Scott Maine Rumors

Minor Moves: Hill, O’Sullivan, Sale, Daley, Gimenez, Thomas

Here are today’s minor moves …

  • The Tigers inked right-hander Shawn Hill to a minor league deal today, as James Wagner of the Toledo Blade reports on Twitter. Hill, 33, has seen mostly scattered MLB action since taking 28 starts for the Nationals over the 2007-08 seasons. He has a 4.87 ERA through 105 1/3 innings (4.7 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9) in the upper minors this year with the White Sox and Blue Jays organizations.
  • The Phillies have outrighted Sean O’Sullivan to Triple-A, according to the International League transactions page. The righty accepted a previous outright assignment earlier this year, but will once again have the right to elect free agency instead.
  • Rays prospect Josh Sale has been hit with a 50-game suspension for recreational drug use, MLB announced today. This is hardly the first brush with trouble for the 23-year-old former first-round pick, who came into the 2013 season rated Tampa’s 24th-best prospect by Baseball America. After a previous drug-related suspension, Sale missed all of last year when the team banned him for inappropriate conduct. He had slashed .238/.313/.344 over 361 plate appearances on the year at the High-A level.
  • After reporting earlier today that Matt Daley has accepted an outright assignment from the Yankees, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets that Daley has actually been optioned by the club. The righty still occupies a 40-man spot.
  • Catcher Chris Gimenez has accepted an outright assignment from the Rangers rather than electing free agency, tweets John Blake, the club’s executive VP of communications. The 31-year-old was designated for assignment five days ago, and apparently has not found a better opportunity with another organization.
  • The Phillies have released outfielder Clete Thomas, Cotillo tweets. The 30-year-old has seen 794 MLB plate appearances in parts of four seasons, but had not been elevated by Philadelphia this season. Over 226 minor league plate appearances, he carries a .247/.345/.335 slash.

Earlier Updates

Baseball America’s Matt Eddy has posted his weekly look at minor league transactions from around the league from the past seven days. We’ll highlight a couple of the (relatively) notable names that were missed in the past week:

  • Eddy reports that the Cardinals have released southpaw Pedro Feliciano from his minor league deal. The 37-year-old, once an excellent setup man with the Mets, pitched to a 5.57 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 21 frames with Triple-A Memphis this season.
  • The Reds have released left-hander Scott Maine, Eddy reports. The former Cub was inked to a minor league deal in June after pitching well for the independent Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish, but he posted a 6.10 ERA in 10 1/3 innings with the Reds organization.
  • The Athletics have released first baseman/third baseman B.A. Vollmuth, tweets Eddy. Vollmuth, a third-rounder as recently as 2011, batted just .207/.278/.341 this season at Class A Beloit. The 24-year-old has yet to move above the Class-A Advanced level and a has a .702 OPS in his pro career.

Minor Moves: Collier, Loe, Pineiro, Maine

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

  • Phillies outfielder Zach Collier cleared waivers and was outrighted to Double-A, the team announced.  The Phils designated Collier for assignment earlier this week.  Collier, picked 34th overall in 2008, has a .240/.312/.349 slash line over 2084 career minor league plate appearances.
  • The Braves released righty Kameron Loe, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via Twitter).  Loe posted an 8.83 ERA in 17 1/3 relief innings with Triple-A Gwinnett after signing a minor league deal with the Braves last month.  This is Loe’s third change of teams in 2014, as he already opted out of a minor league deal with the Giants in March and was released by the Royals in May.
  • The Angels released right-hander Joel Pineiro, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports (Twitter link).  Pineiro struggled to a 7.48 ERA over four Triple-A starts after signing a minor league deal with the Halos earlier this month.  Pineiro was attempting a comeback after missing most of 2012 and all of 2013 recovering from shoulder problems,  and the Angels were his second stop after already being released by the Cubs earlier this season.
  • The Reds have signed left-hander Scott Maine to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A.  Maine had been pitching for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League, and the transaction was announced via Bridgeport’s team website.  The southpaw had a 4.95 ERA, 10.4 K/9 and a 5.75 K/BB rate in 20 innings for the Bluefish this season, with all but one of his 19 appearances coming out of the bullpen.  Maine posted a 5.59 ERA and 48 strikeouts over 46 2/3 IP with the Cubs and Indians from 2010-12, though he was plagued by both the long ball (1.5 HR/9) and walks (4.8 BB/9) over his brief stint in the bigs.  Maine spent 2013 pitching in the Marlins’ farm system.

