Minor League Transactions: March 21-27

Official minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period March 21-27.

Article XX(B) major league free agents are indicated by a double asterisk (**). Chad Gaudin, Jason Giambi, Brandon Inge and Jonathan Sanchez all made active rosters, but most others were granted their release so that they could either negotiate with a new club or re-sign with the same club under modified terms.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Released:
RHP Josh Booty, RHP Robert Coe, RHP Jeremy Erben, RHP Kable Hogben, C Rod Barajas**
Acquired: OF Justin Greene from White Sox for future considerations

Atlanta Braves
Signed:
RHP Mark Pope (released by Padres, March 23), RHP Ryan Woolley (released by Tigers, March 25), OF Kyle Russell (released by Dodgers, March 19)
Released: RHP Eduardo Castillo, RHP Jaden Dillon, RHP Robinson Lopez, RHP Ian Marshall, LHP Mike Tarsi, LHP Fabian Williamson, LHP Alfonso Yevoli, OF Collin DeLome, OF Ryan Harvey, OF Adam Milligan
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP David Carpenter, SS Tyler Pastornicky, OF Jose Constanza
Optioned to Double-A: C Christian Bethancourt

We wrote in the ’11 Prospect Handbook that Adam Milligan has “well above-average raw power and can hit the ball out of the park to all fields.” That story checks out, given Milligan’s career .490 slugging percentage (.216 ISO), but so too does this caveat: “(He) will have to prove he can make enough contact against more advanced pitching.” Playing in a career-high 121 games last season, mostly at high Class A Lynchburg, Milligan struck out 172 times, a full 36 percent of plate appearances.

Baltimore Orioles
Released:
RHP David Baker, RHP Tyler Claburn, RHP Jesse Fernandez, RHP Kyle Mertins, RHP Mike Recchia, LHP Matt Bywater, LHP Cameron Coffey, LHP Logan Mahon, LHP Dan Meyer, LHP Eric Wooten, C Adam Davis, C Kevin Dultz, 3B Dudley Leonora, OF Tim Smith
Acquired: RHP Jairo Asencio from Brewers for cash considerations
Traded: OF Ronnie Welty to Phillies for RHP Julio Rodriguez
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Zach Britton, 2B Yamaico Navarro, 2B Jonathan Schoop, 3B Danny Valencia, OF Russ Canzler

The Orioles signed Logan Mahon (Frontier), Kyle Mertins (American Association) and Mike Recchia (Frontier) out of independent leagues in the offseason.

Who wants to bet against the Orioles turning Jairo Asencio and Julio Rodriguez into useful bullpen pieces one year after the organization revived the career of Miguel Gonzalez and received the best work of Pedro Strop’s career?

Boston Red Sox
Released:
RHP Luis Bastardo, RHP Sully Bonnelly, RHP J.D. Durbin, RHP Oscar Melendez, RHP Charle Rosario, LHP Ricardo Betancourt, LHP Sergio Espinosa, LHP Sean Henn, 1B Drew Hedman, 1B Lyle Overbay**, OF Lucas LeBlanc
Optioned to Triple-A: C Ryan Lavarnway, 2B Brock Holt

Chicago Cubs
Released:
RHP Jason Berken, RHP Ty’Relle Harris, RHP Scott Weismann, LHP Matt Spencer, 1B Paul Hoilman, 3B Dustin Harrington, OF Elieser Bonne, OF Nelson Perez
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Rafael Dolis, LHP Chris Rusin

Chicago White Sox
Signed:
RHP Jeremy Erben (released by D-backs, March 25)
Released: 1B Randy Ruiz, OF Cyle Hankerd, OF Darian Sandford
Acquired: 2B Cody Puckett from Reds for future considerations
Traded: 3B Juan Silverio to Reds for future considerations
Traded: OF Justin Greene to Diamondbacks for future considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Jordan Danks, OF Blake Tekotte

The White Sox signed Juan Silverio for $600,000 in August ’07, though that signing proved to be the tip of the kickback iceberg for former international scouting director Dave Wilder. Silverio hasn’t advanced past high Class A in five seasons, batting .256/.300/.436 for Winston-Salem in 123 games, though he draws compliments for his glovework at third base. Keep in mind, though, that almost everybody hits at Winston-Salem, the Carolina League’s top hitter’s park.

