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— Where BTF's Members Investigate the Grand Old Game
Thursday, March 22, 2001
Learn from the wisdom of the Transaction Oracle.
Reassigned P Aaron Small to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: Hasn?t played in the majors since 1998 when he pitched well for the Diamondbacks after a grisly first half for the A?s.? Doesn?t look like he?s going to get any more major league jobs at this point.
Released OF Alex Diaz
ORACLE SAYS: Looks like time has run out for Alex Diaz.? He?s not even getting the 50 bad at-bats a year like hd did in the good old days.
Assigned IF Justin Baughman to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: He?s never been a very good prospect due to his inability to hit, but he was once highly thought-of by the organization.? Baughman then broke his leg and missed an entire season.? He came back in 2000 and while his speed was back, his bat had regressed considerably, hitting only 234/318/281 in 303 at-bats for Edmonton.?
Agreed to terms on a four-year contract, with an option for a fifth year, with C Bengie Molina.
ORACLE SAYS: He?s not great, but the Angels aren?t exactly loaded with alternatives and at just over $1 million per, it?s a nice little signing.
Released P Mike Romano.
Optioned OF Rob Ryan and P Bret Prinz to Tucson (AAA).?
Assigned P Anthony Chavez and C Brad Creese to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: I?ve always liked Chavez, but none of these guys were expected to make the team.
Chicago White Sox
Acquired P Mike Williams from the Toronto Blue Jays for P Matt DeWitt.
ORACLE SAYS: The David Wells trade continues to unravel.? Williams was also injured, so DeWitt heads back to White Sox.
Agreed to a four-year contract extension.with OF Sammy Sosa.
ORACLE SAYS: 72 million dollars.? Top dollar, but unlike at the time of the signing of the last contract, Sosa?s an excellent player.? Now the Cubs just have to hope that the .320 OBP Sammy So-So of? the mid-90s has been officially banished from their kingdom.
Returned IF Hee Sop Choi and OF Scarborough Green to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: Choi?s a top prospect and will be back.? Green isn?t and won?t.
Signed OF Ruben Rivera to a one-year contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Will never be the player the Yankees thought he would, but he?s certainly more useful than Deion Sanders.
Placed P Seth Etherton on the 60-day disabled list with a right shoulder injury.
ORACLE SAYS: He fell short in his bid for the final rotation spot, but this is still bad news.
Optioned IF Gookie Dawkins to Louisville (AAA).
ORACLE SAYS: His diappointing 2000 season soured his chances considerably.? Even if he can?t hit, however, that never stopped Bob Boone before.
Assigned 1B D.T. Cromer to Louisville (AAA).
Optioned Ps Danys Baez and Jake Westbrook to Buffalo (AAA).
Assigned Ps Eric Gunderson, C Victor Martinez, IFs Jason Hardtke and Ralph Milliard and OFs Terrell Lowery and Mark Budzinski to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: All expected moves here.? The Indians position players are pretty much set.
Optioned P Craig House and IF Elvis Pena to Colorado Springs (AAA).
ORACLE SAYS: House is a bullpen prospect who pitched well at 4 levels in 2000, succeeding until the majors.? Bullpen prospects, of course, are very iffy in general.? Pena has had some nice on-base percentages at Carolina the last two years and can handle shortstop.? He was a little old for AA, however, but 2001 should be interesting.
Assigned C Darron Cox, IF-OF Kevin Sefcik, and P Andy Larkin to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: Filler material.
Assigned P Heath Murray and IFs Dusty Allen, Tom Evans, and Giomar Guevara to minor league camp
ORACLE SAYS: Murray, Allen, and Guevara weren?t going to make the Tigers.? Tom Evans is a player I think would have been handy at 3rd until his inevitable injury.
Optioned Ps Adam Bernero and Matt Miller and C Brandon Inge to Toledo (AAA).
ORACLE SAYS: Inge is the most notable name of this group.? A catcher converted from shortstop, the Tigers have been very happy with his defense at catcher.? Problem is that he?s not likely to hit very much and didn?t hit at all once he was promoted to Toledo last year.
Optioned OF Andres Torres to Erie (AA).
ORACLE SAYS: Gary Pettis.
Reassigned Ps Mark Johnson and Sean Runyan, IF Kurt Bierek, and OF Jermaine Allensworth to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: Organizational players, mostly.? Allensworth was always overhyped, but that?s died off by now.
Signed P Rich DeLucia
Reassigned SS Adam Everett and 3B Morgan Ensberg to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: Like Dawkins, Everett was fairly disappointing in 2000.? He?ll have a future fight with Julio Lugo.? Ensberg had a big 2000.? It might have been a fluke, but I probably would still play him over Chris Truby.
Assigned Ps Scott Linebrink, Tony McKnight, and Kyle Kessel to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: McKnight is the most significant player here, one of Houston?s plethora of good-but-not-great starters in the minors.? Probably needs a whole season at New Orleans and has to bring up his strikeouts.?
