After the Deadline

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The list is long of players who were rumored to be on the block but were not moved for one reason or another. The White Sox tried mightily to move several players and failed. Contreras, Garland, Vasquez and Dye will all be staying put for the time being. There's talk of a contract extension for Dye. The Reds kept Griffey Jr.,Arroyo, Weathers and Dunn. The Nationals seemed to be asking too much for Jon Rauch and Chad Cordero. I guess the Mariners and Brewers weren't interested enough in Devil Rays pitchers Dan Wheeler and Al Reyes. Maybe this is true every year at this time, but it did seem like more teams were insistent on holding onto prized prospects over trading for established players with big salaries or short shelf lives, i.e. impending free agency.


Pirates acquire Matt Morris

In a last minute deal, the Pirates acquired SP Matt Morris for Rajai Davis and a player to be named later. Morris had a great start to the season but struggled mightily as the season progressed. Brian Sabean, the Giants GM, should be congratulated for dumping such an awful contract on the bottom-dwelling Pirates.


Phillies acquire Julio Mateo from Mariners

With 10 minutes remainign before the trade deadline, the Phillies have acquired relief pitcher Julio Mateo from the Mariners in exchange for a minor leaguer. This is likely just for insurance in case a starter goes down.


Dye to Red Sox dead

The Jermaine Dye to the Red Sox deal has fallen through according to sources. Apparently an offer of Wily Mo Pena and Craig Hansen was not enough to entice White Sox GM Kenny Williams, who instead is trying to get an extension completed with Dye. The Cubs and Diamondbacks were still said to be interested, but with less than an hour left, that seems unlikely.


Padres acquire Ensberg

In another strange move, the Padres have again added a member to their bench, acquiring the recently RFA'd Morgan Ensberg. Ensberg has really struggled this year, and seems strangely similar to the Russell Branyan, who was just cut by the Pads. The Padres have made multiple minor moves lately, moves that should benefit them for the stretch run.


Dotel to Braves official

With the Braves finalizing the Mark Teixeira deal, they were also able to finalize the deal of Kyle Davies for Octavio Dotel. The Braves look like real winners here, having made big moves to bolster the weakest part of their lineup as well as their bullpen. 1 hour left...


Padres acquire Mackowiak for RHP Jon Link

The Padres have made another move to bolster their bench, acquiring Rob Mackowiak from the Chicago White Sox. Mackowiak is very versatile and will certainly bolster the Padres bench. Link is 23 and will likely only make the majors as a september call-up.


Dodgers and A's talk Blanton

After talks cooled these past two days, the A's and Dodgers have decided once more to resume talks about starting pitcher Joe Blanton. Billy Beane is probably salivating at the idea of acquiring one of the Dodgers many top prospects, having one of the most stacked farm systems in the league. With an hour and twenty minutes left, time is running out for a lot of these rumored deals. Other names being tossed around in the final hour include Bob Wickman, Chad Cordero, Bronson Arroyo, Jonny Gomes. A little over one hour left!


Gagne to Red Sox

According to Foxsports, Eric Gagne is heading to the Red Sox if he is willing to waive his no-trade clause. This is a big if assuming Gagne still wants to close. Stay tuned for more details.


Pirates' Wilson to Tigers?

The Tigers and Pirates are discussing a deal to send Jack Wilson to the AL Central leading Tigers. Wilson would likely split time at shortstop in Detroit with Carlos Guillen. Stay tuned to see if this one gets done before the deadline.


Dotel deal all but official

While teams around the league are waiting for trades to be finalized, the Braves are waiting on two trades. They cannot officially complete the Dotel for Davies trade until their previous trade for Mark Teixeira becomes official. Sources say both trades will certainly be completed before the 3:00 deadline.


Cards' acquire Pineiro from Red Sox

The Cardinals, looking to remain in striking distance of the postseason, have tried to shore up their shaky pitching staff by acquiring Joel Pineiro for a player to be named later and cash considerations. This seems like a strange move seeing as Pineiro had been awful this year before being demoted to triple-a. He has since pitched better there but the Cardinals could have stayed in house if they wanted a successful minor leaguer. This move could send Mike Maroth or Kip Wells to the bullpen, as both have struggled mightily this year.


Yanks' and Dodgers exchange Proctor, Betemit

The Yankees, looking to bolster their lineup, have traded RP Scott Proctor for young utility player Wilson Betemit. Betemit can play multiple positions and has plenty of power from the right side of the plate. With very few pitchers on the market, it seems the Yankees got decent value for Proctor.


Brewers Looking at Gagne?

The NL Central division leading Brewers have been awfully quiet this week. They know they will likely be in a dogfight with the Cubs for the rest of the season, yet there's barely been a whisper from their camp. This morning, things changed. The Brewers are now in the hunt for Gagne and with closer Francisco Cordero leading both leagues in saves, it would mean Gagne would become a setup man rather than the star closer.


Not Over Yet for Cubs-Maybe

Cubs Gm Jim Hendry has been saying all week that the Cubs were not going to be active at the deadline. He likes his team and its chemistry. However, he did speak out to make it clear that Felix Pie was never available in trade. While doing so, he left the door open today in case someone wants to drop a left-handed bat in his lap. "Things could change today. Some of the best deals we've ever made, even smaller deals we made after the deadline-that year we got Doug Glanville and Randall Simon(2003)-they weren't even on the radar screen the night before." He also said there were several prospects besides Pie who he considered untouchable. That doesn't leave him with much trade bait.


Now the Fun Really Begins

Well, we're down to the wire and here's how it looks this morning. Before we get to all the pitching interest that remains hot, there are still some position players in play. *It looks likely again that White Sox Jermaine Dye is going to the Red Sox for Manny Delcarmen and Of Willy Mo Pena. *The Angels are interested in Blue Jays Troy Glaus, after missing out on Teixeira. Their numbers are very similar and Glaus is four years younger with playoff experience. Interest in him is going to be intense this afternoon, as the Angels aren't the only ones looking. The Yanks and Rangers could play him at first base and the Astros are said to be looking as well. *The Padres are taking one more look at Astros OF Mark Loretta but what they really want is a lefty bat instead. *Now for the pitching deals that are being talked about as the clock ticks. *The Mariners got the bad news that their setup man Chris Reitsma needs season-ending elbow surgery so expect them to ramp up their efforts to acquire some help. *Eric Gagne looks to be going to New York or Boston, if he is willing to become a setup man for others. That might not be as easy as it sounds, psychologically for him. So far, all three teams are balking at the high price being asked for him. *Other pitchers said to be on the block are Yanks Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth. Why does anybody still want Farnsworth? He's erractic, has an explosive temper and has never lived up to expectation. *The Nationals are still offering Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch. *The Cards would part with Russ Springer and Troy Percival. *Astros are shopping Chad Qualls and Brad Lidge. Qualls might be more attractive to some because he is locked up until 2010. *The Rockies have Brian Fuentes on the block and the Devil Rays are still trying to move Al Reyes and even newly acquired Dan Wheeler. Did I forget anybody? Stay tuned.


A Moment to Reflect...

Monday, July 30, 2007

After lots of activity today, there remains less than 19 hours left before the deadline. It appears there are lots of potential deals still cooking. The Nationals are still offering up Chad Cordero and John Rauch. Believe it or not, the Braves are showing some interest in Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, even as they await a final decision on Octavio Dotel. GM John Schuerholz is going to need a vacation after tomorrow. He's been one busy guy. Tampa Bay closer Al Reyes is still drawing interest from the Mariners and Mets. The White Sox haven't given up hope of moving Jermaine Dye and Javier Vasquez. It looked like there was some movement earlier today between the Red Sox and White Sox on Dye, but all is quiet at the moment. Vasquez had a good outing yesterday, even though he took the loss but so far, the phone's not exactly ringing off the hook. As for Eric Gagne- it seems likely he will be going somewhere after tomorrow but the question is where? Both New York teams and Boston seem seriously interested and the Yankees and Mets have the advantage of Gagne not being able to veto those trades.


