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March 18, 1998
March 6-16ANAHEIM ANGELS
Returned 3B Troy Glaus, RHPs Ramon Ortiz and Mike Bovee, LHPs Scott Schoenweis and Jarrod Washburn, OF Norm Hutchins, C Ben Molina, and INF Nelson Castro to minor-league camp; released OF Patrick Lennon. [3/11]
Glaus had an outstanding camp, and Washburn was simply out of luck after the Angels decided to tack on Jack McDowell. Pat Lennon catches another bad break, but the team went out of its way to collect RH-hitting backup outfielders, and Lennon makes a worse bench player than Damon Mashore.
Announced the retirement of LHP Mark Davis. [3/7]
Traded RHPs Marty Janzen and Todd Erdos to the Yankees for INF Andy Fox. [3/8]
Davis' retirement should be considered good news, if only because its another nail in the coffin of the tortured "diluted pitching because of that darned expansion-new stuff-progress rottenness" thesis. Meanwhile, Buck Showalter snags another Yankee, in this case to cover the organization's rash of middle infield injuries (the less-than-devastating losses of Andy Stankiewicz and Eddy Diaz). Fox could very well wind up platooning with Tony Batista at second for the bulk of the season.
Optioned RHP Julio Moreno to Rochester; RHPs Rocky Coppinger and Billy Percibal to Bowie (AA); 2B Carlos Casimiro to Frederick (A); returned LHP Vince Horsman and RHP Gabe Molina to minor-league camp. [3/10]
Coppinger's difficult relationship with the organization continues; he'll get an opportunity to show he's healthy in Bowie, and probably wind up being trade bait for Jim Sundberg.
BOSTON RED SOX
RHP Chris Bosio announced his retirement. [3/4]
Signed SS Nomar Garciaparra to a five-year contract through 2002 with club options for 2003 and 2004. [3/10]
The Garciaparra deal has been justly touted as a sensible investment. The bad news is that it means that similar, less lucrative deals (Scott Rolen's two-week old commitment, for example) wind up becoming sources of irritation for other people.
Returned RHP Courtney Duncan and C Jose Molina to minor-league camp. [3/6]
Optioned RHPs Steve Rain and Justin Speier, C Pat Cline, INF Jason Maxwell, and 1B Rod McCall to Iowa, RHP Jason Ryan and SS Jose Nieves to W. Tennessee (AA), and RHP Jose Espinal to Daytona (A); reassigned C Alan Zinter, 1B/3B Tim Unroe and OF Derrick White to minor-league camp. [3/12]
Optioned RHP Rodney Myers to Iowa. [3/15]
There are no surprises among these early cuts, although it should be noted that both McCall and Myers had springs filled with recriminations with management: McCall expected more money, and Myers seemed to believe he was going to be given a bigger opportunity. Maxwell may be someone to watch, in that he may be the player called up once the Cubs finally trade Jose Hernandez.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Optioned RHPs Derek Hasselhoff and Bob Howry to Calgary, RHP John Ambrose and 3B Carlos Lee to Birmingham (AA); reassigned RHP Mike Heathcott, SS Jason Dellaero, CF McKay Christensen, LF Jeff Liefer, and OF Jerry Whittaker to minor-league camp. [3/12]
Announced the retirement of RHP Roger McDowell. [3/16]
No surprises so far. Ambrose got a puff piece in the Tribune for his fastball and his height, while Lee wound up getting an interestingly large slice of playing time for a guy not yet out of A-ball.
Released RHP Toby Borland. [3/6]
Optioned RHPs Danny Graves and Curt Lyons to Indianapolis; assigned OFs Steve Gibralter and Darron Ingram, C Jason LaRue, and LHP David West to their minor-league camp. [3/9]
Most of these (Gibralter, Lyons, West) are low-risk injury recoveries who'll get their opportunity to help the perpetually competitive Indians (of Indy) take their crack at another title. Toby Borland may be done, or may pitch for some appropriately desperate team, like the Rangers.
