Quintin Berry Rumors

Cubs Designate Russell, Soriano; Select Contracts Of Cahill, Berry; Recall Baez

The Cubs have designated left-hander James Russell for assignment and also activated right-hander Rafael Soriano from the disabled list and designated him for assignment as well, the team announced. These two moves make 40-man roster space for the contracts of Trevor Cahill and Quintin Berry, each of which was selected from Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs also recalled Javier Baez and Tsuyoshi Wada.

Russell, 29, returned to the Cubs on a minor league deal this year after being traded to the Braves last summer and subsequently released in Spring Training. Russell was extremely sharp in Triple-A prior to his promotion to rejoin the Cubs, firing 9 2/3 scoreless innings and allowing just four hits and zero walks against 12 strikeouts. He’s struggled in the Majors, however, totaling a dismal 5.29 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 34 innings. A fluky low 57.7 strand rate has played a large role in his bloated ERA, leading stats such as FIP (3.89), xFIP (4.36) and SIERA (4.32) to project better results. Those numbers, of course, are hardly dominant projections in their own right, and the .338/.368/.606 batting line Russell has yielded to right-handed hitters is its own troublesome issue.

The Cubs signed the veteran Soriano to a minor league deal with a $4.1MM base salary back in June, but the former Nationals/Yankees/Rays closer appeared in just six games with Chicago before landing on the DL due to right shoulder inflammation. Soriano didn’t sign as a free agent over the winter, holding out for a significant deal that never came. He eventually fired agent Scott Boras and signed on with Octagon, taking his deal with the Cubs shortly after. It’s a disappointing followup to a mostly successful two-year stint as the Nationals’ closer, and one would imagine that Soriano is almost certainly looking at another minor league deal this winter following a brief and disappointing stint as a Cub.


Minor MLB Transactions: 8/24/15

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • The Cubs have signed outfielder Quintin Berry to a minor league deal, Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com reports on Twitter. Berry, 30, has seen minimal MLB time since being a regular contributor to the 2012 Tigers. He’s put up a .266/.337/.369 slash over just 341 total plate appearances in the majors. But Berry has swiped 25 bases in that span, and his live legs carried him into action in two consecutive World Series. Over 426 turns at bat this year at the Triple-A level with the Red Sox organization, Berry racked up 35 steals but slashed just .228/.329/.287.

Minor Moves: Bard, Berry, Hand, Pastornicky

Here’s a roundup of minor moves from late this week.

  • The Cubs have signed free agent pitcher Daniel Bard to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, tweets Mike Perchick of WAPT Sports. The former Red Sox relief ace last appeared in the majors during the 2013 season when he tossed just one inning. After three solid campaigns to begin his career, the wheels fell off in 2012 with a 6.22 ERA, 5.76 K/9, and 6.52 BB/9 in 59 and one-third innings.
  • The Red Sox have signed free agent outfielder Quintin Berry to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, tweets Mike Perchick of WAPT Sports. The 30-year-old outfielder has seen infrequent action since making his major league debut with the Tigers in 2012. That year, he hit .258/.330/.354 in 330 plate appearances with 21 steals. He’s since served short stints with the Red Sox and Orioles as a defensive replacement and pinch runner.
  • Free agent righty Donovan Hand tweets that he has agreed to a deal with the Reds. The deal would presumably be of the minor league variety. Hand, 28, spent his eighth season in the Brewers organization in 2014 as a swingman for Triple-A Nashville, posting a 5.20 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. Hand had the same role in the big leagues in 2013, posting a 3.69 ERA and 2.8 BB/9 in 68 1/3 innings but with just 4.9 K/9.
  • The Braves have outrighted infielder Tyler Pastornicky, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets. The Braves designated Pastornicky for assignment last week after he hit .290/.330/.347 in 189 plate appearances last year for Triple-A Gwinnett. The 25-year-old has appeared in parts of three seasons in the Majors, most notably hitting .243/.287/.325 in 188 plate appearances in 2012.
  • The Athletics have outrighted infielder Andy Parrino, MLB.com’s Jane Lee tweets. The A’s designated Parrino for assignment in the wake of the Ben Zobrist deal last weekend. The 29-year-old hit .274/.352/.384 at the Triple-A level in 2014.
  • The Mariners have outrighted lefty Anthony Fernandez, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets. Fernandez, 24, has never pitched in the big leagues and missed most of last season due to injury, making just five starts for Triple-A Tacoma. The Mariners designated him for assignment Thursday.
  • The Orioles have outrighted catcher Ryan Lavarnway, according to MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko. Lavarnway, 27, was claimed three times in the past six weeks (by the Dodgers, Cubs and Orioles) before finally making it through waivers. He hit .283/.389/.370 in 257 plate appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket in the Red Sox system in 2014.
  • The Blue Jays have outrighted righty Cory Burns, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca tweets. The Jays designated Burns for assignment earlier this week when they claimed Matt West. Burns, 27, pitched well in relief at Double-A and Triple-A in the Rays organization early in the season, but struggled after being claimed by the Rangers in June. The Blue Jays then claimed him in late September.
  • The Rays have signed lefty Everett Teaford, the Ballengee Group announces (via Twitter). The contract will presumably be a minor-league deal. Teaford appeared in parts of three seasons with the Royals from 2011 through 2013, but pitched for the LG Twins in the offense-heavy KBO in 2014, posting a 5.24 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 99 2/3 innings.


