Here are today’s minor moves, with all links to the Twitter feed of Baseball America’s Matt Eddy.
- The Braves have signed lefty Sam Freeman to a minor league pact. Presumably, he’ll have at least some reasonable shot at pushing for a spot in the organization’s bullpen pecking order — if not even a big league job out of camp. The 29-year-old was rather productive from 2013 through 2015, posting a 2.74 ERA over 88 2/3 total innings, though organizations have never full trusted him with a locked-down MLB relief role. And last year was a tough one for Freeman, who not only scuffled at Triple-A (5.20 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 over 55 1/3 innings) but was hit hard in a brief stint at the major league level with the Brewers.
- Another southpaw pen candidate, Onelki Garcia, is headed to the Royals on a minor league arrangement. The 27-year-old has seen only brief MLB action (just three appearances, in fact), and did not spend any time with a major league organization last year. But he did show rather well in the competitive Mexican League, for the Diablos Rojos del Mexico. Over 33 innings, Garcia worked to a 3.82 ERA on 28 hits with 8.2 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9.
- Promising indy ball player Dalton Wheat has had his contract purchased by the Marlins, as his former team, the Kansas City T-Bones, announced recently. According to a gripping story in the Wyandotte Daily, Wheat isn’t just an interesting player who was overlooked after a strong D-II college career, leading Baseball America to name him the top indy ball prospect. He also already has a legitimately unusual, trademark attribute that will make him a fascinating player to watch as he enters the affiliated ranks. Beyond his top-end speed and solid on-base potential, Wheat truly shows up to work — taking his turns at the plate with a pair of standard-issue work gloves rather than typical baseball batting gloves. (Yes, the Wyandotte Daily provides a great photo.) Wheat tells a fan on Twitter that he’ll keep chopping wood in his signature handwear so long as the Marlins allow it.