Cincinnati Reds
Signed:
C Konrad Schmidt (released by Rangers, March 23)
Released: RHP Justice French, RHP Stalin Gerson, RHP Lucas O’Rear, RHP Mark Serrano, RHP Jeff Stevens, RHP Dan Wolford, C Miguel Olivo**, 2B Taylor Wrenn, 3B Matt Mangini, 3B Nate Samson, OF Kurt Muller
Traded: 2B Cody Puckett to White Sox for future considerations
Acquired: 3B Juan Silverio from White Sox for future considerations

Cleveland Indians
Signed:
RHP Matt Capps (re-signed), RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (re-signed)
Released: RHP Matt Capps**, RHP Estevenson Encarnacion, RHP Luis Encarnacion, RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka**, LHP Danny Jimenez, LHP Kyle Petter, C Tyler Cannon, C Dwight Childs, 1B Evan Frazar, 2B Davis Stoneburner, SS Jairo Kelly, OF Mark Bradley, OF Mark Brown, OF Andrew Campbell, OF Hunter Jones, OF Chia-Ching Lin
Returned Rule 5 selection: 1B Chris McGuiness (to Rangers)
Added to 40-man roster: 1B Jason Giambi**
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Corey Kluber, LHP Scott Barnes, C Yan Gomes, 2B Cord Phelps

The Indians’ first-base depth chart stretches three deep with Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds and Carlos Santana—and don’t forget Jason Giambi—but Rule 5 pick Chris McGuiness did himself no favors by batting 8-for-41 (.195) with two doubles this spring.

Colorado Rockies
Signed:
RHP Giancarlo Alvarado (Yokohama (Japan))
Released: RHP Miguel Batista**, RHP Jeff Bennett, RHP Chris Dennis, RHP Taylor Reid, RHP Mike Wolford, LHP Brian Rike, LHP Kyle Roliard, C Anthony Aguilera, C Steve Domecus, C Richard Pirkle, 1B Ryan Garko, OF Jarod Berggren, OF Jeremy McLeod, OF Mike Zuanich
Returned Rule 5 selection: LHP Danny Rosenbaum (to Nationals)
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Tyler Chatwood, RHP Rob Scahill, LHP Christian Friedrich, LHP Josh Outman, LHP Drew Pomeranz, 2B Charlie Culberson, 2B D.J. LeMahieu, OF Charlie Blackmon

A 35-year-old Giancarlo Alvarado started the World Baseball Classic finale for Puerto Rico, allowing two runs in one inning to the tournament-champion Dominican Republic. He pitched at the Triple-A level from ’06 to ’09 before spending the previous three years in Japan, where he allowed a 3.53 ERA over 258 innings.

Detroit Tigers
Signed:
3B Mario Martinez (released by Mariners, March 25)
Released: RHP Trevor Bell, RHP Daniel Bennett, RHP Michael Dubee, RHP Shane Dyer, RHP Eric Heckaman, RHP Tim Kelley, RHP Ramon Lebron, RHP Matt Little, RHP Carlos Monasterios, RHP Greg Ross, RHP Brian Stroud, RHP Tyler White, RHP Ryan Woolley, LHP Luke Sommer, LHP Shawn Teufel, LHP Jared Wesson, C Jordan Guida, C Dan Killian, C Charlie Neil, 1B Juaner Aguasvivas, 2B Carlos de los Santos, 2B Cory Jensen, OF Michael Rockett
Traded: C Curt Casali to Rays as compensation for Rule 5 pick LHP Kyle Lobstein
Traded: OF Jonathan Roof to Phillies for future considerations
Returned Rule 5 selection: 2B Jeff Kobernus (to Nationals)
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Luke Putkonen, OF Quintin Berry
Removed from 40-man: LHP Kyle Lobstein (outrighted to Double-A)

Houston Astros
Signed:
RHP Gerardo Ramirez (released by Twins, March 22)
Released: RHP Danny Meszaros, C Ben Heath, OF Adam Bailey
Traded: OF Mike Kvasnicka to Twins for RHP Gonzalo Sanudo
Optioned to Triple-A: 2B Jake Elmore, OF J.D. Martinez
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Chia-Jen Lo

Gonzalo Sanudo compiled a 33-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio as a 20-year-old mostly-reliever in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League last season.