Phillies Trade for Lohse

The Phillies, perhaps looking to inject a little fresh blood into the rotation, acquired Kyle Lohse from the Reds for Class-AA LHP Matt Maloney. Its not exactly a blockbuster trade for either side but sometimes a new face in a new stadium can do wonders for all parties involved.


Luis Castillo to the Mets

The Mets and Twins are close to a deal for Luis Castillo in exchange for two minor leaguers. Castillo is needed as a replacement for Jose Valentin, who had a season-ending leg injury recently. Physicals are all that's holding up that announcement.


Busy Day for Atlanta

The Braves are thisclose to a deal for KC reliever Octavio Dotel. No word on who the Braves would be giving up.With their top prospects gone in the Teixeira deal, that leaves OF Brandon Jones and 1B Scott Thorman as likely choices. This move really improves a team obviously poised to go for it.


Dye to Red Sox back on?

Sources are saying that the rumored Jermaine Dye to the Red Sox deal is entering the serious stage of discussions and that the deal may very well get done today. The Red Sox in return would likely give up talented but struggling outfielder Wily Mo Pena and a minor league pitcher. The Red Sox have a very strong minor league system but it seems unlikely that they would give up one of their top prospects for a RF rental. Check back for more later today.


Yankees Give Up on Gagne

It doesn't look like Eric Gagne will be going to the Yankees. While there was interest, the Rangers want outfielder Melky Cabrera and GM Brian Cashman said, forget it.


Angels Still Shopping for a Slugger

Angels GM Bill Stoneman continues to insist he is trying to bring in a big bat before tomorrow's deadline. He has considered Adam Dunn, Mike Piazza Jermaine Dye and Mark Teixeira. The deals keep falling through because he isn't interested in giving up any of his prized prospects.


Teixeira Deal Announcement Imminent

Expect the Rangers and Braves to announce a deal has been reached, sending Mark Teixeira and pitcher Ron Mahay to the Braves for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus and two pitching prospects.


Cubs Likely Staying on Trade Sidelines

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Don't expect the Cubs to make any trades, despite some names like Griffey, Gagne and Payton being floated. First of all, Griffey Jr., while a favorite of Pinella's, would be way too expensive. If they can't sign Zambrano, imagine the outrage among fans and Zambrano himself, if they laid out big bucks for Griffey. While Gagne is coveted by various clubs at the moment, the Cubs' bullpen is in pretty decent shape. They did very well during Ryan Dempster's absence and not only is he back, but it looks like Kerry Wood might actually be close to rejoining the team. His rehab is going well and he is expected to move up to triple-A, getting him one step closer to returning to Wrigley, no longer as a starter but as a reliever. While Matt Murton was brought up from the minors the other day, Jacque Jones' resurgence in center field since the All-Star break might make any further moves there unnecessary and even counter-productive. The chemistry is unmistakably good there right now and bringing in another outfielder, just for the sake of making a trade doesn't make sense. Murton should stay and be given the job of spelling Soriano and Floyd down the stretch.


Canseco Pointing Finger at A-Rod

During an interview with a Boston radio station, Jose Canseco called A-Rod a "hypocrite" and said he's not "all he appears to be." When asked if A-Rod had used steroids, Canseco said, "wait and see." Canseco has been open in the past about his own steroid use and accused Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire of being users. With Bonds on the verge of breaking Hank Aaron's home run record, many have looked to A-Rod to surpass Bonds cleanly, fairly and squarely. If there is anything to Canseco's accusations, that pursuit could soon be tainted as well.


Hats Off to Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr.

Our congratulations go out to Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr., who most deservedly entered the Hall of Fame this afternoon. It has been overstated that athletes should not be seen as role models for young people but these two played the game with class and really were guys that could be looked up to.


No News is News

There's nothing to report on the trade front at the moment but if you're like me, you're still checking every hour on the hour. Maybe all the GMs are enjoying a quiet day at home with their families before gearing up for the next 48 hours. (yeah, right) The Dbacks seem to be tentatively entering the Teixeira sweepstakes, but the Braves still appear to have the edge. The Chicago press seems certain that Jermaine Dye is heading to Boston, although that deal seemed closer to fruition a couple days ago than it does today. The Yankees are denying that Johnny Damon is available but they aren't denying an interest in Rangers reliever Eric Gagne. They're not alone as the Mets and Red Sox are interested in him too. I'll try to stay on top of things through the evening but things are awfully quiet at the moment.


Braves Close on Deal for Teixeira

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Atlanta Braves are very close to acquiring Texas Rangers All-Star Mark Teixeira. According to executives on both sides, the Braves are in the process of deciding which prospects to give up and how much money they will absorb from his contract. With the deadline just two days away, the negotiations will probably speed up, and then sent to the commissioner for approval because of the amount of money being transferred. Teixeira is batting .298 AVG with 13 HR and 49 RBI this season and has also been rumored to be heading the Angels, Dodgers, and Yankees.


Cantu to Reds

Tampa Bay Devil Rays second basemen Jorge Cantu has been dealt to the Cincinnati Reds for a pair of relievers and future considerations. The relievers, LHP Brian Shackelford and RHP Calvin Medlock, are not considered valuable relievers and Cantu could be a steal for the Reds. Cantu was disappointed with his playing time and the management in Tampa Bay and should thrive under the change of scenery. He will start in triple-A and likely work his way towards the big league before the end of the season.


Ty Wigginton for Dan Wheeler

Tampa Bay traded 1B Ty Wigginton to the Astros for pitcher Dan Wheeler. As mentioned earlier, the scouts were out in force at Minute Maid Park the other night checking him out, along with other young pitching talent.


Latest on Rumor Watch

The Red Sox seem to be seriously interested in Jermaine Dye but what seems to be holding things up is his insistance that he receive playing time guarantees and incentive bonuses. The Red Sox seem pretty set in their outfield and DH spots. Dye has been playing much better since the All-Star break and who knows if this could fly. Who the Red Sox are willing to part with is still under discussion. J.D. Drew hasn't been doing well against lefties (.209) but if that's what they want him for, that doesn't sound like enough playing time. The Twins are said to be interested in trading 2B Luis Castillo and RHP Carlos Silva. Both are free agents at the end of the season. The Mets could use a second basemen to replace injured Jose Valentin and Castillo would be an offensive upgrade over Ruben Gohtay. The Dbacks and the Padres might be thinking about Reds outfielder and sometime 1B, even though he would become a free agent after this season, if traded because they could both use the offensive help. No real movement is evident on the Teixeira trade talks. THe Angels are said to have cooled off some because they think the Rangers are asking for the moon. The Braves are willing to part with some prized prospects, but not the ones the Rangers are insisting on. The Rangers are also trying to move Sammy Sosa to make room for their top hitting prosects, Jason Botts and Nelson Cruz to get some playing time in the final two months of the season. The Astros had lots of scouts at their game the other night hoping to get a look at relievers Chad Qualls, Brad Lidge and Dan Wheeler so it wouldn't be a surprise if one of them were moved. That's all the latest for now but anything could happen at any time. I'll be watching....


