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Free Agency and Trades
Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro Martinez Highlight 39 Players Filing for Free Agency on Friday PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 06 November 2009 23:46

MLBVladimir Guerrero of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Pedro Martinez of the NLCS winning Philadelphia Phillies, as well as Chone Figgins, Jim Thome, and Miguel Tejada highlight the 39 players that have elected free agency pursuant to Article XX B (2) of the Basic Agreement on the second day of players eligible for free agency filing to do so.

There are 14 days left in which players may give notice of their election of free agency (see the complete list of 183 potentially eligible)

See those that filed for free agency on Day 1: Holliday, Lackey, Highlight 79 MLB Players Opting for Free Agency

Below is a listing of all 39 players that filed for Free Agency on Friday:

Player Position Club
Rafael Soriano RP AT
Scott Schoeneweis RP AZ
Alan Embree RP CO
Yorvit Torrealba C CO
Jermaine Dye OF CWS
Kiko Calero RP FL
Nick Johnson 1B FL
Aaron Boone 1B/3B HO
LaTroy Hawkins RP HO
Miguel Tejada SS HO
Bruce Chen SP/RP KC
Miguel Olivo C KC
Kelvim Escobar SP LAA
Chone Figgins 3B LAA
Vladimir Guerrero OF/DH LAA
Brad Ausmus C LAD
Guillermo Mota RP LAD
Vicente Padilla SP LAD
Jim Thome DH/1B LAD
Jeff Weaver SP LAD
Alex Cora 2B/SS NYM
Ramon Martinez 2B/SS NYM
Miguel Cairo IF PH
Pedro Martinez SP PH
Brett Myers SP PH
Miguel Batista SP/RP SE
Erik Bedard SP SE
Endy Chavez OF SE
Bengie Molina C SF
Joel Pineiro SP SL
Chad Bradford RP TB
Russ Springer RP TB
Andruw Jones OF TE
Omar Vizquel SS TE
John McDonald 3B/SS TO
Marco Scutaro 2B/SS TO
Austin Kearns OF WA
Ron Villone RP WA
Dmitri Young 1B WA

Source: MLBPA


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Holliday, Lackey, Highlight 79 MLB Players Opting for Free Agency PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 05 November 2009 19:13

MLBNo Yankees or Phillies players opted for free agency today after the World Series, but on the first day that players could do so as part of Article XX B (2) of the Basic Agreement,  79 other players did, including Matt Holiday of the St. Louis Cardinals, John Lackey of the Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem, Carlos Delgado of the Mets, and Andrian Beltre of the Mariners.

Below is a complete listing of the players that filed on the first day.

