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Pedro Ciriaco Rumors
Here are today’s minor moves from around baseball.
- The Astros have traded pitcher Alex Sogard to the Diamondbacks, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets. The Astros will receive minor-league infielder Cesar Carrasco in return. Sogard, 26, has pitched 43 1/3 innings for Double-A Corpus Christi this season, with 5.2 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.
- Utilityman Pedro Ciriaco has accepted his outright assignment from the Royals, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets. The Royals designated Ciriaco for assignment last week. He has a career .270/.299/.372 line in 498 plate appearances over five seasons with the Pirates, Red Sox, Padres and Royals.
The Royals have designated infielder Pedro Ciriaco and outfielder Justin Maxwell for assignment, the team announced. This is the second time that each player has been designated for assignment this season.
Ciriaco has seen limited action this season, posting a .484 OPS in 49 PA as the Royals’ utility infielder, and he has a more impressive .295/.318/.475 line at Triple-A (albeit in only 66 PA). Ciriaco originally came to K.C. in July 2013 when the Royals claimed him off waivers from the Padres.
Maxwell came to the Royals in a trade deadline deal with the Astros last July and hit very well in the last two months of 2013, posting an .857 OPS in 111 PA. The 30-year-old outfielder avoided arbitration with Kansas City by agreeing to a one-year, $1.325MM contract after avoiding arbitration last winter, yet he has struggled badly this year, with just a .397 OPS and one extra-base hit over 45 PA. Maxwell has dominated Triple-A pitching, however, to the tune of an .899 OPS in 106 PA.
Ciriaco and Maxwell join southpaw Donnie Joseph as Royals players currently in “DFA limbo,” according to the MLB Trade Rumors DFA Tracker. Five more players around the league are also in limbo — Michael Almanzar (Orioles), Chris Capuano (Red Sox), Greg Dobbs (Nationals), Scott Downs (White Sox) and Sean O’Sullivan (Phillies).
As the trade deadline approaches, the Royals will be in the market for bench pieces and possibly a right fielder to replace incumbent Nori Aoki, reports Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. While the team’s scouts have been spotted watching several starters who are expected to be available, McCullough indicates that the front office’s focus is on other needs.
While Kansas City has suffered from less than optimal performances from other positions — second, third, and designated hitter chief among them — the players occupying those slots enjoy firmer commitments from the club. Omar Infante just inked a four-year deal; Mike Moustakas was a key organizational prospect who is still young; and Billy Butler is nearing the end of a large extension.
Meanwhile, Aoki has had an underwhelming run in Kansas City since coming over via trade. Set to reach free agency at the end of the year, the 32-year-old owns a .263/.326/.324 trple-slash through 292 plate appearances. After posting 3+ rWAR seasons in his first two years in the league, Aoki has dipped below replacement level, with advanced metrics also disliking his defensive work. McCullough cites Marlon Byrd of the Phillies and Seth Smith of the Padres as possible targets.
As for the bench, McCullough says that backup catcher Brett Hayes and utility infielder Pedro Ciriaco are both susceptible to being replaced. While neither has seen much action (36 and 49 plate appearances, respectively), that also shows that they are providing little function in reserve.
The day's minor moves:
- The Royals have assigned infielder Pedro Ciriaco to Triple-A after he cleared outright waivers, tweets Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. Ciriaco, 28, will have to wait in the minors for another big league opportunity to open with Kansas City's middle infield. The club just called up Johnny Giavotella to fill in for injured second baseman Omar Infante, who is expected to return to action soon without a DL trip.
- Pirates reliever Vin Mazzaro has accepted an outright assignment from the team to Triple-A, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune (via Twitter). That is a good result for a Pittsburgh club that had expected to lose the 27-year-old righty, who was an effective piece for them last year.
- Utility man Brian Bixler has been released by the Phillies, according to the International League transactions page. Bixler, 31, had been playing with the Phils' Triple-A affiliate. He last appeared in the bigs in 2012 with the Astros.
- The independent ball Atlantic League has made two notable additions today, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (Twitter links). Right-hander Jeremy Accardo, an eight-year MLB veteran, has inked with the Long Island Ducks. And shortly after being released by the Red Sox, 29-year-old outfielder Scott Cousins has joined the Camden Riversharks.
- The Dodgers have outrighted Mike Baxter, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to Triple-A, according to the PCL transactions page. The outfielder was designated for assignment to create 40-man space for another DFA'd player in Colt Hynes. Baxter, 29, struggled at the MLB level last year, but had a strong 2012 campaign (.263/.365/.413 in 211 plate appearances).
- With this move, only four players are left in DFA limbo: Seth Rosin (Rangers, Rule 5), Pedro Ciriaco (Royals), Hector Noesi (Mariners), and Jeremy Jeffress (Blue Jays). As always, you can track DFA situations past and present using MLBTR's DFA Tracker.
The Royals have designated infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment to make room for righty Aaron Brooks, the club announced on Twitter. Kansas City added Ciriaco last summer by claiming him and then immediately outrighting him to Triple-A.
The 28-year-old utilityman has bounced around quite a bit in recent years; he saw MLB action with three teams just last year. Ciriaco has appeared (however briefly) at every position on the diamond except pitcher and catcher during his five-year MLB career. The vast majority of his time, however, has been at short, third, and second. His career line stands at .277/.307/.385 with 28 steals in just 449 plate appearances.
