Garret Anderson Rumors
Garret Anderson is retiring today, according to MLB.com's Lyle Spencer. The 17-year veteran posted a .293/.324/.461 in 17 seasons with the Angels, Braves and Dodgers, but he'll be remembered for his contributions in Anaheim. He retires as the Angels' all-time leader in games, hits, doubles, total bases, runs, extra base hits and RBI.
The 1990 fourth-round selection made three All-Star teams and won two Silver Sluggers. He was especially productive in 2002, when the Angels won it all, and 2003. Anderson led the American League in doubles both years, posting a combined OPS+ of 129.
Anderson agreed to a minor league deal with the Dodgers last March, but they cut him in August after a disappointing season. The 38-year-old hit .181/.204/.271 for the Dodgers and didn't draw interest as a free agent this winter.
On this date 41 years ago, Major League owners unanimously elected Bowie Kuhn to a seven-year term as commissioner. It was under Kuhn that the reserve clause was eliminated, paving the way for free agency as we know it.
We've got a lot of links to get to, so let's dive right in...
- Joe Posnanski tries to determine who the worst everyday player in baseball is.
- Royals Review breaks down all the changes the Royals have gone through since the start of last season.
- Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness congratulates Garret Anderson on the worst offensive season in Dodgers history.
- Bright House Sports Network looks at the Rays' history of waiver trades, plus some names they might target this month.
- The Process Report wonders if this season will be Dan Wheeler's last stand in Tampa.
- DRays Bay tries to figure out if Gabe Kapler should be designated for assignment.
- Disciples of Uecker thinks the Jim Edmonds-Chris Dickerson trade was the best for everyone.
- Around The Majors posted a two part series looking at the events that have brought Andres Torres' career back from the dead (parts one & two).
- Meanwhile, Joe Pawlikowski at FanGraphs examines Pat Burrell's resurgence since joining the Giants.
- The Nats Blog breaks down Stephen Strasburg's first bump in the road.
- Red Sox Beacon re-introduces us to Carlos Delgado.
- U.S.S. Mariner looks at the job security of Major League managers, or the lack thereof.
- Camden Crazies explains the Buck Showalter magic going on in Baltimore.
- Randall On Baseball revisits the trade that sent Brandon Morrow to the Blue Jays for Brandon League.
- Baseball 101 looks at a different way of valuing relievers based on the work of Bill James.
- Baseball Analysts analyzed the Rule 5 Draft.
The Dodgers released Garret Anderson, according to the MLB.com transactions page. They designated the veteran outfielder for assignment over the weekend. Anderson, 38, hit .181/.204/.271 in 163 plate appearances this year. He has played 34 games in the outfield and Joe Torre used him regularly as a pinch hitter.
The Dodgers, who committed $550K to Anderson before the season, appear to have some interest in another outfielder: Jose Guillen. Anderson now hits the free agent market, but finding another big league job this year will be a major challenge.
Sunday night linkage..
- Jay Gibbons, who retired from baseball a season ago, is grateful for his latest opportunity with the Dodgers, writes Evan Drellich of MLB.com.
- Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times wonders why the Dodgers waited until now to designate Garret Anderson for assignment.
- The Pirates fired pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and bench coach Gary Varsho, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Mets manager Jerry Manuel told reporters that Fernando Martinez and Jeff Francoeur won't platoon all of the time, according to Michael Baron of MetsBlog. Yesterday we learned that Francoeur was unsatisfied with the arrangement and was ready to meet with GM Omar Minaya to discuss trade possibilities.
The Dodgers have designated Garret Anderson for assignment according to the team's official Twitter feed. The move frees up a roster spot for Jay Gibbons, who had his contract purchased from the team's Triple-A affiliate.
The 38-year-old Anderson hit just .181/.204/.271 in 163 total plate appearances this year, though he was slightly better in 52 pinch-hitting appearances (.240/.269/.360). The Dodgers signed him to a minor league deal worth $550K back in March, and are still on the hook for his salary for the remainder of the season.
Gibbons, 33, was mashing to the tune of a .347/.375/.594 batting line with 28 doubles and 19 homers in 376 Triple-A plate appearances this year. He spent last season with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League, and hasn't appeared in the big leagues since 2007. The lefty swinger spent time at first and in both corner outfield spots this year, so he should step right into Anderson's role and provide an immediate upgrade.
With Manny Ramirez activated today from the disabled list, the Dodgers put backup outfielder Reed Johnson on the DL to create roster space. In the opinion of Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, Johnson's back injury might've been the "slight reprieve" that Garret Anderson needed to stay on the team. With George Sherrill put on waivers, Dilbeck thinks the Dodgers would have Anderson in mind should the club be looking to further clear the roster of under-performing veterans.
Anderson signed a minor-league contract with L.A. in March and made the club with the expectation that he would provide veteran leadership, a backup glove in the outfield and left-handed pinch-hitting help off the bench. While Dilbeck says Anderson is "great in the clubhouse," the outfielder has posted a .470 OPS in 140 plate appearances and his limited time in the field has been shaky (a -8.8 UZR/150).
Dilbeck thinks L.A. has more to gain by cutting Anderson and keeping rookie Xavier Paul as the left-handed outfield reserve. Dilbeck notes that Paul himself hasn't performed overly well (a .649 OPS in 94 PAs) but Paul at least has upside, whereas there's little evidence that Anderson will turn things around in the second half. GM Ned Colletti gave Anderson a vote of confidence in May, but if the problem, as Colletti claimed, was that Anderson hasn't yet adjusted to a backup role, then two more months of struggles would seem to imply that Anderson may never find that comfort zone. Anderson's career 103 OPS+ is a sign that he may have been a poor choice for the "professional hitter" pinch-hitting job in the first place.
