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Tallarini’s Takes – MLB Transactions, May 17

 Matt Tallarini  |    May 18th, 2024 11:30am EDT

Amir Garrett #22 of the Kansas City Royals. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

This biweekly column is your passport to the world of baseball. It includes everything you NEED to know, from the latest news and stats in international leagues to your favorite Major League Baseball team.

MLB Transactions 

 

The San Diego Padres released right-handed pitcher Matt Festa on May 17, according to his MLB profile.

  • Festa, 31, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and has played four seasons in the MLB with the Seattle Mariners from 2018-19 and 2022-23.

 

  • Festa went 0-1 in Triple-A El Paso with the Padres organization to start the 2024 season and posted a 4.50 ERA in 16 appearances out of the bullpen recording one save throwing 16 innings, allowing 18 hits, eight earned runs, seven walks, 16 strikeouts, and a 1.563 WHIP.

 

  • Festa signed a minor league contract with San Diego on January 26 and was invited to spring training.

 

  • Last season, Festa split his time between Seattle and Triple-A Tacoma. With the Mariners he appeared in eight games out of the bullpen with a 4.00 ERA throwing nine innings, allowing four hits, four earned runs, one home run, 12 walks, 13 strikeouts, and a 1.778 WHIP before he was released on August 8, 2023.

 

  • In Triple-A Tacoma, Festa went 1-0 with a 0.53 ERA in 28 appearances out of the bullpen recording 15 saves, throwing 34 innings, allowing 11 hits, two earned runs, two home runs, 16 walks, 28 strikeouts, and a 0.794 WHIP.

 

  • Festa played for the Italian national team during the 2023 World Baseball Classic and appeared in three games out of the bullpen, posting a 1-0 record and a 2.25 ERA, throwing four innings, allowing four hits, one earned run, and five strikeouts.

 

  • Italy went 2-2 in Pool A at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan against Cuba, Panama, host nation Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands at the 2023 WBC. Italy ended up with the same record as all the four other nations. It advanced to the 2023 WBC quarterfinals due to the Total Quality Balance run differential rule from the World Baseball Softball Confederation. Italy lost to Japan 9-3 at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, in the 2023 WBC quarterfinals.

 

  • In Festa’s four seasons in the MLB, he has a lifetime record of 2-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 89 appearances and one start, recording two saves, throwing 93.2 innings, allowing 80 hits, 45 earned runs, 16 home runs, 44 walks, 102 strikeouts, and a 1.324 WHIP.

 

The Cleveland Guardians announced on their transaction page on May 17 that they traded left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations.

  • The Dodgers assigned Banda to Triple-A Oklahoma City on May 17.

 

  • Banda, 30, was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and has played seven seasons in the MLB: with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017, the Tampa Bay Rays from 2018-20, the New York Mets in 2021, the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2021-22, the Toronto Blue Jays in 2022, the New York Yankees in 2022, and the Washington Nationals in 2023.

 

  • Banda played in Triple-A Columbus with the Guardians organization to start 2024 and posted a 2.12 ERA in 12 appearances out of the bullpen, recording one save, throwing 17 innings, allowing 10 hits, four earned runs, one home run, six walks, 25 strikeouts, and a 0.941 WHIP.

 

  • He signed a minor league contract with Cleveland on January 30 and was invited to big league camp. Banda elected free agency from the Nationals on October 13, 2023, before his signing with the Guardians.

 

  • Last season, Banda played between Triple-A Rochester and Washington. With Triple-A Rochester, he posted a 2-5 record with a 7.58 ERA in 33 appearances and 10 starts, throwing 65.1 innings, allowing 84 hits, 55 earned runs, nine home runs, 32 walks, 62 strikeouts, and a 1.776 WHIP.

 

  • In Washington, Banda appeared in 10 games out of the bullpen and posted a 6.43 ERA throwing seven innings, allowing nine hits, five earned runs, one home run, five walks, and six strikeouts.

 

  • During Banda’s seven seasons in the MLB, he has a lifetime 5.69 ERA with a 7-6 record. He appeared in 90 games and started in six, recorded one save, and threw 118.2 innings. He allowed 145 hits, 75 earned runs, 14 home runs, 49 walks, 109 strikeouts, and a 1.635 WHIP.

