Major League Baseball declared the following 549 players minor league free agents on Nov. 3, five days after the conclusion of the World Series. All players' minor league contracts expired after the 2012 season and they failed to reach an agreement with their current organizations for 2013.
Nov. 22 update: The Minor League Free Agent Tracker returns for its second season. This time readers can view positions played, Prospect Handbook appearances and Best Tools nods via dropdowns.
RHP: Jonathan Albaladejo (AAA), Daniel Cabrera (AAA), Mike DeMark (AAA), Jensen Lewis (AAA), Yonata Ortega (AA), Brett Tomko (AAA)
C: Ryan Budde (AAA)
1B: Ryan Strieby (AAA)
3B: Josh Bell (AAA), Matt Mangini (AA)
SS: Wladimir Sutil (AAA)
OF: Irfran Becerra (R), Tyler Graham (AAA)
RHP: Buddy Carlyle (AAA), Erik Cordier (AAA)
LHP: Dusty Hughes (AAA), Brent Leach (AA)
C: J.C. Boscan (AAA), Shawn McGill (AAA), Jose Yepez (AAA)
1B: Ian Gac (AA)
2B: Rusty Ryal (AAA), Bobby Stevens (AA)
3B: Ruben Gotay (AAA), Terry Tiffee (AAA)
SS: Jason Christian (AA), Josh Wilson (AAA)
OF: Luis Durango (AAA), Stefan Gartrell (AAA), Josh Kroeger (AAA), Felix Pie (AAA), Tim Smith (AA) [...] Continue Reading »
The Tigers left fielder in Game Two of the American League Championship Series led off the seventh inning and struck one of the game's critical hits. He drove a pitch from the Yankees' Hiroki Kuroda to deep center field for a double. He then scored on a Delmon Young groundout three batters later, breaking a scoreless tie. Detroit went on to win the game 3-0.
Little more than three hours later, in Game One of the National League Championship Series, the Giants left fielder cut San Francisco's deficit in half with a fourth-inning triple to right-center field off Cardinals starter Lance Lynn. His extra-base hit plated two runs, and he came around to score when the next batter, Brandon Crawford, doubled. The Giants bullpen held St. Louis scoreless for the final five innings, but the damage had been done and San Fran lost the game 6-4.
While the events outlined above appear commonplace, the identity of the rally-starters may surprise. Our two heroes from Oct. 14 turned out to be Quintin Berry (Tigers) and Gregor Blanco (Giants), a pair of players signed as minor league free agents last offseason.
Even the Yankees haven't been immune from turning to a minor league free agent import for help. Jayson Nix started at least 10 games at third base, shortstop and second base during the regular season, only to be pushed into service as everyday shortstop during the ALCS after Derek Jeter fractured his ankle in Game One. [...] Continue Reading »
Major League Baseball granted free agency to 537 minor league players on Nov. 2, five days after Game Seven of the World Series heralded the end of the 2011 season. The number of players in this year's free agent class is consistent with totals from 2010 (533 players) and ’09 (536). You can find past free agent classes archived on our blog.
Update: Sort all 600-plus free agents by position, organization or level with out new Minor League Free Agent Tracker. (Nov. 7)
Typically, MLB deems a minor league player a free agent if one of two conditions is met. (A minor league player is one not on a 40-man roster.) In many cases, his initial signing team simply has used all six of its contract renewals. We can illustrate this concept using the example of Orioles 2005 third-rounder Brandon Erbe, who signed weeks after that draft. Baltimore exercised contract renewals for Erbe for the maximum of six years—for the 2006, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10 and ’11 seasons. To retain him for 2012 they would have had to add him to the 40-man roster—or in his case re-add him to the roster.
In other cases, a player's one-year minor league contract, signed either during the 2011 season or in the offseason, has expired. These players are no longer bound to their signing organization with contract renewals. They simply go year to year on one-year pacts. To cite examples, the Nationals signed veterans Matt Antonelli and Michael Aubrey to such deals last offseason.
New this year, BA subscribers can track players' career transactions and statistics by using our spiffed-up Player Finder pages.
