Just week since he helped the Pirates avoid getting perfect-gamed by Max Scherzer and the Nationals, outfielder Jose Tabata has been designated for assignment, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. It sounds like pitcher Chris Volstad is on his way out as well, while Steve Lombardozzi and Gorkys Hernandez are coming up from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Tabata, 26, hit .289/.341/.289 with four RBI in 41 plate appearances for the Pirates this season. Once a top prospect in the Yankees’ system, Tabata has yet to match expectations. He joined the Pirates in July 2008 along with Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, and Daniel McCutchen when the Pirates sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Bronx in a trade.
Though Tabata has utility and is only 26, he’s unlikely to be claimed on waivers as he’s owed the remainder of his $4.167 million salary plus $4.5 million next season and a $250,000 buyout for any of the 2017-19 seasons.
Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest reports that the Rangers have signed pitcher Ross Ohlendorf to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Ohlendorf, 32, spent the last two seasons with the Nationals. He pitched sparingly in 2014 due to a lingering back injury, amassing just 14 2/3 innings in the minor leagues and 60 1/3 in the majors. When he was on the mound in 2013 for the Nationals, he was productive, posting a 3.28 ERA and a 45/14 K/BB ratio across seven starts and nine relief appearances.
CSNWashington.com’s Mark Zuckerman reports that right-handed pitcher Ross Ohlendorf has elected to become a free agent after being activated from the 60-day disabled list Tuesday afternoon and outrighted off the Nationals’ 40-man roster.
Ohlendorf was hampered by a lingering back injury for much of the 2014 season, but the 32-year-old former fourth-round pick of the Diamondbacks registered a cool 3.28 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 45/14 K/BB ratio across 60 1/3 innings (seven starts and nine relief appearances) for the Nats in 2013. There should be major league offers out there for him this winter.
The Pirates have designated outfielder Jose Tabata for assignment, Bill Brinks of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, citing MLB.com’s transactions page. Earlier, the Pirates acquired reliever Preston Guilmet from the Orioles in exchange for cash considerations. Ostensibly, the two moves are related.
Tabata, 26, had a disappointing season after breaking out in 2013 for the Pirates which seemed to justify the six-year, $15 million extension he signed with the Pirates in August 2011. In 186 plate appearances this season, he hit just .282/.314/.333 with no home runs and 17 RBI. He was outrighted and later demoted to Triple-A Indianapolis towards the end of June but he didn’t post any better results. Tabata returned to the Pirates in late August and made only a handful of starts before being resigned to the bench. He played in the Pirates’ loss to the Giants in the NL Wild Card game, going hitless with a strikeout in two at-bats.
Tabata was once a heralded top prospect in the Yankees’ system. He was traded to the Pirates near the trade deadline in 2008 along with Daniel McCutchen, Ross Ohlendorf, and Jeff Karstens in the trade that sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Yankees.
I saw this floating around Twitter over the past several days It’s loads of fun. From the New York Daily News in November 2007, talking about the Yankees and Marlins and a trade for Miguel Cabrera that never happened:
Brian Cashman met with the Marlins at about 6 p.m. last night at the GM meetings. No offers were made, but a source with knowledge of the situation said the Marlins made it clear that the Yankees would have to include either Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain or Ian Kennedy in any trade for Cabrera, something the Yankees are not willing to do. The Yankees would likely offer a deal involving their next tier of prospects, which includes Alan Horne, Humberto Sanchez, Ross Ohlendorf and Jose Tabata.
This came right after Alex Rodriguez opted-out of his $250 million deal and was a free agent. The Yankees, of course, signed him to his current $275 million deal a little over a month later. In the meantime, they could have traded off, say, Joba Chamberlain for the current two-time MVP and could have let Rodriguez dangle.
That sounds awesome now. But at the time people thought Chamberlain, Hughes and Kennedy were the cat’s meow. And Miguel Cabrera, while clearly a huge talent, wasn’t quite what he is now in most people’s minds. And of course Alex Rodriguez was the best player in the game who, two short years later, would lead the Yankees to their last World Series title.
So, yes, it stings now. But at the time it wasn’t a crazy line of reasoning on Cashman’s part. And while people say hindsight is 20/20, in reality, it’s not. Hindsight obscures a lot of stuff we knew back then — or at least thought we knew back then — but have since forgotten.