This time: March 21-30
Previous installment: March 14-20
A few clubs got the ball rolling last time out by setting free a handful of minor leaguers, but that total paled in comparison with the 294 players here who were given their release—including a smattering of first-round picks. For other players, 92 of them to be exact, they received official word that they had been optioned to the minors, joining the 172 players from last time and giving us a total of 264. As large as that figure sounds, the total number of players who can be optioned hasn’t yet reached the ceiling of 450, which is 40-man roster spots (1,200) minus 25-man roster spots (750). That cap is flexible, though, depending on the number of players actually on 40-man rosters at any one time as well as the number of players on the 60-day disabled list, which doesn’t count against a club’s 40-man count.
Note that players shown here re-signing with their teams are in fact members of the 40-man roster who have signed minor league deals in conjunction with being optioned or otherwise sent to the minors.
Released: RHP Santo Baez, C Gerardo Bustamante, 1B Chance Wheeless, OF Jarred Ball, OF Jo Jo Batten
Outrighted to Triple-A and removed from 40-man roster: OF Alex Romero
Option transferred: RHP Jose Marte (Double-A Mobile to Triple-A Reno)
Released: RHP Emiliano Fruto, RHP Joe Johnson, RHP Sung Ki Jung
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Jo-Jo Reyes, C Clint Sammons, 2B Diory Hernandez
Signed: LHP Chris Waters
Released: RHP Scott Chiasson, RHP Blair Johnson, RHP Jeff Moore, LHP Dan Smith, C Jose Reyes, 3B Travis Brown, OF Calvin Lester
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brad Bergesen, RHP Bob McCrory, RHP Kam Mickolio, RHP Jim Miller, LHP Wilfrido Perez, LHP Chris Waters, OF Nolan Reimold
Reimold, 25 and a second-round pick in ’05, gets his first crack at Triple-A ball this year after a season and a half (189 games) at Double-A. He batted .290/.366/.518 with 36 homers and 44 doubles in 693 at-bats.
Boston Red Sox
Signed: RHP Rocky Cherry, RHP Devern Hansack, C Dusty Brown
Released: RHP Jordan Craft, RHP Javier Garcia, RHP Steve Green, RHP Chris Jones, LHP Michael Rozier, Darren Blocker, OF Rafael Cabreja
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Michael Bowden, RHP Devern Hansack, C Dusty Brown
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Junichi Tazawa
Cherry, 29, failed to stick with the Mets this spring as a big league Rule 5 pick, but the Orioles declined to take him when New York offered him back. It’s a reasonable gamble for the Red Sox, seeing as Cherry has a 95-to-28 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 91 Triple-A innings.
Released: RHP Michael Cooper, RHP Grant Johnson, RHP John Muller, RHP Audy Santana, RHP Harol Tolentino, LHP Mark Pawelek, C Mario Mercedes, 1B Bryan Jost, SS Erick Almonte, OF Ryan Harvey
Recalled: OF Richie Robnett
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Jose Ascanio, RHP Kevin Hart, RHP Randy Wells, 1B Jake Fox, OF Sam Fuld
Outrighted to Triple-A and removed from 40-man roster: OF Richie Robnett, OF Brad Snyder
While organizations certainly endure cold streaks in the draft, it’s hard to match the Cubs in this regard, especially after the week they just had. They cut ties with their top picks from the 2003 through 2005 drafts, releasing Harvey (’03, sixth overall), Johnson (’04, second round) and Pawelek (’05, 20th overall). Jim Callis notes that the Cubs invested $5.41 million in this trio, receiving an extremely limited return. And you’re probably familiar with the plight of Chicago’s top draft selections in the three years prior to that: Bobby Brownlie, Mark Prior and Lou Montanez, who at least seems to have salvaged his career with the Orioles (he’s on the 40-man, at least).
