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September 26, 1997

Transaction Analysis

September 18-25

by Christina Kahrl

ABOUT PLAYOFF ROSTERS

Don't be surprised when several teams take advantage of the "Hibbard clause" for setting their postseason rosters. In case you missed what that means, the loophole in the playoff roster rules that allowed the Mariners to put Greg Hibbard on their postseason roster in 1995 (since he had spent the season on the 60-day DL) still exists. That loophole allowed them to place the otherwise ineligible Bob Wolcott on their postseason roster, since Wolcott was not on the team when playoff rosters were "set" as of September 1. Some clear candidates for this bit of chicanery: the Mariners are already planning on adding Ken Cloude in Hibbard's "spot"; the Braves are pretty likely to put C Greg Myers on the postseason roster instead of Tim Spehr by naming Terrell Wade and/or Pedro Borbon to the roster; the Astros could keep James Mouton or Russ Johnson with Ray Montgomery; and the Indians and Marlins could use it to take advantage of Herbert Perry and Bill Hurst, respectively. Now, the question is whether or not the rules will be changed if several teams abuse them in this fashion.

ATLANTA BRAVES

Recalled RHP John LeRoy from Greenville (AA). [9/23]

LeRoy had been rising through the Braves' chain as a starter prior to this season, but this year he was moved into the bullpen. He did some pretty ugly pitching, coughing up 20 taters in 98.1 innings, while also giving up 105 hits, 43 walks, and 15 wild pitches. He did strike out 84 men, but basically this is a case of the Braves taking a last look at LeRoy before deciding to leave him off of their protection list for the expansion draft.

BOSTON RED SOX

Claimed C B.J. Waszgis off waivers from the Orioles, and added him to the 40-man roster; designated CF Jesus Tavarez for assignment. [9/25]

Waszgis had a fine season for the IL champions, hitting 260/383/438. Catchers with pop and plate discipline are harder to find than the Joe Girardis of the world, so the Red Sox are apparently protecting themselves against the potential loss of Scott Hatteberg or Jason Varitek by adding Waszgis at this late date.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Announced the club's intention to buy out their 1998 option on SS Ozzie Guillen's contract. [9/25]

The expected hair-pulling and caterwauling here in Chicago, has been relatively muted so far. Keep in mind that during this year, he's said money doesn't matter, as long as he's making more than $2 million, and he's been trying to play the fan's heartstrings for weeks with whining about how he needed to know if he'd be back so that he could fly his sainted mother up from Venezuela to see his last game in a Sox uniform. Lost in all of this is that Guillen has been awful, even by his standards. Its hard to see a game where he doesn't blow a defensive assignment, and the few times he's on base treat fans to some baserunning decisions even Waldo the White Sox Wolf would have to question. And those are his strengths. He gets touted as a hustler, and he's certainly hustled enough people into thinking he was worth the time, money, or attention.

CINCINNATI REDS

Extended manager Jack McKeon's contract through the 1998 season. [9/19]

Announced that the club had given permission to 1B Hal Morris to miss the remainder of the season to address a personal matter. [9/24]

From a professional standpoint, one of these men is a senior citizen who needs to get a handle on his lack of potence on the diamond, and it isn't Jack McKeon.

COLORADO ROCKIES

LHP Doug Million died after an asthma attack.

This was a bit of a shocker, to say the least. Million was a highly touted first-round draft choice in '94, and the expectations were that he was going to be a hell of a pitcher. Our condolences to his friends and family.

NEW YORK YANKEES

Recalled 2B Homer Bush from Columbus. [9/23]

Bush won't be eligible to appear on the postseason, which is the Yankees' good fortune. As long as he's around, Hideki Irabu won't be the worst guy they got in the Ruben Rivera trade.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Signed general manager Walt Jocketty to a three-year deal through 2000. [9/23]

Announced that manager Tony LaRussa exercised his option for the 1998 and 1999 seasons; activated 1B/RF John Mabry from the DL. [9/24]

The timing is obviously related, with LaRussa holding out until he was certain that a man he can work (and an old Oakland crony) was still in the front office. As for Mabry's return, its a combined case of needing bodies to replace the injured Gant and Jordan, as well as an opportunity to see how well he's healing up. Rumors that Mabry could be moved to third during the offseason refuse to die, which should lead to (unfavorable) comparisons of Mabry to Joel Youngblood or Kenny Williams.

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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