March 2008 - Baseball Wiretap
Braves Sign Spiezio To Minor League Deal
Atlanta Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren announced today that the Braves have agreed to terms with infielder/outfielder Scott Spiezio on a minor league contract for the 2008 season. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. Spiezio will begin the season with Triple-A Richmond, which opens play on Thursday (April 3) against Rochester.
High School H.R. Derby Set For Jan. 2-4
Power Showcase President Brian Domenico recently confirmed that the 2009 Power Showcase National Finals will be held at the Tampa Bay Rays? Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, January 2-4, 2009. ?Holding the 2009 National Finals at Tropicana Field will provide the representatives with an experience they will never forget,? remarked Domenico. ?How many people get to set foot on a Major League field, let alone the opportunity to participate in a home run derby against the top high school power hitters in the World.? According to Domenico,?In addition to providing a memorable experience, one of our goals is to give these players a glimpse of what it is like to be in the Major Leagues in an effort to inspire them to continue to work hard so that someday they might accomplish their dream and return to Tropicana Field as professional baseball players.?
Striking Out With The Giants: Their Worst Lineup Since 1985?
'Striking Out' is a new edition to RealGM's baseball pages this season, which will touch on three of pressing issues (good, bad, and ugly) for all 30 major league teams. First up are the Giants who are looking to avoid losing twice as many games as the anniversary (50th in San Francisco) they celebrate in 2008. Strike One: Miserable Opening Day Lineup The Giants' opening day lineup in 2008 is easily their least talented since the 1985 season when they lost 100 games. Jim Davenport's team finished last in the NL in runs (556), hits (1,263), and OBP (.296) while they were second to last in slugging (.348) and strikeouts (962). Opening Day Lineup, April 9, 1985 * Season totals in batting/OBP/slugging Dan Gladden (.243/.307/.347) Manny Trillo (.224/.287/.288) Chili Davis (.270/.349/.412) Jeffrey Leonard (.241/.272/.393) Bob Brenly (.220/.311/.391) David Green (.248/.301/.347) Chris Brown (.271/.345/.442) Johnnie LeMaster (.000/.059/.000) Atlee Hammaker (.085/.085/.085) Opening Day Lineup, March 31, 2008 * Career totals in batting/OBP/slugging Dave Roberts (.268/.342/.370) Rich Aurilia (.276/.330/.439) Randy Winn (.286/.345/.424) Bengie Molina (.275/.309/.411) Ray Durham (.277/.351/.436) Aaron Rowand (.286/.343/.462) Jose Castillo (.256/.297/.380) Brian Bocock (no previous MLB experience) Barry Zito (.088/.108/.088) The 1908 St. Louis Cardinals were shutout a MLB-record 33 times; is that number now in jeopardy? Strike Two: Starting Zito On Opening Day Zito is being paid like an ace, but there is no mistaking the fact that Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum are ahead of him on the depth chart. He had a 1.98 ERA over 13.2 career innings at Dodger Stadium, but Bruce Bochy, in this supposed new meritocracy era of Giants' baseball, should have given Cain the start. Zito wasn't quite as awful as advertised but propping him up with these artificial ace accolades is disingenuous and not doing any favors for anyone. Strike Three: Starting Shortstop's Highest Level Of Baseball Is Single A Johnnie LeMaster didn't get a single hit for the Giants in 1985 before they dealt him to the Indians for Mike Jeffcoat and Luis Quinones in May, but the 12-year veteran had something Brian Bocock doesn't have: MLB experience. Bocock's highest level of baseball came last year when he played 87 games for Single-A San Jose where he hit .220/.293/.328. Clearly, this is an emergency situation caused by injuries to Omar Vizquel and Kevin Frandsen, and the Giants would love to put Eugenio Velez there if he was even 10% competent in the field. But in short, this does not bode well, please cue 'How To Disappear Completely' by Radiohead. - Christopher Reina is the executive editor of RealGM and the creator of the Reina Value.
Indians' Martinez Leaves Game With Hamstring Injury
Indians' All-Star catcher Victor Martinez left Monday?s season opener against the White Sox with a strained left hamstring, as reported by Yahoo.com. Martinez suffered the injury while running the bases during the second inning.
Rain Postpones Yanks' Opening Day
Rain in the New York area postponed the Yankees' 2008 Season Opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday afternoon, according to MLB.com. The game will be played on Tuesday night at 7:05PM EST, with Chien Ming-Wang facing off against Roy Halladay.
Hunter: Twins Will Miss Me More Than Johan
Torii Hunter believes that the Minnesota Twins will miss him more than Johan Santana this season, according to the Star Tribune. "Yeah, well, you know for me, I think pitchers give you one game, that's it," Hunter said Sunday at the Metrodome. "Pitchers give you one, that's it. So you miss Johan; Johan, he's going to win one game for you, but the other four, it's somebody else's turn." "I think they'll miss a position player before they miss a pitcher. So, you're going to miss Johan, but I think they've got four or five pitchers out there -- you know, Scott Baker and other young guys, but they have so much talent, and I think that's going to be key for those guys, is pitching. Hitting, I don't think they're going to have a problem at all."
