Waived RHP Hector Carrasco. [3/25]
For all of the hullaballoo about this, Carrasco isn’t a unique talent, and
that’s his problem. Finding relievers who throw moderately hard just isn’t very
difficult, and if you’re not wedded to the belief that situational usages
reflect ineffable qualities like "closer’s moxie" or whatever, you’re left with
looking at the guy for what he does. Carrasco is a useful reliever… along
with plenty of guys languishing in the minors. He’ll be a handy pickup for some
team, but he also won’t be missed when he’s cut loose. Why he was able to fetch
Nunnally and Stynes from the Royals is something only Herk Robinson will ever
Waived RHP Brad Clontz. [3/25]
His release was apparently salary-driven, and with cheaper help like Kerry
Ligtenberg or Mike Cather around to fill in as right-handed middle relief,
there wasn’t alot of impetus to keep Clontz, even if he had been having a good
Placed LHP Rick Krivda and OF Tony Tarasco on waivers.
Not being old enough to have voted for Reagan must have hurt them. In strict
terms as far as talent or utility, cutting either of them for Doug Johns and/or
Ozzie Guillen is astounding. It isn’t easy to make your team worse on purpose,
but Ray Miller is a man on a mission: to make Davey Johnson’s historical legacy
even more dramatic than it is.
BOSTON RED SOX
Signed 2B Mark Lemke to a minor-league contract; optioned LHP Ron Mahay and
CF Michael Coleman to Pawtucket. [3/26]
Optioned RHP Joe Hudson to Pawtucket. [3/26]
Decisions like bringing in the Polish Lemming should pretty well underscore
that the Sox aren’t the organization they used to be. Duquette caved into Jimy
Williams’ request for a familiar face, and the team will be the worse for it.
Add that to the decision to stick with both Damon Buford and Darren Lewis, and
you’ve got the birth of a worst-case scenario for the Opening Day lineup.
Coleman had to have an outstanding camp, and he didn’t, but his track record
isn’t a litany of failures like those of Buford and Lewis. Ron Mahay’s
transformation from outfielder to pitcher had a bit of a setback this spring,
and he lost the primary LH setup job in the pen to Brian Shouse.
Optioned 2B Jason Hardtke to Iowa; assigned RHP Dave Stevens to minor-league
camp; placed OF Robin Jennings on the 15-day DL (sprained right wrist). [3/26]
Placed RHP Kurt Miller, C Mike Hubbard, and OF Pedro Valdes on waivers. [3/26]
Stevens had a good camp, but the Cubs are wrestling with whether or not to
return Rule Ver Alan Mahaffey to the Twins, and how they’re going to keep
Amaury Telemaco. Hubbard lost out to both Tyler Houston and Sandy Martinez,
which seems gratuitous. Valdes and Jennings have lost out to Brant Brown and
Terrell Lowery, which means that nobody from the crop of of Jennings, Valdes,
or Kieschnick ever received the same opportunity as Scott Bullett did.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Optioned LHP Jim Parque to Calgary. [3/24]
Traded RHP Jim Bullinger to Seattle for RHP Marty Weymouth. [3/26]
Parque and Bullinger were losers in the rotation battle, but in different
senses. Parque will probably be back by July, while Bullinger came in as
veteran insurance, didn’t pitch particularly well, and will now get to start
some fires for the Mariners as a spot starter and long reliever.
Claimed OF Tony Tarasco on waivers from Baltimore. [3/24]
Placed OF Melvin Nieves and RHP Jose Rijo on the 15-day DL; assigned OF
Guillermo Garcia to their minor-league camp. [3/25]
Acquired LHP Jesus Martinez from Florida as the PTBNL in the March 21st trade
for UT Eric Owens; assigned Martinez to Indianapolis. [3/26]
Tarasco will be a fine piece of insurance while playing regularly in
Indianapolis, while the fascination with Jesus Martinez is just one of those
things, like Brad Pennington, that you just have to put up with from Jim Bowden
from time to time. Interesting that both Nieves and Tarasco, once-heralded
Braves prospects, will both have to wait for their opportunities with the Reds.
Placed RHP Chad Ogea and LHP John Smiley on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March
22nd; claimed LHP Rick Krivda on waivers from Baltimore. [3/24]
Gave 2B Carlos Garcia his unconditional release. [3/25]
Krivda is a well-timed addition; if Hargrove were so inclined, he’d be the #3
starter, especially with Gooden, Karsay, and Colon getting routinely pasted.
