Twins Designate Adam Wilk

May 27, 2017 | No Comments

The Twins have designated lefty Adam Wilk for assignment, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press was among those to report on Twitter. He’ll make way for the call-up of lefty Adalberto Mejia; as MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger tweeted recently, Mejia will take the ball tomorrow. Wilk, 29, was claimed off waivers from the Mets earlier in the year. He has made two lengthy relief appearances out of the Minnesota pen, allowing three earned runs on eight hits over seven innings while compiling four strikeouts against five walks. Through four years in the majors, Wilk has compiled just 37 total frames. He had not been off to an impressive start at Triple-A in the New York organization, but did throw 87 1/3 innings of 3.61 ERA ball last year at Triple-A for the Rays.

Dodgers Claim Mike Freeman, Chris Heston

May 26, 2017 | No Comments

The Dodgers have claimed two players off waivers from the Mariners, the teams announced today. Infielder Mike Freeman and righty Chris Heston are now headed to the Los Angeles organization. Both players have been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to open their tenures with the new club. To create roster space, outfielder Andrew Toles and southpaw Scott Kazmir were shifted to the 60-day DL. Freeman, 29, is a left-handed hitter with experience all over the field — the bulk of it coming at second base. He has struggled in two brief cracks at the majors in the past two seasons, but has shown quite a bit more in the upper minors. Indeed, through 1,245 Triple-A plate appearances over parts of four seasons, Freeman owns a .316/.378/.427 batting line with 113 walks against just 180 strikeouts. He also has hit only nine home runs in that span, so clearly it would be unwise to expect much in the power department. As for Heston, it’s interesting to see him land with the Dodgers, who saw him emerge with the rival San Francisco Giants back in 2015. He ended that year with a no-hitter and 177 2/3 innings of 3.95 ERA pitching on his ledger, but has only thrown ten MLB frames since. 

Nationals Acquire Ryan Raburn From White Sox

May 26, 2017 | No Comments

The Nationals have acquired veteran outfielder Ryan Raburn from the White Sox, according to a club announcement from Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that the Nats will send cash or a player to be named later back to the White Sox in exchange for Raburn, who will be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization (Twitter links). The 36-year-old Raburn, a veteran of 11 Major League seasons, was in camp with the Reds this spring but didn’t make the roster and ultimately latched on with Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate. He’s gotten off to a nice start with the Knights, hitting .277/.419/.434 through 105 plate appearances there and will give Washington some depth and, possibly, an eventual bench option against left-handed pitching. It’s worth noting that outfielder Chris Heisey recently suffered a torn biceps tendon and is waiting to learn whether he’ll require surgery to repair the injury, so Raburn could conceivably give the Nats another veteran option to fill that role on the big league club. Despite spending the 2016 season playing his home games at the hitter-friendly Coors Field, Raburn struggled through one of the worst years of his career. In 256 plate appearances with the Rox last season, he batted just .220/.309/.404, though he did tally nine homers. Raburn has long been a potent bat against left-handed pitchers, as evidenced by his .261/.341/.487 lifetime batting line when holding the platoon advantage.

Minor MLB Transactions: 5/26/17

May 26, 2017 | No Comments

Here are the day’s minors moves from around baseball… The Giants have released first baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks, tweets Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area. The 30-year-old Blanks missed the 2016 campaign with foot injuries and inked a minor league pact with San Francisco this winter. Through 34 games and 92 plate appearances, Blanks has yet to deliver much in the way of offense despite the hitter-friendly nature of the Pacific Coast League. He’s hitting .232/.315/.390 with three homers and four doubles. The former Padres prospect does, however, have an excellent track record in Triple-A, having slashed .291/.390/.546 with 40 homers in 770 total plate appearances at that level.

Orioles Outright Luis Sardinas

May 26, 2017 | No Comments

The Orioles announced that shortstop Luis Sardinas, whom they just claimed off waivers earlier this week, has now cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Norfolk. By outrighting Sardinas, the O’s have opened a spot on their 40-man roster while still retaining control over the 24-year-old infielder. Sardinas once ranked among the game’s Top 100 prospects according to both MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus (2013-14), but his bat has never fully come around in either the upper minors or in the Majors. He was praised as an excellent defensive shortstop while ascending through the minors, though that hasn’t borne out in his brief MLB experience to date, either. The switch-hitting Sardinas did post an impressive .287/.353/.417 batting line in 120 plate appearances with the Padres last season after being acquired from the Mariners, but his production cratered in 2017. Overall, he’s posted a very modest .229/.278/.293 batting line through 480 big league plate appearances and a .278/.313/.348 triple slash through 888 Triple-A plate appearances. Sardinas will provide some infield depth for the Orioles and could eventually challenge veteran utilityman Paul Janish for a spot on the big league roster.

