Author Archives: Zach Links

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Miller, Yankees, Bogaerts

On this date in 2000, Rickey Henderson reached agreement on a deal with the Mariners, Leo Panetta of NationalPastime.com writes. Henderson, who was released earlier in the year by the Mets, hit a lead-off home run in his first at-bat for Seattle.  Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere..

Please send submissions to Zach at ZachBBWI@gmail.com.


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Glanville, D’Backs, Angels

On this date in 2008, Greg Maddux won the 350th game of his career as a member of the Padres, as Leo Panetta of NationalPastime.com writes.  The 42 year-old became the ninth pitcher in major league history to reach the milestone as he gave up just three hits across six innings.  Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere..

Please send submissions to Zach at ZachBBWI@gmail.com.


Cafardo On Soriano, Harang, Kazmir

In last week’s win over the Orioles, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez officially passed Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time home run list.  Of course, his home run record is clouded by his history and the Yankees refusing to pay him his milestone bonuses has arguably become the bigger story.

Many former players have spoken out against current players that have used steroids, like Rodriguez.  Former major league first baseman David Segui alleges that a few of those scolding players are PED users themselves.

What bothers me is the hypocrites,” Segui told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. “I see them on TV sometimes criticizing people who took steroids. I say, ‘What a minute . . . maybe the public doesn’t know what you did, but I know what you did.’ Those are the ones that bother me. Just keep your mouth shut.

Years ago, Segui fessed up to his own PED use, but he refused to turn on fellow players who also used steroids.  Here’s more from Cafardo’s Sunday morning column..

  • Scott Boras tells Cafardo that he’s getting closer with “a few teams” regarding Rafael Soriano.  Late last month it was reported that Twins and Mariners are among the teams interested in Soriano.  At the time, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, who reported that there were conversations between the M’s and Boras regarding Soriano, also suggested that the Pirates, Indians, and Dodgers could be “logical suitors.”  If there is interest for Cleveland and Pittsburgh, one has to wonder if payroll constraints could play a factor.
  • A major league source tells Cafardo that teams are already calling on Phillies veteran Aaron Harang and scouting him.  One NL scout has been impressed with Harang before and feels that he would be worth a second-level prospect for a contending club.  Back in March, MLBTradeRumors spoke with Harang about his experience in free agency and what led him to sign with the Phillies this winter.  Harang also told MLBTR that he wasn’t overly concerned about the prospect of being traded midseason by GM Ruben Amaro as the team rebuilds.
  • One AL GM feels that it’s just a matter of time before the A’s move left-hander Scott Kazmir.  “Tick, tick, tick,” the GM said when asked if he thinks Kazmir might be moved before the deadline. “Sure. If Oakland can’t hang in, Billy [Beane] will flip him for prospects. He’s actually an interesting name. All you hear about is [David] Price, [Jordan] Zimmermann, [Johnny] Cueto, but that’s a pretty good name right there.”  Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the A’s aren’t yet thinking about trading Kazmir as they still haven’t given up on their hopes of contending.  In last place at 12-20 heading into today’s game against the Mariners, I’d imagine that the A’s will have to give some serious thought to moving the 31-year-old if things don’t turn around quickly.


Jarrod Parker Suffers Arm Injury

A’s pitcher Jarrod Parker has suffered a fracture of the right medial epicondyle, as John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group writes. Parker is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery and given how critical the right medial epicondyle is to holding together a surgically-repair arm, it is feared that Parker could be in store for a third Tommy John procedure.

We don’t know how much this is going to set back his recovery at this point in time,’’ A’s trainer Nick Paparesta said Saturday night. “He’s going to go home, where we’re going to set him up to see some specialists and see what our options are. It seems like surgery is kind of imminent, what kind of surgery we kind of have to wait and see.’’

Until Parker gets further evaluated, he won’t know the exact nature of his injury or the level of surgery that will be required.  Therefore, at this time, there is no timetable for his recovery, but it sounds like there is fear that he could be lost for the season.  Parker received a x-rays and a CT-scan on Saturday night, so a diagnosis might not be too far away.

Parker, 26, broke out in his first full major league season, pitching to a 3.47 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. He followed that up in 2013 by posting a 3.97 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 across 32 starts. Unfortunately, however, he has not seen a big league mound since then.  This season, Parker in the minors working to get back on track before this latest setback.


