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Moises Sierra Rumors
Here’s a roundup of some recent minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post. All moves are from Matt Eddy of Baseball America, unless credited otherwise.
- The Reds have signed southpaw Jose Mijares and right-hander Michael Bowden to minor league deals. Mijares posted strong numbers (3.23 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.22 K/BB rate) over 259 relief innings with the Twins, Royals and Giants from 2008-13 but didn’t pitch in 2014 after he opted out of his minor league deal with the Red Sox last March. Bowden was drafted 47th overall by the Red Sox in the 2005 draft and was considered a top prospect during his stint in Boston’s minor league system. He couldn’t manage that same success in the majors, posting a 4.51 ERA over 133 2/3 innings with the Red Sox and Cubs from 2008-13. Bowden pitched in Japan in 2014.
- The Diamondbacks signed left-hander Dan Runzler to a minor league contract. Runzler posted a 3.86 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 over 72 1/3 IP with San Francisco from 2009-12 and was released by the Giants’ Triple-A team last July so he could pitch in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes.
- The Marlins inked outfielder Vinny Rottino to a minor league deal. Rottino, 34, is returning to North American baseball for the first time since 2012 after playing in Korea and Japan over the last two seasons. This is Rottino’s second stint in Miami, as he played for the Marlins, Mets, Indians and Brewers while collecting 110 career Major League plate appearances.
- The Rangers signed infielder Tommy Field to a minor league contract. Field received 81 plate appearances with the Rockies and Angels from 2011-13 and he spent last season at the Triple-A level in the Angels and Pirates organizations.
- The Royals outrighted outfielder Moises Sierra and right-hander Casey Coleman to Triple-A, the team announced via Twitter. The two players were both designated for assignment last week to create roster spots for the recently-signed Kendrys Morales and Yohan Pino, respectively.
- The Blue Jays announced the signing of left-hander Andrew Albers to a minor league deal that includes a Spring Training invite. Albers posted a 5.89 ERA over 28 starts for Hanwha of the (very hitter-friendly) Korean Baseball Organization in 2014. His Major League experience consists of a 4.05 ERA, 3.8 K/9 and 3.57 K/BB rate over 60 innings with the Twins in 2013.
Sierra was claimed by the Royals in the midst of the World Series after the White Sox placed him on waivers. In 135 plate appearances with Chicago this past season, the 26-year-old batted .276/.311/.417 with two home runs. Defensive metrics were never kind to Sierra while he was with the Blue Jays (from whom the White Sox claimed him), but he did post passable grades in both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating in a small sample of work with the Sox this past year.
The Royals have plenty of outfield depth on the Major League roster it is following the club’s reported agreement with Alex Rios, so it’s not particularly surprising to see Sierra cut loose. Kansas City still has Rios, Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson on board to soak up most of the team’s playing time in the outfield.
The Royals have claimed outfielder Moises Sierra off outright waivers from the White Sox, according to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin (Twitter link). Additionally, the Sox have outrighted outfielder Michael Taylor to Triple-A Charlotte.
The move comes at a somewhat unexpected time for the Royals, who are in the midst of the World Series, but Sierra will add to the team’s outfield depth for the 2015 season. The 26-year-old batted .276/.311/.417 with a pair of homers in 135 plate appearances for the White Sox this season after they claimed him on waivers from the Blue Jays. Sierra has played mostly right field in his career, and while defensive metrics didn’t like his work with the Blue Jays, both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating gave him positive reviews in a small 372-inning sample this season. Sierra has less than two years of Major League service and can be controlled through the 2019 season if Kansas City sees fit.
Taylor, 28, at one time ranked as high as the No. 29 prospect in the game, according to Baseball America, but his career stalled after a few promising seasons at the Triple-A level. Taylor was one of three players, along with Travis d’Arnaud and Kyle Drabek, traded by the Phillies to the Blue Jays in exchange for Roy Halladay. Toronto traded him to Oakland for Brett Wallace (another top prospect who ultimately did not pan out), who eventually flipped him to the White Sox in a minor deal for right-hander Jake Sanchez. Taylor is a career .167/.254/.216 hitter in 114 big league plate appearances, though he sports a .278/.369/.441 batting line at Triple-A.
With these moves, Chicago’s 40-man roster is down to 37, Merkin notes.
The White Sox have claimed corner outfielder Moises Sierra off waivers from the Blue Jays, SportsNet.ca’s Shi Davidi tweets. The White Sox also placed outfielder Adam Eaton (hamstring) on the 15-day disabled list, moved pitcher Nate Jones (back) to the 60-day disabled list, and promoted pitcher Frank De Los Santos.
The Jays designated Sierra for assignment on Thursday. He has played sparingly in parts of three seasons in the big leagues, hitting .229/.290/.368 in 314 plate appearances. The 25-year-old is out options, so the White Sox will need to keep him on their active roster or risk exposing him to waivers again. He had gotten off to a slow start with the Blue Jays, with just two hits in his 35 plate appearances this season.
With Sierra’s situation now resolved, MLBTR’s DFA Tracker shows that four players (Greg Dobbs of the Marlins, Nick Buss of the Dodgers, Chris Leroux of the Yankees, and Elliot Johnson of the Indians) remain in DFA limbo.
The Blue Jays announced, via press release, that they’ve designated outfielder Moises Sierra for assignment in order to clear a 40-man and 25-man roster spot for infielder Steven Tolleson. Toronto also announced that Jonathan Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, with outfielder Anthony Gose being recalled to take his place.
The 25-year-old Sierra struggled greatly in his time with the Jays this season, collecting just two hits and a walk against nine strikeouts in 35 plate appearances. Despite his lack of production in 2013, however, Sierra was a well-above-average bat in 2013, slashing .290/.369/.458 in 122 plate appearances at the Major League level. Sierra has posted an identical .782 OPS in his career at the Double-A and Triple-A levels.
Tolleson, 30, has a bit of Major League experience with the A’s and Orioles, having batted .225/.273/.350 with three homers in 129 plate appearances. He’s been highly versatile throughout his career, playing second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions. At the Triple-A level, Tolleson is a .285/.368/.409 hitter in 2040 plate appearances.