Kansas City Royals
Signed:
LHP George Sherrill (re-signed), OF Xavier Nady (re-signed)
Released: RHP Mike Giovenco, RHP Nick Graffeo, RHP Joe Karlik, RHP Patrick Keating, RHP Jason Mitchell, RHP Leondy Perez, RHP Elisaul Pimentel, RHP Lincoln Rassi, RHP Jamie Richmond, LHP Mitchell Beacom, LHP Rudy Brown, LHP Allen Caldwell, LHP Blaine Hardy, LHP Jose Jimenez, LHP George Sherrill**, 1B Dean Espy, 1B Ian Gac, 3B Michael Liberto, SS Adrian Martinez, OF Endy Chavez**, OF Xavier Nady**, OF Nick Van Stratten
Acquired: OF Desmond Henry from Rangers as player to be named for LHP Tommy Hottovy
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Francisley Bueno, LHP Donnie Joseph, 2B Irving Falu, 2B Johnny Giavotella, OF David Lough

A fourth-round pick by the Rangers out of high school in ’11, Desmond Henry ought to feel right at home in a Royals organization that values elite speed. See also: Jarrod Dyson, Derrick Robinson, Justin Tripp, Terrance Gore, et al. With just 25 games of pro experience, however, Henry may need another run in short-season ball before he reaches full speed next season.

Los Angeles Angels
Signed:
RHP Mark Lowe (released by Dodgers, March 24)
Released: RHP Ben Fritz, RHP Eddie McKiernan, RHP Nick Mutz, RHP Logan Odom, RHP Orlando Ramirez, LHP Aaron Meade, C Jose Jimenez, C Ricky Pacione, 2B Bill Hall**, SS Jean Almanzar
Traded: RHP Steve Geltz to Rays for RHP Dane de la Rosa
Traded: OF Vernon Wells to Yankees for LHP Kramer Sneed and OF Exicardo Cayones
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Elvin Ramirez, 2B Tommy Field, OF Scott Cousins
Optioned to Double-A: LHP Nick Maronde
Removed from 40-man: RHP Steve Geltz (outrighted to Triple-A)

Nick Mutz logged a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio for Rookie-level Orem in ’11, the same year he went in the ninth round of the draft despite not pitching that spring. All optimism evaporated following a nine-appearance run with low Class A Cedar Rapids last year in which Mutz put up a 11.81 ERA and 3.00 WHIP over 10 2/3 innings.

The Angels stockpiled reliever depth near the end of spring training, signing Mark Lowe as a free agent and acquiring hard-throwing righthanders Dane de la Rosa (tops out at 94 mph) and Elvin Ramirez (98 mph) in minor trades.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Released:
RHP Florencio Bustillos, RHP Mark Lowe**, RHP Brock Mansion, RHP Joe Robinson, LHP Mike Antonini, LHP Fabio Castro, LHP Alfredo Unzue, OF Nick Akins
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Dee Gordon
Optioned to Double-A: OF Yasiel Puig

Nick Akins attracted attention from a segment of prospect watchers when he clubbed 15 home runs and slugged .650 for Rookie-level Ogden of the Pioneer League in ’10. Others, realizing that Ogden plays in an extreme hitter’s park in an extreme hitter’s league, preferred to wait to see what Akins could do in more neutral conditions before buying in to his prospect-dom. In this case, patience proved to be a virtue. In parts of two seasons with low Class A Great Lakes, Akins hit .226/.327/.407 with 20 homers in 575 plate appearances.

Jacob Turner's poor spring training landed him back in Triple-A

Jacob Turner’s poor spring  landed him back in Triple-A

Miami Marlins
Signed:
SS Wilson Valdez (released by Giants, March 22), OF Matt Diaz (released by Yankees, March 17)
Released: RHP Graham Johnson, RHP Zach Neal, RHP Alan Oaks, 1B Brian McConkey, OF Rand Smith
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Tom Koehler, RHP Jacob Turner, LHP Dan Jennings

The Marlins exercised a fourth minor league option to send Jacob Turner to Triple-A New Orleans, but it’s safe to assume he would have cracked the Miami rotation had he not allowed 14 runs on 18 hits over 13 innings this spring. After all, projected big league starters Henderson Alvarez and Nate Eovaldi will begin the season on the disabled list, and their absence triggered a chain reaction that resulted in the Marlins turning to Plan C. That would be filling out the rotation with Kevin Slowey (5.14 ERA at Triple-A last season) and elite prospect Jose Fernandez (finished last season in high Class A).

