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Tony Clark Rumors
The Major League Baseball Players Association announced that former big league first baseman Tony Clark has been appointed as executive director. Clark takes over for the late Michael Weiner, who passed away after a 15-month long battle with brain cancer in November.
The move has been expected for some time – Clark was given the newly-created mantle of deputy executive director in July in the event that Weiner would be unable to continue in his role. At the time of the announcement, Weiner gave Clark a glowing endorsement.
“Tony’s rise within the Union will come as no surprise to those who know him. It was clear from the moment Tony joined the MLBPA that his on-field experience and passion for the fraternity of players would make him a tremendous advocate for all who play the game. I look forward to working closely with Tony as together we represent the interests of the players,” Weiner wrote.
Clark, 41, spent parts of 15 seasons in the Major Leagues after being drafted by the Tigers second overall (behind Chipper Jones) in the 1990 draft. From 1995-2009, Clark batted .262/.339/.485 in 5120 plate appearances, belting 251 homers along the way. Most of his career was spent with the Tigers, but he also spent five years with the D-Backs and had brief stints with the Mets, Yankees, Padres, and Red Sox.
Former big league first baseman Tony Clark has been appointed to the newly created position of deputy executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, the MLBPA announced today, and he was voted in unanimously.
As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times notes (on Twitter), Clark is in line to replace current executive director Michael Weiner if his battle with brain cancer becomes too difficult to allow him to work. Within the MLBPA's press release, Weiner issued a statement in which he speaks highly of Clark:
“Tony’s rise within the Union will come as no surprise to those who know him. It was clear from the moment Tony joined the MLBPA that his on-field experience and passion for the fraternity of players would make him a tremendous advocate for all who play the game. I look forward to working closely with Tony as together we represent the interests of the players.”
Clark called the promotion and the opportunity to work more directly with Weiner an honor in a statement of his own:
“I am honored by this appointment and consider it a privilege to be in a position to work more closely with Michael Weiner. I also look forward to continue working with all our members and the entire Union staff, and together we will maintain our standing as one of the best labor organizations in the country.”
The 41-year-old Clark spent parts of 15 seasons in the Major Leagues after being drafted by the Tigers second overall (behind Chipper Jones) in the 1990 draft. From 1995-2009, Clark batted .262/.339/.485 in 5120 plate appearances, belting 251 homers along the way. Most of his career was spent with the Tigers, but he also spent five years with the D-Backs and had brief stints with the Mets, Yankees, Padres and Red Sox.
Current MLBPA Association Representatives Curtis Granderson and Jeremy Guthrie each spoke very highly of Clark and the work he's done to date with the Players Union. Clark was involved in the negotiation of the 2002 and 2006 collective bargaining agreements and also played a role in negotiating baseball's Joint Drug Agreement.
Some links for Wednesday…
- Former big leaguer Tony Clark has been named the MLBPA's director of player relations, reports MLB.com's Bailey Stephens. Clark hasn't played since being released by the Diamondbacks last July, and his duties with the union are "expected to play a large part in future collective bargaining discussions."
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says one of the Marlins' many non-roster relievers could become a low-priced option for the Twins if Joe Nathan ends up needing surgery. That group includes Jose Veras, Mike MacDougal, Derrick Turnbow, and Seth McClung.
- In an interview with John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press, Curtis Granderson said he never wondered why the Tigers traded him only to sign Johnny Damon less than three months later.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com writes that even though the Indians are in full rebuilding mode, the front office is adamant Grady Sizemore isn't going anywhere. Sizemore is under contract for the next two years, and Cleveland holds a $9MM option for 2012.
- Baseball America's Ben Badler goes back five years to look at how successful each team has been at developing players from outside the United States.
- In response to Milton Bradley's interview with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez about his time in Chicago, GM Jim Hendry and former teammates basically said that Bradley had to look in the mirror, according to The Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan and ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine.
Friday Night Lights Links…
- Justin Duchscherer will miss the rest of the season with clinical depression according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. He's been on the disabled list just about all season with an elbow issue, but this is just sad, sad news. CSN California first had the scoop earlier tonight. Duke is scheduled to become a free agent after the season.
- MLB.com's Steve Gilbert reports that Tony Clark has had discussions with the Diamondbacks about possibly joining the team in a baseball operations role. The club released Clark last month.