Gave UT Chad Fonville his unconditional release. [3/9]
Optioned LHP Mike Matthews and OFs Scott Morgan and Alex Ramirez to Buffalo; reassigned RHPs Jason Grimsley, Willie Martinez, and Jamie McAndrew, C Steven Soliz, and INFs Jolbert Cabrera and Torey Lovullo to minor-league camp. [3/10]
Optioned 3B Russell Branyan and RHP Jason Rakers to Akron (AA), and 1B Richie Sexson and LF Bruce Aven to Buffalo; reassigned C Heath Hayes to minor-league camp. [3/16]
No surprises here, save one: Branyan's return to Akron, where he may have to deal with last season's humorless Aeros manager, Jeff Datz, who apparently couldn't stand him last season.
Optioned RHPs Lariel Gonzalez, Mike Saipe, Steve Shoemaker, and Mark Brownson, LHPs Mike Vavrek and Robbie Beckett, C Dan Chowlowsky, INF Chris Sexton, and OFs Angel Echevarria, Derrick Gibson, and Edgard Clemente to Colorado Springs; optioned RHP Scott Randall to New Haven (AA). [3/15]
I'm slightly surprised Mike Vavrek didn't get a longer look, but so far, the Rox haven't surprised anyone with these cuts.
Assigned RHP Marino Santana, Apostol Garcia, Brian Powell, and Willis Roberts, Cs Javier Cardona and Robert Fick, 1Bs Alejandro Freire and Jesse Ibarra, and OFs Earl Johnson, Pedro Swann, and OF Gabe Kapler to minor-league camp. [3/10]
Again, a fairly predictable group of cuts, although Gabe Kapler could help this team more right now than either Bip Roberts or Luis Gonzalez.
Assigned RHPs Aaron Akin, Blaine Mull, Rey Mendoza, Joe Fontenot, and Ryan Dempster, LHP Brent Billingsley, Cs Scott Makarewicz, Mike Redmond and Ryan Robertson, 1B Brian Daubach, and OFs Chris Sheff and Julio Ramirez, 2B Amaury Garcia, and SS Alex Gonzalez to their minor league camp. [3/11]
Assigned RHPs Brian Sikorski and Mike Walter, SS Carlos Guillen, 2B Carlos Hernandez, and 1B Daryle Ward to minor-league camp; released LHP Bob MacDonald. [3/13]
Reassigned C Ramon Castro, OF Rob Butler, and RHPs Scott Elarton, Freddy Garcia, Mike Grzanich, Bob Milacki and Roger Salkeld to minor-league camp. [3/14]
The surprise came on Saturday: Elarton may be down for the moment, but if Holt's recovery lags behind the May 1 schedule we're hearing about, he ought to get a crack at the rotation, especially now that Ramon Garcia has gone down (again).
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Assigned OFs Carlos Beltran, Ryan Long, and Juan Lebron, Cs Andy Stewart and Hector Ortiz, INFs Luis Ortiz and Mendy Lopez, RHPs Rod Steph, Ken Ray, Jamie Bluma, and Pat Flury, and LHP Tim Byrdak to their minor league camp. [3/11]
Optioned RHPs Roland De La Maza and Bart Evans to Omaha; OF Mark Quinn, and 2B Carlos Febles to Wichita (AA); reassigned RHPs Dan Reichert and Brian Barber to minor-league camp. [3/16]
Bluma's star certainly faded quickly, now didn't it?
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Assigned RHPs Dan Hubbs, Mike Iglesias, and Eric Weaver, LHPs Jeff Kubenka, Ted Lilly, Onan Masaoka, and Gary Rath, Cs Brad Dandridge, Kyle Cooney and David Steed, SS Alex Cora, and OF J.P. Roberge to minor-league camp. [3/6]
Optioned Cs Henry Blanco and Angel Pena, 2Bs Adam Riggs and Mike Metcalfe, 3B Brian Richardson, CF Kevin Gibbs to their minor league camp. [3/11]
Optioned RHPs Mike Judd and Steve Montgomery and LHP Will Brunson to Albuquerque; voided C Henry Blanco's option to Albuquerque due to an injury. [3/13]
Anyone want to seriously argue that expansion depletes pitching? In the past week, the Dodgers have demoted a half-dozen guys who could pitch in the majors right now.
Assigned RHPs Tim VanEgmond, Kyle Peterson, and Mike Misuraca, LHPs Mike Pasqualicchio and Horacia Estrada, 3B Mike Kinkade, INF Santiago Perez, and C Jeff Alfano to their minor league camp. [3/8]
Acquired RHP Ben McDonald from Cleveland for LHP Mark Watson. [3/11]
As you've probably already read, the reacquisition of McDonald was a cost-saving move for the Brewers after the recent surgery that will keep him from pitching this season enacted a codicil of Bando's agreement with John Hart. If there's a "surprise" in this list, it isn't who was cut so much as to note who wasn't: lefty Valerio De los Santos, who may make the club as a reliever.
