Thursday, November 10, 2011

Some Quick Notes From The Last Week

Giants Trade Jonathan Sanchez to Royals for Melky Cabrera

After having a career year in 2011, the KC Royals have traded Melky Cabrera to the SF Giants for lefty Jonathan Sanchez and minor league pitcher Ryan Verdugo.  In my opinion, despite what their 2011 stats say, the Royals won this deal.  I can't believe that the Giants had to throw in another pitcher to get it done.  Cabrera posted a break out season in 2011, batting .305 with 18HR, and 87 RBI.   Sanchez, who turns 29 next week, had a down year in 2011, but in 2010 was one of the Giants better pitchers down the stretch, posting a 3.07 ERA and striking out 205 over 193.1 innings pitched.  I have more faith in Sanchez's upside than I do Cabrera's.  This deal also benefits the Royals by clearing a spot in centre field for young phenom Lorenzo Cain.

Hentgen Out as Bullpen Coach

Former AL Cy Young award winner Pat Hentgen has stepped down as the Blue Jays bullpen coach.  Hentgen quietly left the position on Monday citing personal reasons.  The Blue Jays have announced that former Blue Jay Pete Walker will be his replacement.  Hentgen will remain with the organization as a special assistant.

Jays Hire Chuck LaMar

In an effort to further bolster their scouting staff, the Blue Jays announced Friday that they had hired former Tampa Bay GM Chuck LaMar as a special assistant with an emphasis on amateur scouting.  LaMar most recently served as an assistant GM for player development and scouting for the Phillies organization.  LaMar was the first GM of the Tampa Bay Rays, and although he didn't have much success in terms of a win loss record in Tampa, his draft picks include: Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, James Shields, Jeff Niemann and Andy Sonnanstine.

Jays Pick Up Edwin's Option, Decline Rauch's

Well, what else can I say other than I agree with them here.  $3 million is a cheap price to pay for a bat that has hit 38 HR in the last two seasons, is solid defender at first base, and who can fill in at third in a pinch.  WHOA PEOPLE!  PUT AWAY THAT LYNCH!  I said in a pinch.  In a pinch he can fill in.  Cut him a little slack, you have to admit he played third base very well in September, and was making the throws consistently.  I'm not saying I want him out there at third, I don't.  Just saying that if the need arose, he can fill in.  I would much rather have him in the lineup as a designated hitter or first basemen.  I think that Edwin himself would tell you the same, and is clearly bothered by his play at third base.  His offensive numbers reflect this.  In 2011, Edwin batted just .213 with 3 HR when he played third base.  However, he batted .305 when playing first, and .296 when he was in at DH with a total of 14 HR at the two positions.  Edwin also brought his batting average up from from .225 in 2009, and .240 in 2010 up to .272 in 2011.  I would like to see what he can do with a full season of just being the designated hitter or first baseman.  With Brett Lawrie emerging this year in the second half, I doubt we will have to see him over at third very much in 2012.  At $3 million for the season, I'm glad they have him back. 

Rauch didn't have a terrible year, but he didn't have a good year either.  His option was for $3.75 million in 2012, and for a guy who had an ERA close to 5 (4.85) and a whip of 1.35 in 2011, I think you can spend that money more effectively elsewhere.  There are a lot of relievers on the free agent market this year. 

Blue Jays Outright Jesse Carlson and Adam Loewen Off of Their 40 Man Roster

Last week the Jays designated both players for assignment, and have since they have been outrighted from the 40 man roster.  This makes both players free agents.  It's too bad for Loewen, he was a great story.  A Canadian player who after making it as a pitcher, had to start over again and work his way up as an outfielder.  I expect that Loewen will catch on somewhere this year with a team that can start him every day in the outfield for the 2012 season.  Probably not a contending team, but I think someone will give him a shot.

Former Blue Jay Rod Barajas Signs with Pirates

About an hour ago, it was reported that former Jays catcher Rod Barajas has signed a 1 year $4 million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The deal includes a club option for 2013 at $3.5 million.  Barajas spent the 2011 season with the LA Dodgers where he hit .230 with 16 HR and an .287 OBP.  It is likely that he will be the Pirate's starting catcher in 2012 with the departures of Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder.

Speaking of Doumit and Snyder... Don't be surprised if one of these two guys is backing up JP in Toronto next season.

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