Chicago White Sox
Signed: RHP Kelvin Jimenez, RHP Mike MacDougal, 3B Dayan Viciedo
Released: RHP Matt Davis, RHP Juan Moreno, RHP Stuart Pomeranz, RHP Steven Spurgeon, LHP Ronnie Morales, LHP Erasmo Ramirez, LHP Kevin Skogley, OF Estee Harris
Traded: C Chris Stewart to Yankees for future considerations
Traded: SS Sergio Santos to Giants for future considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Adam Russell, RHP Ehren Wassermann
Option transferred: 3B Dayan Viciedo (Triple-A Charlotte to Double-A Birmingham)
Released: RHP Rafael Ceballos, RHP Juan Rafael, RHP Efrain Rodriguez, RHP Jeremy Vinyard, RHP Dan Zeffiro, LHP Jamie Arneson, LHP Aaron Fultz, C Todd Waller, 1B Mike McKennon, 1B Daryle Ward, 2B Darrick Hale
Traded: 2B Drew Anderson to Rays for future considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Ramon Ramirez, 2B Danny Richar
Signed: RHP J.K. Ryu, RHP Juan Salas, LHP Aaron Laffey
Released: RHP Brad Hinkle, RHP P.J. Zocchi, LHP Candido Jesus, LHP Wilfredo Ramirez, LHP Garrett Rieck, OF Angel Rodriguez, OF Juan Valdes
Voluntarily retired: OF Brock Simpson
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP J.K. Ryu, LHP Aaron Laffey, LHP Jeremy Sowers, C Chris Gimenez, C Wyatt Toregas, OF Trevor Crowe
Signed: OF Ryan Harvey
Released: RHP Brandon Dill, RHP Josh Hall, RHP Ethan Katz, RHP Andres Marrero, LHP Cedrick Bowers, LHP Craig Rodriguez, 1B Chad Rothford, SS Derek Kinzler, SS Zack Murry, OF Victor Ferrante, OF Chad Lembeck, OF Kane Simmons
Recalled: 1B Joe Koshansky
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Greg Reynolds, 1B Joe Koshansky
The Rockies lost Koshansky, 26, on a waiver claim to the Rangers.
Signed: LHP Macay McBride
Released: LHP Jason Miller, 1B Derek Lehrman, SS Vinny Biancamano, SS Joaquin Guzman
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Freddy Dolsi, OF Wilkin Ramirez
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Alfredo Figaro
Released: RHP Chris Bodishbaugh, RHP Adam Campbell, RHP Brett Durand, RHP Wayman Gooch, RHP Jacob Marceaux, RHP Andrew Paulauskas, LHP Kedrick Martin, LHP Kelly Shearer, C Pete LaForest, C Daniel Santin, 2B Ray White, SS Valentino Arce, OF Rene Arias, OF Ramon Asencio
Traded: RHP Hector Correa to Giants for C Ronny Paulino
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Ryan Tucker, LHP Taylor Tankersley, C Brett Hayes, C Mike Rabelo
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Tim Wood
The Marlins cut Paulauskas, a seventh-round pick from a Wisconsin high school in ’07, who had amassed just 23 innings in Rookie ball in two years. He went 1-2, 10.96 with 18 strikeouts and 16 walks in 11 appearances for the GCL Marlins. The big story here, however, is Marceaux, the ’05 draft’s 29th overall pick. A McNeese State product, he was the third pitcher taken by the Marlins in a year in which they devoted their top five picks (all within the first 44 selections) to pitchers. The other four were prep products Chris Volstad (Fla.), Aaron Thompson (Houston), Ryan Tucker (Calif.) and Sean West (La.)—and their sixth pick, second-round outfielder Kris Harvey, has converted to the mound. But back to Marceaux, who last appeared in the 2008 edition of our Prospect Handbook:
No. 26 Jacob Marceaux, rhp
Born: Feb. 14, 1984. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 195. Drafted: McNeese State, 2005 (1st round). Signed by: Dennis Cardoza.
Of the five pitchers the Marlins drafted before the second round in the 2005 draft, four landed among the top eight spots on this list while Marceaux remains the enigma. See him one day and he might appear overpowering, with an 89-91 mph fastball that touches 94 and has good movement, a 12-to-6 curveball, a potential plus slider and a changeup. Come back for his next outing, and you can’t be sure you’re seeing the same guy. His fastball tends to flatten out as Marceaux lifts his arm slot and tries to overthrow it, and the same goes for his secondary stuff. A devout tinkerer, he just needs to trust his stuff and stick with the basics. Toward that end, roving pitching coordinator Wayne Rosenthal worked with Marceaux on a few minor mechanical adjustments during a fall minicamp. Strong enough to start, Marceaux will remain in the bullpen, in large part because of his problems repeating his delivery. He went to Hawaii Winter Baseball in hopes he might emulate the rapid Hawaii-to-bigs rise of Rick Vanden Hurk, but Marceaux continued to battle inconsistency. With a $1 million investment in him, the Marlins will give Marceaux plenty of chances to figure things out. After repeating high Class A in 2007, he’ll advance to Double-A this year.
