Minor MLB Transactions: 11/16/17

Nov 17, 2017 | No Comments

Here are the day’s minor moves: The Orioles have added former Twins lefty Ryan O’Rourke, according ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter). While the report doesn’t specify, it seems reasonable to presume that it’s a minors pact given that O’Rourke missed all of 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The 27-year-old struggled with free passes in his first taste of the majors in 2015, but settled down upon returning in the following season. In 25 frames in the 2016 campaign, O’Rourke posted a 3.96 ERA with 24 strikeouts and six walks. It’s still a fairly minimal sample, but he has been pretty stingy against lefty hitters in the majors, holding them to a .134/.244/.239 slash through eighty total plate appearances. Fellow former Minnesota southpaw Jason Wheeler is joining Korea’s Hanwha Eagles, as Yonhap News reports.  He’ll earn $575K to head to the KBO for the coming season. Wheeler, 27, has scant MLB time, with just two outings in the 2017 season. He spent most of the year in the upper minors, working to a 4.37 ERA over 94 2/3 innings with 6.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9.

All 9 Recipients Reject Qualifying Offer

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

THURSDAY: Officially, all nine players have rejected their qualifying offers and become free agents, the MLBPA has announced (h/t Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, on Twitter). MONDAY: All nine of the free agents that received a one-year, $17.4MM qualifying offer will reject that offer in favor of free agency, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports writes. Each of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, Greg Holland and Carlos Santana will turn down that one-year opportunity in search of a multi-year pact in free agency. In doing so, that group of nine will also subject themselves to draft-pick compensation and position their former clubs to recoup some value in next year’s amateur draft should they sign elsewhere. Last offseason’s new collective bargaining agreement altered the specifics of that compensation, tying the draft picks received and surrendered largely to the luxury tax threshold, revenue sharing and the size of the contract signed by the free agent in question.

Mariners Trade Thyago Vieira To White Sox For International Bonus Money

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

The Mariners announced on Thursday that they’ve traded right-hander Thyago Vieira to the White Sox in exchange for international bonus money. The move opens a spot on Seattle’s 40-man roster in advance of next week’s deadline to set 40-man rosters for the Rule 5 Draft, and it also gives the Mariners some additional funds for the pursuit of Shohei Ohtani. The amount of money Seattle is receiving isn’t yet known, though international money must be traded in increments of $250K under the new collective bargaining agreement, so they’ll add at least that much to their pool. Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reported last week that Seattle’s bonus pool stood at $1.57MM, so they’ll add at least $250K to that sum. The Rangers ($3.535MM), Yankees ($3.25MM) and Twins ($3.245MM) still have the most to offer Ohtani, if he is indeed posted

Mariners Acquire Ryon Healy

Nov 16, 2017 | No Comments

The Mariners announced that they’ve acquired first baseman Ryon Healy from the division-rival Athletics in exchange for right-hander Emilio Pagan and minor league infielder Alexander Campos. Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto wasted little time in making his first significant move of the offseason, as Healy should now vault to the top of the Mariners’ depth chart at first base. Healy’s name has been oft-suggested as a trade candidate with the emergence of corner infielders Matt Chapman and Matt Olson in Oakland. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has reported on multiple occasions that the A’s would prefer to shift slugging left fielder Khris Davis to DH, and the move of Healy to Seattle allows Oakland to do just that. The A’s are reportedly on the hunt for a controllable, right-handed-hitting outfielder this offseason, and there’s now a more clear vacancy for them in left field. That, of course, is not to downplay the value of Healy, who comes to the Mariners with another five years of team control. The 25-year-old has belted 38 home runs through his first 888 plate appearances (221 games) with the A’s from the 2016-17 seasons. Healy hasn’t shown much plate discipline to go along with that pop (3.9 percent walk rate), but his overall .282/.313/.475 batting line is solid — especially considering the fact that he’s played half of his games in the spacious Oakland-Alameda County Museum. While Healy originally came to the Majors as a third baseman, he quickly moved across the diamond to first base last season in Oakland after posting poor defensive ratings at the hot corner. He’s only played 307 innings of first base in the Majors, though Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating both peg him at about a run better than average there

Rangers Acquire Hunter Cole To Complete Sam Dyson Trade

Nov 15, 2017 | No Comments

The Rangers have acquired minor-leaguer Hunter Cole from the Giants, per a club announcement. Cole becomes the player to be named later from the deal that sent reliever Sam Dyson to San Francisco over the summer. Cole, 25, has topped out at the Double-A level thus far in his career. Indeed, he has played there in each of the past three seasons without yet cracking the highest level of the minors. In 2017, he slashed only .249/.323/.431 over 319 plate appearances with seven home runs, though Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets that he finished strong. Dyson, whose unbelievable struggles early in the year prompted the swap, turned things around to some extent upon landing with the Giants. While he was still far from the high-quality hurler he had been previously, Dyson managed a 4.03 ERA and even picked up 14 saves in his 38 frames with the Giants.

