Here are the latest minor moves from around baseball, with the newest transactions at the top of the post…
- The Astros have released righty Edison Frias, the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan reports (Twitter link). The 26-year-old Frias has some respectable numbers (4.07 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 2.71 K/BB rate) over 425 career innings in Houston’s farm system, though he has been hit hard at the Triple-A level this year, with a 7.71 ERA in 23 1/3 frames. Pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League is likely a factor, though Frias hasn’t helped himself with a 5.8 BB/9 that is more than double his career average.
- In a surprising development, the Reds announced Sunday that they’ve optioned left-hander Amir Garrett to Triple-A Louisville. Aside from one poor start on April 24, when the Brewers teed off on Garrett for nine earned runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings, the 25-year-old has pitched well enough to remain in the majors. The rookie surrendered two or fewer earned runs in his other six starts, all of which lasted at least six frames. All told, Garrett has recorded a 4.25 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 44.7 percent ground-ball rate in 36 innings. The Reds are entering a stretch in which they will only need four starters, which will give them an opportunity to manage Garrett’s workload, tweets Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Service time considerations may have also factored into this decision, as the Reds will only need to keep Garrett in the minors for about two weeks to control him through 2023 instead of 2022. For now, right-hander Barrett Astin is up from Triple-A to take Garrett’s place on the Reds’ roster.
- The Padres have sold corner infielder/outfielder Jamie Romak’s contract to SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization, report Sung Min Kim of River Ave Blues and Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter links). Romak, a fourth-round pick of the Braves in 2003, saw brief major league action with the Dodgers in 2014 and the Diamondbacks in 2015. For the most part, the 31-year-old has played at lower levels, including a stint in the Japan Central League. Romak has spent the majority of his career at the Triple-A level, where he has slashed an impressive .271/.340/.516 line in 1,800 plate appearances.
- The Mariners have made a few pitching changes, selecting Christian Bergman’s contract from Triple-A Tacoma, optioning Rob Whalen to Triple-A and moving Shae Simmons to the 60-day disabled list, per an announcement from general manager Jerry Dipoto. Bergman, who signed a minor league deal with the Mariners over the winter, spent 2010-16 with the Rockies organization. The swingman debuted in the majors in 2014 and has since posted a 5.79 ERA, 5.49 K/9 against 1.89 BB/9, and a 36.7 percent ground-ball rate in 147 2/3 innings. He got off to a strong start this year with Tacoma, tossing 29 innings from the Rainiers’ rotation and logging a 2.17 ERA. Simmons has been dealing with a right forearm strain since March, which has prevented the offseason trade acquisition from taking the mound this year. The Mariners acquired Simmons, a hard-throwing reliever, from the Braves in a January deal that also included Mallex Smith and Luiz Gohara.
- The Rangers have purchased righty Austin Bibens-Dirkx’s contract from Triple-A Round Rock and optioned lefty Dario Alvarez in a corresponding move, according to the club. The 32-year-old Bibens-Dirkx has never pitched in the majors, having spent the first 11-plus years of his career in the minors with several teams, including Seattle, which selected him in the 16th round of the 2006 draft. Bibens-Dirkx owns a lifetime 5.16 ERA, 7.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 383 2/3 Triple-A frames.