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April 16, 1999

Transaction Analysis

April 2-15

by Christina Kahrl

ANAHEIM ANGELS

Claimed RHP Al Levine off waivers from the Rangers. [4/2]

Purchased the contracts of 2B Jeff Huson and 1B Tim Unroe; recalled LHP Scott Schoeneweis from Edmonton; optioned 1B Chris Pritchett to Edmonton; assigned RHPs Toby Borland and Mike Fyhrie, C Steve Decker, and 2B Keith Luuloa to their minor-league camp; placed RHP Jason Dickson on the 15-day DL (shoulder surgery); placed CF Jim Edmonds on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 3/30 (strained groin, irritated shoulder); placed OF Reggie Williams on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 3/29 (strained hamstring). [4/4]

Placed 1B Mo Vaughn on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/7 (sprained ankle); recalled 1B Chris Pritchett from Edmonton. [4/8]

Losing Edmonds is a blow, but not the end of the world. It isn't something that hasn't come up before, after all. But losing Vaughn and Edmonds? Well, okay, that's a tough couple of weeks for a team that's only going to win games with their offense going full-bore. The most positive spin is that it keeps Garret Anderson playing regularly, ie, showcasing him for somebody like the Phillies or the Royals. It also gives the Angels the opportunity to let Todd Greene establish himself at the plate without having to put on catching gear, which is probably also for the best with Greene's constant problems with injuries. Snagging Levine for middle relief was a nice move, because if any team needs three middle relievers (and twelve pitchers), it's the Angels. Although it might normally make sense to let a talented future starter (Jarrod Washburn) cut his teeth as a long reliever, keeping any pitcher with a future away from Terry Collins given Collins' track record of burning out anybody who takes the mound is probably a good idea on an organizational level.

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Optioned RHP Vladimir Nunez and reassigned INF Dale Sveum to Tucson; purchased the contract of CF Ernie Young. [4/3]

Purchased the contract of RHP Bobby Chouinard from Tucson; designated CF Ernie Young for assignment. [4/10]

Activated UT Tony Womack from the 15-day DL; optioned SS Hanley Frias to Tucson. [4/12]

Optioned RHP Bobby Chouinard to Tucson; recalled RHP Vladimir Nunez from Tucson. [4/14]

The interesting problem here is that the D-backs actually have a pretty good collection of relievers, if Showalter would wise up and use them. Unfortunately, his managerial career is becoming a story of negative reinforcement. His reluctance to use his bullpen cost him with the Yankees, it hurt the D-backs badly last year, and with the top-dollar rotation he's been handed this year, he'll be reluctant to use it again. And no matter how many quality starts get tanked because of Buck's faith that his veteran starters should give seven innings come hell or high water, he'll instead focus on the ocassional blown save as the problem. What's in the D-backs' pen? Nunez is the talented Cubano with good heat, and may end up being the team's closer someday. He's got two righthanders with good breaking stuff in Gregg Olson and Darren Holmes. He's got two lefties with outstanding control who can be used in long relief in Brian Anderson and Greg Swindell. That's a good enough crew to be an asset, but Showalter is going to have to learn to use them, and forgive a bad day or two from time to time. I'm not optimistic. At this stage, Showalter is in danger of becoming the new age Ralph Houck: liked, respected, destructive, and disappointing.

ATLANTA BRAVES

Signed RHP Marc Pisciotta to a minor-league contract. [4/2]

Placed LHP Mike Remlinger on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/3; recalled LHP Derrin Ebert from Richmond. [4/6]

Designated RHP Mark Wohlers for assignment; purchased contract of RHP Joe Winkelsas from Greenville (AA). [4/9]

Announced that RHP Mark Wohlers refused a minor league assignment. [4/12]

Optioned RHP Joe Winkelsas to Greenville (AA); recalled RHP Justin Speier from Richmond. [4/14]

In stark contrast to the D-backs and their pen, consider the Braves. Their veteran reliever is "Traction Action" Rudy Seanez. The Braves know that you can shake a tree and find a half-dozen guys you could use in relief. That isn't meant as a put-down of the guys the Braves have: I like the possible futures of everyone in their bullpen with the lone exception of Seanez and his infamously bad back. The point is that the Braves know that these guys can pitch and aren't afraid to use them. They've already tried the veteran relievers angle: Jeff Reardon didn't work, El Presidente didn't work, Alejandro Pena didn't work, so why flush money on their ilk, when you can use people with more talent than press clippings?

