The 2017-2018 MLB Offseason has been very slow thus far.  Aside from starting pitcher Doug Fister signing with the Texas Rangers, there has been little to no movement in terms of bigger-name players.  In the last 24 hours, there are a few minor league transactions to note.

First, pitchers Mark Appel and Alberto Tirado have both cleared waivers and have been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.   The Phillies designated both players for assignment as they set their 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 draft.  The deadline to have a 40-man roster set for the Rule 5 draft was Friday.  This means the Phillies will hold on to both players.

Appel spent much of 2017 injured with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, and was inconsistent along the way.  The Phillies used Appel as a reliever at the very end of the season and into the playoffs.  It is unclear if the Phillies may try to use Appel as a reliever to see if they can find value that way.  Since being drafted number one overall by the Houston Astros in 2013, Appel has not been able to get his career off of the ground, to the point that no major league teams were willing to give him a spot on their 40-man roster when he was available for the taking.

The Phillies acquired Tirado in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays along with pitcher Jimmy Cordero in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere.  Tirado has a high-90s fastball that can hit the 100 mile-per-hour mark.  Tirado has yet to find his control on the mound, so the Phillies will hope that he does so in the minor leagues.

Pitcher Pat Venditte, acquired by the Phillies in an early-season trade with the Seattle Mariners, has left the Phillies organization as a free agent.  Venditte signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, reports Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.    Pitching from both the left side and the right side, Venditte went 9-5 with a 3.36 earned run average in 52 games for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.