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Wednesday, March 14, 2001


Learn from the wisdom of the Transaction Oracle.

Anaheim Angels

  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.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  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.

Atlanta Braves

  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.

Chicago Cubs

  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.

Cincinnati Reds

  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.

Cleveland Indians

  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.?

Colorado Rockies

  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??

Detroit Tigers

  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.

Florida Marlins

  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.

Houston Astros

  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.

Milwaukee Brewers

  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.

Minnesota Twins

  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?

Oakland Athletics

  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.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  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.


Dan Szymborski Posted: March 14, 2001 at 05:00 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 14, 2001 at 12:00 AM (#603434)
Due to a cut and paste error on my part, the John Pachot and Friends entry should've been separated under the Dodgers. I apologize to any Reds fans that became excited that Steve Bieser had become a part of their organization.
   2. Rich Rifkin I Posted: March 14, 2001 at 12:00 AM (#603436)
This is not yet a transaction, but don?t be too surprised when the A?s announce that Cory Lidle has won the 5th starter spot over Omar Olivares. Despite the fact that Olivares has a fat contract, he looks like he will start out the season as the A?s long reliever. I base my opinion on how very well Lidle has pitched in Spring and how very poorly Olivares has. But, the 5th starter job on most staffs is somewhat fluid, so either an injury or a few poor showings by Lidle in April and Olivares could have his old job back (assuming Billy Beane does not dump his contract).
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 14, 2001 at 12:00 AM (#603438)
I wouldn't be surprised at all if Beane finds a taker for Olivares. He was a useful pickup at the time, but with guys like Zito coming up, he's pretty much outlive his usefulness. In fact, the ongoing rumor here in Baltimore is that Syd Thrift is very interested in picking up Olivares. Syd Thrift being Syd Thrift, the A's might even be able to pick up something small in return for getting to dump Olivares.

Lidle has recovered remarkably from his shoulder surgery which ruined a few years.
   4. bob mong Posted: April 04, 2003 at 01:55 AM (#610231)
Foulke is perhaps the best reliever in baseball

I think that is a pretty big overstatement. He is certainly better than Koch, but the best in baseball?....well, you decide.

Here is a (arbitrarily chosen) list of relievers, along with their stats for the last three years, sorted by K/BB ratio:
<font>First     Last          IP     K    BB  HR  H    ER   K/9   BB/9  HR/9  H/9   ERA   K/BB  WHIP
Arthur    Rhodes        207    241  54  15  142  64  10.48  2.35  0.65  6.17  2.78  4.46  0.95
Robb      Nen           217.3  266  61  12  159  55  11.02  2.53  0.50  6.59  2.28  4.36  1.01
Trevor    Hoffman       192    217  50  19  161  65  10.17  2.34  0.89  7.55  3.05  4.34  1.10
Keith     Foulke        246.7  224  57  19  188  75   8.17  2.08  0.69  6.86  2.74  3.93  0.99
Mariano   Rivera        202.3  182  48  12  154  59   8.10  2.14  0.53  6.85  2.62  3.79  1.00
Kazuhiro  Sasaki        190.3  213  62  22  134  63  10.07  2.93  1.04  6.34  2.98  3.44  1.03
Billy     Wagner        165.3  195  60  18  123  59  10.62  3.27  0.98  6.70  3.21  3.25  1.11
Octavio   Dotel         327.3  405  135 38  264  126 11.14  3.71  1.04  7.26  3.46  3.00  1.22
Eddie     Guardado      196    189  66  28  155  75   8.68  3.03  1.29  7.12  3.44  2.86  1.13
Jason     Isringhausen  205.7  199  73  11  167  96   8.71  3.19  0.48  7.31  4.20  2.73  1.17
Ramiro    Mendoza       258    161  59  26  257  108  5.62  2.06  0.91  8.97  3.77  2.73  1.22
Byung-Hun Kim           252.7  316  116 24  174  86  11.25  4.13  0.85  6.20  3.06  2.72  1.15
Armando   Benitez       219.7  278  103 30  144  71  11.39  4.22  1.23  5.90  2.91  2.70  1.12
Steve     Karsay        253    214  80  17  239  87   7.61  2.85  0.60  8.50  3.09  2.68  1.26
Mike      Remlinger     215.7  234  88  18  170  66   9.76  3.67  0.75  7.09  2.75  2.66  1.20
Troy      Percival      164    188  73  15  119  54  10.32  4.01  0.82  6.53  2.96  2.58  1.17
Mike      Stanton       226.3  197  81  13  221  80   7.83  3.22  0.52  8.79  3.18  2.43  1.33
Steve     Reed          181.3  135  58  15  166  65   6.70  2.88  0.74  8.24  3.23  2.33  1.24
Antonio   Osuna         139.3  142  65  11  129  67   9.17  4.20  0.71  8.33  4.33  2.18  1.39
Billy     Koch          241.7  208  97  20  220  94   7.75  3.61  0.74  8.19  3.50  2.14  1.31
Jose      Mesa          225.7  207  100 20  219  91   8.25  3.99  0.80  8.73  3.63  2.07  1.41
Scott     Williamson    186.7  220  113 12  139  65  10.61  5.45  0.58  6.70  3.13  1.95  1.35
Jeff      Nelson        180.7  214  116 9   110  59  10.66  5.78  0.45  5.48  2.94  1.84  1.25
Scott     Sauerbeck     201    232  128 12  187  89  10.39  5.73  0.54  8.37  3.99  1.81  1.57</font>
I think this shows that Rhodes and Nen are the best relievers in baseball. Foulke might be the next best, but he might not be.

Another interesting point: Foulke's numbers look pretty similar to Mariano Rivera's - it looks like Billy Beane got himself Mariano Rivera to close for him in 2003.

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