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WEDNESDAY, 1:08pm: The Dodgers released Repko, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. The move saved the team $375K of his $500K salary.
TUESDAY, 6:34pm: The Dodgers have placed outfielder Jason Repko on waivers, major league sources tell Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The move is less than surprising, as there is no room in Los Angeles' outfield for the club's first-round selection in the 1999 draft.
The 29-year-old has suffered multiple injuries throughout his career and has not seen significant time in the Majors since 2006. In 433 plate appearances for the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate last season, Repko hit .277/.329/.471 with 16 home runs.
WEDNESDAY, 1:03pm: Misch cleared waivers and was sent to Triple A, writes Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog. This is the time of year to get guys through waivers, as 40-man roster spots are at a premium.
TUESDAY, 3:40pm: Mets pitcher Pat Misch has been placed on waivers, tweets Rich Coutinho of ESPN Radio. The 28-year-old southpaw posted a 4.48 ERA, 3.3 K/9, and 3.2 BB/9 in 62.3 innings for the Mets and Giants last year. He logged another 52.3 innings in the minors, with better peripherals. Misch wasn't particularly good against lefties or righties last year, though the samples are limited.
Last but not least, the Giants conclude our Offseason In Review series.
Major League Signings
- Mark DeRosa, IF/OF: two years, $12MM.
- Freddy Sanchez, 2B: two years, $12MM.
- Bengie Molina, C: one year, $4.5MM.
- Juan Uribe, IF: one year, $3.25MM.
- Aubrey Huff, 1B: one year, $3MM.
- Total spend: $34.75MM.
Notable Minor League Signings
- Matt Cain, SP: three years, $27.25MM.
- Tim Lincecum, SP: two years, $23MM.
- Brian Wilson, RP: two years, $15MM.
- Jeremy Affeldt, RP: two years, $9.5MM. Includes $5MM club option for 2012 with a $500K buyout.
Trades and Claims
- Claimed Rule 5 P Steven Johnson from Orioles; returned 3/16/10
- Acquired cash considerations from Blue Jays for P Merkin Valdez
- Acquired a player to be named later or cash from Red Sox for IF Kevin Frandsen
- Randy Winn, Rich Aurilia, Randy Johnson, Bob Howry, Justin Miller, Brad Penny, Brian Bocock, Merkin Valdez, Noah Lowry
Giants GM Brian Sabean signed five position players to free agent contracts and extended four of his own pitchers. Let's evaluate.
Sabean spent $34.75MM to secure DeRosa, Sanchez, Molina, Uribe, and Huff. These five players combined for an offensive line of .266/.313/.431 in 2009. Sabean has crafted a lineup with only one dangerous hitter in Pablo Sandoval; CHONE projections indicate that the Giants will again have one of the four worst offenses in the league. The Uribe signing was defensible. Molina wasn't terribly overpriced, though a combination of Buster Posey and a cheaper veteran would've offered more upside. DeRosa, Sanchez, and Huff will need to stay healthy and exceed their '09 production to justify the signings.
Pitching should again be a strong suit. Wellemeyer and Mota were decent minor league pickups. Sabean did well to secure Lincecum through 2011 and avoid an arbitration hearing. The Cain extension saved the Giants a little money in the short term, guaranteed his 2011 salary, and bought out one free agent year, potentially a win for both sides. Sabean exchanged risk for cost certainty on Wilson, and can retain Affeldt for an extra year or two. All four extensions made sense, and the Giants have a clearer picture of their payroll for the next few years.
As much as I like the Giants' pitching, I don't think it will be enough to carry them past the Rockies and Dodgers to the playoffs. The Giants haven't scored 700 runs in a season since Barry Bonds, Ray Durham, and Moises Alou led the way in '06. Sabean's offseason tinkering doesn't convince me they'll reach that modest level in 2010.
The Brewers released righty Mike Burns, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Burns, 31, posted a 5.75 ERA, 6.8 K/9, and 3.0 BB/9 in 51.6 innings last year, allowing ten home runs. The journeyman had a shoulder problem at season's end, says Haudricourt.
Not many people predicted A's reliever Andrew Bailey to win the 2009 AL ROY award. Instead, the preseason favorites were Matt Wieters and David Price. I'll take Brian Matusz this year, but here's a list of candidates to consider:
Brian Matusz, Neftali Feliz, Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson, Austin Jackson, Desmond Jennings, Carlos Santana, Justin Smoak, Brett Wallace, Michael Saunders, Aaron Crow, Reid Brignac, Tyler Flowers, Dan Hudson, Jake Arrieta, Jesus Montero, Michael Taylor, Lonnie Chisenhall, Chris Carter, Kyle Drabek, Zach Stewart, Josh Bell, Michael Brantley, Scott Sizemore, Alex Avila, Hector Rondon, Fernando Perez, Danny Valencia, Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson
Who are we missing? And what's your prediction for AL ROY? We'll do the NL tomorrow.
Hank Blalock's minor league deal with the Rays allows him to opt out tomorrow if he's not on the Rays' 25-man roster. According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays have "until after Friday’s exhibition to put him on the roster."
Topkin spoke to Blalock, who suggested he'd leave baseball before playing in the minors:
"I don't have any plans on playing minor-league baseball this year. At this time in my life, if there's no major-league opportunities for me then I'll find something else to do."
Topkin explains that the Rays are currently choosing between Blalock and Reid Brignac, with Brignac offering more positional flexibility. When Matt Joyce recovers from an elbow strain, the roster picture will get even muddier. Employing two DHs in Blalock and Pat Burrell wouldn't make things easy for manager Joe Maddon. Burrell could be released at some point, though that's just speculation on my part.
