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Minor Signings

Teams were adding all sorts of small bits and pieces today; I thought I'd round them up in a single post.

The Nats re-signed Robert Fick, who will turn 33 in March.  Fick catches and plays first, plus maybe some outfield in a pinch.  It's been a while since he hit for any power.

The Royals added some pitching depth in Zach Day, who's 28.  He's coming back from rotator cuff surgery, and hasn't been a factor since 2004.  They also re-signed Brandon Duckworth, a 31 year-old AAAA type guy.  He had a 2.42 ERA in 74 Triple A innings this year.  Finally, KC signed reliever David Riske, who turned 30 this year.  Riske's posted some solid ERAs but it seems like a house of cards given his declining strikeout rate.  Riske would probably get the ball in the ninth if Octavio Dotel gets hurt.

I've received many emails about the Braves signing Chris Woodward.  Why, I'm not sure.  Usually I ignore signings of this stature.  30 year-old backup infielder who can't hit.  I would think Martin Prado and Willy Aybar are still the frontrunners for the second base gig in Atlanta.

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why would they sign him? Because he can play 2B, SS, 3B, and the OF to give them some flexibility off the bench. A great move, but he is not expected to be competing for starting time

It is over. The NL East teams should stop playing. Robert Fick has signed with the Nationals, beating several teams who were interested in the MVP candidate. Might as well stock up for 2008 NL East. Although just because the Nats want to go young, a trade of Fick for Michael Pelfrey, Chuck James, Cole Hamels, or Anibal Sanchez could be worked out.

just because it isnt a major signing doesnt mean he is worthless for a team. The guy is an all star, I mean really

Bye Woody, hardly knew ya.

As a Tribe fan I have to ask... What the heck is KC doing? Day is a good signing as its a low risk move I imagine, but Riske?

They did this last year too; wasting good money on bad players while clogging up the majors and roadblocking kids. I can't imagine they will be in need of a high profile closer (which Dotel might become again but Riske just isn't - he's only expensive), why not give kids a chance to get their feet wet for the future?

They now have spent how much on the back end off a bullpen for what? Winning five extra games this year isn't worth it if it costs playing time for a youngster and hinders his development. All of a sudden it could be +5 wins in 2007 and -5 wins in 2008 when they could have a better chance.

Why not take the money spent on fillers the last two years and sign an impact player longterm? - or here's an idea, use it to keep them when you bring them up yourself! Damon or Beltran could be there if they didn't waste money...

"They did this last year too; wasting good money on bad players while clogging up the majors and roadblocking kids. I can't imagine they will be in need of a high profile closer (which Dotel might become again but Riske just isn't - he's only expensive), why not give kids a chance to get their feet wet for the future?"

Did they not try that last year with Burgos? He was damaged to the point that the team traded him for Brian Bannister. I mean come on. You needot start the kids off at 6th and 7th inning roles and have set up men and closers like Riske and Dotel and then bring the kids along slowly. In a year or two when Dotel and Riske are gone they will have the kids ready to take over and the kidswil have gotten low pressure experince already. They have tried throwing kids into the fire and it ended up ruining guys like Gobble, Affedt, Burgos and Sisco.

"Why not take the money spent on fillers the last two years and sign an impact player longterm?"

Tell me when one player is goign to help the Royals? None, better to get some guys with experience to teach the young guys. Reggie Sanders contract is up next season which will allow Gordon to be moved up. Better to get low cost guys for a year or two to hold over the young guys. No big name guy they get is going to helpl them win. Might as well get vets to fill in and each the young guys because ultimately the young guys are what will turn around this team.

Big signings doesnt win games. Good farm systems, player developement and the right mix of affordable vets will.

The bigger issue with the Royals is that they don't really have any guys worth a feet-wetting. The organization is full of garbage pitching. The GM had to clean house and rebuild.

