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Xavier Paul Rumors
The Phillies announced this morning that they have released outfielder Xavier Paul, who was in Major League camp with the club after signing a minor league deal last November.
Paul, 30, went 1-for-9 with a solo homer for the Phillies in Spring Training. The left-handed hitter enjoyed a pair of solid seasons at the plate in Cincinnati from 2012-13, hitting .264/.350/.420 in 335 plate appearances, most of which came against right-handed pitching, given his significant career platoon splits. Paul has batted .264/.326/.398 in 681 big league plate appearances against right-handed pitching, but against lefties he’s seen just 86 PAs and hit .138/.198/.150.
After spending much of the 2014 season with Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate, Paul latched on with the D-Backs in the second half, picking up a pair of hits in 21 big league plate appearances in the month of August. The Paragon Sports client will presumably draw some interest elsewhere as a lefty option off the bench.
The Phillies have announced the signings of eight players to minor league deals with spring training invites. The list includes multiple players who could presumably play a role on the big league team if it deals from its current roster.
The list of announced players is as follows:
- Infielder Andres Blanco
- Outfielder Brian Bogusevic
- Infielder/outfielder Russ Canzler
- Infielder/outfielder Chase d’Arnaud
- Outfielder Jeff Francoeur
- Catcher John Hester
- Outfielder Darin Mastroianni
- Outfielder Xavier Paul
Every player on that list has MLB experience, and many have fairly extensive time in the bigs. Francoeur, of course, is a former top prospect and long-time starter who spent time both playing in the outfield and pitching last year in the Padres organization. He is one of several signees who could provide options if the Phillies were to move any of their current outfielders. The infield-capable members of this list may create some flexibility as well.
At various times, all of Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere, and Domonic Brown have found their names as rumored trade candidates. Though shortstop Jimmy Rollins and, to a lesser extent, second baseman Chase Utley have both been named as potential trade chips as well, those players enjoy full no-trade protection and appear less likely to be dealt.
Paul inked a minor league deal with the D’Backs earlier this month, as MLBTR’s Zach Links reported, and his contract was promptly selected from Triple-A Reno. The veteran outfielder picked up 21 plate appearances with Arizona, collecting a pair of singles and a walk along the way.
Paul’s best seasons at the plate came with the Reds from 2012-13, when he batted .264/.350/.420 with nine homers in 334 plate appearances in a part-time role. Overall, he’s a lifetime .250/.311/.368 hitter in 767 PA with the Dodgers, Reds, Pirates and D’Backs.
The Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Xavier Paul to a minor league deal, MLBTR’s Zach Links reports (on Twitter). Paul, a client of Paragon Sports International, had been released by the Orioles over the weekend.
The 29-year-old Paul enjoyed his best season at the plate with the Reds in 2013, slashing .244/.339/.402 with a career-high seven homers in 239 plate appearances, but he’s spent the entire 2014 campaign in the minors with Baltimore. At Triple-A Norfolk, Paul batted .254/.316/.431 with a dozen homers before Sunday’s release. He’s never received much playing time against lefties, but the corner outfielder is a lifetime .268/.330/.404 hitter against right-handed pitching in 664 PA.
SUNDAY: Webb has cleared waivers and has been officially optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, tweets CSNBaltimore.com’s Rich Dubroff. To make room for Webb on the Norfolk roster, the Tides released outfielder Xavier Paul (Twitter link).
While technically a DFA, Webb has only been designated off Baltimore’s 25-man roster. The Orioles needed to make this procedural move in order to assign Webb to Triple-A since over three years had passed since his first Major League appearance — the O’s performed a similar transaction earlier this season with Evan Meek. Webb is still on the Orioles’ 40-man roster but is currently on optional assignment waivers.
Webb signed a two-year, $4.5MM deal with the Orioles last winter after the Marlins (surprisingly) didn’t tender him a contract for 2014. The righty has been shaky in recent weeks but has been a solid contributor overall to Baltimore’s pen, posting a 3.80 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 3.4 K/BB rate over 42 2/3 innings. Webb has held opposing batters to a .255/.301/.315 slash line and has actually performed better against left-handed batters (.555 OPS) than righty bats (.649 OPS) this year.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
The Orioles have signed outfielder Xavier Paul to a minor league contract with an invite to big league camp in Spring Training, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. The Paragon Sports International client was non-tendered by the Reds on Dec. 2 this year. He had been projected to earn $1MM via arbitration, per MLBTR's Matt Swartz.
Paul, 29 in February, enjoyed a solid season at the plate, batting .244/.339/.402 with seven homers in 239 plate appearances. Paul hit right-handed pitching particularly well in 2013, slashing .253/.349/.426 with all seven of his homers facing opposite-handed pitching. Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs saved are not optimistic about his defense, however, as both grade him as a below-average left fielder.
Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of National League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.
