Mitchell Boggs Rumors

Braves, Mitchell Boggs Agree To Minor League Deal

Here are today’s minor transactions from around the league…

  • The Braves have agreed to a Minor League pact with veteran right-hander Mitchell Boggs, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. The 31-year-old Boggs didn’t appear in the Majors last season and struggled greatly in 2013, but he was a reliable member of the Cardinals’ bullpen prior to that. From 2010-12, Boggs, worked to a 3.08 ERA with 7.1 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 52.3 percent ground-ball rate, averaging 63 appearances and 67 innings per season. Boggs had disastrous results in a 2014 season split between the Triple-A affiliates for the White Sox and Giants, posting an 8.29 ERA with more walks (26) than strikeouts (23) in 51 innings of work.

Minor Moves: Harris, Lohman, Boggs

Here are the day’s minor transactions, updated as we go:

  • The Rays have released outfielder James Harris, MLBTR has learned. Harris was a supplemental first-round pick in the 2011 draft, taken 60th overall by Tampa and signed for a (then under-slot) bonus of $490K. Drafted as something of a toolsy project out of high school, Harris never got comfortable at the plate during his four pro seasons, hitting only .215/.291/.305 over 898 minor league plate appearances. The 21-year-old topped out at the A-ball level in the Rays’ system last year.
  • The Phillies announced that they have acquired minor league shortstop Devin Lohman from the Reds in exchange for future considerations. Lohman, 25, has spent the past two seasons with Cincinnati’s Double-A affiliate in Pensacola, where he’s batted a combined .240/.307/.339. A third-round pick by Cincinnati in 2010, Lohman’s bat has never come around as a pro, but he’s a well-regarded defender. Baseball America ranked him 25th among Reds farmhands two offseasons ago on the strength of his glove and ranked him as the best infield defender in the organization’s minor league system that winter as well.
  • The Red Sox have released right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs, the team announced. Boggs, 31, was in camp on a minor league deal. He has not pitched in the big leagues since 2013, but had enjoyed six straight seasons of MLB pen work before that. Over 316 2/3 career frames, Boggs owns a 4.12 ERA with 6.6 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9. His best year to date was 2012, when he racked up 73 1/3 innings of 2.21 ERA pitching for the Cardinals.

AL East Notes: Cash, Hamels, Swihart, Orioles

The Red Sox have received some impressive performances from non-roster invitees like Mitchell Boggs, Dana Eveland, Dalier Hinojosa, and Noe Ramirez, but they probably won’t crack the 25-man roster due to the numbers crunch, as Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes.

Here’s more from the AL East:

  • Rays manager Kevin Cash will earn $5MM over the life of his five-year deal, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay TimesJon Heyman of CBSSports.com recently reported Cash’s deal was for a lengthy five years, giving him more security than a lot of other skippers around the majors. The pact ties Cash with current Cubs skipper Joe Maddon for the lengthiest remaining guarantee in the game. Of course, the financial terms aren’t exactly the same as Maddon will earn a reported $25MM over the same length of time.
  • The addition of Cole Hamels would undoubtedly separate the Red Sox from the rest of the AL East, but to what degree the club feels pressure to establish that space is what will determine whether they pull the trigger, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald writes. Right now, the Phillies are insisting Boston part with Henry Owens and either Blake Swihart or Mookie Betts while taking on Hamels’ monster deal, so the Red Sox feel that they can live without him. Silverman lays out the pros and cons of Boston waiting on a Hamels trade.
  • Swihart started against the Phillies today going 2-for-3, including a RBI single, and found the timing pure coincidence. “I think people are looking into it too much,” he told reporters, including Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “It’s just my turn to catch right now.” Swihart also addressed the interest shown in him by the Phillies. “It’s an honor that other teams think highly of you. Ultimately, I want to be here (Boston) and to play for this team. Anything I can do to help this team is what I want to do.
  • Orioles GM Dan Duquette spoke with MLB Network Radio (audio link) about how the O’s can replace the offensive production of their free agent losses. Baltimore, of course, saw Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz and Andrew Miller head elsewhere this offseason.


AL East Notes: Red Sox, Rays, Boggs

Free agency is fun for those of us on the outside to follow, but that’s not necessarily the case for the players themselves.  Tim Britton of The Providence Journal kept tabs on now two former members of the Red Sox throughout their free agent process, David Ross and Burke Badenhop.  While Ross found a home with the Cubs before Christmas, Badenhop had to wait a little while longer for his deal with the Reds. More from the AL East..

