For many players, the mid- to late portion of spring training brings assignments to minor league camp in preparation for the season. For others, it brings to an end their time with the organization that in many cases originally signed them. The tally of released players hits 227 this time around, and most of them will seek other opportunities in professional baseball.
For updates on the status of Article XX(B) free agents on minor league contracts, such as Trever Miller and Ramon Ortiz from this installment of transactions, be sure to check out this blog post. The deadline looms on March 30 for teams to make decisions on nearly three dozen veterans.
Players listed with an asterisk (*) signed a minor league contract with the organization after being removed from the 40-man roster and clearing waivers.
Released: RHP Brian Budrow, RHP Keith Cantwell, RHP Berling Cruz, RHP Randy Hamrick, RHP Trevor Harden, RHP Victor Lara, RHP Mike MacDonald, C Elvin Delgado, 3B Patrick Donahue, 3B Derek Luciano, SS Stephen Cardullo, OF Jeremia Gomez, OF Justin Hilt, OF Roberto Ortiz, OF Domingo Soriano
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Sam Demel, RHP Barry Enright, OF David Winfree
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Trevor Bauer
Trevor Bauer worked 10 innings in big league camp, where he struck out nine and allowed 11 hits and only one walk. If he keeps that up he may not be long with Double-A Mobile.
Released: RHP Danilo Alvarez, RHP Jeremy Haynes, RHP Tyler Hess, RHP Lucas LaPoint, RHP Daniel Lopez, RHP Kyle Mertins, RHP Angelo Paulino, RHP Aaron Shafer, RHP Dan Winnie, LHP Chris Cody, LHP Lenny Hardy, OF Jake Rife, OF Brian Stamps
Acquired: SS Greg Paiml from White Sox for cash considerations
Signed: LHP Dontrelle Willis
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brad Bergesen, RHP Jason Berken, 2B Matt Antonelli
Boston Red Sox
Released: RHP Matt Kramer, RHP Corey Vogt, RHP Sean White, LHP Hunter Jones, C Max St. Pierre, OF Wilfred Pichardo
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Clayton Mortensen, RHP Junichi Tazawa, C Luis Exposito
Signed: RHP Shawn Camp
Released: RHP Colin Richardson, LHP Brent Ebinger, LHP Trever Miller, C Mario Mercedes, 3B Jacob Opitz, OF Mayke Reyes
Elected free agency: RHP Andy Sonnanstine
Optioned to Triple-A: 1B Anthony Rizzo, 2B Adrian Cardenas
Removed from 40-man: RHP Andy Sonnanstine (outrighted to Triple-A)
Outrighted to Mexican League: RHP Oswaldo Martinez (Mexico City)
Anthony Rizzo did everything he could this spring to make the team, going 12-for-33 (.364) with two homers, but the Cubs want to see what they have first in Bryan LaHair, last year's minor league home run champion. The 22-year-old Rizzo's day will come in Wrigley.
Chicago White Sox
Signed: SS D.J. Jarrad (NDFA—Oakland)
Released: RHP Dexter Carter, RHP Johnnie Lowe, RHP Orlando Santos, LHP Brad Furnish, LHP Pete Gehle, LHP Garrett Johnson, LHP Joe Serafin, C Sean O'Connell, C Adam Ricks, OF Jordan Keegan, OF Qualon Millender, OF Delwyn Young
Traded: SS Greg Paiml to Braves for cash considerations
Acquired: OF Greg Golson from Royals for cash considerations
Released: RHP Jean Duque, LHP Matt Fairel, C Rafael Vera, 1B Chris Richburg
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Andrew Brackman, 2B Chris Valaika, OF Denis Phipps
Removed from 40-man: RHP Josh Judy (outrighted to Triple-A)
Released: RHP Ramon Cespedes, RHP Matt Curtis, RHP Joey Mahalic, RHP Moisses Ramirez, LHP Kirk Wetmore, C Doug Pickens, 2B Kevin Fontanez
Traded: SS Chin-Lung Hu to Phillies for cash considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Zach McAllister, 2B Cord Phelps
Released: RHP Ricardo Ferrer, RHP Sheng-An Kuo, RHP Dan Perkins, RHP Jeremiah Sammy, LHP Logan Mahon, 3B Joe Sanders, OF Avery Barnes
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Zach Putnam
A fifth-round pick from Auburn in ’09, Joe Sanders topped out with high Class A Modesto and batted .217/.253/.372 for the Nuts over the course of two seasons and 290 at-bats.
