Signed RHP Eric Junge
Signed RHP Tom Shearn
Signed RHP George Wilkerson
Signed C Dan Conway
Signed C Miguel Perez
Signed SS Enrique Cruz
Signed SS Aaron Herr
Signed SS Anderson Machado
Released RHP Rainer Feliz
Released RHP Luis Moya
Released LHP Arian Cruz
Released C Javier Rumbos
Released SS Yoni Lasso
Released OF Philip Gentry
Released OF Maikol Mesa
OF Brandon Watson elected for free agency
Junge, 29, former Phillies prospect who washed out following arm surgery. Spent 2005 pitching well at AAA Norfolk (Mets) but got flogged as a swingman in '06 for AAA Portland (SD). I remember Junge being a candidate to come to the Reds in one of the '04 trades, but we ended up with Elizardo Ramirez. Good thing.
Shearn you know. Good to see him back. He's a solid AAA workhorse who can do a little of everything. Maybe he'll even get a Hopper-style chance this time around.
Wilkerson (known as Wes), 30, former Royals NDFA who pitched mopup with AAA Albuquerque (Florida) in 2006. He must have a big fastball or something, because his numbers aren't great for a guy who keeps getting contracts.
Conway, 27, a Rockies six-year FA with a lifetime .238/.322/.351 line despite getting to play in some very charitable home parks (Colorado Springs, Tulsa). I assume he's a defensive whiz. I also assume this means Miguel Perez will have to start 2007 in Chattanooga, not Louisville, as Ryan Jorgensen has already re-upped.
Cruz, 25- here's an interesting guy. Former Rule 5 pick of the Brewers (from NYM) in 2003, he went six for seventy-one while picking splinters from his rear end on the Milwaukee bench. He then raked at High-A High Desert in 2004 and AA Huntsville in 2005 (although HD is possibly the single best minor-league hitting environment in existence, and Huntsville isn't bad either). In May '06 the Brewers traded him to Texas for LOOGY Brian Shouse, then the Rangers parked him in AA to do nothing. Cruz looks like he can play all three interior infield positions (or at least SS and 3B), although as he's aged he's hit for much more power but stolen far fewer bases.
Herr, 26, returns after making the Southern League All-Star team and earning a callup to Louisville. I think he missed most of the season's final month with an injury. Still produces solid power for an infielder, but little plate discipline and very erratic defense.
Machado, now 26. Funny to think we used to make such a big deal about him. He spent a very quiet year in AA hitting .237/.329/.351 last season.
Feliz couldn't make the jump to A-ball (2006 stats here) following arm issues.
Moya pitched okay in Billings, but he must not have displayed teh stuff.
Cruz was signed out of Cuba in 2005, made a few appearances, then never pitched in 2006.
Not sure what happened with Rumbos. He just didn't get much of a chance.
Lasso just couldn't hit.
Gentry had some tools, but it took him two years to get through rookie ball, so when his bat disintegrated in Sarasota, it was the beginning of the end.
Mesa got some starts in RF for the Mustangs at the beginning of the year, but got hurt and his window slammed shut.
A few other transactions of note:
Signed RHP Rob Bell
Boston Red Sox
Signed RHP Mike Burns
Kansas City Royals
Signed RHP Sugar Ray Marimon (who?)
New York Yankees
Released OF Ben Himes
Both Himes and Kevin Howard collapsed the minute they went to the Yankees for Tony Womack.
Signed SS Andrew Beattie
Guy just cannot catch a break.
San Francisco Giants
Signed 2B William Bergolla
Another twelve years in the minors and he'll be ready for the Giants' big club.
Signed SS Gookie Dawkins
Make it seven organizations for the Gookster.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Signed 1B Hee Seop Choi
How far the once-mighty fall.
Signed LHP Mike Bacsik
Signed LHP Chris Michalak
Signed LHP Arnie Munoz
Signed C Danny Ardoin
Signed C Juan Brito
Signed C Salomon Manriquez
Rule 5 losses: RHP James Henderson (Cubs, Triple-A); LHP Ricardo Morales (Mets, Triple-A); C Salomon Manriquez (Rockies, Triple-A); 2B Brandon Powell (Padres, Triple-A); SS Jose Contreras (Cardinals, Triple-A); SS Josh Labandeira (Marlins, Triple-A); SS Alejandro Machado (Twins, Major League); and SS Trey Webb (Giants, Triple-A)
Still cracks me up.