Philip Humber Rumors

Minor Moves: Jacobs, Herndon, LaRoche, Lalli, Bourgeois, Humber

Today's minor moves can be found right here in this post …

  • Among the many re-signings of players otherwise eligible for minor league free agency reported by Matt Eddy of Baseball America are first baseman Mike Jacobs, who will stay with the Diamondbacks, and reliever David Herndon, who the Yankees have re-signed. Neither saw big league action this year. Jacobs put up a nice .296/.366/.533 line in 514 Triple-A plate appearances in his age-32 season, while Herndon, now 28, was good for a 2.78 ERA in his 35 2/3 innings across the Yanks system.
  • Third bagger Andy LaRoche has signed with the Blue Jays, Eddy reports on Twitter. The 30-year-old younger brother of Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche played in just one game with Toronto last year, and has not been a regular big league contributor since leaving the Pirates after the 2010 season.
  • Catcher Blake Lalli has caught on with the Diamondbacks, Eddy notes in the same link. Also thirty years of age, Lalli has only forty uneventful MLB plate appearances. Playing at Triple-A for the Brewers last year, he put up a .282/.334/.447 line in 311 plate appearances.
  • The Reds have signed 31-year-old outfielder Jason Bourgeois, Eddy reports on Twitter. Bourgeois saw limited time with the Rays last year. His career big league line stands at .259/.305/.326 in 515 plate appearances over parts of six seasons, including 51 stolen bases.
  • Right-handed starter Philip Humber, 30, has inked a deal with the Athletics, reports Eddy (via Twitter). The once-perfect Humber had his option declined by the Astros early last month.
  • Righty Fabio Martinez signed with the Dodgers, per another Eddy tweet. The longtime Angel farmhand last worked in the Indians system, but has never managed to harness his live arm and posted BB/9 totals of over ten in 2012-13. 
  • Pitcher Trevor Reckling has signed with the Reds out of independent league ball, Eddy tweets. He played six seasons in the Angels' system, reaching Triple-A at age 21 before moving the wrong way down the ladder. Noted as a reclamation project for the White Sox before the 2012 year, Reckling will give it one more go in Cinci.
  • The Rockies re-signed minor league second baseman Angelys Nina in a move designed to keep him from reaching the open market as a minor league free agent, tweets Eddy. Nina managed a .280/.331/.422 line in his second go-round at Tulsa, adding ten home runs and nineteen steals.
  • Outfielder Chris Dickerson and first baseman Dan Johnson, each of whom were outrighted on Thursday, have refused their assignments and elected to become free agents, according to an Orioles press release yesterday. 
  • Remember to check MLBTR's DFA Tracker for updates on players designated for assignment around baseball. Currently, only Tommy Layne is sitting in DFA limbo.

Quick Hits: Humber, Kuroda, Indians, Mattingly

The Astros declined their option on Philip Humber earlier today, capping what has been yet another trying season for the 30-year-old former No. 3 overall pick. Despite his struggles, Humber told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that he intends to keep playing: "I’m not hurt. I still enjoy coming to the park and I’m still relatively young. It’s one of those things that’s like, ‘Man, you walk away from it, are you going to look back and think I wish I could have kept going?’ There’s times in the past, I didn’t know if it was going to work out. It’s still fun. It beats working, you know?"

Here's more from around the league as the Rays celebrate a victory over the Indians, setting them up for a date with the Red Sox in the ALDS…

  • During a press conference yesterday, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters (including Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger) that he hopes Hiroki Kuroda will pitch for his team again in 2014. Cashman said that Kuroda was the Yanks' ace in 2013 but admitted that he wasn't sure what the future holds for the right-hander. McCullough quotes Kuroda as saying that while anything's possible, he hasn't given serious consideration to returning to Japan for his final season.
  • Indians CEO Paul Dolan deserves credit for sticking with team president Mark Shapiro and GM Chris Antonetti, writes Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The duo's presence helped lure manager Terry Francona to Cleveland, and Francona's presence helped to make the Indians a more attractive destination for free agents Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Scott Kazmir, Jason Giambi and Ryan Raburn, adds Pluto.
  • Manager Don Mattingly says he's happy to be with the Dodgers and has no interest in the Yankees' job in the event that Joe Girardi doesn't return, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  It's possible that Mattingly could be available this winter as L.A. holds a $1.4MM club option on his contract for 2014.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Astros Claim Raul Valdes, Decline Humber’s Option

The Astros have issued a press release announcing that they have claimed left-hander Raul Valdes off waivers from the Phillies and declined their 2014 club option for right-hander Philip Humber. Humber is one of four players that has been outrighted off the team's 40-man roster; the others are infielder Brandon Laird and catchers Cody Clark and Matt Pagnozzi. Perhaps more noteworthy is the fact that top prospect Jonathan Singleton has been added to the team's 40-man roster to fill one of the new vacancies.

