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Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- Outfielder Justin Maxwell has cleared outright waivers and accepted his assignment to the Royals‘ Triple-A affiliate, reports Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter). Though Maxwell has struggled in limited action this year, he has been a valuable contributor in the past and owns a career .225/.312/.420 triple-slash. He was tendered a contract over the offseason and avoided arbitration with a $1.325MM deal.
- MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports (via Twitter) that the Nationals have released catcher Brandon Bantz. The 27-year-old Bantz batted .271/.320/.343 this season in 76 PA with Double-A Harrisburg. Bantz received the briefest of Major League callups last season when picked up two PAs with the Mariners.
- The Phillies have inked outfielder Chris Swauger to a minor league deal, per the team’s transactions page. Swauger, 27, struggled in Triple-A last season with the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate but has a solid .284/.331/.435 batting line in 1218 games at the Double-A level.
We’ll keep tabs on the day’s minor moves here …
- Athletics first baseman Daric Barton has accepted his assignment to Triple-A rather than electing free agency, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Barton was recently designated for assignment and then outrighted after the A’s added Kyle Blanks via trade.
- The Nationals have purchased the contract of lefty Zach Kroenke from the independent Somerset Patriots, the Atlantic League club announced on Twitter. Kroenke, a fifth-round pick of the Yankees back in 2005, appeared in seven games over the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old, who has spent time starting and in relief, worked to a 4.51 ERA in 129 2/3 innings with the Brewers’ top affiliate last year.
- Righty Anthony Lerew‘s contract has been purchased by the Angels from the York Revolution, the independent league club announced on Twitter (hat tip to Jason Bristol of CBS 21 News Harrisburg). The 31-year-old has seen action in parts of five big league seasons with the Braves and Royals, but hasn’t cracked the majors since 2010. Once considered a top-100 prospect with Atlanta, Lerew has managed just a 7.48 ERA in 61 1/3 MLB frames, though he has compiled a 3.90 mark in 330 1/3 Triple-A innings (most of them as a starter). Lerew saw some action in Japan and Korea over 2011-13 before returning to the United States this year with the Revolution, for whom he had thrown 24 innings of 2.25 ERA ball.
- As MLBTR’s DFA Tracker shows, two players remain in DFA limbo at present, both of whom figure to draw some interest: Jeff Keppinger (White Sox) and Justin Maxwell (Royals).
Here are the day's minor moves …
- The Brewers have re-signed corner infielder Taylor Green to a minor league deal after he was recently outrighted, agent Joshua Kusnick announced via Twitter (hat tip to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Andrew Gruman of FOXSportsWisconsin.com). The contract includes several opt outs and an invitation to big league spring training. Though the 27-year-old missed most of 2013 due to injury, he has a nice .311/.386/.513 line in parts of two seasons at the highest minor league level. His major league career line is less impressive — .207/.266/.343 — but it has come in just 154 plate appearances over two seasons. MLB.com's Adam McCalvy has the details.
- The club is also close to reaching a deal to bring back lefty Zach Kroenke, who is also represented by Kusnick, McCalvy reports in the same link. Kroenke has spent much of his time in Triple-A since 2009, splitting time between relieving and starting. Last year, he put up a 4.51 ERA in 129 2/3 innings. His deal does not include an invitation to MLB spring training.
- Meanwhile, both lefty Chris Narveson and catcher/first baseman Blake Lalli have elected to become minor league free agents, notes McCalvy via Twitter. The news was originally tweeted by the Brewers Player Development account. Narveson, who spent 2010 and 2011 in the Milwaukee rotation but has not seen substantial MLB time since, was outrighted back in June. He posted a 5.14 ERA in 15 Triple-A starts this past season. Lalli, who was designated and then outrighted in September, has never been given a real chance in the bigs, but did put up a .282/.334/.447 line in 311 Triple-A plate appearances last year.
- The White Sox recently dealt for first baseman Jackson Laumann, sending the Braves cash considerations in return, reports Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. Laumann, a 20-year-old righty, has done little to impress in rookie ball but will get a new shot with an organization whose amateur scouting department is headed by his father, Doug Laumann.
- Alex Castellanos of the Dodgers remains the only player in DFA limbo at present, as reflected in MLBTR's DFA Tracker.
Here are some minor transactions from both MLB and Japan, with the most recent items at the top of the page…
- The NPL's Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have signed right-hander Ryota Igarashi to a three-year contract, according to Yahoo Japan (via NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman). Igarashi appeared in two games each for the Yankees and Blue Jays in 2012, allowing a total of eight runs in four innings pitched. The 33-year-old posted a 6.41 ERA in 73 innings with the Yankees, Jays and Mets over the last three seasons. Igarashi originally came to North America on a two-year, $3MM contract with the Mets before the 2010 season.
- The Brewers signed right-hander Eulogio De La Cruz and southpaw Zach Kroenke to minor league contracts, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The Royals announced the signings of infielder Brandon Wood, left-hander Atahualpa Severino and right-handers Brian Sanches and Anthony Ortega to minor league contracts.