Blue Jays Designate Preston Guilmet For Assignment

The Blue Jays announced that they have designated Preston Guilmet for assignment. The right-hander has been removed from the 40-man roster in order to help make room for infielder/outfielder Steve Tolleson.

Guilmet, 28 in July, pitched 10 1/3 innings out of the Orioles’ bullpen in 2014, allowing six runs on eight hits with 12 strikeouts against two walks. The former ninth-round pick has a nice track record at Triple-A and notched a 3.91 ERA there in 2014 with an impressive 10.1 K/9 against just 1.9 BB/9. This season, Guilmet pitched to a 1.26 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in ten appearances for Triple-A Buffalo.


AL Notes: Hamilton, Ventura, Graham, Texas, Hassan

The Angels signing of Josh Hamilton has set the franchise back in ways other than financial, opines Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. During the 2012 offseason, the Angels decided to invest their payroll in Hamilton rather than make a serious bid to retain Zack Greinke. The five-year, $125MM contract forced GM Jerry DiPoto to cut corners when building his pitching staff for the 2013 sesaon and eventually he had to deal bats like Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick to acquire young arms (Hector Santiago, Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney) over the next two offseasons. Shaikin posits the Angels’ lineup is a Mike Trout injury away from being devasted.

Elsewhere in the American League:

  • With public criticism mounting against White Sox manager Robin Ventura, first baseman Jose Abreu came to the defense of his skipper, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune tweets. “If the people want someone to blame, it’s the players, not Robin,” Abreu said.
  • Twins Rule 5 pick J.R. Graham is here to stay, manager Paul Molitor tells reporters, including Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter). “He’s going to be here all year,” the manager said. Graham threw two scoreless innings to close out the Twins’ 13-3 beating of the White Sox this afternoon.
  • The Rangers will have a logjam at first base once Mitch Moreland recovers from his elbow surgery, but they won’t be able to move some of the surplus to the outfield because of the injury history of Moreland and Kyle Blanks, reports Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. Moreland says there was only one bone chip (a little bigger than the size of a watermelon seed) that needed to be removed from his elbow, tweets FOXSportsSouthwest.com’s Anthony Andro.
  • Indications are the continuing waiver wire saga of outfielder Alex Hassan (who has been claimed five times over the past seven months after being picked up by the A’s yesterday) will prompt the MLBPA to make this an issue during the next round of collective bargaining, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. The concern is the procedural movement hampers a prospect’s development, a sentiment echoed by Hassan. “You’re just behind,” Hassan said. “Do I prefer to be claimed by another team and have to break my lease and have to move my family and have to go find another apartment and take another short-term lease and get settled — and have to perform right away, knowing you’re the last guy on the 40-man roster? Or would it be better to stay where you are and get some stability and hopefully play well enough to where you might earn your way back up there? I don’t know the answer to that.

Cafardo On Hamels, Rays, Red Sox

The Phillies are “waiting with open arms” to find the right trade for at least one of their big-name veteran players, a major league official tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  That list of big names, of course, includes ace Cole Hamels, though Jonathan Papelbon and Chase Utley could also be moved, Cafardo writes.  Amaro recently told reporters that he’s willing to eat part of Hamels’ contract in a trade if necessary, and that could help bring about a deal for the Phillies.  More from today’s column..

  • Major league sources tell Cafardo that the tampering investigation brought by Rays owner Stuart Sternberg against the Cubs for their hiring of Joe Maddon was reopened when Sternberg objected to the original verdict.  In the end, however, it was found that there was no tampering in the negotiations.
  • Marlins GM Dan Jennings thought he had trade possibilities for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was designated for assignment last week. He’s currently in the 10-day limbo period in which he could be traded, claimed, or put on waivers.
  • Scouts are still waiting for Red Sox outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig to bust out and it appears Boston is going to play him more to boost his trade value.  Cafardo notes that Craig has historically hit well in the month of May.
  • The Red Sox are trying to create roster versatility by using players at different positions. Shortstop Deven Marrero is the team’s latest experiment after seeing time at second base. One NL scout isn’t so wild about the concept. “He’s a terrific athlete so he’ll do well at the other positions, but this is the type of guy where you know he’s a terrific shortstop so why mess around with that?” said the scout. “He’s got high confidence as a shortstop and now you’re reducing that confidence level by making him play positions he’s not used to.

