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March 14, 2013
Brewers Lock Down Gomez
Released OF-L Brennan Boesch. [3/13]
Subject of trade rumors throughout the winter, Boesch is free to pick his new home. Because of a weird rule, the Tigers will save money by cutting Boesch now rather than in a few weeks. For his part Boesch should land on his feet in short order. He's a large guy with a long swing and big-time power potential, though it doesn't always show in games. Boesch offers little beyond his bat, so he'll need to hit to stick on his next club. Still, he should come cheap and does have years of team control remaining. A few teams are interested.
Released RHP Guillermo Moscoso. [3/13]
You might remember Moscoso from his improbable 2011 season when, in 21 starts, he posted a 3.38 ERA for the Athletics. The A's, no doubt wary of a large unearned run total, sent Moscoso to the Rockies as part of the Seth Smith deal. Predictably, the Venezuelan native came back to Earth in 2012, to the point where all of his runs were earned. So it goes. Moscoso does have nice movement on his fastball but little else to offer. He could latch on with a pitching-starved team or try his luck overseas.
Signed OF-R Ben Francisco. [3/12]
The Yankees add another right-handed hitting outfielder to a pile that features Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz, among other, homegrown options. Here's what I wrote about Francisco when he signed with Cleveland:
If The Asylum were to make a film about a bat-first, platoon-neutral, low-production corner outfielder, then Francisco would be the leading man. He has almost no platoon split, which is great when it's applied to a star like Ryan Braun, but when we're talking about a guy who balances mediocre against mediocre, there's just no way to leverage it. We see specialist types—be it relievers or bench types—make it onto rosters all the time, but not players like Francisco. The idea of a corner outfielder without a platoon split is good; too bad the execution with Francisco is poor
Released 1B-L David Cooper. [3/13]
This is about health, not talent. Cooper continues to miss action because of a serious back injury. Joel Sherman suggests Cooper may spend this season rehabbing before potentially rejoining Toronto next season. We're too far off from realizing that scenario to talk about it in depth. Instead let's root for Cooper to make a full and speedy recovery.
Re-signed OF-R Carlos Gomez to a three-year extension worth $24 million. [3/13]
At 27 years old, Gomez would've become one of next winter's most intriguing free-agent cases. Alas, Doug Melvin had to go and ruin the fun. Gomez is fresh from a banner season in which he set career-bests in most statistical categories. Don't mistake his power for a one-year mirage, either: he posted an above-average ISO in 2011, and has the body and bat speed to hit for more pop than a fast, defense-first center fielder should. There are some drawbacks to Gomez's game. He doesn't hit for a high average and his approach is spotty, to put it kindly. Still, the overall package is sound and this should look like a fine deal in four years' time.