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Chin-hui Tsao Rumors
Here are some random bits and pieces to hold us over until front offices re-open…
- Shea Hillenbrand has only received one inquiry this winter – from the Giants. He probably won’t be earning $6MM again. Hillenbrand posted a .599 OPS in 267 ABs for the Angels and Dodgers this year. I thought perhaps that was one of the worst performances of the decade for guys with 250+ ABs. However it’s only the 49th worst since 2000. Homer Bush’s 2000 takes the cake – a .524 OPS for the Blue Jays in 297 ABs.
- The Royals inked Chin-Hui Tsao to a minor-league deal. Tsao was once considered the Rockies’ best prospect, but he’s been decimated by injuries. Makes sense for the Royals to throw him a bone though.
- Koji Uehara re-signed with the Yomiuri Giants for 400 million yen – about $3.57MM. He’ll turn 33 in April. A hamstring injury knocked Uehara out of the ’07 season’s first month, denying him free agency this winter. Now he needs to be active for just eight days to be eligible after the season. The Giants used him in relief in ’07, perhaps to spite him. Read more about that and his repertoire in my Q&A with Mike Plugh on Uehara.
- John Fay runs down the Reds’ veteran free agent starter options.
- A-Rod still won’t return Scott Boras’ calls.
- Jason Churchill names some intriguing, possibly available young hurlers who may be on Seattle’s radar: Scott Olsen, Noah Lowry, Daniel Cabrera, Edwin Jackson, Chris Capuano, Ian Snell, and Anthony Reyes.
- Nothing is cooking with Brandon Inge, and the Tigers won’t be bringing Sean Casey back.
- Juan Pierre could be shifted to left field to allow the Dodgers to employ a stronger arm in center field. It’s odd…teams seem to be souring on last winter’s signings even when they received exactly what everyone expected (Pierre and Jason Marquis, for example). It’d be different for the Red Sox to sour on J.D. Drew, he played well below expectations in Year 1. Anyway, Pierre could be moved to accomodate Matt Kemp (perhaps putting Andre Ethier in right), or the Dodgers could pursue a center fielder. They’ve already been connected to Andruw Jones.
- The Dodgers perceive third base as a big hole, apparently not willing to give Andy LaRoche another look. Of course we have to mention Alex Rodriguez. But how about Mike Lowell?
- The Dodgers will pass on options for Ramon Martinez and Randy Wolf, but might consider Mike Lieberthal at $1.5MM. Liebs could earn almost $40K per game next year, not too shabby.
- L.A. has a couple of non-tender candidates: Mark Hendrickson and Chin-hui Tsao. Apparently they will keep Hendrickson but cut Tsao loose.