Tony Abreu Rumors

Royals Designate Betancourt For Assignment

The Royals have designated Yuniesky Betancourt for assignment, according to Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star (via Twitter). The move allows for the Royals to call up infielder Tony Abreu from Triple-A Omaha.

Betancourt rejoined the Royals this past offseason after being included in the Zack Greinke trade to the Brewers after the 2010 season. The infielder was hitting .232/.260/.408 in 56 games with Kansas City this year. 


Minor Moves: Nunez, Palmer, Moss, Mock

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 DuncanSharlon 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.

Procedural Notes: Abreu, Blanco, Evans, Hernandez

The latest procedural notes…



Quick Hits: Padres, Pirates, Rangers

Links from around the majors as Armando Galarraga makes Arizona's rotation…


Abreu, Ramirez, Blanco, Mets On Waivers

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


D’Backs Eyeing Lefty Relievers; Abreu, Rosa Available

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.


Super Two Cutoff Less Than Expected

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.


Odds & Ends: Abreu, Torrealba, DeRosa, Strasburg

Links for Thursday, as we await an Opening Day rematch between Josh Johnson and Johan Santana


Diamondbacks Notes: Johnson, Snyder, Bailey

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.

Odds & Ends: Hudson, Pujols, Gonzalez, D-Backs

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 GilbertNick 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.