 

The Pittsburgh Pirates traded right-handed pitcher Roansy Contreras to the Los Angeles Angels on May 16 for cash considerations.

  • Contreras was designated for assignment by the Pirates on May 11 before being traded to the Angels.

 

  • Contreras, 24, was born in Peralvillo, Dominican Republic, and has played with Pittsburgh since his MLB debut on September 29, 2021.

 

  • Contreras appeared in 12 games out of the bullpen for Pittsburgh to start 2024 and went 1-0 with a 4.41 ERA throwing 16.1 innings, allowing 19 hits, eight earned runs, three home runs, eight walks, 16 strikeouts, and a 1.653 WHIP before he was traded to Southern California.

 

  • Last season, Contreras started the year in Pittsburgh and went 3-7 with a 6.59 ERA in 19 appearances and 11 starts recording one save, throwing 68.1 innings, allowing 75 hits, 50 earned runs, 11 home runs, 32 walks, 55 strikeouts, and a 1.566 WHIP before he was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on July 6, 2023.

 

  • Contreras was also assigned to the Florida Complex Level league from Triple-A Indianapolis on July 14, 2023, and to Low-A Bradenton on August 4, 2023, from the FCL.

 

  • With Low-A Bradenton, Contreras made one start without allowing an earned run and threw two innings while striking out two batters. In Triple-A Indianapolis, he posted a 4.96 ERA in eight appearances and six starts, pitching 32.2 innings, allowing 28 hits, 18 earned runs, eight home runs, 11 walks, 30 strikeouts, and a 1.194 WHIP.

 

  • Contreras played for the Dominican Republic national team at the 2023 World Baseball Classic in Pool D at loanDepot Park in Miami and started in one game posting a 1-0 record, not allowing an earned run, throwing 2.2 innings, and allowing one hit while striking out four. The Dominican Republic lost on the final day of the 2023 WBC in Pool D to Puerto Rico 5-2 at loanDepot Park and did not advance to the quarterfinals.

 

  • During Contreras four seasons in the MLB, he has a lifetime record of 9-12 with a 4.83 ERA throwing 182.2 innings recording one save in 53 appearances and 30 starts allowing 179 hits, 98 earned runs, 27 home runs, 80 walks, 161 strikeouts, and a 1.418 WHIP.

 

According to his MLB profile, left-handed pitcher Eric Lauer was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 16.

  • Lauer, 28, was born in Elyria, Ohio, and played six seasons in the MLB, with the San Diego Padres from 2018-19 and the Milwaukee Brewers from 2020-23.

 

  • This season, Lauer started 2024 with Triple-A Indianapolis for the Pirates organization and went 2-2, posting a 5.52 ERA in eight appearances and six starts throwing 29.1 innings, allowing 31 hits, 18 earned runs, six home runs, 11 walks, 37 strikeouts, and a 1.432 WHIP.

 

  • Lauer signed a minor league contract with Pittsburgh on March 22 and was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis on the same day. Last season, Lauer split his time between Triple-A Nashville and the Brewers.

 

  • With the Brewers, Lauer went 4-6 with a 6.56 ERA in 10 appearances and nine starts, throwing 46.2 innings, allowing 54 hits, 34 earned runs, 16 home runs, 24 walks, 43 strikeouts, and a 1.671 WHIP.

 

  • Lauer landed on the 15-day injured list on May 22, 2023, with a right shoulder impingement.

 

  • He was activated from the 15-day injured list on June 14, 2023, and was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on the same day.

 

  • In Triple-A Nashville, Lauer posted a 5.15 ERA with a 3-4 record, throwing 43.2 innings in 12 appearances and nine starts, allowing 54 hits, 25 earned runs, six home runs, 23 walks, 64 strikeouts, and a 1.763 WHIP before electing free agency on October 23, 2023.

 

  • During Lauer’s six seasons in the MLB, he has posted a lifetime 4.30 ERA with a 36-37 record in 120 appearances and 112 starts throwing 596.2 innings, allowing 585 hits, 285 earned runs, 96 home runs, 230 walks, 567 strikeouts, and a 1.366 WHIP.

 

The Baltimore Orioles released left-handed pitcher Andrew Suarez on May 15, according to his MLB profile.

