This week’s installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between Feb. 16 and 22. Previous transactions available here.
Signed: LHP Damian Moss
Moss bounced from the independent Atlantic to South Coast leagues in 2006 and 2007 after being cut by the Braves early in ’06. The 31-year-old Australia native wasn’t particularly successful, though, going 0-5, 7.67 in six starts the first year and posting a 6.75 ERA in three games (two starts) the second. While durable, Moss’ shaky command plagued him in his two extended big league trials, for the Braves in ’02 and ’03. He walked 4.7 batters per nine in that time.
Signed: OF Chris Roberson
Roberson was signed to a minor league deal after being removed from the 40-man roster last week.
Signed: OF Cesar Salazar
Released: OF Victor Liriano
Chicago White Sox
Signed: RHP Tomo Ohka
Ohka is sitting on 999 career big league innings, and though you wouldn’t know it now, he was a dependable back-end option for a stretch from 2002 to 2005. The past two seasons haven’t been so kind, seeing as he’s been bumped from the Brewers’ and Blue Jays’ rotation before reaching 100 innings.
Signed: OF Jason Tyner
Signed: 3B Russell Branyan
Because the Brewers have just one lefty-hitting regular (Prince Fielder), Branyan may get a serious look in camp. It won’t be easy to make the team, though, because he’ll have to contend with other power-hitting lefties like Gabe Gross, Eric Munson and Brad Nelson, all of who are on the 40-man. Branyan can play third base and does boast an impressive career isolated power mark of. 250, the trade-off being that practically nobody strikes out as much as he does. Not even Adam Dunn or Ryan Howard fan in 40 percent of their at-bats, as Branyan has over the past three seasons. Jack Cust strikes out that much, but he’s still in his prime at 29; Branyan is 32.
Removed from 40-man roster: OF Darnell McDonald
St. Louis Cardinals
Signed: LHP Ron Villone
San Diego Padres
Signed: OF Drew Macias
Like Roberson in Baltimore, Macias was brought back on a minor league deal after being removed from the 40-man.
Signed: OF Bubba Crosby
Signed: 2B Bret Boone
Boone joins his brother Aaron (a first baseman) and father Bob (assistant GM and VP of player development) in Washington. Bret, who turns 39 early in the season, hasn’t had an above-average campaign since 2003, and he retired last spring rather than play in the minor leagues, so it’s unclear exactly how much he has left. What is clear is that Nats general manager Jim Bowden is familiar with the entire Boone family from their days together in Cincinnati.
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