Arizona Diamondbacks (16)
RHP: Gaby Hernandez (AAA), Kyler Newby (AAA), Brian Stokes (AAA), Jason Urquidez (AAA)
LHP: Clay Zavada (AA)
C: Josh Ford (AA), Robby Hammock (AAA), Lucas May (AAA), Mark Reed (Hi A)
1B: Juan Miranda (AAA), Andy Tracy (AAA)
2B: Tony Abreu (AAA)
SS: Angel Berroa (AAA), Ed Rogers (AAA)
OF: Jon Mark Owings (Hi A), Michael Restovich (AAA)
Atlanta Braves (18)
RHP: Mike Broadway (AA), Yeliar Castro (AA), Kenshin Kawakami (AA), Stephen Marek (AAA), Steven Shell (AAA)
C: Wilkin Castillo (AAA)
1B: Mauro Gomez (AAA), Nick Lobanov (R)
2B: Ruben Gotay (AAA)
3B: Shawn Bowman (AA), Diory Hernandez (AAA), Dan Nelson (AAA)
SS: Ed Lucas (AA)
OF: Chris Carter (AAA), Jeff Fiorentino (AAA), Antoan Richardson (AAA), Geraldo Rodriguez (Hi A), Matt Young (AAA) [...] Continue Reading »
Major league free agents hit the open market at midnight on Nov. 6, five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Baseball America readers know that this date also ushers in the minor league free agency period. The number of MiLB free agents has declined steadily in the past four years, falling from 602 in 2007 to 561 in ’08 to 536 in ’09 to 533 this season.
Any player who was not on a 40-man roster on Nov. 6 qualified for free agency if he had accumulated at least six years of service time (minors and majors inclusive) while still bound by his first uniform minor league player contract. That contract is broken if the player is released or granted free agency by other means before he logs six years. [Update: Teams also can re-sign players to minor league deals prior to Nov. 6 to prevent them from joining the free agent ranks. This is what we've seen in the past few installments of Minor League Transactions. ME.]
Nine free agents spent the entire season (equal to 152 days) on the disabled list. They’re denoted with a double plus sign (++). Players with a single plus sign (+) spent at least half the season (76 games) on the DL. Alfredo Amezaga (four plate appearances) and Clay Zavada (three innings) effectively missed the entire year.
Notes and explanations follow the team-by-team listings.
Arizona Diamondbacks (11)
RHP: T.J. Beam (AAA), Jose Marte (AAA), Kasey Olenberger (AAA), Leo Rosales (AAA)
LHP: Clay Zavada+ (AAA)
C: Carlos Corporan (AAA)
1B: Jeff Bailey (AAA)
SS: Ed Rogers (AAA)
OF: Doug Deeds (AAA), Drew Macias (AAA), Byron Wiley (Hi A)
Atlanta Braves (10)
RHP: James Parr+ (AAA)
LHP: Mariano Gomez (AAA)
C: Orlando Mercado (AAA), Clint Sammons (AAA)
2B: Joe Thurston (AAA)
3B: Christian Colonel (AA), Eric Duncan (AA), Wes Timmons (AAA)
SS: Luis Bolivar (AAA)
OF: Mike Daniel (AA) [...] Continue Reading »
The World Baseball Classic last spring pushed back Opening Day and, consequently, the World Series, which finally concluded with a Game Six on Nov. 4. It also delayed the free agent filing dates for both major and minor league players. Major League Baseball granted free agency on Nov. 9 to 536 minor league players, i.e. those not included on 40-man rosters. We have them all here, listed by organization. Access past lists in our MiLB Free Agents archive.
• We’ve included the classification at which the player finished the season: Triple-A (AAA), Double-A (AA), high Class A (Hi A), low Class A (Lo A), short-season (SS) and Rookie ball (R) and the Dominican Summer League (DSL).
• Twelve players here spent the entire season (equal to 153 days) on the disabled list—they’re denoted with a double plus sign (++). Among them, three players (Chris Capuano, Mike Rabelo, Oswaldo Sosa) technically did play in 2009, but they did so in Rookie ball while on rehab assignments, which did not require them to leave the DL.
• Players with a single plus sign (+) spent more than half the season (77 days or more) on the DL. Shane Costa (2 PA), John Ennis (1/3 IP), Devern Hansack (1 IP) and Donnie Murphy (10 PA) all effectively missed the entire season with injuries.
• Free agents by classification: Triple-A, 59.7 percent; Double-A, 26.7 percent; high Class A, 8.2 percent; low Class A, 2 percent. The 18 players in short-season ball constitute 3.4 percent of the pool.
• The Dodgers had 34 free agents, the highest total here; the Cardinals had just seven.
