Oscar Salazar Rumors
The Marlins signed Oscar Salazar to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). The Padres removed Salazar from their 40-man roster in February and released him in March.
The utility player appeared in 85 games for the Padres last year, hitting .237/.318/.336 in 148 plate appearances. Salazar, 32, played first, second, third and both corner outfield positions last year, his second campaign with the Padres. In 419 MLB plate appearances with the Padres, Orioles and Tigers, the Venezuela native has a .269/.342/.435 line.
Salazar played first, second, third and both corner outfield positions last year, posting a .237/.318/.336 line in 148 plate appearances. The Padres acquired Alberto Gonzalez earlier today, so they no longer needed the 32-year-old Salazar.
In related moves, the Padres called Cedric Hunter up from Triple-A, optioned Wade LeBlanc, Aaron Cunningham and Everth Cabrera to Triple-A, reassigned Randy Flores, Guillermo Quiroz and Logan Forsythe to minor league camp and placed Eric Patterson on the 15-day DL.
Here are some items of note for Feb. 8. On this day in 1999, the Red Sox's arbitration hearing with Midre Cummings was decided by Elizabeth Neumeier, marking the first time a woman had decided an arbitration case since its adoption by MLB in 1974. The preceeding 409 cases had all been decided by men.
- With Spring Training nearly upon us and most teams merely making a few roster tweaks here and there, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com hands out his grades for the best and worst offseasons among the residents of the NL Central. The Brewers, on the strength of bolstering their rotation with Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, fared the best, writes Stark. The Cubs did well to retool a bit with the additions of Matt Garza and Carlos Pena, while the Pirates and Reds got so-so marks for their modest changes. The rebuilding Astros are pulling up the rear, and the jury is still out on the Cardinals, who have an outstanding issue to tend to with respect to a potential extension for Albert Pujols.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers was never really interested in dealing Justin Upton this offseason, writes Tom Verducci of SI.com, but he felt it prudent to gauge other teams' interest. No offers were of particular interest to Towers, according to Verducci. Towers is interested in seeing what Upton can do under the tutelage of new hitting coach Don Baylor, under whom one-time uberprospect Carlos Gonzalez realized his full potential with the Rockies in 2010.
- Padres infielder Oscar Salazar has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment, has accepted his minor league assignment and will be in Major League camp, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.
Salazar appeared in 85 games for the Padres last year, playing left, right, first, second and third. The 32-year-old Venezuelan hit .237/.318/.336 in 148 plate appearances. In parts of four seasons with the Padres, Orioles and Tigers, Salazar has a .269/.342/.435 line. His lone DL stint with the Padres occurred last August, when he missed four weeks with a right achilles strain.
A few links to check out while we wait to see if the Rays can avoid falling out of first place for the first time in nearly two months...
- The Reds have made initial contact with the representatives for Yasmani Grandal according to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. GM Walt Jocketty said they will continue talks this week with 2010's 12th overall draft pick.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier mentions that when Felix Doubront started for the Red Sox last night, he became the first Latin American player signed and developed by the Theo Epstein regime to reach the big league. ESPN's Jorge Arangure mentions (via Twitter) the Boston hasn't had a homegrown Latin American position player since the early 1990's.
- Meanwhile, MLB.com's Peter Gammons says (via Twitter) that only two teams were willing to take Manny Ramirez off Boston's hands two years ago even if they footed the bill: the Marlins and Dodgers. The Red Sox's requests for Mike Stanton and Andre Ethier were met with "no thank yous."
- MLB.com's Corey Brock, Brittany Ghiroli, and Gina Mizeli spoke to Oscar Salazar, who reflected on the trade that send him from the Orioles to the Padres last year.
- The Rockies will look at the middle infield market, but ESPN's Buster Olney tweets they're likely to just ride out Troy Tulowitzki's absence with what they have in house. He does however mention that Dan Uggla is one name to watch.
- Both Jhonny Peralta and Kerry Wood offered up the stock "it's out of my control" response when asked about the possibility of being traded, according to Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
- Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post says the idea of the Rockies' acquiring Cliff Lee is wishful thinking. The team would have to get back in the playoff race and show it can compete without Troy Tulowitzki before ownership would consider adding Lee's salary to the payroll.
- The Cardinals had interest in signing Ben Sheets this winter according to Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but the righthander's price was too high. “If he wants to prove his value here, we’d have interest,” said manager Tony La Russa. “It turns out he had value that wasn’t going to work.”
On this date back in 2004, Alex Rodriguez returned to Texas to play the Rangers for the first time since being traded (along with $71MM) to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias. He was booed loudly just like every other road game of his career, though he silenced the home crowd - at least temporarily - with a two-run homer in the first inning.
Here are a few links from around the baseball blogosphere...
- Disciples of Uecker thinks it's time for Trevor Hoffman to call it a career.
- Mets Merized wants to know what happened to Jason Bay's power.
- Meanwhile, Camden Crazies looks at Nick Markakis' lack of pop.
- The Kept Faith says that it's time for the Oscar Salazar era to end in San Diego.
- Nick's Twins Blog isn't sure if Jesse Crain can right the ship.
- Yankeeist wonders if Marcus Thames will be able to replace the injured Nick Johnson.
- The Friarhood examines some players the Padres could select in next month's amateur draft.
Some more links as we inch closer and closer to the July 31 trade deadline...
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker suggests Major League Baseball should consider re-working its draft system. Here's the gist of his idea: "What I’d propose is a regulated amateur free agent system, in which the draft is discarded entirely. Every amateur player who meets the entry criteria (age, education, whatever) would be allowed to negotiate and sign with any team, regardless of national origin." Check it out.
- The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck gives his take on the Oscar Salazar-for-Cla Meredith swap: "Oscar was the ultimate good soldier, waiting for his turn without complaint and performing very well as a spot player recently."
- As Joe Posnanski points out, the Royals have won just 19 of their last 62 games. Just how bad is that mark? The Dodgers have never lost as many games in a 62-game stretch.
- Baseball America's Ben Badler reports that the Indians signed Jairo Kelly, a switch-hitting Dominican shortstop.
The Orioles could move a number of their players; here are the latest rumblings on the subject:
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the O's aren't enthused about dealing Luke Scott or Aubrey Huff.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN.com notes that Oscar Salazar is out of options, so the Orioles did well to trade him for bullpen inventory and acquire Cla Meredith.
- Steve Melewski of MASN.com hears that the Orioles remain "very interested" in Miguel Angel Sano, but it could be a month before the Dominican shortstop signs.
6:51pm: As several readers have pointed out, this deal may be a precursor to a Danys Baez or George Sherrill trade.
Both have been floated as possible trade chips recently.
6:29pm: Kubatko reports the Orioles have acquired submariner Cla Meredith in return. He was 4-2 with a 4.17 ERA and a 20/13 K/BB ratio in 36 2/3 innings for the Padres.
"He gets a lot of ground balls and can pitch every other day," O's president Andy MacPhail said Sunday evening. "The ground ball ratio becomes more important later in the summer in our ballpark."
5:22pm: According to MASN's Roch Kubatko, the Orioles have traded infielder Oscar Salazar to the Padres. The 31-year-old was 13-for-31 with two home runs and six RBI for the O's since his call-up in early June.
We're waiting to hear who (or what) Baltimore got in return. It's apparently not a "player to be named later," so we should have something shortly. Stay tuned.