Here are the latest minor moves from around baseball, with the newest transactions at the top of the post…
- The Cubs announced that left-hander Manny Parra has been signed to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to the team’s spring camp. This is the second straight offseason that has seen Parra sign a minor league contract with the Cubs, though he didn’t pitch at all in 2016. Originally a starter with the Brewers, the 34-year-old Parra posted a 3.91 ERA, 8.8 K/9 and 2.9 K/BB rate over 115 relief innings for the Reds from 2013-15.
- The Cubs signed right-hander Casey Kelly to a minor league deal, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy (Twitter link). Once considered one of the game’s better pitching prospects, Kelly has managed only a 6.39 ERA over 62 innings in the majors, though his career was interrupted by Tommy John surgery in 2013. As Eddy notes, the signing reunites Kelly with Theo Epstein (who was the Red Sox GM when Kelly was drafted 30th overall by Boston in 2008) and Jed Hoyer (who was the Padres GM when Kelly was part of the trade package acquired for Adrian Gonzalez in December 2010).
- Parra and Kelly were two of 24 non-roster invitees to the Cubs’ Spring Training camp, as announced yesterday by the club. The list includes southpaw Gerardo Concepcion and righties Conor Mullee, Christian Villanueva and Zac Rosscup, who were all non-tendered by the Cubs in December to free up 40-man roster space.
- The Blue Jays announced that right-hander Leonel Campos has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A. Campos was designated for assignment earlier this week when Toronto claimed Juan Graterol off waivers from the Angels. Campos was himself claimed off waivers back in November following a season that saw him post a 5.73 ERA, 9.8 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 over 22 relief innings for the Padres. Control has been an issue for Campos throughout his entire pro career, as the righty also has a 5.0 BB/9 over 250 2/3 career minor league innings.
- The Diamondbacks signed outfielder Jake Goebbert and catcher Willians Astudillo to minor league deals, Matt Eddy reports (Twitter link). Goebbert has a solid .276/.363/.443 slash line over 3483 career minor league plate appearances, though he hasn’t been able to translate those results into much playing time in the bigs — his MLB resume consists of 115 PA with the Padres in 2014. Goebbert spent 2016 with the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate and struggled to the tune of a .661 OPS in 364 PA. Astudillo, a 25-year-old catcher out of Venezuela, has hit .309/.348/.391 over 2026 minor league PA. He spent his first six pro seasons in the Phillies system before moving to the Braves in 2016 and reaching the Double-A level for the first time.
Casey Kelly. Now on the AAA/non-roster invite roulette wheel. TINSTAAPP indeed.
If Kelly were to somehow work out, that would be amazingly amazing. Unfortunately, there’s only a slightly better chance of that happening than a 25 year old Mark Prior showing up at Spring Training.
Christian Villanueva is with the Padres.
Christian Villanueva. He was the highlight of the Ryan Dempster trade, along with some soft tossing, AA pitcher named Kyle something-or-other.
Too bad Christian Villanueva was hurt all last year. He could have been a decent-ish trade chip last summer.