Transactions Rumors

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

Marlins Designate Matt Tracy For Assignment

The Marlins have designated left-hander Matt Tracy for assignment, the team announced.  Miami has also selected the contract of right-hander Nick Masset from Triple-A while righty Jose Urena has been sent down to Triple-A in corresponding moves.

Tracy has now been DFA’ed by two different teams in a nine-day span.  The Yankees designated the southpaw last week and the Marlins claimed him on Saturday.  Tracy made his MLB debut this season, tossing two innings for the Yankees and allowing three unearned runs on two walks and two hits.  The 26-year-old lefty was a 24th-round draft pick for the Yankees in 2011

Miami signed Masset to a minor league deal during the offseason, released him prior to the Article XX(B) deadline and then re-signed the veteran righty to a new contract earlier this month.  Masset posted a 5.80 ERA over 45 relief innings with the Rockies last season, his first taste of MLB action since 2011 thanks to a variety of shoulder problems that threatened to end his career.  Over seven seasons and 378 innings with the Rockies, Reds, White Sox and Rangers, Masset has a 4.02 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 1.93 K/BB rate.

It’s already been a busy day for the MLBTR DFA Tracker, as the Cardinals’ Gary Brown and the Brewers’ Brandon Kintzler have also been designated today.  In addition to Brown, Kintzler and Tracy, Grant Balfour (Rays), Xavier Cedeno (Nationals), Kyle Drabek (White Sox) and Todd Redmond (Blue Jays) are also currently residing in “DFA limbo.”


Brewers Designate Brandon Kintzler For Assignment

The Brewers have designated right-hander Brandon Kintzler for assignment, the club announced on Twitter.  In a corresponding move, the Brew Crew selected the contract of utilityman Elian Herrera from Triple-A.

Kintzler has spent much of this young season on the minor league disabled list with a finger injury.  The righty has posted a 3.26 ERA, 57.3% ground ball rate and 6.6 K/9 over 174 career innings (all out of the bullpen) with Milwaukee since 2010.  As you might suspect, that high grounder rate and low strikeout total has led to some variance between his ERA and advanced metrics, such as last season when he posted a 3.24 ERA but a 4.68 FIP, 3.87 xFIP and 3.71 SIERA.  Kintzler has displayed reverse-splits tendencies over his career, as right-handed batters have a .733 OPS against him while left-handed hitters have only managed a .624 OPS.

Kintzler was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, and he avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.075MM deal with the Brewers.  He joins Grant Balfour (Rays), Gary Brown (Cardinals), Xavier Cedeno (Nationals), Kyle Drabek (White Sox) and Todd Redmond (Blue Jays) in “DFA limbo” according to the MLBTR DFA Tracker.


Yomiuri Giants Sign Juan Francisco

Nippon Professional Baseball’s Yomiuri Giants have announced the signing of third baseman Juan Francisco to a one-year contract, The Japan Times reports.  Francisco will receive 140 million yen (or roughly $1.17MM) in the deal.

Francisco hit .220/.291/.456 with 16 homers in 320 plate appearances with the Blue Jays last season, though most of that production came early in the season — Francisco posted a .961 OPS over his first 126 PA and just a .613 OPS in his other 194.  He also struck out 116 times in 2014, and his 36.3% strikeout rate was the second-highest of any hitter in baseball with at least 300 PA.

This combination of power and strikeouts has defined Francisco’s career, as he has a .236/.297/.439 slash line, 48 homers and 375 strikeouts over his 1091 career PA with the Jays, Brewers, Braves and Reds.  He was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox this offseason, non-tendered and then signed to a minor league deal by the Rays before opting out after he didn’t make their Major League roster.



Cardinals Designate Gary Brown For Assignment

The Cardinals have designated outfielder Gary Brown for assignment, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports (via Twitter).  The move opens up a 40-man roster spot for recently-promoted righty Mitch Harris.

St. Louis claimed Brown off waivers from the Giants earlier this month, and the 26-year-ols has a .352 OPS over 26 plate appearances at Triple-A Memphis.  Brown was the 24th overall pick of the 2010 draft and a highly-touted prospect prior to the 2012 season; Baseball Prospectus (18th), Baseball America (38th) and MLB.com (48th) all had Brown ranked amongst the top 50 prospects in the sport.  He didn’t produce much at the Triple-A level, however, though he did reach the majors for the first time last season in the form of a seven-game cup of coffee with the Giants.

According to the MLBTR DFA Tracker, Brown is one of five players currently in DFA limbo, along with Grant Balfour (Rays), Xavier Cedeno (Nationals), Kyle Drabek (White Sox) and Todd Redmond (Blue Jays).


White Sox Designate Kyle Drabek For Assignment

The White Sox announced that they have designated right-hander Kyle Drabek for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for top prospect Carlos Rodon, whose contract has officially been selected from Triple-A Charlotte.

Chicago claimed the 27-year-old Drabek off waivers from the Blue Jays in late March, and the former top prospect secured a spot in the Sox bullpen to open the season. Drabek, who was one of the centerpieces of the trade that sent Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays to the Phillies, totaled 5 1/3 innings with the South Siders, allowing three runs on nine hits and a pair of walks with three strikeouts.

Drabek was the 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft and, at one point ranked as high as 25th on Baseball America’s Top 100 prospect list and 14th on Baseball Prospectus’ version of that same list. Tommy John surgery in 2012 was among the injuries that have slowed the development of Drabek, and to date, his body of work at the Major League level is rather unimpressive. In 177 2/3 innings, he’s recorded a 5.27 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9.


