This week’s installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between Oct. 18-24. The previous installment is available here.
Released: C Craig Ansman
Reinstated from DL: RHP Matt Elliott, RHP Yonata Ortega, RHP Ramon Sanchez, LHP Clint Goocher, LHP Leyson Septimo, C Josh Ford, C Matt Morgan, 3B Clayton Conner, OF Joey Side
Reinstated from inactive list: C Craig Ansman
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: 3B Rusty Ryal
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Luis Valdez
Valdez, 24, has taken an unusual path to the Braves’ 40-man roster, but with a firm 90-94 mph fastball, a plus splitter and a slider as a third pitch, he’s got a chance. Signed with the Pirates out of the Dominican Republic at age 16 in 2001, Valdez spent three years in the DSL as a reliever before making his U.S. debut in 2004. He reached high Class A in 2007, his seventh pro season, posting a 4.79 ERA but striking out 78 in 73 innings. Atlanta signed him as a minor league free agent last offseason and he proceeded to turn in one of the Double-A Southern League’s better relief seasons, going 4-3, 2.76 with 77-36 strikeouts-walks in 65 innings for Mississippi.
Removed from 40-man roster: RHP Randor Bierd, RHP Rocky Cherry, C Omir Santos, SS Brandon Fahey, OF Jeff Fiorentino
Reinstated from DL: OF Kyle Hudson
Boston Red Sox
Granted free agency: RHP Chris Smith
Removed from 40-man roster: RHP Chris Smith, SS Gil Velazquez
Reinstated from DL: RHP Austin Bailey, RHP Daniel Bard, RHP Ryan Colvin, RHP Jordan Craft, RHP Seth Garrison, RHP Matt Goodson, RHP Lee Gronkiewicz, RHP Joseph Guerra, RHP Jimmy James, RHP Michael Lee, RHP Scott Lonergan, RHP Jorge Rodriguez, RHP Brian Steinocher, RHP Felix Ventura, LHP John Britton, LHP Andrew Dobies, LHP Nick Hagadone, LHP Tommy Hottovy, LHP Will Latimer, LHP Michael Tejera, C John Otness, C Tyler Weeden, 1B Anthony Rizzo, 2B Wilfred Pichardo, OF Bubba Bell, OF Jay Johnson, OF Jason Place, OF Bryan Pritz, OF Yahmed Yema
Reinstated from inactive list: SS Chih-Hsien Chiang, OF Che-Hsuan Lin
Signed: RHP Vince Perkins (Joliet (Northern)), C Danny Fatheree
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Francisco Acosta, RHP Julio Castillo
Once one of the Blue Jays’ better pitching prospects, Perkins, 27, spent 2008 pitching in the independent leagues for Camden (Atlantic) and Joliet (Northern) after the White Sox dumped him in spring training.
Chicago White Sox
Released: RHP Luis Guzman, RHP Michael Lucas, LHP Israel Chirino, LHP Wilmer Rojas, C Billy Killian, OF Ronnie Gaines, OF Nick Mahin
Removed from 40-man roster: LHP Andrew Sisco, C Paul Phillips, 2B Jason Bourgeois
Reinstated from inactive list: SS Robert Valido
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: RHP Lucas Harrell, RHP Derek Rodriguez, LHP Aaron Poreda, C Cole Armstrong, SS Gordon Beckham, OF Stefan Gartrell
Released: RHP Jorge Riera
Removed from 40-man roster: RHP Brian Slocum
Reinstated from DL: RHP Darren Clarke, RHP Samuel Deduno, RHP Robinson Fabian, RHP Ricardo Ferrer, RHP Andy Graham, RHP Andy Groves, RHP William Harris, RHP Ching-Lung Lo, RHP Yull Silano, RHP Josh Sullivan, C Brian Aguailar, 3B Leuris Gomez, SS Hector Gomez, SS Radames Nazario, SS Angelys Nina, OF Travis Becktel, OF Bret Berglund, OF Daniel Carte, OF Robert Garner
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Stephen Dodson, RHP Brandon Hynick, RHP Oscar Villarreal, RHP Aaron Weatherford, 2B James Guerrero, OF Tom Collaro
Released: RHP Dario Carvajal, RHP Angel Castro, RHP Kelvin Cedano, RHP P.J. Finigan, RHP Hayden Lackey, RHP Santo Mieses, RHP Kyle Pearson, RHP Derek Witt, LHP Danny Zell, C Brandon Harrigan, 3B Carlos Ramirez, OF Luis Arlet, OF Justin Justice, OF Cory Middleton, OF Hayden Parrott
Reinstated from inactive list: 3B Ron Bourquin
Signed: SS Chris de la Cruz
Kansas City Royals
Signed: RHP Matt Wright
Released: RHP Ariel Bonilla
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Jarod Plummer
Los Angeles Angels
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Rafael Rodriguez
Removed from 40-man roster: RHP Darren O’Day
Rodriguez signed for $780,000 out of the Dominican in 2001 as a 16-year-old and headed straight to the U.S. the next season, debuting in the Arizona League at age 17. He made steady progress as a starter, making it Double-A in 2006. Rodriguez posted a 6.63 ERA for Arkansas that year, however, and he moved to the bullpen in 2007 in his repeat of the Texas League. One more tour of the TL, in 2008, provided the Angels with enough reason to add him to the 40-man roster. Using his lively 90-94 mph fastball and solid slider, the 24-year-old Rodriguez went 2-4, 1.86 for the Travelers with 48-11 strikeouts-walks in 53 innings. As a bonus, he generated 1.84 groundouts for every airout.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Reinstated from DL: RHP Brian Akin, RHP Jhonny Caraballo, RHP Arismendy Castillo, RHP Chales Dasni, RHP Zach Hammes, RHP Tommy Perez, RHP Miguel Pinango, RHP Kyle Wilson, LHP Marlon Arias, LHP Bolivar Medina, LHP Thomas Melgarejo, C Fumimasa Ishibashi, 2B Sergio Garcia, 3B Josh Bell, SS Preston Mattingly, OF John-Ford Griffin, OF Mitch Jones, OF James Tomlin
Reinstated from inactive list: 2B Christian Lara
Signed: RHP Mike Jones, RHP Juan Sandoval
The 12th overall pick in 2001 from Phoenix’s Thunderbird High, Jones has totaled just 163 innings in the three years since he missed the 2005 season after having labrum surgery. He turns 26 next April, in what will be his eighth pro season.
