Today's minor moves..
- The Rangers have agreed to a minor league deal with Kensuke Tanaka, according to a report from Sponichi (Japanese link) passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (via Twitter). The Giants released the second baseman/left fielder back in September after designating him for assignment. The 32-year-old saw limited time with the Giants this season but excelled in 400 plate appearances at Triple-A Fresno, batting .329/.400/.397 with three homers and 22 steals.
- The Rangers have signed right-hander Justin Germano to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas News (via Twitter). Germano saw two innings of work for the Blue Jays last season but spent most of 2013 with their Triple-A affiliate, turning in a 4.47 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.
- Greg Reynolds signed to pitch for the Seibu Lions of NPB in 2014, according to CAA Sports (via Twitter). Reynolds spent last season with the Reds' Triple-A affiliate, posting a 2.42 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 156 1/3 innings.
- The Mariners announced that they've outrighted outfielder Travis Witherspoon to Triple-A Tacoma. The 24-year-old Witherspoon was designated for assignment last week to clear a roster spot for Corey Hart.
- Rick van den Hurk is returning to the Samsung Lions of the KBO, where he helped them capture the the Korean Series title last year, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The deal is pending a physical exam. VandenHurk, 28, last appeared in the majors with the Pirates for a handful of games in 2012.
- The Pirates announced that they have signed seven minor league free agents, including Travis Ishikawa, Michael Martinez, Daniel Schlereth, Adam Wilk, and Kyle McPherson. All of those deals are minor league contracts with invites to big league spring training. Ishikawa had 20 combined plate appearances for the Yankees and Orioles last season, but spent the bulk of the year at the Triple-A level, where he hit .290/.389/.465 with nine homers. Martinez, 31, had 40 big league PAs for the Phillies and posted a .300/.352/.407 line for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Schlereth, a first-round pick in the 2008 draft, has 94 career big league relief appearances to his credit.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
I like all of these minor league deals for the Pirates… nothing better than depth.
Glad they managed to bring McPherson back.
Yes, for sure. I know he was coming off TJ, but I am confused to as why they’d designate him for assignment.
Because come March, they will have to put him on someone’s DL. The only other names that struck me as familiar was Stink’s son, a decent reliever, and Ishikawa, an OK 1B that is probably going to end up in Indy, if he survives that long.
Neal Huntington may not be finished yet on the off season move as he & Jack Z can discuss about bringing Justin Smoak to the Pirates to revitalize his career as the NL Central team is in desperate need of first baseman in a three team trade also involving the Phillies sending Papelbon to the Mariners as the new closer or set up man to Farquhar. If the Mariners are not able to sign Nelson Cruz nor Shin Soo Choo, then the trade route of acquiring an outfielder like Markakis or Reimold from the Orioles for Nick Franklin, Tom Wilhelmsen, and a PTBN may make sense between both teams.
Travis Witherspoon, either Blake Beaven or Jesus Montero, and catcher John Hicks or Jesus Sacre would not be a bad deal to ship to the Miami Marlins for Steve Cischek. Another option is to trade Justin Smoak, pitchers Tyler Pike & Carson Smith or Blake Beaven, Tabata (from the Pirates), catcher John Hicks or Jesus Sacre, and a player to be named from the Pirates to the Phillies for Papelbon. Then, ship Smoak to the Pirates for a minor leaguer. That will help the both teams in either proposals on top in change of scenery for few of them.
Not sure I get that second deal, but the first one might make sense. Cishek is good but just a reliever. On the other hand those players are probably not major league starters. I wouldn’t give up Carson Smith straight up for Papelbon. Smith could provide similar value at lower cost by the end of this season, start of next.
Meant Smoak going to the Pirates from the Marinrs & Phillies as part of the Papelbon’s trade. Who would the Marlins need from the Mariners between Beaven & Montero between one of the two in a change of scenery to the NL?
According to the official Mariners site, Witherspoon was outrighted to Double-A Jackson, not Tacoma.
In the same press release, the Mariners announced the signing of Burt Reynolds, cousin of Robinson Cano and not, in fact, the mustachioed thespian. Which is a shame, really. I’d love to see Gator McKlusky patrolling the Everett outfield for the Aqua Sox.
Greg Reynolds. Got to bring back bad memories for Rockies fans considering there have been 5 Cy Young awards won by pitchers picked after Reynolds in that draft – Kershaw, Lincecum, Scherzer. Not to mention Longoria going #3 overall.
Longoria bothers me more than the pitchers because Rockies fans had basically been promised that Longo was going to be drafted and paired with college teammate Tulowitzki. I think Longoria thought that too. Then, ownership decided Reynolds would be easier to sign. Well he was easy to sign at least.
Get used to seeing the Rangers signing a “Tanaka” in these announcements. One more to go.
I thought Tanaka was a pitcher and younger.
Wrong Tanaka, Texas
Why is everyone going to Korea instead of Japan?
Dear Luke Scott, remember how you called Fenway Park “a dump”? Yeah, well you’re not gonna have to worry about playing there anymore. Also, you may even get more fans at your games than you did in Tampa Bay!
This Tanaka signing sounds good and another would be even better. Daniels should think about trading for Viciedo from the White Sox –a cheaper but similar player as Nelson Cruz. Use the savings from not signing Choo to get the other Tanaka.
I’m a fan of these minor league moves by the Buccos. Gives them some depth with MLB experience.
Good to see Ishi get picked up by the Pitates. He’s slightly better than average against RH pitching, excellent with the glove, and would make a good platoon partner with Sanchez. Plus he’s cheap.