Baseball America

Minor League Transactions

This week’™s installment considers all transactions reported between May 12-18.

Last week’™s transactions available here.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Released: RHP Lorenzo Church, OF Jon Zeringue
Selected to major league roster: SS Mark Reynolds
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Casey Daigle
Reinstated from disabled list: SS Octavio Ojeda
Designated for assignment: RHP Casey Daigle

The cases of Zeringue and Reynolds, both 2004 picks out of college, highlight how unpredictable the draft can be. Arizona parted ways with Zeringue just three years after making him their second-round pick out of Louisiana State. Double-A Mobile needed his roster spot for Justin Upton, who was recently promoted from high Class A. Zeringue, 24, was hitting a miserable .143/.233/.270 in 63 at-bats, and had batted .263/.310/.401 in 1,027 at-bats entering the season. Reynolds, on the other hand, has been offensive machine from the moment he first tried on his Yakima Bears uniform in 2004. And he had done it, up until this season, without having a set position. The 23-year-old Reynolds, a 16th-round pick from Virginia in 2004, settled in at third base for Mobile, hitting .306/.394/.537 before getting called up. Arizona selected Daigle with the 31st overall pick of the 1999 draft, which, along with his 6-foot-5 height, helps explain how he remained on the 40-man roster despite not getting more than a cursory big league look since May 2004. Coming into the season, he’d gone 47-55, 4.67 with 512-270 strikeouts-walks in 802 minor league innings.

Atlanta Braves
Signed: LHP Rheal Cormier
Recalled: LHP Macay McBride
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Kevin Barry
Outrighted off 40-man roster: LHP Steve Colyer
Placed on minor league disabled list: C Phillip Britton, SS Paul Bennett
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Phil Stockman
Granted free agency: LHP Steve Colyer
Rehabilitation assignment: LHP Mark Redman (Triple-A Richmond)

The Braves cornered the market on Cormiers when they signed Rheal shortly after the Reds released him. Lance Cormier already was in tow, as he had joined the Atlanta organization for the 2006 season. The Cardinals drafted the New Brunswick-born Rheal Cormier, 40, in the sixth round of the 1988 draft, and he first reached the big leagues with the club in 1991. He’s also pitched for the Red Sox, Expos, Phillies and Reds, giving lefthanded batters fits for 16 seasons.

Baltimore Orioles
Signed: 1B Luis Jimenez
Released: C Andino Diaz, OF Carlos Duran, OF Leonel Yeme
Placed on minor league disabled list: 2B Pedro Silveren, OF Jon Knott
Reinstated from disabled list: OF Arturo Rivas

Knott, a nondrafted free agent sign by the Padres from Mississippi State, was out with a back injury. The Orioles nabbed Knott after he was non-tendered by the Padres in the offseason. The 28-year-old Knott has had a distinguished minor league career, as he’s hit .283/.373/.528 with 122 homers in 2,368 at-bats coming into the year. His 32 home runs led the PCL in 2006.

Boston Red Sox
Signed: OF Michael Tucker
Released: 1B Luis Jimenez, OF Alex Ochoa
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Bryce Cox
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Jose Vaquedano, LHP Ryan Phillips, SS Alejandro Prieto

Cox, a third-round pick out of Rice last year, had a strained hamstring. The 22-year-old reliever had struggled mightily with Double-A Portland, walking 11 and striking out three in 14 2/3 innings. Tucker, the 10th overall pick in 1992 by the Royals, returned for his 15th pro season when he signed with Boston. He’s hit .256/.339/.423 in 4,083 big league at-bats for the Royals, Braves, Reds, Cubs, Giants, Phillies and Mets. Drafted as a second baseman, Tucker shifted to the outfield in 1994, his second pro season, and was later included in trades for Jermaine Dye and Bret Boone. Tucker’s signing signaled the end for Ochoa, 35, who had returned to the U.S. after spending the past four seasons with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League. Though his strong throwing arm remained intact, Ochoa failed to do much hitting, managing a .138/.174/.149 line for Triple-A Pawtucket.

