August 2011

Red Sox Acquire Conor Jackson

The Red Sox acquired Conor Jackson from the Athletics for Jason Rice, the teams announced. Oakland sent cash to Boston in the deal and the Red Sox transferred right-hander Bobby Jenks to the 60-day disabled list to create 40-man roster space for Jackson.

Jackson, 29, can fill in at the corner positions for the Red Sox and provide a right-handed bat off of the bench. He has a .249/.315/.342 line in 368 plate appearances this year and boasts a career line of .286/.384/.441 against left-handers. The 2003 first rounder was a key contributor for the D'Backs from 2006-08, but his offensive production has fallen off since. Jackson earns $3.2MM this season before hitting free agency.

Rice posted a 3.69 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 85 1/3 innings of relief for Boston's Triple-A affiliate this year. In 256 career minor league appearances, most of which have come out of the bullpen, the 25-year-old has a 3.91 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9. The White Sox selected him in the 11th round of the 2005 draft.'s Jane Lee first reported the move.

Braves Notes: Carroll, Wilson, Diaz

Congratulations to Chipper Jones, who hit his 450th career home run tonight. Here’s the latest on the franchise that selected the switch-hitter first overall 21 years ago… 

  • The Braves, who had interest in Jamey Carroll before acquiring Jack Wilson, could likely have acquired Carroll for a low-level prospect, according to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times. It’s believed that the Dodgers would have covered the remainder of Carroll’s $2.3MM salary, Dilbeck writes.
  • The player to be named in the Matt Diaz trade will be a low-level prospect from an agreed-upon pool of players, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
  • The Braves added Diaz because they’re looking ahead to a possible playoff matchup against the Phillies,'s Buster Olney writes (on Twitter).

NL Central Notes: Brewers, Berkman, Cordero

The Pirates signed Aramis Ramirez as an amateur free agent on this date in 1994. Ramirez spent five and a half seasons with the Pirates before they shipped him to the Cubs. Here are the latest links from the only division Ramirez has ever known…

  • The Brewers are talking about possible upgrades, but aren't close on completing any deals, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch baseball writers are in general agreement that a deal between the Cardinals and Lance Berkman seems likely next year.
  • Reds closer Francisco Cordero told Mark Sheldon of that he would love to return to Cincinnati in 2012 and pitch under Dusty Baker again. The Reds have a $12MM club option for Cordero ($1MM buyout), who says he'd like to retire with the Reds. 
  • MLBTR's Tim Dierkes took a look at the upcoming closer carousel earlier today. Don’t forget to check out for the latest fantasy news on relievers.

Koji Uehara’s 2012 Option Vests

Koji Uehara hasn't pitched as well as expected since joining the Rangers, but he isn't going anywhere. Uehara's $4MM option for 2012 vested tonight when the right-hander took the hill against the Rays and made his 55th appearance of the season.

Uehara, 36, arrived in Texas with a 1.72 ERA, 11.9 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 47 innings for Baltimore. Yet entering tonight's game, a contest in which he allowed an earned run, he had a 6.23 ERA for Texas. To Uehara's credit, he has a 9K/1BB ratio with his new club.

Braves Acquire Jack Wilson

The Mariners announced that they sent Jack Wilson to the Braves for a player to be named later. Wilson, 33, is currently on the disabled list with a bruised heel and is eligible to return to action this Friday.

Wilson has a .249/.283/.295 line in 187 plate appearances for the Mariners this season. He has played second, third and short for Seattle and his glovework is generally highly thought of, so he meets Atlanta's need for infield depth. The Braves had been looking for infield help and inquired on Jamey Carroll before acquiring Wilson. They also acquired outfielder Matt Diaz from Pittsburgh today.

Wilson earns $5MM this season in the final year of the two-year, $10MM deal he signed after the 2009 season. He'll hit free agency after the season.