PLAYER

TEAM

POSITION

Anderson,

Garret

AT

OF

Gonzalez,

Mike

AT

RP

LaRoche,

Adam

AT

1B

Norton,

Greg

AT

1B/OF

Davis,

Doug

AZ

SP

Tracy,

Chad

AZ

1B

Baez,

Danys

BA

RP

Hendrickson,

Mark

BA

SP/RP

Moeller,

Chad

BA

C

Mora,

Melvin

BA

3B

Baldelli,

Rocco

BO

OF

Bay,

Jay

BO

OF

Wagner,

Billy

BO

RP

Harden,

Rich

CC

SP

Johnson,

Reed

CC

OF

Carroll,

Jamey

CL

2B/3B/0F

Ohka,

Tomokazu

CL

SP/RP

Giambi,

Jason

CO

1B

Marquis,

Jason

CO

SP

Castro,

Ramon

CWS

C

Podsednik,

Scott

CWS

OF

Everett,

Adam

DE

SS

Huff,

Aubrey

DE

1B/3B

Polanco,

Placido

DE

2B

Rodney,

Fernando

DE

RP

Washburn,

Jarrod

DE

SP

Donnelly,

Brendan

FL

RP

Gload,

Ross

FL

1B/OF

Erstad,

Darin

HO

1B/OF

Hampton,

Mike

HO

SP

Michaels,

Jason

HO

OF

Wright,

Jamey

KC

RP

Lackey,

John

LAA

SP

Oliver,

Darren

LAA

RP

Quinlan,

Robb

LAA

1B/3B/OF

Belliard,

Ron

LAD

2B

Garland,

Jon

LAD

SP

Hudson,

Orlando

LAD

2B

Mientkiewicz,

Doug

LAD

1B

Milton,

Eric

LAD

SP

Wolf,

Randy

LAD

SP

Cameron,

Michael

MI

OF

Catalanotto,

Frank

MI

OF

Kendall,

Jason

MI

C

Lopez,

Felipe

MI

2B/3B/SS/OF

Patterson,

Corey

MI

OF

Crede,

Joe

MN

3B

Mahay,

Ron

MN

RP

Redmond,

Mike

MN

C

Delgado,

Carlos

NYM

1B

Schneider,

Brian

NYM

C

Crosby,

Bobby

OA

SS

Duchscherer,

Justin

OA

SP

Garciaparra,

Nomar

OA

1B

Kennedy,

Adam

OA

2B

Blanco,

Henry

SD

C

Giles,

Brian

SD

OF

Beltre,

Adrian

SE

3B

Sweeney,

Mike

SE

1B/DH

Howry,

Bob

SF

RP

Penny,

Brad

SF

SP

Uribe,

Juan

SF

2B/3B/SS

Winn,

Randy

SF

OF

Ankiel,

Rick

SL

OF

De Rosa

Mark

SL

3B

Glaus,

Troy

SL

3B

Greene,

Khalil

SL

SS/3B

Holliday,

Matt

SL

OF

LaRue,

Jason

SL

C

Smoltz,

John

SL

SP

Percival,

Troy

TB

RP

Benoit,

Joaquin

TE

RP

Blalock,

Hank

TE

3B

Byrd,

Marlon

TE

OF

Guardado,

Eddie

TE

RP

Rodriguez,

Ivan

TE

C

Millar,

Kevin

TO

OF

Bard,

Josh

WA

C

Hernandez,

Livan

WA

SP

Source: MLBPA


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Matsui, Damon, Guerrero Highlight List of 183 Potential MLB Free Agents PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 05 November 2009 14:18

MLBWith the New York Yankees winning the 105th World Series, 4 games to 2 against the Philadelphia Phillies, MLB’s “silly season” is now officially underway. Clubs that didn’t make the postseason, or were eliminated along the way have already begun preparing for the 2010 season, and now, movement on the free agent front has begun.

Today, the MLB Players Association released a list of 183 potential free agents. Today marks the first day of the 15-day period in which these players may give notice of their election of free agency. The word “potential” is important as some players and clubs have options that allow them to opt out for free agency.  A good example would be Manny Ramirez’ contract with the Dodgers where there is a player option.

Noteworthy players that are available for free agency include Johnny Damon, Andy Pettitte, and World Series MVP Hideki Matsui of the World Champion Yankees, Victor Martinez and Tim Wakefield with the Red Sox, Vladimir Guerrero, Chone Figgins, and John Lackey of the Angels, as well as Matt Holliday of the Cardinals, Carl Crawford of the Rays, and Pedro Martinez (and if the club opts out) Cliff Lee of the Phillies.

To see a complete listing players potentially eligible for Free Agency under Article XX - B of the Basic Agreement, select Read More

Read more...
 
Dodgers' Andre Ethier Named "2009 MLB Clutch Performer of the Year" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 30 October 2009 18:38

Andre EthierAndre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been named the recipient of the “2009 MLB Clutch Performer of the Year Award Presented by Pepsi”, it was announced today.  Ethier is the winner of the officially-sanctioned Major League Baseball award, as voted by the fans, which recognizes the player who performed his best when the game was on the line.

The winner was revealed during a one-hour special, produced by Major League Baseball Productions, that aired on ESPN.  Hosted by “Mr. October” Reggie Jackson, who is no stranger to clutch hits, The 2009 MLB Clutch Performer of the Year Award Show Presented by Pepsi celebrated the six nominees who consistently delivered clutch performances over the course of the entire 2009 Major League Baseball season.  This year’s MLB Pepsi Clutch Performer of the Year nominees were: Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers; Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers; Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants; Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins; Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals; and Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees.

Ethier set career-highs in 2009 with 160 games played, 162 hits, 31 home runs, 106 RBI, 92 runs scored, 42 doubles and 72 walks while hitting .272 with a .508 slugging percentage and a .361 on-base percentage. The 27-year old outfielder finished fifth in the N.L. with 76 extra-base hits, tied for fifth in doubles, and was tied for sixth in RBI.

