Russ Canzler Rumors

Minor Moves: Tomas, Oliver, Brignac, Zito

Here are today’s minor transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Diamondbacks have optioned Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, the team reports via Twitter. The club signed Tomas for $68.5MM over the offseason. He struggled both defensively and offensively this spring. A stint in Triple-A should give him time to adjust to the outfield and improve his plate approach.
  • Phillies Rule 5 pick Andy Oliver has elected free agency after he was outrighted, the club announced via Twitter. The hard throwing lefty has struggled with walks throughout his career. That continued this spring with 11 walks and 22 strikeouts in 12 and two-thirds innings. The club also announced on Twitter that they reassigned catcher Rene Garcia, first baseman Russ Canzler, and infielder Cord Phelps to Triple-A.
  • Marlins utility infielder Reid Brignac has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Joe Frisaro of In 905 major league plate appearances, Brignac has a .222/.266/.314 line.
  • Athletics pitcher Barry Zito has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Jane Lee of The former star is working his way back from a one-year hiatus. He posted a 4.79 ERA in 20 and two-thirds spring innings. The 37-year-old struck out 14 and walked five. A former ninth overall pick of the A’s, the southpaw struggled after moving across the Bay to San Francisco on a seven-year, $126MM contract. That deal concluded after the 2013 season.
  • The Red Sox have released Casey Crosby, Bryan LaHair, and Matt Hoffman per the MLB transactions page. Crosby was once a top prospect with the Tigers, but the 26-year-old lefty has yet to develop command. Lahair, 32, had a nice run with the Cubs in 2012 when he hit .259/.334/.450 with 16 home runs in 380 plate appearances. He spent the 2013 season in Japan and split 2014 between Cleveland’s Double and Triple-A clubs.
  • The Phillies have released shortstop Tyler Greene according to the MLB transactions page. Greene, an 11th round pick, was once rated among the Phillies’ best prospects. He missed the entire 2014 season and has never posted a strikeout rate below 33 percent at any level.
  • The Giants have released pitcher Edgmer Escalona per the MLB transactions page. Escalona pitched in parts of four seasons for the Rockies, accruing 100 innings. He has a career 4.50 ERA with 6.39 K/9 and 2.88 BB/9.
  • The Cubs have released lefty pitcher Francisley Bueno according to the transactions page. The 34-year-old has pitched in parts of four season for the Braves and Royals. The soft tossing lefty has a career 2.98 ERA with 4.92 K/9 and 1.79 BB/9 in 60 innings. He’s a pure platoon pitcher.
  • The Braves released former closer Matt Capps per The righty last appeared in the majors in 2012. He has a career 3.52 ERA with 6.53 K/9 and 1.72 BB/9. He’s thrown just 12 minor league innings over the last two seasons – both with the Indians.


Phillies Sign Francoeur, Seven Others To Minor-League Deals

The Phillies have announced the signings of eight players to minor league deals with spring training invites. The list includes multiple players who could presumably play a role on the big league team if it deals from its current roster.

The list of announced players is as follows:

Every player on that list has MLB experience, and many have fairly extensive time in the bigs. Francoeur, of course, is a former top prospect and long-time starter who spent time both playing in the outfield and pitching last year in the Padres organization. He is one of several signees who could provide options if the Phillies were to move any of their current outfielders. The infield-capable members of this list may create some flexibility as well.

At various times, all of Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere, and Domonic Brown have found their names as rumored trade candidates. Though shortstop Jimmy Rollins and, to a lesser extent, second baseman Chase Utley have both been named as potential trade chips as well, those players enjoy full no-trade protection and appear less likely to be dealt.

Minor Moves: Jurrjens, Wang, Delcarmen, Burriss

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

  • Baseball America’s Matt Eddy has published his latest round of Minor League Transactions, and within the piece he notes that the Rockies have re-signed Jair Jurrjens to a minor league deal. Additionally, the Royals have re-signed Cuban lefty Noel Arguelles, Jordan Norberto re-signed with the Rays and Russ Canzler is back with the Phillies. Each of these is a minor league deal.
  • The Braves have signed right-hander Chien-Ming Wang to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training, according to’s Mark Bowman (on Twitter). The Braves are known to be seeking rotation depth, and Wang should provide just that. The former Yankee totaled 172 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level in 2014, posting a 4.12 ERA with 73 strikeouts and 57 walks.
  • The Nationals have re-signed right-hander Manny Delcarmen and infielder Emmanuel Burriss to minor league deals with invites to Spring Training, according to’s Bill Ladson (Twitter links). Burriss, 30 in January, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2012 but batted .300/.377/.412 in 510 Triple-A plate appearances for the Nats this past season. The 32-year-old Delcarmen hasn’t seen big league action since 2010, but he, too, had a strong season at Triple-A Syracuse for the Nats in 2014. Delcarmen posted a 3.13 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 60 1/3 innings of relief.

