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April 6, 1998

Transaction Analysis

March 31-April 5

by Christina Kahrl

ANAHEIM ANGELS

Purchased the contracts of OF Damon Mashore and 3B Frank Bolick; placed 1B Chris Pritchett on the 15-day DL (inflamed right elbow). [3/31]

Mashore weeded through Pat Lennon, Gary Thurman, and Orlando Palmeiro to win a spot as a backup outfielder, while Bolick apparently caught on as a backup to both Hollins at third and Erstad at first. In that situation, Bolick will be gone as soone as Todd Greene returns, since that's essentially the role Phil Nevin is around for.

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Optioned 2B Edwin Diaz to Tucson; announced they will activate INF Andy Stankiewicz from the DL Monday. [4/5]

Diaz got some playing time at second, but you can't keep Buck Showalter away from one of his old lackeys. The danger here is that Stankiewicz may take playing time away from both Tony Batista and/or Andy Fox, both of whom are significantly better ballplayers, but then the real mystery is why the organization gave Stankiewicz a bigger-than-minimum guaranteed contract in the first place.

ATLANTA BRAVES

Received cash in place of a PTBNL to complete the Fred McGriff trade. [4/1]

Reportedly something like $20,000.

CINCINNATI REDS

Placed RHP Mark Hutton on the 15-day DL; purchased the contract of LHP Ricardo Jordan from Indianapolis. [3/31]

Placed 1B Sean Casey on the 15-day DL (broken right eye socket); recalled RHP Todd Williams from Indianapolis. [4/2]

Signed RHP Jeff Shaw to a three-year extension through 2001. [4/3]

Signed C Eddie Taubensee to a two-year contract with a club option for 2001. [4/4]

Casey's unfortunate injury in pre-game exercises (an errant Damian Jackson throw) will give Eduardo Perez that much more time to build on a resume that should shout out "hand the job to Casey." Although his vision should be fine, he'll require surgery and be out for around six weeks. In the meantime, the ripple effect of Hutton's lingering injury is that the ever-combustible Dave Weathers will move into the fifth spot of the rotation while Weathers' garbage man role will wind up belonging to Todd Williams for a couple of weeks. Jordan will flail again in the spot lefty role; he just isn't cut out for it. Giving Taubensee the multi-year deal is interesting, in that it means the team is willing to live with his shortcomings behind the plate.

MINNESOTA TWINS

Purchased the contracts of 2B Brent Gates and 1B Orlando Merced. [3/31]

Gates went on to start on Opening Day, although it is still expected that Todd Walker will get most of the playing time at second. With Dave Ortiz on the team, Merced will split time with the rookie, which you can look at two ways: either the Twins have the opportunity to waste plenty of people's time with Orlando Merced, or they have some veteran insurance in case Ortiz isn't really ready or if Tom Kelly proves unwilling to let him play.

MONTREAL EXPOS

Designated RHP Steve Falteisek for assignment and outrighted his contract to Ottawa. [4/4]

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Placed RHP Brad Rigby on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March 26 (lower back sprain); recalled SS Jorge Velandia from Edmonton. [4/4]

The A's aren't going to need a fifth starter for another ten days, so they can take the time to see whether Rigby's back and elbow or Prieto's surgically repaired shoulder are ready to go at that point. Pray Dave Telgheder doesn't menace your family outing at the ballpark. Having Velandia around is good news for Raffy Bournigal, in that he's one of the only above-AA shortstops in pro ball who is not a threat to take his job.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Placed RHP Mark Portugal on the 15-day DL (inflamed right knee); recalled RHP Wayne Gomes from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. [4/3]

Losing Portugal puts the Phillies in a tough position: it means that Garrett Stephenson re-enters the rotation, while Matt Beech stews in Scranton, and while Mark Leiter crabs in the pen. After last year's work, Stephenson has earned the opportunity to at least show it wasn't a fluke. Gomes, in the mean time, will get set-up work for Bottalico, not that the Phillies will have that many leads to protect.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Announced C Danny Sheaffer has accepted an assignment to Memphis. [4/4]

No word on why Scott Hemond isn't still around, and Jamie Quirk refused to come out of retirement.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Placed RHP Osvaldo Fernandez on the 15-day DL (strained right elbow), and recalled RHP Russ Ortiz from Fresno; designated RHP Joe Roa for assignment; purchased the contract of OF Alex Diaz from Fresno. [3/31]

Ortiz had an outstanding camp, and will join the Giants' heavily used seven-man pen as a long reliever. Its a great role to break him in with, but if Dusty rides him as hard as, say, Roa or Tavarez last season, he could end up being damaged goods. Diaz beat out Jacob Cruz for the spare outfield spot, and he's probably better suited to be the fourth or fifth outfielder when Dusty didn't have a great deal of confidence in Cruz. That begs the question of what you have to do to get Dusty to re-evaluate his opinions, but thats a big, important issue, and the Giants are busy with keeping Diaz and Marvin Benard around.

SEATTLE MARINERS

Announced RHP Jose Paniagua has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Tacoma. [4/1]

Purchased the contract of RHP Bill Swift from Tacoma; placed UT Rich Amaral on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 28 (back spasms); designated RHP Cam Smith for assignment. [4/4]

Swift came up, pitched badly, and won. Mariners fans can get used to that as a recurring season-long theme. Losing Amaral will hurt, in that the bench is populated by utilityman Charles Gipson, this months' ex-Blue Jays OF prospect flop (Robert Perez), and the ever-popular Jeff Huson.

TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS

Claimed RHP Eddie Gaillard off waivers from Detroit and assigned him to Durham. [4/2]

Since Gaillard doesn't throw hard or have a past affiliation with the Padres, it isn't surprising that his days in the Tigers' organization were numbered.

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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