Justin Maxwell's walkoff grand slam yesterday helped the Royals earn their 82nd win of the season, thus ensuring that the club will enjoy a winning record for just the second time in the last 19 seasons (and first time since 2003). The Royals sit 3.5 games behind the Indians for the last AL wild card slot, so while it would take a big finish to reach the postseason, K.C. will go into the offseason on a high note for the first time in years. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star looks ahead to potential winter moves for the Royals as part of a reader Q&A piece…
- "It's not a slam dunk" that Ned Yost returns as the Royals manager in 2014, as Dutton believes that the lack of rumors about contract talks could indicate that the club is considering a change in the dugout. Dutton recently reported that owner David Glass was leaving Yost's fate up to GM Dayton Moore, and Moore said he is waiting until after the season to discuss contracts with Yost and the coaching staff.
- Moore and his staff should be credited, Dutton opines, for getting major contributions from Maxwell and Emilio Bonifacio in what seemed like minor trades at the time. Maxwell, acquired from the Astros on deadline day, has a .972 OPS in 89 PA as a Royal, while Bonifacio is hitting .287/.359/.353 over 155 PA and is 15-for-17 in steal attempts since being claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays in mid-August.
- Bonifacio's emergence means that the Royals no longer have to make second base a major priority this offseason. Bonifacio could start and the team is happy with Pedro Ciriaco as the utility infielder, though Bonifacio would return to his original utility role if the club does pick someone else up. With Bonifacio and Ciriaco in the fold, Dutton doesn't see much room for Chris Getz or Johnny Giavotella on the roster.
- The Royals will probably check in on Shin-Soo Choo this winter but Dutton suspects the free agent outfielder will be too expensive for the team. Choo is the fifth-ranked player on Tim Dierkes' Free Agent Power Rankings and will draw a lot of interest from several teams, so Dutton is probably right in assuming that K.C. will be priced out.
- An outfielder could be an offseason target for the team, as Dutton feels this would be the easiest spot to add a much-needed bat to the lineup. Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain are locks to return, with Maxwell, David Lough and Jarrod Dyson all currently in the mix for the third OF spot or a bench role.
- In terms of big-name free agent outfielders, Dutton sees Carlos Beltran as a likelier bet to sign with the Royals than Curtis Granderson, but while Beltran would be more open of the two to sign with K.C. for market value, Dutton still deems a Beltran return as "not likely." As MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth noted yesterday in his Beltran vs. Nelson Cruz Free Agent Faceoff piece, Beltran is a defensive question mark at this point in his career, so he might not be a fit with the Royals given how Billy Butler is entrenched at DH.
THURSDAY: The Royals have outrighted Ciriaco to Triple-A Omaha, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). It seems likely that the Royals were interested in adding Ciriaco as organizational depth but didn't want to use a 40-man roster spot on him and placed him on waivers. This time, he cleared and was assigned to the minor leagues.
TUESDAY: The Royals claimed shortstop Pedro Ciriaco off waivers from the Padres, according to a team press release. Ciriaco had been designated for assignment on Friday. The Royals now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
Ciriaco, 27, hit .228/.288/.342 in 126 plate appearances for the Red Sox and Padres this year, spending most of his time at shortstop. Ciriaco was signed by the Diamondbacks out of the Dominican Republic in 2003. He went to the Pirates in a trade deadline deal three years ago, was granted free agency after the 2011 season, signed as a minor league free agent with Boston in January 2012, and was acquired in trade by the Padres in June of this year after they had designated him for assignment.
Prior to the 2011 season, Ciriaco was ranked 27th among Pirates prospects by Baseball America. They noted his "plus speed, smooth glove, and strong arm," suggesting his bat would determine whether he could land an everyday role. The Royals' middle infield mix currently consists of Alcides Escobar, Johnny Giavotella, Miguel Tejada, and Elliot Johnson.
The Padres announced via press release that infielder Pedro Ciriaco has been designated for assignment.
Ciriaco, 27, was acquired in June after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox. He appeared in 23 games for the Padres, playing mostly shortstop and hitting .238/.284/.333 in 68 plate appearances. The Padres now have 10 days to assign Ciriaco to the minors, trade him or release him.
The DFA comes as part of a flurry of moves in which San Diego also reinstated infielders Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko from the 15-day DL and promoted pitcher Sean O’Sullivan from Triple-A Tucson. O’Sullivan, 25, will start tonight against the Giants. He has a 3.88 ERA in 102 Triple-A innings this year.
The Padres have acquired Pedro Ciriaco from the Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named later, tweets Peter Gammons of the MLB Network. The 27-year-old infielder was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Monday. Because he is out of options, Ciriaco will need to be placed on San Diego's 25-man roster.
Ciriaco hit .293/.315/.390 in 272 plate appearances for the BoSox last season, but batted just .216/.293/.353 in limited playing time this year. The signing of Stephen Drew and the emergence of Jose Iglesias made Ciriaco expendable to the Red Sox.
San Diego recently lost Jedd Gyorko to the disabled list, so it makes sense that the Friars were on the lookout for infield help. In 370 Major League plate appearances, Ciriaco is a .287/.315/.398 hitter. He has extensive experience at third base, shortstop and second base, but Ciriaco also played all three outfield positions and first base as well during his Red Sox tenure.
The Red Sox have designated out of options infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment to clear a 25-man roster spot for the returning Will Middlebrooks, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (on Twitter).
Ciriaco, 27, hit .216/.293/.353 in 58 plate appearances for the Red Sox this season — a far cry from last season's line of .293/.315/.390 (in 272 plate appearances). The Red Sox have used him all over the diamond, as he's seen at least three innings at every position aside from catcher since signing a minor league deal prior to the 2012 season. As Abraham notes, there's a decent chance that Ciriaco could clear waivers and be outrighted to Triple-A.