Signing Garcia was a waste of time in December, and his career may well be
over, barring his being signed by the Rangers to stock the perpetually graying
roster of Okie City.
Assigned INF Nelson Liriano to minor-league camp. [3/24]
Liriano lost out to Jason Bates in the battle for the utility infield job with
Purchased the contracts of INF Billy Ripken and C Joe Oliver; designated C
Marcus Jensen for assignment; moved OF Trey Beamon from the 15- to the 60-day
Purchased the contract of RHP Doug Bochtler from Oakland. [3/25]
Designated RHP Eddie Gaillard for assignment; assigned RHP Denny Harriger to
minor-league camp; waived C Marcus Jensen. [3/25]
Placed RHP Frank Castillo on the 15-day DL. [3/26]
Ripken and Oliver both step into the lineup, as the shortstop and catcher,
respectively. Bochtler will be one of the main setup men for Todd Jones, and
has that ex-San Diego, hard throwin’ pedigree that Randy Smith craves.
Castillo’s injury temporarily saves him the indignity of continuing to get
rocked, while gaining a rotation slot for ex-Padre farmhand Greg Keagle.
Optioned RHPs Rob Stanifer and Manuel Barrios to Charlotte; assigned RHP Nelson
Lara to minor-league camp; placed 3B Bobby Bonilla on the 15-day DL,
retroactive to March 22nd. [3/24]
Optioned CF Todd Dunwoody to Charlotte; outrighted RHP Hector Ramirez to
Sold the contract of UT Eric Owens to Milwaukee. [3/26]
Dunwoody lost the CF fight to Kotsay fair and square, although given their
track records, you would have hoped the outcome never would have been in doubt.
A mitigating factor in Dunwoody’s demotion was the Marlins’ inability to trade
Jim Eisenreich or John Cangelosi so far. Cutting Barrios was a bit of a
surprise, since he was enjoying a good camp, and the Marlins will need all the
help they can get out of the pen.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Optioned RF Jermaine Dye to Omaha; reassigned 1B/C Carlos Mendez to
minor-league camp; gave LHP Chris Hammond his unconditional release. [3/24]
Dye’s medical travails may eventually land him on the major league DL instead
of Omaha, but it really won’t matter to how well the Royals do. The platoon of
Larry Sutton and Ernie Young is probably the best thing Muser could have
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Outrighted OF Billy Ashley to Albuquerque; signed OF Thomas Howard to a
one-year contract. [3/25]
Ashley cleared waivers, and the Dodgers seem determined to go with Howard and
Hollandsworth in the outfield until Cedeno recovers. With no-o contributors
like Vizcaino and Young already in the lineup, this year’s edition of the Boys
in Blue could be a woefully inept offensive team.
Purchased the contract of UT Eric Owens from Florida. [3/25]
Sent INFs Eddy Diaz, Pablo Martinez, Eddie Zosky and Antone Williamson, and LHP
Brad Woodall to minor-league camp. [3/25]
Owens’ travails were amusing, but relatively straightforward. The Reds didn’t
have room for him, and the Marlins were only interested in him if he could
handle third, which he can’t really, so now he’s a Brewer, and joins Mark
Loretta on the big league roster as someone who should start ahead of Fernando
1B Scott Stahoviak accepted his assignment to the minor leagues. [3/26]
He may regret this, because with Dave Ortiz and Mientkiewicz coming up, and
Merced on the major league roster, he should never get another crack at regular
major league playing time with the Twins.
NEW YORK METS
Sent RHP Rick Trlicek and OF Rick Parker to minor-league camp; placed RHPs
Armando Reynoso and Paul Wilson on the 15-day DL. [3/25]
Optioned C Todd Pratt to Norfolk; assigned UT Shawn Gilbert to minor-league
camp; voided the contract of UT Chad Fonville due to a pre-existing physical
Sometimes teams get carried away with spring training results. Case in point:
cutting Pratt to retain Tim Spehr and Alberto Castillo. Yes, Pratt has had a
miserable camp, and doesn’t remind anyone of Jim Sundberg behind the plate.
Yes, Spehr has had an amazing camp. But Tim Spehr’s been a stiff most of his
professional life, and Alberto Castillo can only envy Spehr. The Mets aren’t a
strong offensive team in this period before Hundley’s return, so to choose to
carry two outs as your backstop alternatives is pretty ugly.
