- 3B Danny Valencia optioned to AAA Norfolk. Placed OF Lew Ford on projected ML roster.
Boston Red Sox
- Released 2B Zach Gentile, RHP Tyler Wilson, RHP Brendan Shepard, as expected
- Released C/DH Adalberto Ibarra, replaced on A+ Salem with 1B Drew Hedman.
- Signed RHP Chad Nading, not placed on a projected roster.
Chicago White Sox
- Traded for IF/OF Cody Puckett from the Cincinnati Reds, assigned to projected AAA Charlotte
- Released RHP LeRoy Hunt, replaced on AA Birmingham with RHP Matt Zaleski
- Released LHP Chris Hanna, replaced on A Kannapolis with RHP David Haselden.
- Released RHP Dustin Umberger, RHP Keegan Linza, LHP Connor Whalen as expected.
- Released 2B Aaron Fields, as expected (son of Bruce Fields, hadn't played since 2011)
- Signed OF Raoul Torrez. Placed on projected roster of A+ Lancaster
- Released RHP Zack Grimmett, replaced on A+ Lancaster roster with RHP Jonas Dufek.
- Released IF John Hinson, replaced on A Quad Cities with IF Austin Elkins
- Released LHP Jeremiah Meiners
New York Yankees
- Updated minor league projected starting rotations.
- Signed RHP Chien Ming Wang an assigned him to projected AAA Scranton roster. Removed LHP Schaeffer Hall from projected rosters.
- Claimed 1B Nate Freiman off waivers from Houston...but will have to be returned to San Diego Padres as he is a Rule V pick.
Chicago White Sox
- RHP Jesse Crain appears headed to start the season on the DL. Replaced in ML roster projection with RHP Brian Omogrosso.
- Optioned RHP Trevor Bauer, LHP Corey Kluber and LHP Scott Barnes to AAA Columbus, making it clear that the rotation battle for the 5th spot is between RHP Carlos Carrasco and LHP Scott Kazmir.
- Posted projected rosters for all full season teams
- Optioned C Luis Exposito to AAA Norfolk.
Chicago White Sox
- Reported that LHP John Danks will start the season on the disabled list. Replaced on projected roster with LHP Hector Santiago. Replaced Santiago on AAA Charlotte projected roster with RHP Scott Carroll.
- Optioned RHP Jordan Lyles and RHP John Ely to AAA Oklahoma City. Replaced them on the ML projected roster with RHP Alex White and RHP Edgar Gonzalez.
- Traded 3B Stephen Parker to Milwaukee for RHP Darren Byrd. Replaced Parker on AAA Sacramento roster with IF Darwin Perez. Replaced Perez on AA Midland roster with IF Michael Fabiaschi. Added Darren Byrd to A+ Stockton roster.
- Traded LHP Ian Krol to the Washington Nationals. Replaced on AA Midland roster with LHP A.J. Huttenlocker.
Tampa Bay Rays
- Optioned C Stephen Vogt to AAA Durham, as expected.
- Reported that IF Jonathan Schoop will most likely be everyday SS at AAA Norfolk. Buck Britton takes his place as 2B for AA Bowie and RHP Ryan Berry takes his roster spot on AA Bowie. LHP Clayton Tanner takes Berry's roster spot on A+ Frederick, while 3B Zelous Wheeler moved out of projected rosters.
- Former 1st round pick, RHP Matt Hobgood, added to A Delmarva projected roster as a relief pitcher.
Chicago White Sox
- Optioned 1B/3B Brent Morel to AAA Charlotte. Replaced on projected ML roster with OF Jordan Danks. Also optioned RHP Deunte Heath to AAA Charlotte, as expected.
- Optioned 1B/3B Mike Olt, OF Engel Beltre, LHP Jeff Beliveaux, and RHP Wilmer Font to AAA Round Rock, as expected.
- Signed LHP Clayton Tanner, but I did not assign him to a projected roster.
- Optioned OF L.J. Hoes and RHP Todd Redmond to AAA Norfolk and RHP Dylan Bundy to AA Bowie, as expected.
- Traded 1B Michael Flacco to Boston. Placed 3B Michael Mosby in starting lineup for A+ Frederick. Replaced Flacco on roster with RHP Tom Boleska
Boston Red Sox
- RHP Alex Wilson and C Dan Butler optioned to AAA Pawtucket as expected.
- SS Stephen Drew expected to begin year on the disabled list. Replaced on roster with SS Jose Iglesias. Iglesias replace on Pawtucket roster with OF Bryce Brentz, who appears like he will be ready for opening day.
Chicago White Sox
- Optioned C Josh Phelgey, RHP Andre Rienzo, RHP Jhan Marinez, RHP Simon Castro, LHP Simon Rodriguez and OF Jared Mitchell to AAA Charlotte, all as expected.
