Here we present minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period Dec. 14-21.
This will be the final transactions installment of 2012, but the feature will return in January.
Signed: RHP Brad Allen (Florence (Frontier)), RHP Nelson Figueroa, RHP Alexis Lara, RHP Warner Madrigal, C Mark Reed (released by D-backs, July 7)
Return of Rule 5 pick: SS Gustavo Nunez (to Tigers)
Released: SS K.C. Clabough, SS Logan Robbins
Signed: RHP Chase Johnson (Amarillo (American Association)), RHP Marcel Prado (El Paso (American Association)), RHP Zech Zinicola, SS Chris Wade (Windy City (Frontier))
Removed from 40-man: 1B Steve Pearce (outrighted to Triple-A) [...] Continue Reading »
Braves minor league righthanded reliever Billy Bullock failed two tests for a drug of abuse and received a 50-game suspension without pay from Major League Baseball. He'll serve the suspension at the outset of 2013.
The Twins drafted Bullock out of Florida in the second round of the 2009 draft, but they traded him during spring training ’11 in the deal that allowed them to retain the rights to Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond.
The 24-year-old Bullock has spent the bulk of his two seasons with Atlanta at the Double-A level, where last season he logged 39 relief innings for Mississippi and struck out 9.4 and walked 7.6 batters per nine innings.
Two of the top Cuban players signed in 2012 are having trouble acquiring visas after using documents claiming permanent Haitian residency, according to multiple international sources.
Omar Luis, a 20-year-old Cuban lefty who signed with the Yankees for $4 million on July 1, and Henry Urrutia, a 25-year-old Cuban corner outfielder who signed with the Orioles for $778,500 on July 6, have not yet been able to acquire their visas. Both of them, according to Baseball America's sources, are still stuck in Haiti.
To sign with a major league team, Cuban players must first present either an unblocking license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) or two permanent residency documents from another country. Luis, Urrutia and Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who signed with the Cubs in June, all presented permanent Haitian residency papers. Soler, who signed a nine-year, $30 million major league contract that included a $6 million signing bonus, was able to acquire his visa this summer and play in the United States. Their agency, Praver Shapiro Sports Management, did not respond to a request for comment.
Industry insiders are not surprised that Luis and Urrutia are having visa trouble. In addition to Haitian documents being notoriously unreliable, the players were well-known to be living and training in the Dominican Republic for several months.
Rays minor league outfielder Cody Rogers refused to take an offseason drug test, a violation of the drug prevention and treatment program, and must serve a 50-game suspension at the outset of 2013.
A seventh-round pick in ’09, Rogers batted .244/.312/.343 with four homers and 22 steals in 112 games for high Class A Charlotte this season. The 23-year-old lefty hitter is a product of Panola (Texas) JC.
The international governing bodies for baseball (International Baseball Federation) and softball (International Softball Federation) have approved the formation of one federation that will govern both sports—The World Baseball Softball Confederation.
“In addition to the increased visibility, our sports under one banner will provide the footing for clear and consistent messaging,” WBSC co-President and current ISF President Don Porter said in a release.
The leaders of the WBSC are in Lausanne, Switzerland, to present the sports' case for reinstatement in the 2020 Summer Olympics. A presentation will be given on Wednesday, Dec. 19, to the International Olympic Committee's executive members, who will then make a recommendation to the Program Commission.
Lefthander Mason Felt, the Reds' fifth-round pick in 2012, is in critical condition after a one-car accident that cost the life of his father. According to the report in the San Angelo Standard-Times, Felt was driving a 2004 Ford F-150 pickup truck on U.S. Interstate 10 just outside of Ozona, Texas Saturday morning. The truck slid off onto the shoulder of the road. The truck then returned to the road, crossed over the two lanes and into the median, where the truck overturned.
Felt's father, Richard Lee Felt, was pronounced dead at the scene. Mason Felt was taken to Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, Texas.
Felt, an Oregon State signee, signed with the Reds quickly after the June draft. He has yet to make his pro debut as he spent the summer recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Reds' spokesman Rob Butcher said that since the accident the Reds' player development department and the minor league medical staff have been in contact with the hospital, San Angelo Police Department and Mason's mother.
