Posts Tagged ‘Garrett Atkins’

Miguel Tejada, Orioles Reunite In Baltimore

January 24, 2010

I really like what the Baltimore Orioles have done this offseason. They have brought in a nice group of veterans to mix in with the young and up-and-coming talent they have.

The key to what they are doing is they are not signing any of these veteran players to contracts that could be considered an albatross down the road. These veterans are on one or two-year contracts and aren’t blocking any of the prospects the Orioles have in the minors.

Tejada is returning to the Orioles

The latest veteran the Orioles have brought in–Miguel Tejada.

According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles have signed Tejada to a one-year, $6 million contract. Despite never playing an inning at third base in his career, Tejada is expected to play third for the Orioles in 2010.

This will mark Tejada’s second tour of duty with the Orioles. Baltimore signed Tejada back in the Winter of 2004 and spent four years in an Orioles’ uniform.

In those four years, Tejada hit .311 (great band) with 102 home runs, and an .862 OPS. Tejada was later traded to the Houston Astros in December of 2007 for Mike Costanzo, Matt Albers, Troy Patton, Dennis Sarfate, and Luke Scott.

Despite signing third baseman Garrett Atkins earlier in the offseason, the Orioles were still looking for a corner infielder to play either third or first. Tejada fills exactly what the Orioles were looking for.

Tejada really dropped off defensively in 2009 (-13.9 UZR), so moving to third will help prolong his career. As I recall the Orioles moved another shortstop back in the day to third to help prolong his career and it worked swimmingly.

The Tejada signing allows the Orioles to move Atkins to first, where he is better suited and Luke Scott back to DH. Ty Wigginton is the odd man out here, as he will be moved into a bench role.

With Tejada and Atkins signed to one-year contracts, it will give top prospects Josh Bell (third base) and Brandon Snyder (first base) some extra seasoning in the minors until they are ready to take over full-time in 2011. Once again, the Orioles sign a veteran, but aren’t blocking their prospects.

I expect Tejada to bat fifth or sixth in the Orioles’ lineup and hit around .285/.290 with 10-15 home runs in 2010. At $6 million, this signing will pay for itself by July. Good signing by the Orioles.

This move also ends the Orioles pursuit of first baseman Carlos Delgado.

Tejada will be entering his 14th season in the major leagues and has a career .289 average with 285 home runs with the Oakland A’s, Orioles, and Astros. He won the 2002 AL MVP with the A’s.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Starting Nine: American League East

January 11, 2010

I was rummaging through some articles last week and I came across a piece by Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star. He gave an early look at what the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting lineup might look like in 2010.

That piece got me thinking. With all the moves that happen during the free agency period it’s hard for a casual fan to keep up with their favorite team. Why not take an early look at each lineup in baseball as presently constructed?

So what I will do give each team’s starting lineup by division for the next six days. Obviously this will change as the offseason progresses, so I will do an update to these posts as the season approaches.

We will start in the American League and with the best division in baseball, the American League East.

New York Yankees

1. Derek Jeter, SS

2. Nick Johnson, DH

3. Mark Teixeira, 1B

4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

5. Jorge Posada, C

6. Robinson Cano, 2B

7. Curtis Granderson, CF

8. Nick Swisher, RF

9. Brett Gardner, LF

Quick Take – Best and deepest lineup in baseball. Could made even better if Johnny Damon accepts a one-year deal to play left. Cano and Posada could flip-flop between fifth and sixth in the order.

Boston Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, LF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Victor Martinez, C

4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B

5. David Ortiz, DH

6. Adrian Beltre, 3B

7. Mike Cameron, CF

8. J.D. Drew, RF

9. Marco Scutaro, SS

Quick Take – Not a classic Red Sox lineup. Not a lot of high OBP guys and nobody jumps out and scares you. Terry Francona is loyal to Ortiz, so he bats fifth ahead of Beltre in the lineup.

Tampa Bay Rays

1. B.J. Upton, CF

2. Carl Crawford, LF

3. Evan Longoria, 3B

4. Ben Zobrist, 2B

5. Carlos Pena, 1B

6. Pat Burrell, DH

7. Kelly Shoppach, C

8. Gabe Kapler, RF

9. Jason Bartlett, SS

Quick Take – This lineup will go from very good to great if Upton and Burrell come back strong in 2010. Kapler will find himself in a platoon situation with Matt Joyce to start the season.

Baltimore Orioles

1. Brian Roberts, 2B

2. Nick Markakis, RF

3. Adam Jones, CF

4. Luke Scott, DH

5. Nolan Reimold, LF

6. Matt Wieters, C

7. Ty Wigginton, 1B

8. Garrett Atkins, 3B

9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Quick Take – First four in this lineup is very good, but after that, this lineup gets very weak. Orioles are still looking for a first baseman, so don’t expect Wigginton to be a starter for too much longer.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Jose Bautista, RF

2. Lyle Overbay, 1B

3. Aaron Hill, 2B

4. Adam Lind, DH

5. Vernon Wells, CF

6. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B

7. Travis Snider, LF

8. Alex Gonzalez, SS

9. John Buck, C

Quick Take – My lineup is a little different than Campbell’s as I have Overbay hitting in the two-hole. This lineup has the potential to be good, but Gonzalez and Buck represent too many automatic outs to be really dynamic.

