Shelley Duncan Rumors

Reds Sign Shelley Duncan, Lou Marson

The Reds have signed first baseman/outfielder Shelley Duncan and catcher Lou Marson to minor league deals, tweets Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. As Eddy points out, each was released by other organizations in Spring Training (Marson by the Phillies, Duncan by the D’Backs).

Duncan, 34, appeared in 20 games for the Rays in 2014, totaling 64 plate appearances and a .182/.297/.309 batting line with a pair of homers. The brother of former Cardinals slugger Chris Duncan and son of renowned pitching coach Dave Duncan, Shelley has seen action in parts of seven big league seasons with the Yankees, Indians and Rays. He was a very useful bench bat for the Tribe in 2010-11 and hit exactly 11 Major League homers in three consecutive seasons from 2010-12.

Marson, 27, was Cleveland’s backup catcher for much of the time that Duncan was filling a reserve role there. He’s a career .219/.309/.299 hitter that has been excellent at throwing out base-stealers in his career (31 percent) but struggled in terms of pitch framing. The former fourth-round pick was once one of the Phillies’ top prospects and one of the Top 100 in the game, per Baseball America — a standing which Philadelphia leveraged when it included Marson as one of four players sent to Cleveland in the 2009 Cliff Lee trade.


Minor Moves: Duncan, Manzella, Russell, Rauch

Here are today's minor transactions, with the newest moves at the top of the page…

  • The Diamondbacks have released first baseman Shelley Duncan, shortstop Tommy Manzella and right-hander Adam Russell, Matt Eddy reports (via Twitter).  All three players signed minor league deals with the Snakes during the offseason.  Duncan had a .606 OPS in 64 PA with the Rays in 2013, while Russell and Manzella last appeared in the majors in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
  • The Royals released veteran reliever Jon Rauch, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets.  Rauch, 35, signed a minor league deal with K.C. in January.  The right-hander posted a 7.56 ERA in 16 2/3 IP with the Marlins and a 2.89 ERA in 9 1/3 IP for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate last season.
  • The Nationals released infielder Mike Fontenot.  The veteran last played in the Majors in 2012, spending last season with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate and then signing a minor league deal with Washington in January.  Formerly a staple of the Cubs infield, Fontenot has a .265/.332/.401 line over 1586 career PA with the Cubs, Giants and Phillies.
  • The Cardinals outrighted Joey Butler to Triple-A Memphis.  Butler, 28, made his Major League debut last season by appearing in eight games for the Rangers, following six years in the Texas farm system that saw him post a .291/.375/.442 slash line with 72 homers over 3036 PA.  The outfielder was claimed off waivers by St. Louis in October.
  • The Brewers released outfielder Greg Golson, who had been signed to a minor league contract in January.  Golson appeared in 40 Major League games with the Phillies, Rangers and Yankees from 2008-11 and has playing in the minors ever since.