The Rangers have signed Ronny Carvajal, a 17-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic, for $80,000.
Carvajal, who became eligible to sign this year on July 2, has a projectable 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame with good bat speed, solid athleticism and close to average speed. A corner outfielder, Carvajal's righthanded swing will have to be ironed out as he's still raw at the plate. Carvajal is from Bani, played in the Dominican Prospect League and trained with Miguel Delgado, who is known in the Dominican Republic as "Billiyo."
Texas has been one of the most aggressive and successful teams in the international market in recent years, but they have spent very little of their $2.9 million international bonus pool for the 2012-13 signing period, perhaps because they were hoping to be able to land righthander Shohei Otani, who announced he is staying in Japan.
Other than the $4.5 million signing of Dominican outfielder Jairo Beras on Feb. 29, a deal that doesn't count against their bonus pool, the Rangers' biggest international bonus this year has gone to Juremi Profar, a 16-year-old third baseman from Curacao (and the younger brother of top prospect Jurickson Profar) who signed for $150,000 in September. The Rangers also signed Dominican shortstop Luis Terrero for $75,000 in August.
Here we present official minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period Dec. 7-13.
Signed: LHP Steve Garrison, SS Josh Wilson
Released: RHP Teofilo Gutierrez
Signed: RHP Robinson Lopez (released by Cubs, Feb. ’12)
The Braves originally signed Robinson Lopez out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, then traded him and two other minor league players to the Cubs for Derrek Lee in August ’10.
Signed: LHP Logan Mahon (Gateway (Frontier)), C Kevin Dultz (released by D-backs, Oct. ’12), SS Niuman Romero [...] Continue Reading »
The Astros have signed Junior Garcia, a 17-year-old lefthander from the Dominican Republic, for $200,000.
Garcia, who trained with Ramon Genao (known as "Papiro"), played in a few different events run by Major League Baseball. At 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Garcia is a strike-thrower who has seen his fastball climb from 83-85 mph to 86-88 mph as he's gained weight. He stands out for his pitchability, mixes in a curveball that has a chance to be an average to solid-average pitch as well as an occasional changeup.
Garcia, who became eligible to sign on July 2, is the most significant signing yet for the Astros under international director Oz Ocampo, who left his role as a specialist in international baseball operations at MLB to join the Astros in September. The Astros still have the majority of their $2.9 million bonus pool for the 2012-13 signing period available, and they will have the biggest signing pool for the 2013-14 signing period that begins next year on July 2 after finishing with baseball's worst record in 2012.
The Cardinals have signed righthander Alex Reyes out of the Dominican Republic for $950,000, one of the biggest bonuses of the year for an international amateur pitcher and the top international bonus of 2012 for the Cardinals.
Reyes, 18, took an unconventional path to pro ball. Born in the United States, Reyes grew up with his parents in Elizabeth, N.J. and played high school baseball there, but he moved to the Dominican Republic to stay with extended family last winter, then waited one year to be eligible to sign. He lived in Palenque and trained with former Nationals scout Juan Valera and Basilio Vizcaino (known as "Cachaza"), the same duo that worked with Padres $700,000 outfielder Franmil Reyes (no relation).
Even though Reyes worked with Vizcaino, one of the most high-profile trainers in Latin America, very few teams appear to have scouted him. According to international sources, Felix Francisco had heavily courted Reyes while he was in charge of Houston's Latin American program this summer. When the Astros let Francisco go and he joined the Royals as a special assignment scout, Kansas City showed strong interest in Reyes and he had spent time at their academy, but Reyes opted to sign with the Cardinals instead.
Those who have seen Reyes say he is 6-foot-3, 185 pounds and has had his fastball increase in recent months, going from the high-80s to sitting 90-93 mph and touching 94. A converted shortstop, Reyes' best offspeed pitch is his changeup, which he already sells with good arm speed, and he mixes in a curveball as well. Given his age, Reyes, who is fluent in English and Spanish, could start his career in the United States, likely in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
Reyes' bonus is the second-biggest of the year for a Dominican pitcher, behind only Cubs righthander Juan Carlos Paniagua ($1.5 million). Venezuelan lefthander Jose Castillo ($1.55 million from the Rays) and Venezuelan righthander Jose Mujica ($1 million from the Rays) were the only other international amateur pitchers who signed for more money this year, excluding Cubans.
