Tagged: General Managers

Eruption In Dallas!

Vol_lava_1The volcanic rumblings from Tuesday’s rumor mill erupted and blew the top off of the "Hot Stove" yesterday. Like lava streaming down Mount Saint Helens, transactions flowed continuously into today, the final day of the Winter Meetings. Early Wednesday, during the afternoon sessions, winter madness began its descent upon baseball with a furious flurry of free-agent activity. As evening set in, a gust of trades and arbitration decisions added to the chaos. By early morning Thursday, general managers (GMs) were all over the radar in the midst of a full-out frenzy. The dizzying player movement has left fans reeling. The words "Hot Stove" have filled computer caches all over baseball cyberspace. Judge Mountain Landis can be heard from his bench in the sky yelling, "Order, Order in the MEETINGS pleeeeeease!". After a storm like this I think we should all take a deep collective breath………….. AAaaaahhhh! That feels better. Now let’s get to work before the next storm surge. Here’s the quick and dirty breakdown of yesterday’s and today’s manic maneuvering.


15  Trades
26  Free-Agent Signings 
13  Free-Agents Re-Signed *
  ?  Arbitration Offers
42  Players Traded
55  Players With New Address
  6  Catchers Changed Teams
26  Pitchers Changed Teams




Free Agent Signings


RP  Trevor HoffmanHoff_400thsave (Padres)*
RP  Bob Wickman (Indians)*
RP  Todd Jones (Tigers)
RP  Jose Mesa (Rockies)
SP  Kenny Rogers (Tigers)
SP  Elmer Dessens (Royals)
RP  Mike Myers (Yankees)
SP  Tony Armas Jr. (Nationals)*
RP  Joey Eischen (Nationals)*
SP  Jamie Moyer (Mariners)*
SP  Brian Moehler (Marlins)*
RP  John Wasdin (Rangers)*


SS   Rafael Furcal (Dodgers)
C     Ramon Hernandez (Orioles)Furcal02
3B   Bill Mueller (Dodgers)
OF   John Mabry (Cubs)
3B   Olmedo Saenz (Dodgers)*
OF   Mark Sweeney (Giants)
Util  Lenny Harris (Marlins)*
Util  Joe McEwing (Royals)*
Util  Jose Valentin (Mets)
OF   Jacob Cruz (Reds)*
OF   Reed Johnson (Blue Jays)*
OF   Orlando Palmeiro (Astros)*
C     Todd Pratt (Braves)
C     Paul Bako (Royals)


Nationals Get                                 Rangers Get Soriano_alfonso_rangers_d_2   

2B  Alfonso Soriano                     OF   Brad Wilkerson
                                                           OF  Terrmel Sledge
                                                            P    Armando Galarraga



Pirates Get
                             Reds Get

1B  Sean Casey                              P  Dave Williams
–    $1 Million Cash 

Cubs Get                               Marlins Get

OF Juan Pierre                                P  Sergio Mitre
                                                            P  Ricky Nolasco
                                                            P  Renyel Pinto


Blue Jays Get   
                    Brewers Get

1B  Lyle Overbay                            P   David Bush
  P  Ty Taubenheim                         P   Zach Jackson
                                                            OF  Gabe Gross


Red Sox Get                          Padres Get

2B  Mark Loretta                             C  Doug Mirabelli

Renteria_11_1Braves Get                            Red Sox Get

SS  Edgar Renteria                         3B  Andy Marte
–     $11 Million Cash                                                   

Diamondbacks Get                Braves Get

C  Johnny Estrada                           P  Lance Cormier
                                                              P  Oscar Villareal

Pirates Get                            White Sox Get

P  Damaso Marte                            Util  Rob Mackowiak



Reds Get                               Yankees Get

2B  Tony Womack                           2B  Kevin Howard
                                                             OF  Ben Himes

Rayking_22Rockies Get                          Cardinals Get

P  Ray King                                       OF  Larry Bigbie
                                                             2B  Aaron Miles

Rockies Get                           Mariners Get

C Yorvit Torrealba                           P  Marcos Carvajal


Brewers Get                           Braves Get

P  Dan Kolb                                       P  Wes Obermueller


BurroughsDevil Rays Get                       Padres Get

3B Sean Burroughs                        P  Dewon Brazelton
                                                             P  Steve Andrade
(# 3 pick Rule V)

Royals Get   
                           Pirates Get

P  Mark Redman                              P  Jonah Bayliss
                                                             P  Chad Blackwell

Royals Get                             Rangers Get

2B  Esteban German                      P  Fabio Castro (# 1 pick Rule V)



           Click On Photos To Enlarge


    Carl the Cabbie



Mets’ Musings

In my last entry I talked a bit about the Mets’ bullpen and how it might look on opening day. Today, INymets3dlogo_1 want to review where they are in the building process, what holes are left to fill, and who might best fill those holes.

