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ANAHEIM ANGELS

Signed RHP Jack McDowell to a one-year contract; signed 1B/CF Darin Erstad to a
four-year contract. [2/25]


Both the Angels and Black Jack are treating this as the signing that ices the
Mickey-Mouse-gloved stranglehold that they claim to have on the ’98 division
title. It definitely forces Omar Olivares into the sixth starter-long relief
role, and it probably sends William VanLandingham to the PCL, which are both
good things, but the AL West should be considered wide open, regardless of what
Goofy might tell you.


ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Signed C Jorge Fabregas to a two-year contract. [2/19]

Released OF David Hulse. [2/26]


The mystery of the D-backs’ decision to toss aside their arbitration victory
against Fabregas and reward him with a two-year contract isn’t that mysterious:
Jerry Colangelo’s outfit is going to make players love to work for him, even if
it means saddling season ticket holders with two years of a mediocre catcher.
The issue here is one of politics, not talent.


FLORIDA MARLINS

Claimed LHP Kirt Ojala off waivers from Arizona. [2/20]


Ojala had to be put through waivers after last weeks’ pickup of Ken Robinson.
Ojala may step right into the team’s rotation as its #2 starter, and he is
quite capable of putting together a nice little career from this point on.


NEW YORK METS

Signed OF Joe Orsulak to a minor league contract with a spring training NRI.
[2/22]


Although the Mets already have a pretty nice LH pinch-hitter in Matt Franco,
they must want to give Bobby Valentine an option in case they win having to PH
for their catchers more than once per game. Even so, Orsulak can’t outhit Tim
Spehr or Alberto Castillo, let alone Ned Yost these days.


NEW YORK YANKEES

Assigned RHP Joe Borowski outright to Columbus. [2/26]


PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Released OF Midre Cummings. [2/24]


Cut loose with the indictment that he didn’t run or field well, Cummings was
the first casualty of Lenny Dykstra’s comeback. The Phillies are right in
saying he’s never going to help as a starting player, but he’s still capable of
being a useful fifth OF for some teams. Obviously, much more was expected of
him when he was one of the major players acquired in the John Smiley deal after
the ’91 season.


SEATTLE MARINERS

Claimed RHP Maximo de la Rosa on waivers from Cleveland, and designated RHP
Edwin Hurtado for assignment. [2/26]


The small joy of having as much junk cluttering up your 40-man roster as the
Mariners do is that you can easily snag people on waivers without having to
lose anything of value yourself. De la Rosa isn’t an outstanding prospect, but
he’s a converted OF who throws a good fastball, so he may work out as a
reliever eventually.


TEXAS RANGERS

Signed OF Alex Cole to a minor league contract. [2/22]


After spending a good chunk of ’97 in the Northern League, the Goggled One is
an appropriate addition to a perpetually geriatric Okie City squad that this
year should feature Joe Hall, Scott Cooper, Rick Wrona, Jose Guzman…

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