Milwaukee Brewers
Released:
C Emmanuel Quiles, 2B Donnie Murphy, OF Chuck Caufield
Traded: RHP Jairo Asencio to Orioles for cash considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Michael Olmsted, RHP Josh Stinson, OF Caleb Gindl

Minnesota Twins
Released:
RHP Ricardo Arevalo, RHP Patrick Arnold, RHP Hung Yi Chen, RHP Scott Elarton, RHP Tyler Herr, RHP Gerardo Ramirez, LHP Jason Lane, LHP Cole Nelson, OF Danny Rams
Traded: RHP Gonzalo Sanudo to Astros for OF Mike Kvasnicka
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Alex Burnett, LHP Pedro Hernandez, C Drew Butera, OF Joe Benson

The Twins acquired 6-foot-7 lefty Cole Nelson in the August ’11 trade that shipped Delmon Young to the Tigers.

The 33rd pick in the ’10 draft, Mike Kvasnicka starred at the University of Minnesota but fell into a supporting role with low Class A Lexington in the Astros system, batting .232/.275/.412 in 345 at-bats last season. He may not have much feel for hitting, but Kvasnicka did smack 15 home runs last season in 88 games, so the power is real.

New York Mets
Signed:
LHP Pedro Feliciano (re-signed), LHP Shawn Teufel (released by Tigers, March 25)
Released: RHP Kyle Allen, RHP Yohan Almonte, RHP Jeff Kaplan, RHP Brandon Moore, RHP Andy Wells, RHP Jared West, LHP Pedro Feliciano**, LHP Brandon Sage
Optioned to Triple-A: C Travis d’Arnaud
Removed from 40-man: SS Brandon Hicks (outrighted to Triple-A)

Shawn Teufel is the son of Tim Teufel, former Mets second baseman and current third-base coach in New York.

New York Yankees
Signed:
1B Lyle Overbay (released by Red Sox, March 26)
Released: RHP Cory Arbiso, RHP Dawerd Cruz, RHP Pedro Guerra, RHP Melvin Mercedes, RHP Will Oliver, RHP Matt Richardson, LHP Matt Bashore, C David Remedios, 2B David Adams, SS Fernando Perez
Traded: LHP Kramer Sneed and OF Exicardo Cayones to Angels for OF Vernon Wells

Oakland Athletics
Released:
RHP Logan Chitwood, RHP Nate Eppley, RHP Cecil Tanner, LHP A.J. Huttenlocker, C John Nester, C Rhett Stafford, 2B Ryan Pineda
Optioned to Triple-A: 2B Jemile Weeks, OF Shane Peterson

Philadelphia Phillies
Signed:
RHP Luis Garcia (Newark (Can-Am))
Released: RHP Brian Bass, RHP Aaron Cook**, RHP Austin Hyatt, RHP Rodrigo Lopez, RHP Jorge Lorenzo, RHP Troy Marks, RHP Marek Minarik, RHP Jordan Whatcott, LHP Brendan Lafferty, LHP David Newmann, C John Hill, SS Yuniesky Betancourt, SS Tim Carver
Traded: RHP Julio Rodriguez to Orioles for OF Ronnie Welty
Acquired: OF Jonathan Roof from Tigers for future considerations
Optioned to Triple-A: 1B Darin Ruf

The Phillies acquired Brendan Lafferty in the offseason, selecting him from the Royals in the minor league Rule 5 draft.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Signed:
RHP Jose Contreras (re-signed)
Released: RHP Jose Contreras**, RHP Jordan Cooper, RHP Zach Foster, RHP Nathan Kilcrease, RHP Logan Pevny, LHP Mike Jefferson, LHP Josh Poytress, OF Brad Hawpe
Added to 40-man roster: LHP Jonathan Sanchez**, 3B Brandon Inge**
Designated for assignment: RHP Hunter Strickland, 1B Clint Robinson
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Kyle McPherson, RHP Bryan Morris, SS Jordy Mercer, OF Alex Presley

St. Louis Cardinals
Signed:
3B Ruben Gotay
Released: RHP Yunior Castillo, OF Gary Apelian, OF Anthony Bryant
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Sam Freeman

