Leroux signs with Japanese club
Former Pirates right-hander Chris Leroux has signed a one-year, $550K contract with the Yakult Swallows of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, reports Ben Nicholson-Smith of SportsNet. The deal also includes incentives and a vesting option for the 2014 season.
Leroux, 29, was DFA-ed by the Bucs earlier this month and elected free agency rather than a minor-league assignment. The right-hander posted a 5.56 ERA and 8.1 K/9 in 69⅔ innings over parts of five MLB seasons with the Pirates and Marlins. He also pitched for Team Canada in March's World Baseball Classic.
For a look at all the MLB players who headed to Japan/Korea/Taiwan this year, check out our full list here.
Leesman elects free agency
Left-hander Charlie Leesman has declined his minor-league assignment from the Texas Rangers and elected to try his chances in free agency, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Leesman, 26, was claimed off release waivers from the White Sox last Friday, meaning that Leesman himself had five days to accept or reject the Rangers' claim.
The southpaw had solid success in Triple-A for the White Sox last season, posting a 2.47 ERA and 6.9 K/9 in 135 innings over 26 starts, so he shouldn't have any problem sticking with another club. His chances of immediately getting on another 40-man roster probably aren't very good though.
Leesman doesn't have overpowering stuff, but his elite ability to limit home runs -- 0.3 HR/9 in 603 innings -- should help him break into the show eventually.
Mets prospect gets drug suspension
New York Mets minor leaguer Christian Montgomery has been suspended 50 games his second violation of the Minor League drug policy, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN. The 20-year-old right-hander again tested positive for a "drug of abuse," which will not be disclosed but could be anything from marijuana to heroin, so...
An 11th round pick out of an Indianapolis high school in 2011, Montgomery spent last year with the short-season Rookie ball club in Kingsport and is set to do the same this year. The season doesn't start until June 20 so he won't begin his suspension until then.
Montgomery got in just 7⅔ innings last year at Kingsport, allowing eight runs and walking six while fanning seven.