Miami-based agent Jaime Torres has confirmed that Cuban free-agent Alexei Ramirez has agreed to a contract with the Chicago White Sox. According to Torres, Ramirez will sign a four-year major league deal, but he would not divulge details of the contract.
A White Sox organization official, contacted Friday evening by Baseball America, declined comment. Several outlets reported the deal was worth $4.75 million, though it was not clear how much was salary and how much was a signing bonus.
Though it may be the smallest transactions window ever, Dec. 12-14, plenty of moves were made.
Last week’s transactions available here.
Signed: RHP Cory Doyne, RHP Roberto Novoa
Released: RHP Zach Cole, RHP Josh Potter, RHP Ezequiel Selen, LHP Mark Horner
Traded: SS Miguel Tejada to Astros for RHP Matt Albers, RHP Dennis Sarfate, LHP Troy Patton, 3B Mike Costanzo and OF Luke Scott
Signed: RHP Brad Salmon, SS Jerry Gil
Traded: C Tyler Hauschild to Rays for future considerations
Gil and Salmon were non-tendered last week but agreed to come back on minor league deals.
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP J.D. Martin
Despite being a supplemental first-round pick in 2001 from a California high school, Martin hasn’t spent significant time above A ball. He was pretty good in his 19 Double-A starts, though, posting a 3.18 ERA, striking out 86 and walking 24 in 99 innings. Martin was shut down in 2003 with a strained elbow ligament and initially avoided surgery, but he finally had Tommy John surgery in 2005, then missed much of the 2006 season rehabbing. He bounced back to go 2-3, 4.25 in 42 innings for Double-A Akron last season. [...] Continue Reading »
Julio Gonzalez, a second baseman in the Rangers’ farm system, has been suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Gonzalez, who is listed at 6-foot-1, 160 pounds, turns 20 on Dec. 27. He hit .253/.337/.304 in 79 at-bats in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2007, his first professional season in the United States. Gonzalez signed with the Rangers out of the Dominican Republic.
With the passing of Wednesday’s deadline for clubs to tender 2008 contracts to pre-free agency players, some notable names were cut loose.
Heading the list, from a BA perspective anyway, are former No. 2 prospect in baseball Mark Prior and perpetual slugging third base prospect Dallas McPherson. Both have had significant injury issues since their prospect (or big league) peaks. Other potentially useful players who are now free to sign with any team include righthander Akinori Otsuka, shortstop Adam Everett and outfielder Kevin Mench. Everett already has come off the market, signing a one-year deal with the Twins.
OF Willie Harris
RHP Cory Doyne, RHP Roberto Novoa
Though Doyne, 26, was tattooed for six runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 big league innings in 2007, he was very effective for Triple-A Norfolk. In fact, he was named to the International League’s postseason all-star squad as a relief pitcher for saving 29 games with a 2.23 ERA and 49-16 K-BB in 44 1/3 innings. [...] Continue Reading »
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between Dec. 1 and Dec. 11. Last week’s transactions are available here.
Traded: OF Carlos Quentin to White Sox for 1B Chris Carter
Traded: RHP Jose Ascanio to Cubs for IF Omar Infante and LHP Will Ohman
Player lost in major league Rule 5 draft: RHP Sergio Valenzuela (Reds)
Player lost in minor league Rule 5 draft: 3B Jaime Trejo (Rangers) [...] Continue Reading »
Athletics minor league outfielder Raul Padron has been suspended for 50 games as a result of his positive test for a performance-enhancing substance.
Padron, 23, hit .223./.269/.409 in 345 at-bats for high Class A Stockton in 2007.
Observations and (often irreverent) notes from the major league portion of Thursday’s Rule 5 draft.
• Lefthander Wesley Wright was the odd man out of the Dodgers 40-man roster crunch, and it was no surprise that he was drafted in the major league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. The Astros selected him with the eighth pick of the first round.
Wright ranked among the Dodgers’ top 30 prospects in the 2007 Prospect Handbook, and was poised to climb near their top 20 this year after another solid season in 2007. Wright, who turns 23 next month, split 2007 between Double-A and Triple-A and finished his season with 16 consecutive scoreless innings out of Double-A Jacksonville’s bullpen. He pitches off an 88-91 mph fastball that he has deft command of. His solid-average spike-curveball is his best secondary pitch, but his best attributes are his good feel for pitching and consistency, two things that major league managers covet. As a middle reliever or situational man, his ceiling is modest, but the Astros can use him right away. [...] Continue Reading »
The whole Rule 5 draft doesn’t do it for a lot of the writers here; obviously we get excited about it while realizing it’s not a huge deal. But the Double-A phase had little pizzazz; the Diamondbacks made a move for a name I know, taking first baseman Baltazar Lopez, a lefthanded-swinging Mexican national. Pretty sure Lopez once ranked among the Angels’ top 30 prospects because of his hit tool, and he hit .273 with a team-best 12 RBIs and two homers for Mexico in the World Cup.
Six picks in the Double-A phase, and we’re done. Now the reporting phase of the Rule 5 begins as opposed to the blogging phase. Keep it here, we’ll have commentary and analysis and more news (there is more news, with trades to be announced) coming up.
Thirty-six players picked; the Double-A phase has begun. I’m going to keep my ears open for intersting names but frankly the biggest names I heard late in the Triple-A phase were guys like Luke Appert (former all-Big 10 player) and righty Ben Fritz, a part of the A’s "Moneyball" draft, toward the end of the draft. The Double-A phase is passing rather uneventfully, in terms of names that I can recall. The Rangers took Francisco Cordova in the minor league phase, out of the Angels system, but I don’t think he’s the same guy the Pirates had in the late ’90s. Teams are passing left and right; very uneventful Double-A phase, not many picks at all. Looking at single digits.
