Author: Aaron Gleeman

Minnesota Twins v Tampa Bay Rays

Jamey Carroll retires, joins Pirates’ front office

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Jamey Carroll, who sat out last season after being released by the Nationals during spring training, has officially retired as a player at age 41 and joined the Pirates’ front office as a specialist assistant to the baseball operations staff.

Carroll didn’t make it to the majors until age 28, but had a 12-year career in which he hit .272 with a .349 on-base percentage and excellent strike-zone control as utility man.

He earned nearly $20 million while playing for six different teams and logging at least 1,500 innings at shortstop, second base, and third base.

White Sox sign their second LaRoche of the offseason

Andy LaRoche
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Back in November the White Sox signed free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche to a two-year, $25 million deal and now they’ve signed his brother, Andy LaRoche, to a minor-league contract.

Andy LaRoche was once considered a top prospect in the Dodgers farm system–higher rated as a prospect than Adam LaRoche ever was, in fact–but he struggled in 404 games as a big leaguer for four different teams and has spent most of the past three seasons at Triple-A.

Baseball America rated Andy LaRoche as a top-100 prospect in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008–including top-20 spots twice–but now at age 32 he’s mostly organization depth and someone to hang out with Adam during spring training.

Sammy Sosa was not invited to the annual Cubs Convention

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Next week at the 30th annual Cubs Convention more than 60 current and former Cubs players will be in attendance, but Sammy Sosa will not be one of them.

Like last year, Sosa has not been invited to the event because, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:

Issues between him and the team going back several years still haven’t been resolved. Sources have indicated in the past that Sosa needed to mend relationships with some former teammates before he can attend. Sosa was denied entry into the Hall of Fame earlier this week despite hitting 609 career home runs, including three seasons with the Cubs where he hit 60 or more.

It’s worth noting that the Cubs’ current management is not the same as the Cubs’ management when Sosa was in Chicago, at least in terms of the front office. Which suggests “some former teammates” are the ones keeping Sosa away. Sosa’s highest-profile Cubs teammates from 1992-2004? Kerry Wood, Mark Grace, Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano. Hmm.

Takashi Toritani is staying in Japan

toritani getty
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Takashi Toritani has decided to remain in Japan, re-signing with the Hanshin Tigers after reportedly “mulling offers” from multiple MLB teams as an unrestricted free agent.

Toritani, a 33-year-old infielder with more than 1,400 consecutive games played in Japan, hit .313 with modest power and good plate discipline in Japan last season and was viewed by some MLB teams as a potential starting shortstop or second baseman.

White Sox designate Jordan Danks for assignment

jordan danks white sox
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To make room on the 40-man roster for Emilio Bonifacio the White Sox designated for assignment outfielder Jordan Danks, whose brother John Danks remains in Chicago’s starting rotation.

Danks debuted for the White Sox in 2012 and has logged 386 plate appearances in the majors since then, hitting just .227 with eight homers and a .629 OPS.

He’s also spent a ton of time at Triple-A, totaling 463 games for Charlotte during parts of five seasons, but Danks’ numbers there suggest he’s probably best suited for a backup outfielder gig.