The Milwaukee Brewers cleared a roster spot for former Baltimore Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey yesterday when they cut catchers Tim McIntosh and Rick Wrona.
Manager Tom Trebelhorn said Dempsey, 41, who has batted .321 in spring training, could play well enough to back up starting catcher B.J. Surhoff and allow McIntosh to return to the minors to mature with more playing time.
"He's done what we thought he would do. He's done what we thought he would have the potential to do. He's come in here receiving, throwing the ball well and contact hitting," Trebelhorn said. "He's shown us he's healthy and shown us that in that role at this time he's the best alternative. We still think Tim McIntosh is a good receiver, but he needs to be catching every day."
* INDIANS: Two former Orioles -- designated hitter Ron Kittle, 33, and outfielder Stan Jefferson -- were released.
Kittle hit .244 with two home runs and six RBI this spring.
* YANKEES: New York decided to place Steve Balboni on unconditional-release waivers and pay off the remaining $1.1 million on his guaranteed contract. Balboni, 34, hit .154 with one home run and five RBI in 20 games this spring.
* BRAVES: Otis Nixon joined Atlanta in a trade with the Montreal Expos, and shortstop Andres Thomas was placed on unconditional-release waivers. Nixon, 32, stole 50 bases in 263 plate appearances last season. He batted .251 with one home run and 20 RBI in 119 games. To get Nixon and minor-league third baseman Boi Rodriguez from the Expos, the Braves gave up catcher Jimmy Kremers and a player to be named.