Orioles Claim Ryan Lavarnway, Release Quintin Berry

The Orioles have claimed catcher Ryan Lavarnway off waivers from the Cubs, Baltimore announced. Outfielder Quintin Berry was released to create roster space.

Lavarnway has been one of the most frequently-moved players of the offseason, bouncing around several times since the Red Sox exposed him to waivers. Once one of the game’s most exciting prospects, the backstop’s huge power seemingly disappeared in recent seasons. But he has yet to have a full chance at the big league level and has continued to achieve excellent on-base figures at Triple-A.

Berry, 30, received 330 plate appearances with the Tigers back in 2012, slashing .258/.330/.354, but has not figured large on a big league roster since. Over 432 plate appearances at Triple-A last year, he slashed .285/.382/.367 while adding 25 stolen bases.


Minor Moves: Hill, Gwynn, Berry, Rangers, Reds

Here are today’s minor transactions from around baseball, with the most recent moves at the top of the post…

  • Lefty Rich Hill has been outrighted to Triple-A by the Yankees, according to the International League transactions page. Hill was designated to make room for fellow southpaw Josh Outman. Though he has seen little time at the MLB level this year and posted an unsightly 6.28 ERA last year, the 34-year-old has historically been quite tough on same-handed hitters and could make sense as an extra lefty specialist on an expanded roster. Having previously been outrighted, Hill will have the right to elect free agency.
  • The Phillies announce that they have selected the contract of outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. To make room on their 40-man roster, they transferred Cliff Lee to the 60-day DL. The Phillies outrighted and then released Gwynn earlier this summer, only to re-sign him to a minor league deal. He’s a career .239/.310/.311 hitter in parts of eight big-league seasons.
  • The Orioles will select the contract of outfielder Quintin Berry, Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com tweets. Berry had a good season for Triple-A Norfolk, hitting .285/.382/.367 in 432 plate appearances, and did his usual good job on the bases, stealing 25 of them while being caught six times. In his brief big-league career with the Tigers and Red Sox, Berry has stolen 24 bases without being caught, making him an ideal September promotion candidate for a team seeking speed.
  • The Rangers have announced that they will select the contract of lefty Michael Kirkman as a September call-up tomorrow. Also, they will select the contract of fellow pitcher Spencer Patton on Thursday. Kirkman has posted a 4.47 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9 while pitching 54 1/3 innings of relief this season at Triple-A Round Rock. The Royals outrighted him in April. Patton has posted a combined 3.90 ERA with 12.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 62 1/3 innings with Round Rock and the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate in Omaha. The Rangers acquired him for reliever Jason Frasor in July.
  • The Reds have selected the contracts of outfielder Jason Bourgeois and lefty Ryan Dennick, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon writes. They have also cleared one spot on their roster by transferring Homer Bailey to the 60-day DL. The veteran Bourgeois hit .278/.329/.364 in 595 plate appearances this season for Triple-A Louisville. Also at Louisville, the 27-year-old Dennick posted a 2.36 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 49 2/3 innings of relief.
  • The Giants will select the contract of pitcher Brett Bochy, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Bochy, the son of Giants manager Bruce Bochy, has had a solid season in the bullpen at Triple-A Fresno, posting a 3.57 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 53 innings. The 27-year-old was a 20th-round draft pick out of the University of Kansas in 2010.
