It is Sunday again, and thus, time again for the weekly summary of player transactions conducted during the past week by teams in the National League’s Central division. At least I’m actually getting it done on Sunday this time instead of being in mid-week and a couple of days late.
On Monday, the Cardinals inked catcher Yadier “Brother of Bengie and Jose” Molina to a $15.5 million, four-year contract extension with a club option for a fifth season. The deal avoided arbitration and locked up one of the game’s best young catchers – and card-carrying member of The Flying Molina Brothers – throughout his arbitration eligibility “season.”
Meanwhile, the Cubs signed righthander Michael Wuertz to a one-year contract worth $860,000, avoiding their last arbitration-eligible case this year by more than doubling the reliever’s salary of last year.
On Tuesday, the Astros avoided arbitration by signing RHP Dave Borkowski to a one-year contract worth $800,000 plus incentives. This leaves infielder Mark Loretta and closer Jose “Papa Grande” Valverde as the Astrosâ€™ only remaining arbitration-eligible players.
On Wednesday, the Reds finalized their previously reported deal with reliever Jeremy Affeldt, designating OF Jeff Fiorentino for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Affeldt (Fiorentino subsequently was picked up by Oakland off waivers on Friday). Also on Wednesday, the Brewers signed IF Abraham Nunez (a former Pirate and Cardinal) to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
On Thursday, the Pirates signed RHP Hector Carrasco (a former Red), LHP Casey Fossum, and RHP Jaret Wright to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training.
Finally, although this has nothing to do with the NLC, Toronto on Thursday DFA’ed former Reds infielder and longtime RHM favorite Ray Olmedo. Yes, the Blue Jays let go Little Ray Ray, who now may be coming soon to a baseball team near you.
I guess getting Scott Rolen must have gone to their heads. Either that, or the knowledge that they’re doomed to rot forever in third place in the AL East, regardless of who their third baseman is. Either way, if you’ll excuse me, I’m now going to go program the new radio I bought yesterday. That is, of course, after I first RTFM!