Paul Bako Rumors

Dodgers Don’t Plan To Trade For Catcher

The Dodgers do not plan to bring in a catcher after losing Russell Martin for four to six weeks with a pulled groin, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Instead, they will rely on A.J. Ellis to fill the void, with Brad Ausmus serving as the understudy.  Ken Gurnick of writes that Torre has faith in the rookie.

The post notes that Paul Bako is likely the top remaining free agent catcher.  The 37-year-old hit .224/.308/.336 in 130 plate appearances for the Phillies last season.  Another notable catcher without a job is Michael Barrett, though he missed the majority of 2009 due to injury.

Los Angeles dealt one of the game's top catching prospects, Carlos Santana, in the Casey Blake deal in 2008.  The 23-year-old Santana will likely make his major league debut this season.

Odds & Ends: Phillies, Hendrickson, Sheets, Brewers, Hinske

A few links to start the day…

Phillies Free Agent Notes's Todd Zolecki runs down the Phillies offseason, looking at how the club is planning to improve coming off back-to-back World Series appearances. Here's some highlights:

  • The Phillies are looking to upgrade at third base, as we've heard before. Chone Figgins figures to be too expensive for their liking, and they'll look for a shorter, more affordable contract. Zolecki names the same possibilities we heard earlier in the week: Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa, and Placido Polanco.
  • Philadelphia has interest in Fernando Rodney, but it may not be mutual, as Rodney likely would prefer a team with whom he can close. As Zolecki writes, that is "not an option" in Philly.
  • The Phillies have seven impending free agents: Paul Bako, Miguel Cairo, Scott Eyre, Pedro Feliz, Pedro Martinez, Chan Ho Park, Matt Stairs, and Jack Taschner. Zolecki says Park and Eyre are the two most likely to return, with Ruben Amaro Jr. already having contacted Park's agent.
  • Bako's return hasn't been ruled out, but Amaro has said that he's seeking a backup catcher. Feliz is in a similar situation, with his return not being ruled out but the team looking to upgrade.
  • If Stairs returns, it will be on a minor league contract. Taschner and Martinez are not expected to return.
  • The futures for Eric Bruntlett, Clay Condrey, and Tyler Walker are in question.

Odds & Ends: Eyre, Rockies, Red Sox

Links for Monday…

Phillies Sign Paul Bako

According to Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies signed catcher Paul Bako to a minor league deal.  Bako signed with the Cubs in January and had a nice spring, but lost the backup catcher competition to Koyie Hill and was released.  Bako, 37 in June, hit .217/.299/.328 in 338 plate appearances for the Reds last year.

Rosenthal On Free Agents, Orioles, Ortiz

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new column up.

  • Rosenthal discusses the unprecedented number of decent free agents available, a few games into the season (click here for our free agent list).  He suggests the hitters will have a harder time getting jobs than the pitchers due to the time needed to shake off the rust.  In talking with execs, Rosenthal learned that the trade market for mediocre players (Jarrod Washburn, Nate Robertson, Austin Kearns) may be depressed this summer due to the available free agents.
  • As he wrote in February, Rosenthal says that Braden Looper turned down more money to play for the Orioles due to his preference for the NL.  Tim Redding also preferred the easier league.  The result of those rejections: a very questionable '09 rotation.
  • Rosenthal spoke to an executive who was shocked to discover that Russ Ortiz seems to be back to his peak form.
  • Rosenthal speculates that Paul Bako could help the Twins.

Cubs Release Paul Bako, Mike Stanton

According to a press release, the Cubs released catcher Paul Bako and reliever Mike Stanton today.  So, it looks like Koyie Hill has the team's backup catcher job.

Bako, 36, hit .364/.400/.515 in 35 spring plate appearances.  Stanton, 41, allowed six runs and 13 hits in 8.3 innings.

Odds & Ends: Strasburg, Cabrera, Waivers

Links for Friday…

Odds and Ends: Boras, Manny, Heilman

Links for Friday…

Cubs, Bako Agree To Terms

According to a press release, the Cubs agreed to terms with catcher Paul Bako for 2009.  Bako, 36, played for the Cubs for 2003-04.  According to the AP, Bako gets $725K plus $300K in possible incentives.