April 8, 2001
Learn from the wisdom of the Transaction Oracle.
Acquired OF Glenallen Hill from the Yankees for OF Darren Blakely; released
DH Jose Canseco.
ORACLE SAYS:? Canseco seems to be nearing the
end of the road as his injuries continue to pile up.? The Yankees have made
some mistakes in recent years with veteran players, but they got rid of Hill
at exactly the right time.? Hill takes over Canseco?s role.? Blakely is a toolsy
outfielder that the Angels drafted a few years ago that didn?t hit very well
at Erie last year.
Optioned 1B Larry Barnes and IF Wilmy Caceres to Salt Lake (AAA).
Barnes isn?t really a prospect anymore (MLE of 231/301/364 last
year at Edmonton), so is only really there to fill out the roster at this point.?
The Angels seemed to be quite interested in Caceres during spring training,
but they already committed to Benji Gil and Dave Eckstein and Jose Nieves are
much better choices for the roster.? I hope that when DiSarcina and Kennedy
come back, Eckstein can keep his job.
Acquired C Chad Moeller from the Minnesota Twins for IF Hanley Frias.
Moeller was obsolete with the earlier
signing of Tom Prince.
Recalled 1B Erubiel Durazo from Tucson (AAA).
They had previously optioned Durazo to Tucson but with Klassen
out now, they brought him back up.?? I?m still surprised that Arizona hasn?t
traded Durazo yet; I thought for sure that he was going to be on the next plane
out when Grace was signed.
Assigned Ps Chad Paronto and? Jorge Julio to minor league camp.
Syd Thrift is practically in love with Julio and he was very
close to making the team.? Julio has a very nice fastball and was picked up
cheaply from the Expos (Ryan Minor), but to date, minor leaguers have found
Julio to be extremely hittable.?
Optioned OF Eugene Kingsale to Rochester (AAA)
No room on the Orioles roster.? He?s
nothing special, of course, but the Orioles have made the decision that having
actual backups at SS, 2B, and CF was a completely silly idea.
Boston Red Sox
Released P Kent Mercker.
The Red Sox have a lot of major and minor league starters available,
so there wasn?t much need for Mercker.? I don?t think he?s done yet.
Signed C Jason Varitek to a three-year contract extension.?
I?m not as big a fan of Varitek as a lot of other people seem
to be; I think his defense has been overrated and that he?s spoken of as a great
hitter by far too many people than is healthy.? On opening day here in Baltimore,
I got to listen to Fred Manfra and Jim Hunter continually try to sell us the
notion that Varitek was a young superstar.
Placed IF Chris Stynes on the 15-day DL; recalled IF Lou Merloni from Pawtucket
The Curse of Luis Alicea continues.? Since Alicea?s departure,
practically every other player to play 2B for the Red Sox has suffered some
misfortune with the exception of Mike Benjamin, who merely causes misfortune
to Pirate fans.? From the end of Lemke?s career to the possible end of Valentin?s
to the end of Kimi Pozo?s chances in the majors to Offerman?s downfall, Luis
has been mighty cruel.? Stynes is only the latest victim of the baseball version
of the Hope Diamond.
Optioned OF Corey Patterson, 1B Julio Zuleta, and P Joey Nation to Iowa (AAA).
Zuleta should have broken camp with the Cubs instead of Coomer.?
That was remedied later.? Corey Patterson will be back, hopefully after Don
Baylor gets fired.
Signed P Scott Kamieniecki to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: You can?t kill the Kammer.
Acquired IF Miguel Cairo and P Scott Chiasson from the Oakland A?s for IF Eric
Claimed 1B Chris Haas off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals and assigned
him to West Tennessee (AA).
Acquired P Manny Aybar from the Florida Marlins for P Oswaldo Mairena.
Placed IF Ron Coomer on the 15-day DL, retroactive to April 3; recalled 1B
Julio Zuleta from Iowa (AAA).
A torn medial meniscus in Coomer?s left knee is the culprit here.?
Not good for Coomer, of course, but there wasn?t much of a reason for Coomer
to be on the team instead of Zuleta.
Chicago White Sox
Optioned Ps Matt Ginter, Lorenzo Barcelo, and Jon Garland, C Mark Johnson,
3B Joe Crede, and OF McKay Christensen to Charlotte (AAA).
Most of these were expected.? Crede, Garland, and Ginter are
definitely ones to watch in the next year or two.? I?ve always like Mark Johnson,
but he simply hasn?t hit as well as I thought.?
Optioned Brandon Larson to Louisville (AAA).
Placed P Scott Williamson on the 60-day DL.
Purchased the contract of P Scott Winchester.
