Nick Masset Rumors

Week in Review: 7/27 – 8/2

We saw the non-waiver trade deadline come and go this week, and plenty of action to go along with it. Let’s recap the big moves of the week:

  • The Dodgers, Pirates, and Red Sox completed a three-team, blockbuster trade that sent Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles, Jason Bay to Boston, and Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Craig Hansen, and Brandon Moss to Pittsburgh. The Pirates got a pretty nice haul, and while Bay won’t necessarily replace Manny’s production, he’s much more affordable, signed through ’09, and doesn’t disrupt the clubhouse. The Dodgers add the big bat they need for a push in the NL West, though are now overloaded with overpaid outfielders. All in all, I don’t think any team made a bad deal in this one.
  • The Angels made a big move in adding Mark Teixeira to their lineup, sending Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Stephen Marek to Atlanta in exchange. The Angels didn’t need help at the time – they’re running away with the AL West – but this move will undoubtedly be significant in the postseason. Great boost to the Halos’ lineup.
  • The White Sox and Reds completed a trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to Chicago in exchange for Nick Masset and Danny Richar. I don’t understand this trade from the Sox perspective. Griffey was only hitting .245 at the time of the trade, and his range in center field isn’t close to what it once was. Still, he’s a presence in both the lineup and the clubhouse. Will playing for a contender rejuvenate him?
  • The Yankees acquired future hall-of-famer Ivan Rodriguez from the Tigers in exchange for Kyle Farnsworth. With Jorge Posada out for the season, New York did a good job of solidifying their catcher’s spot, while the Tigers got some much-needed improvement in their bullpen.
  • The Twins aren’t known for making big trades at the deadline, and they held true to that in 2008. However, they made a move that could be bigger than any trade they might have made, when they designated Livan Hernandez for assignment, and recalled Francisco Liriano from Triple-A Rochester. The Twins DFA’ed Craig Monroe as well. The Rockies are looking for a fifth starter, and could have interest in Hernandez.
  • Relievers on the move: Arthur Rhodes was traded to the Marlins, giving them another effective lefty option in the bullpen. The Astros acquired LaTroy Hawkins, still buying despite being 9.5 games out of the wildcard race at the time.
  • The Nationals released Paul Lo Duca and Felipe Lopez. Both were highly unsuccessful this season, though they could generate interest from other teams.
  • Tim explained the rules behind waiver trades for those who are unfamiliar with how the process works after the July 31st non-waiver deadline. He also takes a look at some noteable names who stayed put at the deadline.
  • Minor moves: The Yankees signed Victor Zambrano to a minor league contract, while the Red Sox did the same with former Cleveland closer Joe Borowski.
  • The Diamondbacks are talking extension with their second ace, Dan Haren.
  • USA Today wrote an article on MLBTR. Check it out!

White Sox Acquire Ken Griffey Jr.

3:05pm: The Griffey deal is official.

2:37pm: Jeff Blair talked to a source who thinks the White Sox might move one of their outfield-DH types for pitching help.

2:18pm: Hal McCoy comments on Griffey’s time in Cincinnati.

10:25am: Per Ken Rosenthal, Griffey approved the trade.  It might involve $1MM+ in cash somehow.

10:16am: The deal awaits Griffey’s approval, but it’d be for Danny Richar and Nick Masset according to Danny Knobler.  The Reds will hopefully be willing to kick in some cash for Junior to approve the deal if necessary.

8:02am: Rosenthal says the Sox would most likely use Griffey in the outfield, though it’s been a while since he’s played center regularly.

7:08am: From out of nowhere, the White Sox have acquired Ken Griffey Jr.  Ken Rosenthal says the deal awaits Junior’s approval.  The fit is unclear, as the Sox have Carlos Quentin and Jermaine Dye in the corners and Jim Thome at DH.  Perhaps they’ll try Griffey at first base?


Rangers Rumors: Laird, Greinke, Bonser, Masset

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has Rangers rumors for us today.

