Transactions Rumors

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

Cubs Designate Mike Olt For Assignment

The Cubs have designated infielder Mike Olt for assignment, the club announced. His roster spot was needed for the acquisition of Austin Jackson, which Chicago also made official.


Cubs Acquire Austin Jackson

6:26pm: The deal is now official, with the Cubs making an announcement.

6:20pm: Chicago will cover $1MM of Jackson’s remaining salary, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The Mariners will pay the $430K or so of obligations otherwise left on his deal.

5:04pm: The Cubs have agreed to acquire outfielder Austin Jackson from the Mariners, Shannon Drayer of 710 AM ESPN in Seattle reports (Twitter link). Jackson had reportedly cleared revocable trade waivers, and by adding him today, the Cubs will have the option of utilizing him on their post-season roster.

A player to be named later and a $211,100 international signing slot will reportedly head to Seattle in the deal. Chicago also obtains cash to offset some of the remainder of Jackson’s $7.7MM annual salary.

Aug 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Austin Jackson (16) runs the bases after hitting a two RBI home run during the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Already set to hit free agency after the season, Jackson will end his disappointing tenure in Seattle earlier than had been planned. He was acquired with high hopes last summer in the three-team David Price deal, with the Mariners sending Nick Franklin to the Rays to add the center fielder from the Tigers. Needless to say, things have not worked out for the player or the team.

At the time, Jackson was putting up slightly-above-average offensive numbers in Detroit. But he’s been significantly worse with the M’s, slashing just .257/.297/.343 over 684 plate appearances between this year and last. Jackson has contributed only eight home runs in that span as his power has fallen off, and he’s been caught 11 times on steal attempts while successfully taking 26 bags.

Jackson remains an approximately league-average defender up the middle. And at just 28 years of age, he still holds at least some promise of more given his quality early-career production. Between 2010 and 2013, Jackson racked up 18.9 rWAR with a .278/.344/.416 cumulative slash, a solid power/speed mix, and defensive ratings that ranged from good to excellent.

Mariners interim GM Jeff Kingston explained that there was relatively little interest in the veteran this month, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes on Twitter. While there had been an outside chance that the club would hold onto Jackson and make him a qualifying offer, that is no longer an option with the mid-season trade. That seemed at least plausible given Jackson’s age, but it seems that Seattle decided against the risky move and chose instead to get what it could for him now.

For Chicago, Jackson represents another right-handed-hitting outfield option as Jorge Soler deals with an oblique injury, though it’s worth noting that he traditionally carries fairly neutral platoon splits. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Jackson can play in center, but he seems unlikely to take much time from the switch-hitting Dexter Fowler, who traditionally performs better against left-handed pitching. While Jackson is still owed about $1.43MM of salary this year, at least some of that obligation will remain Seattle’s responsibility.

MLB.com’s Greg Johns first suggested an international slot may be involved (via Twitter), as to which Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter) and Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (also via Twitter) provided details. Divish first reported that a PTBNL was part of the return (on Twitter) provided details. 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Diamondbacks Designate Kevin Munson

The Diamondbacks have designated righty Kevin Munson for assignment, Zach Buchanan of AZCentral.com tweets. Munson is a 26-year-old reliever who has yet to see MLB action.

After being by the Phillies in last year’s Rule 5 draft, Munson was sent back to Arizona in mid-March. Since that time, he’s posted some uneven results at the Triple-A level.

Munson looked like a future piece last year, running up 62 1/3 innings of 2.60 ERA ball with 11.8 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9. But he’s reversed course in 2015 after experiencing arm soreness in the spring. Over his 31 1/3 frames at the highest level of the minors, Munson has issued 7.2 walks to go with only 8.6 strikeouts per nine while accumulating a 4.60 earned run mark.



Minor MLB Transactions: 8/31/15

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league, all of which are reported by Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, unless otherwise noted…

  • The Nationals and Scott Sizemore have agreed to a minor league contract. Now 30 years old, Sizemore was once a prospect of great intrigue in the Tigers’ system — a potential long-term answer for Detroit. However, after a trade to Oakland, Sizemore wound up missing consecutive seasons when he tore his ACL in 2012 and tragically did so once again after just two games in 2013. Sizemore spent most of the 2015 campaign with the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate and didn’t hit much, though he’s been great in six games with the Nats’ Triple-A club since signing: .375/.412/.563. Sizemore can play both second base and third base.
  • The Blue Jays have released right-hander Phillippe Aumont, whom they’d previously inked to a minor league pact back in July. Formerly the No. 11 pick in the draft (2007, Mariners), Aumont was one of the key pieces sent to Philadelphia in Seattle’s acquisition of Cliff Lee. However, Aumont’s big league career has never panned out; he’s 26 years old and has a 6.80 ERA in 43 2/3 innings in the Majors. The former Top 100 prospect has battled his control all season long, working to a solid 3.14 ERA in 83 Triple-A innings with 8.8 K/9 but a very troubling 6.8 BB/9 rate in that time. His control worsened upon joining the Jays organization, as he walked 22 batters in 18 innings (he did whiff 23 in that time as well, though).

Padres Claim Chris Rearick, Designate Caleb Thielbar

The Padres claimed left-hander Chris Rearick off waivers from the Rangers, the team announced (via Twitter).  In a corresponding move, San Diego designated southpaw Caleb Thielbar for assignment.

Rearick is back with the Padres just a few days after the Rangers themselves claimed him off waivers.  Rearick had been designated for assignment by San Diego and was quickly DFA’ed again by Texas to make room for young lefty Andrew Faulkner.  Rearick made his MLB debut earlier this season with the Padres, and he has a 12.00 ERA over three innings in the Show.

