Ramon Ortiz Rumors

Minor Moves: Ortiz, Robinson, Pirates, Green, Wimberly

Here are your minor moves from around the league for Friday…

  • The Blue Jays have announced that Ramon Ortiz and Clint Robinson cleared waivers and were outrighted off the 40-man roster, per Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson Smith (on Twitter). Ortiz was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo, while Robinson was outrighted to Double-A New Hampshire. Both were designated for assignment earlier this week.
  • Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal tweets that the Pirates have acquired Triple-A right-hander Graham Godfrey from the Red Sox in exchange for cash considerations. The 28-year-old Godfrey has amassed 46 Major League innings — all with the Athletics – and posted a 5.09 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9.
  • The Pirates have acquired Triple-A lefty Atahualpa Severino from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Severino, 28, has a 3.40 ERA, 7.9 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 156 1/3 career innings at Triple-A. He received a brief taste of the Major Leagues with the Nationals back in 2011, totaling 4 2/3 innings of relief.
  • The Marlins have outrighted infielder Nick Green to Triple-A New Orleans, according to the PCL's Transactions page, meaning that he cleared waivers after being designated for assignment Wednesday.
  • The Braves released minor league outfielder Corey Wimberly, according to the International League Transaction log. The 29-year-old hit .234/.268/.351 in 25 games (83 plate appearances) for Triple-A Gwinnett this season.
  • The Indians announced (via Twitter) that they have signed right-hander Chris Jakubauskas and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus. The 34-year-old has a 5.58 ERA in 166 big league innings and last saw the Majors with the Orioles in 2011. Jakubauskas spent 2012 in the D-backs and Blue Jays organizations, and he appeared in eight Triple-A games for the Brewers this season. He has a 3.75 ERA in 175 career innings at Triple-A.

Blue Jays Designate Ramon Ortiz For Assignment

The Blue Jays designated righty Ramon Ortiz for assignment, tweets Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.  Ortiz, 40, tossed 23 1/3 innings for the Jays this year, most recently in relief of Brandon Morrow today after his early exit due to forearm soreness.  Thad Weber, who also was scored upon in today's loss against the Braves, was optioned to Triple-A.

Ortiz picked up a ring with the 2002 World Champion Angels, a club for which he tallied a career-high 217 1/3 regular season innings before adding 13 more in the postseason.  With 87 career wins, Ortiz is currently tied at 44th with Adam Wainwright.  Signed by the Blue Jays to a minor league deal in December, Ortiz had his contract selected April 15th, was designated for assignment April 23rd, rejoined the 40-man roster on May 9th, and was removed again today.

AL Notes: Ankiel, Mariners, Twins, Ramirez, Ortiz

Rick Ankiel could be nearing the end of his well-documented but still-surreal path through baseball, writes Joe Posnanski of NBCSports.com. Evoking the poet Dylan Thomas ("rage, rage against the dying of the light … do not go gentle into that good night"), Posnanski notes that Ankiel's journey has taken one more incredible turn. In 42 plate appearances this season prior to this evening's game, Ankiel posted a remarkable 26:0 strikeout to walk ratio, but was slugging over .600 thanks to his five home runs and two doubles. While long known as a free swinger with contact issues, Ankiel appears to be bringing both those labels to heretofore unseen extremes for the struggling Astros. Elsewhere around the American League:

  • It is time to wonder whether and when the Mariners will start firing people, writes Dave Cameron at U.S.S. Mariner. While Cameron is no fan of manager Eric Wedge, he feels that there is little to be gained from a mid-season firing of the team's skipper. And while the team might be tempted to can GM Jack Zduriencik, that could create major logistical difficulties with the upcoming draft and then trade deadline. Ultimately, says Cameron, Seattle will be hard pressed to avoid reaping what it sowed in a confounding offseason.
  • Twins GM Terry Ryan says it was "just happenstance" that this offseason saw the club acquire a series of groundball-inducing righties (Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey, and Kevin Correia), Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports. Ryan has a background in what Berardino describes as "old-school scouting principles." Nevertheless, the GM says that he does not make any decisions without consulting his statistics guru, Jack Goin, whose official title is manager of major league administration and baseball research.
  • The Angels have outrighted right-handed Elvin Ramirez to Triple-A after the pitcher cleared waivers, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (via Twitter). Ramirez was acquired from the Mets for cash about a month back. The move means that the club has cleared a spot on its 40-man roster, Gonzalez also notes.
  • After being designated for assignment to make room for Aaron Laffey, pitcher Ramon Ortiz has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A by the Blue Jays, according to the club's Buffalo affiliate (on Twitter). He made one appearance for Toronto this year after spending all of 2012 in the Yankees' system.

Blue Jays Designate Ramon Ortiz For Assignment

The Blue Jays have designated Ramon Ortiz for assignment, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi reports (on Twitter). Ortiz's departure makes room on the 25-man roster for waiver claim Aaron Laffey.

Ortiz, 40, appeared in one game for the Jays. That one outing marked Ortiz's first appearance in the big leagues since 2011. Ortiz spent the 2012 season pitching for the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate in Scranton. In 12 seasons in the big leagues, Ortiz has a 4.93 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 while pitching for the Angels, Reds, Nationals, Twins, Rockies, Dodgers, Cubs and Jays.