Tomorrow, I will cover the American League Central.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Orioles Add Two, Sign Garrett Atkins and Mike Gonzalez

December 17, 2009

Just because the Orioles are in rebuilding mode, doesn’t mean they can’t add pieces to their team to make them competitive in 2010.

Earlier in this offseason, the Orioles added Kevin Millwood to bolster their starting rotation. Now they have added a batter and a closer.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles have signed LHP Mike Gonzalez to a two-year, $12 million contract to be their closer. Gonzalez can make an additional $4 million in incentives.

Gonzalez is the new closer in Baltimore

The Orioles also signed 1B/3B Garrett Atkins to a one-year deal. Atkins became a free agent after he was not tendered a contract by the Colorado Rockies last week. Terms of Atkins’ deal have not been disclosed yet.

Lets talk about Atkins first.

I was reading some sites around the web where some Orioles fans didn’t like this move? Why?

Has Atkins’ OPS dropped four years in a row? Yes it has. Is he the best defensive third baseman in the world? No, he is not.

But Atkins was not brought to Baltimore to be the savior. He was brought to Baltimore to be a stopgap until top third base prospect Josh Bell or until top first base prospect Brandon Snyder are ready.

Best case scenario for Atkins–he has a bounce back year and the Orioles can then trade him for prospects in July. Atkins could just need a change of scenery and Camden Yards is a good hitters park.

Worst case scenario–he continues his downward spiral and becomes a right-handed pinch hitter off the bench, who can occasionally fill in at first or third. In 2009, Atkins’ OPS was over 200 points higher versus left-handed pitching.

This is a good low-risk, high-reward signing by the Orioles.

Now on to the Gonzalez signing.

I am luke-warm on Gonzalez being a full-time, No. One closer, but for just $6 million a year–it’s a good deal by the Orioles.

Think about it like this. The Houston Astros paid Brandon Lyon $5 million a year for three years. The Orioles are paying Gonzalez $6 million for two years.

Who would you rather have?

I would rather have Gonzalez and it’s not even a debatable in my opinion. The Orioles are paying just $1 million more for clearly the better pitcher. Good move.

Gonzalez pitched a career high 74.1 innings last year and in those 74.1 innings struck out 90 batters. He was especially nasty on left-handed hitters.

Lefties against Gonzalez in 2009 hit only .194 and had a pedestrian .581 OPS. The Gonzalez-Curtis Granderson match up in 2010 should be fun to watch.

Is there some concern with Gonzalez after he pitched a career high in innings last year only a couple of years removed from Tommy John surgery? Maybe. But I don’t it’s that big of a concern.

As Gonzalez proved last year, most pitchers come back stronger from Tommy John surgery. For two years and just $12 million, it’s certainly worth it for the Orioles.

This move obviously adds some much needed depth to the Orioles’ bullpen and it allows them to put Jim Johnson back in the eighth inning set-up role, where he seemed more comfortable last year.

With Gonzalez, Johnson, and Koji Uehara the Orioles have the makings of a much better bullpen in 2010.

I like what the Orioles are doing this offseason. They are sticking to their rebuilding plan, but adding pieces with reasonable contracts here and there.

I like the direction of this team.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Which Players Were Non-Tendered Contracts Last Night?

December 13, 2009

Last night at 11:59 pm est was the deadline for major league teams to offer players with less than six years service time contracts. These players are often referred to as tendered or non-tendered players.

Here is the list of players last night who were non-tendered a contract:

Kelly Johnson, Atlanta Braves. In my free agent primer, I had Johnson has my biggest non-tender sleeper. I think he has a lot to offer a team.

In 07′ he had an .831 OPS and in 08′ he had .795 OPS. In 09′, he was put in Bobby Cox’s doghouse. I think he could have a bounce back 2010 if given the opportunity. He would make sense with the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, or the Minnesota Twins.

Jack Cust, Oakland A’s. Cust is a classic “Moneyball” player–lots of walks, lots of strike outs, lots of home runs, and can’t play defense. Cust hit 22 out of his 25 HR’s last year against right-handed pitching.

Cust could sign with a team as a left-handed power hitter off the bench.

Garrett Atkins, Colorado Rockies. Atkins was non-tendered a contract on his birthday. That hurts.

Atkins’ OPS has dropped four years in a row and now can probably latch on to a team as a backup 1B/3B off the bench. He could be a fit with the Twins.

Wang was non-tendered last night

Chien-Ming Wang, New York Yankees. Wang really hasn’t been the same since he hurt his foot running the bases in Houston a year and a half ago.

At 29, Wang should have something left. I would say there is a 75 percent chance he ends up with the Dodgers and Joe Torre. The other 25 percent says he ends up with the Yankees on a minor league deal.

Jonny Gomes, Cincinnati Reds. All Gomes did with the Reds in 2009 was hit 20 HR’s and had an .879 OPS in just 98 games–now he is out of a job.

Gomes crushes left-handed pitching (.914 OPS in 2009) and it wouldn’t shock me if he returned to the Reds on a discounted deal in 2010.

Jose Arredondo, Matt Brown, and Dustin Moseley, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I am very surprised the Angels would give up on this 25-year-old. It was reported yesterday that Arredondo would need Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire 2010 season.

A team will sign him and store him away until he is ready in 2011. He is too good of a talent not to be given a chance.

