Here are the day’s most notable moves from around the game, all coming courtesy of Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, unless otherwise noted…
- The Nationals brought back infielder Steve Lombardozzi on a minors deal, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports. Lombardozzi, 27, saw minimal playing time in each of the last two years at the major league level after playing a significant role in D.C. during his 2011-13 stint. After failing to find a suitable opportunity over the winter, Lombardozzi joined the independent league Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to start 2016. He was off to a .367/.401/.428 start with eight steals before the Nats came calling.
- Righty Nick Tepesch has joined the Dodgers on a minor league deal and will take the ball tonight at Triple-A, as Oklahoma City Dodgers broadcaster Alex Freeman tweets. Interestingly, he’s squaring off against his recent teammates at the Rangers’ top affiliate. The 27-year-old recorded over 200 frames for the Rangers over 2013-14, posting a 4.66 ERA with 5.4 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9, but missed all of 2015 and eventually underwent thoracic outlet surgery. After returning for 11 starts at the Triple-A level this year, where he tallied a 4.11 ERA, Tepesch opted out of his minor league deal with Texas.
- Outfielder Jake Goebbert has been outrighted to Triple-A Durham by the Rays after being designated for assignment. The 28-year-old entered the season as an accomplished Triple-A hitter, but he’s struggled mightily with Durham this season, hitting just .183/.288/.275. Even with his career numbers at Triple-A weighed down by his 2016 performance, Goebbert is a lifetime .271/.375/.444 hitter at that level. The Pirates saw enough in him to give him a big league deal this winter, but he didn’t make it through Spring Training and was ultimately claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay after being designated for assignment. He’ll look to get back to his productive ways now that he’s been removed from the 40-man roster and hope to factor into Tampa Bay’s big league plans later in the year.
- The White Sox outrighted outfielder Daniel Fields off their 40-man roster over the weekend, and the 25-year-old was released shortly thereafter (presumably upon refusing the assignment, as was his right having been previously outrighted). Fields is a career .281/.359/.423 hitter in in 672 plate appearances at the Double-A level, but he’s struggled to a .223/.312/.345 line in 957 PAs at the Triple-A level. The former sixth-round pick (2009) had spent his entire career in the Tigers organization prior to this season.
- The White Sox also picked up veteran catcher Brett Hayes in a trade that sent cash considerations to the Diamondbacks. The 32-year-old Hayes tallied 32 plate appearances with Cleveland last season and has appeared in parts of each of the past seven Major League seasons, splitting his time between the Marlins, Royals and Indians. He’s a career .205/.250/.359 hitter at the big league level and a .239/.279/.387 hitter in nearly 1200 PAs at the Triple-A level.
- The Cardinals have signed right-hander Daniel Bard to a minor league deal after he was released by the division-rival Pirates. St. Louis will become the latest organization to attempt to revitalize Bard’s once dominant right arm in the hope that he can resurface as a quality bullpen piece. Bard, a former first-round pick, was a strong setup piece for the Red Sox from 2009-11 (specifically in 2010) but struggled terribly in 2012 and had a cataclysmic decline in the years to follow, as he lost the ability to throw the ball over the plate entirely. His last stint in affiliated ball came with the Rangers’ Class-A affiliate in 2014 when he faced just 18 men and walked nine of them in addition to hitting another seven.
- Right-hander Felipe Paulino, who was granted his release from the Indians in order to pursue a deal in Japan late last month, has signed a deal with the Seibu Lions of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, his agents at Octagon tweeted last week. The 32-year-old Paulino, a veteran of six Major League seasons, was pitching quite well for Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate, having logged a 2.77 ERA in 10 relief appearances. He’s worked as a starter for the vast majority of his career and has displayed an ability to miss bats at the big league level but has nonetheless struggled to a 5.22 ERA in 403 2/3 big league frames. This will be Paulino’s first stint in NPB, but as we often see, players that have struggled to thrive in the Majors can still make an excellent living pitching in Asia.