The Marlins have designated outfielder Cole Gillespie and utilityman Cole Figueroa for assignment, per a club announcement. Their roster spots were needed for the club’s acquisition of righties Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea.
The Marlins have designated right-hander Asher Wojciechowski for assignment and signed free agent second baseman Cole Figueroa, per a team announcement. Figueroa received a major league contract, though the Marlins have optioned him to Triple-A New Orleans.
Wojciechowski, 27, threw a combined 18 innings between Double-A and Triple-A for the Marlins after they claimed him off waivers from the Astros in May. He was previously a highly regarded prospect for both the Astros and Blue Jays. Houston picked up Wojciechowski in 2012 as part of a 10-player trade that included J.A. Happ (going to Toronto) and Francisco Cordero (going to the Astros). The 41st overall selection in the 2010 draft, Wojciechowski ranged from seventh to 28th on Baseball America’s Top 30 prospect rankings between the two organizations from 2011-15. Wojciechowski totaled 16 1/3 innings last season in the majors, his only big league experience, and allowed 13 runs on 23 hits and seven walks against 16 strikeouts. As a minor leaguer, he owns a 4.13 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 in 674 innings.
Figueroa became a free agent earlier this week after rejecting an outright assignment to Triple-A from the Dodgers. Los Angeles designated the 29-year-old for assignment July 8 despite claiming him off waivers from the Pirates only two weeks prior. Figueroa has picked up just 84 major league trips to the plate, but he has produced a respectable .288/.356/.376 line in nearly 2,000 Triple-A PAs.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- Utilityman Cole Figueroa has elected free agency from the Dodgers after clearing outright waivers, J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group tweets. After bouncing from the Pirates to the Dodgers via the waiver wire, Figueroa will have a chance to choose his next opportunity. He hasn’t done much in limited chances at the major league level over the last three years, but does own a .309/.350/.447 slash over 101 Triple-A plate appearances on the season.
- The Giants have released catcher George Kottaras, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on Twitter. The 33-year-old hasn’t been to the big leagues since 2014, but does have 858 MLB plate appearances over seven season, with a useful .215/.326/.411 batting line in that span. Kottaras had seen limited action at Triple-A this year, and was hitting just .155/.290/.224.
- Meanwhile, the Giants have sold the contract of Triple-A righty Mike Broadway to Japan’s Yokohama BayStars, the Chronicle’s John Shea tweets. The 29-year-old has had brief and unsuccessful stops in San Francisco in each of the last two years. Pitching at the highest level of the minors this year, he owns a 3.94 ERA with 9.1 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 over 29 2/3 frames.
Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league, each courtesy of Baseball America’s Matt Eddy unless otherwise noted…
- Second baseman Cole Figueroa has elected free agency instead of an outright assignment to Triple-A from the Dodgers, per an announcement. Los Angeles designated the 29-year-old for assignment Friday after claiming him off waivers from the Pirates two weeks ago. Figueroa has picked up only 84 major league trips to the plate, but he has produced a respectable .288/.356/.376 line in nearly 2,000 Triple-A PAs.
- The Red Sox have outrighted outfielder Ryan LaMarre to Triple-A Pawtucket, tweets Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. Boston designated LaMarre for assignment when it acquired infielder Aaron Hill from the Brewers last week. Since the Reds took him in the second round of the 2010 draft, LaMarre has totaled just 32 major league plate appearances – six of which came earlier this year with the Red Sox. The 27-year-old has batted .265/.343/.379 over 2,469 trips to the plate in the minors.
- The Reds have outrighted Juan Duran off their 40-man roster. The 24-year-old outfielder got a late start to his season and has struggled to a .191/.235/.255 batting line through 15 games and 51 plate appearances this season. Duran ranked among BA’s top 30 Reds prospects from 2008-11 but hasn’t appeared on that list since.
- The Braves signed right-hander Maikel Cleto to a minor league contract. The hard-throwing 27-year-old has experience in parts of four big league seasons with the Cardinals and White Sox but hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2014. He’s averaged an impressive 11.6 K/9 in the Majors but has also averaged six walks per nine innings and posted an unsightly 6.60 ERA in 45 innings. Cleto pitched 14 innings in the Mexican League and caught Atlanta’s eye it seems, perhaps due to a much-improved 16-to-1 K/BB ratio in that brief stint.
- Right-hander Vinnie Pestano has been released by the Yankees. The 31-year-old opened the season at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and enjoyed a strong April, pitching to a 3.38 ERA with 16 strikeouts and one walk in 10 2/3 innings but hasn’t pitched for the club since due to injury. Pestano has six seasons of big league experience and has worked to a 2.98 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 202 2/3 innings at the big league level.
- The Marlins traded left-hander Tim Berry to the Padres in exchange for cash considerations. Berry, who was outrighted off Miami’s 40-man roster earlier this season, began the year in Double-A and was hit exceptionally hard, but he’s righted the ship after a stint on the disabled list and some time at Class-A Advanced, posting a 2.78 ERA over his past 22 2/3 innings (including one appearance with San Diego’s Class-A affiliate).
The Dodgers have designated infielder Cole Figueroa for assignment, per a club announcement. His 40-man spot was needed for the activation of outfielder Andrew Toles, with righty Carlos Frias optioned to clear active roster space.