D.J. Carrasco, Chicago White Sox. Carrasco had a 3.76 ERA with the White Sox in 2009, but his peripherals weren’t great–9.9 hits/9, 1.41 WHIP.

There is a shortage of pitching in baseball, so he should get a chance somewhere.

Ryan Garko, San Francisco Giants. When Garko slugged 21 HR’s in 2007, he looked like he could be a very good first baseman for a long period of time.

Garko was traded to the Giants near the July 31st trading deadline last year and really provided no offense for the Giants. He hit .235 with just two HR’s in 40 games.

Ryan Langerhans, Seattle Mariners. Langerhans played in 38 games with the Mariners last year and hit just .218. He has always been a good OBP guy.

Brian Anderson, Boston Red Sox. Anderson was once a top prospect with the White Sox. Now he is a fringe major league player.

Brian Bass, Baltimore Orioles. Bass had a 4.90 ERA in 48 games out of the pen for the Orioles in 2009. He is probably looking at a minor league contract.

Neal Cotts, Chicago Cubs. Cotts had Tommy John surgery in July of this year. He will probably be ready to pitch again in the 2011 season.

Alfredo Amezaga, Florida Marlins. Amezaga played all three OF positions and SS for the Marlins in 2009. He is a career .251 hitter over eight seasons in the major leagues.

Raul Chavez, Toronto Blue Jays. Chavez hit .258 in 168 AB’s with the Blue Jays in 2009. I am sure he will get a two-year contract somewhere as that is the trend for mediocre catchers these days.

Clay Condrey, Philadelphia Phillies. Condrey–no relation to Dennis Condrey of the Midnight Express tag-team back in the 80’s–has posted an ERA below 3.26 the last two years.

Gabe Gross and Shawn Riggans, Tampa Bay Rays. Gross, the former University of Auburn QB, hit .227 in 115 games for the Rays in 2009. Gross should get a bench job somewhere.

Mike MacDougal and Scott Olsen, Washington Nationals. MacDougal found a second life with the Nationals in 2009 and ultimately became their closer.

MacDougal had 20 saves and a respectable 3.60 ERA, but his one-to-one walk to strike out ratio is not impressive at all. He should get a chance with a small market team.

Injuries and some off the field issues have really hurt Olsen’s career so far. Since everyone loves a lefty, he should get a minor league deal.

Tim Redding, Lance Broadway, Jeremy Reed, and Cory Sullivan, New York Mets. Redding has pitched eight years in the majors and has never been good. This might be the end of the road for him

Like Brian Anderson above, Reed was once a top center field prospect. He might get a job as a defensive replacement somewhere.

Mark DeFelice, Mike Rivera, and Seth McClung, Milwaukee Brewers. I like McClung–especially as a reliever. Once the Brewers were forced to put him in a starting role last year that’s when all hell broke loose.

McClung should get plenty of interest as a reliever.

Mark Worrell and Jackson Quezada, San Diego Padres. I can honestly say I have never heard of Jackson Quezada before. I am not even going to try to lie and write like I know something about him.

John Buck and Josh Anderson, Kansas City Royals. Buck looks like a better player than he is. In eight seasons with the Royals, Buck hit .235 with seven HR’s in over 2,000 AB’s.

Matt Capps and Phil Dumatrait, Pittsburgh Pirates. After having solid 2007 and 2008 seasons, Capps really fell off in 2009. Capps had a 5.80 ERA and registered the highest BB/9 rate of his career (2.8/9).

Capps should see interest

He also registered the highest K/9 of his career as well (7.6/9). Perhaps Capps just needs a change of scenery. Once he finds that change of scenery, expect Capps to be a set-up man not a closer.

Dumatrait was once a first-round pick of the Red Sox back in 2000. He has a 7.06 ERA in three major league seasons.

Adam Miller, Jose Veras, and Anthony Reyes, Cleveland Indians. What a sad story Adam Miller is. As late as 2008, Miller was the Indians’ top prospect. But a hand injury has pretty much stopped his once promising career.

Veras could end up back with the Yankees on a minor league deal. Veras pitched with the Yankees for four years compiling a 4.47 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 103.2 innings.

There are a lot of players on this list who can help a team in 2010. Now that the non-tenders are on the market, I think we will see activity really pick up.

I think a lot of teams were waiting to see who was non-tendered before they made a move.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

2009 All-Fantasy Bust Team

September 16, 2009

With most teams having roughly 18-20 games left on their schedule, I think its’ safe to say we know by now which players were surprises and which players were busts in 2009.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at the All-Fantasy Breakout Team. As for today, I think we will take a look at who were the fantasy busts in 2009.

These are the players who owners drafted very high in hopes that these players would lead their team to fantasy supremacy in 2009. Instead, these players fell flat on their faces because of various reasons and cost owners hundreds of dollars.

Without any further adieu, here is the 2009 All-Fantasy Bust Team sponsored by the Julio Lugo, Co. “Nobody Knows Sucking Like A Lugo.”

Honorable Mentions – Chris Iannetta, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, JJ Hardy, Rick Ankiel, Kevin Gregg, Garrett Atkins, Lance Berkman, Alfonso Soriano, Manny Ramirez, Jake Peavy

CatcherGeovany Soto, .222/10/40

After winning the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year award with a .285/23/86 hitting line, many owners expected a repeat performance from Soto in 2009. Not so much.

