Minor League Transactions: March 1-8

This time: March 1-8

An asterisk (*) denotes a case in which a player has signed a minor league deal after being outrighted from his club's 40-man roster.

Arizona Diamondbacks
RHP Rafael Rodriguez*, RHP Brian Sweeney*

Atlanta Braves
RHP Kenshin Kawakami*

Chicago Cubs
LHP Cody Hams

Aussie Cody Hams spent two years in the Rookie-level Arizona League club's bullpen after signing in March ’08.

Chicago White Sox
LHP Wes Whisler, OF Kenny Gilbert (Laredo (United))

The White Sox originally signed and drafted Kenny Gilbert out of DeSoto (Texas) High in the ninth round of the ’07 draft. He spent most of the last two seasons in the Frontier and United leagues after topping out in the Pioneer League in affiliated ball.

Cincinnati Reds
RHP Tyree Hayes
Released: RHP Rafael Gonzalez
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Rafael Gonzalez

Son of former big league third baseman Charlie Hayes, Tyree got released by the Rays in December. Tampa Bay's eighth-rounder in ’06, he spent the past two seasons in low Class A, logging 110 innings with 95/44 strikeouts/walks and 10 home runs.

Cleveland Indians
LHP Aaron Laffey to Mariners for 2B Matt Lawson

A grinding, second base/left field type, Matt Lawson can work his way on base and hit a few gappers, but he may lack the power and throwing arm to land a regular gig.

Colorado Rockies
LHP Stephen Head (Southern Illinois (Frontier))

A two-way player at Ole Miss prior to his second-round selection in ’05 (by the Indians), Stephen Head slugged 60 homers in five seasons in the affiliated minors—plus 13 more in the Frontier League last year. But as the above indicates, the Rockies signed him as a pitcher. He made two relief appearances for Southern Illinois in ’10.

Houston Astros
C Robinson Cancel (Long Island (Atlantic))
Voluntarily retired: RHP Andrea Lucati

Kansas City Royals
SS Jake Eigsti (Rockford (Northern)), OF Runey Davis
Optioned to high Class A: LHP Noel Arguelles

Jake Eigsti's younger brother Ryan is a catcher in the Royals system.

Los Angeles Angels
3B Jeff Baisley

Los Angeles Dodgers
RHP Steven Jackson, RHP Robert Romero (Fort Worth (American Association)), C Gianison Rosa (Coastal Bend (United))
Voluntarily retired: RHP Eric Krebs

Though Steven Jackson's big league career to this point (1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 1.52 WHIP) argues for banishment to Triple-A, his raw stuff suggests he could handle a middle relief role. He's a groundball pitcher who can touch 94 mph with a good slider and changeup most times. The hour is getting late—he turns 29 this season.

Minnesota Twins
OF Joe Dickerson (St. George (Golden))

New York Mets
LHP Les Walrond (Doosan (Korea)), OF Jason Pridie*

Les Walrond returns from two years in the Far East, having pitched for Yokoham in Japan and Doosan in Korea.

New York Yankees
OF Jordan Parraz*

Philadelphia Phillies
RHP Tim Brown

Pittsburgh Pirates
Voluntarily retired:
C Jordan Newton

St. Louis Cardinals
Optioned to low Class A:
3B Zack Cox

San Diego Padres
RHP Jon Leicester (Orix (Japan))
Released: LHP Matt Riley

Seattle Mariners
LHP James Paxton (4)
Released: RHP Eric Valdez
Traded: 2B Matt Lawson to Indians for LHP Aaron Laffey
Voluntarily retired: OF Jody Gerut

Seattle's fourth-rounder last June, ex-Kentucky lefty James Paxton agreed to terms for $942,500 about a week before minor league spring training commences. The Mariners had a protracted negotiating period with ’08 first-rounder Josh Fields as well, not signing him until February ’09.

Tampa Bay Rays
RHP Edgar Gonzalez
Released: RHP Ramon Ortiz
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Ramon Ortiz

Texas Rangers
2B Jason Ogata, 3B Andy Jenkins

Toronto Blue Jays
RHP Bobby Korecky (Winnipeg (Northern)), LHP Rommie Lewis*

Washington Nationals
LHP Ron Villone (re-signed)

In re-upping with the Nationals, Ron Villone signs on for his 18th pro season, though he did not appear in the big leagues last season for the first time since ’94. Regardless, Washington is the 14th organization he's suited up for (counting spring training with the Mets in ’09). Villone's baseball roots stretch back so far that he was once traded for both Andy Benes (’95) and Greg Vaughn (’96).