Odds and Ends: Hillenbrand, Tsao, Uehara

Here are some random bits and pieces to hold us over until front offices re-open…

  • Shea Hillenbrand has only received one inquiry this winter – from the Giants.  He probably won’t be earning $6MM again.  Hillenbrand posted a .599 OPS in 267 ABs for the Angels and Dodgers this year.  I thought perhaps that was one of the worst performances of the decade for guys with 250+ ABs.  However it’s only the 49th worst since 2000.  Homer Bush’s 2000 takes the cake – a .524 OPS for the Blue Jays in 297 ABs.
  • The Royals inked Chin-Hui Tsao to a minor-league deal.  Tsao was once considered the Rockies’ best prospect, but he’s been decimated by injuries.  Makes sense for the Royals to throw him a bone though.
  • Koji Uehara re-signed with the Yomiuri Giants for 400 million yen – about $3.57MM.  He’ll turn 33 in April.  A hamstring injury knocked Uehara out of the ’07 season’s first month, denying him free agency this winter.  Now he needs to be active for just eight days to be eligible after the season.  The Giants used him in relief in ’07, perhaps to spite him.  Read more about that and his repertoire in my Q&A with Mike Plugh on Uehara.   
  • John Fay runs down the Reds’ veteran free agent starter options.
  • A-Rod still won’t return Scott Boras’ calls.
  • Jason Churchill names some intriguing, possibly available young hurlers who may be on Seattle’s radar: Scott Olsen, Noah Lowry, Daniel Cabrera, Edwin Jackson, Chris Capuano, Ian Snell, and Anthony Reyes.
  • Nothing is cooking with Brandon Inge, and the Tigers won’t be bringing Sean Casey back.



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