Aceves, 32, posted a 6.52 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 19 1/3 innings with the Yankees last season and allowed an extreme number of fly balls in the process, and he’s generally struggled since a strong 2011 campaign as a swingman in Boston. He did, however, pitch fairly well in 28 1/3 innings with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year. His ability to start or pitch in multiple-inning stints could prove useful, although perhaps only in an emergency for the time being.
For the third installment of a four-part series comparing the Indians and the division-rival Tigers, Cleveland.com’s Zack Meisel spoke to both Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and Indians GM Chris Antonetti about the way in which their payroll allows them to operate. Dombrowski discussed how the financial muscle provided to him by owner Mike Ilitch allows for an aggressive approach that he didn’t necessarily have when serving as GM of the Expos and Marlins, or even earlier in his Tigers tenure. While a larger pool of resources hasn’t changed his philosophical approach to the game, per se, it has changed his approach to accomplishing his goals.
Antonetti, meanwhile, discussed the importance of acquiring and building around players in the “sweet spot” of their careers, as the Tribe GM termed it — players who are entering, or in the midst, of their peak years (and subsequently are in the early stages of arbitration). The young nature of Cleveland’s core made the team comfortable with adding only Brandon Moss and Gavin Floyd to the roster this winter, Antonetti added. “It’s a group that played its best baseball in the second half, and so as we looked at things, we felt very good about the group of guys we headed into the offseason with,” Antonetti said.
Some more AL Central notes…
- The Tigers announced yesterday that two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera has been cleared to begin non-impact baseball activities, which include hitting and throwing. Cabrera “will begin a running progression until full weight-bearing is achieved,” per the press release. While the Tigers neglected to give a specific timetable for his return, the release indicated that the club is “optimistic” that Cabrera will be ready come Opening Day. Cabrera underwent surgery in October to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in his right foot.
- A report earlier this week indicated that the Royals watched Phil Coke throw recently, and Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets that the Royals have not only watched Coke, but also Alfredo Aceves throw. Kansas City is still on the hunt for relief depth, McCullough notes. While Coke makes some sense as a lefty option in the K.C. bullpen, he’s reportedly seeking a Major League contract, whereas Aceves could certainly be had on a minor league deal.
- When the Braves and Royals engaged in Justin Upton trade talks earlier this winter, Atlanta wanted left-handed prospect Sean Manaea included in the deal, according to Peter Gammons in his most recent post at GammonsDaily.com. The 34th overall pick of the 2013 draft, Manaea was projected by many as a top 10-15 pick before questions about hip and shoulder injuries caused his stock to drop. The southpaw performed well in his first pro season, posting a 3.11 ERA, 10.8 K/9 and 2.7 K/BB rate over 121 2/3 IP in high-A ball. Gammons believes Manaea has a shot at being a late-season call-up this year, and compares him to another heralded left-handed prospect in Carlos Rodon.
ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark polled league executives for their takes on the offseason, and some of the strongest opinions related to the game’s eastern divisions. Collectively, that group liked the Blue Jays’ signing of Russell Martin, but was skeptical of the contracts given to players like Max Scherzer (Nationals) and Hanley Ramirez (Red Sox). Check out the piece for the results on a number of other questions.
- Regarding the oft-discussed possibility of the Red Sox dealing for Cole Hamels of the Phillies, Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily suggests that circumstances may need to change to force a deal. Any changes to Boston’s internal pitching dynamics could, of course, push it toward a deal. Or, with the Sox uninterested in taking on all of Hamels’s salary, a new willingness by the Phils to eat cash to increase the prospect return could move the needle.
- One other factor in driving trade possibilities for the Red Sox is the club’s overflowing cup of outfielders. Before deciding how to proceed, the club will look to see where things stand, says Gammons, especially in terms of health.
- Of note is that the Braves have made clear to Boston that they have “strong interest” in young outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. This is not necessarily an active matter, however: Gammons notes that any possible action on that front would occur in the late spring, at the earliest, and David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets his understanding that the expression of interest was made earlier in the offseason, before other moves occurred.
- Lefty Mike Minor will face a hearing with the Braves tomorrow, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman notes on Twitter. $500K remains at stake between the sides ($5.6MM versus $5.1MM).
- Rays outfielder David DeJesus tells Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he has prepared for the possibility of being dealt but hopes to remain with Tampa. DeJesus says he is refreshed and ready after a “long, grueling” go of things last year, though as Topkin writes there appears to be a logjam in front of him in the outfield.
