Romulo Sanchez Rumors
The Rays signed second baseman Will Rhymes, outfielder Jesus Feliciano and right-handed reliever Romulo Sanchez to minor league deals, Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweets. Rhymes, 28, spent parts of the past two seasons with the Tigers, who non-tendered him in December. The team confirmed the moves and reports the signing of right-hander Matt Torra.
Rhymes, who's listed at 5'9" and 155 pounds, owns a .283/.341/.370 line in 312 MLB plate appearances. He was far more impressive at the plate in 2010 than in 2011, when his batting average on balls in play dropped by 50 points.
Feliciano made his MLB debut with the Mets in 2010, soon after his 31st birthday. He posted a .563 OPS in 119 plate appearances and spent the 2011 campaign in the minors. Sanchez, 27, spent last year in Japan and has MLB experience with the Pirates and Yankees.
The Red Sox announced the passing of longtime executive Lou Gorman, who built Boston's 1986 American League Championship team. Our condolences to Gorman's family and friends. Here are this evening's links...
- Giants GM Brian Sabean confirmed to Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News that right-hander Marc Kroon has an out-clause in his contract that can be triggered on June 1st (Twitter link). The Japanese league vet will head to Triple-A after signing a minor league deal earlier this year.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a report indicating that Romulo Sanchez has signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles for $475K plus bonuses (Twitter links). The Yankees released Sanchez so he could purse a job in Japan last week.
- Maury Brown at The Biz of Baseball reports that 234 players (27.7%) on MLB rosters on Opening Day were born outside of the United States. The all-time record is 29.2% in 2005.
- Cubs chairmam Tom Ricketts told Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune that he's okay with eating the $11.5MM left on Carlos Silva's deal in order to release the right-hander. "We knew it was a possibility that there might not be a spot for him, and that’s just the way it is," said Ricketts. "You’ve got to have the best team on the field, and that’s what counts."
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy rounded up all of last week's minor league transactions. See what familiar names were signed and released as teams finalize their minor league rosters.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette challenges Pirates leaders to change the perception that the team is focused on profit, destined never to compete.
- Cork Gaines of Rays Index shows that the Rays' payroll dropped 41.7% from last year, all the way down to $41.9MM. The Rays committed $12.6MM to Wade Davis yesterday, an especially substantial investment for a team on such a limited budget.
- White Sox director of international scouting Jerry Krause is stepping down to join the Diamondbacks, according Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. The former Chicago Bulls GM will assist Arizana executive Jerry DiPoto.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Dodgers can overcome surrounding distractions to become a playoff team in 2011. In fact, he predicts an NL West title for the Dodgers.
WEDNESDAY: The Yankees designated Sanchez for assignment and announced that he has an offer to play in Japan.
MONDAY: The Yankees are selling Romulo Sanchez's rights to a Japanese team, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch (on Twitter). Sanchez, 27 in April, is an out of options hurler with a 95 mile per hour fastball.
He spent most of last year at Triple-A, posting a 3.97 ERA, 8.3 K/9, 5.1 BB/9, and 0.7 HR/9 in 104 1/3 innings. The Yankees acquired him from the Pirates about two years ago for Eric Hacker. At that time, Baseball America wrote Sanchez was "a big, intimidating presence...[who] lacks a great feel for pitching and has control lapses that keep him from dominating."
Here's the latest out of Queens and the Bronx on the final Sunday before regular season baseball gets underway....
- The Yankees have no plans to pursue the recently released Carlos Silva tweets Jack Curry of the YES Network. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild was Silva's pitching coach with the Cubs last season.
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings of The Journal News that Romulo Sanchez was scratched from today's road trip "for reasons I can’t give to you at this point." The right-hander is out of options and a long shot to make the team, and Girardi gave a look that indicated a trade was in the works acording to Jennings.
- Pedro Beato will make the Mets' Opening Day roster, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. The Mets selected Beato from the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft.
- In another tweet, Heyman says the Mets are searching for a second left-handed reliever, in part to match up with some of the lefty sluggers in the NL East.
- In a conversation with Steve Selby of the New York Post, David Wright says he's not concerned about the possibility of a Mets fire sale.
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News argues that the Yankees took the "safe, easy" route in giving Freddy Garcia a rotation spot over Bartolo Colon.
- The Yankees hope Colon can occupy the swing-man role previously held by Alfredo Aceves, writes Feinsand.
Daisuke Matsuzaka had his best outing of the spring against the Tigers today, allowing two hits and a walk in five scoreless innings, striking out five. Here's the latest on the AL East, as the Red Sox and their fans gain a little confidence in the back of their rotation...
- Victor Martinez, who was playing against his former team this afternoon, told the Boston Herald that he "loved" Boston and has no hard feelings toward the Red Sox. V-Mart added that he thinks the Red Sox are offseason winners because they improved their pitching and offense.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com wonders what might have happened if the Red Sox had re-signed Martinez. A team source tells Speier that the Red Sox thought there was a chance the backstop would return. But as we heard earlier in the offseason, the Red Sox had doubts about Martinez's ability to catch long-term.
- If Martinez had returned, Speier hears that the Red Sox would have had the resources to pursue either Carl Crawford or Adrian Gonzalez, but not both.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that Yankees right-hander Romulo Sanchez has been impressing scouts (Twitter link). The out-of-options 26-year-old could fit on a team looking for relief help, according to Rosenthal.
2:21pm: According to MLB.com's Noah Coslov, the Yankees will receive right-handed reliever Romulo Sanchez. The 25-year-old was one of the Pirates' first cuts this spring. As of Friday, he had a 4.38 ERA and 15/5 K/BB ratio in 12 1/3 innings for Triple-A Indianapolis.
1:17pm: According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dejan Kovacevic, the Pirates have acquired minor league right-hander Eric Hacker from the Yankees. It's not yet clear who, or what, the Yanks were given in return.
Hacker, 26, was designated for assignment by the Yankees last Saturday. He posted a 2.43 ERA and a 115/37 K/BB ratio in 144 1/3 innings last season between Single-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. He was tried at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season and had a disappointing 7.88 ERA in three starts, prompting his departure.
Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates have designated reliever Romulo Sanchez for assignment. The club has 10 days to waive, trade or release him. Sanchez, 24, pitched in just two spring games before the Pirates demoted him to minor league camp. He allowed one run.
The move was made to free up roster space for Craig Monroe, who has hit .281 with six home runs and 13 RBI this spring.