Kirk Saarloos Rumors
According to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince, the Indians signed pitchers Kirk Saarloos and Greg Aquino to minor league deals.
Saarloos, 30 in May, spent most of '08 posting mediocre numbers in Triple A as a member of the A's organization. Aquino, 31, pitched well at Triple A but his brief time with the Orioles did not go well. He missed time with a hamstring strain. Both players were designated for assignment by their teams in April but cleared waivers.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has a slew of A's hot stove info for us today.
- Pending free agents include Mark Ellis, Frank Thomas, Emil Brown, and Keith Foulke. All except Ellis are certainly goners.
- Huston Street trade talks may resume with the team that claimed him in August. All we know is that it was a non-contender. Street is under team control through 2010, and could earn $5MM next year.
- The A's aren't planning to trade Justin Duchscherer, and are currently just hoping his hip will be OK for '09.
- Shortstop Bobby Crosby will earn $5.25MM next year. He racked up 605 plate appearances this year, the most since his rookie year. However, he didn't hit or play acceptable defense. Interest in him will not be high.
- Lefty reliever Alan Embree spoke of "positive dialogue" between him and Billy Beane regarding his next year. Embree posted a 4.96 ERA, so maybe the A's will decline his $3MM option and re-sign him for less.
- Kirk Saarloos is a non-tender candidate.
Here are some links I've rounded up for today. I like the analogy that the Odds and Ends posts are like a pack of baseball cards. You never know what you'll get, and sometimes there's gum.
- UmpBump explains why they expect Manny Ramirez to retire a Red Sox.
- Matthew Cerrone provides some new Johan Santana musings.
- RotoAuthority (which I write) ranks the 78 starting pitchers you should consider in your fantasy baseball mixed league.
- The A's, admitting they need bodies, will bring Kirk Saarloos back on a minor league invite. He'll be 29 in May; his claim to fame is winning ten games for the '05 A's.
- The Rangers will need to make roster space for Jason Jennings; could Jason Botts be DFA'd?
I personally didn't deem this one worthy of a post, but what the hell. The Reds acquired 27 year-old groundballer Kirk Saarloos for minor leaguer David Shafer. Saarloos will battle Matt Belisle and Homer Bailey for the fifth starter job. Bailey should prevent Saarloos from getting more than ten starts in '07.
Shafer's work at Double A equates to a tolerable relief performance in the bigs (something like a 3.50 ERA and 1.35 WHIP with a strong groundball rate).
Jim Callis of Baseball America offers his take on Saarloos and Shafer.
The weird thing is that I already had a category for Saarloos on this site. He was rumored in a Milton Bradley trade a year ago.
Today seems to be a bit of a slow day on the trade rumors front. I'm still working on gathering some Tejada info. For now I'll just say that you shouldn't discount the White Sox even after both major Chicago newspapers quoted Kenny Williams saying no deal will happen. As commenters in this thread pointed out, Williams has been known to keep a low profile and be less than forthright when talking to the media.
Somehow, a rumor came about yesterday that San Francisco's KNBR 1050 was reporting that the Pirates had dealt Craig Wilson to the Athletics for Kirk Saarloos. This rumor appears to have been fabricated; it doesn't seem that the radio station ever proposed it. KNBR didn't return my emails, but I'm still pretty sure there's nothing to the rumor. It's not implausible, as Billy Beane is the type of GM to acquire an undervalued player and worry about his outfielder surplus later. I don't believe Dave Littlefield's statements about not wanting to trade Wilson. He'd be valuable to many teams, and the Pirates' recent acquisitions indicate that they'll deal him.
Good readin': 1060west has updated its post about the Cubs' revamped bullpen. This quote resonated with me:
"Seen in the light of statistical evidence, it becomes clear that nothing has been done to improve the Cub bullpen from April 2005 to this stage; in fact, if anything, the Cubs have actually gotten weaker in going from Hawkins to Howry and Remlinger to Eyre."
The main point is that Hendry tends to purchase free agent relievers for big bucks following the reliever's best season. Not a smart strategy.
The Phillies and Ryan Franklin? This won't end well. I'm just happy to see than Ryan Madson will finally get a shot in the rotation; he's got a 3.25 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 7.27 K/9 in 166 Major League innings. High strikeout totals and good control are always a great combo.
According to a source in Sacramento, the Dodgers have traded Milton Bradley to the A's for pitchers Kirk Saarloos and Mario Ramos. My source heard about Ramos's departure via KXTV Channel 10 in Sacramento. There's a thread hopping over at MLB.com about the deal as well.
Bradley's potential is unquestionable, and has been discussed on this site many times. It's a very Beane-like move to snag a player who the market has undervalued.
Despite winning ten games in 2005, Kirk Saarloos doesn't figure to ever escape the fifth starter realm. In every Major League trial, the 26 year-old soft-tosser has allowed tons of baserunners. He'll have trouble replicating his 4.17 ERA if he continues to post a 1.40 WHIP.
Mario Ramos was snagged off waivers by Beane in 2003. He's been a mainstay at Triple A Sacramento, and hasn't pitched well since 2003.
Thanks to Jerry