Royals OF DeJesus Leaves Game With Injury
Kansas City Royals' outfielder David DeJesus left the team's Opening Day game against the Tigers with a sprained ankle, according to the Associated Press. The team has listed him as day-to-day. He injured the ankle in spring training last week.
Jays, Rios Extend Talks
Alex Rios and the Blue Jays have extended their talks on a six-year contract extension that could be worth about $64 million, according to the Associated Press. Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi said on Monday that he will extend the discussions a few more days. "We're too close to let it get away at this point," Ricciardi said, "so we'll extend it a little bit longer. Like I said, if I didn't think we were close there would be nothing to talk about but we're too close so we'll just keep talking." The deal could include a 2015 option that would increase it's worth to $76 million. The two parties have more time to negotiate, with the Blue Jays' 2008 Season Opener in New York pushed back to Tuesday due to rain.
Fukudome Hits Line Drive Double In First At Bat
Kosuke Fukudome took a first pitch fastball from Ben Sheets over Tony Gwynn, Jr. in centerfield for a double in his first at bat as a member of the Chicago Cubs. In the ninth inning, he hit a three-run homerun off Eric Gagne to tie the game at third.
Reds Release Veteran Mike Stanton
The Reds have severed ties with veteran reliever Mike Stanton, according to a Yahoo.com report. Before Monday?s season opener against Arizona, the Reds bought out the final season of Stanton?s two-year contract. The 40-year-old lefthander was designated for assignment. Stanton?s deal, which will pay him $3M this year, also included a club option for 2009. First-year Reds' Manager Dusty Daker said the news left Stanton ?in shock.?
Toronto, Rios Inching Closer
The Blue Jays and outfielder Alex Rios are inching closer to agreeing on the terms of a long-term contract extension.
Scouts Say Yanks Should Have Traded For Santana
Several major league scouts believe that the Yankees should have upped their bid and traded for Johan Santana this winter.
Torre Plans To Go With Ethier Over Pierre In Left
Dodgers' Manager Joe Torre announced on Sunday that Andre Ethier will play left field, sending Juan Pierre to the bench.
Nationals Place Duke On 15-Day DL
The Washington Nationals placed OF Elijah Dukes on the 15-day DL with a right hamstring injury.
Nationals Open New Park With Win Over Braves
Ryan Zimmerman's game-ending homerun gave the Nationals a 3-2 victory over the Braves in the first regular-season game at the new Nationals Park.
Mets Name Pelfrey Fifth Starter Over El Duque
The New York Mets have named Mike Pelfrey their fifth starter, meaning that Orlando Hernandez will start the 2008 regular season on the 15-day disabled list.
Giants Send Vizquel, Lowry To DL
The San Francisco Giants have placed Omar Vizquel and Noah Lowry on the disabled list.
Orioles Release Gibbons, Eat $11.9M Of His Contract
The Baltimore Orioles on Sunday cut OF Jay Gibbons who failed to regain the form he displayed in 2005 when he hit 26 home runs.
Brewers Make Offers To Braun, Fielder
The Brewers have made long-term contract offers to both Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun but don't appear optimistic about reaching agreements anything soon.
Rockies Option Sullivan, Give Podsednik OF Spot
The Rockies have optioned Cory Sullivan to Triple-A Colorado Springs and given Scott Podsednik the fifth and final outfielder spot.
Red Sox Beat Dodgers Before Record 115,300 Fans At LA Coliseum
An announced crowd of 115,300-largest ever to watch a baseball game, watched the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-4 Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Angels Place Escobar, Lackey, Shields, Bootcheck On 15-Day DL
The Angels on Saturday laced four of their pitchers on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March 21.
Seattle Sends Rhodes To Minors
The Seattle Mariners solidified their Opening Day roster on Saturday by sending relief pitcher Arthur Rhodes to the minor leagues.
Johnson, Belliard To Start For Nationals
Nick Johnson and Ronnie Belliard will start for the Nationals at the beginning of this season, with Dmitri Young, and Felipe Lopez coming off the bench.
Tigers, LHP Fultz Agree To Minor-League Deal
The Detroit Tigers and LHP Aaron Fultz agreed to a minor-league deal on Saturday.
Braves Place Smoltz On 15-Day DL
The Atlanta Braves on Saturday placed pitcher John Smoltz on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March 21.
Rios Talks Hit Stalemate
If Alex Rios doesn't accept the $65 million offer by Opening Day, then extension talks will no longer be a priority for the Blue Jays.
2008 Season Preview: Colorado Rockies
Do the Rockies have enough pitching to get back to the World Series or even into the playoffs without that fall momentum they rode so well in 2007?
Houston Releases Woody Williams
Woody Williams, who will make $6.5 million this season, was not immediately available for comment.