Optioned P Rob Bell to Louisville (AAA); purchased the contract of Justin Atchley.
ORACLE SAYS: Atchley and Bell represent two more
instances of Bob Boone?s people skills shining through.? Atchley was apparently
told that he made the team right before he was sent down and Bell was apparently
told that he was going to sent down no matter how well he did.? Williamson?s
a blow to the Reds, but hopefully that will keep him away from Boone for awhile.
Released P Scott Aldred
The Indians had a ton of pitchers at training camp.? No room
Optioned P Sean DePaula to Buffalo.
Assigned OF Karim Garcia to minor league camp.
Released P Masato Yoshii.
Claimed P Horacio Estrada off waivers from the Florida Marlins.
Placed 3B Dean Palmer and C Mitch Meluskey on the 15-day
DL and P Seth Greisinger on the 60-day DL.
Signed OF Bobby Higginson to a four-year contract extension
through the 2005 season.
Higginson?s contract comes out to something around 10 million
dollars a year.? I understand why the Tigers signed him; he?s very popular in
Detroit and people still seem to be upset about the departure of Brad Ausmus
for some reason.? However, I think that the Tigers really do need that complete
overhaul that they should?ve done years ago.? When Shane Halter has a big role
on your team, you need to stop and think hard about where your team is going.?
The Meluskey injury is really disappointing; maybe Hunsicker knew something
that the rest of the world didn?t.
Placed 1B Nate Rolison on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March
Signed OF Ryan Thompson to a minor league contract.
ORACLE SAYS: Thompson?s not going to help much.
Assigned IF Mendy Lopez to minor league camp.
Released C Jeff Reed.
Signed C Scott Servais to a minor league contract.
Placed OF Moises Alou on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March
Purchased the contract of OF Orlando Merced from
New Orleans (AAA).
Designated P Jose Cabrera for assignment.
Just a little bit of roster shuffling here.? I?m probably the
only Mendy Lopez fan in existence.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Released Ps Ramon Martinez and Jesse Orosco.
Orosco proceeded to throw a huge fit about how he was promised
a role on the team if he was healthy.? It really is time for him to retire.?
What is he?? 50?
Purchased the contract of 3B Phil Hiatt from Las Vegas (AAA).
There?s a name that I didn?t think I?d see again.? It?s going
to take me awhile to get comfortable with the AAA team shuffling.? Las Vegas
in the Dodgers system?? Yikes.
Assigned C Creighton Gubanich, P Chad Fox, IF Mike Coolbaugh,
OF Brian Lesher to Indianapolis (AAA).
I?m a big Gubanich backer and I was sad to see him not get a
roster spot.? He?s certainly more useful than Raul Casanova is.? Fox is still
trying to come back from a couple of pretty bad injuries include and outright
fracture of his elbow.? Coolbaugh and Lesher could probably be useful, but the
Brewers have apparently no interest in them.
Optioned Ps Allen Levrault and Carlos Chantres to
Acquired Ps Mark Leiter and Mike DeJean and IF Elvis
Pena from the Colorado Rockies for Ps Juan Acevedo and Kane Davis and IF Jose
Shuffling of bullpens here.? I don?t think that it?ll make much
of a difference for either team.? Pena is a player to keep an eye on in 2001;
if he can keep up that walk rate and hit at AAA, he might be a handy player
for the Brewers to have around once they tire of Luis Lopez and Tyler Houston.
Designated IF Hanley Frias for assignment.
He lost the Polaroids of Tom Kelly
that Ron Coomer gave him.
New York Mets
Acquired P Brian Rose from the Colorado Rockies for P Mark
Released P Rich Rodriguez.
The Mets finally got rid of Rodriguez, who was practically Public
Enemy #1 in New York last year.? If the story is true, Rodriguez was Steve Phillips?
roommate in college.
Assigned IFs Matt Franco and Jorge Velandia, IF-OF
Mark Johnson, and P Tom Martin to minor league camp.
Placed P Rick White on the 15-day DL, retroactive
to March 31.
Purchased the contract of IF Desi Relaford.
Claimed P Justin Brunette off waivers from the St.
Sold the contract of P Jeff Kubenka to the Chiba
Lotte Mariners of the Japanese Pacific League.
Got lost in the shuffle and this is probably best for his career
at this point.? I hope he comes back in a couple years and kicks some butt.
New York Yankees
Announced the retirement of P Dwight Gooden.
ORACLE SAYS: I for one will miss the Doc.?
Optioned Ps Chad Bradford, Cory Lidle, and Luis Vizcaino
and IF Mark Bellhorn to Sacramento (AAA).
Purchased the contract of OF Robin Jennings.
Released 1B Brian R. Hunter.
