Official minor league transactions, conveyed to Baseball America by Major League Baseball, for the period Feb. 13-19.
Released: C Nick DeSantiago, 1B Mat Gamel
The Braves had mapped out first base/DH at-bats for Mat Gamel at Triple-A Gwinnett, but those plans fell through when he re-injured his twice-surgically-repaired right knee in a workout, earning him his release.
Signed: 2B Emilio Bonifacio (released by Royals, Feb. 10)
Removed from 40-man: 2B Henry Rodriguez (outrighted to Triple-A)
Signed: RHP Aaron Harang (Article XX-B free agent), 1B Bryan LaHair (SoftBank (Japan))
Bryan LaHair mashed 16 homers in 111 games for SoftBank last season to rank fourth on the Japanese Pacific League team. The 31-year-old hit .230/.306/.428 overall, however, in large part due to 121 strikeouts in 348 at-bats.
Signed: RHP Manny Corpas (re-signed), RHP Nick Masset (Article XX-B free agent)
Signed: RHP Kevin Whelan
Kevin Whelan returns to the organization that originally made him a fourth-round pick in 2005. The Tigers subsequently traded him and two others to the Yankees in November 2006 for Gary Sheffield. The 30-year-old Whelan has logged 43 career saves at the Triple-A level with a strikeout rate of 11.6 per nine innings, but he’ll vie for bullpen supremacy with a host of veteran non-roster invites, such as Duane Below, Jhan Marinez, Luis Marte and Eduardo Sanchez.
Kansas City Royals
Signed: RHP Hassan Pena (Quintana Roo (Mexican)), LHP Mitch Stetter (released by Angels, Aug. 7)), OF Devon Torrence
Mitch Stetter pitched for Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels system last year, but he’s signing this contract with the Royals as a coach, according to a recent Tweet from his account.
This is the same Devon Torrence who spent 2007 and '08 at Rookie-level Greeneville after the Astros made him a 16th-round pick out of high school in Canton, Ohio. He’s better known as a cornerback for the Ohio State football team, and, according to Wikipedia, he signed contracts with three NFL teams (and one Canadian Football League one) but never appeared in a regular-season game. Torrence is still just 24 as he gives baseball another go.
Los Angeles Angels
Signed: RHP Brandon Lyon (released by Red Sox, Aug. 1), C Yorvit Torrealba (Article XX-B free agent), OF Brennan Boesch (released by Yankees, July 19)
Removed from 40-man: RHP Chris Hatcher (outrighted to Triple-A)
New York Mets
Signed: RHP Buddy Carlyle, LHP Dana Eveland (Hanwha (Korea))
Dana Eveland went 6-14, 5.54 in 32 games for Hanwha in the Korean major league last season, allowing 190 hits and 65 walks while striking out 129 in 172 innings. (All statistics courtesy of the wonderful resource MyKBO.net.) The 30-year-old southpaw has logged 114 appearances in the big leagues, including 61 starts, for the Brewers, Diamondbacks, Athletics, Blue Jays, Pirates, Dodgers and Orioles.
Signed: OF Brandon Short
Released: RHP Chad Gaudin, OF Kyrell Hudson
Oregon State commit Kyrell Hudson hadn’t played much baseball when the Phillies signed him for $475,000 as a third-round pick in 2009. Despite his athleticism, he never developed much feel to hit and concludes his Phillies career with a .224/.271/.286 batting line over five seasons. Hudson spent 2013 at high Class A Clearwater.
Commenter BeisbolJunkie notes that the Phillies placed Hudson on the restricted last year so he could resume his football career. He picked baseball instead of playing wide receiver at Oregon State back in 2009, but he returned to the gridiron last fall with Diablo Valley (Calif.) CC, where he appears to have worked exclusively as a returner.
The Phillies released Chad Gaudin, who worked as a starter/reliever for the Giants last year, one day after signing him after he failed his physical exam.
Signed: LHP Yao-Hsun Yang (Softbank (Japan)), C Omir Santos
According to Pirates correspondent John Perrotto, Yao-Hsun Yang would be the first native of Taiwan to ever play for the Pirates if he receives a big league callup. He’s in big league camp after spending parts of five seasons with SoftBank of the Japanese Pacific League. The 31-year-old Yang didn’t pitch last year because of a strained hamstring.
St. Louis Cardinals
Signed: RHP Steven de la Cruz (NDFA—New Mexico Military Institute JC)
As commenter BeisbolJunkie notes below, this is a different Steven De La Cruz than the former Cubs catcher who played in the Dominican Summer League. The previous edition of this post made a statement to the contrary.
San Francisco Giants
Signed: RHP Kameron Loe (Article XX-B free agent)
Signed: RHP Zach Miner, LHP Randy Wolf (did not play in 2013)
Tampa Bay Rays
Signed: RHP Francisco Antonio Pena, RHP Chander Sanz, RHP Jose Zerpa, LHP Erik Bedard (Article XX-B free agent)
Traded: LHP Felipe Rivero, C Jose Lobaton and OF Drew Vettleson to Nationals for RHP Nate Karns
Signed: RHP Scott Richmond (re-signed)
Signed: RHP Josh Roenicke, 2B Drew Rossi (Washington (Frontier) in 2011)
Traded: RHP Nate Karns to Rays for LHP Felipe Rivero, C Jose Lobaton and OF Drew Vettleson
Drew Rossi’s father Phil is a pro scout for the Marlins, but the junior Rossi never turned to nepotism to get signed in affiliated ball. Undrafted as a shortstop out of Mitchell (Conn.) in 2011, he spent that summer in the independent Frontier League. While a few opportunities in the Can-Am League fell through, according to the detailed piece by Donnie Collins linked above, he has stayed in playing shape by working at the Baseball State Academy in Scranton, Pa.