Minor League Transactions: Jan. 1-10

Baltimore Orioles
Released:
RHP Andrew Huebner, RHP Thomas Phelps, 3B Matt Tucker

Boston Red Sox
Released:
RHP Randy Consuegra, RHP Wilson Matos

Chicago Cubs
Traded:
RHP Chris Archer, C Robinson Chirinos, SS Hak-Ju Lee, OF Sam Fuld and OF Brandon Guyer to Rays for RHP Matt Garza, LHP Zach Rosscup and OF Fernando Perez

Chicago White Sox
Signed:
C Alexis Fonseca

Cincinnati Reds
Signed:
OF Jeremy Hermida

Cleveland Indians
Signed:
RHP Justin Germano (re-signed), RHP Doug Mathis, SS Adam Everett, OF Travis Buck

Colorado Rockies
Signed:
3B Matt Macri

Detroit Tigers
Signed:
LHP Mariano Gomez

Lefty reliever Mariano Gomez, 28, has decent secondary stuff but no overpowering pitch, despite a 6-foot-6, 240-pound build. As a member of the Braves' Gwinnett affiliate, he held Triple-A lefties to a .234/.302/.351 batting line in ’10.
 
Florida Marlins
Signed: RHP Sean Watson, C Clint Sammons, 2B Joe Thurston, 3B Jamie D'Antona (Yakult (Japan)), OF Dewayne Wise
 
Corner infielder Jamie D'Antona returns from two years in Japan, where he hit a cumulative .263 with 36 homers in 685 at-bats for Yakult. The 28-year-old Wake Forest product was a Diamondbacks second-round pick in ’03. Elsewhere, the Marlins signed three Triple-A veterans (Clint Sammons, Joe Thurston, Dewayne Wise) with big league experience, and Florida isn't shy about giving major league chances to minor league vets. Note that Chris Coghlan and Wes Helms currently top the Marlins' depth chart in center field and at third base. 

Houston Astros
Released:
RHP Phil Rorabaugh, OF Brian Kemp
Traded: 2B Albert Cartwright to Phillies for LHP Sergio Escalona

Kansas City Royals
Signed:
RHP Zach Miner, 2B Joaquin Arias (re-signed)

Los Angeles Angels
Signed:
RHP Eric Junge (re-signed)

Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed:
RHP Roman Colon (Kia (Korea)), C Orlando Mercado
Released: C Pat Borders
Reinstated from inactive list: C Pat Borders

Yes, that Pat Borders, the MVP of the ’92 World Series and a gold medalist for Team USA in the 2000 Olympics. Incredibly, Borders played professionally for a quarter century—every season from 1982, when he was a sixth-round pick by the Blue Jays, through May 26, 2006, when the Dodgers placed him on the restricted list. There he stayed until this month. Borders played catcher right up until the end, getting behind the plate 23 times in the minors in ’06 at age 43. His 1,015 games caught in the big leagues ranks just outside the top 100 all time.

Milwaukee Brewers
Signed:
RHP Eulo de la Cruz (Yakult (Japan)), C Shawn Riggans (New Jersey (Can-Am))

Eulo de la Cruz received brief callups with the Tigers, Marlins and Padres (15 games total) from ’07 though ’09, but his wildness got the better of him. He walked 9.9 batters per nine innings, which also has been his weakness in the minors (4.3 at the Triple-A level). The 26-year-old de la Cruz throws very hard from a short-ish frame (listed at 5-foot-11), but he'll need to throw more strikes to take the next step. Still just 26, he returns to the U.S. from a year in Japan, which he spent mostly in the minors (ni-gun), notching 42 strikeouts and 21 walks in 53 2/3 innings.

New York Mets
Released:
RHP Samuel Martinez, RHP Richard Pena, RHP Scott Shaw, RHP Marcos Tabata, 2B Ryan Mollica, 2B Hector Pellot

New York Yankees
Signed:
RHP Luis Vizcaino

Oakland Athletics
Released:
RHP Dan McDaniel, OF Chris Berroa
Traded: RHP Ryan Kelly to Rangers for RHP Guillermo Moscoso

The Rangers designated Guillermo Moscoso for assignment when they signed free agent Adrian Beltre. The 27-year-old Moscoso is coming off a down year with Triple-A Oklahoma City (5.18 ERA, 1.55 WHIP in 22 starts), but in the past he's shown flashes of what it takes to be a competent reliever: good control to go with low-90s heat and a quality breaking ball. Interestingly, the A's had only recently acquired Ryan Kelly when they sent Corey Wimberly to the Pirates.