In spite of Anderson's problems this season, he would likely get picked up by another team in the hopes that his experience could aid a playoff contender (and that his numbers would pick up with a change of scenery). If Dilbeck's prediction of July 24 as the Dodgers' decision day is correct, Anderson would have lots of time to catch on with another team should he actually be released.
Lots of cool things have happened on May 14th throughout baseball history. Mickey Mantle joined the 500 homerun club in 1967 (just the sixth player to do so at the time); Reggie Jackson passed Mantle on the all-time homer list with his 537th on the same 1986 day that Cardinals' utility player Jose Oquendo became the first non-pitcher in history to get a decision when he took the loss in extra innings; Doc Gooden threw his no-hitter in 1996, and the Mets set a single game franchise record with seven steals against the Giants in 2009 without the help of Jose Reyes. Also, this happened in 2008.
Here are a few links from around the web...
- Royals Authority thinks about the unthinkable: trading Zack Greinke.
- Pittsburgh Lumber Co. busts the myth that Neal Huntington can't spot talent.
- DRays Bay wonders if the Rays should cut Pat Burrell and replace him with Hank Blalock.
- The Crawfish Boxes looks at Lance Berkman's trade value.
- Feeling Dodger Blue says that Garret Anderson may not be long for the Dodgers.
- At Home Plate says that Carl Crawford's future is uncertain.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
Links for Tuesday, as J.J. Hardy hits the disabled list...
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that he's sticking with Garret Anderson despite the former slugger's struggles as a pinch hitter and occasional outfielder this year.
- As Danny Knobler of CBS Sports points out, Barry Zito is making that $126MM contract look a little more tolerable to Giants fans these days.
- The White Sox named Jerry Krause their director of international scouting. The former Chicago Bulls GM had been overseeing the team's scouting in the Dominican Republic.
- If you have experience designing databases, MLBTR has a project for you. We’re interested in finding someone to design a searchable database for the site, so send an email to email@example.com if you are the right person for the job.
- The Mets released Shawn Riggans, who had been in the minors, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (via Twitter).
- Check out Tim's appearance on 590 KFNS in St. Louis right here.
- The Reds released outfielder Josh Anderson from their Triple A club, reports Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal.
- Brad Penny told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he'd like to re-sign with the Cardinals, but if he doesn't he appreciates the opportunity they've given him. Penny ranks eighth in the NL with a 1.99 ERA, a figure he'll look to improve upon against the Astros tonight. The Cardinals also have Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia in the NL's top ten.
- The Mariners were choosing between Brandon Morrow and Daniel Bard for the fifth overall pick in the '06 draft, learned WEEI's Alex Speier.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan looks at ten popular phenoms making waves this year.
- Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News solves the mystery of the new delivery Barry Zito busted out in his first Giants bullpen session a few years ago.
- Chuck Hixson of PhillyBaseballNews.com looks at a few closers who might be available should the Phillies start looking.
Despite being told that he will not make the Dodgers' Opening Day roster, Doug Mientkiewicz's request to be released from his contract has yet to be granted, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Mientkiewicz says that he has been told he is the club's contingency plan in the event that Garret Anderson is hurt.
The Dodgers have contractual control over the 35-year-old first baseman until Friday, when his opt-out clause goes into effect. Mientkiewicz says he doesn't understand why he has yet to be cut loose as Angel Berroa and Eric Gagne were both released upon their requests.
Mientkiewicz, known best for his defense, declined an offer from manager Joe Torre to stay on with the club as a coach. In twelve big league seasons, the veteran has a career slash line of .271/.360/.405.
Some links for Saturday..
- Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer hears that Eric Wedge is taking this year off by choice. The former Indians skipper, who is still under contract with the club for one more year, was connected to the Mets' bench coach job for a while.
- The strong play of Nats rookie shortstop Ian Desmond could bump Cristian Guzman from the starting lineup, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com. However, it will be difficult for Washington will find a taker for Guzman's $8MM salary.
- Newly acquired Dodger Garret Anderson knows that he's fighting for a very limited role with club, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Anderson played in 135 games for the Braves last season, hitting .268/.303/.401 with 13 HRs.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Giants pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim has the right to opt out of his contract on March 15th if he doesn't think he'll make the 25-man roster. The 31-year-old - who last pitched in the majors in 2007 - signed a minor league deal with San Francisco in February.
- Bobby Valentine told Marlins beat reporters that he was never spoke with club owner Jeffrey Loria about managing the team, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Bobby V said the speculation was unfair to skipper Fredi Gonzalez, who led guided Florida to 87 wins and a second-place finish in the NL East.
- Arizona GM Josh Byrnes said that the club wants to look at internal candidates first if Brandon Webb is unable to start the regular season, tweets MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. Byrnes added that the club, as always, will keep an eye on the waiver wire as Spring Training winds down (also via Twitter).
- Despite the impressive play of Josh Bell, Miguel Tejada will be the Orioles' starting third baseman barring a "dramatic" event, writes Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun. The O's signed Tejada to a one-year, $6MM deal in late January.
- Joe Posnanski takes a look at the history of the Rule 5 draft. Fun Fact: The Rule 5 draft goes back more than 100 years.