- White Sox Claim Kyle Drabek
- Brady Aiken Undergoes Tommy John Surgery
- Chris Tillman, Orioles Begin Extension Discussions
- Tigers, David Price Open Exploratory Discussions
- Dodgers To Sign Hector Olivera
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- White Sox Extend Adam Eaton
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- Dodgers To Sign Cuban Pitcher Pablo Millan Fernandez
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- East Notes: Papelbon, Warren, Victorino
- Minor Moves: Arguelles, Rays, Lorick, Lopez, Rockies
- West Notes: DeShields, Aiken, Lopez
- AL Central Notes: Graham, Pelfrey, Salazar, Finnegan
- Padres Fielding Trade Inquiries On Relievers
- Aiken Situation Could Lead To Changes In Draft Medicals
- Brandon League Likely Out Several Months
- Jordan Zimmermann Says Extension Unlikely
- Twins Have Inquired On Rafael Soriano
- White Sox Claim Kyle Drabek
- Mariners Rule 5 Pick David Rollins Suspended 80 Games For Failed PED Test
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- NL Central Notes: Bryant, Kang, Reds, Cardinals
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Shairon Martis Rumors
Here are today's minor moves from around the league…
- Right-hander Shairon Martis has signed with the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions in Taiwan, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. The 26-year-old Curacao native tossed 9 2/3 innings for the Twins and allowed six earned runs last year in his first taste of big league action since 2009. Martis has a 4.40 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 415 1/3 career innings at the Triple-A level.
- As can be seen in MLBTR's DFA Tracker, Maikel Cleto of the Royals, Justin Sellers of the Dodgers, Chris Jones of the Orioles and Chase d'Arnaud of the Pirates are all currently in DFA limbo.
As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reported today (Twitter links), some of the four remaining draft-compensation free agents may prefer to wait until after the draft to sign than agree to a sub-market deal. Dierkes notes that the high-risk strategy would threaten their former clubs with not receiving a compensation pick, which could increase the impetus for re-signings. It took until March 25th for the last compensation-bound player (Kyle Lohse) to reach agreement in 2013.
Of course, while carrying compensation is a hindrance, players only come to know its burdens after turning down a sizeable, one-year qualifying offer from their former club (this year, for $14.1MM). For many other free agents, an offer of any kind is all they are really looking for. Established big leaguer Tim Byrdak, now 40, is among them. He posted an image of a handwritten flyer on his Twitter account earlier today, advertising himself to GMs as a "high mileage but very serviceable," "late model LHR" that "comes with warranty" (via ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin).
Here are some more notes on an increasingly sparse market:
- Though a return of Johan Santana to the Twins was beginning to look like a foregone conclusion, writes LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star-Tribune, several other clubs have recently expressed interest in the 34-year-old. Minnesota is certainly still in the hunt, with assistant GM Rob Antony telling Neal that he was waiting to hear back from Santana's agent in their latest round of talks. Noting that the Orioles have also seen the two-time Cy Young recipient throw of late, Neal says that Santana could be planning a showcase of sorts to allow more clubs to see his progress as he recovers from a second significant shoulder procedure.
- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said today that the club made strong runs at Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez before they signed elsewhere, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports. "There were a couple of [trades] in the works that ended up falling through," said Gibbons, "and then with the free agents, there's a little bit of a bidding war out there, it's not automatic that you're going to get those guys." Gibbons declined to comment on current free agent starter Ervin Santana, other than to say that the club likes his arm.
- Do not expect Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos to go beyond the team's internal valuation to sign Santana, writes Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star. Griffin argues that the Orioles' signing of Jimenez to a Garza-like contract — while giving up a first-round pick to do so — has undermined the Jays' apparent plan to wait out the market for compensation-bound starters and leverage the club's protected first-round choices.
- Former Nationals and Twins righty Shairon Martis is weighing two minor league offers along with the possibility of playing abroad, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Though he made his debut in 2008, the native of Curacao is still just 26 years of age.
The Twins claimed Roenicke, 31, off waivers from the Rockies last offseason, and he spent the entire season in the team's bullpen. Roenicke posted a 4.35 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9 in 62 innings for Minnesota, appearing in 63 games and earning one save along the way. Roenicke is eligible for arbitration this offseason, but because he has more than three years of service time and was outrighted off the 40-man roster, he is eligible to elect free agency.
Thomas came to the plate 322 times for the 2013 Twins despite slashing just .214/.290/.307 and striking out in 28.6 percent of his plate appearances. Thomas' sound defensive play kept him in the lineup, as he appeared at all three outfield positions and totaled a UZR/150 mark of +9.6 in 727 1/3 innings.
De Vries was injured for most of the season and allowed 18 runs in 15 innings at the Major League level. The 27-year-old's minor league numbers didn't look much better, as he posted a 7.02 ERA in 50 innings at Triple-A.
Martis totaled a 4.26 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 80 1/3 innings in the minors and yielded six runs in 9 2/3 Major League innings. The Curacao native reached the Majors in 2013 for the first time since pitching more than 100 innings for the 2008-09 Nationals.