Chicago Cubs
Released: 3B Elvin Puello, SS Valerio Heredia
Recalled: RHP Carlos Marmol
Selected to major league roster: 2B Mike Fontenot
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Rocky Cherry, 2B Mike Fontenot
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Jose Ceda
Reinstated from disabled list: LHP Chris Shaver, 1B Brian Dopirak
Option transferred: 1B Brian Dopirak (Double-A Tennessee to high Class A Daytona)
Rehabilitation assignment: RHP Wade Miller (Double-A Tennessee)

The 24-year-old Marmol proved his mettle in the Triple-A Iowa rotation, going 4-1, 3.95 with 48-12 strikeouts-walks in 41 innings, and earned a look in Chicago’s bullpen. He and fellow young righthander Angel Guzman give the Cubs a power twosome to deploy in relief. Lefty-hitting second baseman Fontenot, the 19th overall pick by the Orioles in 2001, earned a brief big league callup to replace the banged-up Mark DeRosa. He teamed with shortstop Ryan Theriot, his Louisiana State teammate during the Tigers’ 2000 College World Series title run, in a May 15 game.

Chicago White Sox
Signed: SS Jedon Matthews (2006 D/F, 28th round)
Recalled: SS Andy Gonzalez
Optioned to Triple-A: C Gustavo Molina, SS Andy Gonzalez
Placed on minor league disabled list: C Eric Hollis, C Ryan Smith, OF Daron Roberts
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Gavin Floyd, LHP Israel Chirino, 3B Ryan McCarthy
Rehabilitation assignment: C Toby Hall, 1B Jim Thome (both with Triple-A Charlotte)

Cincinnati Reds
Signed: 3B Todd Waller (2006 D/F, 39th round)
Placed on restricted list: RHP Thomas Lanier
Recalled: RHP Marcus McBeth, RHP Brad Salmon, LHP Bobby Livingston, 2B Jeff Keppinger
Selected to major league roster: C Chad Moeller
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brad Salmon, LHP Bobby Livingston, 2B Jeff Keppinger
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Homer Bailey, SS Jeff Bannon
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Gary Majewski

Bailey needed to skip just one start as he recovered from a strained right groin.

Cleveland Indians
Signed: RHP Travis Turek (2006 D/F, 48th round), C Osiel Flores (NDFA, University of Texas-Pan American)
Traded: RHP Jason Davis to Mariners for player to be named (RHP Gregorio Rosario), 2B Jake Gautreau to Mets for player to be named
Placed on minor league disabled list: OF Ramon Hernandez
Reinstated from disabled list: 2B Jake Gautreau

It’s not often you see an organization target a player who has yet to play in the U.S. in a trade for a big leaguer. But that’s what the Indians did when they traded Davis for Rosario. Just 18 and with 11-4, 3.01 numbers in two Dominican Summer League seasons, Rosario is a tall, projectable righthander with a loose arm and a clean, simple delivery. Signed for $160,000 by the Mariners, he shows 90-91 mph velocity on his fastball, and also throws a slider and curveball. Rosario has a feel for a changeup and could develop into a middle of the rotation starter.

Colorado Rockies
Signed: SS Zack Murry (2006 D/F, 19th round)
Released: LHP Eric Dubose
Placed on suspended list: RHP Greg Reynolds
Recalled: RHP Darren Clarke
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Alberto Arias, RHP Denny Bautista
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Sean Jarrett, OF Alexis Gomez
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Mike De Jean
Rehabilitation assignment: RHP LaTroy Hawkins (Triple-A Colorado Springs)

Hawkins was recovering from an inflamed forearm. The 6-foot-8 Clarke, 26, had not pitched above the Class A level in six professional seasons entering the year because he’s struggled to stay healthy. In fact, nearly half of his pro innings (334 2/3) were compiled in 2003 (157 1/3). The 2000 draft-and-follow offers 98 mph heat and a downhill delivery that helped him pitch 1 1/3 scoreless innings at the outset of his big league career. Reynolds served a three-game suspension for hitting Sean Rodriguez with a pitch.

