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Nolan Reimold Rumors
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.
- The Giants have outrighted outfielders Justin Maxwell and Ryan Lollis to Triple-A Sacramento, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. They had designated both for assignment last week. The veteran Maxwell is a solid defender but a somewhat light hitter who batted .209/.275/.341 in 274 plate appearances in the big leagues this year. It’s unclear whether he’ll accept the Giants’ assignment. The 28-year-old Lollis has had a breakout season in the minors, batting .325/.377/.459 in 299 plate appearances for Sacramento, but he had a somewhat sketchy track record before that and only has 13 plate appearances’ worth of big-league experience.
- The Cubs have released veteran reliever Rafael Soriano, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat tweets. They had designated him for assignment in a flurry of roster moves last Tuesday. Soriano, 35, did not sign until June and then pitched only 5 2/3 innings for Chicago, allowing four runs before hitting the DL with shoulder trouble. Soriano has a 2.89 ERA, 9.1 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 14 seasons also spent with the Mariners, Braves, Rays, Yankees and Nationals.
- The Rays have outrighted infielder Hak-Ju Lee to Triple-A Durham, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Lee, a former top prospect and a key part of the 2011 Matt Garza trade between the Rays and Cubs, has struggled to hit at Durham in recent seasons, posting a .220/.303/.304 line in 360 plate appearances there in 2015. (Of course, the Rays still did just fine in that deal, also getting Chris Archer and Brandon Guyer.) The Rays designated him for assignment on Tuesday.
- The Orioles have selected the contract of veteran outfielder Nolan Reimold, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. The Orioles outrighted Reimold last week, but as Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun tweets, Reimold accepted the outright after the Orioles told him they would promote him this month. As Kubatko points out, the righty might prove useful as the O’s face two lefties (David Price and Mark Buehrle) this weekend. He’s hit .227/.306/.340 in 108 plate appearances with Baltimore this season.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- The Orioles have outrighted outfielder Nolan Reimold to Triple-A, the club announced. While Reimold could have declined the assignment and elected free agency, he’s chosen to accept it, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports on Twitter. The 31-year-old put up a .227/.306/.340 batting line over 108 plate appearances in his return to Baltimore this year.
- Infielder Alberto Callaspo has been given his release by the Dodgers, the club announced (per MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, on Twitter). Callaspo was designated for assignment when the Dodgers recently added Chase Utley. He signed with the Braves over the winter but was dealt to Los Angeles in the Juan Uribe deal. All told, Callaspo, 32, has slashed .235/.315/.278 over 261 turns at bat.
In a series of roster moves, the Orioles announced that they’ve designated outfielder Nolan Reimold for assignment and reinstated infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce from the disabled list. Though getting Pearce back deepens the club, the Orioles took another injury hit in his place, as the team announced that J.J. Hardy has landed on the DL with a groin strain. Right-hander Jorge Rondon has been recalled in his place to give the O’s some extra bullpen depth.
Reimold has spent most of his career either alternating frequently between Triple-A and the Majors or between the active roster and the disabled list. Although he has more than five years of big league service under his belt, Reimold has played in just 354 games at the Major League level. He’s shown on multiple stints in the past that he has the raw talent to be a productive big leaguer, but he’s now 31 years old with a history of neck problems as well as spinal fusion surgery under his belt.
Reimold batted .227/.306/.340 in 108 plate appearances this year and has .214/.276/.361 in 326 PAs dating back to 2013. He’s spent nearly all of his career with the Orioles, although he did briefly appear with the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks in 2014 before returning to Baltimore on a minor league deal this winter.
Right-hander Tyler Wilson is with the Orioles and will be activated today, according to multiple reporters, including MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli (Twitter links). The Orioles have not announced a corresponding move, but Ghiroli says that the team will likely part with an outfielder, possibly via trade. Manager Buck Showalter told the Baltimore media that GM Dan Duquette “is working on some things” in regards to a corresponding move.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun feels that Delmon Young, Steve Pearce, David Lough and Nolan Reimold are the candidates (Twitter links), and an industry source has told him that the Orioles have recently been gauging interest in Young, in particular. Duquette has been in talks with at least one team in the NL regarding Young, he says adding that a DFA is also possible. MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets that Reimold will be remaining with the team, and he feels that Pearce’s versatility is valued by the Orioles, seemingly making him unlikely to be moved.
It seems that Young is possibly on the outside looking in. The 29-year-old had a nice first season with the Orioles in 2014, but he’s struggled in 2015, slashing just .270/.289/.339 in 180 plate appearances. The return of Reimold, who rejoined the team earlier this month, has perhaps made Young expendable. A right-handed bat that’s primarily limited to the corner outfield, Reimold possesses a similar skill set to Young but has been much more productive of late. Since June 9, Reimold is hitting .257/.366/.514 in an admittedly small sample of 41 plate appearances.
