Here we come to the first wave of players to be optioned to the minors. Treat these early assignments as guidelines because teams still can alter the players' minor league destinations.
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Cesar Valdez, SS Pedro Ciriaco
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Daniel Stange, LHP Leyson Septimo
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Stephen Marek, RHP James Parr, RHP Todd Redmond, LHP Lee Hyde, LHP Jose Ortegano
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Juan Abreu, RHP Kyle Cofield
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brandon Erbe, LHP Troy Patton
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Luis Lebron, RHP Chorye Spoone
Boston Red Sox
Signed: 1B Nomar Garciaparra
Voluntarily retired: 1B Nomar Garciaparra
Optioned to Double-A: SS Jose Iglesias
Signed: RHP Juan Serrano
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Mitch Atkins
Optioned to Double-A: RHP David Patton
The Cubs signed Cuban defector Serrano, listed as a 21-year-old, and intend to start him with high Class A Daytona.
A big league Rule 5 pick a year ago who appeared in 20 games for the Cubs and 52 for the disabled list, Patton is free to resume his career at the Double-A level. Prior to his selection, he had spent two seasons with the Rockies' high Class A Modesto affiliate.
Chicago White Sox
Signed: RHP Orber Moreno
Outrighted to Triple-A, removed from 40-man: RHP Brandon Hynick
Moreno cracked a couple of our Top 100 Prospects lists back when he appeared to be the Royals' closer of the future. But his capsule in our ’01 Prospect Handbook seems ominous in retrospect: "The Royals might not have had to turn to Ricky Bottalico and Jerry Spradlin as closers if Moreno hadn't been hurt." Moreno missed all of the ’00 season and never would get a chance to pitch for the Royals from that point forward. He saw any amount of big league time only once, with the Mets in ’04, when he appeared in 33 games, struck out 7.5 per nine innings and didn't allow a home run. He pitched in 14 games for Triple-A Memphis in ’06 and in 34 games in the Mexican League last season, but that's the whole of his pro experience in the past five years. Well, that's not entirely true. Moreno, 32, has pitched for his local Caracas club in the Venezuelan League in each of the past four winters, pitching very well each time.
Released: RHP Brandon Rice
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Brandon Rice
Rice, an 11th-round pick in ’06, spent all of last season on the restricted list.
Optioned to Double-A: LHP Kelvin de la Cruz
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Al Alburquerque, Edgmer Escalona, RHP Shane Lindsay, RHP Chaz Roe, C Michael McKenry
Optioned to Double-A: SS Hector Gomez
Optioned to high Class A: RHP Juan Nicasio
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Ryan Tucker, LHP Sean West
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Jose Ceda
Released: LHP Jarred Holloway, OF Jacob Priday
Kansas City Royals
Signed: LHP Jose Sanchez (NDFA—Montgomery JC-Germantown (Md.))
Released: RHP Deybi de la Cruz, LHP Aneidy Toribio, 3B Josh Johnson, OF Shawn Griffin
Optioned to Double-A: SS Jeff Bianchi
Optioned to high Class A: LHP Noel Arguelles
Hailing from the Juco World Series runner-up, Sanchez first signed with the Royals last June, but then spent about two weeks on the restricted list before drawing his release. Now he's back.
Los Angeles Angels
Signed: RHP Erik Gregersen (37th round), RHP Jeremy Hill (re-signed)
Released: RHP T.J. Kelly
The signing deadline did not apply to Gregersen, drafted as a Stephen F. Austin State senior, because he had no college eligibility remaining.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed: LHP Brandon Mann
Released: RHP Kyle Wilson
Returned Rule 5 selection: LHP Armando Zerpa (to Red Sox)
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Kenley Jansen, RHP Travis Schlichting, LHP Scott Elbert, LHP Brent Leach, SS Ivan De Jesus Jr.
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Alex Periard, RHP Amaury Rivas, RHP Mark Rogers
Optioned to high Class A: RHP Cody Scarpetta
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Wes Etheridge, SS Matt Cline
Both ’07 draft picks, Etheridge (12th round) and Cline (22nd round) missed the ’09 season while on the restricted list.
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Deolis Guerra, RHP Loek Van Mil, SS Estarlin de los Santos
New York Mets
Released: LHP Matias Carrillo
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Clint Everts, RHP Eddie Kunz, C Josh Thole
Optioned to Double-A: 3B Shawn Bowman
New York Yankees
Signed: LHP Wilkin de la Rosa
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Ivan Nova, LHP Wilkin de la Rosa
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Christian Garcia
Optioned to high Class A: RHP Andrew Brackman, RHP Hector Noesi
Returned Rule 5 selection: RHP Bobby Cassevah (to Angels)
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Clay Mortensen
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Fautino de los Santos, LHP Pedro Figueroa
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Scott Mathieson, OF Quintin Berry
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Drew Naylor, RHP J.C. Ramirez, LHP Yohan Flande
Optioned to high Class A: RHP Jesus Sanchez
Signed: OF Jason Cooper (Lancaster (Atlantic))
Released: RHP Gerardo Esparza
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brad Lincoln, LHP Donald Veal, SS Argenis Diaz, OF Brandon Jones
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Ramon Aguero, RHP Ronald Uviedo, OF Gorkys Hernandez
Optioned to high Class A: RHP Bryan Morris
St. Louis Cardinals
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Francisco Samuel, LHP Tyler Norrick, C Bryan Anderson, 1B Mark Hamilton, OF Daryl Jones, OF Shane Robinson
San Diego Padres
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Aaron Poreda, LHP Cesar Ramos
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Craig Italiano, LHP Steve Garrison
San Francisco Giants
Signed: OF Nick Nordgren (NDFA—Creighton)
Released: RHP Jeff Breedlove, RHP Tyler Brundridge, RHP Terry Engles
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Ryan Feierabend, OF Greg Halman
That didn't take long. Seattle selected Engles as a minor league Rule 5 pick in December.
Tampa Bay Rays
Signed: 1B Hank Blalock
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Jeremy Hellickson, LHP Jake McGee, OF Desmond Jennings
Optioned to Double-A: LHP Alex Torres
Signed: RHP John Slusarz (re-signed)
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: OF Chris Aguila (SoftBank (Japan)), RHP Casey Fien
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Casey Fien, RHP Rei Gonzalez, RHP Robert Ray, LHP Brad Mills, LHP Luis Perez
Outrighted to Triple-A, removed from 40-man: RHP Casey Fien
Signed: 3B Luis Ordaz
Released: LHP Shawn Estes, LHP Eddie Guardado, LHP Jeff Ridgway, OF Charlie Fermaint
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Collin Balester, LHP Atahualpa Severino
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Ryan Mattheus, LHP Aaron Thompson
Optioned to high Class A: RHP Juan Jaime
Ordaz did not play last season.
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