Up to date, the Mets have covered their deficiency at first base with gravy by trading for Carlos Delgado. They have met the gold standard with there signing of Billy Wagner to upgrade the closer role. Mike Cameron was dealt to make room for Victor Diaz (or Manny Ramirez?). The deal also provided them with one of the better utility players in the game, Xavier Nady. Tike Redman’s contract was purchased from Pittsburgh to fill the role of backing up Carlos Beltran in centerfield and veteran lefthanded reliever, Matt Perisho was signed to a minor league contract. The Mets have decided to part company with lefthander Felix Heredia, utility player Marlon Anderson and closer Braden Looper, with only Looper a possibility to return. The Mets have traded three prospects thus far— first baseman Mike Jacobs, righthanded pitcher Yusmeiro Petit and third baseman Grant Psomas, all part of the Delgado deal.

So, now what? Well, the Mets’ still have three important needs to fill:

#1 Need
The Mets must sign a catcher. Ramon Castro will make a solid backup, but signing a starting catcher is their most pressing need. Rumor has it that the Mets might now be more interested in Ramon Hernandez than Benji Molina. They have also had discussions with Tampa Bay about Toby Hall.

Cabbie Pick
Ramon Hernandez
He was Mets’ pitching coach Rick Peterson’s catcher in Oakland. He is younger than Molina and has more pop in his bat.

#2 Need
As of right now the Mets’ starting second baseman would be Kaz Matsui. The Mets don’t seem likely to pawn Matsui’s contract off on anyone, but Minaya would certainly like to upgrade here. If the Mets get Manny Ramirez, it’s likely that they will bring in a cheap alternate to Matsui or give Norfolk Tide’s second baseman, Jeff Keppinger a shot this spring. Rafael Furcal doesn’t seem to be in the plans, so there’s a high possibility we will see Miguel Cairo (Randolph loves him) brought back. Another second baseman’s name that has been popping up a lot is Mark Grudzelanek. It would take about $7 or $8 million over a couple of years to reel him in.

Cabbie Pick
Jeff Keppinger
The guy has hit consistently at Triple-A over the past couple of seasons (.337 in 2005) and is a hard nosed, hustle type player. He also costs nothing and would allow Minaya to spend more on his other needs. Keppinger was originally a fourth round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates and was the other player the Mets received in the Kris Benson/Ty Wigginton deal in 2004.

#3 Need
Dae-Sung Koo and Felix Heredia were atrocious and injury prone last year, leaving the Mets without a reliable lefthanded specialist in their bullpen. Former #1 draft pick Royce Ring is very well thought of in the organization and last season looked rather funky for lefthanders to face at times but, his control is an issue and he probably needs another year at Triple-A. Signing Matt Perisho is Minayas way of playing Lotto. So, look for the Mets to sign one of the free agent lefty specialists on the market. As I mentioned last entry— Mike Myers, Chris Hammond and Joey Eischen are still out there. Ricardo Rincon is another option. Minaya might be able to pry Joe Kennedy from Oakland, but his price is probably too high.

Cabbie Pick
Mike Myers
This guy is a lefthanded Kent Tekulve, a real nightmare for lefthanded hitters.

More Mets’ Notes

Manny Report

Bob Klapisch of the Bergan Record has reported that the Mets would be willing to give the BoSox Cliff Floyd, Aaron Heilman and Lastings Millidge for Manny Ramirez and some cash. I can’t imagine the Mets parting with all three! If they do, then they better win the World Series in 2006— anything less would be a miserable failure.

Pedro Watch

Whether the Mets win it all this year or not, fans will have a couple of achievements to celebrate nonetheless. Pedro Martinez will almost definitely reach two major milestones this season. With 3 more victories Pedro will snag his 200th career win. And with another 139 strikeouts Pedro will become the 14th pitcher ever to punch-out at least 3000 batters.


                           The Cavalry Is Coming!!!


Florida’s Fire Sale Begins!

