Veteran outfielder Shane Robinson, who was dropped from the 40-man roster by the Twins earlier this month, has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Indians.
After a decade in the Cardinals organization Robinson joined the Twins on a minor-league deal last offseason and ended up receiving a career-high 197 plate appearances at age 30.
He hit just .250 with zero homers and a .621 OPS, which is right around his career mark of .615 and makes it pretty clear that Robinson is stretched as more than a pure backup. His plus range and good speed could land him a bench gig for 2016.
Cleveland also signed journeyman Adam Moore to a minor-league contract, adding some catching depth.
For months now there’s been speculation about the Marlins looking to trade 24-year-old outfielder Marcell Ozuna, whom they demoted to the minors and then kept there far longer than reasonable.
And now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that “multiple teams” have talked to the Marlins about acquiring Ozuna, quoting one source who says:
I’d be surprised if they keep him. Loria clearly can’t stand the guy and everybody knows it.
With any other team that in itself would be news, but with Jeffrey Loria and the Marlins it’s just business as usual.
Crasnick says the Marlins are looking for a young, MLB-ready starting pitcher in exchange for Ozuna, who’s hit .265 with 36 homers and a .727 OPS through 346 career games as a big leaguer and crushed Triple-A during his demotion.
Ozuna has some flaws, including shaky plate discipline, but he’s a plus defensive corner outfielder with 25-homer power and plenty of teams would probably be happy to make him part of their long-term plans.
Looking to pick up some infield depth, the Brewers have acquired shortstop Jonathan Villar from the Astros in exchange for minor leaguer Cy Sneed.
Milwaukee’s new general manager David Stearns was previously the assistant GM in Houston, so his targeting the 24-year-old Villar makes sense. Starting shortstop Jean Segura could be on the trading block and shortstop prospect Orlando Arcia isn’t quite ready for the big leagues yet.
Villar hit well in a part-time role this year after struggling in 2013 and 2014, batting .284 with two homers and a .752 OPS in 53 games. He’s previously never hit much even in the minors, but has 40-steal speed and a good glove.
Sneed was the Brewers’ third-round draft pick in 2014 and spent this year pitching at Single-A, throwing 139 innings with a 2.58 ERA and 122/28 K/BB ratio. While not a top prospect, he has some MLB potential down the road.
Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that the White Sox “have let teams know” Avisail Garcia is available and have already “entertained offers” for the 24-year-old outfielder.
Garcia was viewed as a long-term building block when the White Sox acquired him as part of the Jake Peavy trade in mid-2013, but he’s hit just .263 with a .701 OPS and poor plate discipline in 236 games as a major leaguer and was one of the league’s worst-hitting everyday corner outfielders this year.
Last week general manager Rick Hahn told Hayes that Garcia’s “ceiling is still extremely high” but with other young outfield options emerging within the organization he could be used in an effort to improve other areas of the team.
Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker will be a free agent next offseason, making him a potential trade candidate, and Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have talked to the Pirates about acquiring the 30-year-old switch-hitter.
Encina says it’s unclear how far along talks got, but if nothing else it suggests the Pirates are willing to move Walker for the right price. He’s expected to make around $10 million in 2016 via arbitration after hitting .269 with 16 homers and a .756 OPS in 151 games this year.
Walker has spent his entire professional career in the Pirates organization. He was the 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft out of high school, cracked Baseball America’s annual top-100 prospects list four times, and has been the team’s starting second baseman since 2010.