The Brewers announced today that they’ve outrighted right-hander Brooks Hall to Triple-A (Twitter link). Presumably, this move frees up a spot on the 40-man roster for Francisco Rodriguez, although the official announcement has yet to be made. The 24-year-old Hall missed much of the 2014 season with bone spurs in his right elbow, pitching only 26 innings at the Double-A level. He did work to a solid 2.77 ERA in that time, though his 15 strikeouts continued a trend of marginal strikeout rates. The former fourth-round pick has done his best work over the past three seasons after struggling in his first year of pro ball; overall h has a 4.00 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 360 1/3 minor league innings.
The Nationals have signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor league pact, the club announced. The deal includes a big league spring invite. Gwynn is, of course, the son of one of the greatest players in recent memory. Though he has not matched his father’s near-untouchable stat line, he has obviously maintained the big league legacy with a career spanning eight seasons. Across 1,798 total career plate appearances in the bigs, Gwynn owns a .238/.309/.310 slash with 80 stolen bases
Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB: The Rangers have signed right-hander Mark Rogers to a minor league contract, tweets EPSN’s Jerry Crasnick. Rogers, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft by the Brewers and a top 100 prospect by Baseball America in 2005 and 2006, has seen his career derailed by shoulder injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome. The 29-year-old made two appearances last year for the Mariners‘ Triple-A affiliate before being released. He then hooked on with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League making 18 starts with a line of 4.17 ERA, 4.6 K/9, and 6.2 BB/9 in 86 1/3 innings.
The Blue Jays have signed outfielder Dayan Viciedo, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). It is a minor league deal per Rosenthal (also Twitter). Viciedo, a career .254/.298/.424 hitter, was released by the White Sox earlier this winter. Chicago is still on the hook for 30 days termination pay on the $4.4MM owed him via arbitration.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league. The Rangers have signed righty Jesus Pirela, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy writes. The 25-year-old Pirela spent five seasons in the Phillies organization, then ultimately wound up pitching for Veracruz last season and becoming one of the best relievers in the Mexican League, posting a 1.51 ERA, 10.2 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 over 53 2/3 innings. Eddy notes that the Rangers scouted him in the Mexican Pacific Winter League this offseason.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league: Veteran southpaw Rich Hill has agreed to a minor league deal with the Nationals, the club announced. Hill, who has appeared in parts of ten MLB seasons, will receive an invite to big league camp. Soon to turn 35, Hill has long been effective against lefties but rather susceptible to opposite-handed bats, with good strikeout numbers in recent years offset by a hefty accumulation of free passes. Former top Phillies prospect Tyson Gillies has signed a minor league deal with the Padres, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets. Philadelphia released Gillies over the summer while he was in the midst of a tough .214/.270/.289 run at Triple-A.
Veteran outfielder Juan Pierre has officially retired, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets. Pierre did not play in 2014, so it comes as little surprise that he’s retiring. The speedy Pierre racked up 614 stolen bases in parts of 14 seasons in the Majors and rarely struck out, finding ways to annoy opposing pitchers despite his lack of home-run power. He led his league in stolen bases three times and is currently 18th in career steals. (He’s also sixth in caught stealings for his career, with 203.) For much of his career, Pierre was also a serious on-base threat, with six seasons with on-base percentages above .350. Pierre was a key member of the World Champion 2003 Marlins, swiping 65 bases that season before hitting .333/.481/.429 in the World Series against the Yankees
Free agent slugger Wily Mo Pena has agreed to a one-year deal with Japan’s Rakuten Eagles, MLBTR has learned. The contract includes a club option for 2016. Pena’s strong 2014 campaign — he hit .255/.344/.486 with 32 home runs for the Orix Buffaloes — raised the possibility of a return to the big leagues, but that never materialized. The 33-year-old was only interested in signing with an MLB team if he could achieve a major league contract. While there was some interest, he ultimately never was made an offer that came with a 40-man spot. A veteran of eight big league seasons, Pena swatted 84 long balls and slashed .250/.303/.445 in his 1,845 career plate appearances. Best known for his time with the Reds, Pena also saw action with four other teams.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league… The MLB.com transactions page lists a few new minor league deals. Infielder Cody Ransom has joined the Diamondbacks after spending some time in Japan last year. Ransom, 39, has seen action in eleven big league seasons, though he has broken the 100 plate appearance barrier only twice — in 2012-13, oddly enough. Ransom played well in that late-career run, putting up 505 plate appearances with a .207/.301/.414 slash and twenty home runs over those two seasons. The Padres signed utilityman Mike McCoy. Now 33, McCoy has yet to pass the 400 plate appearance barrier at the big league level and has struggled at Triple-A in the last two seasons, but does have a better prior track record. Catcher Robinzon Diaz, 31, is joining the Brewers on a minor league deal.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league… The Dodgers will sign right-hander Chad Gaudin to a minor league deal, and he will be a non-roster invitee to Major League Spring Training, tweets MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. The 31-year-old Gaudin sat out the 2014 season as he recovered from neck surgery but was quite good with the 2013 Giants, working to a 3.06 ERA (with a 3.34 FIP and 4.00 xFIP) in 97 innings. Gaudin has experience as both a starter and a reliever in parts of 11 Major League seasons — the bulk of which have come with the Athletics. He has a lifetime 4.44 ERA with 7.1 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 and a 42.4 percent ground-ball rate in 836 1/3 Major League innings. Gaudin also worked out for the division-rival Diamondbacks recently.