Detroit Tigers
Signed: 3B Erick Almonte
Recalled: RHP Zach Miner, RHP Virgil Vasquez, LHP Andrew Miller
Selected to major league roster: LHP Tim Byrdak
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Aquilino Lopez, RHP Zach Miner, RHP Virgil Vasquez
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP P.J. Finigan, OF Brent Clevlen
Placed on temporarily inactive list: OF David Espinosa
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Dennis Tankersley, OF Vincent Blue, OF David Espinosa

Clevlen was expected to miss up to six weeks with a broken finger on his right hand. Miller’s first big league start went off without a hitch: he shut out the Cardinals for six innings. The 33-year-od Byrdak had appeared in 105 big league games prior to his most recent callup by Detroit, though one could be forgiven for not knowing the exact progression of teams. Selected in the fifth round of the 1994 draft out of Rice by the Royals, Byrdak debuted in the majors with Kansas City in 1998, before moving on to the Cleveland, San Diego, Baltimore and Detroit organizations. The Orioles gave Byrdak the most prolonged big league exposure in 2005, when he went 0-1, 4.05 in 41 games. He’d gone 53-37, 3.69 with 692-331 strikeouts-walks in 815 minor league innings coming into the year.

Florida Marlins
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Roy Corcoran, RHP Blake Jones, SS Steve Gendron, SS Rex Rundgren
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Scott Tyler, 1B Todd Sears, SS Jonathan Fulton

Houston Astros
Signed: OF Chris Frye (NDFA, Louisiana State University-Shreveport)
Placed on minor league disabled list: C Danny Ardoin, 1B James Van Ostrand
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Jimmy Barthmaier, OF Nick Moresi
Rehabilitation assignment: RHP Jason Jennings (Double-A Corpus Christi)

Jennings last pitched in the majors April 8, as he’s spent more than a month recovering from elbow tendinitis.

Kansas City Royals
Signed: C Jhonson Alvarez
Released: OF Anthony Dickson
Recalled: RHP Brian Bannister, SS Angel Berroa
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Neal Musser, OF Billy Butler
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Ignacio Tamayo
Reinstated from inactive list: 2B Josh Johnson
Rehabilitation assignment: RHP Octavio Dotel (Double-A Wichita), 1B Ryan Shealy (Triple-A Omaha)

Berroa returns to Kansas City as a reserve infielder, fresh off .303/.336/.369 numbers in the Pacific Coast League. After a hot start, Butler had cooled to .243/.256/.297 numbers after beginning his major league career by going seven for his first 20. Dotel was recovering from a strained oblique muscle, while Shealy came back from a hamstring injury.

Los Angeles Angels
Signed: RHP Dylan Lindsey (2006 D/F, 31st round)
Optioned to Triple-A: 3B Matt Brown
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Sammy Leon, OF Peter Bourjos
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Trevor Bell, RHP Jeremy Haynes, RHP Kevin Jepsen
Rehabilitation assignment: 2B Howie Kendrick (Triple-A Salt Lake)

Bourjos, the No. 6 prospect in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in 2006, ruptured a ligament in his left ring finger. Kendrick rediscovered why he loves the Pacific Coast League when by hitting .320/.357/.720 for Salt Lake on a seven-game rehab assignment.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Released: RHP Joe Mays, OF Luke Allen
Recalled: LHP Hong-Chih Kuo
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Kyle Wilson, C Octavio Martinez
Reinstated from inactive list: 1B Cory Dunlap

Mays was cut after going 1-2, 5.18 in 45 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas.

Milwaukee Brewers
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Laynce Nix
Reinstated from disabled list: C Anderson Delarosa
Placed on temporarily inactive list: 1B Andy Abad
Reinstated from inactive list: 1B Andy Abad

Minnesota Twins
Traded: LHP Mike Venafro to Blue Jays for cash
Recalled: RHP Julio DePaula, OF Garrett Jones
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Danny Hernandez, LHP Jose Lugo
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Jonathan Martinez, 1B Brock Peterson, 2B Luke Hughes

The 21-year-old Hernandez, Rookie-level Elizabethton’s closer last season and owner of a nasty slider, was disabled with an elbow injury. Lugo, Hernandez’ low Class A Beloit teammate, was out with left shoulder soreness. Venafro asked the Twins to move him after he was squeezed for innings at Triple-A Rochester by lefties Ricky Barrett and Carmen Cali.

