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Masa removed for Huff, Sipp sent down, Aquino brought up

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The Indians will remove Masa Kobayashi from both the 25-man roster and the 40-man roster today to make way for the purchase of David Huff's contract from Triple-A Columbus. Huff, who was not previously on the 40-man roster, will get the start this afternoon in Tampa in his major-league debut. UPDATE: (Note new link above.) The Indians also purchased righty reliever Greg Aquino's contract from Columbus, while demoting imposing lefty relief prospect Tony Sipp back to Triple-A for more fine-tuning. Sipp was mighty impressive in his first few outings in the majors, but eventually his intermittent control issues caught up with him. Aquino is a 30-year-old journeyman with no particularly impressive notches on his résumé, part of the continuing Hergification of (or simple experimentation with) the Tribe bullpen. Scott Lewis was moved to the 60-day DL to clear one more spot for Aquino on the 40-man roster. Lewis will not be eligible to return before June 10. He was reported a week ago to have had a setback in his rehab. Ordinarily, a player who is less than two years into his pro career with an MLB organization, as Masa is, has several option years remaining, but the Indians' two-year, $6 million deal with Masa prohibits his being assigned to a minor league club without his consent. It appears, however, that since the Indians would need his permission anyway, they will not ask him to accept an optional assignment, but will instead designate him for assignment off of the 40-man roster, asking Masa to accept outright assignment to Columbus. Going the "outright" route rather than the "option" route indicates that the Indians aren't concerned with losing Masa on waivers. They say they want him to stick around, and he says he might not have any better options — either way, we need a 40-man spot for Huff, and the Indians clearly feel Masa is the least valuable asset on it. With Huff and Aquino taking SLewis and Masa's spots, the Indians continue to have 21 pitchers on the 40-man roster, not including Westbrook and SLewis.

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