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The latest minor moves from around MLB…
- The Rays signed righty Jhonny Nunez to a minor league deal, tweets Baseball America's Matt Eddy.
- The Padres signed right-hander Matt Palmer to a minor league deal, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (Twitter link).
- The Brewers signed outfielder Miguel Velazquez to a minor league deal, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (all links go to Twitter).
- The A’s signed outfielder Brandon Moss to a minor league deal, according to Goldstein.
- The Padres signed left-hander Alex Hinshaw to a minor league deal, according to Goldstein.
- The Blue Jays signed former Nationals prospect Garrett Mock to a minor league deal, according to Goldstein.
- The Royals announced that they signed right-hander Zach Miner, infielders Jamie Romak, Eric Duncan, Sharlon Schoop and Tony Abreu and left-handers Marlon Arias and Tommy Hottovy to minor league contracts. Miner, Abreu and Hottovy have big league experience, though only Hottovy appeared in the Major Leagues this past season. Duncan, once a highly-regarded prospect, posted a .849 OPS at Double-A as a utility player in 2011. Romak posted an .803 OPS for the Royals in 2011 and even pitched on two occasions.
The latest procedural notes…
- D'Backs manager Kirk Gibson told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that Tony Abreu cleared waivers and is going to Triple-A (Twitter link).
- The Royals told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that Gregor Blanco cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Triple-A (Twitter link).
- Outfielder Nick Evans cleared waivers yesterday, GM Sandy Alderson told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter). The Mets outrighted Evans when he didn't make the Opening Day roster.
- Another Mets player, Luis Hernandez cleared waivers, reports MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. He's unsure whether he'll accept a minor league assignment.
- Cubs catcher Max Ramirez cleared waivers and was outrighted to minor league camp, tweets MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- The Tigers outrighted infielder Audy Ciriaco to create a 40-man spot for reliever Enrique Gonzalez, tweets MLB.com's Jason Beck.
- Retired reliever Billy Wagner was removed from the Braves' 40-man roster today, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wagner has no plans to come out of retirement, but if he did he'd have to play for the Braves in 2011. The AP has details.
- Orioles righty Rick Vandenhurk cleared waivers, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
- Mets reliever Jason Isringhausen, who didn't make the club out of Spring Training, agreed to spend two weeks in Port St. Lucie. According to ESPN's Adam Rubin, one condition of the extended Spring Training agreement is that "if another team approaches Isringhausen in the interim about a major league opportunity, the Mets must either call up Izzy or let him depart." The Mets chose Blaine Boyer over Isringhausen for the Opening Day roster, which so far has allowed them to retain both relievers.
- Outfielder Brandon Boggs, outrighted by the Brewers yesterday, accepted his Triple-A assignment according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Brandon Boggs | Chicago Cubs | Detroit Tigers | Jason Isringhausen | Kansas City Royals | Luis Hernandez | Max Ramirez | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | Nick Evans | Rick VandenHurk | Tony Abreu | Transactions
Links from around the majors as Armando Galarraga makes Arizona's rotation…
- One scout tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that every team is kicking the tires on bullpen help, back-of-the-rotation starters, utility players and backup catchers (Twitter link).
- Scouts break down former Padres, current Padres, and other West Coast teams for Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres. One scout says there's "no doubt" that Cameron Maybin can play center field in spacious Petco park.
- Top Pirates prospects Stetson Allie, Jameson Taillon and Tony Sanchez have little in common off of the field, but are looking forward to making an impact in Pittsburgh, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers are looking for a shortstop for Triple-A and suggests Luis Cruz, Tony Abreu and Juan Castro are options.
D'Backs infielder Tony Abreu, Cubs catcher Max Ramirez, Royals outfielder Gregor Blanco and Mets infielder Luis Hernandez are on waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork adds that Nick Evans and Pat Misch of the Mets are also on waivers.
It's not surprising to see Abreu on waivers, since Arizona made him available earlier in the month. Ramirez is no stranger to waivers, having been claimed twice this past winter. Hernandez doesn't have an obvious role on the Mets and has drawn trade interest.
The Diamondbacks are looking for some left-handed relief help, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The club added the likes of right-hander J.J. Putz over the winter to improve their league-worst bullpen, but the Snakes' current southpaw relief options include Mike Hampton, Zach Kroenke, Jordan Norberto and Joe Paterson, plus Clay Zavada returning from Tommy John surgery.
Needless to say, Arizona will be paying close attention to lefties are cut from other Spring Training camps, but if the team wants to swing a deal, Piecoro says infielder Tony Abreu and right-hander Carlos Rosa could be available.
Abreu is battling Geoff Blum, Ryan Roberts and Willie Bloomquist for the utility infield job, while Rosa is one of several right-handers on the Diamondbacks' roster. Rosa was acquired from Kansas City last season and has a 3.97 career ERA in 34 Major League innings, but he also allowed 15 walks (against just 16 strikeouts) in his brief career.
The next Super Two cutoff will require fewer days of service time than usual, MLBTR has learned. Last year's Super Two cutoff was at two years and 139 days of service time. In previous years, the cutoff was never less than two years and 130 days. However, MLBTR has confirmed with two different team sources that the 2010 cutoff will be two years and most likely 123-125 days. Service time projections may change over the next three months, but the cutoff is likely to be in that range.
The abnormal cutoff is described by one source as an anomaly. But since the cutoff is percentage-based, the reduced service time needed for Super Two in 2010 may be the result of the recent trend in teams holding back MLB-ready prospects until late May or early June. Perhaps once Super Two-based service time manipulation became widespread, it lost its effectiveness.
