Minor League Transactions

This week’s installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between July 4 and July 11. The previous installment is available here.

Draft pick signings are in full swing, and the numbers in parentheses below refer to draft rounds. Nondrafted free agents (with schools) also are included. Check out the 2008 Draft Database for draft picks in chronological order.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Draft pick signed: RHP Trevor Harden (14)
Recalled: RHP Connor Robertson, 2B Emilio Bonifacio, OF Alex Romero
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Connor Robertson
Outrighted off 40-man roster: OF Jeff Salazar
Reinstated from DL: RHP Juan Gutierrez, OF Brandon Burgess

Robertson, the other player in the offseason trade for Dan Haren, went 5-2, 3.86 with 50 strikeouts, 21 walks and five home runs in 54 innings for Triple-A Tucson. He was the Athletics’ 31st round pick in 2004 from Birmingham-Southern. His brother David is also in the majors as a reliever with the Yankees.

Atlanta Braves
Draft picks signed: LHP Brett DeVall (1s), LHP Tyler Stovall (2), OF Adam Milligan (6)
Placed on suspended list: RHP Gonzalo Lopez
Recalled: SS Brent Lillibridge, OF Jeff Francoeur
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Vladimir Nunez, OF Jason Perry
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Brent Lillibridge, OF Jason Perry
Optioned to Double-A: OF Jeff Francoeur
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Phil Stockman, LHP Jose Ortegano, LHP Chad Rodgers
Reinstated from DL: RHP Erik Cordier, LHP Cole Rohrbough, C Jeff Stevens

Baltimore Orioles
Signed: SS Jason Altenhof (NDFA—Appalachian State)
Draft pick signed: LHP Nathan Moreau (11)
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Greg Aquino, LHP Alberto Castillo
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Ryan Bukvich
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Chorye Spoone, RHP Tim Spooneybarger, C Justin Johnson, 1B Ryan Finan, OF Kyle Hudson
Transferred to 60-day DL: SS James Crowley
Reinstated from DL: RHP Fredy Deza, C Dustin Black, C Steve Torrealba, 2B Miguel Abreu, OF Bobby Andrews, OF Kraig Binick
Placed on temporarily inactive list: 3B Jeff Nettles
Reinstated from inactive list: 3B Jeff Nettles
Option transferred: RHP Fredy Deza (Triple-A Norfolk to high Class A Frederick)

You’re probably familiar with 38-year-old journeyman catcher Alberto Castillo, who signed a minor league deal with the Astros this season but was released in spring training. He hit .341 in 14 games for Monterrey of the Mexican League in May before signing with Camden of the Atlantic League this month. But enough about him.

The other Alberto Castillo disappeared from affiliated ball back in 2001. Yet, there the lefthander was, making his big league debut, at age 33, on July 8. To say he’s well-traveled is an understatement. The Giants drafted Castillo, who was born in Havana, as a first baseman/lefthander out of Miami Dade Community College in 1994. He signed that summer and spent his first two pro seasons as light-hitting position player, pitching in just six games. Castillo made the transition to full-time pitcher in 1996, and saw action in nine games for short-season Bellingham of the Northwest League. In 18 games for high Class A San Jose the next season, Castillo struck out 30 and walked 15 in 34 innings, while compiling a Cal League-inflated 5.61 ERA, which apparently was enough to pique the Yankees’ interest. They traded Charlie Hayes to San Francisco on Nov. 10, 1997, for Castillo and Chris Singleton.

New York cut ties with Castillo in January 1999, after the lefthander pitched in just 17 games the year before. The White Sox signed him in the February ’99, but cut him at the end of spring training. Castillo, then just 23, would not pitch in the affiliated minor leagues for another 10 years, until he resurfaced with Triple-A Norfolk this season. In between, he spent time in the independent Northern (1999, 2000) and Atlantic (2002, 2003, 2006, 2007) leagues, as well as the Mexican League (2004). He took the 2005 season off, and spent 2001 trying again to make it as a first baseman. He hit .274/.329/.415 in 347 at-bats for high Class A Bakersfield, then a Devil Rays affiliate, before earning his release after the season. Castillo also inked minor league deals with the Padres (2000) and Cardinals (2003), but was released each time before playing a game.

