Vinny Rottino Rumors

Minor Moves: Mijares, Bowden, Runzler

Here’s a roundup of some recent minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post.  All moves are from Matt Eddy of Baseball America, unless credited otherwise.

  • The Reds have signed southpaw Jose Mijares and right-hander Michael Bowden to minor league deals.  Mijares posted strong numbers (3.23 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.22 K/BB rate) over 259 relief innings with the Twins, Royals and Giants from 2008-13 but didn’t pitch in 2014 after he opted out of his minor league deal with the Red Sox last March.  Bowden was drafted 47th overall by the Red Sox in the 2005 draft and was considered a top prospect during his stint in Boston’s minor league system.  He couldn’t manage that same success in the majors, posting a 4.51 ERA over 133 2/3 innings with the Red Sox and Cubs from 2008-13.  Bowden pitched in Japan in 2014.
  • The Diamondbacks signed left-hander Dan Runzler to a minor league contract.  Runzler posted a 3.86 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 over 72 1/3 IP with San Francisco from 2009-12 and was released by the Giants’ Triple-A team last July so he could pitch in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes.
  • The Marlins inked outfielder Vinny Rottino to a minor league deal.  Rottino, 34, is returning to North American baseball for the first time since 2012 after playing in Korea and Japan over the last two seasons.  This is Rottino’s second stint in Miami, as he played for the Marlins, Mets, Indians and Brewers while collecting 110 career Major League plate appearances.
  • The Rangers signed infielder Tommy Field to a minor league contract.  Field received 81 plate appearances with the Rockies and Angels from 2011-13 and he spent last season at the Triple-A level in the Angels and Pirates organizations.
  • The Royals outrighted outfielder Moises Sierra and right-hander Casey Coleman to Triple-A, the team announced via Twitter.  The two players were both designated for assignment last week to create roster spots for the recently-signed Kendrys Morales and Yohan Pino, respectively.
  • The Blue Jays announced the signing of left-hander Andrew Albers to a minor league deal that includes a Spring Training invite.  Albers posted a 5.89 ERA over 28 starts for Hanwha of the (very hitter-friendly) Korean Baseball Organization in 2014.  His Major League experience consists of a 4.05 ERA, 3.8 K/9 and 3.57 K/BB rate over 60 innings with the Twins in 2013.

Minor Moves: Rottino, Head, Neal

Today's minor moves..

  • The Orix Buffaloes have signed infielder Vinny Rottino to a one-year deal worth $350K plus another $100K based upon performance, writes Peter Jackel of The Journal Times. Rottino, 32, saw significant action in the big leagues for the first time in 2012 as he split his season between the Mets and Indians. The journeyman has enjoyed success at the plate throughout his minor league career (.294/.362/.424 in 10 seasons) but struggled at the Major League level. 
  • The Nationals have signed outfielder Jerad Head to a minor league deal, reports Bill Ladson of (via Twitter). Head, 30, spent the 2012 season with the Tigers organization where he posted a .268/.353/.451 batting line for Triple-A Toledo. The former Washburn University standout made his Major League debut with the Indians in 2011. 
  • The Yankees have signed outfielder Thomas Neal to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America.  Neal joins a list of righty-hitting, corner-outfield options in Yankees camp including Russ Canzler, Matt Diaz, and prospects Zoilo Almonte (a switch-hitter) and Melky Mesa.  Neal was released by the Indians earlier this month.

Daniel Seco contributed to this post.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Slowey, Rottino, Kelly

We'll track the latest outright assignments here…

  • The Indians outrighted Kevin Slowey and Vinny Rottino off of their 40-man roster to Triple-A,'s Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter). Slowey had been a non-tender candidate after spending the 2012 season in the minor leagues. Rottino appeared in 36 games for the Mets and Indians this past season, hitting three homers and posting a .560 OPS.
  • The Tigers announced that they outrighted Don Kelly to Triple-A Toledo. The utility player will elect free agency instead of accepting the assignment, according to the team. Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski said yesterday that Kelly would lose his 40-man roster spot. The 32-year-old played all three outfield positions and every infield position except shortstop this past season, posting a .523 OPS in 127 plate appearances. LSW Baseball represents Kelly.

Stark On Greinke, Headley, Indians, Wells

The market for Zack Greinke appears to consist of the Rangers, Angels, White Sox and Braves,’s Jayson Stark reports. Rival teams say the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Dodgers aren’t involved on Greinke, and the Indians and Orioles have limited interest in pitchers headed for free agency, Stark writes. Here are more notes from Stark:

  • The Yankees are exploring their third base options with Alex Rodriguez out, Stark reports. Marco Scutaro could be an option for New York.
  • There’s an expectation that Chase Headley will be traded, but the Padres continue saying they’re happy to keep him, Stark writes.  One team says the Padres are looking for a Mat Latos-like return if they trade the third baseman.
  • The Phillies are looking for a proven, young setup reliever and a young outfielder or third baseman for Victorino, Stark reports. They’ve asked about relievers Brad Lincoln, Wade Davis and Logan Ondrusek in trade talks.
  • It’s already been a busy month for the Astros, but they’re still willing to consider trades for anyone but Jose Altuve.
  • The Indians and Cardinals have talked to the Rays about James Shields, Stark reports.
  • The Angels are telling teams they’d rather trade Vernon Wells than keep him when he returns from the disabled list. They’re looking for a trade partner and saying they don’t want to eat all of his salary, Stark reports. It’ll be challenging to find a taker for Wells’ salary; he earns $21MM per season through 2014.
  • The Indians aren’t likely to deal Chris Perez or Shin-Soo Choo, but they’ll listen on either player.

