Signed: C J.R. House, SS Edward Salcedo
Released: RHP Rico Reid, 1B Ryohei Shimabukuro
The Braves inked Salcedo, 18, to the richest bonus in franchise history ever handed out to an international amateur—$1.6 million. They've initiallly assigned him to the roster of the Gulf Coast League Braves, but Atlanta seems to think he'll be ready for low Class A Rome at some point in the near future.
Signed: RHP Armando Gabino, RHP Dennis Sarfate
Boston Red Sox
Released: LHP Jose Capellan
Signed: C Garrett Maines (Midwest (Frontier))
Maines, 22, batted .185 (10-for-54) in his 22-game stint in the Frontier League, but with a healthy 10-to-17 walk-to-strikeout ratio. A product of the University of Tampa, he played for the Spartans' Division II World Series winners in '07 but also dislocated his ribs four times in three years there. As a redshirt junior last year he hit .340/.389/.689 with eight homers in 103 at-bats.
Chicago White Sox
Released: SS Freddie Bynum
Bynum appeared to be on the verge of signing with Orix of Japan's Pacific League.
Signed: RHP Tom Mastny (Yokohama (Japan))
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Anthony Reyes
Outrighted to Triple-A, removed from 40-man: C Chris Gimenez
The way it turned out, Mastny, 29, took a leave from the Indians for one year to play for Yokohama of Japan's Central League. He went 1-5, 5.69, notching 43 strikeouts, 25 walks and eight home runs allowed in 15 games.
The late signing of Russell Branyan, whom Cleveland selected in the seventh round in 1994, pushed Gimenez off the 40-man roster.
Signed: RHP Tim Redding, LHP Josh Muecke, 1B Brad Eldred, 3B Travis Metcalf
Signed: RHP Mike MacDougal, C Neil Wilson (re-signed)
Signed: OF Jason Bourgeois
Released: RHP Carlos Gil
The Astros originally claimed Bourgeois on waivers from the Brewers in October.
Kansas City Royals
Signed: LHP Oswaldo Bravo
Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed: RHP Eric Gagne (Quebec (Can-Am)), 1B Dustin Yount (Tucson (Golden)), 3B Chris Gutierrez, OF Brandon Watson
Montreal native Gagne pitched as a starter for Quebec last year, going 6-6, 4.65 with 64 strikeouts and 34 walks in 103 innings. The 34-year-old presumably will slide back into a relief role if he lands with Triple-A Albuquerque. One reason for optimism: While not all 17 of Gagne's Can-Am starts were quality, he enjoyed a productive month of August, when he posted a 30-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 35 innings to go with a 2.80 ERA.
The son of Brewers Hall of Famer Robin Yount, Dustin helped lead Tucson to the Golden Baseball League finals. The 27-year-old batted .310/.381/.491 with 11 homers and 58 RBIs during the regular season.
Released: RHP Garrett Sherrill
Signed: OF Jacque Jones (Newark (Atlantic))
Jones latched on with Newark in June and July last summer, after the Reds released him in spring training. The Twins, of course, originally drafted him in the second round in 1995 out of Southern California. The 34-year-old proved he had a bit left in the tank by batting .311/.339/.504 in Atlantic League play.
New York Mets
Signed: 2B Rylan Sandoval (NDFA—Long Beach State)
Outrighted to Triple-A, removed from 40-man: LHP Arturo Lopez
Drafted twice out of Chabot (Calif.) JC, in '06 and '07 (including once by the Mets), Sandoval finally turned pro as a nondrafted free agent. He batted .245 in two years with the Dirtbags and had most recently been scouted in the Arizona Winter League, an instructional outfit run by the independent Golden Baseball League.
The signing of Rod Barajas bumped Lopez off the roster. The Mets claimed him from the Padres last June, but never bothered to call him up, not even in September.
New York Yankees
Signed: RHP Dustin Moseley, RHP John Van Benschoten
Signed: RHP Rick Guttormson (Kia (Korea))
The 33-year-old Guttormson returns to the U.S. after five years spent playing in the Far East, most recently in Korea. Prior to that he spent two years apiece with Yakult and SoftBank in Japan, amassing a record of 27-29, 3.52 while working as both a starter and reliever. The Padres selected Guttormson in the 22nd round of the '97 draft, only to cut him prior to '02 after he hit a wall in Double-A. He played indy ball for two years before earning a second shot at affiliated ball with the Mariners, but that lasted only one season, 2004, which remains (for now) the last he played on U.S. soil. The Baseball-Reference bullpen sums up Guttormson's career nicely.
Signed: LHP Jack Taschner
San Diego Padres
Signed: RHP Greg Burke (re-signed), 2B Josh Barfield, OF Matt Stairs
San Francisco Giants
Signed: RHP Byung-Hyun Kim, RHP Guillermo Mota
Kim pitched for the Rockies, Marlins, Diamondbacks and Marlins (again) in '07, his last season in pro ball. Now the 31-year-old will attempt to shake off the rust of two years away from the game.
Tampa Bay Rays
Released: 2B Jacinto Cipriota
Signed: 1B Wes Bankston
Toronto Blue Jays
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Jose Lorenzo
Signed: LHP Doug Slaten (re-signed), LHP Ron Villone (re-signed), C Carlos Maldonado, OF Sean Smith (Somerset (Atlantic))
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