Los Angeles Dodgers
Traded Ps Antonio Osuna and Carlos Ortega to the Chicago White Sox for Ps Gary Majewski, Andre Simpson, and Orlando Rodriguez.
ORACLE SAYS: Osuna is the principal here and has taken a lot of unfair criticism in Los Angeles, similar to that of Ismael Valdes over the years.?
Optioned Ps Mike Buddie, Mike Penney, Kyle Peterson, and John Snyder to Indianapolis (AAA).?
Assigned Ps Nick Neugebauer, IFs Brant Brown and Marcus Scutaro and OF Micah Franklin to Indianapolis (AAA).
ORACLE SAYS: ?Franklin could have been useful for the Brewers, but was a long shot.? Brown?s stock has come down considerably and is probably at the level it should be.? I still find the Brant Brown, Centerfielder experiment a few years ago to be one of the funniest things around.
Optioned IFs Casey Blake and Todd Sears and Cs Danny Ardoin and Matt LeCroy to Edmonton (AAA).
ORACLE SAYS: Perhaps the Twins should give up drafting players and save the money.? A good manager focuses on what a player can do and uses him in a role in which his positive abilities can help the team.? A bad manager focuses on what a player can?t do and uses his weaknesses to punish him.? Tom Kelly?s below the latter now, and is a serious hindrance to the Twins ever being a competitive team again as Twins fans are treated to the likes of Tom Prince, Otis Nixon, and Ron Coomer because of Kelly killing off any youngster he touches.? Kelly hasn?t done a single positive thing for almost a decade now and it?s time for the Twins to axe him so he can become a bad television personality like Harold Reynolds.?? How many organizations are so inept that prospects actually tell newspapers that they would rather play for Salt Lake City than for Tom Kelly?
Signed 3B Corey Koskie to a three-year contract with a club option for 2004.
New York Mets
Signed OF Tony Tarasco
ORACLE SAYS: No longer a prospect at this point.
New York Yankees
Traded OF Wily Mo Pena to the Cincinnati Reds for 3B Drew Henson and OF Michael Coleman.
ORACLE SAYS: Henson is still set on football and Coleman apparently isn?t liked by the team, so the Reds dump them for whatever they can get.? Pena actually signed a major league contract, so he has to be in the majors to stick by 2003.? Fat chance.? Pena was horrible at A-ball in 2000, with plate discipline that would make Marlon Brando blush.? People always bash the Yankees for overhyping their prospects, but since these guys seem to find their ways to other organizations while New York keeps the Jeters, the Yanks are the ones laughing.
Assigned C Michel Hernandez, OF Felix Jose, and Ps Kevin Lovinger, Domingo Jean, and Edison Reynoso to minor league camp.
ORACLE SAYS: Domingo Jean is famous for an incident in which he got lost trying to get to Yankee Stadium.? Several years later, he probably will never have the opportunity for a repeat adventure.
Optioned IF Erick Almonte, 1B Nick Johnson, and P David Lee to Columbus (AAA).
ORACLE SAYS: Almonte is a pretty decent SS prospect that has been overlooked quite a bit due to the more prominent Soriano and Guzman.? Johnson?s one of the best reasons to follow the minors this year.? If he can regain 1999 form, he?ll be one of the best 1B in baseball.
Released C Bobby Hughes.
Released P Matt Karchner
ORACLE SAYS: Methinks the Cubs regret trading Jon Garland for this guy.
Optioned Ps Todd Belitz and Justin Miller, IF Jason Hart, and OF Mario Encarnacion to Sacramento (AAA).
ORACLE SAYS: Hart will have to force his way onto the A?s by killing the ball the next couple of years because with the Giambis, Saenz, and Piatt around, there will be no free jobs.? Encarnacion has always been highly touted, but I don?t think he?ll ever be much of a player.
Assigned Ps Jon Ratliff and Steve Schrenk and OF Andy Abad to minor league camp.
San Diego Padres
Optioned P Brian Lawrence, IF Kevin Nicholson and OFs Mike Colangelo and Kory DeHaan to Portland (AAA).
Assigned Ps Bryan Corey and Ron Mahay and IFs Keith Luuloa and Kevin Witt to minor league camp.
Released OF Ruben Rivera and P Scott Karl
Signed OF Rickey Henderson to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Rivera, La Chica as Padre fans have dubbed him, has been blamed in San Diego for everything from the California energy crisis to the Union army?s failure at Cold Harbor in 1864.? Contrary to urban legend, the loss of Rivera won?t magically make Phil Nevin into Mike Schmidt or Eric Owens into as good a player as his fans think he is:? a very replaceable 4th outfielder that will be easily replaced.? Apparently not by Colangelo, unfortunately, who has high upside if he can stay healthy.? Henderson could probably contribute to a contender a little, but he doesn?t really have much use in San Diego.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Released P Scott Bergman
Reassigned P Paul Spoljaric and IFs Mike Caruso and Andy Sheets to minor league camp.
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