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Here’s a roundup of minor moves from late this week.
- The Cubs have signed free agent pitcher Daniel Bard to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, tweets Mike Perchick of WAPT Sports. The former Red Sox relief ace last appeared in the majors during the 2013 season when he tossed just one inning. After three solid campaigns to begin his career, the wheels fell off in 2012 with a 6.22 ERA, 5.76 K/9, and 6.52 BB/9 in 59 and one-third innings.
- The Red Sox have signed free agent outfielder Quintin Berry to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, tweets Mike Perchick of WAPT Sports. The 30-year-old outfielder has seen infrequent action since making his major league debut with the Tigers in 2012. That year, he hit .258/.330/.354 in 330 plate appearances with 21 steals. He’s since served short stints with the Red Sox and Orioles as a defensive replacement and pinch runner.
- Free agent righty Donovan Hand tweets that he has agreed to a deal with the Reds. The deal would presumably be of the minor league variety. Hand, 28, spent his eighth season in the Brewers organization in 2014 as a swingman for Triple-A Nashville, posting a 5.20 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. Hand had the same role in the big leagues in 2013, posting a 3.69 ERA and 2.8 BB/9 in 68 1/3 innings but with just 4.9 K/9.
- The Braves have outrighted infielder Tyler Pastornicky, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets. The Braves designated Pastornicky for assignment last week after he hit .290/.330/.347 in 189 plate appearances last year for Triple-A Gwinnett. The 25-year-old has appeared in parts of three seasons in the Majors, most notably hitting .243/.287/.325 in 188 plate appearances in 2012.
- The Athletics have outrighted infielder Andy Parrino, MLB.com’s Jane Lee tweets. The A’s designated Parrino for assignment in the wake of the Ben Zobrist deal last weekend. The 29-year-old hit .274/.352/.384 at the Triple-A level in 2014.
- The Mariners have outrighted lefty Anthony Fernandez, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets. Fernandez, 24, has never pitched in the big leagues and missed most of last season due to injury, making just five starts for Triple-A Tacoma. The Mariners designated him for assignment Thursday.
- The Orioles have outrighted catcher Ryan Lavarnway, according to MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko. Lavarnway, 27, was claimed three times in the past six weeks (by the Dodgers, Cubs and Orioles) before finally making it through waivers. He hit .283/.389/.370 in 257 plate appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket in the Red Sox system in 2014.
- The Blue Jays have outrighted righty Cory Burns, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca tweets. The Jays designated Burns for assignment earlier this week when they claimed Matt West. Burns, 27, pitched well in relief at Double-A and Triple-A in the Rays organization early in the season, but struggled after being claimed by the Rangers in June. The Blue Jays then claimed him in late September.
- The Rays have signed lefty Everett Teaford, the Ballengee Group announces (via Twitter). The contract will presumably be a minor-league deal. Teaford appeared in parts of three seasons with the Royals from 2011 through 2013, but pitched for the LG Twins in the offense-heavy KBO in 2014, posting a 5.24 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 99 2/3 innings.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Andy Parrino | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Chicago Cubs | Cincinnati Reds | Cory Burns | Daniel Bard | Donovan Hand | Everett Teaford | Oakland Athletics | Quintin Berry | Ryan Lavarnway | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Tyler Pastornicky
The Braves will designate infielder Tyler Pastornicky for assignment tomorrow in order to clear 40-man roster space for the three signings they announced earlier today, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports (on Twitter).
The 25-year-old Pastornicky struggled in 47 plate appearances with the Braves in 2014 and has never hit much at the Major League level, as evidenced by his .243/.295/.314 batting line in 268 plate appearances. However, he only just turned 25 last month and has a much stronger track record in the minors, where he’s a .290/.348/.386 batter in 793 Triple-A plate appearances.
By releasing Dan Uggla midseason, trading Tommy La Stella earlier this winter and now designating Pastornicky, the Braves have jettisoned the three players that saw the bulk of the playing time at second base in Atlanta last season. The Braves inked Alberto Callaspo to a one-year deal to hold down the fort at second this year, presumably while top prospect Jose Peraza continues his development in the minors. Additionally, the club acquired Jace Peterson from the Padres in the Justin Upton deal — another infielder capable of handling second base.
Here’s the latest news on the Braves out of San Diego:
- Echoing the prior report, president of baseball operations John Hart says that he will keep both Upton and Gattis unless he gets what he is looking for, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The club still has the option of attempting to compete by keeping them and adding another starter and a second baseman.
- Teams in discussions with the Braves now feel they might be likely to keep Gattis, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets.
