East Notes: Joba, Wieters, O’s, Damon, Durbin

Some items from the AL and NL East as the eastern clubs dive into Grapefruit League action…

  • Joba Chamberlain won't be a Yankee by this time in 2012, predicts Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Matt Wieters is listed as one of "the most disappointing prospects of all time" by Steven Goldman of Baseball Prospectus.  "His glove and the dream of what might have been will keep him around for years, but stardom now seems spectacularly unlikely," Goldman writes.  Given that Wieters is entering just his third Major League season and hasn't turned 25 yet, this ranking seems awfully premature.
  • The Orioles' farm system lacks depth, especially in comparison to its AL East rivals, writes FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.  "The team’s offseason moves…represent nothing more than a Band-Aid," Rosenthal says, noting that the O's "are practically a zero" when it comes to international scouting.  MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examined these issues in his offseason-in-review piece about Baltimore earlier today.
  • Johnny Damon tells Ken Davidoff of Newsday that his free agent discussions with the Yankees this past winter involved a scenario that would have seen Damon make three starts per week for New York.  Damon turned the deal down since the lack of playing time would have hurt his quest for 3000 hits. 
  • Damon also tells Peter Gammons (Twitter link) that had he known the Tigers weren't going to bring him back, he would have gone to the Red Sox when Boston claimed him on waivers last August.
  • The Phillies made Chad Durbin a $2MM offer in December, considerably more than the $800K deal Durbin eventually signed with Cleveland, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.  Once Philadelphia signed Cliff Lee, however, the team pulled back the contract and instead offered just a minor league deal.  "When Cliff signed, it took any ability to go back there on a Major League deal off the table," Durbin told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.  Durbin doesn't have any hard feelings towards the Phillies over the move: "You know, I'd take Cliff Lee over Chad Durbin."
  • Anthony DiComo of MLB.com looks at the twists and turns of Tim Byrdak's baseball career.  The veteran left-hander is trying to make the Mets' Opening Day roster after signing a minor league deal with the team in January.

61 Responses to East Notes: Joba, Wieters, O’s, Damon, Durbin Leave a Reply

  1. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    Damon really thought he was coming back….?? No thanks.

    • Motor_City_Bombshell 4 years ago

      He thinks because he’s in the 3000 hit ballpark he’s still an effective hitter, but I’m sure you saw as much as I did last year him flailing at breaking balls, striking out, and popping out frequently. He had his moments, but he was mostly just a plus in the clubhouse, definitely not the $8MM he was paid.

    • Pawsdeep 4 years ago

      Maybe on the coaching staff but there was no way he was coming on the 25 man roster. How could he not have known that?

  2. Very mature on Durbin’s part.

    • JohnKruksWaistline 4 years ago

      He really did provide a great example of how to not be a jackass (I’m looking at you, Jayson Werth).

      Jeremy Roenick said the same thing about the Flyers when they acquired Peter Forsberg.

      • Drew Tweedie 4 years ago

        I really like Durbin’s comment. Takes a lotta stones to be that frank with yourself.

        • Can’t take that much courage to admit that a mildly effective reliever isn’t as good as say, easily one of the top 10 starters in baseball.

  3. johnnybmore 4 years ago

    I just wouldn’t be Ken Rosenthal if he wasn’t taking shots at the Orioles……nevermind the fact that most of their past minor league talent will be on the roster, and the rest were used to acquire Major League talent.

  4. monkeyspanked 4 years ago

    Goldman’s thoughts on Matt Wieters are a bit premature. It’s not like he’s Jeff Mathis….

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Personally I think Bryce Harper is a disappointing prospect. C’mon, has he produced anything yet.

      • DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

        So far his mouth leads the Grapefruit League in bulletin-board material for both opposing players and teammates looking to take him down a peg… so there’s that…

        • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

          Really? He’s got an ego already without even playing in a major league game? Not cool…

    • NickinIthaca 4 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing… as was mentioned, the guy is only 25. If their additions this winter can take some of the pressure off him to produce on the offensive end hopefully he’ll be able to continue and grow as a 25 year old catcher should. There aren’t many players like Pudge or the Molina’s who were born and bred for the position, and the O’s should do Weiters some justice and let him grow into the position – or at least they should have at AAA for another half year or so.

    • Alexander_Brovechkin 4 years ago

      What I’d like to see, instead of a premature conclusion, is a comparison of prospects who have been as-hyped as Wieters was and whether or not they fizzled out. Just because he didn’t have a Strasburgian first season doesn’t make him a bust.