Castillo’s affiliated-ball prospects looked so bleak that he spent time in both 2006 and 2007 with the Atlantic League’s Road Warriors, a traveling team without a home base. The Orioles signed him in February, though, and Castillo pitched well for Norfolk—his first stint above high Class A—going 3-1, 2.05 with 26 strikeouts and just six walks in 26 innings. Lefties hit a ridiculous .093/.170/.093 against him, and it doesn’t take a genius to see how that sort of dominance would be helpful to a major league bullpen.

Boston Red Sox
Signed: RHP Craig Molldrem
Draft pick signed: RHP Tim Federowicz (7)
Recalled: 1B Jeff Bailey
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Justin Masterson, 1B Jeff Bailey
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Miguel Asencio, RHP Alex Hale, RHP Michael Lee, LHP Jose Alvarez, LHP Daniel Haigwood, LHP Jonathan Hee, SS Ryan Khoury, OF Yahmed Yema
Reinstated from DL: RHP Miguel Asencio, LHP Mitchell Herold, LHP Michael Rozier, OF Yahmed Yema

Boston optioned Masterson to Pawtucket, despite a solid big league showing (4-3, 3.67), so that he could transition into a relief role. Some evaluators had projected him in that role, because his plus-plus sinker was his only reliable pitch, but the move is believed to be for the short term, only. Clay Buchholz will function as the Red Sox’s fifth starter for now, and Masterson, if everything goes according to plan, may get a shot at making the 2009 rotation.

Chicago Cubs
Draft picks signed: RHP Andrew Cashner (1), RHP Aaron Shafer (2)
Released: 1B Ben Broussard
Traded: RHP Sean Gallagher, C Josh Donnaldson, 2B Eric Patterson and OF Matt Murton to Athletics for RHP Rich Harden and RHP Chad Gaudin
Recalled: RHP Kevin Hart, 2B Eric Patterson
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Jose Ascanio, RHP Michael Wuertz, 2B Eric Patterson
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Dumas Garcia, RHP Alessandro Maestri, C Mark Reed, C Chris Robinson, OF Ryan Harvey
Reinstated from DL: C Welington Castillo, SS Joe Simokaitis, OF Leon Johnson

Chicago White Sox
Signed: LHP Matt Wickswat (NDFA—Santa Clara), 3B Kyle Shelton (Gateway (Frontier))
Added to 40-man roster: RHP D.J. Carrasco
Placed on 7-day DL: 2B Logan Johnson
Reinstated from DL: 3B Josh Fields
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP Eric Stephenson
Option transferred: RHP Lucas Harrell (low Class A Kannapolis to Double-A Birmingham)

Cincinnati Reds
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Daryl Thompson
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Josh Ravin, 3B Brandon Waring, SS Aaron Herr
Placed on temporarily inactive list: RHP Justin Mallett, C Petr Cech

Cleveland Indians
Signed: RHP Preston Larrison, RHP Jeff Weaver
Draft pick signed: 2B Cord Phelps (3)
Traded: LHP C.C. Sabathia to Brewers for RHP Rob Bryson, LHP Zach Jackson, OF Matt LaPorta and a player to be named
Traded: RHP Dan Reichert and OF Ryan Mulhern to Pirates for cash or a player to be named
Granted free agency: RHP Rick Bauer
Recalled: RHP Jensen Lewis, RHP Brian Slocum
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Juan Rincon
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Bryan Bullington, LHP Zach Jackson
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Rick Bauer
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Dallas Cawiezell, RHP Jeff Harris, C Nathan Recknagel, SS Anthony Medrano, OF Wil Cordero, OF Trevor Crowe
Reinstated from DL:
RHP T.J. Burton, RHP Gregorio Rosario, RHP Jonathan Williams, C Nathan Recknagel, 2B Tony Graffanino, SS Anthony Medrano, SS Ron Rivas, OF Wil Cordero, OF Ryan Mulhern, OF Nathan Panther
Placed on temporarily inactive list: RHP Jeff Weaver
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP Chuck Lofgren

The Indians claimed Bullington, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2002 draft, on waivers from the Pirates. Pittsburgh had designated him for assignment last week. A strained left intercostal muscle injury shelved Crowe for a few weeks. He’s off the DL now, but hasn’t appeared in a game since July 1. The Indians’ first-round pick out of Arizona in 2005, the switch-hitting Crowe, 24, was batting .325/.415/.506 for Double-A Akron. It was good progress for Crowe, whose career seemed stalled after a poor 2007 season (.259/.341/.353) for the Aeros.

