February 2010

Odds & Ends: Ramirez, Sheets, Cardinals, Reds

Sunday night linkage..

  • Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner tweets that it'll be interesting to see which sabermetric-friendly team will ink recently-DFA'd pitcher Edwar Ramirez.  Cameron's bet is on Tampa Bay.
  • Jason Churchill of ESPN (Insider subscription required) explains why second basemen aren't often selected in the first round of the amateur draft.  He writes that the best athletes usually play center field and shortstop in high school and college.  The second basemen typically come from the shortstops who cannot keep up with the position defensively.
  • Ben Sheets threw live batting practice for the first time with the A's and impressed the coaching staff with his velocity, according to the Associated Press.  Sheets inked a one-year deal with Oakland worth $10MM plus performance bonuses in late January.
  • Felipe Lopez's arrival may mean less at-bats for Julio Lugo, writes Matthew Leach of MLB.com.  Lugo sounds less-than-thrilled about a reduced role but said that his agents have not approached the Cards about a move.
  • Dusty Baker isn't worried about his contract situation, writes Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.  The Reds skipper is entering the final season of a three-year pact.
  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com writes that despite trading away several highly-rated prospects in the last 19 months, the Phillies still have talent in their farm system.

Week In Review: 2/21/10 – 2/27/10

There's understandably a lot of people focused on hockey today, but let's not forget that March starts tomorrow and Spring Training games kick off this week! Here's a look back at the past seven days as baseball is just around the corner:

Full Story | 3 Comments | Categories: Week In Review

Odds & Ends: Royals, Fielder, Cameron, Park

Some Sunday links to browse….

Athletics Sign Brett Tomko, Jason Jennings

The Oakland Athletics have signed right-handers Brett Tomko and Jason Jennings to minor league contracts, according to Joe Stiglich of the Oakland Tribune (via Twitter).

Jane Lee of MLB.com tweets that Jennings will report to the team's spring training camp, while Tomko will continue rehabbing an arm injury at Minor League camp. The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser adds, via Twitter, that the Twins made Tomko a similar offer, but that he felt more comfortable in Oakland. Slusser also tweets that Jennings was close to a deal with the Giants at one point, while Stiglich adds the Cardinals and Mets to the list of teams spoken to by Jennings in a separate tweet.

Tomko was extremely effective in six starts for the A's in 2009, winning four games with a 2.95 ERA. Jennings, meanwhile, acted as a setup man for the Rangers, posting a 4.13 ERA in 44 relief appearances.

Yankees Designate Edwar Ramirez For Assignment

The Yankees designated Edwar Ramirez for assignment, according to a team press release. The move was necessary to make room on the 40-man roster for Chan Ho Park, whose signing is now official.

Ramirez pitched 22 innings out of the Yankees' bullpen in 2009, recording a 5.73 ERA. The 28-year-old righty did show promise in his time with New York though, striking out 116 batters in 98.1 career major league innings.

Roy Oswalt Discusses His Future

Roy Oswalt is only 32 years old, but he's already talking about retirement, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. When asked about his future, Oswalt entertained the possibility of only pitching for a couple more seasons:

"I still love the game. I still love the competition. … But when I get finished with my contract, if I’m not pitching at the level I’m pitching at now, then I’m not going to come back and hurt the team."

Oswalt has been one of baseball's most dominant starting pitchers this century, posting a 3.23 ERA since breaking into the majors in 2001. Though his 4.12 ERA in 2009 was a career-worst, it's still hard to imagine him becoming ineffective enough that he'd want to retire when his current contract expires at age 34.

It's conceivable, however, that he might not be an Astro by 2012. Morosi compares Oswalt to Roy Halladay and Jake Peavy, two aces who were traded from non-contenders to contenders within the last year. The Astros have no immediate plans to rebuild or to deal Oswalt, but teammate Lance Berkman acknowledges, "I could see Roy saying, 'Hey, I want to go somewhere where I’m pitching for a championship.'"

Yankees Sign Chan Ho Park

The Yankees offically signed pitcher Chan Ho Park to a one-year, $1.2MM deal.  He can earn another $300K in incentives.   Kang Seung-woo of The Korea Times first reported the agreement a week ago. 

At his press conference in Korea, Park said he was leaning toward the Cubs until recently, as they were willing to let him battle for a rotation spot.  The Yankees' "history and championship contention" won out, and Park will join their bullpen.  Joel Sherman of the New York Times says Yankees GM Brian Cashman lobbied ownership to expand the payroll for Park, but now Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre could be traded.

Park, 36, posted a 2.52 ERA, 9.4 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9 in 50 relief innings for the Phillies last year.  The Type B free agent was not offered arbitration by the Phils, but they did reportedly make a $3.25MM proposal.

Cafardo’s Latest: Lowell, Mahay, Matsui, Selig

In his new column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo takes a look at the Tampa Bay Rays, and their desire to recapture their 2008 success. Within the piece, Cafardo also offers up some hot stove nuggets….

  • The Red Sox are serious about keeping Mike Lowell's bat around, but if they do decide to move him, the Twins "could be a major suitor." They've had interest in Lowell in the past, which would likely be renewed if the Sox paid most of the $12MM he's owed.
  • Ron Mahay turned down a minor league contract offer from the Red Sox. It sounds like he's looking for a deal that would guarantee him a spot on a major league roster.
  • The Angels intend to give free agent addition Hideki Matsui a shot in the outfield, despite his knee problems. Yankee officials still don't believe that he'll be physically able to play in the field.
  • Cafardo writes that Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino and Orioles president Andy MacPhail are two names at the top of the list of candidates to replace Bud Selig as baseball's commissioner after 2012.

Discussion: Worst Move Of The Offseason

We've already talked about the best move of the offseason this evening, so now let's turn the page and discuss the worst move of the winter. Here are some candidates…

  • Dodgers sign Jamey Carroll to a two-year, $3.85MM contract.
  • Mets sign Alex Cora to a one-year, $2MM contract.
  • Adam LaRoche declines a two-year, $17MM offer from the Giants. 
  • Astros sign Brandon Lyon to a three-year, $15MM contract.
  • Giants re-sign Bengie Molina to a one-year, $4.5MM contract.

There are plenty of more bad moves out there, but which one is the biggest head scratcher? 

Odds & Ends: Jeter, Marlins, Fielder, Aurilia, Boras

If you're in the Northeast, here are some links to check out while you take a break from shoveling…