  • The most likely scenario in the Cubs/Joe Maddon tampering case is that no evidence will be found to support the Rays‘ claims, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes.
  • Juan Francisco‘s minor league deal with the Rays includes an April 5th opt-out and a salary of $2MM (plus incentives) if he makes the team, according to Topkin.  Francisco, 28 in June, spent 2014 with the Blue Jays, where he hit .220/.291/.456 with 16 home runs in 320 plate appearances.
  • Mitchell Boggs can opt out of his minor league deal with the Red Sox if he isn’€™t on the big league club by April 4th, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.  Bradford believes that the former Cardinals closer could wind up not only making the big league roster, but becoming a valuable piece in the pen.  Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox signed Boggs with every intention of having him on the varsity squad.  “€œThey communicated with me early in the offseason that it was a major league-type opportunity,”€ Boggs explained. “€œIt wasn’€™t depth for the entire year. It was a situation where they wanted me to come in and compete and try to make this team. That’€™s what I care about.”
  • Most of the Yankees‘ moves for young power arms, starting with the signing of free agent Andrew Miller, were made to build a deep bullpen.  But, the trade of win-now infielder Martin Prado for Nathan Eovaldi signaled a willingness to gamble on the starting rotation as well, John Harper of the New York Daily News writes.  If all goes according to plan, the Yankees could have one of the younger starting rotations in baseball with Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Eovaldi, and Ivan Nova.  The question marks about their injuries and inconsistency could have made guys like Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, and James Shields to be solid fits, but the Yanks decided instead to play it smart for the long-term.
  • Red Sox pitcher Wade Miley thought for several days that he would be traded to the Marlins or Rangers before he wound up in Boston, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe tweets.  Miley first learned that he was headed to the Red Sox when he saw the news on TV.
  • With or without permission from St. Petersburg, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said he’ll seek a replacement stadium no later than 2022, Stephen Nohlgren of the Tampa Bay Times writes.

Minor Moves: Boggs, Ashley, Heathcott, Lennerton

Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league…

  • Peter Gammons reports that the Red Sox have signed former Cardinals right-hander Mitchell Boggs (Twitter link). Not surprisingly, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com hears that it’s a minor league deal. Boggs, 30, struggled through 51 minor league innings between the White Sox and Giants in 2014, totaling an alarming 8.59 ERA after a rough 2013 at the big league level. However, Boggs was both durable and effective for the Redbirds from 2010-12, notching a 3.08 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 201 1/3 innings.
  • The Brewers announced that they’ve signed catcher Nevin Ashley to a minor league contract that contains an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The 30-year-old Ashley, a longtime Rays farmhand, spent last season with the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate. With Indianapolis, he batted .246/.332/.345 in 234 plate appearances — numbers that are commensurate with his lifetime .235/.322/.365 batting line at the Triple-A level. Ashley was twice named the best defensive catcher in the Rays’ system by Baseball America and has gunned down 38 percent of attempted base-stealers in a nine-year minor league career.
  • The Yankees have re-signed former first-round pick Slade Heathcott to a minor league contract, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). The Yanks non-tendered Heathcott this December on the heels of a season that limited him to just nine games. Injuries have long been a problem for the center fielder, although Heathcott is still heading into just his age-24 season and has a lifetime .268/.346/.404 triple slash in the minors. Somewhat painfully (for Yankees fans, anyhow), Sherman notes that the Yankees had intended to select Mike Trout with the 29th overall pick in 2009, but he went four picks prior to the Angels as a compensation pick for the loss of Mark Teixeira… who had signed with the Yankees.
  • The Tigers have re-signed first baseman Jordan Lennerton, the infielder himself tweeted on New Year’s Eve. MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports that it’s a minor league contract, but it’s unclear whether or not Lennerton will be in big league camp (he was in 2014). Lennerton, 28, had a down season in terms of average and slugging percentage last year at Triple-A, though he still batted a respectable .249/.362/.395 on the whole.

