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Minor League Offseason

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Last offseason, I conjured up a similar post.

Everyone is focused on the major league portion of the offseason but a lot of the aspects of the minor league portion go unnoticed.

This is a reference thread for the entire 2007 minor league offseason. If anyone sees something I missed, or information that is inaccurate, let me know so I can fix it.

I will make updates as things change or I remember things that I left out.

Now on to the show, this first post will be the acquisitions to the Orioles organization. The second post will feature the departures.

Trade Acquisitions:

RHSP Matt Albers

Age: 25

Draft: Selected by Houston Astros in 23rd Round (686th overall) of 2001

2007 Team: Round Rock (AAA), Houston (NL)

Additional Information: Acquired in Miguel Tejada trade to Houston Astros. Has one remaining option, which will most likely be used during the 2008 season. He has one option year remaining.

3B Mike Costanzo

Age: 24

Draft: Selected by Philadelphia Phillies in 2nd Round (65th overall) of 2005

2007 Team: Reading (AA)

Additional Information: Traded by Philadelphia Phillies to Houston Astros in a deal sending Brad Lidge to Philadelphia in early 2007 offseason. He was later traded to Baltimore as a part of the Miguel Tejada trade. He was the only member of the five player deal that is not currently on the 40 man roster. He will report to ML spring training and will report early to practice with the catchers.

LHSP Troy Patton

Age: 22

Draft: Selected by Houston Astros in 9th Round (274th overall) of 2004

2007 Team: Corpus Christi (AA), Round Rock (AAA), Houston (NL)

Additional Information: Acquired in Miguel Tejada trade to Houston Astros. Has three remaining options, for which one will most likely be used during the 2008 season.

RHSP Jake Renshaw

Age: 21

Draft: Selected by Chicago Cubs in 10th Round (299th overall) of 2006

2007 Team: Peoria (A)

Additional Information: Renshaw was sent to the Orioles from the Cubs to complete the Steve Trachsel trade, which also netted Baltimore Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry. The conditions of the deal stated that if the Cubs made the playoffs, the Orioles would receive a third player.

OF Chris Roberson

Age: 28

Draft: Selected by Philadelphia Phillies in 9th Round (260th overall) of 2001

2007 Team: Ottawa (AAA), Philadelphia (NL)

Additional Information: Was acquired from Philadelphia for cash consideration. OF Jeff Fiorentino was DFA’ed to make room for Roberson on the roster. Roberson has 0 options remaining.

Rule V Draft Acquisitions:

RHRP Randor Bierd

Age: 24

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Tigers in 2003

2007 Team: West Michigan (A), Erie (AA)

Additional Information: Bierd was selected with the third overall pick of the 2007 Rule V draft MLB phase out of the Detroit Tigers organization. He will have to remain on the Orioles 25 man roster all season, or be offered back to the Tigers for $25,000.

1B Tim Brown

Age: 25

Draft: Selected by Pittsburgh Pirates in 12th Round (354th overall) of 2001

2007 Team: San Antonio (AA)

Additional Information: Brown was selected from the San Diego Padres organization during the AAA phase of the 2007 Rule V draft. The Pirates released Brown after four years in the minors, but only after reaching A- in 2004. He spent 2005 in the independent leagues before signing with the Padres for the 2006 season. Even though he has played “6 years” in the minors, only the last two years with the Padres count towards his eligibility status in terms of the Rule V draft, as his four seasons with the Pirates were short-season.

RHRP J.P. Martinez

Age: 25

Draft: Selected by Minnesota Twins in 9th Round (271st overall) of 2004

2007 Team: Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Rochester (AAA)

Additional Information: Martinez was selected from the Minnesota Twins organization during the AA phase of the 2007 Rule V draft.

LHP Ryan Rodriguez

Age: 23

Draft: Selected by Chicago White Sox in 4th Round (120th overall) of 2002

2007 Team: Winston-Salem (A+)

Additional Information: Rodriguez was selected from the Chicago White Sox organization during the AAA phase of the 2007 Rule V draft. Spent his first four professional seasons exclusively as a starter, but was moved to the bullpen during the 2007 season.

