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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Red Sox Claim Juan Francisco

“We don’t need a DH because we have Dioner Navarro,” said no Juan ever.

The Red Sox have claimed Juan Francisco off waivers from the Blue Jays, Boston announced today…

Francisco is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to take home a $2.2MM payday through arbitration… Last year, Francisco posted a fairly typical .220/.291/.456 slash over 320 plate appearances for the Jays, swatting 16 home runs in the process.

The District Attorney Posted: November 19, 2014 at 06:19 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: juan francisco, red sox, transactions

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Athletics To Sign Billy Butler

Will fans end up celebrating, or Grieve-ing?

The Athletics have agreed to a three-year, $30MM deal with free agent DH Billy Butler, as first reported via Twitter by Robert Murray. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that the deal is finalized.

The District Attorney Posted: November 18, 2014 at 11:53 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy butler, free agents, transactions

White Sox To Sign Zach Duke

The White Sox will announce the signing of left-handed reliever Zach Duke later today, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (Twitter link)...

Duke quietly had a dominant season in the Brewers’ bullpen in 2014, pitching to an electric 2.45 ERA with 11.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 57.7 percent ground-ball rate. Opposing lefties hit just .198/.267/.302 against Duke last year, though righties couldn’t figure him out either, mustering a mere .242/.288/.298 against the well-traveled lefty… With Milwaukee, Duke’s velocity stepped up a tick to an average of 89.7 mph, and he began to throw more sliders and more curveballs at the expense of his changeup and four-seam fastball. With the Brewers, he relied primarily on a two-seamer, his slider and his curve, and he also dropped his arm slot to feature more of a sidearm delivery…

Duke’s contract is a multi-year deal, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

The District Attorney Posted: November 18, 2014 at 01:58 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, transactions, white sox, zach duke

Monday, November 17, 2014

Braves, Cardinals Trade Jason Heyward For Shelby Miller

Must have been disappointed in Heyward’s MVP showing.

The Cardinals have acquired right fielder Jason Heyward and right-hander Jordan Walden from the Braves in exchange for righty Shelby Miller and pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins, the teams announced.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cubs Acquire Tommy La Stella

This is a super-weird one in terms of team strengths and weaknesses, if nothing else.

The Cubs have announced they have acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Braves for right-hander Arodys Vizcaino. The two teams also swapped international bonus slots: the Cubs receiving the Braves’ number four international signing bonus slot in exchange for their slot numbers two, three and four.

The District Attorney Posted: November 16, 2014 at 05:45 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: arodys vizcaino, braves, cubs, tommy la stella, trades, transactions

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pirates Sign A.J. Burnett

A.J. was really terrible last year. He apparently loves Pittsburgh, and probably shouldn’t have left in the first place, especially since he seems to prioritize other things above money: constantly threatening to retire, and indeed taking less money to make this move. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in his preferred destination.

The Pirates announced that they have signed right-hander A.J. Burnett to a one-year deal. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Frontline Athlete Management client will receive an $8.5MM guarantee (Twitter link)...

Burnett turned down a guaranteed $12.75MM from the Phils to take $4.25MM less and return to Pittsburgh… After posting a combined 3.41 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 393 1/3 innings as a Pirate, Burnett struggled in Philadelphia, posting a 4.59 ERA in 213 2/3 innings. Burnett’s walk rate spiked while his ground-ball and strikeout rates dipped, resulting in the inflated ERA and an NL-worst 18 losses (though the Phillies’ poor team performance obviously impacted that last number). Burnett pitched the entire season with a hernia that required offseason surgery — another likely factor in his 2014 struggles.

The District Attorney Posted: November 15, 2014 at 03:43 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. burnett, free agents, pirates, transactions

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Phillies Sign Francoeur, Seven Others To Minor-League Deals

I’d totally love to run all these signings out as a 1962-style expansion team.

The Phillies have announced the signings of eight players to minor league deals with spring training invites…

Infielder Andres Blanco
Outfielder Brian Bogusevic
Infielder/outfielder Russ Canzler
Infielder/outfielder Chase d’Arnaud
Outfielder Jeff Francoeur
Catcher John Hester
Outfielder Darin Mastroianni
Outfielder Xavier Paul…

Francoeur, of course, is a former top prospect and long-time starter who spent time both playing in the outfield and pitching last year in the Padres organization.


Blue Jays, Tigers Swap Anthony Gose, Devon Travis

Is “Devon Travis” the most soap opera-y name since “Blake Hawksworth”?

Wait, there aren’t soap operas anymore, are there.

