Chin-lung Hu never really got another shot in Los Angeles after struggling as a rookie in 2008, and today the Dodgers traded the 27-year-old shortstop to the Mets for left-hander Michael Antonini.
Once upon a time Hu was considered a top prospect, but his bat never developed enough to match his strong glove and now his potential tops out at utility man.
He’s hit .303 in 274 games at Triple-A, but it’s an incredibly empty batting average with just 19 homers and 46 walks in 1,135 plate appearances and his .754 OPS is anything but impressive at hitter-friendly Las Vegas.
Antonini was an 18th-round pick in 2007 and spent this year between Double-A and Triple-A, posting a 4.49 ERA and 131/31 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. Antonini doesn’t project as a big leaguer, but unlike Hu he won’t require a spot on the 40-man roster.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.