- The Braves are now packaging Justin Upton and Chris Johnson in trade talks with teams, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
- Atlanta is fielding interest on Upton from the Orioles, Rangers, and Padres, Bowman reports (Twitter links).
- When the Royals asked about Gattis several weeks back, the Braves asked for young righty Yordano Ventura in return. Needless to say, that seems to have been a non-starter.
- The Braves “seem ready to be aggressive,” sources from competitors tell MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter links). Justin Upton and Evan Gattis remain the two most talked-about trade targets, but infielder Tyler Pastornicky and righty Anthony Varvaro “could also be included in talks,” per Bowman. Pastornicky is a 24-year-old infielder who could figure into Atlanta’s plans at second if he is kept. Varvaro, 30, has been a fixture in the Braves pen over the last several years.
- While there remain several teams that are good potential matches on Upton, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the Padres might be the best given their supply of young, controllable pitching. A note from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports earlier today also suggested a viable connection between those clubs on Upton.
- While there is general agreement that Upton is a more valuable commodity than was the previously-traded Jason Heyward, teams remain hesitant to beat the return for the latter, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. There is a general sense that the package given up by the Cardinals, headlined by Shelby Miller, may have outstripped Heyward’s value.
Dan Uggla‘s role with the Braves is becoming increasingly smaller, as MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes that Tyler Pastornicky will be given the opportunity to serve as Atlanta’s everyday second baseman. Pastornicky has just two hits in 17 at-bats this season but has a solid Triple-A track record. Should he falter, the Braves also have Tommy La Stella waiting in the wings at Triple-A, though his strong OBP (.379) has been accompanied by a notable power outage, as he’s slugging just .328 with a .039 ISO. More from the game’s Eastern divisions…
- Within that same notebook piece, Bowman notes that the Braves will utilize a six-man rotation at least through next week. Manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t like the idea, but the team feels it has little choice with six starting options that are throwing so well. The manager did concede that the six-man grouping might help later in the year by limiting the workload on Alex Wood and Gavin Floyd.
- The Star Ledger’s Jorge Castillo reports that CC Sabathia‘s visit to Dr. James Andrews confirmed that there’s no structural damage in his knee. The Yankees are hopeful that Sabathia will be able to return as soon as he is eligible to help an injury-plagued pitching staff.
- Bud Selig isn’t concerned over reports that partial Mets owner Saul Katz is looking to sell his shares of the team, writes Christian Red of the New York Daily News. “
- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports asked Red Sox chairman Tom Werner if the team is committed to using a Will Middlebrooks/Xander Bogaerts tandem on the left side of the infield and was told “for the moment” (Twitter link).
5:55pm: Braves GM Frank Wren confirmed that the club is looking at possible trades for second basemen, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link). Wren said that if the club can't find the "right fit…we'll go with what we have."
3:15pm: The Braves took another hit to their infield depth when it was discovered that Tyler Pastornicky has a torn ACL in his left knee and will undergo season-ending surgery, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman. The 23-year-old Pastornicky was set to man second base on an everyday basis while Dan Uggla recovered from LASIK surgery. Uggla isn't eligible to be activated until Aug. 28, at the earliest.
In the meantime, the Braves have called up Phil Gosselin, who could serve as depth while Paul Janish starts at shortstop. However, Bowman writes that Janish's limited abilities with the bat "have led the club to actively search for an infielder who could be acquired via a waiver wire deal."
Janish is a career .214/.284/.288 hitter in 1,175 plate appearances, so it's no surprise that the Braves would want a stronger option at second base. The 24-year-old Gosselin might not be a substantial upgrade either, as he reached Triple-A for the first time this season, where he was batting .277/.326/.343 in 183 trips to the plate.
We've already seen a pair of middle infield options change hands this August, with both Jamey Carroll and Emilio Bonifacio heading to the Royals in waiver deals. A look at the list of players who have cleared waivers shows that Brendan Ryan could be had, but he certainly doesn't fit the profile of an offensive upgrade. This is just my own speculation, but perhaps Ryan Roberts — who was designated for assignment by the Rays yesterday — could serve as a fit with Atlanta.
The Blue Jays have inquired on Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Blue Jays are apparently looking out-of-house for some reinforcements after learning that Jose Reyes will be sidelined for three months with a severely sprained left ankle.
Toronto traded Pastornicky to Atlanta in July of 2010 along with Alex Gonzalez and Tim Collins in the deal that brought back Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes. Last year was the 23-year-old's first season in the majors and he posted a .243/.287/.325 slash line in 76 games.