San Diego claimed Thielbar off waivers after Minnesota designated him assignment on July 31.  The lefty has a 2.41 ERA over 41 innings for the Padres’ and Twins’ Triple-A affiliates, despite an unimpressive 1.09 K/BB rate (25 strikeouts and 23 walks).  This year’s peripherals aside, Thielbar has posted solid numbers over his minor league career and he has a 2.74 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 2.63 K/BB rate over 98 2/3 Major League innings with the Twins.

Thielbar joins five other players in “DFA limbo,” and you can keep track of their status via the MLB Trade Rumors DFA Tracker.


Phillies Claim Ken Roberts Off Waivers

The Phillies announced that they have claimed Ken Roberts off waivers from the Rockies.  Immediately after the claim, the left-hander was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Roberts, 27, was designated for assignment by Colorado late last week.  The hurler made his Major League debut for the Rox in 2015, appearing in nine games and totaling 9 1/3 innings with a 5.79 ERA and a five-to-two K/BB ratio. A longtime farmhand of the Rockies, Roberts was selected in the 25th round of the 2010 draft and posted strong minor league numbers until reaching Triple-A for the first time this season.

However, while Roberts has an unsightly 5.12 ERA in Triple-A this year, he’s posted an outstanding 28-to-4 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings there. He’s surrendered a surprising and uncharacteristic 14.2 hits per nine innings in a very hitter-friendly Albuquerque environment due to a freakishly high .443 BABIP. While poor luck and a hitter-friendly environment probably aren’t solely to blame for his Triple-A struggles, there seems to be good reason to expect that Roberts would not continue to allow hits at such an alarming rate.

Now that Roberts has been claimed, there are six remaining players in DFA limbo, according to MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.


Mets Acquire Addison Reed From Diamondbacks

SUNDAY, 11:40am: The Mets have confirmed the trade via press release.

SATURDAY, 8:57pm: The Diamondbacks will receive 24-year-old pitcher Matt Koch and 23-year-old pitcher Miller Diaz, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Koch has a 3.46 ERA with 5.60 K/9 and 1.53 BB/9 at Double-A. He’s split his time between starting and relief. His fastball plays up to the mid-90’s out of the bullpen.

In High-A, Diaz has pitched to a 4.71 ERA with 7.09 K/9 and 4.34 BB/9 in 124 and 1/3 innings. He posted loftier strikeout rates in the previous two seasons. Both Koch and Diaz strikes me as the type of pitchers who could eventually reach the majors as a reliever.

6:18pm: The Mets have acquired reliever Addison Reed from the Diamondbacks pending a physical, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Arizona will acquire two prospects in the swap. We learned earlier this afternoon that the Mets were in the hunt for relievers including Marc Rzepczynski of the Padres. Reed is arbitration eligible for two more seasons. However, with a $4.875MM contract in 2015, he’s a possible non-tender candidate.

Reed, 26, entered the 2015 season as the Diamondbacks closer. He lost the job early in the year. His peripherals have taken a step backwards with just 7.52 K/9 and 3.10 BB/9. He’s averaged over a strikeout per inning over his five season career and has never walked more than 3.00 BB/9.

The right-handed reliever has spent a large chunk of the season in the minors. Since he was recalled on July 29, he has a 1.65 ERA with 7.71 K/9 and 1.65 BB/9. After home runs punished him in 2014, he’s held opponents to a tiny 3.8 percent HR/FB rate all while increasing his ground ball rate. This year, the damage has come via an elevated .344 BABIP.

There is still a chance the deal is detailed by the medical review. Reed rushed back this spring from shoulder soreness. It’s possible his peripheral decline is related to lingering shouldering issues (that’s just my speculation).

The Mets will hope his recent performance is more indicative of what’s to come. New York has Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia for the eighth and ninth inning roles. Reed may fit in as a seventh inning reliever.


Blue Jays Designate Ty Kelly For Assignment

The Blue Jays have designated infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly for assignment, as Megan Robinson of Global News Toronto tweets. The move clears space on the Jays’ roster for the newly claimed Danny Dorn.

Kelly’s stay on the Jays’ 40-man was brief — they claimed him just last month after the Cardinals designated him. He’s spent the season at the two teams’ Triple-A affiliates, batting .222/.318/.294. The 27-year-old hit significantly better in two seasons with the Mariners’ Triple-A Tacoma affiliate before that, however, and he’s versatile in the field, with the ability to play second and third, plus any of the three outfield positions.


Blue Jays Claim Danny Dorn

The Blue Jays have claimed first baseman/outfielder Danny Dorn off waivers from the Diamondbacks, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports on Twitter. He’ll be optioned to Triple-A, per the report.

Dorn is in a somewhat unusual situation for a claimed player. After spending parts of seven seasons at the Triple-A level, the 31-year-old only saw his first chance at the big leagues this year. But his short stint with Arizona was short and unproductive.

That being said, Dorn has produced strong power and on-base numbers over his minor league career. And he is destroying the Triple-A level this year, with 305 plate appearances of .386/.444/.618 hitting.


Minor MLB Transactions: 8/28/15

Here are today’s minor moves:

  • The Yankees announced that lefty Chris Capuano has been outrighted. Thus far, Capuano’s most recent trip through DFA limbo is taking the same course as the previous three that have occurred in the last month. Odds are that Capuano will again take up residence in Triple-A and then move back to the big league roster after rosters expand at the end of the month. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch spoke with Capuano and GM Brian Cashman for an interesting story on the somewhat unusual situation.