Transactions Rumors

Minor Moves: Brignac, Aceves, Joseph

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • Phillies infielder Reid Brignac has accepted an outright assignment with the club rather than electing free agency, Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com tweets. The 28-year-old Brignac, once a top prospect, has hit .222/.300/.346 in 91 plate appearances this year for Philadelphia.
  • The Yankees have released righty Alfredo Aceves from their Triple-A affiliate, the club announced. The seven-year MLB veteran had struggled to a 6.52 ERA in 19 1/3 frames with the big club this year, but had been more effective in his 28 1/3 minor league frames (3.49 ERA). Aceves generally posted strong results up through 2011, even if his peripherals did not quite support them, but has not been a productive big leaguer since.
  • Also being cut loose by the Yankees is Corban Joseph. The 25-year-old infielder has seen only a cup of coffee at the MLB level, but owns a .260/.343/.424 slash over 855 career Triple-A plate appearances.

Yankees To Sign Chris Young

The Yankees have agreed to terms with outfielder Chris Young on a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter).

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Young, a client of Reynolds Sports Management, began the season with New York’s other team after signing a one-year, $7.25MM contract in the offseason. The Mets were looking to buy low on a player that averaged 3.7 wins above replacement from 2010-12 before a down season in 2013, but unfortunately for all parties involved, Young’s struggles continued.

The former Diamondback batted just .205/.283/.346 in 287 plate appearances with the Mets before being designated for assignment and ultimately released earlier this month. Young, 30, can provide the injury-plagued Yankees with some additional outfield depth should he be added to the 40-man roster in advance of Sept. 1, when Major League rosters will expand.

With Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury locked into left and center field, respectively, Young could potentially join a right field mix that includes Ichiro Suzuki, Martin Prado, Zelous Wheeler and Carlos Beltran if added to the roster. He can also handle either of the other two outfield spots in the event of a day off or an injury for Ellsbury or Gardner, which could be significant, as Gardner has dealt with a right ankle injury over the past few days.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Blue Jays Designate Sergio Santos For Assignment

The Blue Jays have designated right-hander Sergio Santos for the second time this season, according to a team press release. The move makes room on the roster for fellow right-hander Chad Jenkins.

The 31-year-old Santos has had a difficult time remaining healthy since being acquired by the Blue Jays in a 2012 trade that sent right-hander Nestor Molina to the White Sox. Santos underwent shoulder surgery that season, battled a triceps injury last year and has missed time with a forearm strain in 2014.

Following his previous DFA, the Jays immediately placed Santos on outright waivers, hoping that his contract — he’s earning $3.75MM in 2014 and has a $750K buyout on a $6MM option for next season — would allow him to clear. That’s exactly what happened, and the Jays sent him to Triple-A with the hopes that he could rediscover his 2010-11 form. He fired 10 2/3 shutout innings in the minors and was promptly brought back to the club, but he’s struggled again in his return. Santos made just two appearances and allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. He surrendered a pair of homers in that time, although he did also record three strikeouts.

Santos, who converted from shortstop to the mound, has consistently shown the propensity to miss bats, but command has been an issue for him. It’s possible that he could rejoin the team in September, but even if that happens, it certainly seems unlikely that Toronto would exercise the club option given his recent struggles.



Angels Designate Wade LeBlanc For Assignment

The Angels have designated lefty Wade LeBlanc for assignment, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports on Twitter. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times first tweeted that the move seemed likely.

LeBlanc had been expected to fill a rotation slot, at least temporarily, for a club that is still figuring out how to deal with the losses of Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs. Having now removed LeBlanc from the big league roster, it is fair to wonder whether GM Jerry Dipoto has his eyes on acquiring a more permanent replacement. (Though, it should be noted, internal replacements such as Randy Wolf could instead be utilized.)

The 30-year-old LeBlanc has now been designated three times this year, twice by the Halos and once by the Yankees. Over 10 2/3 innings at the MLB level, he has allowed 12 runs on 15 hits and seven strikeouts against six walks.


Blue Jays Designate Nolan Reimold For Assignment

10:28am: The Blue Jays have officially announced the moves, via press release.

10:00am: The Blue Jays have designated Nolan Reimold for assignment, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweeted this morning. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi writes that outfielder Kevin Pillar will be recalled from Triple-A to take his roster spot.

Toronto claimed the 30-year-old Reimold off waivers from the division-rival Orioles earlier this summer, hoping that the injury-prone slugger could provide an upgrade to their offense. Reimold struggled in 22 games with the Jays, however, posting a .212/.283/.404 batting line in 60 plate appearances.

The Orioles long thought Reimold to be capable of providing some production either in left field or from the DH spot, but his growing list of injuries eventually led to a DFA earlier this season. Reimold has undergone two neck surgeries and an ankle operation in his career, and he’s also spent time on the disabled list for calf and hamstring injuries in the past two seasons.

Still, the former second-round pick owns a lifetime batting line of .250/.324/.437 and an isolated power mark (slugging minus batting average) of .187, suggesting that he can indeed provide some offensive benefit when healthy. As Davidi notes, Reimold would have been a non-tender candidate following the season, though I’d imagine that the raise on his $1.03MM salary wouldn’t have been too substantial. Davidi also points out that by clearing a 40-man roster space without immediately filling it (Pillar is on the 40-man roster), the team creates room to add either Brandon Morrow or Daniel Norris in September. Morrow is said to be nearing a return from the 60-day disabled list and could work as a reliever, while Norris, Toronto’s top pitching prospect, could make his big league debut next month when rosters expand.


