Transactions Rumors

MLB transactions of all kinds, delivered to you before the player even finds out.

Rangers, Angels Reach Agreement On Hamilton Deal

SATURDAY 4:54pm: The Angels and Rangers have agreed to the deal, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The deal still needs to be approved by the MLBPA and by MLB, however. There are no specific indications that will be a problem, but approval might not be as automatic, particularly in the union’s case, since Hamilton has reportedly agreed to forgo salary in the trade.

12:46pm: Hamilton would receive a significant buyout if he were to excercise his opt-out, Rosenthal tweets. That makes sense — if not for a buyout, there would be few scenarios in which it would make sense for Hamilton to opt out of the $30MM he’s set to make in 2017.

12:02pm: The Rangers will take on less than $7MM of Hamilton’s contract, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, meanwhile, writes that the Rangers will pay $2MM-$3MM. Hamilton will eat about $6MM of the contract himself, according to Grant, since he can make up at least some of the difference due to the fact that Texas does not have a state income tax. That means the Angels could still save $8MM-$13MM. Hamilton will also receive an opt-out clause after 2016.

FRIDAY 7:15pm: The talks are still “complex” and “volatile” and remain incomplete, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). If the deal is completed, the Rangers will take on less than $15MM and will not send any players to their division rivals.

Multiple reports indicate that the lack of state income tax in Texas is playing a role, with Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeting that Hamilton will cede some pay to make the deal work. Hamilton’s gains through tax avoidance would, presumably, even things out (to some extent, at least) on his end.

If the proposed transaction is indeed one in which the Rangers would assume some of the contract without sending anything in return, and in which Hamilton would give up some guaranteed money, it is not hard to see the complexities. Both the league and union would surely want to take a close look at a deal of that nature.

6:16pm: The Rangers will pick up about $15MM of Hamilton’s salary, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. Los Angeles will pay the remainder of the $83MM that he is owed.

6:10pm: The deal “has been agreed to” though there remain several “ancillary” matters to be addressed, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets.

5:31pm: The Rangers are nearing a trade to acquire Josh Hamilton, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports on Twitter. There is still “legal work” remaining before the deal can be finalized, but Sullivan says an announcement could come Monday.

The details of the arrangement remain unknown, but Shin-Soo Choo is not involved in the prospective trade, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Choo had at least appeared to be a plausible piece to be included in a deal given his huge salary and rather pronounced struggles.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes that Texas would either need to have virtually all of Hamilton’s salary covered — or, would add him if and when he negotiates a release. Indeed, per another Shaikin tweet, some cash savings for the Angels may the only substantial element in the deal.

Hamilton, 33, has disappointed in Los Angeles since inking a five-year, $125MM contract before the 2013 season. He has slashed .255/.316/.426 in a Halos cap, a useful enough line but hardly enough to justify his contract. Injuries dogged Hamilton last year, who is still working back from offseason shoulder surgery.

Of course, Hamilton earned that sizeable contract with his play in Texas, where he produced at a .305/.363/.549 clip for five seasons while swatting 142 long balls. Though he did not end his stint with the team on the best off terms, Hamilton will forever be associated with the Rangers — the place where he became a star.


Blue Jays Release Ricky Romero

The Blue Jays have released lefty Ricky Romero, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca tweets. Romero will make $7.5MM in the last year of a $30.1MM contract he signed in late 2010. He will receive a $600K buyout for 2016.

Romero, the sixth overall pick in the 2005 draft, was once a promising young starter. His best year was 2011, when he posted a 2.92 ERA, 7.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 225 innings and finished tenth in AL Cy Young balloting. The following season, though, was a huge step backward — he had a 5.77 ERA and led the league in walks, then had elbow surgery after the season.

After that, Romero never returned to form. He spent much of 2013 in the minors, and the Jays outrighted him in June and then again in October. A knee injury ended his 2014 season after nine minor-league starts, and he had not yet pitched in 2015. According to Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star (via Twitter), Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says that since Romero was in the last year of his deal and was not close to being able to help, there was no reason for the team to keep him.


Rays Designate Allan Dykstra For Assignment

The Rays have designated first baseman Allan Dykstra for assignment, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The move clears space for pitcher Everett Teaford, whose contract the Rays selected from Triple-A Durham.

Dykstra collected the first 38 plate appearances of his big-league career with the Rays this season, hitting .129/.289/.226 before being optioned to Durham when James Loney returned from injury. The 27-year-old Dykstra is now in his eighth season in the minors and could be on his way out of his third organization despite a first-round draft pedigree and consistently impressive-looking minor-league stats. He hit .280/.426/.504 in 439 plate appearances with the Mets’ (admittedly hitter-friendly) Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas last season.



Athletics Designate Eury De La Rosa For Assignment

The Athletics have designated lefty reliever Eury De La Rosa for assignment, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. The move clears space on the 40-man roster for infielder Max Muncy, who’s needed because the A’s are placing Ben Zobrist on the 15-day disabled list. Slusser also tweets that if Zobrist has arthroscopic knee surgery, which currently seems to be a possibility, he would likely be out three to six weeks.