The Blue Jays announced that they have acquired second base prospect Devon Travis from the Tigers in exchange for center fielder Anthony Gose…

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski tells Lynn Henning of the Detroit News (Twitter link) that Gose will play center field regularly for the Tigers if all goes according to plan. The fleet-footed Gose is known to be an outstanding defender with a questionable bat, though he carried a fair amount of hype upon reaching the Majors in 2012, as he’d previously ranked as a Top 100 prospect according to Baseball America, MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus and ESPN.

Gose hasn’t hit much in his time in the bigs, compiling a .234/.301/.332 batting line with five homers and 34 steals (in 45 tries) over 616 plate appearances. However, Gose is still just 24 years of age… He’s under team control through the 2019 season and won’t be eligible for arbitration until at least the 2016-17 offseason…

Baseball America ranked Travis as the game’s No. 84 prospect heading into the 2014 season and just today ranked him as the No. 1 prospect in Detroit’s minor league system (though ESPN’s Keith Law still tweets that he considers Travis a “non-prospect)... The 23-year-old appeared in 100 games at Double-A Erie in 2014, batting .298/.358/.460 with 10 homers in 441 plate appearances.

The District Attorney Posted: November 13, 2014 at 01:34 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony gose, blue jays, devon travis, tigers, trades, transactions

Pirates Acquire Francisco Cervelli For Justin Wilson

Finally a regular gig for Frankie Brains?

Another Yankees catcher is on his way to Pittsburgh, as Francisco Cervelli has been acquired by the Pirates in exchange for lefty reliever Justin Wilson, the teams announced tonight…

The Pirates are getting a catcher who has performed well in limited recent action. Unfortunate injuries — a foul tip and collision followed by a hamstring strain — cut Cervelli short in each of the last three years, holding him to just 225 plate appearances. But he does own a .291/.373/.447 slash in that stretch, and could be a solid piece if he can stay on the field. Because of his limited ability to rack up statistics, Cervelli is projected by MLBTR/Matt Swartz to earn only $1.1MM next year.

Wilson, meanwhile, is just 27 and is still a year shy of arbitration eligibility. He took a step back last year in terms of ERA, though metrics like FIP felt he was just as good in 2014 as he was in 2013; both place him in the mid-3 earned run range. On the whole, over the last two years Wilson owns a 3.03 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 over 138 1/3 frames.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tigers Close To Re-Signing Victor Martinez

Shop smart…

The Tigers are close to a four-year deal with Victor Martinez, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link)... Re-signing Martinez was said to be Detroit’s top priority this offseason, despite the potential loss of other key free agents Max Scherzer and Torii Hunter. The 35-year-old Martinez enjoyed perhaps the finest offensive season of his 12-year career in 2014, slashing .335/.409/.565 with a career-high 32 homers. He led the league in both on-base percentage and OPS…

The new contract will guarantee Martinez roughly $70MM over its four-year term, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (Spanish link).

The District Attorney Posted: November 12, 2014 at 06:00 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, tigers, transactions, victor martinez

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mets Sign Michael Cuddyer

Apparently Cuddyer wasn’t too nuts about Colorado… and is confident he’ll be awful in 2015!

The Mets announced that they have signed free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year contract.

Cuddyer, a client of Excel Sports Management’s Casey Close, was the surprise recipient of a qualifying offer last week that caused many to believe that he would be the first to accept the offer. However, Colorado’s decision to extend the QO appears to have been a wise one, as they’ll now net a draft pick at the end of next year’s first round for their loss. The Mets, on the other hand, will forfeit the 15th pick in next year’s draft in order to bring Cuddyer to Queens…

Cuddyer’s contract is a two-year, $21MM pact, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that he’ll earn $8.5MM in 2015 and $12.5MM in 2016. Essentially, by turning down the qualifying offer, Cuddyer guaranteed himself an additional $5.7MM and a second year.

The District Attorney Posted: November 10, 2014 at 05:40 PM | 167 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mets, michael cuddyer, rockies, transactions

Friday, November 07, 2014

Minor League Free Agents 2014

Twelve players selected in the first three rounds of the 2008 draft are free for the first time to seek an opportunity with a new organization, including first-rounder Kyle Skipworth (Marlins), supplemental picks Zach Collier (Phillies) and Jeremy Bleich (Yankees), second-rounders Xavier Avery (Orioles), Destin Hood (Nationals), Kenny Wilson (Blue Jays) and Derrik Gibson (Red Sox); and third-rounders Zach Stewart (Reds), Stephen Fife (Red Sox), Kevin Eichhorn (Diamondbacks), Ryan Chaffee (Angels) and Ross Seaton (Astros).

Among those available:

RHP/LHP: Pat Venditte (AAA)

JJ1986 Posted: November 07, 2014 at 09:24 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, transactions

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Brewers, Blue Jays Swap Adam Lind, Marco Estrada

The Cheesehead Nightingale?

