Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Winter Meeting Notes

Rumors, moves, and all that jazz:
  • Evan Grant of the Dallas News reported that the Rangers and Pirates met to get a better feel regarding a Mitch Moreland deal. Grant noted that it appeared Pittsburgh was more interested in trying to do a three-way deal than something straight up, but wondered if Charlie Morton might be a possible answer while MLB.com's TR Sullivan thinks that Texas is trolling for C Elias Diaz. That seems like a shot at the moon, considering Moreland is a rental, tho it could lead into talks of a multi-player exchange as Pittsburgh is organizationally deep in catchers.
  • Jerry Crasnick's two cents: The Pirates, Brewers and Rangers could have some interest in Jeff Francoeur as an OF bench bat if he doesn't return to the Phillies.
  • Per Rob Biertempfel of the Trib, Neil Walker is being gingerly sniffed at by the Orioles and Mets. 
  • Various reports have the Astros kicking Mark Melancon's tires;  they're looking at a variety of late inning pen options.
  • The Bucs signed RHPs Wilfredo Boscan, Deolis Guerra & Curtis Partch along with LHP Robert Zarate to minor league deals with an invite to camp. Partch, 28, tossed 20 games/30 IP from 2014-15 for the Reds with a 1-1/4.75 slash. Zarate, 28, is a swing man from the Tampa organization. They also inked INF Cole Figueroa and OF Danny Ortiz to the same contracts. 2/3B Figueroa, 28, hit .292 at the NY Yankees' AAA Scranton - Wilkes Barre club and, batted .235 in the show; he was bumped off the 40-man by Pete Kozma. A sixth-round selection in 2008, Ortiz, 25, hit .248 with 16 home runs with the Twins' AAA Rochester and has some punch. Partch, 28, pitched out of the bullpen for Class AAA Sacramento in 2015, going 1-3 with a 3.53 ERA. He has a 4.75 ERA in 20 major-league appearances, all with the Cincinnati Reds in 2013 and 2014. Zarate, 28, attended spring training last season with the Tampa Bay Rays before going 2-1 with a 2.90 ERA in 17 appearances, five starts, for Class AAA Durham. Boscon & Guerra are returning to the fold. Wilfredo was a force as part of Indy's rotation, while Deolis faded in Pittsburgh after a hot start.
  • The Pirate coaching staff will return intact. Returning are field coaches Jeff Branson, Ray Searage, Nick Leyva and Rick Sofield, bullpen guys Euclides Rojas and Heberto Andrade, Dave Jauss (scouting reports), Jeff Livesey (hitting asst') and Brad Fischer (catchers).
  • Joakim Soria signed with KC, inking a 3yr/$25M deal. And hey - he may ditch the pen and join the rotation. The Pirates never made a run at him.
  • RHP Joely Rodriguez has been outrighted to AAA by the Phils. He was the player sent to Philly for Antonio Bastardo last year, and posted a 6.12 ERA between AA & AAA in 2015.
  • The greatest shortstop to ever play the game? The Cheat Sheet knows - it's Honus Wagner.
  • Josh Levanthal of Baseball America takes a look at a class-action lawsuit brought against MLB by former minor leaguers seeking back pay for themselves and a change to the wage structure for current MiLB players.

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