Here we present official minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period Nov. 27-Dec. 6.
Rule 5 selections are presented here with each player's original organization, not the one that drafted him. This way you can see which teams functioned as the most bountiful wellsprings. MLB signifies major league phase, while AAA denotes Triple-A phase. No Double-A selections were made this year.
Rule 5 selection: OF Ender Inciarte (MLB, Phillies)
The Phillies traded for Ben Revere immediately after the Rule 5 draft, so Ender Inciarte might be redundant now that Philly has four outfielders with big league experience on its 40-man roster (Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Laynce Nix, Revere) plus prospect Tyson Gillies in Triple-A.
Signed: C Matt Pagnozzi, 2B Blake DeWitt
Signed: RHP Adam Russell, C Jose Gil, C Jim Vahalik (Washington (Frontier)), 2B Shawn Roof, OF Conor Jackson, OF Buddy Sosnoskie (Fargo-Moorhead (American Association))
Traded: RHP Jhondaniel Medina to Pirates for 2B Yamaico Navarro
Rule 5 selection: OF Robbie Widlansky (AAA, Angels)
Baltimore has targeted some nifty bench potentials this offseason, trading for Yamaico Navarro (second base, third base, left field) and Trayvon Robinson (center field, left field), while signing to minor league deals the likes of Conor Jackson and Jason Pridie, both of whom have value to reclaim.
Boston Red Sox
Signed: RHP Anthony Carter (non-tender by White Sox), RHP Oscar Villarreal, C Alberto Rosario
Traded: RHP Zach Stewart to Pirates for a player to be named
Traded: 2B Jeff Kobernus (Rule 5 pick) to Tigers for OF Justin Henry
Rule 5 selections: RHP Josh Fields (MLB, Astros), RHP Ryan Pressly (MLB, Twins)
Two of first four selections in the major league Rule 5 draft were Red Sox pitchers, and the chances of either one returning to the fold are slim given that the Astros and Twins are in rebuilding mode. Minnesota found a way to keep past Rule 5 picks like Scott Diamond (’10) and Jason Jones (’08) by trading for them, while Houston has often kept its Rule 5 picks like Rhiner Cruz and Marwin Gonzalez (’11), Aneury Rodriguez (’10) and Wesley Wright (’07).
For the second year in a row, the Red Sox immediately traded their major league Rule 5 pick for a player whom they can keep in the minors with no strings attached. This time they selected Nationals Double-A second baseman Jeff Kobernus and then traded him to the Tigers for Justin Henry, a center fielder/third baseman/second baseman who can really run (double-plus grades) and defend in the outfield. The 27-year-old hit .300/.372/.357 with 22 steals in 376 at-bats for Triple-A Toledo. Last year, Boston took Triple-A shortstop Marwin Gonzalez from the Cubs and flipped him to the Astros for righthander Marco Duarte, who struck out 7.5 and walked 3.6 per nine innings across two levels as a reliever for the Red Sox this season.
Removed from 40-man: RHP Casey Coleman (outrighted to Triple-A)
Rule 5 selections: RHP Alvido Jimenez (AAA, Blue Jays), RHP Starling Peralta (MLB, Diamondbacks), 3B Matt Cerda (AAA, Cardinals), OF Michael Burgess (AAA, Astros)
Chicago White Sox
Rule 5 selection: RHP Jon Bachanov (AAA, Red Sox)
Signed: SS Kris Negron (non-tendered and re-signed), OF Denis Phipps (non-tendered and re-signed)
Rule 5 selection: 3B Marquez Smith (AAA, Rangers)
The Reds had signed Marquez Smith as a minor league free agent in November.
Signed: RHP Kota Kobayashi
Rule 5 selections: RHP Hector Rondon (MLB, Cubs), LHP T.J. McFarland (MLB, Orioles)
The Indians effectively traded lefty T.J. McFarland (taken by the Orioles) for first baseman Chris McGuiness (taken from the Rangers) in the Rule 5 draft. They may wind up getting the better end of the deal because Cleveland's Progressive Field may be perfectly tailored for McGuiness' pull power. In a best-case scenario he could approximate the value of ’12 regular Casey Kotchman.
Cleveland signed 21-year-old Japanese righty reliever Kota Kobayashi, who played in the minors for the Yokohama organization for three seasons. The Bay Stars drafted him out of high school in ’09 and released him in November.
Traded: RHP Alex Gillingham and RHP Alex White to Astros for RHP Wilton Lopez and a player to be named
Rule 5 selection: RHP Coty Woods (MLB, Rangers)
Signed: RHP Trevor Bell, 1B John Lindsey (re-signed), 3B Matt Tuiasosopo
Traded: OF Justin Henry to Red Sox for 2B Jeff Kobernus (Rule 5 pick)
Rule 5 selections: LHP Efrain Nieves (AAA, Blue Jays), LHP Jay Voss (AAA, Cardinals)
In addition to trading for second baseman Jeff Kobernus, Detroit also purchased lefty Kyle Lobstein from the Mets, so the Tigers will bring a pair of Rule 5 picks to spring training. This has not been standard operating procedure for GM Dave Dombrowski in recent years. The Tigers took lefty Kyle Bloom (’08) and traded for lefty Edward Campusano (’06) in recent Rule 5 drafts, but neither player stuck, and Detroit typically sits out the whole affair.
A righty hitter, Kobernus showed a wide platoon split with Double-A Harrisburg this season, batting .319/.376/.352 versus lefties but putting up a meager .631 OPS against righties. The Tigers are most interested in his 42 stolen bases, most likely. Lobstein also had split issues in Double-A, showing strong strikeout potential against lefty batters (29 percent whiffs) and good control (8 percent walks) as a starter for Montgomery. That ratio could widen in a relief role if the Tigers go that route.
