twitter). The once-perfect Humber had his option declined by the Astros early last month.
  • Righty Fabio Martinez signed with the Dodgers, per another Eddy tweet. The longtime Angel farmhand last worked in the Indians system, but has never managed to harness his live arm and posted BB/9 totals of over ten in 2012-13. 
  • Pitcher Trevor Reckling has signed with the Reds out of independent league ball, Eddy tweets. He played six seasons in the Angels' system, reaching Triple-A at age 21 before moving the wrong way down the ladder. Noted as a reclamation project for the White Sox before the 2012 year, Reckling will give it one more go in Cinci.
  • The Rockies re-signed minor league second baseman Angelys Nina in a move designed to keep him from reaching the open market as a minor league free agent, tweets Eddy. Nina managed a .280/.331/.422 line in his second go-round at Tulsa, adding ten home runs and nineteen steals.
  • Outfielder Chris Dickerson and first baseman Dan Johnson, each of whom were outrighted on Thursday, have refused their assignments and elected to become free agents, according to an Orioles press release yesterday. 
  • Remember to check MLBTR's DFA Tracker for updates on players designated for assignment around baseball. Currently, only Tommy Layne is sitting in DFA limbo.

Minor Moves: Irwin, Chang, Teahen, Jacobs

Today's minor moves…

  • The Pirates placed right-hander Phil Irwin on the 60-day disabled list, the club announced.  Irwin made his Major League debut this season, allowing four earned runs over 4 2/3 innings in a start on April 14.  Irwin, a 21st-round draft pick in 2009, has a 2.97 ERA and 5.03 K/BB rate over 423 2/3 minor league innings.
  • The Indians signed Taiwanese shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang for $500K, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America.  The Tribe has been one of the more active teams in Taiwan in recent years, notes Badler.  Chang doesn't have a plus tool currently, hears Badler, and projects as a doubles hitter who may have to move off shortstop.
  • The Diamondbacks outrighted righty Eric Smith off the 40-man roster, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.  The 24-year-old former second-round draft pick has a 7.29 ERA in 21 Double-A innings.
  • The Royals opened a 40-man roster spot for Salvador Perez, who returned from bereavement, by transferring lefty Danny Duffy to the 60-day DL, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
  • Mark Teahen was released from the Rangers' Triple-A club yesterday, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page.  He'd been signed to a minor league deal on May 23rd, after asking for and being granted his release from the D'Backs a few days prior.  Teahen, 31, has a .198/.293/.226 line in Triple-A this year across 123 plate appearances.  He was a key figure in the June 2004 trade that sent Carlos Beltran to the Astros from the Royals.
  • Speaking of the D'Backs' Triple-A affiliate, the Reno Aces signed first baseman Mike Jacobs, according to that same transactions page.  Jacobs, 32, last appeared in the Majors with Arizona briefly last year.  He signed a minor league deal with the Mariners in January but was released in March and subsequently played in the Mexican League this year.  Jacobs, a 38th round draft pick of the Mets in 1999, joined the Marlins in the November 2005 Carlos Delgado trade.  In October 2008, the Royals acquired Jacobs from the Marlins for reliever Leo Nunez, who is now known as Juan Carlos Oviedo.
  • Six players currently reside in DFA limbo: Mark Lowe of the Angels, Tyler Greene of the White Sox, Vinnie Catricala of the Mariners, Tyler Robertson of the Twins, and Zach Duke and Henry Rodriguez of the Nationals.

Mariners Release Jon Garland, Mike Jacobs

The Mariners have granted pitcher Jon Garland and first baseman Mike Jacobs their release, according to a team statement. Both players were in camp on minor-league contracts.

The M's signed Garland in February. He has not pitched in the big leagues since 2011 following a shoulder injury. He appeared likely to opt out of his deal with the Mariners after the team made clear that he would not make the team out of spring training. His name plate was removed from his locker Friday.

Jacobs appeared in 13 games with the Diamondbacks in 2012, which is the most games he's played in any season in the majors since 2009. He hit .279/.362/.486 in 378 plate appearance at Triple-A Reno last year.

Mariners Sign Mike Jacobs

The Mariners signed first baseman Mike Jacobs to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. John Boggs & Associates represents Jacobs, who has seven seasons of experience at the MLB level.