Young is earning $2.25MM this season, of which approximately $1.19MM remains. His current deal calls for him to earn an additional $125K for reaching 250 and 300 plate appearances, plus an additional $100K for reaching 400, 450, 500, 550 and 600. Obviously, some of those are out of reach at this point, given his limited playing time to date.
Many clubs are on the lookout for offensive upgrades. The Giants recently lost Hunter Pence and Nori Aoki to injury, and the Pirates could certainly use a platoon partner for Gregory Polanco in right field. The Angels have received little production from left field, although it seems unlikely that they’d be swinging any trades at the moment given the tumultuous state of their front office. The Mariners didn’t get any production out of Rickie Weeks as a platoon option in left field and could look for upgrades. Michael Cuddyer is currently injured for the Mets and hasn’t been terribly productive even when healthy.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that the AL East boasted only one team with a winning record. Now, the Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays are over the .500 mark and the Orioles are right on the line with an even 31-31 record. The only team yet to turn things around are the Red Sox, who have lost six in a row to drop to 27-37 on the season (tied with the Marlins for the fourth-worst record in baseball). Here’s some news from around the division…
- Though the Red Sox have continued to struggle, manager John Farrell and GM Ben Cherington “remain safe for now,” Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. Earlier this month, owner John Henry said both men were in no danger of being fired.
- The Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers each had a scout at Johnny Cueto‘s last start, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports (Twitter links). As Morosi notes, it’s hard to see Boston buying at the trade deadline given their current record, and Cueto isn’t a fit on a non-contender since he’s only under contract through 2015.
- Chris Parmelee is thought to have a June 15 opt-out date in his minor league deal with the Orioles, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter). Parmelee, owner of a .709 OPS over 901 PA with the Twins from 2011-14, took a .319/.388/.454 slash line over 260 Triple-A plate appearances into today’s action. If the Orioles don’t promote Parmelee and he opts for free agency, Rosenthal lists the Rays as a team that could be interested the first baseman/outfielder’s services.
- Nolan Reimold‘s agent and some family members thought a “fresh start” might be best for the outfielder rather than rejoining the Orioles last offseason, but he tells MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski that he wanted to return to Baltimore. Reimold signed a minor league deal with the O’s and returned to the bigs last Tuesday, already delivering two homers and a 1.232 OPS over his first 16 plate appearances.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- The Tigers have released righty Ryan Perry, according to the International League transactions page. Perry, 28, struggled badly this year at Triple-A amid injury issues, and the same could be said, more or less, of the prior two seasons as well. His career started with real promise — he rose quickly through the minors and tossed 124 1/3 frames of 3.69 ERA ball out of the Detroit pen back in 2009-10 — but has failed to remain on course since. The 2008 first-round pick returned to the Tigers as a minor league free agent this winter after a few seasons in the Nationals organization.
- Two veterans are headed back to the majors today, as the Braves selected the contract of just-signed reliever David Aardsma and the Orioles did the same with outfielder Nolan Reimold. Aardsma came to Atlanta after opting out of his deal with the Dodgers. He has thrown 19 2/3 solid innings at Triple-A, striking out 11.4 and walking 3.2 batters per nine en route to a 2.29 ERA. Reimold, who rejoined the Baltimore organization after departing last year, has slashed .286/.351/.389 over his 194 plate appearances at the highest level of the minors.
The Red Sox have placed Rusney Castillo on the Minor League disabled list due to a shoulder injury suffered in a diving attempt for a fly ball, writes Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. Manager John Farrell said Castillo will be out for “a little bit of time” and downplayed the possibility of the injury being a long-term problem. However, as Mastrodonato points out, injuries have already followed Castillo through his brief time with the Red Sox. A thumb injury ended his Arizona Fall League season, an oblique injury sidelined him for a portion of Spring Training, and he’ll now miss an unknown amount of time due to this shoulder injury. Farrell didn’t want to say that Castillo is predisposed to injuries, but the manager did acknowledge that Castillo has an aggressive style of play, seemingly suggesting that it does increase the chance for minor injuries.
More on the Red Sox and their division…
- Red Sox right-hander Brandon Workman is headed to see Dr. James Andrews to get a second opinion on his ailing right elbow, tweets CSN New England’s Sean McAdam. The thought at this time, according to McAdam, is that surgery will not be required. Workman was placed on the Major League 15-day DL yesterday in a move that may seem curious because he’d been optioned to Triple-A at the end of Spring Training. However, via NESN.com’s Ricky Doyle, Farrell said that Workman’s elbow flared up in his final spring outing. Had he gone on the Minor League DL, I’d imagine that Workman and his agents could’ve theoretically filed a grievance, stating that he was optioned and placed on the DL in the Minors to prevent him from accumulating service time.