Re-Signed:

OF Chris Amador

Age: 25

Draft: Selected by Chicago White Sox in 8th Round (232nd overall) of 2000

2007 Team: Daytona (A+), Frederick (A+)

Additional Information: The White Sox released Amador half way through the 2007 season after 7.5 seasons in the organization. He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles and assigned to Frederick.

LHSP Craig Anderson

Age: 27

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seattle Mariners in 1999

2007 Team: Bowie (AA), Norfolk (AAA)

Additional Information: The Orioles invited Anderson to Spring Training in 2008. He spent six seasons with the Mariners organization before signing with an independent team for the 2005 season. He was signed by the Orioles organization for the 2006 season and has remained with the Orioles since.

RHRP Cory Doyne

Age: 26

Draft: Selected by Houston Astros in 8th Round (247th overall) of 2000

2007 Team: Norfolk (AAA), Baltimore (AL)

Additional Information: After spending three seasons with the Astros organization, he was released and signed with the Padres, where he switched from a starting pitcher to a reliever. He signed with St. Louis in 2004 but left as a minor league free agent following the 2006 season, when he signed with the Orioles. He made his major league debut with the Orioles in 2007. He won the AAA reliever of the year award. He was DFA’ed when the Orioles traded Miguel Tejada to the Astros. He was later non-tendered and re-signed to a minor league deal. He wasn’t invited to Spring Training because he is still recovering from surgery in late September to repair a tear in his rotator cuff. He has two options remaining when he rejoins a 40 man roster.

RHRP Ryan Keefer

Age: 26

Draft: Selected by Baltimore Orioles in 13th Round (384th overall) of 2000

2007 Team: Bowie (AA)

Additional Information: Keefer missed the entire 2007 season due to a shoulder injury. He was removed from the 40 man roster after spending the 2006 season on the 40 man. There was some doubt whether Keefer would re-sign with the Orioles, but he did and was invited to Spring Training 2008. He has two options remaining when he rejoins a 40 man roster.

OF Luis Montanez

Age: 26

Draft: Selected by Chicago Cubs in 1st Round (3rd overall) of 2000

2007 Team: Bowie (AA), Norfolk (AAA)

Additional Information: After spending seven years in the Cubs organization, Montantez joined the Orioles organization as a minor league free agent during the 2006 offseason.

RHRP Roberto Novoa

Age: 26

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1999

2007 Team: Chicago (NL)

Additional Information: Novoa missed the entire 2007 season to injury. Novoa was traded with Scott Moore to the Detroit Tigers to the Chicago Cubs during the 2004 offseason. He was claimed off waivers from the Cubs right after the conclusion of the 2007 season. He was non-tendered during the 2007 offseason and re-signed to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training 2008.

INF Oscar Salazar

Age: 29

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Athletics in 1994

2007 Team: Bowie (AA)

Additional Information: Reached the majors in 2002 with the Tigers; released from the Indians organization during the 2004 season. Salazar joined the Orioles organization in 2007 after missing the 2005-2006 seasons. He was invited to Spring Training for a second straight year.

INF Eider Torres

Age: 25

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Indians in 2000

2007 Team: Norfolk (AAA)

Additional Information: Torres joined the Orioles organization during the 2006 offseason after leaving the Indians organization. In a controversial move, he was added to the 40 man roster, but was removed during the 2007 offseason. He decided to remain with the Orioles and was invited to Spring Training in 2008.

LHSP Chris Waters

Age: 27

Draft: Selected by Atlanta Braves in 5th Round (160th overall) of 2000

2007 Team: Bowie (AA), Norfolk (AAA)

Additional Information: Waters joined the Orioles organization during the 2006 season as a minor league free agent after leaving the Atlanta Braves organization.

Free Agent Additions:

RHRP Ryan Bukvich

Age: 29

Draft: Selected by Kansas City Royals in 11th Round (314th overall) of 2000

2007 Team: Charlotte (AAA), Chicago (AL)

Additional Information: Made it to the majors in 2002 but has never posted good statistics in his five tries at the major leagues. He was signed to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.

RHRP Gerardo Casadiego

Age: 27

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Montreal Expos in 1998

2007 Team: Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Tulsa (AA)

Additional Information: He was released during the 2004 season from the Expos after spending 6 seasons in the organization. Spent a season and a half in independent ball and joined the Yankees for the 2006 season.