Minor Moves: Carlin, Rogers, Cousins, Anderson

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

  • The Indians have signed catcher Luke Carlin to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, according to the MLB transactions page. Carlin, 33, spent last year at Triple-A for the Angels. In 156 MLB plate appearances spread ove four seasons, Carlin has a .179/.263/.286 triple-slash. 
  • The Mariners have inked a minor league deal with righty Mark Rogers, who will receive a Spring Training invitation, the team announced. Rogers, 27, was the fifth overall pick of the 2004 draft and was once the game's 44th best prospect, according to Baseball America. He has been hampered by shoulder issues over his career, but has been strong (3.49 ERA, 9.6 K/9 vs. 3.1 BB/9) in his eleven big league appearances, nine of which were starts. Rogers recently spent time in the Venezuelan Winter League, registering a 5.16 ERA in 22 2/3 innings (with 17 strikeouts but 15 walks).
  • The Red Sox have agreed to terms with Scott Cousins on a minor league deal, per ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). The outfielder is a career .179/.230/.285 hitter in 193 big league PAs but has authored a .276/.337/.422 triple-slash line in parts of four seasons at the Triple-A level. He spent 2013 in the Angels' system.
  • Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports (via Twitter) that the Cubs have inked first baseman Lars Anderson to a minor league deal. The former Red Sox top prospect spent 2013 in the White Sox organization but batted just .194/.302/.251 before being released.
  • Eddy also tweets that first baseman/DH Shelley Duncan inked a minor league pact with the Diamondbacks. Duncan belted 11 homers in three consecutive seasons for the Indians from 2010-12 but slashed just .182/.287/.309 in a cameo with the Rays in 2013. He boasts an .840 career OPS at the Triple-A level.
  • More from Eddy, who tweets that the Dodgers have inked outfielder Trayvon Robinson, second baseman Ryan Adams and righty Mark Pope to minor league deals. Robinson is the most notable of the bunch, as the Dodgers originally drafted him and included him in the three-team Erik Bedard trade with the Red Sox and Mariners in 2011. Robinson, 26, has a .602 OPS in parts of two big league seasons but is a .266/.344/.454 hitter in Triple-A. Adams was a second-round pick by the Orioles in 2006 and has a career .770 OPS in the minors. Pope, a former fifth-rounder of the Padres, thrived in 51 2/3 innings in the independent Frontier League last season, prompting his return to affiliated ball.
  • The Orioles have signed infielder/outfielder Scott Savastano to a minor league deal, tweets agent Joe Rosen. The 27-year-old has spent six years playing in the Mariners' minor league system where he's amassed a .282/.360/.406 batting line. The versatile Savastano has recent experience at first base, second base, third base, left field and right field.


Minor Moves: Rays, Cubs, Purcey, Okajima

We'll keep track of today's minor moves here..

  • Infielder Ryan Roberts, 1B/OF Shelley Duncan, outfielder Jason Bourgeois and right-hander J.D. Martin have all elected to become free agents, MLBDailyDish.com's Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter links).  All four players were outrighted off the Rays' roster earlier this season.
  • Also from Cotillo (Twitter links), catcher J.C. Boscan and outfielder Darnell McDonald have elected to become free agents.  Both players were outrighted off the Cubs' 40-man roster last week.
  • The White Sox announced they have outrighted David Purcey to Triple-A Charlotte. Purcey, 31, posted a 2.13 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 6.0 BB/9 in 24 relief appearances. The club's 40-man roster is now at 36.  Purcey was one of Chicago's arbitration eligible players this winter.
  • Left-hander Hideki Okajima and right-hander Chris Resop have elected free agency from the Athletics, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (Twitter link).  Okajima, 38 in December, pitched in five big league games for the A's but spent the bulk of the year in Triple-A where he posted a 4.22 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 37 appearances.  Resop, 31 in November, also spent the lion's share of the year in Triple-A and had a 6.81 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
  • Reds right-hander Jose Arredondo, Angels right-hander Robert Coello, and Marlins third baseman Gil Velazquez have elected free agency under Article XX(D), according to Eddy (via Twitter).  Arredondo struggled at the Triple-A level in 2013, posting a 5.87 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 6.5 BB/9.  Coello made 16 big league relief appearances in 2013 and put up a 3.71 ERA with 12.2 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.
  • At Baseball America, Eddy has the full list of the past week's minor league transactions.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post


Shelley Duncan Outrighted To Triple-A

Tonight's outright assignments..

  • The Rays announced that Shelley Duncan has accepted an outright assignment Triple-A Durham.  Tampa Bay designated the DH/first baseman for assignment earlier this week to make room on the roster for Luke Scott.  The 33-year-old hit just .182/.297/.309 in 64 plate appearances this season.

Rays Designate Shelley Duncan For Assignment

The Rays designated DH/first baseman Shelley Duncan for assignment, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).  The move was made in order to create roster space for Luke Scott.

Duncan, 33, struggled in 64 plate appearances for the Rays after signing a minor league deal in January and making the team out of Spring Training given Scott's injury.  He's shown pop at times in the Majors, slugging .430 with 33 home runs in 770 plate appearances over 2010-12.  A right-handed hitter, Duncan hasn't shown a significant platoon split in his career with the Yankees, Indians, and Rays.

