Minor League Transactions

This week’s installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between March 22 and 28. Last week’s transactions available here.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Released: RHP Eric Butler, RHP Matt Fowles, RHP Derik Nippert, RHP Luke Prihoda, C Brian Peterson, 1B Jose Dijol, SS Derek Bruce, SS Matt Erickson, SS Miguel Rodriguez, OF Jereme Milons
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Billy Buckner, RHP Juan Gutierrez, RHP Leo Rosales

The Diamondbacks have been Nippert-free since March 28, 2008. Three days after releasing Derik, Arizona traded his twin brother Dustin, who was out of options, to the Rangers. Both are 6-foot-8 righthanders drafted by the D’backs—Dustin in the 15th round in 2002, and Derik in the 36th round in 2003. Also of note, Arizona optioned three of its pitching trade targets, all righthanders, from 2007 to Tucson: Rosales, Gutierrez and Buckner.

Atlanta Braves
Released: RHP Tyler Bullock, RHP Kevin Davis, RHP Ryan Drese, LHP Jorge Acosta, 2B Brandon Monk
Traded: RHP Tyler Yates to Pirates for RHP Todd Redmond
Voluntarily retired: SS Danny Brezeale
Outrighted off 40-man roster: 1B Scott Thorman
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Jo-Jo Reyes, OF Brandon Jones

Baltimore Orioles
Signed: RHP Jon Leicester
Released: RHP Federico Baez, RHP Chadd Blasko, RHP Fernando De Nabal, RHP Reid Hamblet, RHP Gerry Oakes, RHP Bernard Robert, LHP David Haehnel, 1B Tim Brown, SS Joe DiGeronimo, SS Stuart Musslewhite, IF Scott Pittenger, OF Val Majewski, OF Luis Mateo
Acquired: SS Michael Garciaparra from Phillies for future considerations
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Steve Trachsel
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Jon Leicester
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Jim Johnson

The Orioles cut ties with Majewski, their third-round pick in 2002 from Rutgers, who never seemed to fully recover from a torn labrum in his left (throwing) shoulder that wiped out his 2005 season. The 26-year-old batted just .246/.335/.365 in 447 Triple-A at-bats after the injury.

Boston Red Sox
Signed: RHP Lincoln Holdzkom, RHP Edgar Martinez, RHP David Pauley, RHP James Russ, LHP Carlos Vasquez
Released: RHP Ben Howard, LHP Adam Blackley, C Dan Milano, C Steve Torrealba, 3B Scott White, SS Pedro Vasquez
Recalled: RHP Kyle Jackson, RHP Edgar Martinez
Added to 40-man roster: C Kevin Cash
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Kyle Jackson, RHP Edgar Martinez
Optioned to Triple-A: C Dusty Brown, OF Brandon Moss

Chicago Cubs
Released: RHP Matt Maradeo, RHP Hernan Ramos, RHP Joel Santo, LHP Luis Astorga, LHP Derrick Ellison, LHP Scott Koerber, C Alan Rick, 1B Brian Dopirak, SS Alex Cintron, OF Jesus Reyes, OF Chih-Hsiang Wen
Optioned to Triple-A: 2B Eric Patterson, OF Sam Fuld

Dopirak was on top of the world after his 2004 season, when he led the Midwest League in home runs (39), doubles (38) and hits (166) and ranked as the organization’s No. 1 prospect. A second-round pick from Dunedin (Fla.) High in 2002 and a right-right first baseman, Dopirak has struggled mightily in the three seasons since, spending most of his time in high Class A and batting just .252/.304/.425 while there. Dopirak may have washed out, but to get an idea of just how impressive his ’04 campaign was, consider the three intervening MWL home-run champs have not topped 25 in the intensely pitcher-friendly circuit. Last year, Dayton third baseman Juan Francisco hit 25; Cedar Rapids outfielder Jordan Renz hit 24 in ’06; and Peoria outfielder—and fellow Cub and Dunedin High alum—Ryan Harvey hit 24 in 2005.

