Yearly Archives: 2007

November 25, 2007

NLC Transactions 11/19-11/25

Is it Sunday already? Seems like I just did this a few hours ago. But yeah, it’s Sunday already. Time to catch up on another week of transactions in the tough NL Central. So without further delay:

On Monday 11/19:

  • The Brewers added RHP Tim Dillard, IF Alcides Escobar, C Lou Palmisano, and RHP Luis Pena to their 40-man roster
  • The Cardinals signed former Reds C Jason LaRue to a one-year contract and inked RHP Dewon Brazelton and RHP John Wasdin to minor league deals.

On Tuesday 11/20:

  • The Cardinals purchased the contracts of RHPs Kyle McClellan and Jason Motte from Double-A Springfield; and purchased the contracts of RHPs Mike Parisi and Mark Worrell and IF Jarrett Hoffpauir from Triple-A Memphis. They also released RHPs Andy Cavazos and Brian Falkenborg.
  • The Pirates, meanwhile, purchased the contracts of RHPs Olivo Astacio and Ronald Belisario from Double-A Altoona and purchased the contract of IF Brian Bixler from Triple-A Indianapolis. They also claimed RHP Jimmy Barthmaier off waivers from the Houston Astros; and DFA’ed RHP Josh Sharpless, LHP Shane Youman, and 1B Josh Phelps.
  • The Brewers traded C Johnny Estrada to the Mets for RHP Guillermo Mota.
  • The Astros Signed IF Geoff Blum to a one-year contract; purchased the contracts of RHPs Samuel Gervacio, Brad James and Chad Reineke; and of course, lost Barthmaier to the Pirates on the aforementioned waiver claim.
  • The Reds purchased the contracts of RHPs Richie Gardner, Daryl Thompson and Ramon Ramirez, SS Paul Janish and LHP Tyler Pelland from Triple-A Louisville; and purchased the contract of C Craig Tatum from Double-A Chattanooga.

There have been no transactions reported by Major League Baseball since Tuesday. The fact that Thursday was Thanksgiving might have had something to do with that. So let’s look at the two deals in the above that involved major leaguers.

First, the Astros bringing back Blum, who was with the club previously in 2002 and 2003 before being traded to Tampa Bay for Brandon Backe. Blum has also played for the Padres (twice) and White Sox since then, hitting the game-winning homer for the Sox against the Astros in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series. The Astros have signed him to a one-year, $1.1 million deal with a clup option for 2009.

Johnny Estrada for Guillermo Mota would appear to be a coup for the Mets, who not only get a talented, switch-hitting, starting catcher, but also rid themselves of an embarassment in Mota, a steroid-tarnished reliever who played a direct role in the Mets’ 2007 late-season collapse.

For the Brew Crew, Estrada became expendable when the club reached a tentative agreement with free agent C Jason Kendall on a one-year contract (with a club option for 2009) on Wednesday. Kendall, 33, finished the 2007 season with the Cubs, where he hit .270 with a .362 OBP after a midseason trade from Oakland. He’s a 12-year major league veteran with a career .297 batting average.

The Brewers also get Mota to help a bullpen that has been rocked with the loss of Scott Linebrink to the White Sox and Francisco Cordero to the Reds. Mota was 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA in 52 appearances with the Mets after returning from a 50-game suspension for steroids. Since 2002, Mota ranks fourth among major league relievers with 444-1/3 innings pitched, and the Brewers like his durability. But how much of that durability was Mota and how much of it was the steroids?

I’d love to wrap up this post with some witty crack about how the answer to that question will be (to paraphrase Bob Dylan) “Blowin’ In The Wind” when Mota pitches at Miller Park, but the facility has a retractable roof, so there’s no guarantee there will actually be any wind other than that being passed by the bratwurst-stoked fans there. Dadgummed technology!


November 25, 2007

Episode 80: We’re Back!

I’d been building up the idea of the first podcast after Red Hot Mama’s change to all NLC teams, all the time. Finally, over a month later, the Crack Technical Staff convinced me that we just have to get it over with so it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Oddly familiar persuasion on his part.

Today we discuss what we’re thankful for in regards to baseball, and manage to be only mostly sarcastic about it. We also talk about the recent acquisitions, briefly mention the GM meetings, and remember Joe Nuxhall.