New York Mets
Acquired: 2B Jake Gautreau from Indians for player to be named
Placed on restricted list: RHP Lino Urdaneta
Recalled: RHP Ambiorix Burgos, LHP Jason Vargas, OF Carlos Gomez
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Mike Pelfrey, RHP Lino Urdaneta
Placed on minor league disabled list: OF Elvis Cruz
Reinstated from disabled list: 3B Shawn Bowman, OF Ben Johnson
Placed on temporarily inactive list: RHP Brian Lawrence, RHP Carlos Muniz, OF Sean Henry

Gautreau, the 14th overall pick of the Padres out of Tulane in 2001, had compiled .257/.333/.432 minor league numbers in 2,049 at-bats coming into the season. The 27-year-old lefthanded-hitting second and third baseman has not appeared in the major leagues. Urdaneta failed a performance-enhancing substance test and was suspended for 50 games. Pelfrey went 0-5, 6.53 with more walks (17) than strikeouts (13) in 30 1/3 innings of work, so the Mets optioned him to work on his secondary stuff. Gomez hit .286/.363/.414 with a PCL-leading 17 stolen bases to earn a promotion when Moises Alou hit the disabled list. Either Lastings Milledge or Ben Johnson might have received the call, but both were on the disabled list at the time. Vargas, who was acquired from the Marlins in the offseason, had gone just 2-3, 5.30 for Triple-A New Orleans, but got the call anyway when the Mets needed a replacement for Pelfrey.

New York Yankees
Signed: RHP Eric Junge, RHP Scott Strickland, RHP Pete Walker
Selected to major league roster: LHP Ron Villone
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Sean Henn
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Michael Martinez, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, OF Brian Aragon
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Edwar Ramirez, 3B Aarom Baldiris

Ohlendorf, who was a key piece to January’s Randy Johnson trade, was out with a muscle strain in his spine. Strickland, 31, went 4-1, 4.58 with 23-11 strikeouts-walks in 19 2/3 innings for Triple-A Portland in the Padres’ system this season. A 10th-round pick of the Expos in 1997, Strickland has posted a 3.26 ERA and racked up 396-104 strikeouts-walks in 373 minor league innings. He even served as Montreal’s closer long enough to rack up nine saves in 2001.

Oakland Athletics
Signed: LHP Robert Cramer, C Dante Love (2006 D/F, 39th round)
Released: LHP Ronald Madej, LHP Joe Piekarz
Recalled: LHP Dallas Braden, LHP Ron Flores
Selected to major league roster: RHP Connor Robertson, OF Hiram Bocachica
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Dallas Braden
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Scott Dunn, RHP Craig Italiano
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Inoel Deaza, LHP Mario Ramos, C Jeremy Brown
Placed on temporarily inactive list: LHP James Heuser
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP James Heuser

Italiano sustained a slight fracture to his skull after his was struck in the forehead by a line drive off the bat of Carlos Triunfel. He’ll miss at least two months. Robertson, 25, was a two-way player at Birmingham-Southern College, but has focused only on pitching for the A’s. He entered the year with 268 strikeouts in 193 career innings and was 4-0, 1.93 at Triple-A Sacramento this year, with 19 strikeouts and 10 walks in 19 innings.

Philadelphia Phillies
Released: LHP Jacob Ociesa
Placed on suspended list: RHP Nicholas Evangelista
Recalled: C Chris Coste
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Matt Childers
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP John Ennis, LHP Eude Brito, OF Jay Miller
Option transferred: RHP Anderson Garcia (Double-A Reading to Triple-A Ottawa), LHP Eude Brito (Triple-A Ottawa to high Class A Clearwater)

Pittsburgh Pirates
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Dan Kolb, SS Jose Hernandez, OF Nyjer Morgan
Reinstated from disabled list: 2B Nick Green, 3B Chris Truby, OF Matt Meath

Morgan, 26, had surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and will miss 8-10 weeks. He was hitting .308/.379/.338 for Triple-A Indianapolis and was leading the IL with 22 stolen bases at the time he went down.

St. Louis Cardinals
Released: RHP Frank Pol, RHP Yuery Valera
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Skip Schumaker
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Brian Falkenborg
Placed on minor league disabled list: C Ryan Christianson, 1B Tagg Bozied, OF James Rapoport
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Mike Sillman, RHP Matt Trent, 3B Jared Schweitzer, OF Cody Haerther, OF Eli Marrero

San Diego Padres
Released: RHP Scott Strickland
Placed on restricted list: RHP Jonathan Kirby
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Grant Varnell

San Francisco Giants
Placed on restricted list: RHP John Odom
Placed on minor league disabled list: LHP Ricardo Rincon
Reinstated from disabled list: C Guillermo Rodriguez, OF Eddy Martinez-Esteve, RHP Jeff Petersen

Rincon tore the ACL of his right knee with Triple-A Fresno.