Chicago White Sox
Released: RHP Eddie Pena, C Tyler Reves, 1B Jorge Andrade, SS Miguel Luna, OF Jim Rushford
Optioned to Triple-A: 3B Josh Fields

Cincinnati Reds
Signed: RHP Chandler Power, OF Luis Soto
Released: RHP Dan Denham, RHP Brock Till, LHP Chris Michalak, 3B Bryan Bass, 3B Kyle Maunus, SS Michael Jones, OF Jose Bastardo, OF Gerardo Cabrera, OF Josh Holden, OF Armando Rios
Option transferred: RHP Ramon Ramirez (Triple-A Louisville to Double-A Chattanooga)
Returned Rule 5 selection: LHP Jose Capellan (to Red Sox)
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Homer Bailey, RHP Gary Majewski, LHP Bill Bray, LHP Jon Coutlangus, C Ryan Hanigan

Reds camp was abuzz with showings by the live-armed young righthanders Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. While Cueto and Volquez made the team, Bailey, the seventh overall pick in 2005, will return to Louisville, where he went 6-3, 3.07 with 59-32 strikeouts-walks in 67 innings last year. His assignment: throw more strikes. "It wasn’t wildness, as much as it was ‘near-control,’ " Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "That shows you how near he is to the big leagues . . . You see how long we stuck with him; we stuck with him big-time. He was heavily under consideration."

Cleveland Indians
Released: RHP Kyle Collina, RHP Michael Eisenberg, RHP Daniel Frega, RHP Kyle Harper, RHP Scott Sumner, RHP Luis Valdez, LHP Alan Brech, C Luis Rincon, 3B Jay Nilsson, SS Brian Finegan, SS Argenis Tavarez, SS David Uribes, OF Daryl King
Voluntarily retired: C Osiel Flores
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Jorge Julio
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Tom Mastny, LHP Aaron Laffey, LHP Jeremy Sowers, 2B Josh Barfield, OF Ben Francisco

Francisco and Laffey are ready to contribute, but Cleveland doesn’t have room at the big league level. Your International League batting champ last season, Francisco offers a wide base of skills and profiles as a quality reserve outfielder—maybe even a starter in some years—but the big league Indians have Jason Michaels. Both are righthanded batters. The Indians opted to give lefty Cliff Lee another shot, but the fact that Laffey and Sowers have options remaining sealed the deal.

Colorado Rockies
Signed: RHP Ryan Speier, C Edwin Bellorin
Released: RHP Mike Esposito, RHP Matt Hirsh, RHP Marc Kaiser, RHP Andrew Kreidermacher, RHP Chris Young, LHP Jesse Hall, C Nate Anderson, C Mike Rose, 2B Marcus Giles, 3B Phillip Cuadrado, 3B Jose Valdez, OF Josh Burrus, OF Lino Garcia
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Jose Capellan
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Josh Newman, C Edwin Bellorin, 1B Joe Koshansky, 3B Ian Stewart, SS Omar Quintanilla, OF Seth Smith

Detroit Tigers
Released: RHP Eleazar Aponte, RHP Chris Homer, RHP Collin Mahoney, RHP Orber Moreno, RHP Sendy Vasquez, C Craig Maddox, C Kris Rochelle, 3B Miguel Linares, 3B Chris Maples, SS Jorge Patino, OF Jason Perry, OF Michael Sullivan
Acquired: OF Jeff Frazier from Mariners for future considerations
Outrighted off 40-man roster: 1B Mike Hessman, OF Freddy Guzman

The Mariners’ trade of Frazier echoes an earlier trade between the two teams—one in which Seattle acquired a player from the Tigers, only to have him return to Detroit shortly thereafter. The stakes were considerably smaller this time. The Tigers selected Frazier in the third round of the 2004 draft and then dealt him to Seattle for righthander Yorman Bazardo in February 2007. Now Frazier is back in the Tigers organization a year later, and Bazardo’s in the big league bullpen. Back in January 2004, the Mariners dealt Carlos Guillen, at that time a promising shortstop who’s value was tied mostly to his OBP, to Detroit for a pair of middle infielders: Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez. Guillen, of course, blossomed into a fine all-around hitter with the Tigers, while Santiago earned his release by Seattle in November 2005. A few months later, Santiago was again Tigers’ property after signing as a free agent. At least he lasted longer than Gonzalez, who was cut on May 9, 2005 . . . and signed by Detroit three days later.

Florida Marlins
Released: RHP Mark Badgley, RHP Travis Bowyer, RHP Rafael Galbizo, RHP Chaz Gilliam, RHP Craig Molldrem, RHP James Russ, LHP Kristhiam Linares, LHP Avi Rasowsky, 1B Ryan Bear, 2B Carlos Piste, SS Kevin Randel, OF Dustin Kaats, OF Jeff Van Houten
Added to 40-man roster: 1B Jorge Cantu
Optioned to Triple-A: 3B Dallas McPherson, SS Robert Andino
Optioned to Double-A: OF Cameron Maybin

The Marlins cut ties with Bowyer after two seasons wiped out completely by injuries. They picked him up, along with righthander Scott Tyler, in their December 2005 trade of second baseman Luis Castillo to the Twins.