Quick Hits: Phils, O’Flaherty, Maine, Guerrier, Cotts

Somewhat remarkably, both of the Phillies' last two GMs and last two managers are still employed by the organization, observes Justin Klugh of Philly.com. Meanwhile, the club only recently hired an analytical employee, and it remains unclear how much pull that position holds. While keeping the old guard around is a nice touch, says Klugh, the club should make a stronger commitment to progress. Here are more notes from around the league:

  • There is now only a "slim chance" that southpaw reliever Eric O'Flaherty will return to the Braves, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com. The issue, Bowman indicates, is that Atlanta is not as interested in working O'Flaherty into their plans as other clubs. Specifically, Bowman names the Orioles as a contender for the lefty. 
  • The Braves may have found yet another diamond in the rough with minor league free agent signees Luis Vasquez and Lay Batista, writes Bill Ballew of Baseball America. "We identified Vasquez and Batista as potential high-octane arms who could contribute in Atlanta as soon as 2014," said assistant GM John Coppolella.
  • Lefty Scott Maine is reportedly throwing well in Puerto Rico and beginning to draw interest from clubs, reports MLBTR's Zach Links (via Twitter). He could sign with a club as soon as this week, Links adds. Maine has a 5.59 career ERA in 46 2/3 big league innings. He spent time in the Marlins' system last year.
  • Another right-handed reliever, Matt Guerrier, is expected to audition for MLB clubs in the next ten days or so, Links further tweets. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN recently reported that the Twins could be interested in a reunion.
  • The $2.2MM contract agreed upon yesterday between the Rangers and reliever Neal Cotts is fully guaranteed, Links tweets. As Links observes, Cotts' representatives at Pro Star Management did well to get their client a guarantee given his injury history.


Cox, Hernandez, Maine Clear Waivers

WEDNESDAY: Cox, Hernandez and Maine have all cleared waivers, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Reed, on the other hand, was claimed by the Tigers and optioned to Triple-A Toledo earlier today.

SUNDAY: The Marlins have designated Zack Cox, Gorkys Hernandez, Scott Maine, and Evan Reed for assignment, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel (on Twitter).  In a related move, Jose Fernandez will make the club's Opening Day roster and start next Sunday vs. the Mets, tweets Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post.

Fernandez, 20, will make the leap directly from High-A ball to the majors to start the 2013 season.  While clubs often delay the debuts of their most promising prospects, the Marlins will put Fernandez on the major league roster despite not being in a position to contend.  In 25 Single-A and Advanced-A games last year, the right-hander posted a 1.75 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.

We heard last week that the Marlins were exploring a trade for the out-of-options Hernandez, but it appears that they were unable to find a deal.  The 25-year-old didn't do much in his 173-plate appearance big league debut with the Pirates and Marlins last season.  In Triple-A, he hit .257/.353/.346 in 281 Triple-A plate appearances, playing mostly left field.  

The Marlins acquired Cox last July from the Cardinals in exchange for Edward Mujica.  In 108 games for the Cards' Triple-A affiliate and the Marlins' Double-A affiliate, the 25-year-old hit .254 /.301/.409 with ten homers.

Maine, 28, made 30 relief appearances for the Indians and Cubs in 2012, posting a 6.08 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9.  Reed, 27, split time between the Marlins' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates last season, posting a 4.68 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.