July 2010

Yankees Designate Chan Ho Park For Assignment

The Yankees designated Chan Ho Park for assignment to make room for Kerry Wood, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.

Park, 27, pitched to a 5.60 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 35.1 innings of relief sandwiched around a month-long stint on the disabled due to a hamstring issue. After allowing zero homers as a reliever with the Phillies last season, Park allowed seven this year. The Yanks tried unsuccessfully to trade him, and are still on the hook for the $437K left on his contract this year.

Royals Extend Ned Yost Through 2012

The Royals extended manager Ned Yost through 2012, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.

Yost took over the team after Trey Hillman was fired in early May, and the Royals have responded by going 31-37 under his watch. They were just 12-23 under Hillman this year, and 152-207 during his tenure. 

Giants Acquire Javier Lopez

The Giants have acquired lefty reliever Javier Lopez from the Pirates in exchange for John Bowker and Joe Martinez

Lopez, 33, has two impressive numbers to his name this year: a 2.79 ERA and a 60.2% groundball rate.  Otherwise he's struck out few and walked many overall.  His splits show that he's somewhat effective against lefties and a poor choice against righties.  He signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh before the season, and is still owed $287K this season. He is under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next year.

Martinez, a 27-year-old righty, posted a 3.32 ERA, 7.2 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9 with six home runs allowed in 81.3 Triple A innings this year.  Baseball America ranked him 30th among Giants prospects heading into the '09 season.  They called him "a groundball machine" with a "sinking 86-88 mph fastball, a true curveball and a plus changeup consistently down in the strike zone."  Martinez has yet to figure things out in his 41 career Major League innings, but he has retained his ability to generate grounders.

Bowker, a 27-year-old outfielder and first baseman, hasn't done much in the Majors aside from a less-than-terrible '08 rookie season.  He has managed to rake in the Pacific Coast League after multiple stints there, for what it's worth.  Baseball America ranked him ninth among Giants prospects before the '08 season, saying "he has strong hands and can hit good fastballs."

Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweeted that Lopez was on the verge of being dealt while Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News later confirmed the deal and added details (all Twitter links). 

Mike Axisa contributed to this post. 

Braves Acquire Ankiel, Farnsworth

The Braves have acquired Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth from the Royals in exchange for Jesse Chavez, Gregor Blanco, and Tim Collins. Atlanta also received an unknown amount of cash in the deal.

Ankiel, 31, missed over two months with a quad strain this year, but will bring a much-needed .261/.317/.467 batting line to Atlanta's outfield. He is still owed just over $1MM for the remainder of the season, and there's a $6MM mutual option for his services next year that could instead be bought out for $500K.

The 34-year-old Farnsworth is back for a second stint with the Braves, and has pitched to a 2.42 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 44.2 innings this year. He is owed $1.64MM through the end of the season, and Atlanta could buy out his $5.25MM option for next season for $500K. 

Chavez, 26, was acquired in the Rafael Soriano trade during the offseason. He had not performed as expected, with a 5.89 ERA and 7.1 K/9 in 36.2 innings this year. Blanco, 26, is a career .252/.361/.309 hitter in 633 big league plate appearances with experience in all three outfield spots. Both he and Chavez are under team control for another four seasons.

Collins, 20, was acquired in the Yunel EscobarAlex Gonzalez trade earlier this month. He has struck out 15.4 Double-A batters per nine innings this year, and boasts a 2.35 ERA in his minor league career. 

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler first reported the deal while Ed Price of AOL FanHouse added details (Twitter link). A Royals press release confirmed the deal.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

Dodgers Acquire Octavio Dotel

The Dodgers acquired reliever Octavio Dotel and $500K from the Pirates today for pitcher James McDonald and outfielder Andrew Lambo.  Dotel will move to a setup role for the Dodgers after saving 21 games for the Pirates.  Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan should get a shot to close games in Pittsburgh now.

The 36-year-old Dotel may be a rental for Los Angeles, as his $4.5MM club option for 2011 became mutual upon the trade.  Including the buyout on that option, Dotel has $1.65MM remaining on his contract.  Eddie Bajek's latest Elias rankings have Dotel as a Type B free agent, though an arbitration offer from the Dodgers is no sure thing.  Dotel has a 4.28 ERA, 10.8 K/9, and 3.8 BB/9 on the season with five home runs allowed in 40 innings, though he's been better since May.  One red flag is that Dotel has brutal control against lefties, but Hong-Chih Kuo is more than capable of handling those batters.

