The Baseball Revue
New York Yankees get: RHP Jeff Weaver
Oakland Athletics get: LHP Ted Lilly, RHP Jason Arnold and OF John-Ford Griffin
Detroit Tigers get: 1B Carlos Pena, RHP Franklyn German and player to be named (from A's) (07.05)
The major part of this deal boils down to Weaver, Lilly and Pena, the keys for all three teams in the trade. Weaver is by far the best player involved, meaning the Yankees have a third ace-quality pitcher to their starting rotation, contrary to Tom Carroll's beliefs that the Yankees would put Weaver in the bullpen for Jumbo Wells or El Dookie or whomever.
Weaver will likely slide right into the No. 4 spot in the Yankee rotation, though he could be qualified as their best starting pitcher just on this year's numbers alone. He has outpitched every starter in the Yankee rotation this season, which is pretty good when you consider we're talking about Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte above the eh-ish rubble of what was the bottom two spots.
Fanball.com had the gall to say Lilly would be "hard-pressed" to supplant Cory Lidle as Oakland's No. 5 starter. If Lilly is at all "hard-pressed" to supplant Lidle, it will be because Lilly suddenly absolutely sucks, or because Oakland is not as smart as we've all thought them to be prior to this season, and Jason Giambi meant a whole hell of a lot more to their success than anyone imagined.
What Detroit gets is a still-blue chip prospect in Pena, who might never hit 40 homers at Comerica Park but should be good for 20-30 and Gold Glove-level defense for the next decade or so, although the chances of him staying a Tiger for that long are slim. They also get a minor league reliever (yawn) and a John Mabry, because you can't have enough 1B/3B/LF/PH guys when you're the Deeeeeetroit Tiiiiiiiiigers.
In reality this may have just locked up New York's division title and their run to the World Series and Boston needs Jim Thome and a starter now to keep pace. This is sad and disgusting and I think I want to vomit, but goddamn hell the Yankees are smart.
BOSTON RED SOX
Baerga is a neat guy and a heck of a story, but there are much more useful players that could have gone down, so this should not be looked at as a big loss (duh). Gomes was a useful pitcher for about a season before basically disappearing from the Pretty Good Short Reliever Radar last year. He's wasteaway insurance at best unless he gets on a roll.
Okay, I suppose. Gutierrez has sucked big sour lemons all season long, and his injury could actually be looked at as a relief. You could go, "Whew, at least Gutierrez isn't playing today." You didn't have to be happy that he was hurt, but hey, it was an excuse for him to not be in the lineup. Selby is probably a more useful player for the Indians, since he can spot at second and third very well and provided a left-handed bat, but Jolbert Cabrera got shot in the ass so he gets to stick around instead.
NEW YORK YANKEES
Optioned LHP Randy Choate to Triple-A Columbus; recalled RHP Brandon Knight from Columbus. (07.04)
Optioned RHP Rob Bell to Oklahoma; recalled LHP Randy Flores from Oklahoma. (07.05)
You know, I'd talk about Carl Everett and his crazy ways, but the fact of the matter is that he's not only a lunatic, but he's also a shitty ballplayer now. His name means about as much to me as Karim Garcia's at this point.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
It's about damn time Phelps came up, and it'll have been about damn time whenever they release Darrin Fletcher.
Oh for the love of peanuts, will you stop pretending Todd Stottlemyre is actually on the team? Just release him and make it official, or ask him nicely to retire and give him his money and leave it alone. He just had yet another surgery on his elbow, which makes about 305 surgeries over his career to various parts of his anatomy, which means he's not only aging and broken down naturally, but aging, broken down naturally, and his arm is about to literally fall from his body.
Fired manager Don Baylor; named Triple-A Iowa manager Bruce Kimm the interim manager; named Jim Hendry general manager. (07.05)
Oh Flash you are sooooo...FUNKY.
Hey wait, holy crap! The Cubs actually fired Don Baylor! Granted they have a long, long history of being impatient with coaches, but I had it in my mind that they'd keep Baylor around way too long. Actually, having Baylor around for any amount of time is having Baylor around for way too long, but you get what I mean. Baylor is a terrible, awful, horrible, horrendous idiot of a manager that has no business ever managing another major league team again, but GOD KNOWS he will, and the place I'm looking right at is Cleveland whenever Charlie "Nice Ol' Fella" Manuel gets the ax.
Purchased the contract of RHP Jared Fernandez from Triple-A Louisville. (07.04)
Man, remember last year when Cincy was giddy over Davis' 8-4 record and willingness to take it to opposing hitters? Man. That seems like a long time ago.
Hernandez has been pretty inconsistent with promising ups and discouraging downs all season long. He still walks too many people and gives up too many hits and is generally still a work in progress, but the potential for him to be a dominant lefty starter is still very much there, make no mistake about that.
NEW YORK METS
Optioned RHP Tyler Walker to Norfolk; recalled LHP Mike Bacsik from Norfolk. (07.05)
The basic Call Up A Lefty plan.
