Raul Valdes Rumors

Minor Moves: Rapada, Gimenez, Cabrera, Taylor

We'll keep track of the day's minor moves here:

  • The Mariners have signed lefty Clay Rapada and added him to the roster at Triple-A Tacoma, according to Rainiers announce Mike Curto (on Twitter). Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune first reported (via Twitter) that Rapada was working out for the team. The left-hander has a 4.06 ERA in 94 big league innings but has never been able to hold down a consistent big league job despite dominant numbers against left-handed hitters; Rapada has held lefties to a minuscule .164/.255/.231 batting line in his career. However, righties have roughed him up at a .345/.464/.611 clip.
  • Catcher Chris Gimenez has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock, according to the Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant (Twitter link). Gimenez, who has been outrighted previously, has 72 hours to accept or reject the assignment. He was claimed off waivers by the Rangers last week but quickly designated for assignment when the club promoted Daniel McCutchen to the Majors.
  • The Cubs have outrighted reliever Alberto Cabrera to Triple-A after he cleared waivers, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). The 25-year-old righty was designated on Saturday. 
  • Outfielder Michael Taylor has cleared outright waivers and been assigned to Triple-A, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 28-year-old will take up residence in Sacramento for the fifth straight year since joining the Oakland organization.
  • Brian Bogusevic has accepted an outright assignment from the Marlins, reports Cotillo (via Twitter). Bogusevic, a 30-year-old outfielder who was acquired over the offseason for Justin Ruggiano, could have elected free agency since he has previously been outrighted.
  • The Red Sox have released outfielder Scott Cousins, Cotillo also tweets. Cousins, 29, has seen bit action in parts of four MLB seasons. The news was first reported yesterday by Mike Andrews of SoxProspects (via Twitter). According to Andrews, longtime minor leaguer Juan Carlos Linares was also among the players cut loose from the Boston system.
  • Pitcher Armando Galarraga is working on securing a visa after receiving an offer from the Taiwanese club Brother Elephants, his agent tells Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Cotillo tweeted earlier this morning that the former big leaguer was close to a deal to move to Taiwan. In 542 career MLB innings, Galarraga has a 4.78 ERA  with 5.7 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9.
  • Outfielder Dave Sappelt has been released by the Phillies, tweets Cotillo. Sappelt himself said on Twitter that he appreciates the club carrying him while undergoing offseason surgery. The 27-year-old has seen limited action in three big league seasons.
  • The Astros have outrighted reliever Raul Valdes to Triple-A, according to the PCL transactions page. Though he lacks an extensive MLB track record at age 36, Valdes still has an intriguing recent stat line and looks to be a good bet to see time in Houston at some point. His ERA was a ghastly 7.46 last year, but he put up 9.5 K/9 (against just 2.1 BB/9), good for a 3.10 SIERA. Valdes posted numbers more line with those peripherals in 2012 and even during limited action this spring.
  • Likewise, Hiroyuki Nakajima has been outrighted to the top affiliate of the Athletics, also via the PCL transactions page. The move is not surprising, given that Nakajima had only been added to the 40-man in the first place to fill it up to allow for the team to designate Taylor for assignment, according to a report from John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter).

Steve Adams contributed to this post.

Astros Claim Alex Presley, Designate Raul Valdes

The Astros have claimed outfielder Alex Presley off of waivers from the Twins, tweets Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. To clear a roster spot, the team has designated lefty Raul Valdes for assignment.

Presley, 28, came to Minnesota last year in the Justin Morneau trade. Over parts of four years of MLB action, he has a .264/.304/.411 line in 821 trips to the plate. Presley has also hit 17 long balls and swiped 20 bags, though the latter figure comes against 15 times in which he's been caught stealing.

Meanwhile, the 36-year-old Valdes was claimed off of waivers in October from the Phillies. Though his 7.46 ERA in 35 innings last year with Philadelphia is unsightly, his 9.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 (to say nothing of a 3.10 SIERA) make things look much better. Indeed, he posted a 2.90 ERA (10.2 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 0.742 WHIP) in 2012 with the Phils, and had put up similar figures this spring (one earned, one walked, and six struck out in 5 1/3).

Astros Claim Raul Valdes, Decline Humber's Option

The Astros have issued a press release announcing that they have claimed left-hander Raul Valdes off waivers from the Phillies and declined their 2014 club option for right-hander Philip Humber. Humber is one of four players that has been outrighted off the team's 40-man roster; the others are infielder Brandon Laird and catchers Cody Clark and Matt Pagnozzi. Perhaps more noteworthy is the fact that top prospect Jonathan Singleton has been added to the team's 40-man roster to fill one of the new vacancies.

Valdes, 35, posted an alarming 7.46 ERA in 35 innings for the Phillies this season, but his peripheral numbers suggest that he was far better than that unsightly number. Valdes averaged 9.5 strikeouts and 2.1 walks per nine innings, leading advanced metrics like FIP (4.39), xFIP (3.74) and SIERA (3.10) to project better days on the horizon. He also held opposing lefties to a .229/.275/.375 line.

Houston held a $3MM option on Humber, but declining it proved to be an easy decision. The former No. 3 overall pick turned in a 7.90 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 54 2/3 innings for the Astros this season after signing for just $800K last offseason. Humber was designated for assignment in May and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where posted a 4.68 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9.