NL West Notes: Tejada, Rowand, Harang

The Giants designated Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada for assignment today before shutting out the Cubs 4-0. Here are some links from the NL West, starting with the latest on the Giants…

  • Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles says it’s probably too late for a shakeup to affect the Giants’ season. They trail the D'Backs by 5.5 games, so their postseason chances are slim, but they got better today and for next season by designating Rowand and Tejada for assignment, Brisbee argues.
  • There will be no dynasty for the Giants, Jon Paul Morosi writes at FOX Sports.
  •'s Jim Bowden and Padres GM Jed Hoyer agree that MLB should reduce the number of players MLB teams are allowed to call up in September.
  • A trade involving Padres starter Aaron Harang has become more likely, according to Morosi.
  • The Padres are still discussing Chad Qualls with multiple teams, according to Morosi (on Twitter).

Braves Pursued Jamey Carroll, Seek Infield Depth

The Braves pursued Jamey Carroll, but the Dodgers have said they're holding onto the infielder, according to's Mark Bowman (Twitter links). However, Atlanta GM Frank Wren says he could still address one area of need tonight. According to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves continue to pursue middle infield depth (Twitter link).

The Braves, who acquired outfielder Matt Diaz from Pittsburgh today, added corner infielder Wes Helms, two weeks ago. Carroll, 37, has a .289/.358/.347 line in 446 plate appearances for the Dodgers. He has played second and short this year and has MLB experience at third and in the outfield.

AL East Notes: Red Sox, Orioles, Montero, Rays

The Orioles sent Mike Gonzalez to Texas earlier this afternoon, but not before a division rival got involved in the trade talks. Here's the latest from the AL East…

  • Red Sox GM Theo Epstein responded to speculation about the Cubs' GM opening by saying that he's happy in Boston and “all Red Sox, all the time," according Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
  • Gonzalez told's Brittany Ghiroli that he'd listen to offers from the Orioles if they're interested in signing him this offseason.
  •'s Jerry Crasnick looks back at what went wrong for the Orioles this year and starts to address the question of how they can turn things around.
  • The Yankees were also involved in trade talks for Gonzalez, according to's Roch Kubatko. However, Baltimore president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail preferred the pitcher the Rangers were offering.
  • Yankees manager Joe Girardi sounds like he's ready for Jesus Montero to join the team tomorrow, according to's Bryan Hoch (on Twitter).
  • As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained earlier today, Montero would have to be added to the Yankees' now-full 40-man roster before getting called up.
  • The Rays aren't expect to make any deals today, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).

Players Who Cleared Waivers

This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports. Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause). This list can always be found in the sidebar under MLBTR Features. Player names are linked to the source articles.

Updated 8-30-11 at 10:56pm

Starting pitchers

  • Aaron Harang, Padres - Harang's ERA is a respectable 3.92 with 6.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
  • Dontrelle Willis, Reds – Willis has bounced back with the Reds, posting a 4.10 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9, and 56.8% groundball rate in 52 2/3 innings.
  • Carlos Zambrano, Cubs – Zambrano cleared waivers prior to being placed on the disqualified list.  He has a short fuse, lousy stats, and over $22MM remaining on his contract through next year.
  • Rodrigo Lopez, Cubs – Not surprising to see the journeyman clear waivers.
  • Chris Capuano, Mets – Capuano owns a 3.74 SIERA as of August 14th and earns only $1.5MM plus incentives, so it's hard to see why a few teams didn't place claims.
  • Bronson Arroyo, Reds – His peripheral stats haven't changed much, but Arroyo has a 5.31 ERA as of August 15th.  $15MM of his $35MM contract is deferred through 2021 without interest.  The deferrals are voided if he's traded, however.  At any rate, expect Arroyo to stay put.
  • Bruce Chen, Royals – Chen has his moments, but it's not surprising to see him clear waivers.
  • Jason Vargas, Mariners – Like many of the starters here, Vargas' fastball wouldn't break a window.  But he has less than a million bucks left on his contract this year and is under team control through 2013.  He'd fit nicely at the back end of several rotations.    
  • Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals – His three starts this season were his first in over two years, so it's understandable that contenders wouldn't jump to claim him.
  • Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals – Booted to the bullpen last month, the 29-year-old flyballing southpaw has posted strong strikeout rates in recent years but can't hold a rotation job.
  • Ted Lilly, Dodgers – He always has strong strikeout-to-walk numbers, but is prone to the longball.  With over 82% of his $33MM contract remaining ($27MM+), it's no surprise he cleared waivers.


