A's Claim Freiman
The Oakland A's claimed first baseman Nate Freiman off of waivers from the Astros on Saturday, reports Brian McTaggert of MLB.com. Freiman, 26, is a Rule 5 Draft pick that Houston acquired from the San Diego Padres last year, so he must remain on Oakland's 25-man roster all season or else be given back to the Padres. The righty slugger spent the 2012 season at the Friars' Double-A affiliate, where he batted .298/.370/.502 with 24 home runs 137 games. The A's placed right-hander Fernando Rodriguez -- who is undergoing Tommy John surgery -- on the 60-day DL to make room on their roster.
Rays Release Cust, Weglarz
The Tampa Bay Rays have released veteran slugger Jack Cust from his minor-league deal, reports Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. The 34-year-old was inked to a contract in mid-February, but was always a long shot to make the club. The poster-child of the Three True Outcome player, Cust last appeared in the pros with the Mariners in 2011. He is a career .242/.374/.439 hitter with 105 home runs in parts of 10 big-league seasons. Mooney also reports that Rays have released first baseman/outfielder Nick Weglarz.
Dodgers Release Lowe, Sign Venezuelan Teen
The Los Angeles Dodgers have released righty reliever Mark Lowe, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Lowe, 29, was signed to a minor-league deal early last month and got a good amount of time on the mound this spring. The right-hander gave up four earned runs and struck out six in 8⅔ innings, but apparently didn't do enough to secure a spot in the Dodgers' bullpen. The seven-year MLB vet will likely latch on with another club on a minor-league deal. Hernandez also reports that the Dodgers signed 16-year-old right-hander Jesus Canizales over the weekend.
Phillies, O's Swap Minor Leaguers
The Baltimore Orioles have traded Double-A outfielder Ronnie Welty to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Double-A right-hander Julio Rodriguez, reports Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com. Rodriguez, 22, posted a 4.34 ERA and 9.1 K/9 rate in 134 innings at Reading last year, while Welty, 25, batted .286/.303/.564 with eight home runs in 37 games at Bowie. The trade may just be another attempt by the Phillies to unload excess minor-league pitching. The club gifted a young reliever to the Angels two weeks ago.