Ethier led the Majors with six walk-off hits, including a Major League record four walk-off home runs (tied with Jimmie Foxx in 1940 and Roy Sievers in 1957): June 6th against the Phillies in the 12th inning; June 29th against Colorado in the 13th inning; August 6th vs. Atlanta in the 9th; and September 15th against the Pirates in the 13th. Ethier has a Major League-leading nine walk-off hits since the beginning of the 2008 season, and his six in 2009 are the most in a single-season by any player since at least 1974.  The left-handed slugger collected six multi-home run games on the year, tied for second with Philadelphia ’s Ryan Howard behind Albert Pujols (10) of the Cardinals. The Arizona State product became just the fourth Dodger in franchise history to amass at least 40 doubles and 30 home runs in the same season, joining Babe Herman (1930), Raul Mondesi (1997) and Eric Karros (1999). On June 26th against Seattle , Andre drove in a career-high six runs and compiled his first career three-homer game, becoming the ninth Dodger in franchise history to accomplish the feat. A second round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft by the Athletics, Ethier recorded two nine-game hitting streaks during the season from June 1st-10th(.400, 14-for-35), and from July 19th-28th (.500, 17-for-24).  Since August 2008, Ethier leads the Dodgers with 40 home runs.

During the month of October, Major League Baseball fans voted for the award on pepsiclutch.mlb.com, a site powered by MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, and created specifically for the MLB Clutch Performer Platform.

To further engage fans in the selection process each month, Pepsi introduced an online sweepstakes in conjunction with the award. As part of the program, fans were entered into a season long sweepstakes for a trip for two to the 2009 & 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Games.

Monthly winners of the 2009 MLB Pepsi Clutch Performer of the Month awards include:  Zack Greinke , Kansas City Royals (April); Melky Cabrera , New York Yankees (May); Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants (June); Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox (July); Hideki Matsui , New York Yankees (August); and Michael Cuddyer, Minnesota Twins (September). Last season, CC Sabathia was named the recipient of the “2008 MLB Clutch Performer of the Year Award Presented by Pepsi.”

Source: Major League Baseball


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Brad Mills Selected as New Manager of Astros PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 27 October 2009 14:41

Brad MillsYesterday, it was Jed Moyer, and today the picking apart of the Red Sox front office continues. The Houston Astros have selected Brad Mills as their new manager. The Astros have called a 3p.m. press conference with General Manager Ed Wade, Tal Smith, President, Baseball Operations and Tal Smith, President, Baseball Operations .

The 52-year-old Mills has been the bench coach for the Red Sox for the past six seasons.

The opening came after the Astros fired Cecil Cooper on Sept. 21st. The Astros finished the season 74-88.

Mills was part of a group interviewed for the position that included internal candidates Dave Clark and Al Pedrique, as well as former Milwaukee Brewers manager Ned Yost, San Diego Padres hitting coach Randy Ready, former Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin, former Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta, and former Astros manager Phil Garne, along with fellow Red Sox coach Tim Bogar.

Acta was selected on Sunday as the new manager of the Cleveland Indians. While he has since deleted the posting, shortly after Acta’s selection, former Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden had reported via Twitter that Phil Garner was going to be announced as Cooper’s replacement.


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Padres Name Jed Hoyer as Exec VP/General Manager PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 26 October 2009 19:36

Jed Hoyer

The San Diego Padres announced today they have named Jed Hoyer as Executive Vice President/General Manager. Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Jeff Moorad made the announcement.

Hoyer, 35, joins the Padres as the eighth General Manager in franchise history. He comes to San Diego from the Boston Red Sox, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager under Theo Epstein since being promoted to the post January 12, 2009.

"After a thorough search and evaluation of qualified candidates, I am excited to name Jed Hoyer as our Executive Vice President/General Manager," said Moorad. "Jed comes from a championship organization where he gained hands-on experience for a club that has had tremendous success in its baseball operations and, particularly, in player development.

"We are fortunate to add someone as highly respected and well-thought-of in the industry as Jed. I feel our organization continues to move forward and I believe he is the right person to lead us through the next chapter of Padres baseball."

As Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager, Hoyer was involved in all aspects of baseball operations for the Red Sox, primarily focusing on player acquisitions, contract negotiations and player evaluations. Prior to his promotion at Boston, he served as Assistant General Manager for the 2006-08 campaigns and had previously been Assistant to the General Manager since the end of the 2003 season. Hoyer first joined the Red Sox prior to the 2002 campaign and was actively involved in player development, Major League scouting, quantitative analysis and advance scouting during his eight years with the club.

"From my initial conversations with Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel, it was apparent that there is a strong commitment to winning here and I am thrilled to have this opportunity," said Hoyer. "John Moores' leadership has resulted in this beautiful ballpark and a continued dedication to the San Diego community. I look forward to being part of this great situation and working to build a consistent, winning team that the city will be proud of."

