Here are Friday’s minor moves from around baseball…
- The Braves announced that catcher Chris Stewart was outrighted after clearing waivers. He has accepted the assignment to Triple-A, per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (via Twitter). The 36-year-old opened as the third catcher in Atlanta but saw plenty of time in the first week of the season owing to injuries. Still, he was clearly on the chopping block at the first moment a roster need arose, especially once the club acquired younger receiver Carlos Perez. Stewart will remain on hand for depth if and when a need arises. He’s considered a sturdy presence behind the dish, but owns only a .230/.297/.292 lifetime batting line in the majors.
- Outfielder Darrell Ceciliani and left-handed reliever Kevin Chapman have signed with the New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League, the club announced. The 27-year-old Ceciliani has spent parts of the past three seasons in the Majors with the Mets and Blue Jays, hitting a combined .190/.250/.300 in 109 plate appearances. However, he’s a career .282/.336/.459 hitter in parts of three Triple-A seasons. Chapman, meanwhile, logged innings with the Astros from 2013-16, pitching to a combined 4.09 ERA with 7.9 K/9 against 5.1 BB/9 in a total of 55 innings. The 30-year-old has averaged 11.1 K/9 and notched a 3.96 ERA in 231 2/3 Triple-A innings, though he was hammered for a 6.65 ERA between the Triple-A affiliates for the Braves and Twins last year.
- Former Astros reliever Josh Zeid announced on Twitter today that he’s formally retiring as a player. The 31-year-old hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2014, but he’s logged plenty of Triple-A innings since spending two seasons in the Houston bullpen. Zeid also took pride in serving as the closer for Team Israel’s 2017 World Baseball Classic club, during which he tossed 10 shutout innings with a 10-to-6 K/BB ratio and notched a pair of saves. A former 10th-round draft pick out of Tulane (Phillies, 2009), Zeid retires with a 4.39 ERA in 650 minor league innings and a 5.21 ERA in 48 1/3 MLB frames.
- Right-hander Brandon Cunniff, who tossed 52 innings of 4.50 ERA ball with 9.2 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 with the 2015-16 Braves, has signed a deal with the Mexican League’s Bravos de Leon, according to the team. The 29-year-old spent the 2017 season with Miami’s Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans, where he worked to a 4.45 ERA with 54 punchouts against 28 walks in 54 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.