Rob Johnson Rumors
Here are today's outright assignments and minor moves from around the league...
- The Blue Jays announced that they outrighted left-hander Juan Perez off the 40-man roster and re-signed him to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. The 35-year-old southpaw posted a 3.69 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 31 2/3 innings for Toronto this season and held lefties to a .200/.280/.333 batting line.
- The Blue Jays also announced that they've re-signed catcher Mike Nickeas and and infielder Andy LaRoche to minor league deals with invites to Spring Training. Nickeas, 30, posted just a .507 OPS at Triple-A this season while LaRoche, the younger brother of Adam LaRoche, slashed .271/.339/.433 in 104 games at the same level.
- The Cardinals announced that they have outrighted catcher Rob Johnson, outfielder Brock Peterson and outfielder Adron Chambers off their 40-man roster. Each has elected free agency, per the MLB.com Transactions page. Johnson spent most of the season in Triple-A, but found his way onto a big league roster for the seventh straight season. In 829 Major League plate appearances he's a .200/.275/.295 hitter. Peterson, 29, made his Major League debut after 11 seasons between the minors and indepedent ball. He collected just two hits in 26 at-bats but dominated Triple-A, hitting .296/.364/.531 with 25 homers in 508 PAs. The 27-year-old Chambers hit .252/.338/.387 with eight homers and 16 steals in the minors, adding 29 big league plate appearances and making the Cards' postseason roster as well.
McClellan, 28, allowed 11 runs in 18 2/3 relief innings this season while missing considerable time with elbow and shoulder injuries. He had surgery in July. McClellan pitched to a 4.19 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 17 starts and 26 relief appearances for the Cardinals last year. Matt Swartz projected the right-hander to earn $2.4MM during this third trip through arbitration this winter.
Johnson, 30, hit .250/.298/.288 in 58 plate appearances with the Mets last year. He spent most of the season in Triple-A, where he put up a .207/.253/.335 batting line with four homers in 178 plate appearances. The catcher is a career .201/.277/.297 hitter at the big league level, with most of his playing time coming with the Mariners.
We'll track the day's minor moves here...
- Outfielder Brett Carroll and catcher Carlos Maldonado also elected free agency, Matt Eddy reports (on Twitter). Carroll appeared in five games for the Nationals this past season and Maldonado appeared in four.
- Catcher Rob Johnson is a free agent after being removed from the Mets' 40-man roster, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. Johnson, 30, appeared in 17 games for the Mets this year plus 45 contests for their Triple-A affiliate.
- Orioles catcher Ronny Paulino and left-hander Dana Eveland also elected free agency, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (Twitter links). Eveland appeared in 14 games for the Orioles, posting a 4.73 ERA, and Paulino appeared in 20 games.
- Yankees left-hander Justin Thomas also elected free agency, according to Eddy. The Yankees outrighted Thomas to Triple-A earlier in the month.
- Blue Jays reliever Juan Abreu has also elected free agency, Eddy reports. Abreu posted a 6.80 ERA in 42 minor league relief outings this past season.
- The Brewers announced that Livan Hernandez and Yorvit Torrealba elected free agency after refusing outright assignments to Triple-A. The moves are procedural, as Hernandez and Torrealba were expected to hit free agency.
The Mets have signed catcher Rob Johnson to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training, the team announced.
Johnson, 28, hit .190/.259/.285 in 199 plate appearances for the Padres last year and owns a .197/.275/.297 career line in parts of five big league seasons. He's thrown out 28% of attempted basestealers and is a .272/.328/.385 career hitter in nearly 1,400 Triple-A plate appearances. Johnson gives the Mets some veteran depth behind Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas.
Here are today's minor moves...
- Padres catcher Rob Johnson has cleared outright waivers and elected free agency, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter). Johnson, 28, posted a .190/.259/.285 line in 199 plate appearances as San Diego's backup catcher in 2011, preventing 23% of stolen base attempts.
- The Brewers announced that they re-signed infielder Edwin Maysonet to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training. The 30-year-old posted a .290/.347/.386 line for the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate in 2011 and hasn't played in the Major Leagues since 2009.
Among San Diego's 20 NRIs is a small handful of players with big-league experience and a decent chance of making the 25-man roster at the end of Spring Training. Here's a quick look at some of those guys:
- Kevin Frandsen has spent parts of five seasons with the Giants and Angels, and he has a "good shot" of catching on with the Padres as a utility man, according to Brock. The 28-year-old plays multiple positions and would earn a salary of $575,000.
- Guillermo Quiroz could challenge Rob Johnson for the backup catching job, notes Brock. Quiroz, 29, has played for four teams (Rangers, Blue Jays, Mariners and Orioles) in parts of seven seasons.
