Minor League Transactions: Feb. 16-22

An asterisk (*) denotes a case in which a player has signed a minor league deal with the very club that outrighted him from its 40-man roster.

Arizona Diamondbacks
LHP Jordan Kendall (Tijuana (Golden)), 3B Russell Branyan
Released: C Ryan Babineau
Reinstated from inactive list: LHP Bayron Zepeda

Atlanta Braves
RHP Andrew Russell

From the organization that brought you Peter Moylan comes Andrew Russell, a 26-year-old Aussie outfielder who will be converted to pitcher by the Braves. He last played for the Melbourne Aces of the Australian Baseball League. Hard to argue with Atlanta's logic, seeing as the most successful Australia natives in the big leagues right now are righty relievers like Moylan, Grant Balfour and, well, I guess the Angels' Rich Thompson.

Boston Red Sox
RHP Matt Kramer (Sioux City (American Association))

The Red Sox signed Harvard product Matt Kramer and plan to convert the catcher/first baseman to pitcher. There's a lot of that going around in minor league camp—Boston also signed Ryan Harvey and Tony Pena Jr. (though Pena is entering Year Three of his conversion). The Braves originally signed Kramer out of the United League in July ’08, only to release him two years later after a poor start with low Class A Rome.

Cincinnati Reds
OF Travis Mitchell

Cleveland Indians
Removed from 40-man roster:
RHP Joe Martinez

Colorado Rockies
RHP Jesus Colome, RHP John Maine, RHP Chris Sampson

Kansas City Royals
LHP Glenn Gibson

Los Angeles Angels
C Cole Armstrong
Reinstated from inactive list: SS Jean Almanzar

Just like former 40-man roster mainstay Ryan Budde, new Angels catcher Cole Armstrong has strong defensive chops and a light bat. The 27-year-old logged two full years on the White Sox's 40-man as emergency catcher, but he has not yet logged a big league plate appearance.

Los Angeles Dodgers
RHP Lance Cormier
Released: C Pedro Tavarez

New York Mets
RHP Jason Isringhausen, RHP Kent Tsuijimoto (Maui (Golden)), 1B Chris Shelton, OF Jesus Feliciano (re-signed)

NPB Tracker credits Kent Tsuijimoto as the youngest ever draftee, age 15 in ’05, in Japanese baseball history. Drafted by Hanshin, he did not catch on with the big league team in five seasons, missing two entirely to injury, so he tried his hand at indy ball in ’10. For the Golden League's Maui club he struck out 48 in 34 innings, but balanced that with plenty of baserunners allowed (33 hits, 15 walks).

New York Yankees
SS Yadil Mujica
Released: LHP Neal Cotts, LHP Andy Sisco

Scouting info on Cuban defectors can be scarce, but Yadil Mujica appeared on the nation's preliminary roster for the ’09 World Baseball Classic and batted .358/.432/.440 that season before defecting. He had emerged as one of Cuba's most promising young middle infielders.

Oakland Athletics
Reinstated from inactive list:
C Jonathan Johnston

Jonathan Johnston spent all of the past two years (and half of ’08) on active duty in the Navy. He graduated from the Naval Academy in ’06, got drafted by the A's the following year and then signed on Feb. 16, 2008, but not before serving nearly two years on active duty. Freshly reinstated (three years to the date of his first contract), the 27-year-old Johnston heads to spring training hoping to make one of Oakland's minor league clubs. He last played for low Class A Kane County before the military called him into action. Correspondent Casey Tefertiller had all the details in his most recent organization report.

Philadelphia Phillies
Voluntarily retired:
OF Fabio Murakami
Removed from 40-man roster: RHP Drew Carpenter

Pittsburgh Pirates
LHP Joe Beimel

General manager Neal Huntington turned veteran relievers Octavio Dotel and Javier Lopez into a slew of interesting pieces at the trade deadline last year, including John Bowker, Andrew Lambo and James McDonald. Perhaps he has designs on making a similar swap involving Joe Beimel this July.

San Diego Padres
C Eddy Rodriguez (Sioux Falls (American Association)), OF Oscar Salazar*

Tampa Bay Rays
C Keith Castillo (NDFA—Southern California), 2B Joe Inglett

Texas Rangers
RHP Brett Tomko

Toronto Blue Jays
OF Scott Podsednik

Washington Nationals
RHP Luis Atilano*, RHP Shairon Martis*
Removed from 40-man roster: RHP Luis Atilano