Quick Hits: Kroon, Sanchez, Cubs, Pirates, Rays

The Red Sox announced the passing of longtime executive Lou Gorman, who built Boston's 1986 American League Championship team. Our condolences to Gorman's family and friends. Here are this evening's links…

  • Giants GM Brian Sabean confirmed to Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News that right-hander Marc Kroon has an out-clause in his contract that can be triggered on June 1st (Twitter link). The Japanese league vet will head to Triple-A after signing a minor league deal earlier this year.
  • Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a report indicating that Romulo Sanchez has signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles for $475K plus bonuses (Twitter links). The Yankees released Sanchez so he could purse a job in Japan last week.
  • Maury Brown at The Biz of Baseball reports that 234 players (27.7%) on MLB rosters on Opening Day were born outside of the United States. The all-time record is 29.2% in 2005.
  • Cubs chairmam Tom Ricketts told Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune that he's okay with eating the $11.5MM left on Carlos Silva's deal in order to release the right-hander. "We knew it was a possibility that there might not be a spot for him, and that’s just the way it is," said Ricketts. "You’ve got to have the best team on the field, and that’s what counts."
  • Baseball America's Matt Eddy rounded up all of last week's minor league transactions. See what familiar names were signed and released as teams finalize their minor league rosters.
  • Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette challenges Pirates leaders to change the perception that the team is focused on profit, destined never to compete.
  • Cork Gaines of Rays Index shows that the Rays' payroll dropped 41.7% from last year, all the way down to $41.9MM. The Rays committed $12.6MM to Wade Davis yesterday, an especially substantial investment for a team on such a limited budget.
  • White Sox director of international scouting Jerry Krause is stepping down to join the Diamondbacks, according Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. The former Chicago Bulls GM will assist Arizana executive Jerry DiPoto.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Dodgers can overcome surrounding distractions to become a playoff team in 2011. In fact, he predicts an NL West title for the Dodgers.

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