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Thread: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

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    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    I'm using Baseball America's weekly blog postings for this information. I will also highlight any ex-Reds or otherwise interesting signings. The full list for each week is accessible by following the appropriate link. Commentary is from Baseball America unless noted otherwise.


    The master list of minor-league free agents is here.


    For Nov. 1-7:

    Cincinnati Reds
    Signed: C Ben Davis (Camden (Atlantic)), 2B Luis Bolivar
    Released: RHP Hugo Calderon, RHP Tyler Rhoden, C Frank Meade, 1B Eli Rimes, 3B Brett Bartles, OF Anthony Gressick
    Removed from 40-man roster: LHP Bobby Livingston

    Davis, the second overall pick in 1995, latched on with Camden after the Orioles released him in June. The switch-hitting catcher, who will be 32 next season, has logged 486 games in the big leagues and 686 more in the minors, where he’s a career .256/.316/.404 hitter.

    Atlanta Braves
    Signed: C J.C. Boscan

    Chicago White Sox
    Signed: OF Jordan Herr (Lancaster (Atlantic))

    Herr, the son of longtime Cardinals second baseman Tom Herr, signed with Lancaster in 2008 after completing his senior year at Pittsburgh and going undrafted. The Cubs took him in the 41st round of the 2007 draft but he opted not to sign. Jordan Herr, whose older brother Aaron is a minor league free agent, batted .202 with six doubles and four homers in 36 games for Lancaster.

    Houston Astros
    Signed: LHP Andy Van Hekken

    Minnesota Twins
    Granted free agency: C Ryan Jorgensen

    Washington Nationals
    Removed from 40-man roster: 1B Dmitri Young

    Young’s removal from the 40-man was a bit startling seeing as he’s due $5 million in 2009. That salary ranks him among the Nationals’ highest paid players for 2009, with Nick Johnson, Austin Kearns and Cristian Guzman.

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    Member OesterPoster's Avatar
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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc. Scott View Post
    Minnesota Twins
    Granted free agency: C Ryan Jorgensen
    Well, looky there. Our buddy Ry-man is available. Could he hold the key to the Reds' catching question mark?

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by OesterPoster View Post
    Well, looky there. Our buddy Ry-man is available. Could he hold the key to the Reds' catching question mark?
    Ha, nice.

    I think the aforementioned Ben Davis looks like a AAA possibility so does that mean he and Tatum will share time there? And if so where does that leave Wilkin Castillo, does he continue to be a super sub and on what roster AAA or MLB? I was hoping they would allow him to catch quite a bit at AAA. Or is it just too soon to come to any conclusions?
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    It looks to me Davis has been converted into a pitcher. So my conclusion is we signed him as a 3 catcher/reliver

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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis View Post
    It looks to me Davis has been converted into a pitcher. So my conclusion is we signed him as a 3 catcher/reliver
    But is he fast enough to catch his own pitches?

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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    But is he fast enough to catch his own pitches?
    Only Jim Coombs can do that

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    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Nov.8-18:

    Chicago White Sox
    Traded: RHP Kanekoa Texeira and OF Nick Swisher to Yankees for RHP Jeffrey Marquez, RHP Jhonny Nunez and 3B Wilson Betemit

    Florida Marlins
    Traded: RHP Kevin Gregg to Cubs for RHP Jose Ceda
    Traded: LHP Scott Olsen and OF Josh Willingham to Nationals for RHP P.J. Dean, 2B Emilio Bonifacio and 2B Jake Smolinski


    Not much going on of interest minor-league signings-wise, but these trades all showed up in the listings.

    -Big ripoff win for the Yankees, buying Swisher for pennies on the dollar. You think Brandon Phillips is a little hacktastic? Watch Wilson Betemit in action. Marquez is a starter who doesn't miss bats at all.

    -Love that the Cubs traded a fireballing prospect for Joe Borowski Jr. to "shore up" their bullpen. Florida is smart.

    -Maybe not that smart. The Nationals get a mid-rotation starter and a starting LF for a young Luis Rivas and a couple of fringe prospect pitchers? Dang! Jim Bowden's still got it sometimes.