San Diego Padres
Released:
RHP Mike Broadway, RHP Freddy Garcia**, RHP Erik Hamren, RHP Chris Haney, RHP Mark Pope, LHP Mark Hardy, LHP Kyle Ottoson, LHP Mark Picca, 1B Goose Kallunki, 2B Cody Gabella, OF Kyung-Min Na, OF Anthony Renteria
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brad Boxberger, RHP Nick Vincent
Outrighted to Mexican League: RHP Federico Castaneda, LHP Arturo Lopez (both to Mexico City)

Center fielder Kyung-Min Na hit .155/.227/.216 in 53 games last season, his one and only with the Padres after they acquired him plus Andrew Cashner in the January ’12 trade that sent Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs. Na never had time to set his feet as he careened between low Class A, Triple-A and Double-A for San Diego.

San Francisco Giants
Released:
RHP Ramon Ramirez**, C Alex Burg, 3B Garrett Buechele, SS Wilson Valdez
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Chad Gaudin**
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Dan Runzler

Seattle Mariners
Signed:
OF Endy Chavez (released by Royals, March 22)
Released: RHP Domingo Brazoban, RHP Josh Corrales, RHP Jon Garland, RHP Taylor Stanton, C Tyler Jones, 1B Jharmidy DeJesus, 1B Mike Jacobs, 3B Mario Martinez, OF Charles Jimenez
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Kameron Loe
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Erasmo Ramirez, OF Carlos Peguero

The Mariners committed $1 million in bonus money to sign then-shortstop Jharmidy DeJesus out of the Dominican Republic in ’07, but he never mastered low Class A and batted .220/.292/.363 for Clinton last season as a corner infielder.

Another international prospect bust, slick-fielding third baseman Mario Martinez hit a pedestrian .260/.310/.454 in two tries at high Class A High Desert, the best hitter’s park in the U.S. minors. He signed out of Venezuela for $600,000 in ’06.

Tampa Bay Rays
Released:
RHP Nick Barnese, RHP Joe Cruz, LHP Luke Goodgion, OF Jack Cust, OF Nick Weglarz
Traded: RHP Dane de la Rosa to Angels for RHP Steve Geltz
Acquired: C Curt Casali from Tigers as compensation for Rule 5 pick LHP Kyle Lobstein
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brandon Gomes, C Chris Gimenez

Tampa Bay will have to settle for two stud lefties out of the ’07 draft—David Price and Matt Moore—because third-rounder Nick Barnese is a Ray no more. He spent much of the past two seasons at Double-A Montgomery, logging a 4.40 ERA over 174 innings with similarly uninspiring ratios of 6.3 strikeouts and 4.2 walks per nine innings.

Texas Rangers
Signed:
RHP Yoshinori Tateyama (re-signed)
Released: RHP Drew Benes, RHP Joucer Martinez, LHP Scott Olsen, LHP Pedro Tirado, C Konrad Schmidt, 1B Brandon Snyder, 2B Santiago Chirino
Traded: OF Desmond Henry to Royals as player to be named for LHP Tommy Hottovy
Returned Rule 5 selection: RHP Coty Woods (to Rockies)
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Justin Grimm

Justin Grimm had the inside track on the No. 5 starter gig following Martin Perez’s injury, but Texas opted for Nick Tepesch instead when Grimm allowed 10 runs on 15 hits over 9 1/3 spring innings.

Toronto Blue Jays
Released:
RHP Travis Garrett, RHP Tucker Jensen, RHP Nick Purdy, RHP Rich Thompson
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Brad Lincoln, RHP Todd Redmond, C Josh Thole, OF Anthony Gose
Optioned to high Class A: LHP Ricky Romero

Washington Nationals
Signed:
RHP Fiyeral Charlis, LHP J.C. Romero, OF Anthony Bryant (released by Cardinals, March 24)
Released: RHP Inocencio Heredia, RHP Casey Upperman, RHP Chris Young**, LHP Ryan Demmin, LHP Bobby Lucas, LHP Blake Monar, LHP Andrew Wall, 3B Stephen King, OF Wade Moore, OF J.P. Ramirez, OF Delwyn Young
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Cole Kimball
Removed from 40-man: 3B Carlos Rivero (outrighted to Triple-A)