Yorvit Torrealba Rumors

Minor Moves: Pena, Torrealba, Volstad, Berg, Enright, Gimenez, Wells, Fellhauer

It has been a busy day as the league returns to action out of the All-Star break. Here are today’s minor moves from around baseball …

  • First baseman Carlos Pena has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports on Twitter. Pena, 36, was designated for assignment yesterday after a rough start to his tenure in Texas.
  • Veteran backstop Yorvit Torrealba has requested and been given his release from the Cubs, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports on Twitter. The 35-year-old has a .256/.315/.379 career MLB triple-slash over 13 seasons of work. He has only seen time at the Cubs’ rookie-league affiliate this year since signing last month.
  • The Angels have signed hurler Chris Volstad to a minor league deal, according to the MLB transactions page. Volstad, a towering righty, has a 4.94 ERA over parts of six MLB seasons, working mostly as a starter until a stint last season with the Rockies. He had been pitching for the Korean Doosan Bears this season, working to a 6.21 ERA over 87 frames with just 3.3 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9.
  • Free agent righty Jeremy Berg has signed a minor league pact with the Cardinals, also via the MLB transactions page. Berg, 28, has yet to pitch in the big leagues and owns a 4.43 ERA in 256 innings at the Triple-A level. He had spent his entire career in the Angels organization.
  • The Phillies released right-hander Barry Enright today, according to the International League transactions page. The 28-year-old has struggled mightily in his most recent stints at the major league level, and carries a 5.58 ERA through 101 2/3 Triple-A innings this season with 5.7 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9.
  • The Brewers have inked catcher Hector Gimenez to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A Huntsville, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (on Twitter). The 31-year-old Gimenez spent some time as the White Sox’ backup catcher in 2013 but posted just a .191/.275/.338 batting line in 80 trips to the dish. He’s a lifetime .216/.280/.330 hitter in 100 big league plate appearances and is a veteran of 12 minor league seasons. He’ll provide some minor league catching depth for Milwaukee.
  • Outfielder Casper Wells has signed with the independent Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish, the club announced on its web site. Once a nice fourth outfielder for the Mariners, Wells’ stock has dropped after hitting just .126/.186/.147 for the White Sox, A’s and Phillies in 2013. He began the year with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate but batted just .197/.290/.230 in 69 PA with Iowa before being released.
  • The Brewers have also acquired outfielder Josh Fellhauer from the Reds in exchange for cash considerations, the team’s player development department announced (on Twitter). A former seventh-round pick, the 26-year-old Fellhauer was hitting .239/.338/.313 in 155 PA between Double-A and Triple-A this season. He’ll also report to Double-A Huntsville with the Brewers.

Cubs To Sign Yorvit Torrealba

The Cubs have agreed to ink catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a minor league deal, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). The 35-year-old is a veteran of 13 MLB seasons.

Torrealba, a part-time player for most of his career, saw significant action last year for the Rockies. He posted a .240/.295/.285 line in 196 plate appearances on the year. Torrealba spent the spring with the Angels, but opted out of his deal when it became clear that he would not make the active roster.

Torrealba should provide a depth option for the club. With Welington Castillo on the 15-day DL, the Cubs have rolled out a combination of John Baker and Eli Whiteside at catcher.

Yorvit Torrealba To Opt Out Of Angels Deal

Yorvit Torrealba is set to opt out of his deal with the Angels and become a free agent today, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.  The veteran was waiting to find out if he would be on the Angels' big league roster and it appears that he wasn't going to make the cut.

Torrealba, 35, hit .240/.295/.285 in 196 plate appearances as the backup to Wilin Rosario in Colorado in 2013.  He gunned down 29 percent of attempted base stealers in 2013, which is right in line with his career mark of 30 percent. A career .256/.315/.379 batter, Torrealba was brought aboard to provide Halos with some veteran depth behind primary catchers Chris Iannetta and Hank Conger.  Now, he'll try and find a big league opportunity elsewhere.

AL Notes: Ryan, Bourn, Lowe, Torrealba

GM Terry Ryan, who is recovering from cancer treatments, made a recent visit to Twins spring training and talked about his current role with the team, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Ryan says he sometimes hears information that might be useful, but since he isn't in camp with the team, he merely relays it to assistant GM Rob Antony and the rest of the Twins' staff. "It would be unfair for me to sit in Minnesota not having seen one game and start dictating to Rob and Mike (Radcliff) and Wayne (Krivsky) and Jack (Goin) and Bill (Smith) and people around here that have seen a lot of baseball," Ryan says. "I say, ‘Here’s what I’ve heard. Here’s what they’re looking for.’ And I pass it on." Here are more notes from around the American League.

  • Michael Bourn's contract is unlikely to end up hurting the Indians to the degree that Travis Hafner's did, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer writes. Although there are reasons to worry about how Bourn will age, his defense means he isn't a "one-way player" the way Hafner was.
  • Reliever Mark Lowe's contract with the Rays allows him to opt out on March 31 if he does not make their 25-man roster, MLBTR's Chris Cotillo tweets. Lowe appeared in just 11 games for the Angels in 2013, but he received plenty of playing time out of the Rangers' bullpen in 2011 and 2012. He has a 4.17 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in parts of eight big-league seasons.
  • Catcher Yorvit Torrealba can ask to be released tomorrow if the Angels do not add him to their roster, tweets MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. Torrealba does not want to go to the minor leagues, and will instead wait for an opportunity in the bigs. Torrealba, 35, hit .240/.295/.285 in 196 plate appearances as the backup to Wilin Rosario in Colorado in 2013.

