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The latest minor moves…
- The Rangers have signed left-hander Neal Cotts, catcher Juan Apodaca, right-hander Yonata Ortega, and outfielders Jim Adduci and Aaron Cunningham to minor league deals, according to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest. Cotts and Cunningham both have extensive Major League experience.
- Outfielder Jason Bourgeois has cleared waivers and can now elect free agency, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Bourgeois, 30, appeared in 30 games for the Royals this past season, playing left and center field.
- The Tigers signed right-hander Shawn Hill to a minor league contract, James Schmehl of MLive.com reports. Hill elected free agency last month after the Blue Jays removed him from the 40-man roster. The 31-year-old appeared in one game for the Blue Jays this past season, pitching three scoreless innings. He spent most of the 2012 season at Triple-A where he posted a 4.52 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 89 2/3 innings.
Right-hander Jesse Litsch has elected free agency instead of accepting an outright assignment to the minor leagues, the Blue Jays announced. The team reinstated Litsch from the 60-day disabled list today at which point he elected free agency.
Left-hander Aaron Laffey and right-handers Shawn Hill, Bobby Korecky and Scott Richmond also elected free agency, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The Blue Jays had outrighted Hill, Korecky and Laffey last week.
Litsch missed the entire 2012 season due to injuries. He experienced a "career threatening" shoulder infection early in the year and underwent biceps surgery in June. The 27-year-old pitched 75 innings in 2011, posting a 4.44 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. In five MLB seasons he has a 4.16 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. Litsch earned $975K in 2012 and would have been under team control through 2013.
Today’s outright assignments..
- The Blue Jays announced that they have outrighted left-hander Aaron Laffey, right-hander Shawn Hill, and right-hander Bobby Korecky off of the 40-man roster. The move leaves Toronto with 37 players on the 40-man roster. Laffey, 27, would have been arbitration-eligible this offseason. That leaves Colby Rasmus, Jesse Litsch, J.A. Happ, and Rajai Davis (if his club option is declined) as the remaining arb eligible cases in Toronto.
The 31-year-old Hill made his Major League debut with the Expos in 2004, and also appeared for the Nationals, Padres, and Blue Jays from 2006-2010. The Ontario-born right-hander has a 4.74 ERA, 5.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 48.9% groundball rate in 239 big league innings. Stats such as FIP (4.02) and SIERA (4.45) suggest that Hill has pitched better than his ERA would indicate.
This season, in 29 2/3 innings for the Revolution, Hill has totaled a 2.93 ERA and a 21:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. More impressively, he finished his time in independent ball by firing off 27 2/3 scoreless innings. The Blue Jays are hurting for pitching depth after placing Brandon Morrow and Drew Hutchison on the disabled list and losing Kyle Drabek to Tommy John surgery recently. Beyond that, both Jesse Litsch and Dustin McGowan are on the 60-day disabled list.
Hill, 29, broke into the majors with Montreal in 2004 and most recently made four starts for Toronto last season. The Jays released Hill to make room for Rajai Davis in November. Hill has a career 4.74 ERA and a 2.04 K/BB ratio in 44 Major League starts and has undergone two Tommy John surgeries in his young career. Hill pitched well in both the majors and minors for the Jays last year, and if he stays healthy, could be a nice high-upside addition to Florida's staff.
The Blue Jays added to their outfield mix today by acquiring speedster Rajai Davis from the Athletics for minor league relievers Danny Farquhar and Trystan Magnuson. The Jays also released righty Shawn Hill, according to a press release.
Davis, 30, became more expendable for Oakland after they acquired David DeJesus from the Royals. Davis slipped to .284/.320/.377 this year in 561 plate appearances for the A's, playing all three outfield positions but mainly center. It's not clear how the Jays will employ him, but capable center fielders are a rare commodity. We named him as a trade candidate back on October 25th. Davis is arbitration eligible for the second time this winter and potentially under team control through 2013.
