Rangers To Hire Jeff Banister As Manager

Oct 16, 2014 | No Comments

The Rangers will hire Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as their next manager, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

Outrighted: Stephen Fife, Doug Bernier, Yohan Pino

Oct 14, 2014 | No Comments

Here are today’s minor moves and outright assignments from around the league… Righty Stephen Fife was reinstated from the 60-day DL and outrighted to Triple-A by the Dodgers, the club announced on Twitter. Fife, a depth starter for Los Angeles who just turned 28, underwent Tommy John surgery late in the season and will likely miss most or all of 2015. He owns a 3.66 ERA in 91 career big league innings over the last three years, with 6.9 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9. The Twins have outrighted journeyman shortstop Doug Bernier and right-hander Yohan Pino to Triple-A Rochester, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Bernier has already elected free agency, Berardino reports, and Pino is expected to do the same

Diamondbacks To Hire Chip Hale As Manager

Oct 13, 2014 | No Comments

The Diamondbacks are expected to announce the hiring of Athletics bench coach Chip Hale as their new manager today, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link).  Hale’s contract covers the 2015 and 2016 seasons, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. It is something of a homecoming for the 49-year-old Hale, who played college ball at the University of Arizona and began his coaching career in the D’Backs organization, working both as a minor league manager and as a Major League third base coach.  He has also worked as the Mets’ third base coach and has spent the last three years in Oakland under Bob Melvin. Hale has been a contender for several open managerial positions over the last few offseasons, and was reportedly a finalist for the Mets (before they hired Terry Collins) and Mariners (before they hired Lloyd McClendon).  Most recently, the Twins sought to interview him during their manager search, though Hale reportedly canceled that interview in order “to see though this chance” at the D’Backs job, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Hale is the first hire for D’Backs GM Dave Stewart and chief baseball officer Tony La Russa as they look to turn around the last-place Snakes and move on from the Kirk Gibson/Kevin Towers era

Astros Decline Matt Albers’ Option, Outright Jesus Guzman And Rudy Owens

Oct 9, 2014 | No Comments

After letting Jorge De Leon go on a waiver claim, the Astros have cleared three additional roster spots with a series of moves today. As the club announced in a press release, it has declined its option over reliever Matt Albers and outrighted first baseman Jesus Guzman and lefty Rudy Owens. Houston’s 40-man roster now has four vacancies, but as the team notes it has four players stashed on the 60-day DL. Albers, 31, will head back to the open market after an injury-shortened 2014 campaign. He allowed only one run in his ten frames on the year, striking out eight and walking three batters, but shoulder troubles ended his season. Houston had signed him to a one-year, $2.45MM deal that included the option. The Astros elected to pay a $200K buyout rather than taking on the $3MM option price

Ryan Dempster To Retire

Oct 8, 2014 | No Comments

Right-hander Ryan Dempster, who sat out the 2014 season due to physical issues and a desire to spend more time with his family, will not pursue a contract this offseason and will officially retire, reports Chris Cotillo of SB Nation’s MLB Daily Dish (on Twitter). The 37-year-old Dempster was placed on the restricted list by the Red Sox following that decision, meaning that he forewent a sizable $13.25MM salary. At the time, Dempster told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal, “I don’t feel like I am capable of performing to the ability and standard that I am accustomed to. I feel it’s in the best interest of both the club but most importantly myself to step away from playing baseball at this time.” Over the summer, Dempster told the Chicago Tribune that he wasn’t ruling out a return to the playing field, but he didn’t miss playing at that point. Dempster’s career will come to a close with a 4.35 ERA, 7.8 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 2387 Major League innings. The former third-round pick and British Columbia native experienced success both as a starter and as a reliever in his career. He made 351 big league starts and totaled 132 Major League victories, but he also spent three seasons as the Cubs’ closer and totaled 87 saves in his career. The final season of Dempster’s career certainly wasn’t his finest, but it may be his fondest memory. Dempster posted a 4.57 ERA in 171 1/3 innings for the Red Sox that season and was rewarded with a 2013 World Series ring when all was said and done

