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The question is, are there different rules for catch and transfer between infield and outfield?

It doesn't seem so.

The same thing happened in the Tigers game against the Orioles last week:
http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2014/04/04/replay-upholds-questi...

The shortstop caught a grounder, stepped on second, and then dropped the ball (taking at least 2-3 steps after first catching it) while transferring to his throwing hand. The runner was called safe, though he was clearly out.

Tigers challenged the call, but it was upheld. At least they're being consistent, but this is a rule I'd like to see changed.
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