J.C. Gutierrez, who appeared in 61 games for the Giants this season, has been designated for assignment and dropped from the 40-man roster.
Gutierrez posted a 3.96 ERA and 44/16 K/BB ratio in 64 innings working mostly in a low-leverage role, but with a raise to around $1.5 million due via the arbitration process the Giants decided the 31-year-old right-hander wasn’t worth keeping around for 2015.
Gutierrez pitched reasonably well and averaged 94 miles per hour with his fastball, so he should land another big-league gig somewhere.
Zelous Wheeler made his big-league debut this season when injuries wrecked the Yankees’ roster, but now the 28-year-old career minor leaguer is headed to Japan.
Wheeler has been sold to the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese League, removing him from the Yankees’ roster.
He hit just .193 for the Yankees, but Wheeler batted .296 with nine homers and an .834 OPS in 82 games at Triple-A and has the defensive versatility to potentially have stuck in a bench gig.
Juan Nicasio, whose career was derailed by a broken neck from a line drive in 2012, has been designated for assignment by the Rockies.
Nicasio came back from the broken neck only to suffer a knee injury as well and has posted an ERA above 5.00 in three straight seasons.
However, he’s still just 28 years old and showed some promise after shifting to the bullpen this season by throwing 21 innings with a 3.48 ERA and 17/5 K/BB ratio.
In fact, as recently as mid-September manager Walt Weiss was talking Nicasio up as a reliever for 2015. But the front office disagreed, or at least didn’t want to keep him around for the projected $2.4 million salary via arbitration.
Ronaldo Belisario, who served as the White Sox’s closer for part of this season, has been designated for assignment and dropped from the 40-man roster.
Belisario was arbitration eligible, so the White Sox made this move rather than simply non-tendering the 32-year-old right-hander ahead of the December 2 deadline.
Prior to this year Belisario had a solid track record for the Dodgers, tossing 265 innings with a 3.29 ERA from 2009-2013, but he struggled for the White Sox with a 5.56 ERA and 47/18 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
He figures to latch on somewhere as a middle reliever.
Josh Zeid was placed on waivers by the Astros and the Tigers have claimed the 27-year-old right-hander.
Zeid underwent season-ending foot surgery in July after giving up 18 runs in 21 innings, but in 2013 he posted a 3.90 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 28 innings for Houston.
He also has a 3.18 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 62 career innings at Triple-A, so the Tigers like his bat-missing ability as a potential middle relief option.