  • The Rockies have selected the contract of infielder Rafael Ynoa, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Ynoa, 27, played for eight years in the Dodgers organization before signing with the Rockies last winter. This season, he posted a .297/.356/.419 line in 473 plate appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs, playing shortstop, second base and third base.
  • The Athletics have selected the contract of catcher Bryan Anderson, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. The A’s acquired Anderson in a minor trade with the Reds late last month, apparently in a bid to acquire more catching depth due to John Jaso‘s injury. The 27-year-old Anderson hit .320/.397/.538 in 293 plate appearances in the minors in 2014. He’s played briefly at the big-league level with the Cardinals and White Sox.
  • The Blue Jays have outrighted reliever Sergio Santos to Double-A New Hampshire, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Last week, the Jays designated Santos for assignment for the second time this year. He’s posted an 8.57 ERA in 21 innings with the big club, striking out 29 batters but walking 18.
  • The Padres have selected the contracts of pitcher Leonel Campos and 2B/3B/OF Cory Spangenberg and moved Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso to the 60-day DL, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. Campos has posted a 6.34 ERA with 5.6 BB/9 in a season split between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso, but with 11.8 K/9. He can start or relieve. We noted earlier this week that the Padres appeared likely to promote Spangenberg, a former first-round draft pick.
  • The Orioles purchased the contract of left-hander Joe Saunders, the team announced.  Saunders signed a minor league deal with the O’s last month and posted a 1.50 ERA in 12 relief innings for Triple-A Norfolk.  The veteran southpaw has never pitched out of the bullpen in the majors but the Orioles intend to use him as a reliever down the stretch.  Buck Showalter told reporters (including MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli) that Saunders could also make a spot start when the O’s face the Yankees in a double-header on September 12.
  • The Twins will purchase the contracts of utilityman Doug Bernier and right-handers Lester Oliveros and A.J. Achter prior to Tuesday’s game, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.  The trio are three of eight players Minnesota is adding to its expanded September roster.
  • Rays catcher Ali Solis has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (via Twitter).  Solis was outrighted yesterday to create a spot on the Rays’ 40-man roster for right-hander Steve Geltz, who will be promoted today.
  • The Brewers purchased the contract of catcher Matt Pagnozzi, the team announced.  Jeff Bianchi was shifted to the 60-day DL in a corresponding move.  Pagnozzi has 105 career PA since 2009 with the Cardinals, Rockies, Pirates and Astros and he’s also spent time with the Braves’ and Indians’ Triple-A affiliates over the last two seasons.  Pagnozzi has a career .219/.297/.318 slash line over 3026 career PA in the minors.
  • The Angels selected the contract of shortstop Shawn O’Malley, according to Tim Mead, the team’s VP of communications (Twitter link).  O’Malley will join the Halos on Tuesday and add some versatility to the bench; he has mostly played short over his pro career but has played all over the diamond this season.  Originally a fifth-round pick of the Rays in the 2006 draft, O’Malley is looking to make his Major League debut after nine years in the minors, hitting .258/.351/.338 over 2982 PA.