The Brewers have acquired 1B/OF Adam Lind from the Blue Jays, possibly pending physicals, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets. SportsNet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith initially reported the two sides were close to a deal. The Jays will receive righty Marco Estrada in return, Andrew Walker of Sports590.ca tweets.

The Blue Jays exercised Lind’s $7.5MM option on Lind earlier today, and Lind’s contract also includes a 2016 option for $8MM, or a $500K buyout… Lind hit .321/.381/.479 in 290 plate appearances this season, but the Jays’ acquisition of another lefty first baseman, Justin Smoak, last week was a possible indication that they were planning for Lind’s departure…

Estrada posted a 4.36 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 for the Brewers in 2014. He’s entering his last season of arbitration eligibility (in which he’s projected to make $4.7MM) before he can become a free agent… The Blue Jays currently appear mostly set in their rotation, particularly after picking up J.A. Happ‘s option last night, so Estrada could be ticketed for the bullpen.

The District Attorney Posted: November 01, 2014 at 02:27 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: adam lind, blue jays, brewers, marco estrada, trades, transactions

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blue Jays Acquire Mayberry Jr.

Grady Sizemore, Dom Brown, Darin Ruf, they’ve talked about moving Cody Asche out there… the Phillies just couldn’t keep all these great left fielders around.

The Blue Jays have acquired outfielder John Mayberry Jr. from the Phillies. Philadelphia announced the move via Twitter. The Phillies received infielder Gustavo Pierre in return.

The District Attorney Posted: August 31, 2014 at 09:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: gustavo pierre, john mayberry jr., trades, transactions

Brewers Acquire Jonathan Broxton

I always thought Broxton was pretty Turnbow-y. But he does lead the Reds in games pitched and has a 1.86 ERA, so maybe I’m wrong. (3.52 FIP)

The Reds have traded right-hander Jonathan Broxton to the Brewers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

The District Attorney Posted: August 31, 2014 at 01:36 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, jonathan broxton, reds, trades, transactions

Athletics Acquire Adam Dunn

Woulda fit in better with the John Jaha/Matt Stairs crew, but oh well. Cue various “never been to the postseason” lists.

The A’s have acquired Adam Dunn from the White Sox in exchange for minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn, the team announced. Though the A’s were on his limited no-trade clause, word broke this morning that Dunn, who has never played in the postseason, was willing to waive that clause in order for a chance to win.

Dunn, 34, is hitting .220/.340/.433 with 20 homers on the season… The hope for the A’s is that adding some left-handed pop can help to spark an offense that has gone dormant in the month of August… John Jaso has served as Oakland’s left-handed DH quite a bit this season, but the A’s recently placed Jaso on the seven-day disabled list due to concussion-like symptoms, and they’ve been mixing and matching with Brandon Moss, Coco Crisp, Derek Norris and Gomes of late. Crisp, however, has recently re-strained his neck, which could lead to more outfield time for Moss, especially if Crisp is out for a significant amount of time.

Dunn is in the final season of a four-year, $56MM pact with the White Sox, meaning he is owed about $2.54MM for the month of September.

The District Attorney Posted: August 31, 2014 at 11:42 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: adam dunn, athletics, trades, transactions, white sox

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Orioles Acquire Kelly Johnson

Needs to go to Tampa and Toronto and complete the circuit. By the end of the day tomorrow, I mean. He’s played for them already.

The Orioles have announced that they’ve acquired infielders Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar from the Red Sox for infielders Jemile Weeks and Ivan De Jesus…

Johnson… [has] hit .212/.290/.354 for the season. With the Orioles, he’ll likely play mostly at third base in the wake of the team’s loss of Manny Machado for the rest of the season.

The Orioles selected Almanzar from the Red Sox in the Rule 5 Draft last offseason, but returned him in early July. Since then, he’s hit .280/.360/.427 in 186 plate appearances for Double-A Portland.

The District Attorney Posted: August 30, 2014 at 10:36 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: kelly johnson, orioles, red sox, trades, transactions

Orioles Acquire Alejandro De Aza

A “why not?” deal for the O’s.

The Orioles have announced that they’ve acquired left-handed outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the White Sox for minor league pitchers Miguel Chalas and Mark Blackmar. De Aza, 30, has hit .246/.312/.358 this season… He’s making $4.25MM this season in his second year of arbitration, and he can become eligible for free agency after 2015.

The Orioles already have a strong starting outfield of Nelson Cruz, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, but they can surely use De Aza as a backup…

Chalas, 22, has pitched most of the season with Class A+ Frederick, where he posted a 4.80 ERA, 6.4 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 69 1/3 innings of relief… Blackmar, also 22, has pitched 130 1/3 innings for Frederick, with a 3.18 ERA, 5.7 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9, pitching mostly has a starter. MLB.com does not rank either of them in its list of the top 20 Orioles prospects.


