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Jason Pridie Rumors
Here's the latest from the AL West…
- Two investment groups have expressed interest in buying the Athletics and keeping the team in Oakland, reports Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle. Neither group wanted to be publicly identified, though one also showed interest in buying the Dodgers before dropping out due to the expected $1.5 billion price tag. Lew Wolff, the A's managing partner, reiterated that he and partner John Fisher aren't looking to sell the team.
- Athletics outfielder Jason Pridie's 50-game suspension for drug use was officially announced today by Major League Baseball. As John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Friday, this was Pridie's second violation (hence the 50-game penalty) and it was for a "drug of abuse," not a performance-enhancing drug.
- Now that the Tigers have released David Pauley, John Hickey of CSNNW.com speculates that the Mariners might be interested in re-acquiring the right-hander. Pauley appeared in 58 games for the M's from 2010-11 before being traded to Detroit last July as part of the Doug Fister deal.
- Mike Napoli is in a similar situation to that of C.J. Wilson a year ago, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan as part of a Rangers mailbag. Napoli and Wilson were both looking for career-best contracts following their breakout seasons, while Sullivan notes the Rangers are wary of making that kind of commitment after just one season of top-tier performance. Wilson, of course, signed a free agent deal with the Angels this winter.
- In case you missed it earlier today, here's a wrap-up of Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine's interview with Bryan Dolgin of ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM radio.
Yoenis Cespedes may make his Cactus League debut this weekend, GM Billy Beane said, according to Barry Bloom of MLB.com. Here are some more Athletics-related notes…
- Athletics outfielder Jason Pridie will be suspended 50 games for violating the minor league drug program, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter links). Pridie tested positive for a “drug of abuse,” rather than a performance-enhancing drug, apparently doing so for the second time. He signed a minor league deal with the A’s in November.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains that retiring was probably a mistake for Manny Ramirez. The decision to retire affected the type of suspension he faced for violating MLB's drug policy.
- Ramirez said he almost signed with the Blue Jays this offseason before determining the Athletics' interest was more serious. “At first [the Blue Jays] said yes. Then they said, ‘We’re going to have to think about it,’” Ramirez said.
- The A's released catcher Landon Powell earlier today.
Today's minor moves…
- Jason Pridie has signed a minor league deal with the Athletics, according to a tweet from Sosnick Cobbe Sports. The 28-year-old earned his first extended look in the bigs in 2011, hitting .231/.309/.370 in 236 plate appearances with the Mets.
- The Diamondbacks signed Ryan Budde to a minor league deal, according to the same tweet. Budde, 32, earned 35 Major League plate appearances over the span of four seasons with the Angels from 2007 to 2010. He spent 2011 at the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.
- The Astros announced they've signed infielder Scott Moore to a minor league deal. The 27-year-old hit .295/.380/.444 with nine home runs in 425 Triple-A plate appearances this year, playing mostly first base, second base, and third base for the Iowa Cubs. The Astros have also signed Brad Snyder, Nick Stavinoha, Travis Buck, Brandon Barnes, Alberto Arias, Jose Valdez, and Xavier Cedeno to minor league deals this offseason. They've added Brian Bixler and Craig Tatum through waiver claims.
The latest minor moves…
- Taylor Buchholz cleared waivers, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Though he still appears on the team's official roster, it appears that the Mets outrighted him off of it. He would have earned roughly $1.2MM in 2012 had the Mets retained him through arbitration. GM Sandy Alderson isn't sure if anxiety and depression will prevent Buchholz from pitching in 2012, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).
- Assistant GM John Ricco expects Buchholz, Nick Evans and Jason Pridie to elect free agency, according to Rubin.
The latest players to be removed from their teams' rosters…
- The Mets removed outfielder Jason Pridie from their 40-man roster, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). Pridie, 28, is expected to clear waivers. He hit .231/.309/.370 in 236 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions in 2011. The Mets now have 33 players on their 40-man roster.