Laird hit .169/.224/.423 with five homers in 76 plate appearances for the Astros in 2013. Pagnozzi, who was acquired from the Braves at the beginning of September, went 3-for-21 in 22 plate appearances for the Astros in the season's final month. The 32-year-old Clark, a career minor leaguer, reached the Majors at last in 2013 and recorded his first big league hit with the Astros. Clark went 4-for-38 with Houston and hit .212/.250/.265 in 46 minor league contests this season.

Phillies Sign Brian Sanches, Scott Elarton

The Phillies announced today they've signed eight players to minor league deals with spring training invites: righty Scott Elarton, infielder Kevin Frandsen, catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, lefty Pat Misch, infielder Pete Orr, outfielder Scott Podsednik, righty Brian Sanches, and lefty Raul Valdes.  The signings of Podsednik, Misch, Frandsen, Orr, and Valdes were reported previously.

Sanches, 33, posted a 3.94 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 5.3 BB/9, 1.02 HR/9, and 33.9% groundball rate for the Marlins in 61 2/3 innings this year.  He was outrighted by the Marlins in October.  If the soft-tosser does find his way to the Phillies' 40-man roster and succeeds, they can retain him in future seasons as an arbitration-eligible player.

Elarton, 35, pitched parts of ten seasons in the Majors, most recently in 2008 with the Indians.  He last pitched professionally in 2010, tossing 19 2/3 innings for the Triple-A affiliate of the White Sox.  Elarton won 17 games for the 2000 Astros, though his best season might have been '99.

Gosewisch, 28, played in 109 games last year for the Phillies' Double-A affiliate.

Minor Moves: White Sox, Indians, Valdes

The latest minor moves...

  • The White Sox announced that they signed left-handers Donnie Veal and Jose Quintana. Veal, 27, posted a 4.22 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in the Pirates' system this past season. Quintana, 22, posted a 2.91 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 for the Yankees' Class A team in 2011.
  • The Indians announced that they signed catcher Michel Hernandez to a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training. The 33-year-old hit .273/.384/.381 in the upper minors of the Indians' and Orioles' systems in 2011.
  • The Phillies have signed left-handed reliever Raul Valdes to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Valdes pitched 12 total innings for the Yankees and Cardinals in 2011 after spending the 2010 season with the Mets. In 63 2/3 innings at Double-A and Triple-A this past season, Valdes posted a 4.38 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.
  • The Twins re-signed Brian Dinkelman to a minor league deal, according to Morosi (on Twitter).
  • The Brewers re-signed Erick Almonte, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The 33-year-old utility player appeared in 16 games for the Brewers in 2011, playing first base and right field. Almonte spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he hit .303/.380/.447.
  • The Mariners signed right-hander Jeff Marquez to a minor league deal, according to his agency, Sosnick Cobbe Sports (via Twitter). Marquez, a first-round pick in 2004, was granted free agency by the Yankees last week.

Raul Valdes, Scott Proctor Elect Free Agency

Relievers Raul Valdes and Scott Proctor have elected free agency, the Yankees announced today (Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweeted the news).  Having lost Aaron Laffey as well, the Yankees' 40-man roster now stands at 37.

Valdes, a 33-year-old southpaw, joined the Yankees on an August waiver claim from the Cardinals after being designated for assignment.  Valdes tossed 12 big league innings overall and another 63 2/3 in the minors.   He's had some success against lefties.

Proctor, a 34-year-old right-hander, returned to the Yankees for eight games in September after spending most of the season with the Braves.  He began his career with the Yankees, suiting up in pinstripes from 2004-07.  In 40 1/3 innings for Atlanta and New York this year, Proctor posted a 7.14 ERA with more walks (31) than strikeouts (29).

Yankees Claim Raul Valdes

The Yankees claimed left-hander Raul Valdes off of waivers from the Cardinals, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com (on Twitter). To create space on the 40-man roster, the Yankees moved Jeff Marquez to the 60-day DL. They're assigning Valdes to Triple-A and won't need an active roster spot for him, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).

Valdes, who was designated for assignment Friday, gives the Yankees extra left-handed relief depth in case an opening emerges in the Majors. Valdes appeared in seven big league games for St. Louis this year, mostly in July. The 33-year-old also has a 4.73 ERA with impressive rates of 9.5 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 59 innings at Triple-A Memphis.

Cardinals Designate Raul Valdes For Assignment

The Cardinals designated Raul Valdes for assignment to create 40-man roster space for Arthur Rhodes, according to B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com (on Twitter). They optioned Tony Cruz to Triple-A Memphis to create room for Rhodes on the active roster.

Valdes appeared in seven big league games for St. Louis this year, mostly in July. The 33-year-old also has a 4.73 ERA with impressive rates of 9.5 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 59 innings at Triple-A Memphis.

NL Central Notes: Pujols, Valdes, Pirates

On this date in 1984, Ryne Sandberg hit game-tying home runs off Cardinals reliever Bruce Sutter in the 9th and 10th innings as the Cubs beat the Cardinals 12-11. Willie McGee hit for the cycle in the memorable contest between the rival clubs. Here's the latest from their division...

Cardinals Sign Raul Valdes

The Cardinals signed lefty reliever Raul Valdes to a minor league deal, tweets Baseball America's Matt Eddy.  Valdes, 33 next month, made his Major League debut with the Mets this year.  He posted a 4.91 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, and 33.7% groundball rate in 58 2/3 innings.

Valdes struggled against lefties, who hit .330/.366/.625 against him in 94 plate appearances this year with four home runs.  On the other hand, he struck out 27 and walked only three against southpaws.    

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