Transactions Rumors

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

Orioles Acquire Audry Perez From Rockies

The Orioles have acquired catcher Audry Perez from the Rockies in exchange for cash, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports on Twitter. Perez is the third minor league backstop dealt away by Colorado this year.

The 26-year-old has played just three games in the big leagues, but had a solid year at Triple-A last season (.292/.298/.419) with the Cardinals. Perez has not done much with limited plate appearances in big league camp with Colorado, where he signed as a minor league free agent. He will provide some additional depth to a Baltimore organization that is still waiting to see how its major league catching situation sorts itself out over the season.


Rays Release Alexi Casilla

The Rays have released infielder Alexi Casilla, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports on Twitter. Tampa will avoid having to pay the veteran a $100K bonus with the move.

The 30-year-old has previously spent time with the Twins and Orioles, averaging 269 trips to bat over the 2007-13 time frame while slashing .248/.302/.332 and swiping 80 bags in that stretch. Last year, however, Casilla only got one game in the bigs, spending most of the year at Triple-A with Baltimore.


Reid Brignac Opts Out From Marlins

Infielder Reid Brignac has opted out of his deal with the Marlins after learning he would not make the Opening Day roster, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). The 29-year-old is now a free agent.

Brignac, 29, has not cracked 100 plate appearances in a big league season since back in 2011. Over parts of seven seasons, he owns a .222/.266/.314 slash over 905 plate appearances. At this point, defensive flexibility — Brignac has spent most of his time at short — is his primary calling card.



Rangers Release Jamey Wright

The Rangers have released righty Jamey Wright, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports on Twitter. Wright would have been owed a $100K bonus to keep him in the minors.

Wright, 40, has spent 19 years in the big leagues. Last year, he tossed 70 1/3 frames for the Dodgers, putting up a 4.35 ERA with 6.9 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9. He is sure to draw interest given his long track record of durability and solid results.


Blue Jays To Release Dayan Viciedo

After failing to make the Blue Jays roster, outfielder Dayan Viciedo has requested and will be granted his release, GM Alex Anthopoulos tells reporters including Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link).

Viciedo, a late entrant onto the free agent market when the White Sox released him, struggled at the plate this spring. The 26-year-old has seen plenty of action over the last three big league campaigns, averaging over 500 plate appearances per year. He has also hit an average of twenty long balls in each of those campaigns, though his on-base percentage is sub-.300 and he is not well-regarded defensively.

It remains to be seen whether any team will have a major league opportunity for Viciedo to start the year. Several clubs have less-than-clear corner outfield situations, but those organizations already had one opportunity to grab Viciedo. Of course, things have changed in some situations; the Phillies, for example, will start Domonic Brown on the DL and have watched Grady Sizemore scuffle this spring, so could be newly motivated to take a shot on Viciedo.


Marlins Release Nick Masset

The Marlins have released right-handed reliever Nick Masset, the club announced. Masset, 32, signed as a minor league free agent and enjoyed Article XX(B) protection.

Once a consistently productive presence in the Reds’ pen, Masset traveled a long road back to the big leagues after undergoing multiple shoulder surgeries. He ended a two-year layoff last year, throwing 45 innings of 5.80 ERA ball for the Rockies but posting a more promising 4.33 FIP. Masset was able to deliver typically strong groundball results while striking out 7.2 and walking 4.8 batters per nine.

Miami obviously had decided not to give Masset a spot on its big league roster and preferred not to pay him a $100K bonus to stay in the upper minors. Masset has scuffled somewhat this spring, striking out only three batters and allowing nine earned runs in 11 innings of work, but ought to hold appeal to organizations seeking depth.


Phillies Release Kevin Slowey

The Phillies have announced the release of right-hander Kevin Slowey. The 30-year-old was in camp on a minor league deal.

Last year, Slowey threw 37 1/3 frames for the Marlins, working to a 5.30 ERA with 5.8 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9. But his peripherals support some reason to believe there’s a reasonably productive arm to be had, as Slowey has averaged sub-4.00 FIP marks over 129 1/3 total innings in the last two seasons.

Slowey had good numbers this spring, allowing four earned over 9 2/3 while striking out seven and walking two. But it appears that he has lost the fifth starter’s battle to Sean O’Sullivan. Of course, as Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News notes on Twitter, the club figures to take a look at the arms that depart other organizations over the coming days.


Red Sox Release Felipe Paulino

The Red Sox have released righty Felipe Paulino, the club announced. As an Article XX(B) free agent, the 31-year-old would have required a $100K bonus to keep stashed in the upper minors.

Paulino struggled in minimal action last year with the White Sox as he worked back from Tommy John and shoulder surgery. After serving as a swingman for several years, Paulino was off to a very nice start as a starter with the Royals in 2012 when he began experiencing arm issues. This spring, he has allowed two hits and one earned run while striking out three and walking one in four innings of action.


Dodgers To Sign Freddy Garcia

The Dodgers have agreed to a minor league deal with veteran righty Freddy Garcia, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports on Twitter. Garcia, 38, agreed to sign with Taiwan’s EDA Rhinos last year.

While details of Garcia’s stint in Taiwan are hard to dig up, it appears that he at least threw a full season as the Taipei Times credits him with picking up a Gold Glove award. Garcia had seemed ticketed for the Braves rotation last spring before the club dropped him in favor of Aaron Harang — a decision that delivered Atlanta a surprisingly excellent season from Harang and sent Garcia out of the bigs for the first time since he broke into the league in 1999.

Garcia came up with the Mariners, promptly reeling off 200+ inning campaigns in seven of his first eight years. He carried a 4.01 ERA with 6.6 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9 to that point. Injuries intervened, however, and Garcia did not even crack the 60-inning barrier from 2007 through 2009 (even while working as a starter).

He has been a useful swingman since then, however, and figures to provide a depth option for a Los Angeles club that is approaching the season looking somewhat thin on pitching.


Nationals Sign Reed Johnson To Minor League Deal

9:23pm: Johnson will earn $1MM if he makes the roster, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweets.

3:36pm: Though outfielder Reed Johnson was released by the Marlins earlier this morning, his brush with unemployment will apparently be fleeting, as the Nationals announced that they’ve signed him to a Minor League contract. Johnson, 38, will report to big league camp and be in the mix for a bench spot.

The Nationals could use some additional outfield depth with Denard Span likely out through mid-May and Jayson Werth unlikely to be ready for Opening Day. As I noted this morning in discussing Johnson’s release, while his overall work with the bat is light, he’s still a solid option against left-handed pitching. Johnson batted .303/.319/.409 in 69 PA against lefties last year and is a lifetime .310/.363/.454 hitter when facing opposite-handed pitching. He has experience in center field but is likely best suited for left field at this stage of his career.

It remains unclear exactly how the Nationals’ outfield situation will play out, but prospect Michael Taylor figures to slide into Span’s spot and receive the bulk of the playing time in center field.