This week’s installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between Dec. 16 and Dec. 23. The previous installment is available here.
Released: RHP Eligio Lagua, RHP Eliezer Murillo, RHP Matt Timms, LHP Tim Ladd, LHP T.J. Wohlever, OF Mike Elkerson, OF Chad Maddox
Signed: C Chad Moeller, 2B Melvin Dorta, OF Dave Krynzel
The Brewers’ first-round pick (11th overall) in 2000, Krynzel lasted exactly one homestand with the Diamondbacks last season, appearing in four games for Triple-A Tucson, three times as a pinch-hitter, before drawing his release in early April. He played in just 23 games in 2007, his first season with Arizona after an offseason trade, so the 26-year-old needs to make up for lost time.
Signed: SS Andres Blanco
Chicago White Sox
Signed: RHP Brad Salmon
Signed: LHP Aaron Fultz, 1B Wes Bankston, OF Laynce Nix
Released: OF Yuber Rodriguez
As a member of the Blue Jays organization, Rodriguez batted .309/.379/.502 as a 20-year-old in his repeat of the Appalachian League in 2004. But it proved to be a fleeting glimpse of his five-tool talent, as he proceeded to hit .220/.300/.311 in three seasons in low Class A. Rodriguez, a native of Venezuela, signed with the Reds as a minor league free agent prior to the 2008 season.
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP Dan Cevette
Signed: RHP Mike Wood
Wood returns from a stint in Japan that went about as well as his domestic big league career, which is highlighted by a 5.49 ERA. Part of the Royals’ 2004 trade bounty for Carlos Beltran, the 29-year-old Wood went 3-12, 4.69 in 26 starts for Yokohama last season.
Signed: 1B John Gall, 1B Josh Pressley, OF Reggie Abercrombie
Released: RHP Agustin Pinales
Abercrombie had been nontendered in December, but he and the Astros came to terms on a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Though the 28-year-old righthanded batter never has shown much feel for the strike zone, he performed well in a defensive replacement role with Houston last season, batting .309/.339/.509 while being spotted frequently against lefties. Abercrombie’s production in those 55 big league at-bats outpaced anything he had done up to that point—setting aside his Albuquerque-aided 2007 campaign—so reserve outfielder probably remains his ceiling.
Pressley was a former Rays farmhand who found his power stroke in the Atlantic League. Pressley hit .354/.440/.605 for Somerset in 2008 to earn the Atlantic League Player of the Year award. Pressley’s previous high in home runs came in 2005, when he hit 22 home runs for Wichita. That was the only other time in Pressley’s 11-year career that he hit more than 13 home runs in a season, which was also the year he was suspended for 15 games for violating baseball’s performance-enhancing drug reules.
Kansas City Royals
Signed: RHP Luke Hudson, RHP Oscar Villarreal, LHP Lenny DiNardo, OF Tommy Murphy
Los Angeles Angels
Released: SS Ryan Leahy, SS Chris Lewis
Voluntarily retired: OF Cody Fuller
Placed on military list: RHP Milan Dinga
Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed: RHP Mario Alvarez, LHP Brian Mazone
Released: RHP Scott Strickland
Signed: RHP Ryan Houston, RHP Chris Smith, LHP Chris Capuano, OF Chris Duffy, OF Trot Nixon
The Brewers nontendered Capuano but re-signed him to a minor league deal. He missed the entire 2008 season after having a second Tommy John surgery.
Signed: RHP Bob Keppel, OF Joe Gaetti
Released: LHP Jay Sawatski
New York Yankees
Released: 2B Prilys Cuello, SS Ramon Pena, OF Alvaro Ramirex
Signed: RHP Justin Lehr, RHP Scott Mathieson, RHP Blaine Neal, RHP Justin Pope, LHP Josh Shortslef, 3B Terry Tiffee, SS Ozzie Chavez, SS J.J. Furmaniak, OF Casey Craig, OF Mike Spidale, OF Brian Stavisky, OF Chris Walker
Released: RHP Charles Vartanian, 1B Doug Morales, 3B Welinson Baez
The switch-hitting Tiffee batted .378/.416/.561 last season, missing by one point winning the minor league batting title. Furmaniak played on the same Yokohama team as just-signed-by-the-Marlins Mike Wood. Furmaniak appeared in 25 games and batted .157/.185/.275.
Signed: RHP Denny Bautista, RHP Chris Bootcheck, RHP Lincoln Holdzkom, RHP Juan Mateo, RHP Eduardo Pena, RHP Sean Smith, LHP Edwin Walker, C Zach Booker, 1B Garrett Jones, 1B Andy Phillips, OF Jonel Pacheco, OF Jeff Salazar
Released: LHP Eddy Nunez
St. Louis Cardinals
Signed: LHP Julio Castellano, 2B Joe Thurston
San Diego Padres
Signed: RHP Oneli Perez
San Francisco Giants
Signed: RHP Jesse Foppert
Signed: RHP Eric Hull
Tampa Bay Rays
Signed: RHP Doug Salinas, SS Ray Olmedo, OF Ray Sadler, OF Jon Weber
Signed: RHP Casey Daigle
Released: RHP Yeyser Marinez, RHP Eleno Soto, LHP Kelvin Borjas
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: C Raul Chavez, 1B Randy Ruiz, OF Jason Lane
Signed: RHP Jorge Sosa, LHP Gustavo Chacin, 3B Jose Castillo, OF Corey Patterson
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