Yadil Mujica Rumors
Some Minor League moves of note as some teams try to trim rosters and others look to amass organizational depth.
- The Yankees released left-handed pitcher Andy Sisco, tweets Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Sisco has bounced around in recent years and last appeared in the big leagues with the White Sox in 2007.
- The Yankees and Braves each inked a veteran international free agent, with New York signing Cuban shortstop Yadil Mujica and Atlanta signing Australian outfielder-turned-pitcher Andrew Russell, a righty, tweets Eddy.
- The Angels signed catcher Cole Armstrong, who could claim a spot on the Halos' 40-man roster as a defense-first specialist, tweets Eddy.
Some links for Friday before Roy Halladay tries to restore order for the slumping Phillies...
- Grady Sizemore will miss the rest of the season as he recovers from today's operation on his left knee, according to the team. He is expected to be ready for spring training next year.
- Rogers Sportsnet reported last weekend that the Blue Jays finalized their Fred Lewis acquisition for cash, according to John Lott of the National Post.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Yankees will likely seek a bat with a high on base percentage and wonders if David DeJesus could fit (Twitter link).
- Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe speculates that Mike Lowell and Boof Bonser could be trade bait.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com says it's a "long shot" that the D'Backs deal Dan Haren.
- Cuban player Yadil Mujica could sign soon, according to Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald (Twitter link).
- Ebro reports (via Twitter) that the Phillies are eyeing Dominican pitcher Yunesky Maya.
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun presents 12 possible replacements for Dave Trembley, including Eric Wedge, Bobby Valentine and Bob Melvin.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says firing Dave Trembley won't be enough for the Orioles. He says the club needs to hire a "high-profile, kick-ass manager."
- David Ortiz told John Tomase of the Boston Herald that he "definitely" hopes to see Lowell traded, since it would be "a wonderful thing" for Lowell's sake.
- As Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports, the Red Sox have more high picks than usual this year, partly because Type A free agents Jason Bay and Billy Wagner signed elsewhere last winter.
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer wouldn't give up more than one 'B' prospect to acquire Derrek Lee if he were running the Angels.
- Freddy Sanchez, who will play in Pittsburgh for the first time since the Pirates traded him last summer, tells Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he loved playing in Pittsburgh and can't wait to return.
News from sources that use subjunctive tenses. Links are in Spanish...
- Francisco Liriano tells Hoy's Dionisio Soldevila he seriously considered retirement eight months after his elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2006. He also gives perhaps his clearest rejection yet of the idea that he take the John Smoltz route and step into Joe Nathan's slot as closer. "I don't want to be a closer," Liriano says. "I don't know if I'm ready to roll out there three or four times a week." After a dominant winter in the Dominican and a reportedly resurgent fastball this spring, Liriano is currently manager Ron Gardenhire's pick for the fifth spot in the Twins rotation.
- Two weeks after his acrimonious split from agent Jorge Luis Toca, Cuban prospect Jose Julio Ruiz has surfaced again. Representatives from 22 teams recently watched Ruiz and fellow new Legacy Sports client Yadil Mujica at a staged tryout in the Dominican Republic, writes Jorge Ebro at the Nuevo Herald. The Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rangers, and Rays have all reportedly made offers to the left-handed first baseman this winter, all at around $2MM. The Rays at minimum can likely be crossed off the list of Ruiz's potential suitors after the team signed Leslie Anderson.
- Rangers prospect Max Ramirez is getting more serious about moving to first, just like Mike Lowell, the player for whom Ramirez was almost traded earlier this winter. "I played a fair amount of first (base) in Venezuela," Ramirez tells Lider en Deportes' Carlos Rodriguez. "I didn't do it as much in the minors, but I've improved and I feel good." Ramirez, who is currently blocked at catcher by Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, has been mentioned as a possible solution to the Rangers' seeming shortage of reserve corner infielders. He played 23 innings at first during a brief 2008 call-up.
- White Sox fifth starter Freddy Garcia tells Lider's Rodriguez that retirement never crossed his mind after he was released by the Mets last spring after just two starts at Triple A. "They told me one thing and did another," Garcia says. "I came to fight for a spot and they never gave me a chance."
- Former Twins outfielder Lew Ford has signed with the Oaxaca Warriors of the Mexican League, reports Eduardo Gonzalez Garcia at Noticias Sureste. After a one-year sojourn in Japan, Ford signed with the Reds last August and played for their Triple A Louisville affiliate. He last appeared in the majors in 2007.
The R-word has been swirling around Kelvim Escobar lately, amidst reports that the 33-year-old Mets reliever may need shoulder surgery again after managing just one start in two seasons. Escobar answers some of these concerns in an interview with Rafael Tejera at the Venezuelan paper El Nacional (link in Spanish), telling Tejera, "If I wanted to retire, I would have done it already."
As for the 2010 season, Escobar insists he hasn't given up on it yet, but he will only make his final decision after picking up a ball again. "In the coming weeks, I'll simply work to strengthen my shoulder, and then it will be April 1 when I return to throwing," he says. "If I feel the same pain that day, I'll have to make the decision I have been considering since I was with the Angels: to rest for a full year and recover."
Other links from the Spanish language beat:
- With Cuban prospect Leslie Anderson's foot now planted in the door to the tune of $3.75MM for four years with the Rays, the question becomes: When and at what position will he play? A source close to the negotiations tells the Nuevo Herald's Jorge Ebro that the Rays want to see the 27-year-old "wearing the uniform as quickly as possible," while Marc Topkin at the St. Petersburg Times notes that Anderson is widely expected to start off in the minors. Neither brings up the subject of positions, although Anderson's agent Jaime Torres tells Topkin that Anderson will head to Rays camp later this month ready to fight for a spot on the big league roster at first base and all three outfield positions.
- Another high-average hitter from the Cuban Serie Nacional, shortstop Yadil Mujica, has been cleared as a free agent, tweets ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. In the same day, Mujica switched agents to Legacy Sports, also the new home of Jose Julio Ruiz. A scouting report on Mujica can be found here.
- Jesus Guzman tells Lider en Deportes' Carlos Rodriguez that he has received no guarantee of making the Giants' opening day roster, but he has received another sort of guarantee from manager Bruce Bochy: Whatever chance he has will be in the outfield, as opposed to the infield, where Guzman has almost exclusively played in the past. After three brief callups in 2009, the Giants designated the 26-year-old Venezuelan for assignment to make room for Bengie Molina this offseason, then invited him back to spring training. Last season at Triple A Fresno, Guzman put up a .321/.379/.507 line in 500 PA while playing mostly first base.