Tampa Bay is always looking for cheap bullpen options with upside and their latest scrap-heap pickup is Ernesto Frieri, signing the former Angels closer to a one-year deal worth $800,000 in guaranteed money and another $2.35 million in potential incentives.
Frieri was a mess this season, getting traded by the Angels and then released by the Pirates on the way to posting a 7.34 ERA in 42 innings.
However, his 48/14 K/BB ratio remained strong and from 2010-2013 he threw 229 innings with a 2.79 ERA and 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings. It’s possible that Frieri went from top-notch reliever to totally washed up in one year, but for $800,000 it certainly makes sense for the Rays to find out if the pre-2014 version can be resurrected.
Veteran outfielder Brennan Boesch has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Reds.
Boesch was once a solid regular for the Tigers, but has mostly been stuck in the minors since struggling in 2012. This year he played at Triple-A for the Angels, hitting .332 with 25 homers and a 1.017 OPS in 95 games, but failed to produce in a brief big-league stint.
At age 29 he’s no longer likely to carve out a big role, but Boesch would make a decent platoon player or bench bat and the Reds may be in need of some outfield depth if they trade Jay Bruce.
Chris Capuano said during an interview with MLB Network Radio that he’s “considering” signing with a Japanese team.
Capuano is 36 years old, so finding a guaranteed big-league job for 2015 could be difficult, but he had a decent 4.35 ERA and 84/34 K/BB ratio in 97 innings for the Red Sox and Yankees this season.
As a middle reliever or fifth starter there should still be a fit on some team’s pitching staff for Capauano, but Japan may offer more money and a more prominent role. And he apparently liked it there after traveling to Japan as part of the MLB All-Stars series earlier this month.
It’s not often that a player becomes a free agent after just three professional seasons, but unique circumstances have led to that happening with left-hander Michael Roth.
Roth was the Angels’ ninth-round draft pick out of the University of South Carolina in 2012. At the time he was viewed as a low-upside, MLB-ready pitcher and sure enough he debuted in the majors less than a year after being selected: April 13, 2013.
And then he got knocked around in a few stints with the Angels, allowing 28 runs in 32 innings. He was placed on waivers and passed through unclaimed twice, the second time happening yesterday, and because of that Roth was able to become a free agent at age 24.
Based on his underwhelming raw stuff and minor-league track record Roth looks like a marginal big leaguer, but he’ll no doubt find a home at Triple-A somewhere and perhaps make it back to the majors.
Reports have varied on whether the Twins or the Rangers submitted the highest bid for Korean left-hander Hyeon-jong Yang, but now it doesn’t matter.
Yang’s team, the Kia Tigers, have rejected the winning bid–wherever it came from–and the 27-year-old ace will stay in Korea for at least one more season.
No word on the exact value of the bid, but the Tigers apparently weren’t happy with the amount and weren’t willing to let Yang go anyway despite his wanting to pitch in America. By rule, Yang can’t be made available to MLB teams again until November 1, 2015.