Traded: RHP Wilton Lopez and a player to be named to Rockies for RHP Alex Gillingham and RHP Alex White
Kansas City Royals
Traded: RHP Vin Mazzaro and 1B Clint Robinson to Pirates for RHP Luis Santos and LHP Luis Rico
Elected free agency: RHP Chris Volstad
Removed from 40-man: RHP Chris Volstad, LHP Ryan Verdugo, C Adam Moore (all players outrighted to Triple-A)
Rule 5 selections: RHP Federico Castaneda (AAA, Padres), RHP Ethan Hollingsworth (AAA, Pirates), LHP Ryan Dennick (AAA, Reds), LHP Brendan Lafferty (AAA, Phillies), 2B Diego Goris (AAA, Padres)
Los Angeles Angels
Rule 5 selections: LHP Tyler Kehrer (AAA, Marlins), SS Angel Sanchez (MLB, White Sox)
With the free agent departure of utilityman Maicer Izturis this offseason, the Angels made shortstop Angel Sanchez a priority on the minor league free agent market. They signed him to a minor league deal just as the World Series wound down, but now Sanchez will go to spring training as a Rule 5 pick with the White Sox, who apparently had similar designs.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rule 5 selection: OF Alfredo Silverio (MLB, Marlins)
Signed: LHP Zach Phillips, OF Jordan Brown
Traded: SS Yunel Escobar to Rays for 2B Derek Dietrich
Signed: RHP Chris Jakubauskas, SS Hainley Statia (re-signed)
Traded: OF Raul Mondesi Jr. to Rays for RHP Burke Badenhop
Rule 5 selection: 2B Eric Farris (AAA, Mariners)
Signed: RHP Lester Oliveros (non-tendered and re-signed), LHP Jason Lane (Sugar Land (Atlantic))
Traded: OF Denard Span to Nationals for RHP Alex Meyer
Removed from 40-man: RHP Deolis Guerra (outrighted to Triple-A)
Rule 5 selection: RHP Tom Boleska (AAA, Orioles)
New York Yankees
Signed: RHP David Herndon (re-signed)
Signed: 3B Scott Moore, OF D'Arby Myers
Traded: RHP Zach Thornton to Pirates for RHP Chris Resop
Rule 5 selections: SS Michael Gilmartin (AAA, Reds), OF Eliezer Mesa (AAA, Tigers)
Signed: RHP Zach Miner, LHP Cesar Jimenez, C Humberto Quintero
Signed: LHP Philippe Valiquette, LHP Mike Zagurski
Acquired: RHP Zach Stewart from Red Sox for a player to be named
Traded: RHP Luis Santos and LHP Luis Rico to Royals for RHP Vin Mazzaro and 1B Clint Robinson
Traded: 2B Yamaico Navarro to Orioles for RHP Jhondaniel Medina
Traded: RHP Chris Resop to Athletics for RHP Zach Thornton
Removed from 40-man: 1B Matt Hague (outrighted to Triple-A)
Rule 5 selection: 3B Elevys Gonzalez (AAA, Dodgers)
St. Louis Cardinals
Signed: OF Justin Christian
Rule 5 selection: 1B Steve Hill (AAA, Athletics)
San Diego Padres
Signed: RHP Daniel Stange (re-signed), LHP Jeremy Gould
Rule 5 selections: 1B Nate Freiman (MLB, Astros), OF Sawyer Carroll (AAA, Blue Jays)
San Francisco Giants
Signed: LHP Carlos Teller
Rule 5 selection: RHP Cameron Lamb (AAA, Astros)
Released by the Pirates in March ’09, lefty Carlos Teller hasn't pitched in affiliated ball in three years, though he has made winter-ball appearances in Mexico in ’10 and Venezuela in ’11. The Giants signed him on the heels of his showing with Nicaragua in the World Baseball Classic qualifier, in which Teller worked one inning, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Tampa Bay Rays
Signed: RHP Will Inman, OF Jason Bourgeois, OF Nick Weglarz
Traded: RHP Burke Badenhop to Brewers for OF Raul Mondesi Jr.
Traded: 2B Derek Dietrich to Marlins for SS Yunel Escobar
Rule 5 selections: RHP Scott Shuman (AAA, Giants), LHP Braulio Lara (MLB, Marlins), LHP Kyle Lobstein (MLB, Mets)
The Rays got raided for three of the most interesting arms taken in the Rule 5 draft, the dark horse being Double-A righty reliever Scott Shuman. Despite a 8.83 ERA and 2.28 WHIP, he could have some utility as a situational reliever—and he comes with no strings attached as a minor league selection. Shuman bumped 95 mph and induced righties to chase an often effective slider. They hit .224/.388/.329 in 98 matchups, striking out 36 percent of the time (but also walking 21 percent of the time). If there's any organization that can fix him, it's the Giants.
Signed: RHP Collin Balester
Rule 5 selections: 1B Chris McGuiness (MLB, Indians), 3B Tommy Mendonca (AAA, Athletics)
Toronto Blue Jays
Signed: RHP Alberto Guzman, RHP Yonardo Herdenez
Elected free agency: RHP Cory Wade
Removed from 40-man: RHP Joel Carreno, RHP Cory Wade, 2B Mike McCoy (all players outrighted to Triple-A)
Rule 5 selection: 3B Mark Sobolewski (AAA, Twins)
Signed: LHP Bobby Bramhall, LHP Bill Bray
Traded: RHP Alex Meyer to Twins for OF Denard Span
Rule 5 selections: RHP Hector Nelo (AAA, Dodgers), LHP Jack McGeary (AAA, Red Sox), LHP Danny Rosenbaum (MLB, Rockies), 2B Jeff Kobernus (MLB, Red Sox)