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Wade LeBlanc Rumors
Here are today’s minor moves…
- Angels left-hander Wade LeBlanc has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Salt Lake, tweets Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. Fletcher assumes that LeBlanc will be back with the club in September when rosters expand, though as he notes, LeBlanc is of course no longer on the 40-man roster. Anaheim designated LeBlanc for assignment earlier this week after he struggled in a spot start following Garrett Richards‘ season-ending injury.
Wade LeBlanc struggled in his lone start for the Angels and found himself designated for assignment the next day, but manager Mike Scioscia explained to reporters, including MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez, that the poor outing wasn’t necessarily the cause of the DFA. “This isn’t a reactionary move to a bad outing from last night to say that we’re looking past Wade LeBlanc,” said Scioscia. “Right now, in the short term, we have to because we really don’t have many options for these next couple days, and you need a fresh arm out there.” The Halos are on the hunt for additional starting depth in the final days of August, but it remains to be seen whether GM Jerry Dipoto and his staff can add yet another arm from outside the organization.
Here’s more on the Angels and the AL West…
- Angels owner Arte Moreno is remaining adamant that his team will not cross the $189MM luxury tax threshold next year, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from rival clubs. The Halos already have $140MM worth of luxury tax commitments on the books, and adding an arm like Bartolo Colon would add $10MM more to that commitment (luxury tax is calculated based on the average annual value of a player’s contract). That makes both Scott Feldman and A.J. Burnett difficult fits as well.
- Mariners president Kevin Mather told reporters, including MLB.com’s Greg Johns, that extension negotiations with GM Jack Zduriencik didn’t take long. “The question really was, ‘Do you like it here? Are we treating you OK? Are you enjoying your job?’” Mather explained. “[Zduriencik] said, ‘I love it here, my family loves it here.’ I said, ‘Well then let’s stay. Let’s stay.’ Big smile on his face. I said, ‘I guess that’s a yes.’” For his part, Zduriencik expressed his happiness with the extension and with where his organization stands. He did, however, indicate that he’s not about to become complacent: “You’re never satisfied. If I had Mays and Mantle, I’d still be looking for more. That’s just the nature of what you do. But I think we’re on our way to being what we want to become and that’s a world champion.”
- Robinson Chirinos has impressed the Rangers in his first season of semi-regular playing time and figures to play a “significant” role with the 2015 club, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. While the club hasn’t decided how big a role he will play, minor league catching instructor Hector Ortiz tells Grant that he initially thought Chirinos was a backup type of catcher, but he know thinks there’s more ability in the tank. Chirinos says the team has said they want to see what he can do on an everyday basis over the season’s final weeks, so it certainly seems possible that this is an audition of sorts. The 30-year-old has batted .231/.282/.408 with 11 homers in 288 PAs. He’s also thrown out 38 percent of base stealers.
The Angels have designated lefty Wade LeBlanc for assignment, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports on Twitter. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times first tweeted that the move seemed likely.
LeBlanc had been expected to fill a rotation slot, at least temporarily, for a club that is still figuring out how to deal with the losses of Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs. Having now removed LeBlanc from the big league roster, it is fair to wonder whether GM Jerry Dipoto has his eyes on acquiring a more permanent replacement. (Though, it should be noted, internal replacements such as Randy Wolf could instead be utilized.)
The 30-year-old LeBlanc has now been designated three times this year, twice by the Halos and once by the Yankees. Over 10 2/3 innings at the MLB level, he has allowed 12 runs on 15 hits and seven strikeouts against six walks.
The Angels have brought back lefty Wade LeBlanc on a minor league deal, according to the MLB.com transactions page. He was recently lost to the Yankees through waivers, but elected free agency after he was outrighted off of New York’s 40-man roster.
LeBlanc, 29, made only one appearance during his tenure with the Yankees. On the year, he has allowed six earned runs through 7 1/3 MLB frames, with four strikeouts and three walks.
Presumably, the Halos will look to have LeBlanc stretch out as a starter in the minors, since that was reportedly the team’s hope at the time he was originally placed on outright waivers. At Triple-A for Los Angeles, he had tossed 53 2/3 innings with a 3.69 ERA and 7.2 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9.
The Bombers designated LeBlanc for assignment last week in order to make room for left-hander David Huff. LeBlanc pitched just an inning for the Yankees, allowing two runs in his lone appearance. He’s allowed six runs in 7 1/3 innings this season between the Angels and Yankees, and he has a career 4.56 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 35.4 percent ground-ball rate in 424 1/3 innings between the Padres, Marlins, Angels, Yankees and Astros.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
6:11pm: The Yankees officially announced both moves, noting that the team sent cash considerations to the Giants in exchange for Huff.
