Randy Williams Rumors

Minor Moves: Seibu, Below, Maier, McCutchen

Here's the roundup of today's minor transactions, with the latest moves at the top of the page…

  • The Seibu Lions have announced the signings of infielder Cody Ransom, right-hander Michael Bowden and left-handers Randy Williams and Porfirio Lopez (passed on by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman).  Seibu also annnounced the signing of righty Greg Reynolds, which we heard about yesterday.
  • The Tigers signed left-hander Duane Below to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, MLive.com's James Schmehl reports (Twitter link).  Below is back in Detroit after being designated for assignment last April, and he also pitched for the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate and for Korea's Kia Tigers in 2013.  Below posted a 4.27 ERA, 2.14 K/BB rate and 5.2 K/9 over 78 Major League innings with the Tigers.
  • The Cubs have signed outfielder Mitch Maier to a minor league contract with a Spring Training invitation, the team announced.  Maier spent 2013 with the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate and posted an .882 OPS, though he only received 137 PA due to a wrist injury.  Maier, 31, was drafted by the Royals with the 30th overall pick of the 2003 draft and he hit .253/.332/.346 over 1043 PA with Kansas City from 2006-11.
  • The Rangers have signed right-hander Daniel McCutchen to a minor league deal, according to the Sosnick/Cobbe Sports' Twitter feed (McCutchen's agents).  McCutchen posted a 3.43 ERA, 8.1 K/9 and 3.60 K/BB rate over 60 1/3 combined innings for the Orioles' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, though his season didn't begin untl late May due to a 50-game suspension for a failed PED test.  The 31-year-old Texas native has a career 4.77 ERA over 188 2/3 IP with the Pirates from 2009-12.
  • The Orioles signed righty Fabio Castillo to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, the team announced.  Though Castillo doesn't turn 25 until February, he already has eight years of pro baseball under his belt, posting a 4.63 ERA, 8.3 K/9 and 2.01 K/BB rate over 514 2/3 IP over his minor league career.  Castillo pitched in the Giants' system in 2013 after spending the previous seven years with the Rangers.

22 Triple-A Players Elect Free Agency

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).


Outrighted To Triple-A: Randy Williams

Here are the latest players to get outrighted to the minors…

  • Randy Williams cleared waivers and the Red Sox outrighted him to Triple-A, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com (on Twitter). The Red Sox designated the 35-year-old lefty for assignment last week to create roster space for Ryan Lavarnway.


Red Sox Designate Randy Williams For Assignment

The Red Sox designated Randy Williams for assignment to create 40-man roster space for Ryan Lavarnway, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). The club placed Kevin Youkilis on the disabled list in a related move.

Williams, 35, appeared in seven games for Boston this year, most recently on August 5th. He spent most of the season with Boston's Triple-A affiliate and posted impressive numbers with Pawtucket: a 1.44 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 25 innings of work. Williams has also pitched for the White Sox, Rockies, Padres and Mariners in his five MLB seasons.


Minor Transactions: Morales, Harvey, Red Sox

On a busy day of moves around baseball, here are a few lower-profile transactions…

  • The Rockies have acquired catcher Jose Morales from the Twins in exchange for minor league left-hander Paul Bargas, according to a Minnesota team release.  Morales hit .297/.370/.354 in 181 plate appearances over parts of three seasons with the Twins, only seeing significant playing time while filling in for an injured Joe Mauer in April 2009.  Bargas, taken in the 13th round of the 2009 amateur draft, posted a 3.59 ERA in 58 relief appearances for Colorado's Single-A Asheville affiliate last season.
  • Ryan Harvey, picked sixth overall by the Cubs in the 2003 amateur draft, has signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.  Harvey is trying to convert to pitching after posting a career .749 OPS as an outfielder in eight minor league seasons in the Cubs and Rockies' systems.
  • In addition to Harvey, Boston has also signed left-handers Rich Hill and Randy Williams to minor league deals, as per a team release.  Hill signed a minor league contract with Boston last summer and made six relief appearances for the Red Sox after spending the previous five years as a starter with the Cubs and Orioles.  Williams spent the last two seasons with the White Sox, where he posted a 5.06 ERA in 52 games out of the bullpen.  The two southpaws received invitations to spring training.
  • The Rangers have signed right-hander Yhency Brazoban to a minor league contract, according to the Associated Press.  Brazoban made 116 appearances for the Dodgers between 2004 and 2008, and last year pitched in the Mexican League and for the Mets' Triple-A team.
  • Texas also signed 16-year-old Dominican shortstop Alberto Triunfel to a contract worth $300K, reports Baseball America's Ben Badler.  Trifunel, a Scott Boras client, was ranked eighth on Blake Bentley's list of top prospects heading into the opening of the international signing period.

Odds & Ends: Diaz, Cedeno, German, Ojeda

A few tidbits from around the majors….

  • Blue Jays reliever Jeremy Accardo hopes to be non-tendered tomorrow, writes MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.  The righty, 28 this month, dealt with a groin injury and bounced up and down between Triple A and the Majors this year.  He earned $900K.
  • Cases of players avoiding arbitration and signing for 2010, according to the AP: Matt Diaz of the Braves at $2.55MM, Ronny Cedeno of the Pirates at $1.125MM, and Esteban German of the Rangers at $600K. Diaz gets a 106% raise, heading into his third arbitration year.
  • The AP also notes that the Nationals signed pitcher Ryan Speier for $425K.  The 30-year-old toiled at Triple A for the Rockies this year, mainly.
  • MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (via Twitter) reports that the Diamondbacks have avoided going to arbitration with Augie Ojeda by re-signing the veteran infielder to a one-year deal.  Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says the contract is worth $825K.  Ojeda, 34, has spent the last three seasons with Arizona and hit .246/.340/.345 in 309 plate appearances in 2009.  The defensive specialist is a valuable utilityman, able to play second, third and shortstop.
  • Twins GM Bill Smith tells Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that his traditionally low-spending team has "substantial funds" to cover arbitration raises and potential signings that could raise Minnesota's payroll into the $90MM neighborhood for next season.  The general manager was predictably non-committal when asked if "substantial" translated to "enough to extend Joe Mauer."
  • NPB Tracker passes on news from Japanese site Sanspo.com that the Yakult Swallows will announce next week that they have signed Eulogio De La Cruz.  The right-hander was released by the Padres on Wednesday.  De La Cruz has an 11.84 ERA in 15 appearances over three seasons with San Diego, Florida and Detroit.
  • The White Sox seem ready to stick with Randy Williams as the only left-handed reliever (besides, of course, set-up man Matt Thornton) next season, as Chicago GM Kenny Williams told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  Gonzales notes that if the club changes its mind, a possible target could be former White Sox reliever Neal Cotts, who will be non-tendered by the Cubs tomorrow.