White Sox pick up reliever Pena from Diamondbacks

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So much for that idea
of Brandon Allen being sent to the Blue Jays in a Roy Halladay trade.
The White Sox just used him to bolster their bullpen with the
acquisition of Tony Pena from the Diamondbacks.

Pena, once known as Adriano Rosario, was considered a future closer
for Arizona when he debuted in 2006, but his stuff had only
occasionally translated into the expected results. After a strong 2007
in which he had a 3.27 ERA and 30 holds, he was overlooked in favor of
Brandon Lyon for the closer’s role in 2008. He was later passed by Chad
Qualls, so he remained a setup man this year with Lyon gone. He did
well in that role early on, amassing a 1.85 ERA through the end of May,
but he had given up 15 runs — 13 earned — in his last 15 appearances,
leaving him at 4.24 for the year. Pena makes barely more than the
minimum now and is under control through 2012, so this isn’t just a
trade for this year.

Pena still seemed like a possibility to close for the Diamondbacks with
Qualls likely to attract suitors before the deadline. With the White
Sox, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll ever get that opportunity. Bobby
Jenks, Scott Linebrink, Octavio Dotel and Matt Thornton are all ahead
of him on the depth chart. Fantasy leaguers should now be looking at
Jon Rauch as a possible sleeper for saves.

Allen gives the Diamondbacks something they didn’t have in their
system: a possible first baseman of the future. The 23-year-old hit
.290/.372/.452 with seven homers in 241 at-bats for Double-A Birmingham
to begin the year. Since a promotion to Triple-A last month, he was at
.262/.262/.377 with no walks in 61 at-bats. He’s a potential 25-homer
guy, and he’s shown better on-base ability with every move up the
ladder, at least until a couple of weeks ago. He’s probably not going
to be a regular to begin 2010, but the move suggests that the
Diamondbacks aren’t interested in turning either Mark Reynolds or Conor
Jackson into a full-time first baseman going forward.

Report: Jose Ramirez close to four-year extension with Indians

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Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.

Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.