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Minor League Transaction Thread-- Latest: Nelson to AAA, Gagnon to AA

Mass Haas

Brewers signed catcher Dayton Buller and OF Brock Kjeldgaard to minor league contracts for 2013.


Each would have been eligible for minor league free agency this fall. Kjeldgaard, who spent a good portion of 2012 on the Brewers' 40-man, will be taking part in the Arizona Fall League.

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Now that infielder Hector Gomez (career stats) has been removed from the 40-man roster and cleared waivers (outrighted to Nashville), he has been added to the post leading off this thread as qualifying for minor league free agency after the World Series.


Gomez has now played seven minor league seasons, so even though he'll only turn 25 in May, he is slated to hit the open market. Now, it wouldn't be a surprise at all to read in the next one or two Baseball America weekly transaction updates that the Brewers have re-signed him to a minor league deal for 2013. There's certainly opportunity to fill middle infield positions at AA and AAA heading into next season.


Gomez was a curious waiver claim back on June 28th. His final option year was 2012, and that includes a 4th option year that he had been granted. And, as we're now seeing, if he were to be sneaked through waivers, he's free agent-eligible. He had a long list of injury issues (Tommy John surgery, fractured shin, back, groin), not to mention the unknown reasons he landed on Brevard's DL list August 3rd, sidelining him for the final month of this season.


This article from last June, prior to the Brewers' claim, talks about Gomez' family tragedy as well.


Actually, the Brewers are lucky that the claim of Gomez didn't cost them a valuable piece going forward. To make room for Gomez on the 40-man roster, the Brewers exposed reliever Brandon Kintzler to waivers. If Kintzler stays healthy and continues to produce in a cost-efficient way for the next several seasons, as many believe he can, Hector Gomez' footnote in Brewers history will be duly noted now and then as one of the more obscure and non-descript waiver claims of the Doug Melvin era.


And we learn today that Gomez has been signed by the Brewers to a minor league deal for 2013 with an invite to major league spring training.

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Reliever Jairo Asencio, signed to a minor league deal but with a big-league spring training invite -- 30 big league games with Cleveland and the Cubs in 2012, former Pirate and Brave farmhand, with an identity-change past.



One of 30, yes 30, mostly forgettable names that the Cubs used on the mound at some point in 2012. He did manage a scoreless inning vs. the Brewers in early June.

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Baseball America indicates the Brewers have released soon-to-be 24-year-old LHP Manuel Ruiz.


In 100.2 career innings spanning 2010-2012 from the Dominican Summer League to rookie-level Helena (and even a two-game cameo at high-A Brevard County), Ruiz fanned an impressive 134 batters while only allowing 68 hits. But he also walked 97 and hit 13.


In his 2012 small-sample splits, you'll see he especially had difficulty facing LH batters.


In the case of Santo Manzanillo (check out those early years), the Brewers waited out for the talent and command to come together. A 100 MPH arm didn't hurt Santo's cause.


Apparently the script won't be the same for Ruiz.

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As we alluded to in this post within our Brewers Minor League Free Agent thread, the Brewers have confirmed for us they indeed re-signed minor league catcher Anderson De La Rosa during this postseason.


De La Rosa only trails Corey Hart, Manny Parra, and Rickie Weeks in tenure with the organization.




There were two Brewers in the spring media guide for which we had no formal reason on their 2012 absence until now. Oft-injured LHP Mike Ramlow retired, as we mentioned earlier today, and we've learned one-time $710,000 bonus baby RHP Rolando Pascual, who arrived with much fanfare in 2005, never reported to spring camp for what would have been his 7th pro season (and thus his "walk" year -- apparently he did just that, but early). Thus, the Brewers have placed him on a restricted list as they retain his rights. Still just 23, but my goodness, has he frustrated us over the years (career stats).

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Zach Kroenke? Really? I thought it was a joke when I saw this name in the transactions section. Let me guess, he'll be wearing 13 in spring training.


It took me back to the 1970 season when the Brewers traded for outfielder hammering Hank Allen and gave him number 44 (seriously, they did). Unfortunately Allen never homered as a Brewer and he was 749 career homers behind Aaron, and 345 behind his brother Dick, but when he stood in the box with 44 on his back and waved his bat, it did conjure up better times.


Not to knock Kroenke. His numbers the last couple years at Reno weren't good, but Reno might be the best hitter friendly place on earth but I guess that rumor someone overheard of the Brewers bringing back Greinke, they must have heard Kroenke and wishfully thought they heard Greinke.


BTW, does anyone know if Mike Felder has a son named Prince?

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Brewers have signed Blake Lalli, per MLBTR


The Brewers have signed Blake Lalli to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, the team announced.