White Sox Swap Iguchi for Phillies Minor League Pitcher

Friday, July 27, 2007

IT looks like somebody, namely the Phillies, were interested in what the Sox were offering after all. The Phillies sent Single-A pitcher Michael Dubee, who is 4-4, with an ERA of 3.88 to the Sox for Tadahito Iguchi. This deal comes on the heels of an injury to Phillies 2B Chase Utley that will sideline him for at least a month with a broken hand. In other news, Kenny Lofton was sent to Cleveland, where he spent almost half his career in exchange for minor league catcher Max Ramirez.


All Talk, No Action

Another day and night passed without any deals being done. The trade talk around baseball is amounting to a whole lot of nothing. There is something comical about the dance these GMs do with each other. Everybody knows who's being offered up and/or viewed as untouchable so what are these guys waiting for? Will one trade open the floodgates to others? If the Braves make a deal for Teixeira, will the Dodgers scramble in another direction or stand pat? Doesn't anybody want any of the White Sox numerous avaiable players, Garland, Contreras, Dye or Vasquez? Everyone seems to be looking at Tampa Bay IF Ty Wigginton. Who offers the most attractive deal? Is Octavio Dotel staying or going? Is he hoping for a last-minute contract extension? Will Dmitri Young get one? The Griffey trade talk has cooled in the last few days. I'm always intrigued by the 11th hour deals because of what must lead up to them. Those of us who care wait on pins and needles while these guys do-what?? Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking.


Dontrelle Not Likely Going Anywhere

Thursday, July 26, 2007

With Willis not having a very good season, he's winless since May 29th, now may not be the time for the Marlins to shop their ace. GM Beinfest has said publicly he's not shopping him and there have been hardly any scouts sighted at his starts. Willis is young and it wouldn't make sense to trade him for less than his full value during what is, hopefully a lull in his effectiveness.


Teixeira Trade Talks Getting Serious

The Atlanta Braves are actively involved in trying to land Teixeira from the Rangers after weeks of speculation. While the Dodgers, Angels and Red Sox are also in pursuit, the Braves seem furthest along in talks, with prized newcomer Jarrod Saltalamacchia being the main bait with 2 or possibly 3 prospects as part of the package. The Dodgers appear willing to part with 1B James Loney, OF Andre Ethier and possibly a minor league pitcher, to be named. What makes this interesting and helpful to the Rangers is that the Dodgers and the Braves are going to be fighting for the wild card slot and have the added incentive of not wanting to let their rival land a prize like Teixeira.


Trade Rumors Heating Up

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

With five days left before the deadline, trade talk is escalating all over the Major Leagues. How much of it will actually come to pass is anybody's guess but my guess is that most of these rumors are not going to turn into actual deals. As I have said before, there are still many contending teams, which means more buyers than sellers. The same names have been talked about for a couple of weeks now- Rangers Mark Teixeira- a solid first baseman with left handed power. Adam Dunn is another power hitting first baseman, who can also play the outfield. Might draw the same interest as Teixeira. Dunn would be second choice for most teams as Teixeira is younger and his best years are still ahead of him. Vasquez, Contreras, Garland and Dye, all of the White Sox are being talked about as the Sox's season goes down the tubes. GM Kenny Williams may be swinging minor deals as the team will have to be rebuilt but no major deals are expected. Eric Gagne has come back strong after 2005 surgery and a team looking for relief help like the Tigers or Cubs or Giants could be interested. All this is hearsay right now but as the deadline approaches, anything is possible.


White Sox Looking to Rebuild

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The White Sox have been rumored to be having a fire sale for the last several weeks and are looking to the Yankees to provide solid prospects . They began the season shopping Jose Contreras and Javiar Vasquez, but after meeting with Yankee officials, they are now contemplating giving up Jon Garland. With the time left before the deadline, it appears that the White Sox will try to get as many minor league prospects out of the Yankees as possible. Garland, who is 27, was nearly traded to the Rangers in the off season and would greatly help the Yankees pitching staff the last stretch of the season. White Sox GM Ken Williams is also shopping Germaine Dye, Brian Anderson and other pitchers on his staff.


Biggio Announces Retirement

Houston's All Star Craig Biggio announced today that he will retire after this season. Saying, "I think I've done everything I was supposed to do on a baseball field." he will call it quits after a 20-year career that saw him stay with one team, play multiple positions at an All-Star level and get 3000 hits.


Selig to Follow Bonds' Pursuit

Bud Selig announced tonight that he will make every effort to be present at the game when Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's record. "Out of respect for the game, the magnitude of the record and the fact that ciitzens of this country are innocent until proven guilty, I will attend Barry Bonds next games to observe his potential tying and breaking of the home run record, subject to my committments to the Hall of Fame this weekend, said Selig." What took him so long to come to this conclusion??


Lester sparkles in return

Jon Lester returned to the mound just 11 months after being diagnosed with cancer. Lester picked up right where he left off and led the Red Sox to a 6-2 over the Indians. The lefty Lester pitched six strong innings, working his fastball to perfection. His teammates couldn't be happier for him. "It was supposed to be his night," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He just really competes." The Red Sox gave him plenty of support early, putting four runs on the board in the top of the first. "This isn't even about baseball, Curth Schilling said. "It just doesn't get any better the way a guy like that comes back to us. It's about family. The big thing is he's a great human being and that makes it an even better story. That wasn't your run-of-the-mill DL stint."


Our Condolences would like to send our condolences to the family of Mike Coolbaugh. Tragedy struck when he was hit with a line drive while coaching first base for the Tulsa Drillers, the minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Coolbaugh family.


Tough decisions loom for many on the playoff border

Monday, July 23, 2007

With the trade deadline just eight days away and the standings tight in nearly every division, many teams figure to be buyers rather than sellers, leading to few potential deals. Even teams in 3rd or 4th place aren't willing to sacrifice their season because no one is running away with their division. In the National League, six teams are within 4.5 games of each other for the NL Wildcard. In the American League, the AL Central and West leaders have a 1 and 2 game lead, respectfully. With so many teams in contention and dumping salary no longer a pressing issue, teams are struggling to find available players without tearing apart their farm system. It remains to be seen which names will be dealt, but all is quiet right now with only eight days remaining.


Dbacks shopping Hernandez?

Is Livan Hernandez being shopped? The Dbacks appear to be sellers as the trade deadline approaches. The Braves, Mets and Mariners have expressed interest in the pitcher, who is 5-6 with an ERA of 4.77 this season.


Yankees Acquire Jose Molina

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Yankees made a minor move today acquiring backup catcher Jose Molina from the Angels in exchange for pitcher Jeff Kennard. The Yankees main reasons for getting him is because he has a lot of experience that could help the team towards the end of the season. As for Jorge Posada, he is having a career year and is bound for free agency, so having a veteran catcher work with these guys may be good for the future; Although, I believe that he will be back. But having Molina, who is batting .224 with 0 HR and 10 RBIs, should allow for Posada to rest every once in a while. To make room for Molina, the Yankees will designate Wil Nieves for assignment.


Mark Loretta to Dodgers?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Astros have made it known that they are interested in trading Mark Loretta, Mike Lamb, or Jason Jennings. But it appears that the utility infielder might have found a spot with the Dodgers, who may be on the verge of trading Wilson Betemit for relief pitching. Loretta, who will be a free agent after this season and is batting .310 with 2 HR and 30 RBI, would fit in nicely with the Dodgers plans for the second half of the season, and could easily switch into a bench role next season for them. Furthermore, the Dodgers could easily part with a minor leaguer or two.


Braves Scouting Silva

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Atlanta Braves had scouts at the Twins versus Angels game and from what I saw (I was there), they were all over Carlos Silva. The Braves are looking to acquire Bronson Arroyo but if the Reds asking price is too high, I'm sure they will look to the Twins. Silva is 7-10 with a 4.55 ERA and 50 K, but a switch to a run producing NL team could benefit him.


