Transactions Rumors

Minor Moves: Chris Leroux, Zach Jackson

Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.


Blue Jays Designate Esmil Rogers For Assignment

The Blue Jays have designated reliever Esmil Rogers for assignment, reports John Lott of the National Post (via Twitter). In a corresponding move, the team has activated Nolan Reimold from the DL.

This is now the second time this year that Rogers has found himself in DFA limbo; the last time he was outrighted to Triple-A. Since being added back to the roster on Tuesday, Rogers did not make an appearance, leaving his major league ERA at its previous 6.97 mark. He had been more successful in the upper minors, throwing to a 3.14 ERA in 48 2/3 Triple-A innings (including seven starts).


Rays Designate Juan Carlos Oviedo For Assignment

The Rays have designated reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo for assignment, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The move clears space on the Rays’ active roster for Jeremy Hellickson, who has been recalled from the minors.

Oviedo finally made it back to the big leagues after spending 2012 and 2013 dealing with injury issues and posted a 3.69 ERA in 31 2/3 innings for the Rays in 2014, albeit with underwhelming underlying numbers (7.4 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 33% ground ball rate). The 32-year-old (who formerly played as Leo Nunez) has 92 career saves, all but one of them coming in 2009 through 2011 with the Marlins.



Minor Moves: Wolf, Susac, Jurrjens, Carlyle

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

  • The Angels have signed pitcher Randy Wolf to a minor league deal, according to MiLB.com. Wolf has had a busy season — he was released by the Mariners near the end of spring training, opted out of his deal with the Diamondbacks, was signed and then designated for assignment by the Marlins, and then opted out of a deal with the Orioles. He appeared in six games with Miami, allowing 15 earned runs in 25 2/3 innings.
  • The Giants have announced that they’ve purchased the contract of catcher Andrew Susac. Catcher Hector Sanchez will head to the 7-day DL. MLB.com ranks Susac the Giants’ third-best prospect, noting his good power and plate discipline. He’s hit .268/.379/.451 for Triple-A Fresno this year.
  • Jair Jurrjens will start for Triple-A Colorado Springs today, which means he’s accepted his outright assignment, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets. The Rockies designated Jurrjens for assignment earlier this week.
  • The Mets will place Daisuke Matsuzaka on the disabled list with elbow trouble and purchase the contract of fellow pitcher Buddy Carlyle, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets. The Mets outrighted Carlyle earlier this week. The righty has appeared in five games for the Mets this season. He posted a 2.16 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 33 1/3 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas.

Giants Acquire Jake Peavy

USATSI_7974100_154513410_lowresThe Giants have acquired Jake Peavy from the Red Sox, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. The Red Sox will receive pitching prospects Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets. The Giants will pay $2MM of what’s left on Peavy’s contract, ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweets.

The trade reunites Peavy with Bruce Bochy, who managed him with the Padres. The deal also provides the Giants with valuable starting pitching depth, which they needed, given Matt Cain‘s injury. The Red Sox, meanwhile, add prospect depth while clearing space for younger starting pitchers like Brandon Workman and Allen Webster.

Peavy is making $14.5MM in his final season before free agency. (His contract indicates that he can receive a player option for 2015, but he will not be able to pitch enough innings to attain it.) In 124 innings this season, has a 4.72 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.

Escobar and Hembree appear to constitute a strong return for Boston. The lefty Escobar, 22, has pitched the entire season with Triple-A Fresno, posting a 5.11 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. He had a very strong 2013 season at Class A+ and Double-A. MLB.com ranked him the Giants’ No. 2 prospect and the No. 75 prospect in all of baseball, noting that he could become a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

Hembree, 25, has spent most of the 2014 season with Fresno, where he’s posted a 3.89 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 39 1/3 innings of relief. He appeared in nine games in the big leagues in 2013. MLB.com ranked him the 11th-best prospect in the Giants’ system, noting that he has long been regarded as a potential closer. Both Escobar and Hembree were on the Giants’ 40-man roster, although the Red Sox had a 40-man spot open before the trade, so they didn’t need to make any further moves to add both.

Heyman tweeted that the Red Sox would acquire minor league pitchers in return, with WEEI.com’s Alex Speier tweeting that the Red Sox would get one righty and one lefty. Jen Royle of the Boston Herald tweeted this morning that Boston was close to trading Peavy to an NL team, and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Red Sox and Giants were in serious discussions. CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly reported that the Giants would receive cash in the deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Nick Evans Could Sign With Rakuten Golden Eagles

3:09pm: Evans says that he remains a Diamondback for now, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert tweets.