As Spring Training winds down and Opening Day draws near, let's dig up some of the more interesting stories on MLBTR from April of 2007, 2008, and 2009 to see what kind of news we can expect in the coming weeks..
- On April 11th, 2007, the Twins made a low-ball offer to Johan Santana. Minnesota offered their superstar pitcher a two-year extension for $36MM, plus a club option for 2011. Tim summed it up perfectly when he wrote, "I know you have to start somewhere with negotiations, but the Twins could essentially double their offer and it would still be well below market value." Santana later denied that the Twins made such an offer.
- We saw a handful of extensions agreed upon in the coming days, including a three-year, $33MM extension for Jake Westbrook and a two-year, $7MM contract for Ryan Freel.
- The Braves gave John Smoltz a contract extension towards the end of that month. The deal gave him $14MM in 2008 with vesting options for '09 and '10 for a similar rate. Smoltz pitched 28 innings in 2008, terminating his deal at season's end.
- Now we fast forward to April of 2008, where Evan Longoria signed a long-term deal with the Rays early in his rookie season. Though Longoria signed with very little Major League experience, this has become the game's most team-friendly contract.
- Scott Hatteberg said that he would welcome a trade after being slotted as the understudy to Joey Votto.
- Kenji Johjima inked a three-year, $24MM extension with the M's, only to bolt for the Hanshin Tigers in the fall of 2009.
- Toronto was fed up with Frank Thomas and released him, leaving them on the hook for more than $7MM. The thrifty A's signed the Big Hurt to a cheap deal.
- Matt Morris retired from baseball soon after being released by the Pirates.
- The Rockies and the Tigers closed out that month with a rare April trade, swapping pitchers Jason Grilli and Zach Simons.
- In April of 2009, Indians GM Mark Shapiro denied that the club was willing to part with Cliff Lee. Lee would continue to be a member of the Tribe – until right before the trade deadline.
- The White Sox made what proved to be a great pickup when they signed Scott Podsednik to a minor league deal.
- Manny Ramirez, as he is wont to do, decided to be Manny and stated publicly that he would like to return to Cleveland before the end of his career.
- There were plenty of interesting signings in this month – Chad Gaudin hooked on with San Diego, Ron Villone signed with the Nats, and Dallas McPherson joined the Giants.
Could you see the Cardinals presenting Albert Pujols with an offer well below market value, similar to how the Twins handed Johan in 2007? Do you think the Padres, similar to the Indians last season, will shoot down Adrian Gonzalez trade talk, only to deal him closer to the deadline? Let's hear your thoughts.
Tuesday night linkage..
- The Dodgers' ownership issue won't be resolved until the end of the season, writes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The trial to determine the owner of the club will begin on August 30th.
- Sergio Santos – formerly a shortstop in the Diamondbacks organization – has made it to the major leagues as a pitcher for the White Sox, writes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
- Todd Wellemeyer isn't sure that the Giants' rotation is better than the Cardinals starting five that he was a part of, writes Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. While it has yet to be announced, Wellemeyer will likely be crowned the fifth starter in San Francisco's rotation.
- Rockies catcher Paul Lo Duca will accept his reassignment to the minors, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times supports the Dodgers' sale of Eric Stults to the Hiroshima Carp. This year marked Stults' ninth with the organization.
- Dontrelle Willis is sad to see Nate Robertson go to Florida, writes Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. Willis' inclusion in Detroit's rotation was a big reason why the Tigers were able to part with Robertson.
Negotiations to lock up right fielder Shin-Soo Choo don't seem to be going anywhere, writes Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. The South Korean will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season. Choo earned a shade over $420K last season, and his contract was renewed with a "minimal raise" for 2010.
Ideally, the Indians would like to sign the 27-year-old to a five-year deal with a team option for a sixth. However, neither Choo nor his agent Scott Boras have shown interest in such a pact. You may recall that Choo hired Scott Boras as his representative in late February, roughly two weeks after Felipe Lopez cut ties with the super-agent.
Castrovince points out that during Mark Shapiro's tenure, the Tribe has a habit of locking up their core players prior to arbitration. The most prominent example, he writes, was the six-year, $23.45MM deal given to Grady Sizemore in 2006.
Meanwhile, Castrovince also writes that Asdrubal Cabrera – who is also arbitration-eligible at season's end – also fits the mold of a player that the Indians would look to lock up. At present, it's unclear whether the Tribe has made such an attempt.
7:19pm: Mike Sweeney has made the Mariners' Opening Day roster, writes Morosi. The 36-year-old was set to retire if he didn't make a team's Opening Day squad. Sweeney will be in a designated hitter platoon with Ken Griffey Jr.
Meanwhile, a source tells Morosi that the Rangers' current interest level in Garko isn't high.
5:10pm: The Mariners have put Ryan Garko on waivers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Seattle signed the first baseman to a one-year, $550K deal roughly two months ago. The 29-year-old still has options remaining.
Morosi points out that the Rangers are in search of a right-handed bat, though he is unsure if they are interested in Garko. Texas is in search of a backup corner infielder and although manager Ron Washington seems willing to give middle infielder Andres Blanco a chance at third, it is unlikely that Garko is up to the task. Before he landed with the M's, the Rangers were said to be interested in Garko's services.
In 40 games (127 plate appearances) for the Giants last season, Garko hit .235/.307/.330 with 2 HRs.