Beckett In Beantown

The official salary dump in Miami has begun. Earlier today, the Red Sox acquired Marlins’ pitcher, Josh Beckett and third baseman, Mike Lowell. As far as getting the most they could get in return, Beckett_3_3the Marlins didn’t do too bad— Hanley Ramirez is the top shortstop prospect in all of baseball and should step in immediately as a starter on the left side of the Marlins’ infield. He is basically coming straight from Double-A, so it will probably be a couple of years before he is ready to make a real impact, but when he does expect Edgar Renteria-like production. Anibal Sanchez, was Ramirez’s teammate last year at Portland and was the Red Sox number two pitching prospect. He is a righthanded power-arm who will be given a shot at breaking into the Marlins’ starting rotation this spring. The third player the Marlins will reportedly receive is righthander, Jesus Delgado who pitched for Boston’s A-Ball team in Greenville last season. He projects as a middle reliever. His best pitch is a mid-90 mph sinking fastball. In addition, Florida saved themselves about $23 million if you consider that the Red Sox will pick up most of the $18 million left on Lowell’s contract and have to pay Beckett about another $5 million after arbitration. The Red Sox did pretty good for themselves also considering they are without an official general manager. Beckett will be a solid if not spectacular number two pitcher behind ace, Curt Schilling and they were able to hang onto their number one pitching prospect, lefthander Jon Lester. Lowell won his first Gold Glove last season and will hope to rebound from his worst offensive season. The trade officially ends any chance that Bill Mueller will return to the Bosox.


With shortstop Alex Gonzalez, outfielder Juan Encarnacion and pitchers A.J. Burnett and Todd Jones already gone via free agency, here is a list of other players the Marlins plan to purge themselves of this offseason:

Catcher– Paul Lo Duca
First Baseman– Carlos Delgado
Second Baseman– Luis Castillo
Centerfielder– Juan Pierre
Reliever– Guillermo Mota

I guess you can say the Marlins have given up on their chances of ever getting a new stadium.

Shiawase in Seattle

Kenji Johjima will be the Mariners’ starting catcher come springtime after the Mariners officially inked him to a three-year deal worth approximately $17 million. With top catching prospect Jeff Clement in their system the Mariners were reluctant to guarantee a third year, but in the end that’s exactly what they did. Kenji will be the first Japanese catcher in Major League history.


*Shiawase is a Japanese term
      meaning "happiness".


The Spirit Of Branch Rickey Retreats

BrannchghostgoodThis is a follow up blog to my November 7th entry, "The Spirit Of Branch Rickey Returns". Kim Ng and Major League Baseball will have to wait for another day to see the first woman general manager in baseball history. In the end, Dodgers’ owner, Frank McCourt decided against being a trail blazer and hired former San Francico Giants’ assistant general manager, Ned Colletti as his new general manager. Nothing against Colletti, but it would have been nice to see McCourt jump out of the box and hire Ng. It really wouldn’t have been that big a risk. If he was concerned about her scouting abilities he could have surrounded her with some keen talent evaluators and let them work as a team. Colleti_22_5

As for Colletti, he is a tough minded negotiator who has learned his trade as the assistant general manager to Giants’ general manager, Brian Sabean for the past nine seasons. Sabean gave him credit as the driving force behind the Randy Winn deal at the All-Star break last season and the success of that acquisition shined brightly in baseball circles. It is not known yet if Colletti will retain Ng on his staff. If her mentor, Mariners’ special advisor to the general manager, Dan Evans stays in Seattle there would almost definitely be a spot for her there.

One Other Follow Up Note

In case you missed it, Cleveland Indians’ General Manager, won the Executive of the Year Award. If you want to know why, read my blog entry for September 20th and check out all of Shapiro’s transactions since he took over for John Hart in 2002.


The Spirit Of Branch Rickey Returns

Kimng3Leave it to the Los Angeles Dodgers to continue as history makers when it comes to minority hiring. The spirit of Branch Rickey has returned. On Saturday the Dodgers interviewed team vice president and assistant general manager Kim Ng for their general manager vacancy. Kim Ng graduated from the University of Chicago and began her major league career in 1990 when mentor, Dan Evans hired her as an intern while Director of Baseball Operations for the Chicago White Sox. Ng moved on and eventually became an assistant general manager for her hometown New York Yankees. Evans hired her again as a vice president and assistant general manager while he was the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. While Ng has mostly dealt with the business side associated with her front office positions, she has had more input recently with the baseball end and in talent evaluation. The past couple of seasons she has consistently traveled with the team and had regular dealings with recently fired manager Jim Tracy and his coaches. If the Dodgers promote Ng, she would become the first woman as well as the first Chinese-American general manager in any of the major sports (baseball, football, basketball and hockey).Branch_rickeyhistory_02_3


                              Note for young baseball fans

  • Branch Rickey, while general manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers, signed Jackie Robinson as the first African-American baseball player in 1947.