Royals designate Bruce Chen for assignment

Needs to go to Miami and complete the circuit.

The Royals have designated pitcher Bruce Chen for assignment and recalled reliever Louis Coleman from Triple-A Omaha, per the team’s Twitter account.

Chen allowed six runs in an inning of work in the Royals’ 10-inning, 11-5 loss to the Twins on Thursday. The 37-year-old lefty has had a miserable season, sporting a 7.45 ERA with a 36/16 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings. Chen has been with the Royals since 2009.

The District Attorney Posted: August 30, 2014 at 06:17 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bruce chen, royals, transactions

Friday, August 29, 2014

Indians Sign Russell Branyan

Outman out, Strikeoutman in!

The Indians announced (Twitter link) that they have signed veteran corner infielder Russell Branyan to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus.

The former big league slugger has spent the 2014 season with los Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League and has slashed a robust .296/.423/.620 with 19 home runs in 272 plate appearances. However, he hasn’t been in affiliated ball since 2012 and last saw the Majors in 2011… Branyan, now 38 years of age, has seen the Majors in parts of 14 different seasons between the Indians, Brewers, Padres, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Rays, Phillies, Cardinals and Angels. He’s a lifetime .232/.329/.485 hitter with 194 homers, including a career-high 31 back in 2009 with Seattle.

The District Attorney Posted: August 29, 2014 at 06:42 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, russell branyan, transactions

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yankees To Sign Chris Young

Met mojo… Yankee mojo… we know how this turns out, right?

The Yankees have agreed to terms with outfielder Chris Young on a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter)...

after signing a one-year, $7.25MM contract… The former Diamondback batted just .205/.283/.346 in 287 plate appearances with the Mets before being designated for assignment and ultimately released earlier this month…

With Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury locked into left and center field, respectively, Young could potentially join a right field mix that includes Ichiro Suzuki, Martin Prado, Zelous Wheeler and Carlos Beltran if added to the roster.

The District Attorney Posted: August 27, 2014 at 06:48 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: chris b. young, transactions, yankees

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Athletics Acquire Geovany Soto

TIL Geovany Soto has played okay at times in the past six years.

The Athletics have acquired catcher Geovany Soto from the Rangers, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets, confirming a tweet from Mark Madson. The Rangers will receive cash considerations for Soto, Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan tweets... Soto is making $3.05MM and will be a free agent this winter.

The Athletics already have two good catchers in Derek Norris and John Jaso on their active roster, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Jaso has recently experienced worsening concussion symptoms and will likely need a stay on the disabled list. And as ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets, Stephen Vogt, another catcher on the active roster, is currently dealing with a foot issue that makes catching difficult.

The District Attorney Posted: August 24, 2014 at 05:01 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, geovany soto, rangers, trades, transactions

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to sign with the Red Sox for $72 million

And he’s eligible for the playoff roster!

We’ve been following the derby to sign Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo. Now it looks like the Red Sox have won the derby:

Jesse Sanchez     @JesseSanchezMLB

Source: Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo on track for record-setting 6-year, $72 million deal with #RedSox. Check MLB.com

That’s a lot more than Yasiel Puig got ($42 million), and Puig was considered Castillo’s closest comp… Castillo, 27, is said to have plus speed and should be ready to debut with the Red Sox early next season.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Angels Acquire Gordon Beckham

Can he pitch?

The Angels announced that they have acquired second baseman Gordon Beckham from the White Sox in exchange for a player to be named later and cash considerations.

Beckham, 27, has struggled this season with the White Sox, hitting just .221/.263/.336 in 390 plate appearances.. he is a lifetime .244/.306/.374 batter…

Beckham will bring some degree defensive versatility to the Angels, and Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register tweets that he will come off the bench… Defensive metrics such as Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved have pegged Beckham’s glove as roughly average over the past four seasons.

The District Attorney Posted: August 21, 2014 at 05:50 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, trades, transactions, white sox

Monday, August 18, 2014

Speier: Red Sox send down Jackie Bradley Jr., call up Mookie Betts

Jackie 0-for-35…

The Red Sox announced that they have optioned Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket and called up Mookie Betts from the PawSox. Bradley has struggled to get his head above water offensively this year, hitting .216 with a .288 OBP and .290 slugging mark in 112 games… In 45 games in Pawtucket, [Betts is] hitting .335/.417/.503…

In sending Bradley down now, it’s possible that the Sox could allow him to catch his breath in Triple-A before returning to the roster in September. If that happens, then by virtue of a minor league assignment of fewer than 20 days, the team would not have used one of his two remaining options through this late-season demotion.

The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 03:17 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: jackie bradley, jr., mookie betts, red sox, transactions

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