Colorado Rockies
Draft picks signed: RHP Stephen Dodson (10), C Kiel Roling (6), 2B Erik Wetzel (13)
Released: C David Parrish
Recalled: LHP Mark Redman, LHP Glendon Rusch, 1B Joe Koshansky, OF Seth Smith (twice)
Added to 40-man roster: 2B Jayson Nix
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Greg Reynolds, OF Seth Smith
Designated for assignment: LHP Josh Newman
Reinstated from DL: RHP Ching-Lung Lo, LHP Valerio de los Santos, SS Juan Castro, SS Kenny Perez, OF Robert Garner
Placed on temporarily inactive list: RHP Aaron Weatherford, LHP Craig Bennigson, LHP Andrew Coffey, C Kiel Roling, C Richard Guarno

Reynolds, 23, was blasted in his first taste of big leagues, going 2-6, 6.71 with more walks (24) than strikeouts (18). The most important number of all, though, may have been his groundout-to-fly out ratio. It stood at just 1.17-to-1 in the big leagues. But Reynolds’ mid-90s sinker has been good for 2.17 groundouts for every fly out in the minors, where he’s 1-2, 4.35 for Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Detroit Tigers
Signed: RHP Zach Miner
Draft pick signed: RHP Ryan Perry (1)
Recalled: 1B Jeff Larish
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Michael Hollimon
Optioned to Double-A: RHP Eddie Bonine
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Andrew Kown, LHP Dontrelle Willis, SS Danny Worth
Reinstated from DL: RHP Jeremy Johnson, RHP Mark Sorensen
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Kyle Pearson

Florida Marlins
Draft pick signed: RHP Blake Brewer (11)
Released: RHP Marcos Carvajal
Recalled: RHP Matt Lindstrom, LHP Taylor Tankersley
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Chris Volstad, C John Baker
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Logan Kensing, LHP Taylor Tankersley
Placed on 7-day DL: LHP Chris Michalak, C Mike Rabelo, OF Kris Harvey, OF Cameron Maybin
Reinstated from DL:
RHP Steve Woodard, LHP Randy Williams, C Justin Webb, OF Dante Brinkley
Placed on temporarily inactive list: RHP Daniel Barone, 3B Lee Mitchell
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Brandon Villafuerte

Maybin hit the DL with a minor back injury suffered while taking a swing for Double-A Carolina. The injury forced him out of the Southern League all-star game, one year after a partially dislocated right shoulder caused him to miss last year’s Futures Game.

Houston Astros
Released: OF Travis Sweet
Placed on restricted list: RHP Andrea Lucati
Recalled: RHP Chad Reineke
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Chad Paronto
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Runelvys Hernandez, RHP Chad Reineke
Outrighted off 40-man roster: OF Reggie Abercrombie
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Ryan Houston, RHP Brad James
Transferred to 60-day DL: IF Jhonny Medrano
Reinstated from DL: RHP Jack Cassel, RHP David Norris
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Andrea Lucati

Kansas City Royals
Signed: LHP Brandon Sisk (Bay Area (Continental)), OF Cory Aldridge, OF Brad Correll (Kansas City (Northern)), OF Matt Olson (NDFA—Georgia)
Released: RHP Tristan Loetzsch, OF Geraldo Valentin
Recalled: RHP Ryan Braun
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Josh Newman
Placed on 7-day DL: OF Shane Costa
Reinstated from DL: RHP Ryan Braun, LHP Tim Hamulack, OF Robert McFall

A lefty reliever with a plus changeup, Newman, 26, struggled to get anybody out in 8 2/3 innings for Colorado, allowing a 1.054 OPS to righthanded batters, and a 1.349 OPS to lefties. The Royals claimed him on waivers after he was designated for assignment by the Rockies. Take heart Royals fans: Newman actually has been a steady minor league performer.

Los Angeles Angels
Signed: C David Golliner (Pensacola (American Association))
Recalled: C Ryan Budde
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Chris Bootcheck
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Shane Loux, C Chris Rosenbaum, C Bobby Wilson, C Flint Wipke, 1B Gordon Gronkowski, OF Jerome Moore
Placed on 60-day DL: 2B Jean Segura

Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed: RHP Anthony Tomey
Draft picks signed: RHP Clayton Allison (27), OF Melvin Ray (33)
Released: RHP Greg Jones
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Jason Repko
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Luis Guerra, LHP Matt Riley, C Chuck Gulledge, SS Rex Rundgren
Reinstated from DL: 2B Kevin Howard, 3B Eduardo Perez, OF Xavier Paul