10:23am: 1B/3B/OF Nick Evans has signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes tweets. The Diamondbacks will remove Evans from their 40-man roster.

Evans had collected 21 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks this season and had previously played parts of four seasons for the Mets between 2008 and 2011. The 28-year-old has spent most of the 2014 season with Triple-A Reno, where he hit .354/.423/.631 in 227 plate appearances.


Cardinals To Sign A.J. Pierzynski

The Cardinals have agreed to a deal with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported that the sides were moving towards an agreement, with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reporting that Pierzynski would be joining the team tomorrow in Chicago.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Pierzynski, 37, signed with the Red Sox before the season for one year and $8.25MM. But he never seemed to mesh in the clubhouse and, perhaps more importantly, failed to replicate his usual success at the plate. He hit just four home runs in 274 plate appearances and slashed a substandard .254/.286/.348. That was a far cry from his production over the prior two seasons, when he hit a combined 44 home runs and slashed .275/.311/.462.

Of course, for St. Louis, the signing represents an attempt to fill the void left by the injured Yadier Molina, who is expected to be out until at least the tail end of the regular season. Pickings were fairly slim on the trade market, with Kurt Suzuki of the Twins representing perhaps the most likely option. It remains unclear how playing time will be allocated between Pierzynski and usual backup Tony Cruz, but it seems likely that Pierzynski will see plenty of action down the stretch.

The deal will presumably no relief for the Red Sox, who will avoid only the pro-rated league minimum salary while paying Pierzynski the rest of his promised $8.25MM. The veteran will have a chance to boost his numbers — and do so during what seems likely to be a tight division race — before once again hitting the open market next year.

Meanwhile, the Twins will presumably need to look elsewhere if they desire to deal Suzuki, with the Orioles representing perhaps the only obvious landing spot. The Dodgers appear to be another team that could conceivably look to upgrade behind the plate, though it is far from clear that Suzuki would offer much of an upgrade and other potentially available backstops would take persuading to pry free. All said, it looks as if the catching market will not see much movement in advance of July 31.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Images.


Bruce Billings, Jeff Manship Outrighted

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

  • After being designated for assignment recently, Bruce Billings has been outrighted to Triple-A by the Yankees, according to the International League transactions page. As he has previously been outrighted, Billings will have the right to elect free agency.
  • The Phillies announced that Jeff Manship has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Manship was designated for assignment earlier in the week when righty Phillippe Aumont was recalled from the minors. The 29-year-old veteran posted a 6.65 ERA in 23 innings for the Phillies this season.

Giants Designate Nick Noonan, Jose De Paula

The Giants have designated infielder Nick Noonan and lefty Jose De Paula for assignment, the club announced. In corresponding moves, the club purchased the contracts of Dan Uggla and Tony Abreu. (To create active roster space, Marco Scutaro and Ehire Adrianza were DL’ed.)

Noonan, 25, was the 32nd overall selection in the 2007 draft. He has only 111 largely unsuccessful MLB plate appearances to his name, all last season, and was struggling mightily at the plate this year with a .239/.281/.302 slash line over 340 plate appearances at Triple-A and High-A.

De Paula has yet to see major league action at age 26. The Dominican native owns a 4.21 ERA through 51 1/3 innings pitched (10 starts and six relief appearances) at Triple-A. Over that span, he has struck out 7.2 and walked 2.8 batters per nine, both of which are in line with his career averages.


Rangers Release Justin Marks

The Rangers have released left-hander Justin Marks in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for right-hander Jerome Williams, the team announced. Williams’ contract was selected from Triple-A Round Rock, and he will start from the Rangers tonight.

The Rangers claimed Marks off waivers from the A’s last month, but he appeared in just 5 1/3 innings for the club’s Triple-A affiliate, yielding three runs in that time. Overall, the 26-year-old has posted a 5.03 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 39 1/3 innings this season at the Triple-A level.

Williams signed a minor league deal with the Rangers after being released by the Astros earlier this month. His contract reportedly contained an Aug. 1 opt-out clause, which was thought to be a formality, as Texas was expected to call him up prior to that date. He posted a 4.46 ERA in 351 innings for the division-rival Angels from 2011-13, but he struggled to a 6.04 ERA in 47 frames for Houston earlier this year.