Davis has not lived up to the hype

Davis has not lived up to the hype

First Base – Chris Davis, .216/19/49

This was a close call between Lance Berkman and Chris Davis, but because Davis was so ridiculously over-hyped, Davis wins it. Everyone’s preseason man-crush has fallen flat on his face in 2009.

Things got so bad for Davis that he was sent to the minors in the middle of the season. That my friends, is a bust.

Second Base – Mike Fontenot, .232/9/40

Second base was the hardest position to pick a fantasy bust because so many two-baggers are either having breakout years or their typical years. Fontenot on the other hand, is having neither.

At this point in the season, Fontenot has roughly 100 more AB’s than last year and has the same amount of HR’s (nine), RBI (40), six less runs scored, and his average is 72 points lower than last years.

Not what the Cubs or fantasy owners were expecting this year.

Shortstop – Jose Reyes, .279/2/15

I had a dilemma with this pick. Do I pick the guy who has just sucked all year in JJ Hardy? Or do I pick the guy who has missed the majority of the year with an injury in Jose Reyes?

I will go with Reyes because Reyes, who was taken in the first two rounds in most leagues and crippled a lot of fantasy teams this year. Reyes went on the DL on May 26th and was never heard from again.

Third Base – Alex Gordon, .202/4/12

This was supposed to be the breakout year for Alex Gordon. That’s what I was telling myself when I drafted Gordon in my league. Instead, 2009 has been a disaster for the Royals young third baseman.

Gordon got off to an awful start in April, then had hip surgery, came back, got sent to the minors, and now is back up again. I am not even sure if Gordon is worth keeping in my Keeper League at this point.

Outfield – Milton Bradley, .260/12/39

It seemed like everyone knew this was going to happen except Chicago Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry. Bradley is like the movie GI Joe. Sure, we all knew it was going to suck, but we kind of wanted to see it any way just to see how bad it was going to be.

I mean 39 RBI in 121 games? Pathetic

Outfield – Josh Hamilton, .270/10/49

Hamilton was the feel good story of the 2008 season. His performance in the HR Derby was stuff of legend and he put up a .304/32/130 hitting line.

2009 has been a lost season for Hamilton. He has been hurt the majority of the year and really never found his groove at the plate.

Outfield – Magglio Ordonez, .296/7/40

From 2006-2008, Ordonez averaged 24 HR’s and 115 RBI. In 2009, Ordonez’s power has vanished faster than the storyline’s on Entourage.

Very puzzling how Ordonez has kept his average up, but has lost all his power.

Liriano has been a bust in 2009

Liriano has been a bust in 2009

Starting Pitcher – Francisco Liriano, 5-12 with a 5.71 ERA

Like Alex Gordon previously, this was supposed to be the year for Liriano. He was two years removed from Tommy John surgery, the Minnesota Twins were expected to compete in the AL Central, and at 25, Liriano was going to mature into an ace.

None of the above happened. Liriano is one of the main reasons the Twins are not in first place and is now pitching out of the bullpen

Starting Pitcher – Daisuke Matsuzaka, 1-5 with a 8.23 ERA

Matsuzaka won 18 games in 2008. Going into last night’s action, Matsuzaka has won a grand total of 1 game in 2009.

Fantasy owners can thank Bud Selig’s marketing ploy, otherwise known as the World Baseball Classic for this.

Starting Pitcher – Brandon Webb, 0-0 with a 13.50 ERA

Last year, Webb was 22-7 with a 3.30 ERA and finished second in the Cy Young voting for the second year in a row. All fantasy owners got out of Webb this year, was one lousy start.

Webb was the third overall pick in my league and in most leagues went in the first two rounds. If your first or second pitcher taken doesn’t win a game during the season, it usually spells doom for your team.

Closer – Brad Lidge, 0-7 with a 7.18 ERA and 10 blown saves

Despite having 29 saves this year, Lidge has been a fantasy disaster all season. He doesn’t have a win, he leads the majors in blown saves, and has killed fantasy owners all year long in the ERA category. His WHIP is 1.823 which is not helping the situation either.

The Colorado Rockies Are Winning From Within

August 27, 2009

I say this with a staunch and unblemished record of heterosexuality — I have a man-crush on the Colorado Rockies. That’s right, not just one player, but the entire team.

I usually reserve my man-crushes for individual players like Michael Young, Chase Utley, or back in the day George Brett. However, the Rockies are a different case. I love the way this team plays.

Tulo is a home grown Rockie

Tulo is a home grown Rockie

They play great defense, they can beat you with a big fly or small ball, they have a very high baseball IQ, and this team can pitch. They are a very fun team to watch on a night in and night out basis.

However, above everything I just mentioned, there is one thing that stands out to me when I watch this team. It’s the fact that the Rockies are winning with home grown talent.

