Tony Butler Rumors

Minor Deals: Brazoban, Reds, Rangers, Astros, Phillies

Once in a while, a minor move becomes more than just a footnote.  For example, about six years ago the Rangers released outfielder Andres Torres, who found his way back to the Majors in '09 after several more stops and put up some big numbers for the Giants.  Today's minor deals:

  • Yhency Brazoban signed with the Diamondbacks after exercising his out clause with the Rangers, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  The 30-year-old former Dodger posted a 3.42 ERA, 10.6 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, and 1.7 HR/9 in 26 1/3 innings for the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate. 
  • The Reds acquired righty Chris Mobley from the Rangers for future considerations, writes Baseball America's Matt Eddy.  The 27-year-old reliever has a 4.61 ERA in 27 1/3 innings across Double and Triple-A this year.
  • The Astros signed righty Brad Hennessey, reports Eddy.  The 31-year-old, who was drafted by the Giants in '01 17 spots before David Wright, has a 4.69 ERA in 360 2/3 career innings.  He last pitched in the Majors in '08.
  • The Giants released outfielder Terry Evans, notes Eddy.  Evans quickly signed with the Phillies, tweeted Reading Royals beat writer Jason Guarente yesterday.  Back in July of '06, the Cardinals sent Evans to the Angels for eventual World Series hero Jeff Weaver, plus cash.
  • Eddy reports that the Mariners signed lefty Tony Butler, one of the players they sent to the Orioles for Erik Bedard back in February of '08.
  • The Blue Jays released righty Chris Malone, writes Eddy.  Malone was the player the Jays acquired from Colorado for Brad Emaus in April, and they only needed eight innings to decide they didn't need him.  Emaus, meanwhile, is hitting .355/.419/.645 in 87 plate appearances for the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate, playing mostly second base.
  • Andrew Miller has a June 15th out clause in his contract with the Red Sox, so Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wonders if the Red Sox will consider calling him up to replace Rich Hill, especially given Miller’s recent success (Twitter link).  Brian McPherson of The Providence Journal talked to Miller, who isn't thinking about his opt-out.

Orioles Release Tony Butler, Jake Smith

The Orioles have released lefthanded pitching prospects Tony Butler and Jake Smith according to's Brittany Ghiroli (via Twitter). Both had been playing with Baltimore's Low Class-A affiliate. 

Butler, 22, was the Mariners' third round pick in the 2006 draft, and was traded to the Orioles as part of the Erik Bedard deal. He battled injury and ineffectiveness after the trade, posting a 5.91 ERA in 112.2 innings with the organization, including a 7.66 ERA in 44.2 innings this season. Baseball America ranked him as the team's 24th best prospect as recently as last season.

Smith, 24, was Baltimore's 45th round pick in 2007, and pitched to a respectable 4.01 ERA in 112.1 innings. In 33.2 innings in 2010, he posted a 4.54 ERA with unimpressive peripherals. Neither he nor Butler made it out of A-ball.

Erik Bedard Trade Almost Done

5:31pm: Baker update: Sherrill made an appearance in Baltimore to take his physical this morning.  The O’s may not need to examine the three young pitchers coming over.  Bedard has yet to fly out to Seattle but this thing should be done by week’s end.  Meanwhile Jason Churchill (righthand sidebar of his site) is 100% convinced the trade will happen and expects an announcement soon.

3:53pm: Sean Welsh of the Baltimore Examiner says the deal could be completed soon but not finalized today.

12:47pm: Geoff Baker checks in, mostly to dismiss any rumor of Brian Roberts being added to the deal.  I hadn’t heard that one from any legitimate outlet.

10:51am: The Sun has an update: this deal is nearing completion, pending physicals.  Jones is officially in Baltimore for his physical.  The deal may be announced later today.

MONDAY, 7:48am: This Baltimore Sun article was posted at 2:48am CST today. Jeff Zrebiec said no one’s taken a physical yet, but "officials from both sides remain confident a deal can be reached."

SUNDAY, 10:43pm: John Hickey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Adam Jones went to Baltimore today for that long-awaited physical.  Hickey says this physical is the only remaining impediment to the Mariners swapping Erik Bedard for Jones, George Sherrill, Tillman, Mickolio, and Butler.  Sounds like we might have an announcement on Monday or Tuesday.

SUNDAY, 11:39am: Larry Stone of the Seattle Times gives his take on the Erik Bedard situation.  The money quote:

All current indications are that, after all the histrionics of the past week, the Mariners and Orioles will really, truly, actually, once and for all, no turning back, no mulligans, no backing out, no passing go, get this trade done. But check back tomorrow, because nothing is for certain in this messed-up deal.

Stone also adds that Adam Jones was not in Baltimore for a physical on Friday, contrary to other reports.  He also gives some details about the three tall pitchers rumored to be part of the deal – Chris Tillman, Kam Mickolio, and Tony Butler.

Erik Bedard Rumors: Mariners, Reds, Indians

Erik Bedard staying put in Baltimore this winter?  Maybe not.  Ken Rosenthal and Jason Churchill both busted out brand new material this evening with the latest Bedard chatter.  The upshot is that the Mariners seem to have a decent shot at him.

  • Rosenthal says the Mariners will put Adam Jones, Jeff Clement, and Matt Tuiasosopo in the deal.  He indicates that the Orioles could push to substitute and get one of Tony Butler, Chris Tillman, and Carlos Triunfel.  Looks like Bill Bavasi is sticking to the idea of keeping Brandon Morrow.  Rosenthal hedges his bets, but admits to "growing indications that the teams could be moving closer to a deal."
  • Churchill says something similar: the Mariners and Orioles "may very well be making significant progress."  Churchill sees a package of Jones, Triunfel, and George Sherrill as the likely scenario. 
  • Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein recently listed his Top 11 Prospects for the Mariners.  Clement was a five-star, Tillman and Triunfel four-stars, Butler a two-star, and Tuiasosopo an honorable mention.  Jones would be first were he still considered a prospect.
  • Both Ohio teams have interest in Bedard as well, but a trade to the Indians or Reds seems less likely.  The Reds still won’t give up Jay Bruce.