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Acquired 1B/OF Jeff Conine from the Royals for RHP Chris Fussell. [4/2]

Outrighted OF Lyle Mouton to Rochester; assigned RHP Doug Linton to their minor-league camp; optioned RHP Jason Johnson to Rochester; placed 2B Delino DeShields on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 3/26 (fractured thumb); placed RHP Scott Kamieniecki on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 3/26 (strained hamstring); purchased the contracts of RHP Mike Fetters and 2B Jesse Garcia from Rochester. [4/3]

Activated 2B Delino DeShields off the DL; optioned 2B Jesse Garcia and LHP Doug Johns to Rochester; recalled RHP Doug Linton from Rochester. [4/11]

So the Orioles master plan involves counting on Scott Kamieniecki or Doug Linton, not to mention Sid Ponson? And some people actually think that makes for a contender? If the Devil Rays knew what they were doing, the Orioles wouldn't be a lock for fourth place. The Conine trade was slightly baffling: why get another DH? It's bad enough that you won't have enough playing time for Willis Otanez, so why go out and get a right-handed DH?

BOSTON RED SOX

Extended the contract of manager Jimy Williams through 2000. [4/12]

Anyone want to bet whether or not Williams outlasts Duquette? If the Red Sox don't make the playoffs, I suspect it's the Duke who will be held accountable. Barring some infamous tactical disaster, I doubt Williams will be held responsible if the team doesn't snag a playoff spot either of the next two years.

CHICAGO CUBS

Placed RHP Terry Adams on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 3/26 (sprained elbow). [4/3]

Agreed to a two-year contract extension with RHP Kevin Tapani, with a club option for 2002. [4/6]

Placed RHP Kurt Miller on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/12 (strained rib cage muscle); recalled RHP Rodney Myers from Iowa. [4/13]

The Cubs' pitching problems continue, and as if the didn't need reminders about what happened to the '84 rotation, no sooner did Tapani get his extension when he hurt himself. The story currently being put out is that it happened while batting, but like the tortured explanations about why Kerry Wood should be throwing the day after a night start last summer, I'm not buying the spin. They're not saying how badly he's hurt, but if he's down, that puts Mulholland back in the rotation (something they're leaning towards anyways), giving them a rotation of Trachsel, Lieber, Mulholland, Scott Sanders, and Brad Woodall. Even that isn't the end of the world, but the argument that this team was a contender was a stretch in the first place, since the offense was almost certain to slip from last year. I'm still comfortable with the idea that they should probably wind up in fourth.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Placed CF Brian Simmons on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 3/26 (lacerated palm); optioned RHP Kevin Beirne to Charlotte; outrighted C Robert Machado to Charlotte. [4/2]

Simmons may end up getting Wally Pipped without the Pipp part. The team already likes what McKay Christensen has shown them, and there's no doubt that Christensen is the better prospect. They're also going to keep Darrin Jackson around for another couple of months at least. Simmons is a good little player who can help his team in a few ways as a fourth outfielder, but he isn't going to be the next Chet Lemon for this organization.

CLEVELAND INDIANS

Placed LHP Tom Martin on the 15-day DL (shoulder surgery); optioned OF Alex Ramirez to Buffalo; assigned RHP Dave Stevens, C Pat Borders, INF Jeff Manto, and SS Orlando Miller to Buffalo; signed LHP Mark Langston to a minor-league contract. [4/4]

Signed RHP Rich DeLucia to a minor-league contract. [4/5]

Signed LHP Chris Haney to a minor-league contract. [4/6]

Placed LHP Ricardo Rincon on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/11 (elbow soreness); purchased the contract of LHP Mark Langston from Buffalo. [4/12]

I found the whole Langston scenario amusing: not only did he never say he was retiring, but some of the folks who announced he'd retired got petulant if you suggested they really ought to have found out what was going on before announcing his retirement for him.

COLORADO ROCKIES

Sent RHP David Wainhouse outright to Colorado Springs; signed CF Mike Kelly to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Colorado Springs. [4/2]

Activated RF Larry Walker from the DL; outrighted CF Mike Kelly to Colorado Springs. [4/14]

That's right: Mike Kelly has to take a back seat to Pat Watkins. Funny that the Reds had both before the Expansion Draft, and handed Kelly to Chuck LaMar to keep him from taking somebody useful.

