Here are the latest minor moves from around the league:
- The Rays added catcher Michael McKenry on a minor-league contract, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets. Heyman further adds that McKenry will receive $900K if he’s in the Majors, plus a possible $475K in incentives. He has opt-outs on March 30 and June 1. With Wilson Ramos not expected to be ready to take over behind the plate for at least the first month or two of the year, there’s a need for depth. McKenry will presumably battle with pre-existing options Luke Maile and Curt Casali for a roster spot to open the season.
- Outfielder Brandon Barnes is headed to the Marlins on a minors pact, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. The deal includes a Spring Training invite. Barnes, 30, figures to function as a depth piece after seeing time in the majors over parts of the last five seasons. He struggled to a .220/.250/.320 batting line in just 109 MLB plate appearances last year.
- Lefty Jeff Beliveau is headed to the Blue Jays on a minors deal with a spring invite, per a club announcement. The 29-year-old has thrown 45 MLB frames spread over four years, with an even 4.00 ERA and 9.4 K/9 against 4.2 BB/9. Last year, he didn’t pitch above the Double-A level in the Orioles system, but provided 49 2/3 innings of 2.54 ERA pitching with a dozen K/9 to go with a sub-optimal 5.3 BB/9.
- Righty Erik Johnson is back with the Padres on a minor-league arrangement, Heyman tweets. Johnson will continue to work back from Tommy John surgery with San Diego, which had recently non-tendered him.
- The Orioles announced a series of minors signings. Among those not previously covered at MLBTR, the club will bring back outfielder Chris Dickerson and take a shot on Tomo Ohka. Dickerson joined Beliveau at Double-A in the Baltimore organization last year, hitting well in brief action there, but hasn’t seen the bigs since 2014. Ohka, 40, is a much more speculative addition; he’s trying to return to the majors for the first time since 2009 by turning himself into a knuckleballer.
- Anther pitcher seeking to make it back after a long run away from the majors is lefty Andy Oliver, who’ll try things out with the Brewers, per Heyman (via Twitter). Heyman adds that can opt out of his deal on June 15 if he’s not on the big-league roster, and Oliver also receives a foreign team inquiry clause. Oliver blitzed through the Tigers system after being taken in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft. He cracked the bigs briefly in 2010-11, but has plied his trade at Triple-A ever since. Oliver moved back to the rotation for half of his appearances last year with the Orioles’ top affiliate, which may have helped as he finally quelled some of his control issues. Oliver ended 2016 with a 3.43 ERA over 86 2/3 frames and 8.7 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9 (his lowest walk rate since his debut year in full-season professional ball).
- The Tigers added third baseman Zack Cox on a minor-league arrangement, the indy ball Wichita Wingnuts announced. Once a highly regarded prospect, Cox never earned a major league call-up during his time in the Cardinals and Marlins systems, but hit .290/.348/.452 last year in 460 plate appearances for Wichita.
- Five players are returning to the Rangers organization on minor-league pacts, per Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter links). Utilityman Alex Burg will join right-handed hurlers Dario Beltre, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Anthony Carter, and David Perez in returning to Texas. There’s a new farmhand coming in, too, as the Rangers added righty James Dykstra from the White Sox in a cash deal. Dykstra, 26, reached Double-A last year, throwing 102 1/3 innings of 4.93 ERA ball with 5.8 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9.
- Two previously designated players — catcher Justin O’Conner (Rays) and lefty Williams Jerez (Red Sox) — have been outrighted by their organizations, per club announcements.
I miss runners trying to knock out the ball from the catcher at home. There I said it. Just cuz buster posey got hurt?!? It’s as much part of the game as robbing a homer. It’s bigger then any one player. Watching runners slow down and let themselves get tagged at home is horrible. It’s as if a defensive end gets open on a blind side and doesn’t try for a sack because the quarterback is defenseless. I’m done.
Despite buster posey getting hurt the rule only prevents a catcher from blocking the path to home plate unless the ball is heading in that direction, once the catcher has the ball the runner can still run into him and try to knock the ball out its just not happened most likely due to the possibility of injury because of what happened to Posey.
Posey was out of position. That’s why he got hurt
Wow, Tomo Ohka. There’s a name that I haven’t heard in eons.
Always room for Jamie Moyer to return.
In a weak pitching market too. Now’s the time
Beliveau could be a very sneaky signing by the Jays. He was quite good in 2014 for the Rays but then tore his shoulder labrum in 2015. He could very well beat out Loup as the Jays LOOGY, especially with his superior strikeout ability. Would still like to see Blevins or Logan signed as the primary lefty with Loup/Beliveau battling for the 2nd LHR spot.
I agree they haven’t taken the sexy approach but I think what they’re doing is so much smarter. They could’ve overpaid for Dunn/Cecil and likely Logan/Blevins, but with the volatility of relievers, that is risky. Instead, let loup, house, belivaeu, oberholtzer and girodo battle it out and hope one succeeds
Good god ohka? I never would’ve expected that. I would love this see him reach the majors this year
Is Michael Mckenry any good?