Official minor league transactions, conveyed to Baseball America by Major League Baseball, for the period Jan. 21-29.
Signed: C Blake Lalli
Signed: LHP Chris Dwyer
Removed from 40-man: 1B Joey Terdoslavich (outrighted to Triple-A)
Signed: RHP Jonathan Pettibone, LHP Nick Greenwood, 2B Jonathan Mota (re-signed)
Released: RHP Yoanner Negrin
Chicago White Sox
Signed: RHP Maikel Cleto (re-signed), OF Vinny Rottino
Signed: 2B Angelo Gumbs (released by Yankees, Jan. 18)
Signed: C Alex Monsalve (re-signed)
Signed: OF Tyler Massey (re-signed)
Traded: 3B Kevin Padlo and OF Corey Dickerson to Rays for RHP German Marquez and LHP Jake McGee
Removed from 40-man: OF Kyle Parker (outrighted to Triple-A)
Signed: RHP Willy Paredes (Laredo (American Association)), SS Leonardo Laffita
Traded: 3B Jefry Marte to Angels for 2B Kody Eaves
Ben Badler weighs in on 24-year-old Cuban shortstop Leonardo Laffita:
Laffita signed with the Tigers for $250,000, an amount that will count against the team’s international bonus pool. Detroit had previously spent around $1.7 million of their $2,056,200 bonus pool, so Laffita fits within their allowance. He has been showcasing for more than a year, standing out for his speed, but he still is raw all-around. A 6-foot-1, 200-pound righthanded hitter, Laffita spent the 2015 season with Laguna of the Mexican League, where he hit .280/.345/.360 with three walks and six strikeouts in 23 games. He has good bat speed and hand-eye coordination, but he’s a free-swinger whose plate discipline will have to improve. He also committed eight errors at shortstop and will almost certainly move to another position. He projecdts better in center field or possibly second base.
Signed: RHP Carlos Sierra, LHP Wandy Rodriguez (released by Royals, Nov. 20)
The Astros signed 21-year-old Cuban righthander Carlos Sierra, and because he’s not yet 23, he is subject to Houston’s international bonus pool. Because his grandfather has roots in Spain, Sierra, who made 26 relief appearances in two seasons in Serie Nacional, was able to establish residency outside of Cuba in order to leave the island legally.
Kansas City Royals
Signed: RHP Bruce Kern (Long Island (Atlantic)), RHP Peter Moylan
Los Angeles Angels
Signed: LHP Jose Molina, SS Anthony Phillips (St. Paul (American Association))
Traded: 2B Kody Eaves to Tigers for 3B Jefry Marte
Righthanded-hitting third baseman Jefry Marte quietly enjoyed a fine 2015 season as a lefty masher. As a member of the Tigers, the 24-year-old recorded a .920 OPS against big league lefthanders and a 1.096 mark at Triple-A Toledo. While the price was right for the Angels to speculate on Marte’s continued proficiency versus southpaws, he might not have much opportunity to show off his skills in Anaheim, because the club has righty-hitting starters at third base (Yunel Escobar) and first base/DH (Albert Pujols, C.J. Cron).
Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed: 2B Drew Maggi
Removed from 40-man: RHP Brandon Beachy (outrighted to Triple-A)
Signed: LHP Jo-Jo Reyes, 1B Zach Lutz, OF David Sacaria
Signed: LHP Chris Capuano, LHP Cesar Jimenez (re-signed), 2B Fidel Pena
Traded: LHP Trevor Seidenberger to Padres for OF Rymer Liriano
Removed from 40-man: LHP Logan Darnell (outrighted to Triple-A)
New York Mets
Signed: C Jeff Glenn (re-signed), 2B Derrik Gibson
New York Yankees
Signed: RHP Tyler Cloyd (Samsung (Korea)), C Carlos Corporan, 3B Deibinson Romero (Doosan (Korea))
Signed: LHP Jeremy Bleich, LHP Evan Crower (NDFA—Stanford), LHP Edgar Ibarra, OF David Lough (non-tendered by Orioles)
The Phillies signed lefthander Evan Crower, a former backup quarterback at Stanford, after watching him work out in the California Winter League. The 6-foot-5 lefty reportedly hit the mid-90s that day.
“I’ve always wanted to be a baseball player growing up,” Crower is quoted as saying in this piece by The Desert Sun. “I was going into Stanford playing both sports and it just didn’t work out. I was going to head somewhere else for my fifth year, and just decided to pick up the baseball and start throwing again after I graduated.”
Signed: 3B Anderson Feliz (Lancaster (Atlantic))
Removed from 40-man: RHP Yoervis Medina (outrighted to Triple-A)
St. Louis Cardinals
Signed: LHP Bobby Wheatley (released by Blue Jays, Oct. 31), OF Carlos Peguero
San Diego Padres
Signed: C Hunter Redman (released by Dodgers, Aug. 22)
Released: 1B Nick Evans
Traded: OF Rymer Liriano to Brewers for LHP Trevor Seidenberger
The Padres neglected to call up Triple-A El Paso right fielder Rymer Liriano in September, sending a loud signal that his future prospects with the organization were dim. When San Diego signed shortstop Alexei Ramirez, they designated Liriano for assignment, thus taking the natural next step. They found a trade partner with the Brewers, acquiring Double-A lefthanded reliever Trevor Seidenberger.
Liriano seemed to be in the wrong organization at the wrong time these past few seasons. Not only do the big league Padres already have two righthanded-hitting corner outfielders in Matt Kemp and Wil Myers, but the system’s top prospect is Hunter Renfroe, a righthanded slugger and 2013 first-round pick, and they selected the Mariners’ Jabari Blash in the Rule 5 draft in December.
San Francisco Giants
Signed: C Miguel Olivo (Tijuana (Mexican))
Released: RHP Alejandro Flores
Signed: 1B Gaby Sanchez (Rakuten (Japan)), SS Dayner Moreira
Ben Badler weighs in on 31-year-old Cuban shortstop Dayner Moreira:
Moreira left the Cuban team traveling to Puerto Rico last year at the Caribbean Series. He’s an organizational player who’s the equivalent of a typical minor league free agent, with his double-plus speed his best tool. Beyond his wheels, Moreira’s skill set is limited. He’s a righthanded hitter with a funky, choppy swing that produces no power, and he doesn’t walk much. In his final season (2014-15) in Serie Nacional, he hit .332/.397/.368 in 277 plate appearances with no home runs, 19 walks and 11 strikeouts, and despite his speed, he stole just five bases in 10 attempts. His defense might also be stretched at shortstop, though he could fill in there at the minor league level.
Tampa Bay Rays
Signed: RHP Eddie Gamboa, OF Jaff Decker (non-tendered by Pirates)
Traded: RHP German Marquez and LHP Jake McGee to Rockies for 3B Kevin Padlo and OF Corey Dickerson
The Rays hired Charlie Haeger as a pitching coordinator, and, as correspondent Marc Topkin notes, the veteran knuckleballer will have at least one obvious pupil: recent minor league free agent signee Eddie Gamboa. Haeger spent parts of five seasons in the majors with the White Sox, Padres and Dodgers, and now will impart his wisdom on former Orioles prospect Gamboa, a 31-year-old who picked up the knuckleball in 2013.
Signed: RHP Carlos Fisher
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: RHP Oscar Brito, LHP John Anderson (re-signed)
Released: 3B Trey Pascazi
Signed: RHP Bronson Arroyo