ORACLE SAYS: One down, one to go.
Acquired P Omar Olivares from the Oakland A?s for a player
to be named later or cash considerations.
Probably a necessary transaction for the Pirates.? Olivares was
pretty passable before last year and I can see why the Pirates want to at least
look like they?re doing something about the pitching injuries with a lot of
new people in the park.
Assigned 2B Warren Morris, OF Chad Hermanson, and
SS Abraham Nunez to Nashville (AAA).
Poor Warren Morris.? I am not nearly as high on Chad Hermanson
as some people *cough Voros cough* are, but the Pirates might as well start
him over Derek Bell just in case he snaps out of last year?s funk.
Placed the entire rotation of the 15-day DL.
Benson, Cordova, Schmidt, and Mulholland all put on since the
last transaction report.? Gene Lamont?s probably laughing right now.? What are
John Ericks and Steve Cooke up to now?? They might be needed.
San Diego Padres
Assigned IFs Adam Riggs and John Rosko, Cs Charlie Greene
and Rick Wilkins, OFs Cesar Crespo, Rickey Henderson, Ryan Radmanovich, and
Ernie Young, and Ps Jeremy Powell, Rudy Seanez, and Matt Miller to minor league
None of these guys, with the exception of Seanez and Henderson,
really had a shot to make the team.? Wilkins is out of people who remember his
big year with the Cubs, now almost a decade (!) ago.? Henderson?s almost finished
now and received absolutely no interest in the offseason, but Seanez will be
up at some point.
Purchased the contract of SS Chris Gomez from Portland
Acquired 1B Aaron McNeal from the Houston Astros
for SS Cristian Berroa.
Don?t worry, you probably will never need to learn who either
of these guys are.? McNeal is your typical Dan Held-type 1B prospect that doesn?t
hit all that well and Berroa is your typical young shortstop that can?t hit
and doesn?t have enough tools for even Baseball America to bat an eyelash.
Acquired OFs Mark Kotsay and Cesar Crespo from the
Florida Marlins for OF Eric Owens and Ps Matt Clement and Omar Ortiz.
Kotsay still has a bit of upside,
so he was probably the type of player the Padres desperately need.? Some people
have gotten excited when they take a peek at
and see Johnny Damon as a good comp for Kotsay at the same age, but Damon was
underperforming his minor league numbers to a much larger degree than Kotsay,
who really isn?t (Portland is a nice place to hit).? Still has some upside,
though, but I hope that doesn?t hurt Mike Colangelo?s chances.
Agreed to a contract extension with P Woody Williams
through the 2002 season.
San Francisco Giants
Purchased the contract of C Benito Santiago from Fresno (AAA).
Optioned Ps Jamie Arnold and Chad Zerbe and C-IF
Edwards Guzman to Fresno (AAA).
Optioned Ps Joel Piniero, Rob Ramsay, and Brian Fuentes to
Assigned IF Manny Alexander and OF Scott Podsednik
to minor league camp.
Acquired OF Kenny Kelly from the Tampa Bay Devil
Rays for cash considerations.
St. Louis Cardinals
Optioned Ps Alan Benes and Gene Stechshulte to Memphis (AAA).
Released OF Quinton McCracken and 3B Shane Andrews.
It?s a shame.? As sad as it is, Andrews was probably a better
option at third than Polanco and Paquette are/were.? McCracken was never as
good as he was hyped in Tampa, but I?m surprised that he?s had such a difficult
time finding work.
Purchased the contracts of 3B Albert Pujols and P
Pujols arrived early and so far, has performed well in his first
dozen and a half at-bats.? He?s been playing outfield so far; God forbid that
he take playing time away from Santo Polanco.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Acquired P Mike Judd from the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player
to be named later.
Optioned OF Jason Tyner, Ps Dan Wheeler and Travis
Phelps, 2B Brent Abernathy, and 3B Aubrey Huff to Durham (AAA).
If they ever institute a qualification test to become a general
manager, there should definitely be a question of whether you pick Vinny Castilla
or Aubrey Huff as your starting 3B.? Even if Castilla somehow is fooled and
think Tampa has an elevation of 6,000 feet, there?s no reason that Huff shouldn?t
be the full-time starter for a team like the Devil Rays.
Placed Ps Juan Guzman and Wilson Alvarez on the 15-day
DL retroactive to March 23.
Purchased the contract of C Doug Mirabelli from the San Francisco
Toronto Blue Jays
Placed IF Homer Bush on the 15-day DL.
Sore thumb this time.? Cesar Izturis was called
up to take Bush?s roster spot.? Luckily for the Blue Jays that Mickey Morandini
Posted: April 11, 2001 at 05:00 AM | 3 comment(s)
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