Pat Neshek Rumors

Orioles Sign Pat Neshek, Ronny Paulino

The Orioles announced that they signed right-hander Pat Neshek and catcher Ronny Paulino to minor league contracts. The team also signed Korean left-hander Seong-Min Kim to a minor league deal.

Neshek, 31, pitched 24 2/3 innings for the Padres in 2011. The sidearmer posted a 4.01 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 8.0 BB/9 and was granted free agency after the season. The Mets non-tendered Paulino in December after he posted a .268/.312/.351 line in 248 plate appearances last year. The seven-year veteran stopped 20% of stolen base attempts against him in 2011. He'll provide depth behind Matt Wieters and Taylor Teagarden.

Kim, who turns 18 in April, stands 5'11" and throws a fastball, curveball, change-up and slider, according to the team. “We are glad to sign a player that our scouts feel is one of the top amateur left-handed pitchers in South Korea,” Orioles executive VP of daseball operations Dan Duquette said in a statement. “Kim has an excellent curveball and very good control.”

The Orioles also signed former Braves right-hander Oscar Villarreal, former D'Backs catcher John Hester and former Athletics utility player Steven Tolleson to minor league deals.

22 Triple-A Players Elect Free Agency

A total of 22 players that finished the year in Triple-A elected free agency after the end of the regular season according to the transaction pages of the Pacific Coast and International Leagues. All but one of those 22 players (Matt Carson, formerly of the Rays) played in the big leagues this season. Here's the full list:

Dusty Brown (Pirates), Travis Buck (Indians), Armando Galarraga (D'Backs), Jay Gibbons (Dodgers), Edgar Gonzalez (Rockies), Steve Holm (Twins), Wil Ledezma (Blue Jays), Andy LaRoche (Athletics), Felipe Lopez (Brewers), Lastings Milledge (White Sox), Pat Misch (Mets), Pat Neshek (Padres), Mike O'Connor (Mets), Matt Palmer (Angels), Felix Pie (Orioles), Brad Snyder (Cubs), Brett Tomko (Rangers), Wyatt Toregas (Pirates), P.J. Walters (Blue Jays), Randy Williams (Red Sox), and Reggie Willits (Angels).

Outrighted To The Minors: Neshek, Pope, Walters

Here are the latest players to get outrighted to the minor leagues…

  • The Padres outrighted Pat Neshek to Triple-A today, according to's Corey Brock (on Twitter). They had designated the reliever for assignment last Thursday.
  • The Yankees outrighted Ryan Pope to Triple-A, reports Marc Carig of The Star Ledger (on Twitter). Pope was designated for assignment last week, when the Yankees needed 40-man roster space for Jesus Montero. The 25-year-old righty posted a 5.12 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 45 2/3 innings split between Double and Triple-A this year.
  • The Blue Jays outrighted P.J. Walters to the minor leagues, according to Shi Davidi of (on Twitter). Walters appeared in one game for the Blue Jays after they acquired him in the deal that brought Colby Rasmus to Toronto. In 51 MLB innings, the right-hander has a 7.24 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.

Padres Claim Jeff Fulchino; Designate Pat Neshek

The Padres announced that they claimed Jeff Fulchino off of waivers from the Astros and designated right-hander Pat Neshek for assignment. Fulchino is scheduled to join the Padres in San Diego tomorrow night.

Fulchino, 31, posted a 5.18 ERA with 8.5 K/9, 4.9 BB/9 and a 37.4% ground ball rate in 33 innings for the Astros this year. The right-hander has a career ERA of 4.74 with 8.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 176 2/3 MLB innings since 2006 and his average fastball velocity is 93.4mph.

Neshek pitched 24 2/3 innings for the Padres after they claimed him off of waivers from the Twins in March. The side-arming 30-year-old posted a 4.01 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 8.0 BB/9 with the Padres.

Padres Designate Pat Neshek For Assignment

The Padres have designated right-hander Pat Neshek for assignment, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times.  In a corresponding move, Ernesto Frieri has been activated from the disabled list.  Neshek was claimed by the Padres in March after the Twins put him on waivers.

