Zach Kroenke Rumors
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)
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.
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.