As for Woodward being able to play every position (except C, P, dishwasher), I still beg the same question---why? I accept the stupid $80 Mil cap; I accept taking risks like Tanyonder Studebaker; I got over trading away Jason Schmidt for Denny Crane Neagle; I have accepted knowing that Andruw Jones is playing his last year in a Braves uniform; but why in the name of Pat Rocket did we sign Christopher G. Woodward??????? ('G' for 'Glove'?) And if Woodward sucks in Spring Training, the Braves eat his salary (like ATL has $$$ to burn????). Dammit, John Shurlock, LET THE PRODUCE ON THE DARN FARM A CHANCE IN THE SALAD BOWL OF SPRING TRAINING! THANK THE BASEBALL GODS THAT ROBERT FICK HAS BEEN SIGNED BEFORE SHURLOCK LUNGES AFTER HIM FOR THE 5TH STRING CATCHING POSITION!!!!!!!!!!!!!

calm down blake. Woodward is by no means an every day starter but he does give the braves exactly what they need, someone who has proven he can fill a hole should the need arise. 2b is almost certainly going to Aybar but should CJ get hurt and miss time Aybar goes to 3b and 2b needs to be filled. Woodward is that filler no doubt about it. Plus he signed for quite a small contract for a 7 year vet (less than $1m). Before you jump all over me for ignoring Martin Prado @ second let me just point out that both Woodward and Prado have similar batting stats but Woodward has put up those numbers for years while Prado has only a 42 at bat sample. In this case I agree with JS that some consistency is necessary in the utility role.

Although I do understand the need to sign vets to go with the kids and to keep from giving them pressure to the point that they burn out, I still see their efforts as overkill. KC has now added Riske, Dotel, Dickworth and John Bale to their pen and it just reminds me of what they did last year. Add Gload in a bad and I am even more confused, they seem to have no direction and instead just want to get a bunch of different names on the roster.

"David had been one of the most consistant...", "his experence and success will give us an oop. to match up better in the last three innings" ... Doesn't sound like he's there as a teacher but rather their savior.

Like I said, last year it was mientkiewicz, grudz, Sanders, stairs, graffanio, guiel, duckworth, elarton, redman, bako, o. Perez... Way too many spots taken up on a roster if your team isn't going anywhere anyway inho. They have to have someone in the minors worth giving a shot!

Darkstar, every person in the minors played for KC last year. The minor league system is full of young guys who know how to lose for AAA Omaha, so they're certainly qualified to lose in Kansas City.

Imagine a team with only 3 or 4 legitimate players in their minor leagues-- that's the Royals. Trust me: Riske, Dotel, Oldalis, Grudz, Day, Ray, Meche-- they're not taking jobs that some young AAA Royal is capable of playing one day.

Years of unbelieveably incompetent scouting, incompetent drafting, incompetent coaching has come home to roost in this organization. That's why the Royals have been on a spending spree-- they've had to buy every player on the team because they're not growing any in the system.

Martin Prado is not an everyday player. The Braves gave him many opportunities to prove he was and he didn't hit much. I see Willy Aybar opening the 2007 season as Atlanta's opening day 2B. Signing Woodward was a smart move. Chipper Jones hasn't played a full season in 3 years and who knows how many games he will play in 2007. Atlanta needed someone just in case Chipper gets hurt. Let's not rule out Kelly Johnson. He will get a look at in spring training and I think if he has a decent spring, he could wind up as a utility fielder for Atlanta or even get some starts at 2B if Aybar can't hit a vollyball in the spring, or early in the season. Kelly Johnson is learning 2B, SS, and 3B as we speak with Braves 1st base coach Glenn Hubbard. Let's remember, he was drafted by the Braves as a SS, I believe. Can anyone confirm this? For the Atlanta fans, you guys still need a LF, really bad.

ya he was drafted as a shortstop, but Furcal was blocking his way so they moved him to left field. though Chipper hasnt had a healthy season in a while look at what he did last year in 110 games:

.324, 24 HR, 86 RBI, .409 OBP, .596 SLG, plus the 14 game Xtra base hit streak.

A healthy Chipper is exactly wat the 2007 Braves need

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