- The Reds non-tendered outfielders Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson, according to the AP. Robinson had been designated for assignment last Thursday to open a roster spot for Skip Schumaker.
- The Rockies have non-tendered reliever Mitchell Boggs, tweets Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
- The Dodgers have non-tendered Ronald Belisario, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
- The Marlins have non-tendered outfielder Chris Coghlan and reliever Ryan Webb, the club announced via press release.
- The Pirates have non-tendered Garrett Jones, Michael McKenry, and Kyle McPherson, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Giants have non-tendered Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Cubs have non-tendered Mat Gamel, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The club has also non-tendered Chang-Yong Lim, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com.
- The Mets officially announced their slate of non-tenders, which includes a few new names in Jeremy Hefner and Justin Turner (via tweet from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News).
- The Braves announced that they have non-tendered infielders Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish as well as right-hander Cristhian Martinez (Twitter link). Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances between the Royals and Braves last season. Janish was less productive in 45 PAs, batting .171/.222/.220. Martinez, 31, missed nearly the entire season due to shoulder surgery. However, he posted a 3.63 ERA in 151 1/3 innings for Atlanta from 2011-12, making him a potential buy-low candidate for another club.
- The Mets have non-tendered Jordany Valdespin, Rubin reports. Valdespin has been a persistent source of drama for the Mets, lashing out at manager Terry Collins after being demoted and also being slapped with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is a career .219/.271/.380 hitter in 350 big league plate appearances. Valdespin's non-tender comes despite him not yet being arbitration eligible, illustrating the Mets' frustration with the second baseman/outfielder.
- The Cubs will non-tender right-hander Daniel Bard, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. Bard was claimed off waivers in September and never threw a pitch for the Cubs organization. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford notes that Bard was pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League but walked nine batters while recording just one out. The Cubs could still agree to a non-roster deal with Bard, he adds. Bard's control has vanished into thin air, as the formerly dominant setup man has also walked 56 batters over his past 47 1/3 minor league frames.
- The Mets have informed shortstop Omar Quintanilla that he will be non-tendered, Quintanilla told Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger. Quintanilla projected to earn $900K this offseason after batting .222/.306/.283 in a career-high 359 plate appearances last season.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin tweets that the Mets will also non-tender Scott Atchison. The right-hander projected to earn $1.3MM coming off a 4.37 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 45 1/3 innings. Atchison will turn 38 in late March.
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Let's check out some links as Saturday turns into Sunday..
- Outfielder Xavier Paul has signed with the Reds and will report to Triple-A Louisville, according to his agency Paragon Sports International on Twitter. Paul was granted free agency by the Nationals earlier this week.
- Cody Ross told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) that he rejected a multi-year offer from the Braves to sign a one-year deal with the Red Sox this winter. Ross has a .275/.352/.560 slash line in 220 plate appearances this year.
- The Giants signed left-hander Clayton Tanner and assigned him to Triple-A after he was released by the Reds, according to the Fresno Grizzlies' tranactions page. Tanner, 24, spent several years in the Giants organization before being designated for assignment last summer.
- There is concern for the Angels that there could be distractions if Vernon Wells either grumbles about a lack of playing time upon his return or other players grumble about him taking at-bats away from Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Wells is set to earn $21MM in each season through 2014 and moving him would be far from easy.
- Russell Martin's slump this year could cost him a great deal of money, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The catcher is believed to have rejected a three-year, $24MM offer from the Yankees this offseason, instead choosing to bet on himself.
- Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette confirmed to Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com that the club won't be signing Korean high school pitcher Seong-Min Kim. The O's signing of Kim this winter got them in hot water with the Korean Baseball Association which led to their $550K agreement being voided.
The Nationals announced that they agreed to sign Chad Tracy, Brett Carroll and Xavier Paul to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training. The team also confirmed minor league deals for Jeff Fulchino, Waldis Joaquin, Carlos Maldonado, Andres Blanco, Jarrett Hoffpauir and Jason Michaels. The Nationals will also invite right-hander Rafael Martin, catcher Sandy Leon and outfielder Corey Brown to Spring Training.
Tracy, 31, owns a .278/.337/.445 line in seven big league seasons, but hasn't produced much at the plate since 2007. The corner infielder spent the 2011 season with the Hiroshima Carp, posting a .235/.293/.336 line in 164 plate appearances. Carroll, 29, has big league experience in each of the past five seasons and can play all three outfield positions. In 322 career plate appearances, he has a .203/.281/.322 line. Paul spent the 2011 season with the Pirates and Dodgers, posting a .255/.292/.346 line in 262 plate appearances.
Today's minor moves…
- The Pirates released outfielder Xavier Paul, who cleared waivers, tweets MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. She adds that he cannot technically re-sign with the Pirates until May 16th. Paul, 26, was designated for assignment earlier this month. He posted a .254/.293/.349 line in 251 plate appearances for the Pirates this year.