Yankees Exploring All Options

The Yankees continue to have talks with the Dodgers about Wilson Betemit, and talks are showing progress. However, the Dodgers are talking with the Royals about Octavio Dotel, the Rangers about Eric Gagne, and the Cubs about Michael Wuertz, so acquiring a reliever from the Yankees seems unlikely. The Yankees may be looking to trade Scott Proctor and maybe package him with a minor leaguer or two to acquire Betemit. This season, Betemit is batting .238 with 10 HR and 26 RBI.


Is Chad Cordero on the Block??

Are the Mets and the Red Sox interested in Nationals reliever Chad Cordero? It looks that way as those teams look around to bolster their bullpens. The 25-year old has impressive numbers:108 saves and an ERA of .263 in a little less than four full seasons. He won't come cheaply.


Pirates' Wilson on the move?

With the recent acquisition of shortstop Cesar Izturis from the Cubs, it appears everything is set for Jack Wilson to be dealt before the July 31st trade deadline. As nearly every analyst has noted, the most logical destination for Wilson is the Red Sox, with Julio Lugo struggling so mightily and multiple major-league ready prospects in their farm system. Wilson is hitting a modest .254 with 4 home runs and 26 RBI, but he led the national league in batting average last year and would likely improve with a stronger lineup behind him. In what appears to be a quiet build-up to the trade deadline, Wilson might be the biggest name to make a move.


Braves After Arroyo

The Atlanta Braves are attempting to make one final push for control in the NL East by acquiring a solid veteran in Bronson Arroyo. As of right now, a deal looks unlikely because the Reds are asking for top hitting prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia. But, according to sources close to negotiations, the Braves are exploring other options in making a trade happen. The Braves are currently 2.5 games behind the Mets and are set to face the Cardinals for a three game series.


2008 Draft Prospects

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Since many have been critical of the list I found, I have been working on one of my own.

20 Top College Prospects

1. Justin Smoak, 1b, South Carolina

2. Aaron Crow, rhp, Missouri

3. Pedro Alvarez, 3b, Vanderbilt

4. Brian Matusz, lhp, San Deigo

5. Yonder Alonso, Miami

6. Brett Hunter, rhp Pepperdine

7. Shooter Hunt, rhp, Tulane

8. Jemile Weeks, 2b, Miami

9. Ryan Perry, rhp, Arizona

10. Buster Posey, c, Florida St.

11. Christian Friedrich, lhp, Eastern Kentucky

12. Brandon Crawford, ss, UCLA

13. Luke Burnett, rhp, Louisiana St.

14. Jacob Thompson, rhp Virginia

15. Cody Satterwhite, rhp, Mississippi

16. Tyson Ross, rhp, California

17. Gordon Beckham, ss, Georgia

18. Tanner Scheppers, rhp, Fresno St.

19. Dennis Raben, of, Miami

20. Chris Carpenter, rhp, Kent St.

Best Athlete: Jemile Weeks, Miami

Best Hitter: Yonder Alonso, Miami

Best Power Hitter: Justin Smoak, South Carolina

Best Speed: Jemile Weeks, Miami

Best Defense: Blake Tekotte, Miami

Hardest Thrower: Aaron Crow, Missouri

Most Poise: Aaron Crow, Missouri

Pitcher in the MLB in '09: Aaron Crow, Missouri

Hitter in MLB in '09: Justin Smoak, South Carolina

Top 10 High School Prospects

1. Tim Beckham, ss

2. Eric Hosmer, 1b

3. Tim Melville, rhp

4. Gerrit Cole, rhp

5. Jordon Cooper, rhp

6. Aaron Hicks, of

7. Harold Martinez, 3b

8. Issac Galloway, of

9. Kyle Skipworth, c

10. Sonny Gray, rhp

11. Alex Meyer, rhp

12. Daniel Webb, rhp

13. Kyle Lobstein, lhp

14. Brett DeVall, lhp

15. Robbie Grossman, of

16. Zack Cox, 3b

17. Jarrett Martin, lhp

18. Michael Palazzone, rhp

19. Robbie Ross, lhp

20. Adrian Nieto, c

Best Athlete: Tim Beckham, ss

Best Hitter: Tim Beckham, ss

Best Power Hitter: Eric Hosmer, 1b

Best Speed: Randall Thorpe, of

Best Defense: Kyle Skipworth, c

Hardest Thrower: Gerrit Cole, rhp

Most Poise: Sonny Gray, rhp

In the MLB in '09: Tim Beckham, ss

Here is the Top 60 List From Keith Law:

1 Tim Beckham SS Griffin (Ga.) H.S.
2 Buster Posey C Florida State
3 Justin Smoak 1B South Carolina
4 Pedro Alvarez 3B Vanderbilt
5 Eric Hosmer 1B American Heritage H.S. (Plantation, Fla.)
6 Aaron Crow RHP Missouri
7 Gordon Beckham SS Georgia
8 Brian Matusz RHP San Diego
9 Tanner Scheppers RHP Fresno State
10 Gerrit Cole RHP Lutheran H.S. (Orange, Calif.)
11 Kyle Skipworth C Patriot H.S. (Riverside, Calif.)
12 Brett Wallace 3B Arizona State
13 Christian Friedrich LHP Eastern Kentucky
14 Aaron Hicks RF/RHP Wilson H.S. (Long Beach, Calif.)
15 Tim Melville RHP Holt H.S. (Wentzville, Mo.)
16 Ethan Martin RHP/3B Stephens County H.S. (Toccoa, Ga.)
17 Josh Fields RHP Georgia
18 Yonder Alonso 1B Miami
19 Shooter Hunt RHP Tulane
20 Jason Cooper 1B California
21 Casey Kelly SS/RHP Sarasota (Fla.) H.S.
22 Jason Castro C Stanford
23 Conor Gillaspie 3B Wichita State
24 Andrew Cashner RHP Texas Christian
25 Lance Lynn RHP Mississippi
26 Dennis Raben RF Miami
27 Reese Havens SS South Carolina
28 Jake Odorizzi RHP Highland (Ill.) H.S.
29 Petey Paramore C Arizona State
30 Jemile Weeks 2B Miami
31 Robbie Ross LHP Lexington (Ky.) Christian Academy
32 Aaron Weatherford RHP Mississippi State
33 Brad Holt RHP UNC Wilmington
34 Josh Lindblom RHP Purdue
35 Bryan Price RHP Rice
36 James Darnell 3B South Carolina
37 Ezekiel Spruill RHP Kell H.S. (Marietta, Ga.)
38 Daniel Webb RHP Heath H.S. (Paducah, Ky.)
39 Adrian Nieto C American Heritage H.S. (Plantation, Fla.)
40 Kyle Lobstein LHP Coconino H.S. (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
41 Michael Montgomery LHP Hart H.S. (Valencia, Calif.)
42 Cody Satterwhite RHP Mississippi
43 Niko Vasquez SS Durango H.S. (Las Vegas, Nev.)
44 Ryan Perry RHP Arizona
45 Alex Meyer RHP Greensburg (Ind.) H.S.
46 Vance Worley RHP Long Beach State
47 Destin Hood OF St. Paul's Episcopal School (Mobile, Ala.)
48 Wade Miley LHP Southeast Louisiana
49 Roger Kieschnick OF Texas Tech
50 Zach Collier OF Chino Hills (Calif.) H.S.
51 Brett DeVall LHP Niceville (Fla.) H.S.
52 Ike Davis 1B Arizona State
53 Aaron Shafer RHP Wichita State
54 Logan Forsyth 3B Arkansas
55 Isaac Galloway OF Los Osos H.S. (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)
56 Kyle Weiland RHP Notre Dame
57 Tim Murphy LHP UCLA
58 Brett Lawrie C/2B Langley (B.C.) H.S.
59 Nick Maronde LHP Lexington (Ky.) Catholic H.S.
60 Taylor Hightower C Cartersville (Ga.) H.S.


