Five years ago today, the Athletics traded Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin to the Cubs for Josh Donaldson, Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, and Eric Patterson. At the time, Gallagher was considered the centerpiece for Oakland, though Donaldson, an A ball catcher, had been drafted in the first round the year prior and had promise despite offensive struggles to that point in '08. Donaldson reached the Majors as a catcher in 2010, but was moved back to third base and became the A's starter there last year. Now, after a huge first half, Donaldson had the honor of being snubbed for the All-Star team. Perhaps he'll find his way onto the roster as various players bow out. On to today's minor moves:
- 12-year MLB veteran Kip Wells is contemplating retirement, agent Burton Rocks tells MLBTR's Zach Links. Wells was released by the Angels in late May. He's looking for a minor league opportunity with a realistic shot of being brought up to contribute at the big league level. If nothing materializes by season's end, Wells is considering moving into the player development/scouting side of baseball. Wells was drafted by the White Sox in the first round in 1998; he posted a 3.43 ERA over 395 2/3 innings for the Pirates from 2002-03 and earned over $17MM in his career.
- Red Sox infielder Jonathan Diaz was outrighted to Triple-A today, tweets Jenny Dell of NESN. The move brings the team's 40-man roster count down to 39. Diaz, 28, made his big league debut June 29th, starting at third base and popping out against Toronto's Esmil Rogers. He was hitting .242/.350/.341 in 220 Triple-A plate appearances. Diaz was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 12th round in '06, a dozen picks before the Angels snagged Jordan Walden.
- Lefty Justin Thomas is headed to Japan to join the Nippon Ham Fighters, he announced on Twitter today. Thomas, who exercised an out clause in his minor league contract with the Athletics earlier this month, joins former big leaguers Micah Hoffpauir, Brian Wolfe, and Kaz Tadano. Thomas, 29, was drafted by the Mariners in the fourth round in 2005, a round which later produced Major Leaguers Jeremy Hellickson, Justin Maxwell, Gaby Sanchez, Sam LeCure, Chris Getz, Mike Baxter, Mat Gamel, and Brent Lillibridge.
- Six players currently reside in DFA limbo: Jeremy Bonderman of the Mariners, Adam Rosales of the Athletics, Carlos Carrasco of the Indians, Brandon Lyon of the Mets, Hector Gimenez of the White Sox, and Shawn Camp of the Cubs. The Royals requested unconditional release waivers on Jeff Francoeur on Friday, so he'll likely be a free agent soon. The Twins' P.J. Walters cleared waivers and is likely to accept an outright assignment.