Released: 1B Jakub Hajtmar
Removed from 40-man roster: RHP Julio DePaula, RHP Oswaldo Sosa, C Ryan Jorgensen, 3B Sergio Santos
New York Mets
Removed from 40-man roster: RHP Nelson Figueroa, LHP Adam Bostick, C Gustavo Molina
Reinstated from DL: RHP Nick Abbott, RHP Sal Aguilar, RHP Jose Bierd, RHP Steven Cheney, RHP Jose de la Torre, RHP Nate Field, RHP Rogers Figueroa, RHP Stephen Holmes, RHP Michael Lynn, RHP Dan McDonald, RHP Will Morgan, RHP Thomas Paredes, RHP Elvin Ramirez, RHP Jacob Ruckle, RHP Brant Rustich, RHP Scott Schafer, RHP Marcos Tabata, RHP Santiago Valdez, LHP Angel Calero, LHP Nathan Vineyard, C Rafael Arroyo, 2B Hector Pellot, 3B Zach Lutz, 3B Abraham Nunez, 3B Tyler Vaughn, SS Matt Bouchard, SS Matt Smith, OF Brian Burgamy, OF Casey Craig, OF Michael Hernandez, OF Victor Mendez, OF Raul Reyes, OF John Rodriguez, OF John Servidio
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP Omar Perez, C Sean McCraw, SS Ignacio Medrano
Bostick, 25, never did fine-tune his command with the Mets, posting ERAs of 5.66 and 6.04 in two injury-riddled years at Triple-A New Orleans. He joined the organization in November 2006, along with lefty Jason Vargas, in the trade that sent Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens to the Marlins. Given the Mets’ bullpen struggles in each of the past two seasons, this trade, as well as the one that sent Heath Bell to the Padres that same offseason, stand as perhaps general manager Omar Minaya’s worst short-term moves.
New York Yankees
Reinstated from inactive list: C Jeff Nutt
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Hector Garcia
Released: 1B Mike Eylward
Removed from 40-man roster: RHP Yoslan Herrera, RHP Marino Salas
The Pirates signed Herrera with some fanfare in March 2007, giving him a $750,000 bonus as part of a three-year big league deal, inked after a strong workout in front of GM Dave Littlefield. The signing did not pay off, as the 27-year-old Cuban made just five starts for Pittsburgh this season, going 1-1, 9.82 with 12 walks and 35 hits allowed in 18 1/3 innings. Herrera’s performance in 46 Double-A starts isn’t exactly inspiring, either: 12-18, 4.11 with 139-74 strikeouts-walks in 243 innings. He’ll have to pitch his way back on to the 40-man at Triple-A Indianapolis in 2009.
St. Louis Cardinals
Granted free agency: C Mark Johnson, B Josh Phelps
Removed from 40-man roster: C Mark Johnson, 1B Josh Phelps
San Diego Padres
Reinstated from inactive list: 2B Rayner Contreras
Reinstated from DL: RHP Kendy Batista, RHP Jacob Brigham, RHP Fabio Castillo, RHP Willie Eyre, RHP Wilmer Font, RHP Kennil Gomez, RHP John Slusarz, C Kevin Richardson, C Nick Trzesniak, SS Drew Meyer, OF Victor Barrios, OF Mike Bianucci, OF J.T. Restko
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: C Kyle Phillips, 1B Brian Dopirak
Dopirak’s resurgence in 2008 made for a feel-good story, and he’s parlayed it into another contract with the Blue Jays, for whom he’s penciled in as Double-A first baseman in 2009. A 2002 second-round pick by the Cubs out of Dunedin (Fla.) High, Dopirak slammed 39 home runs as a 20-year-old in the Midwest League in 2004. If you’ve followed minor league baseball, and the MWL in particular, you know that that just doesn’t happen. For example, this year’s MWL home-run king, Royals’ 19-year-old uber-prospect Mike Moustakas, hit just 22 in 126 games. At any rate, Dopirak failed to develop as expected, and Chicago cut ties with him last spring training. The Blue Jays signed him and sent to high Class A Dunedin, where in his hometown he batted .308/.382/.577 with 27 homers in 106 games. Dopirak wasn’t quite as prolific at Double-A (.287/.297/.425), and he’ll be 25 next season, so for the time being he’s more story than prospect.
Signed: LHP Justin Jones
Granted free agency: OF Ryan Langerhans
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