Zach Stewart Rumors
On this date five years ago, Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux faced off in the first matchup of 300-game winners since Don Sutton and Steve Carlton in 1987. Maddux's Cubs topped Clemens' Astros by the score of 3-2.
Let's look at what's being written around the blogosphere, with a heavy dose of Ryan Howard contract reactions...
- Crashburn Alley breaks down the massive contract the Phillies gave their first baseman.
- More Hardball comes up with a few reasons to dislike the deal.
- Sports Are Involved... takes a look at the price of greatness.
- Disciples of Uecker examines what Howard's deal means for Prince Fielder.
- The Pale Hose Pariah wonders if the White Sox should look to sign Paul Konerko to an extension.
- 1 Blue Jays Way interviewed Jays' prospect Zach Stewart, part of last summer's Scott Rolen trade.
- The Baseball Opinion reviews the trade that sent Ben Zobrist from the Astros to Tampa Bay.
- Camden Depot looks at the trade value of draft picks, not that MLB allows such things.
The Blue Jays acquired pitcher Brandon Morrow from the Mariners for reliever Brandon League and minor league outfielder Johermyn Chavez today. The agreement was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports on Monday, while MLB.com's Jordan Bastian added the Chavez detail yesterday.
Morrow, 25, has a 3.96 ERA, 9.3 K/9, and 5.7 BB/9 in his 197.6-inning big league career. The hard-throwing righty was drafted fifth overall by the Mariners in '06. He made the team's Opening Day roster in '07 as a reliever, and stayed in that role to open the '08 season due to the Erik Bedard acquisition. He dealt with a shoulder injury that year. In August of '08 he transitioned to starting. Elbow issues surfaced in the spring of '09, but once healthy Morrow was back in the 'pen. He was sidelined by biceps tendinitis shortly thereafter, and it was back to starting in June. Morrow has a pretty serious injury history in his big league career; it's difficult to determine if the frequent role-switching was the cause or the effect. He is not yet arbitration-eligible and is under team control through 2013. Chavez, who turns 21 next month, hit .283/.346/.474 last year in A ball.
League, 27 in March, has a 4.09 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 3.2 BB/9 in 202.3 career relief innings. League also throws in the mid-90s, and has a strong career groundball rate of 62%. He's had an up-and-down career, oddly posting his best peripherals in '09 (3.6 K/BB) alongside a 4.58 ERA. League had a shoulder injury that cost him most of '07. He's under team control through 2012.
The Blue Jays come out ahead on this one. Morrow is an obvious health risk, but he still has frontline starter potential. It's a gamble worth taking at the cost of a reliever and a prospect. Perhaps the Mariners believe it's all downhill from here for Morrow.
More links for the afternoon...
- If you don't already know which three major leaguers have weight or fitness-related clauses in their contracts, check out Jorge Says No! to find out.
- Marc Hulet of FanGraphs says the Blue Jays acquired two of the top ten prospects moved this deadline. He ranks Zach Stewart 8th and Josh Roenicke 10th among all prospects dealt.
- The White Sox don't know where Bartolo Colon is, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Via Twitter, Ed Price of AOL FanHouse informs us that Phillies' acquisition Cliff Lee has allowed four runners past first base in 16 innings with his new team. Not bad.
- Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune says there's a good chance Erik Bedard will need another exploratory surgery after he undergoes an MRI tomorrow.
- Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus reports that former MLB reliever Kerry Ligtenberg retired. He had been pitching in an independent league.