Signed: SS Marcos Cabral
Released: RHP Colt Adams, RHP Corey Bass, RHP Tip Fairchild, RHP Danny Graves, RHP Michael Koons, RHP Brett Robinson, RHP Sean Walker, LHP Antony Bello, LHP Eduin Ciriaco, LHP Pascual Juan, LHP David Qualben, LHP Tom Vessella, C Jimmy Goethals, 1B Josh Pressley, 1B Ole Sheldon, 2B David Newhan, 3B Jeff Eure, SS Cat Everett, OF Billy Hart, OF Jason Romano, OF Jason Tyner
Optioned to Triple-A: C J.R. Towles
Outrighted to Triple-A and removed from 40-man roster: C Lou Palmisano
The Astros offered big league Rule 5 pick Palmisano, 26, back to the Brewers, but they declined to take him, allowing Houston to retain his rights and option him to the minors.
Kansas City Royals
Signed: RHP Devon Lowery, LHP Craig Rodriguez, 1B Kila Ka’aihue
Released: RHP Joe Augustine, RHP Casey Feickert, RHP Paul Raglione, LHP Anthony Bradley, LHP Jesse Carver, LHP John Foster, LHP Steve Gilgenbach, LHP Tim Huber, LHP Orlando Rada, LHP Josh Ruhlman, 1B Devery Van De Keere, OF Brett Bigler, OF Steve Boggs, OF Brad Correll, OF Warren McFadden
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Devon Lowery, 1B Kila Ka’aihue
Bigler, a seventh-round pick from UC Riverside in ’06, batted .258/.384/.314 in 724 at-bats, spending most of the past two season in high Class A. Feickert, an eighth-round pick from Antelope Valley (Calif.) JC in ’07, went 1-2, 11.25 in 28 pro innings, striking out 22 and walking 17 in 23 games. He spent both seasons in the Rookie-level Arizona League.
Los Angeles Angels
Signed: OF Terry Evans
Released: RHP Rafael Flores, RHP Jon Plefka, RHP Brian Rogers, LHP Kevin Ferguson, 3B Ludwig Glaser, OF Jeremiah Luster
Placed on restricted list: C David Golliner
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Anthony Ortega, 3B Freddy Sandoval, OF Terry Evans
Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed: RHP Carlo Alvarado
Released: RHP Edgar Martinez, RHP Cal Stanke, LHP Brad Halsey, 2B Zach Penprase, 3B Shan Sullivan, OF Matt Berezay, OF Lyndon Poole, OF Ryan Rogowski, OF Jon Zeringue
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Scott Elbert
Released: RHP Sandy Nin, LHP Derek Miller, OF Trot Nixon
Optioned to Triple-A: C Angel Salome, 3B Mat Gamel
Outrighted to Triple-A and removed from 40-man roster: RHP Wes Littleton
Signed: RHP Armando Gabino
Released: RHP Nathan Fritz, RHP Mauro Schiavoni, LHP Chris Anderson, LHP Nick Lobanov, OF Luis Matos, OF Andrew Schmiesing
Traded: RHP Charles Nolte to Yankees as compensation for retaining Rule 5 pick RHP Jason Jones
Optioned to Triple-A: 3B Luke Hughes, 3B Matt Macri, OF Jason Pridie
Optioned to Double-A: C Wilson Ramos
New York Mets
Signed: RHP Brandon Knight, C Robinson Cancel, OF Cory Sullivan
Released: RHP Pedro E. Martinez, RHP Stephen Puhl, RHP Jorge Rodriguez, LHP Valerio de los Santos, LHP Tom Martin, LHP Ron Villone, C Cesar Cordido, SS David Montas, OF Brian Burgamy, OF B.J. Roper-Hubbert
Loaned to Mexican League: LHP Heriberto Ruelas
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Carlos Muniz, OF Cory Sullivan
Outrighted to Triple-A and removed from 40-man roster: RHP Brandon Knight
Yes, Pedro Esmeli Martinez is the son of Pedro Martinez, the all-time great who last pitched for the Mets but remains unsigned for ’09. Just 21 years old, the junior Pedro was born in June 1987, about a year before the elder Pedro signed his first pro contract, as a 16-year-old, with the Dodgers.
New York Yankees
Released: RHP Luke Greinke, RHP Nick Montgomery, LHP Clint Preisendorfer, C Joseph Muich, 3B Spencer Lucian, 3B Braedyn Pruitt, OF Jahdiel Santamaria
Acquired: RHP Charles Nolte from Twins as compensation for their retaining Rule 5 pick RHP Jason Jones
Acquired: C Chris Stewart from White Sox for future considerations.
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Anthony Claggett, RHP Phil Hughes, RHP Steven Jackson, 1B Juan Miranda
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Humberto Sanchez, C Francisco Cervelli
A 12th-round pick out of Auburn last year, Greinke compiled just 34 innings for short-season Staten Island, going 0-6, 4.01 with 26 strikeouts and 17 walks. He’s the 22-year-old younger brother of the Royals’ Zack Greinke. Pruitt, a 14th-rounder from Stetson in ’07, reached high Class A and batted a composite .275/.380/.337 in 386 at-bats.
