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— Where BTF's Members Investigate the Grand Old Game
Wednesday, March 14, 2001
Learn from the wisdom of the Transaction Oracle.
Reassigned Ps Mark Harriger and Jason Beverlin to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: Like most early spring roster reductions, neither of these players was expected to have a chance at going north with the Angels.?? Harriger has 6 minor-league starts in the last two years after spending four years to get out of A ball.? Beverlin is a 27 year-old ex-Yankee prospect who has spent the last two years with Norwich.
Agreed to terms with 3B Troy Glaus on a four-year contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Valued at $22 million, this is a great signing for the Angels, buying out his arbitration years at a nifty price.
Signed LHP Gabe Gonzalez
ORACLE SAYS: Gonzalez developed some serious control issues with Ottawa in 2000 and got sent down to Harrisburg where he pitched much better.? He?s unlikely to get anymore major league innings.
Optioned IFs Alex Cintron and Junior Spivey and OFs Jason Conti and Jack Cust to Tucson (AAA).
ORACLE SAYS: The Diamondbacks are rapidly reaching the point at which they?ll have to make a decision on what to do with Jack Cust.? He didn?t hit quite as well in 2000 as he did in the past and the team was publicly very upset with Cust when he left winter league ball after playing terribly.? I wouldn?t be surprised to see Cust end up in another organization if Arizona is around .500 at the All-Star break and nobody?s running away with the NL West.
Optioned Ps John Patterson and Duaner Sanches to El Paso (AA).
Assigned Ps Nick Bierbrodt, Robert Ellis, Todd Revenig, Kennie Steenstra, Chris Capuano, Shayne Bennett, IF Bry Nelson and OF Chip Sell to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: No surprises here.? The D-Backs roster is mighty full.
Released RHP Beiker Graterol
ORACLE SAYS: Great name, but if he pitched regularly in the majors, he might single-handedly cancel out any overall offensive decline from the alleged new strike zone.
Assigned P Oswaldo Mairena to minor league camp.
Signed RHP Ben Ford to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Ford was originally released by the Cubs when his elbow self-destructed and he faced a year off.? Still a good example of why there is no such thing as a closer prospect.
Chicago White Sox
Signed LHP Travis Baptist to a minor league contract.
Signed RHP Jeff Juden to a minor league contract.
Signed 1B Chris Saunders to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Believe it or not, there were Expos fans that were using Jeff Juden as an example of a great player leaving the team when he got expensive.? I doubt any of them remember that after Juden got tagged with the Angels and Brewers, and got into fights with teammates.? Hasn’t pitched regularly in the majors since that 1998 season.? Baptist and Saunders are just there to fill out minor league rosters.
Optioned Ps Keith Glauber, Jim Brower and Ed Yarnall to Louisville (AAA).
Optioned Ps Leo Estrella and Brian Reith and OFs Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns to Chattanooga (AA).
ORACLE SAYS: Kearns is one to watch for the next few years.? If he hits at Chattanooga as well as he hit for Dayton in 2000, even Bob Boone won?t be able to stop him from getting a job.? Kearns has a very strong arm and the organization is happy with his progress.? Yarnall had his 2000 ruined by back problems and has apparently lost his bid for a rotation job.? He?ll be back, though.
Reassigned Ps Dustin Moseley, Matt Skrmetta, Chris Nichting and Mike Grace, C Tommy Davis and OF Raul Gonzalez to their minor league camp.
Signed 1B Hal Morris to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
ORACLE SAYS: Don?t have bat; will travel.
Reassigned C Dane Sardinha to minor league camp
Assigned Ps Frankie Rodriguez, Larry Luebbers and David Espinosa to minor-league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: He was a long shot, but I would have liked to see Luebbers get an extended chance.
Signed C Einar Diaz to a four-year contract with a club option for the 2005 season.
ORACLE SAYS: $6.3 million.? I?m not really sure why the Indians did this; Diaz just isn?t that good and is easily replaceable.? It?s just a million and a half dollars a year, but a million here and a million there and soon you?re starting to talk about real money.
Signed OF Butch Huskey to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: His only purpose last year was to take playing time away from David Ortiz.? Probably wouldn?t have got a minor league invitation if that trade to Denver didn?t help bring up his season numbers a bit.?
P Jerry DiPoto announced his retirement.
ORACLE SAYS: DiPoto?s retirement was completely overshadowed by Albert Belle?s retirement.? Another bulging disk was found in DiPoto?s neck, so that spelled the end of his career.
Signed RHP John Hudek to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Didn?t he announce his retirement last year??
Optioned P Luis Pineda to Erie (AA).
Assigned Ps Nate Cornejo and Rod Lindsey to the minor league camp; released P Curtis King.
Optioned Ps Shane Heams and Kris Keller, IF Pedro Santana and OF Chris Wakeland to Toledo (AAA).
Optioned IF Eric Munson to Erie (AA).
