Yordany Ramirez Rumors

Minor League Transactions: Free Agents, Herges, Ramirez

Matt Eddy of Baseball America brings us minor league transactions for October 3rd to 9th, the first full week of the offseason for most clubs. Here are a few notes of interest from the latest series of minor league moves across the league:

Kevin Cash Traded From Astros To Red Sox

Alyson Footer of MLB.com reports (via Twitter) that the Astros have sent catcher Kevin Cash to Boston in exchange for minor league infielder Angel Sanchez.

This is Cash's second stint with the Red Sox, as he served as the team's backup catcher in 2007 and 2008.  Cash was designated for assignment by Houston last week and ended up in the minors, though it was rumored that Boston could be interested in bringing him back to add depth in the wake of Victor Martinez's thumb injury.  Cash has a .541 OPS in 646 major league plate appearances, but any big hits he provides while backing up Jason Varitek would be considered a bonus for the Sox.

In nine pro seasons, Sanchez has amassed just 31 major league plate appearances, three of which came this year in Boston.  The 26-year-old has a .279/.334/.351 career line in 3575 minor league PAs in the Boston, Toronto and Kansas City systems.  Sanchez gives Houston a bit of infield depth since he has experience playing shortstop, second base and third base. 

Footer tweets that Sanchez will take the place of Yordany Ramirez on the Astros' 40-man roster, as Houston has designated Ramirez for assignment.  The 25-year-old outfielder has a career .642 OPS in 2615 minor league plate appearances.

Astros Acquire Oscar Villarreal For Josh Anderson

New GMs Frank Wren and Ed Wade struck a deal today.  The Braves sent middle reliever Oscar Villarreal over to the Astros for outfielder Josh Anderson.

It had been known that Wade was pursuing relief help.  He created a bit of a void by trading Brad Lidge, not that Villarreal fills that.  The ‘Stros currently have an offer out to Scott Linebrink, and have expressed interest in Jeremy Affeldt, Francisco Cordero, and Troy Percival as well.  Villarreal is not a closer type, so look for Wade to sign one of Linebrink, Cordero, or Percival to handle the ninth inning.  Chad Qualls would then take the eighth.

Villarreal has been a respectable reliever when healthy.  The 26 year-old righty has a 3.71 career ERA.  I imagine the Astros view him as their seventh inning guy.  Wade was able to part with Anderson because he has a better version in Michael Bourn.  Wade also oddly gave a Major League deal to a defensive-minded minor league free agent center fielder named Yordany Ramirez.  Quite a commitment.

The 25 year-old Anderson is a burner who doesn’t hit much.  Most view him as a future fourth outfielder.  I imagine the Braves acquired him to use a stopgap solution in center field for a year or two.

I’d give a slight edge to Wade here, as we’re going to see teams locking in relievers similar to Villarreal for three years and $10MM+.