Twins Void Contract Of International Signee Jelfry Marte

Nov 15, 2017 | No Comments

The Twins have voided their contract with young Dominican shortstop Jelfry Marte, according to a report from Ben Badler of Baseball America. The 16-year-old had agreed to a $3MM bonus. Marte evidently did not pass his physical, with Badler citing a vision problem as the basis for the Twins’ action. The youngster is now a free agent and has begun once again showcasing for potential suitors. Entering the most recent July 2 signing period, Marte was viewed as a “true shortstop,” as Badler phrased it. While Marte’s glovework and speed on the bases tantalized, there were some questions about his future at the plate. Those interested in reading more can check out Badler’s full and excellent coverage (subscription link). Today’s news is fairly notable not only because it throws Marte back into the pool of open-market talent.

Phillies To Re-Sign Pedro Florimon

Nov 13, 2017 | No Comments

The Phillies have agreed to a minors deal with utilityman Pedro Florimon, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). Florimon may well have the “inside track on a bench job,” Gelb adds. Philadelphia evidently liked what it saw from Florimon, who’ll turn 31 in December. He only took 49 plate appearances at the MLB level, but recorded 16 hits — as well as 16 strikeouts. In 353 trips to the plate at Triple-A, Florimon slashed a palatable .265/.347/.410

Carlos Beltran Announces Retirement

Nov 13, 2017 | No Comments

Carlos Beltran will retire after spending parts of 20 seasons in the Majors, he announced today via The Players’ Tribune. The former AL Rookie of the Year and nine-time All-Star won his first World Series championship with the Astros in 2017 and will end a likely Hall of Fame career on that high note. Beltran made his Major League debut at the age of 21 with the Royals in 1998 and made a strong first impression in a small sample of 14 games. He burst onto the scene a year later with a .293/.337/454 batting line, 22 homers, 108 RBIs and 112 runs scored en route to American League Rookie of the Year honors. A knee injury limited Beltran to just 98 games in 2000, but he cemented himself as one of the game’s top young stars with a brilliant, healthy campaign in 2001.

Keyvius Sampson Signs With KBO’s Hanwha Eagles

Nov 13, 2017 | No Comments

The Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization have signed right-hander Keyvius Sampson to a one-year deal worth $700K, the team announced over the weekend (h/t: Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net, on Twitter). Sampson, 27 in January, long rated as one of the more promising prospects in the Padres’ farm system but never made it to the Majors in San Diego. Cincinnati picked him up off waivers prior to the 2015 season and went on to give Sampson 31 appearances (14 starts) over the next two seasons. Sampson logged a 4.35 ERA with 9.6 K/9 through 39 1/3 innings in his second campaign in Cincinnati, but his overall numbers with the Reds were unsightly. In 91 2/3 innings, he turned in a 5.60 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 5.2 BB/9, 1.57 HR/9 and a 38.8 percent ground-ball rate. Sampson split the 2017 season between the Triple-A affiliates for the D-backs and the Marlins, continuing his trend of strong strikeout marks (9.6 K/9) but troubling control (6.8 BB/9) en route to a 5.92 earned run average. He dominated Triple-A Louisville with the Reds as recently as 2016, however, and he has a strong track record pitching at the Double-A level as well.

All 9 Recipients Will Reject Qualifying Offer

Nov 13, 2017 | No Comments

All nine of the free agents that received a one-year, $17.4MM qualifying offer will reject that offer in favor of free agency, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports writes. Each of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, Greg Holland and Carlos Santana will turn down that one-year opportunity in search of a multi-year pact in free agency. In doing so, that group of nine will also subject themselves to draft-pick compensation and position their former clubs to recoup some value in next year’s amateur draft should they sign elsewhere. Last offseason’s new collective bargaining agreement altered the specifics of that compensation, tying the draft picks received and surrendered largely to the luxury tax threshold, revenue sharing and the size of the contract signed by the free agent in question. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes explained which draft picks each of the six teams that issued a qualifying offer would receive, should their free agents sign elsewhere, as well as which picks all 30 teams would be required to surrender if they are to sign a qualified free agent.