A total of 28 players — all with big league time under their belts — recently elected free agency after finishing the year in Triple-A. Here is the full list, courtesy of the International League and Pacific Coast League transaction pages…
- Infielders: Brian Bixler (Astros), Sean Burroughs (Twins), Blake DeWitt (Cubs), Alberto Gonzalez (Rangers), Angel Sanchez (Astros), Nate Spears (Red Sox), Drew Sutton (Pirates)
- Outfielders: Travis Buck (Astros), Ryan Langerhans (Angels), Mitch Maier (Royals), Darnell McDonald (Yankees), Jai Miller (Orioles), Trent Oeltjen (Dodgers), Jason Pridie (Phillies), Mike Wilson (Mariners)
- Right-handed Pitchers: Roman Colon (Royals), Mike Ekstrom (Rockies), Jack Egbert (Mets), Ryota Igarashi (Yankees), Evan Meek (Pirates), Scott Richmond (Blue Jays), Kip Wells (Padres), Randy Wells (Cubs), Dan Wheeler (Indians)
- Left-handed Pitchers: Alex Hinshaw (Cubs), Cesar Jimenez (Mariners), Zach Kroenke (Diamondbacks), Garrett Olson (Mets)
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Alberto Gonzalez | Alex Hinshaw | Arizona Diamondbacks | Baltimore Orioles | Blake DeWitt | Boston Red Sox | Brian Bixler | Chicago Cubs | Cleveland Indians | Colorado Rockies | Dan Wheeler | Darnell McDonald | Drew Sutton | Evan Meek | Garrett Olson | Houston Astros | Jack Egbert | Jai Miller | Jason Pridie | Kansas City Royals | Kip Wells | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Minnesota Twins | Mitch Maier | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Randy Wells | Roman Colon | Ryan Langerhans | Ryota Igarashi | San Diego Padres | Seattle Mariners | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Travis Buck | Trent Oeltjen | Zach Kroenke
Links for Easter Sunday…
- Baseball America's John Manuel provides updates on five Rule 5 picks: Carlos Monasterios with the Dodgers, John Raynor with the Pirates, Zachary Kroenke, who was optioned to the minors by the D'Backs, Kanekoa Texeira with the Mariners, and David Herndon with the Phillies.
- Peter Gammons previews storylines for the 2010 season, such as emerging stars, prospects of the future, a slew of contenders, and the ever-present unpredictability of baseball.
- Dave Campbell of the AP looks at Jacque Jones and how Minnesota's late-season surge in 2009 inspired a comeback attempt for 2010 when he was on the verge of retirement. Jones is reporting to Triple-A Rochester after hitting .366/.409/.585 with the Twins this spring.
- In an interview with Mike Wilner of the FAN 590 in Toronto, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said while the team hasn't officially said anything about Adeiny Hechevarria, international cases like his are often slowed by visa issues and other approval processes.
- Tom Haudricourt tweets that there will be no last-minute changes to the Brewers 25-man roster.
- The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser spoke with recently-DFA'ed Jack Cust, who is shocked and offended by the move. Cust says he will accept a minor league assignment if he clears waivers, but won't let Oakland "walk all over" him. The 31-year-old slugger has led the A's in home runs the past three seasons. Slusser takes a deeper look at the Cust move in a separate piece.
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times looks at what the Cubs' performance in 2010 means to Jim Hendry's job, and talks to several players about their positive relationships with the Chicago GM.
- Elliot Johnson cleared waivers and will report to Triple-A Durham, according to Marc Topkin. He adds that the Rays have set their roster and are waiting to hear from Hank Blalock on whether or not he'll accept a minor league assignment.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Adeiny Hechavarria | Alex Anthopoulos | Arizona Diamondbacks | Chicago Cubs | David Herndon | Elliot Johnson | Hank Blalock | Jack Cust | Jacque Jones | John Raynor | Kanekoa Texeira | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Blue Jays | Zach Kroenke
Lefty reliever Zach Kroenke has cleared waivers and been optioned to Triple-A Reno by the Diamondbacks, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Arizona selected Kroenke from the Yankees with the sixth overall pick in December's Rule 5 Draft.
Since this was Kroenke's second time through the process (the Marlins selected him in last year's Rule 5 Draft), he had the right to declare free agency if someone claimed him. As Jack Magruder of FoxSportsArizona.com explains, New York was told that Kroenke would elect to become a free agent if they wanted to take him back, so they never bothered to put a claim in. ESPN's Keith Law confirmed with Kroenke's agent that the Diamondbacks' chose to keep him on the 40-man roster even though he cleared waivers.
The 26-year-old Kroenke was the Yankees' fifth round pick in the 2005 draft, and posted a 1.99 ERA with a 6.8 K/9 and a 3.7 BB/9 in 72.1 Triple-A innings last year. He has held lefties to a .256 batting average during his minor league career.