Everywhere you look on the field, the Rockies have players that they drafted and groomed in their farm system. Look at the core of this team…

Chris Iannetta – Drafted in the 4th round of the 2004 draft

Todd Helton- Drafted in the 1st round of the 1995 draft

Clint Barmes – Drafted in the 10th round of the 2000 draft

Troy Tulowitzki- Drafted in the 1st round of the 2005 draft

Ian Stewart – Drafted in the 1st round of the 2003 draft

Seth Smith – Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2004 draft

Dexter Fowler – Drafted in the 14th round of the 2004 draft

Brad Hawpe – Drafted in the 11th round of the 2000 draft

Garrett Atkins – Drafted in the 5th round of the 2000 draft

Ryan Spilborghs – Drafted in the 7th round of the 2002 draft

Ubaldo Jimenez – Signed as an amateur free agent in 2001

Aaron Cook – Drafted in the 2nd round of the 1997 draft

Other key contributors such as Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street, Jason Marquis, and Jason Hammel have been acquired via trades. Only Matt Herges, Josh Fogg, and Juan Rincon were signed to free agent contracts and their contacts were all minor league deals.

To break down the Rockies current 25-man roster, 52 percent are home grown talent (drafted, signed as an undrafted free agent, or signed as an amateur free agent and developed in the Rockies system), 36 percent came from trades, and just 12 percent came from minor league free agent contracts.

That 52 percent would be higher (64 percent) if Dexter Fowler and Aaron Cook weren’t currently on the DL. To have over 50 percent of your talent come from drafts and amateur free agent signings is amazing.

It just goes to show what a tremendous job Dan O’Dowd has done recently in reshifting his strategy of handing out large free agent contracts to reinvesting that money back into their minor league system, scouting, and the draft.

Back in the day, the Rockies tried to play with the big boys in the free agent signing game. Mike Hampton, the late Darryl Kile, Denny Neagle, Larry Walker, Darryl Hamilton and the legendary Tom Goodwin all signed free agent contracts to come to Colorado.

Those days are long gone. The Rockies have found their winning formula and the ingredients have come from within.

As July 31st Approaches, What Do The Contenders Need Update..

July 28, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, I did a post on what do the contending teams around baseball need at the July 31st trading deadline. With already a couple deals taking place and the trading deadline just a couple of days away, I thought I would update this post.

Here are the needs of the 21 contending teams and who they could potentially target.

Philadelphia Phillies

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Phillies are going for it again and are looking for a big time pitcher.

The Phillies signed Pedro Martinez.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Brad Penny, Cliff Lee, Jarrod Washburn

Florida Marlins

Needs – Bullpen. With Lindstrom out, the Marlins need help in the pen.

Potential Targets – Chad Qualls, Juan Cruz, Matt Capps, John Grabow, George Sherrill

Lee is very popular these days

Lee is very popular these days

Atlanta Braves

Needs – Leftfield. The Braves have already traded for Nate McLouth and Ryan Church, but their offense could use another bat.

Potential Targets – David Dejesus, Luke Scott, Aubrey Huff

New York Mets

Needs – Leftfield, First Base, Starting Pitching. The Mets should not be contenders, but in New York, there is no such thing as sellers.

Plus, after Omar Minaya’s press conference yesterday, it’s official – Omar Minaya is out of his mind.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson, Luke Scott, David Dejesus, Aubrey Huff

St Louis Cardinals

Needs – The Cardinals acquired Mark DeRosa and then acquired the best hitter on the market in Matt Holliday. The Cardinals also acquired Julio Lugo from the Boston Red Sox

I don’t think the Cardinals have any prospects to deal to make another trade.

Potential Targets – None

Milwaukee Brewers

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Brewers’ starting rotation has fallen apart recently. Offense is not the issue with this team.

The Brewers have already acquired Felipe Lopez from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Jon Garland, Doug Davis, Jarrod Washburn, Ian Snell

Chicago Cubs

Needs – Bullpen. The Cubs just need the players they already have to play better. They could use another arm in the pen.

The Cubs have signed BJ Ryan

Potential Targets – Joe Beimel, Danys Baez, Jamey Wright

Houston Astros

Needs – Third Base, First Base, Starting Pitching. The Astros are now in the thick of the NL Central and Wild Card race. With Lance Berkman going on the DL, the Astros could now use a solid bench player for insurance.

Problem Astros will have making trades is that their farm system is not that good.

I love Mark Teahen for the Astros. Can play 1st, 3rd, 2nd, and the outfield.

Potential Targets – Jon Garland, Brian Bannister, Doug Davis, Bobby Crosby, Mark Teahen

Cincinnati Reds

Needs – Offense. With Jay Bruce now out six-to-eight weeks with a fractured wrist, the Reds are desperate for offense. They should really be sellers, but they are still only 7.5 games out of first in the NL Central.

Potential Targets – Mark Teahan, David Dejesus, Marco Scutaro, Scott Rolen

Los Angeles Dodgers

Needs – Bullpen. With Roland Belasario out with an inflamed elbow (it was only a matter of time before Joe Torre blew someone’s arm out) and Jonathon Broxton suffering from a toe injury, the Dodgers could use some insurance in the pen.

The Dodgers have also been linked to ace’s Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

Potential Targets – Joe Beimel, Juan Cruz, John Grabow, George Sherrill, Danys Baez, Ron Mahay, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Jarrod Washburn

San Francisco Giants

Needs – Offense. The Giants can use all the offense they can get.

The Giants acquired Ryan Garko from the Cleveland Indians last night.

Potential Targets – Jermaine Dye, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Nick Johnson, Alex Rios, Josh Willingham

VMart could be traded

VMart could be traded

Colorado Rockies

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. Everyone thought the Rockies would be sellers at this point, but they are the leaders of the Wild Card race. As usual, the Rockies could use some pitching help.

