January 27, 2008

This Week’s NLC Transactions

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 Astros’ 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!

2 comments to “This Week’s NLC Transactions”

  1. BubbaFan says:

    The Jays had to make room for their new catcher, Rod Barajas. (And boy, what a weird situation that was.)

    They’re probably hoping Little Ray Ray clears waivers, so they can stash him in Syracuse.

  2. KC2HMZ says:

    Let the record show that BubbaFan was right (again) – as it turned out, that is precisely what the Blue Jays hoped to do with Little Ray Ray, outright him to Syracuse and invite him to spring training.

    Yes, Barajas backed out of a contract with the Blue Jays last year. They ended up keeping Gregg Zaun instead, while Barajas rode the pine in Philly behind Carlos Ruiz.

    Zaun was your typical Ernie Whitt/Pat Borders type Blue Jays catcher. Barajas is basically Jason LaRue. Unless the Orioles trade Bedard for an entire all-star team, Toronto will probably still finish third, behind the Sox and Yankees and ahead of the O’s and Rays.