Minor MLB Transactions: 5/25/17

May 26, 2017 | No Comments

Here are the day’s minor moves: The Orioles released outfielder Henry Urrutia, per a club announcement. The 30-year-old had been removed from the 40-man roster last year after seeing minimal major league action in 2013 and 2015. Urrutia, who the O’s signed out of Cuba, had struggled to a sub-.500 OPS in seventy plate appearances this season at Triple-A. Through parts of five seasons and over 1,000 plate appearances at the highest level of the minors, he owns a .277/.327/.374 batting line with 13 long balls. Outfielder Jeremy Barfield is heading to the Red Sox after his contract was purchased from the indy ball Sugar Land Skeeters, per an announcement from Boston’s Double-A affiliate. Barfield, 28, has spent quite a bit of time in the upper minors with the Athletics and Rockies organizations but has never cracked the major leagues. He was performing well again for the Skeeters early this season, leaving him with a composite .299/.379/.539 batting line in 878 trips to the dish in Atlantic League action since leaving the affiliated ranks in 2015.

Reds Claim Jake Buchanan, Designate Peter O’Brien

May 25, 2017 | No Comments

The Reds announced that they’ve claimed right-hander Jake Buchanan off waivers from the Cubs and designated minor league outfielder Peter O’Brien for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Buchanan, it seems, will be added to the Major League roster, as Cincinnati also announced that left-hander Amir Garrett has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right hip. The 27-year-old Buchanan has seen time in the Majors each year from 2014-16, tossing a combined 50 1/3 innings of 3.75 ERA ball for the Astros and the Cubs. In that time, he’s averaged just 5.2 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9 with a tepid 88.7 mph average on his sinker, though he’s also generated grounders at an excellent 58.5 percent clip. The Astros shifted Buchanan away from the rotation in 2015, but the Cubs have plugged him back into a starting role in the past two seasons. This year, he’s made eight starts (41 2/3 innings) for Triple-A Iowa and posted a 4.75 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a 48.9 percent ground-ball rate. O’Brien, meanwhile has now been designated for assignment by his third organization of the past six months. The new-look Diamondbacks front office cut him loose back in December and traded him to the Royals in exchange for minor league righty Sam Lewis. However, O’Brien’s strong Spring Training was followed by a woeful .162/.235/.276 batting line in his first 27 games with Kansas City’s Triple-A affiliate, prompting a second DFA and a waiver claim from the Reds. Through five games with Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate, O’Brien hit .200/.333/.450.

Braves Designate Josh Collmenter For Assignment

May 25, 2017 | No Comments

The Braves have recalled right-hander Matt Wisler from Triple-A Gwinnett and designated fellow righty Josh Collmenter for assignment in order to clear a spot on the active roster, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter link). The 31-year-old Collmenter turned in a solid April for the Braves but has been shelled in the month of May, allowing runs in six of his seven appearances this month. That culminated in a seven-run shellacking at the hands of the Pirates last night — an outing that lasted just two-thirds of an inning and included three Pittsburgh home runs. Collmenter proved to be a useful pickup for Atlanta late in the 2016 campaign, tossing 19 innings and allowing just five earned runs on 15 hits and five walks with 16 strikeouts. That performance proved to be enough for the Braves to retain the former D-backs Opening Day starter via arbitration this winter, as Collmenter agreed to a $1.2MM salary for the 2017 season. Because Collmenter has more than five years of big league service time, he’ll earn the entirety of that sum even if he elects free agency upon being outrighted (or if he is released). In parts of seven Major League seasons (695 1/3 innings), Collmenter has a 3.64 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 36 percent ground-ball rate. He’s worked as both a starter and a reliever and has actually never finished a season in the big leagues with an ERA north of 3.79. However, he’s also never been a hard-thrower, and his velocity in 2016-17 has hovered in the 84-85 mph range, which doesn’t lend much optimism moving forward.

Chris Marrero To Sign With Japan’s Orix Buffaloes

May 24, 2017 | No Comments

First baseman/left fielder Chris Marrero has agreed to a deal with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, tweets Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News was the first to report that Marrero, who was recently designated for assignment and outrighted by the Giants, was close to joining the Buffaloes (Twitter link). The Giants will receive some level of cash compensation for selling Marrero’s contract to the Buffaloes, and Marrero himself will presumably be paid more than he’d have earned if he stuck with the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate, thus making it a winning scenario for all parties involved. Marrero is represented by MSM Sports. Marrero, 28, was a first-round pick by the Nationals (15th overall) back in 2006 and made his big league debut with the Nats as a 22-year-old in 2011. However, he’s never solidified himself in the Majors and would only see action in parts of two big league seasons with the Nationals before being cut loose in 2013. Since that time, Marrero has bounced around the minor league circuit, logging seasons with the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates for the Orioles, White Sox and Red Sox before signing a minors pact with the Giants this past winter.

Orioles Claim Luis Sardinas

May 24, 2017 | No Comments

The Orioles have claimed shortstop Luis Sardinas off waivers from the Padres, per a club announcement. He had been designated for assignment recently. Sardinas, a switch-hitting 24-year-old, gives the Baltimore organization another piece of infield depth. The club had an open 40-man spot to work with, but will need to make an active roster move as Sardinas is out of options. Things haven’t gone well thus far for Sardinas, who slashed only .163/.226/.163 in his 53 plate appearances with San Diego this year. He has seen action in each of the past four MLB campaigns, including this one, though he has compiled just 480 total plate appearances and owns a lifetime .570 OPS.