Minor Moves: Brignac, Towles, Storey

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

  • Phillies infielder Reid Brignac has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, according to the team’s transactions page. The former top prospect was designated for assignment this weekend to clear a spot on the roster for Freddy Galvis. Brignac, 28, batted .222/.300/.346 in 91 plate appearances with the Phillies this year.
  • The Rangers have signed catcher J.R. Towles to a minor league deal, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The 30-year-old Towles was once seen as the potential catcher of the future for the Astros, but he never consistently put together success at the big league level, as evidenced by his .187/.267/.315 batting line. Towles has had quite a bit of Triple-A success, however, and he batted .292/.411/.519 in 67 games for the independent Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish in 2014. Texas needed some additional catching depth after dealing Geovany Soto to the A’s yesterday.
  • Baseball America’s Matt Eddy has published his weekly minor league transactions roundup, and within the excellent recap, he notes that the Blue Jays have released right-hander Mickey Storey. The 28-year-old Storey has big league experience with both the Astros and the Jays and pitched to a 3.12 ERA with a 28-to-9 K/BB ratio in 26 innings across three minor league levels with Toronto this season.

Pirates Designate Jayson Nix For Assignment

The Pirates announced that they have designated infielder Jayson Nix for assignment in order to clear roster space for Jose Tabata.

The 31-year-old Nix appeared in 16 games for the Pirates this season but totaled just 39 plate appearances and batted just .111/.158/.111. In 82 combined plate appearances between the Pirates and Phillies, he’s batted .133/.188/.173. While those numbers aren’t exactly enticing, Nix does have a 12-homer and a 14-homer season under his belt, and he’s posted double-digit stolen base totals twice as well.

Overall, Nix is a lifetime .214/.284/.347 hitter in 1456 Major League plate appearances between the Rockies, White Sox, Indians, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rays, Phillies and Pirates. He has experience at second base, shortstop, third base and both outfield corners, though his outfield work has been fairly limited.

Tabata’s recall was first reported earlier today along with the news that the Pirates will briefly demote top prospect Gregory Polanco to Triple-A. Polanco is expected to rejoin the team on Sept. 1 when rosters expand and will, of course, still be eligible for postseason play. He’s in the midst of a woeful 1-for-30 slump, however, whereas Tabata has been swinging well at Triple-A Indianapolis of late, hitting .349/.404/.422 over his past 22 games.


Diamondbacks Release Lucas Harrell

The Diamondbacks have released starting pitcher Lucas Harrell, according to the PCL transactions page. Arizona acquired Harrell from the Astros for a PTBNL in April, and he’s spent most of the season with Triple-A Reno, posting a 5.15 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 6.5 BB/9 in 106 2/3 innings.

Harrell was an Astros rotation staple as they struggled through the 2012 and 2013 seasons, and once seemed to have a fair amount of trade value. (The Astros reportedly asked the Nationals for top prospect Lucas Giolito for him in 2013.) Harrell pitched well in 193 2/3 innings in 2012, posting a 3.76 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and plenty of ground balls. He went way downhill in 2013, however, leading the American League in walks. The righty made three starts for the Astros this April before being designated for assignment.


Minor Moves: Crosby, Anderson, Telis

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here.

  • Lefty Casey Crosby, who was released two weeks ago by the Tigers, has re-signed with them, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets. Crosby is out for the rest of the year due to injury, and he’ll rehab with Detroit before becoming a free agent after the season.
  • The Athletics acquired Geovany Soto from the Rangers this afternoon, and they’ve just announced yet another deal for a catcher — they’ve acquired minor-leaguer Bryan Anderson from the Reds for a portion of their international bonus pool. Anderson, 27, has hit .315/.395/.530 in 269 plate appearances split between Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville this season. The former Cardinals prospect got cups of coffee in St. Louis in 2010 and 2012 and with the White Sox last season.
  • With Soto’s departure, the Rangers have announced that they will select the contract of catcher Tomas Telis from Triple-A Round Rock tomorrow. The 23-year-old has hit .319/.353/.434 in a season split between Round Rock and Double-A Frisco.

Athletics Acquire Geovany Soto

The Athletics have acquired catcher Geovany Soto from the Rangers, according to a tweet from Mark Madson. The Rangers will receive cash considerations for Soto, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan tweets. The Athletics announced that they cleared space for Soto on their 40-man roster by moving Kyle Blanks to the 60-day DL.

The 31-year-old Soto has played sparingly this season due to injury, but he’s now healthy, and he was very effective in 2013, hitting .245/.328/.466 in part-time duty. The Athletics already have two good catchers in Derek Norris and John Jaso on their active roster, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Jaso has recently experienced worsening concussion symptoms and will likely need a stay on the disabled list. And as ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets, Stephen Vogt, another catcher on the active roster, is currently dealing with a foot issue that makes catching difficult. (Vogt can also play first base and outfield.) Soto could see time at DH as well as behind the plate, but he has no significant history at any other position.

Soto, a former National League Rookie of the Year (with the Cubs), re-signed a one-year, $3.05MM contract with the Rangers this offseason. He’s owed $600K through the end of the season, at which point he will be a free agent. Soto is hitting .237/.237/.368 this season, although that comes in a small sample of just 38 plate appearances. In 2483 Major League plate appearances, Soto is a .248/.333/.438 batter.