Thursday, January 21, 2016

Notes: Looking for Lefties; Stew's Deal Finalized; Schugel Claimed, Medina DFA'ed; Bastardo, Blanton Gone; Ex Buc News

This week's notebook:

  • The Pirates claimed RHP AJ Schugel, 26, from Seattle, who had claimed him from Arizona last month.  He pitched relief in his short and largely ineffective (5.00 ERA/0IP) MLB cup of coffee last season, although he's worked mostly as a starter in the minors. He has two options left and is a depth move, featuring a sinker that induces grounders. RHP Yoervis Medina was DFA'ed to clear a roster space.
  • C Chris Stewart's two year deal was made official by the Pirates on Tuesday. The terms were reported to be $3M guaranteed: $1.35M this year, $1.4M in 2017, and a $250K buyout/$1.5M club option for 2018 (numbers confirmed by other sources).
  • The Mets signed LHP Antonio Bastardo to a reported 2 year/$12M deal; the Bucs were said to had offered two years/$8M, which was just an extension of his $4M 2015 salary. Even depth lefty Bobby LaFromboise was lost to the LA Angels, so Tony Watson (maybe Kyle Lobstein, too) are the only bullpen southpaws now on the 40-man roster, with Robert Zarate and Jim Fuller NRI. There are some lefties remaining on the market: Neal Cotts, Craig Breslow and Sean Marshall among others are still unsigned.
  • The Dodgers reached agreement w/RHP Joe Blanton, signing him for a one-year/$4M.
  • Jim Callis of has ranked the Top Ten MiLB righties; Tyler Glasnow has moved up a spot to take second place. 
  • Alex Craft of has a Q&A piece with Jameson Taillon.
  • Director of player personnel Tyrone Brooks has taken a post with the MLB commissioner's office to head up diversity outreach; another admin guy lost.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays agree to terms with 1B Steve Pearce on a one year deal, salary not yet disclosed.
  • You can go home again: LHP Wandy Rodrigiez signed a MiLB deal with the Houston Astros.
  • RHP Kyle McPherson, 28, who before injuries (he had TJ surgery in 2013) was considered a solid MLB prospect, landed a MiLB deal/camp invite with Tampa Bay. He earned the Pirate Minor League Pitcher of the year in 2011 and worked 10 games for Pittsburgh in 2012 (0-2/2.73).  
  • RHP Brooks Pounders was re-signed to a MiLB deal  with an invite to camp by the Royals. A second round draft pick out of HS by the Bucs in 2009, he was traded  to KC for infielder Yamaico Navarro two years later. Fun fact: his dad wanted to name him Brooks Robinson Pounders, but his mom put her foot down and only conceded part way. He ended up being Brooks Casey.
  • LHP Zack Dodson, 25, has received a 100-game suspension without pay after a third positive test for a drug of abuse. The fourth round pick in 2009 as a high school hurler didn't advance past Altoona for Pittsburgh; he's in the Oriole system now.
  • Ben Fredericksen of the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes that the Cards aren't overlooking the Bucs.
  • Bob Nightengale of USA Today ties the Bucs (and most small revenue teams') competitive future to the new CBA & revenue sharing.
  • Pete Rose will have his #14 retired by the Reds this season and enter their team Hall of Fame.
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