Steven Lerud Rumors

Minor Moves: Laird, Wells, Lerud, Maya, Sappelt

We'll keep tabs on the day's minor moves here:

  • The Royals announced a series of minor league signings, including for third baseman Brandon Laird, outfielder Paulo Orlando and right-hander Wilking Rodriguez. Laird, 26, is the younger brother of Gerald Laird and joins the Royals from the Astros, where he received major league playing time in 2013. Orlando, 28, is re-upping with the Royals after six seasons in the organization. The 23-year-old Rodriguez will transition to the Royals after seven seasons in the Rays' farm system. He has a career 3.90 ERA, mostly as a starter, but has never reached Double-A.
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America has updates on a number of clubs' minor league signings. Among those with MLB experience (with links to Twitter): The Rockies will return Bobby Cassevah and Matt McBride, and have added righty Greg BurkeHeaded to the Tigers is righty Jhan Marinez, while Gorkys Hernandez and Edinson Rincon will stick with the Royals organization. The Phillies have brought back shortstop Andres Blanco. And the Dodgers inked utility infielder Brendan Harris. Other clubs with new signings include the OriolesReds, Marlins,  White Sox, and Athletics
  • The Cubs have signed outfielder Casper Wells, according to a tweet from Eddy. The team also added righties Paolo Espino and Carlos Pimentel, along with shortstop Jeudy Valdez. Wells got 102 plate appearances with three different clubs last year, posting a meager .126/.186/.147 line that is perhaps understandable given his constant movement and scant playing time. In 2012, over 316 plate appearances with the Mariners, Wells was good for a .228/.302/.396 slash. 
  • In addition to bringing back righty Benino Pruneda and catcher Jose Yepez on minor league deals, the Braves have added former Phillies backstop Steven Lerud, tweets Eddy. Lerud appeared in nine games for the Phils between 2012-13. At Triple-A last year, he had an interesting .217/.353/.311 line over 219 plate appearances, as he drew nearly as many walks (35) as he had hits (39).
  • Cutting ties with a major international acquisition, the Nationals have released righty Yunesky Maya, Eddy tweets. Washington saw little return on its $6MM investment in Maya, who had been outrighted off of the club's major league roster early in the 2013 season. After struggling in two brief call-ups in 2011-12, Maya's last stint with the Nats was even more regrettable. In his only MLB appearance of the 2013 season, Maya retired one batter in the bottom of the tenth before surrendering a walk-off home run to Pablo Sandoval
  • The Cubs have released outfielder Dave Sappelt, tweets Eddy. As Eddy notes, Sappelt was one of the pieces — along with lefty Travis Wood and second baseman Ronald Torreyes — picked up by Chicago in the deal that sent Sean Marshall to Cincinnati. The 26-year-old Sappelt has a .251/.301/.343 slash line in 274 plate appearances spread over the 2011-13 seasons. He has spent most of his time in Triple-A over that time frame, and posted a sub-.700 OPS in each of his two years at Iowa.

Minor Moves: Slaten, Manzella, Acosta, Gaudin

Here are the latest minor transactions from around the league…

  • SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization announced the signing of left-handed reliever Doug Slaten.  Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (Twitter link) first reported the deal earlier this week.  Slaten has a 3.52 ERA in 216 games for the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Pirates since 2006, including a 2.16 ERA in 10 games with the Bucs in 2012.
  • The Rockies have signed shortstop Tommy Manzella to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invitation, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  Manzella last appeared in the majors in 2010 with the Astros and has bounced around the minors with four different organizations over the last two seasons.
  • Right-hander Manny Acosta has signed a one-year, $1.65MM contract with the Yomiuri Giants, according to Gene Mato, Acosta's agent (Twitter link).  The deal could be worth another $500K in bonuses.  Acosta, 31, was non-tendered by the Mets following a season that saw him post a 6.46 ERA over relief appearances.
  • The Giants have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Chad Gaudin, reports Janie McCauley of the Associated Press (via Twitter).  Gaudin posted a 4.54 ERA in 46 relief appearances for the Marlins last season.
  • The Yankees have signed catcher Bobby Wilson to a minor league deal that contains a Spring Training invite, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link).  Wilson hit .211/.277/.292 batting line in 201 plate appearances with the Angels last season and was both claimed on waivers and non-tendered by the Blue Jays earlier this offseason.
  • The Yankees have also signed infielder Gil Velazquez to a minor league deal, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).  The 33-year-old Velazquez received 57 PAs with the Marlins last year and also has Major League exerperience with the Angels and Red Sox.
  • The Cardinals have signed 18-year-old Dominican right-hander Alex Reyes to a contract worth $950K, reports MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez (via Twitter).
  • The Nationals signed 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Neivy Pilier to a $225K deal, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America.
  • The Nationals signed infielder Brian Bocock to a minor league contract, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson (Twitter link).  Bocock last played in the majors in 2010 and has spent the last two seasons playing in the Phillies, Pirates and Blue Jays organizations.
  • The Padres acquired left-hander Chris Rearick from the Rays in exchange for infielder Vince Belnome, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter).
  • The Phillies have announced the signings of Andres Blanco, Josh Fields, Cesar Jimenez, Steven Lerud, Michael Martinez, Zach Miner, Jermaine Mitchell, Pete Orr and Humberto Quintero to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

Outrighted: Orr, Lerud, Lewis

We’ll keep track of the day’s outright assignments right here…

  • The Phillies announced that they outrighted infielder Pete Orr and catcher Steven Lerud off of their 40-man roster. Orr, 33, appeared in 35 games for the team, playing second and third base while posting a .772 OPS. Lerud, 28, appeared in three contests this past season. The Phillies now have 37 players on their 40-man.
  • The Mets outrighted outfielder Fred Lewis to the minor leagues, according to the transactions page at CBSSports.com. The seven-year MLB veteran appeared in 18 games for New York this past season, playing all three outfield positions. A Mets official told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that Lewis plans to become a free agent. The 31-year-old hasn't yet filed the formal paperwork, but will become a free agent once he does so.


Phillies Sign Bush, Lerud, Purcey To Minors Deals

The Phillies have signed Dave Bush, Steven Lerud and David Purcey to minor league contracts, the team announced.  All three players will be invited to Major League spring training camp as non-roster players.

Bush, 32, signed a minor league deal with Philadelphia last August and posted decent numbers in four starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  Bush is an eight-year Major League veteran, playing for the Blue Jays, Brewers and Rangers during his career.

Lerud, a catcher, has played eight seasons in the Pirates and Orioles' farm systems with a career OPS of .665.  He has spent the majority of this time in Double-A ball, briefly cracking the Triple-A level in 2010.

Purcey, drafted 16th overall by the Blue Jays in 2004, was well-traveled in 2011, going from Toronto to Oakland and finally to Detroit in a six-week span.  The left-hander has a 5.38 ERA in 87 career Major League games, 21 of them starts.


Orioles Acquire Steven Lerud

Bob Dutton tweets that the Royals have traded minor league catcher Steven Lerud to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Lerud, 24, was a third-round draft pick of the Pirates in 2003 and posted a line of .240/.339/.336 in 95 games for the Pirates' AA affiliate in Altoona last season. The Royals signed him as a minor league free agent back in December. Over six minor league seasons, Lerud owns a line of .228/.314/.363.