Robinzon Diaz Rumors

Minor Moves: Velez, Gomez, Diaz, Leon

Here are today's minor moves from around the league…

  • The Brewers have re-signed infielders Eugenio Velez and Hector Gomez and catcher Robinzon Diaz to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Right-hander Arcenio Leon will also receive a minor league deal but is not being invited to big league camp (Twitter links). Velez hit .314/.398/.472 in 434 plate appearances between the Blue Jays' and Brewers' Triple-A affiliates in 2013. Gomez, 25, hit .196/.238/.255 in 406 plate appearances at Double-A. The 29-year-old Diaz hit .302/.335/.433 in 372 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A. Leon, 26, posted a 5.68 ERA with 58 walks and 41 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings at Double-A. Only Velez has extensive Major League experience.
  • Chris Robinson of the Padres and Joey Butler of the Rangers are currently in DFA limbo and can be monitored using MLBTR's DFA Tracker.

Minor Moves: Wilson, Powell, Yankees, Mets

We'll keep track of tonight's minor moves here..

  • The Yankees signed veteran catcher Bobby Wilson to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter).  Wilson will vie for playing time with Chris Stewart, Francisco Cervelli, and rookie Austin Romine this spring.  The backstop hit .208/.272/.321 in five seasons with the Angels.
  • The Mets announced that they have signed catcher Landon Powell to a minor league contract with an invite to major league Spring Training.  The former first-round pick hit .207/.284/.328 in three seasons with the A's.
  • The Yankees inked second baseman Reegie Corona, who was once a well-regarded prospect in their system, Eddy tweets.  He was playing in Venezuela and has been out of affiliated ball since 2010.
  • The White Sox signed shortstop turned right-handed pitcher Tony Pena Jr. to a minor league deal, tweets Eddy.  Pena switched positiions back in 2009.
  • The Brewers signed catcher Robinzon Diaz to a minor league deal with an invitation to early minor league camp, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  Diaz spent time in theRangers and Angels systems last year.  

Minor Moves: Knapp, Diaz, Rodriguez

The latest minor moves… 

  • The Indians announced that they released right-hander Jason Knapp (Twitter link). Knapp was a key part of the 2009 trade that sent Cliff Lee to the Phillies, but injuries have sidelined him, and he hasn't pitched since 2010. The 21-year-old had a 3.63 ERA with 12.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in three professional seasons from 2008-10.
  • The Angels released catcher Robinzon Diaz and right-hander Francisco Rodriguez from their Triple-A team, according to the Pacific Coast League. Diaz, who last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2009, has a 285/.309/.437 batting line in 166 plate appearances at Triple-A this year. Rodriguez accumulated more walks than strikeouts and posted a 6.35 ERA in 51 innings with the Salt Lake Bees. He appeared in ten games for last year's Angels team and posted a 4.37 ERA in 43 games for the 2010 team.


Angels Sign Langerhans, Hurley, Diaz

The Angels have signed outfielder Ryan Langerhans, right-hander Eric Hurley, and catcher Robinzon Diaz according to Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). All three players received minor league contracts.

Langerhans, 32 in February, hit just .173/.317/.346 in 64 plate appearances for Seattle in 2011. He did post a monstrous .311/.437/.573 batting line in 426 plate appearances split between the Mariners' and Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliates, however. The left-handed hitter has always been adept at drawing walks (13.0% of his career plate appearances), and the advanced metrics generally like his glovework.

Hurley, 26, returned to the mound in 2011 after missing all of 2009 and 2010 due to major shoulder surgery. The former Rangers' top prospect pitched to a 5.55 ERA with 4.9 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 84 1/3 innings across 16 starts for Texas' Triple-A affiliate this past season. Hurley made five starts for the Rangers in 2008, allowing 15 runs in 24 2/3 innings.

Diaz, 28, also spent last season in Texas' minor league system. The backstop hit .318/.352/.444 in 211 plate appearances while throwing out just ten of 51 attempted basestealers (19.6%). Diaz hasn't appeared in the majors since 2009, and he's perhaps most famous for being the guy the Blue Jays traded to the Pirates for Jose Bautista back in 2008.


Minor Transactions: Madrigal, Lane, Vasquez

Tobi Stoner and Jason Pridie both cleared waivers and were outrighted to the Mets' Triple-A affiliate today, reports Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger (Twitter link).  The duo were designated for assignment earlier this week.

Here are some other minor moves from around baseball today, courtesy of Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.  All contracts are minor league deals, and all links are to Goldstein's Twitter feed.