- Alfredo Aceves, a seven-year veteran of the Red Sox and Yankees, will throw for teams this afternoon, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez tweets. Among those expected to be in attendance are the Giants, Padres, Royals, Brewers, and Reds.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- Phillies infielder Reid Brignac has accepted an outright assignment with the club rather than electing free agency, Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com tweets. The 28-year-old Brignac, once a top prospect, has hit .222/.300/.346 in 91 plate appearances this year for Philadelphia.
- The Yankees have released righty Alfredo Aceves from their Triple-A affiliate, the club announced. The seven-year MLB veteran had struggled to a 6.52 ERA in 19 1/3 frames with the big club this year, but had been more effective in his 28 1/3 minor league frames (3.49 ERA). Aceves generally posted strong results up through 2011, even if his peripherals did not quite support them, but has not been a productive big leaguer since.
- Also being cut loose by the Yankees is Corban Joseph. The 25-year-old infielder has seen only a cup of coffee at the MLB level, but owns a .260/.343/.424 slash over 855 career Triple-A plate appearances.
Here are today’s minor league transactions from around baseball, with the latest moves at the top of the post…
- Veteran Brett Tomko has found a new home with the Rockies on a minor league deal, reports Robert Murray of Sports Rumor Alert. Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (Twitter link) also cites a source saying that the 41-year-old righty is headed to Colorado Springs. Tomko, who was recently set loose by the Royals, last threw in the bigs in 2011 with the Rangers. He owns a 4.65 ERA over 1,816 career innings with ten clubs, much of them as a starter.
- Pitcher Brian Burres has also signed a minor league deal with the Rockies and will join their Triple-A affiliate, reports Mike Ashmore of MyCentralJersey.com (via Twitter). MLBTR reported back in May that Burres, most recently of the independent league Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, was drawing interest. The 33-year-old owns a 5.75 ERA through 358 1/3 career MLB frames.
- Alfredo Aceves has accepted his outright assignment to Triple- A rather than electing free agency, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Aceves was designated for assignment last week and outrighted to Triple-A on Sunday.
- The Mariners moved southpaw James Paxton to the 60-day disabled list in order to open a 40-man roster spot for Ji-Man Choi, the team announced. Paxton has already spent more than 60 days on the DL while recovering from shoulder inflammation. Choi will return to Double-A action after serving a 50-game PED suspension.
- The Mets selected the contract of catcher Taylor Teagarden on Sunday, the team announced. Teagarden will replaced the demoted Travis d’Arnaud on New York’s 25-man roster. For making the Major League roster, Teagarden will earn $725K, as per the minor league deal he signed with the Mets in January. The 30-year-old Teagarden posted a .950 OPS in 127 PA at Triple-A Las Vegas, a notoriously hitter-friendly park.
- The Angels released outfielder Chevy Clarke, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports. Clarke was picked in the first round (30th overall) of the 2010 draft as a high schooler, but he has yet to play above the high-A level, hitting .219/.306/.337 with 23 home runs over 1542 career PA.
- Also from Eddy, the Diamondbacks released right-hander Eric Smith. Originally taken by Arizona in the second round of the 2009 draft, Smith posted a 5.10 ERA over 429 minor league innings (65 starts, 77 relief appearances). Smith was hit with a 50-game suspension last season for taking a drug of abuse, his second such violation.
- The Rangers released right-hander Chris Schwinden last week, as announced by the team’s Triple-A affiliate (via Twitter). Schwinden was hit hard in three starts for Round Rock, posting an 11.25 ERA over 12 innings. The 27-year-old pitched 29 2/3 innings for the Mets in 2011-12 and has pitched for five different organizations (plus an independent league team ) since the start of the 2012 season.
Today’s outright assignments..
- The Phillies announced that left-hander Cesar Jimenez cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies designated Jimenez for assignment last week. Jimenez, 29, appeared in 19 games for the Phillies last season en route to a 3.71 ERA, and he has a career 4.81 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a 36.9 percent ground-ball rate in 67 1/3 innings.
- The Yankees have outrighted reliever Alfredo Aceves to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Aceves, 31, signed with the Yankees after opting out of his minor league deal with the Orioles late in the spring. He had worked to a 6.52 ERA in 19 1/3 frames this year before being designated for assignment last week.
