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Travis Blackley Rumors
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.
- A pair of veterans are headed to the Marlins, per Matt Eddy of Baseball America (via Twitter). Lefty Travis Blackley and catcher Jesus Flores will join the Miami organization after being cut loose by other clubs earlier in the spring. Blackley, 32, has not seen big league action since 2013 and struggled in a brief stint in Japan last year. The 30-year-old Flores, meanwhile, has never returned to the majors since a five-year run with the Nationals. At Triple-A last year with the Royals, he slashed .230/.299/.373 over 271 plate appearances.
- The Braves have released veteran reliever Matt Capps, according to the International League transactions page. Capps, a former closer for the Pirates, Nationals and Twins, last appeared in the big leagues in 2012. He pitched just 12 minor-league innings in the last two seasons in the Indians system while dealing with shoulder issues, and he had not yet appeared in a game in 2015.
- The Braves have announced that they’ve purchased the contract of utilityman Pedro Ciriaco. To make space on their active roster, they’ve optioned lefty Ian Thomas to Triple-A Gwinnett. With Chris Johnson out with a hand injury, the Braves plan to go with Alberto Callaspo and Phil Gosselin at third base, and Ciriaco could provide extra help at third and elsewhere in the infield. The 29-year-old has a career .270/.299/.372 line in 498 plate appearances over five seasons with the Pirates, Red Sox, Padres and Royals. The Braves signed him to a minor-league deal in October.
Here are today’s minor transactions from around baseball, with the latest moves at the top of the post…
- The Reds outrighted right-hander Dylan Axelrod off their 40-man roster and down to Triple-A, according to the team’s official transactions page. This move will help free up space for one of the several veterans Cincinnati is looking to add to its 40-man roster. Axelrod posted a 2.95 ERA in 18 1/3 IP for the Reds last season and a 4.01 ERA in 103 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level in the Reds and White Sox organizations.
- The Phillies have put Rule 5 Draft pick Andy Oliver on waivers, CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports. If Oliver clears waivers, Salisbury notes that the Phils could try to fully obtain the lefty’s rights from the Pirates in a trade. As a Rule 5 Draft player, Oliver must spend the entire season on a 25-man roster or else be offered back to his original club (Pittsburgh).
- The Giants seem to have released left-hander Travis Blackley, as per the southpaw’s own Twitter page. Blackley tweeted his thanks to the organization for giving him a chance to pitch this spring (on a minor league deal) and used the past tense in describing the Giants as “a very classy organization that I was proud to play for!” Blackley posted a 5.23 ERA over 192 2/3 innings spread over four MLB seasons between 2004-13 with the Mariners, Giants, A’s, Astros and Rangers, and he spent the 2014 campaign pitching in Japan.
- The Twins have released left-hander Wil Ledezma, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports (via Twitter). Ledezma, 34, signed a minor league deal with the Twins in December and was looking to reach the big leagues for the first time since 2011.
- The White Sox released outfielder Brian Anderson, CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes reports (via Twitter). The Sox also parted ways with two more veterans according to their team transactions page, releasing right-hander J.D. Martin and infielder Andy LaRoche.
Here are the notable minor moves of the day:
- The Reds released a list of nineteen non-roster invites to big league camp this spring, including several minor league free agent signings (via MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon). Among those not previously reported are catchers Ramon Cabrera, who was released by the Pirates earlier in the offseason, and Kyle Skipworth, who had spent his entire career in the Marlins organization. Neither player has seen significant MLB action, though Skipworth did get a cup of coffee in 2013. Cabrera has flashed some solid numbers with the bat in the minors, though both backstops put up sub-.700 OPS campaigns last year.
- Former big league lefty Travis Blackley says that he has signed a deal with the Giants (via Instagram). The 32-year-old Aussie saw action in parts of four MLB seasons, working to a 5.23 ERA over 192 2/3 frames (including 26 starts) with 6.2 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9. He threw only 13 innings last year with Rakuten of Japan’s NPB.
Here are some minor moves to pass on …
- The Mariners announced three minor league signings that come with MLB Spring Training invites. Outfielder Cole Gillespie, along with righties Matt Palmer and Ramon Ramirez, will try to impress the Seattle brass in Peoria, AZ. All three players have seen MLB action, though only Ramirez (3.42 ERA in 433 2/3 innings as a reliever) has a history as a big league regular.
- Angels minor league backstop Carlos Ramirez has received a 100 game ban for his third positive test for a "drug of abuse," MLB announced. The 25-year-old has yet to see time above Double-A, and has largely failed to hit in three stints at that level.
- Two former big leaguers experienced status changes in December with regard to their current careers in Japan. Southpaw Travis Blackley reached terms on a one-year deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles after spending most of last year in the Astros pen, while outfielder Nyjer Morgan has become a free agent after a productive first season with the Yokohama Bay Stars. (All information courtesy of Nikkan Sports, via Yakyu Baka.)
- You can keep track of any players currently in DFA limbo via MLBTR's DFA Tracker. Three players currently await a final disposition: Santos Rodriguez (White Sox), Rafael Ortega (Rangers), and Adys Portillo (Padres).
