Tug Hulett Rumors

East Notes: Beato, Ibanez, Emaus, Hulett

Here are some items of note and musings coming out of the East divisions as Phillies interim closer Jose Contreras hits the DL …

  • Mets reliever Pedro Beato, a Rule 5 draftee this offseason, is pitching well, writes Thomas Boorstein of MLB.com. "I've been impressed ever since he walked into camp," Mets manager Terry Collins said. Earlier this week, the Mets returned second baseman Brad Emaus – their other Rule 5 pick – to the Blue Jays, who flipped him in turn to the Rockies, but it looks like Beato has a good shot of sticking with the Mets throughout the season.
  • Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez is struggling, as is Philly's lineup on the whole, and David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News wonders how long the Phils will continue to start Ibanez. Should the Phils choose to divvy up starts between John Mayberry Jr., Ben Francisco and Domonic Brown, it would be interesting to see whether they would look into trading the 39-year-old. Ibanez is past his prime, sure, but he posted a triple-slash of .272/.347/.552 as recently as two years ago, and his contract expires at season's end, so he could draw interest at a cheap price. However, he does have no-trade protection.
  • The Blue Jays will place second baseman Aaron Hill on the DL, writes Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. We'll never know the answer, but I wonder whether the Jays would have held onto Emaus to fill in briefly with Hill, Jayson Nix, and Edwin Encarnacion being banged up. Of course, it seems pretty clear that the Jays had made the decision that Emaus didn't factor into their plans, but they are stretched thin now, as John McDonald and Mike McCoy started at third and second base, respectively, on Sunday.
  • The Nationals signed infielder Tug Hulett to a minor league contract, according to NBC Sports. Hulett last appeared in the big leagues with the Royals in 2009. He was with the Rockies earlier this season but was let go after Colorado acquired Emaus.

Rockies Sign Hulett, Macri, Salazar

The Rockies have signed Tug Hulett, Matt Macri and Jeff Salazar to minor league contracts, reports Thomas Harding of MLB.com.  None of the three men played in the majors in 2010; Hulett and Salazar last saw major league action in 2009 with the Royals and Pirates, respectively, while Macri's last taste of the bigs was with Minnesota in 2008. 

Macri (fifth round, 2004) and Salazar (eighth round, 2002) were both originally drafted by Colorado, while Hulett was originally selected by Texas in the 14th round of the 2004 draft.


Odds & Ends: Mariners, Cora, Lee, Chacon

Links for Monday, with just a couple hours remaining for teams to sign their 2010 draft picks…

  • Bobby Valentine told Jack Curry of the YES Network that he doesn't think the Mariners are "a fit" for him (Twitter link). Seattle has a managerial opening and some have suggested that Valentine could be a target for the Mariners.
  • Orioles manager Buck Showalter told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that he would be shocked if former Mariners skipper Don Wakamatsu had trouble finding a job.
  • The Mariners signed former big leaguer Tug Hulett and assigned him to Triple A, according to the transactions page for the Pacific Coast League. Hulett, now 27, appeared in 15 games for the Royals last year.
  • The Rangers are considering free agent Alex Cora, though they have not offered the infielder a deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • The Brockton Rox of the independent Can-Am League signed former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee, according to the AP (via CBSSports.com). Lee, who last faced a major league hitter in 1982, is now 63 years old!
  • The Astros announced that an arbitration panel decided that the team was within its rights to terminate Shawn Chacon’s contract without pay after the pitcher's physical confrontation with GM Ed Wade in 2008.

Minor League Transactions: Marti, Anderson

Yadel Marti generated some buzz a couple winters ago when he defected from Cuba. It took a while, but the righty signed with a major league organization. Matt Eddy of Baseball America has the details and other transactions from August 2nd-11th:

  • The Braves became the third team to release Josh Anderson this season. The Reds and Brewers also released Anderson, who has combined for a .448 OPS for those three organizations.
  • The Red Sox released infielder Tug Hulett.
  • The Dodgers released former big league pitcher Bobby Livingston. The lefty logged 56.1 innings for the 2007 Reds.
  • The A’s signed Yadel Marti from Veracruz of the Mexican League. The 31-year-old pitched for the same team as Luis Heredia, a top pitching prospect who’s drawing interest from the Pirates and Blue Jays, among other clubs.

Odds & Ends: Johnson, Cabrera, Mets, Contreras

Here's some discount links on Black Friday…

Red Sox Acquire Tug Hulett

The Red Sox have acquired utility player Tug Hulett from the Royals, according to Bob Dutton of The KC Star. The Royals will receive either cash or a player to be named later in the deal.

The 26-year-old Hulett has hit .194/.270/.254 in 75 career plate appearances in the big leagues, spending most of the last three seasons in Triple-A. He's a career .284/.394/.418 hitter in the minors, and is capable of playing second, third, and short.

Royals Claim Tug Hulett

According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals claimed infielder Tug Hulett off waivers from the Mariners.  To make room, they designated lefty Neal Musser for assignment.

Hulett, 26 in a few days, hit .298/.380/.518 in Triple A last year and can play any infield position.

Rangers Acquire Broussard, Non-tender Otsuka

Quick note from Geoff Baker – the Mariners sent first baseman Ben Broussard to the Rangers for minor league infielder Tug Hulett.  Makes sense; the Mariners clear $3.5MM+ from the payroll and actually get something in return.  The Rangers get a cheap stopgap first baseman who won’t embarrass them.

We may never hear from Hulett again, but he’s better than the nothing the Mariners would’ve gotten for non-tendering Broussard.

The Rangers also non-tendered Akinori Otsuka.  Last we’d heard he was throwing pain-free in October, but maybe the Rangers learned he needed Tommy John after all. (Hat tip to Rangerfans.com).