Making Moves: Kemp & SVS return, Cruz & Guerrier exit + 3 signings, 4 releases, 1 loan, 1 trade

LuisCruzEmo

Scott Van Slyke was activated from the DL, with Luis Cruz being designated for assignment. Cruz has yet to decide whether he’ll accept the assignment to Triple-A Albuquerque.

The Dodgers on Friday activated outfielder and first baseman Scott Van Slyke from the disabled list before their game against the Phillies. To make room on the roster, infielder Luis Cruz was designated for assignment.

The Dodgers have 10 days to trade or release Cruz, who is now off the 40-man roster. Even if Cruz clears waivers, the Dodgers cannot outright him to the minor leagues without his consent as he has already been outrighted once in his career.

Van Slyke had been sidelined since June 11 with left shoulder bursitis. He was recalled on May 10 and provided the Dodgers with much needed power. Despite only being with the club for a month, Van Slyke is third on the Dodgers with six home runs, and is hitting .221/.284/.559.

In regards to Cruz, it’s long past due that he be removed from the 25-man roster. While he had earned the opportunity to be a bench piece heading into this season, handing him a starting gig was ill-advised from the outset.

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Matt Kemp was activated from the 15-day DL prior to Tuesday’s game. Elian Herrera headed to AAA in a corresponding move.

The Dodgers have already mixed in a scheduled off-day to ease Kemp back into the flow of things, and his hamstring has looked good since he’s been back, as The Bison has already stolen multiple bases and made a great running catch in his return.

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Chris Withrow was recalled from AAA, with Matt Guerrier getting DFA’d.

The Dodgers continued their weekend bullpen renovation on Sunday, as veteran right-hander Matt Guerrier was designated for assignment and Chris Withrow was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque before their finale with the Phillies.

The move is the second in two days for the Dodgers bullpen, which has found an infusion of youth. Withrow, 24, and 22-year-old Jose Dominguez, added Friday, join 25-year-old closer Kenley Jansen and 22-year-old setup man Paco Rodriguez in the bullpen.

Guerrier was 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA in 34 games this season, with 21 strikeouts and 12 walks. Guerrier is in the final season of a three-year, $12 million deal. With a $3.75 million salary this season, Guerrier has roughly $1.8 million remaining, meaning it’s highly unlikely the 34-year-old gets claimed on waivers.

Withrow adds some much-needed swing-and-miss stuff to the pen.

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Jonathan Sanchez joined the Isotopes and made his first start on June 24.

He has an opt-out clause for July 1, though it appears as though he won’t be using it.

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The Dodgers have converted yet another prospect, as Blake Smith has moved from the outfield to the mound.

The Dodgers are in a converting mode in 2013, and their latest project is Blake Smith. The 2009 second-round draft pick out of Cal was transferred from Double-A Chattanooga to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday, and the former outfielder will switch to the mound, as a right-handed pitcher.

Smith was hitting .233/.311/.375 with six home runs and 14 doubles in 75 games in his second year in Double-A.

“We knew Blake was a reliever as well coming out of college, so we talked about this possibility during spring training and that we’d give it until the All-Star break,” said Dodgers vice president, player development DeJon Watson. “At this time we feel that pitching is the best way to accelerate his path the majors.”

Smith was a two-way player coming out of Berkeley, so this was always an option. The Dodgers have been heavy converters over the last handful of years, with Kenley Jansen before and Aaron Miller/Pedro Baez this year.

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Outfield prospect Jonathan Garcia was promoted from High-A Rancho Cucamonga to AA Chattanooga.

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The Dodgers acquired minor-league catcher Damaso Espino from the Chicago White Sox, with cash considerations headed back the Chi Sox’s way.

The team also inked a couple of non-drafted free agent catchers.

Signed: C Dimitri De La Fuente (NDFA—Cal State Dominguez Hills), C David Reid-Foley (NDFA—Mercer)

With the lack of catching depth in the system, it’s not surprising that the Dodgers would want to acquire some backstop help through signings and trades.

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A couple weeks worth of minor-league transactions went down as well, with Devon Ethier being the most recognizable name.

Signed: RHP Sven Schuller
Released: RHP Kazuya Takano, 1B Tae-Hyeok Nam, OF Devon Ethier, 1B John Sgromolo
Loaned To Mexican League: RHP Juan Rodriguez (Veracruz)

Andre’s younger brother didn’t hit a lick in the minors, with a career line of .153/.254/.210/.464.

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Greg Zakwin is the founder of the site Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle. Follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke and find him contributing at Yahoo! Sports.

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