Transactions Rumors

Rangers Designate Hector Noesi For Assignment

The Rangers have designated pitcher Hector Noesi for assignment, the club announced via press release. The righty made only three appearances with the club after being acquired ten days ago from the Mariners.

Noesi, 27, has had a forgettable start to the 2014 season. His ERA stands at 14.21 through 6 1/3 frames. Over parts of four seasons in the bigs, Noesi has allowed 5.81 earned runs per nine in just under 200 total frames. He has struggled roughly equally against batters from both sides of the plate: over his career, lefties have touched him for a .866 OPS while righties have managed a .832 mark.


Astros Outright Lucas Harrell

Righty Lucas Harrell has been outrighted by the Astros after clearing waivers, reports MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart (via Twitter). Harrell had been designated for assignment a week ago.

Once viewed as a useful piece with valuable control, Harrell has seen his stock plummet since the start of the 2013 season. He notched a solid in 2012 — 193 2/3 innings of 3.76 ERA ball with a 57.2% ground ball rate and 6.5 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 — but has been ineffective since. Last year, Harrell’s control faded (5.2 BB/9) even as he missed less bats (5.2 K/9, career-low 5.1% swinging strike rate).

Houston finally moved him off of the club’s 40-man roster after Harrell stumbled out of the gates in 2014. The good news for the Astros is that the out-of-options hurler managed to pass through waivers, meaning that the club will have the chance to let him try to rediscover his form in the upper minors. Depending upon whether and when he makes it back to the bigs this year, Harrell will come with three or four years of team control still in place.


Padres Acquire Tyler Greene From Braves

The Padres have acquired infielder Tyler Greene from the Braves in exchange for a player to be named later, reports David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter).

Greene, 30, was playing at Triple-A for the Atlanta organization. He has seen action at the MLB level in each of the last five seasons, though never more than the 116 games he appeared in over the 2012 campaign. For his career, Greene has a .224.289/.356 triple-slash in 746 plate appearances. He has appeared mostly at short and second, but has seen time at every other position on the diamond except the battery.



Orioles To Designate Steve Pearce For Assignment

The Orioles will designate outfielder Steve Pearce for assignment, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). Pearce agreed with Baltimore on a $700K deal to avoid arbitration this winter.

Pearce, 31, had only seven plate appearances in the early portion of the 2014 season. Last year, in 138 trips to the dish at the MLB level, he put up a .261/.362/.420 line. The club has previously outrighted Pearce, so he would have the right to decline a minor league assignment (assuming he is ultimately exposed to outright waivers).


Blue Jays Claim Darin Mastroianni, Designate Kenny Wilson

The Blue Jays have claimed outfielder Darin Mastroianni off waivers from the Twins, the club announced via press release. To make room on the 40-man roster, Toronto designated fellow outfielder Kenny Wilson for assignment.

Mastroianni originally came to Minnesota from the Jays via waiver claim in February of 2012, as Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes on Twitter. The 28-year-old has not produced much in limited MLB time since,: he possesses a .220/.228/.295 career line, virtually all of which has come with the Twins. Mastroianni is known for his ability to get on base: he has a lifetime .372 OBP at both the Double-A and Triple-A level, having spent parts of four seasons at each.

Wilson, 24, has yet to see time in the bigs or the highest level of the minors. He is off to a slow start at Double-A (.210/.239/.306 in 68 plate appearances) after putting up a .259/.333/.375 line with 16 stolen bases in 242 plate appearances in his first stint at that level last year. Wilson opened the year at the 22nd spot on Baseball America’s list of the team’s prospects. The speedy center fielder is said to have starter upside if he can translate his tools into production.


Yankees Outright Cesar Cabral

Left-hander Cesar Cabral has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A by the Yankees, according to the team’s official transactions page. Cabral, who has been outrighted before, will have the option to refuse the assignment and elect free agency if he wishes.

The 25-year-old Cabral, who was designated for assignment on April 18, originally came to the Yankees back in 2011. The Royals selected him fifth in that year’s Rule 5 Draft and promptly traded him to New York for cash considerations. A stress fracture in his elbow caused him to miss most of the 2012 campaign and a good deal of 2013 as well, which is the reason that he has just 4 2/3 innings at the big league level. Within that small sample of Major League experience, Cabral has allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks with eight strikeouts. Most of the damage against him came in his final outing this year, in which he hit three batters without recording an out and was charged with three runs.

Cabral has a pretty solid minor league track record, having turned in a 3.77 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 384 career innings. However, just 10 1/3 of those innings have come at the Triple-A level, and the results (eight earned runs) haven’t matched up with his success at lower levels just yet.


Ryan Roberts Accepts Outright Assignment

Infielder Ryan Roberts has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket, the Red Sox announced yesterday.