Minor Moves: Komatsu, Santos, Snyder, Bernadina, McCutchen, Diaz, Camp, Canzler, Hanson

Here are the latest minor moves from around the league…

  • Outfielder Erik Komatsu has signed with the Brewers, reports Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter). Komatsu, 26, started out with Milwaukee but was dealt to the Nationals in 2011 in a summer deal for Jerry Hairston. He was then taken in the Rule 5 draft, and saw brief time with both the Cardinals and Twins, before being returned to D.C. After being released by the Nats earlier this year, Komatsu had a brief stint with the Angels but was apparently released again.
  • The Pirates have traded outfielder Adalberto Santos to the Giants, according to the PCL transactions page. Santos, 26, was off to a rough .186/.234/.256 start in 47 plate appearances at Triple-A after performing well at each prevous level in the minors.
  • First baseman/outfielder Brad Snyder has elected free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock from the Rangers, reports Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest (via Twitter). The 32-year-old Snyder was designated for assignment earlier this week when Texas purchased the contract of fellow first baseman Carlos Pena from Round Rock. Snyder, a converted outfielder, was relatively new to first base, but all 10 games in which he appeared with the Rangers this season came as a first baseman. In those 10 contests, Snyder slashed .167/.265/.400 and blasted a pair of homers in 34 trips to the plate. The first-round pick has demolished Triple-A pitching in his minor league career but never received an extended look in the Majors.
  • Outfielder Roger Bernadina has refused an outright assignment from the Reds and elected free agency, reports C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). The 30-year-old has been unable to regain the form he showed in 2012 with the Nationals (.291/.372/.405 with 15 steals in 261 plate appearances). He split last year between Washington and Philadelphia before inking a minor league deal with Cincinnati. In 71 plate appearances, Bernadina scuffled to a .153/.286/.203 line.
  • The White Sox have inked righty Daniel McCutchen to a minor league deal, Dan Hayes of reports on Twitter. McCutchen, a 31-year-old righty, saw significant time in the Pirates pen over 2009-11 but has only appeared in two MLB contests since (including one with the Rangers this year). He had a 7.05 ERA and 8.1 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 over 60 innings (including eight starts) at Triple-A with Texas.
  • The Blue Jays have outrighted infielder Jonathan Diaz, according to the International League transactions page. Diaz, 29, put up a .158/.256/.184 line in 45 plate appearances with Toronto, his only MLB action other than a cup of coffee last year with the Red Sox.
  • Also according to the International League transactions page, the Phillies have released reliever Shawn Camp. The 38-year-old righty appeared in three games earlier in the year before being outrighted, electing free agency, and re-signing with Philadelphia. He currently owns a respectable 3.79 ERA through 19 innings in the minors, with 7.6 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9.
  • The Phillies have signed Russ Canzler to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, per the team’s transactions page at Canzler, who debuted for the IronPigs yesterday, spent the early portion of the season with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. He’s a career .276/.355/.457 hitter in Triple-A and has 102 career MLB plate appearances between the Rays and Indians.
  • The Angels have signed independent league right-hander Ray Hanson, per the club’s transactions page. The 6’7″, 235-pound Hanson has pitched very well in both the Frontier League and the United League, posting a 3.59 ERA with a strong 129-to-40 K/BB ratio in 125 1/3 innings. Hanson, 24, made his affiliated debut yesterday with the Halos’ Class-A Advanced club and fired five shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out three.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.

Pirates Outright Russ Canzler To Triple-A

Russ Canzler has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis after being designated for assignment earlier in the week, MLBTR has learned. He was designated to make room on the roster for Marlon Byrd and John Buck (Kyle McPherson was transferred to the 60-day DL in a related move).

The 27-year-old Canzler has a .253/.345/.379 batting line with 12 homers in 516 plate appearances between the Orioles' and Pirates' Triple-A affiliates this season. Pittsburgh acquired Canzler from Baltimore in exchange for former top prospect Tim Alderson on July 12. Canzler saw 97 plate appearances at the big league level with the Indians in 2012 and batted .269/.299/.398 with three homers.

In what was a hectic offseason for the utility man, he was claimed off waivers on four separate occasions: the Blue Jays claimed him from the Indians on Dec. 21 only to have the Indians claim him right back on Jan. 2. Two days later, the Yankees claimed him from Cleveland before the Orioles claimed him for the final time on Feb. 5. In parts of three seasons at Triple-A, Canzler has slashed .278/.358/.467 with 52 homers while seeing time at first base, third base and both corner outfield positions.