The Athletics acquired the 25-year-old De La Rosa in a December trade after the Diamondbacks designated him for assignment. He’s spent the beginning of the 2015 season pitching at Triple-A Nashville, where he struck out four batters and walked five in six innings. Last season, he posted a 2.52 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 39 1/3 innings at Triple-A Reno, along with a 2.95 ERA, 7.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 36 2/3 innings in the big leagues.


Minor Moves: Juan Jaime, Daniel Corcino

Here are today’s minor moves from around the game:

  • The Braves have outrighted righty Juan Jaime to Triple-A Gwinnett, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The 27-year-old Jaime, who throws very hard and gets plenty of strikeouts, surely would have been an interesting project for any number of teams, but other clubs were likely deterred from claiming him because he was out of options. In 41 innings at Gwinnett last season, he posted a 3.51 ERA with 13.8 K/9 but an unsightly 7.9 BB/9. He walked four batters in 1 1/3 innings with the Braves this season.
  • The Dodgers have outrighted righty Daniel Corcino, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets. They claimed Corcino from the Reds earlier this month. The 24-year-old posted a 4.14 ERA with 7.1 K/9 in 143 1/3 innings at Double-A Pensacola last season. He walked too many batters, with 4.4 BB/9, but given his relative youth and prospect status (Baseball America ranked him the No. 94 prospect in the game heading into 2013), he should provide the Dodgers with valuable minor-league depth. Corcino is the second former Reds pitcher the Dodgers have claimed and then outrighted this month, the other being reliever Ryan Dennick, who they removed from their roster when they claimed Corcino.

Blue Jays Designate Steve Tolleson

The Blue Jays have designated infielder Steve Tolleson, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports on Twitter. With the move, the club has cleared roster space for the activation of outfielder Michael Saunders.

The 31-year-old Tolleson saw just 12 plate appearances this year for Toronto, picking up three hits and a walk. He saw his most extensive MLB action last year with Toronto, slashing .253/.308/.371 in 189 plate appearances. Tolleson has seen limited action in two other seasons.


Dodgers Designate Xavier Cedeno, Purchase Contract Of Sergio Santos

In yet another round of reliever roulette, the Dodgers have designated the just-acquired Xavier Cedeno for assignment. The club selected the contract of veteran righty Sergio Santos, necessitating the move.

Cedeno, a southpaw, was just added in a deal with the Nationals, who had designated him. Like Ryan Dennick and Daniel Corcino before him, Cedeno was added to the roster only long enough to be designated off of it, presumably with intentions of seeking outright waivers to facilitate a stashing in Triple-A.

Santos had an opt-out clause that was due May 1, so it was a use him or lose him situation for L.A. The 31-year-old has had a roller coaster of a career to this point, flashing plenty of talent while struggling with a variety of arm ailments. In 4 2/3 innings at Triple-A this year, he has allowed two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out eight opposing batters.


Minor Moves: Michael Kohn, John Cornely

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…

  • The Braves have selected the contracts of right-handed relievers Michael Kohn and John Cornely from Triple-A Gwinnett, Mark Bowman of MLB.com first tweeted earlier this morning. Kohn and Cornely both had to be added to the 40-man roster, though the team had enough space on the 40-man roster to accommodate them without designating anyone for assignment. Kohn originally inked a Major League deal with the Rays this offseason, but Tampa cut him from its roster, and he eventually latched on with a Minor League deal in Atlanta. He’s shown the ability to miss bats at the Major League level (8.7 K/9 in 110 1/3 innings) but has struggled with control (6.0 BB/9) en route to a 3.67 ERA. The 25-year-old Cornely will be making his MLB debut the first time he appears for the Braves after being selected in the 15th round of the 2011 draft. He has a career 2.75 ERA with 12.2 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9 in 219 2/3 Minor League innings. Relievers Brandon Cunniff and Sugar Ray Marimon have been optioned to Gwinnett to make room on the 25-man roster.

Marlins Designate Grant Dayton For Assignment

The Marlins announced that they have designated left-hander Grant Dayton for assignment. The move frees up a 40-man roster spot for catcher Jhonatan Solano, whose contract was selected today when Jarrod Saltalamacchia was placed on the paternity list.

The 27-year-old Dayton was Miami’s 11th-round pick back in 2010 out of Auburn University. Baseball America ranked him among Miami’s Top 30 prospects prior to each of the 2012-14 seasons, ranging from 17th to 25th. Dayton has worked almost exclusively as a reliever over the course of his Minor League career, totaling a 2.63 ERA with 10.9 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 263 innings of work. He’s typically been old for his level, however, and didn’t reach Triple-A until his age-26 season in 2014.


Minor Moves: Barry Enright

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • Right-hander Barry Enright has agreed to join the Mexican League’s Tijuana Toros, MLBTR has learned. He will throw today for the club’s lower-level affiliate to build up his arm. Enright had been with the Dodgers this spring on a minor league deal, but saw limited action and was released just before Opening Day. The 29-year-old was a second-round choice in the 2007 draft. He had a promising start to his career with the Diamondbacks back in 2010 and has spent parts of four seasons in the league, but has yet to lock down a consistent MLB job.