-Optioned RHP Nestor Molina to AA Birmingham, as expected
-Released LHP Brandon Parrent. Replace on A Kannapolis with RHP Cory McGinnis
- Released OF Ben Francisco. Replace on roster with OF Jeremy Hermida and in starting lineup in Columbus with OF Matt Carson.
- Optioned INF Juan Diaz and 1B/DH Mike McDade to AAA Columbus as expected.
- RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka told he would NOT Make the major league team. Replaced with LHP Scott Kazmir on Major League roster.
- RHP Matt Capps told he would NOT make the ML team. Replaced on roster with RHP Cory Allen, who was replaced on AAA roster with Matsuzaka.
Kansas City Royals
- Released IF Luis Piterson. Replaced on A+ Wilmington roster with IF Michael Liberto.
- Optioned LHP Will Smith and RHP Nate Adcock to AAA Omaha as expected
- Optioned LHP Everett Teaford to AAA Omaha, replaced on ML roster projection with RHP Louis Coleman.
Los Angeles Angels
- Signed C Chris Snyder, not put on a projected roster.
- LHP Brandon Sisk will miss entire season with Tommy John surgery.
- Optioned OF Oswaldo Arcia to AAA Rochester. Switched spots with OF Evan Bigley and sent him to AA New Britain.
New York Yankees
- Released OF Matt Diaz. Replaced in AAA Scranton lineup with OF Cody Johnson and replaced on roster with IF Reegie Corona.
- Optioned OF Michael Taylor, RHP Jesse Chavez, LHP Andrew Werner, RHP Alex Leon and UTIL Grant Green to AAA Sacramento, as expected.
- Optioned RHP Michael Ynoa to A Beloit, as expected.
- Signed RHP Sergio Perez, not yet assigned to a projected roster.
- RHP Grant Balfour now expected to be ready for opening day. LHP Travis Blackley (out of optioned) removed from projected ML roster.
- Optioned RHP Chance Ruffin, LHP Bobby LaFromboise and RHP Yoervis Medina to AAA Tacoma and LHP Anthony Fernandez and OF Julio Morban to AA Jackson, as expected. Replaced 3B Nate Tembrink with 3B Francisco Martinez.
- Kyle McClellan will miss 6-8 weeks due to a lat injury, and not opt out of him minor league deal. Replaced on AAA Round Rock roster with LHP Nate Robertson.
- 2B Tucker Nathans signed. Not assigned to a roster.
Boston Red Sox:
- Traded for 1B Michael Flacco. I've added him to AA Portland's bench, and remove OF Matty Johnson from roster.
Kansas City Royals
- RHP Cesar Arreaza and IF Freddy Sandoval signed and not assigned to a roster.
Los Angeles Angels:
- Ryan Brasier optioned to AAA Salt Lake, expected.
- Michael Kohn optioned to AAA Salt Lake. Moved David Carpenter to ML Roster.
- Barry Enright optioned to AAA Salt Lake, expected.
- RHP Hiroyuki Kobayashi released and RHP Bobby Cassevah elected free agency. Replaced on my projection with RHP Robert Coello (ML) and LHP Brad Mills (AAA).
- Caleb Thielbar and Kyle Gibson optioned to AAA Rochester, as expected.
-Signed RHP Kyle Davies and LHP Chad Rodgers, not assigned to a projected roster.
New York Yankees
- OF Brennan Boesch signed, added as starting LF. OF Juan Rivera moved to bench. OF Matt Diaz moved to AAA Scranton starting LF. OF Cody Johnson moved to AAA Scranton bench. IF Reegie Corona removed.
- 2B Antonio Lamas signed from the Mexican league, assigned to projected Stockton starting lineup. Ryan Pineda moved to Stockton bench and Sam Roberts removed from roster.
- Hector Noesi optioned to AAA Tacoma, as expected
- Danny Hultzen optioned to AAA Tacoma, as expected.
- Alex Liddi optioned to AAA Tacoma, as expected
- Released OF Richard Palase, who had not been on a projected roster.
Toronto Blue Jays:
- Ryan Goins optioned to AAA Buffalo. Lance Zawadski moved to AA New Hampshire.
- Lars Anderson optioned to AAA Buffalo, as expected.
- Chad Jenkins optioned to AA New Hampshire. Marcus Walden moved to A+ Dunedin rotation. Blake McFarlan moved to A+ Dunedin bullpen. Mike Benacka removed from roster. Ramon Ortiz added to AAA Buffalo rotation.
- Signed SS Muenori Kawasaki, but not yet assigned to a projected roster.
Kansas City Royals:
Released Guillermo Moscoso. Replaced on the AAA roster with recently optioned LHP Chris Dwyer. Replaced Dwyer on AA roster with LHP Zach Jackson.
