Although all’s been quiet on the major league front, there were a flurry of minor league moves over the last couple days:
Minor league free agent infielder Josh Rodriguez agreed to a minor league deal with the Marlins. A second round pick from 2006, the 29 year Rodriguez has 14 career major league plate appearances, all with the Pirates in 2011. He had a .272/.371/.390 line with the New York Mets’ Double-A affiliate last season.
The Mets also announced their own minor league signing, inking 27 year old first baseman/outfielder Matt Clark to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Clark spent last season with Japan’s Chunichi Dragons, hitting .238/.328/.457. He last played in the states for the Padres Triple-A affiliate, owning a .290/.367/.506 line with 22 home runs in 2012.
The Brewers agreed to a minor league deal with 29 year old catcher Lucas May. May was considered a legitimate hitting prospect when he was traded to the Royals for Scott Posednik in 2010, but he never panned out and has spent the last three seasons with four different organizations. He had a .226/.277/.301 slash line in 57 games for the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate, a not dissimilar line to what he put up for the New York Mets’ affiliate the year prior.
The Rockies have inked a pair in 27 year old catcher Jose Gonzalez and 29 year old shortstop Niuman Romero. Gonzalez has spent the last eight seasons in Colorado’s system, never seeing major league time, and posting a .593 OPS over 426 minor league games. Romero got a cup of coffee in the majors for the Indians in 2009 and the Red Sox in 2010. He split time between the Orioles’ Double and Triple-A affiliates last season, finishing with an overall line of .267/.367/.356 in 497 plate appearances.
A pair of suspensions were handed down to prospects yesterday as Phillies left-hander Chris O’Hare and Marlins right-hander Ronny Fermin were suspended fifty games for failed drug tests. O’Hare, 23, was a 23rd round pick for the Phillies last June and proceeded to pitch to a 3.60 ERA over five short relief appearances that summer. This was his second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Fermin, meanwhile, tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid. He has yet to appear in a minor league game.
Lastly Houston pitching prospect Mark Appel, the number one overall prospect from the 2013 draft, underwent an emergency appendectomy on Thursday. Astros GM Jeff Lunhow told MLB.com that he expects Appel to be healthy and ready for the start of spring training.