The top beneficiary of the reduced Super Two requirement is Reds right fielder Jay Bruce. After this season Bruce will have two years and 125 days, and MLBTR has confirmed he'll be the Super Two with the least amount of service time. The Reds delayed his MLB debut until May 27th back in 2008, but he's still going to arbitration four times – starting after this season. Instead of earning $450K in 2011, he'll get millions. Diamondbacks second baseman Tony Abreu is another winner, at two years and 127 days after the season. Abreu can credit agent Scott Boras for fighting for an extra 30 days service time with last year's grievance. Chase Headley, at two years and 123 days after the season, will be the player with the most service time to miss Super Two status.
Looking ahead, a similar early Super Two cutoff after the 2011 season could affect a player like Matt Wieters, who could be at two years and 129 days. However, the collective bargaining agreement expires on December 11th, 2011, and the Super Two process figures to be one issue on the table.
- Tony Abreu could be an attractive trade chip if the D'Backs shop him for relief help, writes Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic.
- Ken Griffey Jr. should retire gracefully, writes MLB.com's Hal Bodley.
- We shouldn't be surprised to see Drew Storen arrive in the majors before Strasburg. As Ben Goessling of MASN.com explains, the Nationals may choose to reward Storen for signing so soon after they drafted him.
- Yorvit Torrealba has been one of baseball's best free agent bargains, if you ask MLB.com's Corey Brock.
- In a pre-draft notebook, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo explains why pitcher Peter Tago is gaining on some fellow amateurs and the answer is pretty simple.
- Wondering which pitchers have seen their strikeout rate climb or tumble this year? RotoAuthority has the results for the season so far.
- If Mark DeRosa hits the disabled list, the Giants will rely on their own players, mostly John Bowker, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney believes the Nationals would like to debut Stephen Strasburg at home, while his colleague Rob Neyer can see the Nats breaking him in on the road. Last night I suggested we could see Strasburg's first MLB start against the Astros in early June.
- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs says it's too early to worry, but pitching prospect Aaron Crow reminds him a little of another former first rounder in the Royals' system: Luke Hochevar.
Some Diamondbacks tidbits courtesy of MLB.com's Steve Gilbert…
- The Diamondbacks have about $3MM left to spend and are expecting to hear back from Kelly Johnson in the next couple of days regarding their offer, according to Gilbert's MLB.com blog.
- The acquisition of Johnson could shift Tony Abreu into an infield utility role, making infielder Augie Ojeda expendable.
- While inking Johnson would put Arizona at their budget, trading Chris Snyder and the $4.75MM he is owed next season would give the D-Backs some more wiggle room. You may recall that they nearly dealt Snyder to the Blue Jays for Lyle Overbay, before Toronto's concern over his surgically-repaired back triggered them to call off the swap.
- Gilbert also reports (via Twitter) that the Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Jeff Bailey to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. The 31-year-old hit .262/.362/.424 with 10 HRs in 63 games for Boston's Triple-A affiliate in 2009.
Some Thursday night links…
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports note that the Phillies had a creative idea for third base before signing Placido Polanco – they asked Orlando Hudson if he'd make the position change. He passed.
- Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III spoke openly about the club's limitations in retaining Albert Pujols beyond his current deal, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Signing Pujols and free agent Matt Holliday to new contracts would almost definitely mean committing upwards of 40% of the team's payroll to two players.
- If the Tigers cannot re-sign free agent relievers Brandon Lyon or Fernando Rodney, they may have to look into a pair of Type A free agents, writes James Schmehl of MLive.com. Atlanta's Mike Gonzalez or Rafael Soriano could appeal to Detroit, but they would require the forfeiture of a first-round pick.
- Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes conducted a live chat today on MLB.com. It sounds as though Byrnes would be content to more or less stand pat this offseason, telling one fan that most of the club's impact players evolve within their system rather than "arrive via offseason splash." Don't expect Arizona to go after a second baseman this winter either as Byrnes says he looks forward to competition over the spot this season, featuring late-season acquisition Tony Abreu.
- More from Arizona as the club outrighted a pair of prospects to their Triple-A affiliate – pitcher Kyler Newby and catcher Luke Carlin, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic writes that the move was not made in anticipation of a free agent signing or trade.
- Matt Stairs told Larry Mahoney of the Bangor Daily News that he would like to play next season. Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer says not to expect Stairs back in Philadelphia next season, as Phils GM Ruben Amaro offered him the opportunity to audition for other teams at Spring Training.
- Jacque Jones also wants back in baseball, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. The 34-year-old last played in 2008, seeing time in 42 games in which he recorded an OPS of .446. However, his agent insists that teams will be impressed with his physical conditioning and desire to continue his career.
Earlier this week, the Dodgers, as expected, declined to pick up their side of a $10MM mutual option for Jon Garland. However, one has to think that Ned Colletti & Co. would like to hang on to the 6'6 righty after surrendering Tony Abreu for him.
In 2009, Garland turned in an ERA of 4.01 in 200+ IP. The 30-year-old shined in his limited time in Dodger Blue, recording a 2.72 ERA with a 2.89 SO/BB ratio in six regular season games. While he would be a fairly attractive option in any free agent class, this winter's weak crop of starting pitchers may make Garland an even hotter commodity.
With Randy Wolf and Vicente Padilla also entering free agency, should the Dodgers look to hang on to Garland? What kind of an offer would you extend to him?