More Minor-League Signings

Four 28-year-olds get signed for Spring Training

Some 40-man moves will be coming shortly, as MASN’s Ben Goessling is reporting that Ryan Mattheus has been signed to a major-league deal, as was Chien Ming Wang, but the following the minor-league deals were announced today:

  • IF Brian Bixler
  • RHP Tim Wood
  • 1B Michael Aubrey
  • OF Jeff Frazier

Bixler spent 2010 with three AAA clubs (Columbus, Indianapolis, and Syracuse) and is likely an insurance policy for Danny Espinosa. Wood split time between AAA New Orleans and the Florida Marlins, posting a 4.32 ERA over 44 games for the latter. Aubrey is a former first-round draft pick by the Cleveland Indians and spent 2010 with AAA Norfolk, hitting .235 with 22HR in 102G. Frazier hit .217 in 9 games with Detroit but .256 with 25HRs in 123 games at AAA Toledo. All four men are 28 years old.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

18 thoughts on “More Minor-League Signings”

  1. Mattheus is listed on the Syracuse roster, so I’m not sure about the report that he got a major league deal.

        1. Actually, looking again more closely, it’s not quite as overstocked on relievers as I was thinking, between WAS and SYR.

  2. Why would we have possibly signed Mattheus to a major league deal? Earlier he was removed from our 40-man and reported to have signed with Syracuse. If he cleared waivers at the time and wasn’t claimed, or if he was a minor league free agent, I can’t see why he needs to occupy a 40-man spot.

    By my calculations, the Nats are 2 over on the 40-man as it stands. I’m assuming that the two guys we got for Willingham are on the 40-man (that put us at 40/40 at the time). Now Wang and Ankiel are major league deals as well.

    I’m guessing JD Martin and Aaron Thompson are dumped off to make room. If we need a third spot, Maxwell’s days may be numbered.

    1. You don’t think guys like Chico or Severino are ahead of the firing line? JD Martin has at least gotten some significant time in DC the past couple of years. Seems to me they might stash him in Syracuse for insurance, although the AAA rotation is starting to look pretty crowded. I don’t know what they do with Thompson. He was such a disappointment last year.

  3. Aubrey is the only “new” name amongst the SYR signings, with the Wood & Frazier signings noted earlier by BaseballAmerica, and Bixler being a returnee from 2010. I’m also confused by the reports on Mattheus, with the same questions posed by ToddBoss; Why bring him back under a ML-contract, after he’d cleared waivers on an outright assignment? That doesn’t make any sense.

    Regardless, I’d think that pitchers like Chico (27, LH), JDMartin (27, RH), Mock (27, RH), and Severino (26, LH) rank below Thompson (23, LH) in the ‘internal pecking order’. If roster trimming is required in WSH, thrown the first four of this list in with Maxwell & that might cover it.

  4. BinM,

    Here’s my guess vis-a-vis Mattheus:

    Think Webb, Wang and to some extent Maya clone (without the multispeed curve).
    In other words; sinker ball pitcher. Rizzo believes in sinkerballs versus junk/slop/soft t oss.

    He is competing for a starting rotation job in 2011.

    1. I think that’s something that’s getting lost in the hysteria (and seriously, is there any move that doesn’t generate shrill screeds in the Natmosphere?) … From what I can tell from Rizzo’s moves this offseason, only two position players are “guaranteed” a job (Zimmerman & Werth) and probably only one starter (Zimmermann). Every other job is up for grabs; moves like the Ankiel signing are designed to create competition. This is something that nearly every team needs to do — even the big boys. If you’ll recall your baseball history, Branch Rickey was big on trying to replace one spot in the lineup every single year for the same reason.

    1. It’s a fair guess that most of the Hagerstown OF will be moving up, along with Justin Bloxom and Stephen King. But Potomac is usually the last roster that’s set and it’s not unusual for some guys that spend all one season at Potomac start the next at Hagerstown.

    1. The AFL guys (Burgess, Lombardozzi, Norris, Peacock) won’t be coming back, but the rest is a crapshoot as it will depend on who retires, who gets released, and how the AAA and AA rosters are built. Guys like Danny Rosenbaum and Trevor Holder are difficult to call because we don’t have a track record to go by when it comes to Rizzo’s preferences for moving pitchers up.

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