Figueroa was claimed off waivers after being designated for assignment by the Pirates. He was optioned to Triple-A upon reporting to the Dodgers organization, and had racked up six hits and three walks in 23 plate appearances heading into today’s action.
A heady and versatile player, Figueroa was re-united with former Rays GM Andrew Friedman in Los Angeles. It’s not difficult to see the attraction given Figueroa’s skillset, and the Dodgers will likely look to keep him in the organization if he can pass through waivers.
The Dodgers have claimed infielder Cole Figueroa off waivers from the Pirates, Los Angeles announced. He has been optioned to Triple-A.
Figueroa, who’ll turn 29 on Thursday, has appeared at second, third, and short at the major league level. He hasn’t hit much in limited action at the major league level, but has produced at a .288/.356/.376 clip in nearly 2,000 turns at the plate at Triple-A.
The Pirates have designated infielder Cole Figueroa and righty Jorge Rondon for assignment, the club announced. They lost their roster spots to make way for infielder/outfielder Adam Frazier and righty Juan Nicasio.
[Related: Updated Pirates Depth Chart]
Figueroa, 28, saw limited action in Pittsburgh this year and has still yet to crack the century mark in major league plate appearances. But he’s a versatile fielder who owns a .288/.356/.376 batting line in 1,777 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.
Rondon, who is also 28, has seen just 19 frames at the major league level over the past three seasons. The results have been less than stellar in that minuscule sample, but he too has had his successes in the upper minors. Across 238 2/3 Triple-A innings, Rondon owns a 2.72 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9.
There are many analytically-savvy players out there these days, but few are probably as dedicated and capable as Pirates utilityman Cole Figueroa. As Travis Sawchick of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes in an interesting profile, the son of an old-school former big leaguer incorporates math and coding into his personal regimen — and isn’t afraid to share his knowledge with his teammates. It’s a great piece and well worth a read.
Here’s more from the game’s central divisions:
- Pirates shortstop Gift Ngoepe is impressing in camp thus far and has a realistic hope of becoming the first black South African to crack the majors after being added to the 40-man over the winter, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. The defensive specialist has moved from switch-hitting to focusing on hitting from his natural right side, with improved results. He’s in competition, along with Figueroa and others, to win a utility job.
- ESPN.com’s Mark Saxon looks at the Cardinals’ decision on shortstop Ruben Tejada, whom the Mets just placed on waivers. It appears that St. Louis is more likely to make a play for Tejada if he clears waivers than it is to claim him, though, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.
- The Brewers’ offseason of change was a product of “trying to aggregate as much young talent as we possibly can,” GM David Stearns tells Tom Haudricourt in a piece for Baseball America. “A lot of them were minor moves that didn’t make headlines, but the end result was that half of our 40-man roster will look different from the last day of the season,” said Stearns. “It’s a byproduct of the cycle we’re going through.” The newly-minted head Milwaukee baseball man suggested that such turnover may or may not continue moving forward, explaining that, “sometimes it takes a jump-start like this to get younger and more flexible on your roster.”
With all the big moves and rumors from the Winter Meetings grabbing the headlines, here are a few lower-tier transactions from around the baseball world…
- The Red Sox announced that right-hander Roman Mendez has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A. Mendez was designated for assignment last week to make room for outfielder Chris Young on Boston’s roster. Mendez made three appearances for the Sox after being claimed from the Rangers in September. The righty owns a 94mph fastball and has a 3.09 ERA in 46 2/3 career Major League innings, though that ERA is belied by some very unfavorable peripheral numbers, particularly in his 2014 stint with Texas.
- The Pirates announced some minor league signings, all on contracts that contain Spring Training invites: infielder Cole Figueroa, outfielder Danny Ortiz, left-hander Robert Zarate and right-handers Wilfredo Boscan and Deolis Guerra.
- The Mariners signed righty Donn Roach to a minor league contract, the Tacoma News Tribune’s Bob Dutton reports (Twitter link). The deal contains an invitation to the Mariners’ big league Spring Training camp. Roach has a 5.35 ERA in 33 2/3 career innings and appeared in just one MLB game in 2015. Roach, who turns 26 later this week, pitched for three organizations (the Blue Jays, Cubs and Reds) last season.
- The Phillies announced that southpaw Joely Rodriguez has been outrighted to Triple-A. Rodriguez, acquired from Pittsburgh in exchange for Antonio Bastardo last winter, posted a 6.12 ERA, 5.1 K/9 and 1.3 K/BB rate over 129 1/3 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A in 2015.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league…
- Two recently-designated Padres lefties have cleared waivers and received outright assignments, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter). Caleb Thielbar and Chris Rearick will both remain in the San Diego organization. The 28-year-old Thielbar has not received many innings at the big league level after two strong campaigns with the Twins. And Rearick will, it appears, end up back where he started before a recent flurry of claims, DFAs, and outrights.
- Another left-handed reliever, James Russell of the Cubs, has also been outrighted, per MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat (via Twitter). Russell’s return to Chicago has not gone quite as well as hoped, as he’s worked to a 5.29 ERA in 34 frames with 5.3 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9.
- The Yankees announced today that they have outrighted infielder Cole Figueroa to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yanks designated Figueroa, 28, for assignment earlier this week to make room for a series of September call-ups. He went 2-for-8 in a pair of games with New York at the big league level in 2015 but has spent most of the season at Scranton, where he’s batted .291/.361/.368 in 492 PAs. Figueroa can elect minor league free agency this winter.