Optioned LHPs Chris Cumberland and Dan Serafini, RHP Dan Naulty, and OFs Brian Buchanan, Chris Latham and Marc Lewis to Salt Lake City; optioned RHP Dan Perkins, LHP Mark Redman, C A.J. Pierzynski to New Britain (AA); optioned INF Cleatus Davidson to Fort Myers (A); reassigned RHP Ricky Bones, C Matt LeCroy, INFs Esteban Beltre and Jeff Ferguson, and OF Keith LeGree to minor-league camp. [3/15]
The Twins duck at least one of their postseason veteran turkey pick-ups of the past offseason by cutting Bones loose. If there's a significant disappointment, its that Serafini didn't get a longer look as a starter this camp, but the rotation was already pretty well locked up: Brad Radke, Bob Tewksbury, Mike Morgan, LaTroy Hawkins, and either organizational whipping boy Frankie Rodriguez or Travis "the Love Panther" Miller.
NEW YORK METS
Signed UT Chad Fonville to a minor-league contract; optioned RHP Derek Wallace and OF Jay Payton to Norfolk; optioned RHPs Octavio Dotel and Arnold Gooch and OF Scott Hunter to Binghamton (AA). [3/14]
Optioned OF Preston Wilson to Norfolk; reassigned LHPs Jae Weong Seo and Mark Mimbs, RHP Mike Fyhrie, 3B Mike Bell, 2B Todd Haney, and OFs Benny Agbayani and Brent Bowers to minor-league camp. [3/15]
Any day Chad Fonville joins your organization ahs to be considered a bad one. With at least five bullpen slots already filled, Wallace will have to see if he can renew some of last year's faith in him.
NEW YORK YANKEES
Traded INF Andy Fox to the Arizona Diamondbacks for RHPs Marty Janzen and Todd Erdos. [3/8]
Reassigned OFs Donzell McDonald and Chris Singleton to minor-league camp. [3/10]
Released RHP Jim Converse and LHP Joey Eischen; assigned LHP Brian Looney and RHP Shad Williams to minor-league camp. [3/11]
Reassigned RHP Joe Borowski to minor-league camp; released RHP Doug Linton and LHP Dave Fleming. [3/14]
I still remember watching Jim Converse blow my kid brother's team out of the water for five innings around twelve years ago. He threw hard for junior varsity, his team sucked, and his coach left him out there to get tired, start walking people, and get rocked. But he was one of the hardest throwers around Sacramento at the time, before his career took some bizarre twists through a small bible school of some sort, and then getting tossed around like a hot potato. Sometimes and for some people, the past was a better place. Just ask Dave Fleming.
Assigned LHP Eric DuBose, RHP Chris Enochs, C Danny Ardoin, UT Jason Wood, and OF Brad Tyler to their minor league camp; signed DH Kevin Mitchell to a minor league contract. [3/8]
Optioned RHP Jeff D'Amico to Edmonton. [3/11]
Optioned RHPs Bill King and Blake Stein to Edmonton (AAA), and RHP Tom Bennett and C Ramon Hernandez to Huntsville (AA). [3/12]
Optioned LHP Tim Kubinski to Edmonton. [3/13]
Optioned SS Jorge Velandia to Edmonton, and reassigned OF Mike Neill to minor-league camp; announced the retirement of 3B Hiromi Matsunaga. [3/15]
Kevin Mitchell? Looks like that drive for an Edmonton three-peat is heady stuff, but in all seriousness, Pat Lennon would be more helpful, either to the Trappers or the A's.
Reassigned RHPs Rob Burger, David Coggin, and Tony Fiore, Cs Chris Tremie and Adam Millan, 1B Dan Held, 2B Marlon Anderson, and OFs Wendell Magee and Steve Carver to their minor league camp. [3/9]
Sent LHP Greg Whiteman to minor-league camp. [3/10]
Reassigned RHPs Carlton Loewer, Tony Costa, and Mike Welch to minor-league camp. [3/14]
No surprises yet, as the Phillies sort through how they're going to get rid of Mark Portugal or Mark Leiter or Lenny Dykstra.
