Official minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period Feb. 5-13.
Article XX-B major league free agents who sign minor league contracts, such as Jason Giambi or Daisuke Matsuzaka (below), are entitled to a $100,000 "retention bonus" if they begin the year in Triple-A and an automatic opt-out clause if they're still in the minors on June 1.
Signed: LHP Henry Garcia (Rio Grande Valley (North American)), C Rod Barajas (Article XX-B free agent)
A 6-foot lefty, Henry Garcia spent one season at the University of Texas-Brownsville before latching on the independent North American League last summer, where he walked just six batters in 44 2/3 innings for Rio Grande Valley.
In an interesting bit of synchronicity, Rod Barajas rejoins the organization that originally gave him a shot as an undrafted player. The Diamondbacks signed him out of Cerritos (Calif.) JC in ’96 and he reached the big leagues three years later, eventually serving as backup catcher on Arizona's ’01 World Series champions.
Signed: OF Kyle Hudson
Removed from 40-man: C Luis Martinez (outrighted to Triple-A)
Boston Red Sox
Signed: RHP Rey Cotilla (Joliet (Frontier)), LHP Sean Henn (Hanwha (Korea))
Drafted three times previously, twice from Miami Dade CC, Rey Cotilla played indy ball last season after going undrafted as a North Carolina State senior in ’11. According to his Pointstreak bio, Cotilla throws from a sidearm angle.
Signed: OF Tim Torres
Removed from 40-man: RHP Lendy Castillo (outrighted to Triple-A)
The Cubs carried Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo all last season—he made 13 appearances for Chicago and seven on rehab—but he'll have to earn a 40-man spot on merit if he makes a future big league appearance.
Chicago White Sox
Signed: LHP Wes Whisler (released by White Sox, April 24)
Signed: RHP Clay Hensley, RHP Dakota Mitchell, RHP Kanekoa Texeira (re-signed), 3B Niko Vasquez (re-signed)
The Reds will take a "punt" on 18-year-old Australian righty Dakota Mitchell, according to this story from the The Telegraph in Sydney. He's recovering from Tommy John surgery but reportedly had drawn interest from at least five big league clubs.
Signed: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (Article XX-B free agent), C Omir Santos, 1B Jason Giambi (Article XX-B free agent), OF Jeremy Hermida (released by Padres, Aug. 28)
Signed: RHP Miguel Batista (Article XX-B free agent), C Yorvit Torrealba
Released: RHP Mark Hamburger
Kansas City Royals
Signed: LHP Mitchell Beacom (released by Giants, Jan. 25), LHP Zach Jackson, 3B Matt Sweeney (released by Orioles, May 27)
Los Angeles Angels
Released: RHP Brandon Lodge
Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed: RHP Kevin Gregg (released by Orioles, Sept. 14), RHP Mark Lowe (Article XX-B free agent), RHP Sean White
Signed: 2B Chone Figgins (released by Mariners, Nov. 28)
Removed from 40-man: OF Bryan Petersen (outrighted to Triple-A)
New York Yankees
Traded: OF Abe Almonte to Mariners for RHP Shawn Kelley
Signed: LHP Corey Young (released by Rangers, June 3)
Signed: RHP Roman Colon, LHP Jonathan Sanchez (Article XX-B free agent), C Devin Ivany (released by Nationals, Aug. 14), 3B Brandon Inge (Article XX-B free agent), OF Brett Carroll
Removed from 40-man: RHP Vin Mazzaro (outrighted to Triple-A)
San Diego Padres
Signed: RHP Tim Stauffer (re-signed)
Removed from 40-man: SS Jeudy Valdez (outrighted to Triple-A)
Signed: RHP Jon Garland (did not play in ’12), RHP Kameron Loe
Traded: RHP Shawn Kelley to Yankees for OF Abe Almonte
Despite a rather listless performance with Escogido in the Dominican League this winter, 23-year-old center fielder Abe Almonte features tools that will play in a reserve role at the highest level. He batted .276/.350/.392 in 359 plate appearances for Double-A Trenton in the Yankees system last year, drawing 37 walks and swiping 30 bases in 35 tries to rank fifth in the Eastern League. He switch-hits, plays good defense, runs well and makes smart decisions on the bases and could grow to be a player similar to the Giants' Gregor Blanco.
Tampa Bay Rays
Removed from 40-man: RHP Dane de la Rosa (outrighted to Triple-A)
Signed: RHP Brett Anderson, RHP Drew Benes (released by Cardinals, Dec. 7)
Released: 2B Alex Gonzalez
The Rangers signed converted shortstop Brett Anderson out of the California Winter League, where he logged his competitive innings as a pitcher. He hit .197 in three seasons as a position player after his selection by the Tigers in the 12th round of the ’08 draft. The native of Bristol, Conn., made it as far as short-season Connecticut of the New York-Penn League in the Detroit system.
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: RHP Jonathan Kountis (Lake Erie (Frontier)), 1B Ryan Strieby
Signed: RHP Jeremy Accardo, RHP Mike Crotta, RHP Kelvin de la Cruz, RHP Adrian Green, RHP Luis Torres, LHP Will Ohman, 1B Micah Owings (released by Padres, Oct. 23)
Righthander Luis Torres signed after being scouted in the International Prospect League.