Angels To Sign Yorvit Torrealba

FEBRUARY 10: Torrealba will earn $950K if he makes the MLB club, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The deal also includes incentives and a March 23 opt-out.

JANUARY 31: The Angels and veteran catcher Yorvit Torrealba have agreed to terms on a minor league contract, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The 35-year-old Torrealba is a client of MDR Sports Management.

Torrealba spent 2013 as the Rockies' primary backup to Wilin Rosario and posted a .240/.295/.285 batting line in 196 plate appearances along the way. He gunned down 29 percent of attempted base stealers, which is right in line with his career mark of 30 percent. A career .256/.315/.379 batter, Torrealba will provide the Halos with some veteran depth behind primary catchers Chris Iannetta and Hank Conger.

Rockies Likely To Trade Ramon Hernandez; Release Possible

TUESDAY, 9:50am: A release is possible for Hernandez, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, since the Rockies might not find a taker.

MONDAY, 7:30pm: All signs point to Yorvit Torrealba making the Rockies' roster and Ramon Hernandez being traded, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Sulia link). Renck feels that there will be resolution of the situation no later than Thursday — the last game of Spring Training.

Torrealba, 34, batted .227/.293/.330 with four homers over the course of 218 plate appearances between the Rangers, Blue Jays and Brewers in 2012. He caught 22 percent of potential base-stealers, but his career mark of 30 percent is much stronger. Torrealba signed a minor league contract with the Rockies in January.

The 36-year-old Hernandez missed more than two months of action last season due to hamstring and hand injuries and posted a meager .217/.247/.353 batting line with five homers as a result. He's set to earn $3.2MM as he enters the second year of a two-year, $6.5MM contract he signed prior to the 2012 season. Like Torrealba, he's caught 30 perecent of potential base-stealers throughout his career, but had a down-season in that area last year (25 percent).

Regardless of which catcher makes the roster, he will playing second fiddle to sophomore powerhouse Wilin Rosario. The 24-year-old Rosario hit .270/.312/.530 with 28 homers in just 426 plate appearances last season and finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.

NL West Notes: Dodgers, Hernandez, Rockies, Posey

Earlier today we heard that the Padres haven't settled on a long-term strategy for third baseman Chase Headley. They'll hold onto him for now, but could trade or extend him later in 2013. Here are more notes from the Padres' division…

Zach Links and Steve Adams contributed to this post.

NL West Links: D’Backs, Torrealba, Crawford, Colletti

Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton holds the top spot on Keith Law's top 20 list of prospects (ESPN Insider subscription required) who will have the biggest impact in 2013.  Eaton is projected as Arizona's leadoff man and everyday center fielder, and Law believes Eaton can be a Rookie Of The Year candidate given how well his game fits Chase Field.  D'Backs left-hander Tyler Skaggs is #4 on Law's list and Trevor Bauer (who the Snakes dealt to the Indians this offseason) ranked fifth.  Padres righty Casey Kelly also appears in the top 20, while Padres infielder Jedd Gyorko and Giants reliever Heath Hembree are honorable mentions.

Here's the latest from the NL West…

Rockies Agree To Sign Yorvit Torrealba

10:40pm: It is a minor league contract, confirms Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter).

9:52pm: The Rockies have agreed to a deal with catcher Yorvit Torrealba, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).  The contract is for one year, as Torrealba revealed himself on his Twitter account (MLB.com's Thomas Harding provides the translation).  Harding reported earlier this week that the Rockies had offered Torrealba a minor league deal.  Torrealba is represented by MDR Sports Management.

This is Torrealba's second stint in Colorado after playing for the Rockies from 2006-09.  There were rumors that the Rockies were looking to acquire Torrealba last summer in the midst of a busy year for the 34-year-old catcher — he bounced around between the Rangers, Blue Jays and Brewers and hit a combined .227/.293/.330 in 218 plate appearances. 

Ramon Hernandez is the Rockies' incumbent backup catcher (behind starter Wilin Rosario) but he underwent hamstring surgery last September and is scheduled to play in the World Baseball Classic.  Torrealba is on board to provide depth through Spring Training while Hernandez is away and potentially fill in should Hernandez suffer a fitness setback.

Quick Hits: Rockies, Yankees, Wells

The latest links from around MLB, as the Justin Upton rumors pick up…

  • Though the Rockies continue looking for starting pitching, they aren’t close to signing Carl Pavano or Derek Lowe, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. Renck reported earlier this week that the Rockies were pursuing the free agent right-handers aggressively.
  • The Rockies would love to sign free agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a minor league deal, Renck reports. The veteran backstop played for the Rangers, Brewers and Blue Jays in 2012.
  • The Yankees discussed Delmon Young internally, but didn’t have great reports on his performance, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Phillies signed Young to a one-year contract yesterday.
  • Vernon Wells could spend much of the coming season on the Angels’ bench, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Wells is unlikely to be traded, yet he doesn’t project as a regular. Though the Angels explored deals involving Wells, owner Arte Moreno was never willing to absorb a substantial part of the $42MM remaining on Wells’ contract to complete a trade. Naturally other teams weren’t interested in paying Wells $21MM per season through 2014.