    This list of players added to the 40-man rosters is probably more interesting than the signings page this time around. Among the names of interest:

    -Cubs added RHP Marcos Mateo. Mateo, 25 in April, was the payment from the Reds for immortal superstar Buck Coats. He's apparently been converted to a starter.

    -Cleveland added RHR Jeff Stevens, the Reds' sixth-round pick in 2005. Stevens was sent to the Indians as the PTBNL in the Brandon Phillips deal. While I'm sure no one here would take that deal back, Jeff's been pretty successful- pitching in the 2008 Olympics and reaching AAA Buffalo last year in his age-24 season. In 2008 he whiffed 81 in 58.1 innings.

    -Colorado added SS Chris Nelson, who was the general consensus RedsZone first-round pick the year the Reds chose Homer Bailey. (He also attended Brandon Phillips' high school in Georgia.) Nelson's had his share of messiness so far, but he's just 23 and will be in Double-A to start 2009. H

    -Milwaukee added RHP Mark Rogers. Rogers was picked by the Brewers ahead of Bailey in the '04 draft, fifth overall. You think Homer was an iffy selection? Mark hasn't pitched since 2006 due to arm injuries.

    -San Diego added RHR Matt Bush, the first overall pick in 2004. Bush was, of course, a shortstop when drafted- but switched to the mound after compiling a .219/.294/.276 line in parts of four seasons. Then, very soon after the switch, he had Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2008. The 22-year-old will resume his career virtually from square one this year.

    ---

    Baseball America says the following about the Reds' five additions to the 40-man:

    Cincinnati Reds

    Added 3B Juan Francisco, LHP Matt Maloney and RHPs Carlos Fisher, Sam LeCure and Robert Manuel.

    Francisco hit .277/.303/.496 with 23 home runs, 34 doubles and 92 RBIs at high Class A Sarasota, and didn’t turn 21 in the Florida State League until June 24. Maloney, acquired for Kyle Lohse in 2007, could battle for the Reds fifth starter’s job during spring training. Manuel doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, but his plus command paid off in 2008, as he earned a spot on the 40-man roster by going 6-3, 1.25 in 87 innings between high Class A and Triple-A. With only 32 men on their 40-man before the additions, the Reds didn’t have to make many tough choices. Lefthander Philippe Valiquette, the club’s seventh-round pick in 2004, is probably the most notable omission, but it was understandable seeing as he has yet to pitch above Class A, and he had a very rough (8.53 ERA, 10 BB in 13 IP) Hawaii Winter Baseball season.
    ---
    Last edited by Doc. Scott; 11-21-2008 at 06:26 PM.

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Just saw where the Reds have brought Ryan Jorgensen back. I wonder if he'll start posting on Redszone again?

    Cincinnati Reds
    Signed: C Ryan Jorgensen, 1B Kevin Barker
    Granted free agency: 1B Andy Phillips
    Added to 40-man roster: RHP Carlos Fisher, RHP Sam Lecure, RHP Robert Manuel, LHP Matt Maloney, 3B Juan Francisco
    Removed from 40-man roster: LHP Tyler Pelland, 1B Andy Phillips

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/...1808#more-1808
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Oh, no. I realize the Reds needed to sign someone to backup Tatum in AAA (at least I hope Jorgensen is the backup), but did it have to be Key_Mastur? Then again, maybe he figured some things out. He had a career year in AAA by putting up a line of .247/.314/.429. WOW.

    As for Kevin Barker, he might be the reason Tonys Gutierrez isn't around anymore. I just hope Barker doesn't take at-bats away from Danny Dorn.

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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post

    As for Kevin Barker, he might be the reason Tonys Gutierrez isn't around anymore. I just hope Barker doesn't take at-bats away from Danny Dorn.
    If Henry and/or Cumberland are/is taken in Rule 5, it won't be an issue. It looks as if we have two prospects competing at AA for 1B and yet no one ready for AAA.

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    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    I've been beaten to the punch by a little bit, but here it goes anyway.

    Nov. 18-20:

    OBM's already listed the Reds transactions.

    -While I don't believe Jorgensen has shown he can hit on a consistent enough basis to be a starting major-league catcher, he could very well be a great backup. He's also got a really great defensive reputation.