Jacobs, 32, appeared in 13 games for the Diamondbacks in 2012 after spending the entire 2011 season at the minor league level. The left-handed hitter spent much of the 2012 season at Triple-A, posting a .279/.362/.486 batting line with 18 home runs and 15 doubles in 378 plate appearances.

Jacobs emerged as a power bat in 2006 after the Marlins acquired him in the trade that sent Carlos Delgado to New York. Jacobs hit 20 homers in 2006 then hit a career-high 32 homers in 2008. He last picked up significant MLB playing time as a member of the 2009 Royals.

This Date In Transactions History: Marlins Fire Sale

Two weeks ago, the Marlins agreed to send basically every player making decent money on their roster to the Blue Jays for a package of prospects. The 12-player blockbuster became official a week ago, leaving Miami with just three players scheduled to make $2MM+ in 2013. Ricky Nolasco ($11.5MM) and Yunel Escobar ($5MM) could both still be moved before the end of the winter as well.

This isn't the first time the Marlins have torn things down and rebuilt from scratch, of course. They did it immediately following their 1997 World Series win, then again a few years after bringing home the 2003 World Championship. On this date in 2005, the team officially swung a pair of trades sending three of their highest paid players elsewhere.

Trade #1: Boston Red Sox
Josh Beckett, then just 25, was coming off a 3.38 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 178 2/3 innings for Florida. He earned $2.4MM in 2005 and was due a significant raise in his second trip through arbitration, plus the team was unlikely to re-sign him long-term when he hit free agency after 2007.

Beckett had significant trade value, so the Marlins took advantage by attaching then-31-year-old Mike Lowell to him in talks. If a team wanted Beckett, they had to take Lowell as well. The third baseman slipped to .236/.298/.360 with eight homers in 558 plate appearances that year, but more importantly he was scheduled to earn $18MM total from 2006-2007.

Few teams could meet Florida's demand for a young shortstop, but the Red Sox were one of them. The two sides worked out a seven-player trade that sent Beckett, Lowell, and Guillermo Mota to Boston in exchange for prospects Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Harvey Garcia, and Jesus Delgado. The Marlins saved all $18MM owed to Lowell in addition to second- and third-year arbitration salaries for Beckett and a third-year arbitration salary for Mota. The trade worked out well for both teams as Beckett and Lowell helped the Red Sox to the 2007 World Championship while Ramirez developed into an MVP candidate and Sanchez became a rock solid innings-eater for the Marlins.

Trade #2: New York Mets
During the 2004-2005 offseason, Florida landed the top free agent slugger by signing Carlos Delgado to a four-year, $52MM contract with a fifth-year vesting option. The then-33-year-old hit .301/.399/.582 with 33 homers in the first year of the contract, good enough to earn him a sixth-place finish in the MVP voting. However, like the contracts of Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, Delgado's deal with the Marlins was heavily backloaded. He earned just $4MM in 2005, then his salary was scheduled to jump to $13.5MM in 2006, $14.5MM in 2007, $16MM in 2008, and potentially $12MM in 2009 if the option vested ($4MM buyout).

Rather than pay him that huge salary over the next three years, the Marlins traded Delgado to the Mets for three minor leaguers: Yusmeiro Petit, Mike Jacobs, and Grant Psomas. The Mets also received $7MM from Florida in the trade, but it was a drop in the bucket compared to the $48MM left on the contract. Delgado hit .265/.349/.505 with 100 homers during his first three years with New York, which was enough for the team to exercise his option even though it didn't vest. Jacobs had three decent years with the Marlins while Petit and Psomas flamed out, but the real get for the club was the $41MM in payroll savings. Combined with the Red Sox swap, the Marlins shed more than $59MM in contract obligations with these two moves seven years ago today.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Berken, Albaladejo, Ransom