Milwaukee Brewers
Draft pick signed: RHP Seth Lintz (2)
Traded: RHP Rob Bryson, LHP Zach Jackson, OF Matt LaPorta and a player to be named to Indians for LHP C.C. Sabathia
Outrighted off 40-man roster: LHP Randy Choate
Placed on 7-day DL: 1B Chris Errecart, SS Guilder Rodriguez
Reinstated from DL: LHP Steve Hammond, 2B Callix Crabbe, 2B Kenny Holmberg, SS Guilder Rodriguez

Minnesota Twins
Signed: 3B In Kyun Kang
Draft pick signed: RHP Carlos Gutierrez (1)
Released: LHP Omar Alcala
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Brian Kirwan, LHP Jarrad Eacott, LHP Tyler Robertson
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Michael Allen

New York Mets
Released: 1B Valentin Ramos, SS Brandon Richey, OF Brandon Kawal, OF Will Vogl
Recalled: RHP Carlos Muniz, 1B Nick Evans
Added to 40-man roster: 2B Argenis Reyes, OF Chris Aguila
Placed on 7-day DL: LHP James Fuller
Reinstated from DL: RHP Junior Guerra, RHP Jacobo Neguilis, C Luis Alen, 2B Michael Parker
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP German Marte

New York Yankees
Signed: 1B Ben Broussard
Released: RHP Nick Chigges
Placed on restricted list: SS Ryan Wilkes
Recalled: LHP Billy Traber, OF Justin Christian
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Chris Britton, SS Alberto Gonzalez
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Jacinto Gonell, C Brian Baisley, SS Kelvin Castro
Reinstated from DL: RHP Alfredo Aceves, RHP Dellin Betances, RHP Jason Kiley, C Kyle Anson, 3B Brian Chavez, SS Kelvin Castro, SS Addison Maruszak
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Hector Noesi
Option transferred: RHP Ian Kennedy (high Class A Tampa to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre)

Oakland Athletics
Draft pick signed: 2B Jemile Weeks (1)
Released: OF Lorenzo Macias
Traded: RHP Rich Harden and RHP Chad Gaudin to Cubs for RHP Sean Gallagher, C Josh Donnaldson, 2B Eric Patterson and OF Matt Murton
Recalled: LHP Jerry Blevins, LHP Dallas Braden, SS Gregorio Petit
Optioned to Triple-A: 2B Eric Patterson
Placed on 7-day DL: 2B Darryl Lawhorn
Reinstated from DL: RHP Travis Banwart

Philadelphia Phillies
Signed: C Joe Blackburn (Traverse City (Frontier))
Draft picks signed: RHP Chad Poe (27), SS Anthony Hewitt (1), OF Steve Susdorf (19)
Released: RHP Kip Bouknight
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Brian Schlitter, OF Javon Moran
Reinstated from DL: OF Greg Golson

Pittsburgh Pirates
Released: C Mike McCuistion, OF Pedro Powell
Acquired: RHP Dan Reichert and OF Ryan Mulhern from Indians for cash or a player to be named
Traded: OF Craig Wilson to Mariners for a player to be named
Recalled: RHP Luis Munoz
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP John Van Benschoten, LHP Tom Gorzelanny, OF Chris Duffy, OF Steve Pearce
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Ty Taubenheim, 3B Robert Spain, OF Jorge Cortes
Reinstated from DL: RHP Mike Thompson, OF Caleb Fields, OF Thomas Hagan, OF Anthony Webster
Reinstated from inactive list: C Mike McCuistion, OF Jorge Cortes

After three tough starts (plus four relief appearances) for Pittsburgh, 28-year-old Van Benschoten’s career ERA stands at 8.96 in the big leagues, with 59 strikeouts and 60 walks in 83 innings. That’s not a huge sample size, but for the eighth overall pick in 2001, that may be enough to signal the end of his days as a big league starter. Van Benschoten has done all right in the minors, going 45-32, 3.43 with 540 strikeouts and 256 walks in 638 innings, sandwiched around multiple shoulder surgeries, on both shoulders. What’s odd is that he hasn’t done more with his (sporadic) minor league at-bats, though the shoulder woes have surely had an impact. The NCAA Division I home run champ as a Kent State junior in 2001, Van Benschoten has batted just .194/.272/.243 in 103 pro at-bats.