Toronto Blue Jays:
Released David Cooper. Replaced him in AAA starting lineup with Lars Anderson at 1B. Replaced him on the roster with 1B/OF Adam Loewen.
Angels projected rosters are up. As many stars that they have on the Major League team, there minor league system is really, really thin right now. In my opinion it is one of the worst in the big leagues right now, with the White Sox as another that comes quickly to mind. That being said, they do have the best young player in the game, so it's not like the future isn't bright in L.A. Just a few notes:
1. Hank Conger vs. Chris Ianetta is an interesting position battle to watch in Spring Training. Conger has a ton of upside and has looked very good at the plate in Spring Training so far, going 4-for-5 with a HR and a 2B. Ianetta is still penciled in as the starter, but it's a very light pencil.
2. There's no room for Vernon Wells, so the veteran OF is probably going to be relegated to a bench role.
3. Bill Hall has a very good chance to make the team as a super utility guy, as he's learned to play a little bit of OF to go along with 2B, 3B and SS. I loved him when he was with the Red Sox, seems like a really cool guy and I hope nothing but the best for him.
4. The organization's starting pitching is embarrassingly bad. Outside of Nick Maronde, who is possibly best suited to be a bullpen guy, they really have no real interesting starting pitching prospects. One guy to possibly keep an eye on, A.J. Schugel, got roughed up pretty badly today. Makes you wonder why they traded two of their best rotation prospects, Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg, for half a year of Zack Greinke. They also traded Donn Roach, early in the year, but did get a good return for him, in stud reliever Ernesto Frieri.
5. Most of the guys to really keep an eye on this year will be with AA-Arkansas for most of the year. This list includes C.J. Cron, Taylor Lindsey, Randal Grichuk, and probably Kaleb Cowart at some point. All of those guys hit reasonably well in the hitter friendly California league with Inland Empire.
6. As brilliant of a first round selection Mike Trout was, the Angels have really struck out with their 1st round picks other than that in recent years. Cron and Grichuk look potentially promising, but are not full blown studs, and the rest have really struggled. Two 2010 draftees, Chevy Clarke and Ryan Bolden, are probably on their last chances with the organization after struggling to hit at the Mendoza line since being drafted. Kaleb Cowart, also in the 2010 draft, has also been fairly dissapointing, but showed signs of his potential last season, cracking many Top 100 prospect lists this year.
7. The Angels did not have a draft pick last year until the 3rd round, where they selected a RHP from Florida Atlantic, R.J. Alvarez. He is a bullpen arm who should progress pretty quickly through the system.
Overall Farm System Grade: D
Top 10 Prospects
1. Kaleb Cowart, Inland Empire
2. Randal Grichuk, Arkansas
3. Nick Maronde, Salt Lake
4. C.J. Cron, Arkansas
5. Taylor Lindsey, Arkansas
6. Kole Calhoun, Salt Lake
7. R.J. Alvarez, Burlington
8. Travis Witherspoon, Arkansas
9. Alex Yarbrough, Inland Empire
10. A.J. Schugel, Arkansas
HM: Wade Hinkle, Zach Wright, Luis Jimenez, Austin Wood, Eswarlin Jimenez, Mark Sappington, Eric Stamets, Steve Geltz, Cameron Bedrosian
The Yankees offense took a major blow on Sunday, as star center fielder Curtis Granderson learned that he would miss up to 10 weeks with a broken arm. Fortunately for the Yankees, broken bones usually are not lingering injuries and Granderson should come back fully healthy sometime in May.
It probably won't kill the Yankees, as it's only going to affect them for the month of April. But Granderson, especially due to the lack of replacements, is arguable the most important player in the lineup (besides possibly Robinson Cano). Brett Gardner can and will most likely shift over to CF, which leaves the spot of LF open. The Yankees have four possible routes they can go for in filling out their lineup.
1. Move Gardner to CF, use veteran (or combination of veterans) in LF
The Yankees have veteran guys Juan Rivera, Jayson Nix and Matt Diaz in camp, all of whom had a good chance to make the team as reserves before the injury. Now there's a very good chance one of the three will be the opening day LF. My vote would be for Rivera, as he probably has the most pop out of the three. Also, Nix is mostly an infielder, and his bat is not quite good enough to call for a change in position.
2. Bring up a young gun
Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams and Tyler Austin are the organizations three most promising outfield prospects, but all three are probably a year or two away from consistent success at the big league level and it is unlikely they serve as a temporary solution. Possible though, is a guy like Melky Mesa, who can play CF, or Zoilo Almonte, who hit a home run on Saturday, to get a look at the big league level in April.
If this had happened a few weeks ago the Yankees may have sprung for Michael Bourn, knowing them. But now just about every big free agent is taken, and the Yankees don't have much to pick from. Vernon Wells' name has been thrown around, as has Alfonso Soriano. Grady Sizemore is still unsigned as well, he could be an interesting fit in CF for New York, trying to resurrect his once promising career.