Houston Astros
Released: RHP Nick Cavanagh, RHP Scott Chiasson, RHP Kyle DeYoung, RHP Natanael Mateo, RHP Joseph Muro, RHP Joey Norrito, RHP Aaron Rakers, LHP Bruce Gallaway, LHP Jeff Wigdahl, C Alberto Castillo, 1B Michael Johnson, 2B Jesse Garcia, 2B Mike Just, 3B Pat Osborn, OF Jarred Ball, OF Francisco Caraballo, OF Andrew Darnell, OF Beau Torbert
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Chad Paronto, OF Reggie Abercrombie
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Jack Cassel, RHP Ryan Houston

Kansas City Royals
Released: RHP Ben Hendrickson, RHP Matt Jensen, RHP Brian Lawrence, RHP Rayner Oliveros, RHP Arthur Santos, RHP Clegg Snipes, LHP Mike Connolly, LHP Jason Cromer, LHP Nate Hoelscher, LHP Dustin Pease, 2B Jeremy Jirschele, 3B Brad McCann, 3B Jeff Nettles
Released: OF Adam Greenberg, OF Vinny Pennell
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Kyle Davies, RHP Luke Hochevar

Royals righthander Luke Hochevar, the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, drew an Opening Day assignment with Omaha after coming up short in a battle for No. 5 spot in the rotation. The 24-year-old went 1-3, 5.12 with 44-21 strikeouts-walks in 58 innings with Omaha to close the 2007 season. “He could probably pitch up here right now,” Royals pitching coach Bob McClure told the Kansas City Star. “But he still needs to work on repeating his delivery a little better. It’s probably better at this point that he go to Omaha as a starter.”

Los Angeles Angels
Released: RHP Tim Mattison, C Greg Dini, 3B Jeff LaRue, OF Matt Pali

Los Angeles Dodgers
Released: RHP Mark Alexander, RHP Rodney Brantley, RHP Fernando de la Cruz, RHP Chris Fussell, RHP Michael Gardner, RHP Chris Malone, RHP Mauricio Tequida, LHP Paul Coleman, LHP Kelvin Dominguez, LHP Jonathan Figueroa, LHP Mike Myers, LHP Scott Rice, C John Martin, OF Tycen Povey
Option transferred: RHP Cory Wade, C Lucas May (both Triple-A Las Vegas to Double-A Jacksonville)
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Yhency Brazoban

Milwaukee Brewers
Signed: RHP Ben Howard
Released: RHP Brett Campbell, RHP Dane de la Rosa, RHP D.J. Lidyard, RHP Chris Spurling, LHP Jeff Housman, 3B Carlos Hereaud, SS Brad Miller, OF Mike Goetz, OF Steve Moss, OF Anthony Wycklendt
Outrighted off 40-man roster: C Eric Munson

Minnesota Twins
Released: RHP Daniel Latham, LHP Randy Keisler, LHP Matt Ryan, C Korey Feiner, C Kyle Geiger, OF Dwayne White
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Philip Humber, LHP Glen Perkins, 3B Brian Buscher, OF Jason Pridie, OF Denard Span

New York Mets
Released: C Maxime Bouchard, C Yasmil Bucce, SS Terry Johnson, OF Arturo Rivas
Returned Rule 5 selection: RHP Steven Register (to Rockies)
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Anderson Hernandez

New York Yankees
Signed: RHP Chace Vacek
Released: RHP Brady Martinez, RHP Luke Massetti, RHP Nick Peterson, RHP Elvys Quezada, RHP Guillermo Villalona, 1B Chris Raber, SS Ryan Wehrle, SS Chris Woodward, OF Jason Rees
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Chris Britton

Oakland Athletics
Signed: RHP Alex Leon
Released: LHP Aaron Jenkins, LHP Leonardo Martinez, C David Castillo, 3B Vasili Spanos
Added to 40-man roster: 1B Mike Sweeney
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Gregorio Petit

Philadelphia Phillies
Released: RHP Ryan Cameron, RHP Paige Dumont, RHP Chris Rhoads, RHP Zac Stott, RHP J.J. Trujillo, LHP Justin Blaine, LHP Jared Locke, LHP Dan Schwartz, C Kirk Bacsu, 1B Charlie Yarbrough, 2B Phillip Cuevas, 2B Ambiorix Rincon, SS Jaime Morales, OF Brian Burgamy, OF Branden Florence, OF Matt Thayer, OF Jermaine Williams
Traded: SS Michael Garciaparra to Orioles for future considerations

Pittsburgh Pirates
Signed: RHP Jason Davis
Released: RHP Henry Cabrera, RHP Taylor Cameron, RHP Hector Carrasco, RHP Elmer Dessens, RHP Jaret Wright, LHP Casey Fossum, OF Jose Macias
Traded: RHP Todd Redmond to Braves for RHP Tyler Yates
Added to 40-man roster: 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, 2B Luis Rivas
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Jonah Bayliss, SS Josh Wilson
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Kevin Thompson

Yes, that’s the Hector Carrasco and theElmer Dessens and the Jaret Wright kicking around Pirates’ camp until the last minute. In the end, the Pirates made the wise move in bringing sinkerballing righthander Franquelis Osoria, trade-acquisition Tyler Yates and Rule 5 pick Evan Meek north with them.