St. Louis Cardinals
Draft pick signed: OF Aaron Luna (9)
Released: RHP Hugo Castellanos, RHP Nick Webber
Recalled: OF Joe Mather
Added to 40-man roster: LHP Jaime Garcia
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Mitchell Boggs, RHP Matt Clement, RHP Anthony Reyes
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Brian Broderick, OF Colby Rasmus
Reinstated from DL:
RHP Scott McGregor, RHP Andres Rosales, RHP Nick Webber, C Gabriel Johnson
Placed on temporarily inactive list: C Paul Vasquez

Rasmus missed an opportunity to appear in his second straight Futures Game when a strained left groin forced him to the DL. (Garcia, too, missed the Futures Game with his callup.) After a slow start, Rasmus, 21, is hitting .249/.351/.401 in 309 at-bats for Triple-A Memphis.

San Diego Padres
Signed: C David Parrish, 1B Tim Atherton
Released: C B.J. Dubarry
Placed on suspended list: 2B Rayner Contreras
Recalled: LHP Joe Thatcher, 1B Brian Myrow, 2B Luis Rodriguez
Added to 40-man roster: C Nick Hundley, OF Chip Ambres
Outrighted off 40-man roster: RHP Carlos Guevara, OF Paul McAnulty
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Paul Abraham
Reinstated from DL: RHP Neil Jamison, LHP Cory Luebke, C Roman Solis

San Francisco Giants
Released: RHP Randy Messenger
Recalled: 2B Eugenio Velez
Added to 40-man roster: SS Ivan Ochoa
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Brian Horwitz
Optioned to high Class A: 2B Travis Denker
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Geomar Patino, RHP Jose Valdez, C Barry Gunther
Reinstated from DL: RHP T.J. Brewer, OF Justin Leone
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP Scott Barnes, LHP Aaron King, LHP Eric Surkamp

Seattle Mariners
Signed: RHP Randy Messenger, LHP Erik Averill, LHP Jason Kershner
Draft picks signed: RHP Brandon Maurer (23), C Josh Rodriguez (49), OF Dennis Raben (2)
Released: RHP Anderson Garcia, C Kylee Hash, OF Charlton Jimerson, OF Brendan O’Donnell
Acquired: OF Craig Wilson from Pirates for a player to be named
Recalled: RHP Jared Wells
Added to 40-man roster: 2B Tug Hulett
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP Rich Dorman, RHP John DuRocher, RHP Chris Jakubauskas, LHP Donald Hume, C Travis Scott, 3B Leury Bonilla
Reinstated from DL: OF Gavin Dickey
Placed on temporarily inactive list: C Rob Johnson

Tampa Bay Rays
Signed: SS Josh Labandeira
Draft pick signed: RHP Trevor Shull (19)
Recalled: SS Ben Zobrist
Added to 40-man roster: SS Reid Brignac
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Mitch Talbot
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Alex Cobb, 2B Cody Cipriano, OF Desmond Jennings, OF Justin Ruggiano
Reinstated from DL: RHP Woods Fines, RHP Kevin Lynn, RHP Juan Salas, 2B Seth Dhaenens, OF Rashad Eldridge
Placed on temporarily inactive list: LHP Kurt Birkins
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP Kurt Birkins

Shoulder surgery ended Jennings’ season after just 24 games. He missed time at the beginning of the season with a back injury before coming down with a sore left shoulder. Jennings, 21, batted .259/.360/.412 in 85 at-bats for high Class A Vero Beach.

Texas Rangers
Signed: RHP Kiko Calero, LHP Derek Lee (Minatitlan (Mexican))
Draft pick signed: RHP Justin Miller (16)
Recalled: RHP Wes Littleton, LHP Matt Harrison
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Dustin Nippert
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Fabio Castillo, RHP Thomas Diamond, RHP Andrew Laughter
Reinstated from DL: RHP Levi Romero, RHP Julio Santana, OF Craig Gentry

Toronto Blue Jays
Released: 1B Matt Lane, SS Steve Condotta
Recalled: RHP Brian Wolfe
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Jordan De Jong, 3B Anthony Hatch

Washington Nationals
Released: RHP Steve Doetsch
Recalled: 2B Pete Orr, 3B Kory Casto
Added to 40-man roster: OF Ryan Langerhans
Optioned to Triple-A: 3B Kory Casto, OF Roger Bernadina
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Tristan Crawford, SS Jemel Spearman, OF Brian Pruitt
Reinstated from DL: RHP Chris Schroder, 2B Pokey Reese, SS Jacob Rogers
Placed on temporarily inactive list: RHP Shairon Martis