  • Joe Nathan, Twins - Nathan won't be traded, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  • Chad Qualls, Padres – Qualls is enjoying a bounce-back season, though his strikeout rate dipped to 5.3 K/9 this year.
  • Bill Bray, Reds – Bray has been decent this year, and a little tougher against lefties.  He'll be arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason.
  • Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers – A dominant reliever last year, Kuo has dealt with a back injury and anxiety disorder as his control has eluded him.
  • Huston Street, Rockies – Between a recent triceps injury and the $9MM+ owed to him through 2012, Street was expected to clear.
  • Brian Fuentes, Athletics – He's owed over $6MM through next year, and has been mediocre for the A's.
  • Jon Rauch, Blue Jays – Rauch is affordable, but he's on the DL for an appendectomy and wasn't great before that.
  • Mike Gonzalez, Orioles – Gonzalez has been dominant in August, and against lefties.  The problem is that he's still owed almost a million bucks.
  • Kevin Gregg, Orioles – Gregg might be the worst reliever holding down a closer's job, and he's owed at least $6.4MM through next year.
  • John Grabow, Cubs – He's been ineffective even against lefties, and he has over $700K remaining.
  • D.J. Carrasco, Mets – The Mets signed Carrasco to a two-year deal in December – their biggest acquisition of the offseason - but optioned him to Triple-A in April.  He stayed there until mid-June.

Position players

  • Aramis Ramirez, Cubs – In July, Ramirez's agent said that his client would consider an August deal but he has since had a change of heart.  The Cubs hold an option on Ramirez's deal worth $16MM.
  • Alfonso Soriano, Cubs – This one was also obvious.  SI's Jon Heyman notes on Twitter that the Cubs are willing to pay a "major, major chunk" of the $58.35MM owed to the left fielder through 2014.
  • Lance Berkman, Cardinals – Berkman has said he hopes to re-sign with St. Louis after the season, when he hits free agency.  Still, it's a surprise to see him clear waivers.
  • Ryan Theriot, Cardinals - Theriot earns $3.3MM this year and will be a non-tender candidate after the season.
  • David Wright, Mets - It's surprising that Wright cleared waivers, but it doesn't mean the Mets have interest in dealing him. Wright earns $15MM next year and can void a $16MM club option for 2013 if traded.
  • Conor Jackson, Athletics – Olney notes that the Red Sox asked about the light-hitting 1B/LF/RF, but there doesn't seem to be any traction there.
  • David DeJesus, Athletics – DeJesus has had a rough year but could at least be useful against right-handed pitching.
  • Hideki Matsui, Athletics – The Athletics have several waiver trade candidates, and Matsui's hot second half and low salary (owed less than $2MM the rest of the season) could make him a popular target.
  • Jason Bay, Mets – With Bay being owed at least $38.8MM through 2013, this was expected.  It's only been 12 games, but Bay is at least having his first good month of 2011.
  • Willie Harris, Mets – The versatile Harris has less than $200K left on his contract.
  • Angel Pagan, Mets – It's been a dismal year for Pagan, who may be in line for a non-tender after the season.
  • Carlos Lee, Astros – No surprise here, as the 35-year-old is hitting .263/.321/.417 and is owed almost $23MM through next year.  El Caballo's ten-and-five rights kick in after the season.
  • Johnny Damon, Rays – Damon blocked an August trade last summer and 12 months later he's a candidate to be traded once again.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.

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