5:52pm: The Yankees have acquired left-hander David Huff from the Giants and designated fellow lefty Wade LeBlanc for assignment in order to create roster space, according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal (on Twitter). Huff had been designated for assignment by the Giants last week. He will be with the Yankees for tonight’s game.
This will mark Huff’s second stint with New York, as he finished the 2013 campaign in Yankee pinstripes. Huff posted a 4.67 ERA with a 26-to-8 K/BB ratio in 34 1/3 innings for the Yanks last season and found himself traded to San Francisco in exchange for cash considerations in late January. With the Giants, Huff pitched to a disappointing 6.30 ERA with 11 strikeouts and six walks in 20 innings. He did manage a career-best 50.7 percent ground-ball rate in his 20 innings with San Fran, in part due to the introduction of a cut-fastball into his repertoire.
LeBlanc pitched just an inning for the Yankees, allowing two runs in his lone appearance. He’s allowed six runs in 7 1/3 innings this season between the Angels and Yankees, and he has a career 4.56 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 35.4 percent ground-ball rate in 424 1/3 innings between the Padres, Marlins, Angels, Yankees and Astros.
The Yankees have claimed lefty Wade LeBlanc off waivers, the Angels announced. New York has moved Michael Pineda to the 60-day DL to create space on the 40-man roster, the club announced via press release.
The Halos had indicated they were hoping to pass LeBlanc through waivers so that he could stretch out and provide rotation depth. LeBlanc, 29, had thrown 6 1/3 big league innings this year in just one relief appearance, allowing four earned and striking out four while walking two. In nine starts at the Triple-A level this year, LeBlanc had logged 53 2/3 frames of 3.69 ERA ball, with 7.2 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9.
LeBlanc had primarily been a starter prior to 2012, but he has split his time between starting and relieving since. Across 423 1/3 career big league innings, LeBlanc has posted a 4.53 ERA with 6.1 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9.
The Angels have designated pitcher Wade LeBlanc for assignment, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times tweets. They have also purchased the contract of fellow pitcher Jarrett Grube from Triple-A Salt Lake.
LeBlanc agreed to a minor-league deal with the Angels in November. He began the season in Salt Lake’s rotation, posting a 3.69 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 53 2/3 innings there. The Angels purchased his contract earlier this week, and he pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in relief after Garrett Richards failed to get out of the first inning in the Angels’ 9-5 loss to the Athletics yesterday. Since LeBlanc pitched so many innings, he likely would not have been usable for a few more days, which might have been a factor in the Angels’ decision to designate him.
LeBlanc has a career 4.53 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in parts of seven seasons with the Padres, Marlins, Astros and Angels.
The Angels signed lefty Wade LeBlanc to a minor league deal with a spring training invite, according to the team's director of communications Eric Kay. LeBlanc, 29, posted a 5.40 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 1.15 HR/9, and 39.1% groundball rate for the Marlins and Astros this year in 55 innings.
LeBlanc joined the Marlins a year ago from the Padres in a swap for catcher John Baker. The Fish designated him for assignment in June, after which the Astros claimed him off waivers. The Astros designated him a few weeks later, ultimately outrighting him to Triple-A. He found his way back up, but was again designated and outrighted in August.
LeBlanc was drafted by the Padres in the second round in 2006 out of the University of Alabama. The soft-tosser once projected as a future number three starter, but will now serve as Triple-A depth for the Halos. He'll join Chris Volstad, signed by the Angels to a minor league deal last week.
We'll keep tabs on all of today's notable minor moves right here …
- The Mets have signed Ricardo Cespedes, a 16-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. The 6-foot-2, 170 pound Cespedes received a bonus of $725K. A left-handed hitter, Cespedes is said to have a loose swing and a "gap-to-gap" approach, and is likely to begin his career in center field.
- The Astros have outrighted lefty Wade LeBlanc to Triple-A Oklahoma City, according to the Pacific Coast League transactions page. LeBlanc was designated for assignment on Tuesday after a rough beginning to his Astros tenure.
- With LeBlanc's outright assignment and Jeff Francoeur's release, the remaining players in DFA limbo are Edgmer Escalona of the Rockies, Billy Buckner of the Angels, Jason Bourgeois of the Rays and Edinson Volquez of the Padres. Check out MLBTR's DFA Tracker for the details of designated players.