Eric Byrnes to Marlins?

While talks are ongoing for soon-to-be free agent Eric Byrnes, it seems talks have come to a stand still. Byrnes, who could receive a five year deal worth at least 40 million dollars, has been the subject of some trade talks in case no deal can be reached. The Marlins, who failed to reach a deal for Jacque Jones, are still looking for a veteran outfielder. The Marlins and Diamondbacks seem to have one of the best relationships in baseball when it comes to trading, and it could help them in a last minute deal. The Marlins are back in the back end of their division after adding hardly anyone to compete with the high spending Mets. Furthermore, the Braves always seem to put together a strong team and this year, their rookies are really coming through. Although this year is lost, adding a big name player like Byrnes could really help their team in '08.


Sheets out 4-6 weeks with sprained finger

Ben Sheets' sprained middle finger is going to keep him out 4-6 weeks. Initially the Brewers thought Sheets might make his next start but an MRI revealed a slight tear to the tissue surrounding the tendon that controls the finger's movements. Sheets is known for these kind of freak injuries, rarely suffering from a pulled hamstring or sore shoulder, but a pulled groin from slipping on the mound, etc. The Brewers have called up Manny Parra for long relief and with slide Yovani Gallardo into the starting rotation. Both pitchers are highly regarded prospects and should see immediate success.


Cubs Looking at KC Pitcher Zack Greinke

I'd like to take credit and say you heard it here first but there are whispers coming from all over that the Cubs are interested in 23-year old right-handed Kansas City pitcher Zack Greinke. He is 4-5, with a 4.65 ERA in 31 appearances. The Cubs could use him as a starter or reliever, depending on how things go with their starters, a couple of whom are shaky (although Hill and Marshall both had good outings the last time out) Who would KC want for Greinke and who would we be willing to part with? Stay tuned.


White Sox GM Takes Responsibilty for Lost Season

Sox GM Ken Williams came to Cleveland to, as he put it, "face the music" after last night's game, where the Sox had a 11-2 lead and barely won 11-10. "My manager shouldn't have to be standing up with his palms in the air, and my pitching coach, and some of my position players, wondering what's going on without me being here to answer the questions directly." He went on to say that he had put the team together, he felt responsible. "I'm not calling them losers, but they're not ready to win." This is the same guy who built a championship team a mere two seasons ago. Such is baseball.


Cubs Acquire Catcher Jason Kendall

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Chicago Cubs, in need of a catcher since trading Michael Barrett for Rob Bowen acquired Jason Kendall tonight in trade for Bowen and a minor league pitcher. The A's will also pick up part of Kendall's salary. Both catchers are struggling this season, with Kendall hitting just .226, his worst year in 12 seasons. His strength is in handling pitchers and the proverbial "change of scenery" could help his bat. The Cubs brought up catcher Geovany Soto just this week and were carrying 3 catchers on the roster. Bowen, Soto and Koyie Hill have a combined 4 hits since being brought in to replace Michael Barrett.


Interview with Billy Butler

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Friday morning, Royals first baseman Billy Butler sat down with me to answer some questions. Butler was one of the top rated Royals prospects in many years, and is showing he can be successful at the professional level. I want to thank Billy Butler for sitting down to this interview with me, I only hope that we can do this again for MLB Rumors. I also want to thank Doug Rogalski from Axcess Sports for working with my hours to set up this interview.

ELI: You play more first base than outfield now? How long have you played first base?

BILLY: Well, I’ve played first base most of my life, but have been playing more and more as I worked my way up through the minor league system.

ELI: Do you prefer outfield over first base?

BILLY: Wherever they play me I will play. I want to do what is best for the team so whichever the manager decides, I am happy to play it.

ELI: What was it like playing in the Futures Game?

BILLY: Oh it was great playing in the game. I was surrounded by great players with a lot of talent and was put up against great competition. And what makes that game so significant is that a lot of those players that played are now in the major leagues, so it shows just how good the talent was there.

ELI: You won the MVP in that game. Did that boost your confidence?

BILLY: No, it was just a good day. It was great to win the award, but it was really just a good day for me, and anyone on that team could have won the award.

ELI: Was that the first Major League Park you played in? What was it like?

BILLY: I played in different stadiums growing up but it is always cool going to a professional stadium to play. But you always have to concentrate on the game.

ELI: You grew up in Florida, were you a Rays fan or Marlins fan?

BILLY: I was actually a Braves fan because I didn’t live too far from them. It was about a five hour drive to Atlanta.

ELI: So what is it like for you to now be playing professionally and see players like Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz still playing?

BILLY: They were all good pitchers growing up and are still very good now so it would mean a lot to me to meet them or even face them.

ELI: Did you have a favorite player growing up?

BILLY: Yeah, I really liked Scott Rolen but I have to say I like Chipper Jones more because he is a Brave.

ELI: What was it like getting that first hit?

BILLY: It was great. It was even more special because it was off Johan Santana. He definitely knew my weaknesses but I think I got the better of him.

ELI: How about your first homerun?

BILLY: Oh well it was off Ervin Santana and as soon as I made contact, I was praying it would go out.

ELI: You are now in your second stint with the team, do you feel any more pressure now back to make a difference?

BILLY: I am actually more comfortable because I now know what to expect. I was able to get the rookie stuff out of the way and just go about my business.

ELI: You wear number twenty-one, is there any significance to the number?

BILLY: No, it was the number given to me during spring. If I had to choose a number I would want number sixteen, but Reggie [Sanders] has it. It would also be hard to switch now.

ELI: What was the draft experience like for you?

BILLY: Ahh, it was hectic. I had a lot of teams calling and they all just wanted to see what you could do.

ELI: Did you hear from most teams?

BILLY: I heard from just about every team, but I had a feeling that the Royals were most interested because they contacted me just a couple days before the draft.

ELI: Was it hard to focus as the draft approached in high school?

BILLY: Not at all, the draft was in the back of my mind. I was still taking it one game at a time because I still needed to help my team.

ELI: Alright, if you had to face one pitcher in the past, who would it be?

BILLY: Nolan Ryan.

ELI: Okay, and besides Kaufman Stadium do you have a favorite?

BILLY: I haven’t played at Fenway Park yet, but I love that stadium.

ELI: Has anyone served as a mentor for you on the team?

BILLY: Mike Sweeney was a big help to me. If I am ever in the position that he was in with me, I would pass on what he told me.

ELI: What are some of the things he told you?

BILLY: He just told me to relax and have fun.


Red Sox Keep A-Rod In Their Sights

Saturday, July 14, 2007

With the Yankees making another desperate attempt to sign him, saying either sign now or do not sign with us at all. Whether this is an attempt to force A-Rod into signing or not, the Red Sox are starting to make it known that they are interested in signing him if he is available. Red Sox President Larry Lucchino nearly acquired A-Rod back in 2003 before the deal fell through because of money. Later that off season he was traded to the Yankees. With Julio Lugo locked up as the shortstop, the Red Sox would probably let go of Mike Lowell, and potentially Curt Schilling to make room for his big salary. Letting go of Schilling would not be a bad thing, especially with solid pitching prospects Kayson Gabbard and Michael Bowden a year or two a way from being ready. Imagine a lineup with Manny, Big Papi, and A-Rod in the three, four, and five spots. Rodriguez, who is set to turn 32 this month, is batting .317 with 31 HR and 87 RBI.