Signed: C Eric Munson
Released: RHP Ryne Tacker
Acquired: C Curtis Thigpen from Blue Jays for a player to be named or cash considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Henry Rodriguez
Signed: LHP Cedrick Bowers
Released: RHP Yorman Bazardo, RHP Dustin Cameron, RHP Jorge Crespo, RHP Andrew Cruse, RHP Reymond Cruz, RHP Sean Ellis, RHP Yoel Hernandez, RHP Yen-Feng Lin, RHP Cristobal Mata, RHP Blaine Neal, RHP Ben Pfinsgraff, RHP Justin Pope, RHP Steven Shepard, LHP Moises Melendez, LHP Sean Thompson, C Josh Arhart, C Caleb Mangum, C Alan Robbins, C Scott Thomas, 1B John Urick, 2B Daniel Hargrave, SS Kyle Haines, OF Tim Binkoski, OF Herman Demmink, OF Bryan Frew, OF Damon Hollins, OF Chris Walker
Voluntarily retired: RHP Gerard Breslin, 2B Luke Appert
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Joe Bisenius, RHP Kyle Kendrick, C Lou Marson, 2B Brad Harman
The Phillies selected Haines from the Giants system in the minor league phase of last year’s Rule 5 draft.
Signed: RHP Mitchell Fienemann, RHP Harvey Garcia
Released: RHP Carlos Amaro, RHP Jorge Charry, RHP Matt Foust, RHP Ivan Rusova, RHP Wardell Starling, RHP Malvin Vasquez, C Juan Garcia, C Christopher Jones, C Aeden McQueary, 1B Alex Vargas, 2B Matt Cavagnaro, OF James Barksdale, OF Caleb Fields, OF Mike Goetz, OF Albert Laboy, OF Joe Munoz
Optioned to Triple-A: C Robinzon Diaz, OF Steven Pearce
Consecutive Pirates’ picks in the ’07 draft, Foust (sixth round, Nebraska) and Garcia (seventh, P.R. Baseball Academy) failed to do much of anything outside the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Foust struck out 64 and walked 63 in 90 pro innings, while Garcia batted just .145/.184/.214 in 117 at-bats, all in the GCL.
St. Louis Cardinals
Signed: LHP Charlie Manning
Released: RHP Hyang-Nam Choi, RHP Wayne Daman, RHP Miguel Flores, RHP Russ Haltiwanger, RHP Jameson Maj, RHP Jose Mateo, RHP Jon Mikrut, RHP Zach Pitts, LHP Joe Rogers, LHP Matt Spade, C Christian Rosa, 2B Isaias Garcia, 3B Brian Cartie, 3B Nick Vera
Traded: RHP Luke Gregerson to Padres as player to be named in trade for SS Khalil Greene
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Blake Hawksworth, SS Tyler Greene
Outrighted to Triple-A and removed from 40-man roster: LHP Royce Ring
In addition to having one of the minor leagues’ more unique names, Haltiwanger also was a minor league Rule 5 selection from the Royals last December.
San Diego Padres
Signed: RHP Shawn Hill, RHP Scott Patterson
Released: RHP R.J. Rodriguez, LHP Stephen Boyd, LHP Geoff Vandel, 1B Zach Brown, 3B Matt Gaski, 3B Brian Snyder, OF Ryan Hill, OF Aaron Murphree
Acquired: RHP Luke Gregerson from Cardinls as player to be named in trade of SS Khalil Greene
Traded: OF Chris Burke to Mariners for cash considerations
Recalled: RHP Scott Patterson
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Josh Geer, RHP Scott Patterson, LHP Cesar Ramos, LHP Joe Thatcher, C Jose Lobaton, 2B Matt Antonelli, OF Will Venable
Outrighted to Triple-A and removed from 40-man roster: RHP Scott Patterson
Rule 5 pick returned: RHP Ivan Nova (to Yankees)
Vandel put up a strong debut in 2005, going 1-1, 0.58 with a 43-6 K-BB ratio in 31 innings between the Rookie-level Arizona League and short-season Eugene and getting into the 2006 Prospect Handbook at No. 26. He never built on that season in any positive manner, though, and never progressed past low Class A. (John Manuel)
San Francisco Giants
Signed: RHP Keiichi Yabu
Released: RHP Mike Eifel, RHP Justin Hedrick, RHP Anthony Moreno, RHP J.J. Pannell, LHP Damon Brewer, LHP Roberto Martinez, LHP Meroli Nova
Traded: C Ronny Paulino to Marlins for RHP Hector Correa
Acquired: SS Sergio Santos from White Sox for future considerations.
