Steve Tolleson Rumors

Blue Jays Notes: Buehrle, Tolleson, Colabello

Reports from earlier this season suggested that Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle is contemplating retirement following the season, but the highly durable workhorse tells Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet (Twitter link) that such talk is “kind of ridiculous,” adding that he has yet to make any kind of decision on his future. The 36-year-old Buehrle has struggled in the early stages of the 2015 season as he aims to complete his 15th consecutive 200-inning season.

A few more notes on Major League Baseball’s lone Canadian team…

  • As Shi Davidi of Sportsnet writes, the Blue Jays and infielder Steven Tolleson have circumvented the rule that requires outrighted players to remain in the Minors for 10 days before returning to the big league club. While initial reports stated that Tolleson accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A, Davidi reports that he instead opted for free agency (as all players that have been previously outrighted are allowed to do) and re-signed on a Minor League deal. Because of that, he will be eligible to rejoin the club whenever the Blue Jays decide they need an additional infielder, which could even be this weekend, according to Davidi.
  • Outfielder/first baseman Chris Colabello is healthy this season after quietly suffering through nerve damage in his right thumb following his hot start last season with Minnesota, writes Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. However, Colabello was battling for playing time after having clawed his way to the Majors from independent ball and didn’t feel a stint on the DL was something he could afford. Medical tests after the season revealed that there was no tear, and a hand specialist told Colabello that some rest would allow the issue to heal, which the 31-year-old said is indeed the case. Colabello has six hits in eight at-bats and has a window for some playing time as both Michael Saunders and Jose Bautista are less than 100 percent, Chisholm notes.
  • Colabello spoke with the Toronto Star’s Mark Zwolinski about his unorthodox path to Major League Baseball and the decision to turn down a $1MM offer to play in Korea because he was unwilling to let his dream of making it to the Majors die. He tells Zwolinski that his time with the Twins has taught him that he can’t worry about the future, because doing so ultimately hurt him. Now, says Colabello, he’s simply living in the moment and soaking up another opportunity to be in the Majors: “Every day on a baseball field is the best day for me.”

Minor Moves: Baker, Ortiz, Tolleson, Bello, Sands

The day’s minor moves will be tracked right here:

  • The Dodgers have outrighted Scott Baker to Triple-A Oklahoma City following his DFA, tweets J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group. The 33-year-old Baker was designated on Sunday following a pair of starts in which he allowed seven runs in 11 innings of work with an 8-to-3 K/BB ratio. The former Twin has yet to establish himself as a credible mid-rotation starter, as he was in Minnesota from 2007-11, after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012.
  • Left-hander Joseph Ortiz has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa after being designated for assignment by the Cubs over the weekend, MLBTR has learned (Twitter link). The 24-year-old Ortiz enjoyed a solid season with the Rangers in 2013 at just 22 years of age, working to a 4.23 ERA with 27 strikeouts against eight unintentional walks in 44 2/3 innings. Ortiz was involved in a freak accident prior to the 2014 season when was struck by a motorcyclist while walking down the street in his native Venezuela. The resulting fractures in his left foot cost him much of the 2014 season. Ortiz was claimed off waivers by the Cubs this winter and has a 3.38 ERA in 10 2/3 Triple-A innings, though he’s struck out just one hitter despite a career K/9 of 8.6 in the Minors.
  • Steven Tolleson has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A by the Blue Jays, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca tweets. The infielder could find himself back on the active roster in short order, per Davidi, as the club is currently lacking a reserve middle infielder after today’s roster moves.
  • The Padres have purchased the rights to catcher Yenier Bello from the independent league’s Joplin Blasters, according to Mark Schremmer of the Joplin Globe (via Twitter). Bello, 30, was released by the Braves just one year after signing out of Cuba. It seems rather likely that he will be looked upon as an organizational depth piece by the San Diego organization.
  • The Indians announced that outfielder Jerry Sands has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A. Sands could have declined the assignment and shopped his early-season .348/.400/.435 batting line on the open market, but apparently felt his best opportunity remained with the Cleveland organization.

Blue Jays Designate Steve Tolleson

The Blue Jays have designated infielder Steve Tolleson, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports on Twitter. With the move, the club has cleared roster space for the activation of outfielder Michael Saunders.

The 31-year-old Tolleson saw just 12 plate appearances this year for Toronto, picking up three hits and a walk. He saw his most extensive MLB action last year with Toronto, slashing .253/.308/.371 in 189 plate appearances. Tolleson has seen limited action in two other seasons.



Blue Jays Designate Moises Sierra For Assignment

The Blue Jays announced, via press release, that they’ve designated outfielder Moises Sierra for assignment in order to clear a 40-man and 25-man roster spot for infielder Steven Tolleson. Toronto also announced that Jonathan Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, with outfielder Anthony Gose being recalled to take his place.

The 25-year-old Sierra struggled greatly in his time with the Jays this season, collecting just two hits and a walk against nine strikeouts in 35 plate appearances. Despite his lack of production in 2013, however, Sierra was a well-above-average bat in 2013, slashing .290/.369/.458 in 122 plate appearances at the Major League level. Sierra has posted an identical .782 OPS in his career at the Double-A and Triple-A levels.

Tolleson, 30, has a bit of Major League experience with the A’s and Orioles, having batted .225/.273/.350 with three homers in 129 plate appearances. He’s been highly versatile throughout his career, playing second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions. At the Triple-A level, Tolleson is a .285/.368/.409 hitter in 2040 plate appearances.


Minor Moves: Tolleson, Treanor, Pino

Tonight's minor moves..

  • The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to terms with infielder Steven Tolleson on a minor league contract with an invitation to attend big league spring training.  The 30-year-old spent last season with the White Sox's Triple-A affiliate, batting .288/.381/.426 with eight home runs.  Tolleson has appeared in 54 Major League games for Oakland (2010) and Baltimore (2012).
  • The Indians announced that they signed catcher Matt Treanor to a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training.  He'll earn $800K if he makes the big league roster, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer.  Treanor had 122 plate appearances with the Dodgers in 2012, posting a less-than-stellar .175/.281/.282 slash line.  The 37-year-old did not play last season as he recovered from surgery on his left knee.
  • The Twins signed right-hander Yohan Pino to a minor league deal, according to the MLB.com transactions page.  Pino, who turns 30 on Dec. 26, spent the bulk of last season with the Reds' Triple-A affiliate, posting a 3.26 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 16 starts and 15 relief appearances.