  • The Yankees signed right-hander Warner Madrigal, who last pitched in the majors with Texas in 2009.  Madrigal originally broke into pro ball as an outfielder, but converted to pitching in 2006.  He posted a 3.73 ERA in 35 games with the Rangers' Double-A and Triple-A teams last year.
  • The Blue Jays re-signed Jason Lane.  Best known for his 26-homer season with Houston in 2005, Lane hasn't played in the big leagues since 2007 and has played for the Padres, Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays and Marlins organizations since leaving the Astros.
  • The Angels signed Virgil Vasquez.  The right-hander pitched in Tampa Bay's system last year.  A seventh-round pick of the Tigers in the 2003 draft, Vasquez has a 6.60 ERA in 19 career Major League games (10 of them starts) with Detroit and Pittsburgh.
  • The Rangers signed catcher Robinzon Diaz, who is best known for being the player to be named later that Toronto sent to Pittsburgh for Jose Bautista in 2009.  Diaz had 139 plate appearances with the Bucs before being released in the offseason.  He played Triple-A ball for Detroit last year.
  • The Rockies signed Kala Ka'aihue.  Ka'aihue was putting up minor league numbers akin to those of his older brother Kila through the 2008 season, but has struggled the last two years.

This Date In Transaction History: Wagner, Bautista

A pair of interesting trades went down on August 25th in years past.  One year ago, the Red Sox acquired reliever Billy Wagner from the Mets for a pair of players to be named later (Chris Carter and Eddie Lora).  And two years ago today, the Blue Jays completed their earlier Jose Bautista trade by sending catcher Robinzon Diaz to the Pirates.

Last year Wagner was coming back from Tommy John surgery with the Mets; he'd tossed nine pro innings on the season before Boston made the deal.  The Red Sox picked up the remainder of Wagner's $10.5MM salary, so the Mets saved more than $2.2MM.  Wagner waived his no-trade clause, but only if the Red Sox agreed not to pick up his 2010 club option.  They did, however, offer arbitration to the Type A free agent.  The Sox drafted Kolbrin Vitek and Bryce Brentz with the #20 and 36 picks this year as compensation when Wagner signed with the Braves.  Wagner pitched well in 13.6 regular season innings for the Red Sox.  Beyond the cost savings with Wagner, the Mets have gotten some use out of Carter.

When the Jays acquired Bautista from the Pirates two years ago, it wasn't a deal of much consequence.  He wasn't particularly good that year, and was widely considered a non-tender candidate after the '08 and '09 seasons.  The Pirates seemingly were clearing third base for new acquisition Andy LaRoche.  This year, Bautista posted one of the most surprising 40 home run seasons in recent memory and could hit 50 by year's end.  There will be no non-tender rumors this winter.  Diaz seemed like a decent return for Bautista at the time, but the Pirates cut him loose in November of last year.  Former GM J.P. Ricciardi deserves credit; check out this passage from a CBC Sports article from September of 2008:

Following the Blue Jays' thrilling come-from-behind 8-7 win over Baltimore on Wednesday night, a fan phoned a Toronto sports radio station and criticized J.P. Ricciardi for dealing catching prospect Robinson Diaz to Pittsburgh.  The general manager, who was taking calls, defended the move, saying there were players in the team's minor-league system who had developed quicker than Diaz.  He also said infielder/outfielder Jose Bautista, the player Toronto received in the trade, would be a valuable part of the team in 2009 and 2010.


Tigers Sign Robinzon Diaz

The Tigers signed catcher Robinzon Diaz, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Diaz, 26, was released by the Pirates in November after hitting .279/.307/.357 in 138 plate appearances and catching 283 innings.  He didn't hit much better in the minors this year.  If the Tigers are happy with Diaz, they'll be able to retain him in future seasons since he's not close to six years service time.


Robinzon Diaz Becomes A Free Agent

The Pirates designated catcher Robinzon Diaz for assignment on Friday, and now according to a team press release he has cleared waivers and been unconditionally released.  The 26-year-old catcher hit .279/.307/.357 in 138 plate appearances for the Pirates this year, catching 283 innings.

The press release also notes that recently-designated players Jeff Karstens and Justin Thomas cleared waivers and have been outrighted to Triple A.


Odds & Ends: Matsui, Cardinals, Arb Offers

Links for Monday…


Pirates Designate Two For Assignment

Friday was the deadline for teams to set their 40-man roster for next month's Rule 5 Draft, and MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports that the Pirates cleared up two spots for prospects by designating Robinzon Diaz and Justin Thomas for assignment. They also designated Jeff Karstens for assignment yesterday.

Diaz, a 26-year-old catcher, hit .279/.307/.357 in 138 plate appearances for Pittsburgh in 2009. Thomas, a 25-year-old lefty reliever, had a 4.48 ERA in 60.1 innings with Seattle's Triple-A affiliate.

Among the players the Pirates added to the 40-man roster were righthanders Brad Lincoln and Bryan Morris, as well as outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. Lincoln was the 4th overall pick in the 2006 draft, while Morris was acquired in the Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay trade, and Hernandez in last summer's Nate McLouth deal.