A native of Plymouth, NH, he is a 1996 graduate of Wesleyan University, where he helped lead the Cardinals to the championship game of the Division III World Series in 1994 as a pitcher and shortstop. He later served two seasons as an assistant coach for the Wesleyan baseball team.

Source: San Diego Padres


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Welcome Bacta: Indians Name Manny Acta New Manager PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 25 October 2009 15:47

Manny ActaThe Cleveland Indians and Executive Vice President and General Manager MARK SHAPIRO today named MANNY ACTA the 40th Manager in Franchise History.  He is signed thru 2012 with a club option for 2013.

Acta, who will turn 41 on January 11, has been a coach or manager at the Major League level each of the last eight seasons since 2002.  He most recently served as the Manager of the Washington Nationals for two and one half seasons after being named to the post on November 14, 2006, becoming just the 2nd manager in Nationals franchise history while succeeding Frank Robinson. During his time with the Nationals he compiled a record of 158-252 (.385).  During his first season in 2007 he led the Nationals to a fourth place finish in the competitive National League East Division after the team recorded three straight last place finishes from 2004-06.  The 2007 Nationals employed 14 rookies and 13 different starting pitchers.

He originally broke into the Majors as the third base/infield coach of the Montreal Expos in 2002 and held that position for three seasons from 2002-2004.  Acta then moved onto the same position on the Major League staff of the New York Mets in 2005 & 2006 before being named the manager of the Washington Nationals.

The Dominican Republic native holds dual citizenship in both the Dominican Republic and United States and is the only active manager in the big leagues and just the 4th manager overall from the baseball-rich island.

Acta began his post playing career in the Houston Astros Player Development System in 1992 and started his managerial career in 1993 at Class A Auburn (30-46) of the short season New-York Penn League.  He managed for eight seasons in the Houston Astros system and was named the Florida State League Manager of the Year in 1999 after guiding Kissimmee to the Florida State League Championship.

In addition to both major and minor league managerial experience, Acta also has served as a manager for four seasons in both the Dominican and Venezuelan winter leagues.  During the 2003 and 2004 Dominican Winter league seasons he guided Licey to the winter league championship and was named the Manager of the Year.  Acta also managed the Dominican Republic’s team to a semi-final appearance in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.   Manny’s playing career spanned six seasons at the minor league level from 1986-1991 in the Houston Astros organization.

“We are very excited to have Manny Acta as our Major League manager,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager MARK SHAPIRO.  “After speaking with an impressive array of candidates, we feel that Manny is a very strong and experienced leader who possesses great energy and enthusiasm along with tremendous communication skills and a positive mindset that will command a presence in the dugout, clubhouse and with our fans.”

“I am very excited to become part of the Cleveland Indians family,” said Cleveland Indians Manager MANNY ACTA.  “I look forward to working with this talented group of young men who seem to possess a lot of energy and passion for their work.  I believe we will grow together as a team with the ultimate goal of bringing a championship to Cleveland and its fans.”

Source: Cleveland Indians


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Dodgers Sign GM Ned Colletti to Long-Term Contract PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 20 October 2009 15:11

Ned CollettiTHIS IS BREAKING NEWS...

The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that they have agreed to a long-term contract extension for General Manager Ned Colletti. Dodger Owner Frank McCourt made the announcement.

Financial terms were not released.

“One of our core promises to our fans is championship caliber baseball, year in and year out,” said McCourt. “Ned has been instrumental in our going a long way towards fulfilling that promise. I couldn’t be happier for him, both personally and professionally. The stability and continuity that extending his contract provides will further help us achieve the goal of being a consistent winner and I’m thrilled that he will continue to lead our baseball operations into the future.”

In his four seasons as GM, Colletti has seen his teams reach the postseason in three times, the first time a Dodger GM has accomplished that feat. During those four years, the Dodgers’ .539 winning percentage is the second highest in the National League behind the Phillies (.554). Among NL West opponents, the Dodgers lead second-place Colorado by 17.5 games during the four-year span.

The Dodgers recently finished the regular season with the best record in the National League for the first time since 1983 and swept the National League Division Series for the second consecutive season. The team is making back-to-back appearances in the NLCS for the first time since 1977-78.

“My time here in Los Angeles has been very special to me and I’m honored to be associated with this tremendous franchise,” said Colletti. “I’m very proud of what our baseball operations staff has accomplished over the last four years and I’m grateful for the support of the fans who have truly made me feel at home. I’m hopeful that we can bring them the championship they deserve in the very near future.”

