The 33-year-old had seen at least some time at the Major League level in every season since 2006 before spending last year with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate. He hit .264/.335/.379 in 120 games.
Here are today's minor transactions, with the newest moves at the top of the page…
- The Diamondbacks have released first baseman Shelley Duncan, shortstop Tommy Manzella and right-hander Adam Russell, Matt Eddy reports (via Twitter). All three players signed minor league deals with the Snakes during the offseason. Duncan had a .606 OPS in 64 PA with the Rays in 2013, while Russell and Manzella last appeared in the majors in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
- The Royals released veteran reliever Jon Rauch, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets. Rauch, 35, signed a minor league deal with K.C. in January. The right-hander posted a 7.56 ERA in 16 2/3 IP with the Marlins and a 2.89 ERA in 9 1/3 IP for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate last season.
- The Nationals released infielder Mike Fontenot. The veteran last played in the Majors in 2012, spending last season with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate and then signing a minor league deal with Washington in January. Formerly a staple of the Cubs infield, Fontenot has a .265/.332/.401 line over 1586 career PA with the Cubs, Giants and Phillies.
- The Cardinals outrighted Joey Butler to Triple-A Memphis. Butler, 28, made his Major League debut last season by appearing in eight games for the Rangers, following six years in the Texas farm system that saw him post a .291/.375/.442 slash line with 72 homers over 3036 PA. The outfielder was claimed off waivers by St. Louis in October.
- The Brewers released outfielder Greg Golson, who had been signed to a minor league contract in January. Golson appeared in 40 Major League games with the Phillies, Rangers and Yankees from 2008-11 and has playing in the minors ever since.
Here are today's minor moves from around the league…
- Scout.com's Kiley McDaniel reports that Jerry Sands has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Durham by the Rays (Twitter link). The 26-year-old Sands was designated for assignment earlier in the week when the club claimed Pedro Figueroa.
- The Brewers and lefty Brad Mills have agreed to a minor league contract, according to MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo (on Twitter). Mills, 29 in March, posted a 3.87 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 97 2/3 innings for Triple-A Round Rock in the Rangers' organization in 2013. He requested his release midseason to sign with Nippon Professional Baseball's Orix Buffaloes. Mills has a 7.76 ERA in 53 1/3 career big league innings.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals have signed Mike Fontenot to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training (Twitter link). Last year marked the first season since 2006 in which Fontenot didn't appear at the Major League level. He spent the duration of the campaign with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate, batting .264/.335/.379 in 120 games.
- The White Sox have signed infielder/outfielder Eric Patterson to a minor league contract, tweets Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. The 30-year-old began last season with the Atlantic League's York Revolution, batting .275/.342/.527 with 13 homers in 294 plate appearances. That production led to him getting picked up by the Brewers, but he slashed just .204/.291/.235 in 111 plate appearances at Double-A Huntsville. Patterson has not appeared in the Majors since 2011.
Fontenot, 32, hit .289/.343/.340 in 105 plate appearances for the Phillies this year. He also hit .308/.368/.481 in 58 plate appearances with their Triple-A squad. Thompson, 33, had two hits in 22 plate appearances for Tampa last year, doing most of his work as a pinch-runner. It was his first appearance in the big leagues since 2004.
The Phillies announced that they have released infielder Mike Fontenot. The club designated Fontenot for assignment on August 1.
Fontenot, 32, hit .289/.343/.340 in 105 plate appearances this year for the Phillies. The veteran signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in April and split time between second and third base in 2012. For his career, Fontenot owns a .265/.332/.401 slash line in seven seasons with the Cubs, Giants, and Phillies.
Fontenot, 32, has a .289/.343/.340 batting line in 105 plate appearances this year. He has split his time between second and third since signing a minor league deal with Philadelphia in April. Fontenot could interest teams seeking infield depth as a potential trade candidate.
The Phillies have agreed to sign infielder Mike Fontenot, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio tweets. The Phillies announced that the Paragon Sports International client gets a minor league deal.
Fontenot, who was released by the Giants toward the end of Spring Training, was said to be deciding between the Braves and Phillies. He posted a .227/.304/.377 line in 252 plate appearances at second base, shortstop and third base last year. The Fielding Bible Volume III suggests Fontenot provides adequate defense around the infield.
Philadelphia infielders Chase Utley, Michael Martinez and Ryan Howard are presently on the 15-day disabled list. The Phillies have been relying on Freddy Galvis at second base and Pete Orr on the bench so far this season.
Fontenot posted a .227/.304/.377 line in 252 plate appearances at second base, shortstop and third base last year, but the Giants released him toward the end of Spring Training. The Fielding Bible Volume III suggests Fontenot provides adequate defense around the infield. The Braves are relying on rookie Tyler Pastornicky at shortstop, while various Phillies infielders have dealt with injuries early on this year.
This post was first published on Friday, April 13th.
It’s Opening Day, part IV. Enjoy these links as the season openers continue around the Major Leagues…
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle hears the Blue Jays or Phillies could be a landing spot for free agent infielder Mike Fontenot (Twitter link).
- Rays owner Stuart Sternberg told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the Rays have considerable off-field issues, though the team is an annual contender (Twitter link). "Winning hasn't cured the ills," Sternberg said.
- The Cardinals aren't close to having a timetable on injured right-hander Chris Carpenter, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets. As long as Roy Oswalt’s a free agent, he’ll be an option for the Cardinals.
With Chase Utley on the shelf for the foreseeable future, the Phillies have shown interest in Mike Fontenot according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Giants released Fontenot last week.
Philadelphia has been looking for infield help over the last few weeks. Fontenot, 31, posted a .227/.304/.377 line in 252 plate appearances at second base, shortstop and third base last year The Fielding Bible Volume III suggests he provides adequate defense around the infield.