March 2007 - Baseball Wiretap
Has Zambrano Done Enough To Earn Slot In The Jays' Rotation?
Victor Zambrano came through with a typical Zambrano outing in his final start of the spring yesterday against a reduced Cleveland Indians lineup. Whether his performance -- six innings, two hits, two runs, four walks, one wild pitch and one hit batter -- is enough to slot him into the No. 5 spot in the rotation remains to be seen.
Milledge Will Start Season In The Bigs
Lastings Milledge has been more mature this spring and was rewarded with a roster spot on the big league club. "A lot of people expect a lot of things out of me," Milledge said. "When I start doing those things, and when people can actually look at me in a key situation or I'm coming through for the team, that's when I'll start getting excited. Right now, I'm on the team, I have a spot and I'm grateful and excited. But it don't stop here." General manager Omar Minaya repeated Friday that Shawn Green will be the starting rightfielder.
Fenway Squeezes In 230 New Seats
The Red Sox have managed to add 230 seats to Fenway Park. The new seats, which are already in place on the right field roof, are expected to be filled during the 2007 season. However, the seats will be empty for the home opener because the Red Sox still are waiting for the city to officially sign off on the new seating.
Cantu Asks For Trade
Jorge Cantu, who was Tampa Bay's top offensive player in 2005 when he had 28 home runs and 117 RBIs, did not like the news he had been optioned to Triple-A Durham, but showed class responding to questions after receiving it. "What can I say, I'm not a Minor League player," Cantu said. "I think a change of scenery would be best." Cantu elaborated by saying he asked the Rays to trade him. "And it's just for the best," Cantu said. "I don't have anything to prove down there. I guess I have to go." Rays manager Joe Maddon explained the decision. "We just chose Jon's bat right now," Maddon said. "Jorge, we just felt like there was a lack of a position. Jon, we feel we can put him in the outfield now because he is functional. Jorge, we weren't going to play him at second base. We didn't see first base as a viable option right now. And we had other things we wanted to do with the DH role. On all three counts, it kind of knocked him out of there."
Oakland Signs Todd Walker
On Friday, Oakland signed 11-year major-league veteran Todd Walker to a minor-league deal. The Padres waived the left-handed hitter Monday. He batted .278 last season, splitting time between the Cubs and San Diego. Manager Bob Geren has talked about how versatility is going to be important to his roster this season, and Walker can play first, second and third base. Walker's versatility was one reason assistant general manager David Forst gave for the signing.
Zambrano Deal Nearly Finished
Carlos Zambrano's contract extension negotiatons heated up Friday with a face-to-face meeting between general manager Jim Hendry and the pitcher's agent, Barry Praver. "We had a nice conversation, and everything's positive and on the upbeat," Hendry said. "Hopefully we'll be able to come together." The parameters of the deal have been discussed, with both sides agreeing to five years. How far apart they are on the total package is unknown, though the Cubs' offer is expected to be under Barry Zito's $18 million-per-season range. "We went a little further down the line at the arbitration than we normally would have," Hendry said. "But I think a lot of good came out of that too. At the end of the day, there wasn't going to be any bad-mouthing in the courtroom, and he reiterated again how badly he wanted to be here."
Carlos Guillen Given Monster Deal
Carlos Guillen was hoping not to talk about a new contract during the regular season. He won't even have to talk about it through the end of Spring Training. On the same day the Tigers announced they'll be without Kenny Rogers' services until July, they also announced they'll have Guillen's services through 2011. The star shortstop signed a four-year contract Friday worth $48 million, ending the free-agent speculation and keeping a critical member of the Tigers in Detroit. "We've very thrilled to reach this agreement," president/CEO/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "He's one of our core players who has done so much for us, not only on the field but off the field. We're very pleased to have done this."
TV Negotiations Go Extra Innings
"We are trying to get everybody in. That is our goal." These are the words of Tim Brosnan, executive vice president of business for Major League Baseball, about ongoing negotiations to deliver telecasts of out-of-market games to baseball fans. MLB reached a 7-year, $700 million agreement with the satellite provider DirecTV for exclusive rights to the "Extra Innings" package. After announcing the agreement, MLB said that Echo Star's Dish Network and iN Demand - a consortium owned by Comcast, Time Warner and Cox Cable - could also carry Extra Innings if they matched the DirecTV deal. The parties have until 11:59 PM on Saturday to come to an agreement. The MLB regular season schedule starts Sunday.
Rogers Has Surgery, Out Until July
Kenny Rogers had surgery Friday to remove a blood clot from his left shoulder and repair arteries, and the Detroit Tigers pitcher likely will be sidelined for the first half of the season. The 42-year-old left-hander had the operation in Dallas. He is expected to start throwing in six-to-eight weeks, and Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said the earliest Rogers would return to the rotation is July. Detroit placed Rogers on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. Chad Durbin, who made the team as a reliever, will move into the Tigers' rotation. Rogers is on the DL for the first time since 2001.
Rodriguez Would Like A Deal With The Angels
The Angels "haven't said anything to me" about a long-term deal since January, Francisco Rodriguez said Thursday. Stoneman said he would not comment on negotiations, except to reiterate he still is open to discussing a new deal with Rodriguez. In Shields and Justin Speier, the Angels have two setup men ? and potential closers ? signed through 2010, for $18 million each. "Everyone's dream is to have a multiyear contract," Rodriguez said. "You want to secure your family. If it's not going to be this ballclub, it's going to be another ballclub."
Prior Says He's Still 26
''The goal now is to go down and help that team win and try to make the Triple-A All-Star team,'' said Mark Prior about his demotion.
Cubs Scouting The Demoted Clint Barmes
The Cubs are scouting Clint Barmes, but the Rockies want him to play every day in Colorado Springs for a while before re-evaluating his situation.
Blue Jays Name Okha The Fourth Starter
The Blue Jays have chosen Tomo Okha as the fourth starter, and the competition for the fifth spot could go down to the last day of spring training.
Kenny Rogers Placed On DL With Tired Arm
Tigers LHP Kenny Rogers will miss at least one regular-season start after being placed on the 15-day DL.
Cubs Send Prior To Triple-A Iowa
Mark Prior was optioned to Triple-A Iowa after his final spring training start.
Clemens Tells Fans He'll Know About Return In A Month
Roger Clemens hinted on Wednesday that he wants a chance to win a World Series.