Brian Bogusevic, who opened last season as the Astros’ primary right fielder, was one of four players to sign minor league deals with the Cubs on Wednesday, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports.
The Cubs also added former Braves catcher J.C. Boscan, veteran utilityman Alberto Gonzalez and failed outfield prospect Johermyn Chavez.
Bogusevic, a 2005 first-round pick as a pitcher who later converted to the outfield, hit .203/.297/.299 with seven homers and 15 steals in 355 at-bats for the Astros last season. It’s kind of interesting to see him land with the Cubs considering that he was 3-for-30 with no extra-base hits in 13 games against the club last season; they’ve mostly caught him at his worst.
Bogusevic is the player in the group with the best chance of making the team, but he’ll still be a long shot. Boscan will be no higher than fourth on the catching depth chart. Gonzalez is going to be insurance in case an infielder gets hurt. Chavez has spent seven years in the minors and still hasn’t mastered Double-A.
The Cody Ross era in Boston appears over. The Red Sox have agreed to terms with Jonny Gomes on a two-year deal that’s worth $10 million, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser.
The $5 million annual salary is four times more than Gomes has ever earned before. He made $1 million while hitting .262/.377/.491 in his lone season with the A’s.
The Red Sox are paying a steep price for a guy who belongs on the bad side of a platoon. Gomes has hit .284/.382/.512 against lefties and .223/.307/.425 against righties in his career. That line against righties isn’t so bad, but considering that Gomes is a subpar defender, he’s a poor option as a full-time player.
It’s hard to imagine the Red Sox now re-signing Ross. The two are essentially the same hitter; Ross has come in at .284/.353/.575 hitter against lefties and .253/.312/.415 against righties in his career. Ross is the clearly superior defender and thus is a better option as a starter against righties. However, he was believed to be asking for something in the neighborhood of $24 million for three years.
Gomes will join Daniel Nava, Ryan Sweeney, Ryan Kalish and Jerry Sands in the mix for corner outfield at-bats in Boston. Ideally, Kalish, the biggest talent in the bunch, would step up and claim the right field job, at least against righties.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark has the pre-turkey day scuttlebutt:
On the one hand, Rolen had a pretty miserable NLDS against the Giants in October. On the other, he hit a pretty terrific .297/.376/.473 with five homers in 165 at-bats after the All-Star break. He’d seem to be quite an asset starting twice per week and teaching Todd Frazier the finer points of third base. The danger there is that Dusty Baker might be tempted to go back to him as a starter if Frazier turns in a poor April.
Still, the Reds might as well leave the spot open for him. Miguel Cairo will still be out there in February if Rolen decides he’s done.
Frank Pastore, who spent seven of his eight major league seasons with the Reds from 1979-86, is in a coma after after being injured in a car accident Monday night.
“I just hope everyone is praying for him. This is a shock to all of us,” Pastore’s mother-in-law told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. “He’s a very good person. A Christian person. At this time, it’s very hard. He’s loved by everyone.”
Pastore was driving a motorcycle when he was struck by a car. According to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Aaron Knarr, the driver of the car lost control and hit Pastore’s Honda Shadow in the car pool lane. The driver of the car wasn’t hurt and was not intoxicated.
Pastore, 55, hosts a radio show on a Christian station based in Los Angeles. He went 48-58 with a 4.29 ERA in 139 starts and 81 relief appearances in his major league career, which concluded with the Twins in 1986. He had his best season in 1980, going 13-7 with a 3.27 ERA in 27 starts for Cincinnati.
A few weeks after acquiring Heath Bell, the Diamondbacks made another addition to their bullpen on Tuesday, picking up lefty Matt Reynolds from the Diamondbacks for infielder Ryan Wheeler.
Reynolds, 28, had a nice debut with the Rockies in 2010 but was pretty mediocre since, amassing a 4.09 ERA in 2011 and a 4.40 ERA in 2011. While he’s been used primarily as a specialist, he’s only been a bit better against lefties (.262/.309/.459) than righties (.259/.323/.506) in his career. The Diamondbacks are apparently banking on the fact that he’s been quite a bit better on the road (.210/.290/.435) than in Coors Field (.294/.333/.514) in his career.
Wheeler, 24, came up this year and hit .239/.294/.339 with one homer in 109 at-bats for the Diamondbacks. He hit .351/.388/.572 in 362 at-bats for Triple-A Reno before his callup, but that was in a very friendly offensive environment. He hit .294/.358/.465 in Double-A in 2011.
Wheeler is a long shot to make it as a regular — his glove won’t be a big asset at third and he probably won’t have the bat for first — but he makes plenty of sense for a Rockies team that isn’t quite set at either corner infield position. Plus, now the team can find someone better than Reynolds for a specialist role, if it opts to carry a specialist at all.