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Jacob Turner, LHP Adam Wilk
Optioned to Double-A: LHP Kelvin de la Cruz
If you're keeping track at home, the Kelvin de la Cruz transactional odyssey goes something like this: traded by Indians to Rangers for a player to be named (Feb. 21), traded by Rangers back to Indians for cash (March 15), designated for assignment by Indians (March 21), claimed on waivers by Tigers from Indians (March 23), optioned by Tigers to Double-A Erie (March 23).
Released: RHP Wander Alvino, RHP Michael Ness, C Jordan Comadena, C Bubby Williams, OF Bryce Lane, OF Jose Vargas
Traded: C Humberto Quintero and OF Jason Bourgeois to Royals for LHP Kevin Chapman and a player to be named
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Aneury Rodriguez, 3B Jimmy Paredes, OF Fernando Martinez
Kansas City Royals
Released: RHP Willian Avinazar, RHP Manauris Baez, RHP Tyler Graham, RHP Eduardo Paulino, RHP Kevin Pucetas, RHP Alex Rivers, LHP Ivor Hodgson, LHP Brennon Martin, 3B Deivy Batista, OF Jovan Pickett
Traded: LHP Kevin Chapman and a player to be named to Astros for C Humberto Quintero and OF Jason Bourgeois
Traded: OF Greg Golson to White Sox for cash considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Vin Mazzaro, 2B Johnny Giavotella, OF Jarrod Dyson
Johnny Giavotella spent the final two months of last season as the Royals' everyday second baseman, but he'll begin ’12 with Triple-A Omaha after batting .250/.267/.318 with one walk and 12 strikeouts in 44 spring at-bats.
Los Angeles Angels
Signed: RHP David Pauley
Released: RHP Yeison Almeida, RHP Suammy Baez, RHP Beau Brooks, RHP Pill Joon Jang, RHP Jose Perez, C Chris Hannick, C Benji Johnson, C Marcus Nidiffer, 1B Dillon Baird, 2B Peter Copa, 3B Jason Nappi, OF Harrison Kain
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Andrew Romine
Los Angeles Dodgers
Released: RHP Rick Bauer, RHP Pete Budkevics, RHP Jared Lansford, RHP Ian Snell, LHP Cedrick Bowers, LHP Chance Gilmore, SS Bryant Hernandez
Released: RHP Walker Moore, RHP Bobby O'Neill, RHP Curtis Petersen, RHP Aneurys Solano, C Orlando Mercado, 1B Nate Woods, 2B Jonathan Myers, 3B Chase Austin, OF Nestor Castillo
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Scott Cousins
Among the Marlins' released players are two top-five rounds draft picks: Curtis Petersen (fourth round, ’08) and Chase Austin (fifth round, ’09).
Released: LHP Del Howell, LHP Efrain Nieves, LHP Jon Pokorny, 2B Mike Brownstein, 2B Sergio Miranda
Released: RHP Derek Christensen, RHP Kane Holbrooks, RHP Matt Schuld, RHP Brad Stillings, RHP Blayne Weller, LHP Dan Osterbrock, LHP Spencer Steedley, LHP Mike Tarsi
Returned Rule 5 selection: RHP Terry Doyle (to White Sox)
A seventh-round pick from Cincinnati in ’08, Dan Osterbrock won Rookie-level Appalachian League pitcher of the year honors his first summer by going 7-2, 3.00 in 13 starts for Elizabethton. He led the league with 75 innings and 104 strikeouts. In related news, the Braves released the Appy League's ’09 pitcher of the year, Danville lefty Matt Crim, last December.
New York Mets
Signed: RHP Chris Young
Released: RHP Nick Carr, RHP Ronny Morla, RHP Tobi Stoner, RHP Steve Winnick, LHP Chris Hilliard, LHP Roy Merritt, LHP Eric Niesen, 1B Luke Stewart, OF Chase Greene
Optioned to Triple-A: 3B Josh Satin
The Mets drafted Wake Forest lefty Eric Niesen in the third round of the ’07 draft, and while he finished his career in the organization with a career 4.51 ERA and 1.53 WHIP, he could begin a new chapter as a situational reliever with another club. In the past three seasons with Double-A Binghamton, Niesen held lefties to a .232 average (52-for-224) with just two homers and eight doubles allowed.