 

  • Suarez, 31, was born in Miami, Fla., and has played four seasons in the MLB with San Francisco Giants from 2018-20 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 2023. Suarez played in the Korean Baseball Organization with the LG Twins in 2021 and Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in 2022.

 

  • Suarez played in Triple-A Norfolk with the Orioles organization to start 2024 and appeared in 10 games out of the bullpen posting a 2-1 record with a 5.93 ERA throwing 13.2 innings, allowing 19 hits, nine earned runs, two home runs, five walks, and 12 strikeouts before he was released.

 

  • Suarez signed a minor league contract with Baltimore on January 30. Last season, Suarez split time between St. Louis and Triple-A Memphis.

 

  • With St. Louis, Suarez posted a 7.16 ERA in 13 appearances out of the bullpen, throwing 27.2 innings, allowing 33 hits, 22 earned runs, seven home runs, 15 walks, and 17 strikeouts.

 

  • In Triple-A Memphis, Suarez went 4-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 28 appearances and three starts throwing 64 innings, allowing 70 hits, 29 earned runs, six home runs, 25 walks, 69 strikeouts, and a 1.484 WHIP before he elected free agency on October 27, 2023.

 

  • Suarez has a lifetime record of 7-15 in his four seasons in the MLB with a 4.96 ERA in 69 appearances and 31 starts throwing 230.1 innings, allowing 244 hits, 127 earned runs, 38 home runs, 80 walks, 177 strikeouts, and a 1.407 WHIP.

 

According to their transaction page, the Los Angeles Angels designated left-handed pitcher Amir Garrett for assignment on May 15 and recalled right-handed pitcher Davis Daniel from Triple-A Salt Lake City as part of this correspondence.

  • Garrett, 32, was born in Victorville, Calif., and has played eight seasons in the MLB with the Cincinnati Reds from 2017-21 and the Kansas City Royals from 2022-23.

 

  • Garrett split his time between Triple-A Salt Lake City and the Angels to start the 2024 regular season.

 

  • With the Angels, Garrett appeared in six games out of the bullpen and posted a 5.06 ERA, throwing 5.1 innings, allowing four hits, three earned runs, one home run, five walks, and 11 strikeouts.

 

  • In Triple-A Salt Lake City, Garrett posted a 1-0 record with a 2.45 ERA in eight games out of the bullpen, throwing 7.1 innings, allowing three hits, two earned runs, four walks, 10 strikeouts, and a 0.955 WHIP.

 

  • Garrett signed a minor league contract with the Angels on March 27 and was assigned to Triple-A Salt Lake City on March 28 after the San Francisco Giants released him on March 21.

 

  • Garrett also signed a minor league contract with San Francisco on February 12 before his release.
  • Last season, Garrett started in Kansas City and also played with Triple-A Omaha.

 

  • With the Royals, Garrett went 0-1 and posted a 3.33 ERA, throwing 24.1 innings in 27 appearances out of the bullpen, allowing 22 hits, nine earned runs, four home runs, 20 walks, 28 strikeouts, and a 1.726 WHIP prior to his release on July 15, 2023.

 

  • In Triple-A Omaha, he appeared in three games out of the bullpen and had a 10.13 ERA throwing 2.2 innings, allowing three hits, one home run, five walks, and two strikeouts.

 

  • Garrett signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Guardians on July 25, 2023, and was assigned to Triple-A Columbus on the same day.

 

  • Garrett went 1-1 with Triple-A Columbus and posted a 5.79 ERA in five appearances out of the bullpen, throwing 4.2 innings, allowing three hits, three earned runs, two home runs, four walks, and four strikeouts before he was released on August 24, 2023.

 

  • During Garrett’s eight seasons in the MLB, he has a lifetime 4.95 ERA with a 13-19 record in 328 appearances and 14 starts. He recorded eight saves, threw 330.2 innings, allowed 284 hits, 182 earned runs, 56 home runs, 193 walks, 387 strikeouts, and a 1.443 WHIP.

 

The organization reported that San Francisco Giants signed catcher Curt Casali on May 15 to a one-year MLB contract.

 

  • As part of this correspondence, the Giants optioned catcher Jakson Reetz to Triple-A Sacramento, and catcher Tom Murphy was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

 

  • On May 15, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that Casali’s one-year big league contract is worth $1 million.