Shelley is the brother of former Cardinals outfielder Chris Duncan, and the son of legendary Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan.  Shelley's 43 career home runs rank 14th among those born in Arizona; he's a dozen behind his brother but 105 behind all-time leader Ian Kinsler.


Rays Designate Robinson Chirinos, Stephen Vogt

The Rays have announced they have designated catchers Robinson Chirinos and Stephen Vogt for assignment. The Rays now have ten days to trade, release, or outright Chirinos and Vogt to the minors.

The moves were needed to open space on their 40-man roster for first baseman/DH Shelley Duncan and relievers Jamey Wright and Juan Carlos Oviedo. Oviedo was then transferred to the 60-day disabled list, as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Duncan's promotion was necessitated by a right calf strain suffered by Luke Scott, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Executive VP of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman told reporters, including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter), Duncan won the job due to his extra base-hit ability and because he adds value with his power.

Chirinos was acquired in the Matt Garza trade and appeared in 20 games for the Rays in 2011 producing a slash line of .218/.283/.309 in 60 plate appearances. He sat out the 2012 season due to a concussion.

Vogt, a 12th-round selection by the Rays in the 2007 draft, made his MLB debut last season, but went hitless in 25 at-bats. He has fared much better at the plate during his six-year minor league career (.290/.360/.448), including numbers of .272/.350/.424 in 396 plate appearances in 94 games at Triple-A Durham in 2012.


Rays Sign Oviedo, Duncan, Wright, Sandoval

The Rays have signed outfielder Shelley Duncan and right-handers Jamey Wright, Juan Sandoval, and Juan Carlos Oviedo to minor league deals, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).  All four deals include invites to major league spring training, tweets Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.

Oviedo is the former Leo Nunez, who finished 142 games for the Marlins from 2009-2011.  The 30-year-old was disciplined for identity fraud prior to last season and appeared in just three minor league games before an elbow injury requiring Tommy John surgery ended his campaign.  For his career, Oviedo has a 4.34 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 across seven big league seasons.

Because his injury will likely cost him the bulk of the 2013 season, the Rays' deal with Oviedo includes an option for 2014, Topkin tweets.

Duncan, 33, spent much of the season as Cleveland's left fielder and posted a .203/.288/.388 batting line in 264 MLB plate appearances.  The left fielder/first baseman refused a minor league assignment in October, making him a free agent.

Wright, 38, has 17 major league seasons to his credit.  The veteran spent 2012 with the Dodgers and made 66 relief appearances, posting a 3.72 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9.  Sandoval, 32, had a 2.97 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in the Mexican League last season.


Duncan, Repko, Carlin, Hoey Hit Free Agency

Outfielders Shelley Duncan and Jason Repko, catcher Luke Carlin and right-handers Jim Hoey and Robert Coello have hit free agency, according to the transactions page at CBSSports.com. Repko declared free agency while Carlin, Duncan, Hoey and Coello refused minor league assignments.

Duncan got more MLB playing time than the others in 2012. He spent much of the season as Cleveland's left fielder, and posted a .203/.288/.388 batting line in 264 MLB plate appearances. Carlin appeared in four games with the Indians this year, spending most of the season at Triple-A. The 31-year-old posted a .703 OPS in 244 plate appearances with Columbus.

Toronto outrighted Coello off of the 40-man roster two days ago after he appeared in six games with the club this past season. The 27-year-old also appeared in 19 games at Triple-A Las Vegas, posting a 3.00 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 42 innings. Hoey pitched alongside Coello in Las Vegas, posting a 4.60 ERA in 60 2/3 innings.

Repko played in five games for the Red Sox this year and posted a .743 OPS in 228 minor league plate appearances.


Outrighted To Triple-A: Moskos, Duncan

The latest outright assignments from around MLB… 

  • The White Sox outrighted left-hander Daniel Moskos to Triple-A, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports (on Twitter). Moskos has spent the entire season at Triple-A and posted a 4.05 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 in 33 1/3 innings for the top affiliates of the Pirates and White Sox this year.
  • The Indians announced that they outrighted outfielder Shelley Duncan to Triple-A. They had designated the 32-year-old for assignment two days ago after he posted a .203/.288/.388 batting line with 11 homers.