A strange tale from the pages of Baseball America. The basics:
- Dominican prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua signs a deal with the Diamondbacks for $17,000. The deal is conditional while a background check takes place;
- After pitching for the Dbacks developmental team for a spell under the conditional arrangement, the contract is rejected by Major League Baseball and Paniaqua is suspended because of fraudulent paperwork regarding his age and identity;
- While he’s in paperwork/suspension limbo, Paniaqua fills out and adds 5-6 m.p.h. to his fastball;
- Because of the voided deal, he becomes a free agent after his paperwork is cleared up, the Yankees sign him for $1.1 million.
Click through and read the story to see how this all came about. From where I’m sitting, the Diamondbacks kind of got boned by virtue of there being no mechanism by which they could retain the rights to a guy they may very well have wanted to keep once the paperwork was sorted out. After all, it was Major League Baseball — and not the Dbacks — who decided that Paniaqua was a free agent. And that worked to the Yankees’ benefit. As if they needed the benefit.
A new rule has been proposed to deal with this that gives the club in the Dbacks’ position a right of first refusal if it happens again. Of course, that won’t help Arizona cope any better if and when Paniaqua becomes a stud for the Yankees.
Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports that the Orioles and Diamondbacks have agreed in principle to a trade involving outfielder Michael Bourn. The trade is in the process of being finalized. It is not yet known what the Diamondbacks are receiving in return.
Bourn will be the second outfielder the Orioles have acquired on Wednesday, as the club also claimed Drew Stubbs off waivers from the Rangers.
With rosters expanding on Thursday, the Orioles are making a concerted effort to bolster the team’s outfield depth. Both Stubbs and Bourn are eligible for the Orioles’ postseason roster if the club makes it.
Bourn, 33, hit .261/.307/.362 with 21 extra-base hits, 30 RBI, 43 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 358 plate appearances.
The Orioles have claimed outfielder Drew Stubbs off release waivers from the Rangers, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The club designated for assignment pitcher Kyle Lobstein, whom they acquired from the Pirates earlier on Wednesday, to make roster space for Stubbs, Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com reports.
The Rangers designated Stubbs for assignment last week. After clearing waivers, Stubbs refused an assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, so the Rangers released him on Monday.
Stubbs, 31, has taken only 67 plate appearances this season — 42 with the Braves, 25 with the Rangers — as he missed a lot of time between mid-May and mid-August with a sprained left toe.
With rosters expanding, the veteran Stubbs will simply add to the Orioles’ outfield depth.