New York Yankees
Signed: LHP Andy Pettitte
Released: RHP Noel Castillo, RHP Grant Duff, RHP Joaquin Hinojosa, RHP George Isabel, RHP Yobanny Reyes, LHP Gavin Brooks, LHP Daniel Martinez, 2B Reegie Corona, OF Preston Mattingly
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Dellin Betances, RHP George Kontos, RHP D.J. Mitchell, RHP David Phelps, 3B Brandon Laird, SS Ramiro Pena
Released: RHP Mike Benacka, RHP Yadel Marti, LHP Max Peterson
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brad Peacock, LHP Pedro Figueroa
Released: RHP Paul Cusick, RHP Rye Davis, RHP Ian Durham, RHP Juary Gomez, RHP Chase Johnson, LHP Rob Cooper, LHP Fabian Cota, LHP Jack Van Leur, 1B Mike Marshall, 3B Geancarlo Mendez, OF Luis Unda
Acquired: SS Chin-Lung Hu from Indians for cash considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Phillippe Aumont, RHP Michael Schwimer, OF Domonic Brown
The Phillies added middle-infield depth by trading for veteran minor league shortstop Chin-Lung Hu. The 28-year-old native of Taiwan effectively serves as insurance policy on rookie Freddy Galvis, who's slated to replace the injured Chase Utley for the early part of the season. Hu's past two seasons have been injury-wracked, but he appeared in 28 games for Adelaide of the Australian Baseball League over the winter and batted .277/.328/.437 in 119 at-bats.
Update: The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb tweets that Hu failed his physical and will not be joining the Phillies.
Released: RHP Jesus Brito, RHP Fraylin Campos, RHP Kevin Decker, RHP Miguel Mendez, RHP Bryce Weidman, LHP Tyler Cox, C Jairo Marquez, 1B Calvin Anderson, 3B Yunesky Sanchez, OF Rogelio Noris, OF David Rubinstein
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Jordy Mercer
St. Louis Cardinals
Released: RHP Cory Rauschenberger, LHP Pat Daugherty, LHP Justin Edwards, C Koyie Hill, 1B Philip Cerreto, 2B Joey Bergman, 2B Alex Cora, 3B Romulo Ruiz, SS Ted Obregon
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Chuckie Fick, RHP Adam Ottavino, RHP Eduardo Sanchez, LHP Sam Freeman, 1B Mark Hamilton, OF Adron Chambers
San Diego Padres
Released: RHP Paul Bingham, RHP Chase Marona, RHP Tyler Norwood, RHP Atlee Pearson, RHP Deiber Sanchez, RHP Warren Slack, RHP John Van Benschoten, 1B Wes Cunningham, 1B Paul Karmas, SS Pat McKenna, OF Dan Meeley, OF Danny Payne
Optioned to Double-A: SS Jeudy Valdez
The 64th overall pick in ’07, former Georgia Tech outfielder Danny Payne spent the bulk of the past three seasons with high Class A Lake Elsinore, batting .237/.371/.391 in 705 at-bats.
San Francisco Giants
Released: RHP Ryan Bean, RHP Brennan Flick, RHP Ramon Ortiz, RHP Stephen Shackleford, RHP Adam Thomas, RHP Sundrendy Windster, LHP Chuck Lofgren, 1B Josh Mazzola, 2B Kaohi Downing, OF Leo Ochoa
Signed: LHP Cesar Jimenez*
Released: RHP Daniel Cooper, RHP Stephen Penney, LHP Tony Butler, LHP Nate Reed, 2B Shaver Hansen, 2B George Soto, SS Edilio Colina, OF Matt Cerione, OF Jamie McOwen, OF Jake Shaffer
Removed from 40-man: LHP Cesar Jimenez (outrighted to Triple-A)
A sixth-round pick from Baylor in ’09, Shaver Hansen spent three seasons in the low minors, scuttling all over the infield and batting .232/.305/.352 in 711 at-bats for low Class A Clinton and high Class A High Desert.
Tampa Bay Rays
Released: RHP Stephen Hiscock, RHP Luke Irvine, LHP Robert Dickmann, LHP Sergio Espinosa, LHP Matt Stabelfeld, C Junior Rodriguez, 2B Raymond Church, OF Nick Schwaner
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Josh Lueke, LHP Cesar Ramos
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Mark Hamburger, OF Leonys Martin
Optioned to Double-A: OF Engel Beltre
Cuban import Leonys Martin will begin the season with Triple-A Round Rock after going 6-for-27 (.222) this spring and losing the center field job to an amalgam of Craig Gentry, Josh Hamilton and Julio Borbon.
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: OF Francisco Leandro (Sioux Falls (American Association))
Released: RHP Andrew Liebel, RHP Milciades Santana, 2B Matt Nuzzo
Optioned to Triple-A: 1B David Cooper, OF Travis Snider
The Blue Jays selected Long Beach State senior Andrew Liebel in the ’08 draft's third round. He advanced to Double-A the next year, making two starts for New Hampshire, but injuries wiped out about half of his two follow-up seasons.
Released: RHP Tyler Hanks, RHP Gaby Hernandez, RHP Marcel Prado, LHP Mitchell Clegg, LHP Lee Hyde