Tony Campana Rumors

NL West Notes: Hairston, Rockies, Diamondbacks

The Dodgers signed Roberto Clemente on this date in 1954, beating out a number of interested clubs in the process. The Dodgers would lose the future Hall of Famer in the following Rule 5 draft and he'd spend his entire 18-year career with the Pirates. Here are the latest AL-West related links…

  • Jerry Hairston Jr. won't necessarily retire if the Dodgers win the 2013 World Series, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports.  “It’s February. A lot can happen, really, in a year,” he said. The 36-year-old utility player previously indicated he would retire at the end of the season if the Dodgers won it all.
  • The Rockies continue challenging conventional wisdom while constructing their roster. The team is considering the idea of using eight relievers at home and seven relievers on the road, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. Director of Major League operations Bill Geivett said "it's a fluid situation" but acknowledged the approach could be used to limit scoring at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
  • Tony Campana hasn't produced much as an MLB hitter, but as Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explains those shortcomings don't prevent the speedy outfielder from adding value. Cameron suggests Campana might be able to add one win of value as a pinch runner, especially now that offense has dropped off across MLB. The Diamondbacks acquired Campana from the Cubs for Erick Leal and Jesus Castillo yesterday.

Diamondbacks Acquire Tony Campana

The Cubs announced that they have traded outfielder Tony Campana to the Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league right-handed pitchers Erick Leal and Jesus Castillo.  The Cubs designated Campana for assignment last week to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Scott Hairston.

Campana, 26, finished 2012 with a slash line of .264/.308/.299 in 192 plate appearances.  The speedster also racked up 30 stolen bases last season, good for ninth in the National League.  The Diamondbacks are already more than set in the outfield, so its not clear what kind of role they have in mind for Campana.

Venezuelans Leal and Castillo are both just 17-years-old and spent time with the D'Backs Dominical Summer League affiliate in 2012.  Leal posted a 2.44 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 12 starts and two relief appearances.  Meanwhile, Castillo had a 5.40 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in eight starts and six games out of the bullpen.

AL Central Notes: Bourn, White Sox, Campana, Harden

Here's the latest from the AL Central…

  • The Indians offered Michael Bourn a deal in November worth roughly as much as the four-year, $44MM offer the team eventually made to Shane Victorino, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.  Victorino rejected the Tribe to sign with Boston, but Bourn eventually ended up taking a similar offer (four years/$48MM with a $12MM vesting option on a fifth year) from the Indians once a larger contract failed to materialize on the open market.  Cleveland's ownership was willing to make the signing since Bourn's deal is backloaded and the Indians will be receiving extra money from a new TV contract.
  • White Sox GM Rick Hahn likes his young catching corps and doesn't believe the team needs to add a veteran catcher to the mix,'s Scott Merkin reports.  Tyler Flowers is slated to be Chicago's everyday catcher, with Hector Gimenez as the backup and non-roster invitee Bryan Anderson also present in camp.  The three catchers have a combined 337 Major League at-bats.
  • The White Sox haven't spoken to the Cubs about outfielder Tony Campana, ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine reports.  Campana was designated for assignment by the Cubs earlier this week and was claimed on waivers by the White Sox last August before the Cubs pulled him back.  The Pale Hose are known to be looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder, though Campana is better known for his speed (54-for-59 in steals over the last two seasons) than his bat (.605 OPS in 347 career PA).
  • Rich Harden tells's Rhett Bollinger that he was determined to keep playing and didn't consider retirement after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in January 2012.  Harden is trying to revive his career in Minnesota after signing a minor league deal with the Twins two months ago.
  • In other AL Central news from earlier today, the Twins signed Rafael Perez to a minor league contract.

Cubs Designate Tony Campana For Assignment

The Cubs have announced outfielder Tony Campana has been designated for assignment. The move was made to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Scott Hairston, whose two-year contract was made official in a team press release.

Campana's main asset is his speed as he led the Cubs in stolen bases last year with 30, the ninth best total in the National League. The 26-year-old finished 2012 with a slash line of .264/.308/.299 in 192 plate appearances. Campana became expendable after the Cubs bolstered their outfield this winter, according to MLBTR's Transaction Tracker, with the free agent signings of Hairston and Nate Schierholtz.

"It was a difficult call for us," Cubs President Theo Epstein was quoted as saying by Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "I think it speaks to the fact that our 40-man roster is starting to have better depth on it. We preferred not to take a pitcher off at this juncture. So, looking at the position player group, it seemed to make sense to us to make this procedural move with Tony."

Epstein said he would like to keep Campana in the organization, but added he could be a weapon for a contending team in a certain role. The Cubs have 10 days to trade Campana or place him on waivers.