    -I have a feeling they only brought Barker back because Phillips opted for free agency. I don't really blame Tonys Gutierrez much for opting to try the market either, as the Reds have shown little intent to push him up the ladder past Double-A despite consistently okay numbers. I don't think Gutierrez is going to top out any higher than a Todd Benzinger or Dave Bergman type, however.

    -I hope Tyler Pelland still gets a chance in 2009. His injuries this past season were very ill-timed.
    ---

    Detroit Tigers
    Signed: C Dane Sardinha

    He still can't hit at all, but someone in Detroit just loves the guy, apparently. In 2008 he appeared in 17 games- eight and a half times the number he appeared in as a Cincinnati Red (two).

    In case you're wondering (I know you are)- David Espinosa? Indy ball.

    Pittsburgh Pirates
    Signed: 1B Brett Bartles

    Reds' castoff gets another chance! Good news for the former Duke standout.

    Oakland Athletics
    Signed: RHP Jon Hunton

    BA: "Hunton, a 6-foot-9 righthander, was drafted four times from 2001 to 2004, by the Marlins (28th round), the Nationals (39th), the Nationals again (24th) and finally the Cubs (11th). He spent three seasons in the Cubs organization, posting a 4.30 ERA for high Class A Daytona in 2006 before being released the following spring and going the indy route. Hunton, 26, excelled as Fort Worth’s (American Association) closer in 2008, collecting 23 saves to go with a 0.81 ERA and 71-18 K-BB in 56 innings."

    I wish the Reds would dip into the indy leagues more often. It's fun to watch at a minimum.

    Texas Rangers
    Signed: RHP Elizardo Ramirez
    Traded: OF John Mayberry Jr. to Phillies for OF Greg Golson

    Ramirez hasn't exactly come back to hurt the Reds either- it was more of the same for him in 2008, showing moderate pitch-to-contact effectiveness at AAA and then getting torched in a brief big-league stint.

    Also, a very interesting "challenge" trade between the Rangers and Phillies. Golson is the classic five-tool fool, a Reggie "Rally Time" Taylor with a gym membership.

    Just as hackin' Greg began to show some semblance of plate discipline in 2008 at age 22 (drawing a career-high 34 walks in 106 games in Double-A and earning a brief September callup), the Phillies immediately traded him. After holding on to the guy for four years as he flailed at non-fastballs and drew raves from scouts! Funny stuff.

    Mayberry, 25 on Opening Day, was also a first-round pick (actually twice) who has generally hit pretty well but has major concerns over his defense. The guy's a 6'5", 230# monster basically limited to first base or an outfield corner; perhaps Philly is looking at him as a replacement for the probably-gone Pat Burrell?

    Anyway, it was interesting to see the normally tools-happy Phils trade a still-young guy (who might be on the verge of a true breakthrough) that they've put a lot of time and money into in Golson for Mayberry, a less-versatile slugger who's more than two years older and coming off a year in which he couldn't OPS 800 in a hitter's haven (AAA Oklahoma City).

    BA thinks it might be Mayberry's suitability to Citizens Bank Park. Interesting.

    Washington Nationals
    Signed: RHP Preston Larrison, RHP Dan Leatherman, RHP Ryan Wagner, 1B Brad Eldred, OF Jemel Spearman

    You think Wagner knows where his bread's buttered? I believe he's going to miss most or all of 2009, anyway, as he rehabs from the shoulder surgery resulting from his inconsistent mechanics.

    Eldred has intrigued me ever since I saw him as a Pirate, waving merrily at breaking balls. With the legendary Rob Stratton now retired, Eldred's the heir apparent.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Thanks for the update, Doc. I really enjoy the commentary.

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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Ditto !

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    Member blumj's Avatar
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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    The Red Sox re-signed Marcus McBeth.
    "Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons

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    Re: Minor League FA Signings- 2008-09 Offseason

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc. Scott View Post
    -I hope Tyler Pelland still gets a chance in 2009. His injuries this past season were very ill-timed.
    Ill-timed indeed. He had a 3.20 FIP and a 1.19 WHIP in July.


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