Here are Friday’s minor moves throughout the league…
- Joining the Reds on minors deals are outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer was among those to report on Twitter. Once seen as one of the game’s better overall prospects, the 26-year-old Williams has seen scant action in the majors over the past three seasons — all with the Yankees, his only professional team to this point. At the highest level of the minors last year, Williams posted a .263/.309/.318 batting line and swiped 19 bags over 437 plate appearances.Herrera, 25, has himself received top prospect billing in the past and is also something of a change-of-scenery candidate (in his case, from the Rockies). He just wrapped up his first season at Triple-A, slashing .278/.351/.394 with twenty steals over 363 plate appearances.
- The Mets have struck a minors pact with southpaw Matt Purke, the team announced. Purke, 27, was considered a significant amateur prospect but has never fully found his niche at the game’s highest levels while dealing with numerous injury issues. He cracked the majors in 2016 with the White Sox, but did not return last year even as the Chicago organization cycled through a number of arms. Purke arguably turned in his best work in the upper minors, though, working 65 2/3 frames of 3.84 ERA ball over 48 innings while compiling 11.0 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9.
- Right-hander Angel Nesbitt has been hit with a 50-game PED suspension, Emily Waldon of The Athletic tweets. Nesbitt received a 24-game run in the majors in 2015 with the Tigers, but hadn’t made his way back and struggled in limited action in 2017. He is a minor-league free agent, meaning he’ll serve his penance upon signing with a new organization.
- The Blue Jays announced last night that they’ve brought back former first-round pick Deck McGuire on a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training. Toronto selected McGuire, now 28 years of age, with the 10th overall pick back in 2010. The former Georgia Tech star tore through Class-A Advanced with the Jays but began to struggle upon reaching Double-A and was ultimately traded to the A’s for cash considerations in 2014. McGuire has since pitched in the upper levels of the Dodgers and Cardinals systems, and in 2017 he made his big league debut with the Reds after turning in a terrific season in Double-A. McGuire tossed 168 innings with a 2.79 ERA, 9.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 for Cincinnati’s Pensacola affiliate, and he impressed in a brief sample of MLB innings as well. Through 13 2/3 frames with the Reds, McGuire allowed four earned runs (2.63 ERA) on 10 hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts.
- Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times tweets that the Dodgers are closing in on a minor league deal with left-hander Manny Banuelos. The 26-year-old Banuelos was once one of the most prized prospects in the Yankees’ farm system before elbow problems slowed his career. Banuelos had Tommy John surgery back in 2013 and has since undergone a second elbow operation to remove bone chips. His lone season with MLB experience came in 2015 when he tossed 26 1/3 innings with the Braves. Banuelos spent the 2017 season with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate and struggled to a 4.93 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 4.6 BB/9 in 95 innings. It’s perhaps worth noting that he spent the bulk of 2017 as a reliever (nine starts, 30 relief outings) — his first career season working primarily out of the bullpen.