The Angels have outrighted catcher John Hester and lefty Robert Carson, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The moves create two openings on the Angels’ 40-man roster, which DiGiovanna points out will likely be needed for non-roster invitees who make the Angels’ roster out of camp. Hester, 30, has a career .216/.294/.351 line in 232 career big-league plate appearances. He appeared in just one game with the Angels in 2013, spending most of the season at Triple-A Salt Lake. Carson, 25, pitched 19 2/3 innings out of the Mets’ bullpen in 2013, posting an 8.24 ERA with 3.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9.
11:40am: The deal is not yet done, but Santana and the Jays are discussing one, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman tweets. 11:18am: The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with Ervin Santana on a one-year, $14MM deal, Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes tweets. Earlier in the day, Soldevila had reported that Santana would sign with an AL club for $14MM. Santana has until recently been represented by Proformance, although there have been recent reports about the possibility of Santana ending his relationship with that agency. Santana pitched 211 innings with the Royals in 2013, posting a 3.24 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. After the season, he rejected a $14.1MM qualifying offer, hoping to strike it big on the free agent market. Obviously, that didn’t happen, as the issue of draft pick forfeiture supressed the market for Santana and several other players. The Blue Jays have two first-round picks, at No. 9 and No. 11, and both are protected
12:08pm: Rojas writes (Spanish-language) that Santana is deciding between the Jays, who have offered $14MM, and the Orioles, who have offered $13MM plus incentives. 11:43am: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes tweets that Santana will sign with the Jays for $14MM by 4:00pm if he does not receive a better offer by then. 11:40am: The deal is not yet done, but Santana and the Jays are discussing one, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman tweets. 11:18am: The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with Ervin Santana on a one-year, $14MM deal, Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes tweets. Earlier in the day, Soldevila had reported that Santana would sign with an AL club for $14MM
The Cardinals have signed Matt Carpenter to a six-year, $52MM extension, locking up their star infielder through his age-33 season. The contract breakdown is as follows: Carpenter will receive a $1.5MM signing bonus, $1MM in 2014, and then salaries of $3.5MM, $6.25MM, $9.75MM, $13.5MM and $14.5MM. In 2020, the Cardinals will have an $18.5MM option on his services, with a $2MM buyout. The Cardinals announced the signing at a 10:00am press conference. Carpenter is represented by SSG Baseball. Earlier this week, it emerged that Carpenter and the Cardinals were close to an extension that could be worth $50MM-$55MM. Carpenter does not become arbitration-eligible until next offseason and is not eligible for free agency after 2017.
The Cardinals will sign Matt Carpenter to a six-year, $52MM extension, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch initially tweeted that the two parties had agreed on an extension. The Cardinals have scheduled a press conference at 10:00am to announce the signing. Carpenter is represented by SSG Baseball. Earlier this week, it emerged that Carpenter and the Cardinals were close to an extension that could be worth $50MM-$55MM. Carpenter does not become arbitration-eligible until next offseason and is not eligible for free agency after 2017. Carpenter got a late start on his MLB career, not emerging as a semi-regular player until 2012, when he was 26
Here are today’s notable minor moves … The Tigers have inked a minor league deal with southpaw Wil Ledezma, tweets Matt Eddy of Baseball America. The 33-year-old last saw MLB time in 2011 with the Blue Jays, but threw 30 2/3 innings of 3.23 ERA ball for the Japanese Chiba Lotte Marines last year. Over his nine years of big league action, Ledezma has compiled a 5.40 ERA in 396 1/3 total innings. When Alex Castellanos was claimed by the Padres this morning, the MLBTR DFA Tracker was left without any players in DFA limbo.
The Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with left-hander Oliver Perez, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports recently broke the news that the two sides were closing in on a multi-year deal, pending a physical (Twitter links). Perez, 32, has revitalized his career over the past two seasons as a reliever with the Mariners. The Scott Boras client has tallied a 3.16 ERA with 10.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 31.8 percent ground-ball rate in 82 2/3 innings in that time. Opposing left-handers have batted .254/.346/.316 against him in that time, while righties have had a tougher time getting on base but slugged at a higher clip with a .237/.309/.411 batting line. Prior to the 2009 season, Perez famously signed an ill-fated three-year, $36MM contract to remain with the Mets coming off a pair of solid seasons in New York. He would go on to pitch just 112 1/3 innings over the life of that contract, yielding a 6.81 ERA with more walks (100) than strikeouts (99). He didn’t pitch in the Major Leagues at all in 2011 before his resurgence with Seattle the following year.
The Padres announced, on Twitter, that they have claimed outfielder Alex Castellanos off waivers from the Rangers. Left-hander Cory Luebke has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list in order to clear a 40-man roster spot. The Rangers designated the 27-year-old Castellanos for assignment earlier in the week in order to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for Joe Saunders. San Diego is Castellanos’ fourth organization since the end of last season. Initially dealt from the Dodgers to the Red Sox for Jeremy Hazelbaker, he was next claimed off waivers by the Rangers when Boston signed Mike Napoli. Though he’s moved around quite a bit this offseason, Castellanos has an outstanding minor league track record. The Florida native is a career .291/.382/.525 hitter with 36 homers and 35 stolen bases in 848 Triple-A plate appearances. However, he’s managed just a .171/.186/.390 batting line in an admittedly small sample size of 43 big league plate appearances.
The Royals have released veteran right-hander Brad Penny, who was in camp on a minor league deal, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). Penny was signed back in January and stood to earn a $1MM base salary with another $1.5MM available via incentives if he made the team. However, the right-hander was hit hard in a pair of Spring Training appearances, yielding seven runs on 13 hits (two homers) and a walk with just one strikeout in four innings of work. The former National League All-Star hasn’t appeared in the Majors since a 28-inning stint with the Giants in 2012, and he’s posted just a 5.41 ERA over his past 209 2/3 big league innings. He has a 4.26 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 1899 career innings at the Major League level between the Marlins, Dodgers, Giants, Tigers, Red Sox and Cardinals
One of the most fascinating ballplayers of his generation, Rick Ankiel, has officially retired, Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin announced on the air today (story via MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell). Ankiel is hoping to stay in the game by catching on in a front office. Ankiel is a 34-year-old, power-hitting, free-agent outfielder who was cut loose by two different clubs last year. That seemed an unlikely ending when he cracked the league at age 19 as a big-armed pitcher, announcing himself with a 3.27 ERA in 33 innings for the Cardinals.