      • Yeah, he didn’t have a “Strasburgian first season” because he didn’t need to have Tommy John surgery half way through it. Hellllllooooo Mark Prior comparisons….

  5. Brian Cashman offered to trade C.C. to the Phil’s for Ben Francisco.

    Amaro responded “Ha, now offer someone good you subhuman sack of slug scum.”

  6. Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

    I never found Wieters to be impressive, but one thing I can say for sure is that he has been rushed to the MLB. He was not ready for prime time. I think he would benefit from a demotion to get some time to work on things in AAA. With that, I suspect he will be at least a well respected, every-day, journeyman catcher who hits in the .270’s.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      every-day, journeyman catcher

      Cant have both.

      OH wait.. I’m looking at the Dodgers roster right now.. maybe youre right.

      • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

        Uhm, they are not mutually exclusive. “Journeyman” – “any experienced, competent but routine worker or performer.” Dictionary (dot) Com.

    • RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

      A fine defensive catcher who hits in the .270’s is an all-star nowadays! Wieters is way to young to call a failure. Catchers always take longer to become good MLB hitters for some reason. Same reason I think Saltys gonna be a .270, 25, 90 catcher going forward!

      • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

        Perhaps, but with the hype attached to Wieters, the expectation was that he was going to be a Maurer or Posey, hitting .300+ with power and deft with the glove. He’s not yet a failure, and I never said so. But he is NOT yet a fine defensive catcher. My main issue with his present situation was the obvious failure to work on his blocking skills and ball handling when they played the BoSox. That is what told me he needs more time in AAA. I think his hitting numbers are certainly tolerable. But he’s not yet elite tier in the catching position. He could get there, with further development.

    • Fangaffes 4 years ago

      No, no, the Orioles are right. Better get rid of him now. How about the Sox take him off your hands for Bowden and Reddick?

  7. baseball1 4 years ago

    What really bothers me is all this crap about how Wieters has not proven anything in the majors. The kid HAS shown flashes of extended brilliance at the plate (2 week spurts of GOOD hitting every now and then). Also I will say this right now, he is one of the best defensive catchers in the game, and has a cannon arm. Ask Carl Crawford about his attempts to steal on Matt. He has become a great gamecaller as well, and I have 100% confidence in him getting all facets of the game straightened out. Even if he never becomes the perennial allstar that everyone imagined, he still will be a very solid catcher.

    • So who was more overhyped, Strasburg or Wieters? I kept hearing for months before he came up from O’s fans that wieters was going to be the greatest hitting catcher of all time. Piazza he is not.

    • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

      I will agree that he is a good gamecaller, but I thoroughly disagree that he is one of the best defensive catchers in the MLB. On an overall basis, Yader Molina far outshines him, and Posey, Mauer, Ruiz, Suzuki and Olivo are all equal or better than him, defensively. He’s young, and he could well develop into a superstar. You are certainly right about his athleticism. But he needs more work on fundamentals.

  8. Yankee_Baal 4 years ago

    Durbin is a class act. Few professional athletes would be man enough to admit that some of their peers are just worth more than them (I’m looking at you Derek Jeter).

  9. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    “Matt Wieters is listed as one of “the most disappointing prospects of all time”

    Wow….. Only 2 seasons in and he’s a bust?

    Top 5 in CS in 2010. Fewest PB of any catcher w/ 900 innings played last year @ 2. 2nd fewest ER among catchers. A respectable .266/.328/.398 @ age 24 w/ 20hrs to boot. Yeah, he’s horrible. He would easily be the starting C for at least 16 mlb teams. I’m shocked that Goldman wrote something that shabby.

  10. Cody 4 years ago

    Strasburg was not over hyped he was killing it before he got hurt. Go look at the numbers before you post.

    • I think ur missing the point…saying Wieters is a bust in his second full season is like saying Strasburg is a bust because he got hurt in his first…sounds ridiculous, right? This is even more overblown for the simple fact that Baseball Prospectus themselves was largely responsible for the hype in projecting such huge numbers for him.

      Also, Joe Mauer (MLB’s current top catcher & Wieters’ target hype-wise), didn’t start putting up great numbers til his second full season, which Wieters is about to start (with a much improved lineup around him this year). If he doesn’t show improvement this year (with the bat because the glove/defense & game calling is already there) THEN we can start to worry.

