March 2009

Tigers Acquire Josh Anderson

According to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Tigers acquired outfielder Josh Anderson from the Braves for minor league pitcher Rudy Darrow.

Darrow, 24, is a former college wrestler who is listed at 5'10", 180 lbs.  The Tommy John survivor uses a sidearm delivery to touch 94, and Baseball America suggests he could pitch in the Majors this year.  As such, it seems odd that the Tigers would trade him.

The speedy Anderson was unable to win the Braves' center field job, which presumably goes to Jordan Schafer now.

Rangers Release Jimmy Gobble

According to's T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers released lefty reliever Jimmy Gobble today.  They'll go with C.J. Wilson and Eddie Guardado as southpaws in the pen.  The Rangers had signed Gobble on March 21st after the Royals let him go. Gobble can still get lefties out, and can be retained by his new team for 2010 as an arbitration-eligible player.

Heyman On Strasburg, Lackey, Pedro's Jon Heyman has a new column up.

  • In talking to club execs who have spoken with Scott Boras about Stephen Strasburg, Heyman believes Boras does have $50MM in mind.  Boras allegedly likened Strasburg to fictional pitcher Sidd Finch, with the plan being to shatter previous draft pick bonuses by using Daisuke Matsuzaka's contract as a model.  One Nationals person told Heyman, "We'll pay the $10 million, and we'll get him signed."  This much is clear: we'll have something off the field to talk about in August.   For more Strasburg Mania, check out this article by Steve Henson at Yahoo.
  • Heyman learned from Nationals sources that Stan Kasten and team ownership, not Jim Bowden, cut off the Aaron Crow negotiations at $3.3MM.  Kasten's had many applicants for Bowden's GM job, but Heyman's sources expect Mike Rizzo to retain the gig.
  • A Heyman source estimated that the Angels offered John Lackey four years and around $50MM.  Talks are on hold given Lackey's elbow injury.  He didn't want to negotiate during the season anyway.  The latest report on Lackey's injury is pretty good.
  • Pedro Martinez still wants $5MM, and is "willing to wait well into the season."  Heyman believes the Dodgers, Indians, Pirates, Astros, and Mets are possibilities now.

Cubs Release Paul Bako, Mike Stanton

According to a press release, the Cubs released catcher Paul Bako and reliever Mike Stanton today.  So, it looks like Koyie Hill has the team's backup catcher job.

Bako, 36, hit .364/.400/.515 in 35 spring plate appearances.  Stanton, 41, allowed six runs and 13 hits in 8.3 innings.

Odds & Ends: Smoltz, Cubs, Melky, Lima

Links for Monday…

Gammons Notes: Angels, Delcarmen

A little hot stove info from ESPN's Peter Gammons:

Word is the Angels are worried enough about their starting pitching to look around, especially at the Reds. And several Arizona teams have expressed interest in Boston reliever Manny Delcarmen. Boston needs a catcher, and could use another infielder and even another outfielder.

The Angels have concerns at the front of their rotation with John Lackey and Ervin Santana.  The reasonable Reds target for the Halos would have to be Aaron Harang (my own speculation).  A week ago, Gammons wrote about the Reds possibly moving Harang during the season, but GM Walt Jocketty seemed to reject the idea.

As for the teams interested in Delcarmen, here's a reminder of the Arizona Spring Training clubs: the D'Backs, Cubs, White Sox, Indians, Rockies, Royals, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers, A's, Padres, Giants, Mariners, and Rangers.

Rays Release Morgan Ensberg

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays released third baseman Morgan Ensberg today.  Ensberg hit .227/.314/.273 in 50 plate appearances this spring.  Ensberg has bounced around with the Yankees, Indians, and Padres in recent years.

Freddy Sanchez Wants To Stay In Pittsburgh

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talked to Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who wants to stay with the team beyond this season.  Under his current contract, Sanchez has three ways to remain a Pirate in 2010:

  • Team chooses his $8MM club option over the $600K buyout
  • Option vests with 635 plate appearances
  • Option vests with 600 PAs and an All-Star game selection

Presumably the Bucs are not going to be terribly interested in exercising the club option.  But 635 PAs is possible; Sanchez had 632 in '06 and 653 in '07.  Sanchez mostly batted first and second in the lineup last year.

According to Kovacevic, Sanchez doesn't want the contract clause to become a factor.  He just wants to have a strong, healthy season and "everything will take care of itself."  It was Sanchez who urged Jack Wilson to approach the Pirates about an extension.  Sanchez wants to be part of the next winning Pirates team.

Marcus Giles Released

According to Scott Lauber of The News Journal, the Phillies released infielder Marcus Giles this morning.  Giles blamed himself for not performing well enough.  He hit .167/.302/.250 in 41 spring plate appearances after sitting out the 2008 season.

Coupled with various demotions, Miguel Cairo is left as the only potential righthanded bench bat according to's Todd Zolecki.  Zolecki says the Phils continue to look for help in that regard.

Dodgers Make Offer To Will Ohman

Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times has the latest on free agent lefty Will Ohman, who auditioned for the Dodgers yesterday.  Hernandez says the Dodgers offered Ohman about $1MM, half of his reported asking price.  They're waiting to hear back.  Joe Beimel managed to snag $2MM from Washington on March 18th.

Hernandez says the Dodgers need Ohman as much as he needs them, as they're considering Erick Threets and Brian Mazone for the situational lefty role.