Minor MLB Transactions: 10/24/16

Oct 25, 2016 | No Comments

Here are the latest minor moves, via Matt Eddy of Baseball America: The Marlins outrighted first baseman/outfielder Xavier Scruggs off of the team’s 40-man roster. He has seen brief time in each of the last three seasons at the major league level, hitting just .227/.292/.303 in his 130 total plate appearances. This year was his first with an organization other than the Cardinals. While Scruggs didn’t perform in his 24-game run with Miami, he did post an excellent .290/.408/.565 slash with 21 long balls over 382 plate appearances at Triple-A while walking in 15.2% of his trips to the dish (against a 23.6% strikeout rate). The Mariners re-signed lefty Brad Mills to a minor league pact

Mariners To Sign Micah Owings

Oct 24, 2016 | No Comments

The Mariner have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Micah Owings, as Jesse Burkhart of Fan Rag tweets and MLBTR has confirmed. He’ll receive a big league spring training invite as part of the deal. Owings, 34, is expected to enter camp trying to pitch his way onto the Seattle roster. He has also attempted to crack the bigs as an outfielder in the past — specifically, in 2013 with the Nationals. Despite hitting eight home runs and posting a .480 slugging percentage in 213 Triple-A plate appearances that year, Owings carried only a .305 OBP and never got a shot in the majors as a position player. Still, the fact that Owings can swing the stick doesn’t hurt his stock — even if it would be more interesting to see him suiting up for a National League team. As a pitcher, Owings has appeared in parts of six MLB campaigns, racking up 483 innings of 2.79 ERA pitching with 6.5 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9

Braves Agree To Minor League Deal With Joel De La Cruz

Oct 24, 2016 | No Comments

The Braves have re-signed right-hander Joel De La Cruz to a minor league contract after outrighting him last week, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. De La Cruz, 27, signed a minor league deal with Atlanta last offseason after spending the bulk of his professional career in the Yankees’ minor league ranks. The 2016 season saw De La Cruz make his big league debut, and the Dominican-born righty wound up pitching a fairly substantial 62 2/3 innings for the Braves. Splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen, De La Cruz posted a 4.88 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 43.1 percent ground-ball rate. Per PITCHf/x data, Cruz averaged 91.3 mph on a sinker that he threw at a 51 percent clip, and he also utilized both a slider and a changeup. In parts of three seasons at the Triple-A level, De La Cruz has a 4.15 ERA in 184 1/3 innings to go along with 5.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. This past season, he worked to a 4.68 ERA with Triple-A Gwinnett and posted a 47.3 percent ground-ball rate. De La Cruz will serve as a depth option for an Atlanta rotation that is currently rife with question marks. Julio Teheran figures to anchor the staff next season, and the Braves also have Mike Foltynewicz, Matt Wisler, Aaron Blair, Josh Collmenter, Williams Perez, Tyrell Jenkins and John Gant as internal options to round out the starting mix

Nationals Place Aaron Barrett On Outright Waivers

Oct 24, 2016 | No Comments

The Nationals have placed righty Aaron Barrett on outright waivers, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post writes. Barrett would have been eligible for arbitration this offseason as a Super Two (and was projected to make a mere $700K), but the Nats have elected not to take him through that process. The 28-year-old Barrett had Tommy John surgery late in the 2015 campaign. Late this season, while attempting a comeback from the injury, he fractured his elbow, requiring another surgery. Janes notes that Barrett is set to begin throwing again in a few weeks, but the Nationals’ decision to place him on outright waivers indicates that they’re not confident he’s likely to be a significant contributor next season. They might, however, be hoping to bring him back next season on a minor league deal. Prior to Barrett’s recent run of bad luck, he was a key part of the Nationals’ bullpens in 2014 and 2015, pitching to a 3.47 ERA, 10.8 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 70 innings over those two seasons. At his best, he boasted a mid-90s fastball and effective slider, although it’s unclear what his stuff might be like once he returns.

Cubs Designate Giovanni Soto For Assignment

Oct 22, 2016 | No Comments

The Cubs have designated left-hander Giovanni Soto for assignment, the team announced.  The move creates a 40-man roster spot for Kyle Schwarber, who was activated from the 60-day DL to join the Arizona Fall League in an improbable quest to make Chicago’s World Series roster (if the Cubs can advance). The Cubs acquired Soto from the Indians for cash considerations in April.  Ironically, Soto’s spot on Chicago’s 40-man roster was originally created when Schwarber was placed on the 60-day DL in the wake of his seemingly season-ending knee surgery.  Soto, 25, spent all of 2016 pitching at the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, posting a 5.14 ERA, 10.1 K/9 and 1.77 K/BB rate over 49 relief innings. The southpaw was originally a 21st-round pick for the Tigers in the 2009 draft, though he spent just over a year in Detroit’s organization before being dealt to Cleveland as part of the trade that sent Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers.  Soto has pitched mostly out of the bullpen in recent years, and he owns a 3.29 ERA, 8.4 K/9 and 2.3 K/BB rate over 514 career innings in the minors.  His Major League experience consists 3 1/3 scoreless innings over six games with the Tribe in 2015.