Arizona Diamondbacks (15)
RHP: Scott Dohmann (AAA), Seth Etherton (AAA), Bobby Korecky (AAA), Ramon Sanchez (Hi A)
LHP: Jon Coutlangus+ (AAA)
C: Orlando Mercado (AA), Matt Tupman (AA)
2B: Guillermo Reyes (AA)
3B: Ruben Gotay (AAA), Agustin Murillo (AAA)
SS: Abraham Nunez (AAA), Ed Rogers (AAA)
OF: Trent Oeltjen (AAA), Chris Roberson (AAA), Brandon Watson (AAA)
Atlanta Braves (12)
RHP: Bobby Brownlie (AA), Jerome Gamble (AA), Moises Hernandez+ (Hi A), Lance Niekro (R)
LHP: Mariano Gomez (AAA), Juan Perez (AAA)
C: Jose Camarena (AA), Alvin Colina (AAA)
1B: Ernesto Mejia+ (AA)
2B: Chris Burke (AAA), Antonio Perez (AA)
3B: Kody Kirkland (AA) [...] Continue Reading »
A total of 561 minor league players were declared free agents on Nov. 6. Major League Baseball and the players' union negotiated a later minor league free agency declaration date as part of the 2006 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Prior to that, minor leaguers entered the free agent market about two weeks before the big leaguers, on or about Oct. 15. Now both groups are free to sign with teams at roughly the same time.
In addition to our usual detailed coverage, we have two new features to this year's free agents list. First, we have included the last minor league classification with which each organization had each player assigned. And second, we have denoted with an asterisk (*) players who spent the entire season on the disabled list.
In case you're wondering, Triple-A players constitute 56.7 percent of the players on this list, while Double-A players make up 25.5 percent. A-ball (11.6 percent) and short-season (6.2 percent) players make up the rest of the free agent pool.
Arizona Diamondbacks (9)
RHP: Emiliano Fruto (AAA), Brandon Medders (AAA)
C: Phil Avlas (AAA), Matt Morgan (AAA)
2B: Don Kelly (AAA), Guillermo Reyes (AA)
SS: Jesus Merchan (AAA)
OF: Javier Brito (AAA), Tim Raines Jr. (AAA)
Atlanta Braves (16)
RHP: Paul Bush (AA), Brian Lawrence (AAA), Gonzalo Lopez (Hi A), Ferdin Tejeda (Hi A)
LHP: Bryan Dumesnil (AA), Damian Moss (AAA), Royce Ring (AAA), Carlos Rivas (Hi A), Jonathon Rouwenhorst (AAA), Carlos Sencion (AA)
C: Jason Phillips (AAA), Ray Serrano (AAA)
1B: Scott Thorman (AAA)
3B: Enrique Cruz (AAA), Wes Timmons (AAA)
SS: Javier Guzman (AA) [...] Continue Reading »
The release of this year’s minor league free agents list got us to thinking: Could a team comprised only of those same free minor leaguers compete even with MLB’s worst teams?
Six big league teams—the Devil Rays, Pirates, Royals, Orioles, Marlins and Giants—finished with winning percentages below .440, meaning a 72-90 record would push the minor league free agent (MiLB FA) team to the top of the heap.
I’ve selected the team with which I’d battle Florida and San Francisco for second-division supremacy. Because they’re closer to the majors, Triple-A players, only, were considered, as were all players granted free agency after being designated for assignment and refusing that assignment. More than 600 players were available, but I settled on these 25:
C Mark Johnson
2007 Team: Tucson (Diamondbacks). Age: 31. Bats: Left.
Draft Status: Selected by White Sox in 1st round (26th pick) of 1994 draft from Warner Robins (Ga.) HS.
Peak Prospect Ranking: No. 4 on 1999 White Sox list.
C Justin Knoedler
2007 Team: Fresno (Giants). Age: 26. Bats: Right.
Draft Status: Selected by Giants in 5th round of 2001 draft from Miami (Ohio).
Peak Prospect Ranking: No. 16 on 2005 Giants list.
Johnson and Knoedler provide a natural platoon situation, though both fared well against same-side pitching in 2007. You may remember Johnson as the prospect who led the Carolina and Southern leagues in both walks and on-base percentage in successive years, 1997 and 1998, topping 100 free passes each year with .420 and .443 OBP marks. Knoedler was drafted as a pitcher—he caught in college, too—and the Giants quickly moved him behind the plate for his second season. [...] Continue Reading »
The following 602 players were declared free agents following the 2007 season, as provided by Major League Baseball. Last year's list is here.
Arizona Diamondbacks (12)
Righthanders: Jeff Bajenaru, D.J. Carrasco, Chad Harville, Donald Julio, Mike Schultz
Lefthander: Hipolito Guerrero
Catcher: Mark Johnson
Third baseman: Mayo Santana
Shortstops: Matt Erickson, Ronnie Merrill
Outfielders: Jarred Ball, Rich Thompson
Atlanta Braves (15)
Righthanders: Ryan Baerlocher, Buddy Hernandez, Trey Hodges, Jose Santiago, Wes Wilkerson
Lefthander: Rheal Cormier
Catchers: Iker Franco, Fernando Lunar, Carlos Mendez, Corky Miller, Ray Serrano
Outfielders: Larry Bigbie, Josh Burrus, Doug Clark, J.D. Roberts [...] Continue Reading »
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