The Yankees currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster after adding four players and selling Zelous Wheeler to Japan. More change is on the way, writes Chad Jennings of LoHud.com in an analysis of the roster. Jennings expects the club to add another four players, which would necessitate further moves. He speculates that Chase Whitley, Preston Claibourne, David Huff, Esmil Rogers, and Austin Romine are all candidates to be designated for assignment. Romine is the most obvious since he is out of options and behind Brian McCann and John Ryan Murphy on the depth chart. The Rays are open to trading Matt Joyce, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The 30-year-old platoon outfielder is coming off a .254/.349/.383 season. The Rays have hidden Joyce from lefties with just 35 of his 493 plate appearances coming against fellow southpaws. FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron has noted that clubs are showing a preference for right-handed power hitters, so I wonder if that may retard the interest in Joyce.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league. The Reds have signed right-handed reliever Jose Cisnero, tweets Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. Cisnero is entering his age 26 season and has a 4.66 ERA, 8.57 K/9, and 4.84 BB/9 in 48 and one-third career innings – all with the Astros. Cisnero was outrighted by Houston earlier in the month and has inked a minor league deal with Cincinnati. In the same tweet, Cotillo also reports four other minor league signings.
Henry Blanco, who played for the Cubs from 2005-08, is back with the club, joining manager Joe Maddon’s staff as a quality assurance coach.
The Red Sox could have the lead in the bidding for free-agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval, with The Boston Globe reporting on Saturday that the club’s five-year, $95 million offer may give it the edge over the Giants and Padres. The club has not commented on the report.
In honor of Jackie Robinson’s enrollment 75 years ago, UCLA renamed its athletic facilities “the Jackie Robinson Athletics and Recreation Complex” at a ceremony Friday.
The Yankees have inked Colombian outfielder Bryan Emery, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America, which means both that all of BA’s top thirty international free agents have signed and that ten have gone to New York. Emery will take home a $500K bonus, per MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. That adds on to an already remarkable level of spending for the Bronx Bombers, who will of course have to match their commitment to Emery in penalties. Here’s more from the international scene: There was some thought that the Angels‘ bonus pool-busting signing of Roberto Baldoquin may have been a prelude to a bigger outlay on Yoan Moncada. But there is “not a chance” that the team will pursue high-budget players such as Moncada or Yasmany Tomas, a source tells Dylan Hernandez of MLB.com (Twitter link). Like the Halos, the Red Sox have already reached the maximum level of international penalties. The club is performing “due diligence” on Moncada, amateur international scouting director Eddie Romero tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com. “It was a good opportunity just to lay eyes on him, to see him physically for the first time. He’s in tremendous shape, tremendous shape,” said Romero. “We’ll do our due diligence there and see where it goes.” Jorge Hernandez and Yoanys Quiala, both pitchers out of Cuba, have each been declared free agents by MLB, according to a tweet from Jorge Arangure of Vice Sports.
Jose Abreu had a great first season in North America, winning American League Rookie of the Year Award honors. He’s likely to be an even more impressive hitter for the White Sox next season. He just might make an even stronger run to be the MVP in the AL than last season, when he finished fourth. One way or another, he’ll thank general manager Rick Hahn for giving him the gift of Adam LaRoche.
The White Sox added a veteran power bat to mix with their young sluggers Friday evening, agreeing to a two-year, $25-million contract with first baseman Adam LaRoche, sources have told MLB.com.
Padres GM A.J. Preller was in Miami on Friday to meet with Gustavo Vazquez, the agent for free-agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval. He was then expected to fly to the Dominican Republic on Saturday to meet with the agent for Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas, a baseball source told MLB.com.
Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski tried to downplay the possibility of re-signing Max Scherzer and flipping David Price in an interview with MLB Network Radio on Friday afternoon.