Reid Brignac Rumors

Rockies Designate Reid Brignac For Assignment

The Rockies have announced (via their official Twitter feed) that infielder Reid Brignac has been designated for assignment.  In corresponding moves, Jeff Francis was placed on the 15-day DL while infielder DJ LeMahieu and right-hander Rob Scahill were called up from Triple-A.

Brignac was acquired from the Rays in February and he owns a .250/.294/.375 slash line in 53 PA this season.  The 27-year-old was Tampa Bay's second-round pick in the 2004 amateur draft and, for his career, Brignac has a .591 OPS in 769 PA.  Brignac has experience at short, third and second, and also has made a handful of appearances in the corner outfield spots over his six years in the Majors.


Quick Hits: Mets, Brignac, Stewart, Marmol

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tells Andrew Kahn that his favorite scoop was his early reporting on the Angels' discussions with Albert Pujols. A tip of the cap to Metsblog for the link to the Rosenthal interview. Michael Baron discussed (and generally concurred with) Rosenthal's opinion that the Mets will not be contenders until at least 2015, in spite of the team's promising young arms. Here are a few more notes from around baseball:

  • Reid Brignac says he is grateful to the Rays organization for sending him to the Rockies before spring training, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The infielder says that he "could see the signs right in front of me" that he was a longshot to make the Tampa Bay roster. With a full spring to prove himself, Brignac managed to make an infield-heavy Rockies opening day roster. While Brignac has only seen 42 plate appearances, and has slugged just .324 in his limited opportunities, he has been able to get on base at a .325 clip.
  • Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart has been optioned to Triple-A, making his demotion official. Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-TImes quotes Cubs manager Dale Sveum as saying that Stewart is in the minors "as a triple A player now," with Cody Ransom and Luis Valbuena being the Cubbies' third base options. Stewart struggled mightily at the top level of the minors while rehabilitating a strained quad. Still just 28, Stewart has failed to return to the level he reached during his promising 2009-10 seasons, when he showed 20-home run power at a young age. Meanwhile, the Cubs still have little to show for their investment in the former first-round pick, who barely cleared the Mendoza line last year. In addition to paying Stewart over $4MM over the last two seasons (after non-tendering but re-signing him this offseason), the Cubs gave the Rockies Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu to acquire him.
  • The notion that Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol can build up any trade value is preposterous, tweets David Kaplan of CSN Chicago. Marmol was yanked in the eighth inning today after allowing two walks and hitting a batter, which led to two runs to break open a tie ballgame. After today's implosion, Marmol has more walks than strikeouts after throwing 11 2/3 innings.

Rockies Acquire Reid Brignac

Infielder Reid Brignac told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he has been traded to the Rockies (Twitter link). The Rockies announced the deal, which sends cash consideration and a player to be named later to Tampa Bay (Twitter link). The Rays had designated Brignac for assignment last week to create roster space for Kyle Farnsworth and Kelly Johnson.

Brignac appeared in 16 games for the Rays last year, playing second base, third base, shortstop and left field. The 27-year-old spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a .231/.323/.353 batting line in 400 plate appearances as a middle infielder. Brignac, who is not yet arbitration eligible, has a .227/.268/.317 batting line in parts of five MLB seasons.

Brignac joins a middle infield mix that includes starters Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Rutledge and reserves Jonathan Herrera and D.J. LeMahieu.



Rays Designate Brignac, Johnson For Assignment

4:31pm: The Rays also designated Elliot Johnson for assignment, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter links). Johnson, 28, appeared in 123 games for the Rays in 2012. He posted a .242/.304/.350 batting line with six home runs in 331 plate appearances. The moves create roster space for Kyle Farnsworth and Kelly Johnson, whose deals are now official. 

4:05pm: The Rays will designate Reid Brignac for assignment, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Rays are in need of 40-man roster space, presumably to make official the signings of Luke Scott, Kelly Johnson and Kyle Farnsworth.

Brignac appeared in 16 games for the Rays last year, playing second base, third base, shortstop and left field. The 27-year-old spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a .231/.323/.353 batting line in 400 plate appearances as a middle infielder. Brignac, who is not yet arbitration eligible, has a .227/.268/.317 batting line in parts of five MLB seasons.


AL East Notes: Yankees, Rays, Brignac

The Yankees made one of their trademark low-risk, high-reward signings last week when they agreed to a one-year, $2MM deal with Travis Hafner that includes another $2MM in performance bonuses.  The left-handed hitter has a career batting line of .287/.391/.534 against right-handed pitching and could prove to be a great pickup if he stays healthy.  Meanwhile, they still have some business to take care of on the other side of the plate.  Here's more on that and other news out of the AL East..

  • Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden (via Twitter) and Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that he is not finished yet and they are still looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder.  The Yankees recently inked Juan Rivera to a minor league deal, but they'll look for a stronger option in the outfield.
  • The Rays have a similar need for a right-handed hitting outfielder/designated hitter/first baseman, but they likely won't find their man before spring training with limited options available, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  Carlos Lee and Russ Canzler are among the hitters still available on the open market.
  • More from Topkin, who writes that there was trade chatter surrounding infielder Reid Brignac last week.  Brignac is out-of-options and seems unlikely to make the 40-man roster.  Aside from Brignac, the Rays still have to clear two more roster spots.  Catcher Stephen Vogt and reliever Dane De La Rosa are candidates to be DFA'd.

Knobler’s Latest: Braves, Beckham, Tigers, Rays

Some Winter Meetings rumors courtesy of CBS Sports' Danny Knobler:

  • Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado continue to be "as sought after as any players" on the trade market. Atlanta has received calls from 8-10 teams on Jurrjens and "half the teams in baseball" on Prado. Most see Prado as a second base upgrade. The Braves continue to say they don't need to move either player.
  • It's been well-documented that the White Sox could trade any combination of John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and Carlos Quentin this offseason, but Knobler says they'll listen on Gordon Beckham as well. Many Sox officials are hesitant to concede to rebuilding, despite the fact that GM Ken Williams used that exact word last month.
  • If the Tigers are going to make a big free agent signing, it's more likely to be Yoenis Cespedes than anyone else.
  • The Rays are open to trading Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis to improve the offense. They're also looking to deal Reid Brignac and upgrade their catching.

Rays Prefer To Use Prospects For Trades

Rays big leaguers B.J. Upton, Sean Rodriguez, Reid Brignac, and Wade Davis are drawing heavy interest, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but the team's "preference is to use their prospect depth to land a hitter."  The Rays specifically feel that they can't match Upton's defensive skills with internal options.

The Rays' farm system is among the best in the game, so they can easily make prospect-only deals.  Even if you take Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson out of the mix, Tim Beckham, Matt Moore, Alex Colome, and Matt Sweeney were considered top 100 prospects heading into the season.  It's quite possible the Rays go even further down their prospect list.  Look at the Angels – they just acquired Dan Haren without surrendering any top 100 guys. 

As usual, the Rays have kept their targets close to the vest.  Few players have been connected to them in recent weeks aside from Jayson Werth, and Yahoo's Tim Brown tweeted three days ago that a Rays source seriously doubts they get the Phillies outfielder.


Odds & Ends: Nationals, Lilly, Haren, Marlins, Kotsay

Sunday night linkage..


Top Trade Chips: AL East

Let's finish off our series with the toughest division in baseball…

  • Blue Jays: The Jays already traded away most of their top pieces, but they still have three desirable relievers in Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, and Kevin Gregg. All three can become free agents after the season. There might be some interest in first baseman Lyle Overbay, who will also hit the open market after the season. 
  • Orioles: Considering how poorly he pitched before landing on the DL, I'm sure a large part of the Baltimore faithful wouldn't mind seeing Mike Gonzalez go. Alas, that won't happen anytime soon. There always seems to be interest in Luke Scott, who still has two more years of team control left. If they decide to sell at mid-season, Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie could find their way onto the block. 
  • Rays: The Rays are a player development machine, and they have enough young players to get get pretty much anyone they want. They have enough depth that they could trade one of Reid Brignac or Sean Rodriguez plus one of Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, or Jeremy Hellickson and not miss a beat. If they fall out of it and decide to sell, it doesn't get much better than Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, and Carlos Pena. I believe the term is "stacked."
  • Red Sox: Boston has held onto Clay Buchholz for this long, but with his name appearing so frequently on the rumor circuit, it really wouldn't be surprising if they moved him for a big time player. They might still be able to find a taker for Mike Lowell, and there would be interest in Manny Delcarmen if he were made available. They did lose a valuable chip when Junichi Tazawa went down with Tommy John surgery. 
  • Yankees: They seem unwilling to trade either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, so their best chip is the semi-blocked Jesus Montero. Of course, the Yankees have the ability to absorb even the ugliest of contracts, so maybe we should consider that their biggest trade chip.

Blalock To Accept Minor League Assignment

Hank Blalock will report to the Rays' Triple-A affiliate in Durham, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune (via Twitter).  Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times tweets that this means the 29-year-old was unable to find a major league job elsewhere.

Late last week, Reid Brignac made Tampa Bay's Opening Day roster, leaving Blalock as the odd man out.  Despite his assertion that he does not want to play minor league ball, he told Topkin that he would remain in Durham for the "foreseeable future" if he could not land a gig in the big show (link goes to Twitter).

Blalock is not today's only notable addition to Triple-A Durham, as Elliot Johnson was also placed on the squad after clearing waivers.