Minor matters: Dodgers designate Alex Castellanos for assignment, claim ex-Mets OF Mike Baxter.

The Dodgers claimed former New York Mets outfielder Mike Baxter Thursday and designated Alex Castellanos to clear room on the 40-man roster.

Baxter, 28, played 194 major-league games, all with the Mets, over parts of the last four seasons. He’s got a career .229/.335/.348 slash line in the majors. A left-handed batter and right-handed thrower, Baxter played 59 games at Triple-A last season, batting .289/.380/.519.

Baxter is perhaps most famous in New York for making a sliding catch to preserve Johan Santana‘s no-hitter last June.

Castellanos wasn’t included on the Dodgers’ playoff roster and wasn’t traveling with the team. Originally acquired from St. Louis in the Rafael Furcal trade, Castellanos batted .257/.347/.468 at Triple-A Albuquerque this year. He saw action in 24 games with the Dodgers the last two years, hitting two home runs and batting .171/.186/.390 overall.

Dodgers inviting 17 NRIs to spring training.

Here is the updated list of non-roster invitees to spring training, which is up to 17 as of now:

RHP Juan Abreu
LHP Kelvin De La Cruz
RHP Greg Infante
RHP Peter Moylan
RHP Matt Palmer

C Eliezer Alfonzo
C Wilkin Castillo
C Ramon Castro
C Jesus Flores

INF Alfredo Amezaga
INF Brian Barden
INF Nick Evans
INF Omar Luna
INF Ozzie Martinez
INF Dallas McPherson

OF Tony Gwynn Jr.
OF Jerome (Jeremy) Moore

Dodgers minor-leaguer Austin Gallagher released, suspended.

Not long after being released by the organization, former Dodgers third-round draft pick Austin Gallagher was suspended 50 games Friday for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.Austin Gallagher

Gallagher, 24, tested positive for Methylhexaneamine, a substance used as an ingredient in nasal decongestants and banned by MLB and the World Anti-Doping Agency as a stimulant. His suspension will be effective immediately upon his signing with another organization.

In 2012, his fourth season in the High-A California League, Gallagher batted .283 with 15 home runs and 74 RBIs for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Gallagher was chosen in the third round of a 2007 Dodgers draft class that included first-rounder Chris Withrow, 22nd-rounder Matt Wallach and 27th-rounder Rob Rasmussen (out of high school).

After breaking into the Cal League at age 19, Gallagher showed he could hit for average (.290 over four seasons) but not power (.447 SLG%) in a league known for its hitter-friendly fences. He hasn’t reached the Double-A level in six professional seasons.

Gallagher was released prior to being suspended, and his release was unrelated to the positive test.