Pedro Ciriaco Rumors

Minor Moves: Blackley, Flores, Capps, Ciriaco

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.

  • A pair of veterans are headed to the Marlins, per Matt Eddy of Baseball America (via Twitter). Lefty Travis Blackley and catcher Jesus Flores will join the Miami organization after being cut loose by other clubs earlier in the spring. Blackley, 32, has not seen big league action since 2013 and struggled in a brief stint in Japan last year. The 30-year-old Flores, meanwhile, has never returned to the majors since a five-year run with the Nationals. At Triple-A last year with the Royals, he slashed .230/.299/.373 over 271 plate appearances.
  • The Braves have released veteran reliever Matt Capps, according to the International League transactions page. Capps, a former closer for the Pirates, Nationals and Twins, last appeared in the big leagues in 2012. He pitched just 12 minor-league innings in the last two seasons in the Indians system while dealing with shoulder issues, and he had not yet appeared in a game in 2015.
  • The Braves have announced that they’ve purchased the contract of utilityman Pedro Ciriaco. To make space on their active roster, they’ve optioned lefty Ian Thomas to Triple-A Gwinnett. With Chris Johnson out with a hand injury, the Braves plan to go with Alberto Callaspo and Phil Gosselin at third base, and Ciriaco could provide extra help at third and elsewhere in the infield. The 29-year-old has a career .270/.299/.372 line in 498 plate appearances over five seasons with the Pirates, Red Sox, Padres and Royals. The Braves signed him to a minor-league deal in October.

Added To The 40-Man Roster: Sunday

The rosters for Opening Day have been officially submitted this afternoon. Several minor league signees have won jobs with their clubs and earned 40-man roster spots. Here are today’s additions:

  • The Orioles will purchase catcher Ryan Lavarnway‘s contract on Monday, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets. The 25-man roster that the Orioles announced today included Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger at catcher, but not Lavarnway, who they had reassigned to the minors.
  • The Padres have announced that they’ve purchased the contract of catcher Wil Nieves. With Tim Federowicz out with a knee injury, Nieves will back up Derek Norris. As we noted when Nieves signed, his big-league salary will be $850K.
  • Ryan Madson has made the Royals‘ Opening Day roster, tweets MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. Madson caps his comeback from multiple elbow injuries and his first appearance for Kansas City will be his first in the Majors since 2011.
  • The Nationals have announced on Twitter that second baseman Dan Uggla and outfielder Reed Johnson have made their Opening Day roster.
  • The Braves announced they have officially purchased the contracts of outfielders Eric Young, Jr. and Kelly Johnson, left-hander Eric Stults, and right-hander Cody Martin. The Braves cleared space on their 40-man roster by placing right-hander Arodys Vizcaino and outfielder Dian Toscano on the restricted list.
  • One name missing from the Braves‘ roster is Pedro Ciriaco, who was reported yesterday to have made the club. This is likely a procedural move, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter links), because the Braves placed Josh Outman on the 25-man roster instead of releasing him after the left-hander complained of shoulder tenderness. The move will also buy the Braves some time to look for an upgrade over Ciriaco, tweets Bowman.
  • The Phillies have announced outfielder Jeff Francoeur and infielder Andres Blanco have made the team. Francoeur is just one of four outfielders on Philadelphia’s Opening Day roster, so he could see time as Grady Sizemore‘s platoon partner in right field. The Phillies are now at their 40-man limit.
  • The Marlins have selected the contract of utility player Don Kelly, tweets MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Kelly earned his spot with solid Spring Training line of .270/.357/.324 in 42 plate appearances. Frisaro reports the 35-year-old will backup both the corner infield and outfield spots, as well as serving as the team’s emergency third catcher.

Roster Moves: Hernandez, Enright, Robinson, Uggla, Ciriaco, Stults, Petit

Here’s a roundup of some 40-man roster news as teams decide who will break camp for Opening Day….