Breaking News: Mariners Sign Ichiro

Friday, July 13, 2007

For weeks, General Manager Bill Bavasi has held talks with Ichiro about renewing his contract and in the last 48 hours, they made a major break through in negotiations. Today, the Mariners were happy to announce that they had signed Ichiro to a five year deal, worth 90 million dollars. "While I don't believe this is Ichiro's final contract, I do think today's signing is a big step in assuring he will spend his entire career here in Seattle," he said. "He is both an offensive force, and a Gold Glove outfielder. It is great news for our organization and our fans that he will be here in Seattle for another five years." Ichiro said early this season that he hopes to pitch when he is forty, so this won't be his last deal. This season, Ichiro is batting .355 with 5 HR and 39 RBI.


Cuban in on bidding for Cubs

Mark Cuban, much to the delight of Cubs fans, has officially submitted his application to purchase the Chicago Cubs. Cuban is known as one of the loudest and most involved owners in the NBA as owner of the Dallas Mavericks, accumulating over one million dollars in fines during his tenure there. While most fans like this development, media outlets speculate as to whether Bud Selig would accept such a vocal owner like Cuban to be in the spotlight with a team like the Cubs. Several other businessmen with Chicago ties are preparing their applications, meaning Cuban will likely either have to heavily outbid them or speak with Commissioner Selig. Mark Lou Piniella down as someone on the bandwagon:"I don't know him, but the guy basically, he's a winner. He's a character. He has obviously got the resources," Piniella said Friday.
"I do know that he's got a lot of charisma. He likes the competition and he likes to win. So he's certainly a very viable candidate to buy the club. But there are going to be a lot of people that want the club."


Pujols Angry Over All-Star Benching

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Albert Pujols was not happy about not getting to play in the All-Star game last night. While the AL used only 27 of its players and the NL used 28, it had to sting that it was his own manager, Tony LaRussa who left him on the bench. He and Texas SS Michael Young were the only postion players to not get in the game. Pujols said, "He (LaRussa) does whatever he wants. If I wasn't expecting to play, I wouldn't have come up here." LaRussa said he held the currently-cold slugger(he hasn't hit a home run in his last 74-at bats) in case the game went into extra innings. Using that logic, someone had to be held for late in the game but Pujols, by his own manager?


AL Beats NL 5-4 in All-Star Game

The American League beat the NL again last night, outscoring them 5-4. The highlight of the night was an in- the- park home run hit by game MVP Ichiro Suzuki. The ball bounced away from Ken Griffey Jr. at the wall, allowing the first-ever in-the-parker. Speaking of Ichiro, talks on a new 5-year contract worth between $90 and $100 million with the Mariners are heating up. He's coming off a 4-year deal and has never entered the free agency market. In other game news, Cubs Alfonso Soriano became only the second player in All-Star game history besides Frank Robinson to hit a home run while playing for both leagues. He hit it with 2 out in the ninth inning. Josh Beckett got the win and Chris Young took the loss. It was the 10th straight year the AL has won, not including the controversial called tie game in 2002.


Guerrero Wins Home Run Derby

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

LA Angels Vladimir Guerrero won the Home Run Derby last night with 17 homers, beating out Toronto's Alex Rios 19 total by 3-2 in the final round. Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols were behind them with 13 each before being eliminated for the final round. Dozens of fans wearing wetsuits amid dozens more in kayaks were left largely unfulfilled as only a handfull of foul balls landed in the drink during the six hours of batting practice and the actual competition.


Starting Pitchers for All-Star Game Announced

Monday, July 9, 2007

Padres Ace Jake Peavy and Oakland's Dan Haren will be the starting pitchers in tomorrow night's All-Star Game. Peavy is 9-3 with a 2.19 ERA and Haren is 10-3 with a 2.30 ERA. Can't argue with those numbers. Stayed tuned for starting lineups.


Pujols and Rios Added to Home Run Derby

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Albert Pujols and Alex Rios will join in the Home Run derby Monday night before Tuesday's All- Star game. The complete a list that includes AL sluggers Justin Morneau, Vladimir Guerro and Magglio Ordonez and NL Hitters Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder.


Mark Buerhle Agrees to 4-yr. Deal with White Sox

Mark Buerhle and the White Sox were finally able to come to terms on a 4-year $56 million contract this afternoon. There is a no-trade clause for 2008 only but benefits if he is traded after that. Should he be traded in his fifth year, he will receive $15M, and his salary for the previous 4 years would bump from $14M to $15M, making the deal worth a total $75M.


2008 Free Agents

Just as we approach the off-season, thought I should take the next step in finding out who the free agents are for 2008. Although this is a rough list and will change with extensions and players being released throughout this off season, I will keep it as up to date as I can.

Designated Hitter
DH Frank Thomas (Blue Jays, 39, Team Option)
DH Jim Thome (White Sox, 37, Team Option)
DH Jose Vidro (Mariners, 33, Vesting Option)
DH Mike Sweeney (Athletics, 34)

C Brad Ausmus (Astros, 38)
C Paul Bako (Reds, 35)
C Rod Barajas (Blue Jays, 32, Team Option)
C Michael Barrett (Padres, 31)
C Gary Bennett (Dodgers, 35)
C Henry Blanco (Cubs, 36, Team Option)
C Mike DiFelice (Rays, 38)
C Johnny Estrada (Nationals, 31)
C Sal Fasano (Blue Jays, 36)
C Wiki Gonzalez (White Sox, 33)
C Toby Hall (White Sox, 31, Team Option)
C Jason Kendall (Brewers, 33, Vesting Option)
C Jason LaRue (Cardinals, 33)
C Paul Lo Duca (Nationals, 35)
C Javy Lopez (Braves, 37)
C Adam Melhuse (Athletics, 35, Team Option)
C Doug Mirabelli (Free Agent, 37)
C Chad Moeller (Yankees, 33)
C Josh Paul (Rays, 32)
C Mike Redmond (Twins, 36, Team Option)
C Ivan Rodriguez (Tigers, 36)
C David Ross (Reds, 30, Team Option)
C Javier Valentin (Reds, 32)
C Jason Varitek (Red Sox, 35)
C Vance Wilson (Tigers, 34)
C Gregg Zaun (Blue Jays, 36, Team Option)

First Base
1B Ben Broussard (Rangers, 30)
1B Sean Casey (Red Sox, 33)
1B Tony Clark (Padres, 35)
1B Carlos Delgado (Mets, 35)
1B Nomar Garciaparra (Dodgers, 34)
1B Jason Giambi (Yankees, 36, Team Option)
1B Scott Hatteberg (Reds 38)
1B Matt LeCroy (Twins, 32)
1B Kevin Millar (Orioles, 35)
1B Greg Norton (Rays, 35)
1B Olmedo Saenez (Mets, 37)
1B Richie Sexson (Mariners, 32)
1B Mark Sweeney (Dodgers, 38)
1B Mark Teixeira (Braves, 27)
1B Daryle Ward (Cubs, 32)
1B Craig Wilson (Reds, 31)

Second Base
2B Miguel Cairo (Mariners, 33)
2B Jamey Carroll (Indians, 33, Team Option)
2B Ray Durham (Giants, 35)
2B Mark Ellis (Athletics, 30, Team Option)
2B Marcus Giles (Rockies, 29)
2B Chris Gomez (Pirates, 36)
2B Mark Grudzielanek (Royals, 37)
2B Jerry Hairston (Reds, 31)
2B Tadahito Iguchi (Padres, 33)
2B Orlando Hudson (Diamondbacks, 30)
2B D'Angelo Jimenez (Cardinals, 29)
2B Jeff Kent (Dodgers, 40)
2B Mark Loretta (Astros, 36)
2B Luis Rivas (Indians, 28)
2B Chris Woodward (Yankees, 31)