- The Mets outrighted right-hander Buddy Carlyle to Triple-A, according to the transactions page. Carlyle, 36, made just two appearances for the Mets in 2014, working four-and-a-third innings without allowing a run. He has seen sporadic MLB action over parts of eight seasons, notching 256 1/3 innings and compiling a 5.51 ERA. The Mets DFA’d Carlyle on June 4th.
The Yankees announced that they have designated right-hander Alfredo Aceves for assignment as part of a series of roster moves. Wade LeBlanc, recently claimed off waivers, has been added as a long reliever, while hard-throwing Jose Ramirez has been recalled from Triple-A. Right-hander Preston Claiborne has been optioned to Triple-A.
Aceves, 31, signed with the Yankees after opting out of his minor league deal with the Orioles late in the spring. He had worked to a 6.52 ERA in 19 1/3 frames this year since returning to the Bronx after a stint with the rival Red Sox.
Though he has improved upon last year’s troubling 1.09 K:BB ratio, posting 7.4 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9 in 2014, Aceves still owns an FIP mark (6.22) that supports his ERA, largely due to the fact that he’s allowing an unsightly 2.79 long balls per nine innings. (Other metrics see things somewhat less harshly, as he carries a 4.61 xFIP and 3.95 SIERA.) Aceves has generated an awful lot of fly balls, as his groundball rate stands at just 23.4%.
The flip-flopping of Ramirez for Claiborne, meanwhile, could be more about the former than the latter. Claiborne, 26, has been solid enough on the whole, throwing to a 3.57 ERA in 17 2/3 frames with 14 strikeouts and nine free passes. But the 24-year-old Ramirez has been lights out at Triple-A, allowing just one earned run while striking out 13 and walking six over 10 2/3. Ramirez entered the year rated 13th among the organization’s prospects by Baseball America, which cited the “rail-thin” hurler’s big fastball and outstanding change.
The Yankees have reached agreement on a minor league deal with pitcher Alfredo Aceves, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports (Twitter links). Aceves will work out of the Triple-A rotation, and has a July 1 opt-out clause.
Aceves, 31, had spent the spring with the Orioles after pitching for the Yankees and Red Sox earlier in his career. Most of his time in the bigs has been in the pen, but he does have 15 MLB starts to his credit. Aceves has a lifetime ERA of 3.69 in 361 innings. Aceves was signed out of the Mexican league by the Yankees when he was well into his twenties.
After being informed that he will not make the Opening Day roster, Orioles righty Alfredo Aceves is set to exercise his opt-out clause tomorrow and become a free agent, reports Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com (via Twitter). The 31-year-old joined Baltimore on a minor league deal in January, as MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reported.
Aceves, an O'Connell Sports Management client, worked 37 innings for the Red Sox last year, registering a 4.86 ERA. He spent a lot of time as a starter both in the bigs and at Triple-A, but was auditioning for a relief role with the O's. It appears that Evan Meek has the inside track to the team's final Opening Day roster spot at the moment.
THURSDAY, 10:07am: Aceves gets a $35K signing bonus with his deal, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The incentives are tied to appearances and games started, Sherman adds.
The contract also includes two opt-out clauses, Sherman further reports (on Twitter). If he is not on the MLB roster by March 28, he must be released within 48 hours. Likewise, if Aceves is not on the MLB roster as of June 30, he must be released within 72 hours.
WEDNESDAY, 2:47pm: Aceves would make a guaranteed $1.2MM if he makes the Orioles roster, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. His deal also includes incentives that could raise its value to $3MM.
2:19pm: The Orioles have reached agreement with free agent pitcher Alfredo Aceves on a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, reports MLBTR's Tim Dierkes (via Twitter). Aceves could work from the pen or make a run at a rotation spot, Dierkes adds. The righty is represented by O'Connell Sports Management.
Aceves, 31, will stay in the American League East after spending three seasons apiece with the Yankees and Red Sox. Last year, throwing for Boston, Aceves managed a 4.86 ERA in 37 innings, including six starts and five relief appearances. In 51 innings at Triple-A, mostly as a starter, Aceves notched a 4.06 ERA.
Aceves has had several very productive stretches throughout his career — including a 114-inning, 2.61 ERA campaign in 2011 — but has not yet harnessed his talent consistently. In 2012, his last full season of MLB action, Aceves started out as Boston's closer (he notched 25 saves on the year) but ended the campaign with a 5.36 ERA in 84 innings. Nevertheless, his FIP (4.33) and xFIP (4.36) put a more positive spin on that year, as does his solid 8.0 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9.