Tony Abreu Rumors
The Giants claimed infielder Tony Abreu off of waivers from Kansas City, the Royals announced. The Royals had designated Abreu for assignment on January 25th to create room for another waiver claim, catcher George Kottaras.
Abreu, 28, appeared in 22 games for the Royals last year, playing second base, third base and shortstop. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Omaha and posted a .322/.347/.492 batting line with 36 doubles in 453 plate appearances. Abreu has a .252/.280/.355 batting line in 464 plate appearances over the course of four MLB seasons.
Abreu, 28, appeared in 22 games for the Royals last year, playing second base, third base and shortstop. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Omaha and posted a .322/.347/.492 batting line with 36 doubles in 453 plate appearances.
Earlier tonight, the Royals announced the signing of Miguel Tejada to a minor league contract. Whether or not the deal includes an invitation to Spring Training will be announced at a later date, the Royals said in a release. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweeted the addition of Tejada could make Tony Abreu or Irving Falu expendable. Dutton added Falu has options remaining while Abreu doesn't (Twitter link). As the East Coast drops the ball on 2013, let's enjoy another round of MLB news and notes:
- Dutton projects the Royals' payroll to be in neighborhood of $83MM and it's hard for him to see it go much higher (via Twitter). The Royals could free up some salary by moving Luke Hochevar or Bruce Chen, but Dutton doesn't sense any urgency from the club to move either one. Another possibility, although less likely, is Chris Getz (Twitter links).
- The Mariners have contacted the Marlins about Giancarlo Stanton, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. However, one source Morosi spoke with doubts a trade will occur.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis has updated the 2013 amateur draft order. There are four potential compensation free agents remaining on the market (Michael Bourn, Adam LaRoche, Kyle Lohse, and Rafael Soriano). If they change addresses, their former club will get a pick at the end of the first round and their new team will forfeit their top choice (unless it's one of the top 10 overall).
- Within the same piece, Callis remains surprised the Mets were able to obtain Noah Syndergaard from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey trade. By adding Travis d'Arnaud and Syndergaard, which Callis projects as the Mets' second and third best prospects, the club has boosted their farm system into the top 20.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post listed the Nationals posting the best record in baseball as the club's top storyline in 2012.
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.
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.
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.