2014-2015 Minor League Coming and Going

vadertime

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According the Baseball America Minor League Free Agent Tracker
 
Ryan Roberts has left for Kansas City and Carson Blair has left for Oakland.
 
No signings thus far,
 

SoxFanForsyth

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The Sox are going to have some decisions to make this year based on the Rule 5 kids. 
 
Mario Alcantara, Jonathan Aro, Michael Brenly, Miguel Celestino, David Chester, Keith Couch, Sean Coyle, William Cuevas, Jacob Dahlstrand, Keury De La Cruz, Dayan Diaz, Luis Diaz, Jason Garcia, Matt Gedman, Sergio Gomez, Dreily Guerrero, Jayson Hernandez, Chris Hernandez, Williams Jerez, Ellis Jimenez, Matty Johnson, Zach Kapstein, Aaron Kurcz, Mike McCarthy, Matty Ott, Mickey Pena, Aneudis Peralta, Oscar Perez, Kendrick Perkins, Carlos Pinales, Noe Ramirez, Henry Ramos, Nate Reed, Tim Roberson, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jonathan Roof, Robby Scott, Travis Shaw, David Sopilka, Matt Spring, Blake Swihart, Jose Vinicio, Shannon Wilkerson, Madison Younginer
 
Some of those names are obviously going to be added to the 40 man (Rodriguez, Swihart) while others (Shaw, Coyle) are going to be very interesting to see how the Sox approach them. They will be taken for sure, so perhaps a deal involving them is going to be coming sooner rather than later.
 

mabrowndog

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Plympton91

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Completely unsurprising that Oakland scooped up Carson Blair. He seemed to break out this year, though at levels he was too old for, I bet his value climbs a notch next year though.

The only downside of having a deep farm system is that you lose potentially valuable chips for nothing when the 40 man fills up. Two different options can limit that. First, it's time to start cashing in those chips in quantity for quality trades, like they did in getting Bedard at the deadline in 2011 (even though that didn't work). Second, I wonder if they should be weighting upside over closeness to the majors. For instance Dan Butler is a completely fungible borderline backup catcher, yet he's taking a 40 man slot; ditto for Weeks substituting utility infield for C. Blair showed strong power potential, though will likely flame out.

I'm not saying they made any mistakes here, all these guys have lots of warts, but players like Hassan and Blair are not valueless in a world unconstrained by the 40 man.
 

mabrowndog

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More moves this month:
 
* Sox re-sign RHRP Dayan Diaz & LHRP Nate Reed.
 
* IF/OF Derrik Gibson signs with the Orioles.
 
* IF Ivan DeJesus Jr. signs with the Reds.
 
* IF Heiker Meneses signs with the Twins.
 
* LHRP Ryan Verdugo signs with the A's.
 

mabrowndog

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* OF Corey Brown signs with the Rays
 
* RHRP Brayan Villareal signs with the Twins
 
The Sox did ink a pair of former independent league arms last month:
 
* RHRP Jorge Marban, who last pitched stateside for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League, turned 27 last week. Originally a Rangers signee as an undrafted free agent in 2010, he spent most of the year with the Florence (KY) Freedom in the Frontier League. Numbers-wise, he's adept at missing bats (143 H in 210 career IP), but unfortunately misses the plate almost as often (134 BB) despite a 1.9 career K/BB. That whiff/walk ratio has fallen to 1.72 over the last three seasons as an Indy League player, and just 1.44 last season. According to SoxProspects, the Sox signed him out of the Australian Baseball League this winter.
 
* RHSP Nick Green (no, not that guy...), a 30-year-old originally drafted & signed by Anaheim in 2004 (35th round) a year after the Astros had made him their 11th-round selection. After 5 seasons in the Angels' system (reaching AAA Salt Lake City in 2008 and logging a 5.32 ERA in 28 starts) he moved on to the Brewers. They converted him to relief but he failed to advance past AA (a 5/28 ERA in 48 IP for Huntsville in 2010). Returning to a startinger role, he arguably peaked in 2012 with the aforementioned Blue Crabs in the ATL, with whom he logged a 122/42 K/BB and a 3.58 ERA in 174 IP over 28 starts. His last two seasons and their dreadful stat lines offer no insights whatsoever into what might have made him attractive to the Red Sox even as minor league roster filler. And neither does his SoxProspects profile.
 

vadertime

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C Luke Montz and RHP Nestor Molina signed to deals.  Both just minor league depth.  No spring training invites.
 
https://twitter.com/MattEddyBA/status/544560824392482816
 

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As noted on the main board, the PTBNL from the Cubs in the Felix Doubront trade is...
 
