Checking in on a few minor moves…
- Rob Whalen walked away from the game last February, but the right-hander has returned to professional baseball less than a year later. He announced Wednesday on Twitter that he has joined the Mets on a minor league contract. This will be the second go-around with the Mets for the 25-year-old Whalen, who broke into the pro ranks as a 12th-round pick of the club in 2012. He wound up pitching in the majors with the Braves and Mariners from 2016-18, but battles with anxiety and depression played a part in his decision to briefly step away from the game.
- The Royals announced that they’ve outrighted hurler Heath Fillmyer to Triple-A Omaha. The club designated Fillmyer Jan. 22 to clear a roster spot for the re-signed Alex Gordon. Fillmyer hasn’t been outrighted before, nor does he have the service time to elect free agency, so he’ll stay with the KC organization. Notably, Wednesday’s the two-year anniversary of the Royals acquiring Fillmyer from the Athletics in a trade that also included Ryan Buchter, Brandon Moss and Jesse Hahn. Fillmyer performed reasonably well in his first year as a Royal (4.26 ERA/4.75 FIP with 6.23 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 82 1/3 innings), but his numbers went south at the major league and Triple-A levels last season. The 25-year-old righty spent the majority of 2019 in Omaha, where he pitched to a 5.11 ERA/5.72 FIP and logged 9.3 K/9 against 4.74 BB/9 over 49 1/3 frames.
- The Twins have signed righty Chris Rowley to a minors deal, per Nate Rowan, the director of communications for their Triple-A affiliate in Rochester. The 29-year-old, a former standout at West Point, saw a bit of major league action with the Blue Jays from 2017-18. Rowley spent last season in Triple-A ball as a member of the San Diego organization, though, and injuries helped limit him to 16 1/3 innings. Rowley gave up a whopping 20 earned runs on 27 hits and nine walks (with 11 strikeouts) in that span.