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ANAHEIM ANGELS

Activated C Charlie O’Brien from the DL; recalled 2B Justin Baughman, RHP Jason
Dickson
, LHP Mike Holtz, and 1B Chris Pritchett from Vancouver; recalled RHP
Steve Sparks and OF Reggie Williams from Midland (AA). [9/1]


Almost everyone here has contributed to the Angels in one way or another during
the course of the season, and other than O’Brien, they’re all ineligible for
the postseason roster. That’s especially bad news for them concerning Sparks,
who promptly won his first game "back" from his paper-only demotion to Midland.


ATLANTA BRAVES

Recalled OF George Lombard from Greenville (AA); recalled LHP Bruce Chen, and
purchased the contract of LHP Odalis Perez from Richmond. [9/1]

Recalled SS Mark DeRosa from Greenville (AA). [9/2]


Chen, Perez, and Lombard are the Braves’ three best prospects above A-ball, and
all three have outstanding skills. In his first year in AA, Lombard has
continued to show outstanding power and speed while proving that last year’s
improved plate discipline was no fluke. Although he may not get that much
playing time, if he does anything here and in the AFL this winter, Ryan Klesko
will probably be on the block. Both Chen and Perez will be auditioning for next
year’s team, most likely in relief roles. It isn’t inconceivable that Chen
could push past Kevin Millwood and into the rotation next year, but both Perez
and Chen have struggled with injuries in the past, and would probably be better
off in the pen.


BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Activated RHP Doug Drabek from the DL; recalled OFs Lyle Mouton and Eugene
Kingsale
, and C Charlie Greene from Rochester. [9/1]


Nothing here to help the Orioles avoid the dragging tides of decrepitude.
Kingsale will be used sparingly, as a defensive sub and pinch-runner, while
Mouton will get some DH and RF at-bats. Greene will be used as a defensive
replacement, and Drabek will get to be a losing pitcher about once a week.


BOSTON RED SOX

Acquired INF Chris Snopek from the White Sox for OF Corey Jenkins; transferred
2B Lou Merloni from the 15- to the 60-day DL; released 1B/OF Orlando Merced.
[8/31]

Purchased the contract of LHP David West and recalled C Mandy Romero from
Pawtucket. [9/1]

Recalled RHP Dario Veras from Pawtucket; activated RHP Rich Garces from the DL.
[9/3]


Who thinks having Chris Snopek available for your postseason roster is a good
idea? Jenkins is looking like a washout, but Snopek? The only player on either
the active roster or the DL that you might have been able to concoct a working
argument for him to be ahead of for a postseason roster spot was Merced, and
you see how useful trading for him turned out to be.


CHICAGO CUBS

Placed LF Henry Rodriguez on the 15-day DL, retroactive to 8/24 (sprained
ankle); recalled RHP Terry Adams from Iowa. [8/31]

Recalled OF Pedro Valdes and 2B/SS Jason Maxwell from Iowa. [9/1]


The Cubs almost grudgingly brought Adams back in time to be on the postseason
roster. There’s been no mention that he made an adjustment or worked on his
mechanics to keep from flying open so quickly, but he had a nice week in Iowa.
Maxwell is a signficantly better player than Manny Alexander, but will get
little time down the stretch.


CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Traded INF Chris Snopek to Boston for OF Corey Jenkins;
purchased the contract of INF Craig Wilson from Calgary. [8/31]

Purchased the contract of LHP Jim Abbott from Calgary. [9/2]


Jenkins isn’t coming around as a prospect, having struggled badly in the
Florida State League, so it isn’t as if the Sox have gotten something of
obvious value for Snopek. That’s about right. The Jim Abbott saga is already
being played up as a wonderful story about a competitive guy, etc. I’m not
going to say its impossible, because I don’t know for certain, but it does not
look like a good idea. Sure, Abbott may have gotten arm strength back after
taking a year off. He may finally have gotten away from the cut fastball some
people think ruined him in the first place. But he was allowing scads of
baserunners in the minors, and I don’t see his comeback as being potentially
any more successful than Jason Bere’s was. To be blunt, this is a waste of
time. The Sox should be looking hard at Scott Eyre or Tom Fordham or Kevin
Beirne, not trying to pull people’s heart strings.


CINCINNATI REDS

Activated RHP Keith Glauber from the DL. [9/1]


Snagged via Rule V from the Cardinals, the Reds will now finally see if he was
worth the $50,000.


CLEVELAND INDIANS

Traded 2B/3B David Bell to Seattle for 2B Joey Cora. [8/31]

Placed LHP Tom Martin on the 15-day DL (groin strain); purchased the contract
of C Einar Diaz from Buffalo; transferred LHP John Smiley from the 15- to the
60-day DL; purchased the contract of INF Ricky Gutierrez from Akron (AA) and
placed him on the 60-day DL. [8/31]

Activated RHP Chad Ogea, LHP Ron Villone, and INF Jeff Branson from the DL;
assigned the contract of INF Tony Lovullo to Buffalo. [9/1]


What "offensive profile" does Joey Cora fulfill? Gloveless, slap-hitting
veteran, a la Bip Roberts ’97? A mystifying move in terms of talent because it
doesn’t bring much to the Tribe, but a genuinely nice gesture as far as getting
Cora to the postseason before he has to follow up on his threat to retire after
this season.