Shortstop Smelin Perez goes to the Marlins (from the Pirates), while the Reds take Juan Apodaca from the Dodgers system. RHP Santo Luis of the Astros goes to the White Sox, then the Nats pass. Apodaca hit eight homers at low Class A Great Lakes and slugged .415, well over the Midwest League average, while Luis had 99 strikeouts in 75 innings at low Class A Lexington. Hey, it’s the Triple-A phase; why not?
We’ll have more later but we need to confirm these names, but one highlight of these proceedings is watching Josh Boyd announce the Rangers picks. He was covering this event for us five years ago, now he’s announcing the picks. Nice. And now the Rangers just took Clayton Hamilton from the Pirates, saving him from the Pirates medical staff that misdiagnosed Hamilton’s cracked rib for a muscle strain. Hamilton had to have the rib removed this offseason.
Again, we’ll have the complete Triple-A phase up soon when we have the names spelled correctly and can do it intelligently.
Here comes the minor league phase, Triple-A phase first.
Rays select Rashad Eldridge, outfielder, from the Twins system. Then the Pirates take righthander Josh Hill, from — surprise! — the Twins. Lefthander Ray Liotta, who has had offseason shoulder surgery, goes third to the Royals. The Orioles take lefty Ryan Rodriguez, Liotta’s former teammate in the White Sox organization, and the Giants round out the top five with Padres shortstop Juan Ciriaco.
Everyone passing in the second round but the Nationals go again, taking Garrett Guzman from the Twins. Wow, the Twins are losing some guys. Guzman’s another guy from Chris’ preview. Again, he was on it.
The Padres took Callix Crabbe from the Brewers system in the second round, but we’re almost done it would seem. The Phillies took Lincoln Holdkom, a hard-throwing righty from the Red Sox that Boston thought it might lose, but certainly didn’t fear losing.
The third round has no picks, 18 selections in the major league phase overall, and we’re done. Commentary to come.
The Twins lose another player, but it’s Triple-A veteran R.A. Dickey; the Mariners took him. The Mets then took Rockies closer prospect Steven Register from the Rockies. Mike Gardner, who has a low 90s fastball, goes to the Padres; Gardner was in the Yankees organization. The Phillies took Aussie lefty Travis Blackley; I’m guessing they saw him good in the World Cup last month. The Rockies passed, and the Diamondbacks , Indians and Red Sox did likewise. Round One is done.
Brian Barton to the Cardinals; the Twins pass, first team to do so, followed by the Dodgers. The Blue Jays took Randy Wells from the Cubs organization, the first player I can’t think of anything to blog about.
Matt Whitney to the Nats, and the Astros take Wes Wright from the Dodgers, a lefthander. The picks are coming fast and furious, too fast for commentary right now, but no bombshells yet. Tim Lahey I can blog on a bit while we have a pause; he wasn’t making the Twins’ Top 30 prospects that I was working on yesterday in my hotel room. But we hear he’s getting traded to the Cubs.
Oakland just took White Sox righty Fernando Hernandez from the White Sox. Did Chris Kline have this covered in the preview or what?
Randor Bierd goes third to the Orioles; lefty Jose Capellan goes to the Giants next. We’ve written up Bierd; Capellan is a young lefty with a bad body but decent stuff who was at Lowell.
Screwballer Carlos Guevara goes to the Marlins, and the Reds follow with Sergio Valenzuela from the Braves organization.
The first pick goes to the Rays taking righthander Tim Lahey from the Twins. He’s a converted catcher from Princeton who throws 90-92 mph with a slider. The Twins also have a connection to the second player picked, as the Pirates took the Rays righthander Evan Meek.
Well, this is far from the ideal setup. The Rule 5 draft is being held in the Presidential Ballroom here at the Opryland Hotel, and as we found out at BA’s annual awards gala, there is no wireless internet access in that room. After trying it again, I was told by the powers that be to listen to the draft online if I wanted to do such a crazy thing. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
So we’re efforting. We’re sitting outside the media work room, listening to the "broadcast" and blogging from here. It’s like Tim Gunn says on Project Runway: Make It Work! Picks about to start . . . Roll call commencing.
NASHVILLE–Word on the street in Music City in advance of Thursday’s Rule 5 draft came fast and furious late Wednesday night.
According to several sources, the Padres are planning on moving up to Tampa Bay’s No. 1 spot to take Indians outfielder Brian Barton. [...] Continue Reading »
First baseman Craig Brazell, a 27-year-old Royals farmhand who led the minor leagues with 39 home runs in 2007 between Double-A Wichita and Triple-A Omaha, will play for the Seibu Lions of Japan’s Pacific League in 2008 after the Royals sold the Lions his contract.
Brazell started 2007 in Double-A, where he hit .349/.408/.587 with seven home runs in 109 at-bats. In 433 Triple-A at-bats, he slugged 32 more home runs and hit .307/.337/.605 before going 1-for-4 with a walk in a September callup to Kansas City. Those five plate appearances were the first for Brazell since 2004—his only other year in which he recorded an at-bat in the majors—when he hit .265/.286/.412 in 34 at-bats for the Mets.
A longtime minor leaguer, Brazell played 10 minor league seasons after the Mets drafted him as a catcher in the fifth round in 1998. Power has always been Brazell’s best tool, with 162 career minor league home runs. Brazell’s plate discipline has never come around though—in 3,626 minor league at-bats, he has just 161 walks, and despite a .284 minor league batting average, his on-base percentage is just .314. Brazell also led the minors in 2007 with 326 total bases.
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