April 4, 2013
Designated INF-R Mauro Gomez for assignment. [3/31]
Gomez played both corner infield positions last season for the Red Sox. A surprise since Gomez's last start at third base prior to 2012 was 2009. While the pinch of flexibility is an added bonus, Gomez's game revolves around his bat. That looks like a good thing when he's thumping fastballs from left-handed pitchers. But it's a bad thing when right-handers break him down with soft or spinning. Should a team claim Gomez they'll be doing so because of his potential as a bat off the bench.
Designated LHP Clay Rapada for assignment. [3/31]
Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reported the Yankees "intended to start the season with Rapada on the disabled list." For whatever reason New York changed its mind and released Rapada. So what changed? Did Rapada's shoulder heal, or is he damaged goods? If the Yankees re-sign Rapada he heads to the minors before being placed on the disabled list we could see a service time dispute, similar to the Tony Abreu and Anibal Sanchez cases in the past. Given the information at hand it's tough to see Rapada losing an appeal.
Designated OF-R Casper Wells for assignment. [3/31]
Losing a camp battle to Jason Bay at this stage in his career is never a good thing. Wells is an athletic corner outfielder with above-average raw power, extreme platoon splits, and the tendency to take ugly swings. Perfect as a reserve outfielder on a team with a micromanaging skipper. Wells is older than you'd think and he's tweaks his hitting mechanics too many times to count in search of unlocking more upside, which tends to result in streaky play. But he's cheap and useful so someone will take him on.
Chirinos, who came over in the Matt Garza trade, missed last season due to a concussion. Baseball lacks football's physicality, which limits the potential for traumatic head injuries at most positions. Catcher is unlike most positions. During any given game a backstop may take multiple foul balls off his mask or helmet, only to shake it off and carry on without so much as a visit from the trainer. Chirinos' story makes you wonder: How many catchers suffer concussions that go undiagnosed?
If a team does claim Chirinos off waivers they'll be getting a raw defender with some offensive potential. An over-age prospect to begin with, Chirinos will have to show he can hit at the big-league level to have a chance of becoming more than organizational depth. The same goes for Vogt, another overage prospect without a true defensive home. Vogt went 0-for-25 across multiple big-league stints last season.
Designated INF-R Jason Donald for assignment. [3/31]
Outrighted RHP Jose Arredondo to Triple-A Louisville. [3/31]
Cincinnati acquired Donald in the Shin-Soo Choo trade but it's the other trade to an Ohio-based team that people remember him for. Donald never had the arm for shortstop or the power for third base. Solid offensive numbers in 2010-11 hid his habit of striking out too much for a player with no intention to walk or ability to bop. The Reds opted for Cesar Izturis as their utility infielder instead.
The Marlins acquired Cox and Hernandez last July in trades for Edward Mujica and Gaby Sanchez. Cox's stock has dipped since the Cardinals popped him in the first round of the 2010 draft while Hernandez could still make for a handy reserve outfielder thanks to fantastic defensive skills. Maine has bounced around but could be someone's second lefty. Reed is a big, hard-throwing righty who profiles as a middle reliever, though he struggled mightily in his first exposure to Triple-A.
Claimed OF-L Ezequiel Carrera off waivers from the Indians. [4/2]
Designated OF-L Ender Inciarte for assignment. [4/2]
So much for Inciarte beating the odds. The Phillies ditched their Rule 5-pick a day into the season to grab Carrera, who includes many of the same ingredients, albeit in a more mature state. Carrera boasts good speed and can play all three outfield positions. His offensive game is predicated on singles and stolen bases, yet strikeouts have been a problem despite an absence of strength in his swing. If Carrera can tighten up his strike zone a bit he could carve out a career as a reserve outfielder.