Josh Lueke Rumors

Quick Hits: Jaso, Orioles, Byrnes, Rivera

Sunday evening linkage..

  • Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner takes a look at the newest member of the Mariners, John Jaso.  The M's traded pitcher Josh Lueke to the Rays for Jaso earlier this evening, and Cameron likes the move for Seattle.
  • The Orioles have hired Gary Rajsich of the Blue Jays to be the club's new amateur scouting director, an industry source told Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.  Rajsich, 57, has been with the Blue Jays since 2009 but spent most of his scouting career with Boston, where he worked with O's GM Dan Duquette.
  • Don Norcross of the San Diego Union-Tribune spent some time with Josh Byrnes and found that the recently-appointed Padres GM is extremely optimistic about the club's future.  When speaking to Norcross in his Petco Park office, Byrnes had one of his computer screens locked to MLBTradeRumors.
  • Yankees skipper Joe Girardi says that he isn't so sure that this will be Mariano Rivera's final season, writes Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com.  The closer will celebrate his 42nd birthday on Tuesday.
  • Bud Selig, the same commissioner who canceled the World Series in 1994 in order to crush the union, deserves props for seeing the error of his ways and dramatically changing them, writes Ken Davidoff of Newsday.  However, Davidoff isn't a fan of the limits on amateur spending and doesn't see the point of HGH testing.
  • On the other hand, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald argues that the newly-implemented HGH testing is a striking example of how far the sport has come in recognizing its issues with performance-enhancing drugs.  
  • Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer likes that MLB will be adding an additional wild card team in each league.  The new system, he writes, puts an emphasis on winning the division, which only brings integrity to the 162-game season.

Mariners Acquire John Jaso From Rays

The Mariners have acquired catcher John Jaso from the Rays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke and a player to be named later or cash considerations, according to a team press release.

“[Jaso] gives us a left-handed hitting catcher with some big league time who is still young,” Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said in the release.  “His left-handed bat will be a nice compliment to our right-handed hitting group. He’s a tough kid with postseason experience and should be a nice fit with us.”

Last season marked Jaso's first full campaign in the Major Leagues and the 28-year-old hit .224/.298/.354 with five homers in 273 plate appearances.  Jaso took over the Rays' catching job in 2010 as a rookie and hit .263/.378/.372 on the year.

Lueke, who turns 27 on December 5th, made 25 appearances for the Mariners last season and posted a 6.06 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.  In 42 career Triple-A games, Lueke owns an ERA of 2.56 with 8.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.

The right-hander was part of the 2010 trade that sent Cliff Lee to the Rangers.  After the trade, it was revealed that Lueke had trouble with the law in 2008 and the M's were not aware of this when they made the deal.


Odds & Ends: Dodgers, Theriot, Padres, Reds, Harper

Some links on the eve of playoff baseball..

  • The Dodgers have asked Rick Honeycutt to return next season but the pitching coach is weighing his options, tweets Ken Davidoff of Newsday.
  • Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner takes a look at potential second base candidates for the M's in 2011.  Ryan Theriot, who was less-than-stellar for the Cubs and Dodgers this season, is among the players listed.
  • Jerry Hairston Jr. told Jim Bowden of XM Radio (via Twitter) that he wants to return to the Padres in 2011.
  • The Reds could be in position to contend for years to come if they keep their key pieces, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
  • While the O's projected rotation for 2011 is young, GM Andy MacPhail hasn't ruled out the possibility of bringing a veteran aboard to fill the place of pending free agent Kevin Millwood.
  • The Nats probably won't have Bryce Harper play in the Arizona Fall League this year, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
  • You can expect a busy winter in San Diego, writes Bill Center of the Union-Tribune.
  • Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln and GM Jack Zduriencik sent a letter to fans promising better times ahead.  Larry Stone of The Seattle Times notes that Josh Lueke was omitted from a list of the system's "hard-throwing pitchers".
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America (via Twitter) believes that the Mets should hire Logan White as their next GM.
  • The Pirates have interviewed Eric Wedge for their vacant managerial opening, tweets Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
  • Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gives his thoughts on John Russell's tenure as Pirates skipper.


Odds & Ends: Wakamatsu, Lilly, Delcarmen, Rays

Links for Thursday night..


Odds & Ends: Cardinals, Mariners, Red Sox

Four years ago today, the Rays sent Aubrey Huff and cash to the Astros for Ben Zobrist and Mitch Talbot.  The Astros finished 1.5 games out in '06 despite Huff contributing 13 home runs, and GM Tim Purpura chose not to offer arbitration after the season.  On to today's links…

  • ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yankees have no plans to acquire a starting pitcher – "Cliff Lee was a special case."  Speaking of Lee, he told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki that the trade from the Phillies did not sour him on the team, and he's not opposed to any club once he reaches free agency. 
  • The Blue Jays had a scout at this weekend's Cardinals-Astros series, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Strauss wonders if shortstop Alex Gonzalez could be a match for the Cards, and he notes that the Jays have had previous interest in Brendan Ryan.
  • Mariners president Chuck Armstrong and CEO Howard Lincoln weren't aware of the full extent of pitcher Josh Lueke's 2008 trouble with the law, reports Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.  Lueke went to Seattle as part of the Lee trade.
  • Talking to WEEI's Alex Speier, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein explained that in the case of Casey Kelly and other prospects, he'd rather challenge them against advanced competition than allow them to compile numbers and trade value at more age-appropriate levels.
  • In the same article, Speier notes that the Red Sox have agreements, pending physicals, with a pair of international free agents.  One is a righthanded pitcher, the other an outfielder.
  • As part of an extensive Q&A with Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, Commissioner Bud Selig says he would not consider contracting the Athletics or Rays if their ballpark situations are not resolved.