Colletti is one of just three active Major League GMs to have reached the postseason in three of his first four seasons, joining New York ’s Brian Cashman and Boston ’s Theo Epstein.

“Ned’s leadership has created organizational consistency and the results speak for themselves,” said Dodger President Dennis Mannion. “He’s a tremendous asset to the Dodger organization and I look forward to working with him to ensure the Dodgers’ success in the years to come.”

Among the key contributors Colletti has added in midseason over the past two years are three likely Hall of Famers – Manny Ramirez, Greg Maddux, and Jim Thome – as well as veterans Casey Blake, Vicente Padilla, George Sherrill, Ronnie Belliard, and Jon Garland. Colletti’s first trade as GM netted outfielder Andre Ethier, while he continued to hold onto several key players who have become the nucleus of the team, including All-Stars Jonathan Broxton and Chad Billingsley, as well as Matt Kemp, James Loney, Russell Martin, Clayton Kershaw, and Hong-Chih Kuo, among others.

With a focus on developing top talent, Colletti and his staff launched an offseason Player Development Program in 2008 that included instruction both on and off the field. He also created the Dodger Pride Awards, which honor the organization’s top minor league players each month at each level of the club’s minor league system who play the game with a hustling, smart, aggressive style.

His key free agent acquisitions include the re-signing of Ramirez and Blake as well as deals to sign Randy Wolf, Orlando Hudson, and Juan Pierre, among others. Colletti has also renewed the club’s focus in Asia, signing free agents Takashi Saito and Hiroki Kuroda out of Japan .

Source: Los Angeles Dodgers


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Dodgers Deal for Veterans Jim Thome and Jon Garland PDF Print E-mail
Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 01:04

Dodgers trade for Garland and Thome

The Los Angeles Dodgers, looking to bolster their line-up for the postseason, made two late night trades on Monday night acquiring veteran right-handed pitcher Jon Garland from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for a player to be named later, and slugging veteran designated hitter/infielder Jim Thome and cash from the Chicago White Sox for minor league infielder Justin Fuller.

For players to be eligible for the postseason and added to the 40 man roster, players had to clear waivers by midnight ET on Monday.

Garland, 29, was 8-11 with a 4.29 ERA (80 ER in 167.2 IP) in 27 starts for the D-backs this season. He held opponents to a .286 batting average (188-for-657) with 52 walks and 83 strikeouts. Garland, who signed with the D-backs as a free agent on Jan. 29, is 114-100 with a 4.45 ERA (887 ER in 1793.0 IP) in 305 career games (282 starts) over parts of 10 seasons in the Majors for the Chicago White Sox (2000-2007), Los Angeles Angels (2008) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2009). In his 282 career starts, he is 112-99 with a 4.48 ERA (873 ER in 1754.0 IP).

Garland was notified of the trade while the Diamondbacks played the Dodgers in Los Angeles. In a surreal visual, Garland left the Diamondbacks dugout and appeared in the Dodgers dugout a few moments later. He had been scheduled in the rotation to pitch against the Dodgers on Thursday. Now, it is possible that Garland could pitch against the team he was traded from before the series at Dodger Stadium is completed.

Thome, who turned 39 on August 27, is hitting .252 (86-341) with 23 home runs and 74 RBIs in 106 games this season. He was acquired from Philadelphia prior to the 2006 season and hit 134 home runs with 369 RBIs in 518 games with the White Sox.

Thome ranks among baseball's all-time leaders in numerous offensive categories, including walks (10th, 1,619), home runs (12th, 564) and RBIs (30th, 1,564).

Among active players, Thome ranks third in home runs behind only Ken Griffey Jr. (625) and Alex Rodriguez (576).  Also among active players, he ranks fifth in RBI, seventh with a .558 slugging percentage, and tied for sixth with a .405 on-base percentage.  He leads active players with 1,619 walks and his 2,134 hits rank 13th.  He also ranks 21st in baseball history in slugging percentage and 10th in walks.

Thome is one of only nine players in baseball history to accumulate 500 home runs, 1,500 walks, and 2,000 hits, joining Barry Bonds, Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt, Frank Thomas, and Ted Williams.

Thome is a career .278 hitter in 2,267 games with Cleveland (1991-2002), Philadelphia (2003-05), and the Chicago White Sox (2006-09).  He is a veteran of seven postseasons, including two World Series appearances with Cleveland in 1995 and 1997.  He has hit 17 career post-season homers, and has batted .221 (45-for-204) with 37 RBI in 59 playoff games.