DETROIT TIGERS

Announced the Houston Astros rejected the return of LHP Alberto Blanco, a Rule 5 pick, and assigned Blanco to Jacksonville (AA); purchased the contract of RHP Felipe Lira. [4/2]

Placed RHP Bryce Florie on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 3/31 (strained shoulder); purchased the contract of RHP Beiker Graterol from Toledo. [4/9]

Optioned OF Gabe Kapler to Toledo. [4/13]

Purchased the contract of RHP Jeff Weaver from Jacksonville (AA); transferred C Raul Casanova from the 15- to the 60-day DL. [4/14]

Claimed 3B Rob Sasser on waivers from the Rangers. [4/15]

Boy o boy are the Tigers going to disappoint people. They're rushing Weaver, while goofing off with Graterol in the rotation when he hasn't really been good at Double-A yet. But does that mean they're going with youth? Hardly, when they elected to demote Kapler so that they could keep playing Brian Hunter and Gregg Jefferies.

FLORIDA MARLINS

Purchased the contract of RHP Dennis Springer from Calgary; assigned RHP Archie Corbin and 1B Kevin Millar to their minor-league camp; placed 3B Mike Lowell on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 3/26. [4/2]

Purchased the contracts of PH Tim Hyers and OF Bruce Aven from Calgary. [4/3]

Sent 3B Mike Lowell to Calgary on an injury rehab assignment. [4/8]

Placed RHP Alex Fernandez on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/12 (inflamed rotator cuff); recalled 3B Mike Lowell from his rehab assignment, but did not activate him. [4/13]

Purchased the contract of RHP Archie Corbin from Calgary; recalled RHP Rafael Medina from Calgary; designated C Guillermo Garcia for assignment; signed RHP Erik Hanson to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Calgary. [4/14]

They're putting a brave face on Fernandez' injury, saying that he just needs to rest up. They're going to be plugging Kirt Ojala into the rotation, and after Livan Hernandez goes under the knife, they'll probably be calling up Hanson, while hoping that Leyland hasn't absolutely ruined the chances for Hernandez or Jesus Sanchez to have careers. By going with journeymen like Dennis Springer, Ojala, and potentially Hanson, this year's rotation is an interesting reversal from last season, when they unneccessarily rushed several young pitchers while not doing anything to build the next great Marlins' staff. At least using Hanson and Springer and Ojala buys them a year of development time. Cutting Garcia gets them up to twelve pitchers, but when they finally activate Lowell, they could end up returning Medina, Corbin, or Braden Looper to the minors.

HOUSTON ASTROS

Purchased the contract of RHP Brian Williams; assigned RHP Dean Crow to New Orleans. [4/2]

Optioned INF Russ Johnson to New Orleans. [4/3]

I have to admit I don't get it, as far as who got picked for the final roster spots. Brian Williams? Glen Barker? Alex Diaz? Is this just a case of loading up on guys you can cut and replace with anybody else?

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Traded 1B/OF Jeff Conine from the Royals for RHP Chris Fussell. [4/2]

Optioned C Sal Fasano to Omaha; outrighted SS Mendy Lopez to Omaha; re-assigned 2B/SS Ray Holbert to Omaha. [4/3]

Who would have thought that a team could open with not only Steve Scarsone on its Opening Day roster, but Scott Pose and Scott Leius too? These guys couldn't get major league jobs last year, the "expansion year." Not that it's really significant: Pose needs service time, none of them will play much, and both Scarsone and Pose had great camps. The Royals' focus has to be on how Los Dos Carlitos (Beltran and Febles) play, and hopefully Jeremy Giambi once his hammy heals up. If they use the rest of the roster to let a deserving minor league veteran like Pose get some time, I'm happy because it means we aren't having to watch another Sierra recycling, or worse.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Placed OF Todd Hollandsworth on the 15-day DL (strained right hamstring). [4/3]

Purchased the contracts of OF Jacob Brumfield, C Rick Wilkins, and LHP Pedro Borbon; optioned OF Trenidad Hubbard and LHP Jeff Kubenka to Albuquerque; designated LHP Greg Cadaret and RHP Arnold Gooch for assignment; placed RHP Steve Montgomery on the 60-day DL (shoulder surgery). [4/4]

Some strange or downright questionable decisions here. Choosing Brumfield over Hubbard is a bad move, period. Hubbard is a significantly better hitter, and playing good defense isn't one of Brumfield's skills. Choosing Borbon and Onan Masaoka as his lefty relievers is also a mixed bag. Borbon is still damaged goods, and Masaoka hasn't been as good as Kubenka so far. Add that to a bullpen featuring Mel Rojas and a mediocrity like Dave Mlicki, and you've got a potentially bad bullpen.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