Third Base
3B Edgardo Alfonso (Rangers, 34)
3B Rich Aurilia (Giants, 36)
3B Hank Blalock (Rangers, 27)
3B Geoff Blum (Astros, 34, Team Option)
3B Aaron Boone (Nationals, 35)
3B Russell Branyan (Brewers, 32)
3B Joe Crede (White Sox, 29)
3B Morgan Ensberg (Yankees, 32)
3B Troy Glaus (Cardinals, 31)
3B Wes Helms (Phillies, 31, Team Option)
3B Chipper Jones (Braves, 35, Team Option)
3B Abraham Nunez (Brewers, 32)
3B Pablo Ozuna (White Sox, 33, Team Option)

Orlando Cabrera (White Sox, 34)
David Eckstein (Blue Jays, 34)
Adam Everett (Twins, 32)
Rafael Furcal (Dodgers, 31)
Cristian Guzman (Nationals, 31)
Cesar Izturis (Cardinals, 29)
Felipe Lopez (Natiaonls, 29)
Edgar Renteria (Tigers, 33, Team Option)
Juan Uribe (White Sox, 30)
Omar Vizquel (Giants, 42, Team Option)

Left Fielders
Moises Alou (Mets, 42)
Garret Anderson (Angels, 37, Team Option)
Milton Bradley (Rangers, 31)
Emil Brown (Athletics, 34)
Pat Burrell (Phillies, 32)
Adam Dunn (Reds, 29)
Cliff Floyd (Rays, 36, Team Option)
Luis Gonzalez (Marlins, 41)
Raul Ibanez (Mariners, 37)
Jacque Jones (Free Agent, 34)
Kevin Mench (Blue Jays, 31)
Jason Michaels (Pirates, 33, Team Option)
Craig Monroe (Twins, 32)
Jay Payton (Orioles, 36)
Wily Mo Pena (Nationals, 27, Mutual Option)
Manny Ramirez (Red Sox, 37, Team Option)
Juan Rivera (Angels, 30)

Center Fielders
Rocco Baldelli (Rays, 27)
Mike Cameron (Brewers, 36, Team Option)
Jim Edmonds (Cubs, 39)
Mark Kotsay (Braves, 33)
Corey Patterson (Reds, 29)

Right Fielders
Bobby Abreu (Yankees, 35)
Casey Blake (Indians, 35)
Brian Giles (Padres, 38, Team Option)
Ken Griffey Jr. (Reds, 39, Team Option)
Vladimir Guerrero (Angels, 33, Team Option)
Bobby Kielty (Red Sox, 32)
Brad Wilkerson (Blue Jays, 32)

Starting Pitchers
Jeremy Affeldt (Reds, 30)
Tony Armas Jr. (Mets, 31)
Kris Benson (Philies, 33)
A.J. Burnett (Blue Jays, 32, Player Option)
Paul Byrd (Indians, 38)
Matt Clement (Cardinals, 33, Team Option)
Ryan Dempster (Cubs, 32)
Chad Durbin (Phillies, 31)
Josh Fogg (Reds, 32)
Jon Garland (Angels, 29)
Tom Glavine (Braves, 43)
Mike Hampton (Braves, 36)
Mark Hendrickson (Marlins, 35)
Livan Hernandez (Twins, 34)
Orlando Hernandez (Mets, 43)
Jason Jennings (Rangers, 30)
Randy Johnson (Diamondbacks, 45)
John Lackey (Angels, 30, Team Option)
Jon Lieber (Cubs, 39)
Esteban Loaiza (Dodgers, 37, Team Option)
Braden Looper (Cardinals, 34)
Derek Lowe (Dodgers, 36)
Greg Maddux (Padres, 43)
Pedro Martinez (Mets, 37)
Jamie Moyer (Phillies, 46)
Mark Mulder (Cardinals, 31, Team Option)
Mike Mussina (Yankees, 40)
Carl Pavano (Yankees, 33)
Brad Penny (Dodgers, 31, Team Option)
Odalis Perez (Nationals, 32)
Oliver Perez (Mets, 27)
Andy Pettitte (Yankees, 37)
Mark Prior (Padres, 27)
Kenny Rogers (Tigers, 44)
C.C. Sabathia (Indians, 28)
Curt Schilling (Red Sox, 42)
Ben Sheets (Brewers, 30)
John Smoltz (Braves, 42, Team Option)
Brett Tomko (Royals, 36)
Steve Trachsel (Orioles, 38)
Tim Wakefield (Red Sox, 42, Team Option)
Kip Wells (Rockies, 32)
Randy Wolf (Padres, 32)

Middle Relievers
Jeremy Affeldt (Reds, 30)
Doug Brocail (Astros, 42, Team Option)
Shawn Chacon (Astros, 31)
Juan Cruz (Diamondbacks, 28)
Alan Embree (Athletics,39, Team Option)
Scott Eyre (Cubs, 37)
Kyle Farnsworth (Yankees, 33)
Keith Foulke (Athletics, 35)
Tom Gordon (Phillies, 41, Team Option)
Eddie Guardado (Rangers, 38)
LaTroy Hawkins (Yankees, 36)
Matt Herges (Rockies, 39, Team Option)
Bob Howry (Cubs, 35)
Damaso Marte (Pirates, 34, Team Option)
Trever Miller (Rays, 36, Team Option)
Guillermo Mota (Brewers, 35)
Will Ohman (Braves, 31)
Darren Oliver (Angels, 38)
Dennys Reyes (Twins, 32)
Juan Rincon (Twins, 30)
Russ Springer (Cardinals, 40)
Mike Timlin (Red Sox, 43)
Salomon Torres (Brewers ,37, Team Option)
David Weathers (Reds, 39)
Dan Wheeler (Rays, 31)
Matt Wise (Mets, 33)

Joe Borowski (Indians, 38)
Brian Fuentes (Rockies, 33)
Eric Gagne (Brewers, 33)
Trevor Hoffman (Padres, 41)
Jason Isringhausen (Cardinals, 36)
Todd Jones (Tigers, 41)
Brad Lidge (Phillies, 32)
Brandon Lyon (Diamondbacks, 29)
Al Reyes (Rays, 38)
Francisco Rodriguez (Angels, 27)

Last updated on May 15th, 2008


Dotel Hot as trade deadline approaches

Relief pitcher Octavio Dotel is making himself one of the hottest commodities leading up to the July 31st trade deadline with his stellar play for the lowly Kansas City Royals. Dotel was one of the best setup men in the league for the Astros, the first half of a formidable 8th and 9th inning with former Astro and current Met Billy Wagner, before an elbow injury sidelined him. He has fought his way back these past few years and is now back in form with the Royals. Because of a shortage of healthy and capable relief pitchers, look for Dotel to be one of the hottest names in the weeks leading up to the deadline, with contenders looking to shore up their bullpens for the home stretch of the season.


All-Star Game Update

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Last year's NL Cy Young winner, Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks will replace injured Colorado Rockies reliever Brian Fuentes at the All- Star game Tuesday night. HE placed second in the online voting behind Chris Young. For all you Cubs fans who thought Carlos Zambrano had a chance of making the team, I guess now you know better. At best, he was third in the online vote.


White Sox have a very bad day

The White Sox lost a double header to the Minnesota Twins yesterday in what can only be called a rout. They were not only outscored by 18 runs, but out-pitched. Usually reliable Jon Garland gave up 12 runs all by himself. The Twins won both games with scores of 20-14 and 12-0. The losses are further symbols of a lost season. How the Mighty have fallen.... in other Sox news, Mark Buerhle is still refusing to sign a 4-yr. $56 million deal without a no-trade clause. His agent says if he is traded, he will play out the season and test the free-agent market.


