Additions and Subtractions, Offseason Transactions: 2015 Edition
Last year we brought you an update of what players moved where during the 2014 offseason, and at the time of publishing, the list was fairly small. This year though, as we examine where some of the 2015 Durham Bulls have landed this offseason, the list is considerably larger. Here we take a peek at who’s departed the Tampa Bay organization, and some of the guys who have joined the Rays family.
INF Hak-Ju Lee, who spent parts of three seasons in Durham (2013-15), signed as a minor league free agent with the San Francisco Giants. After hitting .422 to open his Triple-A career in 2013, an injury cut his season short after just 15 games, and he hit a combined .212 in 2014 and 2015.
RHP Kirby Yates was traded to Cleveland after he was designated for assignment. The Hawaiian native saved 42 games in 46 chances for Durham from 2013-2015, while posting a 2.33 ERA in that span. The 28-year-old split the 2014 and 2015 campaigns between the Bull City and Tampa Bay.
C/1B JP Arencibia, who ranked 2nd in the IL with 22 home runs in 2015, signed a minor league deal with Philadelphia. Despite playing just 99 games Arencibia hit more home runs in a single season than any Bulls player since 2010, while also earning the team’s Community Service award.
LHP Scott Diamond, the Bulls 2015 Pitcher of the Year, was picked up on a minor league deal by Toronto. The southpaw was picked up just before the season started, but went on to go 11-6 with a 3.71 ERA. The 29-year-old made a team-high 25 starts, and tied for third in the IL with 11 wins.
OF Joey Rickard was selected by Baltimore in the Rule 5 draft at the Winter Meetings. Rickard, who made his Triple-A debut in August, tore up the IL over the season’s final month by hitting .360 with a .437 OBP. Between three levels in 2015 the product of Arizona hit .321 and finished with a cumulative .427 OBP.
RHP Jim Miller, who ranked second on the squad with 44 appearances in 2015, inked a deal with Milwaukee. The veteran reliever led all IL relievers in fewest BB/9 (1.45), and posted two scoreless streaks of at least 13.0 innings, including a career-best 23.1-scoreless inning streak that spanned the entire month of May.
INF Jake Elmore will join Miller in the Milwaukee system, as the Brewers become the eighth organization of his career. Elmore split 2015 between Durham and Tampa Bay, hitting .247 but posting a .377 OBP over 57 games with the Bulls.
OF Joey Butler, who hit .333 over 31 games for the Bulls in 2015, was claimed off waivers by Cleveland after Tampa Bay designated him for assignment. The veteran outfielder spent the majority of the season with the Rays, hitting .276 with eight homers over 88 games.
LHP Robert Zarate was signed as a minor league free agent by Pittsburgh. The Venezuelan pitched to a 2.90 ERA in 17 games with Durham, while battling injuries throughout the season.
Note: LHP CJ Riefenhauser, OF Boog Powell and RHP Nathan Karns were traded to Seattle in November.
LHP Dana Eveland, 32, agreed to a minor league deal with the Rays per Marc Topkin. The veteran southpaw has spent parts of 10 seasons at the big league level, including appearing in 10 games for Atlanta last season. Eveland split 2015 between three organizations, and combined to go 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA in 33 Triple-A appearances with Pawtucket, Gwinnett and Norfolk.
LHP Adam Kolarek was picked up by Tampa Bay in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft. The 26-year-old made 51 appearances at the Double-A level a season ago, and reached the Triple-A ranks briefly in 2013.
RHP Tyler Sturdevant signed with Tampa Bay as a minor league free agent in November after spending all of 2015 with Triple-A Columbus. Last season with the Clippers the 29-year-old pitched to a 3.16 ERA, a year which marked his fourth straight season appearing at the Triple-a level.
RHP Danny Farquhar, who was traded to Tampa Bay in the deal that sent Riefenhauser, Powell and Karns west, could make an impact in Durham as well. The 28-year-old split 2015 between the Mariners and Triple-A Tacoma, making 43 appearances at the big league level and 27 in the minors.