The 29-year-old catcher went 2-for-15 for the Cubs in his big league debut this season, though they later traded him to the Athletics for Anthony Recker. Lalli hit .256/.291/.396 with eight homers in 340 Triple-A plate appearances this season.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Brewers announced earlier today the signing of LHP Travis Webb, a longtime Reds farmhand. He received a spring training invite to major league camp.


Not a lot of "feature article" type stuff on the World Wide "Webb" on Travis, but here you go --


Here's his career numbers, 2012 splits included, impressive against LH bats, at least for this past season.


You may need Adobe Flash to properly view, but you should be able to zoom in at this link --


Travis Webb - 2012 Louisville Bats Media Guide Page


Wood, who had Tommy John surgery in 2008 (he discusses that here), has never been on the Reds' 40-man roster, so this big league camp invitation is a pretty good "get" for he and his agent, especially when you consider that Chris Narveson and 40-man roster reliever Miguel De Los Santos (the waiver claim via Texas) are the only other southpaws scheduled to be at camp as of this date.


He participated in the Arizona Fall League in 2011 and discusses that



of Webb warming up that AFL season. (It says "Part 2", but there is no "Part 1".)




Webb doesn't appear to be on Twitter...




While searching on Webb, found

by current 40-man roster (and out of options) RHP Fautino De Los Santos -- had never seen this before.
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Never fun when a 23-year-old has to retire before confirming how far his career might have progressed without serious injury. RHP Mitch Conner (2011 Brewer stats) underwent surgery to remove bone spurs in his right elbow in the summer of 2009, in the midst of his college career. He was a 2011 36th round senior sign out of Elon (NC) University, but underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2012.


His tweet today (continued)


Never hurts to look back at draft-day articles to capture what it means to these young men. Good luck going forward, Mitch.


Elon reliever ends up in good place as draftee


Former Ashbrook, G-Braves pitcher drafted, signed by Milwaukee Brewers

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The Brewers have signed longtime Orioles' product, INF Blake Davis, who turns 29 today (Saturday). He's a LH bat.


Baltimore drafted Davis in the 4th round of the 2006 draft out of Cal-State Fullerton. The Brewers drafted OF Cole Gillespie in the 3rd round that year and RHP Evan Anundsen in the 4th round. (Gillespie just signed a minor league deal with the Giants, by the way.)


Back to Davis -- he saw his lone big league time with Baltimore in 2011, his contract was purchased on June 18th of that year, he was optioned on August 22nd. Two weeks later, he was designated for assignment and removed from the Orioles' 40-man roster, so if the Brewers were to add him to their own 40-man at some point, he'd have two options remaining. Davis batted .254/.323/.390 with one home run, six RBI and a .713 OPS over 65 at-bats during his big league stint of 25 games.


Baseball America twice named Davis the best defensive infielder in the Orioles' system, after both the 2008 and 2009 seasons.


During that big league stretch, Davis appeared in 18 games at second base, one at third, and two at shortstop. More recently, for his 2012 minor league season at AAA Norfolk, the split was ten games at 2B, 98 at SS, and one OF appearance (58 outfield appearances on and off through his seven-year minor league career, during which he's predominantly played SS).


Baseball Reference Career Major League Stats


Baseball Reference Career Minor League Stats


Davis had one particularly impressive AAA week in 2012.


Here are some blog posts of interest --


June 22, 2011 -- Tough major league starting debut


VIDEO of that play


Here's Davis' full MLB video highlight gallery


August 21, 2011 -- The ball found Blake Davis (again)


Going back a bit --


January 21, 2010 -- Where's Blake Davis?


January 27th, 2011 -- Blake Davis, utility player, does he have a major league future?


Wikipedia tells us Davis has Heterochromia iridum, or two different colored eyes.


It is unlikely Davis received a major league spring training camp invite, otherwise the Brewers would have annnounced that. Depth-chart wise, Davis would appear to be the leading candidate to be Nashville's starting shortstop.


Doesn't appear to be on Twitter...


The transaction was tucked away within Baseball America's Minor League Free Agent Tracker. It will likely be included when the oh-so-helpful Matt Eddy releases his next transaction summary for BA.

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Career stats at each linked name --


Darn, it wasn't a good week if you were a late round 2011 draft pick or a non-drafted free agent signing that year and you were hoping to be a future LH reliever with the Crew. Combination of age/performance/projection probably factored into these three southpaw releases by the Crew, as noted by Matt Eddy of Baseball America.


Two Big East seniors drafted in 2011 -- Elliot Glynn of UConn (39th round) and Mike Francisco of Villanova (48th round), along with non-drafted free agent Conner Whalen, received bad pre-holiday news this week.


Whalen, out of UC-Santa Barbara, turns 25 in April. Francisco turned 24 last August, Glynn will be 23 in January.


As always, wishing these former Brewer farmhands well in their future efforts, whether another affiliated chance, indy ball, coaching, or non-baseball endeavors.