Valdes, 35, posted an alarming 7.46 ERA in 35 innings for the Phillies this season, but his peripheral numbers suggest that he was far better than that unsightly number. Valdes averaged 9.5 strikeouts and 2.1 walks per nine innings, leading advanced metrics like FIP (4.39), xFIP (3.74) and SIERA (3.10) to project better days on the horizon. He also held opposing lefties to a .229/.275/.375 line.

Houston held a $3MM option on Humber, but declining it proved to be an easy decision. The former No. 3 overall pick turned in a 7.90 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 54 2/3 innings for the Astros this season after signing for just $800K last offseason. Humber was designated for assignment in May and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where posted a 4.68 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9.

Laird hit .169/.224/.423 with five homers in 76 plate appearances for the Astros in 2013. Pagnozzi, who was acquired from the Braves at the beginning of September, went 3-for-21 in 22 plate appearances for the Astros in the season's final month. The 32-year-old Clark, a career minor leaguer, reached the Majors at last in 2013 and recorded his first big league hit with the Astros. Clark went 4-for-38 with Houston and hit .212/.250/.265 in 46 minor league contests this season.



Minor Moves: Humber, Jeroloman, Boyer

Here's your rundown of minor moves for Friday…

  • Astros right-hander Philip Humber has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Oklahoma City, reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com (via Twitter). Today was the deadline for Humber to decide to report to Triple-A or elect free agency after being outrighted off the 40-man roster earlier this week.
  • The Nationals have acquired minor league catcher Brian Jeroloman from the Pirates, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). The 28-year-old was hitting .222/.481/.278 thanks to his nine walks in 29 plate appearances for Triple-A Indianapolis. Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington adds that the Nats gave up cash for Jeroloman because they needed catching depth with Jhonatan Solano back in the Majors and Wilson Ramos on the DL (Twitter links). Jeroloman is a career .235/.349/.305 hitter in 122 Triple-A games.
  • Right-hander Blaine Boyer exercised the out clause in his minor league deal with the Royals and became a free agent, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Boyer hasn't pitched in the bigs since 2011. He has a 4.81 ERA in 234 career innings after being selected by the Braves in the third round in 2000. Boyer posted a 3.00 ERA, 10.8 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 15 innings for the Royals' Triple-A affiliate, though he allowed four unearned runs as well and served up three homers.

Minor Moves: Humber, De Los Santos, Richmond

Here are today's minor moves from around the league…

  • Astros pitcher Philip Humber has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City, according to Chris Cotillo of CLNSRadio.com (via Twitter).  MLBTR has learned that the right-hander has until Friday to accept the assignment or elect free agency.  Humber was designated for assignment earlier this week after posting a 9.59 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in seven starts and two relief appearances.
  • MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets that the Padres have requested unconditional release waivers on Fautino De Los Santos, confirming an earlier tweet from Chris Cotillo of CLNS Radio. De Los Santos, 27, was designated for assignment over the weekend. He made only two appearances for Triple-A Tucson this season due to an injury but has a 4.21 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings at the Major League level — all coming with the A's. His release will become official on Thursday.
  • The Rangers have signed right-hander Scott Richmond to a minor league contract, according to Jeff Sullivan of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link). The 33-year-old Canadian hurler has a 5.27 ERA, 7.4 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 169 big league innings for the Blue Jays. Richmond, who was pitching in Korea prior to this signing, was on Team Canada's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He will report to extended Spring Training, according to Sullivan.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Astros Sign Edgar Gonzalez, Designate Philip Humber

The Astros announced that they have signed right-handed pitcher Edgar Gonzalez to a major league contract and designated right-handed pitcher Philip Humber for assignment.  Gonzalez elected free agency from the Blue Jays yesterday rather than report to Triple-A Buffalo.