Neivy Pilier, a 16-year-old third baseman from the Dominican Republic, has signed with the Nationals for $225,000.
At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Pilier has a quick bat with lift and occasional power in his righthanded swing, though he's at his best when he stays with a line-drive approach and uses the middle of the field. He has a strong arm that fits well at third base, though with his youth and size he's still trying to improve his footwork. Pilier didn't turn 16 until Aug. 1, so he was one of the younger players among those who became eligible to sign this year.
Pilier is from Santo Domingo, played in the Dominican Prospect League and trained with Christian Batista, who is known in the Dominican Republic as "Niche." Last year the Nationals awarded their top international bonus of the year ($150,000) to outfielder Randy Novas, who also trained with Batista. This year his program also produced Giants outfielder Gustavo Cabrera ($1.3 million) and Tigers shortstop Domingo Leyba ($400,000).
Here we present official minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period Nov. 27-Dec. 6.
Rule 5 selections are presented here with each player's original organization, not the one that drafted him. This way you can see which teams functioned as the most bountiful wellsprings. MLB signifies major league phase, while AAA denotes Triple-A phase. No Double-A selections were made this year.
Rule 5 selection: OF Ender Inciarte (MLB, Phillies)
The Phillies traded for Ben Revere immediately after the Rule 5 draft, so Ender Inciarte might be redundant now that Philly has four outfielders with big league experience on its 40-man roster (Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Laynce Nix, Revere) plus prospect Tyson Gillies in Triple-A.
Signed: C Matt Pagnozzi, 2B Blake DeWitt
Signed: RHP Adam Russell, C Jose Gil, C Jim Vahalik (Washington (Frontier)), 2B Shawn Roof, OF Conor Jackson, OF Buddy Sosnoskie (Fargo-Moorhead (American Association))
Traded: RHP Jhondaniel Medina to Pirates for 2B Yamaico Navarro
Rule 5 selection: OF Robbie Widlansky (AAA, Angels)
Baltimore has targeted some nifty bench potentials this offseason, trading for Yamaico Navarro (second base, third base, left field) and Trayvon Robinson (center field, left field), while signing to minor league deals the likes of Conor Jackson and Jason Pridie, both of whom have value to reclaim. [...] Continue Reading »
Here are the picks in the 2012 Rule 5 draft, beginning with the Major League Phase.
|MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE, ROUND 1|
|1||Astros||Josh Fields, rhp
|With a fastball up to 97 mph, the 27-year-old Fields had the best year of his career after being a first-round pick in 2008. Improved control, which he showed late in 2012 is key to his chances to stick.|
|2||Cubs||Hector Rondon, rhp||Indians|
|Rondon missed most of 2012 after needing a second elbow surgery. When healthy, he shows good command of a low-90s fastball and tops out at 96.|
|3||Rockies||Danny Rosenbaum, lhp||Nationals|
|Rosenbaum has fringy stuff, but eats innings, fills up the strike zone and keeps hitters off balance with his quick tempo.|
|4||Twins||Ryan Pressly, rhp||Red Sox|
|Pressly shows the potential for three plus pitches—a fastball 91-94 mph range, a sharp slider and a deceptive changeup. He had success in Double-A after move to the bullpen|
|5||Indians||Chris McGuiness, 1b||Rangers|
|The Arizona Fall League MVP has a strong lefthanded swing and hit 23 home runs in Double-A this year. He's always shown the ability to get on-base with a good approach at the plate.|
|6||Marlins||Alfredo Silverio, of||Dodgers|
|Showed the potential for five average or better tools, but missed all of 2012 after a car accident resulted in a concussion and an elbow injury. If healthy, could be the safest bet to stick on big league roster.|
|*7||Red Sox (traded to Tigers)||Jeff Kobernus, 2b||Nationals|
|More advanced than the average Rule 5 pick, Kobernus can play solid defense at second, steal some bases (42 in 53 tries in 2012) and hit a little. He lacks power, but plays the game with a hard-edged, heady approach|
