The White Sox unload Billy Koch. The Rockies' injured outfielders are returning to action. Jose Reyes' return gives the Mets some interesting lineup options. Justin Lehr tries to plug a hole in the Athletics' bullpen. The Cardinals wrestle with a modest catcher surplus. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.
The White Sox unload a Kochian albatross. The A's wish they could do the same with half their pen. The Phillies flip their erstwhile center fielder the Byrd. These and other news and notes out of Chicago, Oakland and Philadelphia in today's Prospectus Triple Play.
Don't Let the Door Hit You: The White Sox have finally seen
light. The much maligned Billy Koch was dealt to the
Marlins last week for Wilson Valdez who, for the purposes of the deal,
as well have been a bag of baseballs. Never an organization to stray
far from the mainstream, though, the Sox quickly announced that
Shingo Takatsu has been named the new closer.
The Braves hit the trade market for pitching help. The White Sox aim to find some use for Timo Perez. Kahrl to Twins: Free Justin Morneau! Khalil Greene claims the Padres SS job outright with St. Rey shuffling off. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.
The Red Sox have 682 first basemen, the Reds revamp half their bullpen a week before Opening Day, the Rockies' three non-Helton infield spots could be the best collective bargain in baseball, and the Pirates choose one set of jounreymen over another for the back end of the pitching staff.
People complain that it's unfair to some teams chasing the wild card. Perhaps, but with "natural rivalries" and bizarre interleague schedules, fairness has already been tossed out the window.
The unbalanced schedule rules.
People complain that it's unfair to some teams chasing the wild card. Perhaps, but with "natural rivalries" and bizarre interleague schedules, fairness has already been tossed out the window. At least divisional play can make for great matchups, unlike, say, the thrilling mid-week sweep of the Brewers by the A's in June.
This comes up because there's an awesome division race in the AL West, and I get to see it because I'm lucky enough to be in Seattle. I honestly prefer this year's nail-biting, wonder-if-we'll-make-it marathon to last year's record 116 wins, when it was obvious by the All-Star break that the Mariners were heading to the playoffs.
As I write this, the Ms are two-and-a-half games up on the Angels. Anaheim has put together the weirdest run at .600 ball and a division title as I can remember, a straight batting average and no-strikeout attack. If you look at the raw stats, they're right up with the Mariners in run scoring, despite giving up 16 points of OBP and having a comparable slugging average. Park-adjusted, the offenses aren't close, but I still look at the daily standings and shake my head. Neither team made race-changing trades before the deadline, though the Angels picked up a spare outfielder--Alex Ochoa--who the M's could have used.
Meanwhile, Oakland made moves to improve for the stretch run, trading for Ricky Rincon and Ray Durham, and they're just four games back, with a front-line pitching rotation that can put the hurt on anyone and a dangerous offensive core.
The Mariners play both teams six more times, a home-and-home series each, including a can't-miss-it buy-your-tickets-now September homestand against the Angels and A's starting September 20 (just after the most likely strike date, for my convenience).
Acquired OF-R Alex Ochoa and C-R Sal Fasano from the Brewers for C-L Jorge Fabregas and two PTBNLs. [7/31]
This was an elegant, if low-key, solution to the Angels' need for some hitting help, depending of course on the likelihood that neither of the PTBNLs are significant prospects. Those odds are pretty low, since the Angels don't have that many significant prospects in the first place, and they did only get a couple of journeymen. To purge Jorge Fabregas from the roster is a happy development in itself, and beyond that, they get the fourth outfielder they need and a third catcher who makes for a viable option to either of the Molina brothers.
Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL (shoulder tendinitis), retroactive to 6/27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Salt Lake. [6/28]
I don't disagree with the idea of bringing up John Lackey to move into the rotation. Lackey is the organization's best upper-level prospect, and he's obviously ready to go.