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We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves right here:
- The Diamondbacks signed Aaron Cunningham to a minor league deal earlier this week. The 27-year-old outfielder posted a .628 OPS over 501 PA with the Indians, Padres and A's from 2008-12 and spent last season playing with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate. Cunningham was released by the Cubs two weeks ago after he signed a minor league contract with them in November.
- The Orioles released veteran right-hander Luis Vizcaino from their minor league camp, MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski reports. Vizcaino last appeared in the majors in 2009 and didn't play any professional baseball from 2010-12 before posting a 1.40 ERA over 45 relief innings for Yucatan of the Mexican League in 2013. The O's signed Vizcaino to a minor league deal in January.
- The Astros have released Peter Moylan, the pitcher himself tweets. Last week, it was reported that Moylan had a UCL tear. He was to meet Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion this week. Moylan, 35, pitched 15 1/3 innings for the Dodgers last season. He has a career 2.80 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 276 innings, most of them with the Braves.
- The Phillies have released reliever Michael Stutes, the club announced. Already outrighted off of the club's 40-man roster, Philadelphia has now parted with a once-promising arm at just 27 years of age. After a solid 2011 rookie year in which he threw 62 innings of 3.63 ERA ball, Stutes struggled with arm issues. Last year, he posted a 4.58 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 17 2/3 big league innings.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk and Charlie Wilmoth also contributed to this post.
Very early this morning, the 2014 MLB regular season will officially begin, as Wade Miley and the Diamondbacks host Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers at 3:00am Central at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia. Here are a few notes from around the Major Leagues.
- Considerations regarding the luxury-tax threshold will not affect the timing of potential extensions for David Ortiz and/or Jon Lester, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.com. In the past, the Red Sox might have waited to announce extensions until after Opening Day, because the average annual value of those extensions might have caused the team to go over the luxury-tax threshold that year. Now, however, the CBA stipulates that new extensions that begin in the future will not affect current contracts as long as the terms of those contracts remain the same. So, for example, if the Red Sox were to sign Lester to an extension, he would still only count his current $9.37MM against the luxury-tax threshold for 2014 as long as the extension did not change his 2014 salary.
- Lester could allow extension negotiations to continue into the regular season under the right circumstances, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. "If you’re at the 5-yard line and you’re closing in on the thing, yeah, let’s spill it over (into the season)," he says. "But if we’re so far apart that it doesn’t matter, then no. That’s something you discuss when you get to that point."
- Outfielder Robbie Grossman won't say whether he and the Astros are working on an extension, but he does tell the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich that he would have interest in one. "I’m from Houston. I want to be able to play for the Astros my whole career if possible, and that’s all I have to say." On Thursday, a report indicated that the Astros had discussed an extension with Grossman.
- Astros NRI Peter Moylan has been diagnosed with a high-grade tear in the UCL in his elbow, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports. Moylan pitched 15 1/33 innings for the Dodgers last season.
- The White Sox' farm system is on the rise, MLB.com's Jim Callis writes. That's thanks in part to an increase in draft spending in the past two seasons. Callis notes that their 2013 class, topped by first-round shortstop Tim Anderson, is "one of its most promising in recent memory." The White Sox have also increased their efforts to sign Latin American amateurs.
Here are today's minor moves from around the league…
- The Astros have signed righty Peter Moylan to a minor league contract with a Spring Training invite, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. After an injury-plagued 2013, Moylan recently elected to become a free agent rather than accepting an outright assignment from the Dodgers.
- Hansel Robles has cleared waivers and will remain under the Mets' control despite being removed from the 40-man roster, reports Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). The 23-year-old has never appeared above the High-A level; throwing there last year, he put up a 3.72 ERA in 84 2/3 innings, posting 7.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. Robles tossed 18 innings in the Arizona Fall League, striking out 19 batters and registering a 4.00 ERA in that span.
- The Athletics have outrighted second baseman/third baseman Scott Sizemore, according to the team's transactions page. The 28-year-old received crushing news when he was diagnosed with a torn ACL this Spring — the second straight season in which that exact injury has shelved him for the whole year. Formerly a promising prospect in the Tigers organization, Sizemore is a career .238/.328/.381 with 14 homers in 160 career games.
- Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Royals have signed right-hander Cory Wade to a minor league deal (Twitter link). The 30-year-old split the 2013 campaign between the Rays, Cubs and Mets Triple-A affiliates, totaling a 3.86 ERA in 67 2/3 innings.
- Cotillo also tweets that right-hander Josh Judy has signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers. Judy, 27, posted a 6.75 ERA between the Angels' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates in 2013 but has respectable minor league numbers in his career (3.83 ERA, 9.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9). Judy's deal does not contain an invite to Spring Training.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
Here are today's minor transactions, with the most recent moves at the top of the page…
- Right-hander Peter Moylan has elected to become a free agent, according to the MLB.com transactions page. The Dodgers designated Moylan for assignment last week to create 40-man roster space for the newly-signed Alexander Guerrero. Moylan posted a 6.46 ERA in 15 1/3 relief innings for Los Angeles last season and was plagued by injuries in 2011-12, but the Aussie righty posted a 2.59 ERA in 260 2/3 IP out of the Braves bullpen from 2006-12.
- The Rays outrighted Freddy Guzman to Triple-A Durham and off the Major League 40-man roster, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Tribune reports (Twitter link). Guzman will become a minor league free agent five days after the end of the World Series. Guzman appeared in one Major League game (his first since 2009) last season, stealing a base and scoring as a pinch-runner. Guzman has spent most of the last three seasons in the Mexican League and he posted a .855 OPS in 450 PA with Ciudad del Carmen in 2013.
