This week’s Minor League Transactions roundup from Baseball America’s Matt Eddy features a staggering 572 minor leaguers that have elected free agency now that the offseason is underway. While many are relative unknowns, there’s also no shortage of former big league contributors among the bunch. Justin Masterson, Jair Jurrjens, Dustin Ackley, Nick Franklin, Chris Heston, Felix Doubront, Kris Medlen, Christian Bethancourt, Anthony Gose, Christian Colon and Jose Tabata are among the many recognizable names that are now available for any club to sign. Virtually everyone on Eddy’s list that finds a new team will be inking a minor league pact, but that certainly doesn’t preclude them from delivering significant value in 2018.
Once you’re done perusing that list, here are the rest of the day’s minor moves from around baseball…
- The Rays have re-signed southpaw Adam Kolarek to a minor league pact and invited him to Spring Training, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The 28-year-old Kolarek (29 in January) made his MLB debut with the Rays last season and wound up yielding six runs in 8 1/3 innings at the Major League level. Kolarek turned in a sensational 1.65 ERA with 9.5 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a ludicrous 72.6 percent ground-ball rate in 43 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level, however. The soft-tosser averaged just 88.1 mph on his heater in his brief big league sample of work, but his strikeout rate and otherworldly ground-ball tendencies in Triple-A make him an intriguing depth option next season.
- Former big league righties Joe Wieland and Spencer Patton are set to return to the Yokohama DeNa BayStars of the Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, per a report from the Kyodo News. Each is signing a one-year deal to return for his second season in NPB. The 27-year-old Wieland turned in an excellent 2.98 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 in 133 innings (21 starts) with the BayStars in 2016. He’s previously seen MLB time in parts of four seasons, totaling 52 2/3 innings between the Padres, Dodgers and Mariners. Patton, 30 in February, pitched 60 innings with a 2.75 ERA, 9.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in his first NPB campaign. Patton previously tossed 54 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Cubs from 2014-16.