Braves, Mitchell Boggs Agree To Minor League Deal

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

  • The Braves have agreed to a Minor League pact with veteran right-hander Mitchell Boggs, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. The 31-year-old Boggs didn’t appear in the Majors last season and struggled greatly in 2013, but he was a reliable member of the Cardinals’ bullpen prior to that. From 2010-12, Boggs, worked to a 3.08 ERA with 7.1 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 52.3 percent ground-ball rate, averaging 63 appearances and 67 innings per season. Boggs had disastrous results in a 2014 season split between the Triple-A affiliates for the White Sox and Giants, posting an 8.29 ERA with more walks (26) than strikeouts (23) in 51 innings of work.

Minor Moves: Gonzalez Germen, Ryan Dennick

Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:

  • The Cubs have announced they have purchased the contract of right-hander Gonzalez Germen from Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs optioned outfielder Matt Szczur to Iowa and transferred right-hander Jacob Turner to the 60-day disabled list to create room on the 25-man and 40-man rosters, respectively. German, who was claimed by the Cubs on waivers from the Rangers in January, did not allow a run in his four appearances (4 2/3 innings) for Iowa while striking out five. The 27-year-old posted a 4.31 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 in 54 relief outings for the Mets over the past two seasons.
  • The Dodgers have outrighted left-hander Ryan Dennick to Double-A Tulsa, per the club’s transactions page. It has been a whirlwind week for the 28-year-old who was claimed by the Dodgers off waivers from the Reds and then designated for assignment two days later.
  • Per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker, Grant Balfour (Rays), Todd Redmond (Blue Jays), and Xavier Cedeno (Nationals) remain in DFA limbo.

Rays Designate Grant Balfour For Assignment

The Rays have designated reliever Grant Balfour, the team announced. The decision comes on the heels of an outing in which he allowed three runs on three walks and a home run over two-thirds of an inning. The club owes him $7MM this season. Tampa has selected the contract of Brandon Gomes in his place.

Balfour, 37, has a career 3.44 ERA with 9.53 K/9, 4.16 BB/9, and 84 saves. This season, his velocity has declined to a career low 89 mph. In his heyday, he regularly pumped 93-94 mph heat. After today, he’s walked four batters in four and one-third innings without a strikeout. It’s possible that he was underprepared for the season. Balfour’s father passed early during spring training, so it’s certainly understandable if he had trouble focusing on baseball.

The Aussie reliever is joined in DFA limbo by Xavier Cedeno, Todd Redmond, and Ryan Dennick.


Minor Moves: Huff, De La Cruz, Bautista, Meyer

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

  • The Dodgers have announced that they’ve outrighted lefty David Huff, who has accepted an assignment to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The Dodgers designated Huff for assignment on Wednesday after he made one four-inning start for them. The 30-year-old has a 5.06 ERA, 5.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in parts of seven seasons with the Indians, Yankees and Giants in addition to the Dodgers.
  • The Yankees have outrighted righty Joel De La Cruz, then sent him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 25-year-old posted a 4.44 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 121 2/3 innings in the high minors last season. The Yankees selected his contract last week, but he did not appear in a game before they optioned him back to the minors.
  • The Red Sox have signed righty Denny Bautista to a minor-league deal, Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweets. The 32-year-old Bautista last appeared in the big leagues with the Giants in 2010 and previously pitched for the Orioles, Royals, Rockies, Tigers and Pirates. He pitched in Mexico in 2014 (struggling with his control, also a problem in his big-league days) and in Korea from 2011-2013.
  • The Padres have signed former Astros third-round pick Jonathan Meyer, Eddy tweets. Meyer had been an infielder in the Astros’ system, but the Padres will use him as a catcher. The 24-year-old hit .215/.274/.280 at Double-A and Triple-A last year before Houston released him.
  • The Nationals are having infielder Emmanuel Burriss join the team, James Wagner of the Washington Post tweets. It’s not clear how the Nats will make room for Burriss on their 25-man roster, although Yunel Escobar suffered a groin strain against the Phillies on Friday. (MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweets that Burriss is not listed on the Nats’ lineup card today, and Wagner notes that Burriss could simply be with the team as insurance in case the Nats need to make a move.) Burriss, a D.C. native, was hitting .286/.359/.486 in 39 plate appearances with Triple-A Syracuse. The Nats re-signed him to a minor-league deal last November. The 30-year-old appeared in parts of five seasons with the Giants from 2008-2012, hitting .243/.304/.269 in 801 plate appearances.

Marlins Claim Matt Tracy

The Marlins have claimed lefty Matt Tracy from the Yankees, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. They will send Tracy to Triple-A, tweets MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. To clear space on their 40-man roster, the Marlins have announced that they’ve moved Jose Fernandez to the 60-day disabled list.

The Yankees added Tracy to their roster last week to provide help after an 19-inning game against the Red Sox. He pitched two innings and allowed three runs, none earned, last Saturday, and then the Yankees designated him for assignment.

The 26-year-old Tracy pitched 150 2/3 innings at Double-A and Triple-A in 2014, posting a 3.76 ERA, 5.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. The Marlins had shown interest in Tracy before, becoming the first team to draft him when they selected him in the 43rd round in 2010. The Yankees made him their 24th-round pick the following year.