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Waldis Joaquin, RHP Billy Sadler, 3B Ryan Rohlinger, SS Brian Bocock
Hedrick, 26, doesn’t throw hard and never seemed to impress the Giants despite his performance. He was 4-6, 2.14 with 72 strikeouts in 71 innings at Double-A Connecticut in 2007, so naturally the Giants sent him back to the Eastern League; he was 2-3, 1.37 last year there with nine saves and a 74-21 K-BB ratio in 66 innings. His career line—10-15, 2.38, 28 saves, 317.1 IP, 219 H, 379 K, 120 BB and a 2.38 career ERA. If he’s healthy, the Omaha native and Northeastern product should at least be able to help another organization as a good minor league soldier. (John Manuel)
Signed: RHP Luis Pena
Released: RHP Aaron Brown, RHP Jeff Dunbar, RHP Rob Harmon, RHP Bryan Harris, RHP Javier Martinez, RHP Brian Oates, RHP Keith Renaud, RHP Joe Woerman, C Brian Schweiger, C Peter Whatley, 1B Randy Molina, 2B Donny Jobe, SS Chris Minaker, SS Joe Simokaitis, OF Kevin Reynolds
Acquired: OF Chris Burke from Padres for cash considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Jason Vargas, 3B Matt Tuiasosopo
Reading between the lines, it doesn’t seem like the Mariners’ new front office was overly enthused with the franchise’s ’07 draft haul, releasing four righthanders from that class, including Seattle’s ninth- through 11th-round selections. The full list: Brown (ninth), Renaud (10th), Dunbar (11th and drafted as a catcher) and Martinez (29th).
Tampa Bay Rays
Signed: 2B Elliot Johnson
Released: RHP Robert Della Grotta, RHP Matt Long, RHP Wilton Noel, LHP Jino Gonzalez, 2B Chase Fontaine, OF Quinn Stewart
Acquired: 2B Drew Anderson from Reds for future considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP David Price, C John Jaso, 2B Elliot Johnson, SS Reid Brignac, OF Justin Ruggiano
Rule 5 pick returned: RHP Derek Rodriguez (to White Sox)
Signed: RHP Luis Mendoza, LHP Kason Gabbard
Released: RHP Chris Dennis, RHP J.B. Diaz, RHP Juan Peralta, RHP Julio Santana, C Brandon Harrigan, 2B Kyle Higgins, OF Jamie McGraw, OF Truan Mehl
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Luis Mendoza, C Max Ramirez, 1B Joe Koshansky
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: LHP Bill Murphy
Released: RHP Rick Bauer, RHP Mike MacDonald, RHP Dan Miller, RHP Jay Monti, RHP Seth Overbey, RHP Edward Rodriguez, RHP Orlando Roman, LHP Daryl Harang, LHP Brian Letko, LHP Mike Maroth, LHP Ken Takahashi, LHP A.J. Wideman, C Joel Collins, 1B Adam Amar, 1B Chip Cannon, SS Marcos Cabral, OF Jacob Butler, OF Chris Demons, OF Wayne Lydon, OF Cory Patton
Traded: C Curtis Thigpen to Athletics for a player to be named or cash considerations
Voluntarily retired: RHP Justin Cryer
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brian Wolfe
A 10th-round pick from South Alabama in ’07, Collins batted .283/.381/.517 in 240 at-bats with the organization. Even though Cannon finished with the organization on a sour note, batting .231/.343/.343 for Triple-A Syracuse last year, he’ll always have 2005. That year he clubbed 32 home runs as part of a .289/.359/.582 campaign and march to Double-A New Hampshire. Cannon blasted 27 home runs for the Fisher Cats in ’06, but saw his totals dip to 17 and then to five last season. Toronto drafted him from The Citadel in the ’04 draft’s eighth round.
Signed: C Josh Bard
Released: RHP Ben Grezlovski, RHP Alex Morales, RHP Damian Silva, RHP Jorge Urena, OF Garrett Bass, OF Jake Dugger, OF Brett Sellers
Placed on restricted list: C Patrick Nichols, 2B Blake Stouffer
Added to 40-man roster: 1B Dmitri Young
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Collin Balester
In adding Young to the 40-man roster, the Nationals honored a handshake agreement made by deposed general manager Jim Bowden and the 35-year-old veteran. Bowden had promised him a roster spot after he had been removed last year.
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