RHSP Lance Cormier

Age: 27

Draft: Selected by Arizona Diamondbacks in 4th Round (129th overall) of 2002

2007 Team: Richmond (AAA), Atlanta (NL)

Additional Information: He currently has zero options remaining if he were to be added to the 40 man roster.

C Ben Davis

Age: 31

Draft: Selected by San Diego Padres in 1st Round (2nd overall) of 1995

2007 Team: Las Vegas (AAA)

Additional Information: Spent 2006 with the Yankees and released during 2007 spring training. He later signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers but was released during the season.

OF Luis Mateo

Age: 26

Draft: Selected by Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 50th Round (1444th overall) of 1998

2007 Team: Out of Baseball

Additional Information: Only three years of professional service time in last 10 years. He has been out of baseball since 2005.

RHRP Julio Manon

Age: 34

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1992

2007 Team: Sacramento (AAA), Louisville (AAA)

Additional Information: Manon pitched for the Orioles in 2006.

3B Ryan McCarthy

Age: 25

Draft: Selected by Chicago White Sox in 9th Round (269th overall) of 2004

2007 Team: Winston-Salem (A+)

Additional Information: McCarthy was released during the 2007 season after missing the entire 2006 season.

RHSP Robert Neigebauer

Age:

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Orioles in 2007.

2007 Team: Palm Beach Atlantic University

Additional Information: He went 2-8 with an 8+ ERA in 19 games. In 78.1 innings, he gave up 108 hits and 70 ER. He K'ed 58 while walking 48.

RHRP Gerard Oakes

Age: 25

Draft: Selected by Milwaukee Brewers in 7th Round (201st overall) of 2000

2007 Team: Augusta (A), San Jose (A+)

Additional Information: Released by Brewers following 2002 season. He was signed by the Twins for the 2002 season but was released at the end of the season. He spent 2003 in independent ball. He spent an injury riddled season with the Braves in 2004 before going to Texas in 2005 and San Francisco in 2006. This will be his 7th organization in 8 years.

OF Mike Rodriguez

Age: 27

Draft: Selected by Houston Astros in 2nd Round (54th overall) of 2001

2007 Team: Round Rock (AAA)

Additional Information:

C Omir Santos

Age: 26

Draft: Selected by New York Yankees in 21st Round (635th overall) of 2001

2007 Team: Trenton (AA), Scranton Wilkes/Barre (AAA)

Additional Information: After spending seven seasons with the Yankees, he joined the Orioles with an invite to ST 2008.

OF Luis Terrero

Age: 27

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1997

2007 Team: Charlotte (AAA), Chicago (AL)

Additional Information: Has spent parts of the last five seasons in the majors with three different teams, one of which was with the Orioles in 2006. He was re-signed to a minor league deal, after spending 2007 with the White Sox, and was invited to Spring Training 2008.

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And the departures....

Free Agent Departures

RHP Rob Bell

2008 Organization: Washington Nationals

Age: 31

Draft: Selected by Atlanta Braves in 3rd Round (85th overall) of 1995

2007 Team: Norfolk (AAA), Baltimore (AL)

Additional Information: Pitched as a long-reliever, middle reliever, and made one spot start for his only season with the Orioles in 2007.

RHRP Francis Beltran

2008 Organization: Detroit Tigers

Age: 28

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 1996

2007 Team: Norfolk (AAA)

Additional Information: Spent lone season with Orioles in 2007 after signing as a minor league free agent during 2006 offseason.

3B Mike Cervenak

2008 Organization: Philadelphia Phillies

Age: 31

Draft: Contract purchased by Yankees from Chillicothe (Ind.) during 2000 season

2007 Team: Norfolk (AAA)

Additional Information: Spent lone season with Orioles in 2007 after signing as a minor league free agent during 2006 offseason. Cervenak will replace Costanzo at AAA Allentown as their 3B.

OF Jason Dubois

2008 Organization: Washington Nationals

Age: 29

Draft: Selected by Chicago Cubs in 14th Round (403rd overall) of 2000

2007 Team: Norfolk (AAA)

Additional Information: Spent lone season with Orioles in 2007 after signing as a minor league free agent during 2006 offseason.

