According to Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America, 422 players became minor league free agents Monday. Hilburn-Trenkle provides the full list, but right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, outfielders Jorge Bonifacio and Domingo Santana, and catcher Tyler Heineman are among the notables.
Foltynewicz spent the previous six seasons with the Braves, and he looked like a front-line starter at times. During his best season, 2018, Foltynewicz threw 183 innings of 2.85 ERA/3.37 FIP ball with 9.93 K/9 and 3.34 BB/9. His career began coming off track the next season, though, as the Braves demoted him to Triple-A during the summer. While Foltynewicz did return to the majors and finish on a positive note, he wasn’t able to carry that momentum into 2020. The 29-year-old made just one appearance – on July 27 – gave up six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings and experienced an alarming drop in velocity, going from the 95 mph range to 90.5. The Braves then designated Foltynewicz for assignment, but no one claimed him and he spent the remainder of the year at their alternate training site.
The Indians took a $1.5MM gamble on Santana last winter after a 21-home run season with the Mariners, though he struggled in the second half of the 2019 campaign and hasn’t recovered since. He amassed 84 plate appearances as an Indian and hit a nonthreatening .157/.298/.286 with a pair of home runs. To no one’s surprise, the Indians declined the 28-year-old’s $5MM option for 2021.
Bonifacio was once a top 100 prospect with the Royals, but he has fallen on hard times since a promising start in 2017. An 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs limited him in 2018, during which he offered subpar production over 270 PA, and Bonifacio took only 21 trips to the plate the next season. The Royals then released Bonifacio, who signed a minors deal with the division-rival Tigers. Though he did get back to the majors with the Tigers, the 27-year-old logged the worst production of his career, hitting .221/.277/.326 line and two homers across 94 PA.
Heineman, an ex-Marlin, became a Giant on a minors pact in January. He cracked their season-opening roster, started Game 1 and was a regular into mid-August, but he lost almost all of his playing time to Joey Bart and Chadwick Tromp from there. Heineman ended the campaign with a .190/.292/.214 line and no homers in 50 attempts.