With J.C. Boscan, Wilkin Castillo and Wil Nieves all free agents, the Atlanta Braves signed Jose Yepez to give Gwinnett a veteran catching option for 2012.
Yepez, 30, spent the past four seasons in the Seattle organization, reaching Class AAA for the first time in 2011. He hit .307 with three homers and 26 RBIs in 48 games for Tacoma in the Pacific Coast League.
The native of Venezuela signed with Toronto in 1997, but was released by the Blue Jays before the 2005 season. He spent three years playing in independent leagues before getting a chance with the Mariners organization in 2008.
Yepez is a .261 career hitter. His highest average was .322 in 34 games for Class AA West Tenn in 2010.
Castillo played in 80 games for Gwinnett last season, seeing infield duty as well as behind the plate, and Boscan caught 61 games. Castillo batted .262 and Boscan hit .181 before going 3-for-9 in four games with Atlanta. Nieves got into 21 games with the G-Braves and hit .282.
Sammons re-signs with Marlins
Parkview graduate Clint Sammons re-signed with the Marlins as a free agent after playing in just nine games with Class AAA New Orleans during an injury-interrupted 2011 season.
The former All-SEC catcher for Georgia spent seven seasons in the Atlanta organization, his last two with Gwinnett. Splitting time between the majors and minors, he hit .214 with the G-Braves in 2009 and .162 in 2010.
Sammons played parts of three seasons with Atlanta. His career major league batting average is .176 in 31 games, but the 28-year-old is considered a top defensive catcher.
Hoover, Chapman on Atlanta roster
G-Braves right-handed relief pitchers J.J. Hoover and Jaye Chapman were promoted to the Atlanta's 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Mississippi left-handed pitcher Luis Avilan was also added.
Hoover, 24, was converted from a starter to a reliever last season in Class AA and flourished in the new role. He was 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 12 games for Gwinnett, striking out 31 in 18 innings.
Chapman, 24, spent most of last season with the G-Braves after opening the season in Mississippi. He was 2-3 with a 2.98 ERA in 43 games, recording two saves and striking out 61 in 54 innings.
Ramirez, Fiorentino find teams
Former G-Braves outfielders Wilkin Ramirez and Jeff Fiorentino landed free agent contracts with Minnesota and Oakland, respectively.
Ramirez batted .267 with 11 homers, 36 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 81 games for the G-Braves last season and got into 20 games with Atlanta, hitting .231 in 26 at-bats.
Fiorentino played in 80 games for Gwinnett in 2011. He batted .260 with five homers and 20 RBIs.
Matt Young is the other Gwinnett outfielder from last season who has gone elsewhere as a free agent. He was signed earlier by Detroit.