AL East Notes: Rays, Lowe, Peralta, Napoli, Ortiz

If David Price isn't traded, "almost every baseball person one talks to mentions the Rays as the team to beat in the American League," Peter Gammons writes in his latest piece for his Gammons Daily website.  Price has stayed in the fold despite multiple trade rumors this winter, with the Rays instead adding roster depth instead of moving another cornerstone player for prospects.  The depth and continuity carrying over from 2013 is a big factor for Evan Longoria, who notes that "for the first time since I’ve been here, we have almost everyone back. We have a team that is going to play together two years in a row.”

Here's some more from around the AL East…

  • The Rays' "laid back environment" was a key reason why Mark Lowe chose to sign a minor league deal with the club, MLB.com's Bill Chastain reports.  Lowe notes that his choice came down to the Rays and Indians this winter, as those were the two clubs who "pushed the hardest" for his services.  Tampa manager Joe Maddon said that the Rays originally tried to sign Lowe during the 2012-13 offseason.
  • Jhonny Peralta said the Yankees offered him a three-year contract and the opportunity to play third base, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (Twitter links).  The Yankees were Peralta's preferred Big Apple team since the Mets only offered him a two-year deal that Peralta described as "not really good."  Of course, Peralta overcame the stigma of his 50-game PED suspension last season to sign a four-year, $53MM contract with the Cardinals as their everyday shortstop.
  • Mike Napoli rejected a qualifying offer from the Red Sox last fall and the slugger felt the draft pick compensation limited his free agent options, Napoli tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.  “It’s tough because it’s kind of holding you back,” Napoli said. “You get (to free agency) and it should be all the teams that want you. The way it is now, if a team doesn’t want to give up a pick, they’re not going to be interested.”  It ended up being something of a moot point for Napoli, as he openly wanted to return to Boston and re-signed for a two-year, $32MM deal.
  • There isn't any new news about David Ortiz's contract talks with the Red Sox, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports.  The two sides apparently haven't had any further negotiations since their initial meetings two weeks ago.  (Cafardo shared some more items about the AL East in his regular Sunday column, as reported earlier.)
  • Quintin Berry talks to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford about why he signed with the Orioles and how he appreciated his time with the Red Sox last season, though the Sox didn't push too hard to re-sign him.  “Supposedly [they tried] a little bit, but I know they had a couple of things in mind they wanted to do, some guys they wanted to try and give experience to,” Berry said. “So I just wanted to test the market and see what else I could do."  Berry signed a minor league deal with the O's in January.

Minor Moves: Quintin Berry

Here are today's minor moves from around baseball.

  • The Orioles have announced the signing of outfielder Quintin Berry to a minor-league deal with a spring training invitation. Berry, 29, played for three different Triple-A teams in 2013, hitting .191/.309/.257 in 381 plate appearances between them. He also appeared in 13 regular-season games and three postseason games with the Red Sox. In 2012, he played in 94 games for the Tigers, during which he stole 21 bases without being caught.