McDonald, 25, has fallen out of favor since being voted the organization's minor league pitcher of the year in '07 and '08.  He opened the '09 season as the Dodgers' fifth starter, but was out of the rotation a month later.  This year he's dealt with a hamstring injury while compiling a 4.41 ERA, 8.1 K/9, and 3.4 BB/9 in twelve Triple A starts.  It wasn't long ago that Baseball America projected McDonald as a No. 3 starter or late-inning reliever, and he'll have plenty of opportunities in Pittsburgh. 

Lambo, meanwhile, was slapped with a 50-game suspension in May for violating baseball's drug policy.  BA ranked him seventh among Dodgers prospects before the season.  They profile him as a gap hitter who may grow into his power, but label him a substandard outfielder.  Lambo still hasn't done much in Double A.

The Pirates haven't hit on too many of these types of players yet, but these gambles make more sense than keeping Dotel around.

Braves Acquire Wilkin Ramirez

The Braves acquired outfielder Wilkin Ramirez from the Tigers for a player to be named later or cash considerations by November 20th, according to the team.  The Tigers had designated Ramirez for assignment on Wednesday to clear a spot for Jhonny Peralta.

Ramirez, 24, has a .230/.295/.458 line between Double and Triple A this year.  Heading into the season Baseball America ranked Ramirez eighth among Tigers prospects, but obviously his stock has dropped since then.  Still, they did praise his "tantalizing five-tool ability."

Marlins Acquire Will Ohman

The Marlins aggressively pursued bullpen help on deadline day, and ultimately acquired veteran lefty Will Ohman from the Orioles for 25-year-old righty Rick Vanden Hurk.

Ohman, 33 in August, has a 3.30 ERA, 8.7 K/9, and 5.4 BB/9 in 30 innings this year with three home runs allowed.  He came a long way since signing a minor league deal in February, even spending a few days as the Orioles' closer.  He hasn't displayed any special ability to retire lefties since the '08 season.

Vanden Hurk seems an acceptable return for two months of Ohman.  This year at Triple A he posted a 4.68 ERA, 8.0 K/9, and 3.7 BB/9 in 98 innings, allowing 11 home runs.  He's had multiple stints at that level and also has 155.6 big league innings under his belt.  Strikeouts have been there, but everything else has been an issue (including health).  Baseball America ranked Vanden Hurk 13th among Marlins prospects before the '07 season, noting that he was signed at 17 out of the team's Dutch academy.  Did you know the Marlins had a Dutch academy?  BA described Vanden Hurk as "smart and coachable."

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun first tweeted that Ohman was traded, and Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel tweeted that Vanden Hurk was the return.

Yankees Acquire Kerry Wood

The Yankees may have found their new setup man. They acquired Kerry Wood from the Indians today for a player to be named later and cash. The Indians also picked up $2.17MM of the $3.67MM Wood has left on his contract, but Cleveland will receive an additional $200K from the Yankees if Wood stays healthy. The former phenom was just activated from the DL today after dealing with a blister. In 20 innings this season, the 33-year-old righty has a 6.30 ERA, 8.1 K/9, and 5.0 BB/9.

Wood doesn't know what role he'll have in Joe Girardi's bullpen, but he's excited to be joining a team that has a chance to win the World Series.

"That’s why we all play the game," he said.

Indians manager Manny Acta explained that Chris Perez will now be the team's permanent closer. And though Acta would rather be buying than selling, he's glad to see his former players join contending teams.

"It’s good for those guys to get an opportunity to go somewhere where they have a chance to win," Acta said.

ESPN.com's Buster OlneyESPN.com's Jayson Stark and Joel Sherman of the New York Post contributed to the story on Twitter as it broke. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed the quotes.

Adam Dunn Not Traded

The latest on slugger Adam Dunn, who we learned yesterday is comfortable serving as a designated hitter for two months…

Giants Still Active

2:56pm: It doesn't look like anything will happen with the Giants and Hart, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

2:28pm: Lots of familiar names still in play for the Giants, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, including perhaps Corey Hart again.

2:17pm: The Diamondbacks, Giants, and Blue Jays have discussed a three-way deal, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  For the moment I'll leave the speculation to the commenters, but we know the Giants like Kelly Johnson from Arizona as well as Jays relievers and Jose Bautista.  The Jays have had interest in Johnson as well.