COLORADO ROCKIES

Agreed to terms with OF Dante Bichette on a three-year contract extension.
[8/31]

Traded PH John VanderWal to the Padres for a PTBNL or two; recalled INF Jason
Bates
from Colorado Springs. [8/31]

Recalled INF Jason Bates and C Mark Strittmatter from Colorado Springs. [9/1]

Purchased the contract of RHP David Wainhouse from Colorado Springs. [9/2]


Bob Gebhard has already said he hopes to re-sign VanderWal in the offseason,
which makes this a nice gesture (to let him get to the playoffs). Bichette was
smart not to try to follow up on Andres Galarraga’s success outside of Coors
Field. Although terms were not discussed, the Rockies should have had him in a
unique negotiation position: he’s worth considerably less to anyone other than
the Rox, so for their sake you hope they didn’t overpay.


DETROIT TIGERS

Fired manager Buddy Bell; named Larry Parrish interim manager; recalled CF
Kimera Bartee from Toledo. [9/1]

Purchased the contract of RHP Marino Santana from Toledo; named Jeff Jones
bullpen coach. [9/3]


Bell didn’t deserve the axe, but he put Randy Smith and the pizza baron on the
spot, and got whacked for his troubles. But who deserved to get fired? Who
believes in Todd Jones or Brian Hunter? Whose idea of good guys to spend money
on are players like Luis Gonzalez or Bip Roberts or Frank Castillo? Randy Smith
has confidently talked about how he deserves credit for what’s happening in San
Diego today, probably hoping to deflect attention from what he’s doing in
Detroi today while slighting Kevin Towers. As long as Mike Ilitch has the pizza
cutter out, he may as well go two-for-one …


FLORIDA MARLINS

Recalled OF Preston Wilson from Charlotte. [9/1]


Wilson has hit for considerable power at Charlotte, not a hard thing to do,
while showing only slightly better command of the strike zone than Josh Booty.
Still looking like Nigel Wilson with a nepotista twist.


HOUSTON ASTROS

Recalled LHP C.J. Nitkowski from New Orleans. [9/1]


Unfortunately ineligible for the postseason roster, the good work he did for
the ‘Stros this year seemingly forgotten in the wake of the
consecutive-hit-batters incident that ended Craig Counsell’s season.


KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Purchased the contract of C Tim Spehr from the Mets. [8/31]

Activated 1B Jeff King and RHP Kevin Appier from the DL; transferred RHP Bart
Evans
from the 15- to the 60-day DL; placed RF Jermaine Dye on the 60-day DL
(torn cartilage – knee);
purchased the contracts of C Tim Spehr and OF Jeremy Giambi from Omaha;
designated RHP Danny Rios for assignment. [9/1]

Purchased the contract of RHP Jeff Suppan from Arizona; designated SS Luis Rivera
for assignment. [9/3]


Rany’s feeling like September 1st was the first good day for the organization
all year, now that both Giambi and Appier are both up.


LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Activated RHP Ismael Valdes and INF Tripp Cromer from the DL; recalled C Paul
LoDuca
, LHP Gary Rath, RHP Eric Weaver, and SS Alex Cora from Albuquerque;
purchased the contract of LHP Jeff Kubenka from Albuquerque; designated RHP
Will Brunson for assignment. [9/1]


A fairly straightforward bunch of callups for the Dodgers, although the guy to
really watch in my opinion is Kubenka, and outstanding reliever with great
control of an especially wicked scroogie. Rath could be in a few major league
rotations, but he’s probably too low-profile for Fox.


MILWAUKEE BREWERS

Activated 1B John Jaha from the DL. [9/1]


He’ll get one last month in a Brewers uniform, but he will not get much playing
time to shop his wares before hitting the free agent market. The Brewers
consistently took him on a year-to-year basis, and he finally reached the point
where he’s no longer worth the investment. Its a notable contrast from turkey
contracts like Pete O’Brien’s with the Mariners or Keith Hernandez’ with the
Indians or J.T. Snow’s right now, one of those nice little bits of anecdotal
information which might show that professional baseball management is making
progress.


MONTREAL EXPOS

Signed RF Vladimir Guerrero to a five-year contract through 2003. [9/1]

Recalled LHP Rick DeHart, C Mike Hubbard, UT Fernando Seguignol, and 3B Jose
Vidro
from Ottawa; purchased the contracts of LHP Tim Young from Ottawa C/3B
Michael Barrett from Harrisurg (AA). [9/3]


Here’s the big score in exchange for dealing away problems like Carlos Perez
and Grudz to get Wil Guerrero and some outstanding prospects: it gave the Expos
an advantage as far as coaxing Vlad into a multi-year deal. They can even keep
Wil around, and even play him plenty, considering they don’t really have many
useful options within the organization anyways. It may not make for a good
team, but it will give Expos fans five more years of Vlad Guerrero and no
complaints, and that might just be enough to want to care about what’s left of
this organization until the prospects they’ve gotten from the Rockies, the
Dodgers, and the Red Sox over past year start working their way into major
league uniforms.