Optioned INF Lou Collier to Louisville; recalled RHP Al Reyes from Louisville. [4/11]

Placed SS Jose Valentin on the 15-day DL (torn ligament - thumb); recalled INF Lou Collier from Louisville. [4/13]

Valentin's probably out for two months, which means that Mark Loretta's golden opportunity to claim the shortstop job for himself is here. Given the team he's on and the calibre of NL shortstops, it isn't inconceivable that he could end up on the All-Star team. Barry Larkin will win the balloting, and Edgar Renteria may or may not get picked, but after that, who? Bruce Bochy would be hard-pressed to pull a Hargrove and select Chris Gomez, so just about any NL shortstop (Tony Batista? Loretta? Rich Aurilia? Even the godawful Rey Ordonez?) could end up claiming an All-Star bonus this year. With Reyes' return, the Brewers are at twelve pitchers, which they'll probably have to stick with until they junk 4/5ths of their rotation.

MONTREAL EXPOS

Announced PH Derrick May has refused a minor-league assignment and was released. [4/8]

Placed LHP Steve Kline on the 15-day DL, list retroactive to 4/11 (inflamed elbow); recalled LHP Rick DeHart from Ottawa. [4/13]

Designated RHP Mike Maddux for assignment; recalled RHP Shayne Bennett from Ottawa. [4/14]

The Expos' pen is shaping up pretty well already: Anthony Telford and J.D. Smart as the long men, the recently liberated Ayala as the setup man, Urbina as the closer. In that environment, Mike Maddux couldn't afford his bad start, but the way things are going, he could be a Cub in another week or two.

NEW YORK METS

Optioned UT Shane Halter and LHP Rigo Beltran to Norfolk; assigned 3B Craig Paquette, INF Melvin Mora, and RHP Pat Mahomes to their minor-league camp. [4/2]

Designated RHP Derek Wallace for assignment; purchased the contract of RHP Josias Manzanillo from Norfolk. [4/3]

Announced RHP Derek Wallace has cleared waivers and was outrighted to Norfolk. [4/8]

Placed C Mike Piazza on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/10 (sprained knee); placed RHP Rick Reed on the 15-day DL (torn calf muscle); recalled LHP Rigo Beltran and OF Terrence Long from Norfolk. [4/12]

Piazza's injury looks serious, in that even if he's back in two weeks, he may have to wear a brace for the remainder of the season. If his knee goes, so do the Mets' mild ambitions for the wild card. Reed's injury also ended up being more serious than expected (after hurting himself running the bases). I'm not optimistic about the alternatives if they've lost their #2 starter. Al Leiter is fragile, and Yoshii, Hershiser, and Jones are all unlikely to do much better than league average over the course of the season.

NEW YORK YANKEES

Placed LHP Andy Pettitte and RHPs Mike Jerzembeck and Darrell Einertson on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 3/26; optioned RHPs Ryan Bradley, Jay Tessmer and Ben Ford to Columbus; purchased the contracts of INF Clay Bellinger and RHP Jason Grimsley. [4/4]

Tonight's winner of the Big Game is... wait a minute, some guy who says instead of the jackpot, he wants to be a Yankee? Two guys? Actually, I'm happy for Bellinger, since he's a 30 year old minor league veteran utility infielder, and after that kind of career, a year watching Jeter and Knoblauch play 98% of the team's innings at second and short isn't a bad reward. As for bat-nabbin' Grimsley, he's basically holding on hoping that once Pettitte returns, the Yankees elect to send Mike Figga down. The Yankees were right to trade off Holmes, since they can get roughly equivalent performance in garbage time from Grimsley, and potentially better than that from Dan Naulty.

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Recalled RHP Kevin Jarvis from Vancouver; optioned RHP Brad Rigby to Vancouver. [4/12]

Purchased RHP Mike Oquist from Vancouver; optioned CF Ryan Christenson to Vancouver. [4/13]

There is no plan, just random punitive demotions. Jarvis is a bad joke, while Oquist's return is a bitter pill. What's the point of "winning" jobs in spring training, as Rigby did with the fifth starter's spot in camp, only to have it taken away because he had a rough outing or two in garbage time, before making a single start?

