The Reds signed infielder Miguel Cairo to a minor league deal, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Cairo, 36 in May, played briefly for the Phillies last year and hit .287/.325/.392 for their Triple A club. He's capable of playing all around the diamond.
A few links to start the day…
- Andy Martino of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets that the Phillies will prioritze defensive versatility over power when filling Matt Stairs' roster spot, though Stairs, Miguel Cairo, and Paul Bako are welcome to come to Spring Training on minor league deals.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com has an update on the Orioles' negotations with Mark Hendrickson. Last month we learned that Hendrickson hoped to re-sign quickly.
- ESPN's Keith Law wrote about players coming off injury, and notes that Ben Sheets is worth gambling on, considering his upside.
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com say that despite the Brewers' logjam on the infield, a trade will probably not happen "unless some club offers the pitching equivalent of (Mat) Gamel."
- David Murphy of The Philadelphia Daily News takes a look at the Phillies' pitching staff to see which free agents may or may not fit.
- R.J. Anderson at FanGraphs wrote about free agent (and good luck charm) Eric Hinske, while his blogmate Dave Cameron took a look at some interesting minor league free agents.
- Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan took the time to speak with Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com about several of the team's 2009 draft picks.
- Buddy Carlyle has joined the Nippon Ham Fighters, according to Kyodo News.
- Not only do players truly hit the open market on Friday, but teams must also set their 40-man rosters for next month's Rule 5 Draft that day as well. Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes about a player the Braves may choose to protect, while Erik Hahmann of DRays Bay looks back at Tampa Bay's history in the Rule 5.
- Speaking of Morosi and O'Brien, make sure you follow both guys on Twitter!,
MLB.com'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.
According to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Phillies designated infielder Miguel Cairo for assignment to make room for tomorrow's starter, Andrew Carpenter. Cairo, 35, had two hits in 16 plate appearances for the Phils this year. They'd signed him to a minor league deal on February 15th.
The Phillies added Miguel Cairo to the 25-man roster today, presumably ending the club's search for a right-handed reserve player. David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer has a short review of that hunt:
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has spent a lot of time looking for ways to upgrade the bench, particularly late in spring training. There was the highly-publicized flirtation with Gary Sheffield. There was the hope that Andruw Jones would fail to win a roster spot with the Rangers. Earlier in the offseason, there was an attempted wooing of Nomar Garciaparra.
But in the Phillies situation, it proved difficult to convince the type of player they hoped to attract to sign with the team. Sheffield, Garciaparra, Jones, Ty Wigginton — all signed with teams where the opportunity for playing time was far greater than the Phillies could guarantee.
Cairo, 34, hit .249/.316/.330 with 23 RBI in 221 at-bats for Seattle last season. He hasn't gone yard in over 900 plate appearances, but should make for a versatile option in the infield.
Scott Lauber reports that the Phillies have signed Miguel Cairo to a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training.
Cairo, 34, hit .249/.316/.330 last year for the Mariners. He can serve as a back-up at nearly any position the Phillies could need if he makes the team. Cairo saw time at all four infield positions, left field, and right field in 2008.
Here are this morning’s random rumors and links.
- Matt Mantei will throw for the Tigers this week, and hopes to get a minor league deal. The 34 year-old hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2005 for Boston.
- The D’Backs will watch Keith Foulke throw later this month as he attempts his comeback after a year off. The Indians and Red Sox are other teams Foulke may have special interest in.
- The Mariners signed Miguel Cairo in an effort to push incumbent second baseman Jose Lopez. Cairo has a career line of .267/.315/.367, while Lopez is at .261/.295/.379. Cairo is the lesser of two evils, I guess.
- Andy MacPhail is talking about (or at least posturing that) he’s going to start looking to fill holes via free agency since he’s not getting the right trade offers. I imagine Octavio Dotel is still on the Orioles’ radar to close.
- The Rangers were close to signing Eddie Guardado in December, and now they’re…still close.