Josh Whitesell Rumors
On this date in 1998, the Tigers traded Luis Gonzalez to the Diamondbacks for Karim Garcia. Gonzalez would hit 224 home runs in eight seasons with Arizona, including 57 homers during the team's 2001 Championship season. Here are tonight’s links...
- Jim Bowden ranks the top ten contracts in baseball (from a team perspective) at ESPN.com and Rays players (Matt Moore, David Price and Evan Longoria) occupy three of the top four spots.
- The Brewers started negotiations with Norichika Aoki in the $1-1.5MM range, according to a Sanspo report relayed by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Milwaukee won the bidding for the Japanese outfielder with a bid of $2.5MM earlier this month.
- The Chiba Lotte Marines announced that they signed former big league first baseman Josh Whitesell, according to a Sponichi report passed along by Newman.
- Newman also relays a Sponichi report indicating that Softbank is working to acquire former big league lefty Renyel Pinto. The Orioles had some interest in Pinto this offseason.
- Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus lists ten prospects who will look to turn their careers around in 2012 after disappointing 2011 campaigns. Wilmer Flores of the Mets, Aaron Hicks of the Twins and Jose Iglesias of the Red Sox appear on the list.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs attempts to determine which active players are future Hall of Famers and considers Major Leaguers such as Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Carlos Beltran and Joey Votto along the way.
Baseball's draft begins at 6pm CST today. I'll be hosting a live chat here at MLBTR. Beyond the draft, your afternoon linkage...
- Murray Chass got Nationals president Stan Kasten to admit service time was "one of the factors" in deciding when to call up Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg debuts tomorrow night against Jeff Karstens and the Pirates.
- Lou Piniella is trying rookie Andrew Cashner in a setup role, but the Cubs manager told the Chicago Sun-Times the team is still looking to add a right-handed reliever. Also, Piniella hasn't heard any trade talk about his players.
- NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman tweets Tokyo's Yakult Swallows have acquired first baseman Josh Whitesell and will pay him $300K for the rest of the season. Whitesell had signed a minor league deal with the Nationals in December.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that the Mets are "so high on rookie infielder Ruben Tejada that they'd be reluctant to include him in a trade for a pitcher such as Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt."
The Nationals agreed to terms on minor league deals with infielder Eric Bruntlett and first baseman Josh Whitesell, according to a team press release.
Bruntlett, 32 in March, was acquired by the Phillies in November of '07 along with Brad Lidge. Bruntlett hit .171/.224/.238 in 118 plate appearances this year while playing all around the diamond. The Phils released Bruntlett in November and replaced him with Juan Castro.
Whitesell, 28 in April, hit .194/.346/.287 in 133 plate appearances for the D'Backs this year as well as .293/.398/.471 at Triple A. He raked at Triple A in '08, and has at times shown an impressive ability to draw walks. Whitesell came up through the Expos organization, but was claimed off waivers by the D'Backs in March of '08. According to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert, the D'Backs were unable to sell Whitesell's rights to a Japanese team and non-tendered him at the December 12th deadline.