Travis Ishikawa Rumors
First baseman Travis Ishikawa is able to opt out of his minor league contract with the Orioles this coming Saturday, MLBTR has learned.
The 29-year-old has torn apart International League pitching this season, posting a batting line of .318/.414/.532 with seven homers and 16 doubles in 203 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk. He enjoyed a partiularly torrid month of May, which was good enough for him to be named the Orioles' minor league player of the month. Originally a 21st-round pick of the Giants in the 2002 draft, Ishikawa a career .264/.328/.405 triple-slash line.
The Orioles are set at first base, with Chris Davis is enjoying a better season than nearly any hitter in baseball, but it seems logical that Ishikawa could be considered for a bench role or get a look at DH. Presently, Orioles' designated hitters are batting just .233/.292/.425, with Nolan Reimold and Steve Pearce getting the bulk of the playing time in that role. That, of course, is just speculation on my part.
While the Blue Jays may be the only AL East team currently under .500, the club is 7-3 in their past 10 games, and injured shortstop Jose Reyes may return sooner than expected. The club was a major mover last offseason, but additions such as Reyes, R.A. Dickey, and Josh Johnson have been unable to provide much of an impact. Here is a look at today's news out of the ultra-competitive American League East..
- Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com notes that the Yankees now have players making a total of $97MM currently on their disabled list. Andy Pettitte became the latest high-priced Yankee to head to the DL, as Vidal Nuno will be promoted in his place.
- Travis Ishikawa has extended the opt-out in his contract with the Orioles, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The 29-year-old first baseman is currently batting .304/.383/.504 over 154 PA with Triple-A Norfolk.
The Orioles announced that they signed first baseman Travis Ishikawa, left-hander Daniel Schlereth and left-hander Zach Braddock to minor league deals. The contracts include invitations to MLB Spring Training.
Ishikawa spent this past season with Milwaukee, posting a .257/.329/.428 batting line in 174 plate appearances. The 29-year-old is a client of agent Jim McDowell.
Schlereth, 26, was non-tendered by the Tigers last month. The SFX client battled shoulder tendinitis in 2012, appearing in 11 minor league games and six games for Detroit. He posted a 3.49 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in 49 MLB innings back in 2011. Braddock, 25, last appeared at the MLB level in 2011. He's represented by CAA Sports.
The 29-year old played in 94 games for the Brewers last season and posted a batting line of .257/.329/.428 with four homers. In parts of five big league seasons, Ishikawa has hit .264/.328/.405 for the Giants and Brewers.
Tonight's outright assignments..
- The Brewers announced via press release that they have outrighted first baseman Travis Ishikawa to Triple-A Nashville. Ishikawa, 29, hit .257/.329/.428 with four homers in 94 games last season.
- The Rockies announced (via Twitter) that they have outrighted right-hander Carlos Torres. In related moves, the club selected the contracts of right-hander Josh Sullivan, reinstated Todd Helton, Juan Nicasio, and Christian Friedrich from the 60-day DL. The right-hander appeared in 31 games for the Rockies this season posting a 5.26 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9.
- The Orioles announced (via Twitter) that they have outrighted Lew Ford, Zach Phillips and Steven Tolleson to Triple-A Norfolk. Ford turned in another strong Triple-A batting line in 2012, hitting .331/.390/.550 with 11 homers in 62 games.
- Mets catcher Mike Nickeas cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Las Vegas, tweets Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger. Nickeas saw time in 47 big league games for the Mets this season as one of several backstops to pitch in at the position.
- The Twins announced that right-hander Sam Deduno has been assigned outright to Triple-A Rochester. The move will help make room for the acquisitions of Thomas Field, Josh Roenicke, and Alexi Casilla off of waivers.
- The Royals sent catcher Manny Pina to Triple-A Omaha on outright assignment, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. In related moves, left-hander Danny Duffy and right-hander Felipe Paulino have been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. Pina, 25, hit .260/.389/.397 in 162 Double-A plate appearances last year.
Here's the latest out of baseball's two West divisions...
- Bobby Abreu had other offers before choosing to sign with the Dodgers, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). He liked the idea of returning to the NL and knows manager Don Mattingly from his time with the Yankees.
- The Giants offered Travis Ishikawa a minor league contract to return during the offseason, but he signed with the Brewers because they offered a better opportunity to Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle. Mat Gamel's injury opened the door for Ishikawa to play everyday.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports speculates (on Twitter) that Mark Trumbo of the Angels would be a good fit for the Blue Jays. He says it's hard to see Toronto trading a reliever while Sergio Santos is still on the DL, however.