  • Wilson sums up the suitors for catcher Gerald Laird: Yankees, Reds, Marlins, and Brewers.  The Giants could also jump in if they trade Bengie Molina. Wilson heard that the Rangers are not shopping Laird, though.
  • The Rangers inquired on three pitchers recently: Zack Greinke of the Royals, Boof Bonser of the Twins, and Nick Masset of the White Sox.  Greinke would be near-impossible to pry loose, though Chris Davis would be an interesting offer.


White Sox May Deal Young Hurlers

This winter, Kenny Williams may shop three hard-throwing, recently acquired White Sox pitchersNick Masset, David Aardsma, and Andy Sisco have disappointed the Sox in their first seasons in the organization, and none earned September call-ups.  Aardsma and Masset are out of options, so the Sox will probably lose them if they fail to earn spots with the big club next spring.  Once a player is out of options he must clear waivers before he can be sent to the minors.

Masset will turn 26 next season.  He came over from Texas in the Brandon McCarthy trade.  The right has good command and can touch 96 on the gun.  Masset struggled as a reliever with the Sox, and has been working as a starter in Triple A since July.  He hasn’t impressed in that role either.

Aardsma was acquired from the Cubs in November for Neal Cotts, a trade that worked out for neither team.  Aardsma turns 26 in December; he’s posted massive strikeout rates at both Triple A and the Majors this year.  He was lights out for the Sox in April, whiffing 23 in 15.2 innings before it all fell apart.  He’s been closing for Charlotte.  I’m surprised the Sox soured on him so easily, especially after since they’ve fallen out of contention.

Sisco, a southpaw, will turn 25 in January.  He’s among the tallest men ever to take a big league mound at 6-9.  Like Masset, he failed in the Major League pen and was switched to starting this summer.  His control has been a problem so far.  "Wild Thing" came up in the Cubs’ system, gaining notoriety when he broke his left hand punching a clubhouse wall in anger in ’03.  The Royals pilfered him in the Rule 5 draft in December of ’04.  He made the jump from A ball to the bigs in ’05 and did a respectable job despite too many walks.  But he bombed in ’06 and the Royals saw fit to ship him to Chicago for Ross Gload.

Masset, Aardsma, and Sisco form an interesting albeit disappointing trio.  I imagine many teams will be willing to take a shot on them.



Rangers Acquire Brandon McCarthy For Danks And Masset

In a quite unexpected move, the White Sox have traded starter Brandon McCarthy to Texas for top prospects John Danks and Nick Masset.

The Sox were interested in Masset at least a month ago, considering trading Brian Anderson to the Rangers.  Masset, a righthander, will turn 25 in May.  Baseball America ranked him eighth among Ranger prospects.  He had Tommy John surgery as a senior in high school, which could be viewed as a positive (given that his new tendon/ligament doesn't have a lifetime of wear and tear on it).  Masset converted to relief this year and was able to dial his fastball into the high 90s.  He could be yet another hard thrower in Chicago's explosive bullpen in 2007.

Danks, a southpaw, turns 22 in April.  He was the Rangers' best prospect according to BA.  He throws three solid pitches and has pitched well in the minors despite being young for his levels.  He'll compete for the fifth spot in Chicago's rotation.  He's the prize of the deal.

While B-Mac has 150 innings of Major League experience, it'd be tough to argue that he's worth as much as Danks and Masset combined.  The 23 year-old was confined to the bullpen in 2006 because the Sox had no openings in the rotation. With groundball rates around 37%, McCarthy doesn't seem particularly suited for Ameriquest.  He'll still be a valuable commodity if he can find a way to keep the ball in the yard.  You can view my RotoAuthority projection of McCarthy as a Ranger here.

No one thought Kenny Williams would trade McCarthy, but it looks like he got an offer he couldn't refuse.  You have to admire that he has a plan and he's sticking to it.


Rangers Covet Brian Anderson?

Phil Rogers, down with the GMs in Florida, uncovered a trade possibility of White Sox center fielder Brian Anderson for Rangers reliever Nick Masset.

Anderson will turn 25 before next season.  The former first rounder had a rough first year offensively for the Sox, but he still has the potential to be a slightly above average CF package.

Masset will also be 25 next season.  A converted starter, he’s pitching well in the Mexican Winter League.