Minor Moves: O’Sullivan, Jackson, Paterson, Wilson, Bianchi

Oct 8, 2014 | No Comments

As outrights pick up pace across the league, here are the latest minor moves: After outrighting him yesterday, the Phillies have released righty Sean O’Sullivan, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. O’Sullivan was set to become a minor league free agent anyway, so this just moves up his appearance on the open market. After seeing three players fail to clear waivers today, the Diamondbacks did manage to get another trio through. Per the PCL transactions page, outfielder Brett Jackson, lefty Joe Paterson, and catcher Bobby Wilson have all cleared and been outrighted to Triple-A. Jackson, a 26-year-old former top prospect, had another disappointing season at Triple-A, posting a .208/.299/.350 line in 271 plate appearances. Paterson, 28, again posted solid numbers in Triple-A (2.95 ERA over 42 2/3 frames) but failed to return to the regular MLB pen role that he had in 2011. And Wilson, 31, saw his first MLB action since 2012 with the Angels, but spent most of his time putting together a .267/.324/.341 slash over 299 trips to the plate at Triple-A

Angels Claim Alfredo Marte, Roger Kieschnick, Designate John Buck, Brennan Boesch

Oct 7, 2014 | No Comments

The Angels have claimed outfielders Alfredo Marte and Roger Kieschnick off waivers from the Diamondbacks, the club announced. In a corresponding move, the team has designated catcher John Buck and outfielder Brennan Boesch for assignment. Marte and Kieschnick have each seen fairly minimal time at the MLB level over the last two years, and neither has been productive in those short samples. But the 25-year-old Marte is fresh off of a .319/.407/.519 campaign at the Triple-A level, his best line as a professional. And while Kieschnick, 27, was less impressive in his first season in the D’backs organization (.260/.317/.461), he put up two productive Triple-A campaigns in the Giants system in the years prior. Meanwhile, Buck was slated to become a free agent after the season. He signed on with the Halos after losing his backup job with the Mariners, with whom he signed a one-year, $1MM deal before the season. On the year, Buck slashed a meager .225/.289/.281 in his 97 big league plate appearances. Boesch, who could have been controlled through arbitration, will also get a slight head start on free agency. After joining the Angels on a minor league deal, Boesch struggled in 79 plate appearances with the big club but did tune up the PCL with a .332/.381/.636 slash over 407 plate appearances.

Minor Moves: Free Agents, Blue Jays

Oct 4, 2014 | No Comments

Here are the latest minor moves from around the game. 1B Daric Barton (Athletics), OF Tyler Colvin (Giants), OF Justin Maxwell (Royals), SP Jair Jurrjens (Rockies), RP Wilton Lopez (Rockies) and R Troy Patton (Padres) have all elected free agency, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy tweets. Seven former Blue Jays have elected free agency, Eddy tweets. Among them is first baseman Dan Johnson, who the Jays outrighted earlier this week. Johnson collected 48 plate appearances in Toronto this season, but spent most of the year with Triple-A Buffalo, hitting .232/.381/.434 in 459 plate appearances there. The others who elected free agency are shortstop Jonathan Diaz, outfielders Cole Gillespie and Darin Mastroianni, and pitchers Bobby Korecky, Brad Mills and Raul Valdes.

Rangers Designate Wilmer Font For Assignment

Oct 2, 2014 | No Comments

The Rangers have designated righty Wilmer Font for assignment, according to executive VP of communications John Blake (via Twitter). The move makes room for the club’s claim of fellow right-hander Alfredo Figaro. Font, 24, enjoyed a cup of coffee in both 2012 and 2013, but has no substantial MLB experience. After a strong minor league campaign last year, he was somewhat less successful in 2014.

Blue Jays Outright Munenori Kawasaki, Dan Johnson

Oct 2, 2014 | No Comments

The Blue Jays have outrighted infielder Munenori Kawasaki and first baseman Dan Johnson, according to the team’s official transactions page. Kawasaki, 33, batted .258/.327/.296 in 274 plate appearances in his second season with the Blue Jays. The Japanese infielder’s outgoing nature and quirky sense of humor have made him popular with both fans and teammates, but he hasn’t hit much in either of his two seasons in the Majors. He does grade out as a solid defender at shortstop, and both Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved gave positive reviews to a small sample of work at third base this season.