Minor Moves: Alderson, DeVoss, Stewart, Henderson

Here are some recent minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • Two minor league signings were posted today by the Athletics, as the club landed righty Tim Alderson and outfielder Zeke DeVoss, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Alderson, a 25-year-old former first-rounder and top-100 prospect, has seen his career stall. He has struggled to a 6.12 ERA in 50 relief innings this year for the Orioles’ top affiliate. DeVoss, just 24 years old, was a third-round pick in 2011 but failed to progress this year for the Cubs.
  • The Angels have outrighted infielder Ian Stewart to Triple-A, according to the PCL transactions page. He was designated for assignment two days ago. It is not yet clear whether Stewart has accepted the assignment. (He has the right to choose free agency because he has previously been outrighted.)
  • The Brewers shifted right-hander Jim Henderson from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day, the club announced via Twitter.  Henderson’s 40-man roster spot will be filled by righty Jeremy Jeffress, who contract was selected by the Brewers in a corresponding move.
  • The Giants signed righty Mitchell Boggs, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports.  Boggs had a 9.50 ERA, 18 strikeouts and 17 walks over 36 relief innings for the White Sox Triple-A affiliate this season before being released earlier this month.  A reliable contributor for the Cardinals’ bullpen from 2010-12, Boggs developed major control issues last season, and the Giants are now his fourth organization in a little over a year’s time.
  • The Royals released right-hander Ramon Troncoso, the club announced last week.  Troncoso signed a minor league contract with K.C. in March and produced a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 K/9 and an even 3.0 K/BB rate over 44 IP with Triple-A Omaha.  Troncoso pitched 30 relief innings for the White Sox in 2013, his first taste of big league action since 2011.
  • The Phillies released utilityman Rusty Ryal, according to Matt Provence, media relations director for Triple-A LeHigh Valley (Twitter link).  Ryal, 31, appeared in 134 games with the Diamondbacks from 2009-10 and hasn’t been back to the majors since, playing in the minors for five different organizations since.  He signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in June.

Minor Moves: Cleto, Pineiro, Janish, Resop, Peterson, Boggs, Rodriguez, O’Sullivan

Here are today’s outright assignments and minor moves from around the league…

  • UPDATE: Maikel Cleto has not, in fact, been released by the White Sox, according to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin (via Twitter). The International League transactions page indicates that the righty has been released, apparently erroneously. Cleto, 25, has seen his most extended MLB time this year after enjoying cups of coffee in each of the last three seasons. But he has not taken advantage, and owns a 5.14 ERA through 14 frames with an ugly 6.4 K/9 against 9.6 BB/9. Cleto’s 20 2/3 innings in Triple-A have not been much better, as he has worked to a 6.53 mark, though he has managed 12.2 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9.
  • Righty Joel Pineiro, recently released by the Angels, has been hit with a 50-game PED suspension, reports MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter). The prohibited substance at issue was heptaminol, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (tweet in Spanish). The 35-year-old, who had been attempting a comeback, owns a 5.93 ERA through 44 innings in the upper minors on the year.
  • Shortstop Paul Janish has been released by the Rockies, according to the PCL transactions page. Janish opted out of his minor league pact, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter). The 31-year-old has spent the entire year at Triple-A, putting up a .234/.284/.301 slash in 226 plate appearances.
  • Righty Chris Resop has opted out of his contract with the Red Sox, tweets Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. The 31-year-old owns a 4.42 ERA through 38 2/3 frames at Triple-A. He has made MLB appearances in eight of the last nine seasons.
  • The Dodgers have acquired first baseman Brock Peterson from the Nationals in exchange for cash considerations, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Peterson, 30, owns a .250/.332/.367 line through 301 plate appearances at Triple-A this year. He has, however, shown much more power in recent seasons in the high minors with the Cardinals.
  • The White Sox have released righty Mitchell Boggs from Triple-A, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (via Twitter). The move will clear space for the addition of fellow reliever Henry Rodriguez, who signed a minor league deal recently, as Scott Merkin of MLB.com reported on Twitter. Boggs struggled to a 9.50 ERA in 36 innings with the Sox’ top affiliate this year, while Rodriguez was utterly unable to throw strikes consistently during his tenure with the Marlins.
  • The Phillies announced that right-hander Sean O’Sullivan has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 26-year-old allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his lone start of the year with the Phillies and has a career 5.90 ERA with 4.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 224 1/3 innings of work. O’Sullivan has been outrighted in the past and has the option to reject the outright assignment in favor of free agency.

White Sox Release, Re-Sign Mitchell Boggs

MARCH 30: The White Sox have signed Boggs to a minor league contract, tweets MLB.com's Scott Merkin.

MARCH 23: The White Sox announced that they have requested waivers on Mitchell Boggs for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release.  It was a short stay with Chicago for Boggs, who signed with the White Sox on February 7th.

