Plenty of links for today.
- Indians top prospect Adam Miller is pretty much done for the season.
- '09 free agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera and manager Ozzie Guillen are not getting along.
- Peter Bendix explains the savings the Reds get by waiting to promote Jay Bruce.
- Morgan Ensberg is a DFA candidate, while LaTroy Hawkins may be getting there.
- Bret Boone's comeback attempt has ended.
- Jeff Weaver (6.69 ERA in Triple A) can ask for his release if not called up by June 15th.
- Hank Blalock may not be in the Rangers' long-term plans.
- The Indians designated Jorge Julio for assignment.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick examines the status of nine free agents: Sammy Sosa, Kenny Lofton, Reggie Sanders, Jeff Cirillo, Royce Clayton, Steve Finley, Freddy Garcia, David Wells, and Damian Miller.
- Lofton is likely to find a job; he's healthy and played reasonably well last year. The Cubs still might be a fit.
- Seems that Garcia probably won't reach a big league mound until September; auditioning for teams may take place in July.
- Miller received calls from the Yankees and Padres, but he's still taking a Brewers or nothing stance.
All kinds of good draft info surfacing today. Let's take a look.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo projects the top 30 picks. College closer Andrew Cashner moves up the rankings to the Rangers at #11, among other changes. Mayo has even heard a rumor that the Marlins could consider Cashner at #6 instead of Kyle Skipworth. Back on May 16th, Baseball America chose the Tigers for Cashner at #21.
- Mayo sees the Rangers at #11 and the Yankees at #28 as possibilities for Boras advisee Gerrit Cole. MiLB.com has compared Cole to Kyle Farnsworth. Baseball America suggested Cole could slip to the Cubs at #19 or the D'Backs at #26.
- Back to the Rangers...beat writer Evan Grant sees them springing for Eric Hosmer or Shooter Hunt.
- Jim Callis notes that raw first-round bats (Aaron Hicks for example) often do not pan out.
- Will the Mets stick to slot this year?
Hot stove guru Ken Rosenthal has a new column up.
- Rosenthal tosses around some fun ideas in case the Indians want to trade C.C. Sabathia for another free-agent-to-be. Presumably they'd target a slugger in return.
- Rosenthal applauds the Pirates' decision not to sell low on Jason Bay this winter. Signed cheaply through '09, Bay may have more trade value than Adam Dunn (in my opinion).
- Randy Wolf is expected to be "among the most available Padres." The 31 year-old southpaw sports an 8.2 K/9. A strong, healthy June would give Wolf's trade value a boost.
ESPN's Enrique Rojas, quoting the Dominican paper Hoy, writes that Sammy Sosa intends to retire after playing in the next World Baseball Classic (to be held in March '09).
Sosa's quotes are confusing:
"There's something that I wish to state very clearly: I'm not looking for a job. In fact, I have told my agent that he should stop offering my services to MLB teams. I'm not retired. I remain highly focused and not begging for a contract."
I think Sosa's point is that he is still willing to play for an MLB team, but only if they come to him.
Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press doesn't exactly say that the Twins are willing to trade Livan Hernandez. Here's what he wrote:
It's too early, with the Twins still in contention. But starter Livan Hernandez's trade value probably won't be higher than it is now, and it will be interesting to see whether the right-hander, 33, is dealt for some power by the All-Star Game in July.
Hernandez has interesting numbers. He has the second-lowest strikeout rate in baseball, coupled with the fifth-worst hit rate. To counter that, Hernandez has the 10th-best walk rate. Walter's suggestion that Hernandez is at peak value seems accurate.
Could Hernandez bring back a decent power bat? Buster Olney names the Braves and Astros as two teams that might be looking for a pitcher like Livan. The Twins are only two games out, however.
Gammons' trade possibilities: Paul Byrd, Jeremy Sowers, Derek Lowe, Rich Harden, Odalis Perez, Brett Tomko, Jarrod Washburn, Zach Duke, Vicente Padilla, and Kevin Millwood. Byrd, Lowe, Perez, and Tomko will be free agents after the season. Sowers and Duke are the kids. Harden is the oft-injured ace. Washburn, Padilla, and Millwood bring burdensome contracts.
Gammons also five "unlikely, but not impossible" scenarios. He suggests A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, Joe Blanton, Greg Maddux, and Ben Sheets could be moved under the right circumstances.
Broussard, 31, was acquired along with his $3.85MM salary by the Rangers in December. 89 plate appearances convinced the Rangers to pay Broussard to go away. Broussard, when he's going good, can be decent against right-handed pitching.
The Padres and Mariners worked out a minor trade, as they have many times in the past. The Padres acquired Cha Seung Baek for Jared Wells. Baek was in the 10-day limbo period after being designated for assignment. Paul DePodesta explains that the Padres have been eyeing Baek for some time.
Baek, 28, has a 4.96 ERA in 168.2 career innings for the Mariners. His best asset has been respectable control. The Ms signed Baek out of Korea for $1.3MM in '98. Baseball America said back in '05 that Baek succeeds by locating a full five-pitch repertoire. He had Tommy John surgery back in '01.
Wells, 26, was shifted to relief at Triple A last year and picked up nine saves. His numbers have been ugly - tons of hits, poor control, mediocre strikeout rate. Baseball America notes his average slider and decent two-seam fastball.
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