|*10||Mets (traded to Tigers)||Kyle Lobstein, lhp||Rays|
|Highly-regarded coming out of high school, Lobstein lost some velocity his senior year and has never regained. He's now a pitchability lefty who works in and out and features a good changeup.|
|14||Diamondbacks||Starling Peralta, rhp||Cubs|
|Peralta's stuff picked up in 2012 as once 88-92 mph fastball now sits 92-94. He pairs that with a slider that shows flashes of being a plus pitch. Held RHB to .613 OPS in 2012, which may help in likely move to bullpen if he's going to stick.|
|15||Phillies||Ender Inciarte, of
|Potential backup outfielder runs well enough and plays good enough defense to possibly stick as a useful pinch-runner/defensive replacement. The lefthanded hitter doesn't have much pop, will be overmatched at the plate.|
|17||White Sox||Angel Sanchez, ss
|Former big leaguer could be an inexpensive utilityman. With 568 big league games, is a known quantity as an adequate glove that can play multiple positions. His bat showed some improvement in 2012 at Triple-A Oklahoma City.|
|23||Orioles||T.J. McFarland, lhp||Indians|
|Touch and feel lefthander has more stuff than most crafty lefties. He normally sits 88-90, but can touch a 92 at times, and he knows how to get the ball to sink or run. McFarland lacks a plus pitch, but might throw enough strikes to survive.|
|24||Rangers||Coty Woods, rhp||Rockies|
|Low-angle reliever can be tough on righthanders in part because he throws a little harder (88-92) than the average sidearmer. Dominated Double-A but fell apart after promotion to Triple-A in 2012. Decent changeup means he's not helpless against lefthanders.|
|1||Astros||Nate Freiman, 1b
|A 6-foot-7 first baseman with big power, Freiman ranked third in the Texas League with 24 home runs in 2012. A star for Team Israel in World Baseball Classic, scouts are concerned that Freiman struggles to catch up to premium velocity.|
|6||Marlins||Brauilo Lara, lhp||Rays|
|Lara has a lean, athletic build that produces a mid-90s fastball and a hard, downer curveball. He went 6-10, 5.71 in high Class A in 2012 so while the stuff is excellent, he's a long ways from being ready to help a big league club.
|1||Astros||Michael Burgess, of||Nationals|
|Once traded for Tom Gorzelanny, big power hasn't played in high minors|
|4||Twins||Mark Sobolewski, 3b||Blue Jays|
|Best defensive 3B in Eastern Lge smacked 20 HR & reached Triple-A|
|6||Marlins||Tyler Kehrer, lhp||Angels|
|Supp pick in 2009 struggles to find zone but strikes out his share of LHB|
|7||Red Sox||Jack McGeary, lhp||Nationals|
|Boston native has pitched 64 IP in three years in between injuries|
|9||Blue Jays||Sawyer Carroll, of||Padres|
|Physical lefty bat offers some on-base skills, some pop; good minors corner man|
|11||Mariners||Eric Farris, 2b||Brewers|
|Brewers 2007 4th-rd drafted by Jack Zduriencik; Good 2B glove, above-avg speed|
|12||Padres||Diego Goris, 3b||Royals|
|Part of Yamacio Navarro deal; more pop than average INF but swings at everything|
|13||Pirates||Ethan Hollingsworth, rhp||Royals|
|Four-pitch mix, sits 90-92 mph, but not many swings and misses; twice-traded|
|15||Phillies||Brendan Lafferty, lhp||Royals|
|Hard-throwing LHP hits 95 mph & secondary stuff is OK; needs to throw more strikes|
|18||Dodgers||Elevys Gonzalez, 3b||Pirates|
|Hit .206 in down year, but switch-hits, plays 3B & 2B, sprays ball around|
|19||Cardinals||Matt Cerda, 3b||Cubs|
|2008 fourth-rounder owns career .371 OBP in minors; 5-9, LHH pest|
|20||Tigers||Eliezer Mesa, of||Athletics|
|Plus range & wheels, went 25-for-29 in SB. Once part of deal for Mark Ellis.|
|21||Angels||Robert Widlansky, of
|Ranked near top of Eastern Lge with .404 OBP, .316 AVG, 35 2B, 64 BB|
|23||Orioles||Tom Boleska, rhp||Twins|
|Gaudy 11.3 SO/9, 5.3 SO/BB in indy American Assoc.; signed by Twins in Oct.|
|24||Rangers||Marquez Smith, 3b||Reds|
|Split 2012 between Mexican Lge & Double-A Portland; nice glove at 3B|
|25||Athletics||Tommy Mendonca, 3b||Giants|
