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Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB, updates first:
- The Rangers have released veteran first baseman Carlos Pena from their Triple-A roster, per the PCL transactions page. Pena struggled at the major league level for Texas with a .136/.190/.237 line in 63 plate appearances. He performed better during his month at Triple-A with a .297/.350/.500 line in 80 plate appearances. No word on why the club cut ties with Pena.
- The Mariners have released right-handed pitcher Matt Palmer from the Triple-A Rainiers, according to the PCL transactions page. The 35-year-old pitched to a 5.42 ERA for the Rainiers over 73 innings. He last appeared in the majors with the Padres in 2012. Angels fans may remember him from his 2009 season, when he won 11 games and posted a 3.93 ERA over 121 innings.
- Resolving an earlier bit of news, the Tigers have outrighted the contract of right-handed pitcher Kevin Whelan to Triple-A. The 30-year-old appeared once for the big league club and allowed two runs over one and one-third innings. Prior to his call up, he served as the closer for the Mud Hens, where he posted a 2.45 ERA, 10.93 K/9, and 4.02 BB/9. Presumably, he will return to that role. The team announced the move on Twitter.
- Padres minor league outfielder Corey Adamson has retired to pursue a career in Australian rules football, reports Jeff Sanders of U-T San Diego. The 22-year-old, six-year pro was hitting .257/.340/.399 in 348 plate appearances at the High-A level.
- The Brewers have signed right-hander Billy Buckner to a minor league contract, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 30-year-old was released two weeks ago by the Padres. Buckner made one spot start for San Diego this season allowing three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings and, in 15 appearances (14 starts) for Triple-A El Paso, has posted a 5.80 ERA, 6.2 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings.
- Cotillo also tweets the Diamondbacks have released outfielder Aaron Cunningham from their Triple-A affiliate. The 27-year-old, who signed a minor league deal with Arizona in March, slashed .255/.342/.346 in 281 plate appearances for Reno. Cunningham hasn’t appeared in a MLB game since 2012 when he hit .175/.245/.247 for the Indians in 109 plate appearances.
- Per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker, there are four players in DFA limbo: Corey Brown (Red Sox), Charlie Leesman (White Sox), Matt Hague (Pirates), and Wirfin Obispo (Pirates).
Brad Johnson contributed to this post.
Here are some minor moves to pass on …
- The Mariners announced three minor league signings that come with MLB Spring Training invites. Outfielder Cole Gillespie, along with righties Matt Palmer and Ramon Ramirez, will try to impress the Seattle brass in Peoria, AZ. All three players have seen MLB action, though only Ramirez (3.42 ERA in 433 2/3 innings as a reliever) has a history as a big league regular.
- Angels minor league backstop Carlos Ramirez has received a 100 game ban for his third positive test for a "drug of abuse," MLB announced. The 25-year-old has yet to see time above Double-A, and has largely failed to hit in three stints at that level.
- Two former big leaguers experienced status changes in December with regard to their current careers in Japan. Southpaw Travis Blackley reached terms on a one-year deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles after spending most of last year in the Astros pen, while outfielder Nyjer Morgan has become a free agent after a productive first season with the Yokohama Bay Stars. (All information courtesy of Nikkan Sports, via Yakyu Baka.)
- You can keep track of any players currently in DFA limbo via MLBTR's DFA Tracker. Three players currently await a final disposition: Santos Rodriguez (White Sox), Rafael Ortega (Rangers), and Adys Portillo (Padres).
We’ll track the day’s minor moves here…
- The Brewers announced they have signed right-hander Kelvim Escobar to a minor league deal. Escobar turns 37 in April and has appeared in just one Major League game since 2007 (a five-inning start with the Angels in 2009) due to various arm injuries but has pitched well in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason. Escobar posted a 4.15 ERA in 411 Major League games with the Blue Jays and Angels between 1997 and 2009.
- The Rays have signed catcher Craig Albernaz, outfielder Jason Bourgeois and right-hander J.D. Martin to minor league contracts with invites to Major League Spring Training camp, the club announced.
- Nate Samson signed a minor league deal with the Reds, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned. The 25-year-old infielder spent the 2012 season in the upper minors of the Cubs' system, posting a .273/.320/.346 batting line in 283 plate appearances.
- The Dodgers signed right-hander Matt Palmer to a minor league deal, according to the transactions page at CBSSports.com. Palmer, 33, appeared in three games for the Padres this past season, but spent most of the year at Triple-A, posting a 5.66 ERA in 98 2/3 innings.
- The NC Dinos are in the final stages of signing right-hander Eric Hacker, the KBO expansion team announced (via Dan Kurtz of myKBO.net). Hacker, who joins a staff including Adam Wilk and Charlie Shirek, appeared in four games for the 2012 Giants and has experience in two other MLB seasons.
Infielders Edwin Maysonet and Luis Hernandez and pitchers Matt Palmer and Juan Perez have declared free agency, according to the transactions page of the Pacific Coast League. All four had seen time on MLB rosters in 2012, before being outrighted to Triple-A.
Maysonet and Perez both saw action with the Brewers this year. Maysonet appeared in 30 games with a slash line of .250/.297/.350, including a game-winning grand slam against the Cubs on May 12, while playing shortstop, second and third base. Perez, a left-hander, appeared in ten games posting 12.9 K/9, 10.3 BB/9, and 2.6 HR/9 in only seven innings of work.
Hernandez played two games for the Rangers in August. He spent the rest of the year at Triple-A Round Rock batting .262/.303/.376 in 129 games, all but one at shortstop and second base. Hernandez also has MLB experience with the Orioles, Royals and Mets.
Palmer, a right-hander, pitched in three games for the Padres in late May before being outrighted to Triple-A. With Tucson, Palmer started 20 of the 21 games in which he appeared posting a 5.66 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9.
The latest minor transactions from around MLB…
- The Orioles have released right-hander Willie Eyre from Triple-A Norfolk, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports. The 33-year-old was drafted by Minnesota in the 23rd round in 1999 and has a 4.95 ERA across parts of four seasons with the Twins, Rangers, and Orioles. This season, he'd pitched to a 7.92 ERA in 25 innings for Norfolk.
- The Padres outrighted right-hander Matt Palmer to Triple-A, Tucson, according to MLB.com’s transactions page. San Diego had designated Palmer for assignment last week in order to clear roster space for Huston Street. Palmer appeared in three games for the Padres after being called up from Tucson, where he had a 4.50 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 34 innings.
Ohlendorf opted out of his minor league contract with the Red Sox over the weekend and became a free agent. The 29-year-old had a 4.61 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 52 2/3 innings over the course of ten starts for Boston's Triple-A affiliate before obtaining his release. He started 50 games for the Pirates from 2009-10, but Pittsburgh non-tendered him following the 2011 season.
We'll keep track of the day's minor moves here…
- The Padres will designate right-hander Matt Palmer for assignment prior to Tuesday's game against the Giants, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times. The move will allow the club to activate Huston Street off the disabled list on Tuesday. Palmer, 33, had struggled in three relief appearances with San Diego after having his contract selected from Triple-A Tucson on May 20.