Official minor league transactions, conveyed to Baseball America by Major League Baseball, for the period Jan. 8-14.
Signed: RHP Sam LeCure
Signed: RHP Rob Wooten, LHP Steve Kent (did not play in 2015)
Released: SS Luis Mateo
Australian lefthander Steve Kent previously played affiliated ball with the Braves, reaching low Class A Rome in 2010 and 2011, prior to his release. Atlanta had signed him as a 16-year-old amateur in July 2005, and he missed the 2009 season after having shoulder surgery. The Braves weren’t the only team eager to bring him to the U.S., according to this Q&A from the Australian Baseball Alumni.
Kent went to spring training with the Royals in 2012 but has otherwise spent the past four seasons in his native land, pitching for Canberra, his hometown team in the Australian Baseball League. Now 26 years old, he worked as a starter in the ABL in 2015, going 6-4, 3.30 in 13 starts, with 67 strikeouts and 21 walks in 71 innings. He ranked eighth in the league’s ERA race and third in strikeouts.
According to the cited Q&A above, Kent hit 94 mph and shined in the ABL all-star game.
Signed: RHP Greg Ross, LHP Andy Oliver (re-signed), LHP Cody Wheeler (re-signed), 1B Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B Alex Liddi, SS Sharlon Schoop (re-signed)
Boston Red Sox
Signed: OF Brennan Boesch
Signed: C Tim Federowicz, SS Kris Negron
Tim Federowicz and Kris Negron are worthy, glove-first depth options to have in the organization. The former will team with top prospect Willson Contreras at Triple-A Iowa as they play second string to big league-veteran catchers Miguel Montero and David Ross. Negron plays shortstop, second base and third base and will fall in line behind Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara on the middle-infield depth chart.
Chicago White Sox
Signed: 2B Gerson Montilla
Released: RHP Braulio Ortiz, 2B Victor Velasquez
Signed: RHP Ryan Mattheus (re-signed after being non-tendered), RHP Pedro Villarreal (re-signed after being non-tendered), OF Donald Lutz (released by Reds, June 3)
The Reds released German-born slugger Donald Lutz after he had Tommy John surgery in May 2015.
Signed: C Cole Leonida (released by Nationals, May 13)
Released: RHP Jacob Newberry
Signed: 2B Tyler Bortnick (released by Mariners, Sept. 1), SS Gustavo Nunez, OF John Mayberry Jr. (released by White Sox, Aug. 26)
Kansas City Royals
Signed: RHP Chien-Ming Wang, LHP David Huff, OF Mitch Maier (re-signed)
Los Angeles Angels
Signed: C Juan Graterol
Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed: OF Corey Brown, OF Jordan Schafer, OF Angelo Songco (St. Paul (American Association))
Released: RHP Randy Fontanez, RHP Matt Shelton
Traded: RHP Joe Wieland to Mariners for SS Erick Mejia
Traded: LHP Tyler Olson and 2B Ronald Torreyes to Yankees for 3B Rob Segedin
Lefthanded-hitting Jordan Schafer has batted 579 times in the big leagues since 2013 and has hit .239/.312/.318 (76 OPS+) as a reserve outfielder for the Braves and Twins. Now the Dodgers have signed Schafer, possibly as a lefthanded pitcher or two-way player. The 29-year-old last pitched at Winter Haven (Fla.) High prior to his selection in the 2005 draft.
Signed: LHP Chris Narveson (re-signed)
Signed: LHP Pat Misch (Lamigo (Taiwan))
Released: RHP Brandon Moore, RHP Caleb Smith, C Kevin Martinez
Removed from 40-man: C Josmil Pinto (outrighted to Triple-A)
Well-traveled lefthander Pat Misch finished the 2015 season in Taiwan and threw a perfect game in Game Seven of the playoff finals for Lamigo. The 34-year-old began the season at Triple-A New Orleans in the Marlins system and also spent time in the independent Atlantic League prior to joining the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
Misch, who last pitched in the majors with the 2011 Mets, had Tommy John in 2013 after making just 13 starts in the Tigers system. He did not return to action until the 2014 offseason, when he pitched in the Puerto Rican League.
New York Mets
Signed: RHP Luis Chirinos (Lincoln (American Association))
Released: RHP Derrick Bernard, RHP Jose Martinez, 3B Luis Crisostomo, 3B Gregory Valencia
New York Yankees
Signed: RHP Anthony Swarzak (Doosan (Korea))
Released: RHP Gean Batista, RHP Francis Joseph
Traded: 3B Rob Segedin to Dodgers for LHP Tyler Olson and 2B Ronald Torreyes
Signed: C Jake Fox (Hanwha (Korea)), OF Cedric Hunter
Signed: RHP Daniel Bard, C Nate Irving (released by D-backs, Oct. 8)
Released: RHP Dan Urbina
San Diego Padres
Signed: 2B Jemile Weeks
Released: LHP Danny Wissmann
Added to 40-man roster: LHP Ryan Buchter
The Padres signed minor league free agent lefty reliever Ryan Buchter to a minor league contract on Dec. 8, then held on to him through the Rule 5 draft. So why then did San Diego add him to the 40-man roster last week? According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Buchter had received interest from a foreign club, but since he preferred to stay in the U.S., the Padres were able to retain him by adding him to the 40-man roster.
By the way, the Padres’ 40-man roster now includes three players signed as minor league free agents (Buchter, lefthanded reliever Buddy Baumann and righthanded reliever Cesar Vargas) and four Rule 5 picks (outfielder Jabari Blash, righty Luis Perdomo and righty relievers Josh Martin and Blake Smith).
An Athletics first-round pick in 2008, Jemile Weeks hit .303 with 22 steals as a big league rookie in 2011 but has hit just .226/.307/.311 (75 OPS+) in four seasons and 574 plate appearances since. Still, the 29-year-old switch-hitter owns a .371 on-base percentage at Triple-A and has added versatility by learning to play shortstop and the outfield. The fight for a utility role on the 2015 Padres could be spirited, with Weeks competing with incumbent Alexi Amarista and offseason import Jose Pirela.
San Francisco Giants
Signed: RHP Vin Mazzaro, LHP Mike Kickham (released by Rangers, June 11), OF Darren Ford (re-signed)
Traded: SS Erick Mejia to Dodgers for RHP Joe Wieland
Tampa Bay Rays
Signed: LHP Justin Marks
Signed: RHP A.J. Griffin (released by Athletics, Nov. 25), SS Pedro Ciriaco (non-tendered by Braves)
Released: RHP Seth Lintz, RHP Kosuke Tomita
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: LHP Daniel Schlereth (released by Cubs, June 7)
Signed: RHP Boone Whiting
Released: RHP Andrew Cooper, RHP Sam Johns, 2B Thomas Alvarez, OF Wilman Rodriguez
Removed from 40-man: RHP Erik Davis, RHP Taylor Hill (both players outrighted to Triple-A)