St. Louis Cardinals
Released: RHP Dewon Brazelton, RHP Armando Carrasco, RHP Logan Collier, SS Juan Lucena, OF Reid Gorecki

San Diego Padres
Released: RHP Lee Gwaltney, RHP Yesid Salazar, RHP Andy Underwood, LHP Tony Cogan, LHP Brandon Higelin, LHP Kyle Stutes, C Justin Pickett, 1B Robert Fick, 1B Daryl Jones, SS Murray Hopley, SS Gary Schneidmiller, OF Nic Crosta, OF Jeff DaVanon, OF Ramon Nivar
Loaned to Mexican League: LHP Orlando Lara, LHP Arturo Lopez
Added to 40-man roster: LHP Glendon Rusch, OF Jody Gerut
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Kevin Cameron, RHP Jared Wells, 1B Brian Myrow, 2B Craig Stansberry, 3B Chase Headley, 3B Luis Rodriguez, SS Oscar Robles

San Francisco Giants
Released: SS John Labandeira

Seattle Mariners
Signed: LHP Eric Cyr, LHP Ryan Ketchner, C Fleming Baez
Released: RHP Jose de la Cruz, RHP Chad Fillinger, C Juan Beltran, 3B Brant Ust, SS Eriberto Menchaca
Traded: OF Jeff Frazier to Tigers for future considerations
Voluntarily retired: 3B Reed Eastley
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Ryan Feierabend, C Rob Johnson, OF Wladimir Balentien

Tampa Bay Rays
Released: RHP Greg Dupas, RHP Roberto Gil, RHP Ryan Zimmerman, 1B Ben Humphrey, OF Patrick Breen
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP Brandon Mann
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Jeff Niemann

Texas Rangers
Signed: RHP Mark Alexander, RHP Caleb Moore, RHP John Patterson
Released: RHP Kevin Altman, RHP Bear Bay, RHP Jason Davis, RHP Caleb Moore, RHP Scott Shoemaker, RHP Andy Walker, LHP Broc Coffman, LHP Eric Cyr, LHP Marc Major, C Patrick Arlis, C Chris Stewart, C Brian Valichka, 1B Jim Fasano, 2B Micah Furtado, SS Chad Ogden, SS Matt Smith, OF Michael Hernandez, OF Kevin Mahar
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Frank Francisco, RHP Kameron Loe, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, RHP Scott Feldman

Patterson just has not been able to stay healthy, but he’s a worthy gamble for a club trying to sort out its pitching options—especially when that club’s pitching coach, Mark Connor, worked with Patterson when the two were with the Diamondbacks. Nerve damage in his forearm has limited Patterson to 15 starts over the past two seasons, which was enough to earn him his release from Washington. Hernandez’s release came as a surprise, seeing as he was acquired in trade back in February.

Toronto Blue Jays
Released: RHP Jeremy Cummings, RHP Nathan Melek, RHP Scott Richmond, RHP Dushan Ruzic, RHP Ted Serro, RHP Jeremy Zick, LHP Ben Harrison, LHP Ron Lowe, C Sal Fasano

Washington Nationals
Released: RHP Eddy Baeza, RHP Eddie de la Cruz, RHP Daniel Foli, RHP Aaron Jackson, RHP Sam Marsonek, RHP Yader Peralta, LHP Wuillys Bravo, LHP Gerald Plexico, 1B Steve Mortimer, 3B Ricky Caputo, OF Sheldon Fulse, OF Francisco Guzman, OF Antonio Perez, OF Juan Senreiso, OF Robbie Tolan
Added to 40-man roster: LHP Ray King
Outrighted off 40-man roster: OF Garrett Guzman, OF Ryan Langerhans
Returned Rule 5 selection: 1B Matt Whitney (to Indians)
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Chris Schroder, LHP John Lannan

No longer bound by the rigidity of the Rule 5 process, the Nationals removed Guzman from the 40-man roster and outrighted him to the minors, where he may wind up as teammates with righthander Levale Speigner, who went through a similar set of circumstances in 2007.