Players listed with an asterisk (*) signed a minor league contract with the organization after being removed from the 40-man roster and clearing waivers.
Signed: 1B Randy Ruiz (Rakuten (Japan))
Randy Ruiz won the Pacific Coast League's MVP award in ’09, when he batted .320/.392/.584 with 25 home runs for Las Vegas. He latched on with Rakuten of Japan's Pacific League in ’10 and put up a .784 OPS with 12 homers in 81 games, though he fell on harder times in ’11, batting .195 with 44 strikeouts in 128 at-bats. The 34-year-old Ruiz is one of baseball's most traveled players, having played for eight organizations, domestic and international, in the last six years.
Released: RHP Reidy Escobar
Signed: RHP Josh Banks (Long Island (Atlantic)), RHP Miguel Gonzalez
Released: RHP Josh Dowdy
Miguel Angel Gonzalez spent much of last season with Boston's Double-A Portland affiliate, striking out 45 and walking 19 in 46 2/3 innings. The Red Sox released him in December.
Boston Red Sox
Signed: RHP Billy Buckner, RHP Garrett Mock
Released: RHP Jean Sandoval, RHP Kyle Smit
The Cubs acquired Kyle Smit, along with Blake DeWitt and Brett Wallach, in the ’10 deadline deal that sent Ted Lilly to the Dodgers.
Signed: SS Angel Sanchez*
Los Angeles Angels
Removed from 40-man: RHP Ysmael Carmona (outrighted to Double-A)
Ysmael Carmona missed last season, his first and maybe only on the Angels' 40-man roster, while recovering from shoulder surgery.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed: RHP Blake Johnson, 2B Brandon Mims
The Dodgers originally selected Blake Johnson in the second round of the ’04 draft, then packaged him in a deal to the Royals for Elmer Dessens in July ’06. Johnson pitched in the Royals and Rockies organizations last year.
The Blue Jays signed Brandon Mims for $230,000 out of the ninth round of the ’10 draft, but they released the Carrollton, Texas, product last September after he did not play during the season. He went 1-for-2 in the Gulf Coast League in ’10, and that's the extend of his pro experience.
New York Mets
Released: RHP Jonathan Kountis
New York Yankees
Signed: LHP Rigoberto Arrebato, OF Chris Dickerson*
Released: 1B Jamie Mallard
Removed from 40-man: OF Chris Dickerson (outrighted to Triple-A)
Trenton Thunder beat writer Josh Norris learned that Rigoberto Arrebato is a Cuban defector who is a cousin to Cubs lefty Frank del Valle.
New York signed Tampa-area resident Jamie Mallard late last June after the Angels released him, but he didn't appear in a game for a Yankees affiliate.
Released: LHP Rene Meristil
St. Louis Cardinals
Signed: C Adam Lewis (NDFA—Mars Hill (N.C.))
Released: RHP Rigoberto Lugo
San Diego Padres
Signed: RHP Dennis Tankersley
Dennis Tankersley ranked as the Padres No. 2 prospect in our ’02 Prospect Handbook, behind No. 1 Sean Burroughs and just ahead of Jake Peavy. He last pitched professionally with the Indians' Triple-A Columbus affiliate in ’08. [Update: The Padres worked out Tankersley in Peoria, Ariz., at the urging of big league pitching coach Darren Balsely, and he still had the same above-average slider that helped him whiff 173 batters in 136 innings in ’01.]
Released: C Angel Salome
Signed: RHP Cody Evans, RHP Jon Meloan
The Rangers added bullpen depth with the signing of Jon Meloan, who you may recall as the third wheel in the deal that sent Carlos Santana from the Dodgers to Indians for Casey Blake in July ’08. Meloan joins his fifth organization in four years.
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: RHP Fernando Hernandez (Camden (Atlantic)), LHP Jonathan Torres
Fernando Hernandez finished last year in the Atlantic League, but he has a gaudy strikeout rate of 8.7 per nine innings over 231 frames at Double-A.
Signed: C Jeff Howell