- Gregorio Petit spent parts of two seasons with the A's as a utility infielder in 2008-09. The 26-year-old spent the entirety of 2010 with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate.
- Bullpen hopefuls Luis Perdomo and Scott Munter each have Major League experience. Perdomo made 35 appearances with San Diego in 2009 but only one last season, and Munter was with the Giants for parts of three seasons.
The Pirates, meanwhile, have a slightly more interesting cast of notable names:
- Garrett Atkins, Jeff Clement, Josh Fields and Andy Marte form a quartet of one-time blue-chip prospects. Atkins, in particular, was an above-average player for the Rockies in 2006-07, but he declined quickly in the following years. Clement, a former catcher, was a No. 3 overall pick of the Mariners in 2005, and Fields and Marte were raw-power corner-infield prospects coming up with the White Sox and Braves/Indians, respectively.
- On the pitching side, Tyler Yates has a 8.1 K/9 for his career but did not pitch in the bigs in 2010. Donald Veal, selected by the Bucs from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft prior to the 2009 season, is a hard-throwing but wild lefty. Brian Burres has started 54 games in his five-year career with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates. Sean Gallagher was dealt from the Cubs to the A's in the deal that sent Rich Harden to Chicago, and has appeared in 91 games. Fernando Nieve has appeared in 99 games (19 starts) with the Astros and Mets in parts of four seasons.
The Padres acquired catcher Rob Johnson from the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash considerations, according to the team. Johnson had been designated for assignment on December 13th to create a spot for Jack Cust. He'll serve as Nick Hundley's backup in San Diego, presumably. The Padres now have 38 players on their 40-man roster.
Johnson, 27, has a .200/.282/.302 line in parts of four seasons with the Mariners. Last offseason, he underwent labrum surgery on both hips and had left wrist surgery. Johnson appeared in 61 games in 2010, batting .191/.293/.281 in 209 plate appearances. He threw out 35% of would-be base stealers, a career high (he has a 30% career mark). In their 2009 Handbook, Baseball America called Johnson the best defensive catcher in the Mariners' farm system.
Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.
The Mariners designated catcher Rob Johnson for assignment to create roster space for new DH Jack Cust, the team announced. The Mariners now have ten days to trade Johnson, release him or outright him to the minors. Adam Moore and Miguel Olivo figure to be the team's primary catchers in 2011, though Johnson could remain in the organization as insurance.
Johnson, 27, has a .200/.282/.302 line in parts of four seasons with the Mariners. Last offseason, he underwent labrum surgery on both hips and had left wrist surgery. Johnson appeared in 61 games in 2010, batting .191/.293/.281 in 209 plate appearances. He threw out 35% of would-be base stealers, a career high (he has a 30% career mark).
Gregg Zaun was offered arbitration by Tampa Bay today, but the free agent catcher has at least one serious suitor in the Seattle Mariners. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports report that the M's are looking to sign Zaun as a veteran platoon mate for prospect Adam Moore. Rob Johnson, the only other catcher on the Seattle 40-man roster since Kenji Johjima's opt-out, is coming off of surgeries to both hips and may not be ready for Spring Training.
Both Moore and Johnson are right-handed batters, so the switch-hitting Zaun would provide Seattle with a lefty bat for a platoon situation; Zaun had an .801 OPS against right-handed pitching last season. Should Zaun and Moore end up in a platoon, Zaun would find himself sharing time with a highly-regarded prospect for the second consecutive year. He began 2009 in Baltimore in a platoon with Matt Wieters.
Earlier today, we learned that Zaun expects to sign by the end of the week.
A few more evening links....
- Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times says that Kenji Johjima's opt-out is "an early Christmas present" for the Mariners.
- Meanwhile, Rob Johnson has one surgery down and one to go, according to MLB.com's Jim Street. Johnson will battle for time behind the plate in Seattle next season, with Johjima's departure resulting in one less competitor.
- Speaking of offseason surgeries, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that Albert Pujols will have elbow surgery tomorrow. Breathe easy though, Cardinals fans: according to Rosenthal, Pujols expects to be fully healthy for spring training.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com breaks down four of the confirmed finalists for the Cleveland Indians' managerial opening.
- Of the candidates for the Indians' job, Manny Acta would be the best choice for appealing to the team's Latino players, writes Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Pluto anticipates Latinos to make up about a third of the team's 25-man roster in 2010.
- The San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman looks at the Super Two rule, and explains why Tim Lincecum's extra week of major-league service could mean a big payday for the Cy Young winner.