- Now that Moylan is a free agent, the Red Sox Pedro Beato and the Padres' Colt Hynes and Tommy Layne are the only players remaining in DFA limbo, according to MLBTR's DFA Tracker.
The Dodgers announced that they have designated pitcher Peter Moylan for assignment. The move will create space on the 40-man roster for the newly-acquired Alexander Guerrero.
In 14 big league appearances this season, Moylan posted a 6.46 ERA with 3.5 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9. In his seven big league seasons with the Braves prior to coming to L.A., Moylan had a career 2.59 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. He spent the bulk of 2013 in the minors, where he posted a 2.74 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 38 outings.
To keep track of Moylan and everyone else in DFA limbo, check out the MLBTR DFA Tracker.
Moylan was a force out of the bullpen for the Braves from 2007-2010 when he posted a 2.44 ERA, a 7 K/9 rate and a 1.74 K/BB ratio in 259 relief appearances. The Australian has appeared in just 21 games over the last two seasons due to back injuries and rotator cuff surgery, however, and was non-tendered by Atlanta in November.
It was on this day 40 years ago that the baseball world lost one of its greatest stars. Following a massive earthquake that devastated the country of Nicaragua, Roberto Clemente helped organize a relief effort for victims of the disaster and accompanied one of the aid packages on its flight on New Year's Eve 1972 to ensure that the goods reached the proper hands. Tragically, Clemente's flight crashed off the shore of Puerto Rico, costing the Pirates superstar his life at the age of 38. Clemente was posthumously honored with the Presidential Citizens Medal and a Congressional Gold Medal by then-president Richard Nixon and the U.S. Congress, and given immediate entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame, as the BBWAA waived its usual five-year waiting period.
Here are some news items as we pay tribute to Clemente and look ahead to 2013…
- Counting arbitration raises and the $13MM they have tentatively agreed to pay Mike Napoli, the Red Sox 2013 payroll will almost exactly match the club's 2012 payroll, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
- Speaking of arb raises, you can follow all of the arbitration cases and settlements on MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker, which has now been updated with the salaries of players who have already come to agreements.
- The Indians have "liked" Jason Kubel dating back to his days with the Twins, so Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer figures the Tribe probably discussed Kubel in their previous negotiations with the Diamondbacks this winter. Hoynes doesn't think the Indians should deal Asdrubal Cabrera for Kubel (a reader's suggestion) but he agrees that Cleveland could use Kubel's power.
- Also from Hoynes' reader mail piece, he thinks the Indians will take care of other business before considering re-signing Travis Hafner, and that Chris Perez will return in 2013 unless the Tribe gets "a big return" in a trade for the closer.
- Kubel isn't a fit for the Mets and the team doesn't have the prospect depth to get Justin Upton, but Michael Baron of Metsblog.com wonders if the Mets could make a play for another Diamondbacks outfielder in Adam Eaton. While I agree that Eaton would be a good fit for the Amazins, it would take a lot to convince Arizona to part such a talented, controllable player.
- Peter Moylan appears to have little chance of returning to the Braves, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as GM Frank Wren said the team's bullpen was set after trading for Jordan Walden. Moylan has a career 2.59 ERA over seven seasons with Atlanta but has appeared in just 21 games over the last two seasons due to a lower back injury and rotator cuff surgery. The right-hander was non-tendered by the Braves in October.
- FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi lists the Padres, Orioles, Yankees and seven other teams who still have significant roster holes to fill in January. In a seperate list, Morosi names his top 10 baseball newsmakers of the past year.
Jurrjens started ten games for the Braves in 2012, posting a 6.89 ERA with 3.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 48 1/3 innings. However, he earned $5.5MM this past season and would have earned a similar amount in 2013 if the Braves had tendered him a contract.
Moylan, 33, appeared in just eight games in 2012. He spent much of the season recovering from rotator cuff surgery that took place last October.
The Braves and Australian right-hander Peter Moylan agreed to a one-year, $1MM deal, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on Twitter. It's a minor league deal, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports. The Braves had non-tendered the Wasserman Media Group client last month.
Moylan pitched in just 13 games in 2011 due to lower back and rotator cuff injuries. However, he posted a 2.90 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in 136 2/3 innings of relief from 2009-10.
- Braves GM Frank Wren has a knack for dealing for players with little trade buzz, and Angels infielder Maicer Izturis would fit that bill, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- According to a source familiar with the negotiations, shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima's issue with the Yankees offer was not the dollar figure but rather the length of the contract, according to a report from Sponichi (Japanese link). Nakajima wanted to become a free agent after one year while the club wanted standard control (six years) over him. Special thanks to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker for the translation.
- The Brewers will know before the start of spring training whether Ryan Braun will be in their opening day lineup, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel. Earlier this week, an official familiar with the appeals process told Haudricourt that he didn't like the slugger's chances of avoiding a 50-game suspension.
- There are no fewer than six teams, and perhaps even more, that are seriously in on Yoenis Cespedes, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.
- Reliever David Aardsma has started throwing but will wait until he's further along in rehab before pursuing his next contract, agent Jamie Murphy told ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter). Aardsma, 29, underwent Tommy John surgery in July.
- Right-hander Peter Moylan has had discussions with a few teams, including the Braves, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. If all things are equal, Moylan would prefer a return to Atlanta.