LaRussa to the White Sox?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Is Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa headed to the White Sox? It doesn't seem too far-fetched to contemplate that as the Cards languish in third place in the weak Central division and Ozzie Guillen is floundering with the White Sox, less than 2 years after winning the World Series. LaRussa is an long-time personal favorite of Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and not feeling particularly tied to the Cards, or so it seems. He turned down an offered contract extension and may be looking beyond the Cardinals era for himself.


Phillies After Dontrelle Willis?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Phillies have the opportunity to trade for Dontrelle Willis only if they are willing to part with top pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco. If they were to package Carrasco and two low-level prospects they could potentially bring in Willis. The Phillies are currently four games behind the Mets and could use a solid pitcher to bring them back into the race. This season, Willis is 7-7 with a 4.65 ERA and 74 K.


Lidge To Be Traded?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Red Sox are eyeing struggling Astros closer Brad Lidge, if he becomes available. The Astros continue to fall out of contention now twelve games behind the Brewers. Meanwhile, Astros front office has been pressured to make a change and could receive good compensation in return from the Red Sox. This season, Lidge is 2-1 with a 2.34 ERA and 44 K and has been the subject of many trade rumors when he got off to a slow start this season. The sooner he comes back, the better chances the Astros will have of trading him.


Another thought on the Yankees

Will A-Rod leave the Yankees after this year by waiving his no trade clause? "It's not even a temptation", was his reply when asked. Rodriguez has told friends he would rather stay in New York and solidify his reputation and legacy as a long-term Yankee than start over somewhere else.


Where is Steinbrenner?

The New York Yankees seem to have entered a new era of mediocrity with very little fanfare. As they go into the All-Star break 3 games under .500, it is fair to ask where is the loud-mouthed, overbearing, grandstanding Steinbrenner of old? In the last two years, there have been very few sightings and only the occasional remark about his beloved team. It has been neither confirmed nor denied that Steinbrenner, who turns 77 this week, may be suffering from dementia and is being kept out of the public eye by family and his handlers. It is hard to believe that it is merely the mellowing of an old man not to be speaking out on his struggling team. That said, who is running the team??


Catcher Swaps Near

Monday, July 2, 2007

A bunch of catchers have been causing problems in their clubhouses and a change of scenery could not only help the player, but the team as well. Look at the Cubs, who recently traded catcher Michael Barrett for Rob Bowen, have won 10 of 13 since June 19th. Barrett, sharing time with Josh Bard, is looking at a fresh start with one of the top pitching staffs in the majors as well as a chance to improve his stock heading into free agency this winter. Other catchers are likely to be available as well. Jorge Posada could be a name that becomes available if the Yankees, like everyone else outside of New York, decide that this season is a lost cause due to their inept pitching staff and the success of the Boston Red Sox. The Braves could also be potential sellers with both Brian McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia looking like studs behind the plate. As we are creeping into July, look for it to become apparent who will be buyers and sellers come July 31st.


All-Star Rosters Announced-National League

Sunday, July 1, 2007

While we will see some usual faces lining up for the American League on July 10th, the National League will hope that their young legs and youth can lead them to victory and home-field advantage in the World Series. While the American League may pack more power from their position players and pitchers, the NL possesses many rising stars primed to make a name for themselves in the all-star game. The Brewers are represented by four young studs, starting first basemen Prince Fielder, JJ Hardy, Ben Sheets, and Francisco Cordero. The Brewers and Mets are the only NL squads with more than three representatives and rightfully so, as they have had a fantastic first half of the season. The Mets are being represented by starters Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and David Wright, as well as closer Billy Wagner. Ken Griffey Jr. led all NL vote getters with 2,986, 818 votes, 200,000 more than second place Prince Fielder. As we mentioned in the previous post, Barry Bonds edged out Alfonso Soriano to earn his 12th start in an all-star game and his 14th game overall. The National League has eight first time players: Orlando Hudson, Jose Valverde, Prince Fielder, JJ Hardy, Russell Martin, Takashi Saito, Aaron Rowand, and Cole Hamels. Here is a look at the entire squad.


C: Russell Martin
1b: Prince Fielder
2b: Chase Utley
SS: Jose Reyes
3b: David Wright
Of: Barry Bonds
Of Carlos Beltran
Of: Ken Griffey Jr.

Subs: Pitchers:

Fransisco Cordero
Brian Fuentes
Cole Hamels
Trevor Hoffman
Jake Peavy
Brad Penny
Takashi Saito
Ben Sheets
John Smoltz
Jose Valverde
Billy Wagner

Subs: Position Players:

Brian McCann
Derek Lee
Albert Pujols
Dmitri Young
Orlando Hudson
Freddy Sanchez
JJ Hardy
Miguel Cabrera
Matt Holliday
Carlos Lee
Alfonso Soriano
Aaron Rowand

It should be an exciting game.

Leave comments with your predictions for score and game MVP!


All-Star Rosters Announced-American League

There were few surprises with the announcement of the 2007 All-Star roster. Barry Bonds came on strong in the last week of voting, perhaps helped by monitors set up at A T& T Park, which allowed fans to vote up to 25 times each. That may have been enough for him to edge out Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano, who led by 100,000 votes, as of Thursday. Other than that, most of the voting came out as one might have predicted. In the American League, Justin Morneau and starter Placido Polanco are the only two first-timers among the twenty position players. On the contrary, the pitching staff consists of six new all-stars of the eleven eligible spots. Only three players were above the three million vote mark, Yankees Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Angels' superstar Vladimir Guerrero. Ivan Rodriguez is the old-timer on the squad, making his 14th all-star appearance. The roster for the American League looks as follows:

C: Ivan Rodriguez
1b: David Ortiz
2b: Placido Polanco
SS: Derek Jeter
3b: Alex Rodriguez
Of: Magglio Ordonez
Of: Ichiro Suzuki
Of: Vladimir Guerrero

Subs: Pitchers:
C.C. Sabathia
Josh Beckett
John Lackey
Dan Haren
Jonathon Papelbon
J.J. Putz
Francisco Rodriguez
Bobby Jenks
Gil Meche
Johan Santana
Justin Verlander

Position Players:
Justin Morneau
Michael Young
Carl Crawford
Alex Rios
Victor Martinez
Carlos Guillen
Mike Lowell
Jorge Posada
Brian Roberts
Torii Hunter
Grady Sizemore
Manny Ramirez


Will Bonds make it on the All-Star Game?

As of Thursday when All-Star voting ended, Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano was ahead of Bonds by 100,000 votes. Because the game is being played at Bonds' home field and he is having the best year among his Giants teammates, it would be hard to leave him off. The decision to add him as a backup is up to NL Manager Tony LaRussa, but the Commssioner can make his desires known if he is so inclined. Barry Bonds is a hard guy to root for but there is no doubt that he is a draw and that might outweigh the negative baggage he carries with him.


Should the World Series be best of 9?

Uber-Agent Scott Boras has sent a proposal to Commissioner Bud Selig to lengthen the World Series from 7 games to 9. This has not been done since 1905, with a couple exceptions in the 1920's. His thinking is that it would create a marketing boom for baseball. His ideas include having the two extra games at a neutral ballpark with advance bidding to generate excitement among other ballclubs and making the night before the first game highly ceremonial by announcing and awarding all the big titles, i.e. Hall of Fame voting, MVP, Cy Young, Rookies of the Year and Managers of the Year. I agree with the ceremonial aspects of his suggestions but television ratings have always been dependent on who's playing and it's hard to imagine there are more than a few markets that would support an extra two games.