Boggs, 30, served as the Cardinals' closer last season after Jason Motte underwent Tommy John surgery.  However, despite performing well as a setup man, Boggs struggled in his small sample as the Cardinals' ninth-inning solution.  The former fifth-round pick allowed 18 earned runs on 21 hits and 15 walks in just 14 2/3 innings for St. Louis before being designated for assignment and picked up by the Rockies.  He also struggled in Colorado's minor league system, posting an 8.27 ERA in 16 1/3 Triple-A innings, but Boggs righted the ship (to an extent) upon a promotion to the Majors in September.  In 8 2/3 big league innings to close the season, he allowed three runs on seven hits and five walks.

Prior to that rough 2013, Boggs posted a combined 3.08 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 201 innings from 2010-12. White Sox GM Rick Hahn told reporters, including the Chicago Tribune's Colleen Kane (via Twitter), the team is open to bringing back Boggs on a minor league deal, if he doesn't latch on elsewhere.


White Sox Sign Mitchell Boggs

The White Sox have added some low-cost, controllable upside to their bullpen, as they officially announced on Friday the signing of right-hander Mitchell Boggs to a one-year, $1.1MM contract. The former Cardinals setup man is represented by CSE. Because he only has four years, 34 days of Major League service time, Boggs will remain arbitration eligible following the 2014 season and is now controlled by the White Sox through 2015.

Boggs, who turns 30 next week, found himself in the closer's role in St. Louis last season after Jason Motte underwent Tommy John surgery. However, despite a strong track record as a setup man, Boggs struggled in his small sample as the Cardinals' closer. The former fifth-round pick allowed 18 earned runs on 21 hits and 15 walks in just 14 2/3 innings for the Redbirds before being designated for assignment and picked up by the Rockies.

He struggled greatly through the summer months in Colorado's minor league system, posting an 8.27 ERA in 16 1/3 Triple-A innings, but Boggs righted the ship (to an extent) upon a promotion to the Majors in September. In 8 2/3 big league innings to close the season, he allowed three runs on seven hits and five walks.

None of those struggles are characteristic of Boggs, who prior to 2013 had posted a combined 3.08 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 201 innings from 2010-12. Boggs had two large problems last season — a career-worst 7.7 BB/9 and an unnaturally high 26.3 percent homer-to-flyball ratio. The latter of those two marks seems to be particularly fluky, especially considering the fact that Boggs entered the season with a career mark of just 8.5 percent in that regard.

Boggs will join a White Sox bullpen that has said goodbye to closer Addison Reed this offseason and also parted with mainstays Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton in July trades. He'll add to a group that figures to consist of some combination of Nate Jones, Daniel Webb, Matt Lindstrom, Ronald Belisario, Scott Downs and Donnie Veal.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the agreement (on Twitter), and Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted the $1.1MM guarantee.


NL East Notes: Braves, O’Flaherty, Mets, Drew, Abreu

Earlier this morning, I asked MLBTR readers about the Braves' upcoming arb hearings and how each situation would pan out (player wins, team wins, or agreement is reached prior to hearing). To this point, MLBTR readers think that Craig Kimbrel (63%) and Freddie Freeman (57%) will win their hearings, while about 46 percent think the Braves will win a hearing against Jason Heyward. Here's more on the Braves and the rest of the NL East…

  • The Braves have not had any recent discussions with lefty Eric O'Flaherty, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter). The Braves were once expected to re-sign their longtime setup man, who underwent Tommy John surgery early last season, but recent reports suggest he could be headed elsewhere.
  • As things stand, Atlanta GM Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez both stand to enter the season on expiring contracts, notes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. O'Brien writes a lengthy breakdown of the merits of each key organizational figure.
  • Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes that the Mets' stance on Stephen Drew hasn't changed; they still like Drew but aren't hot on his trail and are content to wait in order to see if his price drops. Agent Scott Boras has said that he and Drew can wait as well, Martino reminds.
  • New York is still looking for bullpen help, and the team is "somewhat" interested in Mitchell Boggs, a source tells Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link). 
  • The Phillies made a notable minor league signing today, bringing back one-time club cornerstone Bobby Abreu"The purpose of this signing is to see if he has anything left," said GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. "We've seen him in [Venezuela]. He's in shape and swinging the bat well, and he's motivated to play. If he performs, great. If he doesn't, we have no obligation to keep him. But he will be given every opportunity to make [the] club." (Links to Twitter.) As Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com argues, players like Abreu and fellow minor league signee Chad Gaudin fill important depth roles at minimal cost.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.