Yoslan Herrera Rumors

Angels Release Yoslan Herrera To Pursue NPB Opportunity

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • The Angels have released righty Yoslan Herrera in order to afford him a chance to join the Yokohama BayStars of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League, Halos VP of communications Tim Mead tweets. Herrera, a 33-year-old righty out of Cuba, threw 16 2/3 frames of 2.70 ERA ball last year for Los Angeles with 7.0 K/9 against 4.9 BB/9. That was his first big league action since way back in 2008. He had been non-tendered and re-signed to a minor league deal.

Minor Moves: Beavan, Herrera, Sitton, Kohn, Carrera, Obispo

Here are the latest minor moves …

  • The Diamondbacks have signed righty Blake Beavan to a minor league deal, via the MLB.com transactions page. The former first-round pick was outrighted by the Marines back in August.
  • The Cubs inked second baseman Jonathan Herrera, per the same source. Herrera lost his roster spot with the Red Sox a month ago after a fairly disappointing campaign in Boston.
  • The Angels re-signed righty Yoslan Herrera on a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports on Twitter. Herrera had been non-tendered yesterday.
  • Likewise, southpaw Kraig Sitton has re-signed with the Rockies on a minor league deal a day after being non-tendered, the club announced via Twitter. Sitton posted a 3.68 ERA last year at the Double-A level.
  • Righty Michael Kohn has gone to the Braves on a minor league deal with a big league camp invite, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports on Twitter. Kohn originally signed with the Rays but was designated off the 40-man roster.
  • The Blue Jays announced the signing of outfielder Ezequiel Carrera to a minor league deal. Carrera was designated recently to clear space for the Tigers’ claim of Josh Zeid.
  • The Brewers have signed righty Wirfin Obispo, the club’s player development account tweeted. Obispo, 30, spent last year with the Braves and Pirates organizations and worked to a 4.12 ERA over 48 Triple-A frames.

Angels Non-Tender Gordon Beckham, Wade LeBlanc, Yoslan Herrera

The Angels have non-tendered a trio of players led by infielder Gordon Beckham, the club announced via Twitter. With lefty Wade LeBlanc and righty Yoslan Herrera also being shown the door, Los Angeles now has three open 40-man spots.

All said, the moves clear a solid bit of salary capacity for a Halos club that has looked to get creative in adding talent with an already-hefty payroll. Beckham was projected by MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz to earn $5MM, making up most of the savings. But LeBlanc projected to earn $800K, which may be a few hundred thousand more than the club would like to pay him. Both moves were widely expected, while

Herrera, 33, put together a nice run for the Angels last year, working 16 2/3 frames of 2.70 ERA ball from the pen. But that represented his first MLB action since way back in 2008, and it appears that Los Angeles was not interested in holding a roster spot for him at this point.

Angels Outright Yoslan Herrera

6:37pm: Herrera has already cleared waivers and will report to Triple-A, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports (Twitter link).

5:01pm: The Angels have announced that they’ve outrighted pitcher Yoslan Herrera in the series of moves that included the promotion of prospect C.J. Cron. They also placed David Freese on the 15-day disabled list, optioned outfielder J.B. Shuck to Triple-A, and promoted third baseman Luis Jimenez.

Herrera appeared in six games for the Angels in 2014 in his first big-league experience since 2008, when he played for the Pirates. The 33-year-old pitched six innings of relief with the Angels, striking out six batters and walking seven, three intentionally, while allowing three earned runs.

Latin Links: Ruiz, Haitian Players, Ramirez

Links in Spanish, because English is so last season…

  • Jose Julio Ruiz's new agent Mike Maulini tells Jorge Ebro at Nuevo Herald that the Cuban first baseman made the switch from Jorge Luis Toca after realizing that his much-rumored signing with a major league team was "long overdue." Ruiz had a $2MM offer in hand from Tampa Bay in February, but since then, the market has stagnated and the lefty feared he was in danger of missing his opportunity to play stateside.
  • While Haitian baseball prospects exist, don't expect to see any of them signing with Major League teams, writes Juan Mercado in the Dominican newspaper El Dia. He talks with two coaches who complain that the MLB office on the island won't allow promising Haitian players to attend teams' academies because of the difficulty in verifying the players' backgrounds and paperwork. One source tells Mercado that the teams simply "prefer not to waste time" in fruitless investigations, while the two coaches call the policy discriminatory, saying many Cuban and Venezuelan players don't receive the same level of scrutiny. The only current Major Leaguer of Haitian descent is the Orioles' Felix Pie, though he was born in the Dominican.
  • Several veteran players were signed during this offseason under the justification of mentoring developing players. But lost in the circle-of-life storyline is the idea that those veterans are being paid for their blunt critical eye. New White Sox backup shortstop Omar Vizquel brings the point home to Luis Rangel of Nuevo Herald when he says that mentee Alexei Ramirez "needs to move his feet when fielding. He has the tendency to stand still and not move to the ball." Ramirez committed 20 errors in his first full season at short, tying for fourth most among major league shortstops.
  • Who says winter leagues help keep players in shape for the regular season? Yankees reliever Jonathan Albaladejo tells Esteban Pagan Rivera at Primera Hora that he shed 30 pounds this offseason after the team forbade him from playing in his home country of Puerto Rico. At the other end of the scale sits Pablo Sandoval, whose much-ballyhooed "Camp Panda" proved for naught when he came back from the Venezuelan Winter League in January heavier than when he arrived. 
  • The Twins signed one of Sandoval's fellow Navegantes of Magallanes in Venezuela, righty reliever Yoslan Herrera, to a minor league deal, confirms Joe Christensen at the Star Tribune. Herrera, who defected from Cuba in 2005, was a highly touted prospect in the Pirates system but disappointed in his only brief showing with the team in 2008. He showed more promise at the Bucs' Double-A and Triple-A levels in 2009 and will start out at Triple-A Rochester for the Twins. The Cuban blog Terreno de Pelota first reported the signing on Tuesday.