C J.R. House

2008 Organization: Houston Astros

Age: 28

Draft: Selected by Pittsburgh Pirates in 5th Round (152nd overall) of 1999

2007 Team: Norfolk (AAA), Baltimore (AL)

Additional Information: Spent lone season with Orioles in 2007 after signing as a minor league free agent during 2006 offseason. The Orioles tried to outright him to the minors following the 2007 season but he elected to become a free agent.

1B Luis Jiminez

2008 Organization: Washington Nationals

Age: 25

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Athletics in 1999

2007 Team: Pawtucket (AAA), Bowie (AA)

Additional Information: Jiminez was released by the Athletics following the 2001 season, at which point he signed with the Orioles on a minor league deal. He spent 2002-2003 with the Orioles before being selected by the Dodgers in the 2003 rule V minor league draft. He signed with the Orioles during the 2007 season after being released by the Red Sox

OF Jon Knott

2008 Organization: Minnesota Twins

Age: 29

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Padres in 2001

2007 Team: Norfolk (AAA), Baltimore (AL)

Additional Information: Knott was non-tendered by the Padres during the 2006 offseason, at which point he signed with the Orioles on a minor league contract. It was his lone season with the Orioles.

C Gustavo Molina

2008 Organization: New York Mets

Age: 26

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago White Sox in 2000

2007 Team: Charlotte (AAA), Chicago (AL), Bowie (AA), Baltimore (AL)

Additional Information: After spending 7 seasons with the White Sox, he was claimed off waivers by the Orioles on July 30th. The Orioles tried to outright him to the minors following the 2007 season but Molina elected to become a free agent.

OF Arturo Rivas

2008 Organization: New York Mets

Age: 24

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Baltimore Orioles in 2000

2007 Team: Frederick (A+)

Additional Information: Rivas spent his entire career as an Oriole until this offseason.

RHRP Victor Santos

2008 Organization: San Francisco Giants

Age: 31

Draft: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Tigers in 1995

2007 Team: Louisville (AAA), Cincinnati (NL), Baltimore (AL)

Additional Information: Santos had his contract purchased by the Orioles from the Reds during September when the rotation/bullpen massacre was occurring. The Orioles granted him free agency after the 2007 season.

INF Terry Tiffee

2008 Organization: Los Angeles Dodgers

Age: 28

Draft: Selected by Minnesota Twins in 26th Round (779th overall) of 1999

2007 Team: Norfolk (AAA)

Additional Information: Spent lone season with Orioles in 2007 after signing as a minor league free agent during 2006 offseason.

C Eli Whiteside

2008 Organization: Minnesota Twins

Age: 28

Draft: Selected by Baltimore Orioles in 6th Round (173rd overall) of 2001

2007 Team: Bowie (AA), Norfolk (AAA)

Additional Information: Whiteside had his contract purchased by the Orioles in 2005 and spent two seasons on the 40 man roster before being removed. He spent his entire seven year career as an Oriole.

RHSP Jaret Wright

2008 Organization: Pittsburgh Pirates

Age: 32

Draft: Selected by Cleveland Indians in 1st Round (10th overall) of 1994

2007 Team: Baltimore (AL)

Additional Information: Orioles acquired Wright from the Yankees for RHRP Chris Britton during 2006 offseason. Wright eventually went on the DL during the 2007 season and was never recalled during September after MacPhail told him to go home. He was released the day after the season ended.

Releases

RHRP Zach Cole

Age: 22

Draft: Signed as undrafted free agent by Baltimore Orioles during 2007

2007 Team: Gulf Coast Orioles (Rk)

Additional Information: There is very little information about Cole.

RHSP Beau Hale

Age: 29

Draft: Selected by Baltimore Orioles in 1st Round (14th overall) of 2000

2007 Team: Bowie (AA)

Additional Information: Following the 2006 season, there looked to be real promise that Hale would reach the major leagues, but following a career-ending injury in 2007, he decided to retire.

