After spending the first seven seasons of his pro career in the Astros’ farm system Roger Clemens’ son, Koby Clemens, became a free agent and has signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays.
Clemens was Houston’s eighth-round pick in 2005 and has never been considered a top prospect, but did put up some big numbers in the low minors. He hit .345 with 22 homers, 45 doubles, and 121 RBIs in 116 games at high Single-A in 2009, but hasn’t done much since leaving the notoriously hitter-friendly California League for tougher competition.
Last season he split time between first base and third base at Triple-A, hitting .234 with 16 homers and a .756 OPS in 126 games at age 24, and then was banned from playing winter ball in Puerto Rico after leaving his team without notice.
Koby is unlikely to reach the majors, but Roger won back-to-back Cy Young awards for the Blue Jays in 1997 and 1998 before they traded him to the Yankees for David Wells.
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.