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Placed SS Pat Meares on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/1 (sprained wrist); purchased the contract of RHP Kris Benson from Nashville. [4/9]

Meares' injury buys time for Abraham Nunez to continue to make the decisions to sign Meares and Mike Benjamin as unfortunate. The danger is that if Warren Morris doesn't look good by the time Meares is healthy, Morris will start losing playing time to Benjamin. On a team that has to consider itself lucky if it finishes ahead of Milwaukee, that would be a major setback. Morris' future with the team is potentially the single most important thing the Pirates have to worry about this year. Getting Jose Guillen to make progress is another, and finding a way to make Ed Sprague disappear a third.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Placed CF Ray Lankford and 2B/SS David Howard on the 15-day DL; recalled 2B/SSs Luis Ordaz and Placido Polanco from Memphis. [4/5]

That's right: Shawon Dunston is on this team. So is Howard, once he heals up. In the meantime, the Cards are having fun letting Polanco and Joe McEwing goof off as part-time fill-ins at second. If they're smart, they'll resist the temptation to trade for Fernando Vina, at least if it's going to cost them Manny Aybar or Jose Jimenez. I expect Vina to slip back towards his career rates as a hitter this year, and that isn't significantly better than what temps like Polanco or McEwing can do over the short term. By August, the Cardinals may be able to hand the job to either Adam Kennedy or Brent Butler, unless LaRussa insists on honoring his promise to David Howard about getting playing time.

SAN DIEGO PADRES

Placed C/UT Phil Nevin on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/1 (strained hamstring); transferred C Carlos Hernandez from the 15- to the 60-day DL; purchased the contracts of RHP Carlos Reyes, INF Carlos Garcia and UT Eric Owens; optioned RHP Carlos Almanzar to Las Vegas; assigned RHP Matt Whiteside and LHP Roberto Rivera to Las Vegas. [4/3]

Placed LHP Randy Myers on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/3; purchased the contract of LHP Roberto Rivera from Las Vegas; designated INF Ed Giovanola for assignment. [4/6]

Placed 3B George Arias on the 15-day DL (sprained thumb); recalled RHP Carlos Almanzar from Las Vegas. [4/8]

A tough run of injuries, not to mention some poor timing. If they hold on to Giovanola another two days, he's playing third for them. Now, they'll have to hope Dave Magadan can stay healthy, or they may give thought to giving utilityman Eric Owens some platoon duty. Owens played second and third in the minors, and it isn't like Magadan's a good defensive player either. I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see Damian Jackson get some time at third. Assuming that Myers' contract is insured, the Padres may be hoping he's away for awhile. Almanzar is a fine control pitcher, which gives the Pad people a nice contrast to Brian Boehringer in middle relief.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Announced that RHP Cory Bailey has accepted his assignment to Fresno, and that RHP Greg Hansell refused his assignment and opted for free agency. [4/2]

Optioned OF Armando Rios, C Doug Mirabelli and SS Wilson Delgado to Fresno; assigned RHP Bronswell Patrick and C/3B Edwards Guzman to Fresno; purchased the contracts of C Scott Servais and RHP Miguel Del Toro from Fresno. [4/3]

Placed 3B Bill Mueller on the 15-day DL; recalled C/3B Edwards Guzman from Fresno. [4/5]

Everyone who participated in the mass hysteria surrounding Armando Rios this winter, go to the corner. Losing Mueller for most of April forces the Giants to rely on Charlie Hayes every day; Edwards Guzman is a nice enough spare for now, but I'd like to see him develop in Fresno to see if he starts hitting for more power. At 22, he's very young for a player with a year of Triple-A under his belt, and I'd be interested to see how far forward he steps by repeating the level.

SEATTLE MARINERS

Claimed 1B Ryan Jackson off waivers from the Marlins. [4/2]

Placed SS Alex Rodriguez on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/7 (torn knee ligament). [4/9]

Recalled RHP Ken Cloude from Tacoma. [4/10]

Placed 2B/SS Carlos Guillen on the 15-day DL (torn ACL - knee); recalled 2B/SS Giomar Guevara from Tacoma; signed INF Domingo Cedeno; optioned RHP Eric Weaver to Tacoma. [4/11]

Transferred 2B/SS Carlos Guillen from the 15- to the 60-day DL; recalled RHP Mel Bunch from Tacoma; optioned UT Charles Gipson to Tacoma. [4/14]

It isn't every team that loses it's double-play combo in the first week. As you probably know, A-Rod is gone until mid-May, while Guillen's done for the year. Guillen's career has already been frequently derailed by injuries, which makes this all the more a crying shame. I suspect Cedeno's going to end up getting a lot of playing time.

TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS

Assigned C Joe Oliver to minor league camp. [4/2]

Placed INF Aaron Ledesma on the 15-day DL (dislocated thumb); placed OF Rich Butler on the 15-day DL (sore Achilles tendon); optioned OF Bubba Trammell to Durham; recalled LHP Mike Duvall from Durham. [4/3]

Placed DH Paul Sorrento on the 15-day DL (strained hamstring); recalled RHP Bobby Witt from Durham. [4/7]

Signed 2B Tony Graffanino to a minor-league contract; released INF Dave Silvestri. [4/9]

Placed LHP Wilson Alvarez on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 4/11 (shoulder inflammation); recalled RHP Bryan Rekar from Durham. [4/15]

Bobby Witt? Over an ex-All Star like Steve Ontiveros? That's courageous for this outfit. On the other hand, demoting Bubba Trammell so that they can continue to avoid scoring runs with an outfield of Quinton McCracken, Randy Winn and Davey Martinez, while carrying a player with similar but lesser credentials like Danny Clyburn... that's par for the course. For all of the criticisms levied at the White Sox for "letting their rotation get away", it seems appropriate to note that Jack McDowell looks done, Alex Fernandez ran into a managerial buzzsaw named Jim Leyland, and Wilson Alvarez is, as the Sox complained, overweight and unhealthy.

TEXAS RANGERS

Claimed 3B Tom Evans off waivers from the Blue Jays. [4/2]

Optioned LHP Mike Venafro and CF Ruben Mateo to Oklahoma; assigned RHP Jeff Zimmerman, C Mike Hubbard, SSs Rafael Bournigal and Scott Sheldon, and CF Milt Cuyler to Oklahoma; designated 3B Tom Evans for assignment; purchased the contracts of RHP Mike Morgan, LHP Mike Munoz and CF Scarborough Green from Oklahoma. [4/3]

Purchased the contract of RHP Jeff Zimmerman from Oklahoma; optioned CF Scarborough Green to Oklahoma; designated 3B Rob Sasser for assignment. [4/12]

Paid the Marlins $100,000 to complete their deal for C Gregg Zaun; assigned DH Mike Simms to a rehab assignment with Charlotte (A). [4/15]

A dandy snag to get Evans off of waivers. Although it seems like he's been around forever, he's still only going to turn 25 in July. He's only a year older than Sasser. He's younger than Mike Lowell. Yes, he's fragile, but he's also a great glove at third with some sock and some patience. If the Rangers get tired of Zeile or if he gets hurt, they've got an outstanding replacement in hand. I guess as far as the utility infield position goes, I'm glad the job went to one of Scott Sheldon or Jon Shave, rather than the recycled Raffy Bournigal. As for Green, why did they purchase his contract in the first place? It cost them Sasser, which was unnecessary. And why pay not only Zaun's salary, but cash to get him? Sure, it was cash instead of a prospect, but why give up anything more than a NRI for a backup to Pudge Rodriguez in the first place?

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Optioned LHP Steve Sinclair to Syracuse. [4/2]

Placed RHP Robert Person on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 3/24 (pulled hamstring); recalled RHP Tom Davey from Syracuse. [4/4]

Activated RHP Robert Person from the DL; designated RHP Eric Ludwick for assignment. [4/12]

Placed 2B Homer Bush on the 15-day DL (torn ligament - index finger); recalled INF Norberto "Paco" Martin from Syracuse. [4/10]

Signed 2B Pat Kelly; placed INF Craig Grebeck on the 15-day DL (foot); announced that Rule 5 pick RHP Eric Ludwick cleared waivers and will be offered back to the Marlins. [4/15]

Sinclair was effectively screwed by the Clemens trade, even if he isn't going to be significantly worse or better than Lloyd for the balance of their careers. That just reinforces the question of why to make the Clemens-Wells trade in the first place, when you didn't get a prospect worth spit in the swap, but I guess I owe Jays fans an apology for salting that wound. So let's pick at an even older one: Homer Bush goes down, Grebeck gets hurt, so the Jays can hand their second base playing time to... Jeff Patzke? Nope, they ran him off for no good reason. Felipe Crespo? He got Patzke'd. Tomas Perez? Oops, traded him for nosehairs. Tilson Brito? Rats, lost him too. Paco Martin? Hey, he's old and bad and available. Bring him in! Pat Kelly got cut again? Sign him too! Wait a minute, didn't we sign Tony Fernandez to play second?

Christina Kahrl is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Christina's other articles. You can contact Christina by clicking here

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