This installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between Jan. 24 to 30. The previous installment is available here.
Removed from 40-man roster: 1B Oscar Salazar
While the 30-year-old Salazar was by no means an integral part of the Orioles’ future, his strong performance in 2008 sure seems like it should warrant a more extended big league look. The righthanded batter hit .316/.371/.512 for Triple-A Norfolk, in a tough hitting environment, and then provided value to Baltimore in September, when he batted .295/.403/.475 in semi-regular play. Remarkably, Salazar was playing in the Mexican League just three seasons prior—and he didn’t play at all in 2006—making his breakout all the more impressive. But now after designating Salazar for assignment (to make room for free agent Gregg Zaun), the Orioles will attempt to re-sign him to a minor league deal—assuming that he passes through waivers.
Note: Transactions reader Vincenzo informs us that Salazar did in fact play in 2006. He led the Italian Baseball League in doubles (17) and slugging (.524). See his full note in Comments below.
Boston Red Sox
Signed: RHP Charlie Zink, OF Chip Ambres
Signed: RHP Matt Herges, RHP Mauro Zarate, OF George Lombard
Signed: RHP Scott Munter
Though he hasn’t always pitched effectively, Munter, 28, a Giants’ 47th-round pick in 2001, always has sported a healthy groundball rate. And that’s a skill that will serve him well in the Rockies system, whether in Denver or in Colorado Springs.
Signed: RHP Kiko Calero, RHP Matt Peterson
Reinstated from inactive list: OF Brandon Verley
Signed: 2B David Newhan, OF Jordan Comadena
Comadena signed as a nondrafted free agent after a four-year career at Purdue, during which he batted .340/.455/.620 as a junior. But a broken hand late that season quashed his hopes of being drafted that summer, and he then struggled to a .276/.379/.359 season as a senior. Interestingly, Camadena was discovered at a Northwoods League alumni game by Astros scout (and former standout outfielder) Jimmy Wynn.
Kansas City Royals
Signed: LHP Jose De Jesus, LHP Frankely Diaz
Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed: LHP Juan Cedeno, 1B Gaby Martinez
Released: RHP Kalen Gearhart
Signed: OF Derrick McPhearson
McPhearson, who was expected to become a two-sport standout for Illinois before running afoul of the law, will try to revive his baseball career with the Brewers. The 22-year-old outfielder signed a minor league deal with Milwaukee, almost a year after he pleaded guilty to felony theft. A Champaign County (Ill.) judge last February sentenced him to 180 days in jail and 30 months of probation after McPhearson pleaded guilty to stealing a laptop computer from another student’s apartment in March 2007, according to The News-Gazette in Champaign. Four counts of residential burglary and another theft charge were dropped.
McPhearson last played baseball at DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Md., as his arrest led Illinois football coach Ron Zook to dismiss him from the team. McPhearson transferred to Hampton (Va.), which does not field a baseball team. (Kary Booher)
New York Mets
Signed: RHP Kyle Snyder, LHP Valerio de los Santos, OF Frank Diaz
Signed: 2B Rob Watson, 3B Orlando Guevara
Signed: RHP Jean Machi
San Francisco Giants
Signed: SS Juan Uribe
Released: RHP John King, RHP Paul Lussier, LHP Carlos de la Rosa, LHP Gregorio Geronimo, OF Casey Bond
Signed: RHP Randy Messenger, 1B Mike Sweeney
Tampa Bay Rays
Signed: 2B Jake Gautreau, SS Brandon Chaves
The 14th overall pick in 2001 as a lefty-swinging, pure-hitting third baseman from Tulane, Gautreau was mentioned in the same breath as Mark Teixeira among college hitters in that draft class. However, Gautreau never did reach the big leagues with the Padres, the team that drafted him—or anybody else for that matter. A switch to second base and medical problems, including bouts with ulcerative colitis and skin cancer, conspired against Gautreau, who now is 29 years old. After poor Triple-A seasons for Buffalo in ’06 and New Orleans in ’07, he redeemed himself with a solid year in the independent American Association, batting .282/.370/.454 for Fort Worth.
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: SS Nick Bidois
Signed: RHP Ben Grezlovski, SS Alex Cintron
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