The Rockies acquired Rafael Betancourt from the Cleveland Indians.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Ian Snell, Matt Capps, John Grabow, Takashi Saito, Danys Baez, Miguel Batista

Boston Red Sox

Needs – Offense. I don’t want to hear the Red Sox are fourth in baseball in runs scored – they need offense.

The Red Sox acquired Adam LaRoche from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chris Duncan from the St Louis Cardinals last week.

Potential Targets – Victor Martinez, Mark Teahan, Jack Wilson, Orlando Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Roy Halladay

New York Yankees

Needs – Starting Pitching, Bullpen. The Yankees are having back of the rotation issues right now and they could use another arm in the pen. The Yankees have been linked to Halladay, Cliff Lee, Washburn and Bronson Arroyo.

The Yankees have already traded for Eric Hinske

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Joe Beimel, John Grabow, Cliff Lee, Bronson Arroyo, Jarrod Washburn, Ian Snell

Tampa Bay Rays

Needs – Starting Pitching, Catcher, Right Field. I still think the Rays could use another solid, depandable arm in the pen, but they seem to have targeted Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

They are also looking to upgrade the Gabe Gross/Gabe Kapler platoon in right and also at the catcher position. Dioner Navarro has been disappointing this year.

Potential Targets – Jamey Wright, Danys Baez, Mark Teahan, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez

Detroit Tigers

Needs – Bullpen, Offense. The Tigers have two top of the rotation starters in Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson. However, after watcing them versus the Yankees, I think they could use another bat

I also think they could use another arm in the pen to go along with Rodney. Joel Zumaya recently landed on the DL.

Potential Targets – Matt Capps, Ron Mahay, John Grabow, Mike Gonzalez, Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn, Jarrod Washburn

Minnesota Twins

Needs – Middle Infield. Freddy Sanchez makes so much sense it’s scary.

Potential Targets – Freddy Sanchez, Adam Kennedy, Orlando Cabrera, Marco Scutaro

Where will Doc land?

Where will Doc land?

Chicago White Sox

Needs – Starting Pitching. Kenny Williams already tried for Jake Peavy, will he go after Roy Halladay?

The White Sox have already acquired reliever Tony Pena from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. For the first time in a long time, the Angels offense is not the problem. The Angels need bullpen help in the worst way and of course, they might be in on Roy Halladay.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Scott Kazmir, John Grabow, Arthur Rhodes, Joe Beimel, George Sherrill

Texas Rangers

Needs – Starting Pitching. Isn’t it always about pitching with the Rangers? The Rangers have the farm system, but do they have the money? That is the question with the Rangers.

The Rangers bullpen might get a boost with Neftali Feliz. He has been pitching from the stretch recently and is preparing for a bullpen stint with the Rangers for this year.

Potential Targets – Doug Davis, Brad Penny, Brian Bannister, Ben Sheets (free agent), Takashi Saito, George Sherrill, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee.

Seattle Mariners

Needs – Third Base, Leftfield, Shortstop. The Mariners might hold the key to the trading deadline. The have potentially one of the most desirable pitchers on the market, if the Mariners should pack it in – Jarrod Washburn.

Erik Bedard picked the worst time to go on the DL for the M’s.

The Mariners are 51-47 and 7.5 games back of the Angels in the AL West. They have dropped 3.5 games in the standing since this original post. I still see them trying to add instead of giving up players.

They have already acquired 3B Jack Hannrahan from the A’s.

Potential Targets – Garrett Atkins, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jack Wilson, Marco Scutaro, Orlando Cabrera, David DeJesus

So there are the 21 teams and the players they might be interested in. Who do you want your favorite team to target? Let’s discuss.

As July 31st Approaches, What Do The Contenders Need?

July 15, 2009

One of the best days of the year is quickly approaching – the July 31st major league baseball trading deadline. July 31st and the days leading up to that day are the days where your favorite team can make a trade to put them over the top.

However, in the New York Mets case in 2004 when they traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, it could be a day where your team morgages the future just for a chance to make the playoffs.

The big name on the block for this year’s deadline is Toronto Blue Jay ace, Roy Halladay. If Halladay doesn’t get traded (50-5o at this point), it might be a quiet trading deadline. The main reason for that – parity.

Out of the 30 teams in baseball, only 9 are considered sellers. Those 9 teams would be the Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, and the Oakland A’s.

This year we might even see contenders trading with contenders, just to open things up a bit. It’s hard to make trades when there are so many teams who think they have a realistic chance of making the playoffs. However, that won’t prevent me from taking a look at what those 21 contending teams need come the trading deadline.

Here are the needs of the 21 contending teams and who they could potentially target.

Philadelphia Phillies

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Phillies are going for it again and are looking for a big time pitcher.

Hallday is a wanted man

Halladay is a wanted man

The Phillies signed Pedro Martinez today.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Brad Penny

Florida Marlins

Needs – Bullpen. With Lindstrom out, the Marlins need help in the pen.

Potential Targets – Chad Qualls, Juan Cruz, BJ Ryan (free agent), Cla Meredith, Matt Capps, John Grabow, George Sherrill

Atlanta Braves

Needs – Leftfield, Second base. The Braves have already traded for Nate McLouth and Ryan Church, but their offense could use another bat.