NEW YORK METS

Sold the contract of C Tim Spehr to Kansas City for cash. [8/31]

Activated RF Butch Huskey from the DL; recalled LHP Rigo Beltran, RHPs Brad
Clontz
and Jeff Tam, 2B Ralph Milliard, and LF Jay Payton from Norfolk; signed
LHP Carlos Pulido and assigned him to Norfolk. [9/1]

Received cash instead of a player from Arizona to complete the
Gilkey/Figueroa for Blair trade; announced that they sent cash instead of a
player to the Royals to complete the Allensworth trade. [9/3]


Huskey’s return should spell the end of the platoon of Lenny Harris and
Jermaine Allensworth in left, while helping the defense by shifting Tony
Phillips from right. But the callups of Milliard and Payton have me wondering
why either of them weren’t up sooner. That isn’t entirely fair: Payton has had
his usual problems staying healthy, but Milliard has had an outstanding season
for Norfolk this year, hitting for power, drawing walks, and playing a good
second base, while Carlos Baerga hasn’t done much to change his status as the
biggest mistake pickup since Juan Samuel.


NEW YORK YANKEES

Recalled OF Shane Spencer from Columbus; optioned RHP Mike Buddie to Columbus.
[9/1]

Recalled RHP Jim Bruske from Columbus. [9/2]


The only matters of import here are that Buddie’s shot at the postseason roster
is still alive, but obviously less substantial than Jay Tessmer’s. They’re competing with
Dale Sveum (still hanging around to hit fungoes, toss bp, and anything else)
for the cheesiest way to get a playoff share by riding a great team’s
coattails.


PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Extended the contract of GM Cam Bonifay through 2003. [9/1]

Recalled SS Abraham Nunez and RHP Elmer Dessens from Nashville; recalled CF
Emil Brown from Carolina (AA). [9/1]


Nunez is going to get most of September to show the Bucs that they can stop
fooling around with Lou Collier. Its equally important that they do the same
thing with the Browns, Emil and Adrian. They have known qualities in Turner
Ward and Manny Martinez. Jose Guillen is going to be handed rightfield as long
as he shows progress, and Al Martin is under contract. But that group has
produced very little power for a major league outfield, and it isn’t like we’re
talking about a group of fielders that’s going to make anyone forget the
’80-’81 A’s. They have to give the last twenty games or so to the Browns, to
get a sense of what they have going into ’99.


ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Purchased the contract of OF Joe McEwing from Memphis. [9/1]


An organizational soldier having a career year, McEwing has been rewarded. If
continues spraying the ball to all fields, he may even end up chasing Willie
McGee out of town, if not into retirement.


SAN DIEGO PADRES

Acquired PH John VanderWal from Colorado for a PTBNL or two. [8/31]

Activated RF Tony Gwynn from the DL. [9/1]


A backup left-handed pinch-hitter behind Mark Sweeney? Well, that’s what
worrying about the postseason will do to you.


SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Recalled C Doug Mirabelli, 2B Ramon Martinez, and OF Armando Rios from Fresno;
purchased the contract of RHP Cory Bailey and OF Chris Jones from Fresno;
activated LHP Alvin Morman from the DL. [9/1]


No earth-shattering additions here. The Giants will have to win with the gang
they already have.


SEATTLE MARINERS

Acquired 2B/3B David Bell from Cleveland for 2B Joey Cora. [8/31]


A nifty move by Woody Woodward. Cora claims he’s retiring, so basically the
Mariners got something for nothing. The Mariners are clearly unhappy with Russ
Davis’ glovework, so if Carlos Guillen comes up and claims second base, they
can move Bell over to third. On the other hand, they can let Bell play second
until they’re convinced Guillen is ready, and given how slowly Lou Piniella has
been when it came to working Alex Rodriguez into the lineup, that seems more
likely.


TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS

Recalled OF Rich Butler from Durham. [9/1]


He will not receive much playing time now that Randy Winn and Bubba Trammell
have established themselves.


TEXAS RANGERS

Activated LHP Scott Bailes and 1B Lee Stevens from the DL; recalled RHP Al
Levine
from Savannah (A). [9/1]


The Rangers are now at full strength, so if they’re ever going to push the
Angels aside, it has to be now, and it has to be without any excuses.


TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Recalled RHP Robert Person from Syracuse; activated C Benito Santiago from the
DL. [9/2]


In the goofy switcheroo department, Person has now been groomed to be the
team’s closer, while last year’s groomed closer (Kelvim Escobar) is this
month’s fifth starter.

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