Here are today’s outright assignments and minor moves from around the league…
- The Orioles are placing lefty Chris Jones on their 40-man roster, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets. Jones, 25, posted a 2.67 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 70 2/3 innings for Triple-A Norfolk this year. The move will prevent them from losing him to minor-league free agency.
- Edgar Ibarra has been added to the Twins‘ 40-man roster, the team announced today. The 24-year-old Venezuelan left-hander posted a 1.93 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 60 2/3 innings of relief between Double-Aand Triple-A this season. By adding Ibarra to the 40-man roster, the Twins ensure that he cannot be selected in next month’s Rule 5 Draft.
- The Twins have also re-signed Wilkin Ramirez, Dan Rohlfing, Aaron Thompson, Jermaine Mitchell, Lester Oliveros, Doug Bernier and James Beresford to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training, tweets MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger. Ramirez and Bernier each saw time with the big league club in 2013, and Oliveros was one of two pitchers received from the Tigers in exchange for Delmon Young in 2011.
- The Red Sox announced that they have outrighted outfielder Quintin Berry and infielder Brandon Snyder off their 40-man roster. Both are now free agents after spending the majority of this past season at Triple-A. Snyder hit .261/.332/.454 with 10 homers in the minors, while Berry slashed just .191/.309/.257 with three homers and 30 steals in 34 tries at Triple-A.
- Right-hander Ross Wolf has re-signed with the Rangers on a minor league contract with an invitation to 2014 Spring Training, the team announced. The 31-year-old posted a 4.15 ERA in 22 appearances (three starts) for Texas in 2013, averaging 4.0 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 47 2/3 innings. Wolf had been outrighted off the 40-man roster and cleared waivers before re-signing.
- In other Rangers news, left-hander Travis Blackley was also outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency. In 50 1/3 innings between the Rangers and Astros, compiling a 4.83 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
- The Padres announced that they have outrighted left-hander Tommy Layne to Triple-A Tucson. Layne, 29, pitched 8 2/3 innings of 2.08 ERA ball for the Padres in his second big league stint this season. He has a 4.50 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 704 career minor league innings between the Padres and Diamondbacks, who traded him to San Diego for cash considerations in the 2011-12 offseason. Layne was designated for assignment along with fellow lefty Colt Hynes to make roster space for Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland as they returned from the 60-day DL. Hynes has since been acquired by the Indians.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.
12:50pm: A source tells MLBTR that the deal has the Rangers sending a PTBNL to the Astros in addition to the cash considerations.
12:34pm: The Rangers announced that they have acquired left-handed pitcher Travis Blackley from the Astros in exchange for cash considerations. However, the Astros' press release says that the deal calls for a player to be named later in addition to the cash. Blackley was recently outrighted to Triple-A by Houston, two days after he was DFA'd.
Blackley, 30, posted a 4.89 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 in 35 innings for the Astros this year. The Australian has been effective against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .200/.258/.367 batting line through 66 plate appearances. However, his .265/.400/.603 batting line versus opposing righties isn't quite as strong.
We'll keep track of tonight's minor moves here…
- The Astros have outrighted pitcher Travis Blackley to Triple-A Oklahoma City, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com tweets. Blackley, 30, threw 35 innings for Houston this season, posting a 4.89 ERA with a 7.5 K/9 but an unsightly 5.1 BB/9. The lefty now has three days to accept the assignment or become a free agent.
Blackley, 30, has a 4.89 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 in 35 innings for Houston this year. The Aussie southpaw has been effective against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .200/.258/.367 batting line through 66 plate appearances. However, Blackley has yielded a .265/.400/.603 batting line versus opposing righties.
Chapman, 25, has a 3.28 ERA with 10.8 K/9 but a lofty 6.4 BB/9 rate in 50 2/3 innings this season at Oklahoma City. He was acquired from the Royals last season along with outfielder D'Andre Toney in a trade that sent Humberto Quintero and Jason Bourgeois to Kansas City.
The Athletics have traded left-handed pitcher Travis Blackley to the Astros in exchange for minor league outfielder Jake Goebbert, Oakland announced via Twitter. The A's designated Blackley for assignment last Friday after claiming pitchers Danny Otero and Josh Stinson earlier that day.
Blackley, 30, tossed 107 2/3 innings last year, mostly for Oakland, sporting a 4.10 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. After the A's claimed him on waivers from the Giants last season, the Australian started fifteen games for the eventual AL West champs. Blackley is expected to work as a long reliever for Houston, which will need to make a corresponding roster move, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
Goebbert is a 25-year-old corner outfielder who hit .291/.388/.450 over 468 minor league plate appearances last year, the vast majority of which came at Double-A . He has yet to show much at the Triple-A level, with a .250/.325/.360 line in 152 plate appearances over the last two seasons. Goebbert had been set to start the year in Triple-A for the Houston organization.
The Athletics have claimed pitcher Danny Otero from the Yankees and designated first baseman Daric Barton and pitcher Travis Blackley for assignment, according to a team news release. Earlier in the day, the A's also claimed pitcher Josh Stinson from the Brewers.
Barton has collected 1,583 major-league at bats, all with the A's, hitting .249/.360/.371. He hit .204/.338/.292 in part-time duty in 2012. Blackley pitched in 102 2/3 innings with the A's in 2012, posting a 3.86 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.