Ronnie Belliard Rumors
Belliard, primarily a second baseman, played in 13 Major League seasons, most recently with the Dodgers in 2010, when he posted a .216/.295/.327 line in 185 plate appearances. He began his career with the Brewers, by whom he was drafted in the eighth round in 1994, and was once traded for Hector Luna. He also spent time with the Rockies, Indians, Cardinals and Nationals.
Belliard, released by the Yankees on Monday, will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, according to Zolecki. Presumably, the move was made for injury insurance at the infield positions, where the Phils are thin between second baseman Chase Utley being shelved and third baseman Placido Polanco coming off offseason elbow surgery.
Belliard, 35, hit .216/.295/.327 in 185 plate appearances for the Dodgers last year, playing first, second and third.
The Yankees released Ronnie Belliard, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter). The Yankees signed the veteran infielder to a minor league deal last month, but he did not make the team. Instead, Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez will be the Yankees' backup infielders.
Belliard, 35, hit .216/.295/.327 in 185 plate appearances for the Dodgers last year, playing first, second and third. He has a .273/.338/.415 line in 13 MLB seasons.
Nine years ago today, MLB announced it had withdrawn its plan to contract the Twins and Expos due to legal issues and major opposition from the players' union. Minnesota has won six division titles and moved into Target Field since then, and they now boast a $100MM+ payroll. The Expos have since relocated to Washington and moved into Nationals Park, and this winter they handed out their first $100MM+ contract.
Here's some links for Saturday...
- Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports (on Twitter) that Vladimir Guerrero is scheduled to take his physical with the Orioles this upcoming Friday in Baltimore.
- Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio spoke to Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel about letting talent dictate the team's payroll as opposed to spending for the sake of spending.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman wasn't terribly interested in the starters that were left on the open market after Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies, writes Chad Jennings of The LoHud Yankees Blog.
- In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney says there does not to appear to have been much progress in talks about a long-term contract extension between the Cardinals and Albert Pujols. The Spring Training deadline is about two weeks away.
- Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun says the Guerrero signing has created some questions, such as what the Orioles' Opening Day payroll will be.
- Minor league contract signees Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard will compete with four homegrown players for two spots on the Yankees' bench according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but he notes that Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez have an advantage because they can play shortstop.
The Yankees and Ronnie Belliard have agreed to a minor league deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (via Twitter). The 35-year-old Praver Shapiro Sports Management client will earn $825K plus incentives if he makes the varsity squad.
After giving the Dodgers some major pop down the stretch in 2009, Belliard was retained on a $825K deal that only became guaranteed upon him weighing in under 210 pounds. While the veteran may have looked more svelte in Dodger blue, he was less-than-impressive at the plate, hitting .216/.295/.327 in 82 games. Belliard was DFA'd by the club in September.
Belliard, 35, hit just .216/.295/.327 with two homers in 185 plate appearances this season. He signed a one year contract worth $825K this winter. Oeltjen, 27, hit .347/.416/.563 in 226 plate appearances with Los Angeles' Triple-A affiliate this year.
Ronnie Belliard weighed in at 208 pounds, so his contract with the Dodgers is now guaranteed, writes Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. Belliard reported to camp weighing 211 pounds, but his $825K contract only became guaranteed once he weighed less than 210 pounds.
The 34-year-old is fighting for playing time in the Dodgers infield. Last year, he played league average defense around the infield for the Nationals and Dodgers, hitting .277/.325/.451 in 287 plate appearances. Belliard is competing for the starting second baseman's job and spending time at the corner infield positions.
Links for Saturday...
- Pirates' GM Neal Huntington said that Pedro Alvarez will remain in the minors so he can get more at-bats against lefthanded pitchers, though Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentions that it could have to do with pushing his service time clock back.
- ESPN's Keith Law broke down Stephen Strasburg's demotion to the minors, and says that "what he does need to improve is only going to improve in the big leagues."
- Ryan Church spoke to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo about his opportunity with the Pirates, saying that "It's either reestablish yourself and be one of the main guys or just be a fourth outfielder from here on out."
- Rays Executive VP Andrew Friedman says the club will explore internal and external options to replace J.P. Howell, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. Tampa Bay hopes to have the lefty back by May.
- Most players never shed the dreaded "4A" label, but the Pirates' Garrett Jones did, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
- Tom Tango will be a big part of the Blue Jays' front office, writes Robert Cribb of The Toronto Star.
- Indians closer Kerry Wood could miss up to two months with a strained back muscle. Brady Gardiner of SIRIUS XM tweets that this is a blessing for the Tribe as Wood's option for 2011 likely will not vest. The 32-year-old would make $11MM in '11 with 55 games finished in 2010.
- Dodgers manager Joe Torre has confidence in Ronnie Belliard's ability to play first base, writes Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com. This will likely leave first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz on the outside looking in as he jostles with Garrett Anderson for the club's left-handed pinch hitting spot. However, Belliard still must weigh in at 209 pounds or less at some point during Spring Training to guarantee his deal.
- At the age of 47, Jamie Moyer has no interest in retiring, writes Jayson Stark of ESPN. Moyer is entering the final season of a two-year, $13MM deal.
Friday night linkage..
- Dodgers second baseman Ronnie Belliard has still yet to make weight, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Upon re-signing him to a one year deal, the club asked that the veteran weigh no more than 209 pounds by the start of Spring Training.
- In his latest mailbag, MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes that the Nationals are trying to trade for a top-of-the-rotation starter.
- El Lefty Malo implores the Giants to ink free agent pitcher Braden Looper as Madison Bumgarner continues to struggle in Spring Training. You can read up on Looper and the other remaining starters in Ben's post from earlier today.
- With a good showing this spring, Joey Gathright has a solid chance of making the Blue Jays' roster, says Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. The soon-to-be 29-year-old has hit .263./.327/.303 for his career with a UZR/150 of 10.3 in the outfield.
Some quick hits about L.A.'s blue team...
- Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reported that Manny Ramirez said he would play three more years in the majors and then two years in Japan. This came just a day after Ramirez hinted that 2010 would probably be his last year with the Dodgers and possibly his last year in baseball altogether. At this point, Ramirez could announce that he wants to play for Mr. Burns' softball team and nobody would bat an eye.
- Hernandez also reported that infielder Ronnie Belliard estimated his weight at "210 or 211 pounds" upon his arrival at the Dodgers' spring camp. If Belliard weighs in at 209 pounds or less at any point during the spring, the $825K contract he signed last month will become guaranteed.
- MLB.com's Ken Gurnick says that reliever Ronald Belisario hasn't arrived to spring training yet due to a visa problem in his native Venezuela. It shouldn't be a major issue (Hernandez tweeted earlier today that the pitcher is expected this week), but Gurnick noted that if Belisario is held up for too long past L.A.'s March 5 preseason opener, the Dodgers couldn't send him down to the minors without risking losing him to a waiver claim since Belisario is out of options.
- In a separate piece, Gurnick talks to Brian Giles, who is looking at his minor-league deal with the Dodgers as his "last shot" to see if he's healthy enough to continue playing.