P.J. Walters Rumors
The Royals' signing of Jason Vargas will draw more headlines, but the team also inked right-hander P.J. Walters to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training today. The pitcher himself announced the signing on Twitter, and MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has confirmed that it's a minor league deal. Walters is represented by Aspire Sports Management.
The 28-year-old Walters pitched 39 1/3 innings for the Twins in 2013, posting a 5.95 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and 39.7 percent ground-ball rate in eight starts. He made a dozen starts for Minnesota the year prior but encountered similar struggles. Walters is a decent depth signing for the Royals, as his 4.50 ERA, 8.1 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 645 career Triple-A innings are serviceable numbers.
3:49pm: Walters accepted the assignment to Rochester and will report tomorrow, tweets Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
1:35pm: Walters intends to accept the assignment, though the decision is not yet official.
11:00am: Righty P.J. Walters has cleared outright assignment waivers, MLBTR has learned. Having been outrighted previously in his career, Walters now has to decide whether to accept this assignment or elect free agency. Walters has until Wednesday to decide, and will likely do so before then.
Walters, 28, was designated for assignment Thursday upon the Twins' activation of Mike Pelfrey. A former 11th round draft pick by the Cardinals, Walters was traded to the Blue Jays in 2011 as part of the Colby Rasmus deal and later joined the Twins as a free agent. Walters made eight starts for the Twins this year, posting a 5.95 ERA, 5.0 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 1.14 HR/9, and 39.7% groundball rate in 39 1/3 innings. He was better at Triple-A, with a 3.31 ERA in nine starts. Prior to the 2011 season, Baseball America noted Walters' plus change-up helps him mask average velocity. At that time, they projected him for a long relief/swingman role.
Walters, 28, was drafted by the Cardinals in the 11th round in 2006, a round that also produced Mat Latos. He was traded to the Blue Jays in 2011 as part of the Colby Rasmus deal, and later joined the Twins as a free agent. Walters made eight starts for the Twins this year, posting a 5.95 ERA, 5.0 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 1.14 HR/9, and 39.7% groundball rate in 39 1/3 innings. He was better at Triple-A, with a 3.31 ERA in nine starts.
Prior to the 2011 season, Baseball America noted Walters' plus change-up helps him mask average velocity. At that time, they projected him for a long relief/swingman role.
The latest minor moves from around MLB...
- The Mets announced that they agreed to sign left-hander Scott Rice to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training. Rice, 31, has a 4.08 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 14 minor league seasons.
- The Mets also signed outfielder Jamie Hoffmann to a minor league contract, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. The 28-year-old spent this past season with the Orioles' Triple-A team.
- The Cardinals agreed to a minor league contract with first baseman/right fielder Jamie Romak, MLBTR has learned. The Cardinals acquired the 27-year-old from the Royals midway through the 2012 season. In 442 total plate appearances in the upper minors, Romak posted a .260/.336/.406 batting line and hit 10 home runs and 21 doubles this past season.
- The Blue Jays signed infielder Jim Negrych to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports (on Twitter).
- The Twins announced that they signed 12 players to minor league contracts that include invitations to MLB Spring Training: right-handers Samuel Deduno, Shairon Martis, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters; outfielders Brian Dinkleman and Wilkin Ramirez; infielders James Beresford and Deibinson Romero and catcher Eric Fryer. Right-hander Tom Boleska and infielder Jason Christian also signed minor league deals with the Twins.
Here's a look at some of the Minor League signings that have come in tonight...
- The Brewers have re-signed infielder Hector Gomez to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, the team informed MLBTR via email. Other non-roster invitees for the Brewers currently include right-hander Darren Byrd and catcher Dayton Buller. The 24-year-old Gomez once cracked Baseball America's Top 100 Prospect list (No. 95 in 2008) but hit just .131 in 95 minor league plate appearances last season.
- The Athletics have signed right-hander Mike Ekstrom to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Jane Lee. Ekstrom pitched 15 2/3 innings out of the Rockies' bullpen this season, allowing 11 earned runs but posting a solid 9:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
- The Twins have re-signed right-hander P.J. Walters to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, tweets MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. Walters' free agency didn't last long; he refused an outright assignment from the Twins just hours ago and elected free agency. The 27-year-old made a dozen starts for the Twinkies in 2012.
Right-hander P.J. Walters is a free agent after refusing a minor league assignment from the Twins, according to the transactions page at CBSSports.com. The Twins outrighted the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster last week.
Walters started 12 games for the Twins this past season, posting a 5.69 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 61 2/3 innings. In four seasons with the Twins, Cardinals and Blue Jays, the 2006 draft pick has a 6.39 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9. He has allowed 24 home runs in 112 2/3 career innings.
The latest outright assignments from around MLB...
- The Twins announced that they have outrighted right-handers Jeff Manship, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez, Kyle Waldrop and P.J. Walters and outfielder Matt Carson off of the MLB roster. All six players contributed to the MLB team in 2012. Vasquez (six starts) and Walters (12 starts) pitched out of the rotation while Manship (12 relief appearances), Perdomo (15 relief appearances) and Waldrop (17 relief appearances) spent time in the bullpen. Carson, the lone position player to lose his roster spot, appeared in 26 games as a corner outfielder. The Twins now have 35 players on their 40-man roster.
The Twins signed infielder Sean Burroughs and catcher Rene Rivera to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Twins also signed right-hander P.J. Walters, according to Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune (on Twitter). Terry Ryan's busy offseason continues with the depth moves.
Burroughs, 31, appeared in 78 games for the Diamondbacks this past season after a four-year absence from the Major Leagues. The former ninth overall selection overcame substance abuse problems to post a .273/.289/.336 line in 115 plate appearances with Arizona. Wasserman Media Group represents Burroughs.
Rivera, 28, appeared in 45 games for the Twins in 2011. The longtime minor leaguer posted just a .412 OPS but did prevent 10 of 25 attempted steals against him (40%). Walters, 26, appeared in four games for the Cardinals and one more for the Blue Jays in 2011. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a 5.17 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
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).
Here are the latest players to get outrighted to the minor leagues...
- The Padres outrighted Pat Neshek to Triple-A today, according to MLB.com'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 Sportsnet.ca (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.