- In more injury news for the Sox, Xander Bogaerts is being sent to have an MRI on his right knee, tweets the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. Bogaerts injured the knee running the bases last night and was swapped out of the lineup for Brock Holt, who is filling in at short for Boston tonight.
- Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold is suing Johns Hopkins Hospital for negligent medical care, alleging that he was cleared to return to baseball too soon following neck surgery, according to Justin Fenton, Meredith Cohn and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Reimold underwent surgery to repair a C5-C6 disk herniation in his neck in 2012 and was cleared to return to baseball seven months later. However, Reimold continually experienced pain, and follow-up x-rays at a Florida medical facility later that year showed that the bones had not yet fused, according to Reimold’s suit. He had “revision surgery” that July after playing 40 games and posting a career-low OPS+ of 59. Reimold’s suit claims that his doctor “negligently misinterpreted the film and/or failed to consider the official radiology report.”
- Blue Jays players feel that the Rogers Centre’s new artificial turf is slowing down ground-balls a considerable amount, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Jose Bautista told Davidi that it “feels like no balls are going to get to the wall” unless they’re one-hoppers, and he felt that the turf may also impact players when running. Rays skipper Kevin Cash said that from his vantage point, “It appeared as if the ball was never getting to you.” Bautista feels that the turf will change over time as the material settles, but I’d imagine this won’t be the only time we hear about this topic in the early stages of the season.
Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka told reporters (including the New York Post’s Dan Martin) that he expects his velocity to drop a bit this season, though this may have as much to do with pitch selection as it does with concerns about his slightly torn UCL. “Because of the fact I’m throwing more two-seamers, that would obviously make the velocity go down a bit,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “As for my pitching style and my mechanics, I’m trying to relax a little bit more when I’m throwing, so that might have something to do with it.” Tanaka averaged 91.2 mph on his fastball last season, as well as 88.9 mph on his cutter and 86.5 mph on his split-fingered fastball.
Here’s some more from the AL East…
- The Orioles are hoping to make at least one trade before Opening Day to move some of their roster excess, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports. Kubatko feels Steve Clevenger has the advantage over T.J. McFarland for the final spot on the Orioles’ roster, though the O’s could also deal Clevenger given their depth at catcher. Nolan Reimold will probably be assigned to Baltimore’s minor league camp to avoid putting the out-of-options outfielder through waivers, as the O’s are worried Reimold would be claimed by another team.
- Speaking of Reimold, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun shares the somewhat unique details of the opt-out clause in Reimold’s minor league deal with the Orioles. If Reimold isn’t on the Orioles’ 25-man roster by July 11, the O’s must send an e-mail to all 29 other teams asking if they’re interested in Reimold. If a team responds in the affirmative, the O’s must either “assign” him to that club in a cash transaction or put him on their 25-man roster themselves. If no team shows interest, Reimold stays with the Orioles.
- Major League Baseball’s investigation of the Rays‘ tampering charge against the Cubs will continue past Opening Day, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports. The Rays accused the Cubs of tampering with Joe Maddon when he was still under contract as Tampa Bay’s manager, and the matter is still unresolved after over five months of investigating.
Jacoby Ellsbury will be kept out of baseball activities for about a week after an MRI revealed a strained oblique, though Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters (including ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews) that the injury is “really mild.” Though the timing of the injury puts Ellsbury’s status for Opening Day in question, Girardi thinks Ellsbury will be able to play when the Yankees open the season on April 5. Here’s some more from around the AL East…
- The Rays are already facing injury issues within their starting rotation, and president of baseball ops Matt Silverman told reporters (including Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune) that the team will explore external options. “Those are conversations that will ramp up in the next couple of weeks as teams figure out what they have, what they need and where there may be some surplus,” Silverman said. If the Rays did acquire another starter, however, Silverman said that pitcher would likely go to Triple-A, as the team will be using its minor league depth to bolster the big league rotation.
- Nolan Reimold was offered minor league contracts by multiple teams but “there is no question [Baltimore] is where I wanted to end up,” he tells MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski. The long-time Oriole is back with his original team after spending 2014 in the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks organizations, and Reimold said that Orioles VP of baseball operations Brady Anderson played a key role in his decision to return to the O’s.
- Blue Jays righty Miguel Castro has looked so good in camp that, in the battle for an Opening Day bullpen role, “there’s not much doubt left that it’s Castro’s job to lose,” MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm writes. Part of this has to due with a lack of relief depth for the Jays, though the 20-year-old Castro has impressed, allowing only two hits in 6 2/3 shutout innings over four outings. Promoting Castro would be a bold move by Toronto, as Castro yet to pitch above the high-A ball level in his three pro seasons.