Minor MLB Transactions: 10/18/16

Oct 18, 2016 | No Comments

Here are the latest minor moves, via Baseball America’s Matt Eddy unless otherwise noted: The Braves re-signed catcher Blake Lalli after recently outrighting him. Lalli, 33, received a brief MLB cameo for the first time in quite a while, but hasn’t spend much time in the majors and figures to remain in the upper minors next year. He carries a .265/.316/.376 batting line over parts of five seasons at Triple-A. Meanwhile, the Braves outrighted 26-year-old lefties Matt Marksberry and Andrew McKirahan as well as shortstop Daniel Castro. Marksberry has made 35 appearances over the last two seasons, posting a composite 5.06 ERA, though he was effective in 42 2/2 frames in the upper minors last year, carrying a 2.32 ERA with 8.2 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9. McKirahan spent the year recovering from Tommy John surgery. As for Castro, 23, the last two years have come with a fair amount of major league opportunities, but his bat hasn’t been up to the task. Over 239 total plate appearances, he has hit just .217/.250/.265. The Pirates re-signed righty Casey Sadler to a minor league deal

Twins Outright Tommy Milone, Four Others

Oct 18, 2016 | No Comments

The Twins have announced five outright assignments as the team clears 40-man roster space entering the offseason. Southpaws Tommy Milone, Andrew Albers, and Pat Dean were all cut, as were infielder James Beresford and outfielder Logan Schafer. None of the moves is terribly surprising. Though incoming Minnesota chief baseball officer Derek Falvey has yet to join the organization — he’s staying with the Indians as they continue their postseason run — the organization obviously already knew these five roster spots would be opened up to make way for new acquisitions and/or Rule 5 draft protection. Milone, 29, was slated to earn a slight raise on his $4.5MM arbitration salary, with MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz projecting a $4.9MM figure this winter. It never seemed particularly likely that the Twins would pick up that tab after Milone turned in 69 1/3 innings of 5.71 ERA ball on the year. He has provided some solid major league innings over the years, though, and could earn a shot at a swingman or even rotation role from another organization in the right circumstances (and at a lower price). The 31-year-old Albers and 27-year-old Dean have not topped one hundred total major league frames in their careers, and neither have been particularly productive in their limited opportunities.

Minor MLB Transactions: 10/15/16

Oct 15, 2016 | No Comments

The latest minor moves from around baseball: The Orioles have outrighted infielder Paul Janish, who has elected free agency, per a club announcement. Baltimore designated the 34-year-old defensive specialist for assignment last week after he logged 35 plate appearances with the club this season. Most of Janish’s time this year was spent at Triple-A Norfolk, where he hit .248/.333/.280 in 283 trips to the plate. In his 1,277-PA big league career, Janish – previously with the Reds and Braves – has batted .216/.284/.289. Like Janish, Angels right-hander A.J. Achter and outfielder Nick Buss have also elected free agency in lieu of outright assignments. The Angels designated the pair for assignment on Oct. 5. Achter pitched to a terrific 3.11 ERA in 37 2/3 innings with the Angels this year, but he did so despite striking out just 14 batters and surrendering 43 hits. The 28-year-old, also a former Twin, has 62 big league frames on his resume with a 4.79 K/9, 3.05 BB/9 and 3.92 ERA

Cardinals Outright Harris, Rosario, Ohlman

Oct 14, 2016 | No Comments

The Cardinals have outrighted right-handed reliever Mitch Harris and catchers Alberto Rosario and Mike Ohlman, per Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 30-year-old Harris spent the season on the 60-day disabled list, as the Cards hoped that he could return from Tommy John surgery in June 2015 to make an impact on the roster this season, but Harris didn’t pitch in the Majors or minors this year. The Naval Academy product made his MLB debut last season and tossed 27 innings of 3.67 ERA ball with 5.0 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 and a 45.1 percent ground-ball rate. In addition to the 27 frames he compiled in 2015, Harris has a 2.92 ERA with 7.2 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 in his minor league career. Rosario, 29, made his MLB debut this season, hitting .184/.225/.237 over the life of 41 plate appearances. He’s never hit all that much, as evidenced by his .253/.302/.327 line in parts of five Triple-A seasons, though he’s caught 42 percent of attempted base-stealers throughout his 11-year minor league career. Ohlman, 25, is a former Orioles farmhand that spent his second season with the Cardinals organization in 2016. The 25-year-old split the 2016 season between Double-A and Triple-A, where he batted a combined .287/.344/.434. Ohlman saw 54 games/186 plate appearances at the Triple-A level this year — his first exposure to that level of competition — and fared well with the bat, hitting .280/.333/.464

Braves Outright De La Cruz, Lalli, Snyder

Oct 14, 2016 | No Comments

The Braves have outrighted reliever Joel De La Cruz, catcher Blake Lalli and first baseman Brandon Snyder off their 40-man roster, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. Each of the three can and very likely will become minor league free agents this offseason. Signed to a minor league pact this offseason, the 27-year-old De La Cruz made his big league debut with Atlanta in 2016 and wound up tossing a fairly substantial 62 2/3 innings for the Braves across nine starts and 13 relief appearances. In that time, De La Cruz worked to a 4.88 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 43.1 percent ground-ball rate. The longtime Yankees farmhand, who has also spent time in the Brewers and Nationals organizations, averaged 91.3 mph on a sinker he threw for just over half of his offerings, per PITCHf/x data, also working in a slider and a changeup