AL Notes: Millwood, Soria, A-Rod, Barton

MLBTR sends its condolences to the friends and family of Ernie Tyler, who passed away on Thursday night.  The long-time umpire attendant at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards worked 3819 consecutive games between Opening Day 1960 and July 27, 2007, only halting his streak when the Orioles' other iron man (Cal Ripken Jr.) invited Tyler to Cooperstown for Ripken's induction into the Hall of Fame.  Tyler, 86, is survived by his wife and 11 children.

Some news from the Junior Circuit…

  • The Yankees are still considering signing Kevin Millwood, tweets's Jon Heyman.  We heard about New York's interest in the right-hander last week, and recent rumors have linked him to Cleveland, though the Indians don't want to pay Millwood the $4-5MM he's seeking.
  • In a recent online chat with fans, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star said it is "unlikely bordering on inconceivable" that the Royals will look to move Joakim Soria at the trade deadline.  We heard earlier this winter that K.C. was firm on keeping Soria in the fold, despite interest from a few other clubs.
  • Fangraphs' Dave Cameron argues Andy MacPhail's recent statement that Alex Rodriguez's contract with the Rangers was "the worst signing in the history of baseball."  As Cameron notes, the problem wasn't Rodriguez, but rather the fact that the Rangers surrounded him with mediocre talent.
  • Is Daric Barton a better first baseman than Ryan Howard and Mark Teixeira?  Citing wOBA, defense and contracts,'s Evan Brunell believes so.
  • John Tomase of the Boston Herald profiles Te Wera Bishop, who is trying to become the first New Zealand-born player in Major League history.  Bishop, 17, starred for New Zealand's national softball team before being signed to a $60K contract by the Red Sox.

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