Tobi Stoner and Jason Pridie both cleared waivers and were outrighted to the Mets' Triple-A affiliate today, reports Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger (Twitter link). The duo were designated for assignment earlier this week.
Here are some other minor moves from around baseball today, courtesy of Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus. All contracts are minor league deals, and all links are to Goldstein's Twitter feed.
- The Yankees signed right-hander Warner Madrigal, who last pitched in the majors with Texas in 2009. Madrigal originally broke into pro ball as an outfielder, but converted to pitching in 2006. He posted a 3.73 ERA in 35 games with the Rangers' Double-A and Triple-A teams last year.
- The Blue Jays re-signed Jason Lane. Best known for his 26-homer season with Houston in 2005, Lane hasn't played in the big leagues since 2007 and has played for the Padres, Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays and Marlins organizations since leaving the Astros.
- The Angels signed Virgil Vasquez. The right-hander pitched in Tampa Bay's system last year. A seventh-round pick of the Tigers in the 2003 draft, Vasquez has a 6.60 ERA in 19 career Major League games (10 of them starts) with Detroit and Pittsburgh.
- The Rangers signed catcher Robinzon Diaz, who is best known for being the player to be named later that Toronto sent to Pittsburgh for Jose Bautista in 2009. Diaz had 139 plate appearances with the Bucs before being released in the offseason. He played Triple-A ball for Detroit last year.
- The Rockies signed Kala Ka'aihue. Ka'aihue was putting up minor league numbers akin to those of his older brother Kila through the 2008 season, but has struggled the last two years.
Stoner and Pridie were 40-man-roster casualties following the Mets' recent signings of Chris Young, Scott Hairston and Willie Harris, writes Rubin. Harris, signed to a minor-league deal, is a stronger candidate than Stoner and Pridie to perhaps claim a roster spot from the out-of-favor Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo.
Stoner appeared in just five games for the Mets over the past two seasons, spending most of his time in the minors. Similarly, Pridie appeared in 11 games for the Twins in 2008-09 and spent all of 2010 in the Mets' farm system.
The Mets claimed Jason Pridie off waivers from the Twins, according to a team press release. The move opens up room on the 40-man roster for recent acquisition Orlando Hudson. Pridie, 26, has appeared in 11 major league games, all for the Twins.
Last year Pridie hit .265/.295/.382 in 546 plate appearances in his second full season at Triple A. The Twins obtained him in the 2007 trade that sent Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett to the Rays for Brendan Harris and Delmon Young. Minnesota added potential outfield depth today, signing Jacque Jones.
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 7:30pm: This thing hasn’t gone through yet because of concerns over Rincon’s elbow. The deal will either be finalized or killed by Thursday, according to Scott Miller. The trade has been in the works for a few days.
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 4pm: Neal reports that the Twins have interest in Aaron Rowand, which is really surprising given his reported demands. I don’t see it. Neal adds that Craig Monroe may now be non-tendered and the Garza trade will not stop Bill Smith from shopping Johan Santana. By the way, talks for Coco Crisp persist.
FROM 11-28-07 at 2pm:
Wow! That rumor really didn’t die! La Velle E. Neal III says the Twins are close to a multiplayer deal. They’ll send Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, and Juan Rincon to the Rays for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, and Jason Pridie. I can’t remember any kind of young player blockbuster like this recently.
It’s exciting to see Bill Smith pull the trigger on a deal to get that possible elite slugger. Will he be more hesitant to trade Johan Santana now? Or maybe it doesn’t matter since he’d require an elite young hurler like Phil Hughes in return. Beyond Young, you also have to applaud Smith for getting Pridie, who immediately becomes the Twins’ center fielder of the future. The 24 year-old came back from injuries this year to rake in Triple A. Just like that, the Twins have an outfield.
Meanwhile the Rays suddenly have an awesome young trio fronting their rotation in Scott Kazmir, Jamie Shields, and Garza. Rincon’s ability is questionable at this point but he could be the setup man the Rays are craving.
I’ll give the advantage to the Twins but I like this deal for both teams.