According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays released third baseman Morgan Ensberg today. Ensberg hit .227/.314/.273 in 50 plate appearances this spring. Ensberg has bounced around with the Yankees, Indians, and Padres in recent years.
5:42pm: Marc Lancaster of the Tampa Tribune spoke with Rays VP of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman, on Monday about the Ensberg signing. The club has talked to their new acquisition about possibly filling in at a corner outfield spot this season. Ensberg told ESPN.com earlier today that he’d be willing to play second base or left field.
12:36pm: According to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, the Rays have agreed to a minor league contract with Morgan Ensberg. He can earn $650K if he makes the team out of Spring Training.
Ensberg’s production has declined since 2005, when he hit 36 home runs, but he’d be a backup for the Rays, who already have Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena on the corners.
As Crasnick points out, DRaysBay was on this signing Friday.
Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times on the Rays’ interest in Morgan Ensberg:
There have been talks about a minor-league deal with Ensberg, an eight-year major-league veteran.
Ensberg, 33, played a little bit for the Yankees as well as the Indians’ Triple A team in ’08 without success.
The Indians signed third baseman Morgan Ensberg to a minor league deal today. The 32 year-old hit .203/.263/.243 in 80 plate appearances with the Yankees to earn his release.
Random items for today…
- MLBTR live chat, today at 2pm CST. Right after I finish my corned beef sandwich.
- RotoAuthority takes a look at the fantasy value of Randy Wolf.
- On Sunday I joined the guys from Drunk Jays Fans for part of their podcast. A button to listen to the show can be found here.
- Paul Hoynes says the Indians’ Mark Shapiro will need "at least a month to narrow the field of suitors for players such as C.C. Sabathia and Paul Byrd to see if he really wants to trade them."
- RotoWorld says the Yankees have released Morgan Ensberg.
According to Mark Feinsand, Morgan Ensberg has been designated for assignment to make room for reliever Scott Patterson. At Triple-A Scranton, Patterson accumulated a 3.01 ERA in 22 appearances.
With Joba Chamberlain moving to the starting rotation on Tuesday, bullpen help was needed. In 80 plate appearances, Ensberg put up a .203/.263/.243 line.
Plenty of links for today.
- Indians top prospect Adam Miller is pretty much done for the season.
- ’09 free agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera and manager Ozzie Guillen are not getting along.
- Peter Bendix explains the savings the Reds get by waiting to promote Jay Bruce.
- Morgan Ensberg is a DFA candidate, while LaTroy Hawkins may be getting there.
- Bret Boone’s comeback attempt has ended.
- Jeff Weaver (6.69 ERA in Triple A) can ask for his release if not called up by June 15th.
- Hank Blalock may not be in the Rangers’ long-term plans.
- The Indians designated Jorge Julio for assignment.
With veteran infielders Nomar Garciaparra and Jeff Kent both likely to miss opening day, the Dodgers are scrambling to find themselves some backups. Ken Rosenthal says that since the Astros are unlikely to trade Mark Loretta while Kaz Matsui is out, L.A. is considering Ron Belliard of the Nationals and Esteban German of the Royals. Another possibility, Morgan Ensberg, seems unlikely, as the Yankees added him to their 40-man roster yesterday. Joe Crede of the White Sox and Brandon Inge of the Tigers are both probably too expensive.
This could impact roster decisions Los Angeles will make on Monday, when they decide whether they can afford to carry twelve pitchers with so much uncertainty around their infield.
Ned Colletti, meanwhile, says he expects Monday to mark an uptick in trade chatter—but also that he’s content, for now, to fill his third base hole from within. It’s worth noting that Ensberg’s spot on the opening day roster is still not guaranteed, and that Matsui is expected to return in two to three weeks, perhaps freeing up Loretta.
Ken Rosenthal has some Spring Training odds and ends this morning.
- Rosenthal adds Mark Loretta as a possible third base acquisition for the Dodgers. Given their desire for a relatively affordable guy who can also handle second, Rosenthal has linked them to Ron Belliard and Esteban German previously. Loretta shouldn’t be too hard to pry away from the Astros. Though he can’t play second, Morgan Ensberg could be an option if the Yankees let him leave.
- The Nats are shopping Felipe Lopez, who’s said he wouldn’t be content on the bench. Rosenthal says the Nationals have their eye on awful shortstop Angel Berroa as a possible replacement, which is strange on multiple levels. Not only is Berroa not a Major Leaguer at this point, but the Nats plan to use Cristian Guzman at short.
- Royce Ring is said to be "perhaps the most available of the Braves’ out of options relievers." Who needs a lefty?
According to a source, the Yankees have signed Morgan Ensberg. They’ll use him at first base (and maybe off the bench). It’s a minor league deal. Jerry Crasnick confirms it, noting that the Rays and Giants expressed interest.
Ensberg, 32, hit .231/.320/.404 for the Astros and Padres in ’07. He earned $4.35MM, and the Padres non-tendered him in December. The Astros had designated him for assignment in July after acquiring Ty Wigginton. Ensberg has not been the same since seriously bruising his shoulder in June of ’06.