Braves send Jairo Asencio to Indians for cash
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians have acquired reliever Jairo Asencio from the Atlanta Braves for cash.
Asencio was on the Braves' restricted list all of 2010 after it was discovered he had come to the U.S. as Luis Valdez and claimed to be three years younger. The Indians are already dealing with a similar case as the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona was actually Roberto Hernandez and three years older.
Hernandez remains in the Dominican Republic attempting to obtain a work visa. General manager Chris Antonetti said he had no update on Hernandez.
"It remains out of our hands," he said.
Antonetti said Asencio had met all immigration requirements and the Indians did not forsee any problems with the pitcher, who turns 28 in May.
Asencio is a candidate for one of the two final spots in Cleveland's bullpen. He is out of minor league options.
"He's a guy that our scouts have liked for a quite a while," Antonetti said. "We'll factor in his track record."
The right-hander, who had 26 saves last season at Triple-A Gwinnett, won the Caribbean Series MVP this winter. He appeared in nine games over three seasons for Atlanta.
Non-roster invitees Jeremy Accardo, Chris Ray, Chris Seddon, Robinson Tejeda and Dan Wheeler along with Frank Herrmann and Nick Hagadone are still trying to land a bullpen job. Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff and Kevin Slowey are battling for the fifth rotation spot and there is a chance one could be used in a long relief role.
Antonetti said Hagadone, a lefty acquired from Boston as part of a blockbuster trade for Victor Martinez in 2009, has probably looked the best of the group.
"Nick has had a good camp," Antonetti said. "Of the relievers, he probably is one of the guys who has pitched the best. The key with him is commanding the strike zone."
Hagadone has a 2.00 ERA in nine innings over eight outings, walking one.
Henricus (Rick) van den Hurk was designated for assignment to clear roster room. The right-hander, claimed on waivers from Toronto on March 21, will stay in Cleveland's camp to see if he gets traded, claimed or clears waivers.