- Joel Sherman of The NY Post spoke to an AL executive who speculates (key word) that the Red Sox "claimed (Billy) Wagner over worries that (Jonathan) Papelbon's mechanics and control are off." Remember, the key word is speculates.
- LeVon Washington, Tampa Bay's unsigned first round pick, has choosen to attend JuCo powerhouse Chipola College next season according to Marc Lancaster of The Tampa Tribune. The school has produced Buck Showalter, Mat Gamel, and Russell Martin, among others. Washington will be eligible for the draft again next year.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the D'Backs released Tony Clark. The 37-year-old first baseman was hitting .182 with four homers in 66 at bats. Piecoro suggests the D'Backs wanted to create room for Josh Whitesell and give him the chance to play regularly.
According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Diamondbacks have re-signed Tony Clark to a one-year deal worth about $800K. Clark, 36, .225/.359/.318 in 184 plate appearances for the Padres and D’Backs this year. His power seems to come and go.
According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the D’Backs are progressing towards a one-year deal with Tony Clark, though GM Josh Byrnes says they’re "not all the way there" yet. Piecoro expects Clark to re-sign for less than $1MM.
Piecoro also found that Byrnes isn’t likely to trade Miguel Montero. The D’Backs GM said that "nothing in trade exceeds the value of keeping both" Montero and Chris Snyder, so he’ll hold onto them.
Arizona had considered dealing Montero to the Red Sox for Michael Bowden, but the Red Sox decided against the deal.
8:10pm: Piecoro says the D’Backs don’t want to trade Snyder; in fact, they’d like to extend him.
Piecoro notes talks with Eddie Guardado, but they didn’t go far. And Japanese lefty Ken Takahashi is not on Arizona’s radar.
7:20pm: The D’Backs have discussed a contract with Tony Clark for ’09, says Gilbert.
6:20pm: Rosenthal says the D’Backs want to trade the more pricey Snyder to clear a path for Montero. They could then ink a Gregg Zaun type to back him up.
3:30pm: Gilbert says the D’Backs have a one-year offer out to Loretta.
3:18pm: MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert says the D’Backs have not resumed talks with Randy Johnson.
12:12pm: Piecoro says talks between the D’Backs and Mark Loretta have advanced in recent days. They’ve made a "significant overture" according to Loretta’s agent.
- Piecoro dissects the D’Backs’ thought process behind their decision not to offer arbitration to Type A free agent Adam Dunn. He notes that their rumored two-year offer to Dunn was "more of an exploratory offer, nothing formal." They’ll stay in touch with Dunn in case the market is not to his liking.
- Free agent targets: Nick Punto, Arthur Rhodes, and the aforementioned Joe Beimel.
- Punto is one of many candidates for second base. Ramon Vazquez was the top target, but he was two guaranteed years rather than one with an option.
- Piecoro wonders if the D’Backs might now be able to scrape together another $3MM or so for Randy Johnson, given the Dunn draft pick savings and Brandon Lyon’s decision to decline arb.
Another week in the history books! Here’s a look back from July 13-19:
- The Phillies acquired Joe Blanton from the A’s for a package of three minor leaguers: Adrian Cardenas, Josh Outman, and Matthew Spencer. Cardenas and Outman were the Phils’ #2 and #4 prospects. Personally, that seems like a lot to bring a pitcher who’s already struggling to a much smaller park. Blanton is a much better pitcher than he’s showed this season, however.
- Francisco Rodriguez will test the free-agent market this offseason. I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see K-Rod sign a record-setting contract for a reliever.
- The Yankees signed Richie Sexson.
- Francisco Liriano – or at least his agent – is not pleased that the Twins still have him in AAA. The Twins won’t blame Liriano for the investigation. Upsetting a player who’s that young and that talented seems like a bad idea to me…
- The Padres traded Tony Clark to the Diamondbacks for minor leaguer Evan Scribner. The D’Backs have looked like they can use all the help they can get lately.
- A.J. Burnett likes Toronto and doesn’t want to be traded. My advice: Don’t talk to Chicago reporters anymore, A.J.
- Tim updated the third base and second base markets.
- Erik Bedard’s injury looks like it will keep him in Seattle. And if you don’t believe me yet, here’s another one for you.
- The Twins balked at Seattle’s asking price for Adrian Beltre. And considering they asked for one of Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Glen Perkins, or Kevin Slowey as well as other minor league prospects, can you blame them?