Mitchell Boggs Rumors

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.


NL Central Rumors: Boggs, Cubs, Pirates, Burnett

The Cubs are among the clubs with interest in free agent pitcher Mitchell Boggs, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.  The Phillies, Indians, Mariners, and Mets are also in on him.  The Rockies non-tendered the right-hander after a subpar 2013.  Here's more from the NL Central…

  • According to a club source, the Pirates' deal for Edinson Volquez won't preclude them from re-signing A.J. Burnett, tweets Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  • A rival exec says that the one-year, $5MM pact for Volquez makes sense, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The exec says that Volquez boasts a Francisco Liriano-type profile with his strikeout rate and ability to induce groundballs.
  • Tim Dierkes of MLBTR (on Twitter) wonders if the Volquez deal could hamstring Pittsburgh somewhat financially in their effort to re-sign Burnett if he calls for a $10-12MM commitment.
  • The Cardinals signed right-hander Angel Castro for bullpen depth, tweets Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Castro was added to the Cardinals' 40-man roster, so it's a major-league deal.  Castro spent last season with the Dodgers' Triple- A affiliate, posting an ERA of 3.48 with 7.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 19 starts and six relief appearances.

Reliever Rumors: Mets, Orioles, Mariners, Tigers

Considering how many teams continue to seek bullpen help, it shouldn't come as a surprise that we're following up our earlier post on reliever rumors with another round of them. Let's dive in…

  • The Mets have kicked the tires on Chris Perez as a potential late-inning addition, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com (Twitter link). DiComo notes that Perez could serve as ninth-inning insurance for New York if Bobby Parnell isn't healthy.
  • In addition to Perez, Mitchell Boggs is receiving interest from the Mets, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Boggs was non-tendered after a subpar 2013, but is viewed as an intriguing buy-low candidate by New York, says Sherman.
  • Baltimore could be another potential fit for Perez, but the Orioles are also eyeing Grant Balfour and John Axford, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
  • The Mariners don't appear to be prioritizing bullpen additions at this point, according to GM Jack Zduriencik, who says that with their available money, the M's "would look at adding a legitimate closer as a lower priority" (Twitter link via Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune).
  • Noting that Dave Dombrowski has suggested the Tigers may take a flier on a veteran as insurance for Bruce Rondon, MLB.com's Jason Beck wonders if Octavio Dotel might be a fit to return to Detroit (Twitter link).

National League Non-Tenders

Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of National League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.

  • The Reds non-tendered outfielders Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson, according to the AP.  Robinson had been designated for assignment last Thursday to open a roster spot for Skip Schumaker.
  • The Rockies have non-tendered reliever Mitchell Boggs, tweets Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
  • The Dodgers have non-tendered Ronald Belisario, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
  • The Marlins have non-tendered outfielder Chris Coghlan and reliever Ryan Webb, the club announced via press release.
  • The Pirates have non-tendered Garrett Jones, Michael McKenry, and Kyle McPherson, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  • The Giants have non-tendered Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • The Cubs have non-tendered Mat Gamel, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The club has also non-tendered Chang-Yong Lim, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com. 
  • The Mets officially announced their slate of non-tenders, which includes a few new names in Jeremy Hefner and Justin Turner (via tweet from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News).
  • The Braves announced that they have non-tendered infielders Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish as well as right-hander Cristhian Martinez (Twitter link). Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances between the Royals and Braves last season. Janish was less productive in 45 PAs, batting .171/.222/.220. Martinez, 31, missed nearly the entire season due to shoulder surgery. However, he posted a 3.63 ERA in 151 1/3 innings for Atlanta from 2011-12, making him a potential buy-low candidate for another club.
  • The Mets have non-tendered Jordany Valdespin, Rubin reports. Valdespin has been a persistent source of drama for the Mets, lashing out at manager Terry Collins after being demoted and also being slapped with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is a career .219/.271/.380 hitter in 350 big league plate appearances. Valdespin's non-tender comes despite him not yet being arbitration eligible, illustrating the Mets' frustration with the second baseman/outfielder.
  • The Cubs will non-tender right-hander Daniel Bard, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. Bard was claimed off waivers in September and never threw a pitch for the Cubs organization. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford notes that Bard was pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League but walked nine batters while recording just one out. The Cubs could still agree to a non-roster deal with Bard, he adds. Bard's control has vanished into thin air, as the formerly dominant setup man has also walked 56 batters over his past 47 1/3 minor league frames.
  • The Mets have informed shortstop Omar Quintanilla that he will be non-tendered, Quintanilla told Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger. Quintanilla projected to earn $900K this offseason after batting .222/.306/.283 in a career-high 359 plate appearances last season.
  • ESPN's Adam Rubin tweets that the Mets will also non-tender Scott Atchison. The right-hander projected to earn $1.3MM coming off a 4.37 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 45 1/3 innings. Atchison will turn 38 in late March.

NL West Notes: D-Backs, Headley, Boggs, Lopez

The Diamondbacks announced that they've hired Mike Harkey as their pitching coach and named Mel Stottlemyre Jr. bullpen coach. The 47-year-old Harkey has been coaching for 14 seasons, the past six of which have come with the Yankees on Joe Girardi's staff. Stottlemyre, 49, served as the D-Backs's pitching coach from 2009-10 and has served as the minor league pitching coordinator since. Here's more of the the NL West…

  • Peter Gammons of the MLB Network reports that the earliest the Padres would consider trading Chase Headley is next June. The team doesn't want to sell low on Headley coming off a season in which his OPS+ dropped by more than 30 points.
  • The Rockies have shopped Mitchell Boggs in trades as they attempt to gauge his value before determining whether or not to tender him a contract tonight, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
  • Renck also reports that the Rockies are expected to tender a contract to right-hander Wilton Lopez, despite the struggles he endured in 2013. Lopez posted a 4.06 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 75 1/3 innings for the Rockies this past season after being acquired from the Astros for Alex White and Alex Gillingham.
  • Newly signed Angels reliever Joe Smith told reporters in a conference call that the Dodgers made him an offer on the free agent market but wouldn't guarantee a third year (Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times reporting on Twitter). The Dodgers appear to be seeking right-handed bullpen help, as they were also connected to Jim Johnson in trade talks earlier this morning.

Rockies Acquire Mitchell Boggs, Designate Gardner

The Rockies have acquired Mitchell Boggs from the Cardinals in exchange for international bonus slot money, according to announcements from both clubs.  The Cards will get the Rockies' int'l slot bonus No. 4, according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com (on Twitter), which amounts to $206K, according to Jim Bowden (on Twitter).  The Rockies tweet that they have designated pitcher Joe Gardner for assignment to clear space for Boggs on the 40-man roster.

Boggs, 29, hasn't been sharp in 14 and 2/3 innings this season but has a history of doing much better at the big league level.  From 2008 to 2012, the right-hander owns a 3.80 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 fro the Cardinals.

Gardner, 25, posted a 7.01 ERA for Double-A Tulsa in 2013, with 8.77 K/9 and 4.56 BB/9. After pitching mostly as a starter at the Double-A level in 2012, he has served as a reliever in 2013. The Rockies acquired Gardner from the Indians in 2011 in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal. Troy Renck of the Denver Post noted earlier today (via Twitter) that Gardner was on waivers.

The Cardinals get a significant bump in space to spend on international prospects, as they entered the period with just $2.06MM in total, according to BA. The list of Cardinals international signees already includes Venezuelan outfielder Carlos Talavera ($500K) and Dominican shortstop Hector Linares ($400K).

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.