Today's minor moves...
- The Yankees outrighted Colin Curtis to Triple-A and announced that Greg Golson is now a free agent, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger (on Twitter).
- The Twins confirmed the loss of Jim Hoey, adding that they outrighted recently-claimed shortstop Pedro Florimon to bring their 40-man roster count to 38.
- The Blue Jays also confirmed the claim of Jim Hoey today, also noting they've outrighted catcher Brian Jeroloman and righty Drew Carpenter. Their 40-man roster is now full.
- The Brewers announced they've signed first baseman Travis Ishikawa to a minor league deal, and also confirmed their signing of Mike Rivera. Ishikawa was designated for assignment by the Giants in March, and after clearing waivers went on to hit .251/.368/.383 in 211 Triple-A plate appearances. Ishikawa injured his non-throwing shoulder in June while playing right field and had surgery that month. His agent Jim McDowell tells MLBTR Ishikawa was cleared for baseball activities two months ago and will be at full strength for 2012.
- Cain's representatives spoke with Giants VP Bobby Evans during the Winter Meetings. Baggarly says "all indications are that the Giants plan to be aggressive in locking up Cain before he reports to spring training."
- The "benchmark" for a Cain extension seems to be the six-year, $99MM offer from the Marlins that C.J. Wilson reportedly turned down before signing with the Angels. "Cain is younger and better than Wilson," an industry source tells Baggarly. "He'd get $150 million on the open market."
- When Cain signed his three-year, $27.25MM extension in March 2010, a fourth year (worth $16MM) was originally part of the contract but the Giants removed it from the deal due to worries about loose bodies found in a scan of Cain's throwing elbow. Rick Landrum, one of Cain's representatives, didn't know why the Giants removed the fourth year since Cain's medical information hadn't changed, but said it wouldn't affect the current talks with the club. For what it's worth, Cain has thrown 445 innings over the last two seasons and appears as durable as ever.
- Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported earlier this week that Lincecum was seeking an eight-year contract. Baggarly confirms this item and adds that the eight-year proposal "was believed to include opt-out language." In another piece, Baggarly hears from Evans that while the Giants don't have a policy against such opt-out clauses, the club is "not inclined (because) it’s not strategically beneficial to us.”
- "The feeling around the league" is that the Giants will eventually have to part ways with one of the two aces.
- The team has had discussions about re-signing Travis Ishikawa, who is a minor league free agent. Shoulder surgery limited Ishikawa to 56 games with Triple-A Fresno last season.
Rounding up Sunday's links, as Andre Ethier celebrates his 29th birthday....
- Jon Lester told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that he didn't talk to Clay Buchholz about the pros and cons of signing a long-term extension before the right-hander inked a four-year pact today.
- Travis Ishikawa admitted he hoped another team would claim him when he was placed on waivers earlier this season, according to MLB.com's Chris Haft. However, now he says he's glad he's still with the Giants organization and is excited to stay on the West Coast, playing for Triple-A Fresno.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks back at the trade that sent Xavier Nady to the Yankees. Kovacevic argues that even if three of the four players the Pirates received for Nady don't work out, Jose Tabata alone makes it a steal for Pittsburgh.
- Juan Rivera isn't off to a good start with his new team, as Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun writes. The Blue Jays are reportedly interested in trading Rivera, but his performance so far likely isn't helping draw any interest.
- The Indians will have some roster shuffling to do when injured players return, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who also addresses trade possibilites in a Tribe mailbag.
- Nationals infielder Alex Cora should make a good manager someday, says MLB.com's Marty Noble.
The Pacific Coast League's transactions page gives us the update on three recently-designated players.
- Rays reliever Mike Ekstrom has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A according to the transactions page on the team's official site. Ekstrom was designated for assignment three days ago.
- Red Sox catcher Mark Wagner cleared waivers and was assigned to extended Spring Training, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. The Red Sox designated him for assignment on March 29th.
- Travis Ishikawa cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A, the Giants announced (on Twitter).
- The Dodgers outrighted pitchers Jon Link and John Lindsey to the Albuquerque Isotopes. They'd been designated for assignment in late March.
- Catcher Lucas May, designated for assignment by the Royals on March 30th, cleared waivers and was outrighted to the Omaha Storm Chasers.