We'll keep track of the day's outright assignments right here… 

  • The Padres outrighted right-hander Thad Weber to Triple-A Tucson, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com (via Twitter).  Weber was claimed off of waivers from the Tigers in late August and saw time in two big league games for Detroit in April.
  • The Cubs announced that they have outrighted utility man Adrian Cardenas and right-handers Jason Berken, Miguel Socolovich, and Marcos Mateo to Triple-A.  Socolovich spent the bulk of the year in Triple-A for the Cubs and Orioles, posting a 2.11 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9.  Berken was also claimed off of waivers from the O's and posted a 3.50 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 26 Triple-A starts.
  • The Diamondbacks outrighted Jonathan Albaladejo, Tyler Graham, Mike Jacobs, Joe Martinez, and Cody Ransom to Triple-A Reno, according to the official MLB.com transactions page.  Albaladejo spent the 2011 season in Japan and saw just three innings of work for Arizona this year.  Jacobs, 31, hit .279/.362/.486 with 18 homers for Triple-A Reno.  Ransom was claimed off of waivers mid-season from the Brewers and hit .220/.312/.411 in 90 games.
  • The Mariners announced that they outrighted first baseman Luis Jimenez to Triple-A. The 30-year-old appeared in seven games with the Mariners this past September after spending most of the season at Triple-A. Jimenez hit 20 homers with Tacoma, posted a .310/.394/.514 batting line, and was named his team's Offensive Player of the Year. The left-handed hitter can become a minor league free agent five days after the World Series ends. Seattle now has two open spots on its 40-man roster.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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.

League Notes: Selig, Astros, HGH, Draft Slots

With the owners meeting in Cooperstown, N.Y., this week, there's plenty of administrative items of note to pass along. Here's the latest:

  • One conversation that has come up frequently at the meetings is how long Bud Selig will remain MLB commissioner and who his successor will be, writes Ken Davidoff of Newsday. Davidoff speculates that the 77-year-old Selig, currently signed through 2012, will serve one more term before stepping down. Davidoff names following as potential successors: former MLB executive Bob DuPuy, Mets GM Sandy Alderson, D'Backs president Derrick Hall, former Braves and Nationals president Stan Kasten, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, and current MLB executive Rob Manfred.
  • As expected, the potential sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane wasn't even addressed during the meetings, the Associated Press reports. We learned last night that no one is questioning Crane's viability, but Selig has declined to comment on the exact cause of the holdup, so there is some kind of disconnect here. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com examined the situation a couple days back.
  • In the wake of former Rockies minor leaguer Mike Jacobs' positive test and subsequent release, Selig said today he would like to see HGH testing in the Major Leagues, too, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). I wondered in that post whether HGH testing would come up during negotiations for the new CBA this offseason, but I think this pretty much answers that. Expect to hear more about it this winter.
  • Another issue that figures to come up during CBA negotiations is draft slotting. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported yesterday that Selig has promised to the owners the implimentation of a hard-slotting system for draft bonuses, whereby each pick would be signed for a predetermined sum. Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, for one, thinks this is a bad idea, as it will scare away premium athletes like the Royals' Bubba Starling, who could choose to play in the NFL or NBA rather than MLB (Twitter links).

Rockies Release Mike Jacobs

The Rockies have released minor league first baseman Mike Jacobs following his 50-game suspension for testing positive for HGH, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter). He apologized to the Rockies and said he hopes to sign with a team in 2012, Renck reports (Twitter link).

Jacobs, 30, signed a minor league deal with the Rockies in December after he spent time with the Mets and Blue Jays organizations in 2010. He was hitting .298/.376/.534 with 23 homers for Triple-A Colorado Springs in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but he did not appear in the big leagues in 2011.

Jacobs becomes the first player ever suspended for using HGH, which is not tested for in the Major Leagues, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. HGH testing was introduced in the minor leagues before the 2010 season.

With a new collective bargaining agreement to be negotiated this offseason, I wonder whether HGH testing will be one of the issues on the table.

Minor Deals: Chavez, Barden, Jacobs

We'll be keeping track of today's minor deals in this post..

  • Endy Chavez has signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  The outfielder spent the 2010 season with the club as he rehabbed from knee surgery. 
  • The Rangers will also bring infielder Brian Barden in on a minor league deal, reports Anthony Andro of the Star-Telegram.
  • The Rockies have signed first baseman Mike Jacobs, a source tells Troy Renck of The Denver Post (via Twitter). The 30-year-old spent time with the Triple-A affiliates of the Mets and Blue Jays last season, hitting .273/.335/.482 with 21 homers in 528 plate appearances.  He'll make $14K per month in the minors and $700K if he reaches the majors, Renck tweets.