The Cardinals have announced that they’ve designated infielder Ruben Tejada for assignment. Mark Saxon of ESPN.com was first to report on Twitter that the DFA was likely. Tejada’s roster spot will be taken by Matt Carpenter, who’s returning from the paternity list. St. Louis faced a choice between cutting Tejada loose and optioning Greg Garcia. The latter may have made the decision for the team with a highly productive game tonight. He’s now blasted two home runs (among eight total hits) and drawn seven walks in just twenty-one plate appearances.
The Angels will designate shortstop Brendan Ryan for assignment today, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The move will clear space for fellow infielder Cliff Pennington, who is set to return after a brief DL stint due to a hamstring strain. Ryan signed a minor league deal with the Nationals in February, then headed to the Angels in a small trade earlier this month. With Andrelton Simmons and Pennington on the shelf, the Angels had a need for a shortstop, but even with both those players on the DL, they frequently played Gregorio Petit at short. Overall, Ryan collected 12 plate appearances, during which he failed to reach base. The 34-year-old Ryan has hit .233/.293/.314 in parts of ten seasons in the big leagues, contributing the vast majority of his value with terrific defense. In addition to the Angels, he’s played for the Cardinals, Mariners and Yankees.
The Braves have designated infielder Reid Brignac for assignment, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. A corresponding move has yet to be reported. Brignac, 30, has seen action in every major league season dating back to 2008, though he’s still yet to accumulate over 1,000 total plate appearances and has only cracked 100 in a single season twice. He’s a lifetime .219/.264/.309 hitter and has fallen below even that line in his 13 games this year with Atlanta. Of course, the utilityman is valued more as a depth option with a reliable glove.
The Royals have signed infielder Steve Tolleson to a minor league contract, tweets Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. The 32-year-old will report to Triple-A Omaha, he adds. Tolleson, released by the Orioles earlier this week, is a veteran of four big league seasons and 12 minor league seasons. He most recently logged 234 Major League plate appearances with the Blue Jays between the 2014 and 2015 campaigns, hitting a combined .256/.313/.384 with three homers and five steals while seeing time at second base, third base, shortstop and in the outfield corners. Tolleson is a career .245/.299/.372 hitter in 363 PAs at the MLB level and owns a lifetime .281/.365/.401 batting line in an even 2100 plate appearances at the Triple-A level
7:46pm: Jennings reports in a full column that the Yankees are not planning on attempting to re-sign Heathcott this time around. He’ll look to latch on with a new organization. 7:41pm: The Yankees announced today (via Twitter) that they’ve released former outfielder and top prospect Slade Heathcott in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for left-hander Richard Bleier, whose contract was selected earlier today. As Chad Jennings of the Journal News points out (Twitter link), the Yankees likely felt that designating Heathcott would’ve led to a waiver claim by another team, so releasing him gives the Yanks a chance to re-sign him on a new minor league contract. Heathcott, 25, was the 29th overall pick in the 2009 draft and rated as the game’s No. 63 overall prospect heading into the 2013 season on the heels of a .302/.380/.461 season at Class-A Advanced as a 21-year-old. However, his production at Double-A in 2013 failed to mirror those numbers, and he wound up missing the majority of 2014 due to injuries (which have been a recurring theme for Heathcott throughout his minor league career). This past offseason, BA rated him as the team’s No. 18 prospect, praising him as an above-average defender in center field with an above-average arm and the ability to hit to all fields. Despite that quality review, though, Heathcott hasn’t performed at the Triple-A level to date, batting just .257/.303/.334 in 368 plate appearances there (including a .230/.271/.310 line there in 97 PAs this season)
Cubs left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser has cleared waivers and had his contract outrighted off the 40-man roster, the team announced on Thursday. The move drops the Cubs’ 40-man roster count to 37. The Cubs claimed Riefenhauser, 26, off waivers from the Orioles this offseason, thereby capping off what was a whirlwind of transactions involving the left-hander over the winter. Riefenhauser began the offseason as a member of the Rays but quickly found himself traded to the Mariners in the Nate Karns/Logan Morrison/Brad Miller trade.
Braves outfielder Hector Olivera has accepted an 82-game suspension, without pay, under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy, the league announced this afternoon. Olivera has been on paid administrative leave for much of the season, and that time will be retroactively credited to his suspension (with the pay he had earned during that time revoked). Olivera’s suspension is retroactive to April 30 and will run through Aug. 1, meaning it will cost him roughly $2.03MM of this season’s $4MM salary. Olivera has agreed not to appeal the suspension. Olivera, 31, was arrested on April 13 and charged with one count of misdemeanor assault and battery
The Angels have agreed with catcher Erik Kratz to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (via Twitter). He had been released by the Astros after opening the season in Houston. Over his seven years in the majors, the 35-year-old Kratz owns a .210/.261/.381 batting line in 590 plate appearances. He’s also hit 23 long balls in that span, with a .171 ISO, so there’s certainly some pop in the bat when he connects. But Kratz struggled to get going in his 15 games this year with the Astros, who picked him up from the Padres late this spring. He ultimately recorded just two hits and a walk, while picking up 14 strikeouts, over his thirty turns at the plate
The Dodgers expect to purchase the contract of top pitching prospect Julio Urias for his MLB debut on Friday, per a club announcement.
Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league… The Twins have placed outfielder Darin Mastroianni on the DL and filled his roster spot by selecting the contract of left-hander Buddy Boshers from Triple-A Rochester, per a club announcement. Minnesota transferred closer Glen Perkins to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Boshers, 28, spent the 2015 season on the independent circuit but has turned in a strong showing at the Triple-A level this year, working to a 1.42 ERA with a 21-to-5 K/BB ratio in 19 innings out of the Rochester bullpen. Perkins, meanwhile, has been out since early April due to a shoulder injury and recently suffered a setback in his rehab. The earliest he could be activated would be June 10, though that seems unlikely given recent updates on his status. Right-hander Seth Simmons has agreed to a minor league contract with the Padres, MLBTR has learned.