  • The Diamondbacks have announced (via Twitter) that Archie Bradley, Gerald Laird, and Jordan Pacheco have made the roster. Bradley, a top prospect, will join the rotation. Laird will serve as the backup catcher while Pacheco will probably take on a super utility role that includes some catching.
  • The Astros have selected the contract of Roberto Hernandez, per the MLB transactions page. The right-handed sinker specialist has a 4.60 ERA in 1,264 innings. He split the 2014 season between the Phillies and Dodgers.
  • The Dodgers have released right-handed pitcher Barry Enright, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Enright is a veteran of four major league seasons, although he struggled at the top level. He owns a 5.57 ERA, 4.60 K/9, and 3.15 BB/9 in 148 innings.
  • The Nationals will select the contract of outfielder Clint Robinson, reports Chelsea Janes of the Washington Times. Robinson, 30, is a career minor leaguer with just 14 major league plate appearances. In 1,771 Triple-A plate appearances, he’s hit .303/.392/.494. Janes also notes that the club is almost certain to retain second baseman Dan Uggla. He’s one of just five healthy infielders with the club.
  • The Blue Jays have opted to roster eight relievers for the start of the season with Liam Hendriks making the cut, writes Sean Farrell of MLB.com. The righty appeared for the Jays and Royals last season. He has a career 5.92 ERA in 188 innings. Second baseman Ryan Goins was optioned in a corresponding move.
  • Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that utility man Pedro Ciriaco and pitcher Cody Martin will probably make the team. Ciriaco is a career .270/.299/.372 hitter over 498 plate appearances split over five seasons. The pair were added at the expense of outfielder Todd Cunningham and pitcher Michael Foltynewicz.
  • Also making the Atlanta roster is pitcher Eric Stults, writes Bowman. The soft-tossing lefty has a solid big league career with a 4.12 ERA, 5.69 K/9, and 2.53 BB/9. His best season came with the Padres in 2013 when he pitched 203 innings with a 3.93 ERA.
  • The Yankees have selected the contract of infielder Gregorio Petit, reports Chad Jennings of LoHud. Petit, 30, is a career .278/.301/.391 hitter in 156 plate appearances.
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels says Anthony Bass will travel with the club to Oakland, reports Stefan Stevenson (via Twitter). He’ll make the team barring a last minute acquisition. The 27-year-old reliever struggled with the Astros last season. In 27 innings, he allowed a 6.33 ERA with 2.33 K/9 and 2.33 BB/9.
  • The Phillies have selected the contracts of right-handed reliever Jeanmar Gomez and left-handed reliever Cesar Jimenez, the team announced on Twitter. Gomez owns a career 4.41 ERA with 5.23 K/9 and 3.14 BB/9. He pitched well this spring in 12 and two-thirds innings, allowing a 0.71 ERA with nine strikeouts and one walk. Jimenez is familiar with the Phillies as he’s bounced between Philadelphia and Triple-A over the past two seasons. In 81 innings, he has a career 4.32 ERA with 6.09 K/9 and 3.09 BB/9.

(more…)



NL East Notes: Nats, Chapman, Duda, Braves

ESPN’s Jayson Stark is picking the Nationals to win the World Series, and his opinion that they’re baseball’s best team is shared by many scouts and executives around the game.  The Nats have depth, playoff experience, an incredible pitching staff and an easy road (on paper) to the postseason since the NL East projects to be a weak division.  Also, with so many major free agents after the year, the Nationals have a great sense of urgency to win in 2015 and will surely be aggressive in filling roster needs throughout the season.  “They have what everyone wants — a ‘now’ team with ingredients they can move if they need to,” one scout told Stark.

Here’s some more from around the NL East…

  • As an example of how aggressive the Nationals could get, Stark heard “a lot” of speculation that they could try to obtain Aroldis Chapman from the Reds at the trade deadline if Drew Storen underachieves as closer.  This would, of course, likely depend on whether or not the Reds are themselves contenders.
  • There’s no progress on extension talks between the Mets and Lucas Duda‘s representatives, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin reports.  The two sides are still talking but have yet Opening Day as the negotiating deadline.
  • No teams are showing any “significant interest” in Mets righty Dillon Gee, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (via Twitter).
  • The Braves are still considering possible trades, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets, but it seems as if Pedro Ciriaco will make the roster as a backup outfielder.  Ciriaco signed a minor league deal with Atlanta last October and the Braves will have to create a 40-man roster spot for him if he indeed breaks camp with the team.
  • At the moment, the Braves aren’t close to making any trades, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).

Minor Moves: Pedro Ciriaco

Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:


Players Who Have Elected Minor League Free Agency

A total of 43 players have elected to become minor league free agents, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy in his latest round-up of minor league transactions.  MLBTR has already reported on some of these moves over the last few days, and here is the rest of the list, with players grouped by their most recent team…


Minor Moves: Alex Sogard, Pedro Ciriaco

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.

Royals Designate Pedro Ciriaco, Justin Maxwell For Assignment

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).


Royals May Look To Acquire Bench Help, Right Fielder

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.


Minor Moves: Ciriaco, Mazzaro, Bixler, Accardo

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.