IF Marco Hernandez, who's spent some time at 2B and RF but has been exclusively a starting SS since 2012, when he began the year as the Cub's #16 prospect at age 19 according to Baseball America. From that year's prospect handbook:
 
 
A switch hitter, Hernandez handles the bat well but is better from the left side of the plate. He has enough bat speed and strength for gap power and the plus-speed to beat out bunts. He's still learning to use his quickness on the basepaths. His first-step quickness and above-average arm strength give Hernandez the tools to make plays at shortstop. He needs to improve his throwing accuracy but overall is very reliable for a young defender.
 
Pre-2013 BA ranked him #20:
 
 
Hernandez has no glaring weaknesses ... makes reliable contact and should develop gap power once he gets stronger ... He'll have to improve his plate discipline and pitch recognition to handle better pitching ...
 
He fell out of the Cubs' Top 30 last winter following a .254/.287/.338/.625 campaign at low-A in 2013. This past season at high-A he improved slightly with the stick (.270/.315/.351/.667) but nearly doubled his paltry walk rate (from 3.61% to 6.17%).
 
Looks like the Sox will be sliding Mike Miller over to 3B for the Sea Dogs with Hernandez (now 22) taking over at short in Portland.
 

vadertime

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Former top 50 pitching prospect Casey Crosby signs with Boston.

 
The Red Sox signed left-hander Casey Crosby, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. Crosby was ranked the No. 47 prospect in Major League Baseball before the 2010 season by Baseball America. He was ranked the league’s No. 32 prospect by Baseball Prospectus.
 
Crosby underwent Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow within a year of being drafted, and he has since battled various ailments. The southpaw had surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow in August 2013. He also spent time on the disabled list last May because of shoulder soreness. Crosby, who was released from Detroit’s 40-man roster in July before re-signing a minor league contract with the club, recently threw for scouts from several organizations, including the Red Sox, to show he’s fully healthy. The 26-year-old’s medical history raised red flags for other clubs, though, and Boston apparently is hoping it found a diamond in the rough.
 
 
http://nesn.com/2014/12/boston-red-sox-sign-former-top-50-pitching-prospect-casey-crosby/
 

mabrowndog

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This is more a lateral move than a coming or going, but there's no adopt-a-prospect thread for this kid (nor should there be...) so I'm throwing it in here for housekeeping purposes.
 
OF Jeff Driskel, the Sox' 29th-round pick (#863 overall) in 2013, has been released from his football scholarship by Florida at his request. A quarterback, he led the Gators to a 28-20 win over East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl over the weekend.
 
Driskel graduated last summer after completing his degree requirements. However, he isn't giving up football for baseball (the Sox signed him and still retain his rights in that sport), nor will he enter the 2015 NFL Draft. He has a year of NCAA FB eligibility remaining, having sat out most of 2013 after breaking his right fibula, so he's transferring to Louisiana Tech for his redshirt senior season.
 
He still hasn't played a game of organized baseball since 2011 in high school.
 

mabrowndog

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* The Sox have released C Jayson Hernandez, 1B/OF Matt Gedman, OF Kevin Mager, RHP Oscar Perez, and LHPs Nate Reed & Rob Smorol. Parting ways with Reed is a bit of a surprise, since they had re-signed him in November.
 
* The Sox signed OF Blake Tekotte to a minor league deal. The D-Backs had released him last August.
 
* 3B Juan Francisco, who the Sox claimed off waivers from TOR on 11/19, DFAd to make room for Hanley Ramirez on 11/25, and non-tendered on 12/2, has signed a minor league deal with the Rays.
 
* The Pirates signed RHP Wilfredo Boscan. He also gets a ST NRI.
 

mabrowndog

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LHRP Matt Hoffman signs a minor league deal. The Sox system still remains both thin and top-heavy on lefty relief specialists. Here's the depth chart for this role on their five full-season clubs:
 
Craig Breslow (MLB)
Tommy Layne (40-man)
Drake Britton (40-man)
Matt Hoffman (AAA)
Robby Scott (AA)
Mike Adams (A+)
 
Hoffman seems destined for Pawtucket. Britton is out of options, while Layne has one remaining and could start the year with the PawSox as well. So we'll see who else gets used in this role at the lower levels.
 

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Do the lower levels. (A ball and below, or even AA and AAA) have loogys? There are guys like Edwin Escobar who could fill the role for the Sox.

