The Athletics will have to look out as the Astros and Rangers made moves that could steal a win or two from Oakland's efforts to return to the postseason for the fourth consecutive year. Plus, another old friend alert.
Astros sign Colby Rasumus
The Houston Astros signed free agent outfield Colby Rasmus to a one-year, $8 million deal with no options, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Rasmus, 28, is coming off a disappointing 2014 for the Toronto Blue Jays where he batted .225/.289/.448 with 18 home runs, 29 walks, and 124 strikeouts. Rasmus may take over the center field role from Jake Marisnick, or be on the long-side of an outfield platoon.
Apparently, the Baltimore Orioles passed on Rasmus:
Current starting RF for your Baltimore Orioles pic.twitter.com/18g49hjEyT— Orioles Uncensored (@OsUncensored) January 20, 2015
Baltimore had offered $7 million, writes MASN's Roch Kubatko, but drew the line on more money, to which I say:
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Astros designated catcher Carlos Corporan for assignment. Ryan Dunsmore of the Crawfish Boxes writes:
Corporan's depature has been written the wall since the acquisition of former Angels' catcher Hank Conger this past November. That was only compounded with the recent of addition of catcher Evan Gattis. The Astros had five players that could play catcher on their 40-man roster coming into today - Jason Castro, Max Stassi, Conger, Gattis, and Corporan.
In terms of the A's going after Corporan, there may be less expensive players to have waiting in the wings in Nashville. Corporan earns $975,000 in 2015 after avoiding arbitration. While a contract like that is usually small potatoes, it's significantly higher than the minor league minimum for 40-man roster. Corporan was said to be at the top of the Texas wishlist to backup Robinson Chirinos, writes Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
The switch-hitting Corporan had a 93 wRC+ in 190 plate appearances in 2014, and has a career wRC+ of 75 in 659 plate appearances. As for Corporan's defense, Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors writes, "Corporan has typically graded out very well in terms of pitch-framing, and his 25.5 percent caught-stealing rate over the past three seasons is merely a tick below the league average of 27 percent."
Astros still talking with Ryan Vogelsong, no deal Tuesday
Houston continues to talk with Ryan Vogelsong. Ryan Vogelsong is taking a physical in Houston today, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean told the Associated Press' Janie McCauley that while they were trying to re-sign Vogelsong, they expected him to go elsewhere. To summarize the hot takes in my local coffee shop this morning in San Francisco:
Giants fans in my local coffee shop comforting themselves with dreams of Yusmeiro Petit.— Jeremy F. Koo (@jfkooAN) January 20, 2015
A source told Evan Drellich that the Astros don't expect anything to finish by today.
Rangers trade cash for reliever Gonzalez Germen
Begin the Gonzalez Germen cash carousel:
The Yankees themselves acquired Germen from the Mets for cash in December. In two seasons for the Mets, Germen made 54 appearances with a 4.31 ERA, 64 strikeouts, and 30 walks in 64⅔ innings.
Gonzalez Germen: 92-93 FB, change, slider. Good minor-lg control disappeared in MLB. Homer-prone. Misses bats. Introverted but not shy.
— Scott Lucas v2015 (@scottrlucas) January 20, 2015
(h/t to Lone Star Ball for pointing us to the scouting report)
Old friend alert: the Barry Zito experience lives on
Barry Zito still planning to pitch in 2015 and will have a showcase at some point, I’m told. #SFGiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) January 20, 2015