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August 15, 2013

Transaction Analysis

The Royals Add a Pretty Face

by R.J. Anderson

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IN THIS ISSUE

American League

CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Released SS-R Tyler Greene. [8/13]

The White Sox signed Greene after the Astros released him in the spring. He's spent the season in Triple-A, not hitting, and now gets an early start on the offseason. Expect Greene to get another job, however. He's capable of playing some shortstop and has a history of showing some pop and platoonability—to coin an unwieldy term—at the big-league level. Good enough to start? Not on a good team. Useful enough to sit on the bench? Sure.

CLEVELAND INDIANS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Signed 1B-L David Cooper to a minor-league deal. [8/13]

Put a star next to this one, just in case. The Indians, always in the market for a decent, low-cost first baseman, have added incentive to hunt for one after releasing Mark Reynolds. Cooper can be that guy, but here's the catch: he has not played this season after undergoing back surgery in the spring. When Cooper is right he hits for average, takes walks, and strokes the occasional double. He will not hit for the power associated with and desired from the position, yet some offense is better than none. Back surgery is no joke, and the chances of Cooper returning to form are lower than anyone would like to admit. But if this does work out, the Indians will have secured a cheap, controllable first baseman at little cost.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired UTL-S Emilio Bonifacio from the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash considerations. [8/14]

Transferred INF-R Miguel Tejada to the 60-day disabled list (strained calf). [8/14]

First Jamey Carroll, now Bonifacio. Although he's versatile and fast, his time in Toronto went poorly. His walk rate plummeted while his strikeout rate increased; bad signs for a player who does not hit for power, and has hit for an average better than .270 just once. Still, Bonifacio doesn't have to be a world-beater to add value. He just has to be better than the alternative, and that might be the case here. If Mike Moustakas has to go on the disabled list then the Royals will have to play two of Bonifacio, Carroll, Chris Getz, and Elliot Johnson. Sounds like fun, right?

Tejada's season is over. Perhaps his big-league career is, too.

TEXAS RANGERS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired LHP Travis Blackley from the Astros for player to be named later and cash considerations. [8/14]

Released DH-R Manny Ramirez. [8/13]

Outrighted to Triple-A earlier in the week, Blackley will remain in the minors in order to stretch his arm out. The Rangers acquired him to serve as additional rotation depth, having, in the past few days, officially lost Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis for the rest of the season. Blackley found success in the A's rotation last year, but could not do the same while working from the bullpen with the Astros, in part perhaps due to an inability to retire right-handed batters.

That about does it for Ramirez's big-league hopes.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Placed CF-L Colby Rasmus on the 15-day disabled list (strained oblique). [8/14]

Recalled INF-S Munenori Kawasaki from Triple-A Buffalo. [8/14]

Purchased the contract of OF-R Kevin Pillar from Triple-A Buffalo. [8/14]

Acquired a player to be named later or cash considerations from the Royals for UTL-S Emilio Bonifacio. [8/14]

With Rasmus and Melky Cabrera on the disabled list, and Bonifacio heading to Kansas City, the Blue Jays needed a new center fielder. So enters Pillar, the Jays' 32nd-round pick in the 2011 draft, by way of California State University at Dominguez Hills. He will become the first Toro to appear in the majors since Craig Grebeck, who last played with the Red Sox in 2001. Predictably, Pillar is a gamer type with more heart and energy than tools. He can hit, though, and that's his ticket to the majors. Our Mark Anderson saw Pillar last month and suggested he could develop into a second-division regular. Not bad for a 32nd rounder.

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

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