Neshek, who turns 31 next month, has a 4.01 ERA in 25 appearances for San Diego this season.  His peripheral stats aren't nearly as respectable — Neshek has allowed 22 walks against just 20 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings pitched.  Control has been an issue for Neshek over the last two seasons as the reliever has battled to regain his form after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2008.  Before the procedure, Neshek was a dominant force in the Twins' bullpen, posting a 2.68 ERA and a 10.6 K/9 rate over 106 appearances in 2006-07.   

Few Waiver Claims Contributing So Far

A number of non-tenders are adding value in the Major Leagues this year, as I showed earlier today. Waiver claims – at least so far – haven’t had close to the same success. Former top prospects such as Brandon Wood and Max Ramirez haven’t produced and neither have most of the 30-plus players who have been claimed since last season. Here’s a look at the few waiver claims who have made an impact in the Majors this year:

  • Phil Humber (White Sox, from Royals, via Athletics) – The 28-year-old former top draft pick has a 3.18 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 through 45 1/3 innings. Now a member of Chicago's six-man rotation, Humber is finally providing value in his sixth MLB season.
  • Pat Neshek (Padres, from Twins) – Neshek is back on the Padres' active roster after a quick stint in the minors. He posted a 1.86 ERA with 10 strikeouts in  9 2/3 innings earlier this year. Padres reliever Samuel Deduno (from Rockies) gets an honorable mention, though he's not on San Diego’s active roster.
  • Joe Mather (Braves, from Cardinals) – A longtime favorite of the Braves, Mather has a .747 OPS after 24 plate appearances and has appeared at three positions. With respect to Mather, his presence on this list shows how little other waiver claims have impacted MLB rosters so far in 2011.

West Rumors: Beltre, Hultzen, Neshek, Rockies

Some links from the left coast…

  • Adrian Beltre told Scott Miller of CBS Sports that he signed with the Rangers instead of the Angels because he felt Texas gave him "the best chance to put a ring on [his] finger." The third baseman wouldn't elaborate on the talks he had with the Halos before signing.
  • ESPN's Keith Law hears that the Diamondbacks love Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, a projected first round pick (Twitter link). Arizona holds the third and seventh overall picks in this year's draft, and Hultzen owns a 62:4 K:BB ratio in 34 1/3 innings this spring.
  • Dan Hayes of The North County Times tweets that new Padre Pat Neshek isn't guaranteed to make the team because he still has a minor league option remaining.
  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post (via Twitter) could see the Rockies checking in on Michael Young now that the Rangers are reportedly willing to eat half of the veteran's salary.
  • Renck also tweets that if Chone Figgins were made available, Colorado would be interested in him as a player but disinterested overall because of his hefty contract. Figgins is entering year two of a four-year deal worth $36MM, plus a vesting 2014 option for $9MM.

Quick Hits: Astros, Neshek, Castillo, Phillies

Links for Sunday afternoon..

Padres Claim Pat Neshek Off Of Waivers

The Padres announced that they have claimed right-hander Pat Neshek off of waivers from the Twins.  The news was first broken by the reliever himself on his Twitter feed.

Neshek first broke into the Majors with Minnesota in 2006. Over his first two seasons, the side-armer posted a 2.68 ERA through 107 1/3 innings of work with fantastic marks of 10.6 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. He struggled out of the gates in 2008 and was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow. After months of attempting to rehab without surgery, Neshek underwent Tommy John in November of that year.

He returned in 2010 but struggled with an inflamed tendon in his pitching hand leading to a decrease in strikeouts and some command issues. The 30-year-old Neshek has made 132 career relief appearances over parts of four seasons with the Twins. He owns a career 3.05 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9, but his minor league numbers since his injuries (4.35 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 3.3 BB/9) aren't as encouraging.

MLBTR's Steve Adams also contributed to this post.

Twins Avoid Arbitration With Repko, Neshek

The Twins avoided arbitration with outfielder Jason Repko, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, agreeing to a $600K contract for 2011.  Repko gets a $100K raise after hitting .228/.324/.346 in 146 plate appearances for the Twins.  The former first-round pick played all three outfield positions in 2010.

Minnesota also reached a deal with reliever Pat Neshek for $625K, tweets John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  Neshek, 30, had Tommy John surgery two years ago and also dealt with a finger injury early this year.  He spent most of the year at Triple-A, posting a 3.89 ERA, 5.7 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9 in 39 1/3 innings.  He had the same $625K salary in 2010.