Indians Claim Rottino Off Waivers, DFA Schwinden

The Indians‬ claimed infielder Vinny Rottino off outright waivers from the Mets, the team announced.  To create space, right-hander Chris Schwinden has been designated for assignment.

Rottino owns a career .188/.282/.319 slash line in 44 big league games.   The 32-year-old hit .307/.361/.479 in 36 games for the Mets' Triple-A affiliate before being DFA'd on Monday.

Schwinden, 25, has bounced around quite a bit so far in June.  The right-hander was DFA'd by the Mets on June 1st and was claimed the next day by Toronto.  His time north of the border would last less than a week, however, as he was soon DFA'd by the Blue Jays and picked up by Cleveland.  In 13 starts for the three Triple-A affiliates this year, Schwinden turned in a 4.16 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9.

Mets Designate Vinny Rottino For Assignment

The Mets have designated Vinny Rottino for assignment, the team announced (on Twitter). The move creates room on the roster for left-handed reliever Justin Hampson.

Rottino, 32, hit .182/.308/.394 in 39 plate appearances this season. He did his best work against left-handers (.200/.355/.480) and played first, third, and left field. The 32-year-old Hampson has not appeared in the big leagues since 2008 and owns a 3.38 ERA in 96 relief innnigs.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Astros, Rottino, Sanches, Cubs

Here are the latest outrighted players…

  • The Astros announced that they outrighted left-hander Xavier Cedeno and right-handers Blake King and Lance Pendleton off of the 40-man roster. Pendleton can elect free agency and Cedeno will become a free agent after the World Series, according to Footer.
  • The Marlins outrighted outfielder Vinny Rottino and right-hander Brian Sanches to Triple-A, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (on Twitter). The Marlins' 40-man roster is now at 38. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes had projected Sanches for a salary in the $1MM range when he reviewed Florida's arbitration class last month. Tim predicted that the Marlins could let Sanches go instead of going to arbitration with him for the first time.
  • The Cubs outrighted right-handers Justin Berg and Brian Schlitter to Triple-A Iowa, according to's transactions page. They had designated the pair for assignment six days ago to create 40-man roster space for Carlos Zambrano. Schlitter didn't appear in a game for the Cubs this year, but Berg pitched 12 innings in April and May.

Minor League Transactions

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.

Odds & Ends: Oeltjen, Hensley, Gload, Halladay

Links for Friday, as team execs and media folk pack their bags for Monday's Winter Meetings in Indianapolis…

  • The Brewers signed Trent Oeltjen to a minor league deal, according to's Adam McCalvy.  Oeltjen, 27 in February, hit .303/.362/.500 in his third Triple A tour, playing the outfield corners.
  • Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash spells out why his team won't be acquiring Roy Halladay, talking to McCalvy.
  •'s Joe Frisaro tweets six minor league free agents signed by the Marlins, including Jesse Foppert, Vinny Rottino, and Hector Luna.
  • The Pirates expressed "mild interest" in free agent pitcher Clay Hensley, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Hensley, 30, spent the year at Triple A in the Astros and Marlins organizations, posting a 3.56 ERA in 124 innings.
  • Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post feels there's "still a good chance [Ross] Gload returns [to the Marlins] with a two-year deal."
  • Darren Dreifort's five-year, $55MM deal tops Jeff Passan's list of the ten worst contracts of the 2000s for Yahoo.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues explains why the Yankees probably won't sign Rafael Soriano.
  • In his Winter Meetings preview for AOL FanHouse, Ed Price says there was some discussion about a Tigers-Diamondbacks trade involving Edwin Jackson and Max Scherzer.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney talked to rival executives who say the Tigers have not aggressively shopped Curtis Granderson.
  • Olney doesn't think the Mariners will pay up for Jason Bay.  He believes the Red Sox are "controlling the market" for Bay and Matt Holliday.
  • Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals are "increasingly weighing spreading what it would cost to retain Holliday over several players."  Bernie Miklasz of the P-D feels the Cards are "enacting their exit strategy from the Holliday sweepstakes."  I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals make their best offer soon - let's say $110MM over six years – and entirely move on if Scott Boras rejects it.
  • SI's Jon Heyman tweets that Nick Johnson is "drawing interest from the Giants, maybe Braves, and a half-dozen more."
  •'s Corey Brock talked to former Padres GM Kevin Towers, who will meet with the Mets, Yankees, Mariners, and Red Sox at the Winter Meetings.
  • ESPN's Keith Law isn't impressed with the Phillies' Placido Polanco signing.  My initial impression upon hearing about the signing is that no other team would've valued Polanco that highly.
  •'s Joe Frisaro tweets that other teams have been more aggressive on Jamey Carroll than the Marlins.  Other Carroll suitors include the Rockies, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, A's, Rangers, Pirates, Reds and Indians.

Dodgers Acquire Vinny Rottino For Claudio Vargas

ESPN's Amy K. Nelson, via Twitter, passes along a press release saying the Dodgers acquired catcher Vinny Rottino from the Brewers for pitcher Claudio Vargas.  Vargas pitched for the Brewers back in '07.