ORACLE SAYS: Munson is the most interesting player here, of course.? Keeping him at catcher seems to be an officially dead idea.? Cornejo is well thought-of, but he?s still years off.
Signed OF Preston Wilson to a five-year contract extension.
ORACLE SAYS: $32 million.? He?s become a better player than I expected, but he?s still not as good as advertised.? Narrowly escaped setting the single-season strikeout record.?
Signed 3B Mike Lowell to a three-year contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Only $6.5 million.? Lowell improved significantly on his 1999 campaign and recovered very nicely from a thumb injury in May.? Kevin Orie?s long gone and Lowell has the 3B job for the forseeable future.
Assigned Ps Carlos Hernandez, Jim Mann, Roy Oswalt, Brian Powell and Wilfredo Rodriguez; Cs Raul Chavez and Carlos Maldonado; IF Aaron McNeal and OF Omar Ramirez to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: Most of these reductions were expected.? A lot is expected of Oswalt in the future and I think the Astros are going to get it.?? Dominated the Texas League, striking out 141 in 129.2 innings while only allowing 106 hits, 22 walks, and 5 home runs.
Assigned Ps Travis Driskill, Brad Lidge, Greg Miller, Tim Redding, Brad Rigby and Ricky Stone and Cs Chris Tremie and Alan Zinter to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: Mostly filler players here.? I thought Alan Zinter had retired, also.
Assigned Ps Tom Fordham and Matt Williams, C Robinson Cancel, IF Dionys Cesar and OF Jason McDonald to Indianapolis (AAA).
Optioned P Rafael Roque to Indianapolis (AAA).
Signed 3B Tony Fernandez to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Hard to believe that Roque was an opening-day starter.? Fernandez doesn?t have much competition in Jose Hernandez and Tyler Houston, but his defense has apparently fallen off even more.
Signed RHP Mike Oquist to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Standard replacement value spot-starter.? Probably old enough now for the Orioles to take him back.
New York Mets
Optioned Ps Dicky Gonzalez and Tyle Walker to Norfolk (AAA).
Optioned Ps Nick Maness and Jae Weong Seo to Birmingham (AA).
Assigned Ps Paul Wagner, Scott Forster and IFs Gil Velazquez and Ty Wigginton to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: More expected cuts, with the possible exception of Paul Wagner.
Signed C Jim Leyritz to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Leyritz?s hitting has fallen off tremendously the last few years, so he?s definitely on his way out.? His 213/294/607 career playoff performance has apparently been enough to make him a Clutch Hitter of Mythic Proportion.
New York Yankees
Did not release Sid Fernandez
ORACLE SAYS: Supposedly, Fernandez has lost a ton of weight since we last saw him and has a decent shot to make the team at this point.? Wow.? Can the big Craig Lefferts return be far behind?
Optioned Ps Eric Ireland and Bert Snow and IF Oscar Salazar to Sacramento (AAA).
Optioned P Juan Pena to Midland (AA).
Assigned Ps Micah Bowie, Dave Eiland and Frank Lankford, Cs Javier Flores and Aaron Nieckula and OF Ryan Ludwick to the minor league camp.
Signed P Jeff Tam to a two-year contract with club options for 2003 and 2004.
ORACLE SAYS: Yet more expected moves.
Signed RHP Bob Wolcott to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Wolcott?s been living off of 1995 for some time now.? Time?s running out for him.
Signed P Kris Benson to a four-year contract.
ORACLE SAYS: As much as I generallly dislike Cam Bonifay, he has done an excellent job at keeping players like Benson, Giles, and Kendall long-term.?? Thumbs up here.
San Diego Padres
Optioned P Wascar Serrano to Portland (AAA).
Assigned Ps Domingo Guzman, Steve Montgomery and Stan Spencer, C Steve Soliz, IF Greg LaRocca and OF Ethan Faggett to minor league camp.
Signed RHP David Lundquist to a minor league contract.
Tampa Bay Rays
Optioned OF Alex Sanchez and IF Jared Sandberg to Durham (AAA).
ORACLE SAYS: The Devil Rays seem to really love Sanchez, despite the fact that he still can?t hit.? Sandberg should be thankful that his last name is Sandberg.
Optioned OF Kenny Kelly to Orlando (AA).
Reassigned Ps Stevenson Agosto, Mike Duvall, Tony Fiore, Juan Rsario, and Ronni Severino, OFs Derrick Gibson and Norm Hutchins, IFs Ray Holbert and Josh Pressley and C Yohanny Valera to their minor league camp.
Signed RHP Rod Bolton to a minor league contract.
Toronto Blue Jays
Released P Jaime Navarro.
ORACLE SAYS: This could very well be the end of the road for Navarro, who has really lost it the last few years with some very ugly results.
Reassigned P Pat Daneker to minor league camp,.
Optioned P George Perez to Dunedin (A).
Optioned Cs Josh Phelps and Joe Lawrence to Syracuse (AAA).
Signed RHP John Dillinger to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Apparently, Gord Ash is willing to go to extremes to get revenge on Kenny Williams.
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