Potential Targets – Freddy Sanchez, David Dejesus, Adam Kennedy

New York Mets

Needs – Leftfield, First Base, Starting Pitching. The Mets should not be contenders, but in New York, there is no such thing as sellers.

Potential Targets – Matt Holliday, Roy Halladay, Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson, Luke Scott, David Dejesus, Aubrey Huff

St Louis Cardinals

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Cardinals have already acquired Mark DeRosa. They have been one of the most aggressive teams this year in terms of pusuing trades

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Brad Penny, Brian Bannister, Gil Meche

Milwaukee Brewers

Needs – Starting Pitching. The Brewers’ starting rotation has fallen apart recently. Offense is not the issue with this team.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Jon Garland, Doug Davis

Chicago Cubs

Needs – Bullpen. The Cubs just need the players they already have to play better. They could use another arm in the pen.

Potential Targets – BJ Ryan (free agent), Joe Beimel, Danys Baez, Jamey Wright

Houston Astros

Needs – Third Base, Starting Pitching. How this team is at .500 and only 3.5 games out is mind boggling. Problem Astros will have making trades is that their farm system is not that good.

Potential Targets – Jon Garland, Brian Bannister, Doug Davis

Cincinnati Reds

Needs – Offense. With Jay Bruce now out six-to-eight weeks with a fractured wrist, the Reds are desperate for offense. They should really be sellers, but they are still only five games out of first in the NL Central.

Potential Targets – Mark Teahan, David Dejesus, Marco Scutaro, Luke Scott, Jermaine Dye

Los Angeles Dodgers

Needs – Bullpen. With Roland Belasario out with an inflamed elbow (it was only a matter of time before Joe Torre blew someone’s arm out) and Jonathon Broxton suffering from a toe injury, the Dodgers could use some insurance in the pen.

Potential Targets – Joe Beimel, Juan Cruz, John Grabow, George Sherrill, Danys Baez, Ron Mahay

San Francisco Giants

Needs – Offense. The Giants can use all the offense they can get.

Potential Targets – Jermaine Dye, Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Matt Holliday, Nick Johnson, Alex Rios, Adam LaRoche

Colorado Rockies

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. Everyone thought the Rockies would be sellers at this point, but they are right in the thick of the Wild Card race. As usual, the Rockies could use some pitching help.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Ian Snell, Matt Capps, John Grabow, Takashi Saito, Danys Baez

Boston Red Sox

Needs – Offense. I don’t want to hear the Red Sox are fourth in baseball in runs scored – they need offense. They also need insurance for Mike Lowell.

Potential Targets – Victor Martinez, Mark Teahan, Scott Rolen, Jack Wilson, Roy Halladay

New York Yankees

Needs – Starting Pitching, Bullpen. The Yankees are having back of the rotation issues right now and they could use another arm in the pen. The Yankees have already traded for Eric Hinske

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Joe Beimel, John Grabow

Tampa Bay Rays

Needs – Bullpen, Right Field. I still think the Rays could use another solid, depandable arm in the pen. They are also looking to upgrade the Gabe Gross/Gabe Kapler platoon in right.

Potential Targets – Jamey Wright, Danys Baez, Cla Meredith, Mark Teahan, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham

Detroit Tigers

Needs – Bullpen. The Tigers have the offense and they have two top of the rotation starters in Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson. I think they could use another arm in the pen to go along with Zumaya and Rodney.

Potential Targets – Cla Meredith, Matt Capps, Ron Mahay, John Grabow, Mike Gonzalez

Sanchez would be perfect for the Twins

Sanchez would be perfect for the Twins

Minnesota Twins

Needs – Second Base. Freddy Sanchez makes so much sense it’s scary.

Potential Targets – Freddy Sanchez, Adam Kennedy

Chicago White Sox

Needs – Starting Pitching. Kenny Williams already tried for Jake Peavy, will he go after Roy Halladay? The White Sox have already acquired reliever Tony Pena from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Needs – Bullpen, Starting Rotation. For the first time in a long time, the Angels offense is not the problem. The Angels need bullpen help in the worst way and of course, they might be in on Roy Halladay.

Potential Targets – Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, John Grabow, Arthur Rhodes, Joe Beimel, George Sherrill

Texas Rangers

Needs – Starting Pitching. Isn’t it always about pitching with the Rangers? The Rangers have the farm system, but do they have the money? That is the question with the Rangers.

The Rangers bullpen might get a boost with Neftali Feliz. He has been pitching from the stretch recently and is preparing for a bullpen stint with the Rangers for this year.

Potential Targets – Doug Davis, Brad Penny, Brian Bannister, Ben Sheets (free agent), Takashi Saito

Seattle Mariners

Needs – Third Base, Leftfield, Shortstop. The Mariners might hold the key to the trading deadline. The have potentially two of the most desirable pitchers on the market, if the Mariners should pack it in – Jarrod Washburn and Erik Bedard.

The Mariners are 46-42 and only four games back of the Angels in the AL West. I see them trying to add instead of giving up players.

They have already acquired 3B Jack Hannrahan from the A’s.

Potential Targets – Garrett Atkins, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jack Wilson, Orlando Cabrera, David DeJesus

So there are the 21 teams and the players they might be interested in. Who do you want your favorite team to target? Let’s discuss.