The latest minor moves from around MLB…
- The Mets announced that they agreed to sign left-hander Scott Rice to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training. Rice, 31, has a 4.08 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 14 minor league seasons.
- The Mets also signed outfielder Jamie Hoffmann to a minor league contract, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. The 28-year-old spent this past season with the Orioles' Triple-A team.
- The Cardinals agreed to a minor league contract with first baseman/right fielder Jamie Romak, MLBTR has learned. The Cardinals acquired the 27-year-old from the Royals midway through the 2012 season. In 442 total plate appearances in the upper minors, Romak posted a .260/.336/.406 batting line and hit 10 home runs and 21 doubles this past season.
- The Blue Jays signed infielder Jim Negrych to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports (on Twitter).
- The Twins announced that they signed 12 players to minor league contracts that include invitations to MLB Spring Training: right-handers Samuel Deduno, Shairon Martis, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters; outfielders Brian Dinkleman and Wilkin Ramirez; infielders James Beresford and Deibinson Romero and catcher Eric Fryer. Right-hander Tom Boleska and infielder Jason Christian also signed minor league deals with the Twins.
The Pirates announced six minor league free agent signings: Jake Fox, Brandon Boggs, Kyle Cofield, Jose Diaz, Shairon Martis, and Stefan Welch. Fox, Boggs, and Martis received non-roster invites to spring training. The signings of Fox and Martis were first reported yesterday by Baseball America's Matt Eddy.
Fox, 29, has a line of .237/.288/.425 in 534 plate appearances across parts of four big league seasons with the Cubs, Athletics, and Orioles. He's spent time at catcher and the infield and outfield corners. Fox has some powerful minor league performances on his resume.
Boggs, 28, hit .241/.381/.419 for the Brewers' Triple-A team this year, playing the outfield corners. Most of his big league experience came with the Rangers in 2008. Martis, 24, had 106 1/3 Major League innings in the Nationals' rotation from 2008-09. He spent 2011 with the team's Double-A affiliate, posting a 3.05 ERA, 9.9 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 133 innings.
Cofield, a 24-year-old minor league reliever, was acquired by the White Sox from the Braves for Scott Linebrink and cash a year ago. Diaz, a 27-year-old minor league reliever, posted a 1.41 ERA and 10.7 K/9 with 22 saves for the Orioles' Double-A club this year. Welch, a 23-year-old first baseman, hit 16 home runs in 514 plate appearances for the Mets' High-A team this year.
The White Sox announced that they outrighted right-handers Kyle Cofield, Josh Kinney and Shane Lindsay and left-hander Leyson Septimo to Triple-A. They also requested unconditional release waivers for right-hander Tony Pena after reinstating him from the 60-day disabled list. All five players will become free agents and the White Sox now have 36 players on their 40-man roster.
Cofield, 24, spent the 2011 season in the upper minors, where he posted a 3.30 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 30 innings. Kinney appeared in 13 games for the White Sox, striking out more than one batter per inning. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted an impressive 2.77 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 61 2/3 innings.
Lindsay, a native of Melbourne, Australia, had a cameo with the White Sox after spending most of the season in the upper minors. He posted a 2.18 ERA in the minors this year despite an alarming walk rate of 7.5 per nine innings. Septimo posted a similarly high walk rate (6.6 BB/9) in 56 innings at Double-A this year. Lastly, Pena, who was traded for Brandon Allen in 2009, appeared in 17 games for the White Sox this season.
Hall-of-Famer and Cardinals legend Red Schoendienst celebrates his 88th birthday today. Let's celebrate by looking at some news from the league where Schoendienst spent his entire 33-year career as a player and manager.
- The Mets want to find a new minority owner by June, reports The Wall Street Journal's Matthew Futterman, Michael Rothfeld and Chad Bray. If the Wilpons can't sell a minority share of just the club, Futterman, Rothfeld and Brian Costa report that the Mets ownership group could look to add a share of the SNY cable network to the sale "if and when it became a necessity." Jeff Wilpon said last week that SNY wasn't for sale.
- Mark Cuban tells Newsday's Barbara Barker that after failed attempts to buy the Cubs and Rangers, he won't pursue another baseball ownership opportunity unless he's approached. Cuban thinks the Mets are "a great opportunity, but I'm not going to call their investment banker." Cuban also said it's "very unlikely" he would settle for a minority share in a franchise unless he was given the first chance at buying a majority share in the future.
- Shairon Martis has cleared waivers and been outrighted to the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate, reports the team's official Twitter feed. Martis was designated for assignment by Washington on January 24.
- James Loney and the Dodgers "don't appear close to a settlement" of Loney's arbitration case, reports ESPNLosAngeles.com's Tony Jackson. Loney is L.A.'s last arb-eligible player, now that Hong-Chih Kuo has come to an agreement with the club. You can keep track of all the outstanding and settled arbitration cases at the MLBTR ArbTracker.
- Joe Pawlikowski of Fangraphs looks at what the Diamondbacks have done to remake their bullpen after last year's disastrous performance.