Seattle Mariners
Signed: RHP Robbie Dominguez (2006 D/F, 46th round)
Released: RHP Michael Schilling, RHP John Sullivan
Traded: RHP Gregorio Rosario to Indians as player to be named in trade for RHP Jason Davis
Placed on suspended list: 3B Tyler Eastley, OF Greg Halman
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Sean Green, LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Natividad Dilone, RHP Enrique Orta
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Chad Fillinger, RHP Juan Zapata
Placed on temporarily inactive list: RHP Julio Mateo
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Byron Embry, RHP Julio Mateo, RHP John Sullivan

The Mariners will roll the dice on the 27-year-old Davis, who was designated for assignment by the Indians. He posted a 4.78 ERA in the big leagues this year with five strikeouts and nine walks in 11 1/3 innings. Davis had gone 38-27, 3.52 with 394-162 strikeouts-walks in 530 minor league innings entering the season.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Released: RHP Jarod Matthews
Reinstated from disabled list: LHP James Houser

Texas Rangers
Released: RHP Jon Wilson
Recalled: RHP Scott Feldman, LHP A.J. Murray
Selected to major league roster: SS Ramon Vazquez, OF Kevin Mahar
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Mike Wood, LHP A.J. Murray
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Michael Schlact
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Daniel Touchet, SS David Matranga
Option transferred: RHP Edinson Volquez (high Class A Bakersfield to Double-A Frisco)
Rehabilitation assignment: OF Frank Catalanotto (Double-A Frisco)

Vazquez, 30, joined his fifth big league team in seven seasons when the Rangers called him up. The lefthanded hitter gets a chance at semi-regular work with third baseman Hank Blalock out until August after having a rib removed to relieve pressure on a nerve near his right shoulder. Volquez hadn’t exactly tamed the Cal League, with 0-4, 7.13 numbers in seven starts, but he’s fared much better in two Texas League starts: 2-0, 1.50.

Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: RHP Andrew Good
Released: RHP Jason Scobie
Acquired: LHP Mike Venafro from Twins for cash
Placed on suspended list: RHP Sebastian Kemp
Recalled: 2B Ryan Roberts
Selected to major league roster: RHP Jesse Litsch
Placed on minor league disabled list: SS Chris Gutierrez
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Brian Wolfe, 3B Rob Cosby, SS Ryan Klosterman

Litsch, 22, made waves with 8 2/3 one-run innings in his May 15 debut. A 2004 draft-and-follow from South Florida Community College, Litsch has zoomed through the minors, stopping at Double-A New Hampshire long enough this season to go 5-1 with a 0.96 ERA that ranked third in the minors. He has relied on fine control (he’s walked just 24 minor league batters in 272 innings) and on keeping the ball on the ground to find success. The Blue Jays passed over 2002 first-rounder Russ Adams to call up Roberts, who was hitting .253/.341/.400 for Triple-A Syracuse. Drafted in the 18th-round from Texas-Arlington as a third baseman in 2003, Roberts, 26, offers the ability to play second and third base and left field.

Washington Nationals
Released: RHP Danny Rueckel
Selected to major league roster: LHP Billy Traber
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Kory Casto
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Garrett Mock
Placed on temporarily inactive list: C Devin Ivany

The Nationals lost the top four starters in their rotation to injury–John Patterson, Jay Bergman, Shawn Hill and Jerome Williams–necessitating the callup of Traber, among others. The 27-year-old Traber, taken 16th overall by the Mets in 2000 out of Loyola Marymount and traded to the Indians in the 2001 Roberto Alomar trade, had gone 1-2, 2.60 with 16-4 strikeouts-walks in 27 2/3 innings for Triple-A Columbus. While Traber has carved out a successful minor league career–42-32, 3.66 in 436-135 strikeouts-walks in 570 innings coming into 2007–he’s struggled to establish himself in the majors. He missed the 2004 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Casto, easily the organization’s top advanced position prospect, hit just .130/.158/.167 in 16 big league games.

Minors | #Transactions

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