AL East Notes: David Ortiz, Ramon Ortiz, Hughes

David Ortiz says the timing of his likely return to the Red Sox's lineup Friday is unrelated to the structure of his contract, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports. Under his current two-year, $26MM contract, Ortiz is guaranteed $11MM in 2014, but that number would rise to $13MM if he spends 21 to 40 days on the disabled list due to his Achilles injury in 2013. It would further increase to $15MM if he spends 20 or fewer days. Thursday was Ortiz's 19th day on the DL this season. If he is not activated before Saturday, he will lose $2MM in 2014. "I just found out about [the contract clause] a couple of days ago," says Ortiz. "If I would be limping or hurting still, it is what it is. But I’m going back now because I feel ready and I want to be playing for my ball club." Here's more from the AL East.

  • At age 40, Ramon Ortiz is back in the big leagues, Steph Rogers and Evan Peaslee of MLB.com note. Ortiz's appearance with the Blue Jays on Wednesday was his first Major League outing since September 2011, when he was with the Cubs. "I know guys who are coaches and managers in the big leagues [or] the Minor Leagues. When they see me, they say 'Ramon, you're still playing?'" Ortiz says. Ortiz made 27 starts for the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate in 2012, then signed a minor-league deal with the Jays in December.
  • Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes could get $70MM as a free agent next winter, the New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand argues (on Twitter). Feinsand compares Hughes to Anibal Sanchez, who got five years and $80MM from the Tigers in December. Sanchez, though, had xFIPs of 3.25 and 3.60 in his last two seasons before free agency; Hughes' xFIPs in the last two years were 4.90 and 4.35. Peripheral numbers might not matter much in an arbitration hearing, but they matter in free agency. Feinsand is correct to note that the two players have pitched in very different park and league contexts, but the numbers still strongly suggest that Sanchez is the far better pitcher. Of course, much will depend on the way Hughes pitches in 2013. Hughes does not crack Tim Dierkes' 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings.

Minor Moves: Martinez, Spence, Shirek, Blue Jays

The latest minor moves from around MLB…

  • The Brewers have agreed to a $50K contract with Dominican outfielder Geraldy Martinez, according to the Dominican Prospect League.  Martinez, 17, hits from the right side of the plate and "hits the ball hard gap to gap with true power from [his] pull side," according to the DPL website.
  • The Yankees announced that they have outrighted left-hander Josh Spence to Triple-A after Spence cleared waivers.  Spence was claimed off waivers from San Diego earlier this month and designated for assignment by New York earlier this week to create 40-man roster space for Kevin Youkilis.
  • The White Sox announced that they have requested unconditional release waivers on Charlie Shirek so that the right-hander can pursue opportunities in Asia. The 27-year-old spent this past season at Triple-A Charlotte, where he posted a 3.65 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 170 1/3 innings as a starter. Shirek, who does not have any MLB experience, will pitch in Korea, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports (on Twitter). Chicago’s 40-man roster now has 38 players.
  • The Blue Jays announced that they signed right-hander Ramon Ortiz and outfielder Ryan Langerhans to minor league deals that include invitations to MLB Spring Training. The 39-year-old Ortiz spent the 2012 season with the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate, posting a 3.45 ERA in 27 starts. Langerhans, 32, spent most of this past season with the Angels' Triple-A affiliate, but he did appear in two games at the MLB level. He posted a .250/.369/.446 batting line in 401 Triple-A plate appearances.
  • The Blue Jays also signed minor league infielder Lance Zawadzki to a minor-league deal, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports (on Twitter).

Yankees Sign Ramon Ortiz

The Yankees signed right-hander Ramon Ortiz, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. It's a minor league deal, Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger tweets. The Giants recently released the 39-year-old Praver/Shapiro client.

Ortiz appeared in 22 games for the Cubs last year, posting a 4.86 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 33 1/3 innings. The 11-year MLB veteran also made 16 starts at Triple-A, completing 99 1/3 innings with the Iowa Cubs. The Yankees acquired catcher Chris Stewart from the Giants earlier today.

Giants Release Ramon Ortiz

The Giants have released Ramon Ortiz, reports Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). The Praver/Shapiro client signed a minor league deal with the Giants last month.

Ortiz, 39, appeared in 22 games for the Cubs last year, posting a 4.86 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 33 1/3 innings. The 11-year MLB veteran also made 16 starts at Triple-A, completing 99 1/3 innings with the Iowa Cubs. Ortiz struck out eight and allowed just three earned runs in 10 2/3 innings this spring, so there's a chance he'll hook on elsewhere.

The Giants would have owed Ortiz a $100K retention bonus had they kept him in the organization past a certain date thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, notes Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area (on Twitter).

Giants To Sign Ramon Ortiz

The Giants announced that they invited right-hander Ramon Ortiz to Spring Training, presumably on a minor league deal (Twitter link). Praver/Shapiro represents the 38-year-old, who split the 2011 season between the Cubs and their Triple-A affiliate.

Ortiz appeared in 22 games for the Cubs last year, posting a 4.86 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 33 1/3 innings. The 11-year MLB veteran also made 16 starts at Triple-A, completing 99 1/3 innings with the Iowa Cubs. The Cubs were the only other team that was publicly linked to Ortiz this offseason.

Cubs Interested In Ramon Ortiz

The Cubs are interested in signing 38-year-old right-hander Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports. Praver/Shapiro represents Ortiz, who split the 2011 season between the Cubs and their Triple-A affiliate.

Ortiz appeared in 22 games for the Cubs last year, posting a 4.86 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 33 1/3 innings. The 11-year MLB veteran also made 16 starts at Triple-A, completing 99 1/3 innings with the Iowa Cubs. No other teams have been publicly linked to Ortiz this offseason.