November 23, 2007

Reds To Sign All-Star Closer

No official announcement from the Reds on this yet, but ESPN and Fox are reporting this evening that closer Francisco Cordero and the team have reached preliminary agreement on a four-year, $46 million contract, which includes a club option for a fifth year and is subject to Cordero passing a physical.

Cordero worked 63-1/3 innings for the Brewers last season, converting 44 of 51 save opportunities while going 0-4 with a 2.98 ERA. He fanned 86 batters while walking only 18, and made the All-Star team for the second time in his career.

The signing would represent a second serious blow to the bullpen of the division rival Brewers, who have also apparently lost setup man Scott Linebrink to the White Sox. Linebrink reportedly has agreed to a four-year, $19 million deal with the ChiSox pending a physical.

The Fox article states that the deal would be the largest four-year contract ever given to a closer.

November 21, 2007

Jimmy Rollins Wins NL MVP

Now, I like Jimmy Rollins as much as the next baseball blogger. No, in fact, I think I like Jimmy Rollins far more than your typical baseball blogger. But I don’t think I would have thought to have given him the NL MVP.

However, as the rather wordy article on points out, “He batted .346 (28-for-81) with six homers, 15 RBIs and 15 runs in 18 games against those Mets and started all 162 games at shortstop, playing all but 17 innings,” and continues “A defensive whiz as well, Rollins committed just 11 errors, enough for his first Gold Glove, though his fielding percentage was second to Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki.”

Representing for the NLC are Prince Fielder from Milwaukee coming in a skookum third and Albert Pujols of the Cardinals coming in ninth. Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Marmol appeared for the Cubs, with Marmol getting one 10th place vote. Not bad for a guy I couldn’t have named before seeing him on the list.

Carlos Lee of Houston and Ryan Braun of Milwaukee also made the list. Even Cincinnati had a representative in Brandon Phillips, who brought home an eighth place vote.

2007 NL MVP Award Voting

Player, Club 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Jimmy Rollins, PHI 16 7 4 4 1           353
Matt Holliday, COL 11 18 1 1   1         336
Prince Fielder, MIL 5 6 17 3       1     284
David Wright, NYM   1 4 12 7 1 1 2     182
Ryan Howard, PHI     2 6 3 3 3 2   3 112
Chipper Jones, ATL     1 3 3 7 5 1 1   107
Jake Peavy, SD       2 5 5 4 1 4 1 97
Chase Utley, PHI     1   5 2 6 4 1 3 89
Albert Pujols, STL         1 2 2 3 6 5 50
Hanley Ramirez, FLA         3 2   4 4 1 49
Eric Byrnes, ARI           1 3 4 7   43
Alfonso Soriano, CHC     1   1 2 2 1 1 2 39
Aramis Ramirez, CHC         2 2 1 2 2   36
Jose Valverde, ARI         1 2     1 1 19
Miguel Cabrera, FLA       1     2     3 18
Jose Reyes, NYM           1 2   1 1 16
Brandon Webb, ARI             1 1 2 4 15
Troy Tulowitzki, COL     1         1   2 13
Carlos Lee, HOU               1 1 2 7
Adrian Gonzalez, SD           1       1 6
Carlos Beltran, NYM               2     6
Brandon Phillips, CIN               1     3
Aaron Rowand, PHI               1     3
Brad Hawpe, COL                 1   2
Ryan Braun, MIL                   2 2
Carlos Marmol, CHC                   1 1
November 20, 2007

Speaking Of Familiar Faces

Speaking of familiar faces, there’s a nice little article here about Raquel Aurilia’s album, Finding My Way, produced by Tony Papa (Survivor, Weird Al Yankovic, Sylvie Vartan, James Brown) and released on Shea Records. The first single has cracked Billboard’s top-30 chart of adult contemporary hits, putting Ms. Aurilia in company with superstars Avril Lavigne, John Mayer, Lifehouse, Santana and LeAnn Rimes.

So now, former Reds infielder Rich Aurilia has another career lined up for after he retires from baseball. He can be a roadie, drive Raquel’s tour bus, and complain about radio stations not giving his wife’s songs enough playing time. 🙄

For those who just joined us, RHM has interviewed both Rich and Raquel Aurilia for her podcast, and I’ve called her a familiar face because that’s her lovely visage we’ve been looking all this time at on the left-hand column, about 2/3 of the way down the front page of this blog, linked to RHM’s review of the album.