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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Tuesday, October 23, 2001
New Free Agents
The following players were outrighted off the 40-man roster and having 6 years of minor-league service, became free agents:
C Hector Ortiz (KC)
Ortiz, of course, has been a backup catcher for the Royals for about a year and a half. He hit 386/443/455 after an undistinguished career and much to the Royals’ apparent surprise, didn’t continue to hit like Tony Gwynn.
Fussell is a former Orioles prospect who was traded to the Royals a few years ago for Jeff Conine. I didn’t and don’t think much of Conine and Fussell flopped in every way possible and once he was mercifully sent down to the minors, he didn’t pitch well for Omaha either.
Johnson was used sparingly for the Mets in 2001 after playing very well for Norfolk and hit with mixed results. Probably haven’t seen the last of Johnson even though he just turned 34.
Lopez was a player I thought the Pirates might get some use out of the next few years, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. I still think he can be a pretty good utility guy for the right team.
O’Connor was a spot starter for the Sounds this year with some control issues who is not likely to make any kind of impact in the majors.
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