Dodgers send Puig to minors

McClatchy news servicesMarch 27, 2013 

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ prized outfield prospect Yasiel Puig won’t break camp with the parent club.

The Dodgers moved Puig to Double-A Chattanooga on Tuesday. The 22-year-old Cuban defector leads major leaguers with a .526 batting average this spring.

Puig signed a seven-year contract for $42 million on June 29. The Dodgers already have Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford in their outfield.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he told Puig that he had a great camp. Mattingly also said he has a chance to be a great player.

“When we came into camp, this guy wasn’t even on the radar,” Mattingly said. “He kind of reminds me of a Ferrari. The body is there. The motor is there. It just needs a little paint.

“It’s not like we’re sending him to Siberia. If he’s doing the same thing he was doing here, I’m assuming he won’t be there long.”

Shortstop Dee Gordon was sent to Triple-A Albuquerque. He was considered a possibility to take over while Hanley Ramirez is out for up to eight weeks with a thumb injury. But Mattingly decided to move Luis Cruz from third base to shortstop until Ramirez returns.

WELLS DEAL DONE

The trade sending outfielder Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels to the New York Yankees has been finalized.

New York dealt a pair of minor leaguers to the Angels for Wells: outfielder Exircado Cayones and left-hander Kramer Sneed. The Angels will pay about $28.5 million of the $42 million Wells is owed over the final two seasons of his contract.

The Yankees will pay most of his salary this year, a move designed to help the Angels to stay under the luxury tax threshold of $178 million. Los Angeles will pay most of his salary in 2014, when the Yankees hope to get under the threshold as it rises to $189 million.

Wells went 0-for-3 and drove in a run in the Yankees’ 4-4 tie with Houston on Tuesday.

LOWE WINS JOB

Texas manager Ron Washington said right-hander Derek Lowe has earned a job with the Rangers and will start the season in the bullpen.

The 39-year-old former Mariner will be a long reliever and spot starter.

Lowe agreed March 6 to a minor league contract and will get a one-year deal that pays him $1.25 million in the major leagues and $150,000 in the minors. He can earn $1.7 million in performance bonuses based on a point system for starts and relief appearances.

TIGERS KEEP TUIASOSOPO

Former Mariners utility player Matt Tuiasosopo will be on the Tigers’ opening-day roster. Signed to a minor league contract in November after spending 2012 at Triple-A Buffalo, the former Woodinville High standout is batting .327 with six doubles during spring training.

SHORT HOPS

The Twins reassigned World Baseball Classic star Samuel Deduno to minor league camp. The Dominican right-hander beat the U.S. and Puerto Rico in back-to-back starts to lead his team to the championship. … The Athletics put infielder Adam Rosales on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle on the left side of his ribcage. … Orioles infielder Wilson Betemit estimates he’ll be out for six to eight weeks because of a tear in his right knee sustained Monday while running the bases in a spring training game. … The Giants selected the contract of right-hander Chad Gaudin — 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA in nine spring training games — from the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. … The Pirates told left-hander Jonathan Sanchez and third baseman Brandon Inge they will make the team’s opening day roster. … Right-hander Aaron Cook has been released by the Phillies. … Outfielder Matt Diaz agreed to a minor league contract with the Marlins.

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