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From 11/02/12 --


MLB pitcher, Hamilton alumn Jim Hoey to host golf tournament

By Paul Franklin/For The Trenton (N.J.) Times


Relationships are important to Jim Hoey. Whether it’s baseball or golf, he’s all in. That will be a major factor when he decides who to sign with in his free-agent year, and those were factors when he put together his charity golf tournament.


A Hamilton High School graduate with two-plus years in the major leagues, he is hosting his first annual Jim Hoey Charity Golf Tournament on Nov. 12 at Old York Country Club in Chesterfield.


He doesn’t exactly strike a golf ball with the efficiency he strikes out batters, but as he describes the upcoming day, “It’s gonna be a fun, non-serious event. It’s gonna be an amazing event.”


One hundred golfers already have signed on, with the maximum set at 144. Hoey shoots in the low 90s, so the pressure’s off.


The event will benefit both the Wounded Warriors Project and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society of America. For information and to sign up, visit his website at http://www.jimhoeyscharitygolf.com.


“Those are two closest to my heart,” Hoey said of the organizations. “Both my grandfathers and my brother-in-law were in the military and I was in JROTC in high school, and my one grandfather passed from leukemia.”


The idea for the charity resulted from his experience when he participated in a similar event while playing for the Minnesota Twins in 2011.


“I loved meeting the people and the cause,” he said. “I started golfing four years ago, and it’s something I like to do now and I enjoy raising money for these causes.”


He should continue making an income as a professional baseball player as he embarks on the free-agent process this weekend — there is no contact allowed until five days after the World Series.


While money certainly is a factor, the relief pitcher’s priorities are being in the right situation along with some familiar faces.


Though growing up a Yankees fan, he actually would prefer playing for the Phillies or Orioles.


“From a business standpoint,” said Hoey, who was drafted out of Rider University in 2003 by the Baltimore Orioles, “I would have to go to the team where I have the most opportunity to play in the major leagues.


“I have to look at that, and that’s the hardest part. I have to do the research.


“I would love to be on the Phillies. It’s close to home, and I love the starting pitching staff.


“And I’m a real big fan of Roy Halliday. I met him a few years ago, and I really love his personality. He’s just really a nice guy and genuine. So, I look for that.


“I don’t look for a team, I look for people on the team. There are guys you’re gonna work with and guys you’re gonna be friends with and build relationships upon that.’’


He has built relationships with pro ball players for nine years now. Following Tommy John surgery in 2004, from which he also missed the 2005 season, Hoey eventually came up to the Orioles in 2006 at age 24. He appeared in 12 games, having made his debut by walking Tori Hunter.


He appeared in 23 games the following season before being dealt to the Twins’ organization. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery caused him to miss the 2008 season, and when he returned, he was at the Double-A level in Bowie, Md.


In 2011, he appeared in 26 games for Minnesota. Last year, despite a standout spring training with an ERA of 0.00, he was sent to AAA in Toronto’s organization.


His major league totals are a 4-7 record and a 7.02 ERA in 59 innings. He has 38 strikeouts and has given up seven home runs.


In high school, he was 13-1 as a senior when the Hornets won the Group III state title. He had 131 strikeouts with an ERA of 0.48. His high school number was retired five years ago.


He can still bring it, and believes he can still do the job in the bigs.


After all, this is a guy who will never forget being introduced coming in from the bullpen by legendary public-address announcer Bob Sheppard in the old Yankee Stadium. And getting out guys like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.


And there was that time with Baltimore when, with the bases loaded, he got his first MLB strikeout by blowing three straight fastballs by Minnesota’s Jason Kubel.


And of course, there were moments like in Tampa Bay, when Carlos Pena hit a home that hit the dome in Tropicana Field.


That’s why, starting yesterday, Hoey began training for next season.


He works out at Game Time Performances in Hamilton and gets his cardio work playing hockey at Ice Land Skating Center.


He’s not sure what he’ll be doing after baseball, but he knows whether it’s in computers or baseball, he’s not ready to put down the rosin.


“I’m a sports guy,” he said.


“I like a challenge and I like playing them. I like teaching. That would be cool. I have options.


“For me, baseball is fun, it’s a challenge and it’s something I have to work for.


“I’ll play until my body gives out,” he said about pro ball. I’ll just do it until I can’t do it anymore.”

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another guy mentioned in that mlbtraderumors.com post is Rene Tosoni, a former Twins OF who got a lot of MLB time in '11 when Twins OFs were dropping like the Twins' loss column was adding up. For all the PT he got, though, he seemed pretty overmatched. I do remember the Twins' broadcasters talking about him as a hitter w/ decent pop in the minors.


I'd guess these are depth moves also aimed to fill out the Nashville roster with some AAA vets.

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