NEW YORK YANKEES
Assigned RHPs Orlando Hernandez and Mike Jerzembeck to Columbus. [3/25]
‘El Duque’ got smacked around in his brief audition with the club, while
Jerzembeck impressed. Expect to see both in pinstripes later on this summer.
Sold the contract of RHP Doug Bochtler to the Detroit Tigers. [3/25]
Announced that minor-league pitching instructor Rick Peterson has replaced Bob
Cluck as pitching coach. [3/26]
There’s something here we haven’t heard about yet, because firing Cluck now for
last season’s disastrously bad pitching staff just doesn’t make sense as far as
timing. Bochtler had sort of lost out to Aaron Small (both were terrible) for
the sixth spot in the bullpen, and was out of options.
Optioned OF Billy McMillon to Scranton. [3/25]
Signed RHP Matt Whiteside to a major league contract. [3/26]
McMillon’s down to play every day, and as long as the organization doesn’t just
take its lumps and make Gregg Jefferies go away, that’s the way it’ll have to
be. Whiteside is expected to be one of Bottalico’s main setup men, giving the
Phillies time to develop Brannan and Gomes.
Assigned RHP Mike Williams to minor league camp. [3/26]
Williams’ shot at the team was essentially dependent on Jon Lieber’s health.
Routine shellackings or no, it would appear Lieber’s healthy enough.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
Placed LHP Ed Vosberg on the 15-day DL; optioned 3B George Arias and RHP Donne
Wall to Las Vegas; assigned RHP Archie Corbin to minor-league camp. [3/25]
No surprise cuts in this group; Vosberg’s injury has the Padres worried about
LH relief help, so don’t be surprised if they trade for someone at the last
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Optioned RHP Russell Ortiz to Fresno; waived RHP Cory Bailey. [3/26]
The Giants are hoping Bailey makes it through waivers so that he can be
assigned to Fresno; Ortiz was named the best rookie in camp, but with the
commitment to Danny Darwin as the fifth starter, thus returning Tavarez to the
pen, there weren’t going to be many innings for him with the Giants.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Waived C Danny Sheaffer, giving him his unconditional release. [3/25]
This is only, what, about three years too late? He can hang out with Jamie
Quirk and Mike Gallego, waiting for LaRussa’s inevitable phonecall that all is
Assigned LHP Greg McCarthy to minor league camp. [3/24]
Claimed RHP Jose Paniagua on waivers from Tampa Bay; announced that INF Aaron
Holbert has cleared waivers and was sent outright to Tacoma. [3/26]
Designated UT Pat Listach for assignment. [3/26]
Paniagua may yet turn into a useful major league pitcher, but the chances of
that happening during Lou Piniella’s watch are slim and none. The Mariners made
a big stink in the offseason about how they needed to find a good utility
infielder: they cut loose Brent Gates, signed Holbert and Listach, and drafted
Jeff Huson via Rule V. It seemed like wasted effort at the time, especially
when none of the players in question are good options, but hey, nobody has to
worry about Jeff Huson’s being on the streets…
TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS
Assigned 1B Russ Morman, C Darron Cox, OF Jerome Walton, INF Dave Silvestri,
RHP Josias Manzanillo, and LHP Scott Aldred to minor league camp. [3/26]
Assigned OF Luis Polonia to the Mexico City Tigers of the Mexican League.
No surprises among this list of cuts, although Manzanillo and Aldred both had
good camps and made strong pushes to wind up in the big league pen.
Announced that 3B Scott Cooper has been released from his contract with
Oklahoma City. [3/24]
Its sort of mystifying that they kept him around in the first place; since
leaving Fenway, he hasn’t hit in St. Louis or Japan or Kansas City or the Moon.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Released OF Jacob Brumfield; assigned RHP Luis Andujar to minor league camp.
Signed ex-prospect Juan Bell to a contract with Syracuse. [3/25]
Brumfield went out like a lion, raging about how life isn’t fair. Since he owed
his continuing professional existence to Cito’s fancying him in the first
place, he might have been a wee bit more grateful that he got two more years
out of his career as a Blue Jay. In the meantime, this means that Felipe Crespo
will, at long last, finally get a major league job. His willingness to play
wherever asked certainly didn’t hurt. As for signing Bell, this may be a favor
to Jorge’s kid brother, since he hasn’t done anything to earn this. He’s
turning 30 this weekend, which seems much younger than you’d think.