You can keep track of all DFA statuses with MLBTR's DFA Tracker. At this time, only Aaron Harang of the Mariners remains in DFA limbo.

Pirates Designate Russ Canzler For Assignment

The Pirates have designated utilityman Russ Canzler for assignment, Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (via Twitter). The team also placed pitcher Kyle McPherson on the 60-day DL. The two moves clear space on the Pirates' 40-man for Marlon Byrd and John Buck, who they acquired from the Mets earlier today.

The Pirates acquired Canzler from the Orioles for Tim Alderson last month, presumably to provide depth at first base, third base and corner outfield. He hit .195/.282/.244 in 142 plate appearances for the Bucs' Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis. Canzler has had cups of coffee with the Rays (in 2011) and the Indians (in 2012).

Pirates, O’s Swap Russ Canzler, Tim Alderson

The Pirates have acquired Russ Canzler from the Orioles, according to his agent, William Appleton (Twitter link; hat tip to Roch Kubatko of Kubatko tweets that the Orioles will receive right-hander Tim Alderson in the deal. The Orioles PR department has confirmed the move.

Canzler, 27, was designated for assignment when the Orioles acquired Alex Liddi (another DFA casualty) from the Mariners. In 374 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk this season, Canzler hit .276/.369/.430. Canzler is primarily a first baseman but also has significant experience in left field and at third base. The former has appeared in 29 big league games — three with the Rays and 26 with the Indians.

Alderson, 24, was a one-time top prospect with the Giants after being selected 22nd overall in the 2007 draft. The Pirates acquired him in a trade deadline deal for Freddy Sanchez in 2009, and it was considered to be an impressive pull for the Buccos at the time of the deal. Alderson's star has faded, however, and after failing as a starter he's been shifted to the bullpen. In 29 relief appearances at Triple-A this season, he has a 2.43 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. He did not rank among the Pirates' Top 30 prospects in either of the past two seasons, according to Baseball America.

Orioles Claim Canzler, Designate Martinez

Russ Canzler's offseason travels haven't ended just yet — the Orioles announced that they claimed the first baseman/outfielder off of waivers from the Yankees. Baltimore designated catcher Luis Martinez for assignment in a corresponding move.

The Yankees designated Canzler for assignment four days ago to create roster space for Travis Hafner. Not surprisingly, he failed to clear waivers. This marks the fourth time this winter he has been claimed off of waivers: the Blue Jays claimed him on December 21st, the Indians claimed him on January 2nd, and the Yankees claimed him on January 4th.

Canzler appeared in 26 games for the Indians this past season. The 26-year-old posted a .269/.299/.398 batting line in 97 MLB plate appearances while playing first base and left field. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a .265/.328/.487 batting line with 22 home runs and 36 doubles in 539 plate appearances. Chris Cotillo first reported today's claim on Twitter.

The Orioles initially acquired Martinez from the Rangers with a January waiver claim. Martinez appeared in ten games with Texas this past season. He spent most of the year at Triple-A, where he hit .270/.350/.386 in 247 plate appearances. The 27-year-old also appeared in 22 games with the Padres in 2011, his first campaign in the Major Leagues.

Yankees Designate Russ Canzler For Assignment

The Yankees designated first baseman/outfielder Russ Canzler for assignment, the team announced. The move creates roster space for Travis Hafner, whose deal with the Yankees is now official.

Canzler has been claimed off of waivers three times this winter, and it won't be surprising if a team picks him up again before he clears waivers. The Yankees claimed Canzler on January 4th, the Indians claimed him on January 2nd and the Blue Jays claimed him on December 21st.

Canzler appeared in 26 games for the Indians this past season. The 26-year-old posted a .269/.299/.398 batting line in 97 MLB plate appearances while playing first base and left field. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a .265/.328/.487 batting line with 22 home runs and 36 doubles in 539 plate appearances.

Yankees Claim Russ Canzler

The Yankees have claimed Russ Canzler off of waivers from the Indians,'s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). This marks the third time this winter that the first baseman/designated hitter has been claimed. The Blue Jays claimed him on December 21st before Cleveland claimed him back on January 2nd.

Canzler will provide the Yankees with another right-handed bat, assuming he remains on New York's roster. The 26-year-old appeared in 26 games for the Indians this past season. He posted a .269/.299/.398 batting line in 97 MLB plate appearances while playing first base and left field. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a .265/.328/.487 batting line with 22 home runs and 36 doubles in 539 plate appearances.