East Notes: Howard, A-Rod, Phillies

Ryan Hanigan‘s injury pushed the Red Sox to throw Blake Swihart directly into the fire upon his big league promotion, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. Learning on the fly is hardly ideal for a catcher, but Boston doesn’t have much choice and Swihart says he’s up for the task. “I feel ready,” he said. “I don’t think I’d be here if I didn’t feel ready. I love a challenge. I’m ready.”  A look at the AL and NL East..

  • Ryan Howard earned his 10-and-5 rights on Saturday, but Phillies GM Ruben Amaro claims he isn’t concerned about how that could affect a potential trade.  “I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Amaro said, according to Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s a big deal for him, for two reasons: I think he should be recognized for [having] the most games played at first base in our franchise. That’s a pretty awesome feat, No. 1. And No. 2, obviously he’s been a long-standing member of this club and has had a great deal to do with the success.”  As Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News explained over the weekend, Howard essentially had full no-trade protection prior to Saturday thanks to a modification to Jimmy Rollins‘ contract before his trade.
  • Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald wonders how history would have been changed if Alex Rodriguez joined the Red Sox back in 2003.  The player’s union shot down a deal that would have sent Rodriguez to the Rangers for Manny Ramirez and Jon Lester (then a prospect in Single-A) because A-Rod would have taken a $28MM pay cut to make the deal possible.  If that marriage did take place, it might not have lasted long.  Apparently, the Red Sox would have allowed Rodriguez to opt out of his contract after the 2007 season, multiple sources familiar with the team’s thinking at the time tell Lauber. And unlike the Yankees, who re-signed him to a 10-year, $275MM contract after allowing him to exercise the opt-out, they “definitely would have let him walk,” an NL exec said.
  • As a Hall of Famer managing in the bigs after his induction, Phillies skipper Ryne Sandberg is part of a rare breed.  Despite his resume, Sandberg didn’t feel like he was too good to work his way up through managing in the minors first, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes.  “I would say that just because you’re a Hall of Famer doesn’t mean managing is for you,” said Sandberg, whose team is in last place in the NL East. “I think the perception is that Hall of Famers don’t want to prove (themselves) and go the route that you have to go. I thought it was necessary and worthwhile for me.”

Yankees Notes: A-Rod, Hamilton, Betances

Wednesday will mark the 100 year anniversary of Babe Ruth’s first major league homer, as Ray Cavanaugh of the New York Post writes. In 1915, Ruth, then playing for the Red Sox, took Jack Warhop deep to right in the top of the third inning. Ruth also pitched the complete game that day and reporters of the day were already picking up on his potential. Wilmot E. Giffin, journalist for the New York Evening Journal, said of Ruth: “When he is not pitching, they can use him for an outfielder and pinch hitter. In these days of efficiency he is the ideal player.” Here’s a look at the Yankees in 2015..

  • Alex Rodriguez deserves to cash in on his home run milestone, Bob Klapisch of the Boston Herald opines.  However, Klapisch hears from sources that the Yankees‘ hierarchy is convinced that they have an airtight case against paying A-Rod for his accomplishment.  Last night, GM Brian Cashman confirmed that the Bombers will not pay Rodriguez his home run bonus. Of course, the final determination will be made by an arbitrator if Rodriguez appeals.
  • Josh Hamilton‘s free agent deal stands as the worst contract ever, leaving Rodriguez’s ten-year, $275MM free agent pact with the Yankees in the dust, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.  The Yankees didn’t get their moneys worth on the whole but they did get something out of Rodriguez unlike the Angels who essentially gave Hamilton $105MM for two years.
  • Yankees homegrown talent Dellin Betances is the real deal for the Yankees, Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News writes.  Through 13 appearances this season, Betances has yet to allow an earned run.

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Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Jimenez, D’Backs, Blue Jays

On this date in 1988, Pete Rose became the first manager to be suspended for an on-field incident, as Leo Panetta of NationalPastime.com writes.  National League president Bart Giamatti issued a thirty day suspension for the Reds skipper’s shoving of umpire Dave Pallone.  Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere..

Please send submissions to Zach at ZachBBWI@gmail.com.