Notes from Tuesday's moves and callups

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– The White Sox brought up both Tyler Flowers and Josh Fields to help fill the void left by Jim Thome’s departure. Fields’ return was never in doubt, but he may not see as much playing time as expected if the White Sox want to see if Flowers is ready to hit in the majors. Flowers, a product of the Javier Vazquez deal with the Braves, batted .302/.445/.548 in 248 at-bats with Double-A Birmingham and .286/.364/.438 in 105 at-bats following a move up to Triple-A Charlotte. His defense behind the plate is subpar, so it’s possible that he’ll end up being a long-term first baseman or DH. The White Sox, though, intend to continue developing him as a catcher.
– The Marlins didn’t wait until the end of the minor league season to bring back Cameron Maybin, their Opening Day center fielder. He hit .319/.399/.463 in 298 at-bats for Triple-A New Orleans, and it’s likely that he would have returned more than a month ago if the penny-pinching Marlins weren’t trying to keep him from eventually becoming a super-two player. The Marlins figure to start him against every left-hander and at least the occasional right-hander. He seemed in line for more playing time before Jeremy Hermida bounced back and hit .312/.413/.442 during August.
– To open up a 40-man roster spot, the Rangers designated Thomas Diamond for assignment. Diamond, the 10th overall pick in the 2004 draft, was shaping up as a fine prospect before blowing out his elbow in the spring of 2007. He missed the season following Tommy John surgery and hadn’t returned to form in two years since. This season, he had a 4.20 ERA and a 58/44 K/BB in 55 2/3 innings as a reliever between Double- and Triple-A.
– As Aaron wrote earlier, both Sean Rodriguez and Kevin Mulvey were included in trades Monday. I just wanted to bring it up again as an illustration of the point I made last week when the Yankees temporarily blocked Boston’s move of Chris Carter to the Mets by claiming the outfielder on waivers.
There were seven AL teams that could have interfered with Rodriguez going to the Rays. There were 13 AL teams and five NL teams that could have blocked the move of Mulvey to the Diamondbacks. Not one of them did, even though those two players wouldn’t have gotten past any teams had they been on irrevocable waivers.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.