- Stephen Strasburg didn't allow a run and struck out nine in 6.1 innings at Triple A tonight, as the AP notes on ESPN.com. It's only a matter of weeks before Strasburg starts striking out big leaguers.
- Cha-Seung Baek appears to have found a home in the Yuma Scorpions' rotation, writes Edward Carifio of the Yuma Sun.
- Randy Ruiz, who signed with a Japanese team after getting released by the Blue Jays, told Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star that he's "set for life" (Twitter link).
- Former big leaguer Mike Gosling retired on Monday, according to the Indians' Twitter. The 29-year-old was pitching well in Triple A Columbus, but decided to focus on his family.
- This should come as no surprise, but the Marlins are not looking to trade Hanley Ramirez, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (via Twitter).
- Former Ranger Kevin Millwood tells Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com that he has no hard feelings about the deal that sent him to Baltimore last offseason.
- Carl Crawford told reporters that he doesn't really think about his impending free agency, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
- J.P. Howell had shoulder surgery today, but the Rays are "optimistic" that the reliever will be ready for 2011, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (via Twitter).
- ESPN.com's Rob Neyer doesn't think the red hot Blue Jays are likely to finish the season above .500.
- Matt Klaassen of FanGraphs reminds us that Alex Rios was an excellent player before 2009 and argues that the White Sox got a "very good player at a reasonable price" when they claimed him off of waivers from the Blue Jays last summer.
- The first-year player draft begins on June 7th. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo takes a stab at projecting the first ten picks.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick runs through nine stories that have been overdone this year.
- Crasnick's colleague Buster Olney talked to couple of rival talent evaluators who'd love to see the Marlins shop Hanley Ramirez in the wake of his recent jogging incident. Instead, ESPN's Enrique Rojas reports that Ramirez will apologize to Fredi Gonzalez and the team today.
Monday night linkage..
- The Tigers went from sellers to buyers this offseason, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck.
- Hank Blalock's former teammates are surprised to see him still without a job, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Earlier today we heard that the Rays and Marlins are thought to have interest in the 29-year-old.
- Pitcher Cha Seung Baek tried out for the Mariners today, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. Baek last pitched in the majors in 2008 and was released by San Diego in October of 2009.
- Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com spoke to White Sox GM Ken Williams, who said that he nearly pulled off a deal that would have possibly given the club the best rotation in the history of the game. Williams wouldn't name names, but Garfien believes that he was referring to Roy Halladay.
- Nats pitcher John Lannan has decided to part ways with agent Andrew Mongelluzzi and latch on with Brodie Van Wagenen of Creative Artists Agency, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Lannan will be arbitration-eligible after the 2010 season and become a free agent after the 2013 campaign.
- While the Dodgers remain in contact with Braden Looper's representation, the chances for a deal are slim as they cannot offer him a spot in the rotation or the salary he wants, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
MLBTR has learned that the Padres released righty Cha Seung Baek. The Korean hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008, when he split time between the Mariners and Padres. Baek, who turns 30 in May, allowed 118 hits and 30 walks in 111 innings of work last year, striking out 77.
Tim had identified him as a non-tender candidate, so his release isn't a huge surprise. We heard in August that Baek may require a second Tommy John operation (via MLB.com's Corey Brock), but his numbers suggest he can pitch if healthy.
Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres will promote right-hander Chad Gaudin before Monday's game for a start on Tuesday against the Rockies.
According to Brock, Padres GM Kevin Towers said Sunday that he will not seek to acquire pitching help in a trade.
The Padres have been hit hard by injuries to their rotation, placing three starters on the disabled list in the last month. Cha Seung Baek and Walter Silva have strained forearms, and Shawn Hill was moved to the DL after leaving a game with inflammation in his elbow.
The Padres and Mariners worked out a minor trade, as they have many times in the past. The Padres acquired Cha Seung Baek for Jared Wells. Baek was in the 10-day limbo period after being designated for assignment. Paul DePodesta explains that the Padres have been eyeing Baek for some time.