Reassigned RHPs Tavo Alvarez, Branson Arroyo, Kane Davis, Elvin Hernandez, Jose Pett, and Jason Phillips, LHP Terry Burrows, C Julio Vinas, 2B Chad Hermansen, 3B Aramis Ramirez, and OFs Adrian Brown, Emil Brown, Tracy Sanders, and T.J. Staton to their minor league camp. [3/9]
I'm a wee bit disappointed that Hermansen went down as soon as he did; the organizational affliction known as T. Womackoccus may be causing trouble for a bit longer than Bucs fans might hope.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Optioned LHP Armando Almanza, RHPs Rich Croushore, Rick Heiserman, Sean Lowe and Brady Raggio, SS Luis Ordaz, 2B Placido Polanco, CF Scarborough Green to Memphis (AAA); 1B Chris Richard and OF Juan Munoz to Arkansas (AA); returned LHP Rick Ankiel, RHPs Jose Bautista and Rusty Meacham, Cs Stacy Kleiner, Dave Schmidt and Reed Secrist, 2B Roberto Mejia and DH Wes Chamberlain to minor-league camp. [3/11]
As has been pointed out before, the career prospects for Polanco and Ordaz are looking bleak: they're stuck between multi-year contracts for Clayton and DeShields at the top, and hard-charging prospects like Brent Butler coming up behind. For you lingering Geronimo Penaholics: for your own good, just say no to Roberto Mejia.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
RHP Rob Dibble announced his re-retirement. [3/6]
News? He can look forward to a bit part as a psycho thug on Sentinel, or maybe a pro wrestling career as a tag-team partner for elder statesman George the Animal Steele.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Optioned OF Calvin Murray to Fresno, and INF Pedro Felix to Shreveport (AA); reassigned RHP Rick Huisman to minor league camp. [3/14]
Assigned LHP Damaso Marte and RHP Maximo de la Rosa to Orlando (AA); sent 2B Jeff Berblinger, OF Rickey Cradle, and RHP Jarod Juelsgaard to minor league camp. [3/10]
I've always liked the name "Juelsgaard", and hope to see it on a major league uniform, for no particularly just or good reason.
TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS
Returned LHP Bobby Seay, RHPs Matt White, Scott Lewis, Daniel Garibay, and Dave Eiland, OF Jim Buccheri, SS Paul Hoover, and C Dan Donato to minor-league camp; assigned OF Matias Carrillo and INF Alex Cabrera to Mexico City (ML). [3/6]
No shocking cuts in this group.
Waived RHP Tanyon Sturtze for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release; added 2B Warren Morris to major league camp as a NRI. [3/6]
Reassigned RHPs Terry Clark, Scott Klingenbeck, Alan Levine, and Mark Small to minor-league camp. [3/10]
Agreed to terms with RHP Tanyon Strutze on a minor-league contract. [3/11]
Released RHP Scott Klingenbeck from his minor league contract. [3/12]
Traded C Kevin Brown to Toronto for RHP Tim Crabtree. [3/14]
Does the man who thought putting Tanyon Sturtze on the 40-man roster in the first place get a power wedgie now, or at the New Year's party? Klingenbeck's release shouldn't surprise: he's exasperated both the Twins and the Reds, and there are creeping concerns that he doesn't take coaching well. How hard up for relief pitching are the Rangers? They coughed a player who could start for a half-dozen major league teams for Tim Crabtree?
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Assigned RHPs Billy Koch, Mark Sievert, and Shannon Withem, C Luis Rodriguez, SS Josephang Bernhardt, INF Santiago Henry and 2B Jeff Patzke to minor-league camp. [3/6]
Optioned 1Bs Kevin Witt and Ryan Jones, and LHP Steve Sinclair to Syracuse; INFs Ryan Freel and Mike Peeples to Knoxville (AA); assigned CF Scott Bullett, RF Jose Herrera, and C Rob Mummau to minor-league camp. [3/11]
Traded RHP Tim Crabtree to Texas for C Kevin Brown. [3/14]
Gord Ash doesn't get many compliments in these parts, but he deserves credit for cannily snagging Kevin Brown for Tim Crabtree. Brown should be an outstanding caddy and platoon partner for Darin Fletcher, and bollix on the Belgian brew money being mailed to Benito Santiago. On the other hand, free Jeff Patzke now!