Tribe, Red Sox, Cubs Release Former High Draft Picks

SUNDAY: The Indians also released a former high pick according to this report from the AP (via ESPN), cutting ties with Preston Mattingly. The son of former AL MVP and current Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, Preston was drafted 31st overall by the Dodgers in 2006. The Indians acquired him in a minor league trade on Sept. 26 this past season.

The high school shortstop signed a $1MM bonus out of the draft, but has since been converted to an outfielder and tallied just a .232/.275/.334 line through 1,667 minor league plate appearances. At the time, Baseball America described him as a "well-kept secret … with bat speed, pop and an advanced approach. "

FRIDAY: The Red Sox have released outfielder Jason Place and the Cubs have released right-hander Aaron Shafer, MLBTR has learned. Neither player was among their team's top 30 prospects according to Baseball America's Prospect Handbook.

Place, 22, was the 27th overall pick in the 2006 draft and signed for $1.3MM. He had a fine professional debut that season (.292/.386/.442 in 132 rookie ball plate appearances), but has struggled in the four years since. He climbed as high as Double-A, and is a .234/.315/390 career hitter.

Shafer, 24, was a second round pick in 2008 (65th overall). He signed for $625K. Shafer picked well in relief last year (2.68 ERA in 80 2/3 IP), but that's only because he dominated Single-A (0.96 ERA in 46 2/3 IP) while getting hammered in Double-A (5.03 ERA in 34 IP).

MLBTR's Steve Adams also contributed to this post.

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