In case you haven’t noticed, transactions aren’t exactly plentiful since the league shut down Spring Training. There have still been a few batches of moves in the past few days, however, with a trio of Central Division clubs sending some players to their minor league ranks.
- The Brewers optioned corner infielder Ryon Healy to Triple-A, per the MLB.com transactions log. The 28-year-old slugger’s 2019 season with the Mariners came to an end when he underwent August hip surgery, and he opted for free agency in the winter when Seattle removed him from its 40-man roster (as was his right as a player with three-plus years of service time). Healy signed a one-year deal with the Brewers and, assuming he’s healthy, should factor into Milwaukee’s mix at both corner-infield slots and as a right-handed bench bat. He notched a .282/.313/.475 slash through 888 plate appearances with the A’s in his first two big league seasons but never matched that production in Seattle (.236/.280/.423 in 711 plate appearances). Healy was healthy enough to play in 10 spring games, but he went 4-for-23 with a walk and seven strikeouts in 24 trips to the dish, which didn’t exactly help him stand out from a crowded group of infield options. Milwaukee also optioned catcher David Freitas and infielders Mark Mathias and Ronny Rodriguez.
- Catcher Zack Collins was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte by the White Sox. The former No. 10 overall pick out of Miami, Collins is now blocked long-term by Yasmani Grandal at catcher. James McCann’s presence on the roster eliminates the possibility of Collins serving as a backup, and the organization would surely prefer him to get everyday at-bats rather than toiling away on the bench anyhow. Collins could potentially see some increased reps at first base down the road, particularly if Jose Abreu transitions to more of a DH role in 2021 and beyond. Collins struggled with a .186/.307/.349 slash in 102 MLB plate appearances in his debut last season, also striking out at an alarming 38.2 percent clip. But he ripped Triple-A pitching apart with a .282/.403/.548 slash, 19 home runs and a massive 17 percent walk rate in 367 trips to the plate with Charlotte. Chicago also optioned fellow catcher Yermin Mercedes and right-handed reliever Jose Ruiz to Triple-A.
- The Tigers announced this week that catcher Jake Rogers was optioned to Triple-A Toledo. That move shouldn’t come as a surprise, particularly after Detroit signed longtime Yankees backstop Austin Romine earlier this winter. The Tigers hope that Rogers can be the catcher of the future, but he floundered in 128 big league plate appearances upon debuting last year. Rogers is only 24 and only had 191 career plate appearances in Triple-A when he was summoned to the Majors last year, so there’s still plenty of hope — particularly considering the manner in which he ripped through Double-A competition last year (.302/.429/.535 — 179 wRC+). Tigers general manager Al Avila suggested this winter that Rogers needs some more seasoning in Triple-A, though, so he’ll get that while Romine and Grayson Greiner comprise the catching tandem at the MLB level.