Victor Garate Rumors
What better to go with your Thanksgiving apple crisp than some baseball news from the Big Apple? Here's the latest from the Mets and Yankees...
- Citi Field's reputation as a pitchers' park has generated concerns amongst some of the Mets' free agent targets, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports. Though Citi Field's fences were brought in before the 2012 season, the club's pitcher-friendly history is “something that is still in the (players’) heads out there, that it’s a tough park to hit in,” one agent said. "They see what David Wright went through there and it makes them a little nervous I think." As Ackert notes, Citi Field allowed an average of 1.2 home runs per game in 2013, the tenth-most of any stadium in the majors.
- The Mets have an interest in signing right-hander Armando Galarraga and southpaw Victor Garate, Rafael Tejera reports (via Twitter). Both pitchers have also been offered contracts by teams in Asia. As ESPN New York's Adam Rubin notes, the Mets would "undoubtedly" only be interested in the two hurlers on minor league deals.
- The Yankees were set on Brian McCann as their top catching target and had only passing interest in Carlos Ruiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reports. The Bombers made no "serious overtures" to Ruiz and had slightly more substantive talks with Saltalamacchia, though one industry source described Salty only as the Yankees' "Plan B" if McCann signed elsewhere.
- "There’s no imaginable, alternate usage of the Yankees’ resources that will give them a roster superior to one featuring [Robinson] Cano," Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes. Cano will "get paid" by someone, however, as all elite free agents do, and Davidoff expects the Yankees to pay at least $200MM to retain the second baseman. If another team goes substantially beyond a projected eight-year/$200MM offer, then Davidoff says the Yankees "would have an intellectual right" to let Cano leave.
- Earlier today, we learned that Yankees free agent hurler Phil Hughes should be able to find a multiyear on the open market, which puts the Mets out of the running for the right-hander's services.
Some minor league transactions for you as we get ready to kick off another round of overnight coverage here on MLBTR:
- The Phillies have signed longtime Angel Robb Quinlan to a minor league deal, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times (on Twitter).
- The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb tweets that the Phils have released Jesus Sanchez and Yohan Flande to clear some space on their 40-man roster.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro has a list of non-roster invitees for the Marlins, including lefties Darin Downs and Victor Garate, right-hander Frank Mata, former Met Ruben Gotay, infielder Tim Torres,and outfielders Josh Kroeger and Chris Lubanski. As Frisaro points out, the Fish have struck gold in the past with non-roster invitees such as Jorge Cantu, Clay Hensley, and Kiko Calero.
Here's a look at some notable names involved in minor transactions between November 16-21, as compiled by Baseball America's Matt Eddy...
- Left-hander Scott Rice signed with the Cubs. Rice was picked 44th overall by Baltimore in the 1999 amateur draft, but has yet to get a cup of coffee in the majors after appearing in 377 minor league games.
- Right-hander Jon Huber re-signed with the Dodgers. Huber last pitched in the majors in 2007 with Seattle.
- Veteran right-hander Scott Patterson re-signed with the Mariners. Patterson has four major league games to his name, with the Padres and Yankees in 2008.
- The Marlins re-signed Vinny Rottino, and also signed relievers Victor Garate and Frank Mata. The Fish also removed right-hander Brett Sinkbeil from their 40-man roster. Sinkbeil was Florida's first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2006 draft, drafted ahead of such notables as Daniel Bard, Joba Chamberlain and Chris Perez.
- Former Tigers outfielder Jeff Frazier signed with the Nationals. Frazier made his major league debut with Detroit last season, posting a .511 OPS in 24 plate appearances.
- The Orioles removed right-hander Armando Gabino and first baseman Rhyne Hughes from their 40-man roster, and Gabino elected free agency. Gabino has a 15.12 ERA in 8 1/3 major league innings with Baltimore and Minnesota. Hughes posted a .530 OPS in 51 plate appearances for the O's last season.
- Pittsburgh released a number of minor leaguers, including a few notable international players. Taiwanese prospects Sheng-Cin Hong and Chih-Wei Hsu, both signed by the Pirates at the start of the 2009 international signing period, have been let go by the club. Also released was Dinesh Patel, signed by Pittsburgh in 2008 after being a finalist on the Indian reality show "Million Dollar Arm." Patel, a cricket player, had never pitched or even picked up a baseball before appearing on the show.
- The Rangers reinstated Nathan Haynes from the inactive list and released the outfielder. Haynes hasn't actually played since 2008. Drafted 32nd overall by Oakland in the 1997 amateur draft, Haynes never caught on in the bigs, managing 95 career plate appearances with the Angels and Rays in 2007-08.
- Right-hander Chad Reineke, best known for being traded straight-up for Randy Wolf in 2008, has re-signed with the Reds.
- The Tigers outrighted Fu-Te Ni to Triple-A and removed the Taiwanese southpaw from their 40-man roster. Ni had an impressive 2.61 ERA in 36 outings in his 2009 rookie season, but his ERA ballooned to 6.65 in 22 games with Detroit last year.