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Thursday, March 22, 2001

3/22/01

Learn from the wisdom of the Transaction Oracle.

Anaheim Angels

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.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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.

Chicago Cubs

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.

Cincinnati Reds

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).

Cleveland Indians

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.

Colorado Rockies

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.

Detroit Tigers

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

Houston Astros

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.?

Milwaukee Brewers

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.

Minnesota Twins

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.

Oakland Athletics

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.

Dan Szymborski Posted: March 22, 2001 at 06:00 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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