Also a bit late, but sad to see Gibson go. He had started to show power in the 2nd half but was a bit old. He did have pedigree though, being a 2nd round pick. He'll be 25 and starting in AAA I'd imagine. With experience at SS, 2b, OF and 3b, Derrik may have a Major League career after all, as a Brock Holt type.
 

mabrowndog

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bosox79 said:
Do the lower levels. (A ball and below, or even AA and AAA) have loogys? There are guys like Edwin Escobar who could fill the role for the Sox.
 
Well, I specifically avoided that term because it really doesn't apply. I used "lefty relief specialist" to denote a reliever called upon to do setup work in higher-leverage situations than long relief, and which generally involves facing at least one lefty batter. And yes, you'll typically find them at all full-season levels of the minors. In the short-season leagues such usage is far less prevalent.
 

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mabrowndog said:
Rosenbaum's arrival means Dan Butler has been traded to the Nationals.
 
 
Regarding Rosenbaum .. dependent on the TJ recovery he could be an interesting guy. He had a very good SO/W ratio up until 2013 - when, presumably the TJ issues started appearing? He's a lefty which is always a good thing. Looks like he's a groundball pitcher with very low HR rates.
 
Definitely a flyer - better than nothing .. was rather hoping Butler would make it to AAA.
 

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Lose Remerswaal said:
 
Layne isn't going anywhere if there's a crunch.
Yeah, your post caused me to do a little remedial research on him. He's got 70 major league games under his belt, primarily as a LOOGY with just 44 innings, but in aggregate his peripherals all signal a solid major leaguer.
 

mabrowndog

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The only caveat is that Layne still has an option left, while Britton does not. If Layne outpitches Britton (and all the other lefty relievers in camp save Breslow), then Tommy will head north with the big club regardless. But if it's a dead heat, or if Britton especially impresses and the Sox are unable to move him, it shouldn't surprise anyone to see the Sox conserve assets and exploit Layne's contract status by sending him down.
 

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Layne and Britton are kind of apples and oranges. Layne is a true LOOGY: He is enormously effective against LHH, but you really do not want him to pitch even a LRL inning any oftener than you can help (.929 OPS allowed to RHH last year, .767 career). Britton by contrast has shown only a small platoon split in his limited sample so far; he looks like more of an all-purpose middle relief guy who's a little more effective vs. lefties. So it depends on what we want.
 

vadertime

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No need for that late season trade this year for a speedster..  Quinton Berry signed to minor league deal.
 
https://twitter.com/TheREALPerchick/status/556603546414882816
 

mabrowndog

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Sox sign LHP Dana Eveland to a minor league deal.
 
 

The Red Sox have agreed to terms on a minor league deal with left-hander Dana Eveland, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Eveland, a client of PSI Sports Management, will receive a split deal with an invite to big league camp.
 
The 31-year-old enjoyed a solid half-season with the Mets in 2014, notching a 2.63 ERA with 8.9 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and a 53.8 percent ground-ball rate in 27 1/3 innings. That work represented his first in the Majors since 2012, when he struggled to a 4.73 ERA with the Orioles in 32 1/3 innings.
 
Eveland debuted as a 21-year-old reliever with the Brewers back in 2005 and struggled to establish himself in either the bullpen or the rotation with Milwaukee or Arizona over the next three seasons. Traded alongside Brett Anderson, Chris Carter and Carlos Gonzalez to the A’s in the Dan Haren blockbuster of 2007, Eveland registered 168 innings of 4.34 ERA ball in his first season with the A’s, but again fell victim to struggles the following season.
 
All told, he owns a lifetime 5.27 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 420 big league innings, though he did make some significant strides in 2014. Eveland has nearly scrapped his four-seamer entirely and now relies on a hefty dose of two-seam fastballs and far more sliders than he’s ever thrown. The results were positive, particularly against left-handed hitters, who batted just .241/.305/.296 against him last year.
 
SSS disclaimer obviously applies, but his GB% has literally see-sawed every year over his career:
 
2005 - 51.0% (31.2 IP) MIL
2006 - 44.0% (27.2 IP) MIL
2007 - 55.0% (5.0 IP) ARI
2008 - 48.7% (168.0 IP) OAK
2009 - 56.5% (44.0 IP) OAK
2010 - 49.7% (54.1 IP) PIT/TOR
2011 - 55.4% (29.2 IP) LAD
2012 - 48.1% (32.1 IP) BAL
2014 - 53.8% (27.1 IP) NYM
 
Lifetime: 50.5% (420.0 IP)
 

mabrowndog

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https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/status/558096679006904320
 
Darren Wolfson ‏@DarrenWolfson
Hear former #MNTwins pitcher Scott Diamond will throw a bullpen for the #RedSox. Remains a FA.
 