In exchange for Thome, the White Sox get Fuller, 24, who is hitting .254 (45-177) with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 56 games this season with Class A Inland Empire of the California League. He is a career .242 hitter (188-777) in four Minor League seasons, all with the Dodgers.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Fuller was selected in the 11th round of the First-Year Player Draft in 2006 and was labeled by Baseball America as the Best Defensive Player among the Dodgers' Draft class.

The moves by the Dodgers are a clear sign that GM Ned Colletti is working to give manager Joe Torre more weapons for the postseason.

A big question with Jim Thome is where he will fit within the Dodgers and a National League organization. As reported by ESPN:

It's not immediately clear what role Thome will fill for the Dodgers. He has been exclusively a designated hitter the past two seasons and hasn't played first base -- the position he played earlier in his career -- since appearing in one game there in 2007. He hasn't played first base full time since 2004.

One place that Thome won't be playing is at first base. As reported by Jon Weisman via the LA Times "Dodger Thoughts":

Ned Colletti said on Prime Ticket's Dodgers Live postgame show that he and Jim Thome spoke at about 8:30 p.m. tonight, right before his trade to the Dodgers was officially completed, and Thome said that he is eager to contribute but that "playing first base is probably not going to be an option."

Nonetheless, Colletti was excited to get him.

"Jim Thome is a great hitter, a home-run hitter," he said. "He is in the twilight of his career, no question. He is also a great leader."


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Angels Land Kazmir PDF Print E-mail
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Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Evan Nuckles   
Saturday, 29 August 2009 11:15

Scott KazmirThe Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim officially announced during Friday night's game that the club acquired pitcher Scott Kazmir from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for prospects Alexander Torres, Matthew Sweeney and a player to be named later, according to MLB.com.

The Angels are hoping the 25-year-old lefty can bolster a pitching staff ranked 12th in the American League in team ERA. Kazmir has struggled with a quad strain and mechanical issues this season, posting a 5.92 ERA in 20 starts. But the Angels were encouraged by Kazmir's last start in which he struck out 10 Blue Jays batters in six innings. "We had a scout in Toronto watch Scott pitch, and obviously he threw very well," Angels G.M. Tony Reagins said. "We've been following him for weeks, and we just felt it made sense for us to make a move right now."

Kazmir had to pass through waivers since the deal occured after the July 31st trade deadline, but he is eligble to pitch in the post-season since the trade was completed prior to September 1st. Kazmir, a two-time All-Star, is under team control for the next two seasons and has a club option for 2012. He's set to earn $8 million next year, $12 million in 2011 and has a $13.5 million option with a $2.5 million buyout. Kazmir will receive an $800,000 bonus for being traded, and no money was exchanged between the teams in the deal.

Kazmir is the Rays' all-time leader in starts (144), quality starts (71), innings pitched (834), and strikeouts (874) with a career record of 55-44 and a 3.92 ERA after being selected with the No. 15 overall pick in the first round of the 2002 draft by the New York Mets. The Rays acquired him in 2004 in exchange for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fotunato.

"I was surprised," said Kazmir, noting that he'd heard rumors in the past. "I just want to say thanks to the organization for all the years I've been here -- all the support they've given me [and the] fans. There's a disappointment leaving here, but at the same time you have to look at the business side of it," Kazmir said. "I know that I'm going to a quality organization with the Angels. And they're always in contention to make the playoffs every year."

While the Angels received a quality starting pitcher, the Rays received two solid prospects and some much-needed payroll relief. "We gave up two talented players and a third to come, so this deal was not a salary dump," Reagins said. "They got players they really liked and that we really liked, too." Andrew Friedman, the Rays executive vice president of baseball operations said the trade does not signal that the team has raised a surrender flag for the 2009 season. "I think it increases the risk a little bit, especially the way that Kaz has pitched the last couple of outings," Friedman said. "But I feel like we have a lot of very capable arms." The Rays are expected to fill Kazmir's rotation slot with either top prospects Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson, or former starter Andy Sonnanstine.

Torres is a 21 year-old right-hander from Venezuela who is a combined 13-4 with a 2.75 ERA in 26 appearances (24 starts) between Class A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Arkansas this season with 149 strikeouts in 147 1/3 innings. Sweeney, 21, is a  left-handed third baseman who was hitting .299 with nine home runs and 44 RBIs in 58 games for Rancho Cucamonga this season. He missed the 2008 season while recovering from ankle surgery, and spent more than two months on the disabled list this year with a right hip injury.


Evan Nuckels is a staff author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here.

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