On this date in 1983, the Blue Jays traded Leon Roberts to the Royals for a minor leaguer by the name of Cecil Fielder. Fielder made his Major League debut in 1985 and played for the Blue Jays through 1989 before having his contract sold to the Hanshin Tigers. Fielder returned to MLB with the Detroit Tigers in 1990 where he made three All-Star appearances in his first four years with the club. Here's a look at tonight's links..
- Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter) points out that the Mets had been eyeing Rick Ankiel, who signed with the Nats earlier today. The Mets are in search of a left-handed bat off of the bench and have also been linked to Kosuke Fukudome, Raul Ibanez, and Johnny Damon.
- Clubs that have been interested in Hong-Chih Kuo believe that he'll wind up signing with the Mariners, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Earlier today, agent Alan Chang told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that his client is close to deciding on a team.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that it would be tough to clear the payroll space necessary to sign Roy Oswalt. Fay writes that the only tradeable member of the Reds' rotation making significant money is Homer Bailey. Moving Bailey's $2.425MM contract to make room for one year of Oswalt would be risky, but the club has exhibited an all-in attitude recently.
- If GM Mike Rizzo doesn't add another center fielder, Rick Ankiel should have a decent opportunity to win a spot in the Nationals' Opening Day lineup and perhaps platoon with fellow veteran Mike Cameron in center field, writes Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider.
- Earlier this offseason, sources said there was a feeling within the organization that Ankiel might not be able to maintain the offensive productivity he showed in spurts last season if he's primarily coming off of the bench, writes Amanda Comak of The Washington Times.