From Rotoworld:
 
Diamond split time between the Twins' and Reds' Triple-A affiliates, owning an ugly 6.57 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over 123 1/3 innings. The 28-year-old southpaw hasn't pitched in the majors since 2013. He would likely garner nothing more than a minor league deal with the BoSox.
 

mabrowndog

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Sox sign 1B Brian LaHair and RHP Felipe Paulino to minor league deals with STIs.
 
 
LaHair, 32, spent last season between Double- and Triple-A with the Indians, batting just .223/.309/.318 with five homers over 111 games. The former All-Star is merely organizational depth.
 
Paulino was limited to just 18 1/3 innings with the White Sox last season due to lingering shoulder issues, and that was after he missed all of 2013 following Tommy John surgery. He will come to spring training to compete for a bullpen spot.
 

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Drake Britton DFA'd, per the usual suspects on Twitter
 

mabrowndog

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nattysez said:
Drake Britton DFA'd, per the usual suspects on Twitter
 
And there's this:
 
Ian Cundall ‏@IanCundall 1h1 hour ago
Britton's velocity ticked down (90-92 generally vs. 92-94) and his slider was not as sharp as past seasons. Really struggled to miss bats.
 
Even so, I'll be shocked if he clears waivers, so there's likely a deal in the works to ship him out.
 

mabrowndog

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Sox sign RHRP Jess Todd to a minor league deal.
 
Matt Eddy via Twitter:
durable reliever who has spent last six years at Triple-A with 9.2 SO/9, 3.3 BB/9 and 1.30 WHIP
 
Matt Eddy via BA Transactions Log:
A Cardinals second-round pick out of Arkansas in 2007, Todd has spent the bulk of the past six seasons at Triple-A for five different organizations.
 
Rotoworld:
Todd posted a 3.62 ERA and 66/27 K/BB ratio over 72 relief innings at Triple-A for the D'Backs in 2014. He hasn't appeared in the majors since 2010.
 

mabrowndog

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IF Henry Rodriguez gets a minor league deal per Alex Speier. Primarily 2B/3B with some dabbling at SS.
 
Rotoworld:
 
 
Rodriguez, 25, was released by the Reds last spring and didn't play pro ball in 2014. He owns a .294/.341/.403 batting line over 403 games in the minors and appeared in 21 games with the Reds from 2012-2013. He'll serve as organizational depth.
 
Also per Speier, the Sox have brought back IF/OF Oscar Tejeda, a 2006 international signing lost to the Pirates on a mid-2012 waiver claim. After refusing an outright assignment with PIT, he signed with the Nationals as a mFA and played mostly 3B in their system at A+ and AA last year.
 

mabrowndog

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One other Boston signing I missed from a week ago is RHP Deryk Hooker, a Cardinals 7th-rounder in 2007 who split his time between AA and AAA last season in Oakland's system.
 
The following Red Sox minor league free agents remain unsigned:

Justin Henry, UT
Brandon Snyder, 1B/3B
Mike McCoy, UT
Jose Valdez, RHP
Pete Ruiz, RHP
Stefan Welch, 1B/3B
Peter Hissey, OF
Leonel Escobar, C
Raynel Velette, RHP
 

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LHP Miguel Pena has been released.
 
@alexspeier: Can confirm Red Sox have released LHP Miguel Pena, 2011 6th-rounder who once looked like he had a chance to be a back-end or depth starter.
 
@alexspeier: Pena was suspended 2x for testing positive for drug of abuse. Barely pitched last year before getting hit with a 100G suspension.
 

mabrowndog

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mabrowndog said:
Sox sign 1B Brian LaHair and RHP Felipe Paulino to minor league deals with STIs.
gryoung said:
Nice to have a local Wistah kid back with the Sox.
mabrowndog said:
Yup. He looks to be the latest edition of Brandon Snyder (minus the 3B ability).
 
Speak of the devil...
 
Brandon has signed with the Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League. Bummer that he couldn't get an affiliated minor league deal someplace.
 

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Brandon is a local guy to the DC Metro and actually lives in my neighborhood so I am not surprised that he signed to play in Maryland.  I am surprised that he wasn't signed by some organization looking for corner infield depth to stash at AAA.  He has a young daughter so maybe he wanted to be close to home.