LHRP Mark Horner

Age: 25

Draft: Selected by Baltimore Orioles in 41st Round (1231st overall) of 2005

2007 Team: Delmarva (A), Frederick (A+)

Additional Information: Spent entire three season career with the Baltimore Orioles.

RHRP Josh Potter

Age: 24

Draft: Selected by Baltimore Orioles in 23rd Round (683rd overall) of 2001

2007 Team: Frederick (A+)

Additional Information: Spent entire six season career with the Baltimore Orioles.

RHRP Ezequiel Selen

Age: 22

Draft: N/A

2007 Team: Gulf Coast Orioles (Rk)

Additional Information: Spent only two seasons in rookie ball with the Baltimore Orioles.

Waiver Departures:

LHRP Kurt Birkins

2008 Organization: Tampa Bay Rays

Age: 27

Draft: Selected by Baltimore Orioles in 33rd Round (984th overall) of 2000

Additional Information: Birkins was one of only two players drafted by the Orioles (and signed with the Orioles) to make the majors leagues (so far) from the 2000 draft, with Brandon Fahey being the other one to reach the majors and Ryan Keefer with the potential to reach the majors. Birkins had one option year left. Orioles tried to sneak Birkins off the 40 man roster following the 2007 season, but Tampa Bay had other plans.

OF Jeff Fiorentino

2008 Organization: Cincinnati Reds

Age: 24

Draft: Selected by Baltimore Orioles in 3rd Round (79th overall) of 2004

Additional Information: Fiorentino was bumped from the 40 man roster when the Orioles traded for Chris Roberson from the Philadelphia Phillies. The Reds claimed him the following day. The Reds will be provided with one more option year for Fiorentino.

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Updates:

Jaret Wright signed by Pittsburgh Pirates.

Lance Cormier signed by Baltimore Orioles.

Julio Manon signed by Baltimore Orioles.

Robert Neigebauer signed by Baltimore Orioles.

Mike Rodriguez signed by Baltimore Orioles.

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Manon pitched great in the Dominican League this winter as a teammate of Fredy Deza.

1-0, 1.00 ERA with 7 saves in 17 relief appearances

18 innings pitched with only 9 hits & a 24:4 strikeout -to-walk ratio.

The league batted .145 against him (RH .207 & LH .091)

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Any information on the new players?

This Neigebauer kid doesnt seem good at all. The link I provided in his name links to Palm Beach Atlantic University website. It is only a division 2 school so the stats are even more unimpressive. He will probably report to extended spring training and report to aberdeen.

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Does anybody think Ben Davis has a shot at making the major league squad? If he and Quiroz have good years, then they can move Hernandez easily while they have these two hold a spot for Weiters.

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Does anybody think Ben Davis has a shot at making the major league squad? If he and Quiroz have good years, then they can move Hernandez easily while they have these two hold a spot for Weiters.

Well he could have a shot, but his numbers are horrible. He has never looked good in the majors and was horrible at AAA last year. If he makes the Orioles than we have bigger problems.

I would think Omir Pito Santos has a better chance of making the Orioles than Davis.

We needed a lot of catchers because we lost House, Whiteside, Castillo, among others.

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Couple other comments/questions about the offseason moves.

I never saw Arturo Rivas in the transactions as signing with Mets. When did that happen?

Other 6 year minor free agents that have not signed with anyone yet (I think): Brian Finch, Carlos Perez, Andy Mitchell, Richard Salazar.

Was Sendy Rleal another lost on waivers?

Signed to 1-year contracts last year but not resigned for 2008 (again I think): Chadd Blasko, Sean Tracy, Ruddy Yan, and Brent Krause.

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The Orioles have signed Esteban Yan to a minor league contract and invited him to camp. He spent last year in Japan and hasn't been in the majors since pitching for the Cincinnati Reds in 2006.

Yan, 32, broke into the majors with the Orioles in 1996 and has pitched for seven teams in 11 big-league seasons, going 33-39 with 51 saves and a 5.14 ERA. You can mark him down as a closer or right-handed set-up candidate.

The Orioles also signed catcher Chris Heintz, 33, to a minor league deal and invited him to camp. He's a career .232 hitter in parts of three seasons with the Twins.

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/roch/blog/2008/02/blast_from_the_past_2.html

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