4. Eduardo Nunez
Eduardo Nunez has played sparingly in the outfield since he's been in the big leagues but he definitely is a true infielder right now. The Yankees, including Yogi Berra, love Nunez's bat and I would expect to see him trying some OF throughout the spring. If the Yanks find him adequate to play defensively out there, they can make Nix the utility infield guy and stick Nunez out in LF until Granderson heals.
When you think of the few teams that could possibly have the best farm system in baseball right now, the Seattle Mariners are always going to be one of the teams that comes up. And while the Cardinals also make a really strong case, I do think that the Mariners have he best system in baseball right now. They are absolutely loaded at just about every level, starting with their trio of "elite" prospects: Danny Hultzen, Mike Zunino, and Taijuan Walker. While they might not be competing with Oakland, LA, and Texas this year, they could be a very scary team quite soon. Here are my notes:
1. Casper Wells is out of options, and also looking unlikely to make the team due to the excess of outfielders that the Mariners have after picking up Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez and Michael Morse. They already traded Mike Carp to the Red Sox for this reason.
2. Jason Bay hit a home run in his first at-bat as a Mariner today, and it is possible that he will return to somewhere close to prime form, after a few abysmal years with the Mets. That being said, I'm not sure where there's room for him in the everyday line-up, as Michael Saunders and Michael Morse seem to have the Corner OF spots lined up, with Kendrys Morales as the DH. Most likely Bay gets his ABs against lefties, replacing Saunders.
3. With the pickup of Morales, a switch hitter, it may be hard for the Mariners to find many at-bats for Raul Ibanez, but it's hard to imagine them letting him go due to his history with the organization. He is limited defensively, and will probably mostly be utilized as a pinch hitter and occasional DH.
4. Jeremy Bonderman, and perhaps more interestingly Jon Garland, are in camp on minor league contracts trying to resurrect their careers. Garland has a legitimate shot at making the rotation, but the 5th spot is likely leaning towards Erasmo Ramirez. Will be interesting to see what happens with these guys if they do not make the major league cuts. The minor leagues are quite crowded.
5. I've got Mike Zunino, Stefan Romero and James Paxton all moving up to AAA Tacoma after being very successful in AA last year. Romero is a pure hitter who tore up both High Desert and Jackson last year after being drafted out of Oregon State in 2010. He mainly plays 2B, but the Mariners are trying to move him to 3B or LF, where his bat makes more sense.
6. There's a long list of guys who hit the heck out of the ball in High Desert last year that need to prove their success wasn't a fluke due to the severe hitter-friendliness of playing in High Desert. Stefen Romero already did that, and so did, to an extent, Brad Miller. I would expect John Hicks, Jack Marder, Steven Proscia, Leon Landry, Julio Morban and James Jones to all play for Jackson this year, all guys who had eye-popping offensive numbers last year.
7. Taijuan Walker has the most upside out of any arm in the organization, and is listed up near the top of most prospect lists, but he struggled a bit last year and I'd expect him to stay with Jackson until he's truly dominant. Maybe he gets a September call-up, but I wouldn't be surprised if he stays in the minors all year. In the mean time, the Mariners have Paxton and Hultzen as top prospects who they can call on to make a spot start.
8. I've talked about Hultzen, Paxton and Walker but don't sleep on Brandon Maurer. God, this system is loaded with arms. Anthony Fernandez is a pretty good one too.
9. The Class-A Advanced level is the one place where the Mariners are not stacked with prospects, but High Desert always seems to turn non-prospects into studs real quick. Two guyswho should start there to keep an eye on: Jabari Blash and Daniel Paolini.
10. Jackson is getting most of the college hitters from the 2011 draft, but they also got a bunch of good ones in 2012, who will mostly be in Clinton. This includes Patrick Kivlehan, Taylor Ard, Chris Taylor and speed demon Jamodrick McGruder.
11. One of the things that I think really helps this organization is the fact that they have a class A-Short Season team, as well as an Appalachian League Rookie ball team. Most organizations have one or the other, not both. This allows the organization to get more players consistent at-bats and innings pitched.
Overall Farm System Grade: A
Top Ten Prospects
1. Mike Zunino, Tacoma
2. Taijuan Walker, Jackson
3. Danny Hultzen, Tacoma
4. Nick Franklin, Tacoma
5. James Paxton, Tacoma
6. Brad Miller, Jackson
7. Brandon Maurer, Jackson
8. Stefen Romeo, Tacoma
9. Victor Sanchez, XST
10. Carter Capps, Seattle
HM: John Hicks, Jack Marder, Patrick Kivlehan, Timmy Lopes, Leon Landry, Julio Morban, Anthony Fernandez