Minor Moves: Jones, Twins, Berry, Snyder, Wolf, Blackley

Here are today’s outright assignments and minor moves from around the league…

  • The Orioles are placing lefty Chris Jones on their 40-man roster, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. Jones, 25, posted a 2.67 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 70 2/3 innings for Triple-A Norfolk this year. The move will prevent them from losing him to minor-league free agency.
  • Edgar Ibarra has been added to the Twins‘ 40-man roster, the team announced today. The 24-year-old Venezuelan left-hander posted a 1.93 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 60 2/3 innings of relief between Double-Aand Triple-A this season. By adding Ibarra to the 40-man roster, the Twins ensure that he cannot be selected in next month’s Rule 5 Draft.
  • The Twins have also re-signed Wilkin Ramirez, Dan Rohlfing, Aaron Thompson, Jermaine Mitchell, Lester Oliveros, Doug Bernier and James Beresford to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training, tweets MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger. Ramirez and Bernier each saw time with the big league club in 2013, and Oliveros was one of two pitchers received from the Tigers in exchange for Delmon Young in 2011.
  • The Red Sox announced that they have outrighted outfielder Quintin Berry and infielder Brandon Snyder off their 40-man roster. Both are now free agents after spending the majority of this past season at Triple-A. Snyder hit .261/.332/.454 with 10 homers in the minors, while Berry slashed just .191/.309/.257 with three homers and 30 steals in 34 tries at Triple-A.
  • Right-hander Ross Wolf has re-signed with the Rangers on a minor league contract with an invitation to 2014 Spring Training, the team announced. The 31-year-old posted a 4.15 ERA in 22 appearances (three starts) for Texas in 2013, averaging 4.0 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 47 2/3 innings. Wolf had been outrighted off the 40-man roster and cleared waivers before re-signing.
  • In other Rangers news, left-hander Travis Blackley was also outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency. In 50 1/3 innings between the Rangers and Astros, compiling a 4.83 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
  • The Padres announced that they have outrighted left-hander Tommy Layne to Triple-A Tucson. Layne, 29, pitched 8 2/3 innings of 2.08 ERA ball for the Padres in his second big league stint this season. He has a 4.50 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 704 career minor league innings between the Padres and Diamondbacks, who traded him to San Diego for cash considerations in the 2011-12 offseason. Layne was designated for assignment along with fellow lefty Colt Hynes to make roster space for Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland as they returned from the 60-day DL. Hynes has since been acquired by the Indians.

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.


Royals, Red Sox Swap Berry For Mortensen

The Royals and Red Sox have swapped outfielder Quintin Berry for right-hander Clayton Mortensen, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal (Twitter link).

Berry, 28, was claimed by the Royals from the Tigers on June 4 but quickly outrighted to Triple-A Omaha. In 371 Triple-A plate appearances between the Tigers and Royals, he's batting .193/.309/.260 with 28 stolen bases in 32 attempts. Berry was significantly better when he saw regular time with Detroit last season, hitting .258/.330/.354 with a perfect 21 steals in 21 attempts in 94 games.

Mortensen, also 28, posted a 5.34 ERA with 6.2 K/9, 4.7 BB/9 and a 45.5 percent ground-ball rate in 30 1/3 innings for the Red Sox this season. Boston optioned him to Triple-A Pawtucket in late June and he's fared much better, pitching to a 2.45 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 44 innings. He's moved to the rotation recently, stretching out to seven innings in his most recent outing. Since moving to a starting role on Aug. 2, he's allowed just three runs in 27 1/3 innings.


Royals Claim Maikel Cleto; Outright Quintin Berry

TUESDAY: The Royals announced, via press release, that Berry has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Omaha.

SUNDAY: The Royals have announced they have claimed right-hander Maikel Cleto off waivers from the Cardinals. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Royals have designated Quintin Berry for assignment.

Cleto, who will be assigned to Triple-A Omaha, has appeared in one game for the Cardinals this year (June 5) going 2 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks allowing five runs and five hits with five strikeouts. The 24-year-old has spent portions of the last three seasons at Triple-A posting a 5.40 ERA, 9.3 K/9, and 6.0 BB/9 in 178 1/3 innings covering 74 games (22 starts). This year, Cleto has recorded marks of 6.92 ERA, 8.9 K/9, and 8.9 BB/9 in 53 1/3 innings over 16 games (9 starts).

Berry was claimed by the Royals nearly three weeks ago after the Tigers had designated him for assignment. The 28-year-old outfielder was a fifth-round pick by the Phillies in the 2006 draft, a round which has produced several major leaguers including Jeff Samardzija and Chris Davis. Berry bounced around several organizations before making his MLB debut with the Tigers in 2012 posting a .258/.330/.354 line in 330 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions. Berry, however, hasn't been able to replicate that success this year struggling in Triple-A to the tune of .172/.276/.242 in 233 plate appearances, including a .194/.264/.290 slash in his nine games (34 plate appearances) with Omaha.