Quintin Berry Rumors
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From earlier today in the two Central divisions, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer sat down for a podcast with ESPN's Buster Olney, the Brewers are looking to the future and Jake Peavy is willing to be traded anywhere if the White Sox see fit to move him. Here are some other items from both the AL and NL Central...
- Francisco Liriano's 2014 option with the Pirates will vest for $6MM if the southpaw can avoid spending 120 days on the disabled list this season, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. Liriano signed a complicated deal with the Bucs in February that only guaranteed him $1MM in 2013 but could've been worth as much as $12.75MM if Liriano stayed healthy. His stint on the DL this season already cost him around $1.625MM this season and an extra $2MM for 2014.
- Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter threw to live batters on Monday, The Associated Press reports, and may repeat the process if his shoulder doesn't become numb. Carpenter was thought to be out for all of 2013 and was pondering retirement due to ongoing shoulder injuries, but the former Cy Young Award winner has taken several positive steps in his comeback.
- The Twins had some interest in Quintin Berry before the Royals claimed the outfielder off waivers earlier today, 1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson tweets.
- Scott Kazmir credits his development of secondary pitches and better pitching strategies for his return to the Major Leagues, Howard Megdal of Sports On Earth writes. Kazmir has a 5.13 ERA in eight starts with the Indians this season but his secondary numbers are good enough that MLBTR's Steve Adams believes he could earn a decent free agent contract this winter.
- "Lots of changes figure to occur" with the Royals if the team can't get on track, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes as part of a reader mailbag. If they make a big move like trading Ervin Santana, Dutton figures K.C. would look to acquire a slugging corner outfielder or a second baseman in return.
- Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago covers several White Sox and Cubs topics and rumors in his live chat about Windy City baseball.
The Royals claimed outfielder Quintin Berry off waivers from the Tigers, announced the team on Twitter. The Royals optioned Berry to Triple-A Omaha; it's unknown where his 40-man roster spot will come from once Salvador Perez is activated from bereavement. Berry had been designated for assignment by the Tigers on Sunday upon their re-acquisition of outfielder Francisco Martinez.
Berry, 28, was drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round in 2006, a round which also produced big leaguers Jeff Samardzija and Chris Davis, among others. He bounced around various organizations until hooking on with the Tigers before the 2012 season. That was his rookie campaign, and he posted a .258/.330/.354 line in 330 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions. This year at Triple-A, he's limped to a .168/.278/.234 line in 199 plate appearances.
Prior to the 2009 season, Baseball America ranked Berry 25th among Phillies prospects, right after Jarred Cosart and John Mayberry, Jr. and ahead of Trevor May. BA said Berry was a speedster with slightly above-average center field defense, with his offensive ceiling limited by his lack of power.
The Rangers should seriously consider trading Jurickson Profar, Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. Galloway argues that, despite Davis' strong 2012 and brilliant start in 2013, he won't criticize Jon Daniels' 2011 trade of Chris Davis (and Tommy Hunter) for Koji Uehara, because the trade was intended to position Texas for a World Series run, and the Rangers did in fact make it to the World Series. If the Rangers can arrange a Profar trade that sets them up for another run at a title, Galloway argues that they should make the deal and live with the results. Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine, however, tells ESPN's Jim Bowden that, while the Rangers will likely be active at this year's trade deadline, they plan to keep Profar, Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler, rather than dealing one of them (both links via Twitter).
As a side note, Galloway calls the Davis/Uehara deal "the worst MLB trade of this decade," even though he refrains from criticizing Daniels for it. Uehara was excellent for the Rangers, particularly in 2012, but he's since moved on, and Davis is currently hitting .357/.440/.754 with 20 home runs for the Orioles. Here are more notes from around baseball.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman discusses Alex Rodriguez's ten-year, $275MM contract in an interview with ESPN's Buster Olney. Rodriguez and the Yankees are currently in the sixth year of the deal, and Rodriguez will make $86MM from 2014 through 2017. Rodriguez has not yet played in 2013. "Alex would even tell you he couldn't live up to [the contract]," Cashman says. "Hopefully he can return to being, at the very least, an above-average player at that position."
- When Jose Reyes returns, the Blue Jays will have to decide what to do with Munenori Kawasaki, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes. Due to the Jays' contractual obligations to Maicer Izturis and the presence of Emilio Bonifacio and Mark DeRosa, there would appear to be no space for Kawasaki once Reyes returns. Griffin suggests that the trade market for Izturis could be better than that of Kawasaki, though the Jays might have to pay some of the approximately $9MM remaining on Izturis' contract.
- Cubs manager Dale Sveum is hoping for an infusion of arms in this week's draft, Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune reports. "Obviously pitching is what you want to get in the organization as much as you possibly can," says Sveum. When the Cubs make the No. 2 overall selection, either Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray or Stanford's Mark Appel, or perhaps both, will still be on the board.
- Twins GM Terry Ryan discusses the role of general managers in the draft in an interview with 1500ESPN's Phil Mackey. GMs generally get credit or blame for their draft picks, but other front office personnel may be more responsible for those picks. "My role would be to take the blame when we don't do well, but I also get the praise when we do well. That's not fair," says Ryan. For example, Ryan discusses his role in the selection of Ben Revere, the No. 28 overall pick in the 2007 Draft. "That's a pick that I got praise for I think at the time. I didn't have anything to do with Ben Revere. (Our scouts) did. They all had seen him a lot. I get the praise. 'Good pick, there you go Terry.' Hell, I never even saw (Revere)."
- Quintin Berry, who was recently designated for assignment by the Tigers, could make it through waivers and wind up back with Triple-A Toledo, MLB.com's Jason Beck tweets. Given that Berry is 28 and has hit just .168/.278/.234 so far for Toledo this season, that seems to be a fairly likely scenario.
- When the Blue Jays begin a series in San Francisco Tuesday night, Melky Cabrera will face Giants fans for the first time since being suspended last August for failing a PED test, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm reports. Cabrera vanished after receiving word of the suspension, not talking to the San Francisco media. He then signed a two-year, $16MM contract with the Jays in the offseason. Cabrera says he isn't concerned with how the fans will react to his return. "I don't worry about that, it's up to the fans. It's nothing I have control of," Cabrera explains. "I'm just going to play the game. If they decide to boo, that's fine. If they decide to cheer, that's fine with me, too. But, I'm not going to worry about that."
The Tigers announced that the club has acquired outfielder/third baseman Francisco Martinez from the Mariners in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations by June 15. To make room for Martinez on the roster, the club has designated Quintin Berry for assignment.
Martinez, 22, was sent to the Mariners as part of the six-player trade that brought Doug Fister to the Tigers around the 2011 trade deadline. Martinez, who has hit .255/.309/.355 in parts of three seasons at Double-A, will report to Single-A Lakeland.
Berry, 28, has been with Detroit's Triple-A affiliate this season with a slash line of .168/.278/.234. The former fifth-round choice had 330 plate appearances for the Tigers last season and hit .258/.330/.354 with two homers.