Hyzdu is uh...Hyzdu is...uh...Hyzdu is not entirely out of place on a major league roster, let's put it that way. He will never in a million years match his numbers from places like Altoona, but he can hit a little and doesn't make a fool of himself in the outfield. He's 30 years old, so his time to be a starter has long since passed. If he can just put the bat on the ball now and again, he can't hurt this team. Adrian Brown, while maybe not as bad as our own Matt Etling thinks, sucks.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
And this is exactly why you have Tom Goodwin on your Triple-A roster. Marvin Benard, PSYCHE.
Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL, retroactive to June 27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Triple-A Salt Lake. (06.28)
You have to wonder if in times like these, the Angels wish they had more disposable veterans in Salt Lake to bring up for a few days on a moment's notice. The good news is that the Angels are giving Lackey a look in the starter's role. He is, as mentioned before, Anaheim's top pitching prospect, with much more upside and talent than the man he bumped from the rotation, Scott Schoeneweis. Schoeneweis could be effective in his new bullpen role, while we're at it. There are times he looks great for up to five innings, and then the wheels come off. Maybe this is what he needs. Lackey gave up one run in six innings in his first start, and doesn't look like he'll be coming back out any time soon.
BOSTON RED SOX
This is a good pickup for the Cubs in the sense that he can easily replace any lefty in their current bullpen, but they won't ask him to unless it's necessary. This is a lost season for the Cubs, so it doesn't have much real effect. Miller could have done a contender some good.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
You know, this is not to say he's great or anything, but Paul can hit a little and is that rare breed of a catcher that can steal a few bases. He's also better defensively than Alomar, who is about as washed-up as they come. I guess this just goes to show that name recognition at a thin position means even more than hometown favoritism.
Pretty cut-and-dry, Silva's hurt (as usual), and up comes non-descript righty Luke Hudson. Whoopty damn doo.
Drew, J.D.'s little brother, is a pretty fair prospect with some good upside. It's the second straight year that the Expos have gotten one of Cleveland's more notable minor league pitching names after acquiring Zach Day in the Milton Bradley trade last summer.
Does a team like the Tigers really need to be screwing around with someone as brittle and mediocre as Jacob Cruz? I submit that it does not. Of course, the fact that they're doing it anyway is just another reason that they are the Detroit Tigers.
There are disastrous starts to major league careers, and then there's Kirk Saarloos's first three starts with the Astros. In 8.2 IP combined, he gave up 21 hits, 17 earned runs and seven walks, posting an 0-2 record with a 17.65 and 3.23 WHIP. If he hasn't lost his confidence completely, he should still be a solid major league starter for a long time.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Recalled RHP Kris Wilson from Omaha; optioned OF Alexis Gomez to Omaha. (06.30)
Yes, this is really the very same Mike Caruso of the '98-'99 White Sox that had a rather encouraging rookie season at 21 (.306-.331-.390), followed it with a horrendous sophomore slump (.250-.280-.297), and then dropped off the face of the earth. Welcome back, Kotter!
I'll tell you what. Matt Kinney sure is chubby.
NEW YORK METS
Komiyama is not so much bad as he's painfully mediocre, slightly below league-average in most everything. Roberts currently has a WHIP identical to his ERA (1.39), so that's something to talk about.
NEW YORK YANKEES
Purchased the contract of C Chris Widger from Triple-A Columbus; designated C Alberto Castillo for assignment. (06.29)
Acquired OF Raul Mondesi from the Toronto Blue Jays for minor-league LHP Scott Wiggins. (07.01)
In Mondesi, the Yankees get a talented King of Potential. They also get one who's 31 years old. They also get one that has never driven in 100 runs. They also get a lazy, volatile, arrogant jerk that's hitting .224 with a .736 OPS. This is hardly something you pay a guy $11 million or whatever for. I admit his talent, but I refuse to buy into the belief that he could potentially be one of the best outfielders in baseball. We've been saying that for almost a decade now. I also refuse to give him much respect, since he's a big fat punk and I plum just don't like the feller.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Optiond RHP Gene Stechschulte to Memphis; recalled RHP Mike Crudale from Memphis. (07.01)
It's amazing that it took Drew this long. He should very well be one of the ten or so best outfielders in the league, yet as it is, he's the third-best on his own team. Once he gets himself stablized, if he ever does, he'll be an elite player. Or he should, anyway.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
Frankie Cats will see a lot of time at first and third base, as well as the outfield and DH. The best move the Rangers could make is to just stick him at first or a corner outfield spot and leave him be, because Herbert Perry is doing a decent enough job at third that there's no reason to bench him, unless it's for a returning Hank Blalock, and it's clear that Rafael Palmeiro is not a first baseman anymore. To make the move, the Rangers give Aaron Myette the boot back to Oklahoma, where he gets to await the next yank of his chain in 1-2 weeks.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
I love the idea to rid both the clubhouse and the payroll of Raul Mondesi, but for nothing more than a 26-year old minor league reliever? That seems a bit irresponsible, but I guess the problem was the original irresponsibility, which was giving Mondesi his contract in the first place.