Benching All-Stars All The Rage In Baseball This Year…

June 26, 2009

Has there ever been a year that you can remember where so many All-Star caliber players have been benched? First it was David Ortiz, then it was Garrett Atkins, then Magglio Ordonez, and now it is Jimmy Rollins, and Milton Bradley. It has gotten to a point where I wouldn’t be surprised to see Albert Pujols benched. Well, I don’t think it will ever get that far, but I think you get my point.

According to MLB.com, Phillies shortstop and former MVP Jimmy Rollins has been benched for two games by manager Charlie Manuel. Rollins sat out last night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays and will sit on Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rollins has been terrible this year

Rollins has been terrible this year

This has to be alarming for Philly fans. Rollins is batting just .211 with with a Rafael Santana-like .254 OBP this year. Manuel even moved Rollins to the six hole, and that hasn’t worked either. Rollins is just 7-for-56 since moving to that spot in the order.

It is really starting to look like Rollin’s 2007 MVP season, where he hit .296 with 30 HR’s and had 96 RBI was a career year and will never be reached again. A .275/.285 avg. with 10-15 HR’s is probably more where Rollins should be every year.

I can’t imagine Rollins being this bad for this long. He is in no way a .211 hitter. I am going to venture to say that Rollins has a huge second half and turns this around.

The other All-Star caliber player that was benched recently was Chicago Cubs’ OF Milton Bradley. According to Chris DeLuca of the Chicago Sun Times, Bradley will be riding the pine until Saturday.

Can the Cubs have their $30MM back?

Can the Cubs have their $30MM back?

Bradley, who signed a three year, $30MM contract with the Cubs in the offseason has been a disaster so far. I didn’t like this move when it happened, and it is even looking worse now. Bradley is batting just .241 with five HR’s and 16 RBI in 55 games for the Cubs this year.

How is Bobby Abreu looking now Jim Hendry?

With a player like Jimmy Rollins, I expect a turn around. With Milton Bradley, I have no idea what to expect. He could flip out, he could start ripping the ball like he did last year when he had a .321 avg., or he could just continue to be terrible. Who knows with this guy. That is why giving a three contract to a guy who is an enigma was such a risky move.

That is all the benching talk for now. With the way this season is going, I am sure we will be adding to this list of All-Star caliber players who have lost it at the plate this year.

Defense And The Bullpen Fueling The Colorado Rockies Hot Streak…

June 22, 2009
How would you like your favorite team to lose to the Colorado Rockies today? Would you like them to be beaten senseless, like the Rockies beat the St Louis Cardinals 10-1 on June 6th? Maybe you would like it better if the Rockies beat them in a close game, wire to wire like they beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on June 17th? Or perhaps you would prefer for your team to lose to the Rockies in their final at-bat, like the Rockies beat the Pirates on June 20th?

These are the questions that fans and teams alike are asking when they now face the buzzsaw known as the Colorado Rockies. That’s because the Rockies have won 16 out of their 17 games and are winning games in every way possible.

The Rockies are now 36-33 and have thrown their hat into the middle of the Wild Card race. How have the Rockies turned their season around? Many will point to the firing of Clint Hurdle on May 29th. Under new manager Jim Tracy, the Rockies are 18-5. While there is no arguing that Tracy has made an impact on the Rockies, I am going to look two other reasons why the Rockies are rolling – Defense and the bullpen.

First, the Rockies inserted rookie and super-athlete Dexter Fowler in the starting centerfield spot. Fowler can cover a ton of ground in the spacious Coors Field and has stabilized the outfield defense. He is able to get to balls that Ryan Spilborghs normally couldn’t get to.

Dexter Fowler

Dexter Fowler

This move allowed Spilborghs to move to leftfield, where he is much better suited. Brad Hawpe is still a below average fielder in right (-7.3 UZR and a 1.8 RF), but as Meatloaf once said “Two out of three ain’t bad.” Having Spilborghs in left and Fowler in center, allows Fowler to cheat more towards right center, so he can get to balls Hawpe can’t.

The second move the Rockies made to sure up the defense was to insert Ian Stewart for the player formally known as Garrett Atkins at third, and put Clint Barmes at second full-time. With Stewart and Barmes in the infield, along with the steady Todd Helton at first and the potential Gold Glove winning Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop, the Rockies have one of the best defensive infields in baseball.

One of the big keys to winning baseball games, especially in Coors Field, is not give the team more than three outs in an inning. With this new defense, the Rockies are playing sound, defensive baseball and are making teams work for their runs.

The other key to the Rockies’ recent success has been there bullpen, particularly my boy, Huston Street. I say my boy because before the season, I predicted a nice bounce back year for the former University of Texas star.

Street has been on fire

Street has been on fire

There is a lot to be said for a team that has a stable closer to nail down a save in the ninth inning. It allows all the other relievers to fit into their own roles. Nobody is questioning what their role is in the pen.

Street has 16 saves in 17 opportunities this year and has really turned it on in the months of May and June. In May, Street was six for six in save opportunities with a 0.82 ERA. In June, Street is 1-0 with eight saves and a 2.79 ERA. Street has now recorded either a save or a win in 10 of his last 11 appearances.

This isn’t the first time the Rockies have gone on a streak like this. As we know, the Rockies won 20 out of 21 games in 2007 to make their first ever World Series appearance. Is there going to be another “Rocktober” in Colorado? We will just have to wait and see, but right now the Rockies are on one serious roll.