Baek, 28, has a 4.96 ERA in 168.2 career innings for the Mariners. His best asset has been respectable control. The Ms signed Baek out of Korea for $1.3MM in ’98. Baseball America said back in ’05 that Baek succeeds by locating a full five-pitch repertoire. He had Tommy John surgery back in ’01.
Wells, 26, was shifted to relief at Triple A last year and picked up nine saves. His numbers have been ugly – tons of hits, poor control, mediocre strikeout rate. Baseball America notes his average slider and decent two-seam fastball.
Here’s today’s link collection.
- Hal McCoy seems fairly certain that Ken Griffey Jr. will play out the season with the Reds.
- Dejan Kovacevic has heard that the Pirates are torn between Pedro Alvarez and Tim Beckham at #2.
- Cha Seung Baek has been DFA’d, and this time he might be claimed. He could have a career as a fifth starter somewhere.
- John Brattain explains why he feels teams are colluding against Barry Bonds.
- The Rangers DFA’d reliever Franklyn German; Evan Grant explains why.
- The Indians claimed reliever Oneli Perez from the White Sox. Baseball America says the six-fingered pitcher has attitude questions.
- According to Buster Olney, David Wells is still waiting by the phone hoping for a team to call.
- RotoAuthority examines Daniel Cabrera’s hot start.
Ken Rosenthal has his latest column up at FoxSports.com. As usual he is not shy about stirring up rumors. Let’s take a look at what the rumor-guru has to say:
- Rosenthal notes that the Dodgers will go with Blake DeWitt at third base who has never played a game above AA. This comes after the Dodgers failed to acquire either the Astros’ Mark Loretta, who was unavailable and the Royals’ Esteban German, who was too expensive. The Royals were asking for the Dodgers’ third best prospect, shortstop Chin-Lung Hu.
- He indicates that the Padres and the Rays are pursuing Matt Murton but the Cubs are holding out for a top pitching prospect in return, knowing Murton will be a starter on another club. Rosenthal quotes one GM as saying that the price "is way too high as of now". As many as five teams have shown interest in Murton.
- The Mets are among a dozen teams that have inquired about Brewers pitcher Claudio Vargas, who will not be in the rotation to begin the season. [Update: Sorry about this one. I had forgotten that the Brewers released Vargas earlier this week]
- The Reds have put Ryan Freel on the market, but more teams appear to be interested in Scott Hatteberg. However, Rosenthal indicates that it is unlikely for the Red to trade Hatteberg even if Joey Votto is named the starter.
- The Tigers, Reds and Orioles all tried to acquire backup catcher Brayan Pena from the Braves, but the Braves do not appear interested in letting him go
- Rosenthal says that Pat Gillick’s history in Seattle may have played a part in the Phillies inability to land M’s reliever Cha Seung Baek, who is out of options but made the roster as a reliever.
- Finally, Rosenthal notes that Mike Piazza is still working out with hopes of landing a gig at some point in ’08. Rosenthal thinks that Piazza may have to come to the realization soon that his career may be over.
As the Mariners set their roster for the regular season, options become an important consideration. Earlier this month, Seattle Times reporter Geoff Baker answered some Rumor Royalty questions for MLBTR. Baker highlighted two of those players, Mike Morse and Cha Seung Baek, as likely to make the team or find work elsewhere.
M’s manager John McLaren said he’d like to have his squad set before breaking camp and leaving for their San Francisco-Las Vegas swing.
And this morning, while speaking with Baker’s colleague, Ryan Divish, McLaren hinted at possibly going the trade route with the team’s "out of options" personnel:
Unless there’s something going on with one of these guys – Dickey, the Rule 5 guy, if we’ve got a deal going for one of our guys who’s out of options. That may push us back, but I’d like to be set when we hit that plane. I don’t know that we can do that, but that would be my goal.
Any team interested in Morse has to be willing to forgive and forget as he was suspended in 2005 for violating MLB’s drug policy (Morse has said it all stemmed from an "enormous mistake" he made in 2003). Other than Morse and Baek the Mariners’ other "OOO" (how’s that for an acronym!) player is Charlton Jimerson. Check out MLBTR’s full Out of Options list here.