 

  • Casali, 35, was born in Walnut Creek, Calif., and played 11 seasons in the MLB, with the Tampa Bay Rays from 2014-17, the Cincinnati Reds from 2018-20, the San Francisco Giants from 2021-22, the Seattle Mariners in 2022, and the Cincinnati Reds in 2023.

 

  • Casali made his 2024 debut on May 15 at home against the Dodgers and recorded one hit in three plate appearances and walked once.

 

  • He played with Triple-A Iowa in the Chicago Cubs organization to start the 2024 regular season before signing with the Giants.

 

  • With Triple-A Iowa, Casali played in 23 games and batted .362 in 88 plate appearances, smacking 25 hits, seven doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, 15 walks, and 16 strikeouts.

 

  • Casali made 15 starts behind the dish and appeared in 16 games through 135.1 innings, with 181 chances, 172 putouts, six assists, three errors, turned one double play, and had a .983 fielding percentage. He threw out one runner and had 29 stolen bases against him.

 

  • Casali signed a minor league contract with the Cubs on March 29 after the Miami Marlins released him on March 23.

 

  • He signed a minor league contract with Miami on February 26 with an invite to spring training and was assigned to Triple-A Jacksonville on February 28.

 

  • Last season, Casali split time between the Reds and Triple-A Louisville.

 

  • Casali was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left foot contusion on July 24, 2023.

 

  • With Cincinnati, Casali played in 40 games, batting .175 with 96 plate appearances recording 14 hits, two doubles, six RBI, 11 walks, and 10 strikeouts.

 

  • In Triple-A Louisville, Casali played in six games, hitting .261 with 24 plate appearances, roping six hits, one double, and struck out seven times before he elected free agency on November 4, 2023.

 

  • During Casali’s 11 seasons in the MLB, he has a lifetime average of .221 playing in 503 games with 1,457 plate appearances dialing 278 hits, 58 doubles, one triple, 47 home runs, 154 RBI, two stolen bases, 157 walks, 401 strikeouts, and a .695 OPS.

 

author avatar
Matt Tallarini
Matthew (Matt) Tallarini is the Founder and Chief Correspondent for the World Baseball Network. Matt played semi-professional baseball with the Pelham Mets in Pelham, New York for four years, including the 2018 Semi Pro World Series. During the pandemic, Matt began engaging with international baseball, as a way to keep connected to the sport. Matt created the World Baseball Network and its signature website, WorldBaseball.com as a way to promote and inform similar likeminded fans about the players, teams and leagues innovating the sport of baseball and feeding into Major League Baseball (MLB). As a result of Matt’s efforts, World Baseball Network is now the benchmark standard for international baseball coverage, including MLB, MiLB, NCAA, Korea, Japan, Caribbean, Baseball United, WBC, WBSC and more. In a short time, Matt has interviewed a who’s who of global baseball legends and coaches. These include: Former Yankee closer Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera; Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman; former Yankee Luis Sojo veteran of four Yankee World series teams; Mickey Callaway former MLB manager; Paul Mainieri LSU National Championship coach; Eric Holtz manager Team Israel of the 2020 Olympics; Ian Kinsler former MLB player and now Israel national team player; Harold Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays formerly with the Indians and Cubs; Joey Meneses of the Washington Nationals; and Mike Cameron current USA Baseball advisor former-MLB outfielder. Matt Tallarini is 2015 graduate of Mitchell College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a 2022 graduate of Iona University with a Masters in Finance. Since its inception, Matt has been the Chief Correspondent for World Baseball Network. Matt has interviewed and interacted with many international players and coaches including former Yankee closer Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, former Yankee Luis Sojo veteran of four Yankee World series teams, Mickey Callaway former MLB manager, Paul Mainieri LSU National Championship coach, Eric Holtz manager Team Israel of the 2020 Olympics, Ian Kinsler former MLB player and now Israel national team player, Harold Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays formerly with the Indians and Cubs, Joey Meneses of the Washington Nationals, Mike Cameron current USA Baseball advisor former-MLB outfielder. Matthew is 2015 graduate of Mitchell College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a 2022 graduate of Iona University with a Masters in Finance.