  11. Joba was over-hyped from the start. hes got a hard fastball, thats about it. Bard over Joba every day of the week and twice on sundays. Bard is a stud. BARD>joba

  12. HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

    What does him being Jewish have to do with anything? I fail to see how that is relevant whatsoever. That statement is racist and ignorant.

  13. I think the word you’re looking for is anti-semitic. Not racist. Which ironically, is in and of itself ignorant.


  14. I agree. Let’s keep this about baseball.

  15. GoAwayNow 4 years ago

    Anti-Semitic itself is not a completely accurate term. Also, the Jewish peoples are a race as well as a shared religion. So racist is a perfectly fine term.

  16. monkeyspanked 4 years ago

    Joba will be fine until Princess Leia chokes him with a chain.

  17. DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

    I think you mean that he had better “periphery” than Bard, and in that respect you are right… he definitely covered a much larger surface area.

  18. DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

    I disagree that he would not have been well-received in Boston. Fans have short memories when a player is wearing the right laundry, and he would have earned bonus points for the fact that his waiver of his no-trade rights would have meant a conscious desire to return to Boston. Also, the pink hats are louder than the WEEI whiner-line regulars.

  19. Fangaffes 4 years ago

    Au contraire. People in Boston love Johnny Damon. They just hated the laundry he wore for a few years. And clearly he knows that.

  20. DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

    I defy you to prove that Joba Chamberlain is a real person, and not merely a shadow of his former self.

  21. monkeyspanked 4 years ago

    I think your smart-ass-o-meter is broken. Lighten up dude.

  22. monkeyspanked 4 years ago

    I think the stick up your *** is chafing. It’s making you irritable.

  23. DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

    Oh dear, someone didn’t make it to the definition of “defy” that is listed second in both the Merriam-Webster and Oxford English dictionaries.

    Edumucatin’ Yankees fans in the finer points of teh langwidge artz is like shooting fish in a barrel.

  24. NickinIthaca 4 years ago

    This is hilarious on so many levels….

  25. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    Great comment. As a Star Wars geek, I approve.

  26. Guest 4 years ago


  27. DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

    They enable him to push off the rubber with more torque, which contributes to his superhuman velocity. Joba might not need luck-adjusted stats if he, too, had Bardian ears.

  28. That’s what your mother who’s also your sister said when you were born.

  29. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    Don’t judge a book by it’s… uhh… by one of the pages in the book. Yeah.

  30. Yankee_Baal 4 years ago

    You most be the boldest guy in the fifth grade, ain’t ya?

  31. I defy you to use the word “defy” in the proper context!

  32. Fangaffes 4 years ago

    If he keeps up this way, he might not make the Hall of Fame after all.

  33. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Amazing how you tend to make logical sense just about every time except when it applies to aYankee. I’m pretty sure you’re just trying to get a rise so I won’t buy into your comment too heavy.

  34. jjs91 4 years ago

    This makes little sense coming from a fan of a team that signed bobby jenks for 6 million dollars.

  35. ellisburks 4 years ago

    Even the Yankees were saying the Joba came to camp overweight and not ready for camp. For a guy on the bubble and recently demoted from the set up position, he does not seem to be taking it very seriously. If it were me I would have worked out all winter and come in trying to get my job back. Joba clearly didn’t. Therefore, what team would want a guy who’s numbers have gotten worse each season and does not take care of himself? His trade value is pretty low at the moment.

  36. I think Joba is letting the media coverage and his past excellence go to his head, he is clearly not working to improve himself. The Yanks could very well have better arms in the system that replace him with as we speak, I don’t know for certain though.

  37. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    I’ve read practically every news report that’s come out. NO ONE has said he came into camp not ready. What they said was he looked like he added 15 lbs but up close it appeared to be muscle and not flab around his midsection. They’ve even raved about how his velocity is already up to 94 mph already whereas prior ST camps he sat around 88-91 around this time.

    In an interview Joba said he had a home gym built and he did a lot of lifting this off season.

    This is how dumb rumors start.

  38. ellisburks 4 years ago

    I had read it in ESPN when pitchers and catchers reported. I am not making it up. It was a piece on Mo and how he goes about his business and how Joba has to learn from him.

  39. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    I didn’t deny that writers ran with it. However, it was clarfied that while his weight went up it was upper body muscle as opposed to belly fat. Big difference. Also, reports said his velocity was a lot higher than it normally is at the start of ST. Weighing more doesn’t equal “fatter”. It’s just a convenient joke to poke fun at JOba.

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