Philadelphia Phillies
Traded:
LHP Sergio Escalona to Astros for 2B Albert Cartwright

Sergio Escalona lost his roster spot when the Phillies re-signed J.C. Romero. The 26-year-old Venezuelan lefty has all sorts of situational relief potential. Escolona keeps batters honest with a low-90s fastball and has a strong, high-70s curveball as a finisher. With Double-A Reading, he held lefties to a .188/.233/.250 batting line in 96 at-bats. It was more of the same in the Venezuelan League, where lefties managed 4-for-23 (.174), all singles, versus Esclaona.

The 23-year-old Cartwright has no outstanding tool and projects as a 25th man in a best-case scenario. He spent two years in Rookie ball, then hit .236 as a 21-year-old in low Class A. Cartwright smacked 10 homers and ran up a .932 OPS for high Class A Lancaster last year (in one of the game's friendliest hitting environments), but park and league context caught up to him with Double-A Corpus Christi. His OPS fell 371 points to .561.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Signed:
RHP Jorge Julio (Bridgeport (Atlantic)), LHP Brian Burres (re-signed), 1B Garrett Atkins

Relegated to pitching in indy ball during the regular season, veteran flame-thrower Jorge Julio found a suitor while pitching in the Venezuelan League. In 28 2/3 innings he struck out 22 and compiled a 1.88 ERA.

San Diego Padres
Signed:
2B Kevin Frandsen

San Francisco Giants
Signed:
LHP Tom Vessella (Laredo (United))

Seattle Mariners
Signed:
C Josh Bard (re-signed), 1B Luis Jimenez
Released: OF Robert Rodriguez
Reinstated from inactive list: C Wei Wang

First baseman Luis Jimenez bashed 105 home runs in the U.S. minors from 2001-08, suiting up for six organizations in eight years: the Athletics, Orioles, Dodgers, Twins, Red Sox and, most recently, the Nationals. He spent ’09 playing for Nippon-Ham in Japan, but did not appear to play in an organized league in ’10. The 28-year-old Jimenez returned to action this winter to put a hurtin' on Venezuelan League pitchers, batting .312/.475/.548 with a league-leading 12 homers for Lara. He drew 57 walks in 59 games.

Tampa Bay Rays
Signed:
SS Ray Olmedo, OF Chris Carter
Traded: RHP Matt Garza, LHP Zach Rosscup and OF Fernando Perez to Cubs for RHP Chris Archer, C Robinson Chirinos, SS Hak-Ju Lee, OF Sam Fuld and OF Brandon Guyer

During the same offseason in which the Rays watched left fielder Carl Crawford and first baseman Carlos Pena depart via free agency (closer Rafael Soriano could soon follow them), they acted preemptively in trading two of their more attractive remaining pieces in righthander Matt Garza (three arbitration years prior to free agency) and shortstop Jason Bartlett (one year). Tampa Bay targeted pitching and up-the-middle prospects in both deals, receiving nine players in all. They snagged power righty Chris Archer from the Cubs and relievers Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos and Adam Russell from the Padres (for Bartlett). Of the position players, only corner outfielder Brandon Guyer doesn't play up the middle. The rest break down as a catcher (Robinson Chirinos), a second baseman (Cole Figueroa), a shortstop (Hak-Ju Lee) and a center fielder (Sam Fuld).

Texas Rangers
Signed:
1B Brad Nelson, 2B Matt Kata, SS Rougned Odor
Traded: RHP Guillermo Moscoso to Athletics for RHP Ryan Kelly

Brad Nelson has spent the past four seasons in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, topping out at 20 homers and hitting at least 15 each year. The 28-year-old lefty hitter batted .259/.353/.447 with 17 dingers in 409 at-bats for PCL-champion Tacoma last year, spending most of his time at first base and DH. A strong winter in the Dominican League landed Nelson with the Rangers. He batted .295/.402/.590 in 105 at-bats for Cibao, belting a league-leading nine homers.

Toronto Blue Jays
Signed:
RHP Chad Cordero, OF Ricardo Nanita (re-signed)

Washington Nationals
Signed:
RHP Ryan Mattheus (re-signed), LHP Matt Chico (re-signed)

The Nationals' busy offseason has forced the likes of Ryan Mattheus, Matt Chico and lefty Aaron Thompson off the 40-man roster (where Thompson subsequently got claimed on waivers by the Pirates). Somebody had to go to make room for Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, Chien-Ming Wang, Rick Ankiel and Rule 5 picks Elvin Ramirez and Brian Broderick.

Minors | #Transactions

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