Farquhar, 24 in February, posted a 3.52 ERA, 9.3 K/9, 4.9 BB/9, and 0.82 HR/9 in 76 2/3 Double-A innings this year. Baseball America ranked him 14th among Jays prospects heading into the season, noting that he effectively uses multiple arm angles to keep hitters off balance. The Blue Jays reportedly offered him to the Marlins as part of a deal for Dan Uggla.
Magnuson, a 25-year-old righty, posted a 2.58 ERA, 7.7 K/9, and 1.2 BB/9 with only one home run allowed in 73 1/3 Double-A innings this year. Heading into the season BA had him 22nd among Jays prospects.
Hill, 30 in April, has undergone Tommy John surgery twice in his career but was solid in 15 pro starts this year.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted the deal was close, while MLBTR added Magnuson's inclusion.
The Blue Jays signed righty Shawn Hill to a minor league deal, according to the team's official Twitter account. The 28-year-old Canadian has pitched for the Expos, Nationals and Padres in his five-year MLB career. He has pitched 218.1 innings in total, allowing 249 hits and 70 walks, striking out 137 for a 4.95 ERA. His best season came in 2007, when he posted a 3.42 ERA in nearly 100 innings for the Nats.
As MLB.com's Jordan Bastian notes (via Twitter) Hill had a second Tommy John surgery last year.
The San Diego Padres have parted ways with outfielder Cliff Floyd and pitcher Shawn Hill, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. They are the second and third players the Padres waived today, after the team also released righty Cha Seung Baek. Like Baek, Hill had been identified as a non-tender candidate by Tim.
Neither player was a major contributor in San Diego this season. Hill started three games for the club, posting a 1-1 record and a 5.25 ERA. Floyd made 17 plate appearances in 10 games, recording just two singles and a walk.
Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres will promote right-hander Chad Gaudin before Monday's game for a start on Tuesday against the Rockies.
According to Brock, Padres GM Kevin Towers said Sunday that he will not seek to acquire pitching help in a trade.
The Padres have been hit hard by injuries to their rotation, placing three starters on the disabled list in the last month. Cha Seung Baek and Walter Silva have strained forearms, and Shawn Hill was moved to the DL after leaving a game with inflammation in his elbow.
LInks for Thursday…
- Chico Harlan of the Washington Post says the Nationals will honor a handshake agreement Dmitri Young made with Jim Bowden, and put the first baseman back on the 40-man roster.
- Catcher Matt Wieters has been told by the Orioles that he'll be optioned to Triple A on Monday, according to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. Will the Orioles wait until late May to try to avoid Super Two status?
- Reds assistant GM Bob Miller talked to fans in an MLB.com Q&A.
- Check out an entertaining chat transcript with Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times over at Halos Heaven.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star interviewed Zack Greinke.
- Rangers owner Tom Hicks told Richard Durrett of the Dallas Morning News that the team has not reduced its budget for 2010. The Rangers have yet to set next year's budget, but it's known that some big salaries will be coming off the books. Meanwhile, MLB.com's Barry Bloom notes that Hicks intends to sell a minority share of the team.
- Rays exec Andrew Friedman said the team's demotion of David Price was entirely for baseball reasons, talking to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. R.J. Anderson of DRays Bay supports the decision. Bart Given agrees.
- Tom Haudricourt and Adam McCalvy write about Brewers GM Doug Melvin's irritation with the bogus Jake Peavy rumor.
- Purely speculative, but Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel wonders if Dontrelle Willis could get his career back on track with the Marlins.
- Rockies infielder Jeff Baker, unaffected by the trade rumors, homered twice yesterday.
- John Moores says the Padres sale to Jeff Moorad is "awfully close," talking to MLB.com's Barry Bloom. As you know, Sandy Alderson will step down as CEO when the deal closes (possibly today).
- Padres pitcher Shawn Hill had offers from six teams, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- The Red Sox signed reliever Rocky Cherry to a minor league deal.
- MLB.com's Alyson Footer says reliever Danny Graves asked for and received his release from the Astros.
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