Phillies minor leaguers sign elsewhere

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Righthander Jesus Sanchez signed a minor-league contract with Milwaukee. (AP File Photo/Eric Gay)

Wrapping up a few signings over the last week...

At the end of the winter meetings, the Phillies released two younger pitchers to clear space from their 40-man roster. At the time, Ruben Amaro Jr. said he hoped both would clear waivers and re-sign with the Phillies.

Both pitchers chose to sign elsewhere.

Yohan Flande, the 24-year-old lefthander, signed a minor-league deal with Atlanta this week -- and received an invitation to big-league camp. Righthander Jesus Sanchez, 22, signed a minor-league contract with Milwaukee.

Flande is a guy who appeared on previous prospect lists but has never had overpowering stuff. He was a fixture in double-A Reading's rotation the past two seasons, making 40 starts there. In 2010, he had a 4.38 ERA but struck out only 84 in 158 1/3 innings. His 1.91 K/BB ratio was the lowest of his career.

Sanchez was the final link left from the Bobby Abreu trade. He is a converted catcher who just turned 22 in September, so the Brewers are hoping he has yet to reach his pitching potential.

He had a 2.99 ERA for single-A Clearwater in 2010 with an 84:33 strikeout to walk ratio in 129 1/3 innings.

A few other players who spent 2010 in the Phillies' system have signed with other teams. Most notable is Cody Ransom, who signed with Arizona in late November. Ransom appeared in 22 games for the Phillies last season and hit a memorable game-tying home run against Cincinnati in July.

First baseman Andy Tracy, who had spent the previous three seasons at triple-A Lehigh Valley, is also headed to Arizona. With Matt Rizzotti and Tagg Bozied at the top of the Phillies' system at first base, there wasn't any room for the 37-year-old Tracy, a player who was well respected by many in the organization.

Most see Tracy as a future manager and that could eventually come within the Phillies' system down the line. He's also a former Expos player, and that means there will be only two left in the Phillies' clubhouse this spring: Brian Schneider and Wilson Valdez. (Can you tell Tracy and I have had many Youppi! centric discussions before?)

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