The 33-year-old Roberts collected just two hits and three walks in 22 plate appearances for the Sox after signing a Major League deal with them when Will Middlebrooks went down with an injury. Though he didn’t perform particularly well in that very small sample, Roberts has demonstrated in the past that he has enough pop and speed to post double-digit totals in homers and stolen bases, particularly in his 2011 campaign with the D’Backs when he slashed .249/.321/.427 with 19 homers and 18 steals.

For his career, Roberts owns a .243/.320/.388 batting line with 46 homers and 35 stolen bases. He’s been particularly useful against left-handed pitching, hitting at a .261/.337/.435 clip. Defensive Runs Saved feels that he’s an average defender at third base and has been worth +5 runs in about a season’s worth of innings at second base (1357), while UZR/150 feels he’s a plus defender at each position.


Ryan Rowland-Smith Elects Free Agency

The Diamondbacks announced yesterday that left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment and elected free agency rather than accept an outright assignment to Triple-A.

The 31-year-old Australian made a return to the Major Leagues this season after a three-year absence, and though he posted a 4.91 ERA in a small 7 1/3 inning sample size, he also struck out nine batters in that time and limited left-handed batters to three singles in 12 plate appearances.

For his career, Rowland-Smith has a 4.57 ERA with 5.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 37.5 percent ground-ball rate. He’s worked 47 games as a starter and posted a 4.87 ERA in that time, but in 100 1/3 innings of relief, he’s posted a much better 3.77 ERA with an even better 3.59 FIP, suggesting that he could be a useful arm out of the bullpen.


Minor Moves: Buckner, Martinez, Edlefsen, Carter, Ramirez, Hauser, Scammell

The Padres have sold the contract of Triple-A right-hander Anthony Carter to the Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball, MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports (via Twitter). The 28-year-old Carter appeared in just three games for Triple-A El Paso this season, allowing a pair of runs in three innings of work. The former 26th-round draft pick (White Sox) has punched out more than a batter per inning in his minor league career and owns a 4.93 ERA with a 2.51 K/BB ratio in 680 1/3 innings. In addition to the Sox and Padres, he spent the 2013 season — arguably his best year — with the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate. In Pawtucket, he posted a 3.47 ERA with 11.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 62 1/3 innings. Here are the rest of today’s minor moves from around the league…

  • The Padres have inked righty Billy Buckner to a minor league deal, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. Buckner, 30, has tossed 155 2/3 MLB innings in parts of five MLB seasons, splitting his appearances about evenly between starting and relieving. His lifetime ERA stands at 6.07, and he has averaged 6.4 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 with a 44.7% ground-ball rate.
  • Two former big leaguers decided to hang up their spikes rather than continue on at the Triple-A level, according to the PCL transactions page. Joe Martinez of the Angels and Steve Edlefsen of the Dodgers both retired today. The right-handed relievers had both seen relatively minimal MLB action over their professional careers, and were off to rough starts in the season’s early going.
  • The Reds have signed right-hander Elvin Ramirez, per Cincinnati’s official transactions page. The 26-year-old struggled in 61 innings with the Angels’ minor league affiliates last season but had a strong 2.13 ERA in 55 innings with the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates for the Mets in 2012. In 422 2/3 career innings in the minors, the Dominican native has a 4.02 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9.
  • Right-hander Matt Hauser has signed a minor league deal with the Orioles, according to the team’s transactions page. A former seventh-round pick of the Twins (2010), Hauser enjoyed strong minor league numbers until posting a 5.09 ERA between Double-A and Class-A Advanced last year. The 25-year-old has a career 2.95 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
  • The Royals have inked outfielder Cory Scammell to a minor league contract (also via the club’s transactions page). The 20-year-old Canadian was a 35th-round pick of the Mariners in the 2011 draft and spent two seasons with the team’s Rookie-level affiliate, slashing a solid .274/.349/.355 in 358 plate appearances.

Minor Moves: Aaron Cunningham, Luis Marte

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

  • The Cubs granted outfielder Aaron Cunningham his release, the team announced.  Cunningham, 27, signed a minor league deal with Chicago in November and had appeared in six Spring Training games for the Cubs.  Cunningham last appeared in the majors with the Indians in 2012, and he has a career .628 OPS over 501 PA with Cleveland, San Diego and Oakland.
  • The Tigers have released right-hander Luis Marte, tweets Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. The 27-year-old posted a 2.77 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 32.9 percent ground-ball rate in 26 innings for Detroit from 2011-12. However, a great deal of that success was tied to an unsustainable 92.1 percent strand rate. Though Marte has a solid minor league track record — a 3.23 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 454 innings — he has just 56 career innings above Double-A and missed nearly all of 2013 due to shoulder surgery. Manager Brad Ausmus told Fenech that the team knew Marte wouldn't make the club and didn't have room for him in the minors.