|Known for power coming out Fresno State, 2009 2nd-rounder slugged just .367 this season|
|26||Giants||Scott Shuman, rhp||Rays|
|Pitches at 93-95 mph with power slider. Tough look for RHB (36 SO% at Double-A)|
|29||Reds||Ryan Dennick, lhp||Royals|
|Former Tennessee Tech ace has seen stuff pick up as pro; good swingman candidate|
|TRIPLE-A PHASE, ROUND 2|
|1||Astros||Cameron Lamb, rhp||Giants|
|Aussie has yet to pitch in full-season ball, but coming off solid season in Northwest Lge|
|7||Red Sox||Jon Bachanov, rhp||White Sox|
|2007 supp pick signed by then-Angels, now-Red Sox scout Tom Kotchman|
|9||Blue Jays||Alvido Jimenez, rhp||Cubs|
|Stout righthander has spent last three seasons in AZL, yet to pitch above there|
|12||Padres||Federico Castaneda, rhp||Royals|
|Mexican Lge vet pitching well in winter ball, features 91-93 mph fastball|
|18||Dodgers||Hector Nelo, rhp||Nationals|
|Double-plus fastball bumps 96 mph. Allowed .229 AVG, 1.8 G/F in Double-A|
|19||Cardinals||Jay Voss, lhp||Tigers|
|Missed most of 2012 after TJ surgery; Fringy stuff, good control when healthy|
|25||Athletics||Steve Hill, c||Cardinals|
|A catcher early in career, playing corner INF and OF lately; has MLB experience|
|29||Reds||Michael Gilmartin, ss||Athletics|
|Fringy defender with avg arm; one of 10 players in Cal Lge with 400+ PA, sub-.700 OPS|
|TRIPLE-A PHASE, ROUND 3|
|9||Blue Jays||Efrain Nieves, lhp||Tigers|
|Brewers 7th-rounder out of P.R. in 2007, Nieves has just 63 IP above low Class A|
NASHVILLE—A relatively placid day during the Winter Meetings on Wednesday gives way to what should be a much more active Thursday.
Most fans are hoping for a free-agent signing by their team or to be involved in a trade involving Justin Upton. The only guaranteed activity is Thursday's Rule 5 draft, which starts at 9 a.m. Central time at the Opryland Hotel's Delta Ballroom A.
Scouts and front-office officials contacted throughout the week here do expect it to be a fairly active Rule 5 draft by recent standards, especially compared to last year. The 2011 draft saw just 12 players picked, the fewest since 2005. [...] Continue Reading »
After an unprecedented fall of qualifying tournaments from Taiwan to North America to Germany, the third edition of the World Baseball Classic has set its 16-team field.
The first-round pools will be round-robin play, with the two top records moving on to a modified double-elimination second round that will be played in Japan and Miami. Two teams from each second-round pool will move to the final four in San Francisco, where the semifinals and finals will be played March 17-19 in San Francisco.
Baseball’s biggest international tournament also announced 32 core players who have committed to appear in the WBC, including 21 current and former major leaguers. That group includes Team USA’s Joe Mauer and David Wright; Venezuela’s Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, and World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval; Puerto Rico’s Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina; Team Canada’s Brett Lawrie and Justin Morneau; Netherlands outfielders Roger Bernadina and Andruw Jones; Mexico’s first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and lefthander Jaime Garcia; Italian-American righthander Jason Grilli and Italy’s first homegrown big leaguer, Alex Liddi; and Dominican Republic middle infielders Robinson Cano and Jose Reyes.
The selection of rosters going forward involves nations working with major league clubs, players and agents to find players willing to play games that matter in March. MLB does work with national governing bodies to help them secure players, but it’s up to individual players to decide which country to play for if they have more than one option, such as Gonzalez (who will play for Mexico again) or Giancarlo Stanton, who was born in the U.S. but could play for Puerto Rico. Also, no major league organization can have more than 15 players involved in the Classic. [...] Continue Reading »
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