May 2010

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Oliver Perez Trade Ideas

After a look at our Bad Contract Swap Meet post, let's put on our speculating cap and try to find a trade that would work for the Mets and Oliver Perez.

Perez is owed $20.2MM through 2011.  He refused the Mets' minor league assignment and isn't helping the big league team.  Not only is he a project, he's one that must be tinkered with in the Majors.

Gary Matthews Jr.'s contract qualifies as equally bad, but he's already on the Mets.  A couple of Perez trade ideas:

  • Perez and $8.8MM to the Brewers for Jeff Suppan.  Suppan has $10.6MM left on his contract.  The Mets save $800K here, about $500K beyond what they'd get back if they released Perez and he signed elsewhere.  From the Brewers' point of view Perez at least has more upside than Suppan.  The lefty would be reunited with pitching coach Rick Peterson, who was Perez's guide during the pitcher's initial Mets resurgence.  The Brewers might require assurance that Perez would accept a minor league assignment in 2011 if necessary.
  • Perez and $10.5MM to the Royals for Jose Guillen and Kyle Farnsworth.  Guillen is owed $8.2MM, Farnsworth $3.6MM.  This scenario has the Mets taking on $2.1MM to acquire Guillen and Farnsworth, about $550K of which covers what the Royals might get after releasing the two players. 

Bridgeport Bluefish Sign Wily Mo Pena

The Atlantic League's Bridgeport Bluefish signed outfielder Wily Mo Pena on Saturday, according to the team.  Pena, 28, had been released by the Mets about a year ago after posting a .276/.296/.414 line in 152 Triple A plate appearances.  Pena's new team features plenty of familiar names, such as Brian Barton, Denny Stark, Jorge Julio, Antonio Alfonseca, Tike Redman, Adam Greenberg, and Esteban Yan.

Pena was once very highly regarded as a power hitter.  He has three appearances on a Baseball America Top 100 Prospects list, once for the Yankees and twice for the Reds.  He was still an interesting player upon being dealt to the Red Sox for Bronson Arroyo in '06 and to the Nationals the following year.  Shoulder surgery and a $2MM salary led to Pena's release by the Nats in March of '09.

Pirates Acquire Jonathan Van Every

The Pirates reacquired outfielder Jonathan Van Every from the Red Sox for catcher Josue Peley, reports's Jenifer Langosch.  The Sox had acquired Van Every from the Bucs on April 24th, but designated him for assignment ten days ago.

Van Every, 30, missed most of the '09 season due to knee surgery.  In '08 he hit .263/.360/.524 in 442 Triple A plate appearances.  He's played mostly center field in the minors.

Peley, 22, has struggled mightily with the bat in his minor league career, most recently with the Pirates' Low A club.  Peley was a 35th-round draft and follow pick in '06; the Pirates converted him from middle infield to catcher.

Odds & Ends: Willis, Pierzynski, Mets, Miranda

Links for Sunday….

2010 Draft Prospect: Chris Sale

Major League Baseball's amateur draft will be held from June 7th-9th, so we're going to introduce you to some of the top players available between now and then.

Every draft class offers players with questions about their future role. Sometimes it's a position player who might have to move from an up-the-middle spot to a corner, other times it's a starting pitcher who might become a reliever. Perhaps the biggest question mark in this year's draft class is Florida Gulf Coast lefthander Chris Sale, who some project to be a starter while others see a future in the bullpen.

As you can imagine, opinions on the 6-foot-6, 175 lb. lefty diverge greatly. Baseball America ranked him as the fifth best prospect in the draft while ESPN's Keith Law had him 47th (sub. req'd for both links).'s Draft Report says Sale gets lots of sink on his 92 mph fastball, plus a curveball that's a "potential wipeout pitch to left-handed hitters." He also sports a good changeup and strong control, throwing from a low-arm slot reminiscent of Randy Johnson. The link offers video. 

Sale spent the spring annihilating weak competition in the Atlantic Sun Conference, going 11-0 with a 2.01 ERA and a 146/14 K/BB ratio in 103 innings. He burst onto the scene in the prestigious Cape Cod League last summer, leading the circuit with four wins and 57 strikeouts. That performance led to Baseball America naming him the league's top prospect (sub. req'd), ahead of several other players expected to go in the first round both this year and next.

Big college lefties are very sought after come draft day, and Baseball America's Jim Callis projected the Indians to select Sale with the fifth overall pick in his latest mock draft (sub. req'd). He will almost assuredly be selected by a team that adheres to MLB's bonus recommendations.

Angels Have Not Shown Interest In Mike Lowell

The Angels have not yet shown any interest in acquiring Mike Lowell in the wake of Kendry Morales' injury, according to's Rob Bradford. Bradford's source indicated that the team has begun looking for a replacement, however.

Morales fractured his leg celebrating his walk-off grand slam yesterday, a big blow to the team considering his .290/.346/.487 batting line. Lowell has played sparingly this month because of David Ortiz's resurgence, and he's hitting just .239/.329/.358 on the year. The 36-year-old former World Series MVP has indicated that he will likely retire after the season.

We looked the Angels' options to replace their injured first baseman earlier today.

Rich Hill Agrees To Push Back Opt Out Date

Rich Hill has agreed to push back the opt out date in his minor league contract with the Cardinals by 30 days, reports Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hill would have been able to elect free agency if he was not added to the big league roster by Tuesday.

Goold mentions that Hill's willingness to stay could stem from his new role as a reliever. The 30-year-old lefty has spent most of his career as a starter, though his last ten outings with Triple-A Memphis have come out of the bullpen. As a reliever, Hill has posted a 3.21 ERA with a 16/9 K/BB ratio in 14 innings, and lefties are hitting just .171 off him. 

Since his breakout 2007 season with the Cubs, Hill has struggled mightily with his control, walking 136 batters in 178 total innings, majors and minors.

Padres Will Have Flexibility To Add At Deadline

Before the season started, the general belief was that the Padres would be among the top sellers this season, with Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell representing the prime pieces of trade bait. The team's surprisingly good start has changed that belief, and ESPN's Buster Olney hears that they will have some flexibility to add talent at the trade deadline if they continue to play well (Twitter links). It's the ripple down effect from last summer's Jake Peavy deal, since the team wouldn't be able to add payroll this year had they not made that trade last year.

San Diego started the day two games up in the NL West thanks to a 29-20 record, and their +41 run differential suggests it's no fluke. Their success stems largely from pitching and defense; they boast MLB's best team ERA at 2.98 and the second best team UZR at +19.2. Offensively, the Padres have hit just .242/.319/.359 as a team, though their lack of power is somewhat mitigated by 54 stolen bases, just one behind the Rays for the league lead. 

Padres' left fielders are hitting just .186/.286/.299 on the year while their shortstops have chipped in just .219/.278/.313 worth of offense, so those are two obvious areas that could be upgraded. Corner outfielders are always in ample supply at mid-season, but quality shortstops are typically harder to come by. 

Week In Review: 5/23/10 – 5/29/10

The summer months are almost upon us! Let's take a look back at what the last week of May had to offer:

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