Official minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period Jan. 15-20
Signed: LHP Eric Pfisterer (NDFA—Duke), SS Mattia Mercuri
International baseball sites indicate that Mattia Mercuri is an 18-year-old Italian middle infielder who played in the IBAF World Championships last year. Baseball-Reference has a record for him on the roster for Nettuno of the Italian Baseball League.
Signed: RHP Zach Staniewicz, LHP Rich Rundles (re-signed)
Zach Staniewicz pitched for four seasons at Concordia (N.Y.) College, then spent a couple seasons in the low-level independent leagues, working as both an outfielder and righthander. He put his baseball ambitions on the back burner to join the Army in ’11, according to The Examiner, a media outlet based in Hudson Valley, N.Y., but he never stopped trying to master a knuckleball. Staniewicz crossed paths with Orioles GM Dan Duquette while serving in the military, and Duquette reportedly liked the knuckler's potential enough to give the 26-year-old a tryout and now a minor league contract.
In any other organization, Staniewicz would seem to be the longest of long shots, but Baltimore did resuscitate the careers of Miguel Gonzalez and Lew Ford last year.
Signed: C Jair Fernandez, OF Darnell McDonald
Chicago White Sox
Draft pick signed: 2B Mitch Glasser (39)
Signed: RHP Armando Galarraga, RHP Yohan Pino, RHP Chad Reineke (re-signed)
Released: C Osiel Flores
Signed: C Steve Domecus (released by Dodgers, Jan. 4), C James Skelton
Signed: LHP Will Startup (Sugar Land (Atlantic)), OF Jonathan Roof (released by Padres, Jan. 3)
Signed: 2B Carlos Perdomo (released by Phillies, Jan. 7)
Los Angeles Angels
Signed: RHP Fernando Cabrera
Los Angels Dodgers
Signed: RHP Peter Moylan (non-tendered by Braves), RHP Mario Santiago (SK Wyverns (Korea)), LHP Victor Garate (York (Atlantic)), C Jesus Flores (non-tendered by Nationals), SS Alfredo Amezaga, OF Ryan Mount (released by Angels, Dec. 7)
Signed: RHP Kevin Slowey, RHP Mitch Talbot (Samsung (Korea)), 2B Matt Downs (released by Astros, Nov. 2), OF Pat White (released by Royals, Dec. 17)
A second-round pick by the NFL's Miami Dolphins in ’09, Pat White lasted only one season as a quarterback, but he never gave up completely on a baseball career—or an acting career, apparently. Drafted once out of high school by the Angels in ’04 and out of West Virginia in ’07, ’08 and ’09 by three different teams, White didn't sign a minor league contract until late ’10 when he appeared in instructional league with the Royals. The Marlins will give him another shot, though the 26-year-old has no pro baseball experience.
Signed: C Robinzon Diaz
New York Mets
Signed: LHP Dario Alvarez, C Landon Powell
The Phillies released Dario Alvarez in August ’09, but a stint with Anzoategui of the Venezuelan League (five strikeouts, one walk in 5 1/3 innings) prompted the Mets to give him a look.
New York Yankees
Signed: RHP Kelvin Castro (re-signed), OF Thomas Neal (released by Indians, Jan. 11)
Thomas Neal joins a list of righty-hitting, corner-outfield hopefuls in Yankees camp. With an all-lefty starting outfield of Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki, New York probably will elect to carry some righty balance, which is where Russ Canzler, Matt Diaz and Neal come into play. Prospects Zoilo Alonte (a switch-hitter) and Melky Mesa also are on the 40-man roster.
Traded: RHP A.J. Cole, RHP Blake Treinen and a player to be named to Nationals in three-team deal in which Mariners sent C John Jaso to Athletics, and Nationals sent OF Michael Morse to Mariners
Signed: RHP Brian Bass (released by Astros, Aug. 26)
Signed: OF Brad Hawpe (released by Rangers, June 19)
St. Louis Cardinals
Released: RHP Ethan Cole, 3B Alan Ahmady
San Francisco Giants
Signed: LHP Matt Yourkin (re-signed), 1B Todd Linden (re-signed)
Signed: RHP Brian Sweeney (re-signed)
Tampa Bay Rays
Signed: RHP Jamey Wright
Signed: RHP Kyle McClellan (released by Cardinals, Nov. 13), RHP Kevin Pucetas, LHP Ryan Feierabend (York (Atlantic))
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx, 2B Jarrett Hoffpauir, OF Adam Loewen
Released: RHP Colby Broussard, RHP Phil Brua, RHP Brandon Kaye, RHP Denny Valdez, RHP Les Williams, LHP Shane Davis, C Hector Alvarez, 1B George Carroll, OF Brad McElroy
Removed from 40-man: RHP Chad Beck, LHP Tommy Hottovy (both players outrighted to Triple-A)
Traded: OF Michael Morse to Mariners in three-team deal in which Athletics sent RHP A.J. Cole, RHP Blake Treinen and a player to be named to Nationals, and Mariners sent C John Jaso to Athletics