Gonzalez, 30, owns a 5.88 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 across parts of ten big league seasons.  He didn't fare well in his eight innings for the Blue Jays in 2013, allowing seven runs, five walks, and three strikeouts.  Gonzalez made six starts for Houston last year and posted a 5.04 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.

Humber, also 30, has an $800K salary for this season with a $3MM club option for 2014 that will not be exercised.  The right-hander has struggled in seven starts and two relief appearances for Houston this season, posting a 9.59 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9.  Last night, Humber gave up five hits and five runs in two-thirds of an inning.


Luhnow Discusses Astros’ Moves

With an 8-24 record so far this season, the Astros have played down to the incredibly low expectations of most preseason prognosticators, matching the 120-loss pace of the 1962 Mets.  They made a series of moves yesterday, designating outfielders Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez for assignment and calling up Trevor Crowe and Jimmy Paredes.  The latest on the team:

  • "The reality is the team is not where we wanted to be at this point and we feel like outfield is one of our weakest positions, and we wanted to give some guys who are having some success at Triple-A a chance to continue that up here," GM Jeff Luhnow told reporters including MLB.com's Brian McTaggart yesterday.
  • The 2010 Diamondbacks own the team strikeout record with 1,529, but the Astros are on pace for 1,635 this year.  Curbing whiffs is one reason for the team's recent moves, as Luhnow explained, "The profile of our team being a feast-or-famine type team, we felt we needed different types of players, and with Robbie Grossman there now and Paredes coming, hopefully the numbers in Triple-A are a reflection of the success [Paredes] can have up here. It will change the mix a little bit."
  • Ankiel would probably be released if he refuses a minor league assignment, notes McTaggart.
  • "We believe Humber is a Major League pitcher and can add value to our team. For now, no decision has been made about any different roles on the pitching side at this point," Luhnow said in regard to righty Philip Humber.  The 30-year-old has a 7.03 ERA in 135 2/3 innings for the White Sox and Astros since the start of the 2012 season.
  • With a collective 6.53 ERA, the Astros' rotation is the worst in baseball by almost a full run.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if the Astros could possibly make that rotation even worse by trading Bud Norris or Lucas Harrell.  "Trading them in the middle of the season would only lead to further chaos," writes Rosenthal.  So far Luhnow has been fearless in his teardown efforts; we'll see if the possibility of a 40-win type season would compel him to hang on to Norris or Harrell.

Players To Avoid Arbitration

Tonight is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. Many teams will agree to terms with players before the 11pm CT deadline and we'll keep track of them here. Be sure to check out MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker for complete details:

  • The Mariners have avoided arbitration with Josh Kinney, the team announced. It's a one-year deal.
  • The Pirates have agreed to terms with Charlie Morton, the team announced. The right-hander missed most of the season following Tommy John surgery. Morton will earn $2MM, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned.
  • The Athletics avoided arbitration with Adam Rosales, the team announced. They also agreed to sign Daric Barton to a one-year, $1.1MM contract, avoiding arbitration, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). The non-guaranteed deal includes $250K in incentives. Barton had been a non-tender candidate.
  • The Orioles announced that they have avoided arbitration with Taylor Teagarden, Steve Pearce, and Alexi Casilla. Casilla's deal is worth $1.7MM with a $3MM option for 2014 ($200K buyout) according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
  • The Astros announced that they have avoided arbitration with Phil Humber. It's a one-year deal worth $800K with a $3MM club option for 2014 ($500K buyout), reports the AP via MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter). Houston claimed the right-hander off waivers earlier today.
  • The Yankees announced that they avoided arbitration with Jayson Nix, signing the infielder to a Major League deal for 2013.
  • The Royals announced that they avoided arbitration with second baseman Chris Getz, agreeing to a one-year, Major League contract. Getz will earn $1.05MM in 2013 on a deal that includes up to $150K in performance bonuses, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). Luke Hochevar is Kansas City's lone unsigned arbitration eligible player as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


Royals To Sign Philip Humber

The Royals reached a minor league deal with Philip Humber, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Humber, who turns 27 next week, was part of the deal that sent Johan Santana to New York. He only has 29.2 major league innings to his name and last year's minor league numbers were uninspired (5